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Left In Lowell » Blog Archive » The Truth About Dave Nangle

Left In Lowell

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November 11, 2012

The Truth About Dave Nangle

by at 9:12 pm.

He pulled his lousy stunt off with flying colors. That is the truth!

From the Blog of Record:

LOWELL STATE Rep. David Nangle took some heat from fellow Democrats for endorsing Brown. On Thursday, Nangle said he thought his endorsement of Brown actually helped his victory over Republican challenger Martin Burke.

“Everyone said — oh, my God — he’s in trouble now,” Nangle said. “But I think it helped because never before in any election I’ve been in have I seen my numbers this high.”

Nangle, who beat Burke 9,125 votes to 2,454 votes, represents the 17th Middlesex District, an area that includes parts of Chelmsford and the only neighborhood in Lowell that saw Brown score a decisive victory: Belvidere.

I had the highest win percentage of anyone in the Merrimack Valley Tuesday,” said Nangle. “Obviously endorsements don’t translate much.”

I’ll speculate that had a long entrenched “Massachusetts Machine Democrat,” not Elizabeth Warren, been running against Scott Brown; Nangle would have gone “radio silent” soon after The Sun reported his politely showing Gail Huff around town, the first time. For some reason, knowing these folks as I do, I figure a call would have come that would have convinced Nangle that it is all well and fine to be palsy with GOPers, but that any further PUBLIC overtures would have been met with harsh reprisals.

Such a potential for squelching will be staunchly denied, of course. No doubt, the local conservatives will thrill in my candidness, while Dems will grit their teeth, as they tell you I’m way off base.

For now, Dave Nangle gets to be the big man in Belvidere. Certainly, his vote totals and ability to field boots on the ground in the last days of the cycle will hold up his boasts. It’s not likely that Beacon Hill will even bother to scold Nangle, as there are transactions to be made. It’s a business, afterall. We idealists merely grease the electoral skids for these folks. That fact is becoming more stark every election.

Come 2014, the brash, mouthy Democrats, myself included, will likely forget Nangle’s gambit. Will it always be a sore spot? Yes. But, in 2014, we’ll have to measure whether it will be worth it or not to pull the scab off.

24 Responses to “The Truth About Dave Nangle”

  1. tom Says:

    Pull the scab off

  2. Mimi Says:

    I had a different take on Nangle’s victory. Having the largest victory percentage does not tell the whole story. Nangle benefits from having a larger registered voter pool than his two Lowell colleagues; almost 4,000 more voters than Golden and about 1,500 than Murphy. His Lowell districts had 2,000 more voters show up at the polls than the other two.

    Nangle greatly benefits from representing Belvidere. Here are the numbers as I see them.


    Registered Voters

    Total Ballots
    Total Votes
    % based on total ballots
    % not including blank ballots

    Both Muprhy and Golden did pretty well. I do have to give Nangle credit for campaigning. For the first time, I saw sign holders at my poll and I did receive a mailer.

    I will be intertested in seeing what happens in 2014 when we do not have a Presidential, Senatorial or Sherriff race.

  3. Geoffrey Says:

    Nangles comfort is ill placed. Nobody in the Warren campaign campaigned against him this time. At the door the message was simple: Vote Democrat. Nangle benefited. It was a good time to be a democrat even if you don’t act like one. He should not be comforted by that focus as it is now turned to a potential primary opponent of his.

    If someone chooses to run against Nangle in the 2014 primaries, that person will find people who worked their hearts out for the best possible margin of victory; That candidate will find a band of canvass brothers and sisters who will welcome high standards for representation and leadership that Nangle has not demonstrated. We know that Nangle disregarded our efforts. His stated reason: “Friendship” is what reasonable people call “Cronyism”. Cross party cronyism, with no constituent based reasoning.

    Both Nangle and Mercier failed as leaders with what I call “Brownian motion”, a kind of random stumble off the curb with a flourish of pointless ungrounded, disconnected, subjective comments. This was typical of Brown himself who never had any kind of policy or philosophic commitment worthy of thoughtful admiration. This is not the kind of consistent thinking persons leadership we deserve.

    Oh and Martin Burke, you did make a favorable impression on us at Long Meadow. Seriously, consider switching to our party. We will listen. I know it’s a tough choice but take a look around. Step up to quality.

  4. C R Krieger Says:

    Regarding Geoffrey’s last comment, Democrats need Martin Burke as a Republican, since a weak and flaccid Republican Party makes for a worse Democratic Party.

    Regards  —  Cliff

  5. Jim Says:

    I’m concerned about the atmosphere that everything is strict party support.There seems no flexabilty. If you’re not with us, then you’re the enemy. Isn’t that the thinking that got congress in such a mess?

  6. Mr. Lynne Says:

    I don’t understand how your complaint applies here Jim … you’re lamenting unearned party loyalty in a thread where a bunch of lefties consider the relative merit of abandoning the Democratic candidate.

  7. Lynne Says:

    Have you read anything we’ve posted in the past, Jim?

    I have repeatedly said that I’m not generally into DINO hunts, and it’s great to have a big tent. But when your Democratic Rep in the state house LITERALLY believes in NONE of the party’s platform, and his voting record is usually am F or at best a D- when compared to the platform, you don’t have a deserving Democrat.

  8. joe from Lowell Says:


    Recognizing that there is a difference between us and them is not the problem with Congress.

    The problem with Congress is an inability of “them” to work with “us.” It’s ok for there to be sharp distinctions between party and ideological groups, like we have today. It’s not a problem ok to refuse to get over those distinctions and do your damn job.

    When Barney Frank and Ron Paul worked together on their Audit the Fed bill, they didn’t merge into some undifferentiated liberal-a-tarian-ervative. They were a strident liberal and a sharply right-wing libertarian working together.

    (Note: Edit per commentor’s request - Jack)

  9. joe from Lowell Says:

    Uh, can a brother get an edit function?

    “It’s not ok to refuse to get over those distinctions and…”

  10. Jim Says:

    I want my rep.,who ever it is to be my voice, not the parties. I was raised a democrat and believe in most of its platforms, but not all. Sometimes I think we are too far to the left.Is being a moderate democrat a bad thing??

  11. Lynne Says:

    “I was raised a democrat and believe in most of its platforms, but not all.”

    So you admit that Dave Nangle is not really a Democrat, then.

  12. Lynne Says:

    And “vote the man not the party” is total bull. I am a Democrat because I share most, if not all, of its stated VALUES. I am a values voter, I vote my values, and I expect those values to be upheld by someone in the party.

    If you are not voting for the party, but the man, you are DOING it wrong. Or at least, it should that either your core values aren’t really important to you, or else that you have none.

  13. Brian Flaherty Says:

    What I don’t get is everyone fawned (rightly so) over Obama and Christie working together and reaching across the aisle. But, when a Democrat plays nice with a Republican, it’s considered treason.

  14. Mr. Lynne Says:

    It does make a difference Christie didn’t torch his party’s positions while playing nice.

  15. Jim Says:

    Wow! I have no core values? That’s harsh. How about Rep Tierney? Do you really believe he knew nothing? If he didn’t know, than I think that makes him a dope. So if the guy is a bum (oops,that’s too harsh), but follows the party line then you’re ok with him??
    The problem I see with the system is a lack of ethical values. How many times has our party been held up to ridicule because of indictments of our state leaders.
    The quality of the candidate has to be in the mix.

  16. joe from Lowell Says:


    There is governing, and there is campaigning.

    Obama and Christie were governing. People from different parties, with vastly different philosophies, are supposed to “play nice” and take care of business. That’s what governing is supposed to do. There is business to take care of; it’s not all about ideology and policy preferences.

    But in a democracy, the people who run in elections are supposed to stand for things. Nobody would be criticizing Democrat Dave Nangle if he “played nicely” with Senator Brown in as they took care of the public’s business, but elections are supposed to be about choices, about visions, and stuffing all of that under the bed because you get along well with somebody is a problem.

  17. Lynne Says:

    “Do you really believe he knew nothing?”

    I believe that I don’t know. I also believe that had there been any proof whatsoever that he knew, they’d have gone after him. He wasn’t indicted, so I’m supposed to assume I know more than prosecutors? Stop doing the DA’s job for them. They are more qualified than you.

    As to being a dope not knowing…WTF? Again, you are making huge assumptions to go there. If I were his wife and her family, I would have gone out of my way not to let him know anything…precisely BECAUSE he is an elected official. But my assumptions, AND yours, are purely speculations, and yours seems to be somewhat partisan in nature. As in, you WANT him to be guilty therefore you assume he is. I assume that I don’t know, but that no one who is in the position to find out found anything, therefore, it’s stupid to speculate. The voters spoke, they sent him back. His voting record is great, so I’m OK with that.

    RE Christie what joe and the Mr. said.

  18. Jim Says:

    WOW!! Keep on drinking the “coolaid” How about our state leadership going to JAIL!! You ok with that??

  19. Lynne Says:

    Jim, stop being petulant. You are adding NOTHING of use to this discussion.

    If someone did something that broke a law, they need to be punished in whatever way the law allows, yes. DUH. What the eff did you think I would say? I am disgusted by our Speaker of the House situation, though I will note it’s the SYSTEM that gets them elected that is the problem…the manner in which you gather power in the House is very broken, so the compromised ones rise to the top. If you want to fix corruption there, you have to fix the SYSTEM that elects people like Finneran or DiMasi.

    But if you are implying that we should, in totally disagreement WITH PROSECUTORS, convict people in the court of public opinion with ZERO evidence, then I will disagree with you there. If you want to second-guess prosecutors you are on your own, bud.

    Hey, ask stupid questions, get DUH as an answer.

  20. Lynne Says:

    PS - also sick of repeating myself, but obviously I need to. Since you keep putting words in my mouth.

  21. Jim Says:

    “you have to fix the system that elects people like Finneran and DiMasi”
    thank you for making my point!! Character, it’s about getting good people to run for office. Warren and Obama got my vote as a democrat because I believed in what they stand for and Who THEY ARE (character). If I didn’t think they were decent people then I wouldn’t vote for them even those they represent my party. The party is only as good as the quality of the people in it and who run for office.

  22. pablo Says:


    A party is like a partnership. When Mr. Nangle runs on the Democratic primary line, people vote for him because the Democratic Party has a brand, an image. The Democratic party has a bunch of folks who go out and campaign for people on the Democratic line. It’s a partnership, a team.

    When you receive support from the other members of your team, you have an ethical obligation to the other members of your team. As a long-time Democratic Town Committee member, here’s how I view my obligation to my party. Quite simply:

    1. I support the nominee of my party.
    2. If the nominee of my party is less than wonderful, I can give more support to other folks on the ballot.
    3. If a turkey is attempting to run on my party line, my obligation is to work in the primary to elect someone else with values that represent my party.
    4. I don’t go around town endorsing Republicans.

    Getting a group of Democrats together is like herding a bunch of cats. Democrats don’t fall in line behind much of anything, especially someone like Tom Finneran. There were a bunch of Democrats, and a few reform minded Republicans, who were in constant conflict with Finneran. That’s why Chelmsford is carved between three house districts.

    A one-party system can’t work. When one party becomes dominant, the contest moves from the general election to the primary. New York has a long history of primary elections between regular Democrats and reform Democrats. Elections happen on primary day, they are intensely competitive, but Republicans can’t play.

    We are approaching the same place. Can a Republican be a credible candidate in Massachusetts? In many places, no. This brings DINOs like Nangle into the party, and makes the primary the main event.

    I think the California solution may be something we need to look at. Let’s put everyone on the primary ballot, regardless of party affiliation, and the top two vote-getters win a spot on the general election ballot. You get the two strongest candidates on election day, even if they are two Democrats.

    In any case, Mr. Nangle needs competition from the Democratic wing of the Democratic primary. Republicans can’t vote in tthe Democratic party, which gives a RINO a disadvantage in a primary. Can he lose? It’s possible, but not without lots of hard work.

  23. Jim Says:

    Good ideas to ponder. Thanks

  24. Lynne Says:

    Mind you, I do not think Nangle is a Dem to get elected. I think there’s a long history of lunchpail Dems in Lowell and it’s more a family/clan thing here.

    It always comes down to a family/clan thing in this city…

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