Indiana Pundit


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Going Negative before the Push

The Association of Trial Lawyers and the AARP have started the mud slinging for the fall. Yesterday they introduced a commercial accusing Chris Chocola of colluding with pharmecutical companies to keep drug prices high and thus hurting Seniors with thinning the effectiveness of medicare.

The groups that did this didn't do a good job of understanding the logistics of campaigning. Their efforts will not help Joe Donnelly's effort to beat Chocola. Here's why.

Its too early for negative campaigning. Voters are more likely to tune out everything about a race when things start out on the negative side this early. The tone of the commercial eludes to ugly things yet to come. All it will accomplish will be to entrench the party lines. in a race that is seen to be tight a campaign needs as much crossover votes as possible.

While the AARP has credibility on the medicare issue, the leading partner in this commercial does not. Lack of credibility by either party in a commercial like this limits its effectiveness.

They are using a blanket approach. This advertisement is being seen in Congressional districts not adjacent to the intended viewership. That means that they are wasting a lot of money putting their commercial on the airwaves to people who have no save in the Chocola/ Donnelly race.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Setting traps

There are some times when no response is the best response. A short while ago Phil GiaQuinta called for the firing of BMV director Silverman. Last week Kevin Howell had a letter to the editor calling his opponent's comments a knee-jerk reaction that didn't address the issue.

Kevin missed the point of Phil's comments. People in the 80th are unhappy with Silverman's decision to move the Southgate branch out of their area. He was playing on the voter's emotions for support.

It also backed Kevin Howell into a corner on the issue. It created a trap in which he couldn't win. He could have either a) given no response and let GiaQuinta have the emotions response from voters. or b) respond in defense of Silverman and catch the potential wrath of the emotions that put voters in Giaquinta' corner. Howell should have went with choice a instead of choice b.

It would have been a different situation had Phil actually been an incumbent who was in a position to make things actually happen on the issue. But as the seat is open no response would have been better than responding against the emotional tide of the voter.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mayoral Potentials - Part II

Yesterday I covered the names of Republicans who are rumored to be interested in the mayor's office in Fort Wayne. Now I'll cover the Democrats who have an interest.

First off, it doesn't matter who else wants it as long Grahm Richard wants to keep it. Should he decide to re-run there will not be any other contenders except maybe David Roach.

Graham Richard - There has been speculation as to whether Graham Richard will attempt to keep his job and seek a 3rd term. He seems to try and not commit to running in next year's election. This is because he is keeping a close watch on Evan Bayh's bid for President. Should that campaign appear to gain the neccessary momentum to make him a top challenger then Graham may hitch himself to that bandwagon in the hopes of getting a cabinet job. Should that campaign appear to be middle of the pack then he will probably run for mayor again.

Other factors causing Graham to question a re-run is the political makeup of the city after the most recent annexations. Aboite is heavily Republican and has some of the highest turnout in the county. It may be a lot more of a fight than he wants to put forth.

As an incumbent he has some inherent advantages, he also has the support of his base and is the strongest fundraiser in the Democratic Party. His most notable weakness is the memo that was leaked concerning his office' interest in annexing more of Perry township.

John Shoaff - Shoaff is most known for his advocacy of the city's park system. That and the park named for his ancestor. He's intelligent and well-spoken but has not been a visible or dominant member of the city council. John Crawford, Sam Talarico, and fellow Democrat Tim Pape are often overshadowing him.

While he would get his party's full support should he be their candidate, I question whether he can get enough independents and crossover Republicans to win.

Geoff Paddock - He has the charisma and public service record that could serve his purposes as a candidate. He is currently on the FWCS board of trustees in an elected position. The fact that it is non-partisan position is important as it gives him credibility with voters who would normally just look the other way depending on party lines. He also has strong funding capabilities as seen in his unsuccessfu bid to succeed Ben GiaQuinta.

The only major weaknesses he exhibits are related to his recent primary loss. That loss may make some in his party question his viability in a larger race. It also may play head games with his self-confidence and desire to attain the post.

The Democrats can do nothing until Graham decides what he wants to do. If he runs its his. Should he decide to go elsewhere then it could be a fight.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mayoral Potentials - Part I

A few weeks ago Nikki Kelly sniffed out some rumors about who wants to be mayor. She name-dropped people such as John Crawford, Randy Borror, Matt Kelty, and Nelson Peters for the GOP ticket. On the DEM side she had just Graham Richard and John Shoaff (I'll ad in Geoff Paddock in this article for good measure). So what are the odds of any of these guys taking the office a year from now?

John Crawford - He's been on the FW city council as an at-large member for years and has taken a visible role on the "brain-drain" issue as well as the city's role in the consolidation efforts.

His name was no surprise. Remember all those big vote for Crawford signs? His campaign efforts went well beyond what he needed to do as the highest vote-getter for Republicans. It had been rumored that he wanted to challenge Tom Wyss for state senate but the mayor's office would fall in line to his aspirations.

He's got the money and name recognition to beat just abot anybody on the Republican ticket. But he's also viewed as a moderate which will keep him from unifying the conservative base behind him. His involvement in the consolidation efforts will also hurt him as well in the Aboite area. Many voters are equating consolidation to annexation.

Randy Borror - Randy really has no chance at all. His name recognition outside of his district is small and within his district there are some issues. In 2004 he beat out a college kid in the primary. But that college kid took a larger chunk out of his total than should have happened. John Zimmerman spent less than $500 and took more than 15%. Thats about 10% more than he should have gotten. To make matters worse Borror and Nelson Peters share a lot of the same base. The two will split their base with Nelson receiving the lion's share.

Should Nelson run I don't expect Randy put his name in.

Nelson Peters - Nelson probably has the second highest fundraising capability of the mentioned possible candidates. As mentioned earlier. He also has run the most recent campaign of any of the other possibles. That plays into his favor. I think he is a strong candidate.

There is a lot going on in the commissioner's office right now. I don't think Nelson would leave his current position with it in its current state. Its probably a 50-50 than he runs for mayor.

Matt Kelty - Matt is the only one actually state his candidacy. That said it allowed him to get a few names behind him including the #2 GOP money man, Don McArdle. Its also given him the jump on starting his campaign.

He is considered a political neophyte in some circles having only run (and lost) in one race. But the context of that race raised some eyebrows. The timing of this candidacy is off. Had he run in 2003 his name recognition to that race would have been much better than it is today.

As of right now there is no real clear front-runner among Republican candidates for FW mayor. Tomorrow I will discuss the Democrat possibles.



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