Monday, August 08, 2005

Candidate McTaylor - The Only Mayoral Candidate in Town

The Glens Falls Post Star has once again outdone itself. This is the third weekend in a row in which they have unabashedly given huge coverage to their two favorite candidates for mayor and all but ignored the other three candidates. These two “rivals” must be paying someone “beaucoup bucks” to get this kind of placement almost daily in Metroland Magazine’s “Best daily Newspaper of 2005”!

The story (posted below) is about the brochures designed by the two Republicans’ campaigns and how they are almost identical (suggesting plagiarism by one from the other). I would say the real story here is that they each hired someone else to design their brochure. One or both of the companies in question went online, found a simple template with built in rhetoric and ran with it. Undoubtedly, they then charged the campaign about 30 times what it was worth to do the work, I’m sure.

Maybe the real question that the brave and intrepid Post Star should be asking is do we want people so unimaginative and visionless and wasteful to be in charge of spending our tax money when they’re elected in the fall? Does this behavior represent anything concrete besides a shared stupidity?

The Post Star usually runs a story on Bud Taylor and Peter McDevitt. Then, halfway through, they run a quick sentence which goes something like this, “Esmond Lyons, William Berg and Roy Akins are also running for mayor”. Maybe, if the Post Star got its head unstuck from deep within its own posterior and actually covered the other three candidates (even a little bit), it wouldn't be a foregone conclusion that the next mayor will be yet another unimaginative, uninformed, two-party type with deep development connections and a love of the franchise and big-box concepts. Unfortunately, their heads do seem stuck pretty far up in there!

Peace, Matt

Matt Funiciello
Two Political Parties = One Massive Corporation

Similar fliers by two GOP candidates make for a confusing campaign
Published on 8/7/2005Local NewsTHE POST-STAR

GLENS FALLS -- Mark Behan did a double take when he saw the back of a brochure that Republican mayoral candidate Peter McDevitt began distributing last week. It looked "strikingly similar" to a brochure his staff designed in January for McDevitt's Republican opponent, Harold "Bud" Taylor, said Behan, president of Behan Communications, a local public relations firm. The layout and the graphics of the two, in fact, are almost identical, and many of the headings are the same. Even the wording under the heading "Open Government" is identical, with the exception of three words. Taylor's card reads, "Provide 24-hour response time to all inquiries and be available to residents by appointment." McDevitt's card reads, "Provide 24-hour response time to all inquires and be readily available to all residents." "It should raise questions in the mind of voters," said Behan, a consultant on Taylor's campaign. Taylor and McDevitt will face each other in a Republican primary in September. Taylor is also running a write-in campain for the conservative line against McDevitt, the Conservative Party's endorsed candidate. McDevitt, contacted Saturday, acknowledged the design of his card may have been partially based on that of Taylor's but said it was not a direct copy. He took a half-dozen different campaign brochures, including Taylor's, to a printer and asked him to come up with a design. Some were from current and some from past elections, he said. "This is what this professional came up with, and we ran with it," McDevitt said. He would not identify the printer. Obviously, some aspects in a campaign platform are going to be the same, McDevitt said. "I think we all agree on open government. That's motherhood and the flag," he said. Democratic candidate Leroy "Roy" Akins Jr.'s brochure has a similar heading, "Open Door Policy," with a photograph of him holding open the front door of City Hall. Independent candidates William Berg and Esmond Lyons also are running for mayor. Despite any similarities in appearance, there are some clear distinctions between his and Taylor's brochures, McDevitt said. His stance that the Henry Hudson Town Houses complex should be relocated and that Earth Tech Inc., the private firm that operates the city's Water and Sewer Department, should be replaced are among them.
"I see nothing on Bud's palm card suggesting how he's going to hold the line on taxes," McDevitt said. His brochure specifically calls for regionalizing the Glens Falls Civic Center, while Taylor's does not. McDevitt said he was the first candidate to publicly call for regionalizing the Civic Center. Taylor would not respond to McDevitt's criticism. "What he's (McDevitt) trying to do is distract from the fact that he did, indeed, copy the card," Taylor said. Behan said he was actually flattered that McDevitt liked the design his staff created. "In politics, one candidate poaching another candidate's ideas is a tradition. ... This seems to rise to a different level," he said. Victor Mallison, a former political consultant on regional and statewide elections, said he had never heard of a case where one candidate complained that another candidate co-opted campaign literature. "I'm not so sure that's even a good idea," he said. "You want to make sure there's a difference between you." Saratoga Democratic Chairman Larry Bulman also said he had never heard of a controversy over the design of brochures. Sometimes, he said, a candidate will copy a logo or design element from a previous election, but not from a direct competitor. "The only thing that I usually see that are the same is that they both have a union label," he said. In this case, of the three major party candidates, only Akins' brochure sports a union label.


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