Sheriff-Lew-Evangelidis-Dean-Tran-Charlie-Baker-and-friend
Sheriff-Lew-Evangelidis-Dean-Tran-Charlie-Baker-and-friend
Saturday Governor Charlie Baker spent the Day in Fitchburg Massachusetts stumping with longtime City Councilor Dean Tran who is running against even longer time city Councillor Steven Hay for the State Rep seat vacated by newly elected mayor Steve DiNatale.

The final stop on the governor’s trip where he would speak for Dean and meet voters was Destare gov 2 002 a small nightclub/bar at the corner of main and Cushing street where believe it or not 30 years ago at the ripe old age of 23 I opened a comic book/hobby shop which is now their downstairs storeroom.

Fitchburg didn’t have the reputation it does now but it seemed like every other month till I moved it my shop was broken into and robbed, so I asked the Owner if he had any trouble since opening up several years ago. He said quite the opposite he had seen no trouble at all which, along with good food, good drink and excellent wi-fi speed explains his success.

I arrived around 1 PM and set up laptop and mike where I would record the first two segments of DaTechGuy off DaRadio podcast (available by clicking the fedora in the corner or emailed directly if you subscribe). Within a few minutes sign holder for Dean Tran led by the indomitable Mary Lotze formerly of the Twin city Tea party and now head of the Fitchburg Republican Committee.gov 2 001

As time passed the number of sign holders grew outside while the club started to fill up. About 20 minutes before the governor arrived I noticed a group of well dressed men sitting by the window. It tuned out they were from a protestant church in the Cleghorn part of town which once housed the large French Canadian population who came down from Canada to work the now shuttered factories that once dominated Fitchburg when it was a hub of manufacturing from shoes to Machine Guns, but is now one of two sections of down where the Spanish population is concentrated. Minister George Rodriguez consented to an interview:

Alas the lith ion battery in my primary camera choose at the end of that interview to die o I switched to my broken (no stills, no zoom) but still functioning emergency backup camera for the rest of the day. I used that to record this interview with Ed Vargus who was in attendance promoting his program to get kids off the street using skateboarding which I recorded later in the day

but include here because it fits with the Minister’s talk about getting involved with the community.

Fifteen minutes after the interview with the Minister the Governor arrived.

The governor was accompanied by his wife and Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis one of the most popular elected republicans in the area and one of the few actually taller than Charlie Baker. Despite the recent squabbles concerning the state committee (more on that here) he warmly greeted, and was warmly greeted by, those standing out.

When the Governor and the Sheriff came in they worked the crowd greeting and talking to people who attended. It’s worth nothing that they gave time to the attendees rather than simply making perfunctorily statements.and shaking hands which is one of the reasons for his popularity.

After about 15 minutes of that the guests of honor took the stage, first the Sheriff, then the Governor and then Counselor Tran who was the object of today’s exercise.

The Sheriff emphasized in his speech public safety without which none of the other things that make a city great can be achieved and his work with Counselor Tran on that subject. The Governor stressed his own beginnings as a selectman where everybody knows where you live an knows when you’ve voted a way they dislike and let you know about it and talked of how Dean’s background would be of great use as a representative. When Counselor Tran took the stage he talked about bread and butter issues but two things stood out to me.

When talking about jobs he stressed how jobs in Fitchburg meant families could stay in Fitchburg echoing the Chris Christie “Grandparents” speech which in my opinion should be a staple of any GOP speech on fiscal responsibility.

But what really stood out to me was his American Dream story by which he could come from a 3rd world country, come to America, succeed at business, be the first minority counselor in Fitchburg and then run for state office with the endorsement of the most popular governor in the Entire United States.

There was some jocularity as well. Dean is of short stature and both the Governor and the Sheriff tower over him and there was some good natured ribbing along those lines but in terms of public service they all stand tall together.

I had hoped to ask the governor a few questions about his popularity (Is it a function of the no drama, get things done work ethic, the possibility of him being considered for a national ticket, an his efforts to slowly increase the number of elected republicans to at least get enough to sustain a veto in one house but Gov Baker took no questions and frankly didn’t give me a first look. Sheriff Lew was friendly but noting another commitment that he had to attend apologized leaving right after the speech. I had better luck with Counselor Tran himself.

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I have a long memory , when we were fighting Planned Parenthood in Fitchburg Counselor Tran was sympathetic to use while his opponent was whole hog for Planned Parenthood so there is no question where my vote is going on Tuesday.

One oddity. This special election is the day of the Massachusetts primary (Supertuesday) so one might think the increased turnout and the Trump phenom would help Counselor Tran but it’s also worth noting that there are separate ballots for the presidential primary and the local election so it’s unclear how if at all, that will affect the outcome. This came out in my conversation with Mary Lotze in a segment which I recorded as part of my Podcast and include here

As I said before It’s a good sign that the governor is stumping for a social conservative despite the State committee kerfuffle it remains to be seen if he, the sheriff, the LT Gov (who attended an earlier event that I was unavailable to cover) and the increased turnout will be enough to give us our first GOP state rep out of Fitchburg in a while.

That dear voters is up to you.

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For the first times since I lost my job an Stacy McCain lost his Twitter right we’ve had a setback in our quest for $61 to make a living back here at the blog. Yesterday DaTipJar was completely and utterly silent. So as we find ourselves seeking a new $61 today our deficit for the year climbs back to 21 days and $1335 dollars.

In fairness my email blast went out late do to covering the Governor (post later today) an helping my son move so I didn’t spend the day promoting the blog, furthermore it was saturday and I suspect that our traffic consisted of our core readers who take a peek before going an enjoying the weekend.

yet if less than 1% of yesterday’s readers kicked in $15 each we would have made out goal for the day with ease.

Again I say to those who have kicked in thank you so much, for those who can’t afford it, don’t worry about it but I do ask you to promote the site.

To those both able and inclined I’d really appreciate it if you’d help us close that gap by hitting DaTipJar.




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A few days ago when writing about Charlie Baker’s attempts to eliminate conservatives from the Massachusetts Republican Committee and noted that his mailer on the GOP state committee didn’t mention the special election for State Rep on the same day where the GOP has a chance to pick up a seat with a strong pro-life republican Dean Tran facing Planned Parenthood supported Steven Hay.

Tonight I got the following email

Hi Members and Friends,
 
I know that many of you do not go on facebook, so I am sharing this information on this message.
 
Governor Charlie Baker will be in Fitchburg at 2:00pm at Destare, 320 Main Street this coming Saturday, February 27 to spearhead a rally for Dean Tran for State Representative.  This is one of the Fitchburg events that Charlie will be involved in with Dean Tran.  They will tour Fitchburg, visit Dean’s campaign headquarters and go to Destare for an enthusiastic rally in support of Dean.
 
I will keep you posted as I hear additional information and changes in the event.
 
Hope to see many friends on Saturday!!

As you might guess I’m very pleased to see this and it suggests that moves in the state committee notwithstanding he is willing to spend political capital to try to elect Republicans statewide, even social conservatives, after all the Governor of a state is a defacto leader of all the members of his party no matter where in that party a member is.

It’s of course going to take more than one special election to remove the veto proof majority in either house of the Massachusetts General Court but one must begin at the beginning and if we see these trips repeated in November than Charlie Baker will have done more for conservatism in Massachusetts than any governor in the state for generations.

At the very least it suggest that while he might have supported Chris Christie for president he isn’t going to repeat his mistakes as governor.

For all the talk about how the base needs to cooperate with the establishment more, it’s worth remembering that the base almost always does its part on Election Day. It’s the establishment that is less reliable in returning the favor.

Jonah Goldberg

Earlier this year just before the NH primary the popular Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker endorsed Chris Christie as his candidate for president. Despite an active robust campaign Christie went on to be decisively beaten in NH and dropped out of the race two days later.

Some wonder why Chris Christie did so poorly, too crowded a field, not enough money but one of the things that I think cost him was his record.

No not his record as Governor, given the situation in his state he’s actually done pretty well, no I mean his record as head of the NJ GOP

Since Christie is so popular and won re-election so decisively one would naturally expect he brought success for the party with him. After all , if he is the poster boy for the GOP nationally he would be the model to elect party members following his lead all over the state right?

Despite Christie’s 60 percent showing on Tuesday, Republicans didn’t make up any ground in the state Senate.

In an election where he got 60% of the vote and faced token opposition he had absolutely no coattails in his state, and furthermore at the same time he refused to campaign for Ken Cuccinelli who was in a close tough race that he would barely lose to Clinton confidant Terry McAuliffe.

I suspect more than a few Tea Party members took note.

And that brings us to Charlie Baker.

Charlie Baker has been a pretty good governor his handling of the big snowstorm last year, showed what competent leadership can do.  His no drama administration has been a welcome contrast to Deval Patrick and his approval ratings reflect that contrast.  It’s no wonder that the National Journal story about him was titled The Most Popular Politician in America.

Given the state of the GOP in Massachusetts and with 11% registration and a state house with veto proof majorities in both chambers for democrats (house 125-35 Senate 34-6) one would think Charlie Baker might use some of that political capital to build the party, recruiting GOP candidates across the state to contest these races and perhaps narrow those democratic supermajorities that he is facing.

And indeed the Governor is in fact getting involved in local races…in order to defeat conservative republicans

Strongly conservative factions of the Massachusetts Republican Party, a constituency that Charlie Baker courted in his 2014 gubernatorial race, are now the target of the governor and his political team in their campaign to take firmer control of a sharply divided state GOP.

Baker, in an unprecedented foray into an intraparty squabble, is using the March 1 balloting for the GOP’s governing state committee to muscle the conservatives out of any significant influence and to replace them with moderate Republicans.

And some of the people he is opposing are folks that he can directly link his narrow electoral victory to

For example, Baker and Polito endorsed 29-year-old Neil St. Clair, a newcomer to the party, for a committee seat now held by conservative activist Steven W. Aylward of Watertown.

Aylward, who did not want to comment, was a leader in the 2014 campaign to repeal automatic increases to the state gas tax, a battle that brought a swath of antitax, pro-Baker voters to the polls. Baker even credited Aylward with playing a key part in his razor-thin victory over Democrat Martha Coakley.

Adding to the insult is that Baker’s choice, St. Clair, recently moved to Boston’s Back Bay from New York, where in June 2011 he had registered as a Democrat. St. Clair, who registered as a Republican last fall, said he is drawn to Baker’s moderate Republican brand and has offered to help. He is vague about how the Baker endorsement came about.

So Charlie Baker is supporting a newly converted Democrat for state committee vs a GOP activist who is directly responsible for the defeat of the hated indexed gas tax.

No wonder the Globe endorsed him last time.

I’ve received one of those Baker mailers, they are supporting two people who I’ve never heard of over the local activists who have been working like dogs to advance the GOP in the area and stood by the party and defended it when conservatives were talking about staying home.

 

I can’t think of anything that would enrage the activists who have spent the last six years giving their time, effort and money to support the party than this effort to push them out of the way.  If these suggested committee people are such excellent choices why not instead use the strength of the party to run them for state rep and state senate.  After all if 19 of those 52 people managed to win seats currently held by Democrats in the house then the party would be able to sustain a Baker veto.

Furthermore let’s say Baker plans to recruit local candidates once he purges the grassroots activists from the party.  Once that happens who is going to do the grunt work that said activists did?  After all Jeb Bush has already demonstrated that big money can’t compete with committed volunteers.

On that subject we have a special election coming up in my district where Republican city councilor Dean Tran is facing Democrat Counsler Steven Hay for the seat vacated by Democrat Steve DiNatale.  At the state party site Kristen Hughes had this to say:

“Dean Tran has been a consistent and hard-working advocate for Fitchburg taxpayers for years, and will be a trusted leader for the 3rd Worcester on Beacon Hill. The MassGOP is ready to work with Dean as our nominee in this election, to send Governor Baker a strong partner from Fitchburg and Lunenburg.”

You might think that a popular sitting GOP governor might bother to say a good word Mr. Tran yet the mailer which talks about the March 1st election doesn’t say a word about the special election taking place that day or the candidacy of Consular Tran.

Back in 2013 I left the GOP after covering the party convention and seeing the ahem interesting tactics used by the party establishment to defeat a potential Tea Party chairman I left the GOP very publicly saying

If the party wants me and people like me they’ll have to earn me. When the GOP can convince me that they are serious about growing the party, when they convince me they are serious about treating the tea party et/al as valued members as opposed to a source of temp labor and occasional funds. I’ll be happy to return to the Republican Party in as public a fashion as I’ve just left it.

Apparently they are happy to keep people like me out and maybe throw a few other under the bus.  I guess Neil McCabe was right:

after he is elected, conservatives may think they won something. But, rather with Baker and his collaborator Republicans, it means all is lost.

And people in the GOP establishment wonder why Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are winning primaries and their candidates are not.

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I was laid off this week from my 3rd shift job so my plan to use said job to pay the mortgage while using the site to get out of debt in a couple of years is out the window unless we suddenly get 125 subscribers at $10 a month When I say I could use a hand right now I’m not kidding.

Since we all know the rosey description of the Obama economy by the MSM is BS to those who have kicked in (particularly subscribers), thanks much.

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