Monday, May 29, 2006

Michael Arcuri: The Campaign of the Empty Calendar

Remember, back when the Democratic voters of the 24th District still had the chance for a choice - to pick their own candidate on primary election day? Remember what all the Oneida County Democrats kept telling us about how a primary would be bad for the chances of the eventual Democratic nominee, and so all the other candidates should just step out of the way and let Michael Arcuri run?

If only Mike Arcuri didn't have to fend off Democratic challengers, they told us, he could run a strong campaign for the seat, focuising his fire on the Republicans. A primary battle would bog Arcuri down, they said. Being free of primary challengers, they said, Arcuri could put on his jogging shorts and run full force, unencumbered by democratic competition, campaigning hard from now right up until Election Day in November.

Well, look around you. Michael Arcuri doesn't have any Democratic competition any more. So, have the predictions of the Oneida County Democrats come true?

Sadly, no. The Arcuri for Congress campaign doesn't seem to be running a campaign so much as it is sitting on one. Arcuri hasn't put on his jogging shorts. He's still wearing his campaign pajamas, sleeping in, getting some rest, going back to his day job as District Attorney.

Take a look at the campaign calendar on the Arcuri for Congress web site. It tells the whole story. Nothing for the rest of May. Nothing for June. Nothing for July. For the rest of the campaign, no events, no speeches, no rallies. Nothing.

Now, I'm sure some smart alec from the Arcuri for Congress campaign would come up with the following retort: "Well, that's just the campaign on the web site. The real Arcuri for Congress campaign calendar that we keep locked up and secret in our offices is chock full of events!"

If that's the Arcuri campaign's excuse for an empty calendar, it's a pathetic excuse. First, it shows that Michael Arcuri is not particularly interested in reaching out to voters. Even without any Democratic challengers, Arcuri is withholding information about his campaign from the voters, as if the more that voters hear about what Arcuri is doing, the less likely they would be to vote for him. Is this the kind of Congressman Michael Arcuri would be, communicating with constituents only when he absolutely had no choice but to do so?

A truly active campaign will have a public calendar full of events. They won't keep it secret. They'll work to share the calendar with voters, so that people can know when the candidate will be appearing, to find out more, and so that they can begin to volunteer to help the candidate.

Besides, I just don't believe that Michael Arcuri has a calendar full of campaign events, just kept in secret somewhere. If the Arcuri for Congress campaign calendar is really active and full, then how come it's been two full weeks since there has been "breaking news" from Mike Arcuri's campaign? How come it's been 12 days since the Arcuri campaign even issued a press release?

Go on and take a look in the recent news - there's been almost nothing about written about Arcuri, not locally, not nationally.

Oh, yes, the Tompkins County Democrats did finally endorse Michael Arcuri - after there was no one else left to endorse. Even when there was no other choice but to vote to endorse Mike Arcuri, a siginificant number of members of the Tompkins County Democratic Committee abstained from the vote. Those who were there said that those committee members voiced strong concerns that they knew little about Arcuri, and had not even had the chance to meet with him yet.

Where is the vigorous campaign we were promised?

Where is the tough campaign they said we'd get if everyone else just surrendered and let Arcuri be the candidate?

It's starting to look like the presence of Democratic rivals was just an excuse.

Arcuri campaign: Wake UP! This is a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats. If you don't get up off your butts and start running hard and strong now, Arcuri will lose.

Then who will you blame? Without any rival Democrats to slow you down, whose fault will you say it was? Will you blame the newspapers for not running the press releases you didn't send about the activities that you didn't have?

Will you blame me, a little blogger, for not falling into marching formation and applauding this ineptitude, as every "good Democrat" should?

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