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August 22, 2005

Globe endorses Mackey for 2nd Middlesex Senate seat

Joe Mackey's Senate campaign received a huge boost today in the form of the Boston Globe's endorsement.  The Globe praised Mackey's "principled and progressive stands on the major social issues facing the state" and his "temperament" that will allow him to "negotiate with wisdom and composure," said that he brings "holistic, people-centered analysis to the job that starts with individual lives and ends with informed policy solutions," and pronounced him "equipped to deal effectively with the district's challenges."

The Globe's editorial is silent on the relative merits (or demerits) of the other three candidates for the seat.  But, as it did in the 18th Suffolk special election, the Globe has chosen to endorse the candidate who favors progressive causes, but who is not favored by the progressive interest groups (I just got yet another email from MassEquality urging me to support Pat Jehlen).  I have no idea whether this is by design or by coincidence - anyone out there have insight into how the Globe arrives at these decisions?

In any event, the Globe's endorsement ought to shake things up a bit - it's by far the highest profile nod Mackey has received, and it's one that is likely to affect votes.  I haven't seen endorsements from the local papers - the Somerville Journal and the Medford Transcript have yet to weigh in, and the Herald seems likely to go for Casey if they bother to do anything at all.  Interestingly, though, every week the Somerville Journal has been publishing a running count of how many days the Lowell Street bridge has been closed (now up to more than 5 years), and the first name on their list of people to call if you're "outraged" is Pat Jehlen.  So she might not be number 1 on their list right now.

Posted by David at 10:20 PM in Massachusetts | Permalink


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Damn! You just scooped me -- I was just about to press "save" on this:
sco had the scoop this morning, but we'll point to it anyway: Joe Mackey picked up the endorsement of the Globe today, which lauded his temperament and "progressive" stands. What it did not do was give us the head-to-head Pepsi challenge of Mackey versus Jehlen, Callahan and Casey; in other words, why him and not the others.

It's really frustrating that we have no idea how this will affect the race. Who knows, without the endorsement of the Phoenix and the Globe in the 18th Suffolk house race, Mike Moran might never have pulled it out against Tim Schofield in a 64-vote race in March. I'm not aware of any polling in this race aside from the Somerville News' audience poll which was likely not representative of the district at large, to say the least. In any event, it's always important to vote strategically in a multi-candidate race, which is really hard to do without good information.

For what it's worth (not much), I drove by Joe Mackey and a group of sign-toting supporters doing "visibility" in Medford Square on Saturday. (I stopped by, introduced myself and took some pictures, which remain on my camera -- in the chaos of moving, I am still missing one cable... that one.) They had been at the Winchester Dump on Saturday morning, Medford Square midday and then knocking on doors in Medford in the afternoon. I don't know if this represents a "Medford strategy" on Mackey's part, or if that was just that day's plan -- maybe a bit of both.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Aug 22, 2005 10:41:33 PM

Sorry about that! And here's a link to sco's post - I didn't link it above because I hadn't seen it before reading the Globe.

Posted by: David | Aug 22, 2005 11:05:06 PM

The progressive community is still standing strong behind Jehlen, so for a strategic vote, my money remains with her. To the best of my knowledge, she's still the front-runner.

I think the Globe endorsement may help sway some voters who have been waiting for someone to tell them who to vote for, but as with the Shannon endorsement, it doesn't come with any inherent support. No manpower, no mailings, no money. (Just this past week 3 or 4 independent mailings went out for Jehlen from MassEquality, Naral, and Mass Teachers to name a few.) It's a nice feather in Mackey's cap to be sure, and it certainly gives his campaign some cred, but beyond that?

As multiple people have said here before, this race will likely come down to GOTV on election day. A publicity push in the final two weeks doesn't make up for 3+ months of intense volunteer-based campaigning and building a strong election day machine, which is what I've seen the Jehlen campaign doing. I can't speak firsthand as to what the other campaigns have been doing, but visibility isn't the same as canvassing and calling.

Posted by: eury13 | Aug 23, 2005 12:04:45 AM

I worked on the Schofield campaign, and I'll tell you what the difference is here. Schofield was the dark horse nobody believed could be a front runner. So when the Globe endorsed Moran and the Phoenix said "progressives unite," some people bought it -- and it didn't take that many. (On a side note, there were a more than a few voters who felt duped by these papers.)

In this case everyone's polling has shown Jehlen is the front runner, and she has been for the entire campaign. This time, progressives get to eat their cake and have it too. We get to vote for the candidate who is the progressive we know, like, and trust, AND it is the right "strategic" vote.

But the most important point remains Eury's above. Jehlen has had upwards of 30+ volunteers knocking on doors talking to voters EVERY DAY (Mackey's signs are nice, but don't pull a voter to the polls), and dozens of groups contacting and mobilizing their members which I understand number near 10,000.

I don't know why the Globe endorsed Mackey. But I don't think it's going to change anything. Jehlen's got the organization to get her vote out.

Posted by: Medford Dem | Aug 23, 2005 1:21:33 AM

One other thing.

According to the OCPF reports -- http://www.efs2.cpf.state.ma.us/EFSprod/servlet/ReportLog -- Jehlen has three times as much "on hand" money as Mackey does. 58 thousand for Jehlen and 21 thousand for Mackey. Casey has 17 thousand and Callahan seems to have forgotten to file.

She got the organization AND she's got the money. I wouldn't worry too much about the Globe.

Posted by: Medford Dem | Aug 23, 2005 1:27:43 AM

as with the Shannon endorsement, it doesn't come with any inherent support.

The big difference with the Globe, of course, is visibility. More people read the Globe than are members of all of the endorsing special interest groups combined, I'd wager, and media endorsements matter in a way that special interest groups or Mrs. Shannon's don't because the Globe's editorial page retains an air of being above the fray and just doing the "right thing" (whether that air is deserved or not isn't relevant). That, of course, is not the case for mailing from campaigns which are obviously and intentionally self-interested. Plus, as sco pointed out, there may well be voters whose first inkling that an election was happening at all came when they read the Globe's editorial - I suspect there are more of those than we political junkies might think.

Posted by: David | Aug 23, 2005 9:29:35 AM

In .08 yesterday I revised my handicap picks on the race.
The endorsement won't deliver many votes because the Globe thinks Mackey is the best candidate. But it does show the momentum he has been getting in the past couple of weeks. He is peaking at the right time. This fact is what will deliver votes. Which means he may steal votes from everyone.
Some Progressives who were originally voting for Jehlen and want a progressive will give Mackey their vote because they think he can win.
Other voters from the "anyone but Jehlen" camp, of which their arte many throughout the district may have been planning to vote for Callahan but now may vote for Mackey because he is coming on strong. People want to vote for the winner.

Mackey 1:1
Callahan 3:2
Jehlen 4:1
Casey 4:1

Jehlen has only so many die hard votes to get out. No matter how strong they feel about her, they can only vote once.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 23, 2005 9:36:15 AM

The fact remains that Jehlen's loyal, core group of supporters (those which made her the "front runner" early on) isn't growing any. Meanwhile, the momentum in this one is obviously with Mackey (note the rush of Pat's supporters, the same two or three who post on this site at an alarming rate, to insist she is still the "frontrunner" in response to article that makes no mention of her, good or bad). Lets not even talk about polls because we all know how few people have access to their costly findings, just as we know that any poll taken more than a month or so ago means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of this election given the huge number of undecided voters early on. Eury, you have been licking a lot of stamps and envelopes, we get it. You see volunteers at Camp Jehlen and assume that you are all working harder than anyone else. Unfortunately, the other candidates have energetic and enthusiastic volunteers who are also making calls, mailings, and banging on doors...only they seem to be doing so more effectively, sans scheduled tofu and granola breaks.

Posted by: demfromsomerville | Aug 23, 2005 9:38:59 AM

Eury, I think I did mention that Mackey's folks were also canvassing on Saturday. Any candidate that doesn't do that can expect to lose.

"The fact remains that Jehlen's loyal, core group of supporters (those which made her the "front runner" early on) isn't growing any."

-- somervilledem, if you have any evidence for that statement, please share it with us. If not, then I'll accord that the weight it apparently deserves.

"...only they seem to be doing so more effectively, sans scheduled tofu and granola breaks."

Ho ho, yes, we get it, Jehlen's folks are a bunch of hippies, and therefore aren't real people who vote. Thanks for the insight.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Aug 23, 2005 9:57:32 AM

wow charley, don't take it personally. Every campaign has a lesson. We won't know what those lessons are until next week. Then we can all monday morning quaterback and quite frankly I can see any of the 4 winning and making sense of it.
The only fact I know is Mackey has momentum (that cannot be disputed) and Jehlen seems to have already peaked.
Trust me, if Jehlen was going to walk away with this or if Mackey did not have a chance the Globe would have endorsed Jehlen. But the globe is wrong on dem primary endorsements more then they are right.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 23, 2005 10:07:01 AM

I'm not taking it personally -- I can't even vote in the race b/c I moved to Medford too late to register. Mackey and Jehlen both seem like fine candidates to me -- it's an embarrassment of riches.

I don't like it when people make assertions for which they have no evidence. And I also dislike dividing people based on bogus cultural stereotypes: hippies, Italian grandmas, whatever. Leave that to the Club for Growth.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Aug 23, 2005 10:53:57 AM

Politics, marketing, and life are divided by "cultural stereotypes" It is also called demographics, and there is nothing wrong with considering this when formulating a political or marketing campaign. Just don't get caught in the demographic trap.

Charley, as for you just "recently moving to Medford" i am curious about your views of the green line extension to west medford. are you in west medford? Do you plan on living there for the next 10 to 20 years or could you be moving to another hip progressive area within the next 5 years.
To me theis the difference of those wanting the extension to west medford. Convemience for the short termers as opposed to quality of life concerns for the long time residents who raised and are raising families there. Big difference.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 23, 2005 11:05:06 AM

Nope, just moved to the O'Hare Airport of buses, Medford Square. We like the location a lot, but I can't speak to where we'll be 10 or 20 years from now. We just moved from Cambridge, so if anything, we are going down the hip/progressive ladder rather than up. ;)

Using demographics is a fine and useful thing, but politics is a process of coalition-building, agglomeration. Stereotypes as such divide people, and liberals/Dems just don't have that luxury.

On the Green Line extension, I'm probably a little squishy for your tastes, Troll: It could be a fine addition to the neighborhood, *depending on its implementation*. If you know that intersection, you know that the commuter rail crosses the street, disrupting traffic flow; and there are a lot of businesses and homes right there. I'd have to see a preliminary design in order to form an opinion. So put me down in the Mackey/Jehlen camp.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Aug 23, 2005 11:56:49 AM

The simple truth that I think we all learned from 2004 was that we can have ALL the volunteers in the world, and still not have the votes. I was an organizer in a "swing state" with a huuuuge budget and 50,000 (!) paid staffers on election day. Yet, we did not win. It was the hugest blow in the world, but at least I learned a lesson: You need the quality as much as you need the quantity. Our opposition would send one or two local volunteers into their own neighborhoods and churches, we were importing folks from MA and New York by the busful. If my gut is correct and Jehlen canvassers are knocking all these doors in Somerville, Medford and Winchester telling people that they better get in line because MassEquality and the Progressive Democrats already have, they are not going to always be as successful as a candidate who focused more on schools, roads, health care, and taxes.

Any Jehlen-ite who poo-poohs Mrs. Shannon and the Globe for endorsing should take a step back, because literally ALL ive heard about the Jehlen campaign is that laundry list of endorsements. Issue groups should not be considered any more important than local news media and district residents/family of the predecessor. Endorsements are endorsements.

I would be most interested to hear from more constituents here. Statewide and national issues are important to me but I live in the district in Somerville, and its time someone gave a crap about constituent service. Not one campaign has contacted me (presumably because I'm only 22 and therefore considered less likely to vote?).

Folks who arent paid by the campaigns - what are your thoughts about constituent service re:the four candidates?

Posted by: melissa | Aug 23, 2005 12:06:45 PM

To your point about neighborhood stability, Troll: The Green Line extension is attractive to me because I support public transportation on economic, social justice and environmental grounds. (Plus I just think trains are cool -- hence my "handle".) And after all, the convenience applies to both short- and long-termers alike.

West Medford is fine as it is -- I have *no* desire to turn it into a new Davis Square. But your point is well-taken: there will definitely be an impact on the neighborhood; I hope it's not radical, except that it's easier to get there.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Aug 23, 2005 12:17:34 PM

For the record:
- not paid by campaign
- don't like tofu
- wouldn't it be Wednesday morning quaterbacking?

I don't mean to discount the Globe or Shannon endorsement. I've said that they'll probably impact some votes, and indeed Mackey has gained momentum in the last two weeks. But they don't come with the activism that other endorsements do. That's all.

As for Jehlen tapping the full potential of her supporters and falling short: turnout on this election is going to be minuscule. No candidate is going to get ALL of their supporters to the polls and lose because they don't have broad appeal. It's just going to be about who gets their vote out most effectively.

Posted by: eury13 | Aug 23, 2005 12:23:24 PM

Oh, and fortunately the stamps are self adhesive. (Thank goodness)

Posted by: eury13 | Aug 23, 2005 12:43:49 PM

Again, this election comes down to election day organization. Not issues or how much mail mass equality can send out. Its all about identifing your vote and making sure they vote. I was just involved with a special election and the opposition had all the progressive organizations endorsements, plenty of money and out of town bodies, polling had him in first place. Guess what he lost...He lost the race on the ground. So for everyone who thinks Jehlen is the front runner think again and for the record the Globe endorsement does count.

Posted by: sam | Aug 23, 2005 1:54:17 PM

Chartley, I also know thatMBTA extensions bring homeless and others who ride the t all day. Medford square will have pan handlers and junkies. Jusat like davus asquare. But west medford square is not Davis Square.
No matter how it is implememnted it will ruin one of the olderst neighborhoods, and on e of the oldest black neighborhoods in the country

Posted by: The troll | Aug 23, 2005 2:08:00 PM

If my gut is correct and Jehlen canvassers are knocking all these doors in Somerville, Medford and Winchester telling people that they better get in line because MassEquality and the Progressive Democrats already have, they are not going to always be as successful as a candidate who focused more on schools, roads, health care, and taxes.


I received a flyer praising Pat Jehlen the other day. It talked exclusively about education and about Pat's record as a teacher, a school committee member, and a representative. The flyer was clearly pitched at parents.

I looked at the corner, and it was funded by MassEquality, a group that endorsed Pat Jehlen for a different reason.

I don't know if you've been canvassed, but if you haven't, I think you'd be pleasantly surprised at the respect canvassers have for their communities and voters and their awareness of which issues are most salient. No one is going door-to-door in Ward 5 of Medford telling senior citizens to vote for Pat Jehlen because she will defend gay marriage and because PDM has endorsed her. No, they're talking about her record on health care or education, because it's what voters care about.

Posted by: Brittain33 | Aug 23, 2005 2:11:00 PM

Melissa, how many times have you voted at your current address? Have you voted in a primary election at your current address? Are you a registered Democrat?

These are the filters that should apply when they put together their lists for canvassing. Age shouldn't have anything to do with it--in fact Pat Jehlen's campaign is probably focusing on young women.

Posted by: Brittain33 | Aug 23, 2005 2:14:30 PM

Acyually Jehlen's educations issues are just parroting the teachers' unions. No original there. And she just parrots Mass Equality's stance on gay marriage.
I haven't read an origina; thjought from Jehlen since she has been up there.
I think this constant parroting of the teachers' unions, Mass Equality, and other progressive organizations hurt her. BIG TIME.
Is there in individual beneath that grandmother facade?

Posted by: The troll | Aug 23, 2005 2:17:19 PM

troll, not all agreement is indicative of parroting.

nor is all disagreement indicative of individuality.

Posted by: eury13 | Aug 23, 2005 3:19:23 PM

You are right Eury, but show me an original thought from Jehlen. Show me a position where she strays from the litmus test issues.
Sorry, she has nothing to offer except being a puppet for the teachers' unions.
Hey, isn't the woman behing MassEquality a major lobbyest for the teachers' unions.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 23, 2005 3:29:23 PM

"As Chair of PDS, people often ask me to define ‘Progressive’. I might do well to answer them with two words - ‘Pat Jehlen’."
- Kate Wallace, Chair of The Progressive Democrats of Somerville

The above was from Jehlen's web site.
I think it helps prove my point I made in last comment. Why talk to Jehlen, we know where she stands.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 23, 2005 3:41:40 PM

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