Cover image for Run the other way : fixing the two-party system, one campaign at a time
Run the other way : fixing the two-party system, one campaign at a time
Hillsman, Bill.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Free Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvii, 267 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JK1726 .H55 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



An examination of the world of political campaigning cites the flaws in the current party-dominated political system, noting the author's efforts to work against the two-party political industry and predicting the election of a third-party president.

Author Notes

Bill Hillsman is CEO and Chief Creative Officer of North Woods Advertising.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Growing dissatisfaction with politics as usual and the way the presidential election is run will boost the appeal of this book. Hillsman helped outsiders Paul Wellstone's senatorial, Jesse Ventura's gubernatorial, and Ralph Nader's presidential campaigns. The author is critical of what he calls Election Industry, Inc.--the political parties, pollsters, consultants, fund raisers, junk mailers, media handlers, special interests, and lobbyists who have taken over American politics. Drawing on 15 years spent working with political outsiders, Hillsman offers a critique of American politics and a handbook for the new political landscape, including the growing influence of the Internet. He outlines how political parties control candidates and shut out newcomers with new ideas, how big money influences politics, and how professionals use negative advertising to deliberately discourage voters from going to the polls, and provides an insider's look at the independent-minded politics of a range of figures, including Ross Perot, Warren Beatty, and Arianna Huffington. This is a fascinating look at current American politics and the challenges for those who want to change politics as usual. --Vanessa Bush Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Regardless of November tallies, the real winner of this year's presidential race will be "Election Industry, Inc.," says Hillman-voters and qualified candidates will lose out. While political reporters, pundits and professors often prescribe treatments for ailing democratic processes during an election year, Hillsman, a seasoned political marketer for such candidates as the late Paul Wellstone, Jesse Ventura and Ralph Nader, brings a unique and righteously outraged perspective to the mix. In this volume-part memoir, part campaign handbook-he attacks the den of Washington, D.C.-based political consultants and party officials ("an inside-the-Beltway collective of toadies, fakes, crooks, character assassins, racketeers, party apologists, false scientists, phony experts, self-aggrandizers, backscratchers, and backstabbers") and recalls his own strategies for promoting candidates and enfranchising voters. Third party challengers (or even outsider party members like Howard Dean and John McCain), Hillsman says, face incredible obstacles from the Republican and Democratic elite: an onslaught of "toxic" political advertisements, character assassinations and sound-bite responses to real issues. Sometimes Hillsman's forceful prose, embellished with sardonic zingers, turns from entertaining to repetitive. For instance, after citing a poll of political professionals that revealed 37 percent of them thought it acceptable to use negative advertising to hold down voter turnout and focus on insult rather than on issues, he adds the coda: "Political consultants think that's smart. I think it's despicable." Ten pages later, he cites the same poll and repeats the coda almost word for word. Flaws aside, though, anyone who shares Hillsman's ire at the current state of electoral politics will enjoy this maverick tract and its wicked upbraiding of establishment campaigning. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. xv
Chapter 1 Election Industry, Inc.p. 1
Chapter 2 Wellstone 1990p. 5
Chapter 3 Political Advertising vs. Real Advertisingp. 25
Chapter 4 Effective Political Campaigningp. 45
Chapter 5 The Unbearable Dumbness of Pollingp. 51
Chapter 6 People for Perot 1992p. 63
Chapter 7 Wellstone 1996p. 77
Chapter 8 Getting Under Your Opponent's Skinp. 93
Chapter 9 Negative Campaigning and Rapid Responsep. 99
Chapter 10 Let Them Stay Homep. 107
Chapter 11 DFL Gubernatorial Primary 1998p. 113
Chapter 12 Ventura for Governor 1998p. 123
Chapter 13 Secrets of Three-Breakfast Pollingp. 145
Chapter 14 My Dinner with Warren and Annettep. 149
Chapter 15 Presidential Folliesp. 161
Chapter 16 Nader 2000p. 181
Chapter 17 Third Parties in Americap. 203
Chapter 18 The Internet and Politicsp. 209
Chapter 19 Money in Politics and How to Overcome Itp. 221
Chapter 20 Looking Forward and Moving Aheadp. 237
Afterwordp. 253
Indexp. 259