Friday, March 02, 2007

Cole's Rope-a-dope

Following his second-place showing in the recent primary election, is Mayor Brad Cole in a stronger position than his (855 votes) 38% of the vote might suggest?

Did he use political rope-a-dope to absorb the 1,214 blows from the motivated opposition (the "Cole-hating Simon-lovers") out in force at the polls on Tuesday? More than 1000 registered voters did not vote in the primary, so the Mayor should have a legitimate shot at their votes -- if the voters consider the records of the two candidates. (Next week, I add a link for Cole and one for Simon, if someone can direct me to the list of her accomplishments while in City Council.)

In the meantime, I'm still waiting for a Simon supporter to answer Peter Gregory's questions about her plan "beyond a Dilbert award" for small business. Surprisingly, no one has pointed out the obvious: SHOP AT THOSE PLACES! I wonder if if either candidate would show their checkbook or credit card receipts for purchases made at local businesses over the past year. Since Sheila shops at yard sales (57 second .mp3), and rides a bicycle, she may not have many receipts. But Cole is single (but for how long?) and dines modestly, whereas Simon belongs to a two-income household, with two children to feed and clothe. But as thrifty as she claims to be, she may not be supporting local business much. It would be interesting to see which candidate gives more support to local business with their pocketbooks.


Scott Reynen said...

I don't live in Carbondale-proper, and I'm relatively new to town, so I haven't researched the candidates and don't really have a horse in this race. But the thinly-vieled insinuations used here make me want to support whoever is running against Cole in the interest of improving public political discourse. If you don't like Simon, I wish you'd just come out and say it. It's okay to have a political bias. This post is full of innuendo, and here's one example:

But as thrifty as she claims to be, it would be interesting to see who supports local business with their pocketbooks

The words "but" and "claims" here suggests that you've already concluded that Simon is lying, so why not just come out and openly state what you think? Like so:

I suspect Simon's claims of thriftiness are empty political posturing, and I would like to see disclosure of her personal spending habits to compare her walk with her talk.

If you don't have the conviction in your opinions to state them more openly, I'm inclined to distrust what you say.

Shawn, the Beer Philosopher said...

Scott - It could be, too, that any perceived bias may be based more on a 'pro-Cole' stance than any 'anti-Simon' sentiments. You may be reading too much in here. I'd venture to guess that David, Peter the Great, and other local bloggers aren't so much anti-Simon, all things being equal, it just happens that Simon is running against a candidate they feel is doing a good job. If it aint broke, as they say ...

Being FOR Cole doesn't, de facto, make one AGAINST Simon. Betcha that if Mayor Cole hadn't decided to run again, these guys would be supporting Sheila.

Scott Reynen said...

"Cole-hating Simon-lovers"

Shawn, I'm having trouble reconciling this phrase with your comment for two reasons:

1) The phrase seems so clearly intended to paint Simon supporters negatively. Nobody likes haters.

2) You took the time to point out that not all Cole-lovers are Simon-haters (and I don't get the impression they are outside this post), but you neglected to point out that not all Simon-lovers are Cole-haters, as dave implied.

I'd like to see more explanation of why Cole is favored and less ad hominem attacks of his opponents (or anyone else for that matter).

dave said...


You misunderstood my use of the term "Simon-loving Cole-haters" and also my use of the word 'claims'.

By "Lover" I mean "supporter" and "Hater" means "opponent" in this context ...Does that help? Two colloquial terms not to be taken too literally.

And of course, people who vote for Sheila are also voting for her because her dad was a Senator, and because she is a friend, or because they like her work on City Council, or don't like something Cole did, or didn't do, while in office. I number the people who are X-ing out Cole's name among the Cole-haters. I also number among the haters, those who have told me personally that they hate him. I assume that they were also out in force on Tuesday.

Another misunderstanding in your mind resulted from my use of 'the words 'but' and 'claims', leading you to conclude that I think Simon is lying.

Far from it!

I guess I used the wrong conjunction. I actually meant the opposite of how you took it. I BELIEVE Sheila, and -- because I believe her -- I wondered how much she could support local businesses. Cole, too, for that matter. I would put the same question to him. Would either be willing to provide their provable expenitures in downtown Carbondale in the past one year?

While musing on this question, I remembered Sheila's City Council comments (and linked to them) concerning the Mayor's request for a piece of office furniture - how she said she bought furniture at yard sales -- which got me thinking, she may not have many receipts, because they usually don't charge sales tax at yard sales. Just trying a new angle on an old political cliche: "Support Local Business."

Scott, two things to keep in mind when reading this blog:

1) I am not a knee-jerk supporter of Brad Cole.

2) Sometimes blog posts develop in an unexpected ways (you should try it).

Don't look for "convictions" in this blog, but do look for facts and irony.

Anonymous said...

I believe you should tell them you're on Brad's payroll, Dave. In the interest of honesty.

dave said...

I got another comment like the one immediately above from "anonymous" . . . How many times must I say that I maintain Cole's web site? I had said so several times in this blog, and elsewhere. Back in May, I remember writing something about it last May: in the original dispatch and Most recently in Bytelife [links]. I was hired two years ago. (Maybe I should have it tattooed to my online profile?)

Now how about a full-disclosure from the Simonites? As far as I know, I am the only person who is paid by Cole for doing anything. I gather the Arthur Agency created and maintain Simon's site (as an "in-kind" donation). Who else is on her payroll I wonder? It would be interesting to compare.

But please don't think I'd let the small amount of money I'm paid by Cole each month for uploading items to his web site to influence my freedom of speech -- or fairness to his stately opponent. It would have to be much more than I'm currently receiving. ;-)

Scott Reynen said...

How many times must I say that I maintain Cole's web site?

I had no idea that was the case, and it certainly puts your words in a new context. I think it's standard practice for writers to include such a disclaimer every single time a conflict of interest comes up. You can't expect everyone reading any given post has read everything - or even anything - you've written elsewhere.

I work at an advertising agency, and I offer a disclaimer whenever I write anything related to a my employer or a client of my employer, even if it's a client I've never done work for. I'd hold anyone being paid by Simon or anyone else to the same standard, and I don't think it's at all uncommon or unreasonable. A simple "I am employed by ____" takes two seconds to type and allows readers to decide for themselves whether or not such a conflict seems to be influencing expressed opinions (which is naturally hard for the writer himself to determine).

Also, for anyone arriving late to this discussion, the text of this post has been edited since my comments above were made, and I'm not sure if my comments still apply to the edited text. I don't notice any significant change, but I'm not really able to read the post with a fresh perspective.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave - how much does a website from the Arthur Agency cost?

dave said...

Hey anonymous #8. Looking at SS's campaign finance filing, it appears as if like they only charged her $250 (in-kind donation), which is a pretty good deal. I wonder if other businesses get the same rate.

Maybe someone from AA or SS campaign can better answer this.

Shawn, the Beer Philosopher said...

Saying that the cost of the Arthur Agency site for SS's campaign is a "pretty good deal" is a profound understatement, Dave. $250 is dirt cheap and certianly NOT the going rate.

Not that it matters, I guess, as both parties can do whatever they want to, within the parameters of legality, but you've got to think that the fact that a Poshard is involved in the Arthur Agency heirarchy probably factors in somehow in the "deal" the SS got.

Maybe I'm way off base on this one, but that's how it seems to shake out to me ... what do I know, though, I'm just a beer writer.

Anonymous said...

Dave - what leads you to "gather" that Arthur Agency created Simon's website? I'd like to see anything you've seen that proves such a claim.

dave said...

Well, anonymous... You are asking this question nearly two weeks after the original post... I gather you are a belated gatherer....

At the time I wrote it the arthuragency name was on the site, on the home page.

Also, there is a $250 in-kind contribution listed in Sheila's campaign donations.

Have you gathered some contrary intelligence? What is it?