Sunday, April 01, 2012

Why Kevin Burns Lost IMHO....


Well it turns out the race for the Republican nomination for Kane County Board Chairman wasn't even close, with Chris Lauzen getting 70% of the vote to about 30% for Kevin Burns.  Considering Burns was a 'serious' candidate with the backing of the Illinois Republican Party Chairman as well as several county board members and members of the county party leadership getting 30% of the vote is well, a bit embarrassing.  I seriously think I could have gotten 20% by just not being Chris Lauzen.

Several different reasons have been given for why this happened and I want to spend a minute refuting a couple of them.

Name Recondition:  Lauzen across the entire county did not have as big of an advantage on this as Burns would like you think. Lauzen's district did not cover the entire county (heck for the last 10 years at been mostly to the west of Aurora, not exactly the most populated area of the county (he didn't eve have most of Aurora anymore). Also everyone seems to forget that for a while Burns was running for congress at the same time Lauzen was, so Burns spent months going to the same events, meeting people, etc.  So Kevin Burns was not unknown with Kane County Republicans.

Fundraising:  Really, Pat Brady endorses you and you can't raise money?  If the party chairman is backing you in a primary and you can't seem to raise money, that is a sign and not a positive one.

Now why I think in part Kevin Burns lost (yes it was going to be a tough race, but it was winnable).

No mail: I got like two or three robocalls about the race that were pro-Burns including at least one from Pat Brady, but  I don't recall a single piece of pro-Brady (or even anti-Lauzen) mail.  Is the move to the robocall so total and complete that a household that is very hard R (with a Republican election judge) doesn't get a single piece of mail.

The Pat Brady call made no sense:  Making the pension and position upgrade argument against Lauzen didn't make any sense to me, using that same logic we should not have nominated Rutherford or Bill Brady since they were both State Senators looking to 'upgrade'. The whole thing didn't help Burns at all.

The idea that ABC applied to the electorate at large:  The whole ABC (Anyone But Chris) concept is something that exists with some folks who are very active in the party, but not primary voters in general. The average Republican primary voter can give care less about if Chris didn't play well with others in the past or if his response to losing the congressional primary 5 years ago.

Why did you waste your money on the RV thing again?  You know it kind of made sense when you were running for congress, but seeing that thing outside of our Lincoln Day did not give anyone the impression you were a fiscal conservative.  It gave the impression that you were vain, I don't want to see your face that big, pure and simple.

You let Chris Lauzen get into your head:  You are not the first guy to do it, you likely will not be the last. But you totally let him get into your head and impact how you ran. It really tossed you off of your game.  If there is a moment where Kevin Burns was screwed it was then, once he started to focus on Lauzen instead of focusing on the race, it was over.

Mayor Burns, in you want to ever be anything besides the Mayor of Geneva (not a bad gig I suspect) go buy a copy of Sun Tzu's Art Of War. Yeah, it seems like the advice you get from a bad sales seminar, but if you want to know why you lost read the book, multiple times. Looking back you got schooled in all 13 chapters, you didn't understand the battle, you didn't understand who you were running against, you planned poorly, the list goes on. Then Google Boyd and the OODA loop. Again, figure out how Lauzen got into your OODA loop (because he totally did).

Finally, I never really got why you were in the race besides to stop Lauzen. Mr Mayor, I have been around long enough to see a lot of people try and stop Chris Lauzen, primary challengers for his state senate seat, real contenders who time and time again didn't know what hit them.  The one thing they all seemed to have in common is they were running to try and stop Chris Lauzen, they all failed in part because those folks sitting in the seats at the township party meetings could see that were running for that very reason, because someone wanted to stop Chris, not because these candidates seemed to have a reason for running on their own.

1 comment:

Jake Parrillo said...

I'm (apparently) a noob because this is the first time I've seen the OODA and Boyd stuff. Pretty interesting read. And relevant - as you point out - in political campaigns. A good framework to think about that's for sure.