Getting together with candidates and voters at Wednesday evening’s North End Action Team Meet the Candidate event was a revelation.
On the way in, I received a warm greeting from Quentin Phipps, who is running for city treasurer on the Democratic ticket.
He laughed and said, “It’s great to see you. I wondered what that face behind the sticker looked like.”
I knew immediately what he was talking about. I began my campaign for a seat on the Board of Education as part of the Democratic team, on the Democratic slate. Because of a difference of opinion regarding campaign tactics, I asked to be released from campaigning with the team, though I remain, officially, on the slate.
I formed my own campaign committee, Ed4Ed (A vote for Ed, is a vote for Ed.) And, through donations, I’ve financed the printing of my own campaign handout cards and lawn signs.
The Democratic committee had already printed a “walking card” with photos, and brief bios of candidates, before the primary. They obviously printed enough for the entire campaign, because they are still distributing them. You may get one and find that one candidate has been “stickered out.” That would be me.
The team has decided that my candidacy should not be represented on this piece of campaign collateral.
I find it pretty hilarious. It certainly is not illegal for my face and bio to be there, since I am a member of the slate (on the ballot, my name will be the fifth listed). But the committee has obviously decided they prefer that my scowling image not be a part of their publicity.
One voter told me that she had been asked by a second voter what the name of the candidate was who had been X’ed off of the pamphlet. When the second voter was given my name, he said, “That’s the candidate I’m voting for.”
This piece of literature was at the center of one of my disagreements with the party. Typically, such a piece is without marketing headline. However, this year, it’s headline is based on lowering taxes. It reads, “Did you know property taxes went down in Middletown this year?”
As a Board of Education candidate, I think it’s an outrageous claim because a logical follow-on question could be: “Did you know we eliminated 10 teaching positions in Middletown schools this year?”
The unfortunate truth is that Middletown cannot, in this economy, or any economy, continue on its path of starving the schools and expect the schools to improve. So when candidates say they want to lower taxes and improve schools, it simply is not possible. It’s a campaign promise that is completely disingenuous.
City schools are the single most important economic generator in any city. If the schools are good, industry and individuals will want to locate in the city. If that happens, property values increase, and taxes can go down.
If we let our schools slide, we invite an exodus, in which case taxes will only go up.
Because of the kind faulty logic displayed on the brochure, I’m not really upset that my picture has been eliminated.
Yet over the course of the next few weeks you may find you’re handed campaign piece with one photo expunged.
That’s me behind that sticker.
Have something to say? Blog on Middletown Patch here.