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A Day at the Fair

I recently had the distinct pleasure of working as a volunteer at the Ron Paul for President booth at the Washington County Fair in Pennsylvania.

It was a great way to get the message of liberty out to our fellow Americans and I’m encouraged by how receptive people are.

The booth is sponsored by our Western Pennsylvania Meetup group and we have been able to speak with hundreds of interested citizens during the week of the fair. It not only helps us get Dr. Paul’s and our message out, it also gives us volunteers a chance to get to know each other better and bond together. This is especially helpful in a group as diverse as Ron Paul supporters are.

When I arrived at the booth one of our assistant organizers, Kari L., was holding down the fort by herself. Kari is a friendly and knowledgeable lady and that is very important in getting the message across to people. You must be able to answer people’s questions and also be able to counter their arguments on specific issues and do it in a friendly manner.

We were joined later by Steve M. who is outstanding in his ability to approach people. Steve showed how standing up and reaching out to people passing by as opposed to sitting on your hands inside the booth is vitally important.

We had a nice display set up and ready to go with plenty of literature and bumper stickers to hand out thanks to Nick R., another of our assistant organizers, who has done a great job of organizing our activities at the fair. All of our materials were paid for with money raised by our local group.

Each of us was wearing a different Ron Paul t-shirt which we have for sale as a fund raising activity through our group. You can see our designs at our Meetup website and purchase them by contacting us. My personal favorite is the “Ask Me About Ron Paul” design. I’ll post a blog entry specifically on t-shirts in a few days.

A very important factor in our success was that we initiated the contact. As people passed by we opened with a smile and a friendly hello, followed by “Would you like to know more about Presidential candidate Ron Paul?” We found it especially important to say “Presidential candidate” instead of just Ron Paul since if folks thought it was just a local politician they were not very interested. Had we just sat there and waited for them to come to us the event would not have been anywhere near as successful as it was.

The reactions we got ranged from a shaking of the head ‘no’ to “Ron Paul is the greatest! Tell me more and how can I join in helping?” The most prevalent reaction was for a person to listen and take some literature home with them. During the entire evening I did not see a single person drop the ‘slim jims’ that we were handing out into the nearby trash can nor did I see any littering the fairgrounds as I left at the end of the day.

One reason for our success was we had members of more than one party present at the booth. Kari is a Republican, I’m a Democrat and Steve is a Libertarian. If a Democrat or an independent stopped then Steve and I could relate to them directly and they were much more likely to listen.

We also did profiling as best we could. For example, if someone came up wearing a camouflage hat with a Remington logo we stressed Dr. Paul’s support for the second amendment. With military personnel we told then how Dr. Paul is the leader among candidates in contributions from both active servicemen and women and veterans.

There were plenty of good, long conversations with people about the issues as well as many “here is the brochure, read it when you can” encounters.

We also made sure to visit the Washington County Republican and Democratic Committee booths to say hello. We stressed cooperation with the Republicans and they very friendly and supportive. Each person at their booth would later visit us on their own and express admiration for our efforts and for Dr. Paul, as did some of the Democrats.

Our hope is that our efforts will pyramid. That the people we reached out to will become interested and begin spreading the message themselves. For the $500 cost of the booth plus materials I have to say it was money very well spent.




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Congratulations

I am shocked I must say that you had to spend that much to rent the space. Sums like $500 and $1,100 seem a little steep!

Sometimes they charge $500 if it's a straw poll but I've never seen a booth more than $100 here. Of course they are all outside type things..

And I am impressed that you just did not join with the local GOP to share their table which would have been cheaper and easier. Did they have the other presidential candidates on there? Or was it just local?

But then again Ron is so special he deserves his own booth.
Great job....

Jane Aitken, 35-Year Veteran Teacher
Ron Paul 2008 Consultant
GOP Woman of the Year 2009
Founder NH Tea Party Coalition (NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY FAKE 2009 GROUP)
Founder USPEINetwork @ Yahoo (Nat'l Edu Activism Group)
Board Coalition of NH Taxpayers

Only local

There were only local candidates being supported at the Washington County GOP booth. There will be hotly contested races for County Commissioner and District Attorney so that was their focus.

The booth is indeed inside of a permanent building on the county fairgrounds.

Jane, I am so encouraged when I read about the similar efforts around the country such as yours in New Hampshire and those in Oregon, Washington and elsewhere. I hope Dr. Paul's supporters across the country will continue to keep us updated on their efforts.

And don't be surprised to see some of us from the Pittsburgh area coming up to NH to lend support to your efforts as your primary approaches. Preliminary planning for a trip is already underway.

I can just imagine Mitt or

I can just imagine Mitt or Hillary spending $10,000+ to do the same thing.

You're right, Casey

Mitt, Hillary, et al have to pay people to do such things. After all, they appeal to the people who ask what their country can do for them, while Ron Paul's supporters are doing things because they want to do something for their country.

Here's an idea for a bumper sticker

"Don't Throw Your Vote Away - Vote for Ron Paul for President in 2008"

or

"Don't Throw Your Vote Away on More of the Same - Invest Your Vote in Hope for America - Vote for Ron Paul for Your Next President in 2008"

Yet people do act on the negative claims

made by the MSM when they are told: "don't throw your vote away" on a candidate that doesn't have a shot of winning. What could be more negative than that?

And just why would a candidate not have a shot at winning? Because people are buying into that negativity.

So this bumper sticker would be a play on what We the People are constantly being told by the MSM.

People need to start throwing their votes away and take a chance on a generic brand instead of always voting for the brand names the MSM are pushing, the Romney's the Giuliani's, the Clinton's, etc., if they don't we will never break through that glass ceiling of more of the same.

Maybe the bumper sticker should say:

"Don't throw your vote away on more of the same - Give it to Ron Paul he will show it in the same respect he shows our US Constitution."

Now there, it's a negative and a positive all rolled into one.

County Fair - Vancouver Washington

We had a Ron Paul booth in the Clark County Fair in Vancouver Washington (state) with great results! I would say half the people were took information or stoped to talk! Bumper stickers were a big draw! Most people had never heard of Dr. Paul. It was great and I left feeling energized!

It's difficult to believe

that so many people have not heard of Dr. Paul and his message of Freedom.

Great job in getting the word out about Ron Paul.

Thanks!

Thanks for you comments and efforts, Jean!

These booths at county fairs and other events across the nation get the message of freedom out to people in a personal way that the main stream media just can not do. As our efforts increase and flourish the media will eventually take notice and that will help even more.

Washington County Fair

Jay is right that it is a great opportunity to spread name recognition and to show our presence. $500 was a considerable investment, but when you consider that we had a chance to have 80,000 people get exposure to Ron's name, it wasn't something that we could overlook. We are very fortunate in that we plan well, raise funds extremely well, and continue to grow Western Pennsylvania into a bastion of Ron Paul liberty.

Speaking as Organizer of that group, we certainly know some of the difficulties that other groups face, and we've become pretty clever about getting around that. In the coming week or two, we're going to make a real effort to share some of our secrets, and to help others use them as well to make money for themselves.

If there are any Organizers out there seeking help, let me know. Specifically, we have a guy who, with a few weeks, can make however many t-shirts you want to buy, in whatever design you would like, for $5 per shirt. You can take these and sell them for $10 or up and raise money for your group, as well. We've been doing it here in Pittsburgh, and while I won't say how much we have raised, we're not spending as much as we are because we cannot afford it.

It accomplishes two things. We promote Ron Paul and make the funds necessary to compete. Grassroots is good. Grassroots with materials, promotion, and professionalism is even better.

Jay does great work, as do all our members, but we're all here to help where we can. He is also right about New Hampshire. What we are planning they won't even see coming. ;)