Saturday, October 06, 2007

Matt, Matt, and how not to make news

I went to Matt Lampke's meet-and-greet this morning, along with S&C. On the way in, the host asked us how we knew Matt, and I told him I ran a website that covered the mayor's race, so I had met him as a candidate.

We got downstairs, poured ourselves coffee, and tried to get C. entertained, during which time the host asked for our attention to make an announcement. This announcement is the focus of this post, but in an attempt to be fair, I will bury the lede, skip ahead, and say that Matt Lampke is an intelligent guy, certainly seems competent, and from the time that he became the first of the eight candidates to announce, I've been impressed with the level at which his campaign has its stuff together. I also, however, have reasons for not personally supporting him given the presence of other credible candidates, which I discussed (here and here) back at the time he announced his mayoral candidacy, which will help give some context here.

See, I wasn't paying much attention as Mr. Lampke discussed the issues facing Bexley, as the first announcement was to call our attention to the presence of Matt Damschroder, resident of Bexley, and "friend and supporter" of Matt Lampke. For those of us who didn't already know, the host told us Mr. Damschroder's title, which is Executive Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections.

So, one of the key figures in the controversies surrounding the 2004 presidential elections, who is also the person in charge of running the Bexley Municipal Elections, including collecting, tabulating, and reporting the votes, is apparently publicly supporting one of the candidates. And not just any candidate, the only registered Republican in the bunch.

Mr. Damschroder is a resident of Bexley, and his position certainly shouldn't be a cause to disenfranchise him, so I would like to say that he certainly should have a personal preference in the Bexley Mayoral race. I would also take the opportunity to point out that Matt D. did not utter a single word during or after this announcement. I doubt it was his idea to publicly endorse a candidate. But as a matter of fact, he did nothing to refute the statement, which was made by someone who knew that there was a blogger in the audience. So I have to assume they wanted y'all to know.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I'm days behind on my news reading, so if there are important issues to discuss that I am ignoring, it is in fact simply due to ignorance. Some things that I am aware of:

The Columbus Messenger printed a voter's guide to the Bexley Mayoral Candidates in the edition that came out this week. I say printed, as despite the new website, I believe it is a print-only feature as of now. The guide contains enough info from the candidates to get you pretty much up to speed. It has everybody's picture but Weinblatt's.

In that same paper a 'correction' is issued on behalf of Hanz Wasserburger, who had his picture inadvertently omitted from the guide to Council candidates. I think the guide may have been the only place I didn't see Mr. Wasserburger's smiling face last week.

And in the final bit of Messenger-sourced info, I was again reminded that I have promised a School Board update, but have not delivered. I've been saved the effort of finding out about Ingrid Emch, as she has dropped out of the race. Before reading this I was also reminded by a reader that I have not done an update on the candidates for the BBE, and that reader expresses some unhappiness at the lack of educational experience among the current board members. The ironic thing about this is that Emch, a professor at Columbus State, is dropping out because of a conflict created by her association with the NEA, one of the major unions representing educators. The commenter, however, is a fan of Michele Kusma, another candidate who apparently does have experience in education.

It's becoming more important that I get to this stuff quickly, as election day is now. Last year, I went down to the Board of Elections on the first day of absentee voting, and voted absentee on the machines. There were some glitches. Despite that, I'm still going to vote absentee on the machines this year, but not so soon. Primarily because I still have no idea whom I'm voting for. I'd like to meet all of the mayoral candidates.

If you're trying to collect all eight yourself, you should know that Matt Lampke has two Meet and Greets coming up: Saturday, Oct. 6, 9:30-11:00 at the Community Room at the Bexley Cup-O-Joe (featuring coffee and pastries), and Monday Oct. 8, 6-8pm at 2751 Fair Ave. (featuring wine and cheese). I'll probably drop by for coffee Saturday Morning, and it looks like everyone is welcome to do so. You might want to let the hosts know if you plan on attending the Monday evening event (I have contact info, or I'm sure the Lampke campaign can forward your regards).

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Old Fashioned Social Networking

Interesting weekend. We went to Robyn Jones' party on Saturday evening, it was fun. City BBQ food, football projected onto a tarp on the gazebo, maybe 50 people had come through at the time we left. I didn't get to talk to too many folks, as C. was feeling rambunctious, and what I did talk about was mainly football and the blog. I talked with Ben Kessler about his campaign for Council, and I hope to get a semi-formal interview up here with him soon. In particular, I didn't get much of a chance to talk to Ms. Jones, a fact which she seemed sincerely disappointed about when I was saying good night.

So then we went to Travis Irvine's party today. It was a much different affair, but not as much different as one might expect. Just like last night, most everybody there had met the candidate before, and also just like last night people knew who I was because they recognized S. & C. from Thursday night's picture. Interestingly, I spent most of my time at this party talking about issues, as Travis flipped burgers and handed me a printout of the Bexley City Budget. It was a smaller crowd than at the Jones party, but I learned a lot of South Bexley background.

And Baby C. received her first candidate kiss of the season:

While we were there Mr. Irvine kindly handed me a flyer for a campaign party being held by Gene Weiss this evening, but we ended up skipping that one, so I've got no news from there.

Hopefully I'll become a better society writer by the time the campaign ends a month from now.