Special Elections Call for Special Campaigning
by Anthony Stasi
Apr 30, 2015 | 12559 views | 0 0 comments | 525 525 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The special election in the 11th Congressional District for the seat vacated by Mike Grimm is like any other special election in the sense that it is really more about the campaign machinery than the candidates.

The election takes place on May 5, and in this case neither Republican Dan Donovan nor Democrat Vincent Gentile are unorthodox choices. There are differences, sure, but in a special election, it's all about getting people to the polls.

Neither Donovan nor Gentile are first-time candidates, but those who get into politics as neophytes often learn too late that an election strategy is a big part of the ball game.

Most people do not vote on regular election days, let alone special elections, so the campaign machinery in this case matters a great deal.

Donovan’s prosecutorial background would be a good fit for the GOP in Washington, which in recent years has become too obsessed with being an opposition party. They need to get back to being the crime-fighting, fiscally pragmatic party they once were. Donovan would be a good addition to John Boehner’s majority.

Whoever wins in the special election will have to defend the seat in a year, but that would not be such an uphill climb if Donovan wins. Despite the way the 11th District fares in national elections, it is still realistic to picture voters splitting their tickets in November of 2016 and sticking with an incumbent member of Congress.

For now, however, there must be phones ringing off the hook in Staten Island as registered voters get constantly reminded that there is an election in May.

Spot in Hall for Full-Time Hitters?

As a fan of American League baseball, it is still difficult to understand the logic that goes with one-dimensional baseball players.

The designated hitter was introduced in 1974 and has been a part of American League baseball even since. Even with all of the ridiculous changes to the game in recent years, the DH is one of the only, if not the only, difference between the two leagues.

Nonetheless, the players should be both offensive and defensive players and pitchers should bat.

This brings us to whether a player like Boston’s David Ortiz is a future Hall of Famer. He has great numbers and has made a big impact. He has been, however, almost solely a one-dimensional player.

Some of the scuttlebutt about Ortiz and performance-enhancing drugs may also keep him out, at least as far as the first ballot is concerned. But despite the PED possibilities, are we okay with players who only play half of the game being Hall of Famers?

Major League Baseball should do away with the DH once and for all. If pitchers are bad hitters, it’s on them to step it up. It would also move the game along quicker because there would be fewer mid-inning pitching changes.

Ortiz is a great hitter, and it would be hard to say he was not one of the most exciting hitters of his generation, but the DH is such a specialized position that the league should now reconsider its place in the game.

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