Monday, June 20, 2011

A Godly Candidate

Nearly a hundred miles to the north, Daniel Bellardi campaigned just as fervently as Juanita Dunsmuir. Crowded into the ballroom of Redding's Red Lion Hotel were almost two hundred church leaders. The campaign staff had invited every denominational leader, pastor, priest, rabbi, elder, and deacon within a hundred miles of Redding to the event, the first in a projected series of "Dinners with Dan" for religious leaders in the state. The gatherings were the brainchild of the campaign manager and media secretary and were financed by a number of Bellardi's major backers. The strategy was intended to counter the increased popularity of Juanita Dunsmuir, whom the senator's campaign staff had elevated from a mere nuisance to a mild threat to Dan Bellardi's aspirations.

The program in the ballroom did not bear any resemblance to the raucous goings-on with Juanita at the arena. The evening began with an invocation by the pastor of a large Baptist church in Redding. Background music for the complimentary chicken dinner was a selection of light classics performed by a piano instructor from College of the Siskiyous.

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