November 1st, 2010


Massachusetts, please defeat Question 3!

Thanks, Massachusetts, for defeating that jerk in the primary! Several people asked me if I'd post again with my preferences for the November election, so here it is, just barely in time.

In brief:
  • Re-elect Deval Patrick, Barney Frank, James McGovern, John Tierney.

  • Defeat all three questions. No on 1, 2, 3.

  • Steve Grossman for Treasurer, Suzanne Bump for Auditor, and though it pains me to say it, Coakley for Attorney General.

  • In the 10th district, if Jeff Perry gets even 20% it'll be too much. Don't let him win.

Deval Patrick, our Governor, has done a good job in tough times. I've been frustrated with him sometimes, but more often, I've been impressed with how much he's accomplished. Maybe it's because of the contrast with his three predecessors (Celucci, Swift, Romney). I recently got asked, "What good things has Deval Patrick done?" and I wrote this long response. Take a look. Several commenters have added some great points to what I wrote.

For the other statewide offices, I recommend watching these short videos in which Jim Braude of NECN interviews the opposing candidates together.

My biggest worry is that Question 3 may pass. That question is to slash the sales tax from 6.25% down to 3%. Taxes bring in about $20 billion / year in revenue to the state currently, and question 3 would reduce that by about $2.5 billion. Proponents have been pressed to explain where they think that money should come out of, but they have no specific answers. And unless our economy recovers more quickly than anticipated, chances are a lot of that money would come out of cuts in local aid to cities and towns, would would cut schools and libraries and police departments and road and streetlight maintenance and so on, and also cause property taxes (and hence rents) to go up. No on 3.

Question 1 seeks to exempt alcohol from the sales tax. Although that's not as big a deal in the larger scheme of things, it offends me. WTF? Why should alcohol get this special exemption? Some proponents of Q1 say that there's also an excise tax on alcohol, so some of the sales tax you pay is actually tax on a tax, which is double taxation. They fail to point out that the excise tax is much much smaller, and the "double tax" amounts to less than a cent a bottle, usually. But even if that weren't so, if they really think there should be no excise tax on alcohol, they could've put a question on the ballot to eliminate the excise tax on alcohol. So again, WTF? This question is a ridiculous attempt to give beer & wine sellers special favors. Why not exempt books from the sales tax? Or how about sex toys? No on 1.

Bill Galvin, our incumbent Secretary of State, continues his long streak of avoiding all debates and candidate forums. And just like he did to us in 2006 (when I worked for his primary opponent), he once again pretended to agree to a debate and then backed out at the last moment. He's also managed to prevent Massachusetts from having election day registration for another few years. Unfortunately, his Republican opponent openly opposes election day registration, and seeks to add hard ID requirements for voters at the polls. He's the typical Republican anti-voting activist sort, obsessed with the non-problem of excess voters, and willing to go to whatever lengths he can to prevent legitimate voters from voting. Jim Henderson, the independent candidate, is better than both of them by far, but unfortunately due to no debates and no polling, it's really hard to say how much support each of Galvin's opponents have. Might our incumbent sleaze be replacecd by the Republican regressive? I really wish we had instant runoff (or any preference voting system). Of course, we'll never get that while Galvin is secretary, and I'm sure he likes the fact that it makes it hard to decide to vote for good candidates like Henderson. But I also really wish Henderson had run against Galvin int he Democratic primary, where there'd be no such "spoiler" worry. :/

[ Edit: ghudson points out that a new poll was published a few days ago, while I was out of town, that shows that Galvin, unsurprisingly, will probably be re-elected easily. So chances are there's little danger; vote Henderson for Secretary ]

I really don't like Martha Coakley, but unfortunately her opponent really doesn't seem ready for the job :( Watch the mini-debate and you'll see. And at least Martha will fight in federal court for lgbt rights, so there's a redeeming factor to re-electing her.

And then there's the 10th Congressional district, an open seat since the incumbent, Bill Delahunt, is retiring. This district covers much of the South Shore starting in Quincy, plus all of the Cape & Island. Bill Keating, the Democrat, seems like a decent candidate. Jeff Perry, the Republican... a former police officer who claimed a college degree from a diploma mill, and used a remote control to trip traffic lights from green to red so that he could "gotcha!" drivers with tickets, but all of that has been overshadowed by this:

Jeff Perry covered up for his subordinate abusing teen girls by illegally strip searching them. He left the police, and his chief doubted his honesty. He still insists he didn't know - even though he once visited a girl's parents to try to get them not to report his subordinate's strip search. Here's a public statement from one victim.

Apparently no newspapers endorsed him. But this creep is still going to get some votes. Try to make sure none of those votes come from anyone you know in the 10th?