We've just come through a California primary where the ballots were filled with neophyte political candidates. Some made it through to the November general, and there will likely be dozens who look at running in next year's Los Angeles city races. Some will end up very unhappy with the paid adviser who claimed they could get the rookie elected. Or at least get them a mention on Larry Mantle.
So listen up, folks. There are five important warning signs to look out for before hiring a professional campaign consultant, says Louisiana strategist Robert J. Munson.
Some might seem unintuitive. Avoid any campaign consultants who brag they are undefeated. Either they are lying or they are lightweights who never ran a big race. "There is not one political strategist on the planet worth his/her salt who hasn’t lost elections," Munson writes. "In fact, most of us lose more than we win." His other advice tends to common sense, such as don't let the strategist who is deciding how much to spend also control the checkbook. Let an accountant sign the checks. [Important add for California candidates: don't let Kinde Durkee have the checkbook either.]
My favorite bit of political wisdom in the piece: beware of a consultant who wears a suit.
Political consultants don’t wear suits. Seriously. I don’t know why, we just don’t. Political operatives do. What’s the difference? Political operatives go from campaign to campaign in hopes of landing a job with an eventual administration...
Another political type to avoid: Unsuccessful Senate candidate Carly Fiorina's campaign still owes $500,000 to consultants and vendors who trusted she would pay her bills.
Photo of James Carville: JD Lasica/Socialmedia.biz