September 30, 2007

One Dollar Chicken

I've decided to add a chapter--on the 1976 re-election campaign to the U.S. Senate. After 1970's Walk, Floridians waited anxiously for Lawton to pull another rabbit out of the hat.

And he did.

Kicking off his first campaign for re-election, he announced he would limit donations to his campaign to $10 a head and banned Political Action Committee (PAC) money. Again, he would show his connection to his community by taking risk on them. Family members and friends were in shock. Colleagues kindly advised him to back off and run a real race. Pundits called him nuts and wrote his political obituary. The national Republican Party targeted him.

But hundreds of dollar-a-plate chicken feeds and fish fries later, Walkin' Lawton had a full belly, full bank account, and a full-fledged 67-county campaign. His campaign staff handed out ticket stubs saying "one equal share" for each person willing to fork over ten bucks. His family hit the road to set up events and request donations.

Against Walkin' Lawton's one dollar chicken, PAC Man didn't stand a chance...

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