Reaction to the ‘Pop-up’ Debate with Tyson Moultrie [OPINION]
Candidate and newcomer Richard Tyson Moultrie has made "pop-up" press conferences a key component of his campaign strategy. On Friday, Chris McCarthy and I learned that this "pop-up" strategy extended to radio interviews as well.
During my weekly appearance on Chris' show, we discussed the mayoral race and the candidacy of Mr. Moultire. Specifically, we discussed a sound bite from The Barry Richard Show, in which we believed that Moultrie had misled Barry and the listening audience that his candidacy had the support of former mayors Fred Kalisz and Scott Lang. We then had made a few criticisms of Candidate Moultrie's platform, cracked a few jokes, and by the end of the hour break were ready to move on to a new topic.
Then BAM! It's pop-up time! Enter Tyson Moultrie, accompanied by a member of his campaign staff, for a face-to-face discussion. A few points on the interview:
- Moultrie added more context to his discussions with Lang and Kalisz. Both Lang and Kalisz had expressed discontent with Moultrie's comments on Barry's show, and both stated that they are voting for Mayor Mitchell. So it's a matter of who you choose to believe.
- Moultrie had some platform positions I agree with, in particular expanding awareness and access to STEAM career paths, hydroponic growing systems for better quality food in schools, and the fact that New Bedford's municipal government needs to work toward making the city a more business-friendly environment.
- As someone who has worked on several local races and managed a city council campaign, I think Moultrie's assertion that political cronyism has run amuck in New Bedford is entirely unfounded. The candidates that are elected to local office work hard to get there. They've knocked on thousands of doors, held fundraisers, put up signs, and addressed issues local voters care about. To liken New Bedford politics to a House of Cards-esque environment is unfair.
- When pressed on the issue of cronyism, Moultrie gave no solid proof. The most he provided was a promise to unveil a New Bedford resident who felt he was the victim of political cronyism at one of his pop-up press conferences this Sunday 1 p.m. He also made an incorrect statement about political contributions to the Mitchell campaign. He then later said this accusations he was making "weren't coming from him" but he had enough confidence to traffic them in to a publicly broadcast radio show.
- Moultrie had alleged that there were several victims of political retribution at the hands of Mayor Mitchell, and that he was charged with protecting their interest. These are very serious accusations, and if this is true, I hope those slighted can band behind Moultrie because without public testimony, these charges of corruption can only be viewed as groundless.
Overall, I found the pop-up debate with Candidate Moultrie to be productive for everyone involved. I look forward to future discussions with Moultrie both on and off the air and look forward to the pop-up press conference on Sunday. You can check out the full-commercial free audio of the interview here:
Marcus Ferro is an attorney practicing in New Bedford and a weekly contributor to The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM. Contact him at email@example.com. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.