The Danon Dilemma

Sunshine Sunshine 13 Comments

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So Tom Shepard, whose track record includes some legal troubles, electing the mayor who underfunded the pension system, electing the council president who doubled down on the pension underfunding, losing Bilbray for Congress in 2000, winning Sanders, turning easy Horn/Roberts victories into prolonged costly races, losing Prop D, and losing Fletcher has taken the lead on Filner for Mayor.

Behind closed doors conservatives are smiling that the most hyped consultant in San Diego is over-billing and under-performing for Bob Filner.

Already Shepard is seeing his top clients jump ship. Sherry Hodges, whose campaign has seen a recent burst of life, led the way in leaving Shepard, showing the leadership she needs to grab the SDGOP endorsement this month.

But a client remains, supervisor candidate Steve Danon. Steve took on Shepard at a time when grabbing him meant proactively pulling him away from the incumbent, Danon’s original competition. Heading into the runoff the race is Danon’s to lose, and a few questions remain for him.

Will Danon be a strong enough candidate to drop Shepard? At best, Danon has eight years on the Board of Supervisors. Eight years from now, as Danon exits his seat should he win, he’ll look around and likely see the political landscape overrun with elected officials, donors, activists, and consultants who stood against Shepard/Filner. Where will Danon find his home when he was the lone voice who refused to take a stand?

If Danon drops Shepard will the consultant take on Dave Roberts, Steve’s opponent? Danon can only hope so. Getting a better consultant at a cheaper price is every candidate’s dream. The district is so big that, even with all of Shepard sub-par polling and op-research, Roberts wouldn’t be able to put the information to much use.

If Danon doesn’t drop Shepard how much support will he lose? Steve is the frontrunner given the district’s registration, his campaign money, and his support. If the center-right community cuts resources to Danon, minimizing the indirect help they give to Shepard/Filner, and leave Danon to what they assume will be a somewhat comfortable victory, Danon could find himself in a tight race with Roberts. Campaigns usually don’t realize their lead has evaporated until it is too late.

The real, final, be all, end all question for Danon: Is he willing to make every single step in his campaign/life for the next few months a battle. Will Danon keep his party support? Sure, but every mail piece, every phone call, every fundraiser, every precinct canvass, every volunteer event, every everything will involve a less than subtle battle around Danon’s Shepard problem. Is taking what would otherwise be a pain free campaign and turning it into a constant headache really worth keeping Tom Shepard?

I really think that simply taking on another consultant won’t be enough for Danon. In order to reach his full potential as a candidate and a campaign, Danon has to sever all ties to Shepard, leave the bitter man, and wholly rejoin the winning team.

This post isn’t a threat, it isn’t a passive message, it isn’t a muscle tactic, it is just an observation and some thoughts.

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Comments 13

  1. So Rostra is now shilling as a negative surrogate in the competition between consultants…

  2. Post
    Author

    Brace yourself for a shock, Rostra is a political blog! That means that sometimes people are going to get criticized and sometimes they’ll be exulted. Since it is an insiders blog we don’t just compare talking points, we talk about strategies and internal workings. We talk about facts, impacts, changes and chatter. The idea that every post or comment on Rostra has an agenda is ridiculous and is usually a red herring.

  3. D. Morton,
    Are you shilling for that good ol’ boy Tom Shepard? Are you scavenging for his leftovers?

  4. Don’t forget he elected the current sheriff who is being sued by the National Rifle Association for only issuing concealed weapon permits to friends and financial supporters. The same sheriff who brought a LRAD device to a town hall on Obamacare too.

  5. So proud to be a part of the Republican Party today… Not only do we force people out when we disagree with a couple of their political views, we threaten to de-rail a campaign we once supported with all our hearts and money. Why? Because the candidate continues to pay a consultant, who was leading him to a decisive victory, who has taken on another client!

    Gasp! A consultant following the money rather than principle? NO!!!! That can’t be true.

    What about the dem consultant who was hired by DeMaio? I haven’t heard any cries for him to be fired. The money paying him could be going to republican consultants and precinct walkers who have a nice shiny “R” after their name.

    The question for me is simple. Has Steve changed any position that would give me reason to no longer support him? If not, he’s still got my support.

  6. “Will Danon keep his party support? Sure…”

    That is from the article. Kinda ruins everything you just wrote, doesn’t it? Kinda makes it all not make sense.

  7. Use the full sentance and it makes total sense: a veiled threat. In effect the author is stating that Danon may keep his support but the consequences on the back end will be dire and may ruin him politically. Veiled threats are great because when called to task, you can play dumb and say that it wasn’t a threat and calling it a threat doesn’t make sense…

    Full Quote without the elipsis.
    “Sure, but every mail piece, every phone call, every fundraiser, every precinct canvass, every volunteer event, every everything will involve a less than subtle battle around Danon’s Shepard problem. Is taking what would otherwise be a pain free campaign and turning it into a constant headache really worth keeping Tom Shepard?”

  8. Yes, the AUTHOR. And how, pray tell, does the analysis and opinion of one blogger turn into WE? There are varying opinions as to whether any one candidate’s use of a particular consultant will impact his/her campaign, if at all. There are obviously varying opinions on that subject here as well, as noted by the discussion above. Chevy Sam is part of the WE, but claims WE are all of the same mind. Huh?

  9. “we force people out when we disagree with a couple of their political views”

    Explain this, Sam, because, like I said, it really doesn’t make sense. Who is being forced out? Clearly the author is saying that nobody is suggesting this.
    Read the entire sentence or the entire post…you contradict yourself a couple of times in your comment.

  10. After taking the bait from the purity wing of the Republican Party, Danon chooses … John Wainio?

    There isn’t a consultant in town who plays both sides of the fence more often than Wainio. Is it a concern that Wainio’s #2 Rollin Bush is the campaign manager for Sherri Lightner, who (surprise) will be working to turn out Democrat voters in the same real estate as Danon’s race?

    Hmm.

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