Thursday, November 09, 2006


McDonough County Sheriff -- Dem insiders tampered in the GOP primary to select the weakest opponent for the Dem. incumbent. Rule One of primaries is, NEVER, as in NEVER, teach democrats to vote Republican. They might keep doing it. There is no Rule Two. Of course, the selected weaker opponent whomped! We have many instances of this in our local party. It always has serious and unintended, and sometimes unperceived, consequences. On the merits, apparently the "issue" in this race was "morale" in the Department. When voters buy that one, there's always something more, something deeper. Most voters don't give a rat's rear end about gov't empoyees' morale.

Adams County Treasurer -- Some races just aren't there. Lisa was, and can still be, a Charlie Williams-level campaigner. Her test will be whether she stays active and supports other candidates. If she does, she'll eventually kick that door in and get elected to something. A personality this bright and outlook this positive will ultimately be recognized--but only if she stays in the game. Even Charlie had to lose some to win some. In fairness to all the good people who helped her, she also needs to get a little more balanced advice on media use and get comfortable with issues. Most unsuccessful countywide candidates just walk away from their party. My prescription for her future success would be that she find an aldermanic race to help with, then a countywide race, all the while forming her own views of how to more effectively use media, internet and direct mail to promote herself. If she pulls up her pucker string and does that, she won't be denied. This as good a candidate at working an event as I have ever seen. Up there with John Knuppel and Charlie Williams. Credit to Jean for a technically sound campaign under difficult circumstances. TV was a little strange but radio and newspaper were top notch. Also, sometimes an incumbent doesn't get too substantive and accidentally hand her opponent an issue. Jean walked this line beautifully. Jean knew the burden was on Lisa to give a compelling reason for change and that was gonna be tough. Good, energetic, ethical campaign on both sides.

Adams County Sheriff -- Jon McCoy worked the heck out of this one! He was everywhere. Technically, I had a problem with his newspaper ads. Far too busy, too many credentials and issues. Your newspaper ads shouldn't look like your campaign brochure. Jon had some tough resource allocation questions at the end, balancing radio/cable TV/Network TV/ and newspaper. He pushed a lot of chips into network TV and his TV ad was an introductory ad, not a closing ad. Finally, his otherwise energetic campaign had not begun its media phase when early voting started. EV and absentees combined were just south of ten percent. You can't abandon the opportunity to pitch ten percent of the voting public. Having said all that, this is another election that wasn't there. Jon put up much of his time and money to give people a choice. That's a noble thing. If there were no willing challengers, there would be no meaningful election process. No significant constituency was mad at Brent. Brent ran a nice race that I can't objectively critique. (Just to speak the unspeakable, it probably didn't hurt that he is a Roman Catholic, either.) Probably the most controversial decision in the campaign was Brent's radio ad. In my memory, nobody's run the same radio ad, without any other ad as supplementation, for five straight weeks. We did. It was a conscious decision and part of message discipline. Whatever else we had, we had message discipline. I have some other comparative thoughts on this campaign but I don't think I'll put out a cookbook for Brent's next opponent, if any.

Adams County Politics, media--There has been a sea change in the Minimum Daily Requirement of campaign promotional activity for a County Candidate. Running for office in this county, just adequately, is now a $55,000.00 undertaking. If a candidate doesn't spend that much, he or she is leaving something out. One of the principal expenses is newspaper, which has gone up as a percentage of the whole campaign. We've already seen newspaper ad "season" shrink. It may soon be like Bloomington and Springfield, where significant display ads are just beyond a local campaign. Until it does, folks are going to have to make hard choices about how to prorate the shortfall. For the most part, candidates are cutting direct mail or saving money on direct mail by using canned mailers. They are also not featuring a meaningful internet presence. Only one local candidate this time had a Web Page and it was not dynamic and was pretty limited. I don't criticize anyone for skipping that step because we have no empirical data on the untility of the internet as a LOCAL campaign tool. For most county offices, the cost of the campaign is more than a year's salary for the office. Since there are no natural interest groups for County Treasurer, for example, the natural tendency is to have middle class folks avoid running for office and more connected or wealthy people to step up. This tendency is not exactly a blow for representative government but the cost of a run is nobody's fault. I see the day where two candidates might have "non-agression" pacts, no network TV, no Whig, for example, to enable ordinary folks to run for office. Make no mistake, the days of the $7500.00 campaign for Coroner are over.

Whig advertising and layout staff--I've produced a lot of advertising for a lot of candidates in a lot of elections. Occasionally, there have been problems with turnaround time, moving deadlines and even disclosure to the other side. This election cycle, the folks at the Whig were outstanding in all respects. This department has a new department head and a new structure and the improvement is palpable. From a satisfied customer, ad staff, just keep doin' what you're doin'. You may be expensive but you do everything you can to be WORTH it.

Saving Todd Duesterhaus for later.

Brown County Sheriff --Two really good guys here. I hope the challenger doesn't feel badly. The people just went for the sworn peace officer. They did not reject Mr. Jennings, a highly respected man in his home county and beyond. This is one where nobody came out of it the lesser.


At 12:31 PM, November 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pondering if you are wearing the "faded blue" hoody with a folger's coffee can near by

Vote Troy Smith he's a real all american


(you must try and find those fake ESPN adds )

At 1:14 PM, November 09, 2006, Blogger UMRBlog said...

My vote goes to Brady Quinn's sister.


At 1:31 PM, November 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and didn't the Wes Shoemeyer race remind you of SNL where after Will Ferrel won he kept running negative adds and calling the other guy a"loser" ?

That was the nastiest race I have ever seen & I loved it ! As crappy as things get here -- we can look in the mirror and say "At least I didn't Shoemeyer him"


At 2:17 PM, November 09, 2006, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Anon 1331,

Even I couldn't keep a straight face when confronted with "A Record of Shame." and "Transporting Teenagers across state lines to have an abortion.." (one each).

"Record of Shame" just left me speechless. "Transporting" just conjured up this picture of a Trailways driven by Wes full of 16 year old girls in their cheerleader outfits and volleyball unies en route to a utility building on the campus of Maharishi U. to have a mass procedure. It was just too weird to take seriously.

It was more interesting than the World Series, anyway!


At 2:47 PM, November 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Bite your tonque, Tony! I was the one moaning about how poor Mulder played against the Sox. I was one who championed inter-leage paly when every one was bashing it (Cards-Roylas). I was one who was crying about the red-birds near collapse in Sept. I was the one who said (look in your archives) maybe the Cards didn't deserve to be in the playoffs, but liked the idea of crashing the party! How'd that turn out?

Kinda liked the World Series this year!

But then again, I am the self-proclaimed "Vindicator".
Vindication is sweet. At least on Oct 27 it was.

At 3:23 PM, November 09, 2006, Blogger UMRBlog said...


Oh, do you ever make a good, implicit point. Cards build a team that can get to the post season often, reasoning that the more times you kick the door, the more likely it is to cave in. Other teams build a team that can win the World Series. I like the Cards/Oakland approach. Just get there, baby.


At 7:23 AM, November 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You hit it dead on the head with the "transportation "

My wife and I used to just bust up laughing at those adds. Then for 30 mins we would sit there and create our own adds .

"Wes Shoemeyer is the devil and will suck your soul "

" Bangert ( forgot the Repubs' name) is really an Al Quadia member"

I thought we were going to get a Cage match "debate" with those 2 armed with ball bats and chains.


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