The voter turnout in Burlington and in Billerica was appalling. Neither candidate connected well in those towns, and the “win” in them is at default level in my view. Sean Garballey won Arlington by a good thousand votes – but lost the election in Lexington where Rep. Jay Kaufman threw his influence and supporters towards Cindy Friedman. 7668 votes cast! Really, folks? In a District where State Committee Candidates can poll 28,000 votes [ I know because I once did so before I walked away from party politics to deal with deaths of those I love, ill health, and a general sense of disappointment with the duopoly parties and their ownership by elites]. This squeaker of a win is nothing to crow about, and no shame for Garballey, either, who ran a good campaign and raised almost as much money as the winner, despite her elite support. I will hope that Cindy Friedman will be a good senator, and grow in understanding and supporting certain issues that matter to me like access to justice, use of court fees to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and our prisons as debtor prisons for unpaid court fees – and in fact incarceration as a substitute for providing mental health treatment. Over 70% of the inmates in MCI Women’s prison have major mental health diagnoses [not the 25% claimed by Friedman at a debate]. Time will tell; it always does.
Front Page Posts
From State House News
FRIEDMAN POISED TO TAKE OPEN SENATE SEAT IN JULY
By Michael P. Norton
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
JUNE 27, 2017…..Cindy Friedman, who served for nine years as chief of staff to the late Sen. Ken Donnelly, is in good position to be elected July 25 as his successor after winning a special election primary on Tuesday.
One of Friedman’s opponents, Mary Ann Stewart of Lexington, congratulated her with a tweet after 9 p.m., calling her “the next senator” for a district that includes Arlington, Burlington, Billerica, Woburn, and four precincts in Lexington…
Also on Twitter, Sen. Jamie Eldridge described Garballey as a “class act” and said Garballey had conceded the race and congratulated Friedman…
And the Globe coverage is here.
Again, in a very progressive district, there’s not much ideological daylight between the candidates. Votes are going to be based on personal connections, which are strong and built over many years for both Friedman and Garballey. Both Friedman and Garballey are based in ferociously-active Arlington, which will doubtless punch above its weight in voter turnout, as usual. Both were well-funded, deluging the district with mailers and lawn signs. I’m guessing that Stewart, less well-funded and known, will come in third. But what do I know?
(ed. note: As promised, a post supporting Friedman. BMG has not “institutionally” endorsed. – Charley)
Don Berwick who knows Cindy well wrote the following on his Facebook page,
“I am enthusiastically endorsing my friend and colleague, Cindy Friedman, as a candidate for the State Senate seat from the 4th Middlesex District in Massachusetts. She is exactly the type of clear-headed Progressive that we need in public office at this difficult time. Her extensive experience as a teacher, activist, manager, and – for ten years – Chief of Staff to the late, great Senator Ken Donnelly equip her for effectiveness as a State Senator from Day One. The Democratic Primary election is June 27th”
She has also been endorsed by 32BJSEIU who independently sent out two mailings, with language that resonated with me.
“In the battle against Trump we need the right Democrat fighting for us.”
“In the old-boys-network of State politics, Cindy has already shown that she knows how to get things done. She shares our values and ready to put the experience to work…let’s send a message. Elect a true Bay State Progressive to the State Senate.”
She is endorsed by Representative Jay Kaufman who says: “Every so often, a candidate comes along who promises not just to be a good public servant, but a great leader. Cindy Friedman is that candidate.”
“I’ve known Cindy for 35 years. I have seen her leadership as an Arlington activist and community organizer and been in awe of her service as Ken’s chief of staff and, essentially, co-Senator for the past nine years. They had an incredible partnership.”
In addition, four sitting State Senators and two former ones have endorsed her including Dan Wolf who says, “Cindy Friedman will lead with the heart, soul, and vision that the people of Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Lexington, and Woburn became accustomed to with the leadership of the late Senator Ken Donnelly. Ken was one of my dearest friends from my time in the legislature, and I cannot think of a more qualified and dedicated public servant than Cindy to continue Ken’s commitment to his communities and the progressive agenda.”
Now I am not an elected official but I have been an activist fighting for progressive causes and candidates for all of my long life, starting at age 16, when I was a volunteer for Adlai Stevenson. I support Cindy because she is thoughtful, intelligent, informed and clear-headed and understands the complexities and interrelatedness of the many issues that confront us in this Commonwealth. I know that she is a fighter who is good at bringing people who have different views together.
She was my mentor and guru in many a campaign. Cindy is not a career politician and had no ambition other than to work with Ken Donnelly because he was the kind of boss who allowed her to partner with him on the many issues she felt passionately about.
During the past year when Ken’s health declined, Cindy stood in for him, meeting with constituents throughout the Fourth Middlesex where she has become familiar with the different needs of ALL of the communities in our district. I heard Cindy Friedman speak publicly on different issues and was blown away by her depth of knowledge of issues, the workings of the Senate and what it takes to make things happen. There is no learning curve—she can assume the responsibilities of a Senator and start serving Arlington, Lexington, Burlington, Woburn, and Billerica immediately and she is already known and respected in the Senate.
I also value the breadth of life experience that Cindy brings to public service. She has been a homeowner; applied for and held mortgages; paid property taxes; been a public school teacher; been a public school parent; worked as a manager in high tech; and more. She understands from personal as well as legislative experience the needs of citizens and communities.
I was really moved by her unanimous affirmative endorsement by Senator Donnelly’s family who witnessed his partnership with Cindy firsthand and concluded that she is “…uniquely prepared to hit the ground running on Day One to represent you and fight for all our interests on Beacon Hill….she will continue and expand upon Ken’s legacy and initiatives, especially in the areas of worker rights, wage inequality, support for unions, mental health care, and educational opportunity.”
Finally, I strongly believe that women, who make up more than half of our population, should have equal representation in government. This is not the case in our state Senate. Women hold only 12 out of 40 seats!
Emily’s List, which does not usually endorse in local races endorsed Cindy and wrote, “Cindy Friedman is a dedicated public servant who will be ready to lead on the issues of criminal justice and mental health the moment she steps back into the Massachusetts Statehouse as Senator Friedman.”
Of course I would never pick the woman over a superior male candidate, but fortunately Cindy is clearly the best. Thus, voting for her is a win-win situation.
(ed note: This is why the good Lord invented Facebook. Engage your friends from states with possibly-wavering Republicans: WV, NV, AK, ME, OH, LA, TN, CO, AL, PA, WI. You can find phone numbers at https://trumpcaretoolkit.org — Charley)
” This boils down to a choice, a fundamental choice. The choice is this : do you take $1 trillion and help the poor, the vulnerable, and the working class in this country with their healthcare, subsidized by the federal government ; OR do you take the $1 trillion and return it basically to the wealthy of the country.” Matthew Dowd, a career Republican
Call Congress : 202-224-3121.
(ed. note: I’m anticipating a post on behalf of Cindy Friedman shortly, and I’ll promote. I have my private thoughts, but I want to treat all the candidates fairly. There are vigorous responses in support of Cindy Friedman in the comments here — anyone still making up their minds is encouraged to read. Primary is TOMORROW! — Charley)
I’m proud to endorse Representative Sean Garballey for the 4th Middlesex Senate seat, which is now vacant due to the tragic passing of my friend and colleague, Ken Donnelly. No one will be able to replace Ken, but it is important to elect another strong progressive voice to represent the 4th Middlesex district, reflecting the values and priorities of the district’s voters. The primary election is this Tuesday, June 27th.
I am endorsing Sean because he has proven himself to be a strong progressive voice in the House of Representatives. Sean has demonstrated principled leadership on key progressive priorities such as opposing casinos, opposing efforts to expand charter schools in Massachusetts, and was one of only five Democrats to oppose the 2013 regressive tax package which underfunded our state’s broken transportation system and necessary investments in our public schools. If the tax package that Sean was fighting for had passed, there would not likely be a structural budget deficit today. I served in the House with Sean, and I know how hard it is to be a progressive there. Sean has proven his commitment to his constituents through his independent voting record.
While remaining a progressive voice in the House, Sean has also shown his ability to get legislation passed to improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He worked tirelessly in 2012 to pass the children’s hearing aid bill, requiring health insurance companies to pay for the hearing aids for deaf or hard of hearing children. His bill allowing for online voter registration was part of a 2013 election reform package, to make it easier for residents to vote, and legislation he filed in 2008 became part of an omnibus law to better support children in foster care.
Being a progressive legislator means not only going the extra mile to pass key legislation, but also to be bold in proposing new ideas or bills. Sean has filed legislation to tackle climate change, including a bill to ban fracking in Massachusetts. Recently, we filed a bill together to make Massachusetts move to 100% renewable energy by 2050. We have co-chaired the MBTA Caucus for the past 3 years, publicly opposing the recent privatization push of MBTA services and workers by Governor Baker, and calling for greater investment by the administration, in projects like the Green Line Extension. Finally, we have collaborated closely on criminal justice reform, including An Act Promoting Restorative Justice Practices, to expand a successful program in 14 communities, including Arlington, Lexington and Burlington, to make it statewide. Sean is also a cosponsor of An to Establish Medicare for All, to make healthcare a right in Massachusetts, and the Safe Communities Act, to protect immigrants and Muslim-Americans in our communities.
I have worked closely with Sean for many years and witnessed from his very first term what an incredibly hard worker he is. I am constantly impressed by the lengths to which he goes to help out his constituents who are struggling in life, and advocating for the communities that he represents. Making phone calls to get someone suffering from addiction a recovery bed, delivering food through Project Bread to needy individuals every week, driving constituents to the hospital because they have no other way to get healthcare treatment, and always being a cell phone call or coffee meeting away from meeting with every constituent who has a concern or request. Calling the state Treasurer directly to plead that the MSBA fund new schools, fighting in the budget for earmarks to fund community centers, and pushing for transportation investments to improve congestion and walkability in his district. If you think this is what every legislator does on Beacon Hill, you would be wrong. Sean goes above and beyond for his constituents every single day, and the communities he represents are the better for it.
I know that Sean will do an outstanding job as the next State Senator of the 4th Middlesex District, and I encourage you to vote for him in the Tuesday, June 27th Democratic primary.