Examine the tactics of political campaigns | Chuck Parrish

Chuck Parrish

More inside politics. Last month, I wrote about the plethora of complaints and suits generated by Republican party advocates against Democratic party candidates and districts. Currently, there is a self-referential circular path in play. It is a ruse. It goes like this. 1) A blogger who lives in the region files the complaints and the suits. The blogger then writes about them on his or her web page. 2) Republican and right-leaning candidates get the word that they can use this process to damage their opponents. 3) The candidate spreads the message that the opponent is under investigation. The candidate then refers back to the website of the blogger in step 1.

If a candidate is running against an incumbent with a good track record, it is an uphill battle. There must be something about the candidate that is special – something that uniquely qualifies that person to replace the incumbent. Barring that, the candidate may choose to go negative. The most likely first step would be to exaggerate the negatives and ignore the positives in a community. The usual tropes are a high crime rate, poor schools (city government is not responsible for local school districts), finances out of control and dishonest or less-than-transparent public servants. The second step is to find a way to make the public doubt the opponent. That is where the self-referential circular path comes into play. The above strategies usually will not work if the incumbent has a commendable record as a public servant.

Take a look at local campaigns, and decide for yourself what is going on.

Tukwila Reporter columnist Chuck Parrish can be reached via email at chuckparrish2009@gmail.com.