Thomas F. Keyes is finally, at long last, 100 percent officially running for State Senate of the Plymouth and Barnstable District.
Mr. Keyes, a Sandwich Republican, ended months of not-so-subtle will-I-or-won’t-I hinting last weekend with a campaign kick-off event in Plymouth, setting up a rematch of his 2010 race against the incumbent, Senate President Therese M. Murray (D – Plymouth).
In his announcement speech, Mr. Keyes spoke of “a political climate that’s bursting at the seams with fresh scandals and abuses of the public trust” and “professional politicians with an insatiable lust for power and addiction to special interest money that holds back our state from reaching its full potential.”
Mr. Keyes also spoke about the need to bolster the economy and create jobs, and he undercut Sen. Murray’s claims that Massachusetts is doing well job-wise as its unemployment rate is 6.8 percent (actually 6.9 as of this month) by claiming that the “underemployment” was 8.9 percent, “the highest in the country.” He said the total “unemployment problem” – unemployed and underemployed workers combined – was 15.7 percent.
At this point, I’d like to provide some context for that statement because, yes, I’m the kind of guy who likes to fact-check politicians’ statements. Call me crazy.
Mr. Keyes is quoting a recent independent study that looked at workers’ potential based on their education and training as compared to their employment status. In this study, a person working one or more level below his level of qualification was considered underemployed.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics defines an underemployed worker as someone who is willing and able to work full-time but work part-time for economic reasons (they had their hours cut or cannot find full-time work).
When underemployed workers as per the DoL’s standard are added to the number of unemployed workers, Nevada actually has the highest combined unemployment/underemployment rate at 22.7 percent. Massachusetts’ combined rate is 14.3 percent, which ties it for 33rd place with New York.
If you’re interested in reading a more in-depth analysis of Mr. Keyes’ claims and the numbers behind them, here you go.
All that said, I look forward to see what Mr. Keyes will proposed as fixes for these problems. As I say every election year, saying you’ll fix problems is the easy part. The hard part is telling us how you plan to do it.
Another Sandwich Republican is officially off and running. State Representative Randy Hunt (R – Sandwich) launched his re-election campaign last Wednesday.
His potential Democratic challenger, R. Patrick Ellis of Sandwich, will be holding his first campaign event next month at Hemisphere in Sandwich. More on that as details become available.
Want more Republicans making it official? Then add Eric R. Steinhilber of Barnstable to the list.
Mr. Steinhilber will officially kick off his campaign for Barnstable County Board of County Commissioners tomorrow with a 9 AM event at the VFW Post 2578 in Hyannis, located at 455 Iyanough Road (Route 28). That event will run until 10:30 AM and a light breakfast will be served.
Mr. Steinhilber makes for an excellent addition to this race, which also includes incumbents Mary L. (Pat) Flynn of Falmouth and Sheila R. Lyons of Wellfleet. Two seats on the board are available this year.
Still not satisfied? Have one more! Christopher Sheldon of Plymouth is all official-like in his run for the Republican nomination for Congress in the Ninth District. His launch event was Tuesday in his hometown, and so far he’s all alone in the Republican primary.
Political news and announcements may be e-mailed to Michael Bailey, 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.