Former Assembly candidate Megan Heryet, a candidate who only 28 percent of District 15 thought was good enough to represent them, is now running for city council against incumbent Bob Coffin.
There is no doubt that Councilman Bob Coffin is one of the most hard-working public officials that the city council has, and running against him will take lots of hard work, lots of money and also name recognition, something that a one-run for the assembly would not give to anyone.
Sometimes ego allows cold-blooded so-called campaign managers to throw a would-be candidate into a race the candidate has no chance of winning.
Candidates have to realize that campaign managers have nothing to lose when they throw a candidate into a race they know from the very beginning they are not going to win; the so-called candidate pays the fee to register, pays the promotional expenses, pays for the signs, including the yard signs, and any other expenses the campaign manager may create; plus, let’s not forget, the campaign manager’s salary comes off the top before all else.
Councilman Coffin is not perfect, but at least he has legislature experience and city council experience, which could give his
constituents the peace of mind of having an experienced elected official working for them.
It is time to say “no” to campaign managers that pretend to be activists when they are nothing more than mediocre public relations peddlers, operating under various titles to help them as it is convenient when they move on to their next project.
People that want to be called “candidates” have to learn how to hire campaign managers because otherwise they will be put in the employees’ shoes and the campaign managers will act like the employers who pay their “employees.”
Candidates have to learn that their campaign manager does not put them into office; the constituents, the voters, the people — that is who puts the candidates in office, regardless of how good or how bad or how popular or unpopular the campaign managers are.
Take for example a judicial candidate that won the election because of his charismatic personality, because of his record and — yes, why not? — because of his good looks; but after winning he had to pay $46,000 to the campaign manager that didn’t do much to get that candidate elected, not even by answering his phone calls.
If the call was not from Channel 5, the only call it seemed the CM would take, there was always an excuse like “I was sick,” “I was in the hospital,” “I had this illness” or he’d come up with some other illness or problem or reason why he couldn’t take the call or deal with the person.
Recently there was an event and everyone was waiting for the guest speaker, who was late. Someone was looking for the spokesperson for that “guest of honor” to learn what the delay was because Channel 5 had not arrived.
Can you imagine that? Other television stations and newspapers that were on time had to be late for their next assignment because Channel 5 was late for the event.
What is the relationship between that alleged “spokesperson” and the people from Channel 5?
That is not fair to other members of the media, the supporters, and worse yet, to “the man of the hour,” making it look like the delays were just because he didn’t know how to be on time.
There was also this candidate that was pushed into an election (running against an incumbent) who otherwise would probably not have run, but a paid activist wanted him to run against an elected official because the “campaign manager activist” said it was for the good of the community; but later another better prospect appeared on the horizon and the scapegoat original candidate was left in the middle of the road.
Candidates have to pay attention to what spokespersons or campaign managers do and how they do it because if it is good, the campaign manager takes credit for it; but if it is bad, they’ll see that it reflects on the candidate and that can mean votes that can make a difference on Election Day.
But who cares? Campaign managers get their money from the top regardless of what the election results are.
I consider such behavior very irresponsible, very unethical and very inhumane because a campaign manager cannot go out in the street looking for anyone to run against an incumbent just because the campaign manager doesn’t like or doesn’t agree with the ideas and actions of the incumbent.
Nothing is wrong in backing one candidate against another one, incumbent or not, for good reasons and for the benefit of all the citizens in the community. But to bring in a candidate just to vent one’s capricious or personal hatred against another public servant is not the most decent and honest behavior of a campaign manager, who often uses the candidate as his puppet, and even more, deceives the community and those lucky enough to be able to vote.
Can you imagine a campaign manager who goes out in public looking for someone, anyone, no matter who and no matter what kind of experience that someone may or may not have?
Behaviors like that are what makes the choices for public servants not the best they could be for a community that deserves the best public officials in the world because we are the best city of them all.
Out of respect for one past candidate and one present client I am not mentioning the name of that campaign manager for now, but that does not mean that in the near future I will not put my friendship and my respect for the past and present candidates aside and expose this most outrageous and egregious behavior by a campaign manager.
That kind of behavior can be categorized as worse than David Thomas’ behavior and that is saying a whole lot.
Desperation to stay in the spotlight could be damaging to the so-called “campaign manager” in the morning and “activist” in the afternoon, defending any issue, any fight, or any reason fair or not fair, just to be popular in the last few years of one’s life.
It is my humble opinion that if you have not made it to fame by a certain age, you are never going to make it when your age is higher than your stature, so those “campaign managers” might as well say good-bye to the spotlight and stay in the hospital as long as they need to.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.