This week starts with an endorsement update and sort of spirals off into all sorts of fun directions.
The attached press release said AG Coakley had “the strongest record of promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy,” but I have to call a reality check.
A review of press materials from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office for the past year uncovered seven press releases pertaining to renewable energy and energy efficiency, and one of those was of the “AG Coakley approves this thing she had no direct involvement with” type, another was simply an announcement of a new informational page on the AG’s website.
As for her rival, State Senator Scott P. Brown (R – Wrentham), his record on such matters isn’t at all shabby. He’s in the past received perfect or near-perfect marks on his voting record on energy and environmental affairs from the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters and the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
However, according to the Massachusetts Senate docket for 2009 – 2010, Sen. Brown was the lead sponsor on only two environmental bills, to reduce auto emissions and to exempt tree sales from the state income tax on Arbor Day. And yet: that’s two bills more than AG Coakley has filed.
This topic gets really interesting when you consider Sen. Brown is currently railing against “cap-and-trade” methods of controlling greenhouse gas emissions, yet – as AG Coakley pointed out last week – Sen. Brown wholeheartedly supported Massachusetts joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which utilizes (wait for it)…a cap-and-trade method of controlling greenhouse gas emissions.
Sen. Brown is now claiming he was “sold a bill of goods” and the RGGI has failed to live up to its promise of controlling emissions, but AG Coakley is slapping on him the dreaded label of “flip-flopper.”
I think this one is a toss-up. It’ll be interesting to see if either candidate will be able to effectively sell themselves as THE environmental champion in the race.
They may get the chance during a series of seven debates which, according to a source with an ear to the ground on such things, AG Coakley will be attending after initially declining due to the fact said debates did not also invite third-party candidate Joseph L. “No Relation” Kennedy.
Mr. Kennedy has a few of those debates posted on his public events calendar, so it looks like at least a few organizers have acquiesced to AG Coakley’s request (which I find, frankly, stunning, give the Boston media’s habit of ignoring non-party candidates).
Another quick word on endorsements: a group of veterans – not a formal organization, just a bunch of vets – has endorsed Sen. Brown. This group includes Tom Hudner, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and a former commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services.
Sen. Brown, a 30-year member of the Massachusetts National Guard, sits on the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs in the Legislature, and on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services.
A story to share with you. In 2003 then-governor W. Mitt Romney launched a statewide initiative to drum up a healthy body of Republican candidates to challenge Democratic incumbents. To cut a long story short, many of these candidates – including a few folks who ran here on the Cape – ran heavily negative, a trend that was echoed across the state. The result was a net loss of two seats for the GOP.
During a post-mortem with the Mass. GOP high muckety-mucks, several of the Republican survivors — including some Cape-area elected representatives (who, for the record, I hold in high regard and are the source of this anecdote) — were asked, “What did we do wrong?”
The people from the Cape replied, in their wisdom, “People ran too negative. Voters don’t respond to negative campaigning.” The GOP poobahs’ response: “No, they didn’t run negative enough.”
The point here: someone, please, for his own sake, tell Sen. Brown to stop running negative. I receive in a typical day three or four e-mails from Brown’s camp, and at least one in each batch amounts to, “Here’s the latest reason why Martha Coakley stinks.”
Remember what they taught you in elementary school, Scotty: you don’t build yourself up by tearing others down.
By the way, you voters, the deadline to register for the January 19, 2010 special US Senate election is Wednesday, December 30. Direct any question to your local town clerk’s office or go online to the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth – Elections Division website.
Hey! Did you also know there are other races going on? For governor of Massachusetts, for example.
Incumbent Deval L. Patrick has re-launched his campaign website, adding (at last) some new content and giving it a new look that is WAY TOO FREAKIN’ BUSY! Someone at the campaign, please clean the pages up and remove the clutter!
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.