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August 23, 2005

2nd Middlesex Senate race: Blue Mass. Group endorses ...

Joe Jehlen!  No, wait - it's ... Pat Mackey!  No, wait ...

That's right, folks.  We can't make up our minds.  So we're endorsing both Jehlen and Mackey as clearly preferable to Michael Callahan (a charter member of the hackocracy who seems to have few convictions other than "more bucks for my district," which is fine as far as it goes, but one does yearn for just a tad more) and Paul Casey (too conservative for our taste).  But we're not going to take a position on Jehlen vs. Mackey. 

Instead, as those of you who live in the district and haven't yet made up your minds march toward election day (a week from today), we'll float a couple of questions you might keep in mind:

  • Which candidate will work for you, your family, and your community by
    • voting the way you want on issues you care about?
    • making sure that roads, bridges, parks, schools, libraries, and other public facilities in the district are kept in shape?
    • answering the phone when you call and working with you and the community when you bring a constituent issue to his or her attention?
    • working effectively with other legislators to advance all of the above?
  • Are you worried about "splitting" the "progressive vote"? 
    • If so, which way does that cut?  Jehlen has the interest group endorsements and the edge in cash, but Mackey has the Globe and arguably the momentum.
  • Are you worried about who might take Jehlen's place in the House if she were to win?
  • Do you feel that you can "send a message" with your vote beyond voting for the person whose interests most closely match yours?
    • If so, what is the message, and why do you think your vote can send it?

I'm sure there are other good questions voters should ask themselves.  Those are just off the top of my head.  If you've got some, or if you've got answers to ours, drop them in the comments.

Posted by David at 08:41 PM in Massachusetts | Permalink


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"Which candidate will work for you, your family, and your community by
voting the way you want on issues you care about?
making sure that roads, bridges, parks, schools, libraries, and other public facilities in the district are kept in shape?
answering the phone when you call and working with you and the community when you bring a constituent issue to his or her attention?
working effectively with other legislators to advance all of the above?"

By asking the above you have basically endorsed Mackey. Jeheln fails miserably in that test

Posted by: The troll | Aug 23, 2005 9:18:02 PM

Troll: prove it.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Aug 23, 2005 10:50:32 PM

Troll: I lived in Jehlen's Somerville district for seven years, and I know a host of people who still live there now. The overwhelming opinion of her constituents is that Jehlen is very effective, and works for them and the issues they care about. She is extraordinarily popular in Somerville, one of those rare state reps whose name people bring up in casual conversation, at parties or dinner or other nonpolitical contexts, when they're not personal friends of hers, just because of how cool a legislator they think she is.

We may not know who will win this race, but nobody should have any doubt that Jehlen will trounce all the other candidates in Somerville. I expect her to get a solid majority, beating all three of them combined. If she doesn't fare as well in the rest of the district, and one of the other candidates squeaks out a victory, it will be because not enough voters in Medford got to know her as well as the voters in Somerville have. But among those who have seen her work and been affected by it, the verdict will be clear and overwhelmingly supportive. I don't have the slightest doubt.

Troll: How well do you actually know this district? Your comment seems wildly uninformed.

Posted by: Cos | Aug 24, 2005 2:26:14 AM

The message progressives voters will want to send with their vote is very clear: Pat Jehlen is the one who's been in there for the past 15 years, taking courageous stands, fighting tough fights, and delivering on a host of important issues: increased funding for schools, contraceptive coverage, the minimum wage, help for the elderly and disabled, etc. Mackey has been out of politics for longer than most Somerville residents have been Somerville residents (yes, literally true, based on what I can tell from census reports). If we want to send a message that doing the things Pat Jehlen has done is worth support, and worth votes, we need to vote for her. If we were to vote for Mackey, the message you be: If you're with us, we're not necessarily with you. Someone else can butt in at the last moment, put some nice positions on paper, and we'll vote for him. That "message" lends no support to legislators who are ambivalent, or worried about a challenge. They need to know that if they stick with us, we'll support them when they need us.

Posted by: Cos | Aug 24, 2005 2:31:25 AM

Prove it. Hmmm well i just go by reputatioon among her peers and political types from somerville. I know i am repetitive, but most of the comments from Jehlen supporters on this blog seem to be from the same3 circle of people. Is there any one here who was raised in Somerville, wernt to schols in somerville, have reletives in somerville, consider somerville their home (no mater where they move to in the future).
These are people that rwally jknow their reps. This is where reputations are made.
No one has shown me an original idea or issue thAt Jehlen is responsible for. She falls in line with what she ids told. And those endorsemts from fellow reps, nothing there.
I know a person in somerville who was tryiong to get her aged father into the Soldiers Home in Chelsea. Among those whose help she sought was Jehlen's (her rep)
Jehlen told her she does not get involved in that sort of stuff, plus she said she wouldn't know how to help.
Now I diod not go loking for that story, but I heard t. Perhaps I should start making calls and get more.
But that story is consistent with what I know about her.
This "prove it" stuf is rediculous, Charley.
And Sco, about knowing the districr. Please.
I could write a doctoral thesis on the district. And I do not liove there.
WEhat do you guys know about Woburn and Winchester. (Other then one is blue collar and the other is wealthy) What is the difference betwen Ball Square and Powder House Square (other then location)
What is the difference in people from South Medford and North Medford. From Hillside in medford to Winter Hill in Somerville.

Pop Quiz, Who were these people and relationship to the district?
1. Eugene Brune
2. S. Lester Ralph
3. George Sacco
4. Anthony Giglio

Some of these people are dead and some are alive. This is an easy list, I could make a real long one. These people still matter because many voters remmebr them and knew them. To understand the diustrict you need a sense of History and perspective.

But anyway Sco, you shouldn't care, because I expect you will be moving to another hip placxe soon or when your kids start to get to school age you wiull move to a more appropriate place to raise a family.
Progressives have been coming and going in Somerville, Medford, even Chelsea for years.
The names keep changing, but the"thank god we came along to save your city" attitude has not.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 9:07:42 AM

SORY I meant Cos, not Sco. Sorry Sco. Alsheimers

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 9:08:40 AM

Troll rules again!

Yes I hear the same thing about Jehlen and no I can’t prove a thing, but it is out there Charley & Cos (you to eury). Maybe I’m just buying into a well planned campaign to discredit the good rep from Somerville but this stuff (this stuff being she can’t get anything done for the district, she’s more interested in human rights in Guatemala than in gang fights at Foss Park, social justice for all rather than answering my phone call etc etc..) comes from everyone I talk with.

All that said; I think she is going to win. Turnout will be so low (10,500 tops) and the Jehlen people have done such a good job of IDing their voters, they will squeak by on the 30th.

Biggest disappointment: Callahan. Poor candidate, poor campaign, poor organization, all-time worst political slogan when you consider he can’t name one person he has helped.

Posted by: the sound of one hand clapping | Aug 24, 2005 9:49:16 AM

Whoa; Callahan has filed with OCPF and it is worse than I thought (<40K). Pretty good record keeping too (Mr. Un-itemized was very generous).

Posted by: the sound of one hand clapping | Aug 24, 2005 9:58:20 AM

That is right about Callahan. I think Callahan and Casey are going to get out a lot of Mackey Votes. People who will be remonded of the race on election day and when thsy get to the polls will think about it and vote for Mackey. They see Mackey beating Jehlen, whom from what they hear is a "real liberal" who doesn't get things done. Mackey is a familiar name to many in the district.(believe it or not all you newbies) They understand that Casey hasn't worked in the race and Callahan is a nut.
Count on Mackey beating Jehlen in most medford precincts (hillside a toss -up) winchester and probably woburn (is Carol Donovan doing any work for her friend? Endorsement means shit without work.) Then the race comes down to Somerville where anything can happen.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 12:49:12 PM

Mackey also picks up a lot of somerville votes now. People see he can win, these were prior callahan votes.
Don't be surprised if mackey wins somerville.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 1:26:17 PM

"Troll: How well do you actually know this district? Your comment seems wildly uninformed."

Hey Coz, what do you think now?

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 1:29:11 PM

In fact. The more I think about it, Jehlen workers maybe driving and getting out a many Mackey votes.

It happens all the time.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 1:44:32 PM

Hey, I forgot about a voting block in the district. The medford black vote. Oh, i'm sorry. African American.
One of oldest black middle class neighborhoods in country. Historical. Not group that hisrtorically votes progressive locally. I think Marzilli is the rep. but he has small piece of medford and he does not do well there.
Also, many middle class blacks favor vouchers, as do poor blacks. But the middle class see progressives as hypocrites and when it comes to an issue they really help them with , thney run away.
They have been burnt too many tiomes by the progressives.
But Mackey isn't viewed woth progressive stain. He will have a few votes from this group.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 3:14:14 PM

He will have a few votes from this group.

I think that's right. I attended a Mackey speech in West Medford, and there was a sizeable African-American turnout, most of whom I assume were from the neighborhood.

Posted by: David | Aug 24, 2005 3:34:26 PM

To be clear: We endorsed two candidates, not one; I now live in the district, but cannot vote in the primary and therefore don't have a dog in this fight; I don't claim to know any more than anyone else about the district. The fact is that Somerville has high turnover; and while people live there, it's *their* neighborhood, too. If you vote, you count.

I am concerned about the unsubstantiated claims about "lack of constituent service." "Hmmm well i just go by reputation among her peers and political types from Somerville." That's not good enough. That's not proof, that's innuendo. Should we be naive enough to think that *everyone* would like Pat Jehlen if she just did a better job?

One Hand, I don't know who you talk with, but I do know that sometimes people get reputations they don't deserve. And so for me to understand whether it's deserved or not, I need evidence. You are welcome to provide such evidence here. That's not ridiculous, that's fair.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Aug 24, 2005 3:39:29 PM

Oh yeah, By the way. The west medford black do not want the green lne comong to west medford

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 3:40:18 PM

I gave an example Charley, the woman trying to get her father in to the soldiers home.
Shall i get off my ass and reallY ask naround?
Besides Charley in politics, as in a lot of things, reputation is fact. How did Billy Bulger maintain power? Becv ausae people thoiught if they did not fall in line he would figureivly cut their balls off.
And Charley, what the christ does living in the district and having a dog in the fight have to do with it. I have more dogs then wonderland race track and can't vote for 99% of them.
This hissy firt of yours Charley is not your usual M.O.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 3:44:50 PM


I promise if Pat Jehlen wins I will forever stop commenting on any of the massachusetts progressive blogs including BlueMassGroup and .08. (My favorites)
Except to say good bye

Signed Under The Pains And Penalties Of Perjury, This 24th Day of August, 2005.

The Troll

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 3:47:38 PM

Well, we'd miss you, in some strange way.

Sorry Troll, it's not a hissy fit. Would Mackey, or Callahan, or Casey have done a better job getting this woman's father into the home?

You're absolutely right, reputations are reality in politics. That's why we should make sure they're well-deserved.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Aug 24, 2005 3:51:57 PM

The "no dog in this fight" disclaimer was intended to clarify that I'm not objecting to the characterization of Jehlen out of partisan interest. She may or may not deserve it, I don't know. That's what I'd like to find out.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Aug 24, 2005 3:53:46 PM

Troll, is this "deal" a secret ploy to generate votes for Mackey?? I, for one, would hate to see you go. Anyway, I trust you are in jest!

Posted by: David | Aug 24, 2005 3:55:15 PM

No ploy. Jehlen is the type of politician that helps to keep barriers up. There are many progressive thinking politicians who have, for lack of a better term, "street smarts". People who understand there are all types of people and can accept and work with them. Progressives like Jehlen and Barrios, Alice Wolf Ruth Balzar are not some of these. They put their districts second. My example of soldiers home was not enough? Most reputations are deserved. Don't forget, Billy Bulger did cut people's balls off. (not leiterally)
And Barrios was soo good he had his rep district split up six ways. The district, and the constsituents be damned.
That is not my kind of pol.
Barney Frank would never act this way.
So don't tell me i am anti gay or anti liberal or anti progressive or anti whatever. Barney Frank is great politician. Pat Jehlen is not. And Barrios is worse.
If the progressives ever realize this perhaps we can get somewhere. If not, well i'm tired of "preaching" and pointing out what are believe are flaws in arguments. So this election as a decision maker for me.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 4:07:25 PM

Clarification: Not that if Jehlen wins we are doomed and you should have listened to me.
No, i have big ego, but not that big.
I am just using this election as one would use a coin flip.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 4:11:22 PM

But i am standing by my prediction that she loses. perhaps even third, behind Mackey and Callahan. Stranger things have happened.

By the way, what is ther info on who tyurned in most absentee ballots. Not just in somerville, but all cities.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 4:13:48 PM

Oh and Charley, Casey, Callahan , or Mackey would have tried. Believe me. Atleast wrote a letter that may go in the circular file.

That is my point. She Sucks! As a politician. Probably nice person.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 24, 2005 4:16:53 PM

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