As Board of Alderman president Lewis Reed prepares to announce
today he'll run against Mayor Francis Slay
in the election next spring, their respective camps are increasingly battling it out on "the Twitter."
Over the last few weeks, the hot-button issue was the delayed opening
the O'Fallon Park Rec Center. Now it's back to firefighter pensions
which the mayor has been fighting hard to rein in (with Reed opposing).
Yesterday, Slay's chief of staff, Jeff Rainford
accused Reed of selling his allegiance to the firefighters in that
battle in exchange for a $10,000 campaign contribution (which
Reed disclosed yesterday).
But then Alderman Antonio French
-- a paid consultant for Reed -- fired back with the accusation that Slay was tolerating
desolation on the north side in exchange for big bucks from developer Paul McKee
who owns tons of property there:
Instead of firing back, Rainford then tweeted:
Looks like somebody put a muzzle on the mayor's chief of staff! Wonder who it was...the mayor's campaign manager, Richard Callow
, did retweet it...
"Twitter was just becoming a campaign tool when I left the Mayor's office three years ago" former Slay spokesman Ed Rhode
tells Daily RFT
. "It has its place in a campaign, but it is no secret weapon."
But surely this Twitter battle will continue. And it will probably get worse before it gets...no, it will only get worse.
But even though it's a prominent platform, Rhode questions how crucial it really is.
"Social media is just one of many tools you need in your bag to run an effective campaign," he says. "You need an energized candidate, strong ground game, focused message on TV and direct mail and you need have money, and a lot