I don’t get Joan Vennochi’s column today. At all.

Joan Vennochi, of whose work I am usually a fan, seems to me to badly misfire in today’s Globe.  Hey, it happens to the best of us.  But still, it’s hard to imagine where this came from.

The thrust of her column is so obvious as to be hardly worth stating: liberals within the Democratic party are more likely to back Ed Markey than Steve Lynch.  Well, duh.  Markey is overall more liberal than Lynch; Markey has one of the best records in the entire Congress on climate change, which is important to liberals, whereas Lynch among other things has supported building the Keystone XL pipeline, which liberals hate (Lynch has recently backtracked on Keystone, but only very recently); Lynch voted against Obamacare, for the Stupak amendment, and for federal intervention in the Terri Schiavo case, while Markey did none of those things.  Vennochi tries to narrow the distance between Markey and Lynch by accepting at face value Lynch’s explanation for his Obamacare vote (“He opposed it, he said, because the legislation was flawed and ended up as a giveaway to health insurance companies. Lynch may be right on principle…”), and his weeks-old change in tone on abortion rights (“If elected to the Senate, Lynch said, he wouldn’t vote to make abortion illegal. He also pledged to oppose any Supreme Court nominee who might vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.”), while doubting the sincerity of Markey’s 30-year-old shift on abortion rights to the place where he’s been since the 1980s (“His explanation for the evolution is anything but smooth…”).  Not sure how that’s fair, but hey, politics is a rough business.

Perhaps worse, Vennochi goes way, way off the rails by drastically distorting Steve Lynch’s own words regarding who is allegedly not being fair to Lynch.  Here’s how Vennochi’s column starts:

Steve Lynch is right.

The Democrats who control his party didn’t want him to run for US Senate. And, once he defied them, the national party — aided by local enforcer John Walsh, who heads the state committee — would naturally work against his campaign to beat Ed Markey.

“They haven’t been fair,” Lynch told the Boston Herald. “. . . I think they’ve done their best to discourage people from sending me contributions from Washington.”

OK, I agree – and said as much before Lynch was even in the race – that the national party, specifically the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), shouldn’t have jumped into the primary the way they did.  But for Vennochi to claim that John Walsh is a “local enforcer” for the DSCC and has been “working against [Lynch's] campaign,” well, that just seems flat-out wrong.  Let’s look at what Lynch actually said in the Herald interview that Vennochi cites (emphasis mine):

U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, the underdog in the Democratic special Senate election, blasted national Dems for their unfair backing of his rival U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey and for blocking donations to him….

“They haven’t been fair,” Lynch said of the national Democrats who he says have funneled donations and some union support Markey’s way. “No they haven’t been fair. I think they’ve done their best to discourage people from sending me contributions from Washington. They’ve basically said Markey’s our guy, don’t give to Lynch.”

In a wide-ranging interview with the Herald today, Lynch said he faces an uphill battle because the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee backed Markey.

Not a word in there about the state party, or John Walsh.  In fact, this morning Lynch’s own spokesman, Conor Yunits, specifically disowned Vennochi’s charge on Twitter:

For the record – that charge didn’t come from us. @JohnEWalshDem has been extremely fair.

I mean, Walsh is on record in Vennochi’s own paper as liking the idea of a contested primary between Markey and Lynch.  That doesn’t sound to me like someone who wants to clear the field for Markey, or for anyone else.

Later in the column, the reason for Vennochi’s distortion of Lynch’s views to include the state party becomes clear: she’s still mad about Marisa DeFranco.

A variation of this preselection process played out during the Bay State’s last Senate primary. Democratic leaders chased everyone but Elizabeth Warren out of the contest. The previous crop of would-be Democratic contenders faded quietly into that not-so-good political night — except for Marisa DeFranco, who was kept off the ballot at the state convention when she didn’t comply with party wishes.

“Didn’t comply with party wishes”?  For God’s sake, we have been over this many times.  Anyone who cares to dig into BMG’s archives will find numerous posts about the 2012 caucuses – held months before the convention, and apparently out of the Globe’s field of view – at which numerous observers reported that Elizabeth Warren had organized the crap out of them, thereby securing tons of committed delegates, while DeFranco was nowhere to be seen.  It was also widely reported that DeFranco’s speech at the convention redefined “not ready for prime time.”  Sure looks from here as though DeFranco didn’t get on the ballot because she was a weak candidate who didn’t think she had to put in the hard work of getting her ducks in a row long before the convention, and I’d respectfully suggest that Vennochi should reveal any reporting or evidence she has to the contrary.  Indeed, I think it’s disrespectful to Steve Lynch – a sitting congressman with an impressive record of vote-getting and election-winning, whatever you may think of his views – to lump him in with Marisa DeFranco.

If you strip away all that stuff, Vennochi’s basic point is so bland as to not merit writing up separately (which is perhaps why the rest of the stuff is in there):

Liberal politics dominate Democratic primary turnout and drive this race. Markey’s positions on health care and abortion rights are key to the support he’s receiving…. Markey’s backers are fighting for their definition of the soul of the Democratic party. To that end, they will pour every dollar they can into Markey’s campaign and they will work to turn out every like-minded voter.

Well, yeah.  That is pretty much how elections work, isn’t it?  It is no surprise that Democratic primary voters tend to lean left, just as Republican primary voters tend to lean right.  It also is no surprise that the activists who are deeply engaged in the primary are “work[ing] to turn out every like-minded voter.”  In fact, we should applaud that, shouldn’t we?  We should want people out there pounding the pavement, trying to generate excitement about their candidate, right?  Lynch supporters of course are doing exactly the same thing, as they should.  A 100% turnout in this special election would be something to celebrate, wouldn’t it?

So, overall, a bad column.  But nobody’s perfect.



Discuss

76 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Did we see any major columns from Vennochi when Mihos was dropped from the GOP state convention in 2010 so they could prop up Baker?

    Unlike DeFranco, Mihos actually had a lot of support and polled close to Baker in that race at that point.

    The whole thing is absolutely bizarre, and you’re right — is as much of an insult to Lynch as it is Markey.

    I imagine when John Walsh reads stuff like this, he gets a big chuckle out of it. John Walsh the big, scary party enforcer. ROFL.

    It’s pretty clear Joan could do well from spending a little time with little d party activists. If she did, her column would have turned out very differently.

    RyansTake   @   Sun 7 Apr 2:46 PM
  2. You're right- the column didn't make that much sense

    I was irritated by the DeFranco thing myself, as (call me crazy) I like to be included in the whole voting-democracy thing. At least I’ll be able to make my own choice vis a vis Lynch and Markey.
    Seems like Vennocchi is a disgruntled moderate.

    • DeFranco

      lost access to the ballot because of that whole voting-democracy thing.

      We’ve determined as a society that having hundreds or thousands or millions of candidates for any one position would be rather difficult, so put in place some very basic (at least in Massachusetts) limits to that ballot.

      The thresholds are low — a few thousand signatures to run statewide and 15% support at a party convention if and only if a candidate wants to run from that party.

      Is that really unfair? Other states have much higher thresholds. Connecticut, for example, requires around 30% of a convention’s support to make the ballot from a party.

      RyansTake   @   Sun 7 Apr 2:59 PM
      • Re the merits of the 15% rule,

        I’ve never been a huge fan. But the rules are the rules and everybody knew well in advance what they were, so it was incumbent on any candidate who wanted to be taken seriously to act accordingly. Only one candidate did so.

  3. I was knocking on doors this morning...

    …looking to turn out every like minded voter – found quite a few of them, too! One woman told me that she ran into Ed Markey on the T when she was in college back in the eighties. Ed took the time to talk with her about the issues of the day, and she’s never forgotten him, even though she never lived in his district and so never voted for him. She’s happy she finally has that chance!

    And if anyone does go back and look at the Warren/DeFranco pie fights, I hope you enjoy my commentary, I was big part of that!

    • Ed's like that

      I had a ten minute conversation with him outside the DNC in 2004, my friend recently bumped into him at the DC airport and they chatted. Great guy and he will make a great Senator.

  4. Vennochi was correct...

    Like it or not Joan Vennochi’s column today was factual and depicted accurately what is happening in the Democratic Party on the state and national level. What used to be an aberration is becoming an undeniable trend that long term will ultimately weaken our Party. There was a time when the Democratic Party had factions: Conservative Dems, Moderate Dems, Liberal Dems…we debated, we disagreed on some things, we hooted and hollered at each other…but, in the end, we were Democrats. Rather than grow the Party, the current pre-selection/annointment of “worthy” candidates by Party Poobahs and moneychangers in DC and MA only serves to shrink the Party. The Unenrolled Voter numbers swell because they feel unwelcome and unrepresented in (either) major political PArty.

    • Factual? Really?

      Where were the facts? I just read her whole column, didn’t see any facts at all, other than the by-line.

      Fact: John Walsh is not acting as the DC enforcer.

      Fact: DeFranco lost at the convention because she didn’t bother to get 15% representation among the delegates, a low bar to clear and she couldn’t do it.

      Fact: Lynch’s record is abysmal, that’s why party activists (like myself) don’t like him and aren’t out knocking on doors for him.

      Where are Vennochi’s facts, HLP? Where are yours?

    • You've got to be kidding

      Were you living on another planet last week?

      If you don’t think there are “factions” within the Massachusetts Democratic Party, then you are not paying attention to the behavior of Mr. DeLeo and his followers.

      The “unenrolled” numbers are swelling in Massachusetts because the Massachusetts GOP is a dead and stinking carcass that can’t even provide candidates for most offices, never mind competitive candidates.

      A great many of the unenrolled voters in Massachusetts would be GOP voters if given a realistic choice. A good many of the elected Massachusetts “Democrats” would be on the other side as well.

      Your claim that there no longer factions with the Democratic Party is laughable. Stephen Lynch exemplifies the phenomena. There was a time when a moderate Republican could also support reasonable pro-labor positions. During that time, Mr. Lynch would have been one of those moderate Republicans. He has sided with GOP on a long list of important votes — most significantly, his opposition to the ACA.

    • Sorry to pile on, hlpeary,

      but John and Tom are right. (a) The notion that Joan’s column is “factual” with regard to the stuff I mentioned in my post – specifically, John Walsh acting as “enforcer” for the DSCC – is, as far as I can tell, a fantasy. I’d love to see some facts to prove me wrong; so far, I’ve see nothing either from her or, all due respect, from you. And (b), there most certainly are factions within the Democrats, as the Deval vs. DeLeo brouhaha going on right now pretty clearly shows.

    • Unenrolled voter rolls swell

      because given the choice of taking responsibility for their own democracy and taking as little responsibility as possible, half of the voters take a pass.

      • too true...

        because given the choice of taking responsibility for their own democracy and taking as little responsibility as possible, half of the voters take a pass.

        I’ve often said “the independent (unenrolled) voter is someone who dislikes Republicans but, nevertheless, believes everything the GOP has to say about the Democrats.” Which is just another way of saying what Mark says: it’s easier to use the GOP shorthand for the Dems as an excuse (take a pass) not to take responsibility.

        What Barak Obama has done, from a strictly poliltical point of view, is to encompass nearly the entirety of the old Eisenhower wing of the Republican Party without, apparently, getting any credit. The modern day GOP encompasses an infinitesimally small part of the political spectrum. The modern day Democratic party encompasses a maximally inclusive portion of that same political spectrum, up to and abutting the small fraction occupied by the GOP: there’s no real DMZ, so that any ‘unenrolled voter’ would, pretty nearly point for point, map most cleanly to the Democratic party. All this is to say that all the existing arguments, such as they are, ought to be mostly between the different and differing wings of the Democratic party, but they seem to be fruitlessly cycling between the Gop, the Dems and this vast cohort of the ‘unenrolled’ who refuse to pick a side.

    • Sorry, HLP, but you just got the kiss of death...

      Dan, who may or may not be from Waltham, just agreed with you. On Bizarro Earth (Htrea?) that might be a good thing, but on this world? It’s a shame you can’t delete your comment…

  5. Sometimes Joan Just Fills Up White Space ...

    … with any sort of nonsense … just to meet her contractual obligations, I guess. None of today’s column makes any sense. The DeFranco thing is particularly egregious. Marissa couldn’t get any votes at the state convention; that’s why there was no primary. And she couldn’t get any votes because, compared to Warren, she was a terrible candidate, and very likely would have lost to Brown. That’s why blogs will save Western Civilization … if indeed it can be saved. The Mainstream Media just keep going with the same ol’, same ol’ tired voices. Thank you BMG.

  6. grinding this ax for a while

    I sent email to both Vennochi and Adrian Walker following their post-convention columns about the “treatment” of DeFranco. I won’t include what I wrote as it has been hashed over here too many times. Only Vennochi replied. She said her reporting was based on being at the convention and “talking to people”, and it was her “belief” that there was an effort to keep DeFranco off the ballot. She didn’t provide any evidence.

    So I think this is a theme we are going to see occasionally from her. She has it in her head that this is the way the state party rolls, and she’s sticking with it.

    • "an effort to keep DeFranco off the ballot"

      I mean, of course there was “an effort” to keep her off the ballot, in the sense that most delegates voted for Warren instead of DeFranco, and as to each delegate, it’s a zero sum game: you either voted for Warren, or for DeFranco, but you couldn’t try to get both of them on the ballot. So by voting for Warren an individual delegate could be said to be trying to keep DeFranco off the ballot. But that’s only in a fairly trivial sense. The notion that John Walsh or anyone else in the state party was steering people in that direction, and specifically was leaning on people who otherwise would have voted for DeFranco to instead vote for Warren, well, that just seems like a fantasy.

      • There wasn't an effort to

        keep DeFranco off the ballot; there was a lack of effort by DeFranco to get on the ballot.

        She had no money, and though she might have made up for that with some organizing, she had no organization. I received a single phone call from the DeFranco campaign. In Western Mass, she appeared at some DTC meetings in Monson and Longmeadow. That’s not how you run for state-wide office unless you do that two years in advance. At our caucus, I had to explain to my DTC who the hell she was. Did I mention that DeFranco showed up to her MTA endorsement interview with her parents!?

        I was at the convention, along with the rest of our delegates, enthusiastically supporting Elizabeth Warren. She had garnered an enthusiasm similar to that of Obama in his primary bid.

        At the 2002 convention that nominated Shannon O’Brien for Governor, there were behind the scenes negotiations between candidates releasing their delegates to support other candidates in subsequent ballots. It think everyone ended up in the primary ballot, though O’Brien ended up as the nominee. The convention was a complete waste of my time (Why should I be a delegate, if everyone is going to be on the primary ballot?), not to mention completely disorganized. Now, that was an undemocratic convention.

      • David - you don't remember 1990, do you?

        Well, I do and at the June convention, John Silber was leading in the polls at the time, and The Machine did everything they could to prevent Silber from getting on the ballot. Dr. Silber equated the limited ballot access to white racists limiting/preventing African Americans from voting. Even Jack Flood that year, failed to get 15%, thus was knocked off the ballot.

        So you are suggesting Warren delegates, knowing they had the numbers, enough couldn’t vote for DeFranco on the first ballot, so there could be a “debate” on the issues? I would have voted for DeFranco, b/c she opposes these free trade agreements. I know this b/c she actually goes on talk radio and takes questions.

        • I remember 1990 just fine, thanks.

          What I don’t recall is that John Walsh was running the party then. If the best you can do is a datapoint that is 23 years old, well…

        • I remember 1990 differently

          danfromwaltham, were you a delegate at the 1990 convention? I was and I remember it quite differently from you. There were three candidates. Candidates did not need to get the 15% on the first ballot, but they needed to get it on a later ballot to get on the Primary ballot. Candidates Frank Bellotti and Evelyn Murphy both got plenty of votes, but not enough to get the 50% +1 for the endorsement. John Silber did not have anywhere near enough delegates to get 15% for the ballot.

          Bellotti’s people and the infamous Senate President Billy Bulger made a back room deal to get Bellotti the endorsement over Murphy. A portion of Bellotti’s delegates were told to vote for Silber on the second ballot to get him the 15% and then on the third ballot Silber’s few delegates would vote for Bellotti to give him the endorsement. I was a whip for Murphy in my delegation and all the Murphy voters stayed committed to Murphy on the second ballot. The strategy worked for Bellotti, he got the endorsement of the convention on the third ballot.

          Too bad the joke was on him in September when Silber won the Primary in September leaving Bellotti with nothing to show for his backroom scheme. In November the populace figured out that Silber was an unpleasant choice and Republican Bill Weld was elected Governor starting off the 16 year reign of Republican’s in that office, the years of cutbacks to local aid and human services and leading to the near coronation of Mitt Romney as President of the United States.

          History would be different if John Silber had had to do the work to get delegates to meet the 15% on first ballot threshold.

          • Hi Katie Wallace- good to hear from you

            No, I was not a delegate, doubt I would attend since there was a police picket line outside the convention, hope you didn’t cross it.

            The fact a guy leading in the polls had to cut a back room deal, just t get on the ballot, goes to the corruption of the party. Fast forward to 2002, the Dem Party threw the kitchen sink, sued Mitt, trying to prevent Romney ballot access to the governors race. Again, trying to clear the field, limit debate and discussion.

            Why didn’t DeFranco get on the ballot in 2012? Why not a rules change if one receives the nomination and nobody else gets 15%, then the 2nd place finisher, automatically gets on the ballot? We know the reason Katie, the MA Dems don’t want contested primaries or general elections.

            Evelyn Murphy quit the race a week before the primary, trying to stop Silber. Her hands are just as dirty.

            • I like the 15% rule

              By the time of the convention during a regular election cycle, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for a statewide race should have to meet a certain bar to insure that their candidacy is viable and that including them in the primary will not result in other Dem candidates wasting a lot of resources. I think the 10K signatures and 15% at the convention provides an adequate bar.

              A candidate needs to know what the rules are and has to execute an effective campaign to get past the convention. If they don’t do that (as was the case with DeFranco), I don’t think it is a good idea to say, “Ah, shucks, you have run a really crappy campaign up to this point, but, gee, we trust that you will get your act together and be competitive, starting now.” No way.

              It takes quite a bit of work to put together an organization, get enough people involved in multiple cities and towns, and actually win some delegates at the caucuses. That work is the basis for a credible primary campaign moving forward. If you don’t have that foundation, your campaign has as much chance as a house without a foundation.

              • 15% is not that high a bar

                If you can’t get that, you aren’t likely to win the primary or the general.

                • The signatures should be enough

                  I mean, wasn’t Nucky Thompson or Johnson or whatever a Democrat? Parties machines have some history of corruption and backroom shenanigans, though I’m sure nowadays everything is all purity and Febreze-smelling goodness. Why limit the general membership’s ability to choose their own candidates? Very few Democrats are actively involved in the party delegate stuff and many are probably suspicious of the conventions.

                  • I don't agree

                    I, for one, sign papers in the street for anyone, even if I don’t support the candidate. But it seems perfectly reasonable to see if someone has even 15% support among the party’s most devoted activists.

                    Whatever happened in 1940, nothing remotely so egregious is happening now. I’ve been involved in the convention process the past couple of years and have seen nothing to be suspicious of. People continue to suggest the Warren-DeFranco situation involved “backroom shenanigans.” From where I sit, every delegate I know of from our city supported Warren because she was the stronger candidate to defeat Scott Brown and promote the causes we believe in down in Washington. We asked her to run before she declared. I have nothing against Marisa DeFranco personally, but there’s no there there. Warren was a better candidate and a primary would have been a huge waste of time and resources.

                  • I disagree

                    A candidate can get the signatures by just having enough money.

                    To get 15% you need an organization and a ground game. That’s not to say there haven’t been cases of deals made as has been discussed in this thread (and occurred as recently as 2006), but if you win enough delegates at the caucuses, you get on the ballot, period. And if you don’t, that is sufficient evidence IMHO that you don’t have what it takes to win an election.

                    This is the part of the process where the candidate needs to prove support from those who are “actively involved in the party delegate stuff” because those people become the backbone of the field organization.

          • Hi Katie Wallace- good to hear from you

            No, I was not a delegate, doubt I would attend since there was a police picket line outside the convention, hope you didn’t cross it.

            The fact a guy leading in the polls had to cut a back room deal, just t get on the ballot, goes to the corruption of the party. Fast forward to 2002, the Dem Party threw the kitchen sink, sued Mitt, trying to prevent Romney ballot access to the governors race. Again, trying to clear the field, limit debate and discussion. There is a pattern here, no doubt about it.

            Why didn’t DeFranco get on the ballot in 2012? Why not a rules change if one receives the nomination and nobody else gets 15%, then the 2nd place finisher, automatically gets on the ballot? We know the reason Katie, the MA Dems don’t want contested primaries or general elections.

            Evelyn Murphy quit the race a week before the primary, trying to stop Silber. Her hands are just as dirty.

  7. Doan Chu Talk Bout My Man Like Dat!

    Really dudes, I’m sorry they don’t send you memos explaining this organically occurring shift in the Democratic party specifically when it comes to choosing state wide candidates.

    In the long run this change could result in the downfall of the two party system by revolts coming from within.

    But Joan Vennochi dared suggest this. John Walsh is human and knows he can’t stop what’s happening so why throw stones at it.

    But like Tom Brady the guy delivers championships (or at least did) and BMGers are pink hats when it comes to the Dem party, so how dare someone suggest St. John Walsh is anything but 100% pure.

    eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Sun 7 Apr 6:49 PM
    • You got anything that says otherwise?

      Lay your cards on the table, EB3. ‘Cause on this one, I think you’re bluffing.

      • Quacks like a duck...

        that’s all David. Sure I’m speculating about John Walsh’s inner thoughts.

        But it’s pretty obvious that John Walsh’s constituency, those that voted him into his job, wanted Markey and the National party wanted Markey.

        That’s all. Those electing the boos set the rules, not the boss.

        If you are waiting for a smoking gun David than don’t hold your breath. But that is the gist of what’s wrong with your post. Backward reasoning. Because there is no videotape of what she concludes does not mean that she can’t draw intelligent conclusions from settled facts.

        eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Sun 7 Apr 7:50 PM
        • I don't see it ....

          realistically, Walsh has kicked butt long enough that I don’t see anyone pushing him around. Just the opposite, I think they leave him the hell alone.

          Markey had the lead going in, that had nothing to do with the DSCC.

          • Ernie's talking out of his rear on this one.

            I refer him to previous comments on this matter.

            • that post is consistent with my comments here

              not sure of your point christopher

              eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Sun 7 Apr 11:36 PM
              • Yes, your comments are consistent with that post.

                My point is that you are still full of it.

                • If By "It" You Mean....

                  enlightened knowledge, truthful insight, unparalleled prose, and phenomenal dissection of reality from fiction done with the wit and charm possessed only by a true gentleman such as myself than thank you for noticing Christopher.

                  eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Mon 8 Apr 12:04 AM
                  • by "it" he means...

                    enlightened knowledge, truthful insight, unparalleled prose, and phenomenal dissection of reality from fiction done with the wit and charm possessed only by a true gentleman such as myself than thank you for noticing Christopher.

                    … your eyes are brown, and not because of DNA.

        • Rubbish.

          What “settled facts” are you talking about? The DSCC? Yeah, I agree they should have stayed out of it. But there’s no indication I’m aware of that the DSCC’s actions had any influence on how the state party has gone about things. Walsh went to the trouble of writing a Globe op-ed saying how glad he was that we were having a spirited primary, and Lynch’s own spokesman declared that Walsh has played it absolutely straight. What’s the contrary evidence that the state party is working against Lynch? I just don’t see it.

          • You Talking to Me?

            I didn’t mention selected facts.
            Alls I’m sayin is that the wants of the state party members are all too consistent with and subservient to the wishes of the National Party.

            It’s not about John Walsh, It’s about the people that run the state party. Walsh isn’t a dictator or a sole proprietor.

            BTW don’t ever confuse Deleo or Murray as party of the state party. They wouldn’t like that insult. They could not give two shits to the party.
            Really.

            John Walsh is the captain of the ship that must follow the wishes of the owners if he wants to keep his job. Many times those wishes are not expressed directly but signaled.
            That’s what’s going on here.
            Has nothing to do with his credibility.

            eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Sun 7 Apr 11:44 PM
            • Yup.

              “The people that run the state party.” Who – the DSC members? You think they’re giving Walsh marching orders? Which ones? Name names, because I highly doubt that. And this – “if he wants to keep his job.” Like there’s any prospect of some kind of internal revolt, or hotly-contested election like we just saw for the Mass. GOP. I see zero likelihood of that in the foreseeable future (unless Walsh chooses to step down). Are you talking about Deval? I mean, I honestly have no idea what you’re on about with these mysterious shadowy puppetmasters supposedly controlling John Walsh against his will, so I’m grasping at straws here. Help a feller out, willya?

              Plus, if Lynch thought Walsh was trying to stack the deck for Markey, why wouldn’t he say so, instead of specifically disavowing it?

              • Oh david, Now You are Just Being Pathetic

                Organizations don’t run like that. Especially political ones.

                I really can’t explain it. You even get it or you don’t. You want direct orders etc. Bahahaha

                Really David, you can’t learn human relations and dynamics in law school. Like when Sal DiMasi stepped down from the Speakers job and and it was all set to go to DeLeo.
                There were no memos out on voting for Deleo.
                Time to go back and rad the classics. Greek and Roman epics and plays. Shakespeare, Twain, and a few others.
                Get back in touch with the human part of politics and life David.
                You’re arguments are more akin for someone with aspergars.
                It ain’t all black and white my friend.

                eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Mon 8 Apr 12:14 AM
                • The People That Butter John Walsh's Bread have Made It Clear...

                  that Markey is their guy.
                  That’s all.
                  Doesn’t make John Walsh a bad guy, doesn’t make those people bad people.

                  But with that mind John Walsh will be careful in choosing his battles on this one.
                  Isn’t that human nature and being smart?

                  I mean I suspect John likes his job

                  eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Mon 8 Apr 12:19 AM
                  • Ah, I get it now.

                    “The people that butter John Walsh’s bread.” Why didn’t I see it before? Of course, it’s so obvious now that my eyes have been opened. How could I have missed the incredibly subtle, yet irresistible “human relations and dynamics” that are at work here, inexorably controlling John Walsh’s every action, even as the poor sap probably thinks he is making his own decisions. Ha! Ha! Ha!

                    It’s just like that bit in the Iliad. Or maybe Othello. You know the part I mean.

                    Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you.

                    • And the more I think about it,

                      the more brilliant it is. They’re even controlling Conor Yunits, who is pathetically forced to defend John Walsh and trash the one person in the media with the courage to speak the horrible truth, even as Walsh is inexorably crushing the life out of Lynchie’s campaign. My God … it’s almost unbearable to watch. How can they be so ruthless? Have they, at last, no decency? OH THE HUMANITY!!!!!

                    • Your Welcome David, I See Our Time is Just About Up Anyway

                      I’ll see you next week, and please don’t forget your check book again.

                      Could you send in Charley on your way out?

                      Thanks

                      eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Mon 8 Apr 12:32 AM
                    • *staggers out of the room, his faith in all he previously held dear destroyed,

                      tears streaming down his face out of the reddened cavities where his eyes used to be, shielding his face from the sun.*

              • Sorry David, Upon Further Review I did say "Settled facts"

                so here they are.
                John Walsh is the elected chairman of the state democratic party.
                The national dem wanted ed markey. If we saw it then John Walsh saw it.
                The state dem got in line.

                eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Mon 8 Apr 9:24 AM
            • Yes, rubbish

              In the last sentence of your previous comment, you wrote (emphasis mine):

              Because there is no videotape of what she concludes does not mean that she can’t draw intelligent conclusions from settled facts.

              You most certainly did mention “settled facts” — the settled facts that are so overwhelmed by the histrionic rubbish in Ms. Vennochi’s tirade that apparently not even you can remember what you were referring to.

              I see you and Ms. Vennochi both saying “I’ve already made up my mind, so don’t confuse me with the facts”.

              I’ll offer another settled fact — you have the hots for Ms. Vennochi. I have no evidence to support that, mind you. I don’t need a videotape, I just know. Anybody who has their head screwed on straight can tell. Anybody who disagrees has Asperger’s. Right?

  8. i seem to recall

    Ernie saying that John Walsh wasn’t going to give Markey the time of day. Now Walsh is part of cabal. The fact is Lynch has limited appeal to Democrats outside of Southie.

    And it’s money that’s going to make the decisions. If the DSCC has the money, it”s going to have influence.

    BTW, remember the 1968 national convention? Damn Democrats!

  9. Venocchi is Part Wrong and Part Right

    Venocchi is simply wrong about John Walsh, who is doing his best to be fair to every candidate.

    And, Venocchi is wrong about Vicki Kennedy’s motivation. Venocchi seems to forget that Markey had a very long and close relationship with Senator Kennedy. There is nothing surprising in Vicki’s decision to endorse.

    Venocchi is right about the DSCC, however. Their meddling in this election is harmful. Mass. Democrats deserve a spirited primary election, and the DSCC should not have been involved. If Steve Lynch ends up winning the primary, he will be able to thank the DSCC for their incompetence.

    • The DSCC's job is to create or retain a Senate majority.

      They have every right in the world, and even duty to the party, to back the candidate most likely to accomplish that goal.

      • So You Admit That The State Party, Run by John Walsh, is....

        actively helping Ed Markey? Otherwise they would not be doing their job, right? That’s what you are saying here, right?

        eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Mon 8 Apr 12:07 AM
        • Ernie, remember when you said this:

          I get a kick out of the BMGers who cited the state Dem. party rules in rebuttal to my assertion that John Walsh won’t lift a finger for Ed Markey in the primary.

          To that I say, “hahahahahahahahahahahhaha”.

          So adorable in their naivete.

          I wink, a nod, a look the other way. What planet do you people live on. Aspergers afflicts a small minority of people. Some times I think most of them are on here. Do you think John Walsh and the people running the party are robots?

          What was the name of that poor Democrat who dared oppose Liz Warren? Good to see the state party stayed totally out of that fight at the convention.

          I love you man, but just saying…

          • Right Mark, Isn't that consistent with what I'm now saying?

            not sure I’m following you on this

            eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Mon 8 Apr 12:04 PM
            • I think the confusion

              comes from this sentence:

              I get a kick out of the BMGers who cited the state Dem. party rules in rebuttal to my assertion that John Walsh won’t lift a finger for Ed Markey in the primary.

              That sentence has you on record that “Walsh won’t lift a finger” for Markey. Which I think was a typo when written. Your position is that, behind the scenes, the party is hooking up Markey, no?

              That will be $29.99, payable to Fenway’s Clarification Service, Inc.

              • You're right it. It doesn't make sense

                At the same time it doesn’t make sense that BMGers would find fault with me asserting that John Walsh wouldn’t encourage in his own way a Markey victory.

                And I’m pretty sure I always believed that Walsh will be forced into subtle unnoticed decisions based on Markey.

                My conclusion is I mistyped/misspoke.

                So you are right fenway, I’m not sure where u live so Charley MTA took it. He said he’d be seeing you at bowling tonight.
                Thanks for pointing this out.

                eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Mon 8 Apr 1:57 PM
                • Charley has your money fenway

                  That’s what I’m telling you. So don’t let him bowl a frame until he coughs up the $29.99

                  eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Mon 8 Apr 1:58 PM
                • Just keeping you honest.

                  FYI: You also predicted a Lynch win by 3-5%.

                  • I Know, But That was before I realized what a dick Lynch is

                    didn’t see so much negative coming from the union types

                    eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Mon 8 Apr 2:57 PM
                    • What kind of negative..?

                      Some clowns started a negative website on Markey. They posted the link on Masslive. I attribute it to his union supporter for a couple of reasons: 1) I’ve seen these unsourced attack sites from unions before 2) it focused on NAFTA.

                      Or are you talking about union types thinking Lynch is a dick?

                    • Not That, Rather People That Know Him....

                      from union days, southie days. Not about his votes. His claim of growing up in projects is perfect example. No need to re-hash that here.

                      He collected workers comp well in law school. He defaults on student loans while a member of Congress ( I think – perhaps state senate)

                      eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Mon 8 Apr 7:38 PM
                    • that should be "while in law school"

                      grammar and spelling is everything people

                      eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Mon 8 Apr 7:40 PM
        • Christopher says DSCC

          You extrapolate from that to “state party.” Just like Joan Vennochi. Maybe we’ve solved a mystery today — you ARE Joan Vennochi and your axes to grind with Cullen and Murphy are about who took your clearly-marked brown-paper-bag lunch from the fridge at Morrissey Blvd. back in ’98.

        • Carefully count the Cs in the acronym.

          I did say that the DSCC, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, is responsible for finding and supporting candidates who will help them get or retain majority. It is NOT the case that the DSC, the Democratic State Committee, either collectively or in the person of John Walsh, endorses anyone absent a formal process such as a convention, which does not happen in a special election. Either way, there is a primary election; the voters will choose whomever they please and that choice prevails.

      • the dscc may mean well

        but like the dccc, it can step in it as often as not when picking candidates in primaries. it’s better to let state parties and progressive orgs handle things organically, since they’re the ones who tend to understand the dynamics on the ground.

        All that said, I don’t think the dscc is going to make much of a difference in this election. We have a competitive primary with two strong candidates, each of whom have lots of excited folks behind them… it’ll be interesting to see how things shake up.

        I think folks like Vennochi overestimate the impact of what’s going on in DC. The person who wins this race is probably going to be the one who has the most folks out knocking on doors, something that is inherently local and far too organic to be arranged by shadowy folks pulling levers behind the curtains.

        RyansTake   @   Mon 8 Apr 5:32 AM
      • I respectfully disagree, Christopher

        Sure, the DSCC is supposed to create and retain a Senate majority. But, they should not be interfering in primary elections in Democratic states. The DSCC basically ran the Warren campaign, but that was different because there was a republican incumbent.

        There is no good reason for the DSCC to be so actively involved in our special election now. Guy Cecil is making a mistake that might elect a republican..

        • Um yes they should

          Case in point when the Republicans don’t do it. And it’s the same here, a Lynch win coupled with a Winslow win recreates Silber v Weld with Winslow winning the seat. A Lynch win coupled with a Sullivan win could allow Jill Stein the chance to run and lose for a fifth major office on the MA ballot while also getting Green-Rainbow ballot access.

          It was smart for the DSCC to back the strongest candidate, they didn’t eliminate the primary, Venocchi’s column is related to another Globie columnist complaining about how ‘boring’ this race was-she is stirring up the pot and drama because she has nothing else to write about. Plain and simple. You don’t like what the DSCC did then vote for Lynch or withold giving to them, but they backed the strongest candidate for this race and keeping the Senate majority is important enough to do that.

  10. Because let’s face it. The political left is just like the political right when it comes to demanding fealty and deciding who will best deliver on it.

    Would that it were so. But from where I sit the “political left” is fighting with little success to get anything, anything at all good done, even in states with 80%+ Democratic legislative majorities.

    If “the political left” really went around enforcing this kind of purity, Steve Lynch would have lost his most recent primary the way Dick Lugar lost his. But instead we put Finneran and DeLeo (NOTE: not equivalent except in failure to promote progressive policy) in charge of the Mass. House. We lionize Bill “Triangulation” Clinton. Ever heard of Blue Dogs? They were kind of relevant in the House in 2009-10.

    We suffer Joe Manchin like we suffered Ben Nelson. We let Lieberman back into the caucus after he endorsed John McCain, spoke at the GOP convention, and ran against the party’s nominee.

    This strikes me as sour grapes about DeFranco (who had every chance to force a primary and didn’t get it done) and mindless Beltway-style false equivalence. Damn straight the “liberals” are fighting for “the soul of the Democratic Party.” We’ve got so many conservative or timid Senate Democrats in DC that the last thing we can afford is to have one coming out of Massachusetts.

    • Agree 1000%

      And I would note that if the candidates were in Pennsylvania the DSCC would endorse Lynch over Markey (as they endorsed Casey over Hoeffel and Specter over Sestak). The DSCC is not an extreme left wing organization but an organization committed to picking the most electable candidate. Hoeffel was too left for the PA general election, Casey was the better choice. Here we have a record of conservative Democrats (Silber) or incompetent ones (Coakley) blowing easy elections to ‘moderate’ Republicans.

      The last time the DSCC stayed out we nominated a loser. Now obviously the optics suck which is why it might prove to be more a liability than an asset to Markey, but basically Lynch has gained little traction hitting him over a 20 year old NAFTA vote and since he refuses to run on their other policy differences on social issues which he now disavows this is his only line of attack. The i’onworkah and weldah* v. the DC insider. And since that isn’t gaining traction they hope the lamestream political media in MA tries to invent controversies to create a horse race, and with Venocchi it’s like getting a horse to come to water.

      *who happens to be a former Beacon Hill insider and Bulger ally and a five-term DC veteran himself, but go figure it polled well, just like ditching 60% of Lynch’s prior convictions

  11. The column echoes the whole assumption that the male candidate who best exemplifies an image of working class virtue is most authentic and that voters should therefore support that authentic candidate regardless of actual positions on issues and voting records.

    In any case, Lynch’s problem, is that his votes, positions, and readiness to play the authenticity game (his little slam against Elizabeth Warren and his eagerness to attack allegedly radical environmentalists) mean that he cannot unite the different wings or branches of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts. That inability is his own fault and no one else’s.

    • Yep

      If so many MA Democrats were clamoring for Scott Brown we would’ve voted for him over Warren. At the end of the day, as fenway49 has put it, Lynch forgot there is a whole lotta Massachusetts south of Quincy, and northwest of dot ave.

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