Visited every Ward in Fitchburg today and here is what they said

Ward 1: Knights of Columbus Turnout steady and strong with plenty of people standing out:

At the Knights of Columbus

I did a quick interview with candidate David Streb

and I talked to a Fitchburg Reporter with a killer fedora:

Michael Hartwell has a cooler fedora than me!

Ward 2: St. Joseph’s Church

A much more quiet result, fairly steady according to workers, people holding signs agreed the result will be close

Ward 3: Memorial School Very busy though the day, people were waiting to vote when the doors opened and I had a chance to visit my mother working the polls. I was interviewed by a reporter from the Worcester Telegram there.

Strangely enough in both wards 2 & 3 there were people holding signs who didn’t like their picture taken, a tad odd since they were out in public. (My highlighted photos aren’t them.

Ward 4: The Armory (senior center)

Another steady day, sign holders seemed encouraged

Ward 5: MART Train Station Talked to my friend Dave Roth there, he said the turn out nearly matched a presidental election. Also ran into my friend Chris from the secular humanist site Center of Mass. I’ve got to get him on the show again:

I ran into candidate Joe Solomito there and he agreed to a brief interview with rep Dennis Rosa at his side

As I asked for the interview Chris challenged Joe being too close to the entrance to the polling place. If so that’s my fault since he stopped to talked to me but to play it safe we did the interview across the street just to play it safe.

Ward 6 St. Bernard’s Activity Center (my ward)

I voted this morning around 9 a.m. and they said there was a line at the beginning of the day. When I got back they said the day and been pretty strong and steady during the day.

I ran into candidate Lewis Chamberlin who talked to me briefly:

I also saw Counselor Dean Tran, while he didn’t talk on camera he did express confidence both about his reelection yet still stressed the voters seemed to want change.

An election is not an Election in Fitchburg if you don’t talk to Annie DiMartino, she believes the race for mayor will come down to under 500 votes but declined to make a prediction.

My thoughts: The citizens of Fitchburg are very interested in this election. Mayor Wong started slow but has really worked hard the last few weeks. It remains to be seen if she has surged enough.

If I had to bet money, I think she falls short but all of this was done by 4:45 and as I type this there are still 90 minutes for the voters of Fitchburg to prove me wrong.

Update: It looks like Lisa has pulled it off. The combination of the strong final debate, an intense mail campaign both positive and negative and I suspect the much faster cleanup after this storm seems to have done the trick.

Update 2: During the last two weeks of the campaign I heard an awful lot of voters worried about Joe Solomitos connection to the teachers and police unions, I suspect that has an awful lot to do with the results.

My full set of pictures follows

One of the things we constantly hear about the MSM is their willingness to ask the questions we can’t. Consider this clip of Chuck Todd:

“It’s my responsibility to ask the tough questions…I have unique access… I’d better use that access for a greater good”

Today there is a big press conference with Herman Cain addressing the now specific accusations against him. By an odd coincidence MSNBC’s Morning Joe had President Bill Clinton Scheduled for the 8:15 tine slot.

They had him on for 30 minutes and they talked economy, trade etc, yet not a person on that set asked him a question about the issue leading the news today, how he would suggest Cain deal with it and what lessons he learned from it.

That really says it all, Morning Joe and MSNBC have Bill Clinton, the single most famous political sexual harasser, a man who is still 15 years later the butt of jokes on the subject. (Even in the latest funny or die clip they play Clinton hitting on Michelle Obama)

Yet not a word, not a question, not a hint.

That’s not journalism, that’s Journo-list-ism.

In 1884 during a time when the entire country said the Lord’s Prayer in school, when Americans for separation for Church and state would be laughed out of the room and abortion was considered the Abomination that it is; a reforming Governor of NY by the name of Grover Cleveland was running for president.

He had an enviable record and reformers like young assemblyman Teddy Roosevelt admired him greatly, but during his campaign the question of an illegitimate child (a huge deal in 1884) came up.

Mocking chants of “Ma, Ma, Where’s my Pa?” were heard at political rallies from coast-to-coast. That’s when, in a move that would surprise modern political operatives, Cleveland instructed his campaign staff to tell the truth. The truth was that Cleveland, along with several other men had been involved with Halpin. Actual paternity was uncertain (Halpin named her son after both Cleveland and another man) but as the only bachelor among the group, Cleveland assumed responsibility for the child. That included paying support, later providing medical care for Halpin and ultimately facilitating the child’s adoption by a wealthy couple. The truth paid off, and on inauguration day, Cleveland’s happy supporters did a chant of their own—Ma, Ma, Where’s my Pa? Gone to the White House Ha! Ha! Ha!

Which brings us to ….Mitt Romney.

There is no question that Mitt Romney is an able administrator and a smart man. There is no hint of personal scandal in his family life. There is furthermore no question that he is qualified to be president.

The reason why Mitt Romney doesn’t advance beyond his current numbers is nobody believes a word he says. We don’t know if he is a conservative who acted liberal to get elected in Massachusetts who really is conservative or a liberal who is acting conservative to get the Republican nomination.

Mitt has kept a base of about 25% of the GOP electorate. These people insist on Romney’s electability while conceding his issue of flip flopping, but to the GOP base it comes down to honesty. After his speech in Concord at the Tea Party Express I talked to the tea party people who had protested him earlier at the venue, they complemented his speech but said the question was: “Is he telling the truth?”

and THAT brings us to Herman Cain.

The question on the floor to people on the right, has nothing to do with if Herman Cain harassed women 15 years ago. The question to the base is: “Did you lie to me?

If the accusation (I use the singular because only one woman has actually publicly accused him of something) is false; then Herman Cain is doing exactly the right thing, denying it and moving on.

If the accusation is true however, then Herman Cain has made a huge mistake. As a professed and public Christian he should understand that the entire ethos of Christianity is man’s sinfulness and God’s forgiveness. Although the instinct is to dodge the fact is Christians will forgive you (in fact they are required to forgive you) If you honestly say: “Yeah in days past, I was a player but with the help of my wife and God I got past it.” Then the story is about redemption and not about bad behavior. Americans love redemption stories.

If however the accusation is true and Herman Cain has lied to this supporters and the electorate, that is different. That is lying to people in the present. People will forgive mistakes in the past, but they won’t let it go if you lie to their face.

I don’t give a care about the unfairness of the MSM or the double standards of democrats. That’s not what’s important to me. I need to know the candidate I support will not lie to my face in the hope of not being caught.

That’s the bottom line. GOP voters think Romney is lying to their face about what he believes, if they decide Herman Cain is lying to their face, it’s all over, AND SHOULD BE.

I’ll conclude with the Houston Pilgrim again:

That’s why telling the truth is always an individual choice. You do it or you don’t. When you don’t, people will figure it out sooner or later and you won’t be trusted. When you lose that trust it’s hard and sometimes impossible to gain it back. Most of the time, the truth goes down easy. It’s not hard to be truthful when you’re operating in good faith and doing nothing wrong. But when you make a mistake, there’s a powerful urge to rationalize or even deny your missteps. That’s when it becomes a test of character. In that briefest of moments— when you consider whether to tell it straight or put a little spin on it—remember Grover Cleveland and take the President’s advice.

It’s all about character, if Cain is lying to my face then he fails the test of Character. If he is not then he will be fine.

Update: Stacy give Herman Cain the best advice that anyone has yet.