1. Press and Media outlets — Is Martha Coakley’s failure to respond to David when asked a question (if you received an answer, please let us know), coupled with her failure to want to answer Alison King on NECN, a sign that she doesn’t take seriously a Senator’s role in responding to constituents? Even if she had said she needed time to answer the question and got back to people, that would be fine. She didn’t do that. This was not a gotcha question that doesn’t have an answer. It was a perfectly valid question regarding the very issue Senator Kennedy fought most of his adult life in the Senate on.
Here is the quote which I still find fascinating to read:
KING: If you’re in the Senate, and this comes before you and the amendment’s in the bill, you will vote it down because you think it’s more important to protect the abortion issue than the health care reform issue?
COAKLEY: Alison, I’m not going to answer that question. I am not saying, you know, if I’m on the bridge and this is the only choice I have that, that you know, I’d say we’re not going to be there.
2. Grassroots outreach / engage the blogsphere — Every campaign has done it except the front-running Coakley campaign. Why? Why not? It is beyond me that a campaign running for statewide office would not engage the universe of activist, politico’s, elected officials and press types that read BMG every day. It is a failure of her campaign thus far.
I will put this in direct contrast to Mike Capuano who posted here last week:
I understand that some may be confused after reading recent media reports on health care reform. I want to set the record straight and there is no better way of doing that than by communicating directly with you.
or Alan Khazei who also posted here recently.
3. Direct question from a constituent — No follow up to a call or an email to the campaign asking for clarification on her Health care position.
I called and emailed the campaign during last week’s craziness to see if I could get a clear answer. Why shouldn’t I try? We have campaigns putting out video statements (Khazei), commercials (Pagliuca) and my candidate coming to BMG to make sure the record was straight (Capuano), but crickets from the AG. To me that silence speaks volumes on how she will lead, or not lead as the case may be.
Clearly, IMO the Coakley campaign doesn’t understand what constituent services are and how to provide them to people looking for answers.
Why is it important? Whomever wins will follow in the footsteps of the standard bearer for delivering constituent services to Massachusetts residents. From a Globe article around the time of his death:
But out of the spotlight and behind the scenes, his constituents say, the senior senator and his staff have cut through red tape to change countless individual lives, advocating for even the narrowest personal needs with a ferocity and attention to detail that still inspires awe in those on the receiving end decades later.” -Jenna Russell (Boston Globe, Legions he aided now praise Kennedy Ordinary people recall his extraordinary help. Jenna Russell, 5/23/08).
For me this is one of the areas where Mike Capuano has a head start and distinct advantage over Martha Coakley and the rest of the pack. I just noticed this video that came out on Boston.com, check it out. It is easy to like Mike Capuano and his honesty. Also, easy to see how he feels about constituent services in this video. He mentions that you don’t know what you are made of until you get the call on a Friday at 5pm from a Senior who is running out of oil. Will Martha call them back?
I support Mike Capuano for Senate.