I’m still in post-election coma, but I really want to thank all the people who supported my campaign, and the 730 voters who decided a man is more than the measure of his worst mistake.  It means a lot to have so many good people stand in my corner.  Many of you had a little taste of my existence, with the endless tossing of my criminal record into your face.  I’m sorry you had to go through that, and it means a lot to know that you stuck with me.  Thank you.

It’s for those people that I’m writing this post.  I want you to know that if you get my back, I got yours. In my own, special way, of course.

The smear campaign against my candidacy was ongoing and from all directions, focusing on targeting my supporters with yard signs.  We were able to pinpoint a few sources of it, one in particular – Clark Broida’s campaign, and his pimp, Ward 12 councilman Tony Brancatelli.  How do we know?  Come along for the ride.

I met with Brancatelli in January to ask for his support, and he lied to my face telling me he’d be neutral and might even support me, then a month later his treasurer, Broida, files. Stupid me, I still took Brancatelli at his word, and left him a voicemail about my fundraiser which Jennifer Brunner graciously agreed to attend.  The next day, I’m hearing that the Plain Dealer’s Mark Naymik is working on a story coming out of city council about how Jennifer Brunner is doing a fundraiser with that evil Tim Russo, right before her May US Senate primary with Lee Fisher.  It was at this point I wrote off Brancatelli.

This summer I made a special point of working my Grandma Krakowski’s old neighborhood in Slavic Village.  You know, local kid, used to ride my bike around here, I’m talkin’ in Polish, rappin’ about kalachki, all kinds of warm fuzzies….bingo – sign locations.  Every sign in my own grandmother’s neighborhood came down in days, and one of them magically turned into a Clark Broida sign.  That’s when I knew Broida was spreading my shit around every chance he could get.

It’s also when I decided to turn Clark Broida into a burnt ember.

So on August 14th, at a candidates night at Holy Name Church in Slavic Village, I pummeled Broida in front of his own base, about how Broida’s wife Marie Kitteredge got Brancatelli’s Slavic Village Development Corporation executive director job after Brancatelli was appointed to council without winning a single vote in any election, and how nice it would be for Clark Broida’s wife if her husband sat on the council which could vote her CDC more money.  Broida was like a deer in the headlights.  I hit him with it three times in a row.  It was quite enjoyable.  Afterward, I walked out and looked Clark in the eye, who was standing next to his wife, both of them red with rage, and said, “Clark, you asked for it, now you’re gonna get it.”

The next day we sent out a robocall, which I recorded myself, to about 500 voters with that exact message, tweaked for targeting, into the highest turnout precincts in the entire district.  Sent it out again two weeks later.  Then we dropped about 1,000 of these door hangers with my face plastered on it the day before the election, in those same high turnout precincts of Brancatelli’s Ward 12.

The result is that Clark Broida came about 200 votes behind the guy he spent all summer smearing.  Guess that means you suck worse than me, Clark.  In addition, if anyone wants to take on Tony Brancatelli for city council in 2013, we’ve just spent about a month softening him up for ya.  That’s how much I hate being lied to.

And that’s how much I appreciate my supporters walking in my shoes for a short time.

For my neighbor Camille who made me coffee every morning (luv u nayb),

for Steve Goldberg my treasurer, who fought in futility to keep the Tremont glitterati from voting for someone else,

for Anthony Fossacceca, who cut my VoteBuilder turf every single day and kicked ass all summer,

for Brian Hester who was there on the phone every single day,

for Eric Vessels who drove up from Cbus for Labor Day,

for Rosemary Palmer & Paul Schroeder who received my criminal record in their mailbox at least 3 times, then put up more signs,

for Paulius Nasvytis who held two events at his classiest of high class watering hole,

for Jennifer Brunner who inspires me still,

for Cierra Norris who got in trouble at BW for daring to be my intern,

for Jeff Hess who did a coffee house tour plastered with Tim Russo regalia,

for Mary Jo who wore a t-shirt two sizes too big,

for Adam Harvey who designed my website and kept me sane,

for Amy Harmon who did hand to hand combat with pretentious douchebags in Tremont,

for Christopher Connelly and Evan C. Dean who walked some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Cleveland for two solid weeks,

for Rick Novario who created my epic series of print ads early this year,

for James Renner who allowed me to write about my campaign in his newspaper for months,

for Keith Royer who kept my signs up the entire campaign on the best corner in Tremont,

for Sign Guy Dave who created my Sign Guy birds,

for Loren Naji who welcomed us into his art studio in Ohio City,

for Bridget Ginley whose thank you cards are collector’s items now,

for Mark Mullen, former NDI colleague, who was my single biggest donor, for all the right “democracy guy” reasons,

for Amy Weahry who talked me up every chance she got,

for Jeannette Kraniske who let me decompress on her porch all summer,

for all my donors and my voters and my family….

…and for my mom, who cooked and cooked, kept me in clean clothes, and did all the things that moms always do.

You get my back, I got yours.  Always.  Just ask Clark Broida and his pimp, Tony Brancatelli.

Thank you all.

  • You’re welcome. Only wished I could have done more.

  • The best thing out of this race, even if you won, is that you DO have friends, Tim Russo.

  • The best thing about these friends is that they are strong as hell because they’ve been galvanized. 😉

  • Anthony Fossaceca

    And thank you. That was as entertaining a campaign as I’ve ever been a part of. Smart, targeted, focused, driven, and with a never ending supply of material which will probably never be blogged. It was also among the nastiest campaigns I’ve ever seen. It was a small consolation to see the two worst offenders of the nastiness get dismissed by the voters and ending up in 5th and 7th. I mentioned to the 7th place finisher at the above mentioned Slavic village debate that people don’t always remember how you won, but they always remember how you lost.

    When you run around town in the dark of night stuffing mailboxes with someone’s ten year old criminal record and don’t think you’re going to be seen, you’re wrong. Just be thankful video never made it to YouTube.

    Tim, you were a terrific candidate on the stump and the doorstep. Many people were more than happy to give you a fair shot. While others just enjoyed torturing others for their own sick pleasure. It’s hard to imagine a race where YOU were the most mature one in the field, but damn if it didn’t just happen right before my eyes. Well done.

  • Anonymous

    If I weren’t so busy and didn’t live so far away I’d have done some ass-kickin work for ya too. Sounds like it was a great campaign.

  • Mary Jo

    Tim, you were on fire that night at Holy Name when you slammed Broida three times in a row. He was sputtering. Don’t you have those clips on video somewhere?

  • Too bad we didn’t get to bust out the newer, mightier design. That original one was cobbled together in 4 hours while running on mini chocolate donuts.

  • christopher connelly

    i say we still got the makings for one hell of a movie. nuff respect.

  • Adrienne

    You’re welcome. Glad you ran!

    Sorry that I couldn’t do more than donate a little money. Was not in a good mood at all this summer…too hot, driving my brother around in a non-air-conditioned car. I hope you learned something. I did!

  • You are a winner in my eyes. We must plug onward…..idiocracy must meet, create and prevail!!!!

  • Pingback: Election results that make you go, “hmmmm….”()

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