Mark Wright Elected to Louisiana State Legislature After Fast 30 Point Swing

Maness Snatches Defeat from the Jaws of Victory in Election for LA’s Disctrict 77 State Legislative Seat

Rob Maness looked to be cruising on his way to victory after the primary election for Louisiana’s 77th District seat for the State Legislature. He garnered 12% more votes than the closest of his three competitors, eventual runoff opponent Mark Wright. All he had to do was not self-destruct and the election was his. Unfortunately for Maness, that proved to be too much to ask.

Louisiana State Legislative District 77 Primary Election 2017
Maness had a comfortable 12 point lead over his next closest competitor in the October primary.

It must have been a solemn night at the Maness headquarters on election night as election day voting followed the trend of early voting, as Wright turned a 12-point deficit after the primary election into an 18-point landslide defeat in just one month. Essentially, everyone who didn’t vote for either candidate in the primary voted for Wright in the runoff save for 18 people, at least in terms of net results.

That kind of massive turnaround in such a short period of time is rare in politics and usually requires some kind of unusual event to occur swaying undecided voters and perhaps even some of the primary winner’s voters as well. That happened, as did a few other key events.

For anyone interested in the science of political campaigning, the following can be used as a lesson in what to do and what not to do when campaigning for public office.

Before breaking down how we arrived at the final results, let’s review them. Shall we?

Mark Wright Rob Maness Runoff Louisiana State Legislative District 77
Wright & company turned a 12 point deficit into an 18 point win in just a month’s time, with most of the movement coming in the final weekl

So how exactly did such a momentous shift occur in just a month?

First, Wright focused more on promoting himself as a good candidate, whereas Maness’ primary message was that he was the ‘one true conservative’, and that powerful “political insiders” were holding him back from winning an election. Thus, once the field was whittled following the primary, Wright made quick work to secure the endorsements of the other two candidates who lost in the primary but did not make the runoff.

This was a very prudent and politically intelligent move on Wright’s behalf. Maness had been adversarial with the other candidates during the primary, levying accusations and loads of innuendo. In other words, he didn’t do anything to make any friends or even give himself a chance at winning the endorsements of either of the two candidates who were eliminated following the primary, whereas Wright was poised to court their support the moment the primary results were in.

With early voting showing a trend toward wright (albeit not enough of one to change the outcome without winning big on election day too), Maness began to self destruct.

The author of this blog, a friend and supporter of Wright, and more importantly experienced campaign operative, decided to become involved with about two weeks remaining, starting with a social media campaign that went viral, locally speaking (within the district). The posts got a lot of exposure, were eloquent and completely disarmed Maness’ unfounded claims that “political insiders” were conspiring against him by claiming to be among the people Maness was referencing as “insiders” conspiring and colluding to keep him down.

The problem this posed for Maness was that this author is more popular within the district, and more highly thought of. Therefore when people saw that I’m who he’s referring to, the claim became extremely suspect – perhaps even to the extent it backfired. For the record, there were no insiders conspiring to keep Maness out of office… Except for myself, if you define me as a “political insider.” Also, in order for there to be a conspiracy you need more than one person. I guess I conspired and colluded with myself, because I acted totally independently of anyone including Wright’s campaign, save for dropping by one time to pick up door hangers, flyers and signs (typical campaign literature).

One of the Facebook posts that was extremely effective in getting inside Maness’ head was this one:

If you click “read more” and read the entire post, you an see how that might have bothered Rob just a little.

Maness actually messaged me to ask why I had posted what I had. The reason is because what I posted was accurate.

Just a few days after that post, with polling showing Wright starting to catch up to Maness’ lead, disaster happened for the Maness campaign. To make a long story short, he had a complete meltdown on live radio, in which he make comments that appeared to be insane about nuclear weapons and him being the most qualified person in history to hold the keys to America’s nuclear arsenal (not sure how that’s relevant for a Louisiana state legislator, but it gives us a glimpse into the mindset Maness was in at the time). Then he shouted obscenities at a caller (again, on live radio) five times — FIVE — before the call screener hung up on the caller. However by that time the damage was done. Nothing he said was censored and voters of the district got to see a side of one one of the men running for state legislature that he’d rather not have shown.

The Facebook posts may or may not have played a role in his radio meltdown, but my suspicion is they did. To what extent I won’t even attempt to guess.

Following the radio debacle, Maness continued digging when rather than issue a statement apologizing and saying the pressure of the campaign had gotten the better of him and that the behavior he exhibited was not indicative of who he is. However, that wasn’t what Rob had in mind. He issued this letter to the editor of a local newspaper, which had inklings of remorse, but the overwhelming theme was to attack the columnist who had written what everyone was already thinking. That certainly didn’t do anything to help undo the damage his radio tirade had done to his plummeting numbers.

My Involvement

In the final days of the campaign Wright received some grassroots assistance from yours truly, which is actually probably a bigger deal than it may sound on the surface. I’ve worked (as a paid campaign staff member) congressional campaigns, statewide races for U.S. Senate, and have been sought out by Congressmen seeking advice on whether or not to run for Senate. I served on Newt Gingrich’s Presidential Exploratory Committee. In southeast Louisiana, I’m as formidable a campaign asset as you’ll find, particularly with regard to grassroots.

Peter Egan and Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich poses with fellow Tulane alum Peter Egan, following a meeting of his Presidential Exploratory Committee.

In addition to the campaign’s own canvassing efforts, I distributed what must have been 40-50 pounds worth of door hangers and flyers, put up about 20 yard signs including in key locations along major thoroughfares. I also got a few up in some rather unconventional locations, like the wooden beams surrounding the cement structures holding up the Interstate-12 bride over the Tchefuncte River. Every boat passing under the interstate would have seen the signs. I would estimate that number of boaters at at least 1,000 between the time they were posted and the actual election.

Mark Wright Campaign Sign
A yard sign for Mark Wright displayed to boaters along the Tchefuncte River in Covington.

Between the campaign astutely courting voters who cast ballots for candidates who did not make the runoff, the campaign’s effective advertising (particularly following the radio incident), grassroots efforts by the campaign and social media posts and grassroots canvassing areas that hadn’t been targeted by renegade volunteer Peter Egan, by election day the outcome was a mere formality. Mark Wright had won in an 18 point landslide, a result no one could have foreseen following the October primaries.

Why Did I Get Involved?

The reason I got involved was because I was unsure of the outcome of the election and wanted to erase that uncertainty – at least to the extent I could.

The other reason is well explained in a snippet from this article at The Hayride:

Rob Maness Senate John Fleming

A PAC that had supported Fleming in the 2016 Senate race was behind a series of negative ads against Maness, a little retribution for him mucking up the Senate race a year prior.

I am friends with former Congressman Dr. John Fleming, MD. Rep. Fleming was not only Louisiana’s most conservative member of the delegation, he had a much better chance of beating Kennedy in a runoff (Kennedy was a lifelong democrat until a few years ago). Maness angrily refused, allowing Charles Boustany to sneak into the runoff. Boustany is a “moderate” Republican well to the left of Fleming, as is Kennedy. So Maness in essence cost the only conservative candidate in the race with a shot at winning a chance at the runoff.

My motivation was to ensure Mark Wright won first and foremost. Secondly, I wanted to do all I could to run up the score so that Rob would never be able to impact a major election (like a Senate race) and use his presence to hand the election to a wishy-washy moderate over a conservative. Whether I had any impact and if so how much, we’ll never know. What is known is that my objectives were met regardless of whether I played a substantial role in that or not. 

I do not foresee Maness running for office again in Southeast Louisiana after he handed this race away by failing to maintain his composure when the pressure was on.

To be clear, I’m not taking credit for the outcome of this election. I’m not taking credit for any part of it. I did help out though and Mark and his campaign achieved the result I was hoping to see. Whether I personally played any role in the outcome and if so how much is anybody’s guess. I personally believe Mark would have won comfortably without my support and involvement.

After all, as a HayRide article about Maness’ future eloquently observed:

That seat was winnable (for Maness). But the problem was that Wright, who had been a conservative activist in St. Tammany and had served the movement’s cause for years before taking the plunge and running for the city council in Covington (in other words starting small and moving up, rather than the opposite approach Maness took), had already entered the race. Wright had already learned the retail political skills required to win a state legislative race and he was already building a coalition capable of winning.

Meanwhile, Maness’ approach was to immediately cast himself as the One True Conservative and bash Wright as a Washington lobbyist (which was a stretch; he’s vice president of American Waterway Operators, a trade organization for tugboat and barge companies) when Maness himself is a registered lobbyist, and to trash him as having made crooked deals with the state’s party establishment. That was never going to work, because Wright was a known commodity. People on the Northshore know him better than they know Rob, they know Mark is a conservative with a record of governing like one on that city council, and they like Wright better. And it especially didn’t resonate that Mark was a “career politician;” you don’t get to run for office three times in four years and call anybody else a professional politician. When you start running for office you become a politician, period. Accusing others of that when they run less often than you do simply pisses voters off.

Source: http://thehayride.com/2017/11/happens-rob-maness-now/#ixzz51OchvY19

Advice Needed Regarding WordPress Programmer, Plug-In Developer

Advice Needed Regarding WordPress Programmer, Plug-In Developer

I need to hire a WordPress Developer and WP Plug-In Developer (preferably the same individual or company). I don’t know whether to outsource, do contract labor or hire a programmer/developer full-time, in-house.

I also don’t know what a fair price is for the services I require. Can someone please help me with the following questions?

I am trying to develop a site, but the functionality the site needs exceeds my skill-set.

I need to hire a programmer to develop custom plug-ins and ensure proper functionality for the site. The site is about average complexity in terms of functionality relative to most established mutli-user sites/communities.

Should I:

    • Outsource, hire contract labor or a hire full-time programmer?
    • How much should I pay for each full time and outsource/contract? (Site will be fairly elaborate but about average for sites of it’s nature.)

Does WordPress being open source cause any problems with security? I’m comfortable with the platform, but is it worth it to just trust someone else to develop a site using a platform I’m not familiar with and unable to work within?

I will publish all relevant comments so go ahead and put your link in the URL section.

WordPress Forums

I’ve developed a lot of sites but haven’t coded from scratch since 2005 (Dreamweaver days before CMS took off). I have adequate knowledge of HTML, but not great. I’ve developed hundreds of sites, but nearly all using WordPress, Weebly or some similar platform that makes it easy for people like me to make a good looking website without the development skills I would presume most on this forum possess.

For what it’s worth, I tried posting this to the WordPress development forum, where the admin shut it down on grounds that it belonged in the “Jobs” section. “Jobs” wouldn’t publish it because it’s not a job listing.

Hopefully Reddit can come through and provide me with some objective insights from people with nothing at stake to help me make a decision about what type of help I need and how much money I should set aside for those services.

Jan Dembowski

“Brute Squad” is right… As you can see, Jan was none too eager to allow anyone to potentially help me, even though (at least IMHO) she’s dead wrong about this. I know Reddit can be pretty brutal at times too, but I’ve endured plenty of other people’s superiority complex today so please go easy on me and if you can help answer my questions take the two minutes it takes to do so.

** In addition to comments, I’ll publish a followed link in this post to the site/URL of choice for whomever provides the most helpful answer. **

Robert Mann is a Pathetic Coward (An Open Letter)

Robert Mann: Disgusting Human Being, Liar and Coward

UPDATE: I’m sure no one who reads this post will be surprised to learn this but it has been confirmed that Mann is a Political Science professor at LSU. Intellectual dishonesty the likes of which Mann has displayed in his defamation of two people who’d never even heard of him is unbecoming of anyone paid by the state to teach. This guy must be terminated from the LSU faculty. He is the reason colleges and universities are cesspools of Marxism where race, gender identity and a desire to disarm law-abiding citizens trump learning.

I came upon a post by a pathetic individual by the name of Robert Mann while conducting research. The post consisted of intellectually dishonest, misrepresentations of both myself and my father. These misrepresentations were deliberate, and in my own personal case even the most cognitively-challenged individual could have figured out that the Facebook post Mann cited in an effort to attack my character was a lighthearted joke.

It’s pretty creepy to know that some weirdo that I’ve never heard of is Facebook stalking me. I’m not going to link to his site, because I don’t want to give him any publicity, but I will post my response to it below in the form of an open letter.

Coward Robert Bob Mann
Example: See “Robert Mann”

The following is an open letter to Robert Mann:

Robert Mann,

You are quite possibly the least intellectually honest person whose work I’ve ever read.

Your misrepresentation of what my father said coupled with you dragging me into it by trying to misrepresent what was obviously a lighthearted joke as a “racist comment” is as intellectually dishonest an act as I’ve ever witnessed.

For one thing, my father was absolutely right in his description of political prostitute Jay Dardenne. You totally and deliberately misrepresented what he said, and you did it with malicious intent.

You dragging me into it with yet another deliberate misrepresentation of a JOKE crossed the line.

If you can’t construct logical arguments as a means to persuade others of your political views you have no business writing or even speaking about politics.

Robert MannYou’re an angry old man and your willingness to lie and deceive is disgusting. What’s more disgusting is that low-character individuals such as yourself actually influence others. It is a sad reflection on society when someone like you is taken seriously by others.

You’re not man enough to make those same comments about myself and my father to either of our faces. If you care to prove me wrong, I would be delighted. We both know that won’t happen however… Because you’re a coward, and cowards don’t confront people with malicious, unprovoked attacks in person.

You are a lying, intellectually dishonest coward. I’d be miserable too if I had no conscience, and used lies and misrepresentations to impugn the character of people who have never even heard of you, much less wronged you in any way.

Robert Mann Sushi
This is Sushi, my now-deceased dog and best friend of 17 years. Scumbag Robert Mann used my dead dog to attack me.

I am flattered to know that you’re Facebook stalking me however. It is creepy, no doubt. But I’m more than capable of defending myself from sinister creeps such as yourself, and would welcome the opportunity to do so in person.

But seriously though, using my dead dog and best friend of 17 years as a means of attacking my character is one of the lowest, most pathetic acts I’ve ever witnessed. You really are a despicable human being.

In conclusion, you’re a loser. In the future, if you wish to attack my character with lies and misrepresentations, I kindly ask that you do so directly to me face. I have a feeling your cowardice will never allow that to happen.

Sincerely,

Peter Egan Jr.

* Update *

Unlike Mann, who wrote his libelous attacks in hopes that the subjects of his defamation would never learn of his deed, this letter was sent directly to Robert Mann via Twitter. He was notified of its existence within ten minutes of it being published.

Rather than attempt to defend his deliberate mischaracterizations and character assassination, he did what I expected him to do. He blocked me on Twitter and issued no response or defense of his sinister blog. I guess the old cliche is true that you can’t defend the indefensible.

Provided with an opportunity to explain why he felt it necessary to launch vicious personal attacks on two different people he doesn’t even know and whom he has never met, Mann took the coward’s way out. His response is fitting, and consistent with the rest of his cowardly behavior.

Robert Mann is a coward whose cowardice is his defining characteristic.

Totally.me combines social media activity in one place

Totally.me collects, aggregates social media activity

I came upon a pretty neat site lately that is offering an interesting service. Imagine is all your social media accounts were to be combined into one place — all your Facebook posts, all your tweets, all your pins, all your Google+ shares, all your LinkedIn updates, all your Instagram posts — all published in the same place.

Now imagine if you can combine multiple accounts from these social media outlets into this singular source for all things social… For example, suppose you have a couple of Facebook business or community pages in addition to your personal profile. Imagine if you have a personal Twitter account but also one for your business. Same goes for Pinterest and on down the line… That is in essence what Totally.me is.

Peter Egan's totally.me

To be totally fair, this isn’t entirely a new idea. I remember a nearly identical service being offered by an organization called RebelMouse, which at the time, offered this service free-of-charge, as is the case with Totally.me. RebelMouse has moved on to for-profit endeavors and has a notification that it’s free service was to be discontinued last year sometime, but the two accounts I had set up with it remain active, although the menu of administrative options has been drastically scaled-down to the point not even the account owner can make changes at this point.

If there’s any meaningful difference between the two it lies in how each respective site is coded. Whereas RebelMouse used javascript for pretty much the entire page except for an optional ‘About Me/Us’ box you could affix to the top-left corner of your page. That part was normal html, but all the social content was coded in such a way that search engines could not crawl it. That may well have been by design, I have no idea. What I can say is that the way Totally.me appears to be coded, there will be a log more content on each user’s page that is able to be indexed by search robots, leading at least in theory to more visitors to the site through search engines, if in fact they are indexing the social content on the Totally.met pages and returning them in search results.

One other possibility is that if the pages are crawled, social media could become a valid way of going about getting a web page indexed, if in fact these pages are being crawled and the links within the individual posts to the various social media sites are being acknowledged, then posting a link of your new blog post to Twitter or Facebook might actually lead to the page being indexed.

Peter Egan's Totally.me

That’s all just a theory, however, as I can’t say for certain that I know how all that stuff works, nor can I really say with certainty anything else in this post except that Totally.me takes whatever social sources you plug into it and creates a page whereby all posts to all social media sites are shown in the order they were posted (regardless of the venue).

One other pretty significant difference between Totally.me and RebelMouse is that users can comment on Totally.me posts using the Facebook comments software. So your twitter post can spark a conversation on a completely different site where it was posted automatically, at least in theory.

SocialSear.ch and Tags

Another difference between the two sites pertains to hashtags. As of now Totally.me links each hashtag in your social posts to a hashtag page for that term at the site socialsear.ch. RebelMouse linked all contents of a given social post back to the original post.

If there has ever been a site that aggregated and combined posts containing the same tags drawn from every major social platform and displayed them all in one place, I’m not aware of it. This seems to me to be a unique idea, the potential of which could be massive. I admittedly don’t know the vision of the site’s creators, but whatever it is I like it.

SocialSear.ch

socialsear.ch

These differences might be enough to make Totally.me a viable long-term idea whereas its predecessor fizzled out after a while as there was nothing that could be done with the pages other than observe them and their contents, and click back to the original posting. Time will tell…

If you have a desire to keep better track of your activity on social media sites and think having everything you post to all of them collected, compiled and displayed in one place could be beneficial to you, then Totally.me might just have something worth signing up for.

If nothing else, it’s a cool little tool that’s fun to play around with and that really puts your activity into perspective.