The Latest Cohen Campaign's Postcard: Some may call that progress. I call it something else. ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Latest Cohen Campaign's Postcard: Some may call that progress. I call it something else.

The message reads "Continue our progress by voting for these three Democratic candidates."

Some may call that progress. I call it something else.

By now, you too are probably sick and tired of all the landfill-bound Josh Cohen mailers arriving daily. Yes, the power of moneyed, out-of-city and out-of-state interests can do wonders, but this one, and other similar postcards specifically designed solely to appeal to Black voters--on the basis that Cohen supports Black candidates, and that Blacks should vote for Cohen because Cohen supports them...or some such way of thinking is....disturbing. Some are asking what would the response be if a Republican or a conservative did a similar thing for White candidates? It's a fair question.

At the recent Black Chamber of Commerce forum, some in the audience expressed dismay that The Capital did not endorse a single Black candidate. They were offended and felt that racism was the reason. Certainly we must always consider race as a factor in many aspects of our society, and certainly racism exists in many places and continues to poison and damage all of us, but what is going on here? Cohen expropriates the image of the president for his own cynical political gain. The flip-side of the mailer displays photos of the three Black candidates for council. Other Democrats, who are White, are excluded, but this a direct appeal to Blacks to vote for Blacks and only for Blacks and only because they are Black. This is not the first such postcard or event the campaign has engaged in to make a similar appeal. This is nothing but pandering to Black voters and to the candidates. Issues do not matter. Experience do not matter. Records do not matter...but skin color does. What do we normally call this?

Obama and even Zina Pierre got the votes they did to a great extent because Whites voted for them on the basis of anything BUT their skin color. We are moving in the right direction until here where a White candidate is telling Black voters to vote for these candidates only because they are Black. This has got to be almost as offensive to Black voters as would be similar appeals to White voters based on racial pandering and fears. But this is based on racial pandering and fears--as are the lines of the wards that these candidate represent and it is wrong on any such basis.

The parties need to do what they can do to put the best candidates forward--White and Black, and not just put forward any candidate because he or she is an R or  D. When our parties support and help elect poorly qualified or ineffective candidates, we all lose. When Democrats put forth poorly qualified or ineffective candidates simply because they are Black and then urge Blacks to vote for them because they are Black--everyone loses--but no group loses more so than the Black voters. All they end up getting are elected officials with whom they share skin color and little else. More often than not, these officials are more concerned about getting elected and re-elected than in actually doing anyone good. And that means they must serve their party and show party unity--at all costs--and they can be high.

It is not up to me or anybody else to tell our Black neighbors what is the best way for them as a minority group to become empowered in city government. Nor do I make the assumption that most or all of them will swallow this kind of race-based pandering, but most of us involved in city politics know a thing or two about empowerment in general. Most of us know that if you keep betting on the same horse and that horse's owner keeps making you promises and the horse and the owner never deliver, it's time to switch horses. Whether it's a Black Horse, Spotted Horse, White Horse  or it's in The White House, just make sure the horse is looking out for you and me, and not just for its own skin--regardless of that skin's color.

PS  One final thought--what if there were a Black Republican???? (remember George Kelley in the last mayoral race???)

PPS  This is part of the Cohen response to my inquiry about the postcard-mailer:

"The mailer reflects the fact that Josh is proud to have been an early supporter of President Obama and is honored to be running alongside Democratic candidates for council that reflect the strength and diversity of our town.  Our campaign has produced other Ward-specific pieces featuring Dick Israel and Ross Arnett."

LISTEN TO CP Publisher Paul Foer on 1430WNAV at 8:15 every weekday morning.
READ CP Publisher Paul Foer's "The Ninth Ward" every Wednesday in The Capital
JOIN US EACH THURSDAY 8-9 am for our Sip N' Blogs normally at ZU Coffee, 934 Bay Ridge Road in the Giant Shopping Center. Oct 29--Dave Cordle at Zu Coffee. Nov-5th--mayor-elect? Nov 12--stay tuned. Stop by on your way to work for your morning latte and meet other local activists. Zu now has a drive-through window!


Paul Foer said...


I’ve enjoyed your Sip ‘n Blogs. The recent format of the candidates talking about issues in an informal setting have been very interesting. Unfortunately I’ve missed some of the candidates presentations, but the sessions I’ve attended have been a great learning experience. The informal setting is non competitive and is conducive to open communications. The format seems to provide a medium to clarify and sharpen their positions without having to be defensive.

There is one thing that keeps gnawing at the back of my head. I volunteered in four States on the Obama Campaign including being the Veterans Volunteer Coordinator in the Obama Campaign Headquarters in Carlisle, PA and Fredericksburg, VA. Being that involved you meet a lot of people, and hear a lot of things.

I keep thinking of Dougie Gansler campaigning for Josh Cohen by knocking on doors in Annapolis in the days leading up to the Mayoral primaries. That’s Doug Gansler, as in Attorney General of Maryland, and head of the Maryland Democratic Party. Not that I’m insinuating Zina’s financial problems were known months before by Gansler and/or Cohen, or that they kept the information in their back pocket just in case “The One” somehow lost. Far be it for me to suggest conspiracy theory. That Doug Gansler was somehow involved when Zina pulled off an “Obama” in opposition to surprised political power brokers.

By the way, that’s Doug Gansler who was emphatic about sending volunteers to Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA during the Obama Campaign whose election outcome was well known months in advance instead of steering volunteers to nearby locations whose margin of error was so thin that it could have meant the difference of Barack winning. That is Doug Gansler who sent buses to Northern Virginia in October of 2008 after it was very well established that Barack would carry Fairfax and Arlington Counties in Virginia. Not that the 100’s of volunteers from Maryland who worked May, June, July, and August without Doug Gansler’s support had anything to do with it.

It’s not that I think Doug Gansler is an opportunist. It’s not that I think Doug Gansler, Attorney General of Maryland, wouldn’t know a Tort from a Tart. It’s not that Doug Gansler is a “Girlie Man”. It’s not that I think Doug Gansler supports party politics over the best interests of citizens. It’s that I think Doug Gansler truly inspired Josh Cohen. After reading the latest campaign mailer, who else could have inspired “The Jerk II” starring Josh Cohen instead of Steve Martin.

One last thing, I take exception with your rules for the $10 ZU gift certificate. They are exclusionary, and only open to voters within the confines of Annapolis (reversed apartheid???). I’m going to make this prediction in the hopes that I win a consolation prize.

My prediction for the election:

On election day Josh Cohen will learn that the white elitist family that raised him are not his real parents, but he is the Albino offspring of black share croppers from Southern Anne Arundel County. In response to the revelation Josh Cohen will put out a press release stating “It’s just politics”. That statement will lead journalists to uncover his real mama from Southern Anne Arundel County has been giving Josh manicures and pedicures every day since he first attended pre-school at The Key School.

Arnold Gasper

Harwood, MD

Paul A. Richards said...

I admit I was initially disappointed by this postcard.

But, I believe that targeted ads are realistic, and not automatically racist. On reflection, this one is not at all racist.

As I mentioned before, I received an Eastport card from Josh. It wasn't intended to ignore the rest of the City.

Lets get out and vote. I will be voting for Josh.

Allen Furth said...

Josh should be completely embarrassed by this mailing.

Paul Foer said...

...and by other things as well, which is a shame. He seems willing to say and do almost anything to win this race, but then again, so does another of the three candidates....although with less embarrassing tactics..

Paul Foer said...

To Mr Paul A Richards...last post before you clearly identify yourself as a real more ifs ands or buts...I jow that you r someone claiming to be you sends comments all over the blogosphere--which is your right, but I have a policy... thank you..

blogger templates | Make Money Online