I’ve gone into detail elsewhere in this section, but in case you’re the type who jumps right to this column so you can groove to my wit and wisdom, Attorney General Martha Coakley and State Senator Scott P. Brown (R – Wrentham) won Tuesday’s primary race and will now face off in the January 19 special election for the seat previous held by the late US Senator Edward W. Kennedy.
As a wise parrot once said, I could have a heart attack and die from not surprise over the results.
Now, to address pieces of business old and new. The old business: after last week’s issue I heard from a few people who wondered why Stephen G. Pagliuca and Alan A. Khazei got the full interview treatment while everyone else got mini-profiles.
It’s very simple: if they bothered to return my phone calls and made time for me, they got interviewed; if they blew me off, they didn’t.
The exception to this rule is Sen. Brown. By mutual agreement we’d planned to get together after the primary election since, at the time, he was the only Republican running — then Jack E. Robinson popped up at the 11th hour. After speaking with him about this, he said he was cool following our original game plan and we will be getting together soon.
Presumptuous, you say? In principle, yes, but it’s hard to hold it against him in light of his opponent; Robinson simply was not a viable candidate, especially when he appears in the race at the 11th hour and apparently goes out of his way not to make himself especially visible.
Or maybe Sen. Brown has a low-grade precognitive ability and predicted Robinson’s defeat, along with AG Coakley’s win; the day before the election, Sen. Brown issued a press release challenging the Democratic candidate to “tell the special interests to stay out of the Massachusetts special election.”
Sen. Brown was referring specifically to a $214,000 radio ad campaign funded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in support of AG Coakley.
“It reinforces the perception that she is the candidate of the status quo who will protect big government spending programs at the expense of taxpayers,” Sen. Brown said in a press release. “Martha Coakley needs to tell the big government unions to stop trying to buy this election. This election can’t be bought and we should let the people decide without any outside interference. We should be looking out for the people’s interests and not the special interests.”
Uh, Sen. Brown? Question over here. The SEIU represents (as per their website): “nurses, LPNs, doctors, lab technicians, nursing home workers, home care workers…local and state government workers, public school employees, bus drivers, and child care providers…workers who protect and clean commercial and residential office buildings, and…private security officers and public safety personnel.”
Are you saying the SEIU is a big government union – slash – special interest and not looking out for “people’s interests”? They seem pretty people-interest-oriented to me. Just sayin’.
Follow-up question: will you be returning the $1,000 donation from the United Services Automobile Association Employee PAC, which represents employees of the USAA, which provides insurance and financial services to military personnel? Or the $4,500 from Mitt Romney’s “Free and Strong America PAC,” which supports candidates who conform to an arch-conservative platform? Or are those not big government unions and/or special interests?
And what about the PAC money you received in your 2008 state senatorial campaign? Will you be returning any donations from the PACs representing Bank of America, the Mass. Credit Union League, the FMR LLC (Fidelity), MA Correction Officers Federated Union, the MBTA Police Association, the Association of Builders and Contractors, the Fraternal Order of Police, Insurance Agents and Brokers of Massachusetts, the Mass. Association of Realtors, the Mass. Hospital Association…
Again: just sayin’.
(FYI: the above lists provided courtesy of, respectively, the Federal Election Commission and the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance.)
Now, I’m not trying to insinuate that AG Coakey’s campaign is free of PAC influence because it sure ain’t – 27 PAC donations and counting! – but if Sen. Brown is going to play the “refuse special interests money” card, he should play by the same rules.
Political news and announcements may be sent to Michael Bailey, Region editor and senior political reporter, at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.