Friday, January 6, 2012

Ready for Some Libertarian Mischief in MA-4

Son of Joe4Oil has just announced he is running for the Massachusetts 4th Congressional Seat being vacated by Barney Frank.

Officially he is Joseph P. Kennedy III but you will be excused if you confuse him with his father Joseph P. Kennedy II who has for years been running the Citizen's Energy program that provides heating oil to poor people with the slogan "No one should be left out in the cold."

You may not be excused if you confuse him with Joseph L. Kennedy (no relation), the Libertarian Party candidate who ran in the 2010 special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy, who was Joseph P. Kennedy III's great uncle. Confused yet?

That raises the intriguing possibility that Joseph L. Kennedy might run for the 4th Congressional District seat too. Joseph L. Kennedy would simply need to move from Dedham to neighboring Needham and he'd be in the district. Then there would be two Joe Kennedys on the ballot.

Republican Sean Bielat lost to Barney Frank in 2010 by 24,510 votes out of 227,140 cast, but that was before redistricting redrew the lines. In the towns of the newly drawn district, Republican Scott Brown won that 2010 U.S. Senate race over Democrat Martha Coakley by 26,314 votes. Add a little voter confusion to the mix, and we might see a 50,000 vote Republican victory in the 4th.

I am not suggesting a dirty trick is in the works here. But trading on a famous name does go against libertarian principles. So if you happen to share the name if not the fame, would it really be wrong to throw your name in the hat too? If memory serves, Joseph L. Kennedy was a pretty good political debater; he could come in from the cold and win one for the libertarians.

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