"What Donovan is doing is odd." --- The Donovan poster/signs screw-up is just a little too typical of this GOP Special Election Campaign
Bad debate prep -- Bad Federal Election Compliance -- Clueless Staff work
And now, is playing both ends in the Brooklyn GOP split going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back for Donovan ?
According to former Brooklyn beat reporter, Ross Barkan, writing in his politics column for the NY Observer, it really looks like Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, a Republican candidate for Congress, is breaking Federal Election Commission law with his campaign posters and yard signs (See "Prosecutor’s Campaign Signs May Violate Federal Rules" by Ross Barkan, 4/17/15, NY Observer [http://observer.com/2015/04/prosecutors-campaign-signs-may-violate-federal-rules/]).
Barkan's article goes on to say that Mr. Donovan, who is running for the open congressional seat in Staten Island and southern Brooklyn, "... has plastered signage throughout the 11th Congressional District that neglects to include a required disclaimer that says they were paid for by his campaign...." And that the Federal Election Commission "... mandates candidates for national office place [such] a disclaimer on most campaign materials and will fine campaigns not in compliance...."
The article in the New York Observer says that "... [i]n the case of Mr. Donovan, his large blue signs reading, 'It’s time…Dan Donovan for Congress' are disclaimer-free...." What's more, Barkan points out, in New York's controlled state elections, a similar type disclaimer is not required, whereas in federal elections under the FEC regime, it is required. However, a legal source cited by Barkan explained that in practice, everyone in New York puts disclaimers on; Barkan then quoted that expert as saying, "What Donovan’s doing is odd.”
WHY DOES THE DONOVAN CAMPAIGN LOOK LIKE IT'S BEING RUN BY ROOKIES ?Violateing FEC rules is the kind of thing that small, underfinanced, amateur campaigns do almost as a matter of course. Usually, that is attributable to the inexperience of those rookies and other amateurs running such ersatz campaigns. Why, then, does the well-financed and completely professionally managed and controlled operation of Dan Donovan look like it's being run by a bunch of rookies ?
All campaigns reflect the candidates themselves , at least to some extent. In this special election race, Dan Donovan has shown himself to be both generally un-prepared and repeatedly gaffe prone. One wonders why this was never noticed during his other recent races; and if it's something new, what is wrong with him now ? Perhaps it has something to do with his recently scrambled personal life overflowing into his public performance.
JUST HOW PROUD DOES DONOVAN NEED TO BE ?Compounding Donovan's personal problems is the selection of his campaign spokesperson, Jessica Proud. Her job for Donovan has been spotty at best. Why she is there is a mystery because her record is anything but stellar.
How she responded to this particular bungle about the signs and posters is typical of the job that she's done for Donovan. Just take a look at what she did about the current Donovan campaign flap: First off, the Barkan-NY Observer report said, "A spokeswoman for Mr. Donovan did not return repeated requests for comment...." --- now, we all can agree, that's not getting off to a good start. However, things might not have mproved once she did have a response --- as reported in the SI Advance --- "Donovan spokeswoman Jessica Proud said, 'For anyone who wasn't certain, we will be putting stickers on our "Donovan for Congress" signs indicating they were indeed paid for by Donovan for Congress.'..." (See "Donovan campaign signs may violate election laws" by Rachel Shapiro, 4/17/15, SI Advance/ silive.com [http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/04/donovan_campaign_signs_dont_co.html]).
Is Jessica Proud serious ? --- "... FOR ANYONE WHO WASN'T CERTAIN..." Is that the reason for the "stickers" ? Really ? Couldn't it be to get into compliance with FEC regulations; and to avoid possible fines and penalties for additional willful repeat violations ? Who taught this one that nippy and snarky lines work with the press when it's your side that has obviously screwed up ?
CARARA MIA WHY --- MUST DONOVAN NOW SAY GOOD BYE....Ron Carara, the Donovan Campaign manager bears a lot of the blame for the stumbles of the Donovan for Congress Campaign. For example, he was directly reponsible for the questionable E-mail fund raising solicitation that caused the initial charges of racisim and race-baiting to fly.
Then instead of owning it and taking the heat for his client, the candidate, Carara and the campaign had Donovan stand up to defend the incendiary E-mail, causing additional flack for the candidate. Carara's style as a campaign manager seems to be to throw gasoline on every fire that he sees and to make sure that Donovan is close enough to get burned..
Obviously, taking a long-time assistant out of the Staten Island DA's Office was not the right place to have recruited for a campaign manager in a special congressional campaign; running a DA's Office's secretaries, paralegals, process servers, victim advocates and social workers is not the same as running a campaign.
While there is still a little time, Donovan needs to remedy this mistake, let Ron Caraara go back to his DA's Office gig, and get a pro to run the campaign fast --- even if it's not formally done with press releases from Ms. Proud.
GETTING INTO A MESS IN BROOKLYN AND WITH THE INTERNAL CONSPIRACIES OF THE BROOKLYN GOPDonovan might have stepped on a landmine in Brooklyn this week without being there or doing very much at all.
It seems that Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton thought that he had a personal understanding with Dan Donovan that the Brooklyn GOP Organization would have the lead in the Donovan Campaign in the Brooklyn part of the congressional district.
That was all put into question on Wednesday evening, when a rump group of non-Eaton-aligned district leaders, mostly from outside the congressional district, and a few others showed up at the Bay Ridge Manor, a venue long associated with the Marty Golden faction of the Brooklyn GOP. The meeting had been called by Marty Golden supposedly for the benefit of the Donovan Campaign and with its blessing. However, its abbreviated invitation list, the small attendance and down-beat atmosphere bespoke a conspiracy rather than a political rally for somebody running for congress and likely to win.
My sources outside saw only seventeen people enter in the rather long time before the meeting that they were watching the door. In the hall, there appeared to be quite a few more than that; nonetheless, the "crowd" was still described as "small" by somebody working on the inside.
The problem was not with the numbers, but with what was talked about and how it was talked about, formally by the speakers and by the participants. It was largely about what needed to be done for Donovan in Brooklyn by those in that room, so that proper credit would be given to the Brooklyn Republicans not participating in the formal Brooklyn GOP effort on behalf of Donovan. For his part, Marty Golden spoke briefly for him and urged everybody to do their part and get the credit they deserved going forward. According to my source inside, in the diminished mood of the evening, Golden left before the meeting he'd called together had finished.
It remains to be seem whether this dispirited gathering of Republican insurgents, with or without Marty Golden, will have any impact whatsoever on the Donovan campaign in Brooklyn or overall.