Saturday, June 05, 2010

MA Primary Game Afoot

Drove me crazy, this constipated Dem convention today, though friends might say that would be a short trip. When pols and their surrogates orate, skeds shred...and they did. Finally, we know that we'll have primaries and debates for several offices.

That is very positive. The undercard of this year's MA election will give us that manifested cliché — the government we deserve. In particular, the treasurer, auditor and secretary can make powerful differences in how we conduct business and politics, as well as our economic health. We've been on cruise control in these offices for a long time. We finally get a chance to choose the same old or to demand newer and maybe better.

On the Dem side, today's convention decided that we'd have two primaries. For auditor (incumbent not running):
For treasurer (incumbent not running, rather fantasies of governorship):
For secretary of the commonwealth, unfortunately, the opposition to incumbent Bill Galvin can't force a primary and debates because he is independent Jim Henderson. That means there'll be no primary and the final will be a three way with Henderson, Dem Galvin, and GOP Bill Campbell. This certainly deserves a series of debates, but Galvin may play caveman here. We'll try to get him solo on Left Ahead! to mix it up a bit.

The GOP has candidates to face off on the winners of the auditor and treasurer contests too. That would be Karyn Polito for treasurer and either Mary Connaughton or Kamal Jain for auditor, depending on who wins that spot in September.

So, we're not likely to to see or hear much on the final Dem v. GOP candidate for those two offices until six weeks before the November general.

The treasurer and secretary races in particular have the opportunity to make huge improvements...or not.

Talking Candidates

For some background, check out our Left Ahead! shows with Grossman, Murphy and Polito for treasurer and Henderson for secretary. When we get intraparty and interparty debates for treasurer, voters will have unusually clear distinctions and choices. My word, they'll have to think before smearing an oval! Listen to the trio's positions, but come in and come away with the concepts that Grossman has an activist and policy influencing plan for the office, Polito wants to play it fiscally and politically very conservative and Murphy comes in with a middle position. There's strategy and tactics everywhere in this race.

I hope that the secretary's race gets an elevated profile, particularly as there's a Republican to push Galvin from another side. The incumbent's campaign site looks like he isn't running at all, just expecting to continue in the role. On the other hand, Henderson wants to overhaul the processes of the office, making public info easily available to hoi polloi. He'd like to use 21st century technology to let us find out what we need. Those would be huge changes and well worthy of debates.

Here's to primaries, debates, and the truths and ideas revealed in the undercard races.

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