Candidate Tuesday #3 – Stephen Pagliuca
Well it is Tuesday (ok, Wednesday morning) which means it is time for another edition of the famous, beloved and educational segment “Candidate Tuesday.” Today we will explore Steve Pagliuca, a Democrat. Before we get to Mr. Pagliuca though, let’s take a look at where we stand.
First, the Democrats:
Attorney General Martha Coakley
Congressman Michael Capuano
Celtics Co-Owner Stephen Pagliuca
City Year Co-Founder Alan Khazei (Scheduled to announce on Thursday)
And now, the Republicans
State Senator Scott Brown
Selectman Bob Burr
With that out of the way, let’s meet Mr. Pagliuca. 54 years old, Pagliuca is a Managing Director at Bain Capital and Co-owner of the Boston Celtics. In addition, he serves on numerous corporate boards and works closely with several non-profit organizations. His background will allow him to bring some real economic expertise to the race and real-world experience in managing businesses as well as a real appreciation for the impact of policies on business.
Pagliuca had been a finalist to purchase the Boston Globe, but has taken his bid off the table in order to focus on this race. In addition, he plans to resign from Bain Capital and leave the boards he is on to remove any potential conflict. These actions make it clear he is very serious about the race (which some have openly wondered about) and he seems to be “in it to win.”
Over the next few months it willbe very interesting to learn where Pagliuca stands on all the issues a Senator will be dealing with. He has said he is “Pro-choice, pro-gay marriage and pro-public option in healthcare” but, at the same time, he has supported candidates who take the opposite position on this issues. Most notably, he backed Mitt Romney in his 1994 campaign to unseat Edward Kennedy (his wife Judy served as treasurer for the Romney campaign) and that may be a tough thing for him to explain in this race. Pagliuca, a registered Republican until 1998 also supported William Weld in his 1996 senate race against John Kerry. However, he has also supported Democrats and, in this past election cycle, gave a significant amount of money to the DNC. His prior support of Republicans will become an issue, and Pagliuca’s viability as a candidate could depend on how well he can explain why he supported Weld, Romney and, yes, even Bush. Of course, some will see this as him simply being a moderate Democrat with an open mind…
In summary, Pagliuca brings to the race a very strong economic background and claims to be committed to furthering a progressive agenda in the Senate. In a WBUR interview he listed healthcare as his number one priority and made it clear that he is going to do everything he can to make this campaign be about the economy. However, his lack of a voting record means that people are going to look in other places for clues about where he stands on a variety of issues and a recent poll showed that 70% of people didn’t recognize his name. Luckily, he has the personal fortune to WAY outspend his opponents which will allow him to introduce himself and define for voters the Stephen Pagliuca he would like them to see. There is no question his is an uphill climb but, with a $400 million fortune, he has the money to do it. Finally, he has hired some of the best political operatives in the state to manage his campaign so it will certainly be, not only well-funded, but well-run.