My buddy Eric Mansfield has an interesting post on his blog regarding the Akron Mayor's race; here's a preview of the on-camera tussle we'll probably have on NewsNight Akron Friday.
At stake: the Mayor's office. As I wrote here last week, the story about Joe Finley charging the Mayor with dodging the City's campaign finance law finally got the Finley campaign what they've been working hard for: traction with the media as they try to stake out some territory playing David versus Goliath.
The story got play on local radio when it first came out on Tuesday, but it really didn't get the attention of the Print Lords of South Main or local television until Don Plusquellic decided to respond.
(It's interesting, by the way: the new ABJ site found the story from John Higgins after searching for Plusquellic but not Finley; maybe that's the problem. Click quick before it disappears into paid archive purgatory.)
Eric points out in his Have I Got News For You blog that the "Average Joe" campaign is spending more time busting the Mayor than articulating a vision for Akron. Hey, not really a surprise -- that's what challengers do! What may make for some interesting debate is just why the Finley camp took so long to get a message out, and why the media is just now waking up to the Mayoral campaign that ends early next month when Akron voters go to the polls.
Have we fallen down on the job presenting enough information on this city campaign?
I'd agree with those of you saying yes...but only because it is still way early, even with a month to go. This election really isn't on the radar, at least not yet, with the exception of fundraisers and door-to-door campaigning going on in the ward level. Sure, Joe and Don are doing their thing as well but the battle for Akron hasn't really been waged until both are face-to-face and that won't happen until August27th at the Akron Press Club's luncheon at the Martin Center, although there are rumblings of other appearances both on-and-off the airwaves between now and primary day.