We have a new player. Apparently there is more than one Republican in this state and now Scott Brown has some opposition in his path to being his party’s nominee. But, before we meet Mr. Robinson, the past few days have been quite interesting in Democratic primary world. The front-runner, Attorney General Martha Coakley, announced the she could not support a health care bill that included any language restricting access to abortions. (For those who haven’t heard, the house bill includes a provision that essentially extends a previously passed stipulation that government money can not be used to pay for abortions. What this means now is that, if you have the ‘public option’ as your provider or any government subsidized insurance, abortions will not be covered…except under extraordinary circumstances). I agree with Coakley that the amendment is unfair and unreasonable but I have hard time with denying any coverage to millions of Americans because the coverage they will get isn’t perfect.
All three of her opponents quickly pounced on this policy disagreement (finally, we have one!) with Capuano saying “I find it interesting and amazing, and she would have stood alone among all the pro-choice members of Congress, all the members of the Massachusetts delegation…She claims she wants to honor Ted Kennedy’s legacy on health care. It’s pretty clear that a major portion of this was his bill…If she’s not going to vote for any bill that’s not perfect, she wouldn’t vote for any bill in history. She would have voted against Medicare, the Civil Rights bill. . . . Realism is something you have to deal with in Washington.’’
Alan Khazei added that ““If the House Democrats listened to Martha Coakley instead of [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, health care would be dead right now…She’s going to be the person that prevents universal health care for every person in this country. This is a big deal. This was the cause of Senator Kennedy’s life.’’ Pagliuca said that ““casting a no vote would be to side with [Senator] Joe Lieberman and the insurance companies that want to kill health care reform.”
So now we have a substantial difference, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the waning days of the campaign.
Ok, with that out-of-the-way, let’s learn about Jack Robinson. This election marks the third time Robinson has run for state-wide office and, so far, he is 0 for 2. He lost to Senator Kennedy in 2000 and Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin in 2002. In that race he did garner about 25% of the vote (which is much better than his showing against Kennedy). In addition he ran against Congressman Lynch for his US Congress seat in 2006 and lost.
Robinson is a lawyer and business man who is a former executive at Eastern Airlines (and was the youngest airline president in modern US aviation history), before leaving to start his own cell phone company. Robinson calls himself a progressive Republican (and, unlike many others, seems to actually be one) who supports same-sex marriage and full rights for the LGBT community. In addition, he professes to be an expert on job creation and business management from his many years in the private sector. He supports expanding charter schools and merit pay for teachers and wants to provide full scholarships to all college students who commit to serving America for four years. Finally, he has come out with a 12-point plan to solve the healthcare crisis in this country and is opposed to the bill that just passed the house.
Robinson is perhaps best known for a dossier he released during his 2000 Senate run where he owned up to anything and everything in his background that might provide fodder for negative campaigning. The release of this information (including restraining orders, drunken driving and other citations and the like) caused the Republican establishment in the state (including then-Governor Paul Cellucci) to disown him as their candidate. A spokesperson for his campaign said, about the “Robinson Report” that this is “an issue that has been addressed years ago and we’re looking forward to moving forward with a positive campaign and addressing today’s issues like bringing jobs to Massachusetts.”
You can visit his campaign website here (NOTE: I have received word from the Robinson campaign that the original site I posted is not the correct site. So, for those of you who have already clicked the link, please visit this new (and much better) site)