Sunday, October 16, 2011

Why I Decline an Interview for Your Endorsement in My Race for City Council

I've Seen Your Bias from the Inside

So there is no confusion in the next few weeks, I want to share my response to the Democrat and Chronicle's request for an endorsement interview.   Here's my e-mail to Jim Lawrence, Editorial Board Editor:

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 10:03 AM
To: Lawrence, James
Cc: Kane, Michael G. (Rochester); Magnuson, Karen
Subject: RE: interview schedule

Hello Jim,

Upon further consideration I do not believe I will be making it in to visit with the Editorial Board.   After spending a year on the Board of Contributors, witnessing the difference in how Republican candidates versus Democrat candidates were questioned and finally reported, I don't feel it is in my best interest.  As I had mentioned to you and Karen both, I find it unfortunate that we have a single paper here in Rochester that just isn't able to not show their bias with regards to politics.

I would be happy to prepare a response now if you like as to why I feel I am not going to be endorsed.   That is, unless that is not permitted for choosing not to come in.  On the off chance that I am endorsed I will only assume it is because the D&C must endorse a few Republicans each year to "prove" the lack of bias.

As I plan to stay a part of City politics, win or lose, I hope that in the future the Editorial Board will prove that it is able to set aside their personal political feelings and start advocating for what is best for this community.   With that said, I do feel that the day of people needing news organizations to explain candidates is coming to a close.   With social networking, websites, and the other avenues that people have today to learn more about someone looking to represent them, I feel that the endorsement of a news organization is outdated.

I wish you a great autumn and hope that the endorsement process goes well for you this year.   There are many races going on so you will certainly have your hands full.   Thank you for reaching out Jim.

Rich Tyson


Anonymous said...

Good decision. I wish more GOP candidates would follow. Minarik organized a boycott of the D&C and it worked until Alesi and a few others broke it. Now that Alesi is "out" as a RINO, Reilich should show he has a pulse and do the same. He certainly isn't doing anything else to help our candidates in the City.

Diane Watkins said...

Rich, I believe that you are accurate in your assessment that, doing the interview is a not good use of time. I am finding that we have few "leaders" among our local media who are risk takers. They simply are not willing to take a chance at supporting new people or new ideas on Rochester's political scene. They have a wait and see mentality which in my opinion, is quite unappealing and cowardly.

Rottenchester said...

I'm a Democrat who lives in the suburbs, but if I lived in your part of the city, I'd give serious consideration to voting for you, simply on the grounds of sending a message to the machine. I can't believe I'm the only Democrat who would do so.

With that in mind, though I understand your motivations and agree that it would be tough to get a fair shake from the D&C ed board, I think this is a mistake from the standpoint of pure politics. A lot of people pick up the D&C endorsements to learn about candidates. Whether or not they endorse you, you're missing a chance to get your message out.

Also, you're trying to sell yourself to the voters as an outsider who will be effective on a city council that is dominated by Democrats. The only way that you'll be effective is to be a fighter. By giving up before you even try with the D&C, are you demonstrating that you have the grit to fight a battle that you're more than likely to lose? Obviously not. And those are the kind of battles that you'll have to fight if you're elected.

Finally, City Newspaper is just as bad if not worse than the D&C on this topic. Are you not going to engage their endorsement process? If not, you're giving up a huge amount of free media.

Richard Tyson said...

@Diane: I also think that they pick who they think will win so that they can get the access they desire.

@Rot: If I felt that they would actually put my message out I would have gone in. I did go in to meet with City and look forward to seeing how they report it. I don't see this as backing down from the fight and am ready to work with Democrats once elected. I see this as the fight. To go in and meet with Jim and Co. only gives them power they don't deserve and haven't used wisely in the past, in my opinion. Truth is, the fight has changed. At one point one would have to go in and see what happens. Today with the tools and media outlets available one can fight on their own terms, not theirs. I am happy to work with those from different view points but will do so wisely.

Anonymous said...

@7:36 a.m. - More is being done for GOP City and Brighton candidates than has ever been done in prior years. You should show up sometime when there's work being done to help out too instead of sitting on your computer at home doing nothing to help the team. It's called put up or shut up.

That is, unless you're nothing more than a trolling Democrat operative who comes here to try and make it look like the GOP team is as dysfunctional as Morelle's group. LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

I know this isn't the appropriate thread for this (well, maybe it is) but there's a lot of talk going around about a reporter from the D&C swearing at a County Legislator. Does anyone here know if that's true or not?

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you, I am a Democrat, in the city, and I plan to vote for Tyson. Why? because Elaine Spaull cheats and/or allows others to cheat on her behalf.

What am I talking about? The Spaull campaign has had her lawn signs up all over her district during the Primary season, even though she wasn't on the Primary ballot. The way I see it, she and/or her campaign figure that no one will say anything about such an innocuous issue. "But she's a nice lady," they'll say, "why do you want to complain about something that causes no harm?"

Because nice ladies play by the rules; they don't exploit conventions of courtesy to "get away with" something.

If she is willing to break local city signage ordinances, when she and other City Council members are responsible for writing those rules, what other rules do they break that we don't know about?

Same goes for Joe Morelle. He votes for state legislation against cell phone use while driving, and every time I see him behind the wheel, he is talking on the phone... not hands free.

Willa Powell said...


I've run for office 6 times: 5 Primaries, 6 General Elections, and the D&C has never endorsed me. I run as a Democrat, and although I am often at odds with the Democratic Party leadership, I do believe in the Democratic Party platform. But maybe I'm not! That would explain why I've never received their endorsement!

This last time around, I was absolutely certain I wouldn't be endorsed. But I went through the interview process anyway. I did it because I wanted to ensure that my "rebuttal" or "response letter" got printed. In my assessment, the strategy worked. They had about 10 words to say about me in their endorsements for School Board, but I got 175 words to say what I wanted. The results speak for themselves. I've succeeded in 4 Primaries and 3 General Elections so far.

Anonymous said...

@2:18pm -- every year for the past 10 years the GOP HQ spin is that its doing "more this year than ever before" for City GOP candidates, but you forget we can look at the BOE reports and see where the money goes. And it doesn't go to City GOP campaigns.

Rottenchester said...

@8:01. But but but - 1.1% is more than 1% is more than .9% and so on. So 2:18 is technically correct, even though you're pretty much right.

In general, any GOP movement in the city is going to have to learn to finance itself and to emphasize things the county GOP doesn't really focus on, for some pretty obvious structural reasons.

They need to self-finance for one simple reason: the county GOP knows it can win the county exec seat and a majority of the county leg by appealing to suburban Republicans. Pouring money into city campaigns doesn't have that kind of return.

They need to emphasize other issues for two reasons. First, since the county GOP's core constituency is suburban Republicans, not the smattering of Republicans in the city, the county GOP isn't really educated on nor do they care a lot about city issues. Second, a Republican party in the city can only win by seizing on issues where Democrats are on the wrong side from a pragmatic, not ideological, stance. Give city residents a compelling, realistic new plan to fix the schools, or bring people back into the city, than the same old Democratic plans that have been failing year after year, and then you might have a chance to win a few elections.

Anonymous said...

Your response to the D&C is verbose and trite or perhaps a better word is contrite.

It comes across like you are an apologist and setting the ground work to explain why you did not win the election.

Along with a few others, Willa Powell gave some great advice.

Work hard, and sally forth. You have a better chance of winning then you think.

And yes, I want you to win.

Anonymous said...

@8:01 - prove your point. Don't be like Rotten and just make accusations without facts to back them up. Be better than him, not the same or worse.

Anonymous said...

All Joe Morelle does is hoard money for himself and spend what he doesn't on his boy Vinny esposito. I don't see many Democrats here complaining about that so it must be ok with you guys, right?

Anonymous said...

You've already got my vote, Rich Tyson!