BOSTON – Negative political campaign ads reached stomach-churning levels of nausea in Massachusetts, during the late 2009-2010 Martha Coakley-Scott Brown, battle to replace the late Ted Kennedy in the Senate. Many voters, including me, were repulsed, and turned off by the frenzied, ugly attack ads. I believe, in the end, the ads played out against Coakley’s run for the Senate. Will this be the case in the edgy, upcoming governor’s race?
As Massachusetts contenders gear up for the final sprint to midterm elections, I have a piece of advice for democrat incumbent Governor Deval Patrick, and candidates, Charles Baker (R), Tim Cahill (I), and Jill Stein (Green-Rainbow).
You can squander millions of dollars on negativity and lose votes as Martha Coakley did. However, most Commonwealth voters can be fair-minded without another round of nasty mud slinging.
Alternatively, you can use that money intelligently to demonstrate to voters, that you are a light at the end of the tunnel, ready to lead the good people of Massachusetts. There is enough tension already surrounding these elections. Do the right thing.
Come Out Fighting – Do Not Be Immoral
I am not naïve. I realize, hefty judgments of disapproval, will be lodged against each other by the four candidates involved in the current governor’s race campaign. After all, everyone jumping on the political bandwagon has done so because each candidate believes he or she will do a better job.
I also know it is imperative that a candidate sway the voters to their side. If that means coming out with both fists raised, then so be it. Do not resort to immoral tactics, however. A prime example of this comes to mind. It concerns Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and a 2004 presidential debate with Dick Cheney.
Who could forget the lash back Kerry received after making a remark during the debate about Dick Cheney’s, daughter, Mary, being gay. As much as John Kerry tried to politely, explain it away — the remark did not sit well with most people.
It was in poor taste and an unnecessary comment. It definitely did not belong in a presidential debate. Kerry appeared callous. I lost a bit of the already faltering respect I had for him.
Governor’s Race Ads Tolerable but Heating Up
To this point, local TV, radio and Web ads pertaining to the Massachusetts governor’s race have been bearable. I believe it is still early, though, and the barrage of ads is forthcoming.
According to Massachusetts Elections 2010 website, (a site designed for political news geared for independent Massachusetts voters) two web ads, released in July by the Republican Governors Association (RGA), take quick, short jabs at Deval Patrick for wasteful spending and Tim Cahill, the current State Treasurer, for hiring his cronies.
Obviously, the ads intend to advance the Baker campaign. However, mind the skeletons in your own closet. The Web ads, prompted Governor Patrick’s senior strategist, Doug Rubin, to draw up a letter faulting Charlie Baker on numerous issues. The letter was emailed to Patrick supporters.
One issue claims Baker, a former state budget chief, under governors Weld and Cellucci, played a major role in putting together the financial plan of the dubious Big Dig project. Taxpayers are going to be burdened with fallout from the Big Dig nightmare for years to come. For citizens of the Commonwealth, it is a deep wound, which is still fresh and not likely to heal for a long time.
After the brawl between Martha Coakley and Scott Brown, a clean campaign for governor is something I believe Massachusetts voters deserve.
Patrick Campaign Responds to Attack Ads
Republican Governors Association
Tom Vanden Brook, “Kerry Lesbian Remark Angers Cheneys,” USATODAY.com
Matt Viser, “Brown’s Daughters Call for Coakley to Take Down Ad,” Boston.com
Michael Rezendes and Noah Bierman, “Baker’s Role in Big Dig Was Anything but Small,” Boston.com