Next year will be Springfield's 375th birthday! I sorta remember the 350th bash, when Jay Libardi and I went down to the riverfront for the big fireworks display, but my memory is hazy because we were both pretty high at the time. I do recall that at one point they played the Jefferson Starship's "We Built This City" while the fireworks were going off. Here is a video from 1986.
After spending over two million dollars on his re-election campaign, Congressman Richard Neal still was unable to win a landslide victory last week over his penniless opponent Tom Wesley, who still managed to get a solid 43% of the vote. A class act until the end, Wesley released the following statement this week:
Despite the fact that Massachusetts did not pick up a seat on Capitol Hill, there were many inroads into restoring strength on Beacon Hill. Perhaps voters were more comfortable swinging towards more two-party balance in the Statehouse than in adding to the new majority in the US House. At least for this year’s cycle. At the Congressional level, the incumbents depleted their enormous war chests to hold off challengers who were outspent by factors of 20-1. That treasure is gone and it is not coming back now that the Democrats have lost their majority.
We gave hope to 91,181 voters who have not had a choice in 14 years. Maybe our incumbent will be a little more responsive in his behaviors to his constituents. Something tells me that 2012 can be a great year for any number of seasoned challengers.
You made this possible. I was honored to carry the banner and I am humbled by the experience.
The people of our Valley owe a great debt of gratitude to Wesley (and his primary challenger Dr. Jay Fleitman) for the wonderful role they played this year in returning our Valley to a fully functioning two party democracy after 14 years of Neal's unchallenged incumbency.
A horse and wagon crossing the UMass campus.
Me, Paul Revere and his horse at Raos in downtown Amherst.
Bowie in a downtown Northampton window.
Making beautiful noise in Goshen, Massachusetts.