Friday, June 04, 2010

Richard Neal (D-MA Hampden 2nd) Holds Pricey Fundraiser out of His District – Neal is up for Reelection in 2010.

Representative Richard Neal - campaigning hard to win the Rangel Gavel must first win the trust of the Hampden 2nd

The Hampden Second District is not often in the news, it is one of the more quiet districts in the Commonwealth, and Democrat Richard Neal, its 11 term Congressional Representative, tends to keep a lower profile. Neal only appears, like clockwork, every two years, when the residents are sent mailers touting the dangers of Republicans and Neal’s accomplishments. The local press begins to run a plethora of stories on Neal, who, up until this time in his career, has not faced a serious challenge. Times have changed, and Neal has stiff competition from Dr. Jay Fleitman of Northampton, Flietman, who as a Republican, has been active in Northampton politics, made his campaign official when he delivered or 3800 certified signatures weeks ahead of the State Deadline. It is the fact that Flietman is not only a Republican who is well-received in one of the most liberal cities in the District, but that he also has a sensible approach to the issues facing the district as well as the nation.

The Globe's report on Neal’s Lobbyist packed fundraiser was based on his quest to take the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, recently made vacant by Charles Rangel. Neal needs the money to donate to Democrat Candidates as well as the Democrat Congressional Committee in order to garner favor with individual reps, so that when the time comes, he’ll have bought enough votes to sustain any serious challengers to the chair.

Neal faces two obstacles to the high seat on the Committee that governs our taxes: one the Democrats must maintain a majority in order for Neal to stand a chance of succeeding, and two, he must still be a Congressional Representative in November. Both of these obstacles are looking insurmountable, with anti-Washington, anti-incumbent and anti-Democrat sentiment running high nationwide, and in no place is this evident more than the Hampden 2nd district of Massachusetts.

In reviewing the special January 19th, 2010 Senate election Map shown below, the Hampden second (noted by the City of Springfield in blue) shows a sea of red, as the District leaned heavily towards Brown. Three areas where Coakley fared well were Springfield, Amherst and Holyoke - the rest - not so much.

Results from January 2010 Special election - Hampden Second runs from the hill towns west (in red) to Worcester

Can a physician from Northampton do to Neal what Brown did to Coakley? – The answer to that question is a resounding yes. With the exception of an increase in articles in the local news (which is anticipated by voters with Neal’s history of showing up every two years), he has about as much name recognition, perhaps less than Dr. Jay. The Boston Globe article talks about Neal as being bi-partisan, however, his voting record in the Congress appears to contradict that claim, as from day 1, he has voted specifically along party lines. Neal is going to have to campaign hard, and it means spending on advertising, announcing the fact that he exists on the one hand, and that he wants to be reelected on the other.

Dr. Jay Fleitman, Republican running against Richard Neal, on a trip to the Capital

It will come down to a matter of who the voters are going to trust to end the spending, the corruption and reign in the deficit. The old allegiance to one party in Massachusetts is gone. The electorate is heavily Independent, and enthusiasm among Democrats is at an all-time low. There are at least 5, perhaps 6, very competitive house races out of the 10 seats currently held by Democrats in Massachusetts.

To learn more about the candidates:
Jay Fleitman for Congress

Neal for Congress


Jeff said...

Jay's a great guy, as is his opponent from Hopedale, Tom Wesley. I personally look forward to supporting either candidate in November - Neal must go!

Anonymous said...

Tom Wesley has a much stronger campaign at this point in the game and in my humble opinion, he's th better candidate as well. Either way though, Neal has to go.

Tina Hemond said...

Hi Jeff and Anonymous -

Jeff agreed, regardless of the outcome of the primary, Neal must go - Anonymous, I will respectfully agree to disagree, I belive both candidates are running very good primary campaigns, that said, in order to best Neal, one has to be able to appeal to both Republicans, Independents and Democrats - which I believe would be Dr. Jay Fleitman - again that's my opinion.

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