Category Archives: Political Campaigns

MoCo Mailboxes: “God Help Us”

By Adam Pagnucco.

Mailboxes across MoCo are reeling from fatigue as they are crushed daily by tidal waves of political mail.  On Friday, your author received mailers from Action Committee for Transit, the sitting judges, Council At-Large candidate Will Jawando, District 18 Senate candidate Dana Beyer and District 18 House candidate Emily Shetty.  The next day your author received mailers from County Executive candidates David Blair and Roger Berliner, Council At-Large candidates Bill Conway and Evan Glass, District 18 House candidates Leslie Milano, Joel Rubin and Jared Solomon and the Maryland Realtors on behalf of District 18 Senate candidate Jeff Waldstreicher.  That’s thirteen political mailers in two days.

District 18 is an unusually busy place.  It has at least six General Assembly candidates with six-figure campaign budgets, or close to it.  But lots of places around MoCo have serious competition, including Congress District 6, Council Districts 1 and 3 and all the state legislative districts except 14.  In addition, there are strongly contested races for Governor, County Executive and Council At-Large.

Candidates line up to door knock at a Super Democrat’s house.

In the old days, the rule of thumb was that early mail was a waste of money.  Now we wonder about that.  There was a time not so long ago when Congress District 6 candidate David Trone, County Executive candidate David Blair and District 18 Senate candidate Dana Beyer – all self-funders – had the mailboxes largely to themselves.  Now the mailboxes may not be big enough to hold each day’s batch.  Everyone’s mail is getting lost in the shuffle.  And when so much of it looks the same – almost everyone is a “progressive leader” who promises to fund schools, fix congestion and resist Trump – it’s unclear that anyone can win through mail.  It’s going to take something else to get across the line.

The best of the mailers: District 18 House candidate Emily Shetty and her adorable son.

Lately, your author has been performing a cruel experiment.  Our son just turned nine.  He much prefers Star Wars, nerf guns and video games to politics, but he understands that he has an eccentric Dada whose strange wishes must be occasionally tolerated.  So when the new batches of mail come, your author gives them to him and asks which ones are his favorites.  At first, the oppressed son dutifully complied and gave curt opinions.  (He likes Will Jawando because he met him and David Blair because he owns Badlands Playspace.)  But now, the requests for review are met with eye rolls and crankiness.  “Do I really have to look at this stuff?” he groans.

We suspect more than a few MoCo voters might agree!

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We Get Phone Calls

By Adam Pagnucco.

Sometimes your author gets phone calls like this.

*****

Politician X:  Hey Pagnucco!  How’s the kid?  How’s business?

Me:  Well, I –

Politician X:  Great to hear it.  I got something you need to write about RIGHT NOW.

Politician X then tells a story about Politician Y.  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 equal to felonious behavior and/or rooting for the Dallas Cowboys and 1 equal to peeing in the shower, this is a 2.5.  Nothing illegal here, but there might be some questionable judgment IF it’s true.  As background, Y is not running against X, but Y has endorsed one of X’s opponents.  X also heard a rumor years ago that Y told someone X is a conniving politician.

Me:  OK.  Do you have any proof that Y did that?

Politician X:  No.  But you know it’s gotta be true!  Remember when Y did that other thing?

X retells another story about Y from a while back that was never verified.  That one might have been a 3.5 IF it ever happened.

Me:  Are there any documents?  Any links?  (The allegation does not involve anything easily verified like a vote on legislation, a campaign contribution or a screenshot.)

Politician X:  I don’t know.  Maybe you can find something.  Ask Politician Y.  Maybe he’ll be stupid enough to admit it!

Me:  Um, OK… Lemme think about whether this is provable, and if so, how.  In the meantime, if you believe it’s true and you can back it up, say it on Facebook.  Then maybe it will be covered.  At least it will be discussed, and if there’s anything there, it might come out.

Politician X:  I can’t do that!  I’m running for office.  If I say that, Y’s supporters will come after me.  That’s why we have blogs.  You guys will say anything!

Me: … … …

Politician X:  I’ll check back later to see how that story is coming along.

*****

Look folks.  We like investigating allegations, but there has to be something to them.  If you’re going to tell us something, be ready to 1. supply evidence or 2. go on the record.  We’re not gonna print unfounded speculation on your behalf just so you can get someone else to say something YOU want to say but won’t.  We’re not the New York Times, but there are such things as libel laws.  If you want to libel someone, do it yourself!

If you are thinking of making a call like the one made by Politician X above, don’t bother.  And Politician X, if you are reading this – and we know you will! – the next time you make a call like this we are gonna print your name.  Believe that!

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