Our intention at Here and Sphere was to NOT write again about the 1st Suffolk & Middlesex State Senate primary that takes place two days from now. We made our endorsements; that was that — so we intended.
That intention has now gone by the boards, thanks to a last minute, anonymous PAC smear sent by mail and received by many of our readers this morning. I wanted to post a photo of it below, but the facebook people who posted it have all removed it.
The mailer came from something called “MASS VALUES PAC. Like all such PACs, it hides under the skirts of cynical laws allowing ambush money into campaigns.
The mailing was red bordered and had photos of the three Republicans — Mitt Romney for Governor in 2002 (!), John McCain for President in 2008, and Scott Brown for Senator in 2012 — whom the candidate is condemned for having endorsed. The flier asserts that these endorsements mean that the candidate is not a “real” Democrat and “does not share our values.” This, folks, is garbage.
We condemn this smear, as we do all such. Unsigned last minute vomit has no place in a campaign, and we trust that the voters of our District know this and will reject the puke that someone has barfed into our mailboxes. The interesting question is, which candidate was it intended to help ? And who ordered it ?
Beats me. I know of no one in this seven candudate race insecure enough in his or her skin to okay an ambush. Who okayed it ? Maybe no one. Maybe it came on its own from a vested interest that does not like the prospect of our electing a State Senator who does not lick their butt.
The content of the smear also offends us. The anonymous voice wants to tell us that its targeted candidate is to be rejected because he supported three candidates running in three different, past elections — candidates who happened to have a different political party label attached to their names than the person herein smeared; that somehow he has committed an objectionable sin by choosing to endorse the three named other party candidates. Whereas in fact, all that he has done is to exercise a right basic to all of us : to support the candidates of his choice. (Disclosure : the smeared candidate is one o the three that we endorsed.)
The suggestion is made, in this same smear, that because the targeted candidate has exercised that right, that somehow he is less worthy of running in the Democratic primary that votes tomorrow. I ail to see the connection, and I reject its implication.
In Massachusetts, almost all voters, thank goodness, vote the person, not his or her party label,. as a result, we enjoy the overwhelmingly supported state reforms going on right now, most of them voted unanimously by the legislature. Is there anyone who would want otherwise ?
Our District also happens to be very much a “swing district” in which Republican candidates sometimes win and Democrats sometimes win. In most seriously contested elections, our District votes about 42 peecent Republican and 58 percent Democrat. As there are almost no registered Republicans in the District, its clear that the 42 percent that most credible GOP candidates get comes mostly from voters who identify as Democrats. It has been this way for at least the past 25 years, maybe since the 19th Century.
It’s so because in our District, registering as a Democrat, and voting in a Democratic primary, says nothing about the party platform, or party identity, of the voters who do so. Almost everyone in our District votes in the Democratic primary because that’s where the winner is chosen. Thus those who vote for many state-wide Republicans vote in the local Democratic primary just as do most Democratic voters.
Thus we see that the smear tossed at candidate Rizzo is as ignorant of history and of our District’s basic voting facts at it is contemptuous of the inclinations of our voters.
There’s no surprise in that. Unsigned last minute smears are always the work of ignorant, contemptuous minds. They’re to citizenship what ebola is to the body : a death stink that deserves to be shown the door by every voter who values democracy.
Reject this smear. Send its makers a strong message : you aren’t wanted in these parts, buddy; get lost !
—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere