Friday, January 9, 2009

Was Evangelidis robbed, or is he a sore Lew-ser?

Despite my generous support of State Rep. Lew Evangelidis, he failed earlier this week in his effort to become minority leader. After losing by a 9-7 vote, he released the following statement to
"The most disappointing aspect of today's caucus was the way the process was conducted attempting to shut down all debate," the Holden Republican said. "Our caucus always laments how the majority party abuses its power and authority to serve their own particular needs, not the voters of Massachusetts. Unfortunately, that was the tact that was taken by the leader of our caucus. There was a refusal to allow the clerk of the court to come down and rule on a procedural matter of whether or not we had to adhere to the existing house rules. There was a refusal to have this election conducted by secret ballot and our current leader offered no plan when given the opportunity."
A couple of things…first, I challenge you to understand what Evangelidis is talking about without going back and re-reading it once or twice. You can’t do it. It’s a bunch of procedural gobbledygook. For someone who wants to be the public face of the Republican Party in Massachusetts, it’s an awful statement. If he keeps talking like that, no one will listen.

Second, it’s not a “tact that was taken” it’s a “tack that was taken,” as in, a course of action or conduct. I realize Evangelidis was running for Minority Leader and not spelling bee champion…but again, if you want to be the public face of the Republican Party, you should know what you’re saying.

And third, complaining about not having a secret ballot may have its merits in many situations, but not when you lose by one vote. The whole idea of having a secret ballot in a caucus like this is so that the members don’t have to fear retribution if they vote against the eventual winner. But in this case, a change of one vote would have deadlocked the caucus at 8-8, so what would someone who might change a vote have to lose? If one of the nine who voted for Brad Jones was a secret Evangelidis supporter, casting a vote for Lew would have actually changed the outcome. In this case, there was no reason to vote secretly because there would be no repercussions against a member for their vote. Complaining about this just looks like sour grapes.

Given Evangelidis’s public response to the vote, I wonder if reelecting Minority Leader Jones wasn’t the best thing for Republicans after all.

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