Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tom Donnelly running for mayor!

The Fitchburg mayoral race has been really boring this year. Instead of crazy people like Ted DeSalvatore and townie losers like Tom Donnelly, we had crazy quitter Rachel Rosenfeld for a disappointingly short while, and now have Fuzzy Voisine "challenging" the mayor.

But Fuzzy's heart is clearly not in it. He didn't even show up to the debate, and his little recorded message on FATV was just an embarrassment. He was never even a remote danger to Wong's incumbency.

Now things have changed. It's not just Wong vs Fuzzy anymore. Rather, Tom Donnelly is back!
With encouragement from many friends and residents, Thomas Donnelly has decided to launch a write-in campaign for mayor for this year’s general election on Nov. 3.

Donnelly originally decided not to run after mounting an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2007, feeling that the people made it clear then that they did not support him enough to gove him their vote.
Yep, Tom's back! And he's running a write-in campaign. With like a week to go. I imagine that he's hoping people will have forgetten what a massive douchebag he is and vote for him based on pure anti-Wong sentiment.

Actually, I don't need to imagine. He basically stated as much:
Many people changed their mind, however, as Mayor Lisa Wong’s term progressed, according to Donnelly.

“After people saw the way things have been going on in the city, they were saying that ‘I wish I voted for you’,” said Donnelly.
This is the political equivalent of seeing a few bumper stickers that say "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for the Other Guy" and deciding that you'll ride that tiny wave of discontent to victory.

So, what to make of all this? I have a few thoughts.

First off, I don't really consider Donnelly to pose a significant threat to Wong. He probably poses more of a threat than Fuzzy, but that's not saying much. He's also getting into the race extraordinarily late, and won't be on the ballot. He doesn't have enough time to present any compelling ideas, yet has to convince people to go out of their way to write him in.

Basically, his only hope is to ride purely on anti-Wong sentiment, which he'll be splitting with Fuzzy. Is there enough of this sentiment to give him a chance? I seriously doubt it, but you never know.

How about his strengths? Well, the truth of the matter is that Tom Donnelly has never presented any compelling ideas. He ran last time on the "vote for me because I'm an old white guy who has experience" platform, which he can't do this time around. But his lack of ideas does mean that this is the perfect time for him to get into the race. He can say any bullshit he wants, the bootlick newspaper will print it, and there's little time for others to rebut it.

As far as I can tell, Donnelly doesn't have a website (which seems par for the course this time around, annoyingly). He may or may not have an organization behind him to work on his sticker campaign, which will require a lot more work than if he were on the ballot. He hasn't yet put forward any reasons why people should vote for him, beyond the fact that some people don't like Lisa Wong. Really, he's more of an anti-candidate than a candidate. He's the one who bitter old townies will vote for because he'll tell them he's going to turn on their streetlights.

On the plus side, Donnelly getting into the race (or at least pulling up next to it) will hopefully motivate more people to go vote. Before, it would have been easy for the average citizen to skip the election, because Wong was essentially unopposed (sorry Fuzzy). Now there's a real reason to get out there and vote. The rabid anti-Wong whiners will no doubt be out to support Donnelly, so the pro-Wong masses will hopefully be similarly motivated to show up. While they're there voting for Lisa, they'll hopefully also vote in a few good city councilors, and not the bunch of losers who came out at the top of the primary.

So, there we have it. We're in both the early and late stages of Donnelly's campaign. Let's see how crazy he can get!