Wait until 2012
As the Monitor's Ray Duckler made clear in a column earlier this week, getting to know your state lawmakers and their voting records is more important than ever. The Legislature has dozens of controversial bills on its agenda this year, and the gap between anticipated revenue and current spending will likely mean dramatic budget cuts to critical programs.
But in an attempt to inform voters, the State Employees' Association has gone a step too far. The SEA knocked on doors in Concord over the weekend, gathering signatures in a "pink slip" campaign urging Rep. Lynne Blankenbeker to resign. The union has also set up a website called FireLynne.org.
Her crime? Voting with the Republican majority on measures the SEA opposes.
"Is this the kind of person we want to represent us in Concord? No," says the SEA leaflet.
Well, that's hard to figure, actually. Voters in Concord Wards 4, 8, 9 and 10 have now elected Blankenbeker twice. Of course, they also chose four Democrats whose votes routinely cancel hers out. Citywide, Blankenbeker is the lone Republican in a 13-member delegation to the House.
The SEA cites numerous votes by Blankenbeker in building its campaign against her: repealing parts of the state's anti-bullying law, lowering the school dropout age, blocking efforts to increase the minimum wage, supporting the right-to-work bill, cutting the tobacco tax, reducing the business profits tax.
We agree: Most of those were bad calls. But Blankenbeker is voting just as she told her constituents she would. She earned the right - twice - to do so, and her term lasts through November 2012.
The SEA, of course, is just trying to alert city voters that one of their representatives is not like the others. But even in the hyperbolic language of politics, pressuring her to quit just three months into her term makes no sense. Like the Republicans in the State House trying to oust judges and marital masters whose rulings they object to, this campaign is a loser.