The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Election

Final Thoughts

This is the quaint New England polling place where I voted on Tuesday on my way to work. It was so early that it was still sorta dark out, yet eleven people had voted before me.



It was indeed a higher than expected turnout, a development I issued a warning about some weeks ago. Many pundits predicted a Republican tsunami, but in the end it was only a wave. Yet perhaps that reduction from a tsunami to a wave was really for the best. A wave was sufficient to insure the election of the wise libertarian Rand Paul, but a tsunami would have carried in the embarrassing Christine O'Donnell. In any case the wave was sufficient to humble President Obama, in exactly the way I predicted over a year ago. That's the great thing about this blog, you get to read the news a year in advance!

However, that Republican wave mostly passed over New England, especially Massachusetts and Connecticut. The only exception was the State of Maine, which elected a Tea Party governor with a GOP takeover of both branches of their state legislature. Gee I guess that's what they mean by that old saying "As goes Maine, so goes the nation!"

Oh well, I'm glad that the elections are finally over, but before moving on let's have one last backward glance at what happened and how it all turned out.



Governor
Deval Patrick (48%) Charles Baker (42%) Timothy Cahill (8%)
Jill Stein (1%)

Patrick started 2010 with the lowest approval ratings of any governor in the country. Yet on Election Day it was he who had the last laugh, thanks to a dull GOP challenge from political unknown Charlie Baker, a spoiler campaign by opportunist Tim Cahill and a campaign by Jill Stein so looney left that even Massachusetts liberals found her too extreme. The downside for Deval is that now he has to govern through the major budget crisis that lies just around the corner.

Hampden County District Attorney
Mark Mastroianni (59%) Stephen Buoniconti (41%)

For decades Hampden County suffered through the rascal judicial leadership of Matty Ryan, who treated the District Attorney's office as his personal fiefdom. Then came the more competent Bill Bennett, but his tenure was marred by his stubborn blindspot to the local political corruption that was all around him. Voters wisely avoided a third tenure of folly by electing Mastroianni over the ethically challenged Steve Buoniconti, who seemed to be on friendly terms with every political crook in the Valley.

U.S. House - 1st Congressional
John Olver (60%) William Gunn (35%) Michael Engel (5%)

Bill Gunn exploded onto the Valley's political scene in the aftermath of his arrest in Washington D.C. for creating a disturbance in the halls of Congresss during the healthcare debate. But that national exposure was basically all the attention he could muster in his penniless campaign. Given the always longshot chances he had in this very liberal district, Gunn's vote totals are actually pretty good. The debates in this race also showed the incumbent Olver coming across as old and spacy, fueling speculation that this win was Olver's last hurrah. Leftist Professor Engel's embarrassing showing proves that the radical Left is dead even in the Happy Valley.

U.S. House - 2nd Congressional
Richard Neal (57%) Thomas Wesley(43%)

This race was surprisingly close considering how entrenched Neal is and the fact that his challenger was a political unknown with no money. Neal's weak showing all but guarantees that he will face a major challenge in 2012.

State Representative - 2nd Hampden
Brian Ashe (51%) Marie Angelides (49%)

Angelides shocked the Valley's political world with her upset primary win over the heavily favored Jack Villamaino, yet she narrowly failed at repeating her upset in the general election. Expect to see her resurface on the political scene.



State Representative - 3rd Hampden
Nicholas Boldyga (40%) Rosemary Sandlin (39%) Anthony Bonavita (21%)

A bitter split within the Democrat party allowed Boldyga to pull off the Valley's biggest political upset of 2010 by happily ousting the contemptible hack Sandlin. Now his task is to prove that he is not just a one term wonder.

State Representative - 6th Hampden
Michael Finn (55%) Gregory Neffinger (45%)

It is tragic to see a first-class candidate like Neffinger lose to a hack like Finn, who has disturbing ties to the Petrolati gang.

State Representative - 9th Hampden
Sean Curran (80%) Robert Underwood (20%)

Curran was lucky in the opposition he faced this year in the primary against the hapless Chris Asselin and in the general against perennial candidate Underwood. But Curran should take this opportunity over the next two years to mend fences, because there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction in that district that a stronger candidate might take advantage of in 2012.

State Representative - 12th Hampden
Angelo Puppolo Jr. (65%) Joshua Carpenter (35%)

It's no surprise that the popular moderate Puppolo easily won re-election, but his spirited young challenger has established himself even in defeat as someone worth watching in the future.

State Representative - 3rd Hampshire
Ellen Story (77%)Daniel Sandell (19%) Daniel Melick (4%)

Story humbled her challengers with her landslide win, but Dan Sandell ran an interesting, issues based campaign that makes one hope to see more of him. The same is true for challenger Melick, who was considered, fairly or not, as "the pot candidate." However, Melick already won on his key issue because during the course of the campaign Story actually changed her position and agreed to support legalization. Expect Amherst's many pot activists to hold her to her word.



State Senate - 1st Hampden & Hampshire
Gale Candaras (58%) Thomas McCarthy (42%)

Citizen/businessman McCarthy did surprisingly well against Candaras, who had powerful establishment backing. Let's see a rematch in 2012!



Finally, see this funny political cartoon set in Springfield's Duggan Junior High School by clicking here.

So dat's da way da ball bounced, and now we'll have to wait and see what these dudes do once they're sworn in. In the meantime, let's turn to other compelling matters, like somebody getting jumped during a Halloween show in Northampton.


9 comments:

Tim said...

Tom,

Not that we should be that interested, but they got a real bleep storm brewing in the nutmeg state. They may have even outdone our moonbat stupidity. Ballots in a bag anyone? Oh, and it seems there were people voting without showing I.D. "Hey buddy, what do you think this is, Massachusetts for crissakes!"

Anonymous said...

Carpenter was "spirited"? The guy did little to no discernible campaigning and raised no money and he is spirited? If you mean spirit as in he was like a ghost, then you are on to something. But I wouldn't give his election effort kudos of any kind.

An Educated Voter said...

Keep your day job anonymous, Josh ran a great campaign and was able to relay his message in a positive and respectable manner through a simple and effective campaign strategy. This is something you could learn a few lessons from, considering you have nothing to do but try to boost your self confidence by attempting to bash those whom you are clearly envious of in pathetic personal attacks.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Mr. Carpenter is a fine young gentleman but I do question his spending what campaign money he did have on a "dinner for campaign workers". The location appears to be a bar out of his district. As a proponent against question 1, I must wonder if his other Unitemized expenditures were nothing more than "boozing" outside of the state rep district of the 12th Hampden?

Third Party voter said...

The drinks were bought for his campaign helpers at an event for the young republicans. I still noticed you have yet to identify yourself

jburkins said...

I will chime in here. I don't know Josh Carpenter. I was once very active in local GOP political campaigns, but have fallen away from it. I worked with Angelo Puppolo's first opponent Chris Leisey's campaign as a consultant. I grew up in the district and after a decade away, I now also live in the district. Chris worked his butt off to get his name and his message out there and it was a tough go. He raised quite a bit more money than Josh did and spent a lot of his own money trying to win the election, several mailings, print and radio commercials, constant barrage of press releases, door to door, lawn signs, fundraisers and just being visible in the district, at every benefit or community fundraiser or event. Making yourself hard to miss and remembered on election day. That's the goal and Chris did it well. It was a tough year for Republicans, but had the conditions been better, he would likely have won because he did everything he could to win.

Having said that, I can honestly say that if I hadn't been actively seeking out information on all the campaigns on the ballot, I wouldn't have even known Puppolo had an opponent. If Josh was going door to door, he didn't stop by my house. If he was sending out mailings, he didn't send one to my house. I don't recall seeing any ads in the Reminder or the Times. Lawn signs don't vote, but they help with name recognition. I didn't see any of those either.

So I have to agree with Anonymous on this one. But I know how hard it is to run when you don't have the financial support to get your message out. Campaigns even at this level are not cheap. I hope that he isn't discouraged by this defeat and learned a lot about campaigning. Many people go into their first campaign and have no clue what it takes to win and if they make another attempt, they usually apply the lessons learned and improve their chances.

Jason Burkins

Pete said...

Haha, sounds to me like "anonymous" is a rather embarrassed and bitter public servant...

Anonymous said...

"...proves that the radical Left is dead even in the Happy Valley."

Um, Tom...you been to Amherst lately?

Anonymous said...

Are there any connections you have found with Bill Burke? Any children in the business? Any judges related? Just curious.