Today was a big day for my campaign. It started with an 8 am forum put on by the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and immediately afterwards Eileen Gonzales of KSAT 12 interviewed the candidates. Then this evening, I attended an Oak Meadow HOA forum with a full-house of constituents, plus reporter Baugh and columnist Chasnoff from the Express-News.
Both forums went exceptionally well. I think I’m finally finding my voice and, more importantly, am developing an appreciation of how the resident’s questions fit with my solutions. There is an old saying about the failure to see the forest for the trees, and in earlier forums I would get a question and only see a tree. Now I can see most questions as part of the forest and am able to respond to the question in that context.
The morning forum was formatted like most forums, with a short one-minute intro followed by several questions before concluding with a short closing. This format is typical and requires some skill to incorporate my talking points while still responding in the context of the question.
In the evening forum, I didn’t much need context because we were given 5-10 minutes for a combination speech and follow-up Q&A’s, and I used almost the entire 10 minutes to give my full stump speech – i.e., a short bio followed by my three distinctive traits (experience, political philosophy, and absence of money in my campaign) – before concluding with my two big issues (police/fire pension and illegal zoning of District 8). The speech took so long that there was only enough time for a single follow-up question, which flowed naturally from my speech.
After my speech, I was pleased to visit with three different individuals who grew up in North Dakota, including one from my county seat of Lakota. And a little, old lady came up to me and said she was definitely going to vote for me, but was concerned that she had never heard of me before tonight, even though she read the Express-News religiously. Why hadn’t I sent her any flyers, she asked. I responded that I wasn’t collecting or spending any money. She was happy about that, but she was concerned that she hadn’t heard of me.
The resulting article from the Express-News reporter, however, on the evening forum was very disappointing because it reported nothing of substance and instead focused exclusively on the feud. He must not have been impressed with my stump speech because my name wasn’t mentioned in the article. I noted the following on my campaign’s Facebook page:
- Although much of the Express-News reporting on Rolando Briones has been informative and relevant to the voters, this article seems to reveal Express-News bias because it ignores Nirenberg’s problematic conduct in building a website based on his opponent’s domain name.
When the little, old lady reads her paper tomorrow morning, she will probably realize why she had never heard of me.
There is another forum Saturday morning, this one with the city-wide Homeowners-Taxpayers Association. I’ll probably attend, but it doesn’t sound like the other guys will be there. Although I prefer talking without them around, I suspect the listeners will be disappointed because Nirenberg and Briones are becoming minor celebrities due to all of the media coverage of them.