Sunday, June 06, 2010

Democratic State Convention Redux

With Josh Dawson, my district's teller, at the lead (third from right), the various whips and asst. tellers and delegates listen to the roll call.
June 5, 2010

Yesterday, I attended the Democratic State Convention in Worcester, and it was an honor to represent my fellow democrats living in Boston's 2nd Suffolk Senatorial District and Boston's Ward 5.

A few observations:

-- Governor Deval Patrick noted how he wants to "finish what we started." In general, I think the Governor needs to be careful about touting his accomplishments too much, given the high level of anxiety across the state about the current economy. The average voter could very easily say, "What does he have to gloat about; I am very worried about my job and my family." Which is why other themes within the speech resonated with me, including his discussion of ways he will continue to stimulate the economy, and the fact that he will "not rest" until every person who wants a job has one. I also liked his discussion of "generational responsibility," but that will be the topic of a separate post on this blog.

-- In my opinion, Mike Lake stole the show. The candidate for auditor had an impressive campaign organization on the floor, with whips for every voting location and numerous signs, t-shirts and even hats (Can I have one, please?). His speech was the best I have heard him give, and he was passionate. He also stressed his independence, which is key in this anti-incumbent year. Many no doubt came into the convention wondering if Mike would get the 15-percent needed to be on the primary ballot in September. He walked away with 24 or 25 percent---far more than what was needed---and impressed many delegates and potential donors in the process. (Admittedly, I am biased, as Mike is a friend, and I support him enthusiastically.)

-- Democracy in action is refreshing to see. So many people worked hard yesterday, on a hot Saturday in early June, to move democracy forward. There were the candidates, their campaigns and their volunteers. There were the staff members of the Democratic party and the party's volunteers. There were the representatives of the various causes that packed the expo hall adjacent to the DCU Center to give out literature and talk to delegates. There were the tellers, whips and many others supporting the individual delegations. It was truly organized chaos (emphasis on organized).

-- In the end, the voters get to decide. All the candidates who spoke yesterday made the primary ballot, which means all Democrats in Massachusetts will ultimately decide who will be the party's candidates in the November elections. I think this is great. The Democratic party has set a low threshold at the convention for candidates to make the ballot (15-percent of delegates' votes). As Boston City Councilor and State Treasurer candidate Steve Murphy put it yesterday, the party believes that all competent and worthy candidates should be considered for elections. The primary season has begun, and the three candidates for auditor and two for treasurer now face the full body of Democrats in the state, as it should be.

-- Finally, it was great to see Mac D'Alessandro, who's challenging Steven Lynch in the Democratic primary to be my congressman. As I have written here before, I am not very happy with Rep. Lynch; it's good he has strong competition.

Special thanks to Rep. Marty Walz for inviting me to the SEIU breakfast Saturday morning for the much needed coffee!

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