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Massachusetts Special Election Holds the US in the Balance

0 comments | 11:36 pm | top |
On Tuesday Bay Staters will decide on the new Massachusetts representative in the U.S. Senate, replacing the late Ted Kennedy in the strongly blue state. Republican candidate Scott Brown has pledged to be the 41st vote against the Health Care bill while Democrats candidate Martha Coakley has stated she will be the 60th vote for the Senate version of the bill. If the Democrats lose Massachusetts it won't just put the health care bill on shaky ground, but will serve as a clear indicator that the common people are unhappy with the current regime. A Republican victory will bode badly for the Democrats as they gear up for the mid-term elections in November this year. Libertarian Joseph Kennedy is running as a distant third, and while he may take some votes away from both of the major candidates, he poses no real threat. Let's look at the two main candidates...

Scott Brown (Republican)

SEIU members showing support for Republican Scott Brown
Scott Brown is the Republican candidate in the race for the Massachusetts seat in the U.S. Senate. While he is far preferable to his opponent Martha Coakley as you will read below, he is not quite an ideal representative. Massachusetts members of the 2.1 million strong SEIU union have been expressing their support for Brown while the head office of the union funded a $665,000 TV attack ad against the Republican.

Torture: The Democrats are at his throat for his assertion that waterboarding is not torture, and that he supports it as an advanced interrogation technique. However waterboarding is clearly a form of torture as Republican Presidential candidate John McCain has asserted.

Pro-life: Brown is a pro-life politician who has initiated and supported several incremental steps forward to improving the rights of pre-born children. While he has consistently voted for abortion to remain legal, he has got behind some strongly pro-life bills and pro-life groups have also got behind him. Brown's abortion voting record is available here.

Martha Coakley (Democrats)
Coakley is the current Attorney General of Massachusetts and has gone from being the obvious choice to underdog in the Massachusetts race due to a number of avoidable mistakes during the campaign as well as things she's done in the past which shine badly on her now. GOP strategist Jordan Gehrke reported in the National Review that Coakley said at a 12 January fundraiser, "If I don't win, 2010 is going to be hell for Democrats ... Every Democrat will have a competitive race..." and also that she said that health care reform is riding on the Massachusetts race and that her loss would be the beginning of a "disaster".

Partial-Birth Abortion: In 2007 she expressed her support for the repealing of the partial birth abortion ban. Partial birth abortion is the barbaric process whereby the abortionist kills the viable fetus when only its head remains inside the mother. When the bill to make partial-birth abortions permissible failed, Coakley stated that this was tragic, also complaining that those in the court hearing had been influenced by the realistic description of what a partial-birth abortion entails.

"The ramifications, long and short term, of this tragic decision are immense. Women have again been relegated to second-class citizens, after decades of efforts to foster equality."

With her strong feminist, pro-abortion stance, Coakley has won the support of pro-abortion groups such as the National Organization for Women (NOW), the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) and Emily's List (which donated $314,000).


As at 7pm Monday night in the States, respected polling company, Five Thirty Eight gives Martha Coakley just a 25 percent chance of prevailing on Tuesday. It appears that rather than rallying at this news, that Coakley's support is steadily dropping off. Here's hoping that Republicans, Independents, disillusioned Democrats and other swing-voters will be out in their droves on Tuesday, voting for a real change in the Obama agenda. Voting in the special election starts at 7am on Tuesday Jan. 19 (today), with polling booths closing at 8pm.

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