Thursday, October 7, 2010


Dear Carl,

After the cringing embarrassment of your television message this evening, it's probably too late to save your campaign for Governor.   Your handlers and advisers are destroying your campaign and your reputation.   If you want to at least try to retrieve a chance to win, however slim it may be at this stage, FIRE THEM.   IMMEDIATELY.

Remember that first poll after the election, showing you within six points of Cuomo?   It showed that you have promise.   The reason you're faring so much worse now is because you're listening to the thugs you're surrounded with.   They've portrayed you to the public as someone as stable and trustworthy as one of Tony Soprano's capos.

New Yorkers don't care a bit that you'll work for a dollar a year, or that you're challenging Cuomo yet again to debate.   They want to hear you talk coherently about the issues:   state taxes, spending and regulations that make New York the worst state in the country to do business.   They want to hear the two or three key points you propose as a way to address these problems.   That's what political professionals call your "message."

And they need to hear about how Cuomo is the candidate of all of the special interests behind the toxic policies that have brought the state to ruin.   How those interests don't want any of it to change, which is why they're backing Status Cuomo.

Did you really have to remind people all over again about the illegitimate offspring by your erstwhile mistress?   This election's happening in New York, not Paris or Milan, where that kind of thing is considered fashionable.

Not a good idea to rehash that encounter with the Post reporter -- the performance by which you defined yourself, and badly, to a large segment of the electorate who were considering you seriously.   The incident that drove your poll numbers from 6 points behind to 16 points behind.   You need urgently to get past that, not to dwell on it and recall for voters the single most damaging thing you've done to yourself so far.

The only thing missing was, "I am not a witch."

If you had professional advisers who knew something about politics, they'd never have let you turn in a disaster of a performance like tonight's, where you came across as a clueless whiner.   They'd have taught you one of the first rules of politics:   Never complain; never explain.

You owe something to yourself, to your family.   To all the people who supported you as an agent of real change, as a defense against turning the state over to fake-reformer Andrew Cuomo for four more years of decay and decline.   You owe them a decent, credible campaign.   You have at least to try, however badly your advisers have steered you to this point.

Your heart's in the right place.   But you need to fire your advisers and get new ones.

Ask state Chairman Cox, or ask a prominent County Chairman like Monroe's Bill Reilich, who's racked up a consistent string of wins against adverse odds, to recommend new high-level campaign staff.   They work with the best.   They can help you retrieve your dignity, and maybe even the election.

Do it now.   You can start by removing tonight's video abomination from your website.   Immediately.

If you won't, the County Republican Chairmen across the state need to bring you in for an intervention this weekend.

Yours in acute anxiety,

Philbrick and the Mustard Street crew


Rottenchester said...

I'm afraid it's too late for that. Carl chose to double-down on his and Cuomo's infidelity by leading that awful video with those two issues. Even after Republicans cleared the field for him by getting rid of Lazio*, he took the ball and ran the other way. And that final appeal for money was a real topper -- isn't Carl independently wealthy? How is he the victim of big-money Cuomo?

* BTW, I'll wait with baited breath for your editorial excoriating Lazio for his opportunistic path to a judgeship, similar to the Mike Green matter.

Philbrick said...


Thanks for mentioning the point I had intended to include in the essay, then forgot when I was writing it, that Paladino capped the whole disastrous broadcast with Naples' plea for money. For a campaign of a multimillionaire!

But I thought you were more politically sophisticated than to make that comment comparing Lazio and his judicial nomination to the Mike Green situation.

Green badly wants a federal judgeship, and was willing to corrupt his office by bringing two baseless prosecutions with no evidence, for the political purpose of locking in the support of the Democratic Party behind his quest for the judgeship.

Lazio's not going to get a judgeship. Nor has he any interest in getting one. Under NY election law, when it's mid-September and you're on a party's line on the ballot, there are only 3 ways to get off and be replaced: die, move out of state, or be nominated as a judge.

So the Republicans put him on the ballot for a judgeship in the Bronx. Lazio has no chance of winning it and won't campaign for it. This was a tactical move allowing him to be replaced on the Conservative line for governor. His judicial nomination was simply a technicality allowing him to come off the gubernatorial ballot. If the election law said you can only get off the ballot if you drive a red car, they'd have bought him a red car.