I just read that story in the Herald about city campaign finances, and I gotta tell you, I’m a little put out. It seems that Sam Sutter paid some out of town outfit over five grand for polling information. Like what information - who was going to win and by how much?
Never one to blow my own horn, but regular readers will remember that I came within a smidge of predicting the exact outcome in the prelim, which I provided to the reading public for free. I certainly would have provided the mayor with the same information for a fraction of the price he paid these guys. Predicting mayoral races is really only a part time job for me. Let’s see – writing that post took about an hour, so using the going rate at city hall for part time work, that’s what – about $850?
No real surprises in the story, though. Sutter got a lot of donations from lawyers. Lawyers who “do business with the city”.
Lawyers who do business with the city.
Hey…. Do you think that means these lawyers were among those who got that “outside legal work” the city was billed two hundred large for? I mean, no problem, right? So they do necessary legal work for the city – so what?
You know, work that was made necessary by the firing of two full time lawyers who probably weren’t going to contribute a lot to a Sutter campaign. So who needs them anyway, right?
Meanwhile, the lead story on the talk shows on WSAR is… WSAR. They do occasionally cover local news and politics, but it’s mostly about WSAR.
So, the question keeps coming up in conversations that I have – did Jasiel help or hurt himself by backing out of the WSAR debate? From what I can tell, it would have hurt him had the radio station handled it better. But WSAR somehow got on the defensive.
I’m not sure how that happened. They are spending so much time trying to convince listeners that they’re on the up and up (defending themselves against whom, I am not quite sure) that they seem a little, well, defensive. Not to say oversensitive.
The sense I get is that a few people will care about this for a little while, but that very few will base their vote on what happens to a media outlet. Media outlets are not puppies or children or America’s Got Talent contestants.
Out on the street, I get the feeling that Sutter hasn’t lost much ground in the last week or so, mostly because he hasn’t said or done much of anything in the last week or so.
He might be hoping that Jasiel boycotts all the debates. Based on past performance, he should be hoping that. Getting back to campaign financing and for the sake of being fair and balanced (I jest) I’ll give the mayor the advice his high-priced Boston consultants should be giving him, for free, in preparation for the upcoming debates.
1. Don’t insult the voters. Again.
2. Whenever the subject of trash comes up, talk about Amazon.com. Or how you cleaned up the D.A.’s office. Or the weather.
3. Try to pronounce your opponent’s last name correctly, just to give the impression that you’re actually paying attention.
4. Look up some facts about Fall River from before you were elected. Just to make it seem like you did more than sleep here.
5. Make real, but simple arguments. Ad hominem attacks will please your supporters but won’t win you new votes. People will not vote for you because of your age and experience. It’s their own experience they worry about – their experience with you so far.
6. Here’s the most important one – if you must talk trash, sincerely address the voters’ concerns.
Telling them they have a new fee to pay because you could only think of three alternatives gives them the impression that you don’t take them seriously. It insults their intelligence. It insults mine and I’m not that smart. Saying we needed a new fee “because it’s an enterprise fund” is, shall we say, unimaginative.
Pretending that anyone, anyone at all, is criticizing Joe Macy when they are clearly criticizing you is not going to work this time any more than it did last time. Take the voters seriously. You haven’t done this yet, but it’s never too late to change.
Or maybe it is. Can you spend the better part of a year simply not taking the voters seriously and still somehow salvage an election at the end? I think you can in some offices, but not in this one. I have heard from some that Sam Sutter is on the rebound. Maybe he is. I just wonder how cheap a date Fall River really is.