Category Archives: Western Mass Politics

Mass Politics: Ambition Welcome

An appreciation of political culture is very important to effective campaign strategy at any level. The way in which candidates deal with the question of political ambition (theirs and/or their opponents) reveals a lot about how well a campaign understands the cultural assumptions of voters.

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The Best Sheriff in America Has Announced his Retirement

imageHampden County Sheriff Mike Ashe has announced that he will be retiring when his 7th term expires. He will not stand for re-election in 2016. Sheriff Ashe is an old fashion pol who has presided over the Western Mass political establishment for decades. He is also a national leader in the field of corrections whose innovative and cutting edge approach has long been recognized as well ahead of its time.

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Did WMass Democrats “Phone It In” for Bartley?

Republican State Rep. Don Humason won a special election Tuesday to fill the Western Mass State Senate seat vacated by Republican Mike Knapik last summer. The editors of the Springfield Republican asked readers the following question about Humason’s win: “Do the conservative leanings of some parts of the district carry enough favor to keep the seat in Republican hands? Or, did Democrats just not work hard enough to reclaim the seat?”

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Voter disenfranchisement in Western Mass?

There many words to describe Michael McCarthy’s failed bid to become a District Court judge in Berkshire County. Disenfranchisement is not one of them.

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Dems Discuss How to Recapture Knapik’s District

This morning’s Springfield Republican included an article about Democrats discussing their plans to win the State State Senate seat vacated by Mike Knapik (R-Westfield). I couldn’t help thinking as I read the headline; who cares?

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Springfield Republican Editors Phone It In on Filibuster Reform

The editors of the Springfield Republican have chosen phony balance over carful analysis in Tuesday’s editorial about the use of the filibuster in the US Senate to block judicial nominations.

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And now for something almost completely different.

The race for US Senate in the state may be effectively suspended, but politics goes on as usual at other levels. The US Senate’s failure to pass a gun control bill, despite overwhelming public support, is getting its share of attention from analysts, so I thought I would let Masspoliticsprofs readers in on a perennial local political dispute that is ongoing in my little Western Mass burb.

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Republicans Debate in Springfield

imageThe Republican US Senate candidates’ debate in Springfield reminded me of the quarter final games of the D2 NCAA “Elite Eight” tournament when it was played in Springfield. The games were good, but the stands were mostly empty and the sense that these hard working, talented players were toiling in a minor league of sorts was very hard to shake.

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How the West was Won!

I was in Springfield’s Symphony Hall last night for the third debate between Senator Scott Brown and Professor Elizabeth Warren (note: “Professor” isn’t an insult on this site ;)). The debate was a good one. Professor Cunningham’s impressions were accurate in my view, but clearly understated judging by the audience’s reactions. Basically, the professor schooled the boy senator. The moderator, PBS’s Jim Madigan, did an excellent job keeping the candidates on task and policing what was one of the most boisterous crowds I’ve ever seen at a political debate.

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The Struggle for Power

As I approach one full week without electricity and heat I find myself thinking quite a bit about power, sadly though, not the kind of power political scientists are paid to think about. Also, I’m not sure “thinking” is the right word for what I’m doing.

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