Sunday, December 13, 2009

Was the Fix in on Mike Capuano’s Senate Bid?

Rumor is that this Senate campaign may be Mike Capuano’s last hurrah. The story we heard is that Massachusetts is expected to lose a Congressional seat in the 2010 census, and the seat to be squeezed out in 2012 is Mike Capuano’s district which covers Somerville, Cambridge, Chelsea, and much of Boston.

For example, Cambridge and Somerville might go to Congressman Ed Markey. Brighton, Alston, Jamaica Plain, the South End, and Back Bay might go to Congressman Barney Frank. And the rest of Boston and Chelsea might go to Congressman Stephen Lynch. North Shore Congressman John Tierney and South Shore Congressman Bill Delahunt might figure into this rejiggering as well, which will be done by the state legislature.

All of these Congressmen endorsed Mike Capuano in his Senate run, except Bill Delahunt who didn't endorse anyone. Mike also got endorsements from Massachusetts Congressmen John Olver, Jim McGovern, and Richard Neal.

We heard the deal was that all these Congressman would support Mike for Senate, which if he won would save them the awkwardness of squeezing him out of his district. And save one of them the additional awkwardness of having Somerville with a sitting Congressman added to his district.

But did they keep the deal? Based on the election results showing Mike Capuano winning in Amherst and some surrounding towns, there is evidence that John Olver kept the deal out in Western Massachusetts. But it appears that Mike Capuano got no help in Fall River or New Bedford from Barney Frank, and no help from Ed Markey in the northwestern suburbs of Boston, and we suspect no help from Stephen Lynch in Southie and the other Irish enclaves he represents.

Perhaps they had the best intentions of campaigning vigorously for Mike Capuano, but thought better when they realized they would be asking voters in their districts to vote for Mike, not a good habit to get them into if Mike were later thrown into their district in 2012.

Now that Mike Capuano has lost the Senate primary, he can serve out his current House term, and run for reelection in 2010. A lot could happen in the apportionment and redistricting process between now and 2012, particularly if Mike Capuano doesn’t feel his fellow Congressmen kept up their end of the deal.

On a related note: We tagged Steve Pagliuca as the Joseph P. Kennedy (father of JFK, Robert, and Teddy) candidate in the Senate primary back in October. Joseph P. Kennedy was a successful businessman who never held elected office, but did serve as Chairman of the SEC and Ambassador to Great Britain. We wonder, has Steve been wrangling for an chairmanship or ambassadorship all along?

No comments: