Shu’s very bad, horrible Election Day.

North Carolina has an abundant supply of people calling themselves “political consultants” who really don’t have much of a clue.  Unfortunately, the NCGOP has more than its fair share of that surplus.  I, for one, am incredibly frustrated by quality candidates going down in flames thanks to pee-poor advice from these “political consultants.”

Many of these so-called consultants are not long out of college.  Many are forced on candidates by NCGOP HQ and other elements of the NCGOPe.

One example I can think of as OVERRATED is RedDome Group.  Its marquee operative is former legislator and NCGOP vice-chairman Carolyn Justice.  Ms. Carolyn has been a devout acolyte for Dallas and his grandpa Robin.  She was also a steadfast warrior for CO-SPEAKER Richard Morgan.  Justice is attached at the hip to the GOPe.  And it is amazing how many candidates — seeking to knock off an establishment candidate — HIRE HER.

When you come across a race where a candidate lost a very winnable fight, there is a strong likelihood that campaign paid RedDome for some kind of help.

Granted, they were on retainer to Mark Harris when he pulled off the upset of Pittenger on Tuesday.  I’ve got great contacts in that district.  I could have told you it was Harris’s to lose three months ago.  RedDome benefited from the old right-place, right-time algorithm.  There is STILL a general election against a well-funded Democrat out there. 

One of the biggest and most overrated examples out there is one Paul Shumaker.  He is the Raleigh GOP’s go-to-guy. He charges a pretty penny for his services.

But let’s look at the recent track record.  In 2014,  Kay Hagan was primed to receive a vicious pounding at the polls.  Yet, Shumaker’s candidate Thilli$$$ nearly blew it.  Shumaker even admitted to the drivebys that he went into election day thinking Thilli$$$ was going to lose.

Thilli$$$ couldn’t manage to crack 50% against Kay “Dead Woman Walking” Hagan.  And yet Shu’s bank account got seriously fattened and he continued to be celebrated as some kind of maestro. (In 2016, Shu was the brains behind the candidacy of one Jim O’Neill, the guy Buck Newton dispatched in the GOP primary for attorney general. Another big loss.)

On Tuesday, Shumaker managed to blow not one, but TWO congressional races.  Shu was the adviser for Indian casino lobbyist Scott Dacey in the three-way 3rd district GOP primary for Congress.  Dacey, despite raising and spending record amounts on the race, managed to come in THIRD behind vulnerable incumbent Walter Jones and a perennial candidate who (1) didn’t even live in the district (2) promoted the wrong date for election day on his TV ads, and (3) spent less than $70,000 on the race. 

Talk about an expensive THIRD PLACE finish.  It’s kind of reminiscent of John  Connally’s 1980 run for the GOP presidential nomination. 

But Shu got paid. 

Over in the 9th district, Shu was the brains behind Robert Pittenger’s stunning collapse.  Just about a month ago, two polls got released to the drive by media showing Pittenger up by 30 points.  When the smoke cleared on Election Day, 54% of the GOP electorate in that district picked someone other than  Pittenger.   (Mark Harris topped Pittenger by 2 percent.)

So, what can we learn from all this, boys and girls?  You can keep hiring people like this to manage your campaigns, get your wallet emptied, and blow (or nearly blow) a very winnable race.  Or you can  do something DIFFERENT.

4 comments for “Shu’s very bad, horrible Election Day.

  1. Duncan Macleod
    May 10, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Great story…there’s a lot to running campaigns and running them effectively, but these people seem to just stick everything through they same mundane processes…file they don’t even care.

    IMO, campaigns should work diligently to develop very close relationships with the county parties in their districts. Pat lost by 100 votes a county…there’s a disconnect there. If it happened to him it’s happening elsewhere. This has to change.

    I have heard from folks in DC that a large chunk of Tillis’ victory is owed to the work of the SBA List and NC Family Values. NCFV also endorsed Harris.

  2. Raphael
    May 10, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Another consultant who should be held in distain in Jim Burton, the buddy of Dallas Woodhouse who ran the last minute character assassination that took down Beverly Boswell. Conservatives should shun any candidate who hires Burton. Don’t give them money and don’t vote for them. Tell them directly that you are through with their campaigns as hold as they have Burton working for them, and tell them it is because of what he did to Boswell. Scorched earth campaigns like his destroy party unity. I am sure if enough local Republicans complain about Burton, candidates will give him the old heave-ho.

  3. Toxhandler
    May 10, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Shu got paid, didn’t he? Don’t you mean his client’s very bad, horrible Election Day?

  4. john steed
    May 10, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    Another very bad and horrible day was that of the establishment dark money smear group Americans United for Values, which sent out numerous mailers against Walter Jones. This group spends its money attacking the most conservative candidate in the particular race by claiming that they are not a conservative. Walter Jones is their fourth smear target and their third failure. They began by attacking Ted Cruz in the 2016 Iowa presidential caucuses, then attacked the principle conservative candidates in the Georgia and South Carolina special elecdtion primaries for vacant Congressional seats in 2017. Jones was their fourth target. They failed after spending big money in Iowa, SC and NC, succeeding only in Georgia.

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