Friday, September 10, 2010

Roundup: Neal trouncing challengers in money race; Herr, Lamb trade charges

Continuing their look at the finances of candidates for Congress in Central Massachusetts, the Telegram reported Wednesday that Rep. Richard Neal (D-Springfield) had nearly $3 million in his bank account at the end of the most recent filing period, far outpacing the two Republicans vying for the nomination to oppose him in November.

According to Federal Election Commision reports, Jay Fleitman (R-Northampton) had a little over $54,000 remaining, putting the physician at a 48-to-1 disadvantage to Neal. Tom Wesley (R-Hopedale) had even less money to spend, reporting under $27,000 in available cash. The sum is more than 111 times less than Neal has banked.

Both candidates have heavily self-financed, with Fleitman loaning his campaign over $73,000 and Wesley lending around $33,000 to his effort.

One of the best ways to cope with a lack of funds is through free media, and both Fleitman and Wesley have taken advantage of the opportunities over the last few days. On Tuesday, the two appeared on Channel 22 in Springfield for a televised debate.

Wesley appeared on WHYN-AM Radio in Springfield to talk about his campaign.

Fleitman also did a radio gig, speaking with Bax and O'Brien on WAQY-FM.

The Springfield Republican previewed the race between Fleitman and Wesley, anointing Fleitman as the "higher profile" candidate.

Neal visited manufacturing facilities in Webster and Spencer, talking to employees and entrepreneurs about jobs and international competition.

Third Congressional District
The big news in the Third District was also about campaign finance, but instead of discussing how much was raised, two of the GOP candidates for the nomination were sniping back and forth about House ethics and FEC rules violations. From the MetroWest Daily News:
With less than a week before the primary, two Republicans in the 3rd Congressional District race exchanged broadsides yesterday, accusing each other with not following election rules.

The dispute between Brian Herr of Hopkinton and Marty Lamb of Holliston stems from Herr's failure to meet a May deadline for turning in a financial disclosure form listing personal income, assets and liabilities. The snag was first publicized by the Daily News, not Lamb's campaign.
The dispute has devolved into a nice bit of schoolyard taunting:
"I am very disappointed that Mr. Herr would blatantly attempt to mislead voters, but it seems to be a pattern with him," Lamb spokesman Shane Hayes said in the statement.

Herr said his campaign would not have mentioned the filings had Lamb not repeatedly raised the tardy financial disclosure form.

"The issue here is people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks," he said.
The Telegram and Worcester Magazine have more. posted both Herr's and Lamb's press releases on Wednesday.

One candidate who hopes the voters send both candidates to detention is Michael Stopa (R-Holliston). Stopa has been making the rounds on local radio, touting his platform yesterday on WCRN-AM's Peter Blute Show and speaking this morning with WTAG's Jim Polito.

Fifth Congressional District
The Lowell Sun rounds up the voting records of the four Republican candidates for the seat currently held by Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell). While earlier coverage had focused on Jon Golnik (R-Carlisle) and his eight-and-a-half year refusal to even register to vote, the Sun's piece points out that most of the other candidates also have their gaps:
...Westford's Tom Weaver was the only one of the four Republican candidates to vote in the October 2007 special election that sent Tsongas to Congress to replace former U.S. Rep. Marty Meehan, who resigned to become chancellor of UMass Lowell.

"I think your public history matters, and that's comprised of voting record, community service and involvement and where you've worked," Weaver said. "People have to put whatever weight they feel is important on that, but I've been saying, tongue-in-cheek, that I'm the only candidate who has been running against Niki Tsongas since 2007."

Golnik, Sam Meas of Haverhill and Robert Shapiro of Andover all failed to vote in that special election that gave Tsongas her first electoral victory by just 6 percentage points over Republican Jim Ogonowski of Dracut.
Tsongas is scheduled to be a guest on Channel 5's "On the Record" Sunday morning. Portions of the interview have been made available online
First Congressional District
Rep. John Olver (D-Amherst) touted the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act in a visit to North Adams, saying the economy needs more stimulus spending in the near future to continue recovery.
A post on the liberal site touts Michael Engel (U-Southampton) as a "True Activist Progressive Leftist" and says he "is a true grassroots reformer, a democratic socialist in the mold of Bernie Sanders."

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