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Massachusetts US Senate primary: A pro-family opportunity that went south. Sullivan gets 36 percent of GOP vote.
Bloomberg News quotes MassResistance
POSTED: May 3, 2013
In last Tuesday's US Senate special election primary for the seat recently vacated by John Kerry, both of the party establishment-supported candidates won.
It was also, according to press reports, the lowest voter turnout in memory for a statewide election. Despite the flood of TV and radio ads, news coverage, and robo-calls, most people didn't seem particularly interested in any of the candidates. Thus, the winners were also the ones with the most money to spend to persuade people to come out and vote for them.
Republican: Gomez: 51% Sullivan: 36% Winslow: 13%
As we discussed in our previous email, from a principled pro-family perspective there wasn't much reason to be involved.
Gomez on top despite supporting Obama in 2008
The GOP winner, Gabriel Gomez, was an Obama supporter in 2008 and gave $500 to the Obama campaign. Gomez also gave $1000 to ultra-liberal Senate candidate Alan Khazei. (Yes, that's the same Alan Khazei who hired infamous gay activist Kevin Jennings to run his non-profit group.)
Gomez supports "gay marriage" and would not change the Roe v Wade abortion ruling. But he used his considerable wealth to fund much of his campaign, which made a big difference in this small election. And because he's Hispanic, the GOP establishment supported him from the beginning over the others, with fundraising connections and other help. As the Boston Globe reported:
Gomez's Latino heritage . . . represents exactly the kind of candidate the Republican Party has been seeking nationally, noted Massachusetts Republican National Committeeman Ron Kaufman.
And that's how a lot of Mass. GOP voters seemed to think also, from people we talked to. In other words, Gomez's ads were apparently quite effective.
Whether that "Latino" strategy will actually work, of course, remains to be seen. As Herman Cain, Allan West, and Alan Keyes probably observed, people are attracted to Republicans for their ideas more than their race. The race card works better if you're a Democrat, as Obama knows.
MassResistance quoted in Bloomberg News
Our assessment of the situation is getting around. This morning, Bloomberg News quoted Brian Camenker of MassResistance describing Gomez as "Another pro-gay marriage RINO" . . . Gomez is telling the media he's 'A New Kind of Republican.' In other words, a Democrat."
But probably the best article on the Gomez election is by Michael Graham in today's Boston Herald: "Gomez run for Senate won't help GOP." Graham's conclusion on the Mass. State GOP: "In most states RINO (Republican In Name Only) is an insult. Here, it's official party dogma."
Sullivan -- the great conservative hope
Michael Sullivan was touted as the new hope of the conservative movement. He was recruited to run by a coalition of pro-family conservatives and GOP reformers. A former US Attorney (among many other things) he had impeccable political credentials along with a reputation as a pro-family conservative, and immediately attracted an avalanche of right-leaning volunteers to get his nomination signatures.
But once he got in the ring, Sullivan turned out to be a disappointment. When it came to staking out real positions, he folded on one issue after another. It became a joke in some circles. And over time his candidacy caused a great rift in the conservative movement which is still not resolved.
In his public statements, Sullivan said he was personally "pro-traditional marriage" -- but supported the repeal of DOMA. He was personally "pro-life" -- but would vote to confirm a pro-abortion judge and considers Roe v Wade "in the rear-view mirror." He is personally "pro-family" - but said he doesn't believe that the homosexual movement is trying to aggressively normalize that behavior. He believes "we are a nation of laws" -- but said that illegal aliens should be given a "pathway to legal status." He called himself a bold conservative, but talked about "not being divisive" and "finding common ground" with the left. And on and on.
We really wanted to like him. But it's like voting for a bowl of dishwater. And apparently a fair amount of folks felt the same way.
A lot of conservative activists are claiming that Sullivan was given bad advice by the treacherous RINO campaign staffers that he surrounded himself with. There is some truth to that. But, come on. He's a seasoned politician who's held elective offices and has been in the political arena for decades. The bar isn't very high here. He just wasn't up to it.
Is this the future of the GOP?
Is this the future of the Republican Party, both here and across the country? It could be. The national establishment certainly seems to be on a crusade to disengage the Party from pro-family positions.
Or maybe not. Like many high-profile Massachusetts Republican office-holders before him, Sullivan likely believed that the whole conservative movement would jump to his support because they had nowhere else to go. But after recently being handed Mitt Romney, Charlie Baker, Richard Tisei, and Scott Brown, a lot of conservatives have had enough of that game. And that sentiment may likely spread.
So for the open US Senate seat in Massachusetts, the choice is now between two anti-family candidates, both of whom supported Obama in 2008. Markey, of course, is worse on paper and would be a John Kerry clone. But Gomez will not only vote liberal but also help drag the rest of the Republican Party to the left. This is starting to look like another election to blank out.
New York does a better job of this . . .
A few years back when MassResistance was helping to lobby against "gay marriage" in the New York State House, we had lunch with a recent president of the New York State Conservative Party.
In New York, the Conservative Party rarely runs candidates, but endorses Republicans who live up to its standards. And the party members vote that way. Often their endorsement is the difference between a GOP candidate winning and losing. So they have to pay attention.
These days, that might be a good model for other states. Just a thought.