Two years ago when I was volunteering for Katrina Pierson's congressional campaign against Pete Sessions, one of the things I was tasked with was getting her in front of people. When you start out relatively unknown, your number one challenge is name recognition, and accomplishing that fast.
Because of this, I got her in front of all the important people in Wylie, you know, the people who make a difference and who citizens look up to. Some were reluctant, given the fact they had been highlighted in my blog in the past, but others jumped on board quickly because they knew Sessions' record of not bothering with Wylie, and it was making them terribly unhappy.
Let's face it, Sessions only started visiting Wylie because I started hammering him on his lack of attention two years ago when I reminded both him and my readers that he hadn't been up here in the years since Wylie was gerrymandered into his district.
OK, we get it. We know Wylie is the ugly red-headed stepchild in Pete's district since we are the only portion of his district not in Dallas County. Plus, it's a long drive to get here from his Ritz Carlton hotel whenever he is in town pretending to live here when he's not in DC making terrible votes or in Winter Park, Florida where his wife and her children live.
Yet after I pointed out his grave mistake of ignoring Wylie, and among other issues too annoying and upsetting to overlook, it caused voters to seek out someone better and Katrina took this little sliver of Collin County away from him. Guess that was enough, because he finally realized we are indeed part of his district and he started banging around up here.
Except, Sessions must really think we are stupid and fickle because those same Wylie voters who got on board with Katrina, fully understand why Sessions has suddenly discovered Wylie is actually part of his district.
Still, despite our success up here in Collin County, Sessions remained in office because he had duped the majority of voters in Dallas County with a massive smear campaign against Katrina Pierson. It's all he had, since he couldn't run on his voting record and he couldn't really send out those Christmas cards with his happy family on them, could he? Granted, Katrina wasn't perfect, but then again neither was the Sessions horn dog who screwed around on his wife Juanita and ended up marrying his Florida girlfriend, all while holding fundraisers at strip joints in Vegas, and garnering the nickname "Uncle Pete" who is a very handy man, if you get my drift. Oh, and all while touting his family values. And for some idiotic reason, voters bought that crap and his supporters all threw stones at Pierson from behind their glass houses.
This year, however, is quite a bit different. This year we have a candidate that is squeaky clean, unlike the dirty little rascal he is running against. So as I volunteer for Russ Ramsland's campaign against Pete Sessions, I am satisfied with the fact that Ramsland has good name recognition in Pete's stomping grounds. Ramsland has been down there working the grassroots for years. But like Katrina, what Ramsland is missing is the name recognition in Wylie, and one of the jobs I am again tasked with is getting Ramsland's name out. That is why I pushed his campaign to sponsor the Wylie Arts Festival which was held last Saturday.
There were several bonuses in doing so. First, the sponsorship funds go toward city beautification projects by the art commission such as the gorgeous bronze statues that have been placed all around town. Next, the campaign could give back to the community by offering a free arts and crafts table where kids and their parents could sit down, take a load off, and just hang together for a while as they got into the Christmas spirit. Finally, it helped Russ's name recognition as thousands of attendees walked past the booth and read his name over and over as they swirled through the aisles and back again.
One might think it out of place for a candidate to be at such an event, but not so. The Sachse Fall Festival and even the Wylie Annual Championship Rodeo have been hotbeds full of campaign booths for years now. In fact, these sponsorships are great ways for cities and their organizations to raise funds. More surprising, is just how many people were truly interested in chatting and airing their griefs about Pete Sessions and frankly all of Congress, when they really just came to shop the artist's booths. They are that mad.
The festival was a great deal of fun, and while there, we even commissioned an artist to do a caricature of Mr. Ramsland, which will proudly hang down at their headquarters. Indeed, Mr. Ramsland is an all around genuine guy, and he truly had a great time at the event, with its hometown feel and quaint little shops just outside the event center doors. Wylie has a lot to offer.
Below are some highlights of Russ' booth activities.
A tired mom sitting down with her kiddo to let him get some creative energy out and
giving her a nice rest.
This young Wylie ISD student is a political science lover and wanted to come meet Mr. Ramsland.
This young man came in looking for Mr. Ramsland, and they chatted for quite a while.
The art booth was a major hit, with parents and kiddos really getting into the action.
I chatted with this man when the festival first opened up and he came back to
ask Mr. Ramsland some questions.
These young girls wanted to meet Mr. Ramsland so their mother could take a photo
of them with him.