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Ear to the Ground

Massachusetts Senate Race Heats Up

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Posted on Jan 15, 2010
Brown and Giuliani

He’s a contender: In this still from his website, Scott Brown, foreground, is joined by Rudy Giuliani, right, as the Massachusetts Republican campaigns to take the late Ted Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat.

He’s not your, er, conventional Republican—having spent part of his childhood being raised by a bona fide welfare mom, not to mention posing nude during law school—but regardless, Massachusetts state Sen. Scott Brown could pose a serious challenge to his Democratic opponent, Martha Coakley, in the race to fill the late Edward Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat.

This is where President Barack Obama comes in to attempt to tip the balance in Massachusetts Attorney General Coakley’s favor by hitting the campaign trail on her behalf before Tuesday’s special election.  —KA

The Wall Street Journal:

David Axelrod, a senior White House adviser, said Mr. Brown had “done a good job of portraying [Democratic opponent Martha Coakley] as a quasi-incumbent.” But in reality, he said, Mr. Brown “stands with the big banks and the insurance companies.”

Mr. Brown attended Tufts University and then law school at Boston College. While a law student, he posed nude for a magazine centerfold in a sexiest-man contest. For 30 years, he has been in the National Guard, where he is in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Mr. Brown’s legislative focus has ranged from crime-victims rights issues to veterans affairs.

Sen. Brian A. Joyce, a Democrat who sits on two committees with the Republican, supports Ms. Coakley, the state’s attorney general, and thinks she would make the better senator. He calls Mr. Brown a “good guy,” about whom he has nothing negative to say. “He is not a rigid ideologue at all.”

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By ed_tru_lib, January 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

Wildflower-your comments in response to Dave and others are fine, and Dave’s comment is so typical of a sincere, but insufficiently informed progressive. Why is it so difficult for some people to recognize they live on a planet, inhabited by others, and the ONLY way to have even marginal, much less signifigant success at politics or anything else, is to GET REAL.

When Muhammad Ali was told he would have to be drafted and go kill people he said sorry-I draw the line at beating people up, to which they responded-well if you won’t kill people, we won’t let you beat them up either.

Would Dave and those like him rather be beaten up, or killed. There is a considerable difference there. Who cares how much money Coakley is getting from big drugs, or what wall street thinks of her, IF SHE IS THE ONLY POSSIBLE SUCCESSFUL ALTERNATIVE TO SOMEONE WHO THINKS SARAH PALIN WOULD BE A GREAT PRESIDENT??!! SHE’S ASKING FOR YOUR VOTE-NOT YOUR LOVE OR ETERNAL ADMIRATION!!

Coakley will support SOME extension of affordable health care to people who need it-her repug opponent won’t. Coakley will follow the basic center-left agenda of the democrats in congress. Brown will support the hannity/limbaugh/beck/o’reilly agenda of his party. As so OFTEN is the case in American politics, and other areas of life, THERE ARE NO OTHER POSSIBLE OUTCOMES THERE!!

There are limitless examples. The bottom line HAS to be-DOES ANYBODY SANE THINK ITS THE SAME TO BE BEATEN UP AS TO BE KILLED?? Anyone who considers him/herself a progressive and does not vote for a Coakley, when Brown or any repug like him is the ONLY alternative, is at best a damn fool, and at worst, well, something MUCH worse (starts with “tr” and rhymes with “nader”)

Alan MacDonald-I don’t know what Maine you’ve been living in, but if you’re serious about nader not getting enough media coverage in 2000, it can’t possibly be the one on THIS planet. Ralphie was the Green party candidate in 1996. No one to speak of in the media gave him the time of day, and he returned the favor by barely campaigning-no harm, no foul. His 2000 candidacy was a TOTAL media creation that would make Paris Hilton’s or Britney Speares’ handlers BLUSH for the extent of it’s crass opportunism.

nader NEVER pulled more than 6% nationally in ANY poll from the beginning of the campaign to the end, yet so many in the media treated him like he, not Bush or Gore, was the favorite. Endless OJ-like coverage of ridiculously sparsely attended rallies, hourly appearances/coverage on cable news shows (especially FOX-gee-go figure!) as if he had all but already been elected. And of course this tried and true patriot played his part to the hilt, actually got about 3% of the vote, which turned out of course to be just enough to elect Bush and give us all Cheney/Rove/the horse trainer in charge of Katrina relief, Iraq, etc etc.

So much leftyloon nonsense gets spouted on truthdig posts, along with the occasional pearl of wisdom. You hardly EVER even see or hear from ralph in any media any more. Yet I assume his rent is paid and while never fat, he doesn’t look like he’s missing meals. Wonder who ELSE is corporate-sponsored in our current America, and has ralphie made any trips to the Caymans lately. I’ll take someone who will vote for SOME measure of human and civil rights, and who can ACTUALLY GET ELECTED TO VOTE FOR THEM, any day.

As we move into the election season, if we DO start to see/hear more from ralphie, one will get you a hundred IT WILL BE ON FOX FAR MORE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE.

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By wildflower, January 17, 2010 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

RE DaveZx3: “I have a little faith that he will serve the people better.”

Can’t say I share your faith. I just don’t respect the kind of stuff mentioned below, and believe a candidate who participates in it will do just about anything:

“. . . after praising Sarah Palin, Massachusetts Senate hopeful Scott Brown appears to suggest he thinks Barack Obama was born out of wedlock—a false claim which has been advanced frequently by members of the ‘birther’ movement.”

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By wildflower, January 17, 2010 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

Re Ardee: A large part of the problem is . . . we . . . really have no choices”

Hate voters are also a big problem.  Mike Madden points out there are some ugly supporters behind the Republican candidate:

“As the Massachusetts Senate special election wraps up, a couple of unsavory right-wing groups are coming to Republican candidate Scott Brown’s aid.

Brown was endorsed Wednesday by Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, . . . The endorsement may not be entirely welcome news; the Southern Poverty Law Center points out that the group is aligned with the Federation for American
Immigration Reform, which the SPLC claims is a hate group. . .

Another group on the SPLC’s list, MassResistance, is also urging its ideological allies to vote for Brown. A blatantly anti-gay organization, MassResistance says Democratic candidate Martha Coakley’s “enthusiastic support of [the] radical homosexual/transgender agenda” is reason enough to oppose her . . .”

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By ardee, January 17, 2010 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

wildflower, January 16 at 5:26 pm #

RE Ardee: “This race is not going to be the only bitch slap for incompetent democrats.”

No, it will show how many Independents choose Wall Street’s favorite:

Is there a candidate in this race who is not previously approved by Wall Street? If so I am unaware of one. A large part of the problem, perhaps the heart thereof, is that we the people really have no choices in most races.

Where a significant third party presence is available the reams of disparaging propaganda turn off potential voters, the overwhelming gulf in access to media, access to the money that fuels political contests ( in order, I conjecture, to keep the riffraff out), makes third party victory very hard indeed.

The comments of DaveZx3 do indeed highlight a portion of the problem…namely that we have few real choices.

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By DaveZx3, January 17, 2010 at 3:41 am Link to this comment

By wildflower, January 17 at 2:46 am #

“But Wall Street is out there hustling for the centerfold guy”

Yeah, I see that.  Wall Street is due for some regulating, and I can see Brown participating in that.  I don’t get the idea that he will be a corporate lackey.  Of course, that is my opinion, but he seems to be a decent person, so I have a little faith that he will serve the people better than Coakley.

I am more flabbergasted at the money thrown to Coakley by the Drug Companies and Insurance Companies.  The fact that these lobbyists are pushing Coakley does not give me a very warm fuzzy regarding the pending Health Care Bill, which I was not too fond of anyway.  I don’t see any real reform in it, so I wonder why these lobbyists are pushing it so hard.  I probablly answered my own question right there.

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By wildflower, January 16, 2010 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment

Re DaveZx3: “spare me declarations of Scott Brown’s ties to corporate interest.”

But Wall Street is out there hustling for the centerfold guy:

“The Wall Street front group FreedomWorks is mobilizing get out the vote efforts for Brown this weekend. FreedomWorks organized the very first tea party protests, and has used its extensive staff and resources to mobilize rallies and advocacy campaigns on behalf of corporate interests. Dick Armey, who as
a corporate lobbyist represented AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch during the bailouit, is the leader of FreedomWorks. FreedomWorks is also funded and chaired by Steve Forbes and Frank Sands of Sands Capital Management.

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By DaveZx3, January 16, 2010 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

Anybody get a chance to look at the sponsors of Martha Coakley’s January 10th emergency fundraising event at the Sonoma Restaurant in Washington D.C.

Apparently, a significant number of lobbyists for drug companies, health insurance companies, and hospitals teamed up to provide a desperate emergency “bailout” for Coakley’s poorly managed campaign. 

17 of the 22 “hosts” for the fundraiser (a host is credited with raising $10,000 or more for Coakley) are federally registered lobbyists, 15 of whom have health-care clients.  In addition, a smattering of CEO’s and the PAC for Boston Scientific Corporation were on the list.

A list of drug companies with lobbyists on Coakley’s host committee are as follows: “Pfizer, Merck, Amgen, Sanofi-Aventis, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Astra-Zeneca, and more. On the insurance side of things, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, HealthSouth, and United Health.”

Here is a list of some of some of the lobbyist hosts quoted from the invitation:
“Thomas Boggs, Patton Boggs: Bristol-Myers Squibb
Chuck Brain, Capitol Hill Strategies: Amgen, BIO, Merck, PhRMA
Susan Brophy, Glover Park Group: Blue Cross, Pfizer
Steven Champlin, Duberstein Group: AHIP, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis
Licy Do Canto, Raben Group: Amgen
Gerald Cassidy, Cassidy & Associates: U. Mass Memorial Health Care
David Castagnetti, Mehlman, Vogel, Castagnetti: Abbot Labs, AHIP, Astra-Zenaca, General Electric, Humana, Merck, PhRMA.
Steven Elmendorf, Elmendorf Strategies: Medicines Company, PhRMA, United Health
Shannon Finley, Capitol Counsel: Amgen, Astra-Zeneca, Blue Cross, GE, PhRMA, Sanofi-Aventis.
Heather Podesta, Heather Podesta & Partners: Cigna, Eli Lilly, HealthSouth
Tony Podesta, Podesta Group: Amgen, GE, Merck, Novartis.
Robert Raben, Raben Group: Amgen, GE. “

Please spare me declarations of Scott Brown’s ties to corporate interests.

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By Alan MacDonald, January 16, 2010 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

This is much bigger than any single issue (including health care). This is related to Democratic Party errors much earlier than Coakley’s campaign. Lastly, this is much more dangerous than what happens to the Democratic control of Congress in 2010—- or the entire Democratic Party.

Yes, this is a national political model (much as Brown is a model of a friendly fascist ‘Ken Doll’)—- but beneath the surface, and beneath the ‘Vichy’ facade of polite ‘center right’ vs. ‘center left’ discussion and ‘fair and balanced’ coverage in the corporatist media—- lies an egregious strategic error by the Democratic Party of where the political center of America really lies, and a gutless misjudgment and appeasement from that error which could well make Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement and negotiation of a “lesser of two evils” pale in comparison.

Yes, the Brown model is a “template” and ‘national model’ of seminal political significance in our waning Republic—- our ‘commonwealth’, our common interests, and our common good.

The seed of the Democratic Party strategists’ error in misjudging the ‘center’ of the real popular democratic America was first diagnosed by Ralph Nader in his 2000 campaign when he said, “the Green Party platform actually represents the majoritarian view of all average Americans”.  But even in 2000 the Democratic Party’s error was already a decade old, and the wound from their error was mortal—- they tried to play a game of tackle football with the corporatist Empire’s first string ‘R’ team and tried to run to what they thought was the center left of the line. 

Nader was not a friendly ‘Ken Doll’ candidate, and the corporatist media excoriated, ignored, and easily blocked his true majoritarian popular center campaign (which was far to the left of where the Demos dared run) to the delight and payment of the ruling-elite Global corporate/financial/militarist EMPIRE that now even more fully controls ‘our’ former country by hiding behind the façade of its two-party ‘Vichy’ sham of democracy.

To the extent that the ‘Brown model’ is the ‘national model’ of not only the GOP (as some in the media suspect) but of the entire two-party ‘Vichy’ front for this Global corporate Empire (which it most certainly is), then 2010 is going to be much more dangerous than a few gutless Democrats losing Congress.  2010 to 2012 could well be a much more visible slow-motion train-wreck and burial of the entire American founding and noble ‘experiment in democracy’.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By wildflower, January 16, 2010 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

RE Ardee: “This race is not going to be the only bitch slap for incompetent democrats.”

No, it will show how many Independents choose Wall Street’s favorite: 

“. . . independent voters are likely to make the difference in the special US Senate race.”

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By JimBob, January 16, 2010 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

IMO, this is nonsense driven by money-hungry media. Mass isn’t going to elect a Republican, and when Coakley wins by a landslide, the media that have been hyping a horse-race will just move on without ever asking themselves—or allowing anyone else to ask them—whether they stirred up a lot of noise about nothing in order to sell their product.
I guess we’ll see…

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By wildflower, January 16, 2010 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

RE MA SENATE RACE: “He calls Mr. Brown a “good guy,” about whom he has nothing negative to say. “He is not a rigid ideologue at all.”

Except the “corporate rule” folks seem to think Brown is a good little boy as well, and we certainly know about their rigid idelology:

“. . . The Wall Street front group FreedomWorks is mobilizing get out the vote efforts for Brown this weekend.

The Wall Street front group Club for Growth is strongly “boosting” Brown and is expected to run ads in support for him.”

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By Kay, January 16, 2010 at 7:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Boy, if this guy were a Dem and had posed nude in his youger years just think about the reaction from the rabid right. They would be foaming at the mouth and the religious right would be having a feild day with their holier than thou BS.
This guy is nothing more than another butt boy for wall street, check his incoming donations.

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By ardee, January 16, 2010 at 5:30 am Link to this comment

This race is not going to be the only bitch slap for incompetent democrats to ponder….

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By Commune115, January 16, 2010 at 4:02 am Link to this comment

The Democrats deserve an electoral bitch slap. Besides, both parties serve the same, corporate masters.

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By rollzone, January 15, 2010 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

hello. whoa, what a kinky hunk. I hear the Democrats have gotten so desperate that to pass the health care bill tomorrow and have it signed Sunday, they are willing to kill a celebrity! a sacrificial heap of tragedy overload on the public news consumption to help distract the passage. what are they going to think of next?

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By P. T., January 15, 2010 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

Progressives should vote for the Republican in the Massachusetts Senate race.  It is important to kill the health “reform” bill, which forces people who cannot afford overpriced private insurance to buy it.

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By DaveZx3, January 15, 2010 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment

I am not a Massachusetts resident, but I live close enough to have vivid memories of the Fells Acres Day Care case against the Amirault family of Malden, Ma in the 1980’s.  If one were to look up the facts about this case, they would find one of the biggest failings of American justice of all times. 

“This case ought to leave no one feeling confident except for one thing: justice was not done”.
— Judge Isaac Borenstein, 12 June 1998

Martha Coakley’s later efforts as a prosecutor of the Amirault’s is so insidious, when the actual facts are know, that this alone should disqualify Ms. Coakley from service as a US Senator. 

Anyone who might be using this race between Coakley and Brown as a barometer of Massachusetts residents support of Obama, Democrats, or Healthcare reform, would be wise to realize that it may be more of a personal rejection of Coakley than anything else.

Overall, she does not seem to be a very likable person, and in contrast to Brown, who seems very down to earth, approachable and well-liked by allies and opponents, Coakley might be hard pressed to pull off a victory. 

Even in heavily democratic Massachusetts, residents are apparently not so partisan as to vote blindly for the favored party candidate when they really just dont like her very much. 

I think this was just one more arrogant action of a Democratic intellectual elite which thinks it owns the commonwealth. 

The people of Massachusetts will use this opportunity to show the state and the country that no party owns anybody, and it is the people who rule. 

In the famous recent line by Scott Brown, “this is not Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, nor is it the Democrat’s Senate Seat.  It is the people of Massachusett’s Senate seat”

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By WTH, January 15, 2010 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The populism that the tea party movement represents has been discounted and even ridiculed with incendiary comments like “teabagging” by left leaning thinkers.  The Democrats deserve to lose this seat because of their intellectual rigidity and not owning up to the facts about what a growing number of Americans really want.

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By ed_tru_lib, January 15, 2010 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

My God-it seems impossible that this article could have a valid basis, and yet several sources are now reporting that this repug could win. Could there be a more poignantly tragic end to the story of Ted Kennedy than that HIS seat, which was President Kennedy’s before him, could be won by a republican?

If the dems can’t hold THIS seat, we might as well ALL start voting for 3rd, 4th or 5th party candidates. Jesus, who the hell cares?

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By sally, January 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thats one fine looking man

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