Dr. Jay Fleitman - Candidate 2nd Hampden photo 2bpblogspot
Earl Sholley running against Barney Frank, MA 4th District - photo Sholleyforcongress.us
TheBoston Globe article on the Democrats who hold a stranglehold on Congressional seats in the Commonwealth being concerned they may be at risk due to Scott Browns win of the Senate Seat is of interest, although the main point is an error. Brown won the seat on his own merits, in a campaign which was executed by grassroots efforts with impeccable precision. This was mainly due to his overall appeal to the general population; one which is currently sick and tired of those who would be “rock stars”. Brown appeared to be “one of us” not one of them and was humble in his approach. (It is no surprise, however, that the media has taken Brown’s talents and turned him into a “celebrity” – virtually overnight. Nevertheless, Brown’s focus will be the will of the people, although pundits are busy trying to marginalize Brown’s win, as it relates to Obama, it is truly a rejection of the entire progressive approach to government – one to which Brown does not subscribe.)
That said, the article errs mainly due to the fact that Brown’s rise has nothing to do with the fact that Congressional Democrats are at risk and have been, long before Brown announced his candidacy. There is a new sense in Massachusetts that enough is enough. This antipathy towards the Democrats began with Deval Patrick, and the almost daily corruption on Beacon Hill. This angst has been aided by news reports of Barney Frank (Massachusetts 4th District), Richard Neal (Hampden Second), Niki Tsongas (Massachusetts 5th), James McGovern, (Massachusetts 3rd) and William Delahunt (Massachusetts 10th), all of whom are up for re-election in 2010, getting behind the President one-hundred percent, and voting straight party line, for years, not just since Obama became president.
With each budget in the red, with each new tax, with each new major program, the same old group can be seen in nightly newscasts or daily papers pounding home the message that they have a) experience due to the length of time they have held a certain seat, and, b) as a result they know better. Nothing brought this home more than the Town-Hall meetings held during the Health Care debate this past summer. With Massachusetts Congressional Democrats holding meetings where they were visibly uncomfortable facing their constituents. It was so difficult that Neal and McGovern had to team up to face the music, yet they went back to Washington oblivious of what they had heard from their constituents. The end result was a wake up call to the majority of the electorate. This was not the first time that the electorate started to take a close hard look at all elected officials in Massachusetts and the length of time they held an office and how they vote - it began to take shape immediately after Deval Patrick’s first year as Governor and it has snowballed ever since.
Republican candidates have been there all along, however, in the world outside the Bay State, any Republican (or someone running as a Republican) was basically pooh-poohed as spitting into the wind, so to speak, because Massachusetts votes Democrat. Then, about a year ago, (while the outside world was not watching) individuals began to form campaigns to run against those entrenched, lockstep Democrats who still feel the public has no other choice. In fact, every Congressional Seat mentioned above cannot be considered “safe Democrat” because there are several where campaigns are already well established, with grassroots organizations in place. Now, with 2010 here, the level of interest in retiring entrenched Massachusetts politician’s and replacing them with “citizen legislators” is extraordinarily high. These are not mentioned in the Globe article.
Richard Neal now faces two contenders for his seat, one of which, Dr. Jay Fleitman, another independent thinker, has had a campaign in place for the past year. Fleitman is one of those citizens one meets and instantly understands that it is not about “position” it is about the people. In other words, he has stepped forward, to offer himself to the service of the Commonwealth and the nation, in order to challenge a Congressman, who the district hears from every two years. Each election Neal recycles mailers proclaiming an impending social security crisis, should he not be reelected. The people are not buying this anymore. Nor will they fall for the “change of heart” tactic; the seat in the Hampden 2nd is far from safe. Jay Fleitman's website is www.jayfleitman.com, those Unenrolled, Republican and yes, even Democrats are already aware of Dr. Fleitman, and what he has to say about a range of issues, without making excuses or sounding like a “cookie cutter” party-line elitist (referring to Republicans). He’s another “one of us”.
The "big kahuna" of the Commonwealth’s Democrat Congressional Delegation, Barney Frank, is perhaps the one who is most at risk - this besides the fact that every single political pundit sees him as holding his seat, until such time as he feels the need to retire. Think again. In fact, Frank is facing challenges from his own party, let alone those running as Republicans. The most likely to give Frank the proverbial boot is a man who has run against Frank in the past. One who does not necessarily fit the Republican model, (or any model), one who looks to the Constitution and has a keen grasp of that document. Earl Sholley, www.sholleyforcongress.us, is an individual, somewhat quirky, not terribly charismatic, but sound, sensible and with an ideological approach to governing that he has held fast to for decades. Sholley, of all the candidates, does have some baggage (in political think), however, the candidate he faces has more, and as this man goes door to door throughout the 4th district, he finds discontent and volunteers. This did not happen overnight, or as a result of another candidates rise, but due to hard work and an unshakable belief in the Constitution, the public and the need for reform. Both of these candidates are the least likely to be called “rock stars”, yet, that’s precisely their appeal.
The fact that both candidates outlined above have been able to energize volunteers based on their own ideals, and, in equal measure, the candidate they are opposing, speaks volumes about the change that is going to reshape Massachusetts into a Commonwealth that is less “blue”, and more evenly representative of all the peoples of the Bay State. Yes, the Democrats of Massachusetts have hard campaigns ahead of them, perhaps much harder than the Coakley campaign, due to the fact that those who would run have had more time to prepare than did one Scott Brown. It is going to be a wild 2010 in Massachusetts politics. One can watch the “safe Democrat” stay pretty much the same on the pundit’s websites, until say, mid-October, when the handwriting on the wall becomes abundantly clear.
The number one search on this blog: Who is running against Barney Frank, has been joined by Who is running against Richard Neal, with a majority of those inquiries coming from within Massachusetts in the past two weeks, prior to that, they were coming from all corners of the nation, with a few hits here and there inside the Bluest State. Barney Frank inquiries average about 100 unique hits per day. (Which grew exponentially over the past week, to 300), which means that an investment, in time, talent and that all important cash needed to brand a candidate, is already in the “bank” so to speak.