Crain: The Candidate of Pocket Change
Not 10 minutes after a helpful city employee faxed over my old pal Zac Crain's campaign finance report late yesterday, we got a press release from the mayoral candidate's publicist, Melissa Conger. In it the former Observer music editor all but chastised his opponents--by which I mean Darrell Jordan and Gary Griffith--for raising tons of dough almost a year before the election. "I think it's ridiculous that people would actually base someone's frontrunner status on the amount of money they've raised," says Crain (fine, says Zac). "If you're talking to only wealthy contributors and interest groups, you can get $200,000 fairly easily. But you'll also have a ton of favors lined up that need to be taken care of in the next four years." According to the doc filed at City Hall, Zac has raised considerably less than his competitors: $140 thus far, which doesn't include the $1,851 worth of donated goods and services from the likes of campaign manager Lindsay Graham, legal counsel Robert Jenkins and "Creative Rounder-Upper & Webmaster" Don Cento. (That includes everything from barbecue for his April 24 campaign kick-off at the Sons of Hermann Hall to funds needed to rent a P.O. box and pay for "Vote Crain" buttons.) Incidentally, if you want to hear where Zac stands on the issues, you can access his interview with the folks at DallasBlog here. Or you can go to his Web site, which includes a lengthy section containing his thoughts on everything from how to handle the homeless to dealing with economic development.
Conger's press release has different figures than his campaign finance report; she lists Zac as having $2,675 in hand. Perhaps that's the result of his new "$7 for '07" drive, in which Zac's asking for pocket change from his supporters--instead of thousands. Or hundreds. Or dozens. Conger says Zac's gotten almost 3,000 visitors to his site, and that he "currently has 810 MySpace friends." (Incidentally, that stat forces Conger to explain what MySpace is: "an internet community that has tens of thousands of young voting age individuals who call Dallas home." To the older people out there reading this--say, those in your late 90s--it's also a swell place to post songs that Rupert Murdoch will claim as his property, meet underage people and have sex with them and hang with other members of the illiterati. Pardon the tangent.) Make no mistake, Zac says: He ain't got much money, but you can't buy sincerity. "I hope the pundits and politicians underestimate us all the way to election day," Zac says at the end of the missive. "I know that people are getting what we're doing on MySpace and plenty of other places no one will think to look...I'd rather have 2,000 people give me $7 than seven people give me $2,000. Those people don't ask for favors. They only ask for change." One question: Why hasn't TXU head electrician Erle Nye contributed to Zac's campaign? He's already given to Jordan and Griffith. Play fair and pony up already, Reddy Kilowatt. --Robert Wilonsky