Tuesday September 4th is primary day in Massachusetts, and there are some tough choices to be made. Stonehamites, you can find your ballots here. Primaries are hard, because they’re generally between people who you generally agree with, so you often have to figure out who you agree with more (and/or who you think will be most likely to get a chance to do those things you agree with).
I’m open to input if you have relevant information, but here’s my plan for my democrat ballot:
1) Gov – Jay Gonzalez. I’d rather have someone able to make incremental progress that someone who demands and doesn’t get massive change. This was a useful article.
2) Lt. Gov – Super close call here. I’m not sure I have a strong opinion. But if I’m picking a pragmatist for gubernatorial candidate, I might then lean idealist for Lt. Gov and go for Jimmy Tingle. I think both candidates sound like fine choices.
3) Secretary of State – my Facebook has been non-stop Josh Zakim ads for about two months now. I have to admit, I tend to be ornery about ads. I really dislike the tendency of our current form of government to assume that votes must be purchased with ads instead of earned with actions and statements. My vote is earned, not bought. Voting access is a passion of mine (and access to information to allow for those votes to be earned, not bought). Both men support it. Galvin has done real work to accomplish it, but I think the accusations of complacency and king-making ring true. On the other hand, I don’t love negative campaigns like Zakim’s been waging. Ugh. Talk about what you’ll do, don’t trash your opponent. This one may come down to a voting-box decision for me, but I think I’m leaning slightly towards Zakim, if only to keep Galvin on his toes. (And if Zakim wins, I trust he’d do the job he’s promising to do.) Here’s one article on background.
4) State Senator – Jason Lewis. I have been very supportive of the flowering of new candidates in the field, and so I was excited to see Samantha Hammar throw her hat in the ring for state senator. But I’ve really liked Jason Lewis’ work in the district and been impressed by his attitude and accomplishments. Reading through her statements, I didn’t see any specifics about how the people of the Commonwealth would actually be better off with her in the role instead of him. It also matters to me that several people I know and whose opinions I trust have been working hard to campaign for Jason. I sometimes think that the quality of person whose loyalty you win says a lot about a candidate. So while I’m excited and happy that Samantha’s running, I’m voting for Jason this time. Hopefully Samantha runs again against someone I like less. Here’s a useful series on the two.
5) District Attorney – Donna Patalano. I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how cash bail destroys the lives of innocent poor folks without any societal benefit. In fact, society is the loser when innocent people are jailed and can’t work or support their families. I’ve wondered what I could do about it (other than sending money to the Bronx Freedom Fund or others like it). Turns out this race is one way, since one candidate (Patalano) supports getting rid of it, and the other candidate’s office is getting quotes like this: “They said they left largely because they felt pressured to run nearly all matters by their supervisors, who often told them to seek higher bails and tougher sentences than they felt were justified.”
I’d love to hear who you’re voting for and why! Drop a comment and let me know. If you think I got it wrong, I probably won’t vote until after work tomorrow, so you have time to make your case!