Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The morning after

I probably got to bed at an earlier hour than most political workers on election night...I was asleep by about 2:45. By 9:20 I was awake and had slept off last night's vodka. Almost 7 hours of sleep is a big bump up for me, it'll probably take a few more days to condition myself to 8 or 9 hours.

Anyway, this morning I got up and did what I usually do: wandered over to my computer to catch the latest from blogs and the Register in my Google Reader.

Warning: I'm about to show a Fallon bias.

I'm not intending for this blog to become the place where I bemoan Ed Fallon's defeat, nor the place where I lay blame for Ed Fallon's defeat, nor the place where I repeat, over and over, "this wouldn't happen if Ed Fallon were governor." No one wants to read that and carrying those sour grapes for the rest of eternity would just accelerate my heart attack schedule.

With that said, this morning's Beaumont piece was too much. The whole piece is better than 800 words long. Here's the 87 words that focus on Ed Fallon:

Fallon, a 14-year Des Moines lawmaker, capped his outsider campaign by winning in Polk County, where he captured 41 percent of the vote, compared to 31 percent for Culver and 27 percent for Blouin.

"The naysayers said we couldn't do this good," said Fallon, who limited the dollar amount of campaign contributions and took no money from political action committees.

About 150 supporters gathered outside Fallon's house, north of downtown Des Moines, at a block party that featured jugglers and the musical group, "Flying Pig Fiddle Banjo."

So, since I no longer have a campaign for my actions to reflect poorly upon, I decided to fire off a quick email to Tom Beaumont this morning, and share it with you.


I'm hoping you won't take this personally, or see it as sour grapes on my part. With that said, I wanted to drop you a line to get something off my chest today.

I've been severely disappointed for months, but even more so recently, with both the Register as a whole and more specifically your coverage of our campaign.

I don't even need to go back a whole week for specific examples. In your candidate profiles over the weekend, while you talked about other candidates' strengths, you profiled Ed's lack of executive experience (being Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Iowa apparently wasn't enough for you), and then flashed his work with the Pagan community. Yeah, Ed stands up for people he feels are underrepresented. It's part of what makes him a great legislator. Would it have killed you, though, if you were going to pick one of those groups, to talk about his work for can redemption centers, people threatened by eminent domain, or owners of small grocery stores?

Now, this morning I'm paging through today's news, and I spotted your three paragraphs on Fallon in a piece of almost 900 words. In your 87 words on Fallon, you managed to find a gramatically incorrect quote from the candidate, and you followed it by giving more space to the jugglers and the band at the event than Ed's position on money in politics. Culver was last night's winner and I understand he's the focal point of the story. All we asked for, all we've ever asked for, is a fair shake from you. I feel this story is a great representation of your inability to take Ed seriously. While he didn't win last night, he did better than anyone outside his office would've predicted. Instead of reading about that today, your readers will find out "Flying Pig Fiddle Banjo" played at his victory party.

I want to make it clear to you that this is not an email where I lay my dead campaign down at your feet and point the finger at you. I'm not sure how much of a difference, if any, the Register's coverage of Ed made in this campaign. But I would encourage you to take a look back and see if you feel your treatment of Ed was really justified.

Feel free to offer your thoughts.



Bob said...

I think it's a good email.

Good for you.

Instead of focusing on the weird band name in the news snippets last nght, they could have focused on the fact that he's not having his post election party in some fancy hotel, but in the neighborhood that was trying to get him elected.

Gavin said...

Well written, thanks for that. Let us know what his response is, assuming he bothers with one.

Anonymous said...

As a Republican, I thought I'd let you know that I have nothing but admiration for Fallon and you and your colleagues. I was pulling for you guys, and not just because we'd cream you. We'll cream Culver, too. I have a lot of respect for Democrats (and politicians in general) like Ed who are True Believers in what people can do for one another. Congratulations.

Chris said...

I'm curious - did you get a response yet?

KL Snow said...

Nope, and I'm not expecting one.