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U.S. politics (Arlington-related)

80 in Arlington protest reported postal slowdown

Zoning Board of Appeals logoUPDATED: An estimated 80 people came to Court Street on a Saturday morning in August to support postal workers and protest what has been reported as the Trump administration's attempts to slow the U.S. Postal Service.

The Arlington event was one of 700 nationwide designed to raise the alarm about changes to the USPS that are slowing down service and threatening the election.

Several people said they had never participated in a protest or rally before, but this issue inspired them to take to the streets, protest organizer Rebecca Riccio told YourArlington.

"We lined both sides of Court Street and Mass. Ave. to show our support for postal workers and demand that recent changes that are slowing down mail delivery be addressed," Riccio said.

Those involved are urging everyone to request a mail-in ballot and carefully complete it as early as possible. Follow the instructions to ensure it counts. Use a designated ballot drop box, the kind Arlington has at three locations, including Town Hall.

The photo shows that post office before 2020, when boxes used to allow drive-up mail drop-offs. That changed earlier this year when those boxes were removed, and boxes were installed with thin slots turned away from drivers.

Read more ...

Estimated 25 backed Warren at artlounge

Elizabeth Warren, 2019Warren

The Elizabeth Warren campaign held a local kickoff for her presidential run, on from Tuesday, April 2, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at artlounge Arlington, 1346 Mass. Ave.

An estimated 25 people attended.

Light refreshments were served, including cookies from Cookie Time, across the street, and there was a cash bar.

This meeting was open to all, those who are strong supporters and those who would like more information about her issues.

Sen. Warren did not attend, but those involved received a firsthand report from the campaign trail Iowa.

Read more ...

Clark sworn in as 5th Mass. woman to hold U.S. House seat

ClarkClark: 66%

After Katherine Clark on Tuesday, won the seat Ed Markey long held, becoming the fifth woman to represent the state in the U.S. House, where women hold 18 percent of the 435 seats, she was sworn in Thursday, Dec. 12, and then voted in favor of the federal budget plan.

The win was decisive, and the turnout low. Clark, a Democrat from Melrose, received 40,172 votes, or 66 percent. Frank J. Addivinola Jr., a Republican, had 19,319 votes, or 32 percent, in the race for the Fifth District.

AddinivolaAddinivola: 32%In Arlington, where the turnout was 19 percent, the vote for Clark was 4,297 (77 percent). Addinivola received 1,131 (20 percent).

The town reported the unofficial results here >>

Turnout was a 13 percent, which appeared to set a record for U.S. House races. The previous low was the October 2001 special election that Stephen F. Lynch won with a 17 percent turnout, The Boston Globe reported Dec. 11.

James V. Aulenti, Independent of Wellesley, and James O. Hall, Justice Peace Security of Arlington, each received vote totals in low single digits.

Surrounded by family, friends and supporters, Katherine Clark was sworn in as the newest member of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation.

In her remarks from the floor of the house, Clark echoed her commitment to stand with the middle class families of the district. "The Massachusetts Fifth, from Revere to Cambridge, Waltham to Framingham, is home to some of this country’s and the world’s most respected universities and innovative companies. We are deeply proud of these incredible institutions. But what defines the Fifth District is its families, Clark said in a news release.

Congresswoman Clark went on to say, “As I talked with families around their kitchen tables, I found they are just like mine, and I’m sure, just like yours. We are teachers, small business owners, CEOs and machinists. We work in stockrooms and board rooms. We are recent immigrants and descendants from early American settlers. We are of all political ideologies, and yes, deep in the heart of Red Sox Nation, we even have a few Yankees fans.”  

As is the custom in the Capitol, newly sworn in Rep. Clark was introduced to the House by the dean of the Massachusetts Delegation Congressman Richard Neal. Sen. Ed Markey, whose former seat she now occupies, also joined her in the chamber.

"Senator Markey, you set a standard of excellence during your time in the House," Clark said in the release. "I look forward to carrying on your work for the people of our district and partnering with you and the entire Massachusetts delegation to move Massachusetts and our country forward.”

Congresswoman Clark will now serve out the remainder of the term through 2014. She officially resigned her state Senate effective Dec. 12. She lives in Melrose with her husband Rodney Dowell and their three children Addison, Jared and Nathaniel. She is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, Cornell Law and Harvard University.

Town-by-town results at >>

Only Clark campaigned actively in Arlington, with a Mass. Ave. office through the Oct. 10 primary and, most recently, an appearance Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Arlington Diner.

Clark and Addinivola held one debate, and Friday, Dec. 6. Among media covering the events is this report from The Boston Globe.

U.S. House, Fifth District mapIn the primary, Arlington voters cast more votes for Democrats compared to every city or town in the congressional district. Here are the numbers for Democrats’ votes for the top 10 municipalities Oct. 10:
Arlington, 7,301; Waltham, 5,622; Belmont, 5,462; Cambridge, 5,347; Medford, 5,240; Watertown, 4,772; Framingham, 4,417; Lexington, 4,153; Melrose, 3,849; and Malden, 3,701.

CommonWealth magazine has published profiles of the Democratic and Republican candidates:

Attorney Frank Addivinola

State Sen. Katherine Clark

Town election information >>

This story was published Thursday, Oct. 17, and updated Dec. 13.

Clark victorious in primary showdown for U.S. House seat

Katherine Clark, 2013 photoClark

Frank AddinavolaAddivinola

Wins Arlington, 2,518 to 1,921; faceoff in December

State Senator Katherine M. Clark of Melrose won the special-election primary on Tuesday, Oct. 15, to determine which two candidates will face off in the race for Fifth U.S. House District seat vacated last summer by Edward Markey.

Among three Republicans, Frank J. Addivinola Jr. beat his two rivals, with 49 percent.

According to numbers collected as results of 21 precincts arrived at the Arlington town clerk's office, Clark beat Brownsberger,  2,518 to 1,921.

Read more ...

Clark gets endorsements, seeks action on gun control

Katherine Clark, 2013 photoClark

A representative for state Sen. Katherine Clark, one of seven Democrats vying for the U.S. House seat vacated this summer by Edward J. Markey, has reported the following about the Melrose candidate. She has been endorsed by Emily's List, by American Postal Workers Union Local 100 and by the Melrose Democratic City Committee. She also called on Congress to take action on gun control.

See the Emily's List support here >>
The postal workers' support from the Boston Metro Area was reported Sept. 23:

The union's 2,200 members say Clark will stand up to extremist Republicans in Congress attacking women’s rights and change the conversation to creating jobs, securing pay equity for women, investing in early education and increasing the minimum wage.

"Workers are still recovering from the damage done to our economy," said Paul Kilduff, president of the APWU Local 100, in a news release. "We’re supporting
Katherine Clark for Congress because she understands that the country will recover by taking steps in Washington to grow the middle class -- not by repealing Obamacare and shutting down the government."

Clarke was endorsed earlier by the Women's Campaign Fund, Attorney General Martha Coakley, Melrose Mayor Robert Dolan; and state Rep. Marjorie Decker, Democrat of Cambridge; the Winchester Democratic Town Committee, IBEW locals 2222, 2321 and 123; the United Steelworkers Union Local 12012, Ironworkers Local 7, NAGE/IBPO/SEIU Local 5000 and Teamsters Local 25.

On Sept. 23, she said of gun control:

"President Obama is absolutely right that men, women and children are dying from gun violence without the headlines. We have to pull together and demand change in Washington, because we cannot continue to let gun violence kill eight children every day.

"It’s incredibly disappointing that extremist Republicans continue to bow to the National Rifle Association while children die every day from gun violence. It’s unbelievable that while children are dying every day from gun violence Congress cannot even pass the most basic gun control reform supported by more than eighty percent of Americans: universal background checks."

The other Democratic candidates are Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian, state Representative Carl M. Sciortino of Medford, state Senator Karen Spilka of Ashland and Will Brownsberger of Belmont, as well as Martin Long of Arlington and Paul John Maisano of Stoneham.

The Republican candidates are Frank Addivinola, Mike Stopa and Tom Tierney.

The mostly suburban, heavily Democratic Fifth Congressional District, including Arlington, stretches from Winthrop to Holliston.

This story was published Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013.

Candidates who were not invited react

Martin Long, 2013Long

UPDATED: A forum for five House candidates in the Fifth District at Arlington Town Hall set for Thursday, Sept. 26, has drawn comments from those who were not invited. They are responding to comments from George Bachrach, president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts, one of the sponsors. He wrote:

"Our broad-based coalition of nonprofit environmental/energy organizations established minimum standards for electoral viability for both our recent forum for Boston mayoral candidates and for our upcoming forum for US House candidates.

"In both cases, we invited all candidates (D & R, elected and non-elected) who met these minimum standards. The requirement was a campaign website, office, staff and raised $25k by the most recent reporting period.

"While we understand interesting and talented people might not meet that standard, given the large number of candidates in both races, our audience is interested in hearing from candidates who are demonstrably viable."

The forum, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., moderated by Erin Ailworth of The Boston Globe, includes state Senators Will Brownsberger, Katherine Clark and Karen Spilka; Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian and state Representative Carl Sciortino.

The other two Democratic candidates, Martin Long and Paul John Maisano, as well as the three Republicans -- Frank Addivinola, Mike Stopa and Tom Tierney -- have been asked to comment.

For those who have responded, see below.

Long comments

Long responded by email Sept. 18:

"I find George Bachrach’s response as to why he hasn’t invited me to the environmental forum puzzling. His criteria are a campaign website, office, staff and $25k raised by the most recent reporting period. Well, I have the first three. The stickler is the last one -- $25k by the last reporting period.

"According to the FEC, there is only one reporting period before today — and that ended June 30, 2013. The Senate special election was held on June 25. Ed Markey’s win was certified on July 10. To be strict about it, there wasn’t an official campaign going until AFTER the official reporting period ended. Or, to be more generous, one had only five days to mount a campaign and raise $25k. I think that’s asking too much.

"I suspect that George is using criteria left over from other, regular campaigns. I wish he had cut a little slack for me considering the unusual circumstances.

"It’s also curious that I probably am the only candidate who was a cofounder of a green energy company within the district.

"Of course, I would like to be included in this forum. There are important issues to discuss. It’s another instance where independently minded candidates are denied admission to the 'elite' events.

"Finally, I will be attending and making my presence know regardless of my status as an excluded candidate."

Tierney comments

Tierney responded by email Sept. 18:

"I'm not buying Bachrach's viability theory. It's actually a contrivance to promote incumbent Democrats. There are ballot-certified candidates [myself included] who could argue they meet his criteria who have been excluded; and, it should also be noted, that whatever Republican prevails on October 15th will certainly have funding viability. But that's another story.

"The real story is that the people of Arlington and surrounding communities are being cheated out of the information they'll need to make an informed vote next month. None of the incumbent Democrats have yet to speak with knowledge on the root cause of the environmental problems that will be discussed at the forum and that makes me question the forum's value. You're probably just going to see a lot of tap-dancing.

"That noted root cause is a current world population of 7 Billion-plus when Mother Earth's present equilibrium capacity [where we use resources at the pace that Nature can replace them] is about 4.2 Billion]. That imbalance means more carbon dioxide, habitat squeeze, food scarcity, etc.

"I hope those sleepy participant/sponsor organizations [shame on you, Boston Globe] wake up and sponsor a useful public-service debate on these important issues after the October 15th Primary."

Addivinola comments

Addivinola responded through his campaign via email Sept. 18:

"Mr. Bachrach's approach to giving legitimate candidates who put their name on the ballot a fair chance to state their positions on issues is questionable for few reasons. First of all, assuming that few individuals can judge a candidate's viability is presumptuous to say the least. Voters will determine their viability on the Election Day. Not inviting certain candidates to the Town Hall does not do any service to voters who are entitled to know positions of all candidates on issues being discussed.

"Furthermore, the criteria outlined by Mr. Bachrach are not indicative of so called 'viability.' For that matter, our campaign has a fully developed web site, an office and staff. As for fund-raising, Mr. Bachrach refers to a figure of $25,000 in the most recent reporting period leaving out the fact that the most recent reporting period finished on June 30th, 5 days after Ed Markey won the US Senate special election and two weeks prior to the 5th Congressional District special election being announced. Some candidates only started their campaign after the reporting period finished and Mr. Bachrach has no way of knowing how much money they raised up until this point.

"For our part, our campaign was never contacted to check whether we are meeting their criteria for invitation."

Maisano responds

Paul John Maisano wrote Tuesday, Sept. 24:

I finally have a minute to address the exclusionary tactics being practiced by a few small groups in this Congressional race.

However, I find it more important to report a fact that I consider more important -- those who practice fairness in politics. The following Democratic city, or town, committees endorse an even playing field for all candidates having submitted the required 2,000 signatures according to the state election statues. These groups far outweigh the small faction of those practicing political discrimination.

I commend the following Democratic committees from the 5th Congressional District for their sense of fair play, but more importantly their leadership. Framingham, Wayland, Cambridge, Arlington, Belmont, Waltham, and Watertown, were the first to invite all candidates into the process. I have personally spoken with the chairpersons of each of these individual groups, and they endorse an open transparent process in our political arena. The Massachusetts state Chairman John Walsh stated to me: "exclusionary practices are counterproductive, and has no home within the democratic process." These are the true patriots of our democracy.   

Public opinion is that politics.... is a dirty game. The fact that eighty percent of the registered voters traditionally remain absent speaks to this fact. Voters want a clean political environment. We have to work harder to accomplish this goal.

I have great respect for former Senator George Bachrach; I thank him for his years of dedication and service to Massachusetts. Now is time to pass the torch of democracy to the next generation of Democrats, those demanding equality, fairness, mutual respect, in our communities, workplace, and political process. We shall stamp upon even the smallest sign of discrimination regardless of how small it may appear. To allow even the smallest act of discrimination to go unnoticed potentially cultivates this malignancy to proliferate, endangering all the social progress made thus far.

With specific regards to the Arlington forum scheduled for Sept. 26, I recommend residents attend this event and enjoy the discussion. In the event that this event be televised by the Arlington cable access channel my campaign shall require equal air time as prescribed under federal regulations.

I intend to work for the public interest as your Congressperson, not the politicians, or special interests. The power of our collective voice shall speak louder on Election Day Oct. 15. I forward this message to all political leaders once stated by private sector businessperson, Lee Iacocca, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

Link to all candidates, Sept. 13: Notes from the Fifth

This story was published Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, and updated Sept. 24.

Legalize marijuana, Arlington candidate for Fifth says

Martin Long, 2013Long

Martin Long of Arlington stood before thousands on the Boston Common on Sunday, Sept. 15, and urged the crown to press lawmakers to legalize cannabis. "We now permit marijuana for medical use," he said in a news release. "The day is approaching when complete legalization is on the ballot in Massachusetts."

Long wore a button-down, white hemp shirt and brown hemp trousers, the release said. This weekend, "Hempfest" was held at the Common, an event organized by MassCann,  a group that support legalization of marijuana.

Long is a candidate in the Oct. 15 Democratic primary for the House of Representatives, Fifth Congressional District. The release said he appears to be the only one of the seven candidates who supports the legalization of cannabis.

Globe, Sept. 15: All 7 Democrats quoted on issues at Watertown forum

"It's frightening that so many people — especially black men and teenagers — have been jailed for possessing pot," the release quoted Long as saying. "Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol. When was the last time you witnessed the equivalent of a barroom brawl with someone who is stoned? Never."

The legalization of marijuana is something most politicians are afraid of, he said. “Though they know in their gut that it’s the right thing to do, they are scared of offending constituents. They may have ambitions to run for higher office — for governor or the U.S. Senate — and are afraid that support for pot will hurt their chances. Their constituents are probably far ahead of them on this issue."

Long has made it a point in his campaign to run on ideas. The legalization and taxation of marijuana, he says, is an idea whose time has come. “We should treat pot as we treat tobacco. Decriminalize it. Regulate it. Tax it,” the release quoted him.

Sept. 12 Lesley forum


Here is a video of Long shot by his campaign at the Sept. 12 forum at Lesley University sponsored primarily by the Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts. See YouTube >>

Long had not been invited, and his campaign said that following 20 minutes of negotiation, he got two minutes to speak.

Endorsements for Clark, Sciortino

In related campaign news, Winchester Democrats and IBEW Local 2321 have endorsed Katherine Clark, and MassCare has expressed support for Carl Sciortino, citing his leadership on single-payer health care.

Here are some details from news releases:

"Katherine is a courageous leader who has always been there not only for Winchester but also for Massachusetts," said Bob Colt, Winchester Democratic Town Committee chair and Democratic State Committeeman. "She's a true leader on protecting women's rights, investing in early education, standing up for the middle class, and all of the concerns of the people of the Fifth Congressional District. We look forward to her going to Washington to confront extremist Republicans who are trying to roll back women's rights and repeal Obamacare."

Ed Starr, business manager for IBEW Local 2321, said: “Katherine Clark stands out among the candidates in this race. Senator Clark’s recent support of call center workers in Massachusetts is a strong indication to our members of her commitment to keeping middle-class jobs in the State. When our members, many of them women, were told that they would have to relocate to a job almost one hundred miles away, Senator Clark stood up and added her voice in opposition to the employer’s plan. We are proud to support Katherine Clark for Congress and will mobilize our members to ensure she is elected this fall.”

On Friday, Sept. 13, MassCare’s Executive Director Ture Richard Turnbull said: "We are proud to announce our support of this great candidate, Carl Sciortino. Our organization has been grateful to have Carl as a strong advocate for single payer health care in Massachusetts. Carl has taken a leadership role in the efforts for passage of legislation to institute a single-payer system in Massachusetts."


This story was published Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, and updated the next day with related campaign news.

Clark touts higher minimum wage on Labor Day at Lakota

Katherine Clark. Barbara Weniger and cookies on Labor Day.Katherine Clark, Barbara Weniger and cookies.

Lakota's cookies were sweet, and so was the Labor Day message to those seeking to boost the minimum wage following the great recession.

Katherine Clark urged an increase in basic pay, encouraged by Barbara Weniger, owner of the bakery in the Heights, who pays her seven employees above the minimum.

"When we take care of our workers, we're taking care of the spouses, children, and grandparents who depend on them too," Clark said. "It's time for Congress to raise the minimum wage and expand family medical leave so that we can strengthen our families."

If elected, Clark would push for an increase in the minimum wage to $11, a proposal that goes beyond President Obama’s goal of $9 an hour, and she would support expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act. The law now allows for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave as well as the continuation of health benefits during that time, but the campaign says that covers less than 60 percent of U.S. workers and does not include paid leave.

Last federal increase in 2009

Congress has not approved an increase in the federal minimum wage since 2009. It stands at $7.25 per hour.

She also supports a measure in the state Legislature seeking an increase from $8 to $11 by 2015.

The Democratic candidate from Melrose drew voluble support from Weniger, who has owned Lakota for 22 years.

During a tour of her store, photos on the wall reflecting support for President Obama and Deval Patrick, she said: "I'm proud that I pay above the minimum wage, because I never wanted to squeeze every cent I could from the people who work for me. That's not why I got into business. People worry you can’t pay employees living wages and stay in business. I have."

Asked about fears many business owners have about the impact of a higher minimum wage, the South Dakota native who was born on a farm said her employees "go get lunch down the street," supporting Arlington businesses.

She said her employees award her with loyalty; many have been working at the bakery for at least 12 years.

"Standing up for American workers and making sure everyone gets a fair wage and a chance to take care of their families shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but Republicans believe taking care of our families is bad for business," Clark said. "Progress can’t wait, so when I get to Washington, I’ll put families front and center in the conversation in Congress so that we take real steps toward improving their lives at home."

Pledge to Women, Families

A campaign news release said her goals are part of a Pledge to Women and Families, her congressional agenda outlining her plan to go to Washington to fight Republican extremists attacking women’s rights and change the conversation toward finding real progress for women and families.

An estimated 25 people attended the noon rally. A number were those holding signs at Mass. Ave. at Park as well as those at 1375 Mass. Ave.

Among the supporters present were Selectman Diane Mahon, George Laite, Dennis Corbett, Barbara Goodman and Hannah Simon.

Clark and Weniger offered platters of cookies.

Clark is among seven in her party seeking a win in the Oct. 15 primary for the seat vacated by this summer by Edward J. Markey. Three are Republicans.

Sept. 1: No front-runner in 5th

This story was published Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013.

Little-known Democrat in 5th takes on a well-known issue: political gridlock

Martin Long, 2013Long

Martin Long, among the least known of seven Democrats seeking the Fifth District House seat left by Edward J. Markey, has a laser focus -- on government gridlock.

A book that the 52-year-old Arlington resident has published -- The Reagan Memes: The Path from Reagan Conservatism to Modern Day Gridlock (and how to get out of it). -- suggests the outline of his key theme.

"I am different," he wrote in response to questions about his candidacy. "My high-tech background for one thing. Negotiating skills for another.

"But most importantly, I bring new ideas to the table. My campaign is based upon one premise: This district needs new leadership to restore Congress as a functioning body."

The former member of the Lexington School Committee wrote that political inaction is focused in the House, where nothing the president proposes is considered. His book deals with the historical context of why gridlock is the result of decades of Republican political strategy and what can be done to fix it. 

Aims to restore House as functioning body

Why is he running?

"A slightly longer answer is that the House needs new leadership to restore Congress as a functioning body," he wrote. "It’s a long-term project, but it can be done. There are also things that can be done in the near term, like establishing a Moderate Caucus in the House. There’s evidence that moderate Republicans are getting fed up with what Tea Party extremists are doing to their party."

Long describes himself as a successful sales and business management professional for more than 20 years for some of the country’s leading technology firms, including Sun Microsystems, now Oracle, and IBM.

He said he helped guide newly formed entrepreneurial firms and continues to be involved in the Boston start-up community. For the last four years, he has been involved in the MassChallenge competitions as judge and mentor.

"The interesting part of my bio is that I am currently unemployed, having been laid off by IBM in the depths of the great recession.

"So I know whereof I speak when it comes to dealing with jobs and the woes of the unemployed and underemployed," he wrote. "Instead of wallowing in the depths of despond, I decided to do something really useful. I researched why the country was in a horrible mess and wrote a book about it. This led to my decision to run for the vacated seat in the special election for the House of Representatives."

Two specific initiatives

Apart from taking aim at gridlock, he provided two specific initiatives he would pursue if elected:

    * Amend the War Powers Act, "something that’s highly relevant when the president has decided to initiate a 'limited military action' against Syria. I think that Obama is being cautious.

"But what I want is a law that says 120 days after hostilities in a conflict authorized by Congress, an automatic 'war tax' would kick in. Not only would that be a brake on casual incursions, but it would also help prevent putting future trillion-dollar wars on the U.S credit card — which is what the previous administration did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Never again!"

    * Truth-in-authorship. "We all know that Congress gets a lot of help in writing bills," he wrote "OK. Members of Congress have a lot to do, and some of those bills are ponderously along.

"But I would like to know just what portions of those bills were written by outsiders. Special interests. Lobbyists. Could it just be that at times a little bias sneaks in? That the playing field might get tilted in the favor of this corporation or that industry? Just maybe. You betcha!"

He said he is counting that his ideas and background to make him stand out.

Describes his competition

"Who’s my competition?" he asked. "Nice people. Well-known people. Most of them hold elective office. And the truth of the matter is that all of us -- all seven of us -- would vote exactly the same way 95 percent of the time.

"So what separates us? The ability to raise money for our next election? They beat me on that.

"But not on my new ideas. I don’t hear many new ideas being floated around the Fifth District these days. At least I haven’t heard them."

Long has a master’s degree in government from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s from the University of Illinois (Urbana), where he majored in political science and minored in math and computer science.

As an experienced negotiator, he said he persuaded upper-echelon leaders in tech companies to take on a new product or a new system that they didn’t particularly want.

The product or system "would mean a new way of doing things; it would take up their attention; and they just weren’t in the right time frame or mind frame to accept and implement a new idea. But they knew, after a little persuasion and some reflection, that they had to do it. Those are skills I’ll bring to Congress."

High-tech advantage

Long said his high-tech background gives him an advantage. "When select members of the Senate or House view high-level intelligence documents relating to security, how many of them actually have the vocabulary and hands-on experience to understand what they’re reading?" he asked. "In these highly secretive situations, they aren’t allowed to take notes, let alone take the documents to their offices to read or have their staff read. I have the ability to grasp what the documents mean or intimate."

His succinct pitch: "I’m an usually qualified candidate. Technologically sophisticated. Well-educated in political science. An entrepreneur—I’ve been involved in start-ups. And an unemployed knowledge worker. I know what evil lurks in the hearts of corporate America. Who can match those credentials?"

Further, he added what he would do if he loses: "I’ll try my damnedest to bring my energy and ideas to solving that problem -- the defining issue of our day. If we don’t get gridlocked solved, all the rest of the Democratic progressive agenda will never see the light of day.

"No protection of Social Security. No ban on assault weapons. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The House keeps voting to 'repeal' Obamacare. Since that’s impossible as well as senseless, Republicans now want to defund it. The list of what they won’t do is almost infinite."

Martin Long campaign website >>

Sept. 2: Exchange between Long, Avocado

Sept. 1: No front-runner in 5th

This story was published Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, and updated the next day to add a link.

Clark maintains visibility in Arlington

Katherine ClarkClark

Progressive group sets online debate for Saturday

 Koutoujian defends prisoner transport | Race wide open, MetroWest reports

After the Arlington committee to elect Katherine Clark to Congress opened her Arlington campaign office at 1179 Mass. Ave. on Monday, July 29, the public met Clark at a fund-raiser on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the home of Carole and Tom Allen, 90 Beverly Road, at 6:30 p.m. For more >>

On Aug. 2, Sen. Will Brownsberger wrote that his campaign submitted 7,356 signatures for his nomination papers, exceeding a goal of 6,000 and exceeding the required minimum of 2,000.

On July 31, a campaign spokesman said Clark has submitted more than 5,000 signatures to appear on the ballot in the Fifth Congressional District. The total is 3,000 more than the 2,000 signatures necessary and includes signatures from all 24 cities and towns across the district.

Clark, a state senator from Melrose, represents the Fifth Middlesex District and is running for the U.S. House seat left open when Edward J. Markey was elected as a U.S. senator.

As Clark officially kicked off her campaign Saturday, July 20, in Melrose, she was joined by Attorney General Martha Coakley.

On July 20, Mayor Mike McGlynn of Medford endorsed Sciortino, and on July 23, People For the American Way Voters Alliance PAC followed suit, praising his strong record of progressive leadership.

The other Democratic candidates are Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian, state Representative Carl M. Sciortino of Medford, state Senator Karen Spilka of Ashland and Brownsberger of Belmont.

The mostly suburban, heavily Democratic Fifth Congressional District, including Arlington, stretches from Winthrop to Holliston.

Markey defeated Republican Gabriel E. Gomez in a special election last month to fill the Senate seat that was held by John F. Kerry, now secretary of state.

The primary election has been set for Oct. 15, with the general election Dec. 10.

Mike Stopa, a Holliston resident and nanophysicist at Harvard University, announced July 23 he is running as a Republican nominee in the Fifth District.

This story was published Monday, July 22, 2013, and updated Aug. 5.

Markey beats Gomez in special election for U.S. Senate seat

Clark, Sciortino announce; Garballey said to consider

Edward MarkeyMarkey

Edward Markey of Malden, a veteran Democrat, topped Gabriel Gomez of Cohassett, a Republican newcomer, in a special state election Tuesday, June 25, to fill the vacancy created in Congress after Senator John Kerry's resignation.

State Sen. Katharine Clark, Democrat of Melrose, and Rep. Carl Sciortino, Democrat of Medford, announced Wednesday, June 26, they are seeking Markey's U.S. House seat, two of a number in the potential field.

Markey beat Gomez statewide, 54.8 percent to 44.8 percent. Richard Heos of Woburn of the libertarian Twelve Visions Party received 0.4 percent.

In Arlington, Markey bested Gomez,  74 percent (9,632 votes) to 25 percent (3,253). See unofficial results showing a 43-percent turnout. Read more on >>

Political eyes are tunring to those who may vie for the seat in Congress that Markey has held for 37 years. One who is rumored to consider a run is state Rep. Sean Garballey, who represents Arlington and West Medford.

Clark, Democrat congratulated Markey on his win and announced she will seek his House seat.

"Ed Markey leaves behind a legacy of progressive stewardship in Congress," she said in a news release. "The campaign to fill Ed’s seat in the House officially begins now. I am running to ensure there continues to be a strong, progressive voice in this seat fighting against extremist attacks on women’s health care, for equal pay for equal work, and for expanded economic opportunity for all.

“We have already begun building an aggressive campaign by addressing issues facing the Fifth District, speaking out on women’s rights, gun violence and raising the minimum wage -- and we’re just getting started. I look forward to running a campaign based on the issues that matter most to people of this district. Issues that affect them everyday as they live, work and raise families here in Massachusetts. I am excited to continue to meet with as many people as I can in the Fifth Congressional District over the coming months and to earn their votes."

Clark is serving her second term as a state senator representing Malden, Melrose, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield and Winchester. She was first elected in March 2008 to the state House of Representatives.

Sciortino launched his campaign for Congress before nearly 70 supporters on the steps of the State House.
"This race is not going to be about who is the woman’s candidate or the gay candidate or the law and order candidate," said Sciortino in a news release.
"It’s going to be about who is the progressive Democratic leader who has always been there and always will be there to fight for progressive values."

Sciortino represents the 34th Middlesex District in the House, which includes parts of Medford and Somerville.

The Central Massachusetts AFL-CIO is backing state Senator Karen Spilka in her bid for the House seat. The organization, whose territory includes Spilka’s senate district west of Boston, is one of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO’s 10 regional councils.

But Central Massachusetts — one of two AFL-CIO councils in the Congressional district — is formally recommending that the statewide union endorse Spilka in the Democratic primary.

Spilka is one of at least five Democrats vying to replace Markey. Besides Clark and sciortino, the other declared candidates include Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, of Waltham; and state Sen. William Brownsberger of Belmont.

WBUR reported that Garballey of Arlington has floated his name, as has former state senator and gubernatorial candidate Warren Tolman. YourArlington has asked Garballey to comment.

With 51 percent of the vote, Gabriel Gomez won the Republican special state primary held Tuesday, April 30, to fill the vacancy created in Congress because Senator John Kerry resigned and was appointed secretary of state. For the Democrats, Edward Markey beat Stephen Lynch, 58 percent to 42 percent.

April primary results

Initial unofficial primary results are being reported at

With 21 Arlington precincts reporting, Markey received 6,201 and Lynch 1,901. For the GOP, Gomez, 547; Sullivan, 469; and Winslow, 135. Precinct results >>

Avocado offers its own election recipe

The deadline to register to vote for the special state election was Wednesday, June 5.

For more information about these elections, visit the state election website.

The candidates for US Senate, in brief, according to The Globe:


Gabriel E. Gomez, 47, of Cohasset. he is a former Navy SEAL and private equity investor.

What he’s running on: He’s not a “career politician.” Wants to “reboot” Congress with a lifetime ban on lobbying; term limits and a pay freeze.

Potential weakness: He alienated conservatives by supporting President Obama in 2008 and praising Democratic Governor Deval Patrick in a letter seeking appointment to the Senate.


Edward J. Markey, 66, of Malden, a US congressman and former state legislator.

What he’s running on: Longtime liberal record on issues from gun control to climate change to abortion rights.

Potential weakness: His 36 years in Congress are derided by rivals who seek to portray him as part of the dysfunction in D.C. 

This story was published Wednesday, June 19, 2013, and updated June 26 and 27.

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