Back to Top

News From the Campaign Trail:

11/6/19- Post Election Update

Today we woke up and the 2019 election was over.  Congratulations to all the successful campaigns, but particularly new State Assemblyman Brian Bergen.  Brian is an Army vet and also a classmate of mine from Rutgers Business School.  He’s a solid guy, and New Jersey is better off having more people like him down in Trenton. 

Now we can start focusing on 2020.  I’ll make this a quick on since most of you heard from me last week.

 

What’s the Matter? You Don’t Talk Much:

I never really said very much in freshman health class back in high school.  Because of that our teacher, Mr. Gorski, nicknamed me Henry Hill.  He always wondered why I just sat quietly and observed the class while most of the students took the opportunity to shoot the breeze and cause some mayhem.

But that’s because I was just listening.  And it’s what we’ve been doing up until now.  We didn’t want our campaign to be a distraction, or to siphon money or resources from the important races this year for state and local office (well no one can accuse us of the money part at least).  One can only imagine how much better the Republican party might have done with an extra million dollars or so to spend on local and state races for GOTV efforts, but I guess we’ll never know.

We’re going to keep listening, but now we can start speaking out again about the importance of our campaign and the road ahead.  We’re back on the air, so to speak.

 

Are you Ready for Some Football?

Come out and join us in December every Sunday for our Pigskin and Politics meet and greets.  We’re taking a kind of bar crawl through the district and inviting voters to come out and join us for a minimal contribution (to cover some of the costs).  Come on out, meet the candidate, watch some football, and if you’re willing, leave your signature for our 2020 ballot access paperwork.  I can talk Giants, Jets, entitlements, student loans, government regulation, or any other topic you want to address (just please, no more hurricane questions).

I figure that if you get sick of talking to me or think I’m a typical political blowhard or marionette, then at least you can catch the games and get some drinks and apps out of the deal.  It’s sure to be a good time, so we hope to see you at one of the sessions, every Sunday in December from 1-4PM.  Check out our campaign website for a full listing of locations and click the link below to sign up.  Discounted prices for anyone under 25 (I have a soft spot for students and recent college grads, since your loan situation is a federal government debacle) and those who have already donated to the campaign.  Space is limited, so be secure your spot!

Check out our schedule of events and sign up at:

Sign Up Form

12/1- Stage House Tavern Scotch Plains, NJ

12/8- Willie McBride’s Branchburg, NJ

12/15- Cryan’s Tavern Annandale, NJ

12/22- Brass Rail Phillipsburg, NJ

12/29- Stage House Tavern Mountainside, NJ

 

When in Rome:

Do as the Romans!  When running for the GoP nomination, join their fundraising platform.  That’s right, we’re up and running (have been since August) on WinRed.  Check out our page available on the newest tool for conservative grassroots fundraising, and while you’re there, kick in a few bucks for the campaign.

WinRed- Tom Phillips

 

Thinking About Next Summer Already:

It’s never too early to start planning your 2020 calendars.  Save the date on Tuesday, June 2nd to come out and vote for us in the Republican primary.  Save the date on Saturday, May 9th for our second annual golf fundraiser.  We’re heading back to High Bridge Hills for a repeat of our opening scrambles event.  We expect spots to be more limited this time around, so sign up as soon as you can and reserve your foursome.  It promises to once again be a great time.

Registration Form

Have a terrific November, and speak to you soon!

 

 

10/31/19- October Newsletter:

It’s Halloween time, and that means you’re sure to have droves of spooky people coming to your door.  No, we’re not talking kids trick or treating, we’re describing political canvassers for the November 5th state elections.  Be safe and get out and vote next week.

Can You Begin a Story with a Cliffhanger?:

You Betcha!!  Make sure to check back with us on the web and Facebook next week, on November 6th.  We’re turning the lights back on, so to speak, and lifting the curtain on everything we’ve been doing since March.  Get up to speed on our progress and our planning, where we are and where we’re going in the next few months.  Should be an entertaining and informative read.

Make Sure You Vote:

Off year elections aren’t quite as a big a deal to most people as the federal ones, but it’s important that you still go out and vote.  Decisions by state and municipal government often have a larger impact on our daily lives than the ones originating in Washington.  Make sure to perform your civic responsibility to pull the lever, and earn your God given right to complain about the government for another cycle.  We won’t tell you who to vote for (this time around) but make sure you vote for someone, even if it’s Monty Brewster’s “None of the Above”.

"Joker" Making More Headlines than You Think:

October 15th was the 3rd Quarter reporting deadline for the FEC, and while pundits like to focus on the often misleading “Total Contributions” figure, a more telling piece of information is the campaign burn rate.  And oh boy, with the way our opponents are spending, Heath Ledger’s Joker may as well have doused a pile of campaign cash in gasoline and lit it on fire. 

FEC reports show Senator Kean has already burned through $300k and Ms. Becchi passed the $100k mark in just one quarter.  Who's even paying attention to next year's race yet?  We’ve spent an earth shattering $6,000 total since February, and the majority of that on our kick-off event.

Riddle-me-this?  If a campaign spends their money this recklessly, how do you think they’ll act once they get to Washington?  They don’t have any problem spending your money or even your kids’ money, that’s why we have a $23 trillion deficit and counting.  Something to ponder as you look at primary options for 2020.

Taking a Page Out of Billy Beane's and Bill James' Books:

Just think of us as the Moneyball campaign.  As Brad Pitt famously quips in the film, “If we try to play like the Yankees in here, we’re going to lose to the Yankees out there.”  The same can be said of political campaigns.  We’re not going to compete on an even playing field with the big money names.  We have to be smarter and more efficient with our resources, but I love a good challenge and these next seven months are going to be a fun ride.

Let's Talk About the Elephant in the Room:

The top question I get asked when I speak with people (after the always entertaining “How should we deal with hurricanes?”), is “What do you think about President Trump?”  After thanking them for handing me a stick of dynamite a la Wily E Coyote, I try to give an honest and straightforward answer, since that’s kind of our thing, being honest and blunt.

Do I think President Trump is a role model for my kids? 

Absolutely not.  I think that most politicians make for terrible role models.  There are far more well-meaning, kind, and important people out there who are more deserving of our admiration and selection as role models.   

Should the President spend less time on Twitter?

I would, but that’s his choice to make, it’s still a free country, at least until @Jack codifies his latest policy restricting the freedom of speech.

Do I agree with every policy decision he’s made?

I don’t think anyone does, as we all have our preferences on a vast array of issues.  But more importantly, do I think he’s gotten the big ones right? 

Absolutely.  Let’s list the conservative judges confirmed.  The cutting of regulations for businesses and reducing the federal bureaucracy.   America getting tougher on China after decades of an uneven playing field and intellectual property theft.  Criminal justice reform.  Getting our allies to meet their commitments and putting America first.  And don’t forget the President’s unwavering support of Justice Kavanaugh when the liberals were trying to destroy the man’s life.

I think the biggest issue with our President is that he makes everything personal, and about him.  That’s a big part of his appeal, but also a big part of his problem with opposing voters.  It’s not the way I would do things, but we’ve tried running saint-like figures in the past who have played by Marquis of Queensbury rules when they get to DC and we’ve seen the results.

Now I didn’t vote for President Trump in the 2016 primary, my beliefs and preferences lined up more closely with Senator Cruz at that time, but I certainly voted for him in the general and I will again in 2020.  Sometimes the situation doesn’t call for an Eisenhower, instead you need a Patton, and President Trump is the General Patton of politics.

I realize that not everyone agrees with me, and this is a very emotional and passionate issue, and I respect the way people feel.  Hopefully you can respect my honesty, if not my opinion on this.  But at the end of the day the fact of the matter is that President Trump has done more in the past 3 years to promote conservative positions than most other self-proclaimed conservatives in government.  That means something to me, having a President who follows through on their promises, and for that I support him. 

Take note, because this is a key difference in the primary candidates for NJ 7.  I'm not afraid to say I support the President, but the rest of the field are the kind of politicians that will court his supporters and then stab him in the back once they're safely in office.

Join Us Next Week:

Assuming we survive the angry Twitter mob generated from our last opinion, coming after me like I’m Frankenstein’s monster, check back in on November 6th to get a full campaign update and find out what comes next.

 

 

10/26/19- Go Army!

So I headed up to West Point for the weekend to watch the Black Knights host San Jose State.  The outcome of the game wasn't what we would have liked, with Army going through three quarterbacks due to injuries, but as usual campus was beautiful this time of year with the changing foliage.  I was up there with some friends from high school, but it's always good to go and see the future leaders that our military academies are turning for our armed forces. 

When on campus you can't help but reflect on the commitment that these young men and women make to serve our great country, and it tends to put things in perspective when you realize that they're going to be putting their lives on the line in defense of the rest of us.  I can't thank the cadets enough, or the rest of our men and women in uniform for that matter, for their patriotic service to the nation and keeping our families safe from harm.

God Bless our men and women in uniform and may He keep them safe.

 

 

9/30/19- September Newsletter:

And we’re back!   I know you haven’t heard from us all summer, but never fear, we’ve been busy.  We gave our communications team off to enjoy the weather, but we’ve been hard at work otherwise.  The month of June saw the completion of a large data project for canvassing, during July we worked on developing our internship program and conducting outreach to universities in the tri-state area, and in August we began canvassing to test out our infrastructure and technology.  All that being said, here’s a quick update:

 And Then There Were Three:

Looks like we have more company in the primary next spring.  Rosemary Becchi, an attorney who has worked for the IRS, the Senate Finance Committee, and a DC lobbying firm has formally announced her entrance into the race.  We’re looking forward to having her on the ballot in June.  Welcome to the field Ms. Becchi.

Just Think of Me as Mark Watney:

Well, maybe not as camera friendly as Matt Damon, but when it comes to solving problems we’re taking a page out of that fictional botanist’s book.  As he famously quips in the movie The Martian “You just begin.  You do the math….You solve one problem…….and the next one…..and the next one.  And if you solve enough problems, you get to go home.”  Or in this case, go to Washington.  Every week we’re tackling another challenge and taking one step closer to victory next year.

We Know Where You Live:

….or at least those of you who live in CD 7.  June was the month that we broke the internet several dozen times, as we put together our voter canvassing maps.  163,000+ voters, 97,000+ households, 6 counties, 75 Municipalities, and 396 customized maps.  Suffice it to say, we’re pretty good with geo-coding and cartography now. 

Putting On Our Walking Shoes:

The best way to reach voters has always been in person, and our campaign is embracing one-on-one voter contact, grassroots style.  We spent a few weeks in August testing our technology and equipment out in the streets of District 7.  Homes for over 2% of registered primary voters have been visited thus far and we expect these numbers to ramp up in the coming months.   The systems we designed are working as planned, and it looks like our assumptions on distances and time are correct.  We’ve already had hundreds of conversations with primary voters, and a significant number are looking for an alternative to career politicians next June.

If you’re interested in helping to visit your neighbors in District 7, let us know and we will set you up with a list of houses in your area to act as a campaign ambassador for our team.  No voter persuasion required, just dropping off campaign information.  Who doesn’t like the idea of a leisurely stroll around the block, getting some exercise, enjoying the fall weather, and helping to make a change? 

Join Our Team

This Isn't Your Parents' Political Campaign:

Just like the Marines, we’re looking for a few good men (and women).  July 1st was the launch date for our academic internship program and we’ve already started working with our first group of college interns.  We’re accepting rolling applications from now through December 31st for Fall 2019, January 2020, and Spring 2020 internships with our campaign team.  If you are interested, or know of any college students looking to get real experience on a Congressional campaign, send an email with CV to tomphillipsforcongress@gmail.com

We have flexibility for non-credit, 2-credit, and 4-credit internships depending on your needs and schedule.  We’ve worked with several university career centers to design an internship of value that is flexible enough to meet the demands of any academic program.  We’re working with over a dozen schools in the area, helping to get these students some great campaign experience and adding valuable members to our team.

Internship Overview

It's Never Too Late to Get Involved:

Have you ever complained about the way government runs the country, or how your elected officials represent you?  Want to do something about it?  Get involved, no matter how small the effort might seem.  Donate a few bucks or volunteer to walk for a few hours.  Remember, every little bit helps, so don’t be shy.  Help us take your future back!

 

 

8/24/19- Walking the Town

So while the rest of the family is still down on vacation, I took the opportunity to canvass my first 2,000 houses this week.  I had volunteered to help a local State Assembly campaign, and spoke with their director, but after being transparent and letting him know I was running in the congressional primary I never heard back.  Imagine that!  Not unsurprising, but I hope they didn't need the extra help. 

In any event, it worked out better since I had no restrictions and could target the area I wanted to.  I needed to test out our software platform, potential wireless signal issues, equipment, and my conditioning.  And also get a handle on what it's actually like to go door to door and engage voters across the spectrum.

I'll have to say, despite having some initial anxiety, it was a lot of fun.  I spoke with about 200 people in my travels during the week, hitting small sections of the target town each night after work and then over the weekend.  With the exception of one voter who was anti-Trump to the point of being irate and just plain rude, everyone was very engaging and polite.  Most run of the mill voters are looking for alternatives to what we get out of the official party pipeline.

The timing is about what I expected, the treadmill work all summer helped keep the walking speed up to about 4 MPH, and the only wrinkle was my freak high ankle sprain suffered that week at Tri-County old man soccer.  I stepped on a sprinkler head jogging up the field, after about 27 seconds in the game, and that was all she wrote.  I ended up hobbling around with a brace on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to canvass but still hit all my target areas.  Despite early indications I managed to avoid the broken ankle so that was good news.  All in all a successful week.

 

 

8/6/19- Compliance is Important

There are a lot of legal and compliance that need to be addressed when running a campaign.  Our team has been vigilant and almost over-cautious with this area as we move forward.  In preparation for the months ahead, we've reached out to almost every municipality in District 7 to clarify town and municipal solicitation and canvassing laws and requirements.  

I think most people are under the assumption that political campaigns have free hands when sending people to knock on your doors, but as we anticipated and were expecting, every municipality has a slightly different wrinkle to their local ordinances.  Many have no specific requirements, some require advanced notification, others require looping in the police.  A few have permits that need to be filed, and many have "no-knock" lists of residents that have opted out of door-knocking solicitation.  Every town is different and fairly unique.

Our team is fully up to speed, but if I were a betting man I would wager good money that the majority of political campaigns don't go this extra mile to make sure they aren't violating any local canvassing or solicitation laws in advance of their activity.  I'm just a firm believer of doing things by the book, and avoiding any potential situations before they occur, but that's just the way I was brought up.  Still, important information to know out on the trail.

 

 

6/15/19- Summer Break:

We're taking the next few months off, at least from a communications standpoint.  Let's face it, everyone has better things to do than to read political newsletters over the summer.  We'll be continuing to put infrastructure in place and making the rounds in the district, but you won't hear from us until after the summer is done and the kids are back to school.

Just so you know that we're staying busy, June is software development month at the campaign.  Canvassing software, which helps to bring volunteers and paid campaign staffers to your doors as they walk the neighborhood, is a pricey piece of infrastructure, and from speaking with multiple people with experience in the area, also a somewhat unreliable tool for most campaigns.  We've decided not to sink financial resources into existing systems, but rather to build our own from the ground up (hey, I said I could wear a lot of hats when we started).

June is canvassing program development month.  Leveraging a number of existing (and free) technologies, I'm building our own database, maps, surveys, and voter information.  Sure, it will take a good deal of my time, but that's what the summer is for, right?  We'll be testing it out at the end of the summer and making sure it meets our needs for the campaign. 

 

 

5/31/19- May Newsletter:

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!  Here’s an update on what’s been going on along the campaign trail.
 
Hitting the Links:

Friday May 10th was looking like a wash out, but despite some morning rain showers and potential thunderstorms, the weather cooperated and we were able to hold our first official fundraiser.  Thank you again to everyone who came out to the golf event to show support.  We were able to get in 18 holes of golf on what turned out to be a beautiful afternoon.  We had representation across the field from 5 of the 6 counties in the district, and I even got to jump in and play a few holes myself.  The event was such a big hit, we’re starting to look at Saturday dates this fall for a follow up event.  Stay tuned.

Fighting Pediatric Cancer:

On June 8th our family will be walking in support of the Valerie Fund at their annual event in Verona, NJ.  We’re walking as part of GG’s Angel’s, a team represented by Grace Eline, daughter of high school classmate Aubrey Reichard-Eline.  Please take some time to read about Grace’s fight and advocacy and consider what you can do to help battle this terrible disease.  I know Grace and her mom would appreciate it.

The Valerie Fund

Speaking of Horse Races In Derby Month:

You may have read it in the news, Senator Tom Kean Jr. has announced that he is also seeking the Republican nomination in NJ District 7 in 2020.  This was anticipated and it’s good to know that in 2020 we’re going to have a solid debate on what is best for NJ 7 moving forward.

I had met briefly with Senator Kean back in February to let him know of my intentions to run. I wanted to be upfront with the party, and it was the right thing to do.  I do not know him personally, but from what I have heard, I know he is a decent man who has been a fixture in NJ politics for the past 15 years.  His father, Governor Kean, is one of the most impressive statesmen that I have ever met (having attended Drew University), and the family has a long history of public service in government.

However, like many of you, I do not believe that elected office should be a family business.  I think the district is looking for an alternative to career politicians.  I look forward to the challenge of the upcoming race, laying out a clear case as to why I am the better choice for NJ District 7, and highlighting the clear policy and personal differences that we have.


Next Steps:

We are coming up on one year out from the primary.  There's a long way to go but plenty of work still to do.  As we head into the summer we are continuing to reach out to people and gather commitments both for fundraising and volunteering.  Everything being done, both publicly as well as behind the scenes, is about putting our campaign infrastructure together for the 2020 cycle.  If you would like to be a part of our team, please sign up to volunteer.


As always, I appreciate everyone’s continued support.  Enjoy the summer!

 

5/10/19- Fore!!!

Great turnout today for our kick-off fundraiser at High Bridge Hills Golf Course.  I even got to play a couple of holes as a fill in for one of the groups.  Thanks again to everyone who came out to the event and I look forward to the 2020 date for round #2.

 

 

4/2/19- March Newsletter:

I didn’t want to send this on April 1st, because let’s be honest, how many people would have thought this was an April Fool’s joke just a few months back?   So instead I’m sending this out on April 2nd just to make sure you’re taking the campaign seriously. 

March Madness:

It’s been another busy month of speaking with constituents.  I attended the NJ GOP convention (in Atlantic City) but due to inclement weather on Friday, I had to fit all my meetings in during a whirlwind Saturday.  I also sat in on both a vote-by-mail seminar as well as a marketing and messaging panel.  Vote-by-mail is becoming a more common practice, so the seminar was very informative.  The marketing and messaging panel was more for gaining competitive intelligence on what the current practices of the party are.  We’re planning on kicking things up a notch in that area and getting a few steps ahead of the curve.

Are You Ready for a Scramble?

Response has been overwhelmingly positive for our kick-off fundraising event on May 10th.  We do have several spots still available, so we’ve extended the deadline for registration through the end of April.  Additionally, if you don’t play golf, can’t get out of work early, or simply want your family to join us for dinner we're opening the event to non-participants.  $20 for adults and $10 for kids.  Just use the registration form on the website and linked below which now has the meal/non-golf options. 

https://www.phillips2020.net/events



April is Tax Time:

April is the dreaded month of tax filing.  Hopefully everyone is done with filing their taxes and has paid less than they did last year (it’s your money after all, not the government’s).  The SALT deduction change was a huge campaign issue in 2018 here in New Jersey, and we’d love to hear about how it did or didn’t impact you for your 2018 tax filing.  Shoot us an email and let us know if it was better, the same, or worse than you expected, all feedback is appreciated: tomphillipsforcongress@gmail.com

Thank You Again!

I’d like to conclude this month’s newsletter by once again thanking everyone who’s reached out, contributed to the campaign, signed up for our golf event, and offered to volunteer down the line.  This is a long process, we’re moving in the right direction, and it helps to have positive momentum for the uphill road ahead.  As I learn more about this process and talk to more people across the district it only confirms to me that we’re doing this the right way and more importantly for the right reasons.  But I can’t do this alone, so do your part, get involved, support someone that you can believe in, and help take our future back!

 

 

 

2/28/19- February Newsletter: 


Getting Around NJ District 7:

During February I met with several college republican groups for discussions, which were a good test of things to come.  I also met with a half-dozen township and county level party members, quite a few diners and coffee shops in the mix.  I’ll have to spend more time on the treadmill if I’m going to be eating this much. 

Right now it’s all about increasing name recognition and beginning to expand the network within the party, and I look forward to meeting a lot of new people in the next few months.

Follow Us:

If you haven’t already please follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  Building a social media presence from scratch takes some time, but hitting some milestones of followers in both areas provides additional reach for these critical marketing channels.  Dr. Phil’s “Cash Me Outside” girl has a half a million followers for crying out loud, so we’re hoping we can pass 1,000 this summer.

Twitter- @TomPhillipsNJ7
Facebook- Phillips2020

Fore:

Are you a golfer?  Do you like ducking out of work early on Friday to get a head start on the weekend?  Then we have just the thing for you.  Join us on Friday, May 10th for our first large campaign event, a four-player Scramble at High Bridge Golf Course. 

1 PM shotgun, cost is $500 per foursome and includes the round of golf, lunch and dinner.  Event features several hole-in-one prizes, putting contest, and a silent auction following golf.  If you’d like to support our campaign, want some time face-to-face with the candidate, and like to have a good time, come out and join us for what promises to be a great afternoon on the course.  Spots are limited, so book your foursome as soon as possible.

https://www.phillips2020.net/events



Crashing the Party:

This weekend I’m heading down to make an appearance at the NJ GOP Statewide Leadership Conference in Atlantic City.  This will be the first organizational appearance for me as a candidate, and I’m looking forward to starting to network with party regulars and also get the real lay of the land for what's ahead.  We’re looking to generate some buzz, make some friends, and start increasing our name recognition.  If you are going to be down at the conference, shoot me a text and we can connect.
 

 

 

2/1/19: Iacta Alia Est

We've officially launched our campaign as of 2/1/19.
I'd like to personally thank everyone who has provided guidance, counsel, and support over the past months and years as we are embarking on this new challenge. I've already spoken with a lot of people about this run for Congress, and appreciate all of the feedback I've received (both good and bad).

I look forward to this race, and all of the challenges that it will bring. I also look forward to meeting the hundreds of thousands of residents of the towns that make up the district. I can't wait to start bringing our message to their doors. We can do better with our representation, and our country can do better by getting everyday Americans engaged in our civic responsibilities again. The residents of NJ District 7 will be the voice, I'm simply hoping to be the messenger for you.

Thank you again for your support, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook, sign up to volunteer or contribute, tell your friends and relatives about our campaign, or just reach out and say hello. I look forward to hearing from all of you and helping to represent your interests and concerns in Washington.

Tom


Paid for by Tom Phillips for Congress
Powered by CampaignPartner.com - Political Campaign Websites