Apparently, the hallmark of a positive campaign is a negative attack mailer as seen below.
Positive Campaign 2015
I get it — it’s a campaign and negative attack ads work. However, my problem with the mailer is twofold:
1. You can’t say one thing and then do the exact opposite. Well, actually, you can but you should get called out on it.
2. You should at least make some attempt at some factual basis to support your attack points.
To wit, I guess you can an attack the mayor on crime but why cite 14 years as the timeframe for the “upward trend” in crime when the mailer explicitly states that it’s only been 8 years since Mayor Thane has been in office? That means that apparently Mayor Thane should retroactively be held accountable for the 6 years prior to taking office. Still, the statistics in no way support such a claim or a cause-effect between the Mayor’s policies and crime. Most importantly, the crime statistics unquestionably show that Amsterdam is relatively safe so to demagogue on crime is an interesting spin on positive campaigning unless the intent is to positively rile up the local radio listening audience.
Next, the piece, hardly surprising, goes on to attack the Mayor for the growth in the city’s debt. This is quite lovely given that it is his fellow Republican alderpeople who just added 3 plus million to the total debt on the city’s books. I seem to recall that in the 2014 election it was this very same stalwart band of alderpeople who were going to set the city financially straight and stop adding to the city’s debt much to the cheer of our local media.
The most insulting aspect to the piece is that if you are an informed voter , you realize that you cannot simultaneously rail against the state of the city’s infrastructure — the city’s falling apart! — and then decry the growth of debt in the city. How else do you pay for multi-million dollar capital improvements without incurring some debt and without raising taxes? You simply cannot. To claim to invest in infrastructure while lowering the city’s debt is a nice– positive!– thought but it runs quite negatively against financial and political reality.
Let’s be clear: the mailer is just a short-form set of the same talking points you hear day-in-day-out on local talk radio and the local newspaper that attacks the mayor using the most specious of arguments. In short, the same chorus who wants everything without paying for it as if you can get better roads, better bridges, no blight without incurring a single penny more in debt or taxes. Indeed, the same chorus who demands all this while cutting taxes at the same time!
Madness, positive madness.
And on these two points, I’m pretty positive , this is a totally negative reality.