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Martha Coakley for Senate

Scott Brown is correct that this is “the people’s seat, and “not “Teddy’s seat.”  The Democratic party is not entitled to win the election.  Neither is the Republican party.  The person who should follow Senator Kennedy is the person best suited to improve the lives of those he or she represents.  In this election, that person is Martha Coakley.

This is a critical race for the nation as well as the commonwealth. The results will impact federal health care legislation and have far-reaching consequences for all of us.  With so much misinformation out there, what’s a voter to do?

If you look past the campaign rhetoric and examine the policies, accomplishments and tactics of each candidate, the choice is easy. Scott Brown, despite his claims to be an independent thinker, has accomplished little legislatively to support this claim.  On Beacon Hill, Brown has made a name for himself as a staunchly conservative voice.  He has consistently used his voice to discredit solutions proposed by other legislators, rather than to be constructive and improve proposals and initiatives.  He has proved that he would take the same approach to Washington saying that he would be “proud to be the 41st vote” against the health care bill – he did not say that he will work to improve the bill, but that he will block the bill.  It seems clear that, should he win, he will be a Jeff Sessions Republican, always voting with his party, not independently like a Susan Collins Republican or even a Lindsey Graham Republican.

As a strong believer in a woman’s right to choose, I also cannot get past the fact that, in 2005, Brown sponsored an amendment that would have allowed medical personnel to deny emergency contraceptives to rape victims.  The fact that he now has his daughter attack Coakley for reminding voters of that is insulting.

Brown wants us to take a chance on him and, while he is correct that we can kick him out in three years if we don’t like him, the fact remains that three years is plenty of time for him to ensure that Republicans can block progress for the sake of politics.

Martha Coakley, despite running a less-than-inspired campaign, has demonstrated throughout her career intellectual chops and a willingness to stand firm in the face of opposition.  In Washington, she will be an independent thinker who does not automatically vote along party lines.  She has significant experience and has shown a strong commitment to going after those who violate the public trust in her role as Attorney General.   She has worked to coordinate plans for public safety and has gone after those who seek to harm Americans. Her range of experiences will benefit her well in Washington and her commitment to progress will benefit all of us.

I understand that many Brown votes are coming from people trying to send a message to Washington.  However, I submit that the best way to send a message of discontent is to elect someone who will be focused on getting things done and making the country better.  Throughout this campaign, Scott Brown has shown a willingness to lie, exaggerate and distort to get your vote.  And his career has given us every indication he would carry that willingness to Washington.  A vote for Scott Brown is a vote against progress and shows support for the partisan gridlock that has defined Washington for too long.

If we are sick of Senators who are more interested in holding press conferences than affecting progress, let’s elect someone who has proven she will ask the tough questions, work proactively in the legislature and hold people accountable for their actions.  That is what Martha Coakley has done throughout her career and that is what I am convinced she will do as our next Senator.

Please vote next Tuesday and please cast your ballot for Martha Coakley.

If you are unsure of where you should go to vote, you can find out by residential location, at the Election Division website, here:

http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/myelectioninfo.php

Link for 1/12 – Palin on Fox (shock!) and some passion in Mass.

Yesterday was a day of news that NO ONE could have seen coming.  To begin with Mark McGwire admitted he took steriods…but only in very low doses and they didn’t make him a better player.  Umm?  Yes, they did.  Sorry Mark, that part of your ‘confession’ really hurts your credibility…not that you had much of it to begin with.  But, shocker as that was, it wasn’t the biggest unexpected story of the day.  Nope.  That honor goes to Sarah Palin and Fox News who, in a marriage too strange for even a made-for-TV movie starring Tori Spelling, have agreed on a contract that will have Palin appearing on the network….oooh what a shocker!

Now, I do not agree with the theories put forth in this article and by others that this move means it is less likely she will run for President in 2012.  If anything, this only makes her a more viable candidate.  Working for Fox is a great chance for her to refine her views on issues/learn about them and stay visible to the American public.  As for it being a multi-year deal…well, I think we all know how reliable Governor Palin (and many in politics are) at fulfilling the full length of their commitments.   In addition, a recent poll of party insiders show that many of them do not do not believe she will be the nominee – in fact, they ranked her 5th out of their five choices, behind such notable names as Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels in terms of likelihood to win the nomination.  Going on TV on a regular basis (a place where she is very comfortable) is her opportunity to show them that she has the intellectual chops one should have to be a successful elected official and may help more of them get behind her.  Finally, I’m sure this is a very lucrative deal and, since money=power in politics, that can only help her as she launches her campaign.  Sarah Palin will be a candidate in 2012 and this move only helps her become a more viable candidate. 

Switching gears to Massachusetts now, I am happy to report that Scott Brown DOES have an opponent.  In the last week, we have finally seen Martha Coakley out on the trail and showing some passion during the debates.  For a recap of last night’s debate (which Coakley won handily), check out this article.  She was able to clearly articulate differences between Brown and herself and effectively tie him to failed policies of the past.  In a race where Brown is trying so hard to be both conservative and moderate (see Romney, Mitt) she held him accountable for his past stances on issues and refused to let him play both sides.  In addition, she successfully branded him a barrier to progress (he didn’t say he would work to make the healthcare bill better…he said that he would be “proud” to vote against it.)  

Coakley clearly had the best line of the night when she said to Brown “You cant distort my record and not be accurate about your own.”   For his part, Brown had one of the stupidest lines I’ve ever heard in a debate when he said, in response to Coakley comparing him to Bush, “You can run against Bush-Cheney, but I’m Scott Brown. I live in Wrentham. I drive a truck.”  Couple of problems with this line.  To begin with, she can’t run against Bush – Cheney…they are not running for anything.  She is running against you, Mr. Brown, and your policies do resemble those of Bush.  In addition, I have a piece of advice for you…if you are trying to distance yourself from President Bush, you might want to do your research about what kind of car he drives…  oops

Link for 1/8 – What was the point Paul?

Martha Coakley held an event yesterday where the only story should have been the very vocal support she is receiving from members of the Kennedy family.  However, due to a really poor decision by interim US Senator Paul Kirk and the Coakley campaign, another (and more damaging) story came out of the event.  When the legislature reversed state law to allow Governor Patrick to appoint a temporary successor to the late Senator Kennedy, one of the agreements was that that person, whomever it should turn out to be, would stay neutral in the special election – specifically the replacement was blocked from “endorsing any candidate in the special election.”  It is not legally binding, but Kirk’s decision shows an utter disregard for the agreement that made his service possible and helps further the impression that we can not trust our elected representatives.  While Mr. Kirk is right that “as a former Democratic chairman, it’s probably no surprise what side I’d be on” leaving it at that misses the real point.  It is  really unfortunate that Kirk “did not think twice” before agreeing to violate the resolution passed by our state government.  The fact that this endorsement, by his own admission, won’t make a huge difference in the race makes the story even worse and is a black mark on the Coakley team.  Why risk the negative publicity and further sow the seeds of mistrust, that are already such a part of politics, by making a move that won’t have much impact?  How

The larger point, of course, is what this does to Martha Coakley and her campaign.  There is already concern amongst the electorate that we are going to be electing someone, essentially for life, who we do not really know.  Between her refusal to debate, one on one, her only “real” opponent (sorry Joe Kennedy), her incredible lack of campaign events and the scarcity of her ads, we are left to guess about who we will likely be electing to represent us.  And accepting the endorsement of someone who should not be endorsing doesn’t say good things about her willingness to honor agreements or her ability to recognize and stand up for what is right (even if it might put her at odds with powerful people).  Maybe that’s harsh.  But, with little other evidence to go on, voters are forced to draw conclusions from what we can see.  And, in this case, I don’t like what I’m seeing.