Jmacforjeff’s Weblog

The Inside Scoop on the Massachusetts Senatorial Election

Tough Going

It’s not looking good.

November 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


When I was in the Army, there was a saying that it was better to be on a list and waiting rather than waiting on a list.  The list in question was the annual promotion list — and if your name was on it — then it was just a matter of time before your sequence number came up and you were promoted.  It was far worse to be waiting for the list and hoping that your name would be on it.  The waiting, as Tom Petty once crooned, was the hardest part.

Well in the Jeff Beatty camp, we’re not so much waiting to get on the ballot as we’re there — with 15,813 certified signatures at the Secretary of State’s office. (And there is more where that came from.)  That speaks volumes as to Jeff’s grassroots appeal among Republican and Independent voters. 

That’s a whole lot better than waiting to see if you actually have the signatures to get on the ballot — that would certainly ruin a perfectly good weekend.

Regardless, the waiting comes to an end in about 100 hours.


May 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Strange Case of S. 1671, Entrepreneurial Development Act of 2007

The Entrepreneurial Development Act of 2007 is typical of the pork-barrel spending and special interest pandering that passes for legislation in Congress. Don’t let the name fool you — if it helps small business, it does so only on the margins.  Furthermore, as it lies in wait — it’s 2008 after all — it suggests how useless it is to have a senator with 24 years seniority and be in the majority party. 

Last September, the bill was authorized for a vote to the full Senate by the Small Business Committee headed by Senator Kerry. It focuses on all those issues that are essential to successful small businesses such as the establishment of a 10 member National Small Business Development Center Advisory Board, and authorizes the National Women’s Business Council, the Interagency Committee on Women’s Business Enterprise, and the Native American Small Business Development Program.  (You get the idea?)

The committee, however, was aware that federal regulations hurt.  In 2004, the per employee cost for compliance for a business with less than 20 employees was $7,647.  (A company with 500 or more employees has a more most burden of $5,282.) So the answer would be to reduce the burden, right? 

Unfortunately that’s not the case.  In fact, the solution is to spend more money — up to $5 million a year in regulatory compliance counseling. 

More recently though, John Kerry highlighted the bill in a recent speech on the floor of the Senate.  He decried, “Unfortunately, these bills have been blocked for a full year by some in the Senate…” Last time, I checked, Senator Harry Reid was the Senate Majority Leader.  He’s also a Democrat, so I’m confident in assuming that it’s not the Republicans who are preventing it from coming up for a vote.  

Disregard the virtues (or lack thereof) of this legislation but don’t you think it’s odd that the Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee (who of course, has no experience running a small business) isn’t swinging away to get this legislation passed?  Does 24 years account for anything?  Apparently not.

In fact, if you go to his website, you’ll notice that John Kerry’s support for small business is typified by congratulatory notes written to those who won best small business competitions.  (Oh there is a bit about support for dought struck businesses that was snuck inside a Defense Appropriations bill — whether that proviso would have passed on its own merits is open for speculation.)

In short, there isn’t much to be lost if John Kerry isn’t re-elected as far as small businesses are concerned. Perhaps there is something to be said about voting for a small businessman, such as Jeff Beatty, who actually ran a business, met a payroll, and complied with burden of federal regulation.  He’s be more focused on his fellow small business owners and less on special interests and pork-barrel spending.  

May 21, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If you start to take Vienna — take Vienna

Despite efforts (OK, maybe five minutes) I was trying to get the situation that compelled Napoleon to utter those words in the Title line.  Possibly, it could have been a subordinate who was a bit hesitant to invade the Austrian capital.  But the lesson is fairly obvious — if you’re going to start something, do it until it’s accomplished.   The folks over at Nike, made it more pithier by saying, “Just do It!”

Those aphorisms sprung to mind while reading today’s Boston Globe which carried a story about Jim Ogonowski’s apparent inability to get the required 10,000 signatures to put him on the ballot for the GOP primary in September.  (And this is coming out on the day that Mitt Romney — who is apparently running for Vice President — was to toss a big time fund raiser for Mr. Ogonowski.  Yikes!)

I guess if N.B. were alive today, he’s utter — “If you start taking on John Kerry — get on the ballot!”



May 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

The Weatherman Blues

Years ago, a buddy of mine was running a nightly newscast in a major media market.  His news program was coming in third place rating period after rating period.  Of course, that brought comfort to his counterparts who were producing the other two newscasts.  However, for him — all it brought was an upset stomach. Something had to give.  So what did they do?  They fired their most prominent news personality — the slightly eccentric weathercaster.  I asked, “Hey he was the guy who you promoted like nobody’s business but now you drop him like a hot rock — what gives?  My friend replied, “We wanted the viewers to know that we were serious about changing our newscast and the most visible way of doing that was firing the weather man.”  Ratings began to climb.

I started to think about that story when I noticed that the latest average approval ratings for the United States Congress was at 19% approval and 75% disapproval.  That’s a 56% difference.  (The oft-mentioned low marks for the President are 31% and 65% for a 34% difference.)

With low ratings like that, the voters can act as station managers and begin canning the big names that seem to be working but are actually the reason for the low ratings.  (A certain junior Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts seems to fit the bill.)

Seriously, though — It’s apparent that there is a great deal of frustration with those who are in power.  It’s palpable.  However, I’m not buying into the fact that it’s just the GOP that’s going to suffer in November.  I think all the incumbents are liable for a tumble.  John Kerry has the dubious task of reminding people what he did for the last 24 years (nothing positive springs to mind) rather than say what he’s going to do for us in the next six years.  He certainly cannot make a compelling case as to why he — unlike Jeff Beatty — must be the Senator.  He’s had his 24 years and I’m sure they’ll name a lovely bridge after him when all is said and done.  But he has to learn that he’s part of the problem not part of the the solution.

As someone else said, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.


May 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

That’s a Lot of IOU’s

Senator Kerry takes great pride in the fact  that the leadership (the rank and file is up for grabs) of various unions on his website.  By my cursory count, there are about a score of local unions demonstrating their fealty to the junior senator.

Just remember, those endorsements don’t come for free as one man’s endorsements is another man’s pandering to special interests.

It would be more telling if business organizations (he’s the chair of the small business committee) would endorse him too.  But then again, they know him.



May 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

That Didn’t Take Long

The folks over at the Kerry website finally cleaned it up.  Maybe they’re reading this after all!

May 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where’d the Money Go?


For a guy with a few million bucks to spend on his umpteenth re-election bid, you would expect John Kerry to have a better website.  But then one seldom uses the words “excellence” and “John Kerry” in the same sentence.

For instance, check out his website at

He has this quote where he was happy to hear (what they didn’t have a ceremony where he would actually be photographed?) that the “LGBT” community supports him.  (For those that care, it’s actually the GLBT — which is the way it’s written in the link and we’re talking Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Trans-Gendered).  But the quote just runs on, as such, “They’ve done great work advocating for the rights of the LGBT community, and I’m (sic)”  Save yourself the time from going to the link on the bottom of the page — the sentence isn’t there.  Typical, John Kerry — he starts something and he can’t finish it.

Note the big story in the middle — is John Kerry doing all he can for the folks of Massachusetts? Nah, he’s running for Secretary of State, er, he’s supporting Barrack Obama.  (A whole lot it did for B.O. — he lost to Hillary in the Bay State.)

Further, if you look to the “E.COM” thing on the side?  Does anyone proofread the website?   Again, another Kerryism — if you spend enough money on a problem, you should be able to fix it.  But spending money doesn’t guarantee results

Lastly, in typical fashion, in the news section he “announces” and “calls” but doesn’t do anything that would actually require him to actually roll up his sleeves.

If he treats his web readers with such disdain, you can only imagine what’s in store for the next six years with Senator Kerry.  Yikes





May 12, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Signature Collection Notes

Some of the odd things you learn when collecting signatures.

1.  As previously mentioned, there is a great deal of anti-Kerry sentiment out there.  It may not manifest itself in the polls but the ire that is raised by mentioning “John Kerry” is simply amazing.

2.  There are a lot of folks who will sign regardless of a candidate because they support the idea that if someone wants to run, they should be on the ballot.  There are a lot of folks though who are somewhat stingy with their signature unless they know more about the candidate.

3.  There was one gentleman, a Democrat, who wanted to discuss the relative merits of Senator Kerry.  Alas, I had signatures to gather and didn’t have time to engage in a debate. Nobody I met felt as strongly about JFK as that fellow.

4. What the hell does “All Set” mean?  Every other possible signatory said he was “all set” and kept on walking.

5. Then there are the times that compensate for all the standing, bad weather, and uncooperative citizenry.  At the Southboro town meeting, I was manning my perch when I approached a woman and gave her my pitch.  She immediately decided to sign the document but wanted to know more about Jeff.  I started about how he was shot down over Grenada 25 years ago during Operation Urgent Fury.  The woman stopped writing and said that Jeff had saved her brother.  I asked her, “Huh?”  Her brother was one of the trapped American medical students in Grenada and that she never had a chance to thank anyone for saving her brother.  I immediately called up Jeff and the two of them discussed the events of a quarter of a century ago.  For the record, her brother continued his medical studies at Cornell and is a urologist based in New York.

May 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

When You Take Things for Granted for 24 Years…

So there I was, collecting signatures — you can never, ever have enough — for my favorite candidate.  As part of my pitch, I said that Jeff was running against John Kerry.

It’s simply amazing to see the antipathy that John Kerry arouses in people — and this was from a liberal enclave outside of the Boston metropolitan area. This even includes members of the Democratic party who still believe in the party’s ideals but no longer see JFK as being worthy of being their standard bearer. As to those who are not Democrats, it’s a widespread case of ABK. (Or as we like to say here — Any-Beatty but Kerry.)

We’re used to getting the anti-Kerry spin when we travel in GOP circles — that’s to be expected.  However, in a neutral setting (a transfer station in fact) we were surpised to see the level of resentment aroused by simply mentioning Senator Kerry’s name. 

I suggest to those who think that this is a safe seat — you may want to reconsider your assessment.



April 19, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment