Monday, May 22, 2006

Lieutenant Governor Forum Wrap-Up

If you missed yesterday's Lieutenant Governor forum sponsored by the MA lefty blogosphere, the Lowell Democratic City Committee and the Greater Lowell Area Democrats, there are plenty of opportunities to find out what happened. Lynne from Left in Lowell, Andy from Mass Revolution Now, Mike from Marry in Massachusetts, myself and some others wrote as-it-happened commentary in the live thread at Blue Mass. Group, and Chris liveblogged it over at Left Center Left. Also, you can check out this thread at Democratic Underground, and this post at MassChange for more impressions of the debate as it happened.

Yeserday we also met Boston Globe reporter Lisa Wangsness who wrote a couple posts from the paper's blog. She also wrote an article for today's Globe which focuses as much on us as it does the Lieutenant Governor candidates. I think we come off pretty well despite having driven her out of the room at one point because our "witty banter" caused her to miss a question (to Tim Murray on MCAS, if I recall).

For more debate post mortem, Mass Marrier has his afterparty thoughts, and our distinguished panelist David has a thank-you to everyone at BMG. As for me, I liked the debate format and I think all the candidates did well, though I think the "free-form" question period was kind of a waste. The 30-second rebuttals were great because they let everyone chime in on an issue without them wasting two minutes saying how they agree with everything the previous person said. The lightning round was nice, too, because it forced the candidates to think on their feet, though it was hard to blog since the questions came fast and furious.

Personally, I think the event was a success, particularly for one that was thrown together in just a few days after the venue had to change. We couldn't have pulled it off without help from some of the locals, particularly Dick Howe of the Lowell Democratic City Committee and Marie Sweeney of the Greater Lowell Area Democrats. They helped pull this together even though there were other people who were not anxious to see it succeed. I think that we can do more of these kinds of partnerships with local Democratic groups and cable access channels. It seemed yesterday like a perfect fit.

So, let me open it up to the rest of you. What's next for the local blogosphere? Another event like this one? We could do something a bit more local and try to host one for the Berkshire, Hampshire, and Franklin Senate race. We could be more ambitious and try for the Secretary of State or Governor candidates, but we'd need more than local cable access to pull off the latter. It's been just over six months since our first BlogLeft conference (which happened right after a huge snowstorm -- what is it with our events and natural disasters?) do we have the energy to put on another one this Summer? What do you all think?