If there’s one thing that’s been made abundantly clear over the course of Tim Rooke’s time on the City Council, it’s this: he really doesn’t care if the positions he takes tick people off. I’ll even venture to guess that sometimes he enjoys it.
So Rooke, a Democrat, presumably, isn’t losing any sleep over criticisms from members of his party for his decision to endorse Republican Scott Brown for Senate. In Friday, Rooke announced his endorsement, calling Brown “ the hope I have been looking for.” He also drew some (rather flattering) comparisons between himself and the senator.
“When [Brown] speaks about the issues he is talking to me. Like me, Sen. Brown is a proven fiscal conservative, fiercely independent, and uses a common-sense approach to government. He believes, very strongly, and I agree with him, that government needs and should be doing more with less.”
Rooke praised Brown for his support of a balanced-budget amendment and his work against insider training and for a bill that would strip members of Congress of their pensions if they’re found guilty of a felony while in office (“I can’t imagine it took so long to convince them that was a good thing,” Rooke said, no doubt expressing the feelings of many exasperated voters).
He also spoke highly of Brown’s response to two Springfield-specific tragedies: the June 2011 tornado, and the shooting death of city police officer Kevin Ambrose. “Let's not forget who was there for us in our time of need and let's not forget who has been voting for what was best for all of us,” Rooke said.
If Rooke does end up in the Democrats’ doghouse, he’s got some company; a number of prominent Ds have endorsed Brown, including former Mayor Charlie Ryan.
And is it just me, or did Mayor Domenic Sarno’s late-in-the-game endorsement of Warren come across as a bit tepid, as if he were taking care not to offend Brown? That’s not surprising; in the weeks following the tornado, the mayor and the senator were seen regularly side by side, walking ruined neighborhoods, and Sarno has praised Brown for his support of the city during that time. Still, in his endorsement of Brown, Sarno criticized him for taking a negative campaign tone, and said of Warren, “It's about her ideals and some of the key issues that are of importance to the middle class. She's consistently been a fighter for the middle class and I believe she will be a good federal partner to the city of Springfield.”
Warren has received enthusiastic endorsements from a number of big Hampden County Democratic players, including Sheriff Mike Ashe and U.S. Rep. Richie Neal.