Well, the people have spoken, damn them. As usual, nearly all the candidates I endorsed went down to defeat, although there were a few bright spots. Perhaps brightest of all was the unexpected success of Worcester area Attorney James P. McKenna (above with family) who ran a sticker campaign to get on the ballot to challenge State Attorney General Martha "The Wicked Witch" Coakley, who was crushed in the Senate race last winter by the heroic Scott Brown. Coakley was left ripe for being removed from office altogether, but the pathetically inept Massachusetts Republican Party failed to field a candidate against her. Yet now against all expectations Coakley has a challenger after all, proof that once again the Fells Acres Curse is still relentlessly pursuing justice.
Overall turnout sucked. In Springfield and Holyoke a measley 11% voted, leaving it a mystery how the other 89% felt. Democracy has essentially collapsed in those communities, which are now run almost entirely by corrupt political machines. Here are the candidates I endorsed, and the voter's mostly foolish choices, with an analysis of what went right or wrong.
Dr. Jay Fleitman
Dr. Fleitman was defeated by Tom Wesley (above) despite winning in most of the district's largest cities. However, the good Doctor was no match for Wesley's landslide victories in the small towns in the eastern part of the district. Actually that was how Scott Brown was able to carry the district back in January, and reveals the probable path to victory for Wesley in November - let Neal carry the big city machines and then cream him in the suburbs. But first the disappointed supporters of the Doctor must quickly climb aboard the Wesley campaign. Sour grapes divisions are an unaffordable luxury in this noble quest to - as Wesley puts it in his campaign signs - Repeal Neal. Now is the time to unite and move forward.
Stephen J. Murphy
In this worthless race between the evil political boss Steve Grossman (the winner above) and Boston hack Murphy there could be no victory for the public - any way you look at it neither candidate deserves the office. Karyn Polito is the only credible contender.
Kamal Jain and Michael E. Lake
I believe libertarian Republican Kamal Jain (above) was the better candidate, but alas he had no money to get out his message. However the woman who beat him, Mary Z. Connaughton, is still far superior to the unqualified career politician chosen by the Democrats, Suzanne Bump. The Auditor's race is probably the Republican party's best chance at winning a statewide office this year.
I said that Goodhines(above) deserved to win by a landslide margin, but instead he ended up finishing dead last in a field of five. What happened? Hard to say, but my impression is that many voters identified Goodhines with the regime of retiring D.A. Bill Bennett, which was not a plus in this anti-establishment year. The winner was the ethically challenged Steve Buoniconti, who reformers from across the political spectrum must now do everything possible to block. Finishing a distant third was Albano era flunkie Michael Kogut - and somewhere in heaven Gerry Daniele is smiling.
My guy won, but who cares? This was the dullest, most over-rated race of the primary season.
Kenneth G. Condon and Susan Dawson
Condon (above) was narrowly defeated by Agawam's Bob Magovern, who is still a much better choice than Democrat contender James Welch, who has failed to distinguish himself in any way during his time as a state representative. Why perpetuate the incompetence?
Enrico “Jack” Villamaino
I was shocked when voters failed to elect Villamaino (above with Scott Brown) but the woman who defeated him, Marie Angelides, comes with the highest recommendations and deserves to win in November against the do-nothing incumbent Ashe.
Mark A. Del Negro
Incumbent Rosemary Sandlin (above with the shady Buoniconti) has been a disappointment in every way. It's a mystery how challenger Del Negro could have lost.
Dean C. Vogel
It's a shame that a candidate of Vogel's high caliber was defeated, but winner Gregory Neffinger is more than qualified to go on to victory in November.
Sean F. Curran
Hey, if Curran couldn't win against a convicted felon, who could he beat?
Well, moving on from politics here's a local example of truth in advertising.
The other day I visited the site of the old Mount Tom Ski Resort in Holyoke that closed in 1998. Today the former ski slope is all overgrown.
Here are the ruins of the resort as seen from the top of the slope.
Over the dozen years the resort has been closed all of the buildings have been vandalized. This swimming pool was installed in a futile attempt to keep the resort alive by having facilities that could be open in the summer.
Some of the vandals were conspiracy theorists.
Speaking of the towers, Saturday was the day known by everyone simply as 9/11. A solemn vigil was held in front of Memorial Hall at UMass.
As usual, the town of Amherst made an ass of itself with a silly controversy over whether to fly flags today. Meanwhile the UMass Republican and Democrat Clubs united to turn the "Gossip Wall" (where students sit gossiping each day at lunch) into a sea of flags.
In Northampton there was a display of chalk art on the sidewalks downtown. Included was this flag tribute.
A very artistic dragon.
And this being Northampton, not everyone used the chalk in service to art.
Northampton multi-media artist Dann Vazquez has released this video featuring a variety of Hamp bands.