One election down, one to go!
Check www.capenews.net for the lowdown on who won what (I put this thing together on Tuesdays, hence the lack of results here), but this week marks the beginning of the election season in earnest, because all those candidates who had no primary opponents have to now wake up and start campaigning.
A precious few get to kick back and relax as they have no opponents whatsoever – Barnstable County Sheriff James M. Cummings, Cape & Islands DA Michael D. O’Keefe, and State Representative Timothy R. Madden (D – Nantucket) – but everyone else has to do at least a little legwork.
There are some solid local races here, but also a few that I’m expecting to be rather uninspiring affairs. I look first to State Representative Susan D. Williams Gifford (R – Wareham), whose Democratic challenger David A. Smith of Wareham is thus far striking me as another in a long line of lackluster opponents for Rep. Gifford.
Turning my gaze northeastward, I see an uphill battle for Thomas F. Keyes, who is challenging Senate President Therese M. Murray (D – Plymouth). Sen. Murray holds a major power position in the Legislature, has crazy cash in her campaign war chest, and – perhaps most importantly – has successfully spearheaded health care and economic development reforms in the past two years, so one cannot accuse her of having a do-nothing term in her rearview mirror.
Governor Deval L. Patrick’s firing up his re-election campaign and has opened several “regional coordinated campaign offices” across the state, including four on Cape Cod. If you’re looking for information on The Guv, check out the local offices at 359 Main Street in Falmouth and 4 Merchants Square in Sandwich.
The governor, by the way, received an endorsement last week from Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. Mayor Menino called Gov. Patrick “whuh rhl leddeh en Mussashuztz” (translated for those who don’t speak Mumble: “a real leader in Massachusetts”).
Dr. Jill E. Stein is hopping mad that she’s being overlooked by the Boston media.
Dr. Stein, the Green-Rainbow Party candidate, was not invited to participate in a radio debate in Boston this week, and she initially was not invited to participate in a televised debate scheduled for Tuesday – in the latter case, because her campaign war chest was about $31,000 short of meeting a minimum $100,000 threshold.
She is now going to participate in next week’s televised debate, but still got shafted from this week’s radio debate on WBZ.
The Boston Herald’s Margery Eagan opined this week that Dr. Stein should not be so catered to, and in fact should not be in the race, citing her inability to raise money on the same level as her rivals and her history of failed campaigns (governor in 2002, state representative in 2004, secretary of the Commonwealth in 2006).
Eagan rationalized that she has a snowball’s chance of winning the election, so why should the media waste time on her when that time could go to Gov. Patrick, Charles D. Baker Jr., and Timothy P. Cahill.
This arrogant attitude – “I don’t think this person can win, so I think he/she should just drop out now” – is part of what’s wrong with contemporary politics. The media adopt their darlings early on, the candidates they determine to be “viable,” and leave all others out in the cold, in the process do the voting public a grave disservice by burying the “weak” candidates under a ton of coverage for the “strong” contenders.
In the gubernatorial race it’s Dr. Stein. In the Congressional race Republicans Raymond Kasperowicz, the first guy to declare his candidacy, and Robert E. Hayden III were largely ignored in favor of State Representative Jeffrey D. Perry (R – Sandwich) and Joseph D. Malone. In 2008 Jeffrey K. Beatty’s challenge to US Senator John F. Kerry (D) was barely acknowledged, even after the media’s chosen sweetheart Jim Ogonowski tanked hard by failing to collect enough signatures to earn a spot on the primary ballot.
The decision whether to run for any elected seat – and whether to continue running when “they” say it’s futile – belongs first and foremost to the candidates themselves, and then to the voters, not the media. Ever.
State Representative Matthew C. Patrick (D – Falmouth) has added Virginia Ryan to his re-election campaign team. Ms. Ryan recently left her post of several years as the Housing Assistance Corporation’s assistant to the CEO/director of special projects.
Upcoming campaign events:
Rep. Gifford is hosting a fundraiser for Rep. Perry on Monday. That’ll be held at the Mezza Luna restaurant in Bourne from 5:30 PM to 7 PM.
Sen. Murray is the guest of honor at a September 26 fundraiser in East Sandwich. Betsy and Bill Lehrer will host that event at their home from 4 to 6 PM. For more information, e-mail Bet6453@aol.com or call 508-888-2016.
Political news and announcements may be sent to Michael Bailey, Region editor and senior political reporter, at firstname.lastname@example.org