According to Dave Contarino, no two ski slopes are the same. As an avid skier, Dave Contarino has witnessed novices and experts all struggle to come to terms with the soft snow of the Southern Rockies. In this interview, Dave Contarino provides a few tips about how to tackle these challenging mountains. [Read more…]
Political strategist David Contarino speaks with the staff at Interviewing Experts regarding the astonishing win by underdog Michelle Lujan Grisham in the 2012 Democratic primary for Congress. Grisham went on to defeat Republican Janice Arnold-Jones in the general election.
Interviewing Experts: Thank you for joining us today. Can you tell us exactly what role you played in this campaign?
David Contarino: I served now Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham as a consultant and senior advisor.
Interviewing Experts: You have been noted as saying that your work was easy once people understood who Michelle Grisham was.
David Contarino: Absolutely, yes. Congresswoman Grisham was an outstanding candidate. She was disciplined and courageous and demonstrated a commitment to the voters of the district that could not be matched by her opponents.
Interviewing Experts: And the congresswoman had some great supporters…
David Contarino: She had many key allies. Notably Emily’s list – a political group dedicated to helping pro-choice Democratic women win House and Senate seats. The organization also works for Democratic women entering gubernatorial races.
Interviewing Experts: Congresswoman Grisham relied on a lot of newspaper articles in the final leg of the campaign – why?
David Contarino: We used specific documents and public news articles to outline specific deficiencies in the opposition.
Interviewing Experts: And this this worked?
David Contarino: Voters responded so, yes. Virtually all undecided voters broke heavily toward Lujan Grisham in the final days and she went resounding victory by five percentage points.
Interviewing Experts: Toward the end of the campaign, one of the opponents launched a pretty tough attack against Congresswoman Grisham. Can you tell us why she never publicly responded?
David Contarino: She was tempted to respond, certainly. However, the Lujan Grisham campaign stuck with the strategy of believing that its own positive advertising and endorsements would blunt the dubious charges.
Interviewing Experts: That seems like a dangerous strategy as much as the media likes controversy.
David Contarino: The congresswoman had enough well respected third-party endorsements that it should have been obvious that any negative attacks were just feeble attempts to discredit the former State Health Department secretary.
Interviewing Experts: What are some of Grisham’s key priorities?
David Contarino: Lujan Grisham has always been a strong advocate for the people. She is additionally passionate in her defense of women’s health choices.
Interviewing Experts: Going back to those final weeks of the campaign – it seems that Grisham was more visible than her previously higher-profile rivals…
David Contarino: We chose to conserve funds early in the campaign, which meant we would have reserves for later.
Interviewing Experts: Grisham entered the contest late, correct?
David Contarino: I like to think that her opponents just got a head start.
Interviewing Experts: You were her senior advisor – who else was prolific throughout the campaign?
David Contarino: First and foremost, the volunteers; without them, their support, and unrivaled dedication to the cause we could have never done it. I worked closely with Dominic Gabello (campaign manager) and key staffers Debbie Armstrong and Gilbert Gallagos.
Interviewing Experts: It’s pretty amazing that Grisham went on to win the general election after finishing third in the state convention.
David Contarino: It is definitely a rags to riches story, so to speak. We elected to spend very little early on, including at the convention. We decided that television advertising in the final weeks would be more effective.
Interviewing Experts: It seems you were correct…
David Contarino: Thank you.
Interviewing Experts: Before we close, we’d like to talk a bit about yourself and Congresswoman Grisham.
David Contarino: I’ve been in politics for as long as I can remember – more than 25 years, actually. I have served as a media consultant, campaign manager, and advisor. I have held responsibility in numerous successful campaigns.
Interviewing Experts: And you worked for a while under a very well known governor?
David Contarino: I was Chief of Staff for Bill Richardson – the former governor of New Mexico.
Interviewing Experts: This is assumably how you met Grisham – can you give us a quick background on her?
David Contarino: Grisham has a long family history and politics with an uncle, a cousin, and her grandfather all having been involved in New Mexico government.
Interviewing Experts: Thank you for your time today – we look forward to seeing you in the future.
David Contarino: I certainly appreciate the opportunity.
About David Contarino: David Contarino is an experience political strategist who has served under Bill Richardson and Jeff Bingaman, notably. His work with Democratic groups across the country have helped place candidates like Michelle Grisham. David Contarino is the president of Louisville, Kentucky’s Contarino & Associates.
David Slone is the General Sales Manager and Used Car Manager at Weld County Garage. Along with his service manager, David Slone has seen plenty of cars come in with problems that could have been avoided. In this Q&A discussion, David Slone offers up advice for keeping a car running longer and stronger.
Q: If you had to give one piece of advice for longevity for my car, what would it be?
David Slone: Change your oil at regular intervals. Keeping clean motor oil in your engine means that you won’t be building up deposits and gunk that can clog internal passages and wear down moving parts.
Q: What intervals do you recommend for servicing?
David Slone: For older cars, 3000-5000 miles is usually good; newer cars can go longer, up to 6000 or so, just be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
Q: What about synthetic oils?
David Slone: Synthetic motor oils can go much longer, but you’ll need to check the manufacturer’s recommendations on that.
Q: What about servicing my tires?
David Slone: This is another really simple one. Check your tire pressure when you gas up; underinflated tires affect your car’s drivability, ride and handling, and cost you money in lost fuel efficiency.
Q: I’ve heard that drivers should avoid short trips. Why is that?
David Slone: When a car’s engine cannot warm up to operating temperature, the water that’s produced in combustion can’t make its way through the crankcase ventilation and tailpipe, leading to diluted motor oil and other problems. If your trip is less than ten minutes, maybe you should consider walking…!
Q: I suppose that listening to your car for strange noises is sort of a given…
David Slone: Yes, definitely, any knocks, ticks, thumps or squeaks that are out of the ordinary. Don’t just let them slide – they could be trouble.
Q: What about driving habits?
David Slone: This one’s just common sense. Try to keep a light right foot on the accelerator, take it easy over rough roads or railroad tracks, brake gently, and don’t punish your car.
Q: And what about my car’s front end and tires?
David Slone: Get an alignment once a year, it’ll save your tires and improve a car’s handling. And make sure to schedule a tire rotation with every oil change.
Q: Driving habits affect fuel economy, too…what else can you suggest as far as gas mileage?
David Slone: Check your air filter regularly. It’s cheap and easy to change, and a clogged air filter will kill your car’s mileage and performance.
Q: Any parting ideas?
David Slone: Yes, stay on top of your regular maintenance and fix problems early if they develop. Think of it the same way you would your own body!
Q: David Slone, thanks for answering our questions!
David Slone: Absolutely, I hope these tips are useful.
In addition to his time at Weld County Garage, David Slone has put in over two decades as an entrepreneur. David Slone also served as Vice President and President of a firm that manufactures video editing equipment, Macrosystem US. There, David Slone led a management team that brought in millions of dollars in profits. David Slone loves a good challenge, making him a great fit for Weld County Garage.