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Candidate Tuesday #10 – Endorsements (Updated 12/7 to reflect President Clinton)

Endorsements are a funny thing.  When they come from unions or other large organizations they provide foot solidiers to help the campaign in the final days.  When they come from individuals they get the candidate’s name in the news in a (usually) positive light – always a good thing.  For undecided voters they can be that final tipping point for or against a particular candidate.  If you are between two candidates and three people you really respect endorse one of the two…well, that can help push you to a final choice.  By the same token if someone you generally disagree with makes an endorsement that can swing you to someone else.  So, while they are not a substitute for really learning as much as you can about your options, they are a good way to make or confirm your final choice.    Coming on Monday, some of our fellow citizens will share who they are supporting and why  – I encourage all of you to consider posting your choice and reasoning in the comments section of that post. Together we can help any undecided voters make up their mind! 

In the meantime, however, here are some of the notable endorsements of this primary season.

Martha Coakley – Click here for a full list
Former President Bill Clinton
Former Lt. Governor Evelyn Murphy
Congresswoman Niki Tsongas
Many mayors including Kim Driscoll (Salem) and Setti Warren (Newton)
Many members of the State Senate and State House of Reps including Senate President Therese Murray and Senate Majority Leader Frederick Berry
Emily’s List
Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus
Massachusetts Chiefs of Police
National Association of Police Organizations
More than 50 different unions and professional organizations

Mike Capuano – Click here for a full list
Former Governor Mike Dukakis
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
Congressmen Ed Markey, Barney Frank, Stephen Lynch, Jim McGovern, Richard E. Neal, John Olver, John Tierney
First Lady Diane Patrick
Former First Lady Kitty Dukakis
Many members of the State Senate and State House of Reps including Marian Walsh and Stephen Buoniconti
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Massachusetts, AFL-CIO AND Massachusetts Teachers Association
Veterans and Military Families for Progress (VMFP)
Boston Herald

Steve Pagliuca – Click here for more on Steve Pagliuca
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Paul Pierce, Danny Ainge, Ray Allen and many other prominent members of the Celtics have appeared at Pagliuca events
A Pagliuca spokesman, when asked by the Boston Globe to identify any major endorsements responded “endorsements are not a focus of our campaign.” His website touts the fact that they are “winning the endorsements of thousands of Democrats across the state.”

Alan Khazei – Click here for more on Alan Khazei
General Wesley Clark
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Max Kennedy
Blue Mass Group
Boston Globe

Scott Brown – Click here for more on Scott Brown
ALL GOP members of the Massachusetts State Senate and State House of Representatives
Boston Globe
Boston Herald

Jack E. Robinson – Click here for more on Jack E. Robinson
No notable endorsements…yet

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Candidate Tuesday #7 – Jack E. Robinson

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)