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A season for 'Brown' effect?

By G. Michael Dobbs Managing Editor I'm writing this column on Sept. 9 and, therefore, can't make any comments on the elections results, but I'm certainly curious about several things. First, I can't help but wonder if the power and influence of endorsements have passed. Traditionally, a thumbs up from a newspaper or a labor official or an esteemed elected official has been an element in elections that has made a difference. Do they still motivate a voter to a particular issue or candidate? I don't know, especially on local or statewide contests. I've never done them because I think they can get in the way of covering a campaign and they are frequently an exercise in ego. The second issue that intrigues me is how many voters will support Republican candidates as part of the "Scott Brown revolution." Brown, who comes across as a genuine and down to earth person, told the Boston Herald last week, "I didn't think my race was going to set any type of trend. I didn't realize I was the head of a revolution." So, will a Republican resurgence in Massachusetts actually happen? That depends on how many of the people who voted for Brown, as well as newly upset Democratic and unenrolled voters, see the Republican candidates as a viable alternative to the status quo. Naturally, the real test will be in November, but the primary should give observers the sense of what might happen then. I just hope all of you who were registered to vote did vote.
The State House News Service does some fine reporting and in a story dated Sept. 9, the results of a recent poll showed more respondents blamed Gov. Patrick for the failure of the casino bill to become law than pointing the finger at House Speaker Robert DeLeo. Thirty-seven percent of those polled said Patrick was to blame. DeLeo received 19 percent of the negative. The story detailed how both men made concessions, but DeLeo ultimately decided to fight Patrick, who had said he would not sign a bill that didn't include open bidding for slot parlors slated by DeLeo for racetracks. I've said it once and I'll say it again: I did not elect Robert DeLeo. A percentage of a state representative district's worth of residents did. He does not represent me. His insistence to go against an ethical stand by a governor to support a transparent process for the granting of slot machines cost the state jobs. Let me repeat that: DeLeo's stance has potentially cost the state jobs. As this newspaper reported and it was the only one in this region gambling developers see the window closing in Massachusetts as other states move forward with expanded gambling plans. The clock is ticking, although I'm not sure he cares. Massachusetts has a reputation for dirty, nasty politics and this is an example. You can criticize Patrick for any number of issues, but his effort to actually clean up our act a bit should be commended rather than used against him as an election year smear. We've had this casino discussion for years and when some sort of end was in sight, it was snatched away by a guy the majority of us didn't elect. This is one example of how antiquated the political division is that that lumps us into the Boston area. It no longer works for the economic wellbeing of this part of the state. This column represents the opinions of its author. Send your comments online to news@thereminder.com or to 280 North Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028.
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