Yesterday, I completed my list of 20 reasons to vote for Michael Arcuri on Election Day. The project has been one in which I've learned to type while holding my nose. Long-time readers here know it's no secret that I'm not at all fond of the way that the Arcuri for Congress campaign has been going about its business. It's been more a campaign of excuses than a campaign of positive reasons to vote for Arcuri. I still have yet to see a single, coherent argument come out of the Arcuri campaign about what makes Arcuri is a worthwhile candidate. Does the Arcuri campaign have a list of 20 reasons to vote for Arcuri?
So, I don't like Arcuri much. Fine. This election isn't about who we like.
It's about who, given the limited choice that we have between Ray Meier and Michael Arcuri, will do the best job in Congress. That person is Arcuri. Of the two politicians, Ray Meier would do a lot more damage to our district and to our nation.
Now, I know that there are a lot of Democrats who, like me, have been underwhelmed by Michael Arcuri. Yet, we don't want Ray Meier in office. What should we do?
I sent a check in to the Arcuri for Congress campaign earlier this year, but I can't bring myself to do that again. I just don't see the Arcuri campaign using donations very effectively. I wouldn't suggest directly volunteering for the campaign either, as there's little to lead us to believe that the Arcuri campaign knows how to use volunteers any better than it knows how to use money.
What I want to suggest to Democrats who aren't fond of the aroma coming from over in Oneida County is to do some independent campaigning yourself. Over the next week or so, I'll be writing a new list. This time, I'll be coming up ten independent ways for you to help get a Democrat in the House representing New York's 24th District without. These are ways for you to help defeat Ray Meier without having to get your hands dirty dealing with the Arcuri campaign itself.
Some of these are really, really simple. But, in politics, it's often the really simple things that make a difference.
I'll start out today with item #1 on the Do It Yourself Campaign list. This one's really easy.
Commit to talking to ten people today - friends, neighbors or coworkers in the 24th District - and tell them that there is a campaign for an open seat in Congress going on around here this year. Tell them who the candidates are. Say that Ray Meier is no Sherwood Boehlert. Mention Michael Arcuri's name, and say that he seems the more reasonable of the two candidates.
That's it. It's not hard, but it's an important thing to do.
It does a couple useful things. First of all, there's an old campaigning cliche that, in order to win, a candidate needs to get his or her name in front of a voter at least seven times. They call it a "hit". I know, hitting voters sounds brutal. This level of campaigning is a blunt thing.
How would you rather hear about the name of the Democratic candidate - through a too-slick television advertisement, or from a friend? By merely mentioning Michael Arcuri's name in a non-negative manner, you're priming your friends to be receptive to other good things they hear about Arcuri.
More importantly, you're reminding your friends that there is an election on. Mid-term election turnout, even in a big year like this one, tends to be pretty low. We need to start getting people generally aware that it's the season for paying attention to politics again.
Don't expect a great reception from your friends. Probably, they'll say, "Oh," and shrug it off. That's okay. Don't get pushy. With this simple action, you're just setting the stage for future action - priming the pump. It is summer, after all, and most people are in no mood to deal with anything serious.