Thursday, October 28, 2010

Covert Candidates Play Passive/Aggressive

MA candidates throw down and throw back!

How about recalling from The Guess Who:

(No time left for you) On my way to better things
(No time left for you) I found myself some wings
(No time left for you) Distant roads are calling me
(No time left for you) Da-n-da-n-da-n-da-n-da

or the Beatles:

I've got no time for you right now. Don't bother me...
Don't come around. Leave me alone. Don't bother me...

Around MA and the nation, many incumbents who feel secure in their spots hide from debates, fora and any public appearances where they might say anything meaningful. This go has seen several particularly arrogant examples in this state where we pride ourselves on our civic traditions.

That Lynch guy in the 9th Congressional sinecure-like spot and our Secretary of the Commonwealth flipped off the public and media repeatedly and seemingly with no retribution. They clearly don't care about the little d democratic process and seem to figure if they don't have to participate they won't.

I grew up taking civics classes, reading several newspapers every day, and discussing government and politics at home, school and with friends. I have long been fond of the concept of voters making informed decisions. I could hardly wait until I was 18 so I could vote.

In 2010, in the past six months of hard campaigning, Steve Lynch and Bill Galvin repeatedly refused to attend many public meetings, fora, debates and editorial-board appearance.
Personal disgruntlement note: Over at Left Ahead!, we give guests the run of the mic for 30 to 60 minutes for our podcasts. We don't spring trick questions or surprise adversaries. Lynch and Galvin have blown us off as well, keeping with their theme of I-don't-have-to-so-I-won't. Lynch's handler, Conor Yuntis, initially said his guy would come on, but only for 10 or 20 minutes, and then totally reneged. Galvin's campaign manager brother promised soon until it is apparently too late.

We're just three blogger/podcasters who have a little weekly show. We know we're not prime-time TV or front-page daily fare. Yet, we get hundreds and sometimes many more listeners who commit to or at least start our hour-long shows. Pols like Gov. Deval Patrick, Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Mike Capuano and many others seem to have the time to present themselves to the voters. Perhaps they are less important than Galvin and Lynch.
Voters should be irritated or worse at today's long overdue pieces on Wicked Local and the Globe, that cite the State House News Service on Galvin's latest. The Secretary is pulling chief-election-administrator with his comment on why he refused to debate his two opponents a couple of blocks from his Beacon Hill office — I said I could do 60 minutes; I couldn’t possibly do 90 minutes in the middle of a workday a week before the election.

Well, they would have done an hour at Suffolk Law and, for democracy's sake, he's had more than six months of invites that he has rejected or accepted and then backed out of. The one he ducked recently in Newton combined with yesterday's led indy opponent Jim Henderson to have a quicky press conference on the invisible, mute incumbent.

Galvin has finally roused from his hiding enough to send out minions. His ads just kicked in, avoiding all substance, rather accusing Henderson of not voting in all local elections when he promoted greater turnout and lumping him inexplicably with Green-Rainbow gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein (huh?).

This Secretary job has a four-year term and by hunkering in the political basement for this campaign, Galvin may in fact go for 17th to 20th year of his tenure. The numerous complaints of inefficiency, of preventing public access to public information, of doing nothing to diagnose and cure low turnout, and of leaving the office's technology in the 1980s, remain. Neither the legislature nor the governor has demanded Galvin fix this atavistic operation.

Now the voters will go into Tuesday's final with too little basis for judgment.

Lynch is similar, although he faces re-election every two years. He has made a 9-year career of voting as a rightwinger, in effect a conservative Republican on all the big policy issues from health-reform (no), to the PATRIOT Act (strong, repeated yes), to Iraq and other war (resounding yeses), with the sole Dem/lefty graces being in OK support of LGBT and choice rights.

Both try-to-find-me candidates have been receiving tepid endorsement snippets buried among effusive plaudits for candidates who appear publicly. Consider for one, the silly Phoenix one for Galvin, in its entirety:
Insiders joke on Beacon Hill that Secretary of State WILLIAM GALVIN is the dark prince of State House politics. Galvin certainly knows his way around the back rooms, but he runs a tight and — most important of all — professional ship. Vote to re-elect Galvin.

...or the Globe's he's-not-terrible for Lynch:
Stephen Lynch, representing parts of Boston and its suburbs, withstood a primary challenge from the left by touting his independence from Democratic leaders; now, his lightly funded GOP opponent, computer technologist Vernon Harrison, is arguing, improbably, that Lynch is too liberal for the district. Lynch is a much better fit than Harrison.
Apparently, they and others keep these short because they don't know much about the spectral candidates' performance or positions. That's no way to run a newspaper or a democracy.

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