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Left In Lowell » MA-05

Left In Lowell

Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs

2013 Candidate Questionnaire Responses!

May 16, 2011

Keep The Fifth District Intact

by at 11:38 am.

This is a quick FYI post. I’d say the 5th Congressional is in the “Goldilocks Zone.” You?


October 7, 2010

Officially - The Sun Jumped the Shark

by at 8:15 am.

In other words, it’s the suckiest paper ever. Sorry to the reporters I like there, but that rag is sheer crap. I wouldn’t use it to line a birdcage - it’d be an insult to the bird shit.

Dick Howe outlines the disgusting, pathetic, and useless attack (in other words, employing completely made up outrage) on a veteran in order to score political points against Niki Tsongas.

Essentially, it is a made up scandal, based on the fact that a vet supporting Niki who praised her work on the GI bill is the son of famous-y (sort of) people. So, you know, he might not really have needed the GI bill to get ahead. WTF?? In what universe is it OK to attack a vet for coming home and using what he earned in combat (two wars, and a Bronze Star for valor) to make sure that his future isn’t grim? I’ll follow Dick’s lead and not even link to the ugly thing.

(Also, has the mental midget editor of the Lowell Sun looked at the cost of college lately? Frigging moron. I didn’t think it was possible for you to sink much lower, but I am big enough to admit when I am wrong.)

Go read Dick Howe’s post - it’s a lot more coherent than mine, I am just in outrage here. As should any patriotic American be.

I will ask one question however…Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

February 17, 2008

Tsongas Campaign Funds Down; Meehan Campaign Funds Up

by at 11:36 am.

Last week, Evan Lehmann of the Sun’s Washington bureau reported that Congresswoman Niki Tsongas campaign account is down to about $11,000 and it owes her $50,000 for a loan she made to her campaign last fall.

Tsongas was able to raise close to $5 million for the special MA 5th District congressional race which she won. But in a few months she will need to campaign again.

Kurt Hayes, who ran as an Independent during the special election, has announced that he will run as a Republican this time. With all due respect to Hayes, who I found to be an articulate, prepared and knowledgeable candidate, the Massachusetts Republican party is not going to be able to provide a lot of help, financial or otherwise. They just do not have their act together.

As for Tsongas, needless to say, she will not need the kind of funds she needed for the special election where she had formidable opponents and it was a wide open race.

However, a Representative needs funds in their campaign war chest not so much for the race itself but to make the kinds of contribution to the party and other races that is expected of them. Furthermore, she needs funds for the day to day political activities.

According to my calculations the majority of her money came from out of the District; this may make it a bit more difficult to raise money. The other issue is Marty Meehan. As the Sun reported today, the U. Mass Lowell Chancellor has close to $5 million in his campaign fund, “The total included $15,373 in donations that were contributed from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. Meehan took over as UMass Lowell’s chancellor in July.” I hope those who gave that money to the former Congressperson were as generous to the sitting one.

October 25, 2007

Press Still Trying to Analyze 5th District Race

by at 7:27 am.

It is over a week that the 5th District Congressional election took place and the national press is still trying to analyze the election result. On Tuesday, the Globe’s Peter Canellos in his column, “Tsongas’s Slim Victory Signals a derailed Congress;” and then yesterday, Reuters had a story with a Lowell by-line that asked “Now political strategists across the country are trying to figure out what Ogonowski’s strong showing means for the nation as a whole and how worried Democrats should be about next year’s elections for president and Congress.”

My answer is nothing. The “strong showing” is not an indication of what will happen next year; first I question how strong it was. If the Republicans intend to follow Jim Ogonowski’s campaign strategy and start beating the drum of “anti-immigration,” they will meet the same fate he did, defeat. Needless to say, neither of these articles analyze the voting results nor discuss the voting history of the 5th District. What was the margin of victory that would have satisfied these observers of the national political scene?

Needless to say, I do not share the concerns that were expressed last week on BMG. Dick Howe is on the right track when he asks “But the bigger issue here is not why Tsongas won …but why Republicans like Jim Ogonowski and Kerry Healey do so well in the towns that surround Lowell.”

If you look at the detailed election results, Niki Tsongas, received 54,363 votes and won 18 communities and Ogonowski, received 47,770 votes and won 11 communities. And if you look at the cities and towns that he won, you will see the impact of a Dracut residency as well as a conservative bend. So, I disagree with both The Globe and Reuters, I would not say that as Billerica, Methuen, Chelmsford and Tewskbury go, so goes the nation.

And if you read the Reuters story it refers to a Mary Burns with a “Democratic pedigree” who voted for Ogonowski? I am not sure which Lowell resident the reporter is referring to but I thought the Mary Burns active in Lowell politics was a Republican.

October 17, 2007

Congrats Congresswoman Tsongas and E-Sun is Launched

by at 1:12 pm.

Fist of all, congratulations to Congresswoman-elect Niki Tsongas and her campaign staff. She is going to Washington just in time to vote to override the President’s veto of a bill to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Hopefully she will also have an opportunity later on this week to cast a vote in favor of H. Res 106, the Armenian Genocide resolution (more on this later).

Most of the blogs (BMG, Richard Howe) are discussing this election, so I do not want to repeat anything that can be found somewhere else. Lynne attended last night’s celebration and I am sure when she returns to her computer she will give us her views on this Democratic victory.

Today in addition to an historic election, I discovered that the Lowell Sun has an excellent new tool, The Sun “Electronic Edition.” It is the hard copy of the paper presented electronically and it is available at 6:00 a.m. There is a fee involved, I think $5.99/month but you can try it out for free for one month.

It is very easy to maneuver and looks just like the hard copy; ads, color photos, headlines, etc…. I certainly will subscribe to it. First, it saves me from buying it at the local DD every morning; second, I do not have to lug all my newspapers to a recycling bin and third. I still have to play with it some more to discover all of its features but I think this is a winner.

Most major newspapers’ have abandoned the “pay-to-read” business model for their on-line version; instead they are relying on increasing readership thus increasing their ad revenue. But the Sun is a regional paper with a local focus; the majority of its subscribers are used to reading the hard copy. However, in order for the paper to remain viable in the future, it needs to have a better electronic version. I do not know if this is it but it is a good beginning.

By the way, this new tool does not allow us to link to it. So anyone wanting to do it will still have to wait for midday for the Sun’s “on-line” version to be posted.

October 16, 2007

Candidates, Don’t Forget: Questions Due On Friday

by at 10:34 am.

This coming Friday is the deadline for the questionnaire from Left in Lowell for each of the city’s races. We will accept anything postmarked Friday, but no later. (Kinda like taxes, eh?) Candidates are invited to email me (lynne -at- leftinlowell.com, replace the -at- with an @ and no spaces) to get the questions electronically, or even just send their answers (please at least use the numbers of each question with your answer) by email without that document. We prefer to get electronic responses, because typing out potentially 30+ handwritten questionnaires is not very appealing. :) We are prepared to do so, however (please be sure it’s legible!)

If you are a candidate that did not receive a questionnaire in the mail (there’s always a small chance things get lost) please email me at the address above, and I can send you the electronic version. Everyone should have gotten theirs but you never know.

We know it’s a long questionnaire, especially for city council…which was pared down considerably from all the questions we got on the blog and the ones we wanted to be sure to include. Mimi and I also recognize that the candidate forums, especially for city council, are necessarily short on time for each candidate. This questionnaire was designed to be thorough so that voters can have longer answers from candidates unlimited by temporal concerns. It’s in that way we hope to be of service to Lowell in this election.

Finally, any candidate for any of the races who wants a “Coffee with Left in Lowell” podcast interview, Mimi and I are available to schedule such. You can email Mimi at mimi -at- leftinlowell.com (again change -at- with @ and no spaces), as she’s in charge of managing that. :) Our Coffee with LiL podcast is going to be a simple format: a conversation with us, with informal Q&A, where the candidate can tell voters what they offer if elected, recorded and available online. It’s yet another chance to get your message out, so I encourage candidates to take advantage of it.

Oh, and one more thing - today’s Election Day for the Congressional special election, so whomever you support, you have a duty to get out there and vote! You can find your polling place here. And BMG has some great info on where you can do more than vote, if your a Niki Tsongas supporter.

October 15, 2007

“Idon’tknowski” Furious Over Ad…Which Quotes Him

by at 2:17 pm.

As David says, Ogo’s campaign keeps driving itself further into total parody territory. Ogo now appears to be blustering against the stations which are airing a Tsongas ad.

Truthfully, I saw the ad yesterday and wondered if this wasn’t going to get Idon’tknowski’s dander up, since he’s been angry before about being “misrepresented.” I didn’t know the source of the “Ogonowski called the SCHIP program harmful” part of the ad until I got on the nets today. I must say, he dug himself right into this one…since he did actually call it harmful.

SCHIP was originally intended to help poor children. Instead Congress worked to expand another big-government program that actually harms those working class children and families it was supposed to help. We all support helping poor children and families, but government seems unable to help those who need us. When I helped organize the largest airlift of aid in New Hampshire National Guard history to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, I saw firsthand how big government programs like FEMA don’t work for the American people.

His own words, from an op-ed he wrote.

Hilarious…so, children who could get insurance under this expanded plan are now harmed by the (false) “fact” that some illegal children might get it? (Since that’s a total lie, it’s moot, but besides that, the internal logic just doesn’t work). Then Idon’tknowski has the gall to say he’ll sue the TV stations who run the ad quoting his own op-ed? And it’s now Niki’s job to try to explain Ogo’s lack of logic (ie his “nuanced” position that this SCHIP bill is bad because of boogymen undocumenteds getting health care)? Give me a break.

Seriously, seriously unhinged, this one. He needs to get back to haying and leave politics for the less sensitive, more informed crowd.

Update: and he might be in violation of the FCC rules for advertising himself…it’s like this guy has no intention of winning an election.

October 11, 2007

Hell Continues to Freeze Over

by at 11:28 am.

My god, even the Herald. I guess Ogo even outconservatived the conservative papers.

Or rather, outincoheranced them.

As a commenter said, however, of course the Herald, like the Sun, had to qualify their endorsement (can you imagine the angst at these two editorial boards?). “OK, so there will be votes on the war and troops. There will be resolutions, and Tsongas will vote for them. But foreign policy isn’t made on the floor of the U.S. House - for which we are increasingly grateful,” they wrote.

But even the often-reactionary Herald took Niki Tsongas’ points on immigration over Ogo’s shrill and unintelligible mixed signals (his arbitrary definition of what path to citizenship is “amnesty”): “You can rail against all the illegal immigrants who are here, but if you don’t do something it’s de facto amnesty,” she said. “It solves nothing.”

Touché, Herald, touché.

[Via the ever-alert BMG.]

October 10, 2007

Other Lowell Impressions of the Debate

by at 12:05 pm.

I would be remiss in not linking to fellow Lowell bloggers from richardhowe.com or jackiedoherty.com and their impressions. Here’s Dick’s, and here’s Jackie’s. And Tony writes about his experience with the runpolitics.com site (I too had their site up and was using it during the live blog, though without sound on the live webfeed as I was right there, and it definitely made things more interactive and interesting).

All and all, it was an exciting forum which really moved things along - in the direction I wanted, of course, which is even better. So go and find some time to volunteer!

There Are Snowballs In Hell Today

by at 11:33 am.

Flabbergasted. I can’t even think of words to say. The Lowell Sun has endorsed a Democrat in the MA-05 general election! Niki Tsongas gets the nod from the editorial staff.

From the endorsement: “We were pleased to see Tsongas didn’t hesitate to state her position on President Bush’s recent veto of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program expansion bill…Ogonowski said he supports SCHIP, but has repeatedly refused to say whether he would support the veto or vote to override…We find his lack of candor on this issue troubling.”

SCHIP is such an important issue, even the Lowell Sun can’t tolerate Ogonowski’s total reluctance to admit what his vote on the override would be. BMG has more commentary.

I’m still just totally stunned. And, this is a huge blow to Ogonowski’s credibility, if he can’t get the generally conservative Lowell Sun’s endorsement.

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