As Democrat candidate for lieutenant governor Caroline Fayard has tried so hard to craft an image of being an ordinary Jane concerned enough to take on the political establishment, revelations about her spotty voting history has become perhaps the biggest chink of the several in that armor, joining Third Congressional District Democrat candidate Ravi Sangisetty damaged for the same reason.
Voters want a demonstrated commitment to service on their behalf from people whose idea of political activism is not cozying up to the politicians and their allies who have created the problems they claim to want to solve. By contrast, both Fayard and Sangisetty fit the profile of dilettantes who think popular discontent is a tool by which to fool people into voting for them, not as a genuine resource to fix longstanding problems.
Days ago it was revealed that Sangisetty had never voted in his life for federal office. This weekend, the presumed “establishment” candidate opposing Fayard, Republican Sec. of State Jay Dardenne, asked her in a debate why she had missed votes at least half the time (Dardenne, as one might imagine having been state senator and in his present position, appears to have voted in every election for over a decade.)
Even though Sangisetty never has voted in a federal election, he gave the maximum $4,600 to U.S. Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign in 2008 – which makes very questionable his credibility of his excuse why he didn’t vote, that his voice “didn’t matter.” So he doesn’t think voting matters, but giving money does? What does this tell us about him relative a job he wants where the most consequential thing you do is vote – and one where the receiving of money sometimes corrupts?
Fayard’s excuse is that it doesn’t matter and that she claims getting to the polls half of the time is better than the typical citizen’s record. But striking deeply at her credibility is how is it three years ago she didn’t even care enough to vote for the office she claims now she so passionately wants to perform, lieutenant governor? And, like Sangisetty, she seems to place more emphasis in giving money – tens of thousands of dollars to mostly liberal Democrat candidates over the years – than in voting, all the while thinking a lackadaisical approach to voting with the lack of interest that shows in the community is adequate for an elected leader.
It simply isn’t. In this year where past elected office is suspect, the kind of candidate that best contrasts in the minds of voters upset at the direction our political leaders in Washington is a newcomer to politics but who has been politically aware and active and increasingly disgusted at the wrong path the country has taken, to the point that they step up as candidates.
This portrait describes neither Fayard nor Sangisetty. No one who votes occasionally to never while throwing big money at candidates whose issue preferences seem at odds with what they say they believe as candidates seriously can claim they are frustrated members of the community with a long-time commitment to working for solutions. Instead, they come off as insiders and immature opportunists that, because of their wealth and fellow insider national Democrats’ encouragement, thought it might be fun to run for offices about which they cared little by trying to ride the “outsider” tide.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 11:15