The biggest post-debate topic wasn’t really the scope and substance of what the three State Rep candidates had to say last night in their one-hour forum inside Wiggin Auditorium at Peabody City Hall in advance of Tuesday’s special election. What people from all sides seemed most intent on talking about was a campaign mail piece that was sent to Peabody residents this week by the Mass. State Republican Party.
In the end, that two-sided flyer (pictured right from the Peabody Patch) not only gave Democrat Beverley Griffin Dunne and unenrolled candidate Dave Gravel the opening to effectively paint Republicans as negative and mean-spirited. …
It embarrassed the Republican candidate Leah Cole.
Once Gravel brought it up, all Cole could really do was sit there, take the criticism, and defend herself by saying she had nothing to do with it. She was sorry it got sent on her behalf, she said. But it didn’t matter and it’s just another example of why we continue to be a one party state dominated by Democrats.
In the fullest of disclosures here, I am a Democrat. But I’m also a conservative Dem, who feels that one-party rule is hurting Massachusetts. I believe in the basic principles of my party, but I also feel that multiple party balance keeps everyone honest when it comes to spending my tax dollars.
It’s the reason why I feel it’s a shame that MA GOP leadership continues to rival the tactics of Larry, Moe, and Curly.
The MA GOP many times finds great candidates, people like Peabody’s Greg Bunn and Richard Tisei and Scott Brown, and even newcomers like Leah Cole to run solid campaigns in an effort to crack the Democratic stranglehold. But in the immortal words of Jim Morrison in describing himself, Republican leaders in our state might be “intelligent, sensitive humans.” But they also have “the souls of a clown, which forces them to blow it at the most important moments.”
Take the case of Mr. Tisei, who mid-way through his run for Congress had a double-digit lead in the polls over incumbent John Tierney. But then along came “help” from the national Republican Party and extreme right wing groups, who dove into the Primordial ooze and “supported” the likeable and moderate Tisei. Those mail pieces and TV ads tried to paint Tierney as the evilest politician since Genghis Khan. It backfired, of course, and as a result Tisei lost his lead, the election, and once again Republican hopes dried up like an egg cracked on the floor of a desert.
In the case of this latest ill-advised piece from the MA GOP, not only is it incredibly negative, but it’s also flat out inaccurate. If I were feeling a little angrier today I’d even tell you that they plain old lied about Gravel and Dunn in this piece.
They paint the two long-time Peabody elected officials at “peas in a pod” with Governor Deval Patrick when it comes to his bloated proposal for raising taxes, and spending taxpayer money. But … NEWSFLASH MA GOP! Both Dunne and Gravel are AGAINST the governor’s tax plan. So much for the fine details, I guess.
In general, Peabody voters hate this sort of negative campaigning. The lies only make this piece even more deplorable in the eyes of the voters.
But even worse is the fact that these stooges may have hurt their own candidate, who had seemingly been gaining some momentum. If I were Leah Cole, I might right now be thinking about a letter to MA GOP Chair Kristen Hughes that begins with:
“Dear Kristen, please, I’m begging you … don’t help me.”
You can read more about the debate here in the Peabody Patch.