DiPietro’s Poll and Unintended Consequences

8 Jul

Yesterday morning, David DiPietro – Tea Party candidate for State Senate SD-59 – sent an email to an unknown number of people, including me. There was no text or other explanation for why I received a grammatically incorrect, poorly spelled poll report that showed DiPietro trailing Pat Gallivan.

DiPietro has never before seen fit to send me an email or otherwise correspond with me in any way, and although the complete list of recipients was hidden in a bcc block, I imagine I wasn’t the only one to get it.

So I printed it, and simultaneously emailed him back a list of questions about the sourcing of the poll. We discussed it yesterday afternoon on Brad Riter’s radio show on WECK 1230. Today I discovered why I received it.

From Allen Coniglio from the Ostrowski wing of the local Tea Party:

In any case, in recent days, pressure has been put on Dave DiPietro to leave the 59th district senate race. Polls show Domagalski far behind, gathering only single digit support, while Dave and the pension padding Gallivan are neck and neck. Dave refuses to get out of the race and this is really upsetting the folks at the TeaGOP machine as Domagalski is their major line of support within the Republican machine. Langworthy, who as you may already know, is the guy who was appointed by Domagalski to replace him when he stepped down to run in the 59th race, is an errand boy who will find nothing to support him when Domagalski, TeaGOP, and the Republican machine inevitably crash and burn. Langworthy should do the honorable thing and step down now but he won’t as he has no honor. Thus, TeaGOP is in a very difficult situation. They cannot release their endorsements as the 59th race is a true burden for them. Remember, it is the fact that Rus Thompson tried to force Domagalski in as the tea party candidate in the first few days of April and Jim Ostrowski’s and my refusal to go along with such an obviously phony candidate, that caused the original breakup of the TPC. And, it was from this thwarted move that RT said to Langworthy 10 days later that he has a plan to take us out at the knees. Why take us out at the knees? Because we were in his way and he needed us destroyed so that he and the GOP could control the tea party in Buffalo and Western NY. You have seen much of their work right here on ReformNYS as they tried to blacken our names and they have done the same thing on other blogs as well. Well, they are still busily at work, trying to thwart the will of the people and trying to establish the TeaGOP machine as a subsidiary of the Republican machine.

Notice how “subtle” these people are. In printing Dave DiPietro’s request for petition help on their TeaGOP newsletter, they took the special step of misspelling Dave’s name in order to send a very clear and compelling message. It is copied and pasted below for you to see. Instead of writing “DiPietro”, they wrote “DiePietro”. The subliminal intent is quite clear and as crude as everything else they do. “Die Pietro”.

So, DiPietro is being pressured to leave the race so that what – Domagalski has a shot against Gallivan? Stepping gingerly through Coniglio’s self-righteous conspiracy theories, that’s what seems to be going on. That would explain why DiPietro would send an unsolicited email showing one poll answer from a greater poll.

But commenter Fat Tony says – not so fast.

…now that DiPietro publicly released these results to you, state Election Law requires that he release the full poll, including all questions and results, cross tabs, sample size, demographics, margin of error, etc. The law is in place to specifically prohibit what he is trying to do, which is selectively release information. For all we know, the preceding questions leading up to the one he sent you might have been pushes to kill Domagalski Furthermore, I doubt the question was open-ended as it appears in what he sent you so how they identified each person really matters.

The question would normally be: there are three Republican candidates running in a primary election for State Senate: former Erie CountySheriff Patrick Gallivan, former East Aurora Supervisor David DiPietro and former Erie County Republican Chairman Jim Domgalski. If the election were held today, for whom would you be voting.

I looked into it and confirmed that Election Law Section 3-106 requires the BOE to set up a “Fair Campaign Code” as part of their rules. Rule 6201.2 of that Fair Election Code applies here.

Click to enlarge

So, 24 hours down, 24 hours to go for DiPietro to release the poll – in its entirety – to the Board of Elections. If he doesn’t, there is a complaint procedure to follow.

In the words of political philosopher Ke$ha, Tick tock.

12 Responses to “DiPietro’s Poll and Unintended Consequences”

  1. Peter A Reese July 8, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    Alan: You going to file the complaint?

    • Adam K. July 8, 2010 at 8:06 am #

      I’m reasonably certain that the Republican machine will take care of that one. I can’t imagine that the BOE can force the situation, however; they’ll need to interest a local prosecutor in the case, and the DA’s official position with election law is “do whatever you want, we’re too scared to prosecute anyone”.

      • Paws July 8, 2010 at 8:17 am #

        The next section of the Fair Campaign Code goes into the process. It is not prosecutable, it needs to be enforced by the State Board of Elections. Even so, I’ve always thought that this particular section is a violation of free speech.

  2. mavfan July 8, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Hilarious. Dave’s never been the brightest bulb in the box.

  3. Paws July 8, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    Fat Tony’s question wording is likely wrong, or DiPietro pollster sucks. It would be highly unusual to identify the candidates by their job or former job in New York where that information does not appear on the ballot.

    • Fat Tony July 8, 2010 at 10:36 am #

      Paws, you are wrong. You would want to use those descriptors to get an accurate portrayal of the candidate’s support….since this is how the candidate is most likely known and this information about them is likely to appear in campaign literature. A respondent to poll about Pat Gallivan might not remember the name, but when you say former EC Sheriff, it’s more likely to ring a bell and elicit the favorable/unfavorable response as opposed to a never heard/no opinion. As you poll closer to the election after significant resources have been spent on the campaign, you would drop the descriptors in front of each candidate’s name….but not in July.

      • Paws July 9, 2010 at 7:02 am #

        No, you are wrong. Adding information the voter may not have about a candidate does not give an accurate portrayal of their support. The voter may or may not learn that information during the campaign but it is not an accurate measure of baseline support to give a respondent information they do not already have if it won’t be included in the actual voting ballot.

        If people don’t know Pat Gallivan was sheriff or have no opinion of him, then they have no opinion of him. It is his job to tell people what he has done, not the pollster’s.

        Of course that information can be provided in an informed ballot test, to test how voters will react to a candidate, but that is much different from a basic horse race test.

      • Fat Tony July 9, 2010 at 8:49 am #

        This is while the polls are required to be released. I would not expect this is a brush fire poll to test the horse race in July. I’m thinking this is part of a benchmark poll where you’re not only measuring where you are today, but testing campaign themes, backgrounds, etc. In that regard, the descriptors in front of the candidates’ names might appear in the favorable/unfavorable questions rather than the straight ballot test, which would make your point. But in a July poll, somewhere there is greater explanation of who the candidate’s are than what DiPietro released.

  4. Bill Altreuter July 8, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    I don’t think I have ever seen that provision of the Election Law enforced. I’d love too– it would be fascinating to see the exact questions asked, for example.

    This race is turning into something interesting. Domagalski gave up a position of considerable influence to go after this seat, and seems to be trailing badly in the rural counties where ol’ Darth Volker was so beloved. This could well be because Domagalski is being viewed as the guy who knifed Darth to get the seat for himself, and I wonder if he can overcome that. He’s in a tight spot– Gallivan was his boy once, and has a solid law enforcement record to run on. Domagalski, on the other hand, is the very model of a modern machine politician, with no real record of public achievement. It’s funny to see Republicans acting like Democrats.

  5. Peter A Reese July 8, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    Alan: How about your buddy Rus Thompson gets DiPetro out of the race so his friend Steve Pigeon’s candidate (Gallivan) has a clear shot? How thick the obvious intrigue. Then the Taxpayer Party line can be used to cut deals for patronage now and in the future, sort of as a tag team with the Conservative and Independence Parties.

  6. King James July 8, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Did DiPietro address this topic during his radio show this morning on WECK 1230 AM?

    If he didn’t, why not? And if was not discussed at all, why didn’t someone from WECK pop in and ask a couple of questions? When will Channels 2, 4, 7 and YNN Buffalo dig into this?

  7. Get Off My Lawn July 9, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    I have a question regarding DiPietro. How can he go on his rants and raves against Gallivan and Domagalski on WECK yesterday and this morning without WECK having to provide equal time? Has the “Equal Time Provision” gone by the wayside?

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