Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oh no, I'm out of material!

As pleased as I am that Wong decisively won the mayoral primary, and as pleased as I am that DeSalvatore is out of the race, things are a little bittersweet today.

You see, Ted DeSalvatore was incredibly easy to make fun of. Any time he made a public statement that found its way before me it was like a little turd wrapped in a shiny box. It was fun to open even if I didn't like what was inside.

That may have been the worst metaphor ever. Or simile, whatever.

Anyway, without Ted in the public spotlight so much I'm going to have a much harder time writing stuff that isn't insanely boring.

But today he's still got a little light on him, and has said some stupid things after dramatically losing in the primary, so I'm going to rub salt in the wound!

What has Ted "I put up more signs than I got votes" DeSalvatore been saying since he got a whopping 14% of the vote?

The Fitchburg Pride quotes him thusly:
DeSalvatore, who drew about 14 percent of the votes, said he had a feeling over the past few weeks things were going sour for him.

"There were so many attacks against me. I knew it was wearing me down in the public eye," said DeSalvatore. "It is unfortunate people believed it."

DeSalvatore believes attacks against his campaign, in the press and through e-mails distributed around the city, were what hurt his campaign. He said he never retaliated or ran a dirty campaign, something he remains proud of.

"Politics in this city are dirty. The system is a failure in the city. Until we end that, the city doesn't stand a chance to survive," said DeSalvatore.
Woohoo! Easy pickings!

First, people believed the "attacks" on DeSalvatore because they're true. Nobody out there was making stuff up. We simply took what he said and cast a critical eye on it. If he didn't say dumb stuff, there would have been no problems for him. He "never retaliated" (ahem, except for the scores of deleted comments launching personal attacks on Rachel, John Westlake, and others), because you can't retaliate against the truth.

Additionally, politics in the city actually appear to be quite clean. None of the candidates really ran a negative campaign. The closest to it was Donnelly, but his attacks on Wong were relatively minor and really only occurred in the debates. So yeah, pretty clean campaigns.

I don't know much about these supposed email attacks. All I heard of was someone who apparently sent around information about Ted's bankruptcy to an old email list of his supporters (this is why you should use Bcc: and not CC: on email lists). Which I'm sure didn't change anyone's mind. Frankly, it was also a pretty dumb idea.

Jason at Save Fitchburg said "In the closing days of the campaign, a mass e-mail made the rounds (including to a large number of teachers) that detailed all of that stuff." That "stuff" here refers to the information already available on blogs, I think. If there was such an email, it doesn't appear to have had any impact on the number of visitors to PF, and I doubt had much impact on anyone else. Seriously, nobody reads mass emails.

Enough of that particular article though, Ted must be elsewhere!

Like the Sentinel? Well there was a hilarious snippet from this article about why people were voting for who they were voting for.
Other DeSalvatore supporters said they are impressed by his aggressive style of leadership.

"He's a loose cannon, so you know something will change if he gets in there," said Malcolm Price.

Next time around, Mr. Price will be supporting Mel Gibson's character from the Lethal Weapon series of movies.

There was also this article in the Sentinel:
DeSalvatore warned residents that neither of the remaining candidates have a drastic enough approach to fix the city's problems, and declined to endorse either of the two remaining candidates.
Heh. I really doubt either of them would want an endorsement from Ted. It is nice that a guy who could only manage to bring in 14% of the vote thinks he's in a position to give advice though. Sweet of him, really.

Next we have the Telegram article!
“There was a negative campaign running behind the scenes,” Mr. DeSalvatore said. He blamed his showing on what he called a vocal minority. Several Internet sites had popped up in the months before the election making allegations about Mr. DeSalvatore and criticizing his philosophy.

“I couldn’t deflect the negative information,” said Mr. DeSalvatore, who entered city politics by getting on the ballot with a write-in campaign in the preliminary election in 2005.

He said several of his fellow councilors mounted a misinformation campaign to discredit him.
There's the Ted we've come to know! He's blaming his loss on blogs and secret conspiracies instead of his own totally inept campaign. I love that about him!

Okay, let's get this shit out of the way...

Ted (and others) have made the claim that blogs have had a significant impact on the election.

They didn't.

Unfortunately, blogsters tend to have a hugely inflated sense of their own importance, and the importance of other blogetteers. It's well-lampooned in this great Diesel Sweeties comic:

Sadly, that's all too true to life. Except for the robot, I guess.

But give me a break! Wong won by more than 2,600 votes over DeSalvatore. Donnelly beat him by 447 votes. That's a lot of votes!

Frankly, none of the local blogs (Save Fitchburg included) has a readership big enough to account for those numbers. Not even close.

Furthermore, people tend to read the blogs they agree with already. I'd wager I don't have a lot of Progressive Fitchburg readers out there who came here all gung-ho supporting DeSalvatore and after reading my magical prose decided to switch their vote to Wong or Donnelly. Maybe there are a few, but I doubt it. Maybe I (and others) helped bring some things to light for some people, but not in the kind of numbers that change an election.

Sure, we try to have some impact (otherwise why do it?), but that impact is small. This election was a landslide.

No, this election wasn't won or lost by the media or the blogs. It was won by the best candidate and lost by the worst (well, and the one who didn't really try that hard, sorry Ron!). Simple as that.

Enough about blogs, though.

I also enjoy how Ted complains about people presenting negative information about him, but never once actually denies any of it. He weasels around a bit, saying he "couldn’t deflect the negative information." Which of course means that the information was true, but he wanted to somehow "deflect" it. Which is a weird choice of words, but you get the idea. I guess responding to it was out of the question, and he's mostly upset that burying it didn't work.

Shame, that.

Okay, one last bit in what is hopefully my final post about DeSalvatore for a very long time.

This comes from his website, which has just been updated!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

As you may know by now, for me, the race is over. I will not be on the ballot for the November 6th election. I want to thank each and every one of you who offered your trust on Primary Day. We want to thank all who participated with us no matter what the job, each was important. We feel we have gained a great deal from being in the campaign the greatest being, our newfound friends. We are truly grateful to have had this opportunity.

Fitchburg has been forced to endure challenging times caused by many factors and exasperated by bad decisions made at both levels of our State and Local governments. My advice to all of you is to challenge what you think is wrong; don’t let your government forget who it is responsible to. As for me, my position as the Ward 4 Councilor will end on January 1, 2008 and it is too soon to have thought out what I may do next.

I am proud to have been of service.

Thank you all,
Ted & Brenda DeSalvatore

Out of respect of all those who participated in the campaign and trusted with their vote, for a while, this website will stand as a reminder of our effort and of what we believe in.

You know, I'm just going to let that stand.

Ted was a bad candidate, and now he's done. He didn't lose because of anyone but himself. He ran a lousy campaign, and he ran it badly. The other candidates (except Dionne) did a much better job, and were rewarded appropriately.

I don't wish any harm on Mr. DeSalvatore, and hope he's successful in his future endeavors. Just as long as those endeavors don't involve getting elected to public office.

So long Ted. I'll miss your craziness!

And now we can get back to other things...


brian said...

I'd argue had a worse campaign than that of Ron Dionne because at least Dionne took no money from people for his campaign (he just took printer ink).

TD was/is a huckster who failed to nab what he saw as an easy mark - the City of Fitchburg.

All along I thought the only one who would think that the greater voting populous is swayed by small local blogs is one who who smear and threaten and in the end pay way to much attention to said blogs. As if we did not know it was Ted all along under 20 aliases, with their affinity for capitalization, who was blasting the blogs with comments?

So, when do you move Mr. D?

The Unicow said...

Well that's a good point. Dionne may not have really been in contention, but nor did he end up losing anyone their money.

On the bright side, perhaps Ted paying too much attention to local blogs means he didn't pay enough attention to the stuff that would actually get him elected. So maybe by giving him reading material we did help keep him out of office!

JustSayNoToDeSalvo said...

Well, fellas, before you bid that fond goodbye ... there is a HUGE rumor out of some VERY credible quarters that our boy Ted has today launched a write-in campaign for councillor at large.

Think about it. 782 people voting a bullet, 9 (or 10 with write-in Ted) for 5 slots. That's easier math for Teddy boy than the mayoral race.

Our work WORK! (sorry Maynard G)... er fun ... may have just begun. Watch this boy sneak into an at large seat just like he took the Ward 4 position with a write-in campaign, and we'll see him back in two years.

After all, it's not like he had a job to return to today.

Rested up and ready?

ReallyRachel said...

I loved the tird in the shiny box thingy! My sides are splitting!

Let's hope the negativity is gone and Bozo the Clown heads for greener pastures where he's more appreciated.

But if that awful rumor is true.... Nah, no one is THAT egotistical.

Gee, we already have Ron Dionne and we sort of love him and expect him to run for something every election. But Ron is comic relief. Imagine a scenario where we also have DeSalvo anteying up for every open seat.

Blechhhhh! Please let it not be true. We need the positive fun campaign stuff now. I'm looking forward to the days when our local political humor stretches to Lisa's sensible shoes (I think they're cute) and the marbles in Tom's mouth (only when he's on camera interestingly).

That's the lovable fun stuff, like, will Ron run again.

Here's hoping.


The Unicow said...

Hey! 1970s Abraham Lincoln posed that very possibility of Ted launching a write-in campaign already!

And if I remember correctly, people scoffed at him.

Damn you, 1970s Abraham Lincoln! Damn you and your Cassandra complex!

FitchburgVoter said...

Hey! I have lived in Fitchburg for 40 plus years and I went to school here and I live and work here too.
Can I be Mayor?

1970s Abraham Lincoln said...

Damn you, 1970s Abraham Lincoln! Damn you and your Cassandra complex!

Everyone always forgets about the time-traveling part of my bio.