As the primary election draws to a conclusion, it’s time to do some Wednesday morning quarterback analysis. Joanie Mahoney’s campaign resembled Roy Bernardi’s rise to power as Syracuse Mayor. But instead of a panel truck driven by an ardent supporter Joanie Mahoney assembled a virtual panel truck fueled by the her own money.
This election was over the day Onondaga County Republican Chair DeSpirito reportedly questioned Ms. Mahoney’s commitment to the position and campaign. Just asking “the question” made the Republican establishment resemble the moment in the senatorial debate when Rep. Lazio presented Hillary Clinton with a pledge to sign.
Women in the audience cringed as the challenger invaded Ms. Clinton’s personal space. “It reminded me of my ex-husband with the credit card bill” one women said as we watched in a local fitness center’s lounge. For many women, women who’ve raised families alone this was seen as a personal affront to them and their struggle.
The Onondaga County Republican Chair in essence questioned her abilities as a mother, a lawyer and wife. As several women have said, “Would he have said that to a man?” Women don’t like that kind of rhetoric. A retired African-American nurse pulled me to the side at a function and said, “Did you see what they tried to do to Joanie, I think she’s got this won!”
That one incident alone was worth at least 200 votes in a tight election, one that the Republican Party establishment lost by not understanding women or even minorities.
Perhaps with a new Onondaga County Executive in place, issues like ethnic diversity in Onondaga County employment might actually be on the table.
I’m not optimistic, since not one piece of literature sent to me from the Mahoney or Sweetland campaigns had one image of an African-American in it.
We, minorities of Onondaga County, are invisible. Or perhaps Joanie was referring to minorities when she had an “artists rendering” of her serving as an assistant district attorney. A lot of young minorities have been adversely impacted by their exposure to criminal justice in Onondaga County.
There are those suburbanites in the Legislature who believe the only interaction we have with Onondaga County is through Social Services or the Justice Center. That’s not true.
Dale Sweetland didn’t do any better with the now famous “Zombies for Sweetland” commercial. No Negroes there either.
Oh, there’s one minority “children” raising his hand in school in an Ed Ryan campaign spot. Be still my beating heart.
I’m not excited as we move towards an election where we’ll have a choice between Tweedle Dee and Dweedle Dumber. And a two-party structure that continues to ignore the largest potential voting block in Syracuse and the county.
These politicians will come to the black community only when we’re needed. But remember, we’ve been ignored in the debate regarding the future of Onondaga County.
Now its prom time and the black community will be asked to attend the Election prom with one of these candidates.
But it’s kind of difficult to attend a prom once the suitor has called you ugly.