“Empty Eddie”

As many pundits have pointed out, the Congressional race in Colorado’s 7th District (in which I happen to live) figures to be one of the competitive campaigns of the 2006 season. Republican Rick O’Donnell and Democrat Ed Perlmutter are squaring off to replace the open seat left by Congressman Bob Beauprez, who is running for governor

While I have often been too busy of late to comment on this race, I have enjoyed the email press releases coming from the O’Donnell campaign. The most recent release is clever, generating a nickname for the opponent that deserves to catch on – “Empty Eddie.” Why? The message of the release is spot on, bringing up a point that ought not to be ignored: O’Donnell’s Web site contains a series of detailed proposals to address a range of issues, while Perlmutter’s Web site is filled with platitudes and vagaries.

Now, of course, the O’Donnell people are too polite to point out any of the things that came to my mind so clearly as I read the release:

1. Liberal Democrats (like “Empty Eddie”) are much more prone to emote than to think, obviating the need for serious detailed policy proposals.

2. Liberal Democrats (like “Empty Eddie”) can’t win elections running on a liberal agenda, so it’s much easier just to speak in nebulous terms.

3. Liberal Democrats (like “Empty Eddie”) know they are much more likely to get a free pass from the mainstream media, and thus largely can avoid serious policy discussions.

4. Liberal Democrats (like “Empty Eddie”) have primarily become defenders of the status quo and thus have tended to stagnate in any attempts at new policy ideas.

5. Liberal Democrats (like “Empty Eddie”) are banking their electoral success this year on a knee-jerk, vitriolic hatred of the President and the majority party in Washington. Who then really needs serious policy ideas?

You can read the press release from O’Donnell campaign manager K.C. Jones (not of Boston Celtics fame) below (also included were a detailed, side-by-side comparison of the candidates on the issues, which due to formatting issues could not be reproduced)…

Dear Friend:

Usually, political candidates try to say as little as possible during a campaign and use broad, vague, poll-driven statements to placate voters.

But not Rick O’Donnell.As you’ve probably gathered by now, Rick has ideas.
Lots of them.

Rick has personally written 15 policy statements on issues ranging from job creation to health insurance to immigration, and from taxes to smart growth to human smuggling. The nice thing is that while you may not agree with Rick on every issue, he’ll always tell you where he stands.

Shouldn’t we expect at least that from those seeking public office? Shouldn’t we expect them to tell voters where they stand on the issues?

Like most politicians though, Rick’s opponent, bankruptcy lawyer Ed Perlmutter, has taken the easy road – the road of no new ideas and no message of substance.

No wonder he’s earned the nickname “Empty Eddie” – when it comes to new ideas, Ed Perlmutter’s either running on fumes or running on empty.

Just visit his website. Right on the homepage Empty Eddie lists his eight priorities, all in sound bite form. Each begins with a platitude, such as “I want to make healthcare more affordable” or “I want to get our fiscal house in order.” Who doesn’t?

But then rather than give voters even one new idea on how he’d solve these issues, Empty Eddie only tells us what he’s against. To emphasize the point, he even uses all capitalizations to tell us what he’s NOT for. It’s just more of the same-old complain and blame of which we’ve all grown weary.

Maybe most stunning of all, Ed Perlmutter fails to completely discuss critical issues like the economy, education and taxes. That’s correct, he doesn’t have one word to say about these major issues.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of each candidate’s positions as outlined on their websites, www.RickODonnell.com and www.perlmutter2006.com. I encourage you to go to both websites and read for yourself. You’ll quickly see that Rick is the candidate of ideas, of new energy, new blood and new solutions. Empty Eddie is the candidate of sound-bite driven platitudes that has gotten America into the mess we’re in today.

You decide. Would you rather have a Congressman of substance and new ideas – even if occasionally you disagree – or the same old play-it-safe, Washington, D.C.-scripted talking points?

63 Days and Counting,


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