Wonk Post: 2014 MA Governor Polling Aggregate

Worth 1,000 words, at least. - promoted by Bob_Neer

From HuffPost/Pollster:

Cape Wind Seals New Bedford Deal - Will Koch Finally Call Off Lawyers?

Progress. - promoted by Bob_Neer
Weeks 500

Mass CEC South Terminal under construction in New Bedford (Flickr’s Ryan Silva)

Cape Wind has signed a lease agreement to stage its 130-turbine project in Nantucket Sound out of New Bedford’s South Terminal, reports Ariel Wittenberg in the Standard-Times:

Cape Wind will pay a total of $4.5 million in rent to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, which owns the 28-acre facility, for two years. During that time, Cape Wind will be the only operator of the facility and the terms of lease allow for two one-year extensions.

Cape Wind has said that the assembly, staging and ocean construction of the project will create 600 to 1,000 jobs. Once in operation, the project is expected to employ 150 people, at least 50 of whom are expected to be based in Falmouth to do maintenance on the Nantucket Sound turbines.

The lease agreement is significant not just for Cape Wind but for New Bedford and the commonwealth’s future involvement in the offshore wind industry. City officials have long stated that being the first port to stage an offshore wind farm will help the city to attract future projects and industry manufacturers.

Cape Wind also had held a lease option in Quonset, Rhode Island. Audra Parker of the William Koch-funded ”Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound” had been trying to use the Quonset option to divide Massachusetts on Cape Wind, warning Cape Wind would dump New Bedford for Quonset. Various local anti-wind activists like Frank Haggerty joined Parker in pushing the talking point, demonstrating their reasonableness in the comments of Parker’s letter:

Y’know, the Nazis had solar panels that they made the Jews wear.

There Won't Be a Boston Casino License. Street Kid Marty Walsh Gave The Gaming Commission, Steve Wynn, The Mob, The Globe, and Scores of Downtown Lawyers a Haymaker Today.

Walsh has been very impressive on the casino matter, and the gambling commission so incompetent and shady -- no deadlock, guaranteed! -- they've probably blown through 10-15 points on the referendum, putting the entire future of casino gambling in MA in doubt. Amateurs. Mark Arsenault reports in the Globe. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Don’t plan on seeing a casino near Boston folks. I think Marty Walsh has them crapping in their pants right now and no casino is their only way out.

Marty Walsh sent a letter to the Gaming Commission today crying foul about the process and independence of the board then followed with an addendum detailing in a clear, chronological and easy to read format facts that make it clear the Everett site is mobbed up, the commission has done all it can to ignore this blatant fact, and the commission has the appearance of being in the tank for Wynn.

(Same as the Boston Globe in its over-the-top endorsement of Wynn’$ casino.)

The mayor also accuses former Globe lawyer, former Mass Appeals Court Justice, current acting Gaming Commissioner for Boston casino license, and five toilet Irish pompous ass James McHugh of being a moron for many reasons including his promise there would not be a tie vote for the Boston license among the four members.

Martha Coakley's Primary Night Speech

Coakley challenges Baker to sign a People's Pledge and calls for "universal pre-kindergarten to all children in Massachusetts ... I’ve proposed investing 500 million dollars over the next 10 years, to support the most effective economic development strategies in each of our unique regions. ... increase access and reduce the stigma around mental and behavioral health care." On Baker: "believes working families should be on their own when their children are sick or when adult parents need care ... an economy that works for a few at the top while everybody else is on their own ... Big Dig finance plans that pass on the costs to future generations ... Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case “doesn’t matter.” ... ran as a tea-party conservative in 2010, railing against what he called “the bathroom bill” and putting Governor Patrick’s face on EBT cards as a political stunt." Doug Rubin is a strategist for the nominee. - promoted by Bob_Neer
Remarks of Martha Coakley, Democratic Nominee for Governor

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 (As prepared for delivery)

Thank you.

Thank you, Governor Patrick!

First, I want to thank my husband, Tom.  Tom has been right there with me in parades and in the diners — shaking hands, going door to door – and that has meant the world to me.

Thank you to my sisters who are here tonight, and to the rest of my family who have supported me in this race.  And there are 8 other good reasons why I’m fighting for the future of Massachusetts – my 7 grand nieces and my grand nephew!

Thank you to the best campaign team and group of volunteers you’ve ever seen.  I said when we started this campaign that no one would work harder, knock on more doors, make more calls, and shake more hands than we would – and that’s exactly what we did.

I want to thank, and I know you do too, Steve Grossman and Don Berwick – and let me also thank Juliette Kayyem and Joe Avellone.  They poured their hearts and souls into this campaign – and we applaud their commitment to our party and our values.  Massachusetts is lucky to have such fine candidates.

I also want to acknowledge Barbara Grossman and Ann Berwick. I know they have been out there just like Tom has.

I have spoken with both Steve and Don tonight and we are united as a party.  I welcome them – and their supporters – to join us in this important fight ahead.

To my supporters: tonight, you have sent a powerful message.

The insiders… the big money, the SuperPacs…they are not going to decide this election.

This election will be decided by hardworking men and women and their families who just want a fair shot…who want to build an economy on our terms.

It was just a few years ago when Wall Street and the big banks nearly destroyed our economy.

They gambled with our money and our pensions. They took people’s homes.

And in the process they destroyed a lot of dreams and a lot of lives.

I’ve spent much of the past few years holding the big banks accountable for what they did and standing up for the people who got hurt.

Now I’m running for Governor to take on an even bigger fight.

What we need now is a strong economy, that we build on our terms, that works for us. All of us.  As Don Berwick says – All means all.

An economy where there is equal opportunity. Where everyone gets a fair shot and a chance to succeed. That is what will make us prosperous and fair.

We will start by building upon our strong public education system from pre-kindergarten to college.

When I am Governor, we will provide universal pre-kindergarten to all children in Massachusetts.

The Spoiler: Don’t Blame the Candidate, Blame the System

Of course, anything that helps political minorities in Massachusetts will likely help the Republicans most of all. - promoted by Bob_Neer

For those Berwick supporters banging their head against the wall over the Coakley win, realize that the election didn’t have to be this way. Right now in our electoral system, you only need a plurality to win. In a race with 3 candidates, a candidate an win with just 34% of the vote. Likewise in races with more candidate, let’s say 6, a candidate can win with only 13% of the vote. This isn’t very democratic. Candidates are discouraged from running because they are worried they will be considered a spoiler, leaving us with a choice between candidates considered the lesser of two evil.

However, there IS a solution. Every year Representative Jay Kaufman files a bill for Ranked Choice Voting, also known as Instant Runoff Voting. Instead of filling a circle next to a single candidate, voters rank the candidates from most favorable to least favorable.  If no candidate has a majority of the (1) votes, then the candidate with the least number (1) of votes is eliminated. Then the ballots from that candidate are awarded to the voters’ second choices. If a candidate still doesn’t have a majority, then the next candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated. This continues until a candidate has majority. It’s as if the “spoiler” was never in the race at all. This eliminates the spoiler effect and allows voters to vote their conscience. It also allows a more diverse pool of candidates to run, since they don’t have to worry about spoiling the race.

Unfortunately this proposal dies in committee every year at the State House due to fierce lobbying from Town Clerks, who don’t want to spend more resources on elections. Harry Truman once said “Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.” Frankly it is sad that town clerks view efficiency as more important than the democratic process itself.
If you are frustrated with the outcome of this election, do something productive with your frustration and lobby your state legislators to pass Ranked Choice Voting. This is about the principles of democracy. People should be able to vote their conscience and not have to choose between a bad and a worse candidate. For more information on different types of voting check out Fairvote.org.

DNC: Baker “slashed jobs,” Chris Christie pay-to-play connection

The DNC offered its frame of the Governor’s race in a press release last night from Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz:

Massachusetts Democrats have nominated Martha Coakley, who has demonstrated her ability and willingness to fight for the people of Massachusetts as a District Attorney and as the Commonwealth’s first female Attorney General. She will face Charlie Baker, who slashed jobs and put personal profit ahead of what was best for the people of Massachusetts as a health insurance executive. Baker also faces troubling ethical questions surrounding his connection to a possible pay-to-play scandal involving Chris Christie’s administration in New Jersey.

Baker is no doubt, let’s stipulate for current discussion, a predatory health care capitalist who took advantage of sick Massachusetts residents, especially children, at their moment of greatest vulnerability to line his pockets with a $1.7 million dollar salary payoff. That sounds like a decent point of distinction from our dedicated Attorney General who was fighting for crime victims at the same time.

As to the “Time for some traffic problems in Ft. Lee” New Jersey pay to play — Frank Phillips in the Globe on 15 June:

Baker’s new-found notoriety in the Garden State came to a head when the New Jersey State Investment Council agreed to seek a legal review of the $10,000 donation he made to the New Jersey GOP in May 2011 — just seven months before General Catalyst, the investment firm where he is listed as an “executive in residence” principal, received $15 million from the state’s pension fund.

The council’s decision sparked a series of headlines across the state that has put Baker in the middle of the ongoing media feeding frenzy that is swirling around Christie and his administration.

Just last week, a Washington-based campaign finance watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, called on the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New Jersey attorney general, and the state’s Election Law Enforcement Commission to investigate a possible connection between the donation and the investment.

And Charlie Pierce in “The Passion of Big Chicken: The Pensioning” — Esquire 29 May:

As noted a while back here, Dave Sirota at Pando Daily is all over Chris Christie’s dubious maneuverings with the pension money owed to New Jersey’s public employees. He’s all over it like stupid on Louie Gohmert, Dave is. The scandal has entangled Charlie Baker, the odds-on Republican candidate for governor here in the Commonwealth (God save it!), and Baker lawyered up this week. Which, as a fair-minded blog, we point out means nothing as regards Baker’s involvement — if any — in the pension shenanigans, but it’s not exactly the optic with which you want to kick off your campaign for an office you’ve already lost once in your life.

This cannot be said of Christie, who is hip-deep in what on the surface looks very much like a pay-for-play scheme by which $200,000 came into his campaign by companies that were doing business in one way or another with the state’s pension fund. …

Health care profiteer, corrupt financier, “Big Dig Baker,” (I still like this one, especially because Baker hilariously tries to deny it, and it is alliterative), or entitled Republican who resigned from the only elected office he ever held: Swampscott Selectman. What aspect of Baker’s record do you think the forces of reason and science should highlight when they take on Ted Cruz Michelle Bachman Mitt Romney the GOP’s Massachusetts champion?

Baker put out a new Ad today

"No problem, I've done it before," says a man never elected to more than the Swampscott Board of Selectmen. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Apparently he’s bi-partisan because he said it, so there you go.

Daughter “You’re totally pro-choice and bipartisan”
Charlie “Bipartisan leadership is what we need on Beacon Hill”

See, bipartisan. Done.

Primary Observations

Useful analysis, although there are pointed and well-made criticisms in the comments. Berwick ran a miserable campaign. - promoted by Bob_Neer

So while the Globe and local TV is telling us what happened in races they hardly covered I found some interesting tidbits as the evening progressed:

The Globe and Scott Lehigh tell me Coakley underperformed yet she got twice the number of votes that Baker got in his primary. And she defeated an incumbent statewide, well-funded candidate while doing so.

Congrats to Maura Healey, her team and her supporters on running a tremendous race. Anyone who fails to be impressed by Ms. Healey doesn’t understand politics or elections.

And unmentioned by the “media experts” was Maura Healey’s strong endorsement and pledge to work for Martha Coakley during her victory speech. Ms. Healey is the rising star and her actively campaigning for Nominee Coakley should well provide the spark that some say Coakley lacks.

I noted, without comment, that not only incumbent statewide candidates Coakley and Grossman bested Dr. Berwick in total votes but so did Treasurer Nominee Deb Goldberg and second place finisher Barry Finegold and third place finisher Tom Conroy, and so did first time candidates Maura Healey, Steve Kerrigan and Leland Cheung. The LG and Treasurer’s races were 3 candidates contests just as the Governor’s primary was. Conroy, Kerrigan and Cheung all did so with campaign warchests far below Berwick’s.

The Mass AFL-CIO, coming off the sucessful Marty Walsh Mayoral campaign and a very good Legislative session, had a very poor showing in high profile races where they endorsed (Tolman and Tierney)and they missed the boat entirely by failing to endorse Deb Goldberg in the Treasurer’s race. Goldberg came up 1 vote short of 2/3 at their August meeting.

Let's waste no time uniting and moving forward!

Well said. - promoted by david

First I have to say this – I had a bad primary night.  All of my statewide picks came up short.  I would have preferred John Tierney be renominated, though that is not my district.  I had a couple of friends in the Merrimack Valley who courageously challenged legislative incumbents from within the party, but they too came up short.  I guess I did get my way in the Middlesex DA race, but that was always the one about which I cared the least.

There’s no time to dwell on that though, and certainly no excuses to sulk and withhold support from those who were nominated.  It is vital that Coakley-Kerrigan be elected over Baker-Polito.  Don’t get complacent either by the thought that Dems have it easy electorally (We have recent evidence to the contrary.) or by the idea that Baker is one of the handful of Republicans in the country who hasn’t gone off the ideological deep end.  Don’t think Baker can’t be too bad because our numbers are overwhelming in the General Court; many of those would be GOPers in most states and could easily be persuaded to join him.  Also, if you talk to people who have worked for the Commonwealth, they will tell you that a Republican Governor means a Republican administration, and that governing philosophy seeps down the executive branch into the departments and agencies.  Remember, neither candidate needs us.  Either candidate who loses will suffer a bruised ego, but will live to tell about it and probably land a lucrative job.  We, however, may suffer if the wrong person is in the Corner Office.

Regarding the 6th CD, all you need to know is that Moulton’s first vote will be to elect Nancy Pelosi Speaker, while Tisei’s will be for John Boehner.  Even if Tisei breaks with his party sometimes on specific votes because he is also one of the last GOPers who isn’t nuts, a vote for Boehner is a vote for what bills are considered in the first place.  In the General Court, even the most conservative Dems are better on most issues than most Republicans.

Please work for and vote for our ticket.  If you really can’t stomach a particular candidate then put your energies into another race, but I hope you will vote Democratic, especially at the top of the ticket where it is likely to be close.  If you are yourself a candidate who did not make it tonight, thank you so much for your willingness and effort to offer yourself for public service.  By giving voters a choice you have greatly contributed to our democratic process.

Martha Coakley Is Your Democratic Nominee for #MAGOV; Grossman, Berwick concede

And that’s all there is. It is our standard-bearer Attorney General Martha Coakley vs. Charlie Baker in November. Very best of luck to her.

Let us say this: For all that we have moped and complained about 2010, she has returned a vastly better candidate: More friendly, more focused, more polished. Her organization was the best, and she had loyal, experienced volunteers doing the right kind of groundwork from day one. She has Doug Rubin, the best in the business running her campaign. He’s a winner and it should make Democrats sleep a little easier knowing he’s on the team.

As we mentioned, we still feel that she has room to grow as a visionary leader, as the one to appeal to our shared values, to show us how we can play to our considerable strengths. She’s no Deval Patrick in that respect — but nobody is. We can be assured of steady, persistent, well-informed, progressive leadership. To many folks in Massachusetts right now, that will be most reassuring.

Here’s to victory on November 4th!

Looking like Healey, Kerrigan, Ryan, and Goldberg winning their races pretty easily

In the down-ballot state races, the big surprise is looking like Maura Healey.  Recent polls had suggested that she was opening up a lead … but wow, did anyone really think she’d be up 25 points with 61% reporting??  I thought that the last Globe poll showing her up 15 was an outlier.  I might have been right – but in the wrong direction.  Bravi, Team Healey!!  UPDATE: Tolman has conceded to Healey.  Congratulations Maura!!

And in other news, Steve Kerrigan is looking like an easy winner in the Lt. Gov. race over Leland Cheung (who once again has proven the uselessness of major newspaper endorsements – he got the Globe, as you’ll recall) and Mike Lake.  Deb Goldberg looks to be the winner in the race for Treasurer over Barry Finegold and Tom Conroy, and Marian Ryan is winning easily over Michael Sullivan in the Middlesex DA race. UPDATE: Sullivan has conceded to Ryan.  Congratulations to Ryan, who will be the next Middlesex DA.

Tierney concedes - Moulton the winner

Well this is stunning. Tierney came down with a minute’s notice and conceded the race to Moulton.

Crazy times.


Congratulations to Seth Moulton, Iraq War vet and the new Democratic nominee for the MA-06. Now for a smashing victory in November over the guy who’s going to vote for John Boehner as Speaker.

So how did he do it?

1. Nice résumé and bio. Good story.

2. Second time running against a … [CORRECTION: Moulton thought about it, but didn't jump in as an independent vs Tierney in '12]

3. Weakened incumbent.

Yup. That’s how you do it.