Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Is Sharon fatally wounded by her no-show at debate?

Sharon and Mapp were to debate last night, but she was a no-show

Have Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs' chances of re-election been fatally wounded by her no-show at Wednesday evening's mayoral candidates forum?

The Plainfield Public Library's meeting room was packed to the gills with a crowd eagerly anticipating the first -- and only -- opportunity to see and hear the incumbent mayor and her challenger, Councilor Adrian Mapp, face-to-face.

Organized by FOSH and co-sponsored by the Plainfield chapter of the League of Women Voters, the event was emceed by FOSH president Pat Turner Kavanaugh and guest LWV moderator Dawn Clark, who has filled that role at several Plainfield forums.

When the appointed time came, the audience was asked to be patient pending the arrival of the Mayor. Kavanaugh gamely filled in the time with a series of 'community service announcements', several of which drew rounds of applause from the audience (especially notice of the FOSH plan to erect signs in honor of PHS Cardinals' two state championships). Eventually, however, Clark made the decision to pull the plug and the event was shut down about 7:30 PM. At that point, candidate Adrian Mapp announced that he was prepared to stay and answer questions from attendees as long as they wished.

As some were making their way to the exit and others to the front to speak with Mapp, longtime mayoral go-fer Barbara James arrived with a note from the Mayor, explaining her absence was due to a medical condition (Bernice and the Courier were said to have been given copies, not moi).

After all the titillation dies down, the burning question is whether Sharon's failure to show will be fatal to her re-election hopes.

Bearing in mind the maxim that each person in attendance will influence between 10 and 20 others' perceptions of the events (and that was before the days of bloggers, FaceBook and Twitter), the negative fallout to Robinson-Briggs runs into the thousands. (Keep in mind that very few people were aware of her explanatory note, which arrived as things were breaking up.)

Add to this the fact that Robinson-Briggs is not walking the districts door-to-door -- it is just not her style -- and she is left with appealing to niche groups that she has fallen back on before.

Though she has called for a 'community forum' for Friday evening, that is a barely concealed campaign event and using a school facility as its venue is being protested (see my other post here).

One local operative with years of experience estimates that Robinson-Briggs has only about $10,000 in funds on hand. That would be barely enough for printing and mailing just one citywide piece, with nothing left over for the final get-out-the-vote push which is so essential to winning an election.

Even if she has backers secretly (and illegally) bankrolling many of her campaign expenses, there are limits to anyone's resources, unless of course they have a million dollars to spend to help a drinking buddy.

Add to this that we are going into a long holiday weekend, the official beginning of summer, and many folks will not be focused on politics until everyone is back at work on Tuesday. That leaves Robinson-Briggs with precious little time to engineer any recovery of lost forward motion by her campaign.

Are her chances fatally wounded?

By her own doing, I'm afraid.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Bernice said...

I asked Barbara for two copies, one for me and one for Mark, who kicked in a quarter for the copier. She consulted with someone on the phone before making the copies.

Anonymous said...

there's no link to your "other post" on Rev Sharpton.

Bob said...

Even with a doctor's note, very few people will believe that Sharon is truthful. Look her late bow out from the high school debate. I talked to many last night who were through with her and tired of her inaction. Even people working with her on the various boards have complained about her lack of action when they have worked so hard to make positive change for Plainfield.

Good riddence, Shady Sharonda!

Anonymous said...

Sharon's "fatal wounds" are self-inflicted.

Anonymous said...

Well if not showing up for a debate is the act of self-inflicting "fatal wounds" as you say, then we have two wounded contenders running for Mayor. There was a debate hosted by the NAACP on May 17, 2013 and Mr.Mapp failed to show up, there was no note or reason for his absence. I find this highly disturbing that so much attention is being placed on the Mayor's absence at the FOSH debate and it does not seem as important that Mr. Mapp is guilty of the same behavior.

Dan said...

@ 4:35 AM -- You are either misinformed or attempting to mislead other readers. Mapp replied to NAACP organizers in writing once he received an invitation that he had a prior commitment. Peter Briggs should have announced that fact at the debate. Mapp posted their exchange of correspondence on his blog. Mayor Robinson-Briggs had told the FOSH organizers she would be present and never communicated further until Barbara James huffed in with a note from the Mayor after the crowd had started breaking up -- with many of Sharon's supporters vociferously disappointed by her failure to show.