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Finally, the rhetoric ceasesPosted Wednesday, October 14, 2009, at 10:28 AM
At last, it's over.
The state House election was held Tuesday, which means primarily that you won't be getting bombarded by phone calls from Ty Cobb's campaign, seeing the cartoonish image of "Pat Marsh" in a swimming pool on TV (you know that wasn't actually him...) and wondering if Chris Brown could surprise folks with his numbers.
The lasting memory from this election will probably be the Cobb campaign calls. I found out that voting records were checked for those who vote in most elections -- that includes me -- and likely voters were targeted for calls. Lots of lots of calls. DAILY calls. And questions about who we were voting for (I didn't tell them).
Special note to campaigners: Turn down the pressure. Others I talked to join me in saying "don't call every single day." At least all the campaign callers were friendly.
It was a real lesson in politics watching two men with no political experience being managed, manipulated and swung like puppets while experienced state party leaders did their thing. What would be expected with the House majority so narrow?
We saw and heard little of Cobb and Marsh as themselves. instead, we were fed a steady diet of images through TV ads, newspaper ads, and the overwhelming piles of campaign mail (too much of that, too).
Most of the mailers offered misleading -- that word can't be emphasized enough -- position statements issued by party operatives rather than the candidates themselves. Sarcastically speaking, seeing the truth being stretched so much really makes us feel good about how politicial operatives try to manipulate us through marketing.
And what was with the lack of debates? Were state party officials afraid one of their men might say the wrong thing?
It was interesting to see Channel 4 reporter Cara Kumari reporting on the race Monday night and referring to the "two men" in the race just after a shot showing all three candidates' signs -- and, immediately after her live report, anchor Demetria Kalodimos adding that there was a "third candidate in the race," noting that Brown was a candidate for the Constituition Party and his platform is that he "believes in the Constitution." Uh, yeah...Sounds like Demetria made that up on the spot.
Brown did make sure he was heard, even though based on results few listened to or cared about his message. Does a third party candidate have a chance?
The seat comes open again next year. Just a few more months and the campaigning starts all over again. Let's see who the Democrats come up with to run.
Meanwhile, I think I'll invest in a good set of earplugs...
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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