Saturday, February 25, 2006

Was it Tytler, Arcuri or Roberts?

Not too long ago, I wrote about my contact with a representative from one of the 24th District Democratic campaigns, in which the campaign worker expressed fear about seeing that campaign's candidate associated with a local liberal organization. I never identified that campaign worker, or the campaign that he or she is working for, because the issue for me was not the personality of the individual, but rather the widespread phenomenon of Democratic campaigns' rejection of the very liberal grassroots that provides the foundation for their success.

In spite of my refusal to identify this disappointing campaign worker, there has been much speculation and assumption about who the person I was talking about might be, and which campaign that person is affiliated with. For example, the following message came in this morning, from an anonymous reader:

"Tytler now leads in the New York Liberal poll. Which leads us back to the question of whether it was Tytler or Arcuri who you referenced in an earlier blog when talking about a candidate who was afraid to be identified as a liberal. Have you spoken with these two gentlemen lately? Can you clear up that question you left unanswered?"

Now, why would this anonymous reader assume that the campaign worker I talked about is working for Bruce Tytler or Michael Arcuri? Well, the Leon Koziol campaign can clearly be ruled out. It's not even clear that Leon Koziol has a campaign organization, and besides, Koziol has made it clear that he is running as a right winger. But what about the Les Roberts campaign? I'm not going to say one way or the other, but it's just possible that the campaign worker I wrote about is a member of the Les Roberts 2006 team.

I haven't made an endorsement yet, and that's because I don't yet have sufficient information with which to make an endorsement. Mike Arcuri has spoken out on a few issues, but has yet to do a lot of work on specifics. Bruce Tytler has talked about a "brain war", but hasn't made detailed policy positions on important issues public. Neither Tytler nor Arcuri have bothered to get a campaign web site online... and there are mere hours before the $500 incentive for their campaigns to get online is reduced to $400.

Les Roberts has been communicating his positions in good detail to the public for weeks. So far, what I've seen of Les Roberts, I like. That doesn't mean I won't criticize Les Roberts if he says or does something that I disapprove of.

I have offered a mix of praise and criticism for both Arcuri and Tytler, but to be honest, my judgments of them so far are based on mere scraps of information compared to the strong flow of communication from the Les Roberts campaign. I could find myself quite pleased with the campaigns of Michael Arcuri and Bruce Tytler, if only they would make more serious efforts to inform me, and voters like me, about their campaigns.

As candidates like Leon Koziol remind us, just being a Democrat is not enough to earn the support of voters. We've seen too many Democrats in Congress cave in to right wing demands over the last few years to accept all Democrats at face value. We need to know what kind of a Democrat a candidate really is.

We need straight talk from candidates, so let me offer this straight talk of my own: When I decide to endorse a candidate, you'll know it. I will say, "I endorse _____".

Until I make an endorsement, my mind is open. That doesn't mean that I'll give each candidate equal treatment. It means I'll give each candidate the treatment that they merit, as developments dictate.


Anonymous said...

I think it's fairly clear that Les Roberts is a liberal although a pragmatice one. Witness his interested in a balanced budget and fiscal restraint. Of course, anyone with an ounce of common sense can see the country is going over the edge finacially.

Mike Arcuri, as a sitting 4 term DA, would have a hard time calling himself a liberal and the fact that nobody has voted for him in the New York Liberal poll just reinforces that. I don't think he needs to avoid the label, I think he'll have a hard time selling himself to progressives. Plus, someone from his campaign committee came here and asked for your email when you said you had already given it to Bruce Tytler's campaign.

Bruce Tytler, coming from being mayor of a college town, from being an educator, from a county organization who's headquarters is totally staffed by liberals, is the most likely candidate to try to avoid the liberal tag thinking forward to a general election where he thinks he can appeal to Republicans give a choice of hard right Brad Jones or pseudo right Sherwood Boehlert. Tytler's choice of saying he supports the "war on terror" and oblique reference to the Cold War are indications of trying to run from the liberal label, notwithdstanding his intimate's comments on here about the Iraq action being a Bush family feud.

If you spend all your time watching the Faux network, you arn't going to vote for a Democrat if it's your only choice. If you don't watch the Faux network, you understand what a mess things are in. It can't be any clearer.

Here's a little advice for our wannabe politicians. If our destiny is to go down the tubes, and the voters are blind enough to chose that, so be it. If you believe you can't fool "all the people all the time", then speak the truth as you see it and trust the voters. It's as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

If you listen to Mike Arcuri you'll hear a pragmatic liberal. Unless you're a Roberts supporter or an anti-liberal, you won't be insisting that candidates declare themselves to be one or not. Is a prosecutor automatically excluded from social responsibility because he enforces the law? Liberals don't want to be safe and to have their families protected? You can't have security and respect for civil liberties? Mike says you can