Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Attack politics in Middletown

Commentary.

Last week many voters in Middletown received a political mailing that can only be described as a negative attack ad from a candidate desperately afraid that voters are rejecting him and everything he stands for. It is from a candidate who has twice lost an election for the same office, who apparently feels that negative attacks might make the third time a charm. Voters should see this approach to campaigning as an indication that he is not the kind of person who should represent them in elected office.
The candidate in question is Ralph Capenera, a Republican running (again) in the 9th State Senatorial district to unseat the incumbent Paul Doyle, a Democrat. Mr. Capenera's mailing is a two-sided glossy letter-sized postcard containing only attacks on Senator Doyle. Conspicuously absent is any information about Mr. Capenera or his platform, in fact the only information on either page about Capenera is his Rocky Hill return address and the "Paid for and approved by by Capenera..." statement. The ad is not just negative, it is incoherent and misleading. To give just one example, when Mr. Capenera shouts that Senator Doyle is endorsed by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the reader might be forgiven for wondering whether Capenera (a business owner) has been endorsed by the CBIA (he has not). Throughout the ad Mr. Capenera tries to convince us that if we do not think the Democrat Doyle is liberal enough for us, we should vote for the Republican Capenera (whose platform proudly places him in the right wing of Republicans in our state).

This kind of insulting, incoherent, purely negative attack ad, whose only intention is to distract and confuse, should be offensive to all voters, regardless of their political beliefs or those of the candidate who spews it. It is a symptom of a desperate, unstable politician not suited to represent the citizens whose votes he is trying to win.

5 comments:

Carmine said...

I couldn't agree more with your post. I had the chance to talk with Mr. Doyle about the Army Reserve site and found him to be informed, and a very good listener. I may be a Republican but I vote the person and not by the party and he will have my vote in this years election.

Anonymous said...

I saw that ad and thought, what is his point? What is he talking about? I agree with you. He lost any chance of my vote with that ad. Thanks for writing.

Anonymous said...

I think the point was Paul Doyle claims he is proud to be a Democrat and then slams his party behind their backs. He also solicits endorsments from labor and then stabs them in the back.

Anonymous said...

The ad sought to inform those union democrats that Doyle is not the person he claims to be. The ad was factual. I was a little confused when I received the mailer and did a fact check myself. I was surprised to see it was true. My union brothers and sisters should think twice before they choose Doyle. He is no Billy Ciotto. Becuase I want to be an informed voter, I checked out Capenera's website at www.voteralph.com and noticed he'd not all that bad of a guy. We pay taxes too. My biggest fear is when the state expands too much, they cut everywhere in bad times and we all have to take a hit. Looks like Capenera seeks to "strike" no pun intended, a balance here. I am worried for my job becuase I get diluted when they hire too many people. What about the pension? And I want my fair share I earned over these years. What if the ax comes down on me? I'm voting for Ralph this time around knowing what I know about Doyle.

Anonymous said...

Did that card really SHOUT? More candidates should have them...

It is kind of you to campaign for Paul Doyle and maybe, although I am not completely sure, the Middletown Eye is a good place for this, but Mr. Doyle would be better served by an endorsement of his platform and accomplishments rather than an objection to the incoherence of the other guy.