My absentee ballot arrived yesterday — one absentee ballot; I requested two — and brought me back to hometown politics. Which isn’t a pretty picture, these days. A few days back I mentioned the ridiculous caviling of the local GOP over a Democratic website that featured jokes they objected to. But it’s a quibble compared to some of the other “issues” that have emerged in this contest.
Local contests in Allen County have a long and riotous history of the pettiest sort of mudslinging, much of it generated by the party organizations, rather than the candidates themselves, to give them the old plausible-deniability thing. And when I say “party organizations” I mainly mean the Republicans, if only because the Democrats can rarely get their act together for any serious smearing, or even much of a campaign, for that matter. (There was a small dust-up a few years ago, when a liberal columnist suggested Democrats register as Republicans in the May primary, to head off at the pass a right-wing mayoral candidate. From the howling that ensued — the candidate lost, although the “crossover” factor didn’t seem to play a part — you’d think they had suggested a sister-city relationship with Josef Stalin’s Moscow.)
Anyway, now the Republican mayoral candidate is claiming her opponent, the incumbent, is soft on drugs. Why? Because two years ago, after a candidate for the police academy was turned down for telling the truth (she admitted to trying cocaine in high school), she sued the city. The city reconsidered the policy, reversed it, admitted the candidate and now? This dangerous woman works as the police department spokesman. This, the challenger’s campaign literature tells us, is “just too liberal for Fort Wayne!”
Meanwhile, every day brings news of another layoff, plant closing or other economic calamity. But this is a campaign issue. I give up.
Alex has more on the subject, and since he’s not clogged with congestion and fogged by decongestants, is far more cogent. (Scroll down past the penis cucumber; if you reach the pumpkin butt, you’ve gone too far….Just another day in Blogland.)
Colleen said on October 23, 2003 at 9:40 am
Yanno, the Rebublican mudslinging has really helped me decide who to vote for. The incumbent Democrat. I’ve spoken at length with both of them, and find them intelligent, etc, etc. It was a tough decision last time they ran, but not this time. I think word came from Indy that the GOP needed to get the mayor’s office back by any means necessary. After their stunts and stupid campaign ads, I don’t care if Fluffy the Wonderchicken was the opponent, I think that’s where I’d cast my vote.
Paul said on October 23, 2003 at 9:48 am
In Evansville, the incumbent Republican mayor has launched an…interesting…series of TV ads, the highlight of which is calling his opponent, whose name is Jonathan Weinzapfel, Jonathan *Tax*apfel.
Wooo! Those wild-n’-crazy tax-n’-spend libruls…
danno said on October 23, 2003 at 10:59 am
It’s been rather calm in Indy. You get used to the mudslinging campaigns then when there isn’t one it’s kinda refreshing yet boring!!
mtk said on October 23, 2003 at 3:40 pm
I haven’t lived in the Fort in a few years now, but the economic news coming out of there seems so awful. Not particularly different from practically every other midsize city in “flyover country” of the US, but still pretty bad. I mean, given what’s already come in the past few years, what’s it going to take to get the parties to focus on the business climate there instead of these other piddling “issues”? Talk about fiddling while Rome burns, or rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Laura in DC said on October 24, 2003 at 11:22 pm
I am having a lot of trouble with my absentee ballot. It has these confusing referrendum questions that I think are saying that more of our tax revenue will be dedicated to specific environmental projects, without specifying what programs will get less of our tax money as a result. These projects sound good but I am leaning toward voting against them because I do not believe in referrendums that specify a project without off-setting the cost, and the way it is worded, for all I know the money could come at the expense of projects that are more important to me. I am a member of the League of Women Voters and a political activist, so if I cannot understand the questions on my ballot, that does not bode well for the rest of the population!