Dark money unlikely to brighten Grossman’s odds
Cue the dark-money attack ad sliming the candidate in the lead.
Cue the counter ad from the attack target calling out the candidate the attack ad is fronting for as a slimy slickster looking for others to do his dirty work .
And though Labor Day, the unofficial start of the real campaign season, is still a month off, cue the bugles signaling post time for the governor’s race — whether anyone is paying attention or not.
Steve Grossman, running a distant second in polls to Martha Coakley in the three-way Democratic primary for governor, has been sniping at her for months over various issues. In April, he staged a bit of standard campaign-playbook theater, convening a “debate” in front of the State House on gun-control issues that featured a empty lectern with no-show Coakley’s name on it. Now, hammering away on the same issue, an independent super PAC run by big Grossman supporters has started running TV ads attacking Coakley.
“She says it wouldn’t have any effect,” says Turner. “She’s wrong. One less gun can save a life.”
The Grossman-supporting super PAC was formed in April, so the attack ads were no surprise. That’s why Coakley’s web video ad in response was sitting in the can and ready to go. It consists of a string of man-on-the-street comments and manages to include an outraged citizen who hails Elizabeth Warren‘s success at striking an agreement to ban super PAC money in her Senate race (a nice association for Coakley, even if it reminds some of her Senate loss, which Warren avenged for Democrats). Meanwhile, one woman says we don’t need any of this super PAC spending that is stock-in-trade of the right-wing billionaire Koch brothers (not exactly the kind of association Grossman would find flattering).
The ads are sure to prompt a new round of debate over the role of outside money in the race, with renewed calls by Coakley for a “People’s Pledge” akin to the agreement that kept super PAC spending out of the Warren-Brown Senate tilt.
But leaving that aside, it seems questionable whether the attacks will do much to take Coakley down or boost Grossman’s standing in the polls. As critical an issue as it is for some urban neighborhoods, it’s not clear that gun violence registers that high on voters’ lists of top concerns. And to the extent the issue does resonate, will people really buy the idea that gun-purchase limits would impact urban gun violence, which usually often involves illegally obtained firearms?
Finally, there’s always a danger in going negative in a three-way race: The candidate not involved in the skirmish often gains when the others mix it up. If so, for physician and healthcare executive Don Berwick, who’s running third in Democratic primary polls, the latest round in the Grossman-Coakley mud wrestling match might be just what the doctored ordered.
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Clive McFarlane, a columnist for the Telegram & Gazette, says Scott Brown’s candidacy against Obamacare this time around makes no sense.
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Beretta USA is moving its gun-making operations out of gun-hostile Maryland to gun-loving Tennessee, the Washington Post reports.
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The Globe looks at the toll heroin addiction is taking in well-off suburbs like Scituate.
Steward Health Care is completing the merger of its Holy Family and Merrimack Valley hospitals, the Eagle-Tribune reports.
A group of 21 economists from around the nation signed a letter to Attorney General Martha Coakley urging a rejection of the planned merger between Partners Healthcare and South Shore Hospital, saying the benefits won’t negate the loss of competition.
Public health officials say food labels do not give consumers enough information to make healthy nutrition choices.
The Globe‘s David Abel looks at the auto subculture of “coal rollers,” people who remove legally-mandated pollution controls from their diesel vehicles because, as one says, “this is about freedom.”
The Cape Cod National Seashore has banned the use of drones, including those used for research, within the park’s 44,000 acres.
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