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Thursday, September 29, 2005

We plan to make sure this doesn't happen on inaguration day:
Rupert Murdoch and Mort Zuckerman

Did Ferrer break election rules?


September 29, 2005

Democratic mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer emerged from Flushing High School yesterday after speaking with members of the class of 2006, likely hoping that three days of unpleasant media attention were behind him.

But once again, there was a problem: The press was asking about a Giuliani-era rule, which bars candidates from visiting public schools within 60 days of an election.

That followed the flap over a church speech, the inaccurate statement on his Web site that he attended public school when he did not, and the fact that his name won't appear on the Working Families Party line, even though the party endorsed him.

Faced with these controversies, and being outspent and 14 points down according to one poll, Ferrer has repeatedly tried to turn the conversation back to the larger issues -- citing, for example, a "50 percent dropout rate" in the public schools.

"It's a really desperate attempt [by the Bloomberg campaign] to try to change the subject from the fact that we're standing in front of a school with an on-time graduation rate of barely 46 percent," Ferrer said yesterday.

The NY media has a habit of playing this game with minority candidates. They did it in 2002 with Carl McCall, filling up days of newspaper copy with how his daughter got a job, while ignoring the ramapnt corruption in Albany.

Lucky for Ferrer, this shit is so minor, and getting such little play, that it doesn't matter. These are the kinds of issues white voters hide behind to deny minority candidates votes.

But because the demographics place the election in the hands of black voters, this cat and mouse game won't mean nearly as much.

Ferrer is smart to make the high schools the issues. Because Bloomberg doesn't talk about them. All his changes have affected the lower grades, not the high schools, which seem to be in real crisis.

The papers say they understand that black voters are the key, but they aren't really responsing to it, you know, by doing detailed polling of black voters and the like and asking one simple question: would you lie to a white pollster to hide your true intentions? Because that's the most important number.

posted by Steve @ 7:55:00 AM

7:55:00 AM

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