Hidey-ho folks. I’m back from vacation, and I return to the column with a brief requiem for Bob Burr, would-be Republican candidate for US Senate.
Oh, Bob, we hardly knew ye, and I suspect that’s because you never really did anything with your campaign once you entered the race. I infer that by your inability to collect 10,000 signatures on your nomination papers by last Tuesday’s deadline.
So that brings our official field of candidates for the late Edward M. Kennedy’s US Senate seat down to one Republican – State Senator Scott P. Brown (R – Wrentham), who Mr. Burr is now supporting – and four Democrats: Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, Congressman Michael E. Capuano (D), Alan A. Khazei, and Steve Pagliuca.
The Fab Four engaged in a rather tepid debate Monday night, and you can read my analysis below.
AG Coakley, by the way, is under no small amount of scrutiny thanks to the Massachusetts Republican Party. The Mass. GOP recently filed a complaint against AG Coakley, claiming she was running a “shadow campaign” (insert dramatic musical sting here) for US Senate using money from her AG campaign coffers, which is a no-no.
The GOP specifically charges that AG Coakley spent about $31,000 from her state campaign fund on consultants in preparation for her Senate bid. Notably, she has reimbursed her state fund for $35,000 in expenses out of her federal campaign fund. File that under Things That Make You Go Hmmmm…
The Federal Election Commission is reviewing the matter but, as of this writing, has yet to announce whether it will launch an official investigation into AG Coakley’s campaign finances — so it will be a while before we learn whether this is a case of eagle-eyed diligence on the GOP’s part or they’re just out to get her.
One might suspect the latter in light of the new GOP-sponsored “Where Was Martha?” website, which focuses on the AG’s failure (real or imagined, you be the judge) to go after disgraced fellow Democrats – namely former House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, former State Senator Dianne Wilkerson, and Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner.
For those who care about such things, State Senator Robert A. O’Leary (D – Barnstable) and State Representative Timothy R. Madden (D – Nantucket) have officially endorsed AG Coakley’s candidacy. The only Cape Dem who’s not on the Coakley bandwagon: State Representative Cleon H. Turner (D – Dennis), who has yet to pick a favorite.
A final note on the Fab Four: a new Western New England College survey has AG Coakley as the person to beat: 37 percent of the people surveyed chose her as the favorite, followed by Mr. Pagliuca and Rep. Capuano running in a near dead-heat with 14 percent and 13 percent support respectively, and Mr. Khazei bringing up the read at a distant four percent.
A reminder: Sen. Brown will be on the Cape next month, specifically at the Hyannis Golf Course on Route 132 on Sunday, November 15 from 3 to 5 PM.
Shoot State Representative Jeffrey D. Perry (R – Sandwich) an e-mail at ElectJeffPerry@aol.com if you’re interested in serving on the host committee for this campaign fundraiser.
Want to talk directly to Christy P. Mihos, Republican candidate for governor? You’ll get several chances during the campaign, thanks to his new series of live webcasts.
Go to Mr. Mihos’s official campaign website to check for the next scheduled webcast, which will allow viewers to call into his Hyannis campaign office and chat directly with the candidate. The shows will be, as the name suggests, broadcast live over his site. He hopes to hold the webcasts up to three times a week.
On the topic of the gubernatorial race, I can’t help but take this as a bad sign – whether of the economy or Deval L. Patrick’s re-election campaign, I’m not sure, but when President Barack H. Obama rolls into Boston for a fundraiser and the place is not standing room only, something is amiss.
According to several media accounts of last Friday’s fundraiser for Gov. Patrick, a high-priced private reception with the President was about half-full, and a subsequent $500-a-head fundraiser for those without such deep pockets was two-thirds full.
Ray Kasperowicz, Republican candidate for the US House of Representatives – 10th Congressional District, will be on the Cape next month – November 10, to be precise, when he meets with the Sandwich Republican Town Committee. Keep your eye on his website and www.sandwichrepublicans.org for details as they’re announced.
Republican Earle Stroll of Bolton has filed his paperwork with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance in preparation for his planned run for Massachusetts State Auditor.
If Mr. Stroll’s name sounds oh-so-vaguely familiar, it’s because he almost ran for the post in 2006. I say “almost” because he failed to get enough signatures on his nomination papers. Better luck this time around, dude.
State Representative Susan D. Williams Gifford (R – Wareham) has resurrected her dead website. Go there to see what’s new, and let’s hope she takes better care of it this time around.
Here’s a handy website promoting one of the possible ballot questions for 2010, which seeks to establish instant runoff voting in Massachusetts: http://voterchoicema.org, the official site for Voter Choice Massachusetts.
Under instant runoff voting, voters basically rank the candidates for a given race. During the tally the candidate who receives the least support (that is, the one who is the top pick among the fewest voters) is bumped out, elimination-style, and that vote is then automatically reassigned to the voter’s number two pick. This goes on until a winner emerges from the flaming heap of defeated also-rans like the lone NASCAR driver from a 30-car pile-up on a hairpin turn.
It sounds, and kind of is, complicated, but proponents claim that instant runoff voting avoids the “spoiler effect,” that voting phenomenon in which two similar candidates split the electorate, allowing a possibly weaker third candidate to sneak through with a win.
I don’t have another car racing metaphor for that one. Sorry.
Political news and announcements may be sent to Michael Bailey, Region editor and senior political reporter, at email@example.com