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Who cares if Cher endorses Warren?

March 19, 2012 By G. Michael Dobbs news@thereminder.com I receive many press releases every week and some of them are from the Republican Party of Massachusetts. I often read them, if the subject line is compelling, and I opened several last week about the "relationship" between Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and Cher. It seems that Warren has been looking for financial support among some entertainment types and Cher was one of them. The singer and businesswoman then tweeted about Warren and stated she was "just thrilled every time I can hear the woman speak." In the release, Alleigh Marre, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Republican Party sniffed, "Given their shared left-wing views and Hollywood elitist attitudes, it's not surprising that Cher has fallen head over heels with Professor Warren. Unfortunately for her campaign, Elizabeth Warren is being received far less enthusiastically by the voters of Massachusetts." I take it Marre is not a Cher fan. Would the Republican Party issue a press release if Cher had contributed to Sen. Scott Brown's campaign? You bet. The release is furthering the frame that Warren is a rich elitist and Brown is a humble man of the people. Frankly, Brown strikes me as a pretty square shooter, although he sometimes dodges tough questions. And why are Republicans chastising Warren for making good out of her working class roots? Success is not to be acknowledged if there is a "D" next to your name, I guess. I am a registered Democrat, but I can assure you Cher's admiration for Warren doesn't mean anything to me and it shouldn't mean anything to anyone. Celebrity endorsements or contributions to any candidate for any position from any party are fodder for the gossip page, not for the voting booth. Look at Brown's record and vote for him if you approve of it. Look at what Warren has done and what she stands for and vote for her if she reflects your viewpoints. And a personal note to Alleigh Marre: come up with better releases than this one.
It is certainly true that the tragedies one sees reported often seem abstract. I knew intellectually of the kind of destruction and turmoil a tornado could bring, but the emotional side, the human side was something never fully felt until a tornado struck here. For our family, who has lost a person to domestic violence, the news last week of the murder of Jessica Rojas was truly significant. A young woman working in the city of Springfield's Law Department, Rojas leaves behind a stunned and grieving family including four young children. It is nearly impossible to convey in words the depth of feeling that family is undergoing. There is an account set up at Hampden Bank for contributions to help her family, and Springfield Partners for Community Action on State Street in Springfield is also soliciting donations through the end of the month. Sadly, what happened to this young woman is all too common. The Centers for Disease Control's National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey reported, "On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, based on a survey conducted in 2010. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story — more than one million women are raped in a year and over six million women and men are victims of stalking in a year. These findings emphasize that sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence are important and widespread public health problems in the United States." And according to Jane Doe Inc., the state's coalition against sexual assault and domestic violence, there were 24 murder victims in 2011 in the Commonwealth. I hope in light of this terrible event, people might consider doing something to support efforts to prevent domestic violence and to assist victims. To see what you could do, contact the two programs operating locally — the YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter Services and 24-Hour Hotline Program Office at 732-3121 or my friends at Womanshelter/Compañeras at 538-9717. Hey, agree with me? Disagree? Drop me a line at news@thereminder.com or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper. Bookmark and Share
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