By Lucius Gantt
For more than 40 years, I’ve been writing about how much money is spent in political campaigns and how nearly 97% of campaign dollars are spent with vendors of one race.
In today’s column, I want to try and use an analogy to hopefully get you to understand why low voter turnout results from outdated and ill-advised usage of incompetent and ineffective consultants.
On occasion, The Gantt Report has suggested that too many politicians believe white ice is colder than Black ice.
Well, the “white ice” and “Black ice” mentions are misnomers.
You see, ice is ice! Ice is clear and freezes at about 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Black ice is an illusion that occurs when black asphalt roads freeze over and the ice looks black on top of the black roads and highways.
Just like ice is ice, political expertise is political expertise and expert political consultants and vendors come in all races, creeds and colors.
I know qualified and talented Black political consultants, Black political message and copy writers, Black media producers and media placers, Black graphics professionals, Black printers, Black pollsters, Black social media experts, Black GOTV specialists and more.
Why can’t, or why won’t, Black candidates believe in their own and hire their own? Well, it’s obviously not because white political ice is colder than Black political ice, so to speak.
Too many candidates that look like us are tricked, trapped and bamboozled by the political parties they love.
Modern day political carpetbaggers identify and approach Black candidates and say, “We will help you, but you have to hire who we tell you to hire.”
They don’t send consultants like David Axelrod or Sergio Bendixen to work for candidates of color, they send the sons and daughters of Party donors who have little or zero experience in generating votes in Black communities and Black districts.
The political “loop” is off limits for Black consultants who can influence Black voters to cast ballots for Black candidates.
Black newspapers that endorse Black candidates and sometimes print “slates” that senior, and other, voters will cut out and take to the polls, will only get an advertising crumb less than a month before any election.
If you don’t know, 2019-2020 candidates in the United States spent more than $4.1 billion in the 24 months of that election cycle and you’ll need a hubble telescope, detectives and a high-powered microscope to find any political vendors of color that had political contracts of a million dollars or more.
At election time, we lose because we are lost! While winning candidates have a team of political scientists, researchers, media influencers and media experts to assist them, most candidates believe the candidate should be campaign consultants, campaign managers and campaign treasurers even though they have no experience or record of success in any of those areas.
We complain about our lack of access to capital but politics and capital are parallel. Where you find money, you’ll find politics and politicians willing to tax you, charge you fees and give you terrible advice.
Don’t take my word for it, peruse the voter turnout records. In most elections, any Black candidate that can get 30% has a great chance to be victorious on election day because so-called Black political heroes and leaders have won races in major cities even when they couldn’t dream about turning out large numbers of voters to cast ballots for them.
Flooding Black voters email inboxes with unsolicited and stupid emails or snail-mailing goofy direct mail pieces to Blacks that they don’t read is a waste of money and resources.
Political history is the best teacher. If you want to win in politics, get help from political vendors that know how to win and have winning track records.
Good luck with sticking with political losers