What’s on your walls? - CN4 Partners
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We reached out to some of our favorite politicos to ask them what their favorite piece of campaign memorabilia is, and why it’s special to them. We got back some great stories – I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

My memorabilia isn’t quite memorabilia as it’s a letter… I was 12 years old and went to a young leadership conference in DC. I had written a speech against Nuclear Proliferation and was very proud of it. We had the opportunity to meet with our local Members of Congress (mine was Congressman Peter Kostmayer who I would later get to work with on projects in NYC as a consultant). I asked him if he could read my speech which he said he would, and at that moment I knew I wanted to work in politics.  When I got home, my parents suggested I send a contribution so I sent him a $5 money order from my allowance and I was hooked.

Jefrey Pollock, Founding Partner and President, Global Strategy Group

The first is my all time favorite: the Wellstone finger GOTV bus from the 1990 election. How this got approved in a campaign with virtually no money (and past Blodgett’s watchful eye) or how many were actually made is anyone’s guess. It must have worked, since he won against all odds, right? I know of only a few that survived.

The second is the Roger Moe for Governor bobble-head from the 2002 campaign. Roger Moe was a very solid Senate Majority leader and a very taciturn Norwegian. There was an attempt to strengthen his popular appeal with voters leading to a few fiascos like renting a NASCAR racing car and toting it around on a flatbed truck, and this bobble-head. I don’t know how many were ordered, but there were boxes of them, and none of them ever joined the campaign since they were all made in China at a time the campaign was pushing for American made. Nevermind why anyone thought it was a good idea to have a politician whose head literally wobbled up and down in whatever direction you pointed it.

Erik Peterson, BDA Strategies

Jeannette Rankin campaign button. She was the first woman in Congress elected in her own right (meaning, she didn’t succeed her husband) from Montana. Her field strategy was to go dancing at mining camps. (Rankin also is noted as the only NO vote for the US to enter both WW1 and WW2, a vote which cost her the seat each time). The hat the button was on was owned by her best friend and political sidekick. At the time of her first election, they would always go on the road together, including to the mining camps because both were single. Of course, Rankin was a Republican but very progressive and antiwar. I was given both the hat and button as thank you from a coalition of women’s groups I lobbied for.

Celinda Lake, President, Lake Research Partners

It is the gold saxophone lapel pin from Clinton Gore ‘92, which referenced his appearance on the Arsenio Hall Show.  To me it represents the first time a Presidential candidate said to the world, “I will fight for this community.” Prior to this, presidential candidates would support our community and issues only “privately and behind closed doors.”

Holli Holliday, Chief Strategist, Holliday Advisor and President, Sister Vote Sister Lead

The staff t-shirt from the 2012 Credo SuperPAC program. One of my favorite campaigns with my favorite team.

Matt Arnold, Corsair Strategies

My green Wellstone t-shirt because I remember being part of the armies of people in green shirts dropping lit at night and covering the streets and neighborhood in green, all happy to be together! But I also dig the fact that Hooper (her son) wears Tom’s old Tom Andrews for Senate (1994) t-shirts, which are classic vintage at this point.

Gloria Totten, President, Public Leadership Institute

My favorite thing is a yard sign from my best friend’s run for Mayor of Starkville, MS. In college as roommates, we would talk hours about making Starkville a better place to live for college students and residents. I went home to run his campaign and at 27 he was elected one of the youngest mayors in MS. He went on to serve two terms and we got to implement some of the things that we talked about in college. While I hate when candidates ask about yard signs, that yard sign reminds me that we can all be the change we want in this world.

Ben Needham, Deputy Political Director, ACLU

A signed copy of the first state of the (Washington) state address by Governor Ferry himself. May be one of a kind as I haven’t  been able to locate another.

Wing Luke’s personal copy of Washington court rules when he was an attorney and before becoming the first Asian American elected to office in the Northwest. Personal hero of mine. It has lots of his notes and annotations.

A letter to my parents from Governor Dan Evans. Meaningful for obvious reasons. My mom and dad were very, very early supporters for Dan Evans at the beginning of his long shot campaign for Governor.

WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson, candidate for Governor

And for me, it’s my Solidarnosc (Solidarity) flag from Poland that all of my candidates (including two future PMs) signed. In 1997, I was a youngster in politics and had an opportunity to train and work with candidates overseas – and I had never been to the continent. Being able to work with so many veterans of the fight against communism, people who had been thrown in prison for their beliefs, was inspiring to me, and still is.

Dean Nielsen, Founding Partner, CN4 Partners