BMG’s endorsements for tomorrow’s primary: Kerry, Concannon, Chang-Diaz, Sciortino

Your editors bring you the following recommendations for tomorrow’s state primary.

  • US Senate: John Kerry.  This was not a difficult call for us.  We applaud Ed O’Reilly’s spirited campaign, and we are disappointed in Senator Kerry’s failure to live up to his own rhetoric about the importance of an informed electorate and vigorous participation in the democratic process by grudgingly agreeing to a single 20-minute debate.  But Senator Kerry remains an important leader both locally and nationally on issues that matter to all of us.  And anyone who saw his convention speech could have no doubt that he still has plenty of fire in his belly.  We’d like to see more of that guy, and less of the overly cautious one who sometimes shows up.  But we see no compelling reason to turn out someone as effective as Kerry has been in favor of someone who found chairing the Gloucester School Committee too time-consuming.
  • Middlesex Register of Probate: Thomas Concannon (write-in).  We’ve been over this before; no reason to reiterate it all now.  Suffice it to say that, while pablo makes an interesting case for voting for Buonomo on the assumption that, having resigned his office, Buonomo will withdraw from the ballot if he wins the primary and thereby trigger a caucus, we find even a small risk that Buonomo might change his mind and end up on the general election ballot to be unacceptable.  We urge you to write in Thomas Concannon, and let the chips fall where they may.  You can download printable stickers at this link.
  • Second Suffolk Senate: Sonia Chang-Diaz.  Again, this is an easy call for us.  Despite Dianne Wilkerson’s long and impressive record of advocacy for progressive causes, she remains unable to get her own house in order.  She has recently paid a fine of thousands of dollars to settle campaign finance violations, and questions continue to arise about her compliance with the laws that just about everyone else seems to manage with little difficulty.  Having the right set of beliefs is a necessary but not sufficient qualification for holding an office of public trust.  We respect and honor Wilkerson’s record of service to progressive causes, but we believe it is time for someone to hold that seat who will both advocate for progressive causes and will meet the high ethical standards that her constituents deserve.  Sonia Chang-Diaz is that person.  

    In addition, one of the few disagreements on the issues between the two candidates is the scary-virus biolab that Boston University wants to open in the district.  Chang-Diaz opposes it (or, at least, is very cautious).  Wilkerson supports it, perhaps to keep Mayor Menino happy.  Whatever Wilkerson’s reasons for supporting the biolab, Chang-Diaz has much the better of this issue.

  • 34th Middlesex State Rep: Carl Sciortino (write-in).  And speaking of easy calls, this one’s a no-brainer.  Sciortino is one of the best state reps we have — a solid, hard-working progressive who has already developed a fine track record in his relatively short time in the State House.  He richly deserves reelection.  It is most unfortunate that he has to run as a write-in candidate, but here’s hoping that his organization is adept enough to supply voters with all the stickers they need.  There’s lots of information on the write-in campaign at this link.
  • 35th Middlesex State Rep: you be the judge.  There are two solid progressives running to unseat Rep. Paul Donato, who has not exactly distinguished himself when it comes to progressive causes.  Both Patrick McCabe and Jim Caralis (a BMG regular, and the creator of the excellent OpenMass website) would do the district proud.  We are not inclined to endorse one of them over the other; rather, we urge progressives in the district to check them both out and make an informed choice.  By way of disclosure, Charley has been volunteering for the McCabe campaign.

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54 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Kerry is effective?

    You mean as an Obama surrogate, right?

    You would be hard-pressed, though, to find another Senator who has spent so long in Congress and accomplished so little.

    • Actually yoiu are extremely wrong there

      Counter terrorism - Kerry wrote the money to deal with international money laundering, used to "follow the money. He led the investigation that provided the case to close OBL's bank His view of how to deal with non-state terrorists is accepted even by General Gates.

      Iraq- His Kerry/Feingold resolution was the root of the current Democratic position - people from Obama to Clinton followed him on this issue.

      Healthcare - he with Kennedy wrote the precursor bill to S-CHIP, which retained many of its ideas. His idea of re-insurance of catastrophic costs is in Obama's plan and was rightfully called the best new idea of 2004.

      Housing - The Affordable Housing Fund just passed was something Kerry was the lead sponsor on for nearly a decade. This Congress he had 23 co-sponsors, the backing of i think 60 organizations. He also had another provision to give money to the states to renegotiate lonas and keep people in their houses.

      Environment - He has been the leading environmental voice in Congress for decades and he lead the fight against drilling in ANWR. He also was the entire Congressional delegation at Bali. Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, a member of the official delegation  (around 4 minutes in) said:

      "The fact that we had a treaty was significantly due to the fact that Senator Kerry was there. He was a virtual part of our negotiating team, without his day and night support and lobbying of the EU. we would not have gotten a treaty.

      Corruption: He passed the Cunningham act that starting next January will take pensions away from legislators guilty of frlonies - which should become a deterrent.

      anti-Contras - Although long ago, name one Senator who showed more courage in fighting the right than John Kerry did when he investigated the Contra drug running and gun running. This was when Reagan was very popular and half the Democratic party favored legally supporting the Contras, including Gore and the Clintons. Kerry spoke against that policy and against the School of Americas. Combined with standing alone against the entire power elite on BCCI, he was incredibly willing to risk his future to do what was right.

      But, I guess these aren't important issues or accomplishments to you - I think that only Kennedy surpasses him when you look over all the issues - and he has 22 years of seniority over Kerry. Now, Kerry has the seniority that Kennedy had when Kerry entered the Senate.

      Look at the other people with seniority, Kerry, by virtue of his strengths is the likely future leader of the liberal Democrats.

    • Wow, you shall remain clueless to the last.

      Little did you know that Kerry is so darn effective, that he is attracting unlikely allies:

      Q & A: Isakson talks about high speed rail proposal Georgia republican supports Sen. John Kerry's railroad initiative By ARIEL HART

      The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

      Sunday, September 14, 2008

      In the midst of a faltering economy and a transportation funding crisis, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is planning to introduce what appears to be a major rail initiative, and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) is preparing to join him.

      The idea is to finance an interstate high-speed rail network that could serve as the spine for local transit lines. Saying the current system is "broken," Isakson advocates treating rail just as the government treats airports: The government builds the airports, and the airplanes that ferry passengers are private.

      Kerry's office wouldn't answer questions about the measure, dubbed the High Speed Rail for America Act, but a letter he sent to colleagues talks big: "$200 million per year in grants, $8 billion in tax-exempt bonds, $10 billion in tax-credit bonds for high-speed intercity rail facilities, and $5.4 billion in tax-credit bonds for rail infrastructure."

      We talked to Isakson about the idea.

      Q: Tell us about the initiative.

      A: I have been very interested in the possibility of a high-speed rail line from Birmingham to Washington [through Atlanta], very similar to the line from Boston to Washington that exists today. It's ... a corridor that has a great deal of congestion on the interstates like I-85, and it's a great way to travel. ... But I know the big deal with rail is being able to get the capital together at the beginning to put in the infrastructure to put in lines like that line. Sen. Kerry's bill focuses on raising capital. ... Given the fact we've gone through the difficulties that we have on energy, the price of gasoline, the limited supply of oil, it makes an awful lot of sense looking to the future to make investments in those types of transportation systems that will meet our needs as the 21st century unfolds.

      Q: How big is what you're proposing?

      A: I don't want you to go off on some track that I've got some grandiose plan for the world in terms of rail. ... Kerry's introducing legislation that deals with the funding of rail infrastructure, which from my interest, that goes back to the Birmingham to Washington run.

      Q: If Kerry came out with this kind of more grandiose, much, much larger system idea, would you be inclined to support it?

      A: I support creating the financing mechanism to reinvigorate rail in the United States of America and to focus on the things I've repeated myself on. ... If that's a part of the Kerry legislation, yes I can. And it is.

      (More at the link)

      The bill hasn't even been dropped yet, but Atlanta is buzzing big time about it.  This will connect the South with the North, reduce energy costs, which would then reduce the price of products.  What this one example proves is a) Kerry is extremely busy putting together bills on a wide variety of issues affecting Mass. and the nation, and b) Kerry is effective by attracting co-sponsors one would never expect.  If Isakson down in Georgia is signing onto the bill, I think you're going to see a coalition which is going to pass this bill down the road.  THAT is how the Senate works, and THAT is how an effective Senator works.

  2. Kerry endorsement.....are you kidding?

    What you want from the voters of Massachusetts is insanity, which according to Albert Einstein is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." The Editors at Blue Mass Group said  "we are disappointed in Senator Kerry's failure to live up to his own rhetoric about the importance of an informed electorate and vigorous participation in the democratic process by grudgingly agreeing to a single 20-minute debate." and the Editors at the Blue Mass Group also said that Kerry can be "overly cautious ... who sometimes shows up." Well, I say that Kerry is a lot of rhetoric and little action.  He could and should do better and we all know that.  So if you want to go ahead and vote the same way over and over and expect different results, go ahead. I am voting for Ed O'reilly because I am ready for enthusiastic representaion, a man who will challenge the status quo, and a man whose heart is in Massachusetts.

    • You mean like the enthusiastic representation he gave the people

      who voted him onto the school board - where he step down mid-term from the chairmanship As to changing the status quo, there is plenty in Kerry's record where he has done that - as an activist and a Senator, in O'Reilly's record - nothing.

      Kerry has a big heart and he clearly loves MA. I'm sure O'reilly does too. Kerry has done far more to show it.

      • Don't know about his heart, but he DOES NOT have a fighting spirit....

        which was evidenced in a big way when he ran for president. The arrogance and hubris gets in his way every time. Thanks to John Kerry we had 4 more years of George Bush.  If he could have fought just a little harder he could have won. (I know it's hard for him, he believes so much that he is an amazing guy and beloved by all.)To him working hard for anything is not necessary, simply a nuisance. Well I hope you are all correct in your cowardly view of maintaining the status quo because I am really afraid that Jeff Beatty will win if Kerry is on the ballot with him.  

        • LOL!

          You really think Beatty has a chance against Kerry?  Oh my!

        • Senator Kerry and his entire family worked extremely hard in 2004

          They were all at rallies trying to win votes votes every day. It was never going to be easy Bush had an approval rating of near 50%, not the 33% of his dad in 1992. The Republican echo chamber was incredibly strong and the mainstream media was cowed by Bush. In addition, Bush used the terror ratings as a political tool - in affect terrorizing Americans for political purpose.

          Kerry's 3 debates were a tour de force, showing easy command of every subject. He spent the end of race speaking of how Bush did not secure the ammo dumps for months - an act of negligence because that ammo ended up in the ieds that, as Kerry phrased it, were "killing and maiming our kids". Without the OBL tape, Kerry would have pulled off a major upset. As it was, if there would have been an adequate number of voting machines in Ohio he would have won.

          Considering what was against him that is amazing.

          Do you honestly think that O'Reilly would have a better chance of beating Beatty. Think of the ads - the type that would have been beneath the Kerry campaign and which they didn't do - attacking O'Reilly. How many times would DUI lawyer be said?

          • Well, Beatty is already getting his stockpile of ammunition....

            He has 3000 volunteers and is blasting Kerry on accepting donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which we all just paid for that bail out.  With that and the fact that John Kerry is not as beloved as he thinks he is in this state he could very well lose.  I can't wait to start hearing "he was for it before he was against it" again. The flip flop king of the country, that I had to defend to the end in 2004.  Never Again.If Ed O'reilly doesn't win I don't care if Kerry or Beatty wins.  I really want Ed to win, he is no wimp, and he will wake up the senate. The other two are status quo geeks, I've had enough of that. Hey everyone, it's been great chatting with you, I believe I am done here after tomorrow.  If Ed wins, I'll be fighting for Ed on the Repub sites, if Ed loses, I will not be supporting John Kerry so my fight will be over.  It's been the good fight, fight for change, fight for action, fight to make a difference.  Good luck to you all!

            • Who's this Beatty character?

              Kerry will win because outside of political circles, no one knows there's a republican opponent.  I've seen plenty of ads from Shaheen and Sununu on the NH senate race, but not one for Beatty or O'reilly.  This isn't Kennedy vs. Romney, Kerry has nothing to worry about so he's not...  

            • Beatty has nothing

              On Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the contributions Kerry got were from individuals working for the companies  The same is true for Obama and Clinton. All you have to do to understand this is to go to the site that Beatty referenced. He's either incapable of looking at data and understanding it or intentionally deceiving people.

              Here is the truth about Kerry's receipts from 1998 until the present. Kerry got $109,000 from individuals and $2,000 from the PAC.


              As to flip/flop, you may be the only Democrat in the country that doesn't know the charge was not really true - but based on Kerry speaking of two versions of one bill.

              I Asked nicely yesterday, why you thought that Ed O'Reilly, a man who never was active in any cause, would wake up anything. He also is more likely to lose to Beatty. Kerry never used the fact that in O'Reilly's career, he defended many DUIs. He was right not to do that, but the commercials write themselves, especially if anyone died during that DUI or in a subsequent one. Beatty would definitely use it and it wouldn't be pretty.

              Kerry has polled as beating him by over 20 points. No one bothered to poll O'Reilly.

              • I know what he meant....

                I know the whole flip flop story was a farce, but I am an activist, I do my own research and I pay attention to what is really going on.  Most voters make their decisions based on sound bites and media commentary.  I fought very hard for John Kerry in 2004, and I was devastated when he lost.   I even went and protested out in front of the State house for the Ohio votes to be counted. I am not going to do that again for him, he took my support for granted and would not even give himself effort to a debate in this primary.

                Ed used to support John Kerry too until his vote to authorized the war.  Kerry sought advice prior to his vote asking what type of political ramifications his vote would have.  This infuriated Ed, (and now that I know this, me too) to use political ambition in any way to make a decision to put the lives of many men and women in harms way.  This is what began Ed's desire to run for office and change the shape of Washington.

                I did respond to you regarding your question about Ed's abilities, I guess you just didn't go back to look. I said that the fact that Ed O'reilly has few political accomplishments is not a negative, it is a positive. He is an accomplished attorney who has every educational skill needed to be a law maker. He has said many times he knows when to fight, he knows how to fight, and he knows when to negotiate. He also knows what it's like to be a citizen of our state and this country, to face the issues we face as people, not as elected officials, who are fairly well isolated from us with their high pay, awesome expense accounts and great medical benefits.  

                John Kerry himself has told us time and time again that it is time for change in Washington.  Although you won't admit it, I know you are tired of the status quo in Washington, too.  We all are.  I get that you are loyal to John Kerry, loyalty is an admirable quality.  If John Kerry wins tomorrow, he is going to need you, because he doesn't have my support, and I hate to break the news to you, but you are one of only 38% who thinks John Kerry should be reelected.

                I hope so much that Ed wins the primary tomorrow, he will give the voters their voice back, and remind our elected officials of who puts them there. He will fight the good fight for us in Washington, just as he has fought so hard  during this primary.  He didn't do it with expensive television ads, he ran his campaign on the ground, meeting with and talking to voters across this state. He has worked for every single vote he will get.  

                • When Kerry wins tomorrow, the 38% will go to well over 50%

                  You have been told repeatedly that a poll of John Kerry versus anyone is not the same as a poll of John Kerry versus Jeff Beatty. Even before today, Rassmusen gave him a probabilty of winning of 99.9%. Neither race is considered close.

                  I hope you look at where Beatty stands and realize that he will be a vote in the Republican Congress. Then look at all Kerry has done over the years. He will look a lot better - especially when you get past the smears from O'Reilly - smears Kerry opted not to return in kind.

                  • I did not adopt Ed O'reilly's opinions....

                    We are of the same opinion, that is why I support him. If Ed loses tomorrow, it will not change my mind about John Kerry.   Anyway Karen, take care!

            • Beatty doesn't have a chance in hell.

        • Ed is that you? n/t

    • No, you're wrong!

       What the dems in MA want to do is keep the status quo. That way they keep their government do-nothing jobs. Change is only good if it solidifies their position. And that cannot happen in MA.

  3. bob trane's 'campaign'

    im puzzled at trane's 'strategy'

    ive personally recieved countless mailings from carl.  and at least 4 visits from campaign volunteers for carl.  all of the mailings were addressed to me by name and the volunteers asked for me by name.

    that is kind of strange since none where addressed to my significant other, who is actually a registered democrat.  im registered as 'unenrolled'.  im guessing carl is targeting folks who voted in the democratic presidential primary.

    i have not received one mailing or one visit from trane.  not a single one.  however, i noticed in my landlord's mail box today there was a trane mailing.  is he mailing homeowners?  goodness knows we have to listen to him mention he and his wife are homeowners in 'summaville' over and over

    anyway, i certainly hope trane loses.  he is a walking disaster.  his hatred for 'outsiders' is beyond sickening.

    • Targeting

      Campaigns will target voters for a variety of reasons which you may accept as mysterious.

      There might be a data problem regarding your partner. Your partner may be registered but not vote very much. The Sciortino campaign may have already learned somehow that your partner will write in Carl and so s/he needs no further convincing. Their mailing program might only mail to the alphabetically first person at a household. Some mailings are by supporting organizations. For example, NARAL may send supportive mailings to all its members in a district. Who knows the affiliations of your landlord that brought a mailing in its train.

      (Pun intended)

      • targeting & data problems

        A friend of mine who used to live in the Somerville portion of the district and moved to the Medford portion, was targeted by the Sciortino campaign under her former registration, but marked as "moved" and un-targeted... because Medford misspelled her name in their voter registration file so it didn't shop up that she'd actually moved within the district.

        As an individual, you can guess why or why not a particular campaign targeted you, but without a lot of data on who else they picked and didn't pick, it can be very hard to see what the actual reasons might be.

  4. Excellent Choices!

    I completely agree with your endorsements.

  5. If you want a listen to O'Reilly

    He came onto our Left Ahead candidate series for a chat. (We have asked the Kerry campaign multiple times and were not able to get Kerry, just for sake of disclosure and fairness.)

    In case you are still undecided and want to hear more from one of the candidates. :)

    I, however, am still not 100% decided myself, so have declined to endorse. (Yeah, I know, I have until tomorrow only to decide.) :P

    Oh and there are several other podcasts with other candidates - Sonya Chang-Diaz, Jim Caralis, Pat McCabe - in the archives.  

    • You are brave to admit

      that you haven't decided yet.  May you not be rewarded with yet another thread on the subject! :D

  6. Screw you, hippies.

    Black voters poll 2:1 against gay marriage and majorities oppose civil unions, higher than whites. Dianne Wilkerson risked a portion of her base to go to the wall for gay marriage, in ways that had national ramifications. What does she get for it? Stabbed in the back.

    Her whole career she's been the target of racist slander - I've seen it and heard it in person. Now progressives are trying to throw her out using the very same rhetoric.

    When will progressives learn the value of loyalty and solidarity that Democrats, unions, and everyone else with a real stake in politics have spent a century learning?  

    • Unfair.

      Even though I lived in Arlington, I personally contributed to her campaign last go-round because she was there on marriage equality and she deserved my support.  This despite already knowing she had broken the law.  But enough is enough.  Progressives value loyalty, but not at the expense of repeat offenses to the law by someone we trust with creating that very law.  It is painful to see people walk away from Wilkerson, but it isn't because they don't respect and value her contributions.  It is because she chose to make lawbreaking a habit.  If you want to get angry at someone, get angry at her.  Without Wilkerson's rap sheet, Chang-Diaz probably wouldn't have had a chance.

    • about that racist rhetoric.

      can you please link to where one of we screwed progressive hippies has used racist rhetoric on wilkerson?  perhaps it is out there, but i haven't seen it.  certainly not here on bmg.

      • Not racist rhetoric. Rhetoric previously used by racists.

        On the ethics issues, all the more strident opposition on this site has basically called her a scumbag and a criminal. Now, you can say the convictions and guilty pleas make all that true. But the fact remains they're saying the same exact things about her the racists have been saying all along. They didn't have to go there. They could have been more sensitive. But, for some reason, they didn't. With Marzilli, Howie Carr galvinizes some defiant resistance, despite the man's crimes. When it comes to Wilkerson, we're all Howie now.

        Also, talking down to her and ignoring the issue of her base and its unique need for representation.

        • she is a criminal.

          it is not racist to say so.  she has admitted it and paid the penalties.  i looked the other way last time.  should we give tacit approval of her lawbreaking tendencies yes again?  wouldn't it be racist to give her endless political support simply because she is black?

          i don't know what carr says about marzilli, but once marzilli was shown to be a repeat offender, no one here was begging him to stay in office.  in fact, the consensus was that he should resign.  i wish marzilli well in getting healed/reformed.  i wish wilkerson the same.  when they stop breaking the law, i hope they return to public service.  they've both been wonderful as legislators and it is sad to see them go.  but go they must.

        • I don't understand your line of reasoning at all.

          "More sensitive" about the fact -- and it is a fact -- that she's repeatedly broken the law?  That she only a month or so ago paid a $10,000 fine for campaign finance violations?  The situation is not very different from Marzilli, in the sense that you've got a person whose politics we like but whose behavior renders them unfit for office.  Marzilli made our endorsement decision for us by declining to run for reelection (and, had he not done so, we assuredly would not have backed him).  Race has nothing to do with this, and injecting race into it doesn't help anyone.  (Also, FWIW, we called on Marzilli to resign.  We haven't done that for Wilkerson; we're just supporting her primary challenger.)

          And the "hippies" business is completely unhelpful.  Just makes you look petulant.

          • I don't get this politics of purity at all

            The Cartman reference was meant to be on the lighter side.

            But I'm being loud in these comments to try to counter complacency about power politics and class dynamics, and condescension toward Dianne and her base. I don't see anyone taking on these points, but just taking refuge in her violations as an excuse not to think about them.

            Dianne Wilkerson has a close and influential relationship with the senate president and the governor, and she is a vocal advocate for the least powerful of our city and state.

            In a contest between goo-goos and ethnic progressives I don't want to be on the side of the well-intentioned reformers whose personal interests are well served by the status quo.  

            • What is there to think about?

              She broke the law. Repeatedly. The violations that she just pleaded guilty to extend all the way back to the year 2000. Given the fact that she served time for being convicted in the late 90s, she's pretty much never stopped violating the law. She does it repeatedly and habitually and shows no remorse - hence the videos I posted last week, the ones that more or less decided the Bay Windows/South End endorsements, where she said she'd 'just try her best' not to violate campaign finance law again.

              Pathetic. Sad. Dumbfounding. These are all words that could describe her debate answer and her past, recent and continual behavior.

              In the meantime, once Sonia Chang Diaz wins, she'll quickly become friendly with the very same people who allow Wilkerson to wield her purported behind-the-scenes power. Sonia's hard working, energetic and knows what it takes to be successful on Beacon Hill given her past experiences there - so the one argument Wilkerson has going for her quickly evaporates when people think of it logically. Sonia will soon be a powerful force for her constituents on Beacon Hill onto her own, likely in a matter of months, without any of the baggage that damage's a politician's credibility and hurts the entire progressive movement. I, for one, can't wait to see all these politicians and organizations lining up to hold fundraisers and endorse Sonia 2 years from now.  

            • What condenscension?

              Where's the condescending posts - especially in regards to her constituents. I, for one, can't think of a single post that was condescending. There have been posts that discussed facts you may not find comfortable - repeated lawbreaking, for example - but in no way whatsoever do I find any of the Wilkerson posts condescending to she or her supporters.  

            • Coupla things.

              I missed the South Park reference. Fair enough.

              I have to agree with Ryan that I really don't see condescension here.  It isn't too much to ask that politicians obey the laws, especially those that specifically apply to them, is it?

              Dianne Wilkerson has a close and influential relationship with the senate president and the governor, and she is a vocal advocate for the least powerful of our city and state.

              That is true.  I can't imagine that the second half of the sentence would not also be true of Chang-Diaz, should she win.  And, in time (and hopefully in short order), the first would be true as well.

              In a contest between goo-goos and ethnic progressives I don't want to be on the side of the well-intentioned reformers whose personal interests are well served by the status quo.  

              That doesn't make sense.  Wilkerson is the status quo.  And as for "personal interests," just what are you talking about?  I mean, I don't live in the district, so it's not my senator we're talking about.  Further, it's all very droll and chic to denigrate "goo-goos," but it doesn't change the fact that she has broken the law repeatedly.  It's one thing to question an excessive obsession with squeaky-cleanliness; it's quite another to excuse at least a decade of serious and repeated law-breaking while in office because she's got friends in high places.

              • Let me try again

                I don't want to drag this out, just to clarify points that don't seem to be getting across. I don't think I'll find many takers, but I don't want to be misunderstood.

                Condescension manifests in tone, and its based in the complete avoidance of the race and class issue. I hear it as patting Wilkerson's base on the back, saying, OK, we're going to temporarily remove a big chunk of your power, but don't worry, we'll take care of you. All the reassurances about Chang-Diaz's progressive credentials have this subtext.

                Chang-Diaz's ethnicity is not relevant on this point. It's about a power base. I feel the same trepidation about Obama, and did about Deval Patrick. In progressive insurgencies, when the base is white and well educated, its "views" and its sensibilities, rather than its economic interests, are what the campaign and the official ultimately have to answer to. This is what I clumsily referred to as "personal interests." When BMG anchors your base, you're being held to a different kind of account than when SEIU does (as examples).

                And its easier said than done on getting in (I mean truly in, not just photo ops and marriages of convencience) with legislative leadership.

                • $quot;We$quot; are not going to do anything.

                  Here is where your analysis fails.  We here at BMG can talk all about what we want to see happen and can volunteer for campaigns, but only the district voters can make things happen.  If Wilkerson wins or looses, it was because a majority of the voters in that district made it happen.  There is no patting of the heads here, because none of us have to Bush-like power to suspend the MA constitution and grant someone the senate seat.  How is it that you propose that BMG (which is made up of thousands of people unknown to each other) has the power to do what you suggest.  Are you saying that the people of the district are so dumb that they'll do whatever "we" tell them to?  I doubt that you do, but that's what your position comes down to.

                  I suggest that you stop treating the people of the district as a lump of helpless voters who can be led by the nose by a blog.  If they see Chang-Diaz as a better alternative, then they have rejected your conclusion that ties with the leadership are more important than fundamental honesty and law abiding behavior (or other reasons which you haven't sought out).

                  • I agree the majority should rule!

                    But I'm talking about social division within the district. I only use "BMG" as a rough proxy for mostly white and mostly highly educated activists. If I'm correct that this is Chang-Diaz's base in the district, and it's true that it has grown in size and influence to the point of determining who sits in that seat, then of course, democratically speaking, it can legitimately seize that senate seat from Boston's black community.

                    But the point is that this is also a group ("we") that generally cares about the issues of representation (and, frankly, gentrification) that Wilkerson's loss represents. Chang-Diaz supporters are using Wilkerson's legal problems to conveniently ignore them.  

                    • I don't beleive in the zero sum game.

                      That is what your argument is predicated on.  And using words like seize is destructive when you're talking about voters in a community or district.  

                      I get the feeling that the old power structure feels the power slipping from its grasp, and is throwing a tantrum.  The stuff being said about C-D here reminds me of the crap thrown Obama's way early on by some of the civil rights "old guard".  

                    • I meant to add

                      that if you think Chang-Diaz is ignoring important issues, then the smart thing to do is not trash her (in the event she wins), but create a relationship with her and let her know her re-election relies on your votes too and thus minding the issues important to you.  But if she wins without you, and you've trashed her along the way, why should she listen to you going forward?  I think she's a big enough person to not hold grudges, but why take the chance?

                    • Nobody $quot;owns$quot; this seat...

                      ...except for the constituents collectively.  I highly object to your "seize that senate seat from Boston's black community" line.  No ethnic community, regardless of numbers within the district, has an absolute right for one of their own to hold the seat.  The only way you can legitimately "seize" the seat is from the particular incumbent in whose stewardship it happens to be.  Neither the incumbent nor one constitutency at the expense of others owns it.  The question should be what are the issues in this race (and yes, I believe the incumbent's fitness is a legitimate issue).  I have not seen or heard evidence that Chang-Diaz does not represent the values of the district at least as well as Wilkerson.  So what if she is not an African-American?  Personally, I am more interested in a candidate who thinks like me rather than looks like me, and not being ethically-challenged is a big plus as well.

            • About those relationships

              I saw on PolitickerMA how Deval Patrick, Therese Murray, Michael Capuano, and Thomas Menino are all supporting Wilkerson.  If I were a Democratic office-holder I would be chomping at the bit to drop her as an embarrasment.  From what I can gather her opponent would vote the same way she would in most cases, so it's not like we're losing legislative votes.  Can someone please explain why incumbent protection seems to trump all the political, ethical, and legal lapses on her record?

    • What'd she get for it?

      She got MassEquality's endorsement & support, without which she'd have been out of the state house in 2006.

    • Oh, please

      There is nothing racist about the fact that Wilkerson has continually broken the law and, at long last, people have decided that she shouldn't be able to get away with it.

      It's impossible to describe the appreciation I have for Wilkerson coming out early in favor of marriage equality and other glbt issues, but that doesn't excuse violating the law. Period.

      If you continually break the law, you aren't fit for office - whether you're black, white, latino, asian, gay, straight, male, female, short, tall, rich, poor or any other adjective you'd care to use. Continual law breaking is quite simply not to be tolerated by people who seek positions where they get to decide what are laws and what aren't.

      Loyalty is important in politics - no doubt about that. But nothing can excuse this kind of gross negligence of the law. Nothing. She could have saved a bus load of babies and I'd still be urging people to vote against her.

      • I can see the headlines now.

        Ryepower12 Promotes Babycide!

        She could have saved a bus load of babies and I'd still be urging people to vote against her.

        LOL!  I've been spending too much time over at RMG.

  7. McCabe, very obviously

    The result of the 35th Middlesex will be either Donato re-elected, or McCabe ousting him.  It's a pretty simple call.  By confusing people about the McCabe vs. Caralis choice, you simply make it a little more likely that Donato gets re-elected, that's all.

    McCabe has been campaigning twice as long as Caralis, has a more coherent message, has more experience as an organizer, has more connections in the district, and a lot of endorsements while Caralis seems to have none.  There is absolutely zero chance that Caralis will get more votes than McCabe.  Zero.  If both are good candidates, and you want Donato ousted, this one's a complete no-brainer too.

    Please reconsider, because your post is going to contribute to Donato's chances by making some people not realize this basic information about the nature of that election.

  8. Look out Arlington!

    The GOP in Arlington is really organized.  Natick too.  

    • Wow, I'm surprised they let you post repeatedly over on RedMassGroup.

      I know BMG lets many, many conservatives and Republicans post here, but I'm shocked that they apparently return the favor over there and have yet to ban you.  Perhaps they never will.  But I salute you for being able to mock them over this.  I must admit, it's quite amusing to watch.

  9. Any Suggestions for Councillor - Third District?


    MARILYN M. PETITTO DEVANEY     98 Westminster Ave., Watertown Candidate for Re-nomination

    JOHN J. DOYLE   19 Beal Rd., Waltham

    THOMAS L. WALSH   64 Undine Rd., Boston  

  10. So much for the $quot;BMG kiss of death$quot;

    Kerry, Chang-Diaz, and Sciortino all made it.

    I'm assuming Concannon didn't beat Buonomo based on haphazard reporting on some of the wickedlocal blogs from various towns. Is anyone tallying those numbers publicly? isn't even listing the Middlesex Registrar of Probate as a contested race...

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Thu 18 Dec 6:27 AM