Gotham Cable News

June 9, 2008

Rallies, Dentmobiles, and Pillowfights: Dent's Revolutionary Grassroots Campaign

You can't take a walk in Gotham these days without seeing the enormous outpouring of support for Harvey Dent.

Lawn signs with the familiar slogan "Take Back Gotham" are visible on almost every street in the neighborhood. Window placards look down upon almost every shopping district.

And everywhere, you can see Dent supporters, young and old, of every color and background, passing out flyers and talking to Gotham voters.

And it all started with a phone call.

"I'd been trying to get Harvey Dent to run for District Attorney for months," Dent's media manager Allan Cypes said.

"But Harvey said he wasn't sure Gotham City was ready to take on crime and corruption like he wanted to. So I asked him, what if Gotham citizens prove to you that they're ready?"

When Cypes got Dent's answer that he would run for District Attorney if Gotham citizens proved they were ready for radical change, Cypes went into action.

He compiled a list of Gotham voters' phone numbers, and recorded Harvey Dent making a plea to citizens.

That's how, in early March, Gotham citizens received a phone call from none other than Assistant District Attorney Harvey Dent.

"Do you want a Gotham free from the grip of criminals and the corrupt?" voters heard Harvey Dent ask them. "Are you ready to join a crusade to take back our city?

The answer, for thousands of Gotham citizens, was "Yes."

Within days, Gotham citizens were standing outside on street corners in a petition drive to sign up citizens who pledged to support Dent's fight against organized crime. Dent posters, placards, buttons, and t-shirts became inescapable features of the Gotham landscape. And thousands of photos and videos flooded into Dent's website.

"We were overwhelmed with support," said Dent's web campaign manager Abdul Al-Maliki. "It took me hours to cull through all the emails and submissions, but it was worth it to save this city."

Harvey Dent even brought his message of change to Gotham voters outside the city. "Dentmobiles" — vans full of Dent campaign materials — visited dozens of cities throughout the United States. Hundreds of Dent supporters welcomed the Dentmobiles everywhere from Seattle to Philadelphia, and Dent's message went national.

But with all the serious talk about crime, corruption, and the future of Gotham, it wasn't all grim determination for Dent supporters. One rally of a group of Dent supporters in Manhattan turned into a massive pillow fight.

Generating a massive outpouring of support, the Dent campaign has motivated Gotham citizens to participate in politics in a radically different way than in previous elections. We'll see if it all adds up to victory on election night.

Harvey Dent:
Can the "White Knight of Gotham" Win?

As Gotham readies to vote in one of the most bitterly-contested elections in city history, can Harvey Dent really win? He hasn't been trailing in the polls for over a month. But even his most fervent supporters aren't certain of his chances.

"We've always been the underdog," said volunteer coordinator Ace DiBella. "We've taken on City Hall, organized crime, and everybody in the press who said we couldn't do it. So do I believe the poll numbers saying we're winning? Not a chance."

Even political experts in Gotham are suspicious of recent tracking polls showing Dent leading his primary rival Roger Garcetti by over 15 points.

"Roger Garcetti is a trusted name in Gotham politics," said longtime Gotham pol Sidney Shinerman. "And Harvey Dent is relatively inexperienced. I think we're moving into a second-thoughts phase, where voters are going to start to wonder if Dent is really up to the job."

What's causing the worry inside the Dent campaign? Many insiders fear legendary Gotham political shenanigans, such as ballot stuffing and improper voter rolls. "I don't believe that the syndicate that controls Gotham City will let us win," said Dent supporter Shane Broadbent of Gainsly. "But I'm going to do my best to prove myself wrong!"

The Dent campaign has also had to suffer through a political "near-death experience" — the hard-hitting, now debunked attack ads mounted by Concerned Citizens for a Better Gotham.

"We've already been crushed once by the political machine," said Gotham citizen Maureen Alton-Spitzen, who was passing out pro-Dent flyers outside of a grocery store in Granton. "Who's to say they won't pull a last-minute trick like that?"

Indeed, at the height of the smear campaign, Dent fundraising collapsed, his poll numbers hit the floor, and the campaign headquarters was closed due to lack of funds.

But all that changed on the day Harvey Dent strode into the middle of the hostage scene at Rossi's Deli and traded himself for the young Gotham woman being held captive by "smear cop" Frank Notaro.

Dent was instantly dubbed Gotham's "White Knight" and the incident resuscitated his moribund campaign. Ever since, Harvey Dent's campaign rallies have been mammoth affairs, with thousands of Gotham citizens vying to hear the candidate rail against corruption and crime.

But will all that excitement make a difference come election day? "All that clapping and cheering can't put Harvey Dent in the District Attorney's chair," said media manager Cypes. "The only thing that matters is who goes to the polls and who they vote for."

How You can Vote in Gotham Elections

Not living in Gotham? Can't make it to a poll on election day? You can still vote! Head to right now and make your voice heard! The polls close at 11:59 on June 12th.

The digital revolution is touching every part of our lives. This year, it's even turned Gotham politics upside down. Thousands of Gotham citizens — in the city and outside — are taking advantage of a new law allowing online voting.

"We had to do something to deal with the question of absentee voters," said City Councilwoman Manya Alarnian. "And we believe that permitting secure, tamper-proof voting online will broaden the pool of voters and raise Gotham voter turnout which had hit rock-bottom in recent years."

And voters seem to be responding. The Gotham Election Board reports that interest in the online voting has skyrocketed in recent weeks. A spokesman said that the office has been flooded with voters from all over the world that want to remain connected to Gotham politics.

"This is great news," said prospective voter Regina Filleps, a longtime Gotham citizen who can't make it back to the city on election day. "I am working outside of Gotham for a little while because I couldn't find a good job in the city, but I still want to help improve the standard of living there by making my voice heard. After all, I grew up in Farrow!"

GEB staffmember Edmund Schnii visited the Gotham Retirement Villa to help ensure that their decreased-mobility residents wouldn't be counted out on election day. "These people aren't too old to vote," said Schnii. "They just need a little push in the right direction."