Griebel in­spires man to write cam­paign rap

The News-Times - - NEWS | FROM THE FRONT PAGE - By Em­i­lie Mun­son emun­son@hearst­medi­; Twit­ter: @em­i­liemu­n­son

Ian Mac­Don­ald has rapped about his stu­dent loans and a ter­ri­ble ex­pe­ri­ence with a couch de­liv­ered by Ash­ley Fur­ni­ture HomeS­tore.

Mostly, the 31-year-old’s raps are for his friends and maybe his mother.

But this week, Mac­Don­ald shared a new rap on YouTube about his sup­port for Oz Griebel, a third­party can­di­date for gov­er­nor. The rap has quickly be­come the an­them of Griebel’s bur­geon­ing cam­paign.

“I’m hardly a rap ex­pert,” Griebel said Thurs­day. “But as far as I’m con­cerned it cap­tures the essence and the en­ergy of the cam­paign in a great, great way.”

Mac­Don­ald is part of a grow­ing group fa­vor­ing the once-un­known Griebel, the for­mer pres­i­dent of the MetroHart­ford Al­liance, who was sup­ported by 11 per­cent of likely vot­ers in a Quin­nip­iac Poll re­leased Wed­nes­day.

Mac­Don­ald is a Hart­ford men­tal health coun­selor who has never vol­un­teered for, worked for or even do­nated to Griebel’s cam­paign. Un­til he watched a tele­vised de­bate be­tween gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­dates Demo­crat Ned La­mont, Repub­li­can Bob Ste­fanowski and Griebel on Sept. 26, he said, he didn’t know Griebel was run­ning.

A one-time lob­by­ist for an Alzheimer’s non­profit, Mac­Don­ald lives in a small house in Wethers­field, which he and his wife are ready­ing for their first child. He’s a reg­is­tered Demo­crat, but he likes Griebel’s prac­ti­cal­ity and fo­cus on ad­dress­ing Con­necti­cut’s pen­sion obli­ga­tions.

“I don’t know how any­one could have watched that and not thought, not only does this man de­serve to be up there, but he is prob­a­bly the most qual­i­fied per­son to be run­ning in the race,” Mac­Don­ald said. “I’m go­ing to vote for some­one I ac­tu­ally like.”

Mac­Don­ald be­gan dis­cussing the un­der­dog can­di­date with his friends. One said he couldn’t vote for Griebel be­cause that might help Ste­fanowski win by split­ting the Demo­cratic vote.

Mac­Don­ald wanted to per­suade his friend that a good third-party can­di­date was worth it. Over the week­end, he spent six hours writ­ing and record­ing the rap on a Best Buy mi­cro­phone in his home of­fice. He posted the rap on YouTube Tues­day.

“You want a man of the peo­ple / Get out your house and vote for Griebel,” Mac­Don­ald raps to a rhyth­mic beat.

The rap, which calls La­mont and Ste­fanowski “empty suits,” men­tions fac­tors that might be be­hind both can­di­date’s luke­warm ap­proval rat­ings in this week’s Quin­nip­iac poll. Mac­Don­ald paints the Demo­crat as a dis­con­nected, un­ex­cit­ing rich guy.

“You’d make a good VP at a K-5 school/ But that’s as far as it goes, Ned,” Mac­Don­ald raps. “I wish you weren’t so bland, sir / I’d love you as my neigh­bor / you could change your name to Flan­ders.”

La­mont’s cam­paign said they ap­pre­ci­ated the “light­hearted fun,” but take the election too se­ri­ously for raps.

“This election — in the midst of Don­ald Trump’s pres­i­dency — is the most im­por­tant in decades,” said Lacey Rose, a cam­paign spokes­woman. “That’s be­cause Bob Ste­fanowski, the Repub­li­can op­po­nent, has an ex­treme scheme to elim­i­nate the min­i­mum wage, cut money for our schools, raise prop­erty taxes, and slash health care for peo­ple who need it most.”

Mac­Don­ald’s rap punches Ste­fanowski for re­cy­cling a few a talking points about taxes.

“I could get a card­board cut-out of you / and a tape cassette record / and play the same three things you say / and loop it 30 times / I bet no one would know the dif­fer­ence,” Mac­Don­ald raps.

Like La­mont’s, Ste­fanowski’s cam­paign chose not to re­spond in rhyming verse.

“Ned is spend­ing his mil­lions try­ing to buy this election,” said Kendall Marr, Ste­fanowski’s spokesman. “In the end, he’ll be with Oz in the run­ners-up sec­tion.”

Griebel said his cam­paign will use the rap, which had about 750 views Thurs­day evening, to pro­mote his can­di­dacy on so­cial me­dia. A cam­paign vol­un­teer dropped off a lawn sign and tee-shirt at Mac­Don­ald’s house Thurs­day and Griebel plans to thank him per­son­ally for the rap.

“It’s very cre­ative. It’s got a great beat to it, and it’s fun,” said Griebel.

Em­i­lie Mun­son / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Ian Mac­Don­ald, a men­tal health coun­selor from Wethers­field, wrote a rap about why he sup­ports un­af­fil­i­ated can­di­date Oz Griebel for gov­er­nor. He works in his home of­fice on Thurs­day where he records his raps.

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