josh weisbuch

P Minus 7 Days

The Massachusetts Democratic Primary is in a week; Tuesday, September 16th.  Here in the Two Nine we’ve got a four-way write-in/sticker campaign for Rachel Kaprielian’s old seat, as I’ve been discussing; Ed O’Reilly challenging Senator Kerry; and Waltham’s Jack Doyle, who doesn’t appear to have a website, and Watertown’s Tommy Walsh are challenging longtime Governor’s Councilor and Watertown Town Councilor Marilyn Petitto Devaney for the 3rd District Governor’s Council seat.  I’ve been following the State Rep. race much more closely than the others.

I’ve had a chance to read the TAB’s interviews with the four State Rep. candidates (I didn’t find the video of the interview with Julia Fahey before; turns out it was posted in the blog, but left out of the main TAB site’s article), and last night a two-hour candidate forum was held here in H2Otown.  Unlike the previous Cambridge candidate forum, this one (which was also better-attended, probably because it’s closer to the actual polling day) was mainly driven by audience questions, and that plus its greater length helped really draw out the distinctions among the candidates’ positions (minor though those differences tend to be) and their personalities.

I like Jon Hecht, Julia Fahey and Josh Weisbuch pretty well.  Steve Corbett seems a nice enough guy in general, but doesn’t really excite me as a candidate, and threw a couple of what sounded to me like nasty barbs at Fahey and Weisbuch into his opening and closing statements — swipes at “special interests” and emphasis on being “ready on day one,” which is a little odd coming from a guy who said in his TAB interview that he’s looking forward to the challenge of learning the job of State Rep.  I’m sticking by my earlier prediction that Hecht will win, as much on better organization as anything else — and there’s something to be said for organizational skills as a desirable quality in a legislator.  I admire Fahey’s dedication to the labor movement, though I disagree with her (and agree with Hecht) on casinos.  But there’s really nothing I disagree with Hecht on, and I think, controversies with the Town Council President notwithstanding, that his record tends to indicate he’ll be very effective.  Gender balance is also a concern, however; women are not proportionally represented in the State House, and a Hecht win will mean one less seat held by a woman (there is no Republican challenger for this seat).  Obviously I wouldn’t make that my only reason for voting for Fahey, but I do also expect she’d be a good Representative.

I’m not in the endorsement business, because I’m not really convinced of the value of endorsements, and anyway who cares what I say?  (My track record also isn’t great; I backed Dean in 2004 and Edwards this year, and really thought Romney would win the Republican nomination.)  So that’s probably my last word on this election for the next week: I predict Hecht will win, but I think either he or Fahey would be excellent.

Soon, back to non-state-government topics for a while.

Further Two-Ninery

The Massachusetts Democratic primary is a week from tomorrow, so in nine days we’ll know who will be taking Rachel Kaprielian’s seat in the State House representing the 29th Middlesex.

The TAB has been running a series of candidate profiles and interviews (Stephen Corbett, Julia Fahey, Josh Weisbuch, Jon Hecht), which I haven’t had time to watch yet, but will try to today; tonight at 7pm is the second of three candidate forums, this one at Brigham House on Mt. Auburn St.

My impressions so far are that Hecht is probably going to win; he’s certainly winning the sign war in the parts of Watertown that I see, and he seems the most organized.  If he didn’t have a website and hadn’t been at the first forum, I wouldn’t have any idea Weisbuch was even running — he still doesn’t appear to have any signs up, and I don’t think I’ve seen any announcements at all from him in the TAB.  Fahey has a lot of labor endorsements, which makes sense, and Hecht has a lot of endorsements in general.  I’m still uncommitted going into tonight’s debate, but still leaning toward Hecht and Fahey.

Massachusetts State House: 29th Middlesex Special Election

The State Representative for my district, the 29th Middlesex, Rachel Kaprielian, was appointed recently to be the new Registrar of Motor Vehicles, and the Watertown Democratic Committee decided not to pick a successor, so a special sticker/write-in primary is being held this September.  Four candidates are running for the seat, and last Monday I attended a candidate forum sponsored by the Cambridge Ward 9 committee (also part of the 29th).

The candidates running for the seat are Steve Corbett, Julia Fahey, Jon Hecht and a late entrant, Josh Weisbuch. I don’t know very much about them yet but what’s on their websites — Hecht and Corbett are current town councillors, Fahey is a lawyer who specializes in labor rights and promises to leave her job to be a fulltime state rep, and Weisbuch was an intern under Erskine Bowles in the Clinton White House and runs a computer consulting business — and what they said at the forum, but it was good to meet them in person, and hear them articulate some positions.  I wish there had been more time for audience questions, and I wouldn’t necessarily mind fewer questions, with more time for answers, so the candidates could elaborate their stances.

As things stand now, it’s a tossup for me between Hecht and Fahey, with Weisbuch and Corbett close after, but it’s early yet, and I’d like to see more from all of them.  I certainly hope there’ll be more forums and/or debates; sco, how about one in Watertown?