Thursday, December 03, 2015

2nd Annual Charity Beret Auction

Congrats and thanks to Peter Byler of Iowa City, winner of the second annual charity beret auction. Peter sets a new record. Last year, caucus guro Dave Redlawsk and not yet school board member Chris Liebig tied and each won $210 berets.

Bidding stalled at $50 for several days till I sweetened the deal a little - I promised to throw in a Jimmy Carter button if the price hit $100. Soon after that the bidding war kicked in. Thanks to Mike Carberry for once again helping get that started; maybe next year he'll finally win. Laura Twing also helped inflate the price.

Original post November 17:

I never really wanted to be Beret Guy, you know.

It was supposed to be a one time joke, a play on use of "wear a lot of hats" as in play a lot of roles. I got a professional writing job and decided I needed a literal blogging hat. The readers voted, raspberry beret won. (I was lucky given what happened and given the other options.) I bought one. I wore it as a ONE TIME JOKE. The next day it was on Page One.

I was stuck. I tried to kill it; I was still stuck.

So I embraced it, and it became an accidental trademark. Yes, I know it looks goofy. But when the Vice President remembers Beret Guy, you're on to something.

Last year I decided to do some good with it. I've picked up a few spares over the years - always, as the song says, at a second hand store. I wear them in turn at events, to make them official game worn jerseys. And I popped one up on top of the county's mitten tree last year and auctioned it off.

Egomaniacal and attention-seeking? Maybe. But these days a writer has to self promote. And more importantly, it worked. The auction ended in a statistical tie, so I sold off TWO berets, that I paid about $2 a piece for, at $210 each for the Crisis Center of Johnson County.

With that good a track record, I better do it again. This year I'm upping my game.

This year I'm donating a beret and a press kit to the Johnson County Employee Charity Drive. Let's look at what you, yes YOU can have with your charitable donation. Top row, left to right:

Item 1 is a POLITICO note book. For the past several months I've been part of Politico's "Insider Caucus," a group of early state activists who make off the record comments and predictions. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we (I mean me) predict Scott Walker will win it all.

The centerpiece of the package is the beret itself, with attached $2 price tag. I've worn it at many events and retired it on Saturday, when I wore it to cover the Democratic debate in Des Moines. Behind it you see the as yet incomplete Certificate of Authenticity, which will include photos of this beret in action at the November 14 debate.

At right to hold it all is a Face The Nation goodie bag that was picked up off either my chair or the floor at the debate filing room.

On the bottom row we have a VOTE button from debate co-sponsor Twitter, glow sticks (unused) from a Bernie Sanders rally, and a Hillary Clinton press pass from an Iowa City event.
Attesting to authenticity.

Republican bidders may, at their discretion, substitute a McCain-Palin press pass from 2008.

Bids are being taken through the Johnson County Employee Intranet, but I'll handle all outside bids for this one. Send me your bids by email ( OR - subject line Silent Auction; Deeth Press Kit), Twitter direct message, Facebook message, phone or text. I'll update the leading bidder on the Deeth Blog home page (just below the exit sign). Bidding ends at noon November 30 December 3. Be generous!

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