So, who won last week’s Congressional candidates’ debate in Plymouth?
Apparently, everyone did.
The participants in the forum sponsored by the Plymouth League of Women Voters spent the following days sending out press releases crowing about how they crushed their rivals and impressed the audience. So it looks like this debate was in fact the political equivalent of youth soccer.
Yet what I found all the more laughable was how the high muckety-muck of one local media outlet (let’s call it “New Media”) chided another media outlet (which we’ll call “Old Media”) for “burying the lead” on its story on the debate. William R. Keating voiced his support for the Cape Wind project that evening, the only candidate to do so, and nether fact was mentioned until the end of Old Media’s story.
New Media maintains this should have been the lead. Why? Because the subject still fires people up? Because New Media loves the wind farm and thinks everyone else should too?
Cape Wind’s value as a legitimate issue in the 2010 election season is negligible. The wind farm is now in the same ballpark as abortion, gun rights, and the death penalty: it’s a handy hot button people can press to elicit a visceral reaction from voters and stir up some easy support (what’s known in pro wrestling circles as a “cheap pop”).
The one exception: people running for elected office can actually do something to affect laws on abortion, gun rights, and the death penalty. If Cape Wind fails at this point in the process, it’s not going to be because of anything any of the Congressional hopefuls do.
And yet, Cape Wind was the catalyst for the latest bit of tension in the race, between Mr. Keating and his primary opponent, State Senator Robert A. O’Leary (D – Barnstable). In an open letter to his rival, Sen. O’Leary accused Keating of flip-flopping (yes, that term is back) on the matter, stating Keating said he opposed the project during an earlier candidates’ forum in Harwich.
Sen. O’Leary – who, by a six point margin, recently bested Mr. Keating in a poll conducted by Gerstein/Agne Strategic Communications – ended that taste of J’accuse! With this zinger: “It seems that, having spent 32 of your 57 years in politics, you’ve mastered the most common of political skills. Congratulations, sir.”
If you missed that clashing of the titans, then mark Friday, September 10 on your calendar.
The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and the Cape Cod Young Professionals are co-hosting a pre-primary candidates’ night at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis. WXTK-FM’s news director Matt Pitta will wrangle Mr. Keating, Sen. O’Leary, and Republicans Robert E. Hayden III, Raymond Kasperowicz, and State Representative Jeffrey D. Perry (R – Sandwich).
The event will also welcome all four candidates for State Senator of the Cape and Islands District.
This kicks off at 8 AM, and it’s open to the public.
Rep. Perry announced last week he’d been bumped up to “contender” status in the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns” program.
“Contender” is the middle rank in the initiative, which assists GOP candidates running for open seats or against incumbents with their campaigns. “Young Gun” is the final level. He’s so far the only Massachusetts candidate to reach Contender status, and only one of three in the program at all (the other, notably, is rival Joseph D. Malone, who is “On the Rader”).
Speaking of Mr. Malone, he’ll be in Falmouth on August 15 for a reception at The Courtyard. That runs from 4 to 6 PM, and if you’d like to attend, shoot an e-mail over to email@example.com.
Another unenrolled candidate in the Congressional race has ended his run before anyone could care. Thomas A. Lawler posted on his campaign website that he was withdrawing from the race because “there are at least two other independents who will be on the ballot. That eliminates the need for me to run.”
Actually, only one; unenrolled candidate Peter A. White withdrew from the race earlier this summer. That leaves only James Sheets of Quincy as the standard bearer for third-party/unenrolled voter interests.
Last week, Rasmussen Reports released the results of its monthly poll, and Gov. Patrick maintained the lead with 38 percent of those surveyed voicing their support for the incumbent and 32 percent supporting Mr. Baker. The month before, the split was 41 percent and 34 percent.
Timothy P. Cahill inched up a bit, receiving support from 17 percent of those surveyed (up from 16 percent). Meanwhile, 12 percent were undecided in the June poll – though whether this is because Green-Rainbow Party candidate Dr. Jill E. Stein was not a choice in the poll or because her standing is truly that non-existent is in question.
By the way, here are your totally non-surprising endorsements of the week: pro-life group Citizens for Life is endorsing Rep. Perry in his race, and NARAL Pro-Choice is endorsing Governor Deval L. Patrick in his.
The governor and his running mate, Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray, also received the thumb’s up from Massachusetts Clean Water Action, the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters, and the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Want to prank a co-worker? Tell him to turn his computer volume up real loud and send him here.
Once there he will be treated to the dulcet tones of F. Randal Hunt’s “Campaign-O-Cycle” horn. The bicycle is emblazoned with campaign signs and, according to the official press release, has a zero carbon footprint and should help the candidate drop 10 pounds by September as he pedals around the district.
You may not agree with his politics, but you have to appreciate the sense of humor Randy “The Situation” Hunt brings to the election.
This week’s event reminders:
Mr. Hunt a meet-and-greet at Lakewood Hills on Tuesday, August 17 at 5 PM; a golf tourney fundraiser at Holly Ridge on Sunday, October 3 starting at 8:20 AM; a pasta supper fundraiser at the American Legion Hall in Sandwich on Saturday, September 25 starting at 6 PM; and “Pizza & Politics with Pizzazz” at Two Brothers Pizza & Mexican in Sandwich on Monday, October 11 at 5:30 PM.
Daniel A. Wolf, Democratic candidate for State Senate of the Cape and Islands District, will be in Mashpee on Monday, August 16 for a house party fundraiser. He’s also the guest of honor at house parties in Marstons Mills on Thursday, August 26, and in Osterville on Friday, August 27. Check out his official website at www.danwolfforsenate.com for more information.
Political news and announcements may be sent to Michael Bailey, Region editor and senior political reporter, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: 10th Congressional district, 2010 election, Charlie Baker, Dan Wolf, Governor Deval Patrick, Jeff Perry, Jill Stein, Joe Malone, Massachusetts Legislature, Randy Hunt, Ray Kasperowicz, Rob O'Leary, Tim Cahill, William Keating
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.