@edmarkey and @danwinslow have critical upper hand in GOTV effort #masen #mapoli

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While high profile debates and low flying bi-planes grab our attention, the fate of each US Senate campaign now rests in a little known and rarely covered realm of politics, get out the vote or GOTV.

Getting out your vote, starts first with identifying your vote, a process that can easily take several weeks for a special election and in a regularly scheduled election it takes months of preparation and grunt work leading up to the big day.

So it was ominous sign for the Gomez camp Wednesday when a staffer sent out an email declaring that they had “just got in our first batch of phones and are looking to fill some call shifts…As you can imagine, in this shortened primary season, it is even more important to get calls done and ID voters to come out and vote for Gabriel.”

Campaigns often ignore GOTV tasks for more glorious pursuits that staffers [and reporters] no doubt find more intellectually stimulating, glamorous or just plain easier. Hard to see the fun in door knocking on a cold damp March day.

But ground game failure can often result in complete disaster, as Mitt Romney learned in 2012:

If they’ve been working the phones and doors, as Scott Brown did in 2010, camps should have identified by now a core base of voters highly committed to their candidate on April 30th.

Markey Press Secretary, Andrew Zucker, says the camp has “built the strongest grassroots operation in this state, recruiting more than 5,000 volunteers who have held more than 2,000 voter contact events.”

The Markey camp has staked everything on a boots on the ground GOTV model, highlighted by the camapign’s novel GOTV summit this Sunday to bring “together hundreds of Markey leaders from across the state to prepare for Get Out the Vote.

The Lynch camp is planning an olde fashioned “word of mouth” effort and declined to detail their GOTV strategy for this story.

Markey has also been significantly helped by the League of Conservation Voters which plans to spend $650,000 to knock 219,000 doors for Ed Markey.

It is a blueprint “local enforcer John Walsh” has used to get everyone from Deval Patrick (talented candidate) to Suzanne Bump (out classed candidate) elected.

Way back in February, WBUR explained the Lynch and Markey approaches:

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In a low turnout special election every volunteer hour wasted holding signs is an hour not spent on direct voter contact. Stand outs have a low rate of return, when the special election audience is so small.

On the GOP side, with even a smaller voter pool the race is tougher to read than a Nantucket fog, but one thing is clear the Winslow camp, like Markey, has invested significant resources on GOTV having knocked 6,000 doors and connected 50,000 calls to likely GOP voters.

According to Winslow Communications Director Charlie Pearce, Winslow is the only candidate “in the GOP primary to make a significant investment in a solid ground game. In a campaign that is likely to have only around 200,000 voters this is going to matter. By Election Day we will have personally contacted every likely voter in this state. That will be the difference in our margin of victory.”

Since GOP voters tend to live in suburban neighborhoods phone banking is a more practical direct voter contact tool.

And while the Gomez camp is just now installing phones to conduct voter identification, Alicia Preston of the Sullivan camp said they’ve “knocked on thousands of doors, made thousands of calls, and are very excited with the response we have received.”

Eighteen days to go.

Man up? Dial up!

Republican Majority for Choice gives nod to @danwinslow #mapoli #masen @GOPChoice

Culture warriors take note Republican Majority for Choice has endorsed Winslow in the GOP primary for US Senate.

Susan Bevan and Candy Straight, National Co-Chairs of @GOPChoice:

“We value Dan’s commitment and unwavering support for the protection of personal freedom and choice. An independent, commonsense Republican voice such as Dan’s, represents the future of this Party and is vital to maintaining balance in Congress.”

Mike Sullivan was endorsed by MCFL PAC.

@massprolife promoting version of Operation Choas in #masen #gop primary #mapoli @danwinslow

Massachusetts Citizens for Life is asking pro-life Democrats to switch party affiliations by April 10th so they cast votes in the GOP primary for Michael Sullivan.

MCFL PAC endorsed Sullivan on March 19th.

“If you are a registered Democrat, please change your registration for this primary. It is simple! Just send a note to your town or city clerk,” the MCLF blog notes. “The next step is to be sure Michael wins the Republican primary.”

Operation Chaos was a 2008 effort by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh “to cause chaos in the Democratic Party primaries by encouraging Republican voters to either cross over or change parties in order to vote for whichever candidate is trailing, thus prolonging the primary process.”

How MCLF sees the candidates

Ed Markey is proud of having been “pro-choice” for many years.
Stephen Lynch says he is “pro-life” but has received 0% or 10% from National Right to Life for his voting record each of the last six years.
Both Democrat candidates say they would vote against a nominee for Supreme Court Justice (or any other judge) who is opposed to Roe v Wade – a litmus test which is unacceptable.

In the Republican Primary:
Michael Sullivan has no such litmus test. He is the only candidate who takes pro-life positions on funding, parental consent, and partial birth abortion.
Gabriel Gomez says he is “pro-life” but would not vote to change any abortion laws.
Dan Winslow brags about being the only candidate who has always been “pro-choice”

@danwinslow tax loophole plan: “I’m going beyond what Elizabeth Warren has said” #masen #mapoli

If you were looking for a new kind of Republican look no further than Dan Winslow. In his quest for the GOP nod in the US Senate race Winslow has proven to be an out of the box thinker, but is he also outside the bounds of the GOP?

Tuesday he told to Janet Wu that Republicans can’t “continue to send basically gifts to the democrats in the form of culture wars, for general elections, then the democrats will continue to beat us and we’ll deserve to lose.”

Wednesday, he told Alison King of NECN: “If you like the Republican Party’s national brand that’s lost five of the last six elections in the popular vote, vote for my opponents.”

“I’m going beyond what Elizabeth Warren has said in terms of tax loopholes. Unless there is some measurable benefit for all Americans, I’m against it. Because that means it is just a special interest fat cat loophole.”

Winslow in his statement: “If elected to the United States Senate I will close the loopholes, simplify the tax code, and reduce the marginal tax rate on all businesses. We need to cut the pork out of the federal tax code.”

Loopholes. Some Republicans reject that language outright, as it seems to imply that the default state of property and income is to be taxed.

Others do not, as Winslow points out, the Republican National Committee’s Growth Opportunity Report released Monday states: “We have to blow the whistle at corporate malfeasance and attack corporate welfare. We should speak out when a company liquidates itself and its executives receive bonuses but rank-and-file workers are left unemployed. We should speak out when CEOs receive tens of millions of dollars in retirement packages but middle-class workers have not had a meaningful raise in years.”

Winslow would like the following “corporate welfare tax subsidies that do not benefit all Americans” reviewed:

-$7 billion a year in tax subsidies to oil and gas companies
-$300 million a year in corporate jet tax write offs
-Billions each year in tax subsidies for what started as farming tax breaks but is now being cross applied to art collectors, rental truck fleets, and thoroughbred racehorses
-$12.2 billion in wind-farm tax credits
-$430 million dollar tax break for Hollywood films made within the US
-$331 million in railroad tax credits
-$120 million dollar tax credit to Whirlpool to produce energy efficient appliances (after $1.2 million was spent on lobbying in 2011/2012)
-$80 million in subsidies to the owners of NASCAR racetracks
-$50 million for golf course owners

And other provivisions of his plan:

Reduce the marginal tax rate on all businesses from 35% to 26% to start, which is recommended by the Simpson Bowles Commission
-Simplify the tax code so that small businesses can save money on the process of filing.
-Mandate that all future tax subsidies added to the code be treated like spending earmarks and would require a member to sponsor them and attach their name to the proposed tax code changes.
-Immediate deposit by the IRS of tax payments from individuals and business.

#GOP #masen candidates dodge, equivocate on #Iraq #War #mapoli

Reading from the statements of all five Massachusetts candidates yesterday regarding the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War you’d be hard pressed to find an outward declaration of support for the war.

Both Markey and Lynch voted in favor of the Iraq War Resolution, even though the Democratic caucus voted against the resolution 81-126 and given the past ten years it would be hard to believe they (especially Markey) would make the same choice again. How progressives square their support for Markey on this count, I’ll never understand.

What about the Republicans?

Each issued statements on the war today and each purposely avoided a direct question posed by email: would you have voted for or against the Authorization of Military Force in Iraq.

Gomez, the former Navy Seal, offered a simple brief statement “honoring the sacrifice of the 62 who gave their lives from Massachusetts”. His campaign declined further comment. Less is more, as all candidates attempted to avoid politicization of the issue on the anniversary.

Winslow issued a decidedly hawkish comment: “There is no doubt that the world is a better and safer place with the end of this dangerous dictator who was an exporter of terrorism.” Not hard to conclude where he stands or would have stood, even though he still dodged the question. The Republican caucus went 215-6 in favor of the resolution.

But it was the Sullivan statement that strikes me as an equivocation: “Sullivan supported the goal of helping to build a free Iraq”.

He supported? As in in the past tense? What is his position now? Does he believe the the Iraq War a mistake?”

So I asked Sullivan spokesperson Lisa Barstow to clarify: “The statement speaks for itself. Not saying he would have voted for it, not saying he would have voted against it”. So why issue a statement that touches at all on your prior position? Why not go all Gomez and say very little?

I can’t true that up with the official comment, “Sullivan supported the goal”, that statement carries the very implication that Sullivan would have voted yes in 2002, but now thinks differently.

At least three times now, Sullivan has shifted when pressed on big issues.

The first instance came as a result of the Walsh ambush on same sex marriage, the second came last week on abortion (covered well by Adam Reilly) and now the Iraq War.

That is a disturbing trend to see in any candidate.

————————————————-

The full candidate statements.

Gomez:
“The country owes the deepest debt of gratitude to the courageous servicemen and women who fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom to protect our liberty. What we should be doing today is honoring the sacrifice of the 62 who gave their lives from Massachusetts in this conflict. It is now our responsibility to ensure that our returning veterans have the job opportunities, training and treatment they deserve.”

Sullivan:
Mike Sullivan supported the goal of helping to build a free Iraq that would respect the human rights of its people and create a more peaceful and secure Middle East — benefiting not only that region but the world.

The cost to America has been significant and personal — 4,600 American lives and many more wounded warriors who deserve our ongoing support. And an American taxpayer investment approaching $1 trillion to build a new, more stable region, which serves to honor the sacrifice of our men and women for generations to come.

Mike takes war and the sacrifice of our servicemen and women very seriously. Mike has traveled to Baghdad and witnessed first-hand the faces of our nation’s patriots. His daughter Kelly presently serves in the Army National Guard and his father and father-in-law both have served. Mike and his wife understand the gravity of the sacrifice of not only the men and women in uniform but also their families.

Even during challenging economic times, Mike is committed to ensuring our military men and women have the right training, equipment and support to execute their dangerous missions successfully, and as safely and quickly as possible so they can return home to their loved ones.

Today’s explosion killing seven Marines in a training operation further underscores the dangers and heroism our men and women in uniform undertake to keep America secure. Our hearts and prayers go out to their families on this sad and consequential day.

Winslow:
“Every man and woman who served our Nation in Iraq, especially those who lost their lives or who were injured, deserves our eternal admiration and appreciation. They ended the reign of Saddam Hussein who was a destabilizing presence in the Middle East. There is no doubt that the world is a better and safer place with the end of this dangerous dictator who was an exporter of terrorism and who no longer controls one of the most important countries in that region.”

“Thanks you” @danwinslow but can we get back to the issues? #masen #mapoli

My grammar and spelling skills leave much to be desired. I’m aware of it and yet even when I’m totally on my game, I misspell things constantly, dangle participles and yes, I’m guilty of interchanging “your and “you’re”.

Heck, earlier today I sent out a post with the word “intelligence” spelled wrong, I sure felt stooooooopid!

So, I acknowledge that I am exactly the wrong person to be playing E. B White in this special election, yet I feel obliged to point out yet another email flub this one directly from @danwinslow thanks you very much.

Can we get back to the issues now?

BTW the Bruins won 4-1!

Thanks you 375