What You Should Care About in the Syracuse Elections


14612601-mmmain Although many of us aren’t actually residents of New York’s 24th congressional district and therefore can’t vote in the upcoming elections, we all are living here at the moment and have the awesome benefit of watching the rather irrelevant political showdown go down. The outcome may not matter too much for students who have few plans to remain in ‘Cuse long after graduation, but since we are here and they are going on, we might as well try to get a bit of a giggle out of it.

This year the 24th congressional district (aka Syracuse and surrounding area) is blessed to have one extremely photogenic candidate, John Katko, and one whose campaign seems to be run by 7th grade girls, Dan Maffei. This combination makes for some primo political advertising.

Most of us will quickly change the channel if any type of political ad comes on. But we must remember that like pumpkin spice lattes, these ads appear for a short time only. And also like the shadily orange coffee beverage, they are weird as shit and should be consumed whenever and as soon as possible.

John Katko is the candidate running from the Republican Party, and could possibly be considered the George Clooney of Central New York. In case you have missed his jawbone structure and shining pearly whites, see the nice picture of him above on the right (I figured “nice” was a tamed adjective).

Not only is he incredibly photogenic, Katko attended law school right here at ‘Cuse. Just like his face, Katko’s campaign website is kind of beautiful. It features many photos of him smiling flawlessly, and in one particularly exciting photo, he dons a SU hat while serving what looks to be some mac and cheese — it’s rather cheesy photo (sorry I had to). His ads are even better — before each one, a picture of his face next to a quickly blurred out church steeple appears, and you hear “I’m John Katko and I approved this message.”

Unfortunately for him, but rather fortunately for us, his democratic opponent Dan Maffei is not convinced of the goodwill emanating from his chocolaty eyes, and has been running some pretty nasty ads against him. The ads are similar to the UFC: grown men attacking each other on television. They differ though, in that the men are wearing bad suits and not shiny spandex shorts (which is probably for the best).

The ads against Katko all focus on things he has fucked up in the last ten to fifteen years. It’s incredible to think that it is actually someone’s job purely just to search for this stuff. A particularly good video accuses Katko of leaving a loaded pistol with nine rounds of ammunition near an elementary school. The ad provides absolutely no context and an overall WTF feeling. That is an extremely sketchy thing to accuse someone of, and if not taken with a grain of salt, one might begin to become paranoid of Katko’s seemingly innocent smile. The rest of the ads against Katko all follow a similar track and make random accusations that are accompanied by a very threatening voiceover. The ads are all payed for by “friends of Dan Maffei."

Apparently John Katko does not have as many friends with videographer skills on his side, because there are significantly less ads that accuse Maffei of doing random evil things. Katko probably presumed that his killer smile and hairdo would be enough and that bitchy ads were not necessary.