Maggie’s “Victories” All Need an Asterisk

Maggie Brooks’ campaign has posted a press release claiming victory over Louise Slaughter because Brooks raised more money, collected more petition signatures and won a Rochester Business Journal poll.

The most reasonable of these claims is the fundraising one. Brooks did outraise Slaughter, but it’s more than a little ironic that a campaign aide is making that claim on a shiny new professional website when Brooks didn’t own up that she’s paid either staff salaries or website developers in her latest filing. If Brooks had acknowledged her expenses, as Slaughter did, her net would have been closer to Slaughter’s total. Never mind that Slaughter has double the cash on hand, which is the number that matters.

The other two “victories” are laughable. Presumably, like almost every other campaign in New York, Brooks or the GOP used paid petition gatherers, so the number of signatures she bought is a pointless metric. And the only way that an unscientific straw poll of Rochester businesspeople would be news is if it hadn’t picked Brooks.

The fact that a campaign press release is a bunch of meaningless puffery isn’t usually worth a remark, but I think it merits some scrutiny in the context of Brooks’ poor performance in her D&C interview this weekend. Instead of writing press releases like these, her campaign should be working on the issues page of her site, which at the moment mentions not one word about the kinds of issues Brooks would be voting on if she were elected to Congress.