I am not here to change the minds of Coakley supporters and partisans, but for those who would stay home or leave the box blank this is a case to use your vote for Evan Falchuk.
Now, I don’t see this as a case, like Obama 2012, where voting for the Democrat would be immoral, though it probably is for some of her detractors here. Still, I refuse to vote “strategically” – I look for the candidate who best reflects my values. Berwick was and would be a worthwhile vote, but after the primary it was time to look for other options.
Falchuk piqued my interest early on but quickly lost it by seemingly positioning himself as a centrist. This may still be offputting to some, but I think it says more about the Democratic candidate that someone who describes himself as “fiscally sensible” is to her left on most issues. So, looking at the issues, who is he really?
10+ reasons to vote for Evan Falchuk tomorrow (this list goes to 11):
1. Civil Liberties
There are many issues that are arguably not the role of government to solve or change is gradual but moving in the right direction, so they are not top of the list for me. Government encroachment on civil liberties is blatantly not one of them. A candidate has to practically be a libertarian on the issues of surveillance and the police state to move this in the right direction. Martha Coakley is not that person. Neither is the guy from the party that gave us the PATRIOT Act. Evan Falchuk has made it clear in his debates and interviews that he puts civil liberties first and is willing to step over the security scaremongering and rationalizations to fight for them.
Protecting the environment is one of the primary roles of government – it’s not going to defend itself in court like some libertarians like to think.
Falchuk supports a “comprehensive and aggressive strategy to combat climate change.” (To be fair, so does Coakley and neither makes it a top issue.)
Of course for Charlie Baker the environment is not an issue.
3. Campaign Finance a.k.a. Corruption Reform
The systemic corruption of money in politics is the one problem we have to fix before we can work on any of the problems we really care about. Falchuk supports efforts to amend the Constitution to get big money out of politics and would act to make it happen. No other candidate has made anywhere near this commitment. Neither Baker nor Coakley even list campaign finance on their issues page.
4. Progressive Taxes
Falchuk supports an amendment that would allow a progressive tax in Massachusetts and would form a “Tax Modernization Commission” to move this forward. His responses on tax questions here. No other candidate has made a serious commitment to tax reform. Ms. Coakley is “open to considering…”
5. Health Care Costs
Falchuk recognizes that the cost of health care is a major problem for Massachusetts residents, businesses, and the state. It’s one of his top priorities. Among other things, he would fight the monopolistic mergers of hospitals like what Ms. Coakley allowed. Health care costs didn’t even come up in the last debate between Martha and Charlie.
He supports more investment in public transit and pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and making a long term plan for same.
Here’s a questionnaire.
We need to pay for the government we say we want. A look at the 20th century, and the 19th, and so on, will illustrate that America’s investment in the public infrastructure has always paid off.
7. Housing Costs
He has a plan.
8. He is an outsider
All the benefits of the “counterbalance” some look for in a Republican governor in an otherwise one-party government, without all the bad ideas that come with the Republican party.
A strong showing for Falchuk shows that a non-establishment candidate who runs a serious campaign can get traction. I say a serious campaign because he was one of the first to announce his run, has had many media appearances, has intelligent answers rather than ideological talking points for most questions, and has a campaign staff quick to respond to questions and requests. This is all unusual for third party candidates; granted, he has more money to work with.
9. New party = More candidates = More democracy
The concept of the “United Independent Party” has been criticized here as an oxymoron and a party that doesn’t stand for anything. I have some ideas for why that may be a good thing, but I’ll save them for later. For now, the main point is that a new party will give a platform for more independents to run so we get more good candidates in the next election up and down the ballot. It is especially difficult to run as an independent and this party has the potential to overcome some of those barriers. Independents who wouldn’t run otherwise aren’t going to be afraid of losing politically by running against conservative Democrats. More candidates, more choices, more debates of the issues.
The secondary goal of 3% for party recognition is a small number, which means that this vote is more powerful than any other vote you will cast.
10. He won’t fight for casinos
Like the other candidates, Mr. Falchuk doesn’t support the referendum, but he recognizes the negative potential of the casinos. His stance is to respect the decision of the voters and he would rather put the issue to rest. The others may keep trying to push the casinos through even if the initiative passes.
11. Make your wishes known
By voting Falchuk, you make it explicit that you are voting for all these things. Third party results are underreported on, but I’ve never seen any report on how many people “blanked” an office. “None of the above” is not an option on the ballot, but “Neither of these two” is, and it’s even better.
NYYY + Y if you have this Question 5. Don’t forget to vote!