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(Mayoral Election) Campaigning And Other Sins

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                                                                                 mayor_mare_sig_by_dignifiedjustice-d49ik


The Mayor took a sip of her coffee, her back hooves hooves on her desk as she took a look outside of the windows of her office. It was a quiet day in Ponyville. A quiet day for her beautiful citizens. Once you had run a town such as this for as long as she had the minor day to day activities became second nature. She had already overseen the collection of this month's tax haul, signed off on several small construction projects, and settled a building dispute in the northern reaches of town. She leaned further back and yawned before taking another sip. It was an easy enough job when you had been a civil servant as long as the Mayor. The day to day grind never ended but she had looked forward to it every single time she had woken up these past few years. It was when she had woken up and viewed it more as a job than a love that she had decided it was time to step down. And now that she had? A bit of that easy going relaxation that had propelled her for years had returned.

 

Of course that couldn't be said for those who were running to replace her. This was the very heart of campaign season now. Since this was a first of its kind election in Ponyville, she had to import experts from other cities who had experience with elections and campaigning. They had set out a series of campaign financing and advertising rules, not to mention setting up what is and is not allowed to say and do while campaigning or trying to encourage voters. Beyond that? The town hall and center were open to host debates, campaign speeches, they were encouraged to hold meet and greets and field questions. As long as their fundraising and campaign finance were above board and within certain spending and donation limits she wouldn't have to clamp down on it. It was going to be a very interesting race. Not many had actually decided to run, at least not yet. Technically until the first debate took place somepony could throw their hat in the thing but they would most certainly be operating at a critical deficit in comparison to current candidates. Well, most of them anyway.

 

She took a sip, laughing a little as she imagined Scootaloo as Mayor. Was that even legal? She didn't think it'd pass with the Royal Assent that they'd require at the end.

 

A knock at her door. Her next meeting was a little early but she could accept that, finishing her coffee before she turned around as the door opened. "Ahh, come in, come in. I guess it's time we all got back to work, isn't it?"


**************


1- This is a hub thread for general Ponyville election campaigning. Posts should have the bolded date/location for when and where they are.
2- What is allowed?Anything that doesn't warrant a full thread. Post a speech (or have your own characters react to them)? Want a news article detailing what your character is promising/saying? Backroom deals, reactions, silliness, etc. are all allowed.
3- What separates posts in this thread from posts that deserve to be their own threads is brevity and intent. Short posts, events and items that don't warrant threads will be here. If you have something that you think warrants a thread, don't post it here. Start a thread!
4- The First Ponyville Debate is May 1st! Candidates, be prepared!

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Ponyville Town Hall, 8th of March.

 

"Ladies and Gentlecolts, I wish to discuss a matter with you all that means a lot to me. In fact, it was the main reason I moved to Ponyville in the first place.

 

You see, professionally, I work in... well, to put it bluntly I work in animal control... through not strictly speaking the kind you would normally find on the town hall bulletin board, offering to deal with a rodent infestation or a wasp nest that's being built up in your backyard. This world we live in is filled with all manner of creatures great and small, magical and mundane... and the sad truth of the matter is that a great deal of them are fully capable of causing a pony grave bodily harm. Having a wild fox or a stray cat declare your backyard as part of their hunting grounds is inconvenient for sure, but when a manticore or a timber wolf does it the situation gets somewhat more risky with much higher stakes. It is creatures of the latter group in which I tend to work with.

 

I do not need to tell you that Ponyville is in an... interesting location when it comes to nearby sources of dangerous fauna. The Everfree Forest itself of course is the most well known, but the relatively nearby boggy bottom swamp has its fair share of dangerous creatures, the rarest but most dangerous being a full grown, four headed hydra. Fortunately, that one has decided to stay put in its home swamp, but you don't need me to tell you that incidents between animals native to the Everfree leaving the forest and entering Ponyville are fairly common. In fact, I confess that when I did my research of the last five years of Ponyville's incident history I can't help but feel like Ponyville has been given the strangest blessing I have ever seen: Last year alone, there was no less then twenty one reported incidents where a dangerous wild animal entered the town and caused havoc and panic, as well as property damage... and yet not a single fatality or serious injury was reported. 

 

While I give credit to those who have stepped up to ensure that these incidents have gone as well as they have, part of my platform as Mayor of Ponyville is to take some more active steps towards ensuring the safety of its citizens going forward. While I have several projects I would wish to introduce, there are two that I can promise I will put into affect when I enter office. The first is a 'Wildlife Watch' program in order to give Ponyville locals enough forewarning about approaching dangerous animals coming from the wild areas around town so that they can prepare themselves properly, rather then only find out about it when its stalking down the main street. The second is an educational program about the various fauna and flora found in these areas, so that in the event that a citizen comes across or encounters them they will have some understanding of what they are dealing with and what the best way to respond is. 

 

Now that you understand me a little better, I'm happy to take any questions you all might have for me."

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(An overheard conversation in the Public Square)

 

"So, Spoiled Rich. How's tha campaign treatin' ya?"

 

"As long as I'm assured the support of my family, I feel confident to face all challenges."

 

"Mighty good ta hear. Family's real important ta me too. So, uhh, Ah heard your speech tha other day. 'Bout yer business plans and whatnot."

 

"Indeed. I think that the public hoof has a greater guidance role than certain lazzeis faire fanatics seem to want to admit; we make a space for prosperity, and define what that is."

 

"Ah can understand that. Heck, Celestia knows mah business would do better under it. But..."

 

"But..." Spoiled raises a brow. "Out with it. One can hardly call a town democratic if its citizens do not make their concerns known. That is who really runs a city, you know. The interested ponies who put in the work."

 

"Well, Ah'm worried. Not on my account, but tha little ponies. Tha ones who can barely scrape by as is. Ah'm worried they'll be priced outta livin' here."

 

"Priced out?" This was not something that had entered Spoiled personal purview. In fact, her first response had to be suppressed by her political instincts, leaving the question where it stood.

 

"Yeah. Stuff gettin' too expensive as it caters ta tha ponies that are better off. Housin' gettin' harder an' harder ta afford."

 

"Well, I can definitely say that my family's business has never been interested in pricing potential paying customers out. Filthy might be said to have made his fortune by pricing in. As long as there are spaces made for them, even the marginal can contribute. That's what a zoning policy is for, keeping low-rent areas present and livable."

 

"And you promise you'll keep ta that as Mayor?"

 

"I see no reason why not. One doesn't kick down the ladder one climbs to power; that's just asking for trouble."

 

Applejack didn't quite catch that reference and the answer wasn't as blazingly positive as she'd like, but it was enough. "Ah guess that makes sense. That's a load off of mah mind, Spoiled."

 

"Not a problem, Applejack. I trust I can count on a continued positive relationship going forward?"

 

"Of course! An' Ah don't mean ta pry, but what's yer big surprise gonna be at tonight's speech?" She asked leaning in. "Ah heard it was a...stadium?"

 

Spoiled said nothing, only winking. "I can't spoil things, but... we're hoping for a good deal of local patriotism and excitement, if you get my drift."

 

Applejack perked up. "Well, when yer ready ta talk, Ah've a lot of thoughts on it! Hehehe, so many ideas," she said as she straightened up and coughed. "Alright, well, y'all be havin' a good one, Mayor Rich."

 

Feeling buoyed by an assured vote, Spoiled nodded back. "I shall, Miss Applejack. Soon to be Mrs, I hear?"

 

"Finally, right? Ah dunno why it took RD this long ta make her move!"

 

Spoiled privately thought that she could think of a reason or two. Out loud, she only said, "Well, she's apparently not fast in everything."

 

Applejack laughed. "Ain't that the truth. Alright, y'all be havin' a good'n!"

 

[Taken from Discord]

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*BACK DURING THE MARCH 8 TOWN HALL MEETING*

 

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Off to the back of the meeting hall, a certain husband of Strong Copper’s electoral opponent was busy quietly scribbling down notes. Ever since the Ponyville mayoral candidates all threw their hats into the ring, Filthy Rich had made a point of paying close attention whenever they made public appearances or announcements. “Opposition research” wasn’t exactly his forte, but his darling daughter had been MOST insistent on the need to dig up dirt on Mom’s rivals and keep tabs on their popularity.


.....It made Filthy ponder just where Diamond Tiara was getting these instincts from in the first place. Spoiled was well... spoiled, but a Machiavellian political operative she was not.


From what Mr. Rich has observed of Strong Copper so far, he seemed to be a decent sort of fellow. Dealing with magical creatures was his prior occupation, which while admirable, Filthy still believed that it wouldn’t be enough to outweigh the civic experience that his wife brought to the table. All Mrs. Rich had to do was add a commitment to improved beast control in her campaign platform... heck, even promise Mr. Copper a job if she is elected mayor, and that would do much to take the wind out of his sails-

 

“If I may ask,” the voice of a fiery unicorn mare from up front broke Filthy’s line of thought. It was somepony the stallion didn’t know all that well, having only spotted her around the Castle and School of Friendship district once or twice. “What is the toughest monster you’ve ever been up against in your career?”

 

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March 8th, Town Hall Meeting.

 

Turning his head towards the voice that had called out a question, Strong Copper couldn't help but blink for just a moment as he caught sight of the fiery unicorn mare... and quietly gulped a little to himself but tried to keep up appearances. Ever since coming to Ponyville, there was just beautiful mares everywhere. It was uncanny.

 

Clearing his throat, he tried to play off his pause as him considering her question. "That... is a good question Miss. Also a somewhat difficult one, since 'toughness' is subjective. While there are plenty of animals out there that are dangerous because of brute force and an ability to withstand punishment like you wouldn't believe many possess either their own innate magics, exotic tricks and tactics that they employ... or in many cases just have means of defending themselves or hunting that are dangerous and deadly to those on the wrong side of them. But to answer your question about the toughest creature I've been up against in my career... two come to mind for different reasons."

 

Taking a moment to get a deep breath, he started with "The first was a Nuckelavee. Don't feel bad if you're not familiar with the name, it is a largely oceanic creature that tends to make its home in colder, harsher areas of the ocean that can come ashore to unleash havoc when it desires. It's hard to describe but... it's like a mixture of a giant pony and an ape like creature, but not of a species that has been discovered. It has some degree of control over weather in that it likes to create droughts and its breath is toxic, able to wilt plants and cause sickness in those unfortunate enough to be breathed on. While it hasn't been completely confirmed, there are a number of stories of Nuckelavee who caused full on epidemics... and there is enough evidence to support these stories having some degree of truth to them. They tend to hibernate between mid-spring to mid-autumn, only really being active around winter and the colder, harsher times of the year. "

 

"The one weakness of the Nuckelavee is that it cannot stand natural fresh water. It is literally one of the few things that can actually cause it pain. Strangely enough, magically created fresh water doesn't harm it at all and no one can quite agree as to why. As for how I encountered it... well, I was on a ship that was carrying much needed supplies through a stretch of sea where it was believed a Nuckelavee had claimed as part of its territory. My role in that encounter was, to put it bluntly, to be an 'annoying pest'. While the Pegusi crew members were working together, actively fighting against the magical drought to create rain clouds, the rest of us were doing our best to annoy the hell out of it and divert its attention away from the cloud makers so it couldn't just make their efforts null and void. It is not a pleasant sensation, throwing everything you have at something and doing little more then annoy it... " There was a quick exhale of breath... before he perked up again "But the plan worked, rain water drove it away and we made landfall soon after."

 

The smile of victory slowly started to fade into a more... pensive look. "The second... was a manticore. I don't feel I need to explain what a manticore is here because... well, some live in the Everfree. A powerful and dangerous creature when it wants to be, but highly intelligent and generally tends to leave ponies alone unless you wander into its hunting grounds. Plenty of tales about ponies befriending them as well. " A sigh escaped him as he sadly shook his head to himself "This is not one of those stories. It wasn't really its fault either. The poor thing had been infected with a strain of rabies and... well, by the time the nearby settlement figured out that there was a problem and called me in to figure out what was attacking the local herds of cows, the manticore was simply to far gone to be helped. The illness consumed it until all that was left was pain and blind, murderous rage.... and in that pain fueled rage it attacked the town directly."

 

For a moment, Strong Copper said nothing. There was a glazed look in his eyes, suggesting that he wasn't on a stage and looking out at those gathered to hear him speak... but that moment was short lived as he suddenly shook his head and refocused "Thankfully, the only death that day was the manticore itself but... not from lack of trying. A number of brave and unlucky ponies will bare scars from that day for the rest of their lives. I should stress that when it comes to working with animals in my career, I generally do not fight to kill unless there is truly a pressing need to do so. Be it to protect my own life or safeguard the lives of others directly at risk. This, alas, was one of those times. " There was another pause, as he closed his eyes and picked his words carefully. "I will not burden you by going into details but... I honestly hope that no one here ever finds themselves in a situation where they are forced to contend with a creature so consumed by mind breaking pain and rage that they've abandoned caring about their own well being or even basic survival instincts. It is a hauntingly terrible, nightmarish thing to be witness to."

 

His last words on the matter said, Copper was sullen for a few moments more before he lifted his head up and put on a brave face as he changed the subject and left the past behind "Any other questions?"

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Ponyville Town Hall, April 6th.

 

"I confess..." Strong Copper began, looking a little more relaxed then he did the first time he had taken the stage to make a speech in relation to being Ponyville's mayor "...That much like the rest of you, I've heard plenty of rumors and hearsay about me. I wish to take this moment to address these rumors and ensure that Ponyville has the information to see between the truths and the falsehoods that rumor mills so often distort."

 

A quick breath in order to strengthen his resolve before he got started. "The first that needs to be addressed is this idea that I am not a pony inclined towards laying down roots; That as soon as an opportunity shows itself that I will pack up and leave without a moment's notice. I would make a promise to Ponyville that if elected I would put my career outside of being Mayor on hold so that it would not interfere with my service. If I was not willing to do so, I would not have elected to run for office in the first place. If you're going to offer to do a job, you need to be fully committed to doing it right."

 

With that promise given and the matter hopefully settled, he quickly moved on to the next "The second rumor I feel needs to be addressed is this rumor that I am nothing more then a one trick pony. Some believe that the fact that the only matter I have publicity spoken about at this time is to make Ponyville a more secure and safe place in relation to the wild and at times dangerous areas around the town means that it is the only matter I care about. The truth is I did not wish to speak out of ignorance. Not only of what issues were actually facing Ponyville that needed to be addressed, but of the resources that the Mayor of Ponyville would have access to in order to address them. I value honestly highly and I did not wish to make any promises that I wouldn't have the means to actually keep. That said... I can now confidently make a second platform promise."

 

"As I'm sure you are all aware, ever since the coronation of Princess Twilight Sparkle, Ponyville has greatly expanded in its population as ponies flocked to live in the same town as the newest alicorn princess of Equestria. While she has now moved to Canterlot to take over the duties of Princesses Celestia and Luna, the Friendship School that she has left behind and her positive opinion of the town will ensure that it will continue to grow as more ponies and beings from all varieties of life arrive. Ponyville has changed a lot in the last few years and it will continue to do so as time goes on... but not all change is positive."

 

He paused again, letting that sink in as he took a few needed breaths. "As time goes on, more ponies of a wealthier, noble class of society will make a point of purchasing property in Ponyville to try and earn brownie points with the crown. As more do this, there is a serious risk of local businesses increasing their prices in order to take advantage of the appearance of more wealthy clients. If this situation is handled poorly, ponies that have lived in this town for generations might be forced to uproot and leave simply because... well, they can't afford to live here anymore. My promise to you is that I will do everything in my power as Mayor to keep this situation from getting out of hoof to begin with. No one wants to see the ponies who helped build up this great town be forced to leave because basics like food became to expensive to purchase in a farming town."

 

"Are there any questions or rumors about me that you wish answered? Because now is the time to get it out in the open."

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Ponyville Town Hall, April 8th

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It had been an unusually long time between public speeches, as far as Mayoral Candidates went.  Between the announcement of her candidacy, and this speech by her, Spoiled Rich's opponent had already made two public speeches.  That said, Spoiled didn't feel that it was strictly necessary to take the stump on a regular basis, not when she had a lot of local connections that she could gladhoof with.  It was far more key to her strategy that she get a sense of what the prominent and influential ponies in this town would want from a new mayor; she could campaign on experience alone, but as her daughter pointed out from the example of the infamous school election, a candidate needed a positive vision for ponies to rally around, not merely an assertion of status.

 

It was, however, slightly disheartening to hear that Strong Copper had gotten wind of the same vein of worry that Applejack had conveyed to her, and put it forward in his speech.  It was a loss of momentum... but it did give her a chance to set her own vision in contrast.  He'd made the mistake of being the caution-monger, bringing up worries in order to stifle them onstage in a sort of theatrical display of guardianship.  Not quite bombastic fear-mongering, but the technique was similar.  Spoiled wasn't complaining, it was the perfect setting for her planned retort.

 

Standing on the podium, a larger version of the poster her daughter had been putting up all over town hung behind her, Spoiled Rich addressed the ponies present with poise and a smile.  "Fellow Citizens, I know it has been a while since I have spoken to you last from here, but several of you have no doubt seen me around town, and shared with me your worries, and your hopes.  Rest assured, with me you have far more reason to be hopeful than to be worried.

"Some of you have expressed concern about the potential dangers of growth, of moneyed ponies coming in and driving up prices.  However, as I'm sure many of you know, there is a world of difference between growing seeds and growing weeds.  Some gardens may be larger than others, but we all have and tend to them; yes, even me!"  Most of the work, to be fair, was done by professionals, but that wasn't to say that Spoiled had no involvement.  She was an earth pony, after all, and for all her sophisticated veneer, ultimately country-bred.  Her well-being wouldn't fare well if something wasn't growing under her watch, though it had to be said that she much preferred handling papers with figures than dirt with worms.

"Do we salt the soil for fear of weeds getting in our gardens, and choking out the flowers?  Of course not!  The best way to keep out weeds is to care for the growth of seeds all the more.  What need would we to fear the encroachment of outside nobility, when we as a town are quite capable of forging our own?  If ponies who have means in a place also have roots in that place, they will care for the growth and flourishing of the whole garden, and not just choke out the sun for all the rest."  The local flower trio had helped her with that metaphor, it wasn't exactly a natural mode of thinking for her.  But Spoiled was not too proud to poach the ideas of others, especially when she could legitimately claim it as 'representing the thoughts and wishes of Ponyville.'

 

"You all know me, and my husband.  How our family started with a market stall when Sweet Apple Acres was just a field of saplings.  As Barnyard Bargains has gone, so has Ponyville; our fortunes are tied together like interlocking vines.  We have always ensured that nopony in this town would be unable to live from what we had to offer.  What reason would we have to change now?  The, ahem,  'green hooves' which have cultivated this business now stand for election for Mayor of Ponyville.  There are many, many beautiful things that are in store for us in the future.  For example, I happen to know that some of you have been awaiting a truly professional sports stadium to showcase local talent and local pride."  She said with a twinkle in her eye, and a wink to the orange mare in the back.  "As multi-year host of the Iron Pony Competition, I should say it is well and truly time this town had one, and as Mayor I promise to make that dream a reality.  And that, fellow citizens, is just one of the flowers we shall grow in this garden town!"

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*BACK DURING THE APRIL 6 TOWN HALL MEETING*

 

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Derpy Hooves was not the sort of pegasus who attended routine town hall meetings on a consistent basis. She probably wouldn’t have done so this evening except for the fact that her previous prearranged plans fell through... literally.


.....Please, don’t ask.


Listening to the unicorn stallion speaking from the podium made Derpy remember why she didn’t come here regularly: because politics was BORING. Nothing but ponies droning on and on with long speeches about yada yada yada. While Miss Hooves would like to claim that she at least spends the night before an election studying the candidates and the issues, the truth was... she always forgot. So inevitably when it came time to cast her vote, the pegasus fell back on choosing whatever name seemed most familiar or which ballot initiative appeared most popular based on any posters she saw scattered around town as she trotted to her designated polling station.


As her mind wandered off, Derpy Hooves thought about the rumors circulating through Ponyville that a couple days from now, Spoiled Rich planned on announcing her intent to get a new sports stadium built for the town if elected mayor. Now THAT was cool!!! Ponyville really needed a proper stadium! How was it fair that Appleloosa of all places has a stadium but not the bestest most amazing town in the whole world? Why couldn’t the guy at the podium talk more about exciting sports stuff and less about... price gouging? Like, was that even an issue? Derpy had lived in Ponyville practically her entire adult life!!! OF COURSE nopony here would ever THINK to raise their prices just because a few rich ponies decide to move here in the future! Because Ponyville is a close-knit community and the most friendliest of places!


One question above all else loomed in the mind of this pegasus. Once the floor opened for questions, she was the first to raise her hoof. “Ooh ooh ooooh, well ummm.....” Derpy sheepishly grinned; What’s your name again?”

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Ponyville Town Hall, April 6th.

 

7 hours ago, Bellosh said:

*BACK DURING THE APRIL 6 TOWN HALL MEETING*

 

L8tUHC2.png

 

 What’s your name again?”

 

To say that Strong Copper was stunned speechless by the question would have been an understatement. Truth was he hated public speaking, but his own personal goal was that if he run a good campaign and failed then at least Ponyville would have an idea of who he was in a positive light. This... this sort of thing was like a nightmare.

 

Taking a seat on stage so that he could reach up to just rub his temples while also hiding his face briefly, he let his forces drop away before answering in a somewhat meek tone "...Strong Copper. My name is Strong Copper. I didn't think I needed to plaster my name and face all over the place but... would you prefer it if I did if it'll help you remember?"

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L8tUHC2.png

 

Derpy Hooves stayed silent for a couple moments after Strong Copper asked about plastering his face all over. Lacking any sort of sarcasm detector, the googly-eyed pegasus simply answered; “.....Nah, that’s silly.”


Lifting herself up into the air and hovering in front of the gentlecolt, Derpy explained further; “See, the way I got ponies to remember my name when I first moved here was by going to parties (we have tons of them around here), saying ‘hi’ to folks and chating with them, and then before I knew it, I made friends! And then my friends would talk about me to their friends, and those friends would do the same with their other friends, so eventually everypony in town knew about the pegasus with the bubbly cutie mark. ...Although I DO suppose there still are some ponies here who think my name’s Ditzy Do, and there’s this one pony who calls me Muffins for some reason? But I don't wanna’ bore you with the details.”


“So uhhhhh, where was I? ...OH YEAH: FRIENDSHIP! Making friends is EVERYTHING in life!!! It’s how other ponies remember who you are! I’m guessing you got friends too, right Mr. Copper?”

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                                                                                                      REvxA6F.png


Apple Bloom wasn't like her big sister Applejack. The older Apple mare had been won over by Spoiled Rich after a conversation. She was promised a pot of gold for the town, a stadium, and that everypony would do their best to ensure nopony was being left behind. Applejack was always willing to believe in what others said, especially when she had no good cause to consider their intentions impure otherwise. Apple Bloom however knew more. She had seen how Spoiled had treated Diamond and knew for a fact that she was simply a rotten piece of work. She wouldn't do Ponyville any good by having more power, and she wouldn't hold to her promises. Apple Bloom was sure of it. She may not be able to get her sister to see it but she knew it to be true, and needed something to do.

 

She had wanted to work on her friend Scootaloo's campaign. Yeah it was of, well, dubious legal quality. There was nothing in the town charter that said a foal couldn't run, but by and large they all knew it was at best a charade. That meant she had to go somewhere, and talk to somepony, and see what she could do to stop what she saw as a pretty suspect mare from being her town's mayor. And so she made sure to attend all the town halls and listen closely to what everypony was saying. Even Spoiled. She took her notes and wrote her questions. She even wore a Foal Free Press cap because it still fit and- well, frankly, she thought she looked pretty cute in it. So it was with that in mind that she attended Strong's town hall meeting and it was there that she got to know the other leading candidate for Mayor as well as she could hope to know.

 

He was from out of town which wouldn't play well with some but she didn't hold that against him. It was cool that he was a monster hunter of some skill and she was always happy to know that the pony in charge of town would be one who put their flank on the line for others. It didn't always mean that they were suited to run a town but it did mean they knew what it was like to take risks and put yourself out there and that was a great quality to have. She just had to see what else this stallion had t offer. Somepony else, Derpy to be exact, started up on her line of questioning and concern. When Strong Copper had answered that, APple Bloom would take her time. She stood up on her chair to get the height she needed, topped by a hat with a pencil behind her ear. "Howdy there Mr. Strong Copper, Ah'm Apple Bloom of tha Free Foal Press. And Sweet Apple Acres, mostly Sweet Apple Acres. Y'all say you wanna make sure that local businesses and somesuch don't start raisin' their prices on account of rich ponies coming into town. How exactly do you wanna go about that?"

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Ponyville Town Hall, April 6th.

 

To say that Strong Copper had been thrown off by the... well, causal absent minded rant about friendship that had been brought up. When it finally ended with a question about if he had friends or not, Copper actually looked thoughtful before he answered. "Not that many locally. I hope to change that with time but while I would love to have a chance to get to know you better miss, I'm not sure if you noticed but I am kind of in the middle of something and it would be absolutely rude to ignore everyone else who came here by focusing all my attention on you right now." He offered her a small smile that was... honestly a little to nervous to have been practiced.

 

His salvation from being asked any more Derpy questions came in the form on a filly wearing a reporters hat. The whole situation was adorable, but it also got him out of an awkward conversation and back somewhat on more familiar tracks.  Regaining at least some of that former confidence, he answered "That is a fair question Miss Bloom and if the Free Foal Press would care to do an interview I would be more then happy to do so a bit later on. As for your question... fundamentally, it will come down to oversight. Legally speaking, a business owner can set their prices to whatever they want with the knowledge that customers are free to take their business elsewhere. Part of our job as local government is to ensure that such business do not employ tactics to... well, 'rig the game' as it were. We will also be attempting to free up enough of the budget in order to provide subsides for local businesses in order to help encourage them to keep their prices low and affordable."

 

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Apple Bloom wrote all that down. The Foal Free Press would be more than happy to interview him, but she still had a job to do! "Sounds like yer givin' this a whole lotta thought, Mr. Copper. Other candidates are sayin' they're tha right pony ta make sure this here town grows by leaps and bounds. Mah question is, how do you plan on helpin' this town grow?" She asked. That was Spoiled's big push, her big feather in a very big cap. If she could help get Copper's own ideas out there then he could chip away at it. Grow his own feather. Of course once he stepped into that realm he would have to be ready for a heck of a fight because that was her area of expertise. But he had to sooner or later, so may as well get started now.

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Ponyville Town Hall, April 6th.

 

While the fact that the questions were coming from a filly reporter of all things, Strong Copper was thankful for the solid ground that she was providing. It was kind of what he had been expecting and it was allowing him to get back into the rhythm of things after he had been thrown off by the mare before. "Miss Bloom, Ponyville is going to grow regardless of who is elected mayor. Between the determination and hard work of its local business ponies and the wise guidance and support of Mayor Mare, the town is currently doing so well that the only way to stop the current boom would be if the person elected to office was actively trying to destroy Ponyville... and even then, considering all this place has endured in recent history there is a strong case to be made that Ponyville would continue on regardless."

 

"All I can promise as Mayor is that I am willing to learn from the successes and failings of my predecessor, attempt to have a positive relationship with local businesses and the School of Friendship, maintain and expand Ponyville's infrastructure while listening to the requests and complaints of locals so that they can be taken into account for decision making." There was a pause... before an idea suddenly came to him. One that would put his main competitor in an... awkward situation regardless of what she did. "There is one thing beyond that I can add and I'll hope that those who are also running for office will join me in the days to come to make it something that all of us will pledge to do regardless of who is elected Mayor.

 

"In my travels related to work, I have been to many different places all over Equestria and beyond. In many of these places, one of their largest issues that plagued them was reckless, corrupt spending by their local governments. Projects that were clearly over-budget and their estimated deadlines long passed without anyone accountable for them. Officials who only spent the the town's funding to enrich themselves, either by investing it in things that would only benefit the few that they were apart of at the expense of the town or by slipping funds into their own pockets quietly. What I intend to do and what I hope to convince the other candidates for your votes in the weeks to come is to establish a pledge of transparency."

 

"Ponyville's funding comes from the tax payer, thus it is only fair that they should be able to see the budget books of the town on request. You should be allowed to walk into Town Hall and ask to see where and how your local government is spending your tax money and under Mayor Copper you will get exactly that. I intend to speak with the other candidates in order to ensure that this will be standard practice regardless of how wins the election, because the only way to stop corruption and personal self interest from getting its dark roots into Ponyville's government is to expose it before it can weed its way in."

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