Because of an editing error, Bobby Watson was incorrectly identified in Wednesday's editions of The Washington Post.Watson is the campaign manager for State Sen. Hunter B. Andrews of Hampton, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. senator in Virginia.
Delegates to next month's Democratic convention in Virginia have been getting a lot of mail from candidates lately, but perhaps nothing as intriguing as a quilted envelope that arrived this week with a Norfolk postmark.
Inside is a letter on high quality stationery and a cassette tape. "Hi, I'm Conoly Philips, and I want to thank you for thaking time to listen to this tape," it starts. "This is a unique tape in that it is the first time that a candidate has talked with the delegates across the state in this way . . ."
The tape may be "unique," and envied by other campaign mangers as a great gimmick, but Philips is not alone in devising ways to woo the 2,795 delegates - especially the 550 or so "uncommitteds" - to the senatorial nominating convention June 9 and 10 in Williamburg.
Rufus Philips, one of the eight politicians seeking the convention's nomination, has eight copies of a nine- minute video tape that supporters play on $300 video cassette players for gatherings around the state. He's also started a fund-raising effort called "Rufus' Round-Up," which was inaugurated yesterday with the sale of about 20 donated pigs in Peterburg, according to his campaign manager, E. Sherman Webb. The idea is to acquire "in-kind" donations of livestock from farmers who support Phillips, who announced early in his campaign that farmers should get 100 percent parity for their produce. So far, Webb said, Phillips has been given both beef and dairy cattle as well as pigs and expects to raise several thousand dollars by selling them to stockyards.
A special form has been designed for reporting the animal contributions to the Federal Elections Commission, Webb said.
State Sen. C'ive Dural has a newsletter, the "DuVal Convention Bulletin." the second edition of which was maied to delegates this week. Former attorney general Andrew P. Miller, the acknowledged front-runner with 979 committed delegates to second-ranking DuVal's 439 is mailing campaign material to delegates, said spokesman Don Murray, but is not doing anything in the way of media gimmicks. He did announce recently, however, that he is making tentative plans for a "fact-finding" trip to the Middle East if he gets the nomination.
Feminist Flora Crater, who has the smallest budget of any candidates, yesterday mailed a question-naire to a sample of 250 delegates soliciting their views on the Equal Rights Amendment, proposed convention rules, and her candidacy.
She wrote the Questionnaire and with the help of seven supporters had a 'folding and sticking" party on Monday. The cost: $18 for the postage and $25 for the paper, including return envelopes. "But I couldn't afford a stamp for the return," she said.
Former Del. Carrington Williams threw a "barge party" fund raiser last weekend, at which guests floated around Lake Barcroft on barges and listened to a blue-grass band. The other two candidates, State Sen. Hunter B. Andrews and former Fairfax County Board chairman Fred Babson say they plan nothing more spectacular than a few traditional mailings.
But most of the candidates or campaign managers contacted yesterday espressed admiration for Conoly Phillips' tape mailing, which he estimates will cost him as much as $2 a tape.
"It's a super idea," said Webb, a professional campaign director. "Our delegates have been coming in with this thing saying 'look at this neat envelope and this neat little cassette I got. Too bad I don't have a tape recorder.'"
But it seems that people are playing the tape, if only out of curiosity. "It's very good for Conoly because his message is harder to get across," said Bobby Watson, Miller's campaign manager. "Plus, a lot of Democrats are interested because they don't know him."
In the 12-minute tape, Phillips introduces himself as a "small businessman" (he's a millionaire car dealer) and member of the Norfolk City Council. He notes that he "declared himself as a Christian" at the outset of the campaign but goes on to say that "Christianity is not an issue in this campaign."
"My relationship with the Living God just tells people who I am and where I'm coming from," the tape says,
"My objective was to see all 2,800 delegates personally," Phillips said yesterday," but I just couldn't do it before the convention so we had to resort to the tapes." He describes the cost as "golly, very expensive," but worth it. He like most of the other candidates, is financing his campaign with his own funds.