Soares, Leary & Mondale

What can Elk Grove city council member Mike Leary learn from former council member Rick Soares and Walter Mondale on campaign ethics L...

What can Elk Grove city council member Mike Leary learn from former council member Rick Soares and Walter Mondale on campaign ethics

Longtime Elk Grove political observers may recall the name of former Elk Grove city council member Rick Soares. I certainly do.

I first met Soares in 1996 when I was appointed to the Elk Grove Community Planning Advisory Council. I served with Soares for two and half years.

During this time I found Soares to be a reasonable, intelligent person who sought improvement for the then unincorporated Elk Grove. I voted for Soares in 2000 and 2002.

By the time 2006 rolled around, Soares popularity had sunk and his reelection bid was in doubt by a very strong challenge from former planning commissioner Patrick Hume.

While I had concerns about several of Soares votes on the council, based on the personal knowledge I possessed, I was still willing to vote for him until about a week before the election.

With one week to go, I started receiving several robo-calls and mailers that basically dragged Hume's name through the mud based on something in his past. If memory serves me, Hume may have been arrested for a DUI.

Whatever it was, to me it did not seem to matter as to whether he could be the job as a council member. More importantly, it was a last minute effort by the Soares' campaign to sully his Hume's reputation.

Based on this, I ended up voting for Hume.

In the aftermath of his loss, Soares told the Elk Grove Citizen that “I have some reflecting to do.” Perhaps Soares had realized that by conducting such a dirty campaign that he was bound to lose, he should have conducted his affairs in a manner more consistent with his actual being.

Which brings us to Mike Leary who could be the Rick Soares, or for that matter the Dan Briggs of 2008.

Leary is facing a credible and tough challenge from Steve Detrick. While Detrick has run a campaign based on issues, Leary has started to pull out some negative mailers against Detrick. I expect we will start getting some negative robo-call/push polling from Leary in the next seven or eight days.

The question we have for Leary is this: should you run an ugly campaign in the closing days of this election and lose, is this how you want to be remembered by the community and more importantly, your three children?

Which brings us to Walter Mondale's swansong presidential campaign in 1984 against a very popular Ronald Reagan.

With two weeks left in the campaign, it was obvious Mondale had no chance of beating the Gipper. Mondale sought the advise of top advisors on what strategy he should employ to conclude his campaign.

The advisors told him to run the campaign in a way in which your grandchildren can be proud of him. With that, Mondale spoke from the heart about issues and more importantly, did not personally attack the President.

As we enter the last days of the campaign, the question for Leary is if he is going to take the Soares and Briggs route or the Mondale path.

Post a Comment Default Comments

Follow Us



Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

Elk Grove News Podcast