Cell Phones In Politics: Rude? Fair? or Creative?
By MICHAEL SCHENKLER
Technology has changed our lives.
It has also changed politics.
On a national level, Howard Dean led the way and then Barack Obama’s campaign brought campaigns into the 21st century.
It has followed on a local level. Social media, computer databases, smart phone apps and sophisticated digital mailings have changed the way campaigns target and reach their prospective voters.
But apparently new technological applications are being created every day.
Word from the hotly contested Queens 6th Congressional race has a surprise technological innovator.
With frontrunner Assemblywoman Grace Meng and Assemblyman Rory Lancman generally credited as the more cerebral of the Democratic field, it is Councilwoman Liz Crowlety, we are told, who gets the credit for an innovative use of the cell phone.
|At the Kissena Park Civic Association May 24 Candidate’s Forum for the 6th Congressional District, (pictured above, l. to r.): Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, Green Party Candidate Evergreen Chou, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, Dr. Robert Mittman.
||Liz Crowley (left) cell phone in hand, reportedly texting in search of information and an answer.
It seems that during a Thursday evening May 24, Kissena Park Civic Associartion candidate forum, Crowley texted for information and answers to the questions.
The Councilwoman has been showing up late to a number of civic forums and has been seen before, cell phone questionably reaching out in a manner some say is rude and others say is cheating.
At one point, one of those present at this forum told us, the questioning made its way to government regulation of banking. And when the Dodd-Frank, Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was mentioned and discussed by several of the others on stage, Liz Crowley speed texted searching for some guidance.
We hope we’re not taking the Councilwoman’s secret weapon away, but next time she’s in a campaign forum with the other candidates, see if she starts texting.
We wonder if seeking outside help is fair.
After all, on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, you can only phone a friend once.
Elected Officials Can Get Ugly
I’ll try to remain objective but when elected officials display their arrogance and disdain for others, it often gets to me.
Here’s one such story.
I’ve chosen, for now, to withhold names but I’m not keeping secrets. I think the facts and ugly behavior points clearly to one elected official and if appropriate apologies are not offered, you’ll hear more about this.
Two weeks ago, in this column, I noted naming names, that three incumbent elected officials, out of 27 running for reelection, face serious challenges and could lose their seats. I gave some brief rationale and ran pictures of the incumbents and challengers. This was my true assessment and I stand by it.
Well, one of the electeds did not like that I printed they could lose. The following weekend, at a public event, she was approached by my friend and colleague who had known her for decades. She turned her back on him.
Next, the wife of my friend and colleague, who had worked with her and known her for years, was similarly treated by the elected.
My friend, after the rude and disrespectful treatment, spoke to the son of the elected. He seemingly recognized his parent’s behavior was inappropriate but was dismissive of its importance.
If someone doesn’t like what I write, they can send a letter to the editor. They can call me. They can if they wish write me off. When elected officials display hissy fits in public, conducting themselves with an air of entitlement and a holier-than-thou attitude, they not only alienate the public and the press, they bring disgrace on the office they hold.
Turn your back on someone in public, and the people should turn their backs on you.
We’ll see what we can do to help make that happen.
In other matters relating to elected officials and their problems:
• Embattled Comptroller John Liu was denied a delegate position to attend the early September 2012 Democratic Convention in Charlotte, NC to nominate President Obama for re-election. Published reports point to the federal criminal probe into Liu’s fundraising as the cause.
• South Queens Democratic Councilman Ruben Wills is under investigation by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has been issuing subpoenas for financial records as it pertains to Wills and his use of City and Campaign funds. At least one staff member has made calls trying to get her name removed from some of the subpoenaed documents.