Well, the voters have spoken, damn them.
The totally undeserving incumbent Senator John Kerry was nominated by the Democrats, carrying even Springfield by a landslide margin despite the fact that his challenger's brother, Michael O'Reilly, was the hero who led the corruption probe in Springfield. Oh well, once again we see nothing to disturb Springfield's reputation for having the stupidest electorate in the Valley.
Kerry has been completely AWOL when it comes to meeting the needs of Western Mass, in fact he is almost never seen in these parts. When this election is over, we can all count on his disappearing again for another five years. Then in the sixth year he'll suddenly re-appear, everyone will get all excited about him and he'll win yet another term. Stupid Springfield voters? How about just plain stupid Massachusetts voters!
Congressman John Olver won easily over his lightweight challenger, a bitter leftist who was angry that Olver hadn't tried to impeach President Bush because of disagreements over policy. Impeachment should never be used as a purely political weapon (as Newt Gingrich learned the hard way) and Olver was wise to reject the voices of hate from within his party.
Kateri Walsh got shoved aside in her State Rep race, making her one of a string of Springfield pols who have found themselves rejected by the electorate when they tried to move beyond their Springfield confines. (Notable exception: Albano critic Angelo Puppolo.) Springfield has become synonymous with corruption and incompetence, and the politicians who serve there, rightly or not, tend to get tarred with that stigma. Unfortunately, it will probably be a long time before the Valley as a whole feels it can trust a Springfield politician.
State Rep. Ben Swan won in a walk against his challengers, the shady Chelan Brown and the promising newcomer Lorenzo Gaines. Let's hope we've heard the last from Brown, but as for Gaines he would make a fine City Council candidate next year.
Oh and Ben, now that you've got a guaranteed paycheck for the next two years, pay your damn taxes.
Springfield native (and my Commerce classmate) Dianne Wilkerson finally got booted from her legislative seat out Boston way. Frankly, her constant scandals embarrassed herself, Springfield, and her Commerce class, the last of whom doesn't embarrass easily.
Art critic and features editor for the UMass Collegian Andrea Murray interviewed me this morning at the Haymarket in Northampton. I'll link to the article when it comes out.
What do you do when you are painting the door but don't want to discourage customers? Put a sign on your back like this guy painting the entrance to Hamp's Broadside Books (click photo to enlarge).
Finally, here's Hot Tuna in 1976.