The front-runner in our primary race was a candidate named Jon Golnik. Golnik is your generic 2010 Republican candidate: cutting taxes will create jobs, pay down the deficit, and probably find a cure for cancer. Early one morning, I received a text message from Sore Throat alerting me that Golnik's campaign headquarters in Westford had been destroyed by fire. Upon further investigation, officials determined the source of the fire to be "suspicious." Now, when there's a suspicious fire at a campaign headquarters, suddenly everyone is looking for G. Gordon Liddy. Within a day, Sore Throat tipped me off that there was an Internet rumor saying an Asian gang was responsible for the blaze. Now, I'm no superhero, but my spider sense immediately began to tingle as I quickly inventoried the other candidates. Tom Weaver: not Asian. Bob Shapiro: not Asian. Sam Meas: Asian! Wonder which candidate this rumor targeted?
Another big challenge we faced was money — the campaign had none. We knew Meas had put some of his own money into the campaign while managing to raise a little bit of dough on the side. Most of our strategy involved doing things that cost little to nothing.
In the last three weeks of the campaign — the most frenetic three weeks of my life, and I'm including the lead-up to my wedding — all hell broke loose. For example, we found out that Golnik had been arrested for a DUI in 2001. Following an AC/DC concert, he was pulled over and found to be shirtless, driving on a flat tire. Look, if you ask me, that's pretty much how you should be leaving an AC/DC concert. I mean, have you ever been to an AC/DC concert? I love AC/DC, but the crowd there is, shall we say, eclectic:
* Lacking in teeth and general dental hygiene.
* Most likely drunk.
* Filled with people limping. I assume this large amount of limpers is as a result of being in a car accident and unable to afford medical care.
* Fighting to keep the mullet alive. There is nothing sadder than seeing a dad with a mullet bringing his kids who have mullets. Child services should be called immediately on this matter.
Hurdles and rumors
Near the end of the campaign, local news outlets reported about a woman in Lawrence who fought off a rapist in her own home until the cops came and arrested him.
Meas called me and said, "This girl is awesome, we need to reach out to her."
"Why don't I buy her a gun and personally deliver it to her house?" Meas asked.
"Sam," I said, "I don't think it would be in your best interest if the press decided to take some pics of a congressional candidate buying weapons for voters." Maybe he's not quite a politician yet, but I love the guy's sprit.
Our biggest hurdle as we rolled into the final weekend before the primary was getting Cambodian voters to the polls. As we mapped out the schedule, I saw a call coming in from Sore Throat and decided to take it. "We may have a real problem," he said. I asked what's going on. "I just got an e-mail."