What does Dr. Politics Do in the Off-Season?
By Dwight Patel
Since we are in the off-season now, many of you may be wondering what the Good Doctor is going to be talking about, since we have no state-wide elections in 2019. Don’t let your heart be troubled. Just like the Redskins, we have a lot of work to do in the off-season (Note: we are in better shape than the Redskins). If you are thinking about running again in 2020 or 2022, you need to keep your name ID out there. But how do I do that, you ask? Well I’m glad you asked, because I’d like to answer the question of how to stay relevant in the off-season.
Start a Blog
Pick an issue that you’re passionate about and start a blog.
Let’s say your issue is transportation and the lack of new roads in Montgomery County or the state of Maryland. You can do one of two things: first, you can convert your campaign website to a blog. That’s why I mentioned 2 years ago in the first issue of Dr. Politics that you should pick a domain name that you can repurpose.
If you didn’t get a domain to repurpose, the good news is that domains are cheap. Dr. Politics recommends Google Domains that you get for $12.00 a domain and domain privacy (this means that no one can find your personal information, i.e. where you live or work.) You can also repurpose your Twitter and Facebook page to your passion issue. Again, like your campaign site, you will do the same thing to build an audience.
How to Build an Audience for Your Blog
Become familiar with an issue and write thoughtful, informative blog posts about it. Let’s say you pick the issue of transportation. One excellent source of information on transportation issues is The Reason Foundation (https://reason.org/. There are also great resources for many other issues like School Choice and other right of center solutions.
Other Resources for Center Right Solutions
Competitive Enterprise Institute - www.cei.org
Americans for Tax Reform - www.atr.org
National Taxpayers Union - www.ntu.org
American Conservative Union - www.conservative.org
Eagle Forum - www.eagleforum.org
ALEC - www.alec.org
Conservative Publications & Blogs
Red State - www.redstate.com
The Daily Caller - www.theDailyCaller.com
The Washington Times - www.washingtontimes.com
Michelle Malkin - www.michellemalkin.com
Town Hall - www.townhall.com
Human Events - www.humanevents.com
Breitbart - www.breitbart.com
American Conservative University - https://open.spotify.com/show/5GrlOG2MLJUSrCe845VPEd
The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg
The Hollywood in Toto Podcast
Perino & Stirewalt: I’ll Tell You What
Use the above resources to get information for your blog. Make sure the information you blog about is accurate, since you don’t want any “My Bad” moments. However, if this does happen, just own it. Don’t try and defend something that is inaccurate. That is a one way to lose credibility with your readers or viewers.
Start a Podcast/Vlog
Just like a blog, with more versatility. Although you can cover more issues with this format than with a podcast, still I’d limit focus to no more than 5 issues. Again, just like your blog, you need to research your issue(s) then spit out a coherent message. You don’t want to be the crank or angry podcaster – there are enough of those out there already. Also, since you are doing this to keep your name out in the public, until 2020 or 2022, remember that being a crank won’t help you with voters.
Among the benefits of a podcast over a blog is that it’s easier to listen on the go, while a blog is something you need to read. There is a reason audible books are popular. When you do your podcast, put some personality into it. You don’t want to be stiff, so show some emotion. Remember how difficult it was to listen to professors or teachers who droned on in a monotone voice? Well, no one wants to listen to you drone on either.
What are the Start-Up Costs for a Podcast?
You can spend as much as $2,500. However, my advice to candidates is to start small. You can use your IphoneXs Max or other Iphone 7s+ or better. The Dr. Politics podcasts are put together very easily with a Iphone and a tripod, no fancy lights or expensive mics. With that said, the Dr. Politics and Political Architects show will be using mics and other digital recording devices. We spent about $1,500 to take our podcast to the next level. We are also going to try to do more than four podcasts per year. You should also go through the process to make your podcast available on Spotify, YouTube, Facebook Live and other social media platforms. After you get into the groove, you may want to consider trying to get them onto the Itunes Store. I will do another post to give you a breakdown of startup costs for a podcast. Also, here are a few other resources for you to get started with a podcast:
- Messy - messy.fm
- PodBean - podbean.com
- Anchor - anchor.fm
In the Spring of 2019, we may do a workshop on how to start a podcast. If you would be interested in getting this kind of training, email me at [email protected]
Join a Board or Commission
Montgomery County and the state of Maryland have a number of boards and civic non-partisan organizations that need citizen involvement. I know your first reaction might be why spend time participating in these Committees or Commissions when such entities are overrun – at least at the local County level -- with left of center Democrats? That is exactly the reason that we as conservatives must engage them with our ideas. Our ideas are better – that isn’t even a point for debate – we are the ones who have common sense and new ideas based on fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, lower taxation, and not expecting government to solve every problem by throwing more and more money at the issue
However, it is worth checking out the list of boards and commissions in Montgomery County, Maryland. if you don’t live in Montgomery County, your county has similar boards and commissions lists.
Appointments are made by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council unless otherwise indicated.
Indicates Council appointments.
Indicates Confidential financial disclosure required.
Indicates dual Executive and Council appointments.
Indicates Public financial disclosure required.
(#) Indicates number of members.
Click on the board name below for detailed information
Adult Public Guardianship Review Board
Aging, Commission on
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board
Airpark Liaison Committee
Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council
Alcoholic Beverages Advisory Board
Animal Matters Hearing Board
Appeals, Board of
Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. Board of Directors
Cable and Communications Advisory Committee
Cable Compliance Commission
Charter Review Commission
Child Care, Commission on
Children and Youth, Commission on
Citizen's Review Panel for Children
Committee Evaluation and Review Board
Committee to Recommend Funding for the Public Election Fund
Common Ownership Communities, Commission on
Community Action Board
Consumer Protection, Advisory Committee on
Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission
Crossroads Development, Commission - Inactive
Dickerson Area Facilities Implementation Group
Domestic Violence Coordinating Council
Early Childhood Coordinating Council (ECCC)
East County Citizens Advisory Board
Electrical Examiners, Board of
Energy and Air Quality Advisory Committee
Ethnic Affairs, Committee for
Fire and Emergency Services Commission
Firearm Safety Committee
Forest Conservation Advisory Committee
Friendship Heights Transportation Management District Advisory Committee
Glen Echo Part Partnership Board of Directors
Health, Commission on
Historic Preservation Commission
Homelessness, Interagency Commission on
Human Rights Commission
Interagency Coordinating Board for Community Use of Public FacilitiesInvestment Trustee, Board ofJuvenile Justice, Commission on
Landlord-Tenant Affairs, Commission on
License Commissioners, Board of
Local Management Board for Children, Youth and Families
Mental Health Advisory Committee
Merit System Protection Board
Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board
Montgomery Cares Program, Advisory Board for
Noise Control Advisory Board
Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee
People with Disabilities, Commission on
Permitting (Department of) Services Advisory Committee
Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board
Recreation Advisory Boards
Registration for Building Contractors, Board of
Rustic Roads Advisory Committee
Sign Review Board
Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board
Silver Spring Transportation Management District Advisory Committee
Silver Spring Urban District Advisory Committee
Social Services, Board of
Solid Waste Advisory Committee
Strathmore Hall Foundation Board of Directors
Sustainability Working Group - Inactive
Taxicab Service Advisory Committee
Technology Investment Fund Loan/Grant Committee - Inactive
Up county Citizens Advisory Board
Veterans Affairs, Commission on
Victim Services Advisory Board
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)
Washington Suburban Transit Commission (WSTC)
Water Quality Advisory Group
Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board
Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee
Women, Commission for
Workforce Development Board
For those of you who believe the boards and commissions are filled with lefties, your local neighborhood association is another place you can get involved in a non-partisan way. Most of these groups are just waiting for a takeover by commonsense-minded activists.
All candidates should consider applying to these boards. Try to pick boards, HOAs/Neighborhood Associations that can help you raise your profile in the community. These groups are typically run by government employees, some of whom might be neighborhood busybodies. This is an area that is ripe for Republicans who can drive the discussions our way. Also, if we could have more Republican decision makers at these associations, it would be helpful to the governor’s transportation agenda in widening the Beltway and I-270. It is these groups that protested the governor at parades around Montgomery County last year. So, find out when your HOA/Neighborhood Association meets, and also find out when they will have “free and open” elections. (only half-kidding on the free and open part.)
Run for Municipal Office
If you aren’t interested in blogging, podcasting or serving on a board or a commission, there is another way to keep your name in the public eye.
Montgomery County has several municipalities, from the City of Rockville to the Village of Chevy Chase. They all have elections that are non-partisan races. You don’t need a treasurer to run for these offices and there are no BOE filings required. Just pay the town’s filing fees and you’re on the ballot. If you work the doors and don’t come across as a right-wing ideologue, you’ll get elected. Most of these elections have low turnout in a small universe, in some cases less than 300 homes. However, if you are running in the City of Rockville or the City of Gaithersburg, you will have a larger universe.
Keep in mind that if you live in one of the many municipalities within Montgomery County, you can run for office, so dust off those shoes, get new palm cards, and get to work. We have many registered Republicans in various municipalities in Montgomery County.
In the next few weeks, I’ll publish a list of local elections in 2019.
Now that we are in the off-season, please feel free to email me any questions on topics you want covered – or any types of training you’d like to get. Also, since Dr. Politics has ties to the Leadership Institute, I can help you get signed up for a class at no cost. We plan on doing some training this year for candidates as well.
I can always be reached at [email protected]or twitter @DwightWizard or facebook @DwightWizard. Also, you can always call me, leave a message and I’ll get back to you 301.530.1138.
Happy New Year to all. The next Dr. Politics and Political Architects show will air on 1-25-2019 Live at 7:30 pm.