I know what you’re thinking: what the heck is this thing doing back? It’s not even 2010 yet!
Ah, but unless you’ve been living in a cave on Mars for the past month, you know well that things are off to an early start this year due to the passing of US Senator Edward M. Kennedy. A special election to fill his vacant seat (if not his considerable shoes) is scheduled for January 19, 2010, with the primary scheduled for December 8.
Martha Coakley, Massachusetts Attorney General, officially fired the starting gun last Tuesday when she took out nomination papers for the post and confirmed her candidacy two days later, so I’ll be starting up my political coverage a few months early. In the coming months look for candidacy and campaign event announcements, updates from the campaign trail, and occasional commentary from yours truly – as always, flavored with sweet, farm-fresh sarcasm.
Since Ms. Coakley got the ball rolling, let’s take a quick look at her career. She served from 1989 until 2006 as district attorney of Middlesex County, and in 2006 won the race for attorney general against Republican challenger Lawrence W. Frisoli, capturing 73 percent of the vote statewide.
Notably, Ms. Coakley followed the same man into those jobs: Thomas F. Reilly; Mr. Reilly left the DA’s office to run for AG, then left that office to run for governor.
As DA, Ms. Coakley prosecuted both the Louise Woodward and Neil Entwistle cases. During her tenure as AG, she worked with state lawmakers on a bill to update laws on financial crimes such as money laundering; filed a lawsuit against the federal government in an effort to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act; and filed several bills designed to reverse the course of the home foreclosure crisis and clamp down on predatory mortgage lenders.
Her official website is www.marthacoakley.com
How much longer will Ms. Coakley be all by her lonesome now that Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., Ted’s nephew, has officially announced he won’t be running? I guess that now depends on whether Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the senator’s widow, reconsiders her decision not to run.
Gotta say, I’d have a tough time getting behind any candidate whose decision to run is contingent on how badly he believes he’s going to get trounced by someone whose biggest selling point is the fact she has “Kennedy” attached to her name. Let’s see some of that much-ballyhooed “political courage,” people!
A lot of names were bandied about early on as possible candidates, but two emerged last week that fell, respectively, in the “No surprise there” and the “What the –?!” categories, respectively.
The not-surprise was Gloucester Democrat Edward J. O’Reilly, who ran an unsuccessful primary campaign against US Senator John F. Kerry in 2008. He received 31 percent of the vote in that race, which isn’t terrible. His e-mail simply said he was “seriously considering” a run, and by the time you read this he should have made an official announcement.
The surprise was Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who said last week he was interested in Mr. Kennedy’s seat but would “probably not” run. “To get to there from where I am today, many, many things would have to align themselves for that to truly happen,” he said on his blog. “I am not going to comment further on the matter since at this point it would be speculation on top of speculation.’’
And yet, last Saturday he posted on his blog something that smacks suspiciously of a campaign platform. He also remarks that if he were to serve it would be for “1 term and 1 term only, and then only to do everything in my power to rid this state of the tired an unethical people that have run it into the ground and help it begin the healing process, and once again become a thriving state to live and work in.”
Methinks Mr. Schilling is revealing his political naïveté if he honestly believes he can, in his first and only term in the US Senate, make that kind of impact. Stick to baseball, sir, it’s what you know.
Finally, a word for voters: if you want to participate in the special election, make sure you’re registered by November 12 to vote in the primaries, December 30 to vote in the special election.
Political news and announcements may be sent to Michael Bailey, Region editor and senior political reporter, at email@example.com
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.