Monday, June 19, 2006

Geneva, Cortland and Auburn Are Fringe Areas?

Yesterday, I wrote some comments about the NYRI power line project, which has a small corner of the 24th District up in arms, but which isn't registering as an issue at all for most of us. I suggested that, in Auburn, Cortland, and Geneva, voters might be yawning while Michael Arcuri and Ray Meier rage on about NYRI.

As usual, pointing out that Oneida County's issues are important to everyone in our district brought angry reactions from Oneida County Democrats. One comment referred to Auburn, Cortland and Geneva as "fringe areas". This same comment said "left-wingers are going to vote for him anyway, so why not concentrate on the centrists and wavering Republicans that really matter?"

Let's address this issue of the "fringe". Auburn, Cortland and Geneva are not fringe areas in this district. They're significant centers of population centers that are absolutely necessary to a Democratic victory this year. Ray Meier knows this, and that's why he's been travelling the whole district consistently. Mike Arcuri needs to follow suit, because if he tries to campaign the rest of the district in September without setting a foundation now, he'll find that the impact of his travels will be small.

Then there's the "left wingers". I find it interesting that an anonymous commenter should come here and deride progressive voters while using the dismissive term "fringe". There's someone else who has done that, of course - Michael Arcuri himself.

The truth is that Michael Arcuri has done very little to shore up his support among progressives in the Democratic Party, of which there are many in this District. Those who say there aren't many progressive Democrats haven't travelled the district enough. The Democratic "left-wingers", as the anonymous reader puts it, may well end up not showing up on Election Day, if the campaign keeps on as has been.

Given that this is a mid-term election, turnout is key, but uncertain. At a time when the Republican Party has lost its focus, a strong Democrat who speaks to the values of the Democratic Party and motivates high turnout can win. A wishy-washy Democratic candidate who is afraid of offending Republicans won't excite much support among anyone except those who stand to benefit personally from his election.

Isn't that what we're seeing now?

But, take my perspective with a grain of salt. After all, I'm from the fringes.

Perhaps those who sit at the Axis Mundi that is the Oneida County Democratic Committee can explain how deriding huge areas and groups of voters within our district as "fringes" is going to help get Michael Arcuri elected.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jon - you raise a good point but not the one you wrote about.

The real question is if Mike Arcuri should have an officially authorized spokesperson to answer questions on blogs like this.

In the modern world, not responsing on blogs like this is the equivalent of not returning phone calls. You do it at your own risk, not knowing what folks will be saying about you.

Communications, communications, communications...

Curious said...

The assertion from one anonymous writer that we should stop whining and start fundraising is exactly what's wrong with this campaign. Why would anyone give money--or worse, ask friends to give money--to an invisible man?

Let me give you an example: One strong party member down here, currently an elected official, was all gung-ho for MA for the longest time--until it became apparent that he was blowing off the region. Now said member, who has been known singlehandedly to raise thousands for local candidates and pound the pavements tirelessly on their behalf, is too p.o.'d to work on behalf of that campaign.

First you make yourself known. Then you ask, politely, for money. Ignoring the very people on whom you should count to get out the vote (critical this year when everyone thinks Spitzer's a shoo-in and Hillary's a disappointment, so why bother voting)--is just plain suicidal.

24 Independent said...

7:57 - I agree with what you suggest, but my impression of the Arcuri campaign is that Arcuri is being held back by a bunch of campaign traditionalists who reject the importance of the Internet and think that they can win by campaigning the way things have always been done.

I spent weeks earlier this year begging the people from Michael Arcuri's campaign to assert themselves online before I realized that I was speaking to people who live in a political timewarp back to 1996 or so.

If I were Arcuri, I'd bring in a lot of new blood to the campaign right now, including a new campaign manager, and relocate campaign headquarters outside of Oneida County - in Cortland or Auburn. The Arcuri campaign is in serious need of escaping its own little bubble.

Anonymous said...

I'm active politically in these so-called fringes. I can't get excited at all about Arcuri. He visited this area in what, February?

I know he has a real job, but how about coming here for something other than a fundraiser?

I should ask my (also politically-active) relatives in the other fringes of this district if they've noticed Arcuri's existence.

Better yet, I'll hope Spitzer keeps that promise about redistricting in 2012 and these fringes can find a home that isn't so obsessed about mighty Utica. That's a long time to wait, though.

(Yes, I'll vote for Arcuri. I just can't find any reason at all to be excited about doing more. That seems to be contagious around here.)

Anonymous said...

Jon,

Do you ever get confused when you carry on these conversations with yourself?
Is it like a true multiple personality disorder? Are your alter-egos aware of each other? Do you truly believe that ANYBODY cares what you think?
If your so unhappy wih the Democrat who's running, why not get a life size cutout of Les Roberts, tote him around that farm you live on, and pretend that he's still running?

24 Independent said...

6:27 - That's really brilliant... and delusional. I always post as 24 Democrat when I comment on this blog.

Are you so fanatically devoted to Michael Arcuri that you can't see how royally he is screwing up his chance to do well in this race?

These are real people coming here, discontented with Arcuri's campaign - not me pretending to be a lot of people. The people who are writing here know very much how real they are. Instead of coming up with conspiracy theories to explain away the problems with the Arcuri for Congress campaign, you might try listening.

This isn't about Les Roberts. Roberts showed that he couldn't hack it, so he couldn't hack it. This is about Mike Arcuri's failing campaign.

Arcuri ought to be running at about 5 times the power he's showing now, and he doesn't have anyone else to blame for it anymore. There's no more excuse that a primary battle is getting in the way. The problem is with the Arcuri campaign.

Don't you get that Arcuri is on the verge of losing any hope he ever had of winning? Take the blinders off, if you're brave enough.

Curious said...

Hunh. Even Ray Meier thinks Arcuri can't win if he focuses so narrowly on Oneida County. From Congressional Quarterly today:

http://www.cqpolitics.com/
2006/06/the_cqpolitics_
interview_raymo.html

Anonymous said...

I think it's time for everyone to take a deep breath and settle down. Mike is working with some real pros and is in constant contact with the DCCC. Rest assured that there's a plan behind everything that's going on.

Right now the best thing we can do is stop criticizing our candidate. You might not feel like you're getting enough attention, but maybe you need to ask yourselves if there's a reason for that? Mike hasn't been getting the fundraising support he needs to win and it's time for us all to step up to the plate. Might I suggest a visit to http://www.actblue.com/page/cd24bluecrew to help out the cause?

24 Independent said...

What is it with this "our candidate" stuff?

In case you don't remember, that crew with the DCCC came in for Arcuri and made sure that we 24th District Democrats wouldn't have the chance to select our candidate for ourselves.

Michael Arcuri has proven himself so far to be the candidate of the DCCC, not the candidate of the people of the 24th District.

Besides, you contradict yourself.

A. You say that we can rest assured, and that there is some kind of devious plan behind Michael Arcuri's appearance of laziness and campaigning ineptitude.

B. You say that Michael Arcuri isn't getting enough donations to win.

These two statements don't match.

I really resent your insistence that the role of us Democratic voters in this campaign is just to shut up, have blind faith that everything is all right in spite of appearances, and write lots of big checks.

You really need to work on your sales pitch.

Anonymous said...

"Mike hasn't been getting the fundraising support he needs to win..."

Sounds like a familiar tune for Democrats. Subtitle it "the beginning of the end".

Sounds like a candidate who doesn't have the self-confidence and moxie to give up the safe job and run like it was for his life. Ex-DAs can make just as much money and more in private practice if they have any legal skills. It's not like he's going to starve if he tries and fails. Not trying hard enough is the real sin.

Anonymous said...

I just went to the "ActBlue" website. Seems like your friend Bob Hyde is the only contributor. (Does that make it a fringe website?)

He says: "Let’s send a good, decent, family man to Congress to represent us. Let’s help Mike Arcuri for Congress."

Now I'm confused. I have no problem accepting that Mike Arcuri is a good and decent man. But isn't he divorced? Is that a family value to promote?

Now back to the bigger picture story. Money.

Where are all the Arcuri fundraisers throughout the District? How much time is Mike devoting everyday to calling potential donors and asking for donations?

Anonymous said...

The last thing we need to do is bring up the details of Mike's divorce. What happened is between him and those involved and isn't any of our business.

Instead of passively asking where the fundraisers are, why not start your own? People seem to be really good at talking, but not so good at actually doing anything.

Curious said...

8:29 sez: "You might not feel like you're getting enough attention, but maybe you need to ask yourselves if there's a reason for that? Mike hasn't been getting the fundraising support he needs to win and it's time for us all to step up to the plate."

Translation, "Cough it up, and maybe he'll deign to meet with you."

7:57 AM has a good point--if the above is NOT an authorized spokesperson, s/he should be countered by someone who is. This kind of message sounds like it's legitimate, yet it's incredibly damaging to the campaign. Almost as if it's being planted by the Meier people. . . !!!??

Anonymous said...

If the campaign has something to say officially I'm sure they'll post it to the web site. No one here is speaking as an official spokesperson! I am speaking as an interested party who is aware of some of the behind the scenes activity.

The more you tear down a great guy like Mike the easier you make it for the Republicans. Mike is our candidate. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

"Instead of passively asking where the fundraisers are, why not start your own? People seem to be really good at talking, but not so good at actually doing anything."

Because a CAMPAIGN needs to ask for money. It needs to initiate the ask. It needs to work for it. The candidate needs to EARN it.

I'm becoming more and more convinced Arcuri is running a real third rate operation.

Anonymous said...

Here's a Meier quote from that CQ article.

"So I bring that to the table, but as I say, even if he battles me to a draw in a county where I’ve historically done very well, it gets more Republican for him after he gets out of there."

I don't think Arcuri understands that.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a little less whining and a little more working for the common good?

This is why we lose elections. We have a great candidate with a visionary agenda and all you can do is worry about your own little town.

We need to unite and we need to do it now or the Republicans will kill us. You can bet they aren't worried if Ray Meier is coming for a coffee date.

Anonymous said...

10:07 pm - "You can bet they aren't worried if Ray Meier is coming for a coffee date."

They don't need to. They have a significant registration and fundraising edge. Arcuri needs to work harder than Meier to win.