Democrats Rallied for Final Election Push
We didn't make Gov. Deval Patrick's meet and greet at Richmond Consolidated School on Wednesday night, but we were there for a rally at the Itam Lodge in Pittsfield on Friday night. More than 100 Democrats were at the event to cheer Patrick on to a second term.
Patrick's been keeping a slim lead in the polls against his closest opponent, Republican Charlie Baker; independent Tim Cahill and Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein have been trailing in the single digits.
Pittsfield Mayor James Ruberto, one of Patrick's biggest cheerleaders, challenged party members to turn out 80 percent for the former Clinton administration official.
Patrick, meanwhile, pointed to pension and ethics reform he's pushed; consolidation of the state's transportation departments and investments in education, life sciences and green technology. But his administration has been overshadowed by sinking revenues as the state dealt with the global financial crisis. The recession has cost jobs and cut billions from the state budget affecting programs and departments.
Recent news on the jobs front was mixed — the state gained jobs or lost them, depending on the report — but the Democratic incumbent said the news was hopeful. "The point is we still have a lot of people who need a way forward in this economy," he said. "We're climbing out this hole faster than the rest of the country."
The way to do it isn't to create more unemployment, he said, taking a swipe at Baker's proposal to cut 5,000 state workers. Rather, he said, the best path was continued investment in innovation, education and infrastructure. "Because we've invested in growth, our revenue is returning in step."
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Patrick Plans Pittsfield Rally
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Gov. Deval Patrick will host a campaign rally on Friday at Itam Lodge, 93 Waubeek Road, on Friday, Oct. 22, beginning at 5:30.
Patrick, who has a home in Richmond, is running for a second term in office. The Pittsfield rally will allow residents from throughout the Berkshires to have a conversation with Patrick about the issues at stake in the election.
This event is free open to the public.
"Policy only matters at the point where it touches people, and politics is most meaningful at the grassroots," said Patrick in a statement. "That's why [Lt. Gov.] Tim Murray and I are out talking with people every day about the choices before us as a commonwealth, and building a grassroots network stronger than ever."
The campaign says it's gaining momentum continues to gain grassroots momentum as Election Day approaches. Patrick and Murray have criss-crossed the state in recent months, meeting with voters. At a rally with President Obama this past Saturday, more than 7,500 volunteers committed to helping the Patrick–Murray team "get-out-the-vote" on Election Day — and volunteers are working everyday in the campaign’s 25 coordinated field offices, making phone calls and knocking on doors to reach voters about the decision they have on Election Day.
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Democrats Prepped for Final Campaign Drive
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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Patrick Plans Community Event in Adams
Deval Patrick will be stumping in Adams on Monday evening, Aug. 8, for one of several campaign events planned across the state. Patrick, a Democrat, is running for re-election as governor.
The "On Our Side: Communities Connecting For Deval Patrick" campaign stop will be held at Forest Park Country Club beginning at 6 p.m.
The meet and greet is open to the public. The Adams Selectmen on Wednesday said they had been informed of the stop as a courtesy and made it clear that Patrick was visiting in his role as a candidate for re-election, not in his capacity as governor.
However, Chairman Michael Ouellette encouraged citizens to attend the event and ask questions of Patrick so to be informed for gubernatorial election.
In a statement on his campaign site, Patrick said: "Policy only matters at the point where it touches people. So, I look forward to the chance to talk with people about the progress we have made in education, health care and job creation, and the work we hope to finish in a second term. This is what grassroots campaigning is all about."
The Adams campaign is the second for the western end of the state and will complete a campaign swing that starts today in Hyannis, followed by Nantucket and Quincy. Patrick has also held a "community connection" in Springfield and in a number of eastern cities.
For more information, go to devalpatrick.com.
Charlie Baker, the Republican candidate for governor, was in Hancock and Pittsfield on Thursday. He first visited Jiminy Peak Ski Resort and then had lunch at the Highland Restaurant.
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Candidates Forum Scheduled for Aug 17
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The nonpartisan League of Women of Williamstown is sponsoring a public forum for the candidates running in the Democratic primary elections for the offices of the Sheriff of Berkshire County and State Representative from the Berkshire 1st District.
The forum will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. on the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts campus, in the auditorium on the second floor of the Church Street Center. League President Anne Skinner will moderate. Each candidate will make opening and closing statements, and members of the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions.
According to the League, all of the campaigns have indicated that their candidates will be attending. The Democratic candidates for the office of sheriff are Daniel E. Bosley and Tom Bowler. The Democratic candidates for the office of Berkshire 1st District representative are David Bissaillon, Gailanne Cariddi and Edward MacDonald. (There are no Republican candidates for these offices).
WUPE/WNAW radio is also planning an on-air debate for the sheriff' candidates in early September that iBerkshires has agreed to participate in. More information will be released when the date and time as been confirmed.
The primary election will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Because of the dearth of Republican and independent candidates for sheriff and the 1st district, the primary will essentially decide the winners for the two positions.
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