Republican Ray Meier is getting out into the district. A couple news items from the last few days shows Meier visiting Waterloo and Cortland, organizing supporters and spreading the word of his campaign.
Where is Mike Arcuri? What's he been doing to campaign for the last couple of weeks? There is no public evidence of activity. His campaign calendar is empty. There are no press releases. There is no "breaking news". People from the Oneida County Democrats write to me that I ought to understand that this is the fundraising season, so Michael Arcuri is working behind the scenes to raise more money.
That may be true, or not. I won't challenge the fact that Michael Arcuri is good at raising money, but there's more to a campaign than getting wealthy donors to write fat checks. In the end, checkbooks don't vote. Arcuri has only five months now to reach out to the Democrats and independent voters of the 24th District, but just as was the case at the beginning of his campaign, people are waiting... and waiting... and waiting. Across the 24th District, Democrats are yawning, forgetting that there even is a campaign.
Mike Arcuri starts this race as the underdog, but he's acting as if he's got a comfortable lead. While Ray Meier spreads the word, travelling the district and maintaining an active campaign, Michael Arcuri seems to be settling back down into his work as District Attorney.
It's a shame, because Ray Meier is out there spreading the wrong message, without anyone to counter him. Ray Meier recently made a hypocritical statement decrying the theft of private information about veterans from a VA database. Meier left an opening for a piercing counterattack when he said about the theft, "There must be great care taken to ensure the privacy of all Americans and to strengthen federal laws to protect against identity theft."
The obvious irony is that George W. Bush has flouted long-established communication laws and the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, along with the legally binding privacy agreements made between telephone companies and their customers in order to engage in much the same kind of identity theft as occurred with the VA records. Yet, Ray Meier doesn't seem to have any problem with that. Ray Meier stands with President Bush, your privacy be damned.
Here was a great opportunity for Michael Arcuri to speak out, to point out that Ray Meier and the Republicans are not willing to protect Americans' privacy and liberty when it really counts, and to show that Democrats are different, and will stand up against Republican big government to defend the American way. But, Arcuri didn't take the opportunity. He remained silent. Arcuri didn't even issue a release about the veterans' information theft to show how the Republicans are doing a poor job of supporting the very people they send to war. No one spoke up for Democrats in our district on these important issues. Arcuri allowed the Republican voice to have its say without a challenge.
When was the last time Arcuri was campaigning in Cortland? Has Arcuri ever campaigned at all in Waterloo?
Democrats deserve better than this. If Arcuri isn't willing to spend five months of his life running as hard as he can, then he shouldn't have started his campaign for Congress.