View Poll Results: Your choice for Massachusetts Senator is:

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  • Scott Brown

    3 50.00%
  • Martha Coakley

    3 50.00%
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Thread: Senate Election, Brown vs. Coakley, January 19

  1. #1
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    Default Senate Election, Brown vs. Coakley, January 19

    This isn’t as important as the school budget, but let’s have our own election here. How about a week of discussion first and then cast our ballots for senator here next weekend before the real election Tuesday.

    To start the discussion:

    Scott Brown

    I’ve a friend in NY that’s a politician and he’s made some interesting points. He says, “Politics is a funny business – In a given legislature, the powers that be (those who actually influence legislation and spending) are perfectly happy if other legislators (especially new ones) do nothing of consequence and don’t interfere (concentrating instead on keeping their constituents happy). Our representatives can do a bad job, or no job at all, and their bosses won’t mind. The electorate can’t really tell so they may promote/elect that person to the next level.”

    I’m politically independent and libertarian leaning, so I should be sympathetic to Brown’s “small government” stance, but unfortunately, I feel the previous paragraph’s thesis fits him (even more so since he’s a marginalized Republican), and I have to ask, “What has he really done?” For us? For anybody? Did he get the explicitly discriminatory taxation of high Mass Pike tolls reduced? Did he get the State’s “41B” affordable housing/town zoning over-riding regulation modified? Or what?

    I went to his website and find that he has a family, is in the National Guard and is for lower taxation, but there was no great list of past accomplishments and no prescription of how we’re going to lower taxes given the current state of the government’s finances. I was almost embarressed for him, it’s like he’s an amateur, not a real player and not able to show that he understands what it means to be senatorial, and he’s only raised $400k. One can only hope that by the next time he runs for statewide office he will have focussed more on doing something that we can point to and say, “Good job”.

    Martha Coakley

    Honestly, I didn’t know anything about Martha Coakley, but comparing her biography to Brown’s is striking. Lawyer, Middlesex Assistant District Attorney, then District Attorney, special commisions, state-wide Attorney General. Always prosecuting, apply the law in specific cases. Legal associations’ head, many awards, always speaking, writing, lecturing… a much different feeling of accomplishment. Not an amateur, lawyers work in the real world and deal with laws and their effects every day. And she’s raised $4m so she will be on TV this week saying the things senators are supposed to say. Of course, I don’t believe her every word, but to me she seems more fit for the job, more senatorial.

    What do you think?
    (And don’t forget to vote.)

    donBustin@verizon.net

  2. #2
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    Default SUpport Marth Coakley

    I urge a vote for Martha Coakley. These two candidates are very different and voters have a clear choice. 1. Scott Brown has been Wayland's State Senator for several terms and there is not much to show for it. While our town's State Representative, Tom Conroy, has been incredibly proactive and has brought real resources and solutions to Wayland and the rest of his district, Scott Brown has served primarily as a place holder and nag, practicing politics mostly by press release. 2. Unfortunately, Brown has increasingly adopted some of the most right-wing, fringe positions on many key issues. He has recently adopted even more radical views in order to gain traction in national right-wing fundraising. 3. By contrast, Martha Coakley has served the Commonwealth with distinction, including election as Middlesex District Attorney and more recently as our Attorney General. These are some of the most demanding offices in state government, where everyday she has had to make judgments about major issues and cases that affect the well-being of all of us. She is not a brutish partisan, but moderate, approachable, thoughtful on issues, and interested in pursuing the discussion and the back and forth that leads to better and innovative solutions, which is what U.S. Senators are meant to do.

    I urge a vote for Martha Coakley next Tuesday, January 19. If you'd like a Coakley lawn sign, contact me at 508-653-3685.

  3. #3
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    Default Boy am I confused

    (but you know that) I was going to drop in and ask why no discussion here? No interest? No importance? Only a Senator? Was going to ask if someone wouldn’t make the case for Brown. And today in the paper, lotsa letters “for Brown”. One even by someone who frequents this discussion forum and makes posts pretty regularly and who I’ve become somewhat sympathetic too. And I go “what the…” Why not here?

    Certainly the paper has a bigger audience and these people must be hoping to influence the election or want to show their support from some other reason. But I can’t help but think that their “not posting here” is because their political position would then be subject to rebuttal (argument or discussion).

    In Brown’s case, all the letters only mentioned what Brown believes, not what he’s done. Even Brown’s own literature only mentions his beliefs. Wouldn’t the job be to translate beliefs into actions/deeds? Well?

    Now, don’t think I’m all for the Democrats, like the one person who posted above. In the Massachusetts legislature, they certainly are a problem, and since he mentioned Tom Conroy, lets just say I’m not overwhelmed by his accomplishments either, but that waits for another election.

    On a “bigger” issue, I was thinking of proposing different themed threads, hoping to get more involvement in our little discussion forum (like I believe Alan was doing with the movies). Even thought about having more polls. (We could have one now asking whether people thought the “School Administrators” should take a budget hit. Then we could know more about what people actually thought.) But if people don’t participate, and I’m get the feeling that people just might not, then it’s all fruitless. That’s what I don’t understand, this forum is a great thing, but to make it work, it needs to be interesting. And interesting is people saying things. Course it would be better if important people were here saying important things, but until we can convince them it’s worth their time, we’re stuck with… well

    Can no one tell me why I should vote for Scott Brown? Something he’s done, not that he believes blah, blah, blah, and will provide an enlightened counterweight to all we find horrible about Washington?

    donBustin@verizon.net

  4. #4
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    Default

    This certainly has been an informative discussion, very helpful to my deciding how to vote.

    Now’s the time to vote, so please vote here too, if only for practice and to see how it works. It doesn’t record your name so nobody will know you’re on the wrong side of the vote. And hey, you can be one of the first folks in town to actually vote electronically. An admittedly humble beginning.

    Thanks for caring,

    donBustin@verizon.net

  5. #5
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    Default

    Here's how Scott Brown's vote varied among the towns in his very vertically-shaped State Senate district.


  6. #6
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    Default Typical

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Here's how Scott Brown's vote varied among the towns in his very vertically-shaped State Senate district.

    Pretty sure Wayland being the lowest (but still impressive) % of Brown voters paints our electorate as a bit out of touch. Did 55% of the people really believe that Martha would do a better job based on the dismally managed (and that's being polite) campaign she ran?

    Why are we surprised, though, when Wayland's leaders are willing to have save three full time secretaries instead of maxing out teachers in our schools! Sounds like a plan Martha would endorse whole-heartedly!

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    Pretty sure Wayland being the lowest (but still impressive) % of Brown voters paints our electorate as a bit out of touch. Did 55% of the people really believe that Martha would do a better job based on the dismally managed (and that's being polite) campaign she ran?
    Jeff, there were plenty of reasons to vote against Brown that had nothing to do with fiscal management. I'm not a fan of his A rating from the NRA or his beloved truck. Frankly, I found the absolute low-point of the campaign to be the moment during his victory speech when he proudly touted his truck and the audience chanted "Gas Guzzling Truck, Gas Guzzling Truck!" Is that what the Republican party has come to -- so proud to be different from the those who care about the environment as to flaunt it and mock those who care? That wasn't funny, it was disgusting, and I call upon people of all parties to denounce that type of stupid behavior. Martha's campaign was far from stellar (yes, I did expect her to be shaking hands in the cold outside Fenway), but as a non-Christian female who supports gay rights over gun rights, will take science over religion in my research and medical care, and cares about the environment, I have serious reservations about Senator Brown's ability to represent me in the Senate.

    It's simplistic to argue that our electorate is out of touch because we didn't choose the more fiscally conservative (and sadly, frequently heartless) candidate.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Jeff, there were plenty of reasons to vote against Brown that had nothing to do with fiscal management. I'm not a fan of A rating from the NRA or his beloved truck. Frankly, I found the absolute low-point of the campaign to be the moment during his victory speech when he proudly touted his truck and the audience chanted "Gas Guzzling Truck, Gas Guzzling Truck!" Is that what the Republican party has come to -- so proud to be different from the those who care about the environment as to flaunt it and mock those who care? That wasn't funny, it was disgusting, and I call upon people of all parties to denounce that type of stupid behavior.
    First off, I think it is fair to correct something above. The chant was "gas up the truck", as in get down to Washington (and not an environmental slur). That being said, the rest of the above is out of context given the misquote. I would have been equally as disappointed if environmental conciousness was bashed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Martha's campaign was far from stellar (yes, I did expect her to be shaking hands in the cold outside Fenway), but as a non-Christian female who supports gay rights over gun rights, will take science over religion in my research and medical care, and cares about the environment, I have serious reservations about Senator Brown's ability to represent me in the Senate.

    It's simplistic to argue that our electorate is out of touch because we didn't choose the more fiscally conservative (aka frequently heartless) candidate.
    I think the portrait of Scott Brown as painted above is generic, and somehwat incorrect. Having known Scott for a number of years, he is not a party-line toter and is socially moderate (almost libertarian) in his views. He is indeed conservative fiscally, something desperately needed in our present out-of-control government spending mode.

    In the end, though, Martha was more of the same (many would argue she was actually a massively more inept version of the same). People here and across the country are sick and tired of more of the same. I think Brown's victory is a sign of things to come as people look to show useless politicians the door and replace them with new blood. I can only pray this happens locally as we look to fill Selectman and SC seats in April! Make no mistake, however, that these replacements have a short leash. A lack of definitive change will put them in as much risk going forward as the incumbents whom they replace were in.

  9. #9
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    Apologies if I misheard them -- it sure sounded like "Gas guzzling truck" to me, and I replayed it a few times (though how many years did it take before I had the correct lyrics to "Blinded by the Light"? :-)

    The sentiment is still there though -- why does he drive that stupid truck? And more importantly, why is he proud of it? We'll see independent he is and how often he breaks with the the Republicans in Congress. On which social issues is he going to stand up to them? Environmental issues? Well, he doesn't really think we're causing global warming (and hey, gotta drive that truck!) Gun rights? I'm doubt it, he's got that A from the NRA. Women's rights of any sort? I have no reason to have any expectations there. Gay rights? Well, no, and did you get any of those awful push poll calls on that issue??

    He's been my senator, too, Jeff, and I've spoken with him personally a couple of times. Left me totally underwhelmed.

    I'd love to be proven wrong. So far he seems to me to be an empty suit (though he did pretty well when he took the suit off, didn't he? Sorry, couldn't resist...)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Apologies if I misheard them -- it sure sounded like "Gas guzzling truck" to me, and I replayed it a few times (though how many years did it take before I had the correct lyrics to "Blinded by the Light"? :-)
    Definitely "gas up the truck". I know this from confirming with people who were in the room.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    The sentiment is still there though -- why does he drive that stupid truck? And more importantly, why is he proud of it? We'll see independent he is and how often he breaks with the the Republicans in Congress. On which social issues is he going to stand up to them? Environmental issues? Well, he doesn't really think we're causing global warming (and hey, gotta drive that truck!) Gun rights? I'm doubt it, he's got that A from the NRA. Women's rights of any sort? I have no reason to have any expectations there. Gay rights? Well, no, and did you get any of those awful push poll calls on that issue??
    The truck is symbolic and was a brilliant marketing campaign. It was about connecting with the everyday voter. It wasn't so much the truck, but the fact that it had 200k miles on it and he drove it (himself) to go visit with a lot of voters (as opposed to Coakley's chauffers and black cars). As for standing up to social issues, all I can say is we'll have to see. If he votes party line all the time and people don't like the party line, he'll be answerable to this in two short years when he comes up for re-election.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    He's been my senator, too, Jeff, and I've spoken with him personally a couple of times. Left me totally underwhelmed.
    I've had very different experiences with him. He's been incredibly helpful and responsive when called upon. Guess that's what makes horse races.

  11. #11
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    Default Why didn’t this discussion happen before the election?

    Too bad not much discussion earlier, and only 4 votes in our forum. Not great but a beginning. A very small minority – if this was town meeting, I guess we could say that the town’s people gave overwhelming support to Coakley.

    Jeff B., aren’t senate terms six years? And I’m still waiting for you to be specific about what Scott Brown has actually done. Over the years, I give a little effort to finding out what our politicians do. So when Scott Brown would boast of being on such and such state committees I would go research those committees. Unfortunately, those committees didn’t seem to be very active themselves, and Scott’s activities were not much in evidence. So, I wait for specifics, something more than “he drives a truck”. Golly.

    They only good reason that I can think of for the people of Massachusetts to elect Brown was that it’s a form of “checks and balances”. Just like when we elect a Republican governor (not this time, I know). When one party becomes too dominant and may push too far in one direction, we set up obstacles that force that party to become more moderate. It’s not unreasonable.

    Scott Brown does not exude anything like quality on any level (and I hated his computer calls). But he’s ours.

    donBustin@verizon.net

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post

    Jeff B., aren’t senate terms six years?

    donBustin@verizon.net
    Don, the election he won was to complete the term that Senator Kennedy started.

  13. #13
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    Default a truck is a truck is a truck

    I suppose what we drive says something about us - but frankly I drive a car to get around town. I have no opinion whether one drives an old truck, a honda civic, a prius or a spiffy 300 horse-power something-or-rather. I'm sure plenty of hybrid drivers take long hot showers and don't recycle their plastic. Perhaps Brown's truck is offensive or is a calculated image; perhaps he doesn't use chemicals on his lawn and always returns his beer bottles. We are who we think we are, not what others think of us. Politicians are a crafty lot, aren't they?

  14. #14
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    Elizabeth, :-) I have to say that there really does seem to be a hybrid personality. Research has shown that people who drive hybrids are more progressive and politically to the left of the general population. Hybrid drivers eat more organic food, though that may be because they tend to be better educated and wealthier. I'm willing to bet there actually is a pretty high correlation between driving a hybrid and recycling plastic (and paper), not using chemicals on your lawn, composting, and even drying clothes outdoors (the latter of which I will confess I do not currently do). It's a mindset that I have found with all the hybrid drivers I know, and (at the risk of sounding self-righteous) I hope will expand to more people in the years to come.

    As for Scott's truck, frankly, it seems a little unnecessary for a guy who's not hauling tools or equipment. Maybe he needs it, who knows? I certainly wouldn't be proud of it, though yes, it's awfully nice that he's had the car so long and that he drives himself around (and I was pleased to note that he seems to wear his seat belt!)

  15. #15
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    Someone who drives a truck with over 200,000 miles on it has done something quite significant for the environment. Not getting rid of a perfectly functioning truck prevents the consumption of natural resources required to build the truck and eliminates the production of hazardous wastes associated with truck manufacturing. The "gas guzzling" nature of the truck must be weighed against the environmental hazard of the batteries that are required for hybrids and have no satisfactory disposal option yet. The mpg's he gets should be compared with the the chauffer driven sedan that Martha Coakley uses for transportation.

    By the way I drive a hybrid on some days and a pick up truck with over 150,000 miles on it on other days. ;-)

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