State Sen. Benjamin Downing, left, coordinator Josh Hochberg, Paul Mark, Tom Bower, Lt. Gov. Tim Murray and Rep. William 'Smitty' Pignatelli.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray joined local Democrats on Monday to kick off the final leg of the 2010 campaign season.
Some 75 party members and officials were on hand to open the campaign office at 31 South St., just recently the headquarters for Tom Bowler's successful campaign for sheriff.
"We forged some tremendous and wonderful friendships - we hope everlasting friendships - we developed some fantastic partnerships working from this location," said Bowler. "We wish the coordinating campaign all the success on Nov. 2 that we did on Sept. 14."
The get-out-the-vote drive may have greater significance on the statewide level where recent polls have Gov. Deval Patrick and Republican challenger Charles Baker in a dead heat than at the local level.
In the heavily Democratic Berkshires, the 1st Berkshire District and county sheriff were decided primary night when no Republicans chose to run. Going into the general election, only Democratic nominee Paul Mark of Hancock has a GOP opponent, Michael Case of Washington; both Reps. Christopher Speranzo of the 3rd District and William "Smitty" Pignatelli in the 4th District will be vying against Green/Rainbow Party candidates Mark C. Miller and Scott Lee Laugenour, respectively.
Patrick, on the other hand, is working hard to fend off Baker, former head of Harvard Pilgrim; Murray's opponent is Richard Tisei, state Senate minority leader. Trailing behind are Treasurer Timothy Cahill, running as an independent, and Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein for governor and Stein's running mate Richard Purcell for lieutenant governor. (Cahill's running mate Paul Loscocco jumped ship last week.)
Murray speaks with Mary K. O'Brien.
Murray reminded those present that he was selected by them, not the governor, but kept his sharpest comments for Patrick's opponent. Baker, a state budget secretary in the 1990s, is running on his fiscal acumen, but Murray dismissed his reputation, saying he raised insurance premiums 150 percent while at Harvard Pilgrim and pointed to his role in the state's modern symbol of waste and fraud.
"The architect of the Big Dig financing plan now wants to be your governor," he told the appreciative crowd.
U.S. Rep. John W. Olver, who is facing Republican Bill Gunn, was supposed to attend but had to cancel. Also missing was Attorney General Martha Coakley, who was in Lee that morning and at The Berkshire Eagle in the afternoon, and Suzanne Bump of Great Barrington, who's running for auditor.
Olver's campaign manager Debra Guachione stepped in to make a pitch for the entire Democratic ticket. "Only four years ago, we broke a 16-year chain of Republican leadership," she said of Patrick and Murray. "Those governors wanted to be in Mexico, Canada, Washington and New York — not Massachusetts."
Murray said Patrick had the perfect cover for the leaving the state during its worst years: "The president of the United States asked me serve."
"But he didn't. He didn't cut and run," the former Worcester mayor continued.
Downing, a former Olver staffer, said it was important to return the Amherst professor to office.
"We need him to continue to be our voice on Capitol Hill," said Downing. "When Democrats remain in power in 2010 and when we make sure the president's agenda isn't stalled by a party that just wants to say no to anything."
In addition to the candidates, the local party members attending included Mary K. O'Brien; Mayor James M. Ruberto, who gave a passionate plug for his friend Patrick; former North Adams Mayor John Barrett III, who has been a strong backer of his former mayoral colleague Murray; Daniel Bianchi; Sherwood Guernsey; and Pittsfield Councilors President Gerald Lee, Christine Yon and Melissa Mazzeo.
Field organizer Josh Hochberg said the vote drive would depend on "friend banks," to prevent people from being inundated with phone calls.
"Open up your cell phone, open up your address book and call your friends," he said.
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"Bill Gunn will be a true voice of the people in his district?"
Bill Gunn is to the far, far right of most people in Western Mass.
He also claims he will read every bill. If so, he should prepare for some long nights in the library of Congress, doing nothing but reading. It would be impossible to read every bill.
What other ludicrous promises is he making these days?
Jimmy did you happen to read what you wrote? You truly want your congressman to NOT read the bill that will effect your life and the country because he will have to spend some time in the library.
Is this not what we pay them to do????
Maybe that is what is wrong with congress. They all woke up one day and said that their job was too hard so they started slacking and for some reason people bent over and took it! Sorry buddy.I expect my congressman to read every bill. If I am paying your pay check then you need to read the bill.
Get back to simpler government and then there wouldn't be so many bills tryin to get through.
Right or left...lets get back to the Constitution! K.I.S.S Keep it simple stupid!
The democrats preside over one failed policy after another. They are cashing checks that will effect our future generations. The heavily Democratic Berkshires should wake up after there long hibernation. Boston does not need the sleazeball Mark - that would be start.
What failed policy? George W. Bush bankrupted our nation while selling us out to the lowest bidder. He took a trillion dollar surplus and turned it into a deficit in 1 year. He helped send all of our jobs overseas to commies who force people to work for no money. Hard to undercut that. He put our troops in harms way for an unnecessary war in Iraq. He cuts income taxes for the rich while raising fees, sales taxes, and property taxes for the rest of us. Stop trying to tell us that the last 8 years didn't happen, that somehow all of this is Obama's fault, because people in Massachusetts are smart enough not to fall for that. Try spell check and grammar check too while you think up a response.
I have no doubt that the John Olver regime will back out of ALL early debates and only participate in the Amherst debate since it is hosted by the League of Women Voters and will only air in his home town of Amherst. It's called damage control.
I can only hope that voters AND the Bill Gunn campaign take notice of the final comments of this article. As you will see, they eluded to a common tactic used by extreme leftist to fuel scorn for the opposition. Let me explain.
Naomi Klein, liberal activist and author, pointed out in one of her books that a common tactic used in the final weeks of a campaign is to intentionally bombard Republican and Independent voters with fake calls seeking reports.
For example we saw similar activity around the Brown / Coakley Senate race where voters received and unusually high volume of repeat calls. Although the Republicans certainly did pull out all the stops in terms of getting the vote out, ultra liberals and socialists purposefully added to the mix by robo-calling voters to the point that they vowed not to vote because of the ridiculous call volume. To be clear, scared Democrats called voters PRETENDING to be calling on behalf of Brown.
Although I view Scott Brown as only a slight improvement over Coakley, I do think that Bill Gunn would be a great Representative for the citizens of the first district of Massachusetts. And that includes Democrats that find Gunn unwilling to exclude Democrats from debates and voicing their concerns.
In fact, I went to the last Town Hall meeting the Bill Gunn campaign held in Athol and watched several Democrats walk out with Bill Gunn yard signs following their discussion. They don't agree on everything, but Gunn always brings things around to the Constitution and that's hard to argue against without looking foolish and unamerican.
Since I've witnessed the extremists of the Democratic Party doing some pretty unethical things in my area of the district, I highly recommend that the Bill Gunn campaign carefully structure their call campaign in a manner that prevents repeat calls. Additionally, I suggest that anyone receiving an unusually high number of calls try to make sure they're not being spoofed by Democratic tactics.
Bill Gunn supporters should also expect their yard signs to disappear from their front yard if John Olver is scheduled to make an appearance in the area. So far, every event that Olver has appeared at has resulted in the entire route of travel has been cleansed of Bill Gunn signs. The Olver-bots are not at all bashful about walking right into your yard and stealing signs. I've personally witnessed this in at least three different occasions.
What ever happened to the best man winning? I'm tired of the dirty political tricks. If John Olver's voting record and dirty tricks is all the incumbent can offer, I'll be voting for Bill Gunn. At least he seems to be fixated on speaking truthfully and insists on running a positive campaign.
The Olver-bots must have learned to steal lawn signs from the Paul Mark campaign.
Also, why is Mark the only pol in the pic without a cravat? You would think that with his $97,000+ salary he could afford a necktie. Memo to Paul: It helps to at least look like a statesman not a doofus.
Maybe if you guys got off the blogs and actually went out and campaigned your candidates would win. It's really easy to complain anonymously on these blogs, much harder to go out there in public where you can't hide behind a keyboard and get people to listen to you. But then you would have to defend your ridiculous positions instead of hurling insults. Then you would be confronted by people who disagree with you. Then you wouldn't have fox news on hand to throw out made up statistics that supposedly prove your positions. You ought to be ashamed of yourself you cowards!
I am tired of people trying to give the "guilts" to the "sandwich" generation, claiming that the programs, etc. Obama has instituted -- stimulus package, etc., saying our children will have to pay for them. If we did not take those steps, many of our children would be homeless or hungry now, with parents out of work. Yes, the unemployment rate is high, but if not for Obama's and the D party's efforts to counter the faltering econmy, it would be much worse.
to Tiny Tim - the blame Bush strategy is for people that don't take responsibility for their own actions. It time to grow up and be a part of today. And your comment shows how very tiny you really are...
Who is the blame democrats strategy for? What does your response even mean? Your comments show you're a republican shill with no facts but plenty of anger. What are you so angry about? Couldn't cut it in the real world so you need to stick to blog insults?
Tiny Tim your knowledge is lacking facts. Bush Senior drafted NAFTA (remember Perot's - "job sucking sound")which was signed by Clinton, whose Presidency also brought us the housing crisis with the help of Boot Barney, as Bush sought to curtail this practice. Bush did state we have to sacrifice capitalism to save capitalism and I agree for this he is on my crap list along with you.
Olver is ducking appearances again. I hope he does show on the 21st of October to read my sign:
LIB VOTE "ENGEL MY LIB. VOTE 4 US REP"
4 US REP"
Tim do you see and hear, We have a choice of progressive representatives, ENGEL is a legitimate alternative to Olver and may get things done that Olver can not accomplish due to Olver's suffering health of stokes. His stoke conditions leave him without the capacity to serve our needs, don't tell me you did not witness his lack of attention span at the berkshire cummunity center meeting in 2009.
The state is holding a special election to fill the seat vacated by John F. Kerry, who has been confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.
The state primary is Tuesday, April 30. The last day to register to vote or to change party affiliation for the primary is Wednesday, April 10. Enrolled voters may only vote in their party primary; unenrolled voters may select a primary to vote in without changing their status.
The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25. The last day to register to vote in the election is Wednesday, June 5.
To register to vote, one must be at least age 18 by the date of the election, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the municipality in which you are voting.