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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Money Pags strikes again

It's starting to shape up as an interest Democratic primary: gender wars and the absent voter.

Let's take the easy one first: Steve "Money Pags" Pagliuca's run for the Democratic nomination is one of the worst money-driven political ego trips I have ever seen. A spotty voting record that includes ballots cast for Bill Weld, Mitt Romney and George W. Bush are hardly clarion beacons to the progressive Democrats he now seeks to woo.

But the Globe's Brian Mooney's look at his overall voting record is disturbing:
During a five-year period at the end of the 1990s, he voted only once and, since 1995, has not cast a ballot in any of four presidential primaries or a combined nine local elections in Weston, where he resides, or in Newton, his home until 2000.
OK, I admit I don't usually vote in selectman's races, But four presidential primaries? In your statewide listening tours, you ought to ask people why they consider it important to vote. Maybe you can learn something.

The coming gender warfare is far more troubling -- especially if Senate President Therese Murray continues to equate the word "caution" as a code word designed to slam Martha Coakley.

I haven't made my mind up on this one yet (OK, I'm not going with Pagliuca) because both Coakley and Michael Capuano have impressive records. Alan Khazei has a nice story but I'm not sure he can be a player in this short -- and from all appearances nasty and brutish -- race.

But yes, a woman whose entire political career has been as a prosecutor is, by the very nature of her jobs, cautious. It's reality, not a slur. And Capuano comes across as impassioned, which is not the same as hothead.

I plan to spend some time comparing and contrasting stands before I finally figure out who to vote for. Martha Coakley has a strong record as Middlesex DA and AG -- but where does she stand on war and peace?

Capuano has some rough edges but he too has a solid record as a mayor and congressman. As long overdue and deserving as it would be for Massachusetts to finally elect a woman to the Senate, should gender be the only factor?

About the only disqualifying factor I've seen from anyone so far is the inability to even cast ballots -- and have the handful of those cast go to candidates diametrically opposed to the principles you allegedly claim to follow -- today.

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Anonymous Stav said...

Little surprised by this. Coakley is a Blue Dog conservadem, hardly what Massachusetts Democrats expect. I like Capuano, he's been my Congressman for 10 years and he is great at meeting with the Constituents...but he is a career backbencher.

Alan Khazei on the other hand is a doer. He was in his twenties when the first President Bush called him out figuratively as a "Point of light". I saw his City Year corps transform acres of my somewhat dilapidated neighborhood into parks, baseball fields, victory gardens and other community spaces. He made City Year a national organization and with it gave rise to the idea of community service through the various avenues AmeriCorps provides. He knows how to get what he needs from Bill Clinton and Mike Dukakis, but also from W and Romney. The media seems to want to ignore him, but in a couple of days he raised more FB suporters than any other candidate but Coakley (for what that is worth, if anything). I think when the third quarter finance numbers come in we will see that only he and Cappy have local support.

And, finally, I don't know that it will work but really, is this a democracy if the idea of "Big Citizenship" doesn't take hold?

October 01, 2009 8:22 AM  

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