Marblehead, MA; Nov. 7, 2006 BE - That would be
"Before the Election" results are tallied. Or "Before the End" of the
world as we know it. Whatever.
Thanks for keeping me company while I get through the suspense of
Election Day. I can't even go out to vote; just got my broken foot in a
cast with orders not to put any weight on it.
So I called the Marblehead town clerk first thing Monday, barely making
the absentee ballot deadline. Due to this being an emergency, Tom
McNulty drove to my house with my ballot. He's always fun to talk with,
but there was no time this week for our usual lively exchange, him being
in charge of the election and all.
My choices? Healey-Hillman, Rick Barton, and some Democrats too - Bill
Galvin, Joe DeNucci and Mary Ellen Manning. "No" on all ballot
questions. Sorry Stop & Shop, I love your store and wouldn't mind if you
sold wine, but have to admit: in another era, I would have been a
Today I'm a libertarian, prohibitionist independent voter who also
doesn't mind gay marriage, but passionately supports a fair vote this
week on the "marriage amendment."
Listened to WRKO's Howie Carr show Monday evening, the traditional hour
of candidates calling in for one minute each. Thrilled to hear some of
the 43 legislative candidates supported by Citizens for Limited
Taxation's 2½ PAC. Two years ago, all its challengers lost. So many
excellent newcomers, again, who took the "no new taxes" pledge and will
protect Proposition 2½. By the time you read this, we will know if any
majority of voters in any part of the commonwealth cares about these
Speaking of 'RKO, no, John DePetro shouldn't have been fired for calling
Grace Ross, the Green-Rainbow Party's gubernatorial candidate, an unkind
name that I don't even want to repeat and would never have used myself.
However, it was no more inaccurate than calling me a somewhat overweight
heterosexual, if someone wants to be irrelevant.
When Al Franken called Rush Limbaugh a "big fat slob," that was
inaccurate. Rush had lost a lot of weight and looked pretty good at the
time. Now, accurately, one could say that Rush Limbaugh has a big fat
ego, and be pretty much on target. I usually switch to WTKK when he
comes on to listen to Jim Braude and Margery Eagan.
Jim and I are old friends, having been opponents on two major ballot
questions - the Question 3 CLT's initiative for tax and fee cuts in
1990, and his graduated income tax proposal in 1994. My side lost the
first, won the second. So we invited him to be the guest speaker at the
CLT brunch last Sunday to let our activists debate him as I had. What a
Jim had a video of our early encounters, when we both had thick heads of
hair and lots of energy. He still has the latter; I was in a wheelchair.
But if was fun to argue again with a worthy opponent.
I assured the guests that they weren't ever going to see the Mass.
Taxpayers Foundation or teachers' union at our brunch; but they were
happy to hear Jim supporting the initiative petition process, which he
and other liberals have used, just as we have, albeit to different ends.
And we all related to his disappointment with the current political
climate, so different from the passion and civic awareness that were
attached to our campaigns. We had hundreds of people at our debates and
everyone seemed to be tuned in back then.
Fifteen years ago, his present New England Cable News interview show (7
p.m., Monday through Thursday) would have been a must-view for the many
citizens who cared about politics and issues. He is one of the best, and
fairest, interviewers in the business.
Jon Keller, a guest at an earlier CLT event, is another. His WBZ-TV
debate featuring just the two viable lieutenant governor candidates, was
the best forum of this political season. The media consortium that gave
us the governor debates did the commonwealth a disservice by not holding
at least one without the two distractions, Ross and Christy Mihos.
I'm also disappointed this year in other aspects of media coverage. The
local newspapers, like this one, did a great job; but the Boston Globe
kept writing about Deval Patrick's proposed "circuit breaker property
tax relief," even though no such proposal exists. As I wrote here
earlier, the circuit breaker is an income tax credit for certain
targeted individuals. This was important because polls indicated that
voters prefer a property tax cut to the income tax rollback; but the
Globe refused to print my letter telling people that no such choice
presently exists. I'd cancel my subscription if this paper would pick up
its comic strips; I am so attached to Curtis, JumpStart, Mallard
Fillmore and, yes, Doonesbury.
Well, soon the polls will close, and another political campaign season
will be over. Deval Patrick ran on "change," and that we will have
either way, because things are changing far too quickly in all areas of
life, all the time.
Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens
for Limited Taxation. Her syndicated columns appear weekly in the Salem
News and other Eagle Tribune newspapers; bi-weekly in the Tinytown
Gazette; and occasionally in the Lowell Sun, Providence [RI] Journal and