Massachusetts’s 9th Congress District takes in all of the state’s Southeast, including the Cape and Islands, all of the South Shore, and two major cities : Fall River and New Bedord. it’s also our home area. We’re based in New Bedford.
Voters in our home area have two spirited campaigns to choose from: Bill Keating, the Democratic incumbent, and John Chapman, his Republican challenger. Both are well informed and speak authoritatively about actual issues — a rarity amid Congress campaigns befouled by super-PAC-dominated, talking points nonsense.
Bill Keating highlights the drug addiction crisis and has taken active steps to co-ordinate a response. John Chapman has made the South Coast’s endangered fishing industry a major focus. And these are, indeed, the South Coast’s major concerns, along with expansion of New Bedford’s port and the completion of the long-delayed South Coast rail line. Chapman also makes the point — a correct one — that as a member of Congress’s majority party, he will give South Coast a more influential voice than Keating, who caucuses with the minority Democrats.
It would be a great boon to the South Coast if both men could represent us in Congress; but a choice must be made, and we choose Bill Keating.
The District’s incumbent Congressman has plenty of clout himself. Single-handedly he called out the FBI for its sloppy failures in the Boston Marathon bombing matter. By himself, Keating has brought substantial Federal money into a District whose two major cities need all the Federal assistance they can get.
Federal money and Federal administration are no small matters to a District almost all of which fronts the ocean, much of which is under constant flood watch, and a lot of which is patrolled by the Coast Guard. Chapman’s GOP has starved the Federal government for funds and, particularly deplorable, forced a government shut down last year. Chapman has called for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Such an amendment constantly comes up in GOP campaigns. it’s a mistake. When times are bad, the government has to move to deficit spending to alleviate hardship. it’s hard to see how Chapman can bring aid to New Bedford’s fishing industry if his inclination is to cut Federal spending, not lift it.
Meanwhile, we like Bill Keating’s focus on the epidemic of drig addiction. New Bedford and Fall River are especially hard hit. We personally have had to see friends die; not to mention the many, many more who live with addiction. And though the fishing industry is vital, one can’t fish at all if one is dead of a drug overdose.
So, first things first. Keating is right to make the fight against drug addiction — by intervention and treatment, not incarceration — his starting point. We endorse Bill Keating for re-election.
— The Editors / Here and Sphere