Briefly noted: Globe v. Fehrnstrom; Hollygate continued; MA-Sen boiling down to Wall St. v. Main St; Elizabeth Warren slogan contest

  • In what strikes me as an unusual move, the Globe editorial page weighed in yesterday against Eric Fehrnstrom.  Fehrnstrom, of course, is a strategist for both Mitt Romney and Scott Brown.  His reputation took a big hit when BMGer chrismatth revealed that Fehrnstrom was the owner of the CrazyKhazei Twitter account, a fabulous catch that generated several days of national news stories and continues to dog Fehrnstrom.  Now, Fehrnstrom has staunchly defended Romney’s dishonest new ad.  Saith the Globe:

    what Fehrnstrom’s extreme version of political nihilism really does is hurt the candidates he works for: men who are running on their integrity, at a time of great distrust in political institutions. When an aide becomes the story – and the aide is gleefully defending the most base aspects of the process – his boss, the politician, has a problem.

  • Alert BMGer shillelaghlaw pointed out yesterday that Herald columnist Holly Robichaud appears to be committing what strikes me as a journalistic no-no: using her Herald column to boost the prospects of a candidate who is paying her for political advice – namely, freshman state rep Shaunna O’Connell (without any disclosure of the relationship).  Turns out, as BMGer Steven Leibowitz observes, something like this has happened before.  On August 26, 2010, Robichaud wrote that “Tom Keyes has a good chance for bumping off the Senate President.”  She added that “I think you will be impressed” by him.  Twelve days later, the money began flowing from Keyes to Robichaud.  Coincidence?  You make the call (click for larger image).

    Tom Keyes' expenditures to Holly Robichaud's consulting firm

  • This headline from the Center for Public Integrity pretty much sums it up: “K Street, Wall Street line up behind Sen. Scott Brown in his race against Elizabeth Warren.” Some gory details:

    Financial service lobbyists and other K Street advocates have for weeks been working hard to help the freshman senator win his high-stakes battle for re-election against Elizabeth Warren….Other advertising firepower on Brown’s behalf is expected to come from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The business behemoth will be engaged early and heavily in Massachusetts with ads as the Chamber did, to the tune of about $1 million, when Brown won his special election in early 2010.

    Inside the Beltway, fundraising has been heating up too. On Nov. 30, veteran financial services lobbyist Dan Crowley, a partner at K & L Gates, hosted a breakfast fundraiser for the senator that drew about a dozen other lobbyists. “There is no Senate race that more clearly reflects the choice for the future direction of the country,” Crowley said, pitting the role of government versus the role of the private sector.

  • The Elizabeth Warren campaign is sponsoring a contest for the best slogan; the winner will adorn t-shirts and perhaps other campaign swag.  Out of some 4,000 entries, they’ve narrowed it down to these five choices: “The best candidate money CAN’T buy”; “Middle class folks buy shirts, not senators”; “Elizabeth has my vote (front) / Elizabeth has my back (back)”; “I’m with Warren not Wall Street”; and “A vote for Elizabeth is a vote for you.”  Click here to cast your vote.

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Discuss

5 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. A guide to Fehrnstrom for the perplexed

    When Scott Brown refers, he did in his recent fundraising letter, about attacks coming from “groups who…deliberately take things out of context,” we are to understand that he’s not complaining but simply admiring their political smarts. OK.

  2. My favorite slogan from last summer

    was Marisa DeFranco’s
    “Welcome! I’ve got your back Massachusetts.”
    from
    http://www.marisadefranco.com/home.html

  3. I'd go with...

    “I’m Elizabeth Warren, and I’m running for United States Senate to f&*K some s#%t up”

    (This never gets old.)

  4. Contests by Candidates

    When Obama announced his “poster contest”, I was troubled. When Warren announced her slogan contest, I was disturbed. There seems to be a trend here, from people who keep saying they want to put people back to work. What these candidates are asking for is free work. There are plenty of very talented designers and copywriters who have been hit hard by the slowdown in the economy. Instead of staging these “contests”, these candidates should put their money where their mouths are and put out a request for proposals that artists can bid on, or just hire someone, and then pay for the work.

    • That's an interesting perspective.

      However, I think you’re losing sight of what every candidate’s principal goal is, which is to win. It’s not to have the world’s greatest t-shirt, or the best slogan ever, or to support artists (if the goal was any of those things, your suggestion would be an excellent one). It’s to win an election, and the way you do that is (among other things) generate a lot of enthusiasm and excitement on the ground. Contests like this are a good way to do that – they are fun, they are easy to enter, and they get a lot of people thinking along the lines of “what’s the most awesome, pithy thing I can think of to say about Candidate X.” A really great t-shirt does much less for a campaign than thousands of people thinking hard about how much they like a candidate.

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