A campaign volunteer working on a race in the upcoming Mayor’s race in Novi, Michigan has admitted to the opponent that he hacked into his email account on two occasions. This brings up some good questions for local candidates on what do when you have rogue campaign volunteers doing embarrassing things, and also how to prevent it.
Dan Ferrara, a volunteer with rival Justin Fischer’s campaign, was standing at the door and had some surprising news. He told Gatt he was the one who had hijacked the e-mail account, and he was seeking Gatt’s forgiveness.
Ferrara, an unpaid volunteer who did some marketing work for the Fischer campaign, said he is ashamed of his actions, and that Gatt was nothing but gracious when he admitted them.
“The thing I want to make clear to everyone is that these were my actions alone. Justin didn’t have anything to do with it,” Ferrara said.
Fischer also said he knew nothing of the matter until Ferrara called him after his meeting with Gatt. Fischer then called Gatt to apologize on behalf of the campaign and give his assurance that Ferrara is no longer with the campaign and will never work for the candidate again. He also wrote an official note of apology to Gatt.
The candidate in this case did the right thing by getting on the phone and apologizing in person on behalf of one of his campaign volunteers, even though he had nothing to do with it.
What are some ways that you can prevent these cases in the first place?
1. Doing a good job of screening out campaign volunteers who it appears may do this, or even mentions doing any surreptitious acts for the campaign. Believe it or not, your campaign does not have to accept the help of every campaign volunteer that comes your way, especially when they may do more harm than good to your campaign.
2. Spell it out in black and white what conduct is unacceptable in the campaign. You have a right, and possibly even a duty, to spell out for campaign volunteers what conduct won’t be allowed in the campaign. Even though they don’t get paid, they still represent your campaign.
3. Be on the lookout for over eager campaign volunteers. Related to #1 in the item, some campaign volunteers are so excited and enthusiastic for their candidate, they take it to extremes.
Do you have any more tips?
Leave them in the comments!
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