Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Why Bother with D&C Endorsements?

So it is 2011 and what a year this will be for local elections in Monroe County. From the top to the bottom there are races going on all over. So soon will begin the process of campaign teams being built, volunteers being organized, candidates meeting with their respective committees, and of course endorsement interviews along with many other tasks that make up a campaign.

I want to focus on endorsement interviews in this article. Some of them I can understand candidates wanting to participate in. It is a chance to meet folks that you would like support from. It often provides a chance to learn more about an organization that a candidate may otherwise not know. All around any exposure a candidate can get is good, right?

After working with the Democrat and Chronicle last year as a member of the Board of Contributors and sitting in many of those endorsement interviews it really woke me up to just how biased they are.   Now, as a newspaper they certainly have any and all rights to do and say what they feel. But here is the question that I kept asking myself all year long, Why do Republicans bother? Why do we even bother wasting our time to sit with them? Do they endorse some of us, sure. But what does it mean?

We parade our candidates in one by one hoping that we walk away with them backing us. We do so knowing that we probably don't agree with much of what they think. So if a candidate does come away with the endorsement what does that say? "Did they agree with what I stand for, if so, did I change their minds?" "Did they need to fill the quota of Republicans they endorse this year and I was the name pulled from the hat?" "Am I so far off track that they actually agreed with me?"

My feeling is this, why bother this year? With all that is going on and the need that we have to get our candidates out to the people that count, the voters, do we even bother with the "newspaper" endorsements? I say that Republicans stand just as much a chance of getting an endorsement if they do or don't show up. Try it out, the worst thing they can do is not endorse us, and maybe that would be a good thing.


Anonymous said...

Republicans should not go before the editorial board for endorsements. It makes no sense politically since very few votes are influenced by the D&C's endorsement, it puts the candidate in the position of a supplicant begging for a blessing from the All Powerful Oz, and it empowers the liberals who say they support "reform" while in fact supporting bigger government and higher taxes like Jim Lawrence and Jane Sutter. Minarik was right when he boycotted them. Doubtful Reilich would have the guts to do it though. He likes to sound tough but he's basically a go-along-to-get-along weenie.

Philbrick said...

Disagree with your last two lines, about Reilich.

Look at what he's accomplished.

If that's being a weenie, then I guess we could use some more weenies.

Anonymous said...

Reilich did nothing to help the GOP congressional candidates like Reed and Buerkle, who won on their own efforts while the county committee HQ sat motionless; he threw Scuderi under the bus as part of a deal with Morelli; he didn't lift a finger to help the GOP statewide candidates like Donovan or Wilson; shall I go on? And, btw, where is the $1+M a year going that he raises? It would do him good to reveal an audit of the county GOP books. Or maybe not.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:01,

Thanks for enlightening us all with your vast knowledge on the local political scene, undoubtedly gathered through years of hands-on experience running campaigns. Reilich couldn't assist Reed or Buerkle - campaign finance law prohibits County Committees from coordinating with federal campaigns. Oh, and you're right, the Chairman probably didn't help Donovan or Wilson, except for inviting each to meet and greet local Republicans in the final two days before the election - both ended up posting solid returns in Monroe.

You are more than welcome to stay home and play Armchair Campaign Manager all you want, but don't spew false-truths if you don't have the goods, or the smarts, to back it up.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so the GOP county committees in Wayne and Cayuga Counties, and those in Ontario, Steuben, Yates, Chemung, Allegany, etc. all somehow found a way to support their GOP candidates for congress in violation of federal law? And Minarik never helped Reynolds? And funny how Schumer and Gillibrand also got help from Democratic county committees around the state. The notion that the county GOP committee cannot help their congressional candidates is a bad joke. Nice try for cover but its too easy to blow through.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the confusion is rooted in your still unfounded allegations that Reilich "Did nothing" to help either Reed or Buerkle. Of course, like all County committees across the State, Monroe made contributions to the campaigns of local congressional candidates - either to their campaigns directly, or to the various congressional campaign organizations that assisted them. And, also pretty typical here, Monroe provided soft support by having Reed and Buerkle campaign materials distributed, and arranging for the two to stump with popular local candidates.

So the real question is - what did you want him to do? Run tv ads for the two? Send direct mail for the two? Walk on water? That's exactly what campaign finance law prohibits (Minus the water part). Reilich did what he could do, and Buerkle in particular won in large part thanks to how well she performed in Monroe County.

Fun fact: Monroe was the first County to come out backing Buerkle, and it's large percentage of the weighted vote at the nominating convention swayed other counties to do the same.

But its not really about the facts, is it? Conspiracy theories just aren't as much fun in the face of logic and reasoned thinking.