Thursday, September 28, 2006

'nuff of Dianne, for Some

Today's Bay Windows has a great follow-up piece on Dianne Wilkerson's likely primary victory in the Second Suffolk Senate write-in/stick-on contest. Laura Kiritsy's revealing breakdown is the reasonable analysis to counter our rants.

The short of it is that the two heavily gay areas of Wilkerson's district went for the progressive reformer, Sonia Chang-Diaz. As the article puts it, "in the South End and Jamaica Plain, neighborhoods with large gay populations, leading some observers to conclude that despite Wilkerson’s legislative leadership on LGBT issues, gay voters were unwilling to stick with the embattled incumbent at the ballot box."

The margins included:
  • JP -- Chang-Diaz by 1499
  • South End -- Chang-Diaz by 214
  • Roxbury -- Wilkerson by 2277

The precincts with the greatest gay concentrations were strongest for the reformer. "Take the area around Peters Park and Union Park Street in the South End (Ward 3, Precinct 7). There, voters backed Chang-Diaz over Wilkerson 185 to 85. In the neighborhood surrounding the Boston Center for the Arts, also in the South End, (Ward 5, Precinct 1) Chang-Diaz won 176 votes to Wilkerson’s 103. "

Wilkerson's base of African-American and Latino voters was strong for her and provided the victory:

  • Cathedral Housing Project and D4 police station area (70% of color in Ward 8, Precinct 1) was 61 Wilkerson and 15 Chang-Diaz.
  • Blackstone Square and Villa Victoria area (57% of color in Ward 9, Precinct 1) was Wilkerson 81 and Chang-Diaz 57.
Everyone seems to agree that the split LGBT vote retained enough support for Wilkerson to be important in this victory. Yet, it wouldn't have take much to put Chang-Diaz in as the Dem candidate.

Do check the full article for reactions from the candidates and their various supporters.

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Anonymous said...

Chang-Diaz is also "of color", so that doesn't really explain why a larger proportion of "of color" constituents voted for Wilkerson. I bet it was plain old loyalty.

Ryan said...

It's more likely that they were low-information voters. The average voter in the area probably knew very little about either Wilkerson's scandals or the sticker campaigns.

massmarrier said...

I don't know, Ryan. The sticker thing was truly a problem throughout the district -- with poll workers and bosses as well as voters. But people know Wilkerson's self-inflicted troubles. She's the talk of the street with income tax conviction and this new perjury investigation. Her nephew's murder case was high profile in her communities.

This doesn't seem terribly different from old Southern politics, where you keep sending your official back forever...unless they end up in jail long and seriously enough to lose the seat.

Mark D. Snyder said...

For another and interesting look at Wilkerson read Rev. Irene Monroe's collumn at I am divided on this issue personally so I like reading both sides.

massmarrier said...

That column is very different and intense. Thanks for the mention.

On the face of it, Rev. Monroe is glib in substituting Wilkerson's faith and God language for morality. It would be easy to look at the many evangelical preachers caught in adultery or stealing funds and say,"Oh yeah, another one." Yet the column does illustrate the reasonable tendency to give Wilkerson slack for all the good she has done.

I suppose we each have our definition of how loose morality can be in a public official and how willing we are to separate performance from personality. She has far exceeded my limit too many times, but Rev. Monroe is right there for her.

The only terrible part of the column is using Maya Angelou's words to claim calling Wilkerson on her deeds is "twisted lies." That doesn't cut it.

Blue-Xela said...

Here's my take:

Basically, I think the home neighborhood factor of Chang-Diaz helped her immensely (at least in JP).

Anonymous said...

I just spent my day over at city hall doing yet another recount.
I was an official observer for one of the sides, I guess it doesn't matter which side.
I feel very discouraged by our system.
Not only the incompetence but the "politics".
I was told by 'my side' that if I observed a vote for 'my side' and it wasn't valid that I should let it go.
I guess you all are going to laugh now since I obviously didn't see that coming!
I need to go back and crawl under my rock.