Wednesday, November 10, 2010

James Cason on campaign fundraising: "Ugh!"

Amb. James Cason during an Independence Day celebration at his former residence in Havana.

Jim Cason, former chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, is running for mayor of Coral Gables.
Here is a letter he sent today to friends and acquaintances:

It's been a while since we last communicated. I thought I would update you on what I've been up to since retiring from the Foreign Service.

After 38 years, 12 countries and 19 assignments, it was time to leave national public service. I loved the diplomatic life with its adventures, challenges and opportunities to make a difference. Being Ambassador to Paraguay was the culmination of my long career.

Since retiring Carmen and I moved to the beautiful city of Coral Gables, Florida, to the south of Miami. It was one of the first planned towns in the US when developed in 1925, and is now a garden paradise, with great shops, restaurants, and tree-lined streets. I was asked to become President of the Center for a Free Cuba, a non-profit human rights and advocacy group, and I have been on the Board of Quincy Oil and Gas in Paraguay.

Most recently I have been working as a Senior Inspector in the Office of the Inspector General of the State Department. My teams and I visit US Embassies, looking at all aspects of operations to look for efficiencies and evaluate management. I spent a month in Amman, Jordan and earlier this month 10 days in Baghdad, Iraq, looking at the transition planning as we move from military to civilian operations there. It was a great experience.

Now that we have settled down in a community for life, I have decided to try my hand at local politics; I am a candidate for Mayor of Coral Gables.

As you well know, I have never been content to be an observer of affairs, but an active participant in the communities where we have lived. Coral Gables will be no different. My many years in Latin America, and experience in trade promotion and management, will appeal to many voters seeking more efficient government.

I have an excellent chance of winning, but need to make myself known to the voters. So I will dedicate my next few months to the laborious task of fund raising. Ugh! (This is not something that Foreign Service Officers ever had to do.) But I need to communicate to the Coral Gables residents' information about who I am and what I can do to maintain the quality of the city while living with a shrinking tax base and rising pension obligations.

I am beginning my fundraising efforts with my friends and acquaintances that know me best. Any amount will help. Checks should be made out to Jim Cason Campaign and sent to PO Box 144083, Miami, Fl 33114. Donations can also be made securely via credit card by logging in to The maximum legal contribution per person or company is $500. Checks should have occupation and an address somewhere on the check.

With your help I can win. I hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards,
Jim Cason

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