The first face on the mailing is George Laite. George is Havern’s chief-of-staff. Havern hasn’t picked a successor that I know of. Absent Havern, George is the next best endorsement, so it makes sense that you’d want George on your side. But there’s the problem: I’m told that Laite is actually endorsing Ken Donnelly, not Murphy. Murphy’s photo reminds me of James Rappaport printing “Romney/Rappaport” bumperstickers even though Romney had chosen Healey as a running mate in the ’02 governor election. It’s pretending there is an endorsement when in fact the endorsement went to someone else.
The mailing has a “Working for Arlington” section. It includes bulletpoints about 40B, school building, the Mugar property, state aid, and “ensuring the Jefferson Russell House remains a historic treasure for Arlington.” I presume that he’s referring to the Jason Russell house, and I wasn’t aware that it needed protection.
The whole section leaves you feeling like Murphy’s on a multi-city rock tour and his manager told him to shout “HELLO, ARLINGTON” when he took the stage. Maybe it was even written on masking tape on the back of his guitar, sort of like Spinal Tap when it went to Springfield. I’m OK with someone saying “I’m not an expert on Arlington issues, but I’ll convince you that I can become an expert.” I’m not OK with someone pretending to be an expert when they are not.
Having run for a state office before, I can tell you with authority that mailings are the most expensive part of the campaign. I can only assume that the mailing was carefully vetted by Murphy and his campaign manager. How does one explain this mailing? Is this a lousy proof-reader, who can’t tell the difference between Jason Russell and Jefferson Russell? Or is this a carefully-crafted, smarmy, and conniving attempt to link Murphy to Havern by using a picture of Laite?
Or should I not bother trying to figure this out, and find another candidate?
10/18 update: The picture isn’t just Laite. The picture also has Joanna Gonsalves, who ran against Havern. She also did not endorse Murphy.
Crossposted on dandunn.org