The Loneliness of the Good Candidate

Friday, October 22, 2010 - 09:40 AM

Karol Markowicz

I feel sorry for Joe DioGuardi, running a near-futile race against Kirsten Gillibrand. I feel even sorrier for Jay Townsend. At least some people have heard of DioGuardi; Townsend is a ghost, one that is barely even haunting Chuck Schumer.

That, of course, is the state of the Republican party in New York. The guy who sends around bestiality cartoons and says gay people don't have a valid life? That guy everyone knows. The two men with credentials, strong positions on the issues, clean campaigns and just the one family each? They barely get mentioned.

Part of that is a function of just how un-winnable those races seem. On the other hand, no one thought Schumer would unseat Al D'Amato, and that happened. No one thought George Pataki would beat Mario Cuomo, and that happened too. So perhaps races shouldn't be written off. Anything can happen, even in New York, especially in a crazy year like this one.

But then there's the money:

It’s a battle for voters’ eyes and ears, but right now DioGuardi financially trails Gillibrand, who has $4 million in hand, as well as the backing of senior Sen. Chuck Schumer. (New York Post)

The lopsided financials also account for the lopsided polls, with most showing DioGuardi trailing by 20 or so points.

Unfair though it may be, the media cares about the scandalous candidates, and neither of these solid men fit the bill.

DioGuardi is extremely numbers-focused, having been a Certified Public Accountant, and sends out a “Stat of the Day from a CPA.” I can hear the reporters yawning from here.

Townsend, meanwhile, is a major do-gooder. From his website:

Townsend is the former Senior Warden of St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he spearheaded the most successful capital campaign in church history, helped lead community outreach efforts to aid the underserved, staff area soup kitchens, send supplies to wounded soldiers at Landstuhl, Germany, and provide assistance to impoverished children in South Africa.

What's a reporter going to do with that? "Really nice guy runs against Chuck Schumer and his TV cameras"?

So it is that the bad candidates get the publicity, and ultimately deflate the good. In a year when so many "safe" seats seem to be in play, it's unfortunate that New York got two great candidates who aren't likely to make it. Would I love to be proved wrong on election day? Of course. I'm hoping DioGuardi and Townsend surprise us all.

Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 BabyShe can be followed on Twitter.


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Comments [2]

Ron Lewenberg from Manhattan

The Mainstream/Democrat Media theme this year is to denounce Tea Partiers as racist loons and Republicans and unwinnable freak shows and extremists. (You'd almost think there there as a conspiracy of journo-lists or something). All else follows.
Good Republicans are ignored, unless there is dirt on them. It's not lazyness. It's an election strategy by the media that is reverting to something out of 1800, while pretending to be objective.

Oct. 22 2010 07:29 PM
K2K from Bronx

As a registered Democrat, I think it is disrepectful to New York voters for Senator Schumer to pretend he is not even on the ballot, a fiction that the New York and national media have enabled by treating Jay Townsend as a "ghost".

The NY and national GOP should also be ashamed for not helping introduce Townsend to New York voters.

The NY Democratic Party treats voters as stupid children, who do not deserve a choice in the primaries.

Perhaps the single debate between Schumer and Townsend this Sunday will be the October surprise that Schumer dreads.

If ever there was a vote that sends a message to Washington about the domestic and foreign policies of the one-party Democratic rule of our Federal government, it is a vote for Jay Townsend. Ironic that the NOT-Tea Party smart, nice guy can not get any news coverage.

I appreciate WNYC posting Karol Markowicz on this very strange situation.

Oct. 22 2010 12:26 PM

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