Saturday, July 08, 2006

Reality Break: Campaigning Brings Money, Not the Other Way Around

I've just got to take a break from my 20 reasons to vote for Arcuri, a mind-bending exercise if ever there was one, to get back in touch with reality for just a minute.

Once again, the Michael Arcuri for Congress campaign has lapsed into a near coma. There hasn't been a piece of news out of the Arcuri campaign for weeks. July's campaign calendar is completely empty. The online fundraising picture continues to be pathetic.

How pathetic? A couple weeks ago, Michael Arcuri's supporters were triumphant about a fundraising letter sent out by Hillary Clinton to 250,000 Democrats, asking them to donate to Michael Arcuri's campaign through ActBlue. Nyah-nyah-boo-boo, we were all told by the Oneida County Democrats. With Hillary Clinton to the rescue, we would soon see a vital and surging Mike Arcuri, gathering money by the fistful and campaigning hard against Republican Ray Meier.

Sigh. It didn't happen. How much has Michael Arcuri raised through ActBlue? Only $7091.16 Less than $7,000 of that came after Hillary Clinton's appeal - which doesn't speak well either of Arcuri of of Clinton.

Compare this to the performance of John Hall, who faces a full board of competitors for the Democratic Primary this September. In that race, the DCCC was not able to intimidate Democrats to drop out, and as a result, the Democratic campaigns have been able to keep the attention of voters, even through the long hot summer. Through ActBlue alone, John Hall has been able to raise $204,663.00.

John Hall has made this money online while Michael Arcuri has sputtered online because Hall has been receptive to online campaigning, while Arcuri has held himself aloof from it. When I got in touch with John Hall's campaign to arrange for an interview to place on one of my blogs, Hall's campaign manager got right back in touch and arranged an interview. Hall has been gracious to bloggers across America, and so his has become a hot campaign online, and he's reaped the financial rewards. When I contacted Michael Arcuri's campaign to try to arrange an interview, I was given the cold shoulder - no reply at all. I haven't read a single online interview with Michael Arcuri anywhere. Bloggers have largely ignored Arcuri's campaign because Arcuri doesn't seem to want to work with the online media. I've written articles on this blog literally begging Michael Arcuri to reach out so that progressive bloggers could help his campaign - and Arcuri has not responded.

Oneida County Democrats have said over and over again that I overemphasize the importance of the Internet in campaigning. They say that the Internet doesn't matter to politics. It seems that old-school campaigners of this sort have the ear of the Arcuri for Congress campaign, and they have run the Arcuri campaign into the ground.

Don't believe that Internet campaigning makes a difference? Just compare Arcuri's $7091.16 to John Hall's $204,663.00. Is Mike Arcuri such a hotshot that he doesn't need that two hundred thousand dollars for his campaign?

The excuse coming from Oneida County has been that Arcuri needs to raise more money before he can really campaign. That attitude has it backwards: In order to raise money, you need to campaign first. As much as I can list 20 reasons to vote for Arcuri, the plain fact is that Michael Arcuri's campaign has yet to really communicate with voters to tell us why we ought to vote for him. So far, Arcuri's campaign looks like a half-hearted, paint-by-numbers operation.

The hour is late. Four months remain in the campaign. If Michael Arcuri cannot step up now and start talking to the voters of the 24th District in a compelling way as part of something more than a campaign waged on evenings and weekends, then the campaign will be lost to the Republicans.

Will we see a change of course from Arcuri soon? I doubt it. I see no signs from his campaign that they even are willing to admit that they're in serious trouble.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

And he'll have to spend every last penny on his primary.

Anonymous said...

Arcuri is coming to Groton Tuesday night, 8-9 PM at the Howard Farm Store off Rte. 222.

At least he's, uh, getting into Tompkins County for the first time in what? six months? five? Something like that.

Anonymous said...

Mike has been in Tioga and Tompkins and Cortland county many times.

Anonymous said...

Jon, just curious. When you donated to Arcuri's campaign, did you do it thru Act Blue. I know I didn't. It didn't even cross my mind. I just sent him a check.

Anonymous said...

That is not his first trip to Tompkins. Secondly, you complained that he hasn't come to you, and now that he is coming to you, you complain on his timing. Is there never a way to satisfy you?

Anonymous said...

It will be fascinating to see how much money the 11 County Democratic Chairs have contributed to Arcuri's campaign.

Don't forget to look at the number of signatures that get filed on Arcuri and Meier's petitions too.

24 Independent said...

When I sent a check to the Arcuri campaign, I had to contact the campaign to find out where to send them a check. Their web site was incapable of online donations for a very long time, and they didn't bother to tell people how to send donations.

It was the one time that the Arcuri campaign actually was friendly - when I needed to know how to send them money. When I needed to know how to get information, it was always the cold shoulder.

Curious said...

11:56: MA has been to Tompkins twice. Once for a Lansing meeting after he first announced and once for the Democratic Rural Conference, which doesn't really count, because it wasn't an open meeting and was only coincidentally in Ithaca (which isn't part of his district, BTW). Tioga--twice? Cortland--maybe three times? and once was for Les Roberts's withdrawal. There was a time he was considering renting campaign office space in Cortland, but I guess finances must stand in the way of that.

Doesn't sound like "many" to me. But hey, who's counting? I'm sure folks will be glad to come out Tuesday night for an hour. How was the Sports Bar Party? Raise a lot of money?

Elect Guy said...

Your point on the naivete of politicians who are not taking advantage of the Internet to raise funds caught my eye. Not only am I new to politics --recently retired and decided I could do at least as good as the politicians we have now-- I'm new to blogging and otherwise getting the word out online. I have managed to create a web site www.guydistrict26.com. Anyone out there feel like helping out?

Anonymous said...

1:20 - I'm easily satisfied. Showing up would take care of it. Arcuri just hasn't seemed too awfully interested in showing up in Tompkins County, and after a while it's hard not to wonder why he seems uninterested in what seems like a strong source of volunteers, cash, and votes.

A public visit every six months isn't much of a campaign here. But I guess he has another four months to show up on a regular basis, and I hope he will.

Anonymous said...

From the Utica Neocon Dispatch:

http://uticaod.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060711/NEWS/607110316/1001
"Meier, Arcuri fundraising near 1M mark"

Must have killed them to have to print that Arcuri is collecting money just like their boy is.