Vogel: Why aren't we hearing more about George McDonald?
One man is known for tweeting photos of his genitals. The other is known for finding jobs and housing for down-and-outers and giving them back their dignity.
Guess who's gotten more media coverage?
Sadly, we can all identify the name Anthony Weiner -- even "Carlos Danger" -- but how many know the name George McDonald?
He's also running for mayor. But since he only seems to do good deeds, who cares, right? Where's the drama?
McDonald, who has microscopic name recognition, is the founder of the Doe Fund, which has helped bring thousands of homeless people, ex-addicts and former prisoners from the depths of despair to being productive members of society. Those guys you see in blue jumpsuits sweeping the streets and emptying trash? They're with the Doe Fund.
McDonald's group doesn't believe in handouts. It makes sure the trainees are sober, gives them a schedule and puts them to work. If they stick with it, they're given life-skill classes and intensive job training (in building maintenance, extermination, etc.). When they get jobs, the Doe Fund then provides them with a place to live.
And it's done this successfully thousands of times.
McDonald, if elected, wants to expand this philosophy of personal responsibility and dignity. But right now he has about as much chance of being elected mayor as you or I.
Why? McDonald made a judgment call to switch his party affiliation and run as a Republican, thinking the field would be less crowded. But Democrats have been getting virtually all the coverage. Had he not changed parties, Democrats might have viewed McDonald as a savior, a serious adult in a sea of neurotic panderers and worse. Too late now.
Another reason is, what McDonald does isn't sexy. Just effective.
At a candidate forum Thursday in Laurelton, Weiner tried to demagogue the mainly African-American crowd by playing the victim. McDonald called him out on it, while Weiner taunted him as "chirping from the fringes."
"My values are not fringe values," replied McDonald. "My values represent the people of New York."
More should be written about candidates like McDonald, and less about those known for drama.
But would you read it?
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.