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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Do We Want More Candidates?

I tried to find the electronic copy of "The Column" from The Sun, but couldn't.

Regardless, on Sunday The Sun took a swipe at Lawyer Raymond Weicker by describing his City Council race in 2009 as abysmal.

It seems to me that if we have more than a dozen or so candidates someone is going to look like their performance was pretty bad.  I know that feeling having been trounced, in the past, by Rep David Nangle.  But, does democracy not demand that we provide alternatives for the voters?  Should not the paper of record for Lowell be encouraging people to run?  Let us review the situation here in Lowell as of this Blog Post.
  • We have a Republican (several, actually) running against Rep Tsongas—Good.
  • We have a Republican running for the vacating State Senate Seat—Good.
  • We have no Republican who turned in signatures to run for the Governor's Counsel Seat—Bad.
  • We have no one who turned in signatures, Democrat or Republican, to run against State Rep Tom Golden—Bad.
  • We have no one who turned in signatures, Democrat or Republican, to run against State Rep Kevin Murphy—Bad.
  • We have no one who turned in signatures, Democrat or Republican, to run against State Rep David Nangle—Bad.
And this is just locally controlled offices and not state-wide offices.

Where does The Sun stand on this issue?  Do they wish to have more candidates, wish to foster greater democracy in the Commonwealth, wish to see new ideas on Beacon Hill?  Or do they like the status quo?  I will send a copy of this to Mr Campanini and ask for his opinion.

And what about the Republicans?  Shouldn't they be running candidate school all year long, sifting for candidates?

UPDATE:  Joe Smith wrote to point out to me that it is Kevin Murphy and not Kevin McCarthy.  I wonder where that "McCarthy" thing came from and I apologize to Rep Murphy.  Is Pat McCarthy trying to do mind-meld from the Highlands?

Regards  —  Cliff

  Note well than none of the candidates against Ms Tsongas are from Lowell.


Jack Mitchell said...

I'm not sure you could say anyone is "against" Rep. Tsongas. As, currently, they are "against" each other.

Of the names that are out there, only two are reportedly doing the work.

Craig H said...

The way I see it, we have a bunch of partisan hacks running for the contested seats, and a few partisan hacks running unopposed for the rest. I can't see the distinction. The end result is partisan hacks sitting in all of the seats, and we end up screwed no matter what.

Now, if we were to have UNENROLLED candidates being written about for any or all of these seats, THAT would be more encouraging.

Jack Mitchell said...

I would almost agree with you, kad.

Except I see the internal wrangling within the Democratic Party. It is not a monolith.

That said, things can only improve by getting behind serious campaign finance reform. In my mind, it is not the ideals, held by either party, that are problematic. It is the money that corrupts those ideals.

C R Krieger said...

Jack is correct in the first comment in that there are several vying for the right to challenge Ms Tsongas.  I know a couple of them.

As an aside, do folks agree that we should move the primary back away from the General Election, especially given when papers have to be filed to run?

As for the second Mitchell Comment, I am just bitter, bitter, bitter.  Didn't the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts vote for public financing?  I remember being against it, before I was for it.

But, what makes me just bitter, bitter, bitter is the way the Great and General Court killed it.  Dishonest and dishonorable.  As I recall, the problem was the Speaker, Tom Finneran.  But, the members of the House supported him.  The members of the House supported him in destroying the legislation.  The members of the House we, as a People, keep reelecting.  Did I mention I was bitter.  On the other hand, my wife says to me:  "Don't be bitter-sweet".  So, I will get over it.

Those who whine and whing about the ballot initiative should keep that action in the front of their minds.  They have little to worry about from the voters.  The voters vote, but the Great and General Court, seeing itself as being like the TGS, protects the Constitution from the People.

Regards  —  Cliff

Renee said...

If anyone ran against any of our state rep, it would destroy/divide their respective neighborhoods. Running against someone shouldn't imply you're hurting someone's feelings or a personal betrayal. Yet it does.

Myself included, reviewing my own statements at times, what's a personal attack vs. objective differences on an issue? People are afraid to speak up, because ultimately they think they may lose friends/neighbors.

Jack Mitchell said...

Having the Primary snug to the General Election is a benefit to the incumbent, as the challenger has less time to pivot and make a case for their candidacy.

Sounds like the "golden rule" we hear about from time to time.

Send me some background on Finneran's obstruction. I like to know when and why Dems choose make folks bitter.

The New Englander said...

Eh, I don't think the Sun was taking a swipe. I liked a lot of what Ray was saying, I thought he was a good candidate, and I voted for him. Still, fair is fair -- his vote tally kept him far from the top nine.

If the Patriots played a 16-game season and only won 5 games, the Globe would call that season an "abysmal" performance. That's a fairly objective statement.

I'm inclined to agree with Renee about the way things are personalized, as I've gotten to see electoral politics up close this year in a way I never have before. The sands shift sometimes, and candidates take things personally when they don't necessarily have to.