Massachusetts will hold statewide elections on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. There are a number of important and competitive races that are taking place, and it is essential that the voters weigh in and cast their ballots. It is the one way in which everyone is afforded an equal say in the political process. In this column I will outline some of the more consequential races, as well as comment on the recent political drama around the Supreme Court appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, and discuss the state of the U.S. economy.
Geoff Diehl vs Elizabeth Warren – U.S. Senate
What have Geoff Diehl and Elizabeth Warren done for the citizens of Massachusetts? This is the critical question. It is the best basis on which to predict future behavior. Both have been in government long enough for us to know who they are and what they stand for. I will start with Geoff Diehl. Diehl, a Whitman resident and Eagle Scout, is a former Democrat turned Republican. He has represented the 7th Plymouth as a Republican State Rep in the Massachusetts house since 2010. In 2014 Diehl led the effort to repeal the Gas Tax law. Under this law, the tax on gas would automatically rise each year without voters having any opportunity to weigh-in. Talk about taxation without representation! The defeat of the gas tax law has saved Mass residents over $2billion. Diehl is a common-sense conservative with the ability to get things done. It is notable that he is supported by law enforcement unions across the state. It is also significant that in the last two elections for his representative seat, he has run unopposed. This means that even in the deep blue state of Mass, the Democrats understand how capable and popular the Republican Diehl is, and they don’t want to waste any “talent” running against him in a losing effort. Geoff Diehl has earned a “promotion” and will make an excellent U.S Senator, one we can all be proud of!
What has Elizabeth Warren done for Massachusetts? Certainly, she has tried to resist Republicans at ever opportunity, but what has she done for the citizens of the state she represents in the U.S. Senate? I cannot think of a thing. Even the liberal LA Times newspaper recently observed “she has failed to assemble a roster of legislative accomplishments”. We can, however, take her at her own words. I will mention 3 examples. (I will purposely, however, leave out any reference to Warren’s dubious and self-proclaimed “Indian heritage”). In 2011, Warren said that she “created much of the intellectual foundation of the occupy Wall Street movement”. She held this position until it became obvious that the OWS movement and its associated “camps” were, in actuality, drug and crime invested havens of squalor and debauchery; which required considerable Massachusetts police and tax payer resources to clean up. In August of this year, Warren called the criminal justice system “racist – all the way. I mean front to back”. In this disturbing commentary, Warren once again showed her true colors. Playing the race card for pure political purposes, regardless of any relation to the truth. As a matter of fact, the brave members of law enforcement put their lives on the line every day, protecting us from the chaos and danger of criminal behavior. Hundreds of law enforcement personnel are killed in the line of duty each year. I wonder what their friends, families, and co-workers think of Warren’s comments? It is also noted, that over 100,000 members of law enforcement are black – directly refuting her racist claims. Lastly, Warren stated publicly just a few days ago that she is taking a “hard look at running for president”. Does Massachusetts really want to vote in someone who’s main commitment will be to run an embarrassing and doomed “quixotic” campaign for president, rather than representing her constituents? The answer is “No way”!
Besides the contest for the U.S. Senate, there are several other competitive races on the ballot. Jay McMahon verses Maura Healy for Mass Attorney General. McMahon is a veteran of the armed forces and has been a success at the top echelons of the legal profession for 30 years. A father of 5 and a business owner, he understands the real challenges that face the citizens of Mass. Maura Healy, the incumbent, has been a disappointment. She cannot get past the results of the 2016 presidential election and has spent an inordinate amount of time and resources suing the president. According to NPR, she has brought suit or legal challenges against the Trump administration 26 times. 26 Times! We need an Attorney General that can better focus their efforts on Massachusetts’ issues/concerns – rather than a misdirected political vendetta, to say the least.
On a more local level is the race for State Senate representing the Bristol and Norfolk District; Jacob Ventura against Paul Feeney. Ventura, a Republican, narrowly lost to the Democrat Feeney in the special election held in 2017 to replace Joe Timilty. They meet again this November. It is important to note that Ventura is backed by Governor Baker, and would be a voice helping to push the Governor’s successful agenda. Feeney on the other hand would continue the liberal group-think that has taken a regretful toll on the state.
State Reps Jay Barrows (representing Mansfield, Foxboro, Norton), and Betty Poirier (Mansfield, Plainville, North Attleboro) are running unopposed this year. They are to be commended for the outstanding job they have done over the years and deserve your vote.
Brett Kavanaugh is now a sitting justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. The events that took place during the confirmation process brought out the worst in political behavior that I have ever seen, and I have been following politics for 40 years. After a grueling hearing in which Kavanaugh answered Senator’s questions “live” for 30 hours (amidst screaming/ranting protestors), responded to 1300 written questions, and met with Senators individually, – it appeared he would be confirmed; it would just be a formality. Only then did accusers come after Kavanaugh, alleging of him most vile, depraved, and outlandish behavior. The accusers and their political friends were out to destroy Kavanaugh and his family. These innocent people, the targets of the accusers, were considered to be collateral damage, a means to and end. That end being the withdrawal of a conservative nominee for the Supreme Court. Thankfully Kavanaugh was approved by a narrow margin and he now sits on the bench. However, make no mistake, this whole process was a serious warning to all. When the political process does not produce the hoped-for results, the politics of personal destruction can take place. Destroying a person’s reputation, family, and career -by accusation only, without the benefit of the rule of law, due process, or the presumption of innocence; even without evidence or corroborating witnesses to back up the claims. Essentially removing the basic building blocks of our legal system. Make no mistake – this has been a warning of future things to come, if we allow it.
Certainly, we live in passionate political times. However, if you take a step back and look at some of the basic facts, it is apparent that several important and positive changes have taken place since the elections of 2016. The unemployment rate, now stands at 3.7%, the lowest level since 1969 – 49 years! For women the rate is the lowest since 1953, and for Blacks and Hispanics the rate is the lowest in history – in history! The economy grew at an astonishing 4.2% in the second quarter of this year. A robust economy (a major focus of the administration’s efforts) “lifts all boats” and benefits all Americans, regardless of gender, class, race, ethnicity, or political persuasion. It is important that we keep this in mind and keep things moving forward when we vote on November 6. And remember, early voting is in place in Massachusetts Oct 22, through Nov 2!
Steve Nickerson is a 26 year resident of Mansfield, and is the Vice Chairman of the Mansfield Republican Town Committee – www.mansfieldgop.com. The opinions he expresses are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the committee members.