Friday, October 30, 2009

2009 Glennon Award for Least Responsive Candidate in an Election Campaign

Two years ago, I wrote about how Gregory Glennon, candidate for Allston-Brighton District 9 City Councilor, was so thoroughly unresponsive to attempted contacts by various neighborhood residents (including myself). It was difficult to arrange a candidates forum and debate that year, because he didn't respond to repeated requests about scheduling, related issues, and media requests for comment.

After I wrote that post, even more people contacted me to tell me that I was 100% on target in that criticism, providing their own stories of emails and phone calls that dropped into the netherworld. His non-responsiveness was peculiar, given that Glennon had said during the campaign: "I will always be available. Every phone call will get returned, every email, every letter."

This year, we have a winner of the 2009 Gregory Glennon Award for Least Responsive Candidate in an Election Campaign: Doug Bennett, candidate for Boston City Councilor-At-Large.

When a Boston Globe reporter managed to get him on the phone to ask about why he was seen running a red light in front of the Globe's office building, Bennett abruptly ended the conversation. OK, that's not such a bad thing to do with a pestering reporter, right?

Well, he hung up on a reporter from the Dorchester Reporter in May. He was "snippy and unresponsive" with Boston Phoenix reporter David Bernstein when asked about some details of his campaign finance reports.

The Allston-Brighton TAB tried to interview him as part of their reporting and endorsement process, but he couldn't be bothered to respond:
All of the At-large candidates, except for Doug Bennett who was invited but never bothered to return calls or e-mails to schedule a meeting, met with the staffs of the Allston-Brighton TAB and West Roxbury and Roslindale Transcript at different times over the past few weeks.
And when we organized the BAIA candidates forum earlier this month for the Councilor-At-Large race, we were unsure whether he knew about the event -- let alone whether or not he would show up -- until the afternoon of the event, because we didn't get responses to our repeated queries. His campaign website doesn't list a phone number; Bennett never responded to my emailed request for the phone number, so I put his home number in the handout to attendees at the forum.

The Dorchester Reporter was tongue-in-cheek about this whole issue, writing:
Bennett has not returned a voicemail message asking about this odd trend of non-responsiveness.
I didn't bother writing Bennett to ask him to comment on this post.

No comments: