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To Defeat Congressman Turner, Dr. MacNealy Must Emphasize His Commitment To Democracy

In the 3rd Congressional District, Dr. Mark MacNealy is the Democrat who is challenging the incumbent Representative, Republican Mike Turner. Last evening, after the primary vote, there was a “victory” get-together by a group on enthusiastic MacNealy supporters at the Trolly Stop in the Oregon District.  Dr. Mark was unopposed in the Democratic Primary.

I think Dr. MacNealy has the potential to be a great candidate. He has an engaging intelligence and wit.  His is an attractive personality. Dr. Mark is a physician, a neurologist, 60 years old, living in Vandalia. He has volunteered many hours to help poverty patients.  Dr. Mark has the life experience that gives him not only an in-depth knowledge concerning health issues, but also insight into the overall challenges facing citizens in our district.


Robin, owner of the “Trolley Stop” in Oregon District, with Dr. Mark MacNealy, Democratic Candidate for the U. S. Congress, 3rd District

Dr. Mark told me that he is working many hours each day on fund-raising and has been having some good success. I didn’t ask how much has been raised.

Money is important in politics, but money is not everything.  Prior Democratic candidates, Dick Chema, and Jane Mitakides, who were defeated by Turner, both spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in their campaigns.  But their campaigns were ineffectual. These previous Democratic candidates never delivered a message that resonated with sufficient voters.

We make a mistake when we analyze why Carne, Mitakides and Chema failed by emphasizing how money corrupts the process and noting Turner’s cash advantage.  We must remember that it is the message that is of central importance, not money.

In 2008, I wrote, “To Defeat Turner, Mitakides Must Communicate A Compelling Reason For Change.” But, Mitakides failed to deliver a compelling message.

At the get-together, I spoke briefly with Dr. Mark’s campaign manager, Joseph Roberts, and expressed to him my conviction that election victory depends on Dr. Mark defining and delivering a convincing message.

I told Roberts that the campaign web-site is unclear, but the message in the web-site seems to be that Dr. Mark’s candidacy is all about creating jobs for the 3rd District. I said that, if Dr. Mark is contemplating putting job creation as the central message, in my judgment, that would be a bad idea.

“Elect me, and I will bring jobs to the region,” to me, is not credible.  Without some specific proposal, the promise to create jobs is really meaningless. And, as I see it, there is no sensible proposal for job creation that a congressional candidate can make. The promise to create jobs, therefore, to me, just sounds like so much political speak and, I feel, if pushed as a central message, will quickly brand Dr. MacNealy as just another politician seeking to say whatever will get him elected.

Mitakides tried to emphasize jobs in her 2008 campaign. This is what I wrote, in a post addressed to Jane, at the time:

I saw a bumper sticker that says, “Jane = Jobs.” But isn’t Turner in favor of jobs as well? He is also in favor, no doubt, of apple pie and motherhood. In a debate, if asked about his record about jobs, Turner would certainly be able to muddy the issue. Hasn’t he helped bring jobs to Wright Patterson Air Force Base? Can’t he take credit for bringing some new businesses to the region?

If you assert that “Jane equals jobs,” the burden of explanation falls on you. If you have a plan to create jobs, it is not indicated on your web-site, and if “Jane equals jobs” is shown to be basically an empty slogan, your case for change is ruined. The point is, even for those paying attention, I don’t think it is likely that the issue of jobs will be sufficiently compelling to bring enough voters to your candidacy. And the other issues/goals you state in your web-site, I fear, have the same problem.

I would like to be part of an energized campaign that would send Dr. MacNealy to Washington.  After all, in 2008 I wrote, Mike Turner Is A Bum, For Our Democracy’s Sake, Let’s Throw The Bum Out

In Dr. Mark, I feel, the messenger should be the message.  Voters in the 3rd District, of both parties, want to send someone to Washington of integrity, intelligence, empathy — a person experienced in diagnosing and solving problems, a person who is dedicated to making the system work.  The message:  Dr. Mark is the problem solver, not a partisan loyalist.  Mike Turner is the politician — a willing participant in a political machine, — showing little inclination for independent thought or action.

Here is the diagnosis I would encourage Dr. Mark to make:  Our democracy is in trouble. The failure of our economy, the failure to create jobs is a system failure.  Our system of democracy is failing and we need representatives dedicated to making democracy work.

These thoughts about system failure should be backed up with a specific plan of how Dr. Mark will conduct himself as congressman to make the system of democracy in the 3rd District more robust, more healthy.  I’m wondering if he could use the words of a physician to good end, and compare the body politic with the body human.

Dr. Mark, for one thing, I feel, should outline a specific plan that will show how he will spend the $1.3 million allocated, each year, for congressional work in Ohio’s 3rd District.  He should demonstrate his creativity and thoughtfulness in the details of an organizational plan that he should propose, as part of his election contract with voters in the 3rd District. He should show an organizational structure, as demonstrated in a proposed office budget, that would contrast markedly from the one used by the current crop of professional Washington insiders and politicians, ie., Mike Turner.   Mike Turner already has a record of how year after year he has chosen to spend this $1.3 million.

Last year, I wrote, and was ignored, Advice For Gary Leitzell And David Esrati: Make The Campaign All About Democracy, System Structure

And here I give a summary of several previous articles:  If We Are To Have A Great Future, The Ascending Issue In Our Democracy Must Be Democracy Itself

Written By Mike Bock

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1 comment to To Defeat Congressman Turner, Dr. MacNealy Must Emphasize His Commitment To Democracy

  • Robert Vigh

    Wow, his website is really, really and I mean really terrible. He says absolutely nothing. But, he reveals in a small way that people need to be given jobs. To me he implies that government will expand in order to giveaway these jobs. For someone as educated as he is and for winning a large party primary, he basically says and states nothing. More buffoonery.

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