Thursday, October 22, 2009

More Mailings, More Laughs

So O'Brien has sent out yet another mailing. This time he's trying to paint himself as the candidate for education. Again, instead of merely stating facts about his own record he feels he needs to attack Mayor Stewart. This is the same guy who swore up and down that he'd run a 'clean' campaign? It is absolutely disgusting that O'Brien would try to paint his opponent as opposed to education. His question "Why did Mayor Stewart Block State funding to relieve overcrowding in our school?" includes no details or information, it is a generic accusation with no supporting evidence.

Tim O'Brien likes to play with numbers so I did a bit of digging, lets look at the percentage funding the state pays to New Britain. I threw them into a pretty graph similar to the one on O'Brien's mailer.

Unlike Tim O'Brien I'll admit that my graph is meaningless. It is specifically designed by picking data that supports only one viewpoint. Also, unlike Tim O'Brien, I will tell you where I get my data, this information is available here. It is pretty interesting to pour through. O'Brien's graph is sourced as "based on figures from the State Office of Legislative Research." I actually went to website for the Office of Legislative Research and was unable to find any information that would generate the figures O'Brien was presenting.

Now lets take a look at O'Brien's own graph that I recreated in Excel:

Now, this is designed to impress us that O'Brien really has brought home the bacon, but I can give you a list of three major questions this graph brings up.
  • Why does the graph only go back to 2004 if O'Brien was elected in 2001? 
  • What happened from 2006 to 2007? There was virtually no increase in the funding O'Brien acquired for New Britain. In fact when you break down the numbers something shocking emerges. The percentage increase from 2004 to 2005 was 2.5%. From 2005 to 2006 the increase was 4.3%. From 2006 to 2007 it was less than 0.5% and from 2007 to 2008 it was a whooping 11%. If you average that out then O'Brien has increased funding an average of 3.74% per year. That is little more than the inflation rate. Is this supposed to impress us?
  • Finally, what the heck do these numbers represent? On his mailer the paragraph next to the graph state "Tim O'Brien has successfully won millions of dollars of increased aid to New Britain for quality education and lower property taxes" yet he offers no information about what this large sum of money means. Is this just the appropriations that New Britain has received while O'Brien happened to be in office?
Overall this mailer just follows the trend I've noticed with O'Brien's mailers. There are no real facts or statistics, just sensational figures given out of context with no real tangible accomplishments. O'Brien probably would have been better off not sending out any literature this campaign season. I would have been far more likely to vote for him if I hadn't read his flyers or heard him speak at both debates.

No comments:

Post a Comment