Tag Archives: John Walsh

What John Cook and John Walsh Mean for Democracy

The candidates are churning to the primary finish line and have even come to the attention of a few sentient voters. Yet candidates may not be the most important people in their parties. The Boston Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert contributed an excellent piece in last week’s “Capital” on John Cook, perhaps the most important man in the Massachusetts Republican Party: he’s the GOP’s Fundraising Guru.

That caught my eye because in a 2012 HuffingtonPost article my colleague Professor Ubertaccio declared then Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh The Most Important Person for Democrats in Massachusetts.

I’m sure Cook and Walsh are very important people but their true importance is in what they symbolize for the conduct of American politics. It’s bigger than either of them. And it goes to whether we have a true democracy or not.

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The 15% rule at party conventions

The former chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, John Walsh, and Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh, had an interesting twitter debate on the requirement that candidates win 15% of the delegates at a party convention to appear on the primary ballot.

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The Conley-Walsh Contrast: Money Muscle vs. Muscle Muscle

There was a striking contrast in political news in the July 16 Boston Globe. One story announced Mayoral candidate Daniel Conley set to launch TV ads — they are expensive but Conley has the money. Another story revealed that Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair John Walsh would step down to move to Governor Deval Patrick’s “together PAC.” Walsh isn’t known for the muscle of money but the muscle of muscle – specifically the muscles in the feet and legs of the thousands of volunteers he deployed door-to-door to help elect Governor Patrick and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey.

So we may soon have a lesson in the importance of money versus volunteer power in the mayoral election.

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Is it all just a little bit of history repeating?

Gabriel Gomez is not the second coming of Scott Brown, he who seems to be spending a good deal of time lately in New Hampshire.  And June 2013 will not be a replay of January 2010.  With respect to Dame Shirley Bassey, it’s not all just a little bit of history repeating.

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Senate Primaries: Lets Get Ready to Rumble!

Recently important figures in both parties have spoken up about the advantages of vigorous primary contests. Democratic Party chairman John Walsh wrote an opinion piece for the Boston Globe entitled Contested Primary Good for Democrats. Redmassgroup.com poster Matt Elder, a Marlborough city councilor, even called for a “bloody primary” on the Republican side.

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The Next John Walsh?

This week I had the pleasure to interview John Walsh, the chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, for UMass Boston’s public affairs radio program Commonwealth Journal on WUMB (interview will play Sunday at 7:00PM). As you might imagine Chairman Walsh was quite pleased with the November election results. He was especially enthusiastic with robust turnout in communities of color and praised rising elected officials like Boston city councilors Ayanna Pressley and Tito Jackson and state senator Sonia Chang-Diaz. We’ll surely hear more from them in the future but, I asked Chairman Walsh, what about the future John Walshs – the behind the scenes architects of political victory? Actually, he told me, many of them were recently identified in an important article in The Bay State Banner, Diversity more than a buzz word at Warren campaign.

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Other races we’re looking at tomorrow

With polls opening in one days time, we’ve some thoughts on the state of the race and some other races that have gotten a bit less attention.

Professor Cunningham:  As we await the traditional opening of the polls for Election Day tomorrow, some closing thoughts on campaigns we’ve discussed and some of the politics we’ve not examined as closely.

We’ve certainly talked about the Scott Brown-Elizabeth Warren race. Few US senate races are highly competitive in Massachusetts and not many have attracted the quality of candidates that this one has. I don’t put enormous stock in every TV advertisement that runs but I think the last ads by Senator Brown and Elizabeth Warren capture some of the essence of the choice each represents.

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Knocking on Dem Doors

The Globe had a story yesterday about a lawsuit filed against the chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party.  This is the latest in a series of problems hovering around the state’s nearly insignificant minority party.  

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Do Political Campaigns Matter?

Recently the Washington Post published an article that exposed one of the ugly truths of presidential campaign politics, at least for reporters and the political junkies who avidly follow each twist and turn (and spin). Campaigns don’t matter that much – not Etch-A-Sketch, and not the president’s birth certificate. Political scientists have shown that the fundamentals – the economy, partisanship, and incumbency – matter far more in determining the outcome of a presidential election.  So will campaigning matter in Massachusetts, for Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown, Richard Tisei and John Tierney?

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Candidates Continuously Court Cape Cod

Massachusetts politics descended upon Sandwich this weekend.  Again. We are used to it because we have the benefit of having competitive two party politics.  It is a battleground for both parties.  Since 2002 a Republican has held our state representative’s seat.  We have a Democratic state Senator (who also happens to be the Senate President) and between this cycle and the previous cycle, we’ve been front and center as a model for what two party politics might look like in the state.

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