AN INSIDE LOOK - Commentary and opinions on local politics and life in general in Southeastern Massachusetts! Featuring the writings of Bill Gouveia, newspaper columnist for the Sun Chronicle and local cable TV talk show host. Feel free to read, comment and enjoy!
Monday, June 15, 2015
This Is What Is Wrong With Politics Today
This column originally appeared in The Sun Chronicle on Monday, June 15, 2015
AN INSIDE LOOK
By Bill Gouveia
you want a perfect example of what is wrong with politics today, you need look
no further than what happened this week when Governor Charlie Baker visited our
area to attend a fundraiser for State Representative Betty Poirier (R-North
is a Republican.Poirier supported him
during the hotly-contested election this past fall.In Massachusetts, Republican legislatures are
almost as rare as Yankee fans.As
Governor, Baker has a vested interest in trying to help the GOP increase and at
the very least maintain their numbers in both the House and Senate.
is there anything wrong or unusual with Gov. Baker helping to boost Rep.
Poirier’s campaign coffers and already considerable popularity in her district?Nope – nothing at all.It is a standard tradition practiced by both
major parties all the time.
the Massachusetts Democratic Party is apparently running out of things to
complain about.The party organization
decided to criticize the Governor for attending the fundraiser based upon one
political position (albeit an important one) where he and Poirier disagree –
abortion and a woman’s right to choose.
has never been shy about her opposition to legalized abortion, and has in the
past both sponsored and supported legislation that would deny women that
option.But quite frankly, most of that
was for show.Chances of legislation
like that succeeding here in the Bay State are about equal to my chances of
making the Patriots practice squad.
Beaudry, a spokesperson for the party, claimed this week that by his visit
Baker “is in fact supporting an agenda ostensibly counter to his own regarding
choice.”She went on to add that his “headlining
Rep. Poirier’s event is a perfect example of the governor’s willingness to
support Republicans of all stripes here in Massachusetts, regardless of his own
publicly stated positions.”
that, ladies and gentlemen, is pure and unadulterated crap.
truly is no great fan of Betty Poirier as a legislator.This space has often been critical of her
performance and actions on a wide variety of fronts.We are polar opposites in most of our
political positions and beliefs.
her general position on that particular topic should have no bearing on Gov.
Baker’s decision to support her.And by
trying to make it one, the Democratic State Party looks like the whiny bunch of
liberal complainers the Republican State Party often makes them out to be.
was absolutely correct when she said of the “controversy” that erupted as a
result of the Governor’s visit:“I guess
there can’t be a lot of big news out there today.”
Poirier has been elected and re-elected many times by the good people of her
district.While certainly conservative,
she is reasonably representative of the general political philosophy of her
constituents.She is not so radically
different that she should be cast as a pariah.
this what state and national politics have to be about?Must our elected leaders be required to only
surround themselves with people who share their views?Are both Governor Baker and Representative
Poirier doing such a good job that Democrats are reduced to foolish complaining
such as this?
let’s be clear.This type of despicable
tactic is practiced with great regularity by both major parties.In fact, Republicans may even be better at it
than Democrats.Neither group holds the
moral high ground here.
it’s getting old.
we out here in the Sun Chronicle area just aren’t accustomed to the glare of
the spotlight that accompanies high-ranking officials like the Governor as they
venture out of our capitol city.Could
it be we (or at least this writer) are just “small-town” and don’t get how real
that is the case – and I don’t believe it for a minute – then we should wear
that as a badge of honor.Our local
politics can be intense, personal, and sometimes just silly.But a local leader who doesn’t establish
close relationships with people holding different views usually doesn’t have
I understand state
party officials get paid to politick.But our officials give us enough reason to complain without having more
invented for us.
Rep. Poirier not the Governor deserved the cheap shot.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and
longtime local official.He can be
emailed at email@example.com and followed on Twitter at