Jack Orr is San Diego’s most candid and outspoken political campaign consultant. The chain-smoking, coffee-gulping Orr doesn't win more elections than other local consultants, though he has had his share of successes. But his campaigns are certainly more fun to watch.
Like San Diego colleagues Ken Rietz, Jim Johnston, Dave Lewis, and Nick Johnson, Orr's job is mainly background work. He helps uncover embarrassing information about his candidate's opponent, leaks the damning evidence to newspaper reporters, then translates it to the glossy pages of mailers designed to sour voters on the opposition candidate.
He helps his own candidate raise campaign funds then spends the money on radio, television, and newspaper advertisements. And he aids in securing endorsements from civic leaders and incumbent politicians, rounds up volunteers, defines issues, polishes debating styles.
Orr, however, has never been content to stalk around the political back-stage. When he directed the 1981 campaign against a proposal to elect San Diego’s city council members by district instead of city wide, the forty-six-year-old Cardiff resident took a visible role almost equaling that of Councilman Bill Cleator, official spokesman for the “No on District Elections” effort. It was Orr who dragged out the ghost of liberal Democrat Tom Hayden and told voters how district elections were the first step in a conspiracy by Hayden, his actress wife Jane Fonda, and their Campaign for Economic Democracy to take over city government. The district elections measure was defeated by a nineteen percent margin.
When Orr two years later engineered Cleator’s unsuccessful campaign for mayor, he went directly to the press with similar attempts to demolish Roger Hedgccock, who also was seeking the mayoral post vacated by Pete Wilson. Orr told reporters how Hedgecock was “closely tied politically to CED causes and activists” and spiced up his charges by invoking Tom Hayden’s name. Hedgecock, who eventually won that race in a runoff election against Maureen O’Connor, accused Orr of “McCarthyism” and described the mention of CED and Hayden as “a classic Jack Orr smear campaign.”
Orr and other campaign consultants are masters at distributing such damning information about their candidate’s opponent in the final days of an election. These “hit pieces” arrive at voters’ mailboxes too late for the opponent to rebut the often incomplete and misleading information. An angry Hedgecock even publicly indicted the Orr-produced mailers during the 1983 mayoral campaign when he protested that the hit pieces “are always effective, and Orr knows it, with voters who make up their miods at the last minute and have not been watching the other things in the campaign.” Orr took that to be a compliment.
After Cleator lost the mayoral primary, Orr dissolved the campaign consulting firm he ran with partner Larry Sanderson. (The two had been jokingly nicknamed “Whore and Slanderson” by both detractors and admirers.) At that time Orr correctly predicted Hedgecock would win the mayoral run-off against O’Connor by capturing the votes and financial support of Republicans who voted for Cleator in the primary. “They don’t like Roger, but they will also never vote Democrat,” Orr said of these Republicans.
He has remained a force in local politics through an irregularly published newsletter he writes and mails to local journalists and political junkies. That newsletter gets credit — or blame — for derailing the city council campaign of Democrat Bob Filner. In the closing days of Filner’s 1983 race against Gloria McColl, Republicans worried that Filner, who had won the district primary, might defeat their conservative favorite, McColl. Orr printed a lengthy item in his newsletter warning that “unless Filner is clearly exposed for what he really is — a radical progressive — Gloria McColl could lose.” Orr detailed Filner’s ties to the local branch of Hayden’s Campaign for Economic Democracy (Filner’s former wife was active in the local branch of CED), telling readers that “if more evidence is needed, simply pick up the phone, call CED headquarters, and you will receive a message of support for Bob Filner.”
He also reported that Filner, an SDSU history professor, had published articles in three “Marxist” and “socialist” scholarly journals. McColl’s campaign, and the Union's editorial page, used that information to buttress their condemnation of Filner’s liberal views and associations.
Orr wasn’t being paid by the McColl campaign, and his willingness to take on Filner shows that his scathing attacks on Democrats and liberals aren’t just the work of a political hired gun. While local conservative consultants Johnston, Lewis, and Rietz occasionally hire out to Democrats (Rietz ran Councilman William Jones’s re-election effort; Johnston and Lewis handled media for Maureen O’Connor’s mayoral campaigns), Orr sticks with Republicans. He and former partner Sanderson directed the unsuccessful electoral efforts of Jerry Baker, Brian Bilbray, and Ross Tharp for state assembly; Ed Malone for city council; and Cleator for mayor. He helped Cleator win election to the council in 1979, beat district elections in 1981, and helped re-elect former Congressman Clair Burgener in 1982. Orr feels most comfortable running campaigns with which he shares a political affinity, such as Libertarian/Re-publican Fred Schnaubelt’s ill-fated state senate bid and a number of successful anti-rent control campaigns throughout California and other western states.
Orr hasn’t always been political. His introduction to campaign work came in 1966, when, as an English literature student and editor of the Cal Poly, Pomona campus newspaper, strategists for Ronald Reagan’s gubernatorial campaign asked him to “say good things” about Ronald Reagan. “I said, Hell, I’ll be glad to,’ ” Orr recalls with a laugh. “ ‘He sounds like a nice enough guy.’ ”
Two years later Orr, then a disillusioned doctoral student at USC, called a pollster he’d met during the Reagan campaign and inquired about more campaign work. “He told me, ‘Yes, if you’ll shave off your beard, cut your hair, and wear a suit.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute! This is me! . . . How much does it pay?’ ”
A shorn and clean-shaven Orr was hired by Republican strategists Stu Spencer and Bill Roberts to work on a congressional campaign in Inglewood, and for the next decade he shuttled across the country working various jobs. In 1979 he settled in San Diego, where he worked on the Reagan presidential campaign and connected with Republicans Jan Anton and Ed Gray, both close associates of GOP heavyweight Gordon Luce, president of Great American Federal Savings and Loan.
It was Gray who in 1979 called Orr to talk about Cleator's council race. “Ed said, ‘The Cleator campaign looks in bad shape to me. What do you think, Jack?’ ’’ recalls Orr. “I didn’t even know that, but I said, ‘I think it’s an unmitigated disaster!’ ” The two talked politics. Gray made some phone calls, and the next day Orr and Sanderson got their first San Diego job, running Cleator’s campaign.
Though he hasn’t directed a local campaign since Cleator’s mayoral race, Orr in June signed on to manage Carlsbad City Councilman Richard Chick’s 1986 challenge to incumbent Supervisor Paul Eckert. Orr continues his biting assessments of local politics through his newsletters. A recent issue takes a swipe at the Managed Growth Initiative and notes how San Diego’s Campaign Review Task Force has “labored mightily and brought forth tripe.’’ Orr offered his views of local politics and politicians during a recent two-hour interview around the dining room table of his ocean-view Cardiff home.
On Roger Hedgecock
I don’t think people like Roger Hedgecock. I mean, you either love him or you hate him; I don’t think there’s a “like factor’’ involved there. I myself wouldn’t sit down with Roger Hedgecock even if it were in my own best interests to do so, because I don’t trust the man and I think he’s bad for the city. Roger forces people to do things because it’s in their best interest, and then he tells them what their best interest is. For the most part, people attracted to Roger Hedgecock are those who lack position and seek to gain it from him by being “conscientious.’’ Look at his staff members, for instance. For the most part, they’re very weak people, even Evonne Schulze. [Schulze was Hedgecock’s director of community and neighborhood relations until July 5, when she left to run for the District 7 council seat.] Take her out of the mayor’s office and what was she but a community college adviser? People like Hedgecock’s campaign consultant Tom Shepard — they seek to gain position and advantage as a result of being with the big fish. Tom Shepard is the classic example of a pilot fish, the kind that lives off the shark. He swims alongside the big guy; wherever the big guy goes, he goes. An exception, however, was Mike McDade [Hedgecock’s former chief of staff]. He’s just an extremely nice man, charming, with integrity — and he guards it constantly.
Hedgecock, however, is a politician of extraordinary vision, simply because that’s the kind of person he is. He’s the sort of person who says, “Let’s go. I don’t know what’s out there, but let’s go in that direction. I’m so confident of my own capabilities and skills that whatever happens out there that might involve public policy. I’ll make it right.’’ He’s a very intelligent person and he fears nothing. He’s fearless even now. I used to compare him to Nixon, but I think that Nixon always feared how history was going to regard him, and I don’t think Roger even cares. If he did, he would act differently; he would be concerned. But he doesn’t even show a twinge of remorse for being caught in the act of doing things for which he’s been critical of others in the past. Take his rhetoric of “I’m running against a fat cat. I’m running against a millionaire.’’ At the same time, he’s accepting extraordinary largess from people with millions, like Dominelli and Hoover. And had he not been caught, he’d still be trumpeting that. At the same time he’s criticizing people for taking money from developers, real estate interests, and the power brokers, he’s got very high-powered campaign people seeking out precisely the same donations. It’s the worst kind of hypocrisy in the world. One could argue that he doesn’t show any remorse because he doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong. He believes that people like himself are above everyone else.
In the special election of 1983, Roger knew he had to be the person to follow Pete Wilson. He had to look like Pete Wilson and act like Pete Wilson, at least so far as the public was concerned — because the public liked Pete Wilson. And Hedgecock succeeded brilliantly.
Of course the Hedgecock that the public didn’t see or hear never stuck to him. He’s got a certain amount of Teflon all over him as well. But there’s a very definite meanness of spirit. For example, if someone opposed Pete Wilson, Pete criticized him for opposing him on that particular issue. It never carried over. But if you oppose Roger Hedgecock, if you question his judgment at all, it’s that way for life.
The drive, the god-sent politician’s genes, the “want’’ are all similar in both Wilson and Hedgecock, but you know, they broke the mold and threw it away after Pete Wilson. Pete was a tough man who appeared to be mild mannered. A very tough man. Here’s one example: I think it was during the city council appointment of Susan Golding, when she defeated Gloria McColl. Wilson rapped the gavel and said, “Now, with the council allowing me this prerogative. I’m going to address the candidates en masse and make the following statement: If any of you candidates would support or would vote for rent control — under any circumstances — you will not have my vote. If any of you candidates would support or would vote for district elections — under any circumstances — you will not have my vote. And if any of you candidates support the right to strike or the right to collective bargaining for public employees, you will not have my vote. Now, with that I open up this meeting to the councilmen.”
Well, that’s strong language, that’s putting it right out there for everybody to see. And the candidates went, “Oh no! Never! Never, rent control! No district elections! Bad, boo! And no, no! No public strikes are allowed!”
In the last election, Dick Carlson couldn’t compete with Hedgecock. Roger had the advantage of incumbency, as well as the advantage of a tremendous amount of study, coupled with his extraordinary vision. And nobody else was prepared to run against him, nobody figured he could be beat. Even with all the bad press, no one was sure that he was guilty. Roger did a superb job of turning the tables on the prosecutors; he turned it around. Of course, the Hedgecock people all say that this lawsuit wouldn’t take place in any other city. But of course it would, with this kind of evidence and information. But Roger is shameless and fearless, and conjured up this perfectly good public relations scheme in which this is all a plot against him. Everybody’s plotting against him. So sure, whether it’s begrudging or not, many people involved with politics in this town have a healthy respect for Roger’s abilities.
Dick Carlson was not terrible; he’s a fine gentleman. But his campaign was a joke. He had an excellent campaign consultant in Ken Rietz, but I suspect that ninety percent of Rietz’s recommendations were simply ignored. Then, too, Carlson was not preparing himself on the issues, and besides, he made some terrible gaffes. Moreover, Dick Carlson didn’t look like a San Diego candidate, and Roger knew that precisely. Roger made an excellent campaign of portraying Dick Carlson as a man who not only didn’t know what he was talking about, but probably never would. It was an excellent tactic, a brilliant tactic, to paint a picture of your opponent that sticks to him. I don’t know who came up with that “No Fat Mayors” sticker, but that, too, was a stroke of genius. Reprehensible, yes, but in terms of the campaign process, brilliant. First, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” then, “He’s portly.” And it stuck.
And Carlson got a lot of bad press from the media. The piranhas leaped on him, and it sounded just like a bunch of newspaper and television reporters saying, “How does that reporter have a right to run for mayor?” [Carlson is a former television news anchorman and print journalist.] I think there was a media prejudice involved.
The Democratic Party
In contrast to the Republican Party, the Democratic Party is controlled by complete nig-nogs and wig-outs down here. If it were to return to the traditional values of the Democratic Party,
if labor had a strong position in the party’s state or county organization, then the party would be stronger. But labor is disenfranchised in Southern California, and less effective. We don’t have enough smog to throw a book at, we’ve got great recreational facilities, a relatively low crime rate, and a very high educational and income level. Downtown’s going to be beautiful, absolutely beautiful. True, I agree that some of the things done down there, and the way they’re done, favor certain people over others. That’s the natural state of things. But the Democrats, they have to go out there and say, “This is terrible! And look! This is really terrible!” Now, some Democrats, Assemblyman Steve Peace, San Diego City Councilman Mike Gotch, and Assemblywoman Lucy Killea, for example, say instead. This is a great place and we made it happen.” But you know, these people. who are successes in town, have no role in the party. After a Democratic Central Committee meeting, everybody goes out different doors; they have no unified purpose within their party, and they’re mean spirited for the most part. Every faction and sect known to mankind would be biting at [former county chairman] Phil Connor’s ankles, saying, “If you don’t do this, we’re not going to be involved in that!' That party needs to be restructured.
The Democrats are into rights for cats and rights for gays and rights for Indians and rights for women. And in many instances, all those revolutions are over. Right now they still have no currency with which to work; about the only thing they’ve got is the Managed Growth Initiative and the campaign to stop La Jolla Valley, and most people in San Diego County don't even know where La Jolla Valley is and what the developers are going to do.
If I were the Democratic Party, I would have run against Roger Hedgecock, saying, “That Republican Roger Hedgecock,” and I’d have put together a campaign against “that dirty Republican Roger Hedgecock.' I’d unify the Democrats. I would have taken advantage of the fact that he was under the gun. But to these Democrats, Hedgecock is a Democrat. As far as they’re concerned, he’s really a Democrat and is just registered as a Republican.
There are a number of influentii young politicians in the city an county. People tend to like County Supervisor Brian Bilbray, for instance; He’s a very honest guy, he’s got brains, he learns fast, and he’s got style. I mean, what guy in San Diego can get away with having a bulldozer as his logo?
Steve Peace is very promising. He’s an art to watch when he goes, say, to the chamber of commerce or Rotary club with the good fathers of the Republican Party sitting there, and he charms them out of their socks. And he does it because he knows what he’s talking about. He’s got traditional American values. The story about him being appointed to the Whip under (Assembly Speaker] Willie Brown is just a riot. When Brown offered him the job, he said, “Can I take the weekend to think it over?” And he said, “And then I was walking down the hallway and I said to myself, ‘Dummy, he just offered you the third most important leadership position in the assembly and you just asked if you could take a weekend to think about it!’
If Susan Golding stays in one place long enough to develop a good record, I think she's got an excellent future in San Diego. She’s tough, smart, and she wants to be elected. She wants to make decisions, she likes to make decisions. Most politicians are forced to make decisions that they really dislike making. I saw [San Diego City Councilman] Bill Mitchell once walk into a committee hearing and stun the whole audience, saying, “I’m sorry I can’t stay and I agree with both sides.” Now, Roger likes to make things happen or he likes to kill things. Susan likes to make things happen or she likes to stop things. Same with Brian Bilbray and Steve Peace. They enjoy it.
Someone else who’s coming along is (San Diego City Councilman] Ed Struiksma. He'll be good. To me. he’s amazing, because he really doesn't come from a background of extraordinary political, intellectual, educational, or social resources. Yet he maximizes everything he’s got.
And former City Councilman Fred Schnaubelt — while he's no longer an elected official and his influence has waned, he’s one of the few people in San Diego right now who can compete with Roger Hedgecock on the basis of energy, expertise, wit, and an extraordinary amount of study. But given the Libertarian philosophy Freddy espouses, I think that’s always going to come back to haunt him. His was the funniest campaign I ever ran. It was for state senate. We held a news conference and Don Harrison, who was then with the Union, said, “Well, Fred, let’s see if you’re still the most honest politician in San Diego. Do you believe we should legalize marijuana. gambling, prostitution, and pornography?” And Fred said yes. And the campaign was over.
My most fun campaign was the district elections in 1981. The problem with district elections is that they diminish the overall power of the coun-cilmen. create limits that allow for one-issue candidates rather than multi-issue candidates. You diminish their power rather than enhance it. In San Jose, for example, the city lost $60 million through bad investments. Why? Because no one considered that “their responsibility.” It was a “citywide” problem, they’d say. “That's not my district.” In these other cities with district elections, the council members are very weak. Roger Hedgecock saw that, and I think to this day that’s why he was for it. He must have said, “I’m going to be mayor someday and I don't want a bunch of strong councilmen out there. What I’d like to have is a bunch of little drones who are all concerned about their own little districts, and they have to come to me as the citywide elected person, and I’m the focal point. Whereas, these people will now fade into obscurity because they’re only representing a certain district, rather than the city at large.” As I said before, Roger is probably one of the most brilliant politicians this county or state has ever seen. He doesn't think backwards.
Well, it was a month out, we were down two-to-one, and my adversaries were so pompous and self-assured. I was the campaign consultant and the committee restrained me up until about a month before the election. They exerted extraordinary restraint in not allowing me to do what I considered necessary in order to defeat the people who were backing the district elections — our good friend Tom Hayden and the Campaign for Economic Democracy crowd who all came down here. It was right out of the CED handbook, if there is a CED handbook: first you diminish the power of all elected officials, okay? And the best way to do this is by district elections.
Finally, I didn’t just sit back and let them just hang themselves. I took the offensive. We won big.
Ross Tharp was the most difficult candidate I ever worked with. [Tharp, a Superior Court judge, ‘ran against Larry Kapiloff for state assembly in 1980.] I finally had to say, ‘‘Ross, you don’t like me, I don’t like you. Goodbye.” That was my only confrontation of that kind with a candidate, but I just had to get out. And personality conflicts aside, he tried to run the campaign. He’d come up and say, ‘‘I’ve got these billboards. First we’re going to put a TH on the billboard, and then, two weeks later, we’re going to put an ARP on the billboard.” And I ask, ‘‘Why? What kind of dumb idea is that? Why not just put THARP up?” And he says, ‘‘Well, I’m going to get people interested.” So I say, ‘‘Well, you’ll get people interested if you put THARP up, and by the way, Ross, we’ve only got ninety days.” With Ed Malone [who ran for San Diego City Council against Bill Mitchell four years ago], I had to have philosophical discussions about everything every day. I only put up with it because Malone is such an intellect; he didn’t come to me with cheap ideas. It always came down to very intelligent debate. For example, in my opinion, money is simply a resource to accomplish a communications project. Malone raised money unwillingly because he felt personally that it was degrading and corrupt. He was good at pointing to things that demonstrated corruption. He’d ask me, ‘‘If I take money from a certain group, won’t it appear then that I’m a tool of that group?” And I’d say, ‘‘It will undoubtedly be stated by your opponent that this happens to be the case, but that doesn’t make it true, and if it’s not true it’s not important, okay?” And he’d say, “No, even if it’s not true, it’s still important.” He was concerned not so much about bad publicity but about the appearance of things that compromised him. Now, with Representative Bill Lowery, I don’t care who walks through the door with money. Bill will take it and spend it on his campaign. And Freddy Schnaubelt is a classic example of a guy who would take builders’ money and then vote against them. And make them like it and come back and give him more money!”
Regulation of Political Campaigns
There is a basis for corruption in political campaigning. There’s so much rotten in the business. For instance, there are two types of campaign managers or consultants. The first are, again, the pilot fish. They hook up to one candidate or to the Republican National Committee, Democratic National Committee, or to a PAC [political action committee], and they feed off that client, they feed off that host. Now, once I help to elect a person, I’m done with him. I don’t feed off him. I don’t constantly try to influence him in the manner in which he might vote on a particular issue. In many cases I have no interest in doing that. It takes up too much time. Besides, there’s an inherent conflict of interest between being a campaign manager and being a lobbyist, not to mention corruption. I won’t do it! I’m not a lobbyist, that’s not my business. If I go in to my candidate, shut the door, and say, “Look, my friend is dying. He needs this vote. You're my friend, we have a future together,” well, I think that’s corrupt. On the other hand, I don’t think you can stop it. I don’t know of any way it could be stopped, regardless of the law. I’m not even sure that it’s in the best interest to. But it’s a personal influence there; it’s neither evidence nor information that an ordinary lobbyist supplies, but personal influence.
As for the standards of campaign consultants, no licensing or controlling is going to do away with hit pieces. And I wouldn’t ask to do away with them. One’s man hit piece is another man’s truth. What I do think should happen is that the people who send these out ought to be required to sign their names on the bottom of it. And his candidate should have to put on the bottom, “I have reviewed the material that is enclosed in this campaign literature and have approved it for distribution to the general public.” For instance, the hit piece Susan Golding did on Lynn Schenk, the one that said Schenk was under investigation for trips — an obvious lie. Who was behind that? Did it say who? No. Really, I don’t think you can prevent hit pieces any more than you can prevent a husband from blowing off his wife’s head or vice versa. There is no deterrent strong enough to keep irresponsible people from taking irresponsible actions, or responsible people from taking irresponsible actions in a heated situation. So you institute penalties; heavy fines, for example. And if it can be demonstrated that there was a conscious design to mislead the public, then the fine ought to be extraordinary. If Golding and Dick Silberman and Dave Lewis and Dan Greenblat had had to sign that document, they would have read it very closely; they’d have given it second thoughts.
There are two other main areas of real grief to me. The first is kick-backs, which as far as I’m concerned, is the more reprehensible. For instance, consulting firms will create phony firms through which they’ll buy campaign materials, marking the cost up each step along the way. The candidates get ripped off and the contributors get ripped off.
Let’s say, for example, that I buy campaign buttons from Campaign Novelties, Inc. Well, Campaign Novelties is actually my company. Campaign Novelties has bought the buttons from another organization, then marks up the cost twelve, fifteen, seventeen percent, and Campaign Novelties, which I own, sells the buttons to me, the Jack Orr Company. Then the Jack Orr Company marks the cost up another twelve, fifteen, seventeen percent, and sells to the candidate. And he’s paying twice as much.
There’s another campaign scam that happens here all the time, and it’s not so hidden. That would be if I, the Jack Orr Company, were to make a deal with a local printer to mark up his prices and then I’d do the same with mine. We'd both get something, and he’d just be paying me in the back door.
Right now these abuses aren’t controlled, but they should and could be. It’s theft, it’s no different from walking in and robbing the petty cash.
During the special election campaign, when I was working for Cleator, some guy who wasn’t a client of mine came in to me and said, “Why don’t I just hire your firm for $100,000?” And the first thing I said was, “That’s illegal!’’ He wasn’t even a friend of Cleator, he just wanted Cleator elected, not Hedgecock, especially not Hedgecock. He was a very wealthy man. He could have come in and said a million dollars! That sort of thing happens routinely; if any campaign consultant were to tell you he hadn’t been approached with illegal money numerous times during every campaign, he’d be lying. And because of instances like this, I think campaign consultants should be forced to disclose their client lists, much like a candidate will disclose his or her contribution list. So disclosure is everything, okay? But that’s what most politicians, and especially campaign consultants, don’t want.
I also think these local Mickey Mouse campaign laws should be repealed, those that say there is a $250 contribution limit that can only come from an individual and can’t come from a corporation or a business or a partnership or a political action committee, when, at the same time, the Supreme Court now rules that a PAC can essentially do anything it wants to under freedom of speech. Now under the new Supreme Court ruling, a county central committee can give as much money as it wants to a campaign, so long as it’s disclosed. There’s lots of room for abuse there, but the key is the disclosure. You can’t prevent anyone from violating the law in any respect, but you can provide for penalties and compensation. And along the way you can make provisions for the public to look in and see what the hell is going on.
Then there are the bizarre reporting requirements. I say open the books. Open them up at all times. Now all of a sudden the campaign treasurer will say, “Oh my god, that’s going to be a lot of work.” Of course it’s a lot of work. But as a matter of fact, it’s necessary. so that we can see — in terms of finances — what’s going on at all times. I can guarantee that if the process is opened up, reporters will be down to the office all the time. That way, if disclosure were open at all times, I would allow anybody to give any amount of money to any candidate.
Moreover, if you try to limit the amount that an individual candidate may contribute from his own resources, then you might as well step down and say, “Next, all candidates will have only fifty volunteers.” Campaigns will be turned into a Monopoly game, with everybody getting the same amount of money and starting at the same place. That would be very boring, and to what extreme would it go? For instance, everybody knows that tall people are more impressive than short people in public events. Docs that mean I get to stand on a stool and Ed Malone has to crouch during public events? Next they could dream up a campaign law so that everybody had to be five feet tall, and X-number of women had to run. That’s nonsense. Limiting resources limits the vitality.
Life Imitating Art
You know, I didn’t see the film The Candidate until some five years after it came out because I was convinced that there was no way that anybody could ever make a movie about politics that would actually show what really goes on. But I was appalled. Every single thing, event, and statement in that film I had either seen or heard personally, except for at the end, when Robert Redford, who had just gotten elected to the U.S. Senate, asks, “What do I do now?”
Well, I had been in Utah working on radio spots for Orrin Hatch’s 1976 senatorial election. When I’d finished his radio spots, I began working for the Republican National Committee. I didn't see Orrin until the elections were over. On election night I was in' Chicago when I heard that he’d won, and I thought that was great, absolutely wonderful. On the next Monday morning as I was getting on the plane, there was Orrin Hatch. He was coming through from Salt Lake City and was changing planes at O’Hare, and there he was, standing there, talking on the phone. I said, “Hey, Orrin! How ya doing? Congratulations!” And he looked at me and said, “Jack, Jack, help me! What do I do now?”