Monday, July 10, 2006

Monday Morning Catch-Up

Sorry for the absence this past week, but I felt like I needed a little blog vacation to go with my real-world vacation. I have recovered from the numerous needle-stick injuries I received in New York, and just wanted to quickly point out some things that I didn't get a chance to last week.

  • Monitor Profiles Mihos' Ad Man: The Christian Science Monitor had a profile of Bill Hillsman last week. Hillsman is doing ads not only for independent gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos, but also is working for underdog candidates like Kinky Friedman in Texas and Ned Lamont in Connecticut. He's won awards for the work he did on successful campaigns in Minnesota, particularly the election of the late Senator Paul Wellstone and wrestler-turned-Governor Jesse Ventura.

  • Mihos Comes to town: Speaking of Christy Mihos, he was in Watertown recently, just a short walk from the .08 Acre homestead, working the Greek festival for votes. The Globe notes that reaction to Mihos here in Tom Reilly's hometown was mixed.

  • Dunklebarger vs. Lynch: Last weeks Phoenix had the first in-depth story I've seen on Phil Dunklebarger's primary challenge to Steve Lynch in the Ninth Congressional district. The article notes that Dunklebarger blames lack of media coverage of the race for the fact that few people know about his candidacy. These days, though, it's never been easier for candidates to make their own media coverage. If the TV stations won't cover your stump speech, record it yourself, slap it up on the Internet (Youtube will do it for free, even!) and email it to your supporters, bloggers and reporters. Post it to sites like Universal Hub and Blue Mass. Group. An Internet buzz might not reach everyone in the ninth, but it may cause more traditional media outlets to start paying attention.

  • Question of the Day: Can Kerry Healey point to a single instance where she influenced Mitt Romney's decision to veto or not veto anything? The Herald's Wayne Woodlief noted last week that the Lieutenant Governor has yet to demonstrate her political independence from Mitt. What struck me about that column, though, was how Healey refused to comment on whether or not she 'counseled' the governor to refrain from vetoing money in the budget for a work-force training program. Healey said she wouldn't have vetoed it, but when reporter Janet Wu asked her if she gave her opinion to the governor, Healey declined to answer. (via Kerry Healey -- Out of Touch)

  • Play Nice or Else!: The Mass Dems have created a watchdog panel to monitor their candidates for negative campaign ads as the primary season heats up. Candidates Deval Patrick and Chris Gabrieli are withholding their judgment, but a spokesman for Attorney General Tom Reilly noted that this was something he'd expect from a "good government group" and not a state party. Personally, I'd like the Democratic party to stand for good government, but that's another issue. The problem, of course, is figuring out exactly what constitutes a negative ad, which is why this effort could devolve into typical intraparty bickering. I'm hopeful, though, that candidates will eschew negative advertising. While it does often work, it does so by driving down turnout. The Democrats cannot afford to have more people sitting at home during this year's election, and if we can get people out in September, we're more likely to keep them in November.

  • State GOP Losing Dough: The Herald reports today that the Mass GOP spent $50,648.84 more than it took in this past quarter. During the same period, the state Democrats netted $397,438.90. Of course, this won't matter for the gubernatorial race, which will be funded on the Republican side by AMG, but it shows how little support Republican legislative candidates can expect from their state party.