October 1, 2014 6:10 pm ET
Candidate Joe refuses to allow debate to be recorded. Is it because he was not prepared?
The debate actually began before the debate.
Let me explain.
The League of Women Voters, I was told, has a policy of not allowing any recording at their debates.
I searched the website of the LOWV and could find nothing regarding this specific issue.
When I showed up with a cameraman to tape the events, the moderator from the LOWV met with both candidates and asked, since a representative of the Patch.com was in attendance, if the candidates had any objections to the debate being recorded.
Mr. Crandell said no problem, while Mr. DiCara objected. The moderator asked me for my press credentials, which I produced. You see, as a member of the union representing freelance journalists, I have a press credential. I just happen to be a freelance journalist who writes on the Patch site.
Here is where it gets complicated, so try to follow along.
In the early days of Patch, freelancers were widely used to report the local news. After Patch was sold, freelance journalists (although limited in number) are still used to write about local news; however, they (or any contributor) are basically independent contractors. They are responsible for the sole content of their writing. Patch only serves as the host for the information.
Then along comes Mr. Jim DiMattei, apparently a DiCara supporter, with his distorted view. You see, folks, if a person tells a lie often enough, people will begin to believe it. Such is the case of Jim DiMattei. Here is his quote as it appears on my blog regarding the debate and the filming of it:
“They actually both made that choice when they agreed to the forum. They didn’t let anyone video the event because the League of Women Voters doesn’t want people (like you and Scott) creating propaganda on their dime. Again, another Buzz Beeler lie. The candidates, Todd and Joe, approved their standard format, which includes a ‘no filming’ by the public.” (John DiMattei)
The fact is that it was Mr. DiCara who chose not to be recorded. So much for transparency and openness on his part.
However, while I am on that topic, Del. John Olszewski Jr. (who backs Mr. DiCara) did allow his debate to be recorded. Here is the link of the video: youtube.com/watch?v=zixGW6jmTUM
So, with that said, here are the facts on the DiCara debate—unlike the non-truths spoken by people like John DiMattei, who seems to prefer distortion.
In the first question concerning budget issues and education, Mr. Crandell noted that the County had a $178 million surplus and promoted the STEM education system (science, technology, engineering, and math) while repealing the rain tax.
When it was Mr. DiCara’s turn at the mic, he admittedly said that he did not know the answer to the budget item because he could not find the information (even though it’s available online).
Additionally, Mr. DiCara gave an incorrect answer in response to Mr. Crandell’s remarks that he will influence fellow politicians to repeal the rain tax. Mr. DiCara stated that the rain tax was a Federal mandate, implying that we were stuck with it. I’m sorry, Mr. DiCara, but that is not true, and you should have known it.
Folks, let me just say that is something that is paramount to know to become a councilman. It’s called “homework.”
Before I go further, let me explain what I look for in a debate. Many of the questions will enter and make a quick exit from our minds. For me, I remember the answers in the sense of the candidate’s command of the subject matter and how he handles the pressure of explaining that in an articulate manner.
One case in point is that Mr. DiCara said that he had been “around the world” dealing with issues that impacted Dundalk. Now that is a mouthful. There was no follow up with supporting data on his response.
On the flip side of that issue Mr. DiCara stated that he brought businesses to the Dundalk district. This was true. According to company officials at Industrial Roll, a company formerly located in the city, Mr. DiCara was instrumental in having them relocate to Dundalk.
One telltale sign of Mr. DiCara’s performance was in the muted applause he received from his followers after his first answer, which was that he could not find the budget issue information. I felt his supporters were taken back by that response.
Regarding public safety, Mr. Crandell said that he wants to return to community policing. To that I say “KUDOS” because it works, as New York has seen a drastic reduction regarding their homicide rates since a similar program was instituted.
Mr. DiCara focused on different items, much of them already in service, such as new cars equipped with computers.
Mr. DiCara’s take on the government center was, “I don’t know why we keep talking about it.”
On our seniors, Mr. Crandell felt that they, at this point in their lives, could use a tax break. Meanwhile, Mr. DiCara felt that they have enough assistance now. He alluded to an issue where his mother-in-law used one of the county services (senior ride) provided for seniors. “We already have a lot of stuff for our seniors.”
There is one more issue I will bring up from the debate, and that is Fort Howard.
Mr. Crandell is against it in its current form—too darn big and does nothing for the vets.
On the other hand, Mr. DiCara said that ”Fort Howard was for the veterans.” Again, Mr. DiCara missed the complete facts.
Fort Howard is a retirement community for those 62 and older who can qualify financially. How many of our young wounded warriors coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan missing body parts and suffering PTSD meet that criteria?
The answer is NONE!
I’m not going to elaborate on Mr. Crandell’s performance. I don’t have to. The complete package was there.
In the next game (debate) Mr. DiCara should show up with a bat…