Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Another Mayoral Website!

We suspected it was coming, and it's finally here! Ted DeSalvatore has a website! As part of my ongoing series of Mayoral candidate website critiques please follow me on a journey through!

First let me say that the only reason I found this site is that I was tipped off by a friend. Thanks friend!

Google was no help, since a simple search for "ted desalvatore" mayor brings up mostly blogs (this one included) and a couple Sentinel articles. (By comparison, the same search for Lisa Wong or Dan Mylott gives their sites as the first result.) As we'll see later, it's possible that DeSalvatore isn't happy about this lack of listing...

But on to the site. It has 5 pages, which puts it one ahead of Lisa Wong and four ahead of Dan Mylott. Also, each page is wonderfully reminiscent of the web circa-1995. An overabundance of different font colors and styles, weirdly-encoded images, images used where text could do the job, animated gifs, and so on. If only it had blinking text it would be a perfect recreation of how I remember the web in its early days (or Myspace now).

In fairness, maybe this is by design. He could in fact be trying to appeal to people who love Myspace. That would also explain why he used "" when the less stupid-looking "" is perfectly available. Gotta appeal to all those text-messagers out there!

Ted's "History" page is as good a place as any to start.

First we learn this odd tidbit:
Ted was born in Rochester New York on July 7th, 1955. He grew up in the suburb of Greece, which today has about 90,000 residents. The City of Rochester and the surrounding communities as of the 2000 census, boasts 735,343 residents in 286,512 Households.

Well, my longstanding curiosity about the population of Rochester, NY has now been satiated! I can just imagine all the other mayoral candidates now scrambling to find census figures for towns they grew up near in case DeSalvatore brings them up in a debate.

One might think that would be the last bit of weirdness on the page, but one would be horribly wrong:
Ted attended Greece Arcadia High School and majored in math but needed a sport to keep him interested.

Now, it's been awhile since I've been in high school, but I don't recall ever being given the option to "major" in anything. Is this commonplace in the Greece school system? Also, not sure how good a move it is to say you "needed" a sport to keep interested in school. I could be mistaken, but I think most people would prefer a well-educated mayor to one who's good on the parallel bars.

I'm going to assume the "business owner" bit of this page is intended to fill the mysterious gap from the time he left the Army in 1976 to his teaching job begun in 1999. Not that he gives any exposition on his businesses, but they're physically located in that gap on the page. And calling yourself a "Business Owner" sounds better than writing "1977-1998: Dilettante" on a resume.

One does have to question the statement "I have no political baggage and therefore I am the only candidate that can effectively challenge those issues that give our city its poor reputation." First off, how does alienating virtually the entire city council, the police chief, and any number of others as Ward 4 councilor equate to "no political baggage"? That sounds like an awful lot of political baggage to me.

Anyway, there's also a picture of him and his wife looking out the porthole of a submarine, which is sweet:

Enough of that. Let's move on to the "Details" page!

This is about as close as he gets to a real listing of issues. The front page has some vague language about wanting to improve things, but here we get into the meat and bones. Sort of. But first we need to get past the self-aggrandizing bits:
Ted is the challenger who will implement the changes needed. In the face of exhaustive criticism and threats, Ted has continued to fight for our rights. Help us put back the “We” in We the people!” [sic]
All right...

So, what's DeSalvatore fighting for? Umm... well, here's what he's against...
Against! The Slumlords that nurture the environment for Gangs, Crime, and the Ruin of our inner-city neighborhoods. Slumlords must be held responsible!

Against! High Utility Rates & the Dual Tax Rate, causing reduced investments in commercial and industrial properties. [and so on...]

Okay, so he's for exclamation points and against a few other things. So what is he going to do about them?
Ted will bring an end to irresponsible spending and work hard to return lost services. Ted will encourage business growth by aggressively taking on the utility company, which creates a regional imbalance, robbing us of our competitiveness. Ted will institute a new approach to crime by addressing the environment through code enforcement, which will in turn support our local law enforcement officers, assisting in getting the job done.

Oh. He'll use vague language to fix the problems! Aggressively! Also, he'll further push his belief in the largely-discredited "Fixing Broken Windows" theory of crime reduction.

That's it for the issues, but there's a beautiful nugget of insanity on the bottom of the page. Recall how earlier I mentioned that I suspect DeSalvatore is upset that when searching Google for him you get mostly blogs and the Sentinel? Well, here's why:
Don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers or on the Blogs. Reporters don’t always have the greatest sense of context and the Blogger world is filled with character assassinators, having the mentality of pyromaniacs. If you ever have a question or wish a clarification, the best thing to do is ask me directly.

Basically what DeSalvatore is saying here is to ignore any independent reporting that mentions him, because they won't spin it they way he wants them to. Never mind the facts or reality of the situation, just ask Ted what you should think. I believe this is known as the "Bush/Cheney method" of dealing with the press.

Given his stance, it's a little odd that DeSalvatore doesn't just put what he thinks (with specifics, not just vague ideas about change and fighting) on the website. That would be a great way to avoid people having to find out about him from blogs and newspapers. Or it would be if they could find his website more easily.

Okay, last page now. The "Gallery" page. It's, um, a gallery. Mostly of trash cleanup and abandoned cars and stuff.

It's also interspersed with some funny bits of text, like this:
These [abandoned] vehicles like graffiti, trash, junked white goods and other ugly or concerning conditions, aid to the control of an area by its local thugs and gangs.
There you have it, gangs and "local thugs" exist because of littering! I'm all in favor of cleaning up trash, but I think that's a bit of a reach...

So what's the verdict on DeSalvatore's website? Well, it's better than Dan Mylott's. Not as good as Lisa Wong's. Also, it exists. Which puts it ahead of Donnelly's and Dionne's.

Unfortunately, it really doesn't address the issues and focuses mostly on the vague concept of "change" and DeSalvatore's self-styled outsider/rebel image. On the plus side, it has plenty to make fun of, but on the minus side it has very little real substance to it. Which puts it closer to Mylott's site than Wong's (which is not huge on substance, but does have a decent "Issues" page).

So there you have it, three websites down and two left to appear (hopefully).

Now I'm off to go set something on fire! Cheers!


Anonymous said...

I saw "Mentality of Pyromaniacs" before they got big - I think it was an all-ages show at The Compound. As I recall, they opened for "Batshit Crazy" and "Borderline Personality Disorder".

1970s Abraham Lincoln said...

My favorite passage almost reads like an entry from the Bulwer-Lytton contest:

Whisky and beer bottles smothered the landscape, intermingled with bedding left behind by vagrants, Hypodermic Needles, bleach kits, home made crack pipes, sniffing paraphernalia, human feces as well as household garbage, furniture and car parts. It was easy to spot tools of the trade left behind by the area prostitutes.

The Unicow said...

Ha, I can see it doing quite well in that contest!

When I read that passage it made me wonder what sort of crappy prostitutes we must have in this area. Taking clients to a place strewn with syringes and human feces? Nobody wants to roll over on that during sex! Their repeat business must be terrible.

Or maybe Ted just saw a discarded condom in someone's "household garbage" and assumed a prostitute had placed it there to try to cover her tracks. Sneaky!

Brian said...

The copy on Ted's page boasts a Liberal Use of Capitalization!

It is pretty scary that this person would even be considered a serious candidate.

Did you happen to catch Lisa Wong's appearance on the FATV show, Da Burg? Boy, she looked like a little kid.....she is VERY well spoken though and poised. Howver, I wish she did not try to dress "young" for Da Burg.

The Unicow said...

Didn't see Lisa on "Da Burg". For that matter, I've never seen "Da Burg" at all. All my encounters with Lisa do support the idea that she's extremely bright and well-spoken though, so that's no surprise.

How did she dress "young"?

Brian said...

you know, just very casual. casual in a way that I would not expect a Mayoral candidate to dress if they wanted to be taken seriously. Not that I personally care...just that she has an uphill battle due to her age for a segment of the voters.

I said Da Burg but the show is actually called Le Burg I think ( it is a very well meaning show. I am sure that Ted would not go near it.

The Unicow said...

Ack! Horrifying Myspace page! (Par for the course with Myspace.)

But yeah, they do seem well-intentioned.

It seems like the show's demographic may not really skew towards the people who would be put off by Lisa dressing casually, but you never know.

It's a bit sad that she has an uphill battle because of her age, but I don't disagree.

NoDeSalvo said...

Want to know how Ted really feels on the issues? I found this:

The alternate Ted4Change website, with direct quotes from his 2005 Ward 4 Council campaign

The Unicow said...


Holy crap man, nice work.

The campaign stuff was interesting, but pretty typical of the dumbassery he constantly spews. The religious screed on the other hand has introduced new facts that I had only suspected before.

"The body of Christ is being divided over every little thing as Lucifer revels in its weakening, the army of Christ is quickly becoming ineffective. We must put up our best fight however nothing will prevent scripture from being fulfilled. These things must come to pass and the end of things as they are, will be realized."

Apparently Ted is not just an idiot and a homophobe, but also part of the rapture right. Scary.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Le'Burg's Myspace is AWEFUL. I'm working with her and trying to make that a little more managable..

I think the reason Lisa may have "dressed young" was because of the environment. Le'Burg is a show for youth done by youth. The only adult on set is Rachel Chery, the host. If she showed up looking like a business woman, the kids would have clammed up and it would've created a very uncomfortable setting.

Other than that, what's wrong with "dressing young". Lisa is young. What happened to "Don't judge a book by it's cover."?

Rachel said...

Hello - I am the Executive Producer of Le'Burg Teen Talk Show. I wanted to thank you for the praise on the show. I work really to market, gain support and give the sometimes well-intentioned, but misunderstood and unempowered teens of Fitchburg and Leominster a real voice to improve their minds and perspectives.

To address your question about Lisa's attire, I personally tell all of my guests to dress more business casual or casual (depending on how they feel) for the direct purpose of relaxing the kids they are interviewing with. My teens tend to get nervous and freeze with authority they don't know. Lisa was an awsome guest that knew how to relate with our kids, while keeping her speeches focused on teen-relivant topics (which is a little hard for politics). She is a wonderful, well-meaninged younger woman that is always asking how she can help programs that will strengthen Fitchburg - no matter how large or small they are. She values substance and meaning and is firm in her belief that she CAN make a difference.

I never would have asked Ted - he shows no true concern or relative appretiation for urban youths or their stories.

Ps. Generation Y is now officially referred to as "the myspace generation" ...and is the best way to reach the kids in their own comfort zone. By grabbing the attention of where they socialize - I've gained MANY viewers that may not have learned about the show otherwise.

Take Care -