Mayor attacks mystery candidate?


#1

The Mayor has launched the third in what has become a series of attack ads that take a page out of Stephen Harper’s electoral playbook. An article in North Coast Review includes a copy of the ad, which is in the print edition of the Northern View.

The formula is quite simple. Avoid issues, platforms that can come back to haunt the candidate or vision statements. Focus on the personal characteristics of the main opponent and brand them with simplistic negative labels. Launch the attack early to shape first impressions, which are always the most lasting. Then reinforce the message through repetition.

I don’t think that it was lost on anyone that Lee Brain was the target of the first two ads. The conclusion to be drawn from the first ad was that he is a 'Beginner" (larger font, underlined, in bold) and hence, we are lead to believe, cannot do the job, so don’t vote for him. That of course forgets that the Mayor was himself once a beginner in elected office and may be getting a bit stale after several years in office. The ad also said that this is not the time for “a new horse”, for readers who relate to farm yard analogies. The second ad repeated those messages (minus the horse analogy) for emphasis.

The third ad is quite different. It repeats the ‘knowledge’ and ‘experience’ statements in case they have been forgotten, but brings “personal behaviour”, “respect” and other character traits into play.

What’s that all about? Is there a mystery candidate, not yet announced, who is not a “Beginner”, who has obvious knowledge and experience, and can do the job, so the focus has to be shifted elsewhere? The first ad, after all, came out before Mr Brain announced his candidacy. A couple of names of very credible former council members have been tossed around as possible candidates. Is that what the change in messaging is about?

There is something not quite right, a bit unsettling, about references to “personal behaviour” and “respect”, just as there is something not quite right about having Mounties appear in the Mayor’s third campaign ad (the RCMP is supposed to be non-political).

The North Coast Review article also comments on Lee Brain’s campaign to date. His campaign messages can be found by googling ‘Mayor Lee Brain’, as if he’s already been elected to the top job. A more traditional and less presumptuous banner like “Lee Brain for Mayor” might sit better, particularly with older voters.

After some initial excitement not much seems to be happening with Mr Brain’s campaign. “Re-Think Prince Rupert” is still an empty box. Voters usually (or used to) look to candidates to provide a platform about what they think the future should include, or at least something more than a notice on a twitter feed that the 6th Avenue bridge is open for motorists, with an exclamation mark to indicate excitement.

I’m sorry to say this, but at this point I don’t think Lee Brain is going to make it. My prediction is that the Mayor’s attack strategy, which says nothing about issues and makes the campaign entirely personal, will win out.

That could change, though. Hopefully the Mayor’s latest ad signals that a stronger candidate for mayor is soon to announce their candidacy. Rupert is a place where there are insiders who are in the know before the public at large is informed. I would not be surprised if the third ad is intended to preempt an announcement by another candidate, much like the first ad was released just before Mr Brain announced his candidacy. I hope that’s what the latest attack ad signals.

It would not take a lot for a candidate to show more substance than what the two declared candidates have shown to date. Maybe a candidate who has a bit more class and even some old-fashioned humility will enter the mayoralty contest.

Anyway, enough of what I think, here’s a link to the story about the Mayor’s latest attack ad: < northcoastreview.blogspot.ca/201 … -from.html >.

A story with screen shots of the first two ads can be found here: < northcoastreview.blogspot.ca/201 … dates.html >.


Lee Brain says Mayor failed to be honest
#2

[quote=“BTravenn”]
I’m sorry to say this, but at this point I don’t think Lee Brain is going to make it. My prediction is that the Mayor’s attack strategy, which says nothing about issues and makes the campaign entirely personal, will win out. [/quote]

I agree that Lee has an uphill battle in the contest with his opponent. However, I’m not willing to count him out. I like the audacity and charm of Lee’s Facebook page. Jack won’t get my vote. The mayor mentions personal behaviour. Perhaps it might be an idea for Jack to dial down his arrogance.


#3

In response to BTravenn…

I agree with much of what you’ve said.

“After some initial excitement not much seems to be happening with Mr Brain’s campaign. “Re-Think Prince Rupert” is still an empty box. Voters usually (or used to) look to candidates to provide a platform about what they think the future should include, or at least something more than a notice on a twitter feed that the 6th Avenue bridge is open for motorists, with an exclamation mark to indicate excitement.”

I’ve already shared my thoughts on this so all that I’ll add is “I concur”.

“What’s that all about? Is there a mystery candidate, not yet announced, who is not a “Beginner”, who has obvious knowledge and experience, and can do the job, so the focus has to be shifted elsewhere? The first ad, after all, came out before Mr Brain announced his candidacy. A couple of names of very credible former council members have been tossed around as possible candidates. Is that what the change in messaging is about?”

I think that you and I both know who the mystery candidate may be.

“There is something not quite right, a bit unsettling, about references to “personal behaviour” and “respect”, just as there is something not quite right about having Mounties appear in the Mayor’s third campaign ad (the RCMP is supposed to be non-political).”

I agree. I’m not a fan of attack ads. The first ads discussing a loaded wagon and a new horse were fine, and they’re all an allowable tactic in campaigning, but perhaps he’s starting to get carried away. I also agree that the use of the RCMP in his ad is inappropriate. I’d bet that there’s a copyright on the use of the Mounties.


#4

the third ad is aimed at an ex councilor whom may or may not run


#5

Yes, I’m pretty sure we do. I also suspect that we agree that whisper campaigns are unseemly and rather chickenshit, even more so if a possible candidate has not yet decided whether to run, which appears to be the case according to the previous post.

It would be good to see a candidate on the ballot who like the current Mayor has considerable political experience and who also has substantial business experience, which is sometimes in short supply around the council table.


#6

[quote=“BTravenn”]

Yes, I’m pretty sure we do. I also suspect that we agree that whisper campaigns are unseemly and rather chickenshit, even more so if a possible candidate has not yet decided whether to run, which appears to be the case according to the previous post.

It would be good to see a candidate on the ballot who like the current Mayor has considerable political experience and who also has substantial business experience, which is sometimes in short supply around the council table.[/quote]

I can’t argue with that. Agreed.


#7

yes we do need a mayor and councilors with business experience but unfortunately most business ppl think it is too much of a headache especially since in Rupert most business are small and need the owners full time attention


#8

Well why don’t you tell us who it is? Not all of us know who you are talking about.


#9

At this point it’s only a rumour so I’ll reserve comment. If and when this person decides to make an announcement, everyone will know.


#10

you should be able to tell by the attack ad, the person is an excouncilor but until the person actually decides it is only a rumour so no use posting the persons name


#11

I am sure the current Mayor would be happy if he decides not to run, because he would be a very credible candidate.


#12

I agree - he would have a ton of support from the business community and would pose a solid threat for the win.


#13

I spoke to Mr. Brain recently and he told me that he had been travelling and, while he has spoken to many groups and people about his platform, he realizes he needs to start getting it out there. I believe two months is plenty of time for him to show his substance. And, if Mussallem is going to attack, he had better get ready to defend his limp record. He’s so desperate he recently suggested to a speaker at a council meeting that he would respond to his complaint better if the guy voted for him! Talk about tacky.


#14

I hope he runs too, Mayor Mustache is more worried about him right now then Mr Brain, for if he does run he will get lots of support despite his indiscretion at the time he was councilor, he was a very good councilor and really stood up for our hospital


#15

North Coast Review has an update on the campaign ad war, although not much appears to be new on Mayor Mussallem’s front. I have not seen the print edition of Black Press, but he has evidently done a repeat of his ad showing him in full dress up accompanied by two Mounties in red serge, this time in glorious technicolor.

There really should be a disclaimer at the bottom saying something like “This ad was not paid for nor is it endorsed by or reflect the views or opinions of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police”.

From what I gather the text part of the ad still alludes to “personal behaviour”, “good judgement”, “respect”, and “integrity”. Perhaps those messages are not directed against an undeclared mystery candidate. Maybe Jack is reassuring us that, in fact, he has those qualities, in case any of us have doubts about that.

Meanwhile, Lee Brain has come out with his own print ad that I must say has quite a punch to it: “It’s time to say goodbye to leaders who have a track record of dividing citizens within our community”.

He is no doubt referring to the current Mayor, but he might want to be guarded in his comments about some of the old timers on council, who have track records of support among voters who often times are getting on in years themselves. He adds that "It’s time for a “clean slate”.

Part of that clean slate may be Brad Mirau who is running what comes across as a well presented campaign for a seat on council.

northcoastreview.blogspot.ca/201 … tions.html


#16

"There really should be a disclaimer at the bottom saying something like “This ad was not paid for nor is it endorsed by or reflect the views or opinions of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police”. " - clever comment.

One of the inherent problems with the democratic process is that it is relatively hard to unseat the incumbent for a number of reasons. Some are:

a) The incumbent has a known track record in the position - as opposed to the track record of people who may or may not have held similar positions.
b) People are inclined to go with the “devil they know” as opposed to the “devil they don’t know”.
c) The incumbent often has significantly more resources at their disposal .

With regard to the advertisement that talks about personal qualities such as “good judgement” and “personal behavior”: I am sure Jack is obliquely alluding to an historical incident. However, this is a political process, the winner takes all.

Is it “fair” for Jack to raise the issue? Well, I think it is. It is part of a potential candidate’s package. Should Jack not have said anything until the person announces? Well, to restate the comment again, “this is a political process” and there is nothing like a preemptive strike to stop something in its tracks.

Some people may find it repugnant that Jack has taken this tack, and because of it decide not to vote for him. Others will debate with themselves and friends whether the person deserves another chance at public office. Still others will decide that the incident rules the person out of holding any public office. There may be a lot of debate on it. Jack has no undoubtedly weighed the pros and cons of raising the issue and decided that overall it is advantageous for him to raise the issue.

I think Lee Brain’s comment about getting rid of people who divide the community is simplistic. We often hear the word “Consensus” in the public arena when leaders are announcing a decision. The reality is that in any decision there are winners and losers. This causes divisions. If Lee Brain thinks that being leader means that you can always find consensus, then I suggest that his name is a bit of an oxymoron.


#17

whether you think attacking a person’s behavior is repugnant or not, the fact that Mayor Mustache is even attacking a candidate before they decide if they are running or not shows Mayor Mustache must be scared of this person.

and on a side note, maybe Mayor Mustache needs to proof read his ad, " serving your as your mayor" ummmm should be, serving you as your mayor


#18

“Scared” can be emotionally laden word. Often it denotes a negative connotation. Which I suspect is Jabber63’s intention. I don’t think the Mayor is “scared”. I think Jack thinks the person might be a viable candidate and he is therefore trying to stop a campaign before it becomes formally entered into.

Words, that I think might better describe the Mayor’s response are: strategic, prudent, decisive, and thoughtful. However, these are probably not characteristics that Jabber63 would want to be attributed to Jack.


#19

[quote=“Pantagruel”]"There really should be a disclaimer at the bottom saying something like “This ad was not paid for nor is it endorsed by or reflect the views or opinions of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police”. " - clever comment.

One of the inherent problems with the democratic process is that it is relatively hard to unseat the incumbent for a number of reasons. Some are:

a) The incumbent has a known track record in the position - as opposed to the track record of people who may or may not have held similar positions.
b) People are inclined to go with the “devil they know” as opposed to the “devil they don’t know”.
c) The incumbent often has significantly more resources at their disposal .

With regard to the advertisement that talks about personal qualities such as “good judgement” and “personal behavior”: I am sure Jack is obliquely alluding to an historical incident. However, this is a political process, the winner takes all.

Is it “fair” for Jack to raise the issue? Well, I think it is. It is part of a potential candidate’s package. Should Jack not have said anything until the person announces? Well, to restate the comment again, “this is a political process” and there is nothing like a preemptive strike to stop something in its tracks.

Some people may find it repugnant that Jack has taken this tack, and because of it decide not to vote for him. Others will debate with themselves and friends whether the person deserves another chance at public office. Still others will decide that the incident rules the person out of holding any public office. There may be a lot of debate on it. Jack has no undoubtedly weighed the pros and cons of raising the issue and decided that overall it is advantageous for him to raise the issue.

I think Lee Brain’s comment about getting rid of people who divide the community is simplistic. We often hear the word “Consensus” in the public arena when leaders are announcing a decision. The reality is that in any decision there are winners and losers. This causes divisions. If Lee Brain thinks that being leader means that you can always find consensus, then I suggest that his name is a bit of an oxymoron.[/quote]

You can continue to take the path of apathy and cynicism but I think a lot of people find personal attacks cheap and they reflect on Jack’s character as much as they do on whomever he’s attacking.
As far as Brain’s plan for consensus, that is what he plans and hopes to do. I don’t think he believes for a moment that it can always be found and that everyone can be pleased all the time. He has said, though, that he will not employ Jack’s often condescending, dismissive approach to his fellow councillors that has seen him, to use a sports anology, “lose the room.” In our system, a mayor is not a dictator, he is a facilitator. That’s what Lee is and that’s what we need.


#20