Pubdate: Mon, 8 Feb 2010
Source: Daily News, The (Newburyport, MA)
Copyright: 2010 Eagle Tribune Publishing Company
Author: Steven S. Epstein


To the editor: Since Jan. 20, letter writers and pundits have written
analyzing  why Scott Brown, a Republican, won the Senate seat. Thanks
to late polling by  David Paleologos, I voted my conscience and voted
for Joe Kennedy, the true  peace and prosperity candidate.
Nonetheless, I offer my thoughts on why a Republican won in this state
where 37 percent of the voters are registered Democrats, 13 percent
Republicans and the rest Independents. The blame goes to Mike Capuano,
the congressman from Somerville  and a co-sponsor of a federal
marijuana decriminalization bill, who lost to  "Reefer Mad" Martha
Coakley in the Democratic primary.

Martha must have known of his sponsorship of federal marijuana  law
reform. Martha led the opposition to Question 2 in 2008. Her side lost
in a landslide. She did the safe and prudent thing by not raising the
"marijuana question." Michael miscalculated by not challenging her
about it. Had he won the primary, he could have used the same club to
dispel perceptions of Scott Brown as a populist by pointing out that
he opposed  Question 2 and filed legislation to gut it, though in his
election to the state Senate in 2008, almost 8,700 more people voted
for Question 2 than voted for him in his district.

I believe that Mike didn't raise the marijuana question because  he
and his advisers didn't think of it as a wedge issue. Years of public
silence  on the marijuana question deafened him to the voice of the
voters expressed in the privacy of the voting booth on Question 2. As
we enter the 2010 election cycle, politicians should keep his mistake
in mind.

Steven S. Epstein

- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake