When the other side got around to calling voters this week about the upcoming mayoral election, “city corruption” was on the agenda. Whatever that means.
The issue arose as part of a telephone poll carried out by ADG Research. The independent mayoral campaign of Justin Elicker hired the firm to call New Haven voters this week.
It’s quick poll. Question #1: If the election were held “tomorrow,” would you vote for Elicker or Toni Harp? Elicker and Harp, the Democratic candidate in the race, face off at the polls on Nov. 5 for the chance to succeed retiring 20-year incumbent Mayor John DeStefano.
The polls has only one other question: What issue matters most to the voter.
The caller lists a series of issues, including public safety, “slumlords” (an apparent reference to allegations about how Harp’s family runs its real-estate business; read about that here); education, jobs, and “city corruption.”
A reporter receiving the call Wednesday evening asked the caller what was meant by “city corruption.”
“I think it would be crime. But I’m not sure,” she replied.
Wouldn’t crime be covered under “public safety”?
“It can be, sir,” she politely replied.
The caller said she was phoning from Florida. The company itself is based in D.C., according to Elicker campaign manager Kyle Buda.
Buda said the survey is more of an “ID call” than a poll. “It’s helping us identify as many voters as possible,” he said.
Harp’s campaign is conducting its own telephone survey this week, a “benchmark” poll that makes negative statements about each candidate to measure the resonance of both sides’ attack lines. Click here to read a story about that.
Harp campaign spokesman Patrick Scully released this statement Thursday afternoon about Elicker’s poll:
“It’s disingenuous of Mr. Elicker to get indignant about a poll that asks about each candidates’ possible negatives when his campaign is asking negative questions about Sen. Harp.
“As to the question of Elicker’s association with the Bush administration, Elicker claims [to the Register] that he is ‘a passionate Democrat.’ A ‘passionate Democrat’ doesn’t bolt the party as soon as he loses a Democratic primary. The facts are: he worked for George W. Bush’s state department and has now tossed away his Democratic Party affiliation to run as an independent. Voters can decide for themselves what, if anything, that means.”
Elicker’s poll “never mentioned Sen. Harp,” Elicker said.
posted by: TheMadcap on October 10, 2013 12:41pm
Question: Are there actually ever going to be any mayoral debates between the two? We’re only a month away and it seems like there’d be at least 3 of them.(Harp wanted 3, Elicker wanted more, so I’m assuming we’ll have 3 or 4, if they ever actually happen)
[Editor: The candidates are debating at Gateway Community College on Oct. 22 starting at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Suggestion: Come a little early and bring a photo ID for security.]
posted by: Citizen X on October 10, 2013 1:18pm
Elicker’s campaign continues to slime its way around. His supporters were attacking Harp for calls about Elicker’s choice to work in the Bush administration, meanwhile Elicker is flinging all kinds of unsupported ... um ... stuff. There is no evidence that Toni Harp is behind in her taxes, nor has she owned property. Meanwhile, your wonder boy DID work for Bush/Cheney.
posted by: cedarhillresident! on October 10, 2013 1:27pm
I vote for city corruption because it effects all of the above directly and indirectly!
posted by: robn on October 10, 2013 2:58pm
Toni Harp continues to be the beneficiary of her deceased husbands company which continues to have the largest unpaid tax bill in the state. All city taxpayers should be outraged.
posted by: robn on October 10, 2013 3:05pm
The Harpies are disturbed by a generic (no name/accusation) question about corruption and slumlords?
Guilty consciences acting up?
Calling Dr. Freud?
posted by: New Haven Taxpayer on October 10, 2013 3:17pm
Go Justin Go!
Get the truth out any way you can!
@ Citizen X
-doesn’t know anything about the budget (but is going to look into it real soon- 4 months ago)
-doesn’t know what questions are being asked in a pole by her own campaign
-doesn’t know why some group of city-contracted, fraudulent doctors would send her $9000, but doesn’t think there is anything inappropriate by giving them a little face time
-doesn’t know that her husband’s business owed $1,300,000. in back taxes. - Despite receiving $9000+/month from his estate and living in a mansion paid for, by that estate AND despite being head of the State’s appropriations committee. (my personal favorite)
-doesn’t remember why the State put a lien on her house for tax delinquency
Defend her all you want, this woman should not be mayor.
posted by: citoyen on October 10, 2013 10:28pm
“City corruption” is vaguely and inarticulately phrased. I am surprised at this lapse by the Elicker campaign.
It very likely refers to “pay-to-play.”
A smart reporter probably understands this, too.
posted by: Bill Saunders on October 11, 2013 1:19am
If you were referring to “The Guilty Party”, you might be on to something…
posted by: Thomas Alfred Paine on October 11, 2013 12:26pm
Anyone who has been following this campaign knows that if a questions about New Haveners’ concerns includes “slumlords” and “city corruption” they are directly related to Toni Harp.
I really do not think that slumlords and city corruption are among the top ten concerns of New Haven voters.
Mr. Elicker would have us all believe that participants in publicly financed elections are more righteous and noble politicians who are free from special interest group influence, that they are more directly accountable to the people, that they are incorruptible. This is not always certain. Character is always the major factor in determining a politician’s leadership, conduct and decision-making. Simply because a candidate does not take public campaign funds it should not be inferred that they will be prone to corruption.
The whole slumlord charge against Toni Harp has been debated and discussed ad infinitum ad nauseum. The charge doe not register as fair or legitimate with many people in New Haven. Mr.Carolina and to a lesser extent, Mr. Elicker, repeatedly tried to hype this negative line of attack during the primary campaign. It fell on mostly deaf ears and to a large extent it backfired on those candidates, especially Mr. Carolina, because many people felt it was a low blow and an act of desperation, which they resented. Many people believe that married couples can and do have separate careers, and that one spouse should not be held responsible for the errors, misfortunes or misdeeds of the other.
Mr. Elicker can play this line of negative attacks and innuendo if he wants, but it may increase his chances of having his second loss in this race.