Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Needs more grammar, Michael Trueworthy does.

Okay, so I've been pretty hard on Tim O'Brien and his mailings. So this time around I thought I'd look at the one I just got in the mail today from Michael Trueworthy. His mailer contained about 5 sentences in total so I think I'll just go through and reproduce them all here.

Under the heading "Michael Trueworthy:" there are three bullets, each worse than the last.

"After 6 years of persistence, passed ordinances to crack down on Absentee Landlords who don't maintain their properties."

Michael Trueworthy is the Majority Leader for a veto-proof super majority and this is his biggest accomplishment? He doesn't even mention that the blight ordinance revisions were originally proposed by the Mayor and opposed by the Democrats. Then again, I am assuming that is the ordinance he is talking about because he doesn't specifically mention what he is referring to. As with O'Brien's mailings the lack of details make these claims difficult to research.

"Will fight to increase from $99 to $250 for the first offense for loud music violations."

Aside from my previous argument that this could have easily been passed under the Democratic super majority if the Democrats had any intention of doing so, there is also the simple fact that this sentence is not grammatically strong. It looks like Trueworthy is missing a word such as "Will fight to increase fines.." or "Will fight to increase from $99 to $250 the fine." And what about "the first offense for loud music violations?" A much better wording for the entire bullet would have been "Will fight to increase the fine for first time loud music violations from $99 to $250."

"Will fight to enforce our expand on our current blighted property regulations."

I can honestly state that this sentence is unreadable. After careful deliberation with several other people I can only imagine that Michael Trueworthy meant to say, "Will fight to enforce our expanded regulations regarding blighted property." However he could have meant that he plans on fighting to further expand our regulations on blighted properties.  Seriously, I tried for about 10 minutes to figure out if there was merely a word missing that would magically make this jibberish clear, but I couldn't find any.  If you do, please let me know.

Now, on the front of the mailer there is the statement that just made me laugh, it isn't as terrible as the ones on the back but it made me chuckle.

"Absentee Landlords who live out of town and don't maintain their properties should not be in New Britain. It's as simple as that."

Technically, if they are absentee landlords then they aren't in New Britain, that is pretty much the definition of absentee. Again, a clearer statement would have been "Absentee landlords who live out of town and don't maintain their properties should not be allowed to do business in New Britain."

Now, I will say this - this type of nitpicking isn't fully relevant. While my argument that Trueworthy had two years of veto proof majority that he squandered by merely attempting to inhibit the Mayor is a valid one and important to the election, my attacks on his lack of grammar are not wholly relevant to the issues. However, as someone who once lost a job offer because I placed a few commas too many into a cover letter I can't help but place some importance on the details. If a candidate is going to create a mailer with such massive grammatical errors, then they deserve to have it reflect poorly upon them.

This is not "Gotcha" media. I did not take comments that Mr. Trueworthy said out of context and present them to give you a biased opinion of the candidate. I presented you with virtually everything that was stated on the flyer in his own words. I would have scanned it in and included images of it for you to see for yourselves, but I did not want to infringe on Mr. Trueworthy's likeness without his permission.

We all make mistakes, but when a elected official makes mistakes it affects not only them, but everyone they represent. Here is a statement I can get behind, and you can be sure I checked the grammar first:

"An individual who sends out a mass mailing without first having it reviewed for spelling and grammatically errors has no place on the Common Council of the City of New Britain. It's as simple as that."


  1. Re: Bullet #3 "Will fight to enforce our expand on our current blighted property regulations."

    The only other explanation I can think of is that "our" should be "or". Typical of a democrat to not be able to commit to what they are going to do... "We'll enforce or expand, not quite sure which..."

  2. That is very possibly the case! I had missed that possibility. If that is what was meant then why wouldn't he want to do both? If he enforces it will it mean he won't expand it or if he expands it that he won't enforce it?