There's an election Tuesday in Massachusetts, and here's who the Mad Biologist endorses.
U.S Senate: This is tough. Both Rep. Mike Capuano and Attorney General Martha Coakley have strengths and weaknesses. Both are reliable liberals, but they have different emphases. Capuano has very good constituent services, and he understands the importance of scientific research to the MA state economy. He does, however, have some shady fundraising associations with Rep. Murtha. Coakley has a very good record as Attorney General, including bringing successful suits against Wall Street firms for fraudlent practices. She would also be excellent on civil liberties, including abortion. Given her experience to date though, it's hard to know what her stands on economic policies are. Early on, I was a Coakley supporter, now it's a toss up.
Boston Mayor: I've never been one for all of that 'hopey and changey' shit. Politicians, particularly mayors, have to get shit done. Menino isn't bad--I like his schools policy (he's not a big fan of charter schools and neither am I), and many of his initiatives are fine. But Menino has shown himself to be a creature of real estate developers, and he has begun to reap (after four terms) the consequences of his own poor contract negotiations (I'm all for good pensions, but Menino's out of control). Flaherty wants to completely revamp the BRA (and his deputy mayor, Sam Yoon, wanted to abolish it). Flaherty also appreciates the arts, which never even crossed Menino's radar. While I don't like Flaherty's stand on charter schools, his desire to move more authority to principals is worth a try. Give Flaherty the nod.
Boston City District Council: Connolly and Murphy have both initiated good policies and are especially worth supporting. The rest, with the exception of Bennett, would be fine too.
In District 7, it's time for Turner to go. Even if you believe Turner is being railroaded by the Feds, how effective can a councilman who is barred from chairing committees be? Vote Henriquez.
In District 8, Mike Ross has done a good job dealing with university encroachment on and campus expansion in neighborhoods. In District 9 (Allston-Brighton) Mark Ciommo has done the same. Both deserve the nod.
Just a quick note - the Democratic primary for the special election for U.S. Senate isn't until Dec. 8th. If you'd like to find out more about Mike Capuano, you can check out his voting record at votesmart.org or at www.mikecapuano.com. Thanks for the blog - I really enjoy it!