I felt a lot of pressure, being from Worcester, to vote for Guy Glodis for fear of making enemies among the Worcester powerbrokers. More than one person advised me to abstain from the vote when I made it clear I could not vote for someone so clearly opposed to my values. I even considered it, thinking that maybe the Auditor’s race was not worth cutting into my effectiveness as an organizer and advocate in my community. But one person changed my mind, and convinced me to vote my conscience: Mike Lake, when he asked me personally for the third or fourth time to take a chance on supporting him. Not only did he convince me that he has the RELEVANT experience necessary, but he convinced me that he has the drive, commitment and work ethic to WIN.
Glodis is not My Guy
I won’t go into too much detail about the oft detailed regressive politics of Guy Glodis, but there’s one “but” I always get when I tell people I can’t and won’t support him: he’s Labor’s guy. There are a couple of glaring holes in this argument. The first is detailed in David Bernstein’s eloquent tear down a few weeks ago. He details Glodis’ work on a racist referendum to eliminate bilingual education, which even allows for suing teachers caught teaching en espanol. The Teacher’s Unions were obviously opposed, but according to Bernstein:
Glodis, perhaps the most visible elected official supporting the proposal, was openly critical of the teachers’ unions on the other side of the issue.
The second, I witnessed personally as Local 550 of the New England Police Benevolent Association walked out on Glodis at the Labor Day breakfast this past fall. 550’s website details their beef with the Sheriff and deeply insinuates that they were only able to resolve the dispute when Glodis wanted to avoid a protest at his Auditor announcement:
Now December 2009, shortly before an important event was to be held for the Sheriff at Union Station. Suddenly, an olive branch is extended and the Sheriff asks us to sit back down at the table. Then Superintendent Turco would assure us that he was under orders by the Sheriff to “get a contract done.” So what changed from his last, best offer to so much more?
But what about Bump?
A lot of folks see Mike Lake and Suzanne Bump splitting the “progressive” vote, but after getting a good look at her record, I have to wonder why. I know that there are some women who will support Bump because they want to support a woman. While I don’t agree, I respected that decision. However, the more I’ve learned about her past as a Representative and a lobbyist, the more I think it’s clear she and Glodis both belong on the other side of the ballot.
In 1994, Suzanne Bump was fined $600 for accepting dinner and entertainment valued at nearly $200 from an insurance lobbyist while chairing the state’s Labor and Commerce Committee. Of course, she herself is a career lobbyist, going on then to be a lobbyist and lawyer for the American Insurance Association and later for Citigroup. How can we expect an independent Auditor from someone with deep ties to insurance and big banks? Not to mention her time in former Bush Aide Andy Card’s office. If there’s anything people are more frustrated by right now than Bush, Banks, and Insurance companies, it might be oil companies. Which is why it’s so unfortunate that Bump’s OCPF report for the first half of April includes $3,000 in contributions from employees or relatives from a major Massachusetts oil supplier, Global Partners.
We can and should do better
Many in the national political discourse have tried to urge Democrats to the center, citing the fear mongering of the emboldened right. But if we’ve learned anything from the polls coming out of the healthcare debate and the special election in January, it’s that you can’t beat them by joining them. Compromising on values isn’t going to inspire a 9th inning rally among the frustrated democratic masses, it will only alienate us more. The only way the Democrats can win in November is by stepping up to the plate, and fighting for Democratic values of inclusion, fairness, and the idea that when Government is held accountable, it can be a great equalizer. I choose to reject the divisive debate of conservatives and Believe Again that with good progressive democrats in control, government can be a force for good.