By G. Michael Dobbs
A quick check of Facebook the morning after the election showed a lack of activity from my more conservative friends. I don't blame them as it's difficult to work for a particular cause or candidate and be on the losing side.
But as you read this, it will be a few days since the election and perhaps the healing has begun a bit and I'd like to offer a few thoughts.
First, I would like to congratulate Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren on her win, but I hope she understands that she has to earn our respect in the Senate. From my perspective as a journalist, I hope she will actually be available to the media, unlike during her very controlled campaign. I begged her people repeatedly for 10 lousy minutes for a one-on-one and the best they could give me was three questions shared with a reporter from The Republican.
What were they scared of?
Let's hope that she actually communicates candidly with the press. If her staff actually monitors such things as community newspapers, here's my email, firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number, 413-525-3247, ext. 103. I hope to hear from her.
Sen. Scott Brown had set up an office in Western Massachusetts and I hope Warren does the same thing. Brown visited the four western counties and I hope Warren does so on a regular basis. We do not need another senator like John Kerry who only comes out here when there is a natural disaster or a re-election campaign.
Although I didn't always agree with Brown, he did successfully work toward common solutions on many issues and Warren must do the same to establish greater credibility.
Brown's supporters are in mourning, but they shouldn't be as I'm willing to bet we will see him in the public arena again. He is a natural candidate for governor and one who could beat, in my opinion, either Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray or State Treasurer Steve Grossman, the two Democrats who are the most likely candidates at this time.
I'm sure this is the farthest thing from his mind at this date, but things change.
Both candidates should be congratulated for their rejection of political action committee money, although it is a shocking development that more than $80 million was spent in this race. That fact should compel people of every political leaning to reconsider the need for public financing and greater controls.
Warren must prove to Brown's supporters that she will be a senator for everyone. Let's see what happens.
On a more local race, I was surprised, but I shouldn't have been, with the election of former Springfield Mayor Michael Albano to a seat on the Governor's Council. The idea that voters would once again affirm a man with his record is beyond me.
Springfield was left in shambles and is still trying to recover. Members of his administration were investigated by the FBI. Political allies were sent to jail. How do these facts square with the idea that he wants to continue serving the public?
Perhaps political operatives are correct that name recognition trumps issues and records. The nature of the Governor's Council is the type of elected position that can be for life as long as the official doesn't commit some heinous act, so I suppose we are stuck with him.
As far as the referendum questions go, remember the Legislature can over-turn any will expressed by the people at the voting booth. We'll see if they let the use of medical marijuana stand here in the Commonwealth. I hope they do.
Last week marked the 50th anniversary of Reminder Publications and I hope the company will be around for another 50 years.
Reaching the 50-year mark is significant in this media environment. As the means of transmission have changed, the need to know what is happening in one's community has remained.
We will strive to deliver our readers the news they are not getting anywhere else in a manner that is convenient to them in our next half century.
Agree? Disagree? Drop me a line at email@example.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.