Governing

Brown Pushes For Pro-Business Policies Over Breakfast

By Sarah Birnbaum   |   Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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Sen. Brown addressed the Boston Chamber of Commerce on Monday. (AP)

BOSTON -- Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, the lone Republican in the state’s Congressional delegation, spoke about the economy Monday morning at a breakfast sponsored by the Boston Chamber of Commerce.  It was Brown’s first address to the chamber since Election Day, when Republicans swept of the nation’s House of Representatives -- and lost every statewide election here in Massachusetts.

Brown opened with a self-effacing joke about how few members of the chamber came to see him last time he addressed them, back when he was a state senator from Wrentham.

Then, in front of the 350 business leaders that gathered to see him that day, the senator assailed his Congressional colleagues for not spending enough time on job creation.
 
“Every day in Washington, I get up in the morning and get our briefing started, and I wonder what kind of fluff -- what kind of fluff -- is going to be pushed in the legislative session today?” Brown said. “Because I tell you what, since I’ve been there, we’ve only spent 10 to 12 days talking about jobs.”
 
Brown called for pro-business policies such as lowering the corporate tax rate and retaining the Bush Era tax cuts for all Americans, including the wealthy. Those tax cuts are set to expire at the end of this year.
 
“By not extending them, it’s a tax increase in the middle of a two year recession.  It’s the worst thing we can do right now,” Brown said.
 
Brown said it was too soon for him to think about keeping his own job by kicking off a re-election campaign.
 
“People say, Scott, you know, are you worried about your job?  Give me a break.  Really,” Brown said. “The time for running for reelection will be here in another year or so.  Do you know whose jobs I’m worried about? Yours.”

Since the midterm elections, Brown has become a subject of speculation in the Bay State.  While polling shows him to be the state’s most popular politician, every Massachusetts candidate he endorsed in the recent elections lost, leaving some to say that Brown himself may be vulnerable in 2012.  

Others, however, say Brown has built a national reputation and could be a viable future presidential candidate.

Coakley Gets An Opponent

By Adam Reilly   |   Thursday, September 16, 2010
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One of the biggest surprises of this year's MA elections was that--despite Scott Brown's win over Martha Coakley in that hugely hyped US Senate election earlier this year--the state GOP couldn't get anyone to run against Coakley for the AG's job this fall.

Well, now it turns out that Coakley will have a Republican opponent after all. Jim McKenna, a former assistant DA in Suffolk and Worcester counties, just made the ballot as a write-in candidate. This is no mean feat. McKenna had to get 10,000 voters to put his stickers (or just his name) in the appropriate section of their ballot Tuesday--and he pulled it off. According to Brian McNiff, a spokesman for the state's Elections division, this is the first time *ever* that a write-in candidate has managed this feat. 

Judging from the numbers posted on McKenna's web site, he was big in southeastern MA--no surprise there, since that's also Jeff Perry country. He also got serious support north of Boston (Andover, Billerica) and in Worcester.

My assumption is that McKenna will have an awfully tough time bumping Coakley off. But by qualifying for November's election, he's put himself in a great position to become a Republican cause celebre--especially given his aggressive conservatism on issues like illegal immigration and Obamacare. I've emailed McKenna in hopes of talking about his platform and background; if and when we connect, I'll post a recap of our conversation on this blog. 

No Free Pass For Coakley

By Adam Reilly   |   Thursday, September 16, 2010
0 Comments   0 comments.

 

One of the biggest surprises of this year's MA elections was that--despite Scott Brown's win over Martha Coakley in that hugely hyped US Senate election earlier this year--the state GOP couldn't get anyone to run against Coakley for the AG's job this fall.

Well, now it turns out that Coakley will have a Republican opponent after all. Jim McKenna, a former assistant DA in Suffolk and Worcester counties, just made the ballot as a write-in candidate. This is no mean feat. McKenna had to get 10,000 voters to put his stickers (or just his name) in the appropriate section of their ballot Tuesday--and he pulled it off. According to Brian McNiff, a spokesman for the state's Elections division, this is the first time *ever* that a write-in candidate has managed this feat. 

Judging from the numbers posted on McKenna's web site, he was big in southeastern MA--no surprise there, since that's also Jeff Perry country. He also got serious support north of Boston (Andover, Billerica) and in Worcester.

My assumption is that McKenna will have an awfully tough time bumping Coakley off. But by qualifying for November's election, he's put himself in a great position to become a Republican cause celebre--especially given his aggressive conservatism on issues like illegal immigration and Obamacare. I've emailed McKenna in hopes of talking about his platform and background; if and when we connect, I'll post a recap of our conversation on this blog. 

What The MA Primaries Mean

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
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So--anyone out there wildly surprised by yesterday's Massachusetts primaries?

Me either. I thought Jeff Perry would beat Joe Malone in the 10th Congressional GOP race--just not as easily as he did. I also expected Bill Keating to get the Democratic nod in that district over Rob O'Leary, especially after he chased down a thief right before the election. Suzanne Bump's win in the Democratic treasurer's primary might have been mildly unexpected--but Guy Glodis made enough embarrassing mistakes that I'm not surprised voters took a pass on his candidacy.

But even if Massachusetts didn't provide much electoral drama, we did offer a test case in whether anti-Washington sentiment can fuel Democrats as well as Republicans. And the answer seems to be: not really.

In the 9th Congressional district, Mac D'Alessandro ran against incumbent Congressman Steve Lynch from the left. He hit Lynch for opposing healthcare reform and backing the war in Afghanistan. D'Alessandro acquitted himself well and made his opponent sweat during a couple debates. And the end result? Lynch coasted, 66 percent to 34 percent.

Contrast that to Perry's big win in the 10th Congressional GOP primary. Joe Malone, Perry's main opponent, wasn't exactly an incumbent--but he's a former statewide office-holder and member of the Mass. GOP establishment. This bona fides didn't help Malone, and may actually have hurt him, as Perry won by a margin of more than 2 to 1 (!).

Generalizing on the basis of two races is risky, I know. But it's always struck me as a reach to suggest that the national mood is simply anti-incumbent--as opposed to anti-incumbent from the right. And based on what happened yesterday--here, and also in Delaware and New York and New Hampshire--I'm pretty sure it's the latter. 

About the Authors
Sarah Birnbaum
Sarah Birnbaum is WGBH News' State House reporter. Send her a news tip.
Adam Reilly Adam Reilly
Adam Reilly is a political reporter and associate producer for WGBH's Greater Boston.

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