Ward 3: Should I say "Hey" to Mary Cheh? She seems like the only candidate in Ward 3 with a real plan and who hasn't driven me absolutely nuts with campaign ads and telephone calls. Bill Rice's calls yesterday drove me crazy and killed any chance he had of getting my vote. Paul Strauss' army of paid campaign workers and misleading calls also turned me off. Gordon's steroids-infused campaign signs totally negated his pledge to not use such obnoxious campaign tactics, so he's off my list of choices. Gaull also used too many paid workers and annoying calls; and his description of his million-plus jobs was tiresome. Goulet has little experience other than being a council committee clerk. Wiss is a great ANC person, but has no big picture vision. Sam Brooks has a nice smile and desperately wants to be elected to something - anything! So that leaves Cheh as my only realistic option.
Mark Plotkin: Cheh has been helped enormously by the Post endorsement. The great advantage is that she got the nod early, so she could publicize it and the word of mouth was worth a lot. Some people have told me that they found her somewhat cold in terms of personality. Bill Rice has a good record in government and feels, I think, frustrated that a newcomer to city politics, like Cheh, has garnered such support. Your description of all the other candidates makes me feel that you have a promising career in the field of political analysis. I'll let you know when I'm on vacation.
DC- Ward 3: Totally disagree with your assessment of Rice. The guy was the spokesperson for the D.C. Department of Transportation, yet the way he talks about it at various candidate forums, he was single-handedly running the entire department, filling in each and every pothole himself, and making transportation a pleasant experience for D.C. residents. But what made me question his judgment was the use of three (3!!) robocalls yesterday! My answering machine was on my apartment window ledge when I got home from work yesterday! It just couldn't take anymore calls from Rice or Strauss or Fenty or Gordon or mysterious calls from a Nevada number that were trashing Mary Cheh without saying who paid for them. That last call ticked me off so much that I decided to vote for Cheh out of sheer principle.
Memo to Rice: You lost me at that infernal Rice-A-Roni song you left on my answering machine! My answering machine now needs therapy as a result!
Mark Plotkin: I think candidates go a little berserk toward the end of the campaign. They get frantic and want to do everything they can to reach you. Some people will say "I don't want to vote for a particular person because I was never asked." So it does cut both ways. The robocall is not the most personal form of communication, but it accomplishes the element of voter contact. Nobody should be voting because of a robocall. All it is is psychic insurance for nervous candidates. I wouldn't vote for somebody just because they didn't robocall me.