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Local Endorsement for Campaign 2006…

Election day in only a few days away. It may be a little tough for Bay Staters to be as excited as others because we have been doing our duty and electing good, honest, and Democratic people to the House and Senate for some time. However, there are elections to be won and had here too on the local level.

New England Senate Races:
Massachusetts: This one really is a no-brainer. Yes, Ted Kennedy has been representing Massachusetts for 40+ years. Love him or hate him, he has been a tireless advocate for children, the uninsured and indeed all Americans. Certainly he benefits from the asinine tax cuts for those “poor rich people,” but he opposes them because he understands that its the middle and lower classes that need the help more than anybody. WMassP&I endorses Edward Kennedy for reelection to the United States Senate.

Rhoade Island: This one is painful, I gotta admit. I like Lincoln Chaffee. He is a moderate of undisputed honor and conviction. However, he is also at risk to a be victim of party that has made our country reconsider returning Nixon’s resignation notice. Moderate till the end, he opposed the President often, but sank into line when necessary. Therefore, regrettably, I must endorse Sheldon Whitehouse for US Senate from Rhode Island. As a state attorney general, he fought for the rights of Rhode Islanders and will do the same in the Senate.

Vermont: The Boston Globe made a point to note that the Senate’s first socialist may very well be elected this Tuesday. Bernie Sanders, the current at-large representative from Vermont, and his views may be controversial. He maintains a picture of Eugene Debs in his office. However, I would never question his dedication and concern to working families. He should represent Vermont in the Senate.

Connecticut: As a Democrat, I am going to catch some Hell for this. Joe Lieberman should have lay down his arms when he lost, which really had little to do with the war. Rather he rested on his laurels in CT, and to that end he should have stopped. He did not, however. Perhaps if all registered Dems came out to vote he might have won. Who knows? What I do know is that Ned Lamont, whom I believe to be a dedicated guy and perfectly apt to be a Senator is too much of a neophyte to earn that seat. Joe Leiberman needs to get off his high horse about values, which often make him sound Republicanesque. (Newsflash, we all have values, some of us are just above exploiting them.) But despite his flaws, Leiberman is an advocate for labor and the environment and will continue to serve CT well if returned to Washington, as he should be.

Maine: Here is my repentance for Rhoade Island. Admittedly, if we had a shot in Hell of winning Maine, I might feel differently. Olympia Snowe, who at times is more moderate then Chaffee and at time less so. Has shown her quality as a stateswoman and a legislator. She unabashedly supports woman’s rights and remains immensely popular in Blue State Maine. Hers is a dying breed, as Chaffee illustrates, and if he loses the “New England band of Sisters,” (I can’t remember where I heard that) Snow, Chaffee, and Sen. Susan Collins, will be down to two. In any case, Mainers, vote Snow on Nov. 7.

New York Gubernatorial Race
This has been the kind of race that makes me wish I was a New Yorker. While it is true that ever since Pataki decided not to run, Eliot Spitzer has more or less run a runaway campaign. Even so, while controversial as Attorney General, I feel that that groundswell of support will enable him to be a good manager and administrator, something NY desperately needs. Eliot Spitzer will bring New York State Excelsior (Higher, the State Motto).

First Congressional District of Massachusetts
John Olver has represented Western Massachusetts for 15 years and has done so faithfully ever since her won a special election following Silvio Conte’s untimely death. Olver is emphatically supported by WMassP&I because Congressman Olver has been a tireless Amtrak, one of our pet causes, on the Appropriations committee in the House. We encourage our readers to vote for Rep. John Olver this Tuesday.

Local Massachusetts Races
Because there are so many, I am just going to deal with the races that appear on Springfield ballots.
State House:
Sean Curran: A young and fresh face when elected in 2004, this incumbent has served his city and state well in the short time he has been in office, fighting for Springfield in what has been a trying time.
Angelo Puppolo: He has been on the City Council for some time and voted against the budgets of the past that are haunting us today. On Beacon Hill, I am convinced he will bring the same sanity to the state’s fiscal issues.
Cheryl Coakley-Rivera: Despite her passionate, if a little intense, advocacy against many of the Control Board’s actions, I know that this state representative has the best interests of Springfield at heart and votes for what is right, not just what is popular.
State Senate
Gale Candaras: Neither candidate lives in Springfield, which woudl be a nice for any candidate for elective office to Boston. HOWEVER, Gale Candaras has shown herself to have the experienec as a legislator and the savvy to balance the occassionally divergent needs of her city and suburban constituents. Springfield could ask for no better advocate in the House, and will receive the same great representation with Candaras representing them in Senate.
Clerk of Courts
Brian Lees: He shocked the local political scene by deciding not to run again for the very seat Candaras and his aid Enrico Villamaino now seek. Speculation was rampant that he would move to the city and run for mayor. However, with Charles Ryan contemplating a run for a third term, that seemed less likely. To stay visible Lees is running for Clerk of Courts. Whatever his intentions are, it does not matter. He has been an effective legislator despite being in the lopsided Republican minority on Beacon Hill. He deserves the job, but we’ll need to keep a close eye on him.

Unopposed Incumbents:
These candidates face no opposition, but we should put an X next to their name (well draw a line in Spfld) as a show of support.
Richard Neal, Second Mass Cong. District: What can I say? Richie Neal has never forgotten where he came from and fought hard for working families, to catch corporate tax cheats, and to protect Social Security. Enough said.
Stephen Buoniconti, Hampden Senate District: On Beacon Hill since 2001, and in the Senate since ’05, Stephen Buoniconti has stood up for the city time and time again. He has been an ambasador of sorts betweent he people of Springfield and the control board.
To be honest, I cannot think of any other elected officials appearing on Springfield’s ballot that I have forgotten. If I have, please leave a comment and I will rectify it. In the meantime, see you at the polls. VICTORY ’06!!!!!

Okay, I lied. I did forget one office: Governor. I am disappointed in all candidates. I will vote for somebody, but who, I do not know. I am sicked by how this campaign has turned out, what have become the issues, and more. Therefore, Western Mass Politics & Insight, regrettably, endorses no one for the Corner Office on Beacon Hill.