One of the reasons I have never run for public office (besides having little chance of winning because I'm too conservative for most liberals and too liberal for most conservatives) is because I don't want to have to walk around all the time dressed like a lawyer.
How come you can't wear a t-shirt and jeans in the state legislature?
Dan Melick is running for State Representative in an attempt to unseat incumbent Ellen Story of Amherst. However, to have a serious chance to do so he had to make the ultimate fashion sacrifice by making his counterculture persona more mainstream. Here is Melick as he appeared in his last joyous moments of freakdom.
Here he is afterwards.
His braids however did not go to waste - they were donated to a charity called Wigs for Kids.
The candidate as he looks today, with an appearance even Rush Limbaugh could approve of.
Does Melick have a chance, even with his new cleancut image? Melick is running as an independent and there is also a Republican in the race, Amherst lawyer Dan Sandell. Incumbent Story is a Democrat. A lot will depend on how much the national "Throw the Bums Out" mood manifests itself in Amherst. Voters may be in an anti-incumbent mood, but it is hard to see the Amherst electorate voting for a Republican. However since Melick is a libertarian drug war critic who is otherwise pretty much a traditional liberal, they might find in Melick a suitable candidate to express their anti-establishment sentiments. If Melick gets enough such protest votes then who knows?
Despite the conventional wisdom that Ellen Story is unbeatable, Melick may win, ahem, by a hair!
In other political news, Tom Wesley, who is running to retire entrenched South Valley congressman Richard Neal, has some interesting new lawn signs dotting the region which focus more attention on Neal than himself!
Meanwhile Victor Davila took this picture yesterday of Neal's other challenger, Dr. Jay Fleitman, being interviewed at the Western Mass Republican picnic in West Springfield.
Things were lively in Northampton last night. Here a fiddler plays for change.
An acrobat twirls for the crowd.
Among those in the audience was Valley Advocate writer Tom Sturm, pushing a carriage containing... .
His brand new baby boy!
Greg Saulmon of Republican/Masslive took this picture of Andrew VanWyngarden and Matthew Asti of the band MGMT performing at Mountain Park the other night.
To see all of Saulmon's shots click here.
MGMT is the first band to do anything really original with psychedelia since Jerry Garcia died, and their appearance in Holyoke is being praised as the primo concert event of the summer season. Here's some snippits of it that have surfaced on YouTube.