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To Follow the Rules or Be Dazzled by Money

Please join us Monday, February 27, from 8 PM to 9 PM EST. Paul McDevitt will be guest blogging; he provided the following commentary:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the 2006 Massachusetts gubernatorial election. I will confine my comments to the democratic primary since we all do well to take one step at a time.

In all probability the Democrats will present two candidates to the voters in the September primary election. These are the persons, Mr. Reilly and Mr. Patrick, who have gone through the caucus process and have followed the rules of the party as generally understood by people of average intelligence. There is a move to add candidates at the convention but this process will probably fail as it should. Those who are dazzled by dollars should buy a lottery ticket. Those who wish can choose between two very different candidates.

I am no expert. I do not derive my income from politics. But I have been an observer of the process for a half century and can offer some perspectives as to Massachusetts. Mr Reilly is the incumbent attorney general and is in his second term in that office. Previously he was elected as a district attorney in one of our most populous counties. He appears to me to see the world through the eyes of a career prosecutor. Under certain circumstances he favors capital punishment. He is opposed to the only major renewable energy project in Massachusetts. He could be described as center/right. If he were a steak he would be cooked medium/well.

In recent memory three attorneys general have sought the governorship (all democrats). They have all failed.

Mr. Patrick is a former official in the justice department in the Clinton Administration. He has had a successful career as chief legal counsel to two major corporations. He is opposed t capital punishment and favors the wind power project. He would be described as center/left. If he were a steak he would be cooked medium rare (a little pink but warm in the center)

I support Mr. Patrick. He has energized me in a way that few have done. I was an early Dean supporter and maxed out to him in each of two years. After Kerry won the nomination I went to N. Mexico to work for his candidacy, I paid my own way. But I was not stirred as I was by the Dean campaign. I think you know what I mean.

It is ludicrous to think that, as Mr. Reilly thinks, there can be a foolproof form of capital punishment. Science may be perfect but evidence can be planted and perjury can be bought in a variety of ways. Mr. Patrick is way ahead on this issue.

Deval Patrick believes that we must have renewable energy and supports wind energy with windmills placed off the coast of Cape Cod. Those with an ocean view have mainly opposed the project. Mr. Reilly has fallen in among them. How many wars will we fight for oil because the politicians at home refuse to stand up to the NIMBYs for the common good?

Mr. Patrick is quite a hit with the average voter as evidenced by his winning about 75% of the caucus delegate slots. Obviously some people are unhappy about his success as they are trying to short circuit the process and add one of the new breed of super rich candidates through a petition process. This is a slap in the face to those who have worked long and hard to recruit more Democrats into the election process.

If all we care about is money let us send the keys to every state house to the editors of Fortune magazine and let them distribute them to the wealthiest person in each state.

Posted by Charlene Johnston on February 27, 2006 at 04:28 PM | Permalink


paul, i agree with you about the powerful allure of money being an ingredient in the DSC decision.
even more importantly, money won't win this election for the democrats, and chris has no organization. you need tropps on the ground and all he can offer is an air war against the republicans.

Posted by: suzanne | Feb 27, 2006 7:36:21 PM

While a certain amount of money is essential in a campaign money is useless unless it is coupled with ground troops.
The main issue is that no person should be allowed into the game after the rules are set.
The second issue is that no late entrant can defeat Mr. Patrick or Mr. Reilly unless he/she has a campaign organization.
Mr. Gabrielli has the money to buy an army of generals(consultants) but will lack any troops.

Posted by: paulfmcdevitt | Feb 27, 2006 8:00:13 PM

Paul, Thank you for joining us this evening and thank you to all your assistants for helping us line this up.

I was very disappointed when I learned that a faction of Democrats decided that they would take the gubernatorial campaign into their own hands.

Personally, my hope is for Deval Patrick but regardless of my personal hopes I believe in playing by the rules.

Posted by: Charlene | Feb 27, 2006 8:04:50 PM

the rules are not suggestions. The rules are the rules! It is insulting to have a small group of people, to tell those of average intelligence that they are incapable of understanding the rules as printed

Posted by: paulfmcdevitt | Feb 27, 2006 8:07:05 PM

what is the most effective way to get change at the DSC? since they are only elected every, what, 4 years?, we have to wait until the next presidential election. how can get them to take notice of us sooner?

Posted by: suzanne | Feb 27, 2006 8:07:33 PM

the best thing to do, is to elect Deval Patrick as the governor of Massachusetts. Leadership must come from the top and we have not had a Democrat in the governor's office for sixteen consecutive years. Mr. Patrick will create an administration with new ideas and that energy will flow down and produce certain changes in the existing state committee thinking.

Posted by: paulfmcdevitt | Feb 27, 2006 8:10:24 PM

Great question, Suzanne! My method is to express my displeasure and to make sure they know it. I'd appreciate additional constructive ways.

Posted by: Charlene | Feb 27, 2006 8:12:25 PM

I'd like to hear more about Deval Patrick. Where does he stand on giving the town's of the Commonwealth more financial support?

Posted by: George | Feb 27, 2006 8:16:56 PM

I'm not clear what's perceived to be so flawed about either Mr. Patrick or Mr. Reilly that a third person is being brought in?

Posted by: Quintus | Feb 27, 2006 8:19:49 PM

You can call State Rep, State Senator and Congressman who are exofficio delegates and tell them that you do not want them to sign for any candidate who has not participated in the caucus process. There are other exofficio delegates you may be able to find their names at massdems.org. The best way to defeat inside players is to frustrate them from accomplishing their goals.

Posted by: paulfmcdevitt | Feb 27, 2006 8:20:22 PM

george, have you visited deval's web site? he has a paper there on cities and towns issues. he is focused on the property tax and the inequitable burdens it poses. his commitments include uncapping the lottery and revamp'g chapter 70.

Posted by: suzanne | Feb 27, 2006 8:21:00 PM

Deval is definitely popular in the northshore area. I live in Beverly and though I haven't started working on his campaign; I know a few people who are.

Paul is right. Foot soldiers are important. Unfortunately, good PR is even more important today. I say unfortuantely because the public's need for information to be handed to them in the easiest possible sound bites drives me crazy. However, Patrick Deval is getting good PR. He is such a powerful speaker and provides his story in an open and well framed manner.

Posted by: Charlene | Feb 27, 2006 8:23:28 PM

What's website addy?

What's Chapter 70?

Posted by: George | Feb 27, 2006 8:25:39 PM

In order to provide money for municipalities, Deval Patrick is the only candidate to oppose the .5% roll back of the Mass income tax. If the state does not have the money, it cannot provide local aid to the cities and towns. The resulting lay offs would be catastrophic to municipal services. Taxes, after all, are the price we pay for our civilization

Posted by: paulfmcdevitt | Feb 27, 2006 8:27:36 PM

and george, deval is opposed to the tax rollback at this time, in order that we can afford to give the cities and towns the support we need. i don't know whwere you live, but the communities on the souith shore are really suffering from the lack of investment in the infrstructure. roads, parks and playgrounds are in deplorable shape in many communities.
yet, the republicans, and even tom reilly, keep telling us we can do more with less. we need honesty.

Posted by: suzanne | Feb 27, 2006 8:27:41 PM

Suzanne's right. Communities are suffering from a lack of investment in the infrastructure. Most Department of Public Works budgets remain flat at best and the result is that the infrastructure is getting older with minimal to no maintenance.

Posted by: Charlene | Feb 27, 2006 8:31:02 PM

Both Mr. Reilly and Mr. Patrick are better candidates than any third party being added at this point. They have proven their worth during the last year, as they both traveled the state seeking delegate support. Any new candidate added at this point is simply trying to avoid the test of time and Mr. Reilly and Mr. Patrick have both passed.

Posted by: paulfmcdevitt | Feb 27, 2006 8:31:15 PM

Hi, Quintus!

One would wonder if old school Dems aren't a little nervous about the possibility of Deval Patrick as Governor. He received a groundswell of support at the caucuses; past experience tells me that old school may not want to see a repeat of the masses getting excited about an outstanding candidate. They may even have other biases.

Posted by: Charlene | Feb 27, 2006 8:35:04 PM

I'm with you Paul. Taxes are the price of civilization. My husband and I have no children and I gladly pay taxes to provide a good education for the community i live in. Afterall, an educated society is the only way we will get the progress we're hoping to obtain.

I get frustrated by the individual who believes we should drown the government in the bathtub.

Posted by: Charlene | Feb 27, 2006 8:43:15 PM

Deval Patrick has not only shown fiscal courage, but he has shown environmental courage by supporting the Cape Wind Project. Everyone talks about new energy sources but Patrick is the only one who is willing to put himself on the line to develop one. Does anyone think that we would be in Iraq if their national product was brussel sprouts?

Posted by: paulfmcdevitt | Feb 27, 2006 8:46:39 PM

the website is www.devalpatrick.com.
chapter 70 is the aid to education formula. it is outmoded and does not reflect either the inability of older cities or of burgeoning suburbs to keep up with the costs of education. so the problem with it is 2-fold.

Posted by: suzanne | Feb 27, 2006 8:47:53 PM

One would wonder if old school Dems aren't a little nervous about the possibility of Deval Patrick as Governor. He received a groundswell of support at the caucuses; past experience tells me that old school may not want to see a repeat of the masses getting excited about an outstanding candidate. They may even have other biases.

Posted by: Charlene | Feb 27, 2006 8:35:04 PM

Hmmm...the race card in hand, I'll focus instead on this backroom Democrat thing.

I only heard today that Paul Hackett (the Iraqi veteran) dropped out of the Ohio senate race a couple weeks ago because he got tired of party leaders trying to pressure him out of the race...

Posted by: Quintus | Feb 27, 2006 8:49:00 PM

I might be in Iraq for their brussel sprouts (yum!), but the U.S. military certainly wouldn't be. Of course, though Monsanto would probably be there demanding patent laws on the brussel sprout seeds.

I appreciate Patrick's stand on alternative fuel because I've been frustrated since the early 90s with the lack of interest in alternative energies.

Posted by: Charlene | Feb 27, 2006 8:52:57 PM

I'm sad to hear that Paul Hackett dropped out of the race!! We need to continue to fight 'backroom' politics wherever it raises its ugly head.

It's something that can squeeze the motivation right out of you. We saw it in the Dean race. I saw it locally not long ago and now it seems to be happening in the MA Governor's race. Folks get tired of it because there are too many fronts to fight on, let alone adding your own party to the mix.

I have hope though.

Posted by: Charlene | Feb 27, 2006 8:58:12 PM

It is tiring to always row up stream but it is preferable to going with the flow.

Posted by: paulfmcdevitt | Feb 27, 2006 9:00:23 PM

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