Have you seen this candidate?
I’d attach a picture of Stephen M. Palmer of Plymouth to this column, but I can’t find one. Nor can I find out anything about this guy, who is allegedly running against Senate President Therese M. Murray (D – Plymouth) in the Democratic primary.
I say “allegedly” because so far all anyone knows about the guy is his name. Town clerks in Bourne, Falmouth, and Sandwich, which fall within the Plymouth and Barnstable District, reported receiving nomination papers from the fellow, and he’s been mentioned in a few other media outlets as a candidate, but he has no Internet fingerprint and has yet to pop up on the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance database.
It’s looking like Mr. Palmer might belong to that rare species of candidate, the guy who goes through all the steps of getting on the ballot but never actually running.
In addition to citing family obligations, Mr. White — as he did when he dropped out of the 2010 Congressional race — implied the fault for his withdrawal lay with voters who did not rally to his side. “People are being herded into the Wall Street Empire’s two-party crap trap once again,” he said, “so what’s an activist for democratic social change to do?”
Let’s call a spade a spade here: Mr. White is your standard angry-at-the-system one-note candidate. He hates big business, he hates big oil, he hates the war, and he hates the current government system, and never have his press releases strayed from those specific bones of contention.
Not that any of these concerns are without merit, but when your every statement is a verbal fist-shake at your chosen pet peeves, why should any voter believe you’d dedicate any energy to issues outside such a limited area of focus? Or even be fit to handle the dry nuts-and-bolts responsibilities of the job?
Righteous indignation, now matter how justified, is not the most important qualification for elected office.
Readers might recall that some time ago, I offered a similar criticism of Ronald R. Beaty Jr., candidate for the Barnstable seat on the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates.
Well, it appears he took that critique seriously and could be withdrawing from the race.
“I have been giving quite a bit of thought to your [comments] regarding the expected vacant Barnstable seat on the county assembly,” Mr. Beaty wrote to me in an e-mail. “The more I reflect upon it, the more you seem to be right on this particular matter…perhaps the time has finally come for me to let other Cape citizens discuss, debate, and fight over the current issues involving county government on Cape Cod.”
“Perhaps I should just completely remove myself from the equation all together,” he wrote. “I am sure that eventually other more qualified individuals will step forward to do what needs to be done.”
I maintain that it is always in the best interests of the voters to have a choice in candidates, and competition forces candidates to work a little harder to prove they have the best ideas. I also believe that if a given candidate is in a race to grind an ax and has no interest in addressing a broader range of issues, they’re not doing voters any favors. Running for any elected office should be about serving the public and not one’s own interests.
(I know, that’s cock-eyed optimism on my part, but a man can dream, can’t he?)
Andrew V. Putnam of Falmouth, candidate for the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates, is holding his campaign kick-off event on Wednesday at J.R. Brody’s Roadside Tavern in East Falmouth. That runs from 5 to 7 PM and it’s an open-invitation shindig, so drop on in after work.
Finally, R. Patrick Ellis, Democratic candidate for State Representative of the Fifth Barnstable District, has launched his official campaign website. Go check it out at www.electpatrickellis.com.
Political news and announcements may be e-mailed to Michael Bailey, senior political reporter, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: Andrew Putnam, Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates, Jill Stein, Ninth Congressional District, Patrick Ellis, Peter White, Ronald Beaty Jr., Senate President Therese Murray, State Representative - 5th Barnstable, State Senate - Plymouth & Barnstable, Stephen Palmer
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.