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August 25, 2005

Open thread redux

Five days until election day.  Time for another open thread on the Second Middlesex Senate race.

First, a couple of updates: according to several comments in this thread, the Somerville Journal's print edition today endorsed Joe Mackey, yet for some reason the endorsement doesn't appear in the paper's online version, so I can't link to it.  The Somerville Journal has endorsed Joe Mackey (hat tip to alert reader Ron Newman).  No endorsement appears in either the print or online edition of the Medford Transcript, and the Boston Phoenix mentions the race but doesn't take a position.

Have candidates been beating down your door or causing your phone to ring off the hook?  What do you see out in the neighborhoods?  What's the buzz in your neck of the woods?  Go to it.

Posted by David at 09:39 PM in Massachusetts | Permalink


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I can only comment from the other side, since I now live just outside the district and nobody would knock on my door. I've been canvassing a lot in east Medford this week (Monday, Wednesday, and today) - undecided or not yet contacted frequent voters, mostly. This isn't prime Jehlen territory of course, so we don't have a lot of people out here compared to what we're doing elsewhere in the district, but I've been finding a lot of supporters. I've also been finding a good number of Callahan people, though not quite as many as Jehlen.

Many people have told me they've seen other Jehlen canvassers recently, or "I just talked to some of you last week, the two girls" (that was a popular line today, I got it at 4 or 5 different doors), or that they've seen more of us than any other candidate.

I ran into one Mackey supporter today, but that's the exception. Very few people have mentioned him - on average less than one a day. Ditto for Casey. I also haven't seen anyone else's literature dropped at any doors, though there sure are a lot of Callahan lawn signs here.

One interesting thing is that I've run into a lot of people who used to live in Somerville and moved here. I've had some good conversations with them. We trade where we used to live and why we moved and so on. One man I talked to today apparently used to work at the Somerville post office for decades, and says he got to know Pat through that.

Posted by: Cos | Aug 25, 2005 11:46:27 PM

The Somerville Journal finally posted their endorsement editorial here.

It gives the nod to Mackey based on experience, specifically his tenure on the Ways and Means Committee, despite Jehlen's much longer service in the Legislature.

I still don't see anything on the Medford or Winchester newspaper's web pages, so I assume they made no endorsements.

Posted by: Ron Newman | Aug 26, 2005 9:24:32 AM

Cos, I think anyone who has volunteered for any of the four campaigns knows that just simply isnt the case. Virtually everyone posting on this site has already decided so there is no need to try and sway voters (most arent even from the district). Mackey had the momentum even before the Shannon family, Boston Globe, Somerville News, Somerville Journal endorsements.

Posted by: Somerville Dem | Aug 26, 2005 9:36:13 AM

Cos, this is what I told Eury.
nobody ever tells you your candidate sucks, people are polite. Think of all the houses that don't have jehlen signs. And another thing, if everyone voted for your candidate who said they would you would win by ten thousand votes. True for all candidates.
You will learn.

Posted by: the troll | Aug 26, 2005 9:43:47 AM

Somerville Dem, Cos was sharing his experience (as was requested by the open thread). No need to jump on him for it (and then offer your own attempt to sway people).

I was impressed by how civil the campaigns were... until this week. A few posts here but especially over at the Somerville News site have gotten downright ugly.

I understand that being the front-runner puts a big red target on your back, but still...

Unrelated, what are people's thoughts for turnout on Tuesday? 12,000? 15,000? More? Troll, any experience with special election primaries in late August?

Posted by: eury13 | Aug 26, 2005 11:19:01 AM

Somerville Dem: I don't understand - what just isn't the case?
As eury pointed out, I was describing my experience. I didn't make any assertions outside that. So you've got me confused by your comment.

Posted by: Cos | Aug 26, 2005 12:13:22 PM

Here's an e-mail from Fred Berman of Progressive Democrats of Somerville, responding to the Globe's endorsement of Joe Mackey:

Why Pat Jehlen Deserves Your Vote

Voters from Medford, Somerville, Winchester and Woburn who prioritize performance over rhetoric would do best by electing Pat Jehlen as their next State Senator.

For 30 years, children have had no better advocate than Rep. Jehlen, former teacher, 16-year School Committee member, and current State Representative. Pat played a key advocacy role in passage of the landmark Education Reform Act of 1993 that doubled State Aid to public schools, and a decade later helped pass circuit breaker legislation protecting communities from budget-busting special education costs best shouldered by the State.

Rep. Jehlen has long been a leader in the fight to close corporate tax loopholes that deprive the State of revenues needed to fund education and safety net services. This year, with the ignominious departure of long-time nemisis former House Speaker Tom Finneran, the Legislature finally voted to close $105-$120 million in loopholes. For her tireless efforts, the Massachusetts, Somerville, and Boston Teachers' organizations all endorsed Jehlen, as did the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

Pat has been a consistently strong advocate for senior citizens. As chair of the Legislature's Elder Caucus, Pat helped win an extra $2 million for Elder Home Care, a cost effective alternative to nursing homes.

Mass Senior Action named her Legislator of the Year, in particular, because of her lead role in advocating for passage of the Prescription Drug Fair Pricing Act, designed to save $120 million by allowing the State to negotiate with manufacturers. While Joe Mackey deserves the Globe's praise for his stated commitment to help seniors remain at home, Pat Jehlen deserves our vote for effective leadership in turning good ideas into action.

Pat's legislative leadership helped win House funding support for long overdue Green Line Extension. She contributed to the overwhelming and unprecedented advocacy by Somerville residents and officials (and cautious support by Medford advocates who want to ensure that city streets don't become parking lots for suburbanites) that helped win endorsement by the State's transportation planning organization. Where was Joe Mackey?

Pat has been a consistent legislative leader in the fights against reinstatement of the death penalty, against eroding reproductive rights, and against a constitutional amendment on gay marriage. Joe Mackey shares Pat’s positions on these and most other issues. However, Mackey’s voice as an advocate has been absent for more than a decade of public policy debates about these and other important issues, like health care access, living wages, public education, tax policy, and environmental protection.

The Globe touts Joe Mackey's ability to "overcome local resistance" to development at Assembly Square.

But where was he during those months of public hearings? Where was he when developers sabotaged public mediation by refusing to negotiate on critical issues? And what exactly does "overcoming local resistance" mean? In an era when academics and politicians alike are championing smart growth and transit-oriented development, is the Globe suggesting a need to subdue community opposition to strip mall zoning and big box development that will add tens of thousands of car trips/day to the already congested I-93 corridor? (The Globe just ran an article about alarming asthma rates; statistics about Somerville's "excess deaths" from heart attacks and lung cancer are equally alarming – and a wakeup call about additional exposure to vehicular pollution....)

For Pat Jehlen, leadership means more than speaking out. It also means being easily available and approachable by constituents, commitment to listening and engaging with community members, and dedication to addressing their needs. When you talk to Pat Jehlen, there are no pretenses: her humility and candidness are refreshingly real. While other politicians use the media for self-promotion, Pat’s email newsletter and cable talk show inform constituents about the issues and the workings of government, and encourage active participation in our democracy.

Notwithstanding Joe Mackey’s fine legislative record during the 1990s, and his subsequent volunteer work with the Girls Pride Basketball Foundation and Mass. Association of Mental Health, Pat Jehlen's 30 year record of progressive leadership and active involvement in the community, and her commitment to fostering open communication and citizen involvement easily make her the best choice in the field of candidates for Sen. Shannon's seat.

Posted by: Ron Newman | Aug 26, 2005 12:58:05 PM

I'm sorry if my comments were at all confusing... to clarify, based on your door knocking recap it sounded to me as if you were targeting only the homes of voters ID'd as Jehlen supporters, those leaning toward her, or the undecided, rather than all registered voters. I could very well be wrong though.

The Jehlen Campaign's letter to voters seems awfully concerned with the opposition, coming from a candidate who describes herself to supporters as the frontrunner.

I've received mailings from Callahan, Casey, and Mackey, none of which ever mention the other candidates. Instead, they talk about their own merits.

Posted by: Somerville Dem | Aug 26, 2005 1:49:02 PM

The e-mail I posted wasn't "from the Jehlen campaign", and was a specific response to the Globe editorial.

Posted by: Ron Newman | Aug 26, 2005 1:52:43 PM

Ron, why did you post that thing. There was nothiong new in there. Are you affiliated with her campaign?

Posted by: the troll | Aug 26, 2005 2:50:36 PM

Eury, i am giving it thought and will post on sunday or mondfay and put my last minute, try and keep it brief, analysyis, without the bullshit.
But to answer your question I cannot remmeber any, but they go on all the time and usually don't pay attention to them.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 26, 2005 2:52:30 PM

Let’s get back on task people. Three days to go; what is going to happen?

From where I sit (somewhere near mythical East Medford):

- < 10,500 voters and Jehlen squeaking by with a narrow victory

- Biggest Winner- Mackey’s political consultants. They took a guy who hadn’t been around for 15 years and made him viable.

- Biggest Loser- Tie between the Callahan money people and Trav

- Hidden Winner- Casey (yes Casey). The perfect exit strategy, he won’t stay in the house with the new speaker and he can’t go to the senate so it is off to the wonderful world of the lobbyists. Bet you $10 he ends up at Mintz Levin.

- Black eyes- Mike McGlynn, Paul Donato, Sheriff Jobs DePaola (excuse me that’s Jim DePaola) for organizations that couldn’t deliver.

Posted by: the sound of one hand clapping | Aug 26, 2005 3:01:24 PM

I posted it because I received it in my e-mail box and it was relevant to this discussion.

Posted by: Ron Newman | Aug 26, 2005 3:05:07 PM

Trav wins if anyone wins but Jehlen.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 26, 2005 3:06:09 PM

Hmmmm…..Callahan has amended his report with OCPF. They are now reporting receipts of $90,000+ for the reporting period. Looks like the found 50K in the sock draw.

Strangely all receipts and expenses are un-itemized. Maybe it time for “Iron Mike” to reconsider; this guy would make a perfect state treasurer.

Posted by: the sound of one hand clapping | Aug 26, 2005 4:58:44 PM

- Biggest Loser- Tie between the Callahan money people and Trav

Callahan has money people? :)

So why, if I may ask, would a Jehlen win be bad for Travaglini? Because she's supposedly "difficult"? Not easily controllable? Does the leader of the senate only want senators that he can manipulate? Because that seems somewhat Orwellian...

Posted by: eury13 | Aug 26, 2005 5:20:24 PM

Does the leader of the senate only want senators that he can manipulate?

*Ding* We have a winner!

Posted by: sco | Aug 26, 2005 7:48:00 PM

Somerville Dem: You're wrong about who I've been canvassing.

Also, the email you're referring to was clearly identified as being from Fred Berman, not from the Jehlen campaign. (I've met Fred, and I know he speaks for himself)

Troll: I had already canvassed many thousands of doors on other campaigns before this one even started, and I've also participated in GOTV on several campaigns and seen the correspondence between what I saw canvassing and what happened at the polls. I think I've already learned the things you imply I will learn. Please don't be so condescending.

one hand clapping: You could be right about all of that. Maybe some things will turn out different, but it all sounds right on target. Except for one thing: East Medford is not mythical, I've been spending way too much time there this month :)

Posted by: Cos | Aug 26, 2005 8:46:40 PM

I discovered this blog today as I was trying to educate myself further about the race and decide for whom to vote. You asked what we've been seeing in our neighborhoods, so here goes.

I live in South Medford (I think? Maybe it's actually East Medford? What is "Harvard Square" in Medford actually considered? Our real estate person actually called it that when we were looking at the place...) and have been here for almost 5 years. Hubby and I moved here after being priced out of Cambridge and Davis Sq, so we fit the relocated progressive tag a la folks who got Sciortino elected. In any case, we've been voting in every primary since we moved here and have therefore gotten a LOT of attn from every candidate. First, friends in Medford invited us to meet and greets for Jehlen way early on. Never made it to one, but assumed we'd support her based on who invited us. Then, every OTHER candidate has come to our apt and left personal notes for us (we've missed all their visits, since they apparently come round to see all the retired folks who live around here in the middle of the day). Now we are being deluged with mail from everyone and have gotten several unidentified pollsters calling, and tonight we've heard from Pat Jehlen's camp over the phone. Today alone we got glossy pieces from every candidate, plus a separate letter from Casey's camp on his stance v. gay marriage (actually couched as pro-let-the-voters-decide) and one from Callahan's camp from Medford families who have endorsed him, pointing out that if he were to be elected, he'd be the first person from Medford to be in the senate since 1960. We're expecting more this weekend. So....this leaves us....not liking Casey, mostly deciding between Jehlen and Mackey, leaning towards Mackey because we're getting annoyed with the massequality off-topic pieces (and we are a very pro gay marriage straight couple, btw) and getting the sense that Jehlen has detractors about her effectiveness.

You asked!

Posted by: Medford Mom | Aug 26, 2005 9:38:23 PM

Indeed we did! This is great, MM - exactly the kind of thing we want to hear about. I hope you find the blog a useful resource, and that you'll keep visiting even after the election is over. Let us know who you end up supporting!

Posted by: David | Aug 26, 2005 9:47:22 PM

Definitely liking the blog and finding it useful. A great discovery -- thanks!

Posted by: Medford Mom | Aug 26, 2005 9:51:33 PM

Medford Mom, you know that the Jehlen campaign has aboslutely no control over what MassEquality mails out, right? Those are independent expenditures and it's illegal for the campaign to have any involvement in the message, planning, timing, or anything else about them.

It sounds like you're going to make an informed decision, and I truly hope that you will vote for Pat, but don't penalize her because one endorsing organization over-mailed you about other issues.

Posted by: eury13 | Aug 26, 2005 9:53:50 PM

Hey Medford Mom -- do you have neighbors who might also be willing to hold forth? or could you maybe collect their impressions and share them with us? This is the sort of stuff that *everyone* posting here needs to see.

Many thanks, and welcome!

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Aug 26, 2005 11:14:28 PM

The leader of the senate wants someone he can talk to.
That leaves out only Jehlen.
I know nothing about Bill White.

Posted by: The troll | Aug 27, 2005 1:04:22 PM

Are there any Callahan or Casey supporters out here that can weigh in on their feelings.
Is this blog reaching anyone other then us?

Medford mom is a perfect fir for a demographic she described.

"we fit the relocated progressive tag a la folks who got Sciortino elected"

and she is torn between Mackey and Jehlen. And her friends turned her on to Jehlen early ans she met her. That should be enough. But she hears things. hmmmmmmmmmmm
The mackey drum is beating strong. Will it prevail, or will Jehlen get enough votes to split the progressives and let Callahan win it.

Posted by: the troll | Aug 27, 2005 1:17:14 PM

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