PLANET ANALYZES WARD 3, 4, and BIANCHI-MARCHETTI BCC DEBATES … plus … HOW TO FIX CONGRESS, IN SEVEN EASY STEPS
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26, 2011) — First, the debates, such as they were. We won’t again go into our critique of the format itself, but THE PLANET maintains that the traditional-style debate elicits little of actual help to voters, save for seeing how candidates react to a spotlight. As a test of nerves, this might be of minimal use in casting a vote.
THE PLANET gives the Ward 3 debate in a slam-dunk to Jeff Ferrin, who has opened more eyes in this strangely quiet campaign season than any other candidate. No one has attended more public meetings, done more homework, and participated in citizen-rule than Ferrin. His sharpness showed against Paul Capitanio, whose lone qualification at this point is that he owns the East Side Cafe. In the Lakewood section, that may be enough for him, but THE PLANET sense an upset in the making.
In the Ward 4 contest, Chris Connell withstood nicely against the august presence of for Ward 4 councilor Ozias “Chuck” Vincelette. Connell, who failed last cycle to unseat Mike Ward, won at a draw in the views of some judges and lost on points according to others with whom THE PLANET spoke. Connell inflicted a lot of self-damage, though, in his five-minute PCTV spot, when he launched into attack mode, going after CV with fangs bared. It may have cost him the election.
For mayor, Dan Bianchi and Peter Marchetti could have rented out the space between them on the podium as a defrost zone for the chill. The coldness wasn’t absolute zero, but absolutely, there’s zero love lost between the two men.
One hour is never long enough for an alleged marquee showdown, and the moderator didn’t help by asking too many predictable and yawning questions (two on the city website to start the debate). That the hour went by fast at least supports to value of the forum.
THE PLANET gives the debate to Bianchi on the basis of his more complete answers, his more focused responses, and a more measured and statesmanlike composure. At one point, Marchetti got emotional, his voice rising and his fist pounding the table. “Rattled” is not a quality one looks for in a CEO. Bianchi refused to take such bait, remaining calm and above the fray.
The questions and answers, while they matter, have little relevance in a “debate” such as this one. Bianchi and Marchetti made statements, taken out of their campaign talking points. They sometimes offered evidence to support their assertions. Again, if PROF. PLANET (who is a faculty member at BCC, where the debate was staged) were grading the two job applicants as we would students in a “Scope of Logic” class, we give Bianchi a “B” and Marchetti a gentleman’s “C” — not disastrous performances as these things go and certainly serviceable, but nothing to share in a postcard for the folks back home. Assertions supported by evidence form conclusions to arguments, and if we apply to tools of logic to analyze the arguments made at Monday night’s debate, Bianchi did what he had to do: He held serve and probably added to his lead.
Rumor, Innuendo, and Stories They Made Up
One interesting question had to do with rumor and innuendo, the twin siblings that visit every campaign. Bianchi v. Marchetti — which in many minds is the sequel of Bianchi-Ruberto ’09 — has had its share of these two sisters.
Each man went at the other for people behind the scenes who are throwing mud. Marchetti didn’t name names (out of politeness or because he didn’t have any?). Bianchi landed a huge haymaker when he named a name, that of ex-mayor Gerry Doyle, who is involved, some say heavily, in Marchetti’s campaign.
Bianchi revealed that Doyle had put on a fundraiser for Marchetti, and Peter didn’t deny it. The name of “Gerry Doyle” brought booses and hisses from the crowd. Bianchi would have scored the knockout punch if he had named the other person helping Marchetti behind the scenes, but he couldn’t bring himself to utter “Angelo Stracuzzi.” The best Marchetti could do was say how proud he was of the people who support his campaign. In that moment, Marchetti may have lost his last chance at reversing the dive of a sinking ship.
Fittingly, when The Boring Broadsheet ran its vanilla story about the debate and came to this exchange, it left out the name “Gerry Doyle.” Gosh, we wonder why?
HOW TO FIX CONGRESS in (7) SIMPLE STEPS
THE PLANET passes this interesting commentary along under the label, “Worth Reading.” It was sent to us by one of our correspondents, and it provides an interesting solution to a problem that has crippled this country. It was one of those “Pass on to 20 people you know” type messages. We normally delete those on sight. Not this one. Read on …
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling: ”I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971…before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land…all because of public pressure.
THE CONGRESSIONAL REFORM ACT WOULD LOOK LIKE THIS:
1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social
Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the
Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, as all Americans do.
4. Congressmen and women will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of the CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen and women are void effective 1/1/12. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!!
MORE TOMORROW, INCLUDING (WE THINK) A BLOCKBUSTER STORY RELATED TO THE MAYORAL DEBATE AT BCC ON MONDAY. YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL