Posts Tagged ‘john olver’

Last night the three candidates in my district, the first Massachusetts met in a debate in Gardner.

The crowd start to file in, all the seats would be full at the start

I saw several things I haven’t seen before. It was in a small area at Mt. Wachusett Community College (not even the main auditorium).

John Olver with aide before the debate

About 120 people attended to see a debate that was very different that what we’ve seen on TV nationwide.

Bill Gunn talks to a supporter before the start

First of all, there was no name calling

The Debate ended with a friendly handshake that was actually friendly

Second of all Congressman Olver DIDN’T run away from Obamacare or the Bailouts, or anything else, it was quite a change to see a democrat be an unapologetic democrat

The candidates and the moderator

Thirdly the 3rd party candidate is actually to the left of John Olver (and when the dem is a former professor at UMass Amherst that’s hard to do.)

Gunn and Engel disagree strongly but get along very well

On the issues Olver defended Obamacare, and the bailouts, he also touted projects he had brought home. On style he appeared every one of his 74 years, with some long pauses in between

Olver's mike seemed too high, he is REALLY tall

Bill Gunn went back over and over to the Constitution and returning control to the states, he attacked Obamacare as a monstrosity and stressed the power of the free market to solve issues

Bill Gunn Republican for Ma-1

Michael Engel attacked both Obamacare and the free market saying that government needs to partner with business, he suggested democrats were actually in bed with Big insurance and CEOs.

Michael Engel looking for another New Deal

The best part of the exchange, the candidates had dramatically different positions on almost every issue and expressed and defended them. It was some of the most substantive and informative mixed events I’ve seen and was a real service to the district. There was a really clear choice for the voters.

The worst part was the size of the venue, the shortness of the debate (only 1 hour) and that it was not broadcast live so many of the voters in the district likely would not see it. (I’ll fix that today)

On style Engel’s answers were the crispest, Gunn was close behind and Congressman Olver tended to ramble a little, on Substance, take your pick, agree or disagree all gave answers with substance.

This was a solid event, the crowd was well-behaved, the candidates stong in their beliefs and the questions relevant. The district would be well served to see this type of event every other day all over the area.

Gone is the very cute I’ve been everywhere man, on MSNBC we see a more conventional commercial touting service.

Oh and he is upping his signs I saw three on the way to taking my son to school. I’m sure he would have been happier if one was on a lawn instead of in a wooded area. The 2/3 of the Bill Gunn signs I saw on the same trip were in front of houses or businesses and not hidden.

BTW Bill will be at the Leominster public Library for a town hall. if you are in ma-1 you need to be there.

Ran into DaHospitality guy yesterday. Haven’t seen much of him as he’s been busy with running the old Dynasty Sable Face to Face baseball league (now in its 23rd year).

He was interested in my wandering Olver story and out of curiosity starting driving around town to check out signs. He said that in West Fitchburg (his stomping ground) you could see quite a few Olver signs. I haven’t been to west Fitchburg in a couple of weeks but I’ll take his word for it.

He then told me after driving the main drags once he hit side roads and left west Fitchburg the Bill Gunn signs: “Totally blew Olver away” (his pun not mine), but there was a more important indicator.

He could not get over how many “For Sale” signs there were everywhere. Beyond the normal buying and selling it seems that more people without jobs are preparing to flee to other parts less expensive parts of the country (Massachusetts will likely lose another district for 2012) or state, or just need to raise funds to survive. As he put it Gunn has much more signage that Olver but “For Sale” dwarfs them both.

It is that bad economy more than any number of Bill Gunn signs that spell trouble for John Olver and every other democrat in this state.

First there was the Bill Gunn signs everywhere

Then there was the Olver sign at the closed business on John Fitch Highway that was gone in 48 hours.

48 Hours later it moved to Burger King and was gone the same day.

The Olver sign disappears from Burger King

But at last 48 Hours later it has apparently found a permanent home at Jiffy Lube on 541 John Fitch Highway

I talked to the guys at Jiffy Lube. They said a lady came by and asked permission to put the sign up and they agreed. So the 3rd time is the charm and in a city where Bill Gunn signs abound the John Olver’s sign finally has a home.


Of course if it changes I’ll let you know.