But whom to vote for? Deval Patrick is a great story (and lives in my hometown), but he went to Milton Academy and Harvard, and I've despised the supercilious snobs from those institutions since I could walk. South Side or no South Side, he's made his home in Milton, and that says a lot. He's also way the heck out in left field on the issues. Charley Manning in the Globe:
The voters agree with Healey on most important campaign issues, such as tax cuts, education reform, and illegal immigration. Patrick is on the wrong side of all three issues -- and others, such as crime.The Massachusetts primary system is really messed up: liberal Dems show up in September and nominate wingnut lefties instead of the bread-and-butter pols like Tom Reilly; consequentially, they haven't won a guber since Dukakis left office.
My early voting favorite was Christy Mihos: he's legitimately independent, a little bit flashy, and had a show-stopping debate performance which has Healey bent out of shape. But I took the time to read his platform, and he's awful. He supports big payouts to the cities and towns, and lower usage fees for the Mass Pike, MBTA, etc. Other spending items are big priorities. Yes, he's been a bulldog on the Big Dig, but the savings there aren't going to be enough to cover all the revenue losses. The result? Income taxes won't come back down to 5% as promised.
Then there's Kerry 'Muffy' Healey, who has sensible, conservative positions, but the personality of mildew, no business experience, and it takes a lot of spin to make her sound likable. I like her proposals to raise the dropout age to 18 and to bring more competition to our worst-in-the-nation auto insurance cartel; in addition, she's far more likely than either competitor to see the mandated health insurance compromise through to functionality. Patrick would collude with the legislature to raise costs and hammer businesses; Mihos would torch the compromise out of spite for Romney.
The nickname Muffy comes from penslinger Howie Carr, a Deerfield Academy grad who does the man-of-the-people routine with panache. But even Carr is panicking that Patrick may win this race and set Massachusetts back 20 years. If enough people tell each other how bad it will be with ultraliberal Patrick, maybe we can dump Mihos like Howard Dean and get Muffy as governor.
Update: Another Howie Carr article filling voters in on Deval Patrick.