If spending the avg annual Somerville income of 6 people in 10 days to win a state senate seat is wrong, I don’t want to be right. — leland4anything
Politics in the Age of Trump comes to Massachusetts: a group run by Wall Street hedge fund executives called Education Reform Now (Sessa Capital, Covey Capital, Charter Bridge Capital, Cubist Systematic Strategies, and Sanford C. Bernstein employ its directors) dumps $200,000 into a state Senate race to try to buy a seat for former Virginia Republican Leland Cheung who backs an expansion of charter schools (13 percent of them for-profit businesses nationwide).
Progressive Democratic champion Pat Jehlen, endorsed by Blue Mass Group and a host of others, is the target of this crass last-minute attempt to bring Trump’s style of Wall Street 1%-er politics to Cambridge, Medford, Somerville and Winchester.
Hilariously, in a brilliant PR stroke, Jehlen has now challenged Liam Kerr, head of Massachusetts Democrats for Education Reform, who will spend the Wall Street money to help Cheung, and John Petry, co-chair of the board of Education Reform Now, who got the money from
Donald Trump Vladimir Putin Pearson Education he won’t say, to a televised debate about the issues facing state government in Massachusetts and about the role of money in politics.
“DFER is spending $200,000 it received from Education Reform Now Advocacy in a campaign to defeat me — twice as much in two weeks as I’ve spent in the eight months of this campaign. That makes them my real opponents, so they are the ones I should be debating, not the Cambridge city councilor whose name is on the ballot,” Jehlen wrote in an email. She says Somerville Community Access Television has agreed to provide studio space, and the station’s Joe Lynch, who moderated a previous Jehlen/Cheung debate, has agreed to moderate.
I guess we’ll see next Thursday what the value of Wall Street hedge fund money is in a Massachusetts Senate election.