Use this search box to find articles that have run in our newspapers over the last several years.

The amazing disappearing Martha and other post-election musings

Date: 11/7/2014

I’m writing his column before I go on vacation and you’re reading this column as I’m coming back. Naturally I’d like to write about the election but because I’m neither a mind reader nor capable of time travel, I can’t discuss the results.

I can discuss how various races were run though.

For someone in the press there have been some very frustrating elements during this campaign season and for me that has been the lack of availability of Martha Coakley.   

Don Berwick sat down with me during the Democratic primary. So did Steve Grossman. Charlie Baker spent nearly 45 minutes with me discussing issues. Evan Falchuk spoke with me. What did I get from Coakley: One answer to one question.

I covered her appearance at American International College. I was the only reporter there. The conventional wisdom is that a candidate would take advantage of that situation and speak with the reporter – not Martha, though.

Her public relations person, who is very competent, got her to stop and talk with me and I was allowed one question. It was clear that Coakley had no interest in speaking with me.

Her access to the press seemed to me to be just a little better than her disastrous run against Scott Brown. One Democratic Party official had told me she had learned her lesson. Really?

Now if she was elected, perhaps she will be a good governor. I think, though, any good governor should be willing to speak with the press. “The press” includes more than just the Boston media and television.

We’ve been lucky for the past eight years that Deval Patrick and Tim Murray actually made themselves available to the media in Western Massachusetts. Like them or not, they were out here and willing to answer off the topic questions.

It will be interesting to see whether or not the winner of this contest will maintain a governor’s office in Springfield and if they are out here as frequently as their predecessor.

On the casino question, I’ve written a number of columns that discussed this issue that will be decided by Question 3 on the ballot. I’ve noted that it is a difficult issue based on the nature of the economy – can three casinos in Massachusetts be sustained? – and what impact a casino will make on the businesses around it.

I don’t think there is a moral issue here. We’ve had a very successful state lottery program complete with Keno parlors for years. If people truly thought gambling was wrong, then there should have been an effort years ago to keep state-sanctioned gaming out of the Bay State.   

No one is holding a gun to the head of anyone to visit a casino. A referendum determined whether or not a community would host a casino. Considering all of this I was a little cheesed that someone who was in a community completely unaffected by a casino could determine the issue for the residents of the three communities who had already voted on it.

That being said, I’m still doubtful about the promise about the casino that has been ballyhooed will turn out to be true. I hope it will, though.

I also hope the bottle bill expansion has been approved. The notion that people would recycle water bottles without the incentive of a returned deposit has already been disproven. They could recycle the bottles now, but based on the numbers that are thrown away as litter, there are a large number of people who simply don’t care.

The fact is the supermarkets and liquor stores see this as an opportunity to eliminate an element of overhead. I can’t blame them, but stating people will recycle these bottles is an over-statement.

I will make one prediction though: my mailbox will no longer be filled with over-sized postcards.

Agree? Disagree? Drop me a line at or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.