It is what it says it is.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Not-So Exciting Debate Starring Big Baby Betty

From what we have heard, the Cleveland City Club debate for the 13th congressional district candidates was nothing out of the ordinary, except once again, Bill Grace was a no show. It has been reported that a family emergency came up unexpectedly. If this is the case, we wish him well and hope that all is fine.

On the other hand, the debate included the standard opening remarks, a few questions asked, and so on and yadda yadda yadda. One of the questions was aimed at Capri Cafaro to once again ask the same question about her immunity. What I don't understand, is why people would waste their time on any candidate by asking them the same question when they already know what the answer was going to be. I would have asked instead Gary Kucinich about what his plan would be to get out of Iraq, Cafaro about how she would implement her SAW plan into policy action after all of its criticsm, Tom Sawyer what he would do differently in this Congress vs. the old Congress, Betty Sutton what she stands for on, well, anything... and so on down the line.

Another highlight discussed in the news was the mildly heated exchange between Tom Sawyer and Betty Sutton. Betty Sutton refused to apologize for being the only top tier candidate playing dirty on the air in this race. We are hearing more and more of the same from Betty, and we aren't sure if this negative approach is the best way to spend her money on television. Surely, it is not selling Betty Sutton in her finest form, particularly when Mr. Sawyer can rebut her claim of his scandolous lobbying trips with similar trips she took while in the state house. Maybe this is the result of having your race run by a group in Washington, rather than fueled by the people in the 13th district as all the other candidates have done. It would be in her best interest to dry the tears now before the final weekend arrives before the primary. On that note, I am off to take my medicine and head back to bed.


Blogger CampaignAddict said...

Comin out of baby world to make a comment :)
Warning LONG.

You make some pretty startling value judgements in this post without much backup so I need to rant a little.

Simply put, saying that Betty Sutton has no platform and that her campaiging style is waaay to negative pretty much ignores whats been going on in the campaign and in the state.

First, look at Mrs. Sutton's web site, her lit, and any press you can get your hands on. There is a clear message. That to help the people you have to fix congress first, or nothing will ever get done.

Second, unless i'm wrong she's not saying that special interests should be abolished, she's saying that congressmen should be accountable to the people not to lobbists, in other words tipping the scales. Also, it's easy to paint every lobbiest as bad but Ms. Sutton (i hope) is making the distinction, in action and in her platform, by aligning with people she believes are ideologically close to that of herself and of the people of the 13th. And if it's evil to stand next to national organizations that support working families and women well then i'm the devil. Despite the negatives of both these groups they have done far more good for the country (if you're a liberal) than many of the truly evil special interest lobbies like the insurance lobby.

Third, the "Fuel" as you put it, for any campaign is volunteers. All the money in the world can't make them appear out of no where. And they are "the people of the 13th district" the so called "fuel" in other peoples campaigns fuels this one as well or it would be impossible for them to be doing even this well. A campaign has no legs without volunteers. And volunteers don't stay if they don't believe in the candidate, especially in a primary.

Finally, discourse is important. Asking questions is important. Talking about yourself without framing your opponents is simply naive. Your appelation that Ms. Sutton's campaign is negative is possibly even more naive, it's almost as if this quiet battle that is the 13th doesn't have enough news and you just feel the need to start a fire (hey it worked). So called, "Negative" tactics work when used properly and really aren't all that "wrong" if not taken over the edge. We haven't seen real negative mud slinging in this campaign at all, really. The Blackwell/Petro campaign however, is a great example of going to far. Asking questions of someone who wants to represent this region, and who was a member of congress before, is simply not real negative campaigning. But a mechanism of differentiation thats as old as american democracy.
Beyond that, the commercials and lit on her website say almost nothing about any of the other candidates. What you are probably seeing (and this is truly lamentable) are advocacy peices sent out by Emily's list.

Mr. Sawyer is not evil,in fact he did alot of good for this region during his time in congress.Further, I don't think Mrs. Sutton paints him as in any way evil or bad. All she's saying is that he represents about congress what she wants to fight.

Personally, I think she should be talking more about the issues, but coming off as saying she's doing nothing and has no platform ignores what you're saying in your own post, not to mention whats going on in the field.

Now... will her tactics work? Will it actually persuade anyone? Are these the right issues for a primary? I have no clue. But we'll know on the 2nd.

3:40 PM

Blogger AlexWinter said...

I'm sorry for posting this comment here, but I didn't see any contact info. I wanted to let you guys know about a new blog geared toward Ohio's First Congressional District race. It's at


5:55 PM

Blogger NickLin said...


Betty's platform is all rhetoric. We're looking for a plan, not some woman to stand on the mountaintops and say "look at me, for I want good things for all!"

Personally, I wish Bill Grace was more srious about the race...he would do well.

6:37 PM

Blogger Yellow Dog Sammy said...

I just posted an open letter to Bill Grace on my blog, calling on him to withdraw and endorse Sutton (or maybe Sawyer) in order to break the deadlock and keep Cafaro from winning.

6:55 PM

Blogger CampaignAddict said...

Go to her web site, read the "Five Principles to Fight Corruption in Washington" If by rhetoric you mean the Office of Management and Budget hasn't scored it yet, then I agree. But i'm not sure what else you want.
And her legislative record (under her other platform sections) gives a pretty good indication of what she's done in ohio and what she'd do in congress.

But yes, Bill Grace would have made a great candidate, i think he'd have the drive to do really good things for the district had he been more visible. And whats more exciting than 3 strong candidates coming down to the wire? Thats right, 4 Strong candidates.
PS I sincerely apologize if I sounded to flamey before, late nights with the kid are starting to catch up to me :) I do enjoy reading your blog and hope for the best for your recovery. Health is way more important than politics especially for those of us commenting from the sidelines :)

7:56 PM

Blogger Ryan said...

I appreciate Betty's concerns with wanting to clean up Congress, but Congressional housecleaning is not something that affects the average voter. I agree with Betty, it needs to be cleaned up. But so do education, health care, taxes, and other very basic and bread-and-butter issues.

Thanks, but no thanks Ms. Sutton.

4:08 PM


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