NYT on Warren challenger DeFranco

Skepticism is expressed in the comments. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Interesting piece in yesterday’s NYT (at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/us/politics/democrat-challenges-elizabeth-warren-in-massachusetts.html?hp) on Marisa DeFranco’s efforts to force a Democratic primary against Warren.

Two quotes from the piece:

“Ms. DeFranco is to the left of Ms. Warren on a number of issues, including health care (she supports a single-payer system) and national security (Ms. Warren is more hawkish). She thinks Ms. Warren is too focused on the need for financial regulation — a “one-trick pony,” as Nancy Weinberg, a DeFranco supporter from Newbury, put it during a conversation here.”

and, on Warren’s handling of the Native American kerfluffle:

“’It says to me that they’re not good on defense, they’re not good in panic mode and they lack a clear, consistent message,’ Ms. DeFranco said.”



108 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Also from the article

    Ms. DeFranco has made it this far with about $40,000 in donations, according to the most recent campaign filings, and some 40 volunteers, including her husband and mother but also a number of people who met her over the last year. Ms. DeFranco’s campaign also hired a handful of professional signature gatherers to help reach the 10,000 required under state law, she said.

    After running for a year, and going all over the state, she could barely find three dozen people willing to do work for her? Most state senators do better than that. So, she decided to buy her way on to the ballot like any bored hedge-fund manager?

    sabutai   @   Sun 27 May 10:22 AM
    • And that is something that can be brought up in the debates.

      Assuming she jumps the next hurdle and makes the ballot what reason is there to not hold at least 3 televised debates? The candidates owe it to the voters. The media owe it to the public.

      • How do you like her chances...

        …of jumping that next hurdle, Patrick? To my mind, she hasn’t done very well with delegate outreach – I was elected as a delegate at my town’s caucus, and no one from her campaign has ever contacted me. There was a canvasser gathering signatures at the caucus, and he managed to piss off several delegates at once with his attitude – do you think she’ll get 15%?

      • Patrick, I know you're opposed to

        Elizabeth Warren and a fan of Ron Paul and the phrase “Stick a fork in,” but are you also an administrator for Red Mass Group? Not saying you’ve been dishonest, just curious.

    • At least DeFranco is not afraid to appear in public!

      Let’s face it – Elizabeth Warren will not appear in public because she is afraid of the questions she knows she will get. The performance in Brookline was pathetic. What is she going to do when she faces a crowd in a more conservative part of the state (ie Milford, Plymouth, etc) when Republican activists will be shouting questions about her NA issues and why she won’t release her Harvard and Penn applications?

      • True!

        And that’s why DeFranco polls so much better against Brown than Warren does. Right?

      • I live in Milford

        I’m the Elections Committee co-chair for Milford’s Democratic Town Committee – believe me, I know Milford politics, likely much better than you do. Milford’s partisan breakdown closely mirrors the state’s breakdown, with 34% Dem, 12% Rep and 53% unenrolled (1% other). How will Warren do in Milford? She’ll do just fine, as she ably demonstrated early in the campaign when a heckler jumped up at one of her first public meetings.

      • She almost never appears in public

        And, she hasn’t released her tax returns.

        • public appearances...

          She makes “public appearances” every day. Every day. Not sure what you mean by that.

          If you mean her public appearances are campaign or partisan events and somehow don’t want to count that, I’ll remind you that Scott Brown hasn’t held a Town Meeting type event since the last time he was elected.

          If anything, she’s significantly more available to meet in public than Mr. Brown is — and regularly attends events that, while campaign stops, are more or less open to the public. Scott Brown’s campaign stops that I’ve heard of so far seem to be at the offices of lobbyists, Wall Street guys, talk radio shows and billionaires.

          RyansTake   @   Sun 27 May 8:19 PM
  2. Maybe I missed some news...

    Ms. DeFranco tartly dismissed Ms. Warren’s recent call for Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, to resign from the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York after his company revealed that it had lost at least $2 billion in bad trades. “Who’s not going to be for firing Jamie Dimon?”

    Scott Brown hasn’t called on Dixon to resign, correct?

  3. Is there a good reason

    for her to the repeat what her father thinks about her?

    Her father, a retired doctor who “thinks I’m too smart to be in the United States Senate,” only wishes for her to get more attention.

    I only saw DeFranco once and she wasn’t required to speak. My only impression came from the fact that she seemed to be accompanied by her parents, not staffers. I know others have seen her and said as much, but you just don’t say this kind of stuff. How arrogant is she?

    • That is a really weird statement

      to say about yourself.

      I have to say, this article isn’t helping her case in my book…

  4. I have seen Marisa speak several times

    including both debates several months back when there were more Democratic candidates in the race. Every time she was very impressive.

    It’s pretty obvious that Warren will ultimately be the Democratic candidate opposing Scott Brown, and I will vote for her (how could anyone who cherishes American democratic values support Brown?).

    But I think the De Franco-Warren debates will be very helpful, and make our ultimate candidate stronger.

  5. I asked Elizabeth Warren about DeFranco's candidacy

    at a fund raiser in Arlington, one of four stops for the day. She acknowledged that she is a smart women and had no issues with her current campaign. She turned it back to herself and stated she is committed to continue to work hard for votes both at the State Convention, primary, and general election by establishing her grass roots and presenting her case for being the next Senator from Massachusetts. It was a proud moment for me as a supporter since her first instinct was to take the high road. It is somewhat disconcerting to see Marissa DeFrance to veer off and declare her political prowess when she has tried and lost local elections. She jeopardizes her political future by being overly coarse. It certainly will make some engaged but it can turn off others.

    • Gracious vs ungracious

      “She is a smart woman” is exactly the right thing to say. Ms. DeFranco, by contrast, minimizes Ms. Warren’s achievements. DeFranco’s “tart dismissal” of Warren’s call for Dimon’s resignation tells me DeFranco has no skill whatever at building the Democratic coalition — except, perhaps, the Democratic coalition within her immediate family.

    • "Kerfuffle," indeed; make it stop

      Interesting in that Marisa got some big-time press coverage; alas, not so interesting a story in itself. Not at all.

      As for the quotes–MDF is in fact to the left of EW on “a number of issues.” The trouble with her campaign (and this NYT story) is, again, that rather than asking about/and talking about a few of those issues, all that verbiage is devoted to what is, indeed, a kerfluffle. While I believe that Marisa could cadge some delegates and electoral support by insisting that, say, single-payer and “security” issues be part of the debate, I’m not sure that anyone will be attracted to her camp by this rehashing of a meaningless issue. I’m with the Mayor: make it stop.

      It was her position on three or four issues, those that did in fact distinguish her from Warren, that drew at least a few of us to her camp in the first place. They seem to disappearing amidst all this sturm-und-drang over a Brown-spawned non-issue. But rather than taking this as a criticism, I’d hope that MDF’s campaign is paying attention to these relevant threads hereon and will revert back to form, and talk positively about the genuinely progressive stances she has on so many issues–and tell the press to GTH when asked about this native-indian-ancestry nonsense (playing into thier game is akin to feeding the trolls).

      I will of course be voting for and publicly supporting whoever the nominee is. But I’ll continue for press for more substantative and more public support on Ms Warren’s part on a few matters. No, I don’t expect a first-term Senator to accomplish much; on a recent thread on this same subject, someone rightly pointed out that you are elected to the Senate, not to rule the Senate. But the bully pulpit matters; just look at the cheering news about how black support for same-sex marriage rose after Obama’s recent declaration. Warren, who has been more than gracious, may be the best candidate personality-wise and in terms of fundraising. But there ARE issues upon which she could be more vocal WITHOUT losing the centrist/indie vote she needs to win. (And it would be very helpful were she to talk loud and lots about issues of particular importance to the 18-24 crowd–which would be good come November, and good for the party afterwards!).

      That’s my real interest in a debate–getting other issues on the table. I don’t fall in love with candidates; I’ll support whoever has the guts to talk about what matters to this voter, and the smarts to talk about it such a way that it becomes a winner, not an albatross.

  6. She may well be a "one-trick pony" as quoted in the article...

    …but that one trick happens to be the one we desperately need right now.

    • Expanded agreement

      1. Having a single focus makes it extremely clear why she is running. This makes for a much clearer campaign. There’s no “It’s my turn.” There’s no “I’m a better person then Sen. Brown.” It’s “I really care about something and the best way for me to care about it is as Senator.”

      2. Elizabeth Warren has been remarkably good about connecting her “one trick” to everything else. The decisive part of our problems dealing with unemployment, global warming, and healthcare is the undue influence the extremely wealthy have on our politics. This gives her positions a remarkable coherence. That’s much better than the laundry list of “for-thisses” and “against-thats” that make liberals sound beholden to a roster of constituencies.

  7. She's not serious.

    If Marisa DeFaco is really serious about running, then why doesn’t she release four years of her federal and state tax returns?

    Marisa, if you are a serious candidate, release four years of tax returns before the Democratic convention.

  8. What's with the tax returns?

    On this thread there are calls for both Warren and DeFranco to release their returns. As far as I’m concerned it’s none of our business who made how much or how much who deducted for charitable contributions, etc. If there’s a reason I’m missing that they are so important to see then advocate for a law requiring that candidates for public office release x number of years as part of their ethics statement or require DOR/IRS to make them public. Otherwise let’s back off of what I see as just an excuse to taunt a candidate about something. Yes, what I say here goes for Mitt Romney as well.

    • Sorry, Sir

      Before we take your comments seriously, we’re going to have to see your tax returns.

      • Come on, Christopher is a Democrat...

        Everyone knows we Democrats have set up the tax laws so that only Republicans have to actually pay taxes – and we get checks from the government and George Soros! Oh shit, did I say that out loud?? Don’t tell danfromwaltham and dont-get-cute…

    • Warren released

      4 years of returns. Bluewatch knows something we don’t.

      • Yes Warren released 4 years of returns

        I don’t know anything special about Marisa DeFranco. And, I’m not trying to accuse her of anything.

        I am just saying, that if she is really actually running, she should release 4 years of tax returns like Warren and Brown.

        And, if she is actually running, she needs to come clean about how she got those signatures. Who were those professionals who gathered signatures for her? What organization did they work for? Was the GOP involved in any way?

  9. It's time she called it quits

    I’m all for contested primaries, but what exactly is DeFranco contesting? There’s no message I really get from her campaign. She doesn’t tie her personal story into why she would make a better Senator into the campaign and not only doesn’t she have the experience to be Senator, she laughably tries to suggest that it’s the other candidates who don’t have it. Inflated ego, much?

    Plus, the thing about making something a race is that the person actually has to make it a race. DeFranco’s campaign is so small scale that it’s about the size of what I’d expect from an average campaign to be a City Council of a Lynn or New Bedford or Lowell.

    To be frank, 40 volunteers and $40,000 would be on the low side of a top tier candidate in a lot of those local races.

    That is a sign of a candidate who clearly isn’t resonating with the activist base or the public. She has no constituency and no real supporters, beyond a few family and friends.

    So, if she’s not going to add anything to the race, and she’s going to desperately lash out at Warren or make statements that are simply foolish is hurting any sort of credibility DeFranco may have had in the future and making no difference to the race.

    (PS. I’d like DeFranco to name a single Democratic Senator in DC who called for Dimon’s resignation, never mind a Wall-Street Republican like Scott Brown. Warren’s call for Dimon to resign made national headlines.)

    RyansTake   @   Sun 27 May 8:35 PM
    • hmm..

      A few of those sentences are awkward/should have been fixed. That’s what happens when I forget to read something out loud before posting. Whoops.

      RyansTake   @   Sun 27 May 8:39 PM
    • "I’d like DeFranco to name a single Democratic Senator in DC who called for Dimon’s resignation"

      This is an important point. There are lots of times when someone says something that, with 20/20 hindsight, seems so blindingly obvious that it seems as though everyone must think it. But, of course, the one who saw it first, and said it before anyone else did, is the one who really was thinking outside the box. In the case of Dimon and the Fed, that was Elizabeth Warren, and not anyone else … unless DeFranco issued a statement after the JPMorgan trading loss became known to similar effect. If she did, I’d love to see it.

    • That's my question

      What is DeFranco’s end game here. Exercising her ego? A firey speech? Does she prefer Brown over Warren? Since she will not be the nominee I don’t care about DeFranco.

    • Yet for such a minor thing

      “Warren’s call for Dimon to resign made national headlines.”

      That says more about the dearth of anything else she has called for, than about the nation caring about Dimon. The media was desperate to give Warren some attention about something positive, and this is all she could oblige them with?

      • No.

        Elizabeth Warren is a national figure, and a national figure just told a bankster he needs to resign. That never happens in this country. Ever.

        It demanded attention, just like when other relevant national figures make important pronouncements and get attention for it.

        RyansTake   @   Sun 27 May 11:08 PM
    • Yes, indeed

      To be frank, 40 volunteers and $40,000 would be on the low side of a top tier candidate in a lot of those local races.

      Having been intimately familiar with local races in Lowell, I would have to agree with that…most campaigns make do with far less money, but they have a pretty big army to make up for it.

      A couple of candidates have hit the $60-70,000 and up mark, though they were candidates who were dicey sorts.

    • “I’m all for contested primaries, but what exactly is DeFranco contesting? There’s no message I really get from her campaign. She doesn’t tie her personal story into why she would make a better Senator into the campaign and not only doesn’t she have the experience to be Senator, she laughably tries to suggest that it’s the other candidates who don’t have it. Inflated ego, much?”

      Completely untrue Ryan she’s gone into that extensively.

      As far as her experience to be a Senator, she’s running against someone who hasn’t held elected office. How exactly is she less qualified to be a Senator than Warren? And don’t say money, unless you think that raising money makes you a better Senator, which you clearly don’t.

      • I've chatted with her collectively for over an hour

        during this campaign.

        I repeat: She doesn’t have a personal story that she ties into the race. She doesn’t provide a reason for us to vote for her. Not a single one.

        As far as her experience to be a Senator, she’s running against someone who hasn’t held elected office. How exactly is she less qualified to be a Senator than Warren? And don’t say money, unless you think that raising money makes you a better Senator, which you clearly don’t.

        Elizabeth has been a national leader on reforming Wall Street and the banks for well over a decade. She’s a renowned professor at the world’s most prestigious university. She’s been on the short list for Supreme Court picks. She created a federal institution, through sheer will, that has a strong chance of making the lives of Americans better for decades.

        And, more than any of that, she has mastered the ability to distill critically important information/reform/policy in easily-understood soundbites that are equally suited to the halls of Congress and the Dr. Phil show. She waxes in folksy intellect that moves activists, politicians and voters.

        DeFranco’s record doesn’t even sniff what Warren’s been able to do. DeFranco’s been a moderately involved activist on various social fronts, but painfully far removed from party politics that are so critical to winning a statewide campaign.

        She’s a moderately successful attorney and has taken some good pro-bono cases for which she deserves credit.

        She should be applauded for all of that, but the credentials of a US Senator it does not make.

        I will never judge people based on how much money they raise, but I will judge them based on credibility. Her record on the credibility meter is firmly entrenched in “not serious” and falling painfully fast into the depths of “laughable” and “bitter” and “sad.”

        If she has any grace, and if she ever wants to have a future impact on anything important in the state of Massachusetts, she’ll get out of the race.

        Otherwise, it won’t be angry party activists that will hold her back. Quite the contrary. At the end of the day, she’s made no impact on the race, so we’re not going to care.

        It will be her complete and utterly lack of credibility she’s displayed that people will never be able to forget. For the causes important to her, like reducing the pay gap and creating immigration reform, she’d do well to pull back and cut her losses.

        RyansTake   @   Tue 29 May 12:28 AM
  10. paid signature gatherers?

    Did anyone else note the part in the NYT story that DeFranco hired paid signature gatherers?

    And yet DeFranco and her supporters want to lecture Elizabeth about running a true grassroots campaign. Puleeze, people.

    • Yes, and do you remember who else used paid signature gatherers?

      It was Ralph Nader in New Hampshire, who had paid signatures gatherers from the GOP helping him get on the ballot. Why isn’t anybody asking DeFranco questions about her paid signature gatherers?

      • If she's only raised $40,000,

        she must have spent a lot of it on signatures. Those guys aren’t cheap. I’d love to know how much it cost.

      • I’m sorry but you guys embarrass yourself with stuff like this. You are aware that Warren has people on her staff who are making six figures right? To criticize someone who has spent a mere fraction on staff as her opponent for paying someone to collect signatures is really warped logic.

        • I hesitate to respond, but ...

          I don’t know who you are or where you come from.

          Nobody is objecting to paid staff people. It is the “to collect signatures” that rubs people the wrong way. Especially when the source of funding for this expensive service is unknown.

          Ms. DeFranco could have and should have slammed the door shut on the media innuendo about Ms. Warren. She did not. As far as I’m concerned, she not only disqualified herself in for this campaign, she also broke a LOT of china for future ones.

          Ms. DeFranco doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the primary. All this talk of strengthening the eventual nominee is pure baloney, and the baloney turned foul and rotten when Ms. DeFranco implicitly fanned the flames of the “heritage” question.

          The only reason Ms. DeFranco is mentioned in the NYT piece is because Elizabeth Warren is a national figure. It appears to yours truly that Ms. DeFranco is more groupie (or anti-groupie) than serious candidate. This kind of garbage is par for the course from the GOP — it disgusts me to see it continue from the self-proclaimed “idealists” in the Democratic Party.

          • In all honesty

            if it were about widening the debate and strengthening the eventual nominee I would not be so against DeFranco. I LOVE good strong primaries. I’ve said this about a million times here and elsewhere.

            Unfortunately, the circular firing squad and playing the victim is more important to DeFranco and her supporters than anything else. “Waah! They won’t hand us ballot access! Waaah! Activists are working against us!” Well duh. It’s called running a campaign and you’ve done a pretty dismal job up through now.

  11. Warren should welcome the opportunity to show she's a centrist

    Debating DeFranco would give Warren a chance to assure independents and moderates that she’s not a left-wing radical feminist. DeFranco has some extreme views on her website such as “reproductive autonomy” for women that aren’t popular, and has (according to some people anyway) a more strident and offensive “tone” and a debate setting her apart from DeFranco would make Warren seem reasonable and appealing by comparison. Plus it’d change the subject for a while and give her a chance to talk about issues. I don’t think she’d have to divert much resources to the primary, it’s doubtful DeFranco would win, even with an open primary where Scott Brown supporters can vote (we aren’t all that motivated).

    • Where did you copy this observation from?


    • "reproductive autonomy"

      So you are John Howard.

      RyansTake   @   Sun 27 May 11:11 PM
      • You didn't know that?

        He most certainly is John Howard.

        • I really don't know

          why the editors have not banned him.

          Maybe because he’ll just crop up elsewhere?

          But ban the goddamned IP address, at least.

      • No, sorry

        He posts on RedMassGroup about reproduction and transhumanism and gay marriage. I don’t get into those subjects. I’m just noting that Marisa DeFranco has a pretty stridently insistent position on “Women

        Reproductive Freedom, Equal Pay

        Without question or restriction. Anything less is insulting to women as autonomous human beings who can make their own decisions without 24-hour waiting periods, pictures and infantilizing lectures. If women cannot direct their own bodies, they cannot direct their own destinies. Period.

        Women, Part II: The issue of choice should not be Women’s only appearance on an issue, but sadly, it often is. Not with me. I do not reduce us simply to our uteri.

        I support the Paycheck Fairness Act and would make it a top priority. I have direct and on the ground experience with pay equity issues. When I became a Commissioner (appointed by the MA Senate President) on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, I proposed that we focus our volunteer efforts on one bill and that we choose an economic one because it affects all women. The Commission voted in favor of my proposals (it was a contested vote), and we spearheaded the effort on a Comparable Work bill. I led our group of ~5 commissioners to the hill and for the first time in ~11 years, we got the bill voted out of committee favorably and garnered the written support of the Governor.

        She actually used the word “uteri”? See, she’s comically left-wing feminst from central casting. She’s the equivalent to Jack E. Robinson being in the Republican primary in 2010, it helps make an new candidate like Brown and Warren more prestigious and reasonable to be contrasted to a clown-type person (I’m not saying either DeFranco or Robinson were/are clowns, I respect them and might prefer them to the anointed ones, but that’s the role the media cast them in.)

        • I’m sorry the Republican site is on your right. You must have used the wrong door.

          • Is she going to run to the left of Warren?

            Sorry Roger but she’s being set up, if she doesn’t already know it, to be a strident radical feminist all about reproductive issues, to make Warren seem safely mother-next-door who just wants to help white heterosexual women land more money in their bank accounts. Is DeFranco going to go along with that role and help Warren with the independents, or is she going to find a centrist independent cause to champion as well, and stick Warren with extreme views, to actually try to win the race and be a Senator?

      • John Howard as don't-get-cute

        I wasn’t going to comment on this, but since this post has already gone all over the place, might as well.

        If anyone who is familiar with John Howard has any doubt that this is him, I would refer them to this recent comment where “don’t get cute” slips in the opinion that allowing same sex marriage is “denying that they [people in opposite gender marriages] have any societal and legal approval to have sex and make babies.” This notion so unique and bizarre, while having been pushed with such pathological zeal by Mr. Howard, that it is probably better than a fingerprint for identification purposes.

        IMHO, he certainly has a right to create new persona and say pretty much whatever he wants, though people would be wise to realize whom they’re dealing with. However, since he stole the recent post from Rob Eno, John Howard really has an ethical obligation to come clean here. An observer not familiar with Mr. Howard’s ways could see that Mr. Eno and DGC are posting near exact content and reasonably think Eno and DGC are the same person. While I don’t agree with a lot of what I’ve seen of Rob Eno’s political opinions, he should not unwillingly be associated with the stuff that spews forth from the keyboard of don’t get cute/john howard. Unfortunately, DGC just saying he’s not Rob Eno doesn’t cut it as DGC is also saying he is not John Howard and this is an obvious lie.

        If John Howard has any honor or concern for other people he will straighten this out (pun intended). It would not be recommended for anyone to hold their breath waiting for that to happen.

        • No, that's a different person

          I don’t hijack threads like he did, I don’t make posts about the stuff he posts about at RMG. My comment on marriage above was on seascraper’s post about how people feel about losing something special about marriage and was not controversial, as you noted at the time.

          And I am proud of my post’s Acadian heritage, so stop hammering my family.

          • OR

            It’s just John Howard plus a few New Year’s Resolutions.

          • John,

            Quick thoughts-

            You have been better about hijacking posts, but you’re slipping lately. It’s also true “new John” doesn’t make posts here about your John Howard posts on RMG- now you just make post here from other people’s posts on RMG.

            I noted no such thing, and it would make no difference in how ridiculous your ideas about marriage are even if I had. Both as “John Howard” and “don’t-get-cute,” you still just make stuff up when reality doesn’t suit you.

            It’s not right what you’re doing to Rob Eno. He doesn’t deserve to have people think what you’re doing came from him.

            Finally, your humor is worse than your logic- stick with what got you this far!

          • I was raised to believe

            that there are no limits to individual achievement and no excuses to justify indifference. From an early age, I was taught that success is measured not in material accumulations, but in service to others. I was encouraged to join causes larger than myself, to pursue positive change through a sense of mission, and to stand up for what I believe.

    • If you put aside

      the nonsense about “radical feminists” etc., this overall point is actually not a crazy one, oddly enough. If DeFranco does manage to get her 10K signatures certified, and if she gets her 15% at the convention, Warren should most definitely debate her, preferably more than once. And it will be a good thing for both of them, in part for the reasons that DGC suggests.

  12. No, I haven't been an admin at RMG since 2009.

    Just a regular user now like on here.

  13. Comments on this thread

    I’ve got an idea.

    Since so many of you are against the idea of having a primary and therefor against the people actually voting for the nominee let’s just get rid of primaries in general. Let’s just have the DNC, decide who are nominees will be. After all the real goal isn’t a democratic process, it’s to beat the candidate you don’t like.

    As a matter of fact, let’s say that you have to have raised a certain amount of money to be Senator. Or we’ll go even farther, we just won’t have voting at all. Or at least limit voting to those who can afford a $1,000 donation to the candidate of their choice. If we take these arguments to their logical conclusion, anyone who has raised less money than their opponent should be barred from running.

    Sorry guys this is America, the people should get a choice. If you post on this group and refuse to respect Marisa DeFranco’s right to run don’t you dare cry when Citizens United, the Michigan Manager Law, and Voter ID laws seek to suppress democracy. If you are interested in letting money and party poobahs decide who our representatives should be then there is a very nice place for you over at Red State.Com.

    • Welcome to BMG, Roger.

      I have no idea where you are getting the idea that anyone here is against the “idea of having a primary.” Sure, lots of people here intend to vote for Elizabeth Warren in the primary (assuming there is one) instead of Marisa DeFranco, for lots of reasons. And I am among those who continues to scratch my head as to why DeFranco is continuing to pound away at a race she will not win. It strikes me as disrespectful to her donors, and indicative of a certain lack of ability to face reality – not a great quality in a Senator. Further, as Ryan points out upthread, DeFranco has displayed a singular lack of ability to raise money, and like it or not, money is required to run a statewide race, especially against Scott Brown. There’s no cutoff number – certainly, one need not raise as much as Warren has to be a plausible candidate – but there is a reality vs. fantasy border, and DeFranco is, at the moment, pretty clearly on the wrong side of it.

      But it’s a free country, and if she wants to run, and can meet the requirements, she’s certainly entitled to do so.

      • “I have no idea where you are getting the idea that anyone here is against the “idea of having a primary.”

        It is a simple fact that only two candidates remain in the race. If Marisa DeFranco were to drop out of the race as some have suggested there would be no primary, as Elizabeth Warren would be the only remaining candidate. Hence if you are against MDF continuing in the race, you must also be against the idea of a Democratic Primary in 2012.

        “Sure, lots of people here intend to vote for Elizabeth Warren in the primary (assuming there is one) instead of Marisa DeFranco, for lots of reasons.”

        Which is their right as is my right to vote for the candidate that I want. What they DON’T have the right to do is call on DeFranco to drop out and insult her and her supporters for continuing to fight.

        “And I am among those who continues to scratch my head as to why DeFranco is continuing to pound away at a race she will not win. It strikes me as disrespectful to her donors, and indicative of a certain lack of ability to face reality – not a great quality in a Senator.”

        In 1990 this line of thinking was used with Paul Welstone. He was told that he had no chance of beating Rudy Boschwitz. He did. In politics anything can happen.

        There are several Democrats throughout the country running in races in which they are far behind and most would conclude they have no chance of winning. Are you suggesting that they should not run for office? The President himself first ran in a race he had no chance of winning against Bobby Rush. Should he have just dropped out before a vote was cast?

        Most donors expect that their candidate will try their damnedest to be elected. Why is it disrespectful to do just that?

        “Further, as Ryan points out upthread, DeFranco has displayed a singular lack of ability to raise money, and like it or not, money is required to run a statewide race, especially against Scott Brown. There’s no cutoff number – certainly, one need not raise as much as Warren has to be a plausible candidate – but there is a reality vs. fantasy border, and DeFranco is, at the moment, pretty clearly on the wrong side of it.”

        The funny thing about money is that it tends to be based on the perceived electability of the candidate by a few individuals and organizations. Obviously that can change and would change if DeFranco were the nominee because any democrat running in a Statewide Massachusetts campaign is automatically electable. John Walsh himself has said that the money would not be an issue if DeFranco were the nominee.

        Every Democrat I’ve ever met has complained about the corrosive effect that money has on American politics. It excludes good people from running for office, and has a strong effect on those that actually hold office. Yet here you argue that DeFranco should be excluded by rule or by choice, because she doesn’t have enough money. It’s a very circular argument.

        But if you feel this way perhaps you would be for the requirement that the candidate who raises the most money by a certain date should be the nominee. Heck let’s just make that person Senator. To hell with democracy.

        Or perhaps we could limit voting to those who have given at least $1,000 to a political candidate. Then people like Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t have to be inconvenienced by those who had raised far less money.

        Bottom line is the people of Massachusetts deserve a choice on September 6th and many on this thread don’t think they should have one.

        • We can stop reading here

          Hence if you are against MDF continuing in the race, you must also be against the idea of a Democratic Primary in 2012.

          This is a painfully fallacious deduction.

          After reading it, I realized I skip the rest of the long comment.

        • Your civics, Roger, are

          on the Fritz.

          The fact is, the people of Massachusetts not only don’t deserve a choice on September 6th, they don’t have a choice. The primary is a Democratic primary, not a general election. Only Democrats, or people who register as a Democrats, have the privilege of voting for the candidate or candidates chosen at the convention.

          A serious candidate needs either money or an organization(supporters). Preferably both. Money doesn’t (dis)qualify DeFranco as a candidate. It draws her seriousness into question. Her lack of an organization reflects both a lack of seriousness and a lack of understanding of party politics.

          Serious candidates contact the people who work for and belong to the party apparatus. I’m talking city and town committees, not the state committee. DeFranco never did that. My first phone call from her campaign came tonight because I’m a delegate to the convention. Failing to go through this process, which, in itself, is a part of American democracy, shows ignorance, arrogance, or both.

          Declaring yourself a candidate and showing up for obscure Monson and Longmeadow meetings does not make someone a candidate to be taken seriously. Any number of people can do that. I could raise $40,000 and do it myself. That wouldn’t make me a serious candidate. To run for senate, I’d need people in every part of the state to work on and manage my campaign. Those would be my grassroots. DeFranco doesn’t have them.

          Being a candidate takes more than your father thinking that you’re too smart to be in the senate. It takes more than showing up at open events and giving a speech. You need to organize.

          • Calls the week before convention

            Means you had all the way up til now to make up your mind the other way.

            Sloppy, at best. That outreach should have been done months ago!

            Who the heck is running that campaign??

    • Republican


      They couldn’t get traction with the last two or three so they made a brand new one.

      IP check?

    • So many strawmen, so little reality

      Roger, you are showing a penchant for putting words into people’s mouths – that is a tactic almost wholly owned by the right wing. If you’d like to be taken seriously, you’ll have to get serious and cut out the strawman arguing.

      • John this is nothing more than an ad-hominim. You can’t argue what I’ve said so you attack how I’ve said it and say that because of this “I won’t be taken seriously”. You do so with no basis whatsoever.

        Lets’ get one thing straight. If you want ME to take YOU seriously try attacking the argument as opposed to attacking me. You also might want to try posting under your real name as I have.

        • I take johnt001 seriously

          As above, you need to earn that.

          You haven’t.

        • Pointing out that you are using a strawman argument...

          …is not a ad hominem. Ad-hominem is latin for “against the man” – had I attacked you personally, like saying you’re an idiot or a fool or other such insult, that would be an ad-hominem attack. What I did was point out that your argument lacks substance – you are using a strawman argument, putting words in our collective mouths that we didn’t say. So, I did attack your argument, and not you.

          As to my real name, I registered here many years when very few people used their real names when blogging. Lately I’ve been thinking of changing my handle to my real name, but I haven’t done so yet. For the record, I’m John Tehan from Milford. I have a laundry list of progressive credentials:

          Milford DTC member since 2006 – co-chair of the Elections Subcommittee
          Town meeting member in Milford
          Chairperson of Milford’s Renewable Energy Advisory Committee
          Member of the Democratic State Committee’s Communications Committee
          IT Director and Outreach Coordinator for the Greater Blackstone Valley Dems
          Blogger at BlueMassGroup and DailyKos

          In short, I’m well known and well liked in my area and state wide. Who are you, Roger?

  14. Roger Fritz needs a crash course on the process.

    In this state per state law in order to get a partisan nomination for a statewide office (at least under regular circumstances; we just did a primary for the senate special in 2009), there are three requirements you must meet: enough qualified signatures (10K or 5K depending on the office, only those being registered in that party or unenrolled qualify), 15% of delegate votes at the respective partisan convention, and win first past the post in primaries open to members of that party and unenrolled voters. It is perfectly legitimate to give party activists a chance to weigh in on who will represent them on the ballot, but even that is fairly open. You had just as much right as anyone else to have registered as a Democrat by the December 31st and run for delegate in your town or ward in February. You could have run or applied for an add-on seat on the Democratic State Committee or applied to be an add-on delegate to the extent that you qualify. Yes, it is the activists who make up most of the convention, but campaigns bring in new people all the time.

    • A Man of Straw

      Christopher you are creating a straw man. I have not argued against the process, of which I am well aware, only with the potential the result of that process. The result of the process could for the first time could leave the people of Massachusetts without a choice as to whom the Democratic nominee will be. I believe that the process should leave me with a choice as to whom I want to be the Democratic nominee and hope that it does. Much like you believe that the process should leave Elizabeth Warren as the nominee and will be unhappy if it does not.

      To suggest that someone who disagrees with you is ignorant of the process is in itself ignorant.

      • Do you miss the point professionally?

        Or is it just a hobby?

      • Um, Roger what you meant

        is not what you said. You can see my comment above. Part of your commentary suggested that you didn’t understand the process: “Bottom line is the people of Massachusetts deserve a choice on September 6th and many on this thread don’t think they should have one.” That’s why I thought you were speaking ignorantly. If your line of thinking is extended, it would require delegates to vote for DeFranco, not Warren who is their preferred candidate. Not very democratic telling people to vote for someone other than their actual choice!

        If you’re the Roger Fritz I’m thinking of, you live in Norwood. Are you also a Democrat? It is somewhat critical to your ethos to state that for the record. We’ve been suffering from a rash of sock puppet posters who have no interest in Defranco and every reason to make Warren’s life difficult.

      • You keep saying "the people of Massachusetts"...

        …won’t have a choice on Sept 6 – well, “the people of Massachusetts” won’t be choosing the nominee for the Democratic Party on Sept 6. The Democrats of Massachusetts, and any unenrolled voter who pulls a Dem ballot, will be doing the choosing, if Marisa DeFranco gets past the hurdle of attaining 15% of convention delegates.

        Many of us will be convention delegates, and you seem to be disagreeing with those of us who will be voting for Warren, as if we should vote for DeFranco out of respect for democracy, our own opinions and feelings be damned. If anyone on this thread is failing to understand the democratic process, it’s you.

  15. Phew

    For a while there is was looking as if we weren’t going to have a primary wherein we could engage with abandon into the acute nastiness that characterized internecine bickering. Glad to avoid that misfortune!

    sabutai   @   Mon 28 May 6:38 PM
    • I find it sad

      I hold all primaries up to the standard of the MA-05 special election, which saw a quite varied and large field of Dems, a LOT of debates, and zero moments with a circular firing squad.

      It was the epitome of Democratic primaries, and I wish they could all be like that, because it was a hugely substantive, boots on the ground sort of primary.

  16. Fundamental Misrepresentations

    I must say that I really take issue with the unremitting mischaracterizations of DeFranco and her supporters about the race to date. The constant refrain that “party bosses” or the “DNC” or “poobahs” have thrust Elizabeth upon us lopes over the line between belief and delusion.

    Elizabeth Warren cleared the field to date because she is a progressive hero who has stood up ramrod straight against financial cowboys, mealy-mouthed regulators, and bloodthirsty Republicans who did nothing for two years but try to embarrass her, tear her down and derail her (I’m looking at you Patrick McHenry, you snarling ferret). She has raised a metric ton of dough for those foregoing reasons, but also because she has captivated the imaginations of a whole lot of regular people across the state and the country who have sent small donations to her because she is a clarion advocate for economic fairness at a time when the Democratic Party has been invaded by DLC zombie-hedge fund apologists.

    But even with all of these advantages and this support, Elizabeth has not coasted one bit in this race and she has campaigned her ass off. She’s been everywhere, all regions of the state, all kinds of party activist events, out there meeting people and talking to everyone. She’s incredibly down to earth, approachable and she instills an excitement in people than I’ve never seen another candidate cultivate.

    I’ve made my thoughts clear many, many times before on this board about Elizabeth, but her candidacy brought me out again and again on frigid Saturday mornings to collect signatures, and her candidacy has led me to canvass again and again on weekends this spring, and her candidacy has led me to make countless organizing phone calls for organizational events. And, finally, I’ll just say again that I will never take another action that I am prouder of or more excited about than voicing my vote for Elizabeth at the convention this weekend.

    Elizabeth is where she is because she can convince an activist like me to do all those things and to write a post like this, and Elizabeth and her supporters deserve much more respect from the DeFranco folks than they have given, either on this website or anywhere else.

    • My thoughts exactly, Lou

      I’ve spoken to many people about that “party bosses” malarkey – I always ask if it was the party bosses who propelled thousands and thousands of volunteers to her early organizing meetings, or if it was thousands of rank and file Democrats, excited by her candidacy. The “party bosses” BS usually melts in the face of that argument.

      • The "party bosses" meme

        is especially laughable. I, like you and others here, have been astounded at the level of grassroots enthusiasm for Warren’s candidacy – both here in MA and around the country. Look at her facebook page, or even the comments on her “Coming Home” post here at BMG that almost (but not quite) announced her candidacy. Party bosses wish they could generate enthusiasm like that. But they can’t.

    • "Elizabeth is where she is because"--agreed

      This is an excellent post; a far cry from maligning MDF supporters as brainless, it makes the case for EW.

      This butterfly-chaser appreciates the change in tone (though god knows what you continue to say about us in private). I want to be won over; having my apparent idiocy and naivete brought up in post after post has the oppposite effect. It’s so very hard not to respond in kind, ya know? This thoughtful post gave me pause.

      Meanwhile, I dearly wish some of Marisa’s supporters would abandon the “paranoid style.” We–along with Massie’s and Khazei’s and and Conroy’s and Setti Warren’s and, gosh, Herb Robinson’s supporters–got blown away by a tsunami. “Party bosses” etc do NOT have the power to create THAT kind of thing. Sure, there was some pressure to come up with a candidate with some star power; that’s why we have a DSCC, no? But they didn’t create that storm of support–that was, whether we MDF supporters like it or not, the “People.”

      As for her campaign, paid signature-gatherers or no, MDF did quite a job on a shoestring. While I’d reluctantly admit that you can’t run the kind of campaign needed at this level while working full time, and without a serious and seasoned campaign manager, I still find the fight admirable, not perverse. MDF may not, personally, be to everyone’s liking any more than EW is, but some of the personal aspersions cast on her for contesting this race are, I can say with genuine certainty, groundless.

      I get the feeling that whether or not Marisa had made those unfortunate statements in re the Cherokee business that the knives would have come out anyway following her reaching the signature-quota. I honestly don’t know why you’re all so upset. You have a gazillion dollars, an incredible army of passionate volunteers, a smart candidate with a solid staff–really, you shouldn’t be this bothered by the fact that you don’t have 100% unanimity! Throw the single-payer climate-change antiwar ag-policy freaks a bone here and there. It pays off in the long run.

      • It's her supporters

        and her constant “victimhood” tone – the party bosses don’t want me!! I cry conspiracy!! – that turned me off. The pile on Warren’s background thing was just confirmation of something I’d already suspected. ~shrug~

  17. this seems unkind...

    from her website:

    Marisa DeFranco- Chief Lizzie Warren’s opponent
    May 23rd, 2012
    “Do we just want to have an anointing? Don’t sell people on the fact there’s a democratic process and then whine that there is a primary.”

    • That headline came from WRKO

      She was interviewed on Tom & Todd, and that was the headline on their site.


      Todd mentions she’s a “leftist wack-job radical” is he a dont-get-cute fan?

      • Impressive

        I love her tone, she’s strong and pleasant and patient, I’d much rather hear her voice for the next six years than Elizabeth’s Warren’s pained whine.

        • Or at least for the three months

          between the primary and the election.

        • Of course, you won't vote for

          either one of them. :)

          • "Siri, remind me to vote for Marisa DeFranco on September 6th"

            “OK, I’ll remind you.”

            And after watching the Keller interview, I like DeFranco’s reasons for calling for Single Payer and her jobs plan and immigration/NAFTA position. I could easily be persuaded to support her in November also, if she’s not a crazy free market ideologue and if Brown keeps going further out there. Her pro-choice and marriage politics is not all that different from Brown’s, and I bet achieving Single Payer would require compromises on federal funding for abortion and contraception funding to implement that I think she’d be receptive to, such as state and/or private funding for that stuff.

            • Another example of a John Howard post

              You love to show how you’re a (fake) ‘reaching across the isle acts’ kind of guy, talking about all the wonderful things about liberalism that you pretend to like in order to seem more reasonable… then try to tie it into your weird fetish-like ideas and priorities.

              We all know that you’re spouting off a bunch of BS, John, but thanks for the consistency. It give us a chuckle. For a while, at least.

              I like that you have been using “abortion and contraception funding” as code words these days… but we all still know it’s about the eggs and sperm, for you, and how you want to “implement” your bizarre ‘reforms.’ Maybe by the time you’re done with your seventh or eighth screen name here, you’ll have your act mastered and people will actually be fooled.

              RyansTake   @   Wed 30 May 3:53 PM
  18. I suppose I should know who Tom and Todd are

    but I don’t.

    • Former Speaker of the House Finneran and talk-show vet Feinburg

      Feinburg is really confused about what a flat tax is, he thinks it’s when everyone contributes an equal amount of money to the government, like they’d divide up the budget by the number of citizens, and make everyone pay the same amount. DeFranco tries to explain a flat tax versus a progressive tax to him, until Finneran rescues his co-host by ending the conversation before he embarrasses himself too much.

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