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May 11, 2005

Jehlen's Senate campaign website goes live

State rep. Pat Jehlen's unofficial (non-State House) website, www.patjehlen.org, has been updated to serve as the site for her Senate campaign.  I think (but am not certain) that hers is the first campaign website for this seat, despite the numerous announced and all-but-announced candidates.

Jehlen's site does not have a "where I stand on the issues" page - we hope that one will be added soon.  But Jehlen's in good company - Deval Patrick's site has been live for weeks, but it still doesn't have anything on the issues.  I really cannot understand that.

Posted by David at 02:38 PM in Massachusetts | Permalink


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My advice to a candidate is have a web site and put as little on there as possible. The only people that look at it are candidates family and opponants who are looking for chinks in the armor. The negatives far outweigh the positives. This does not mean that web based stuff can be used for orgainzational purposes.

Posted by: The troll | May 11, 2005 3:30:46 PM

,,,web base stuff can't be used or organizational...

Posted by: The troll | May 11, 2005 3:31:40 PM

....for organizational....

Posted by: The troll | May 11, 2005 3:32:53 PM

No one puts up issue statements this early -- Deval has no legislative record, so he's free to explore lots of policy options, which he is doing (he's learning and listening).

His campaign is introducing him as a person (bio, vision). He is talking about priorities (education, jobs, healthcare), but if you're expecting him to pump out a policy paper now (1) he won't (2) it would be a mistake. Even on the issues that he has a rock solid position on, he can't put it up without putting them all up.

That being said, they certainly could start putting up his philosophy and priorities.

In a sense, I agree with the Troll when the campaign is this early -- later, he will definitely need policy papers. Concentrate on the bio, the vision, the schedule (so people can meet him). Give a way for people to plug themselves in and raise money.

Later, each policy recommendation will be accompanied by (1) a well-planned speech/event (2) a media push (3) coordination with surrogates/allies.

Posted by: Noho-missives | May 12, 2005 10:19:37 AM

Thanks - this is all very interesting, and maybe you guys are right. Speaking for myself, though, I would never consider donating money to, or volunteering for, a candidate without having at least some sense of his or her stands on the issues that matter to me. Some of that can be gleaned from news reports, attending speeches, etc., but not many (plus it takes a lot more work than just visiting a website). I'm not necessarily looking for 10-point plans, but couldn't they at least give us a couple of hints?

Posted by: David | May 12, 2005 10:29:06 AM

David, you sound like you are in the top.001% of dedicated informed voters.
You would be surprised how easy it is to reach out to most candidates and have a good one on one coversation. You even haver the opportunity to engage Deval Patrick at this stage in the campaign and grill him. If you engage most politicians you can get straight answers. Give a call to all the candidates running for rep or state senate, if they don't call back, call again. You can engage state wide and county candidates to. Or engae them at event. Let them get to know you and they will listen to you.
Oh yeah, let them know about yopur blog. Then they will kiss your ass, except the wise ass conservative ones.
So Dave, unfortunately you represent a minority that can't beat the negatives of an informative web site.

Posted by: The troll | May 12, 2005 11:11:58 AM

Speaking for myself, though, I would never consider donating money to, or volunteering for, a candidate without having at least some sense of his or her stands on the issues that matter to me.

I agree with David. And that's why I have so far been very unimpressed with Patrick. Anyone who wants to be governor really should have already moved beyond mere listening and learning.

I don't disagree with the points about strategy and timing as far as revealing the details of a candidate's agenda. In Patrick's case, though, the lack of information comes across as an indication that he genuinely has no idea what he wants to do, not as smart politics.

Just my $0.02. I'm not attached to any particular candidate and could certainly still be won over by Patrick.

Posted by: worldcitizen | May 12, 2005 11:56:48 AM

I hope all of our elected officials never move beyond listening and learning.

Have you ever attended a Patrick event -- he takes questions and answers them pretty fully -- he has lots of ideas. I've been to three. I agree with you -- I need to know positions too.

He's unequivally pro-gay-marriage -- against all amendments. Agrees with SJC decision.

He's for some kind of universal healthcare, but is still exploring the exact policy (I wrote about this on my blog the other day).

He's for rethinking our education policies, thinking about longer school days/years, finding some way to spark an education renaissance from early education through college.

He's wants to help bring business here by selling MA in a way that Romney cannot (we are the butt of Romney's jokes outside of MA).

He went to visit the area that the Cape Wind project would affect and is exploring the options.

He's against the Death penalty (defended death row inmates for the NAACP).

Troll is right, just call and ask -- Put together a group of people in your area and he will visit you -- do it now before the campaign really gets underway.

Release of policy papers is an event in a political campaign that is planned and promoted. You want to be first (to claim leadership), but you can't be so out ahead that the other candidates just take shots at you for 6 months. We are 18 months away for crying out loud. In 2002, Reich didn't even declare until late Nov/Dec 2001.

Posted by: Noho-missives | May 12, 2005 12:56:32 PM

I hope all of our elected officials never move beyond listening and learning.

I totally agree, which is why I included the word "mere"--very deliberately.

Again, it's just my $0.02, the early impressions of a random primary voter. As you say, there is plenty of time. Maybe "very unimpressed" was too strong, and "not yet impressed" is more appropriate.

Let me try saying it this way: It seems to me that as an outsider to state politics Patrick has to make it clear that he has compelling reasons for running--specific ideas about what's wrong and what should be done differently.

Posted by: worldcitizen | May 12, 2005 2:02:27 PM

I saw the mere -- left it out because I think he brings a lot to the conversation, but he clearly is trying to have a conversation with voters and that requires listening and projecting that you are still open to idea. This is absolutely campaigning 101 -- no one comes out of the box with policy statements.

Here is something a little more meaty (from WFCR)

Posted by: Noho-missives | May 12, 2005 2:34:40 PM

It seems to me that as an outsider to state politics Patrick has to make it clear that he has compelling reasons for running--specific ideas about what's wrong and what should be done differently.

Exactly -- agree completely -- this can be done in other ways than with policy documents. I also believe that insiders need to do that as well (have compelling reasons for running).

Let me ask this: should Deval Patrick, who is still not known by 2/3 of the state, go into a group that is seeing him for the first time and give an hour long speech on his specific proposals for fixing healthcare or is it enough to say: "We need to get to universal healthcare and we need to get there now. There are some good and interesting proposals that are floating around now, and I think, frankly, the fact that there is so much wide-spread dissatisfaction with what we have, not just by the uninsured and the underinsured, but by HMO's and doctors and hospitals and employers, that it's an opportunity and opening for leadership to pull a state coalition together and drive to a solution that works for everyone".

Posted by: Noho-missives | May 12, 2005 2:46:32 PM


I understand what you are getting at, but I've been hearing about "universal health care" for years now... and haven't seen squat accomplished. The same goes for education rhetoric.

What attracts me to Deval right now is that he has spelled out specific educational reforms -- such as altering the length of the day and the school year. That shows me that he's given it a little thought, and might have something interesting to say.

I guess I'm just saying that I'm burned out of the "blah is broken" or "we should have more mumble" without a bit more thought. It just rings hollow.

Posted by: stomv | May 12, 2005 2:52:11 PM

Where does Patrick stand on charter schools and vouchers?

Posted by: The troll | May 12, 2005 3:09:17 PM

Well, as one of a several folks here who has seen Patrick speak, I'll jump in: He gives a very very strong impression as a progressive candidate. You definitely know what his priorities are, and it's fairly standard liberal stuff: education (longer school days), universal health care, etc. You get a good sense that he is someone who likes the stump, that he's friendly, nice, likes working with people and getting things done. Fine.

I also think, however, that his current squishiness on the details, and overall friendly (even cuddly) manner make one wonder about his toughness. There are things on which he's not willing to be pinned down, like the wind farm. When the #$%@ hits the fan, as it were, how will he act? I couldn't say. When he gets beaten up by special interests around health care reform, what will he do?

Eventually, he's going to have to find some good enemies -- not necessarily people, but really tough problems -- and stake out *how* he's going to address them. *How* do we get to universal health care? Exactly *how* are you going to provide leadership? Noho, I don't expect him to bloviate at Town Committee meetings about his 10-point plan, but maybe he should have one somewhere.

And if you're an underdog candidate, you've simply got to make a great case as to what you would do better than the status quo (whether the GOP incumbent or the establishment Dem). Until he does that, as the outsider, people will question his seriousness.

Just to be clear, I say this with a lot of respect for the guy. He really seems to be decent, and on the balance, I think he's doing very well for himself so far.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | May 12, 2005 3:12:14 PM

He absolutely needs to all of that and more, just not now.

From a pure campaign strategy point of view, he needs to, in my opinion, attract early money and volunteers and get his name recognition up. The next short term goals are to poll better, have good favorable/unfavorables -- and to show that he can raise money (he needs the media to say that he's viable and doing "better than expectations"). All of that other stuff will happen -- it's 18 months before the election!

Most people do not make their choice for governor this far out, those that do know how to find out what they need to know in order to make that decision.

Posted by: Noho-missives | May 12, 2005 4:20:59 PM

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