This Monday, August 10, at noon, The Boston Globe is hosting a virtual event, “After Endorsement, Questions For Jake Auchincloss.” Check it out! The event is a conversation between Globe editorial page editor Bina Venkataraman and MA-04 candidate (and Globe endorsee for that seat) Jake Auchincloss. This virtual event is the result of blowback that the Globe received following their much-criticized endorsement of Auchincloss. As the Globe’s event description notes: “Many Globe readers have expressed concerns about the candidate’s past statements and campaign finances, some of which emerged after the editorial board’s deliberations.”
What are some of those concerns, and what are some of the topics & issues that attendees to this virtual event might want to ask about (some of which was known prior to the endorsement, some of which occurred or came to light after the endorsement)?
- Auchincloss having been a registered Republican and paid campaign staffer for Charlie Baker as recently as 2014
- Auchincloss’ history of offensive remarks that can be called insensitive, divisive, and/or outright bigoted – and they have left a mark
- Auchincloss’ fake apology for said offensive remarks (he initially called the remarks “sarcastic” before ongoing blowback led to a display of forced and disingenuous contrition)
- Auchincloss making sexist comments at fellow candidate Jesse Mermell, which prompted fellow candidate Becky Grossman to call out Auchincloss and urge him to apologize & commit to doing better
- Auchincloss’ daddy and mommy and stepdaddy backing a super PAC to fund ads for him (not much of a firewall between the campaign and the super PAC…)
- Auchincloss caught straight-up *lying* about his position on the impeachment of Donald Trump (I mean, come on!)
- Auchincloss’ heavy reliance on Big Pharma CEOs and healthcare/hospital executives for his fundraising, suggesting a substantial bias toward this special interest at a time when further progressive healthcare reform is a top priority
So, yeah, this isn’t one or two nitpicky things during the silly season leading up to an election. These are several very substantial concerns that place him well out-of-whack with progressive Democratic values. And it isn’t like there is a shortage of credible, qualified, capable alternatives in this nine-way Democratic primary. As Globe columnist Shirley Leung wondered:
We are living in a moment that calls for systemic change on race and gender. Yet amid an impressive field of millennial female energy, somehow the thirty-something Newton city councilor, former Marine captain, and recovering Republican has the momentum in the hotly contested Democratic primary to fill Representative Joe Kennedy’s seat.
Auchincloss recently gained a coveted endorsement from the Globe editorial board and benefits from TV ads through a super PAC funded by his parents.
Folks, this ain’t 1999 when all the rich kids get their way.
Indeed, the Globe endorsement elicited very strong feelings (do read some of them here), leading to the virtual event. Regarding the Globe endorsement, the editorial board has dug in its heels, refusing to reconsider the endorsement in light of some of these items that came to light after the endorsement was made. The Globe has promised to conduct a post-mortem following the election, for what that’s worth. In the meantime, it may be worth checking out this Globe virtual event to hear how Auchincloss addresses all of these many substantial concerns. It will be further enlightening to observe how much these concerns pervade the MA-04 electorate and how these concerns impact the primary results on September 1.
[Disclosure: On August 5 (I think it was the news about Auchincloss lying about his position on the Trump impeachment that put me over the top), I donated $36 to the campaign of MA-04 candidate Jesse Mermell. I have not been a staffer for any of the campaigns, nor have I volunteered as of yet for any of the campaigns.]