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Nerd Spot

A shout out to the nerdy and proud.

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Location: Massachusetts, United States

Lifelong nerd, shameless Constitution-hugger, unreconstructed Democrat and thoroughgoing misanthrope

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Today's Least Shocking News: People Hate Finneran

So today's Least Shocking News that people hate Tom Finneran came in the release of a 7 NEWS/Suffolk University poll which showed that 43% of Massachusetts likely voters believe that former House Speaker Thomas Finneran should go to jail, and 54% belive that he should lose his license to practice law, a peculiarly specific question if you ask me. But then again, you didn't ask.

The best part of the release was this:

"'Voters believe that justice is more responsible than politics for this indictment,' said David Paleologos, Director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. 'It's surprising that while people haven't heard any of the evidence, they still want to throw him in jail and never let him practice law again.'"

I'm not sure to whom this would be surprising. Even my self-involved Gen X friends know who he is and vaguely hate him, even though they can't name their own legislators at any level of government. Given the media coverage of him over the past several years, I would not have been surprised to see the above completely unadulterated, unedited and untampered photo in the paper -- and the Globe at that (I hear they have a photographer with a True Soul camera -- patent pending).* The Herald would have him eating babies, too, or perhaps wiping his backside with Clean Elections petitions.

Poor Mr. Finneran, fallen from heaven like so much lightning. It probably doesn't help that the Finneran series of questions in the poll start off like this:

Former Speaker Tom Finneran has been indicted for allegedly lying under oath and obstructing justice. Some people argue that the charges against Finneran, a prominent Democrat, were politically motivated from the Republican US Attorney. Others say that if Finneran broke the law he should be punished accordingly. Which is closer to your view?

This is like the questions that candidates get from every interest group under the sun. **

Do you support interest group's x bill that will save babies and the rainforest while lowering cholesterol by ending burdensome regulation by Big, Mean Agency that Regulates Interest Group x's industry or do you support the continued unjust, inequitable, and possible heretical regulation of Interest Group x's industry by Big, Mean Agency whose employees we hear like to kick puppies for fun?

When the candidate doesn't answer the survey with 100 similarly-framed questions, there will certainly be some media coverage pointing to his/her arrogance for not answering a simple survey about key issues that the public is burning to know about. But as usual, I digress.

Of course, that wasn't the only interesting thing in the survey. There were questions about health care coverage and affordability which everyone on Beacon Hill is hoping to solve and take credit for in the coming months. These are the health care questions and the results:

Should the Commonwealth of Massachusetts provide health care for every resident?

Yes 67%

No 28%

Undecided 22.6%

Can the Commonwealth of Massachusetts afford to provide health care for every resident?

Yes 34%

No 52%

Undecided 14%

Should people who can afford health care be compelled to pay for it?

Yes 69%

No 20%

Undecided 12%

The press release contains a quote on this point: "'These numbers show the confusion that people feel,' said Paleologos. 'They want it, but they can't pay for it.'"

If anyone can appreciate these poll results, it would be former Speaker Finneran, a man who spearheaded the Coalition Against Taxpayer Funded Political Campaigns, in order to prove a point about the electorate or perhaps about interest groups. When styled "Clean Elections", the people voted for it. (text). When asked"Do you support taxpayer money being used to fund political campaigns for public office in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?" four years later, they rejected it. (text).

There's other stuff about Romney running for President, Kerry Healy v. Charlie Baker, all of the Democrats running for Governor, Hillary Clinton v. Aquaman, etc. but I'm already bored of those stories. You can check them out yourself here.

*Compare with yesterday's nigh hagiographic coverage of US Attorney Michael "Maximum Mike" Sullivan replete with obligatory "I'm an Average Joe just like you, Joe Voter, and I am the incarnation of the American Dream, because my dad was a _________ (insert working/middle class job here)" tidbit. Of course, he couldn't hope to top Barack Obama's son-of-a-goatherd narrative. Who could, though?

**I don't use "interest groups" in a pejorative sense. I'm a member of many interest groups.

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Anonymous Blue Cross of California said...

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system as we are in a major crisis and health insurance is a major aspect to many.

December 28, 2005 10:09 PM  

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