Tuesday, March 06, 2012 • 10:46 AM Comments (2)

Shein & Chartok

posted by Maureen Turner

If you’re still buzzing with political excitement after casting your primary vote today—you did vote today?—check out this excellent interview by WAMC’s Alan Chartock with Bill Shein, one of the three Democrats vying to be the party’s nominee for the newly reconfigured 1st Congressional district this fall.

He’ll face U.S. Rep. Richie Neal and former state senator Andrea Nuciforo in the September primary.

Shein is running as a progressive—a tag Nuciforo also claims for himself—and boy, does he make an awfully strong case, as he covers everything from Neal’s heavy financial reliance on lobbyists and other corporate interests, to the need for a single-payer healthcare system, to voter suppression efforts that aim to keep poor people and people of color from the polls.

Asked by Chartok why he’s running, the articulate Shein says, “It is clear, I think, to most people that our democracy, our economy and our natural environment are all in crisis. And the current way of addressing these crises is not working. The old way does not work.”

One especially interesting exchange: Chartok’s pushing Shein on why he’s running as a Democrat. “You seem to think they’ve sold out,” says Chartok, pressing Shein to explain why he’s not running from a third party instead.

The two-part interview ran today and yesterday on WAMC’s “Congressional Corner” segment.

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Lets see how long this posts stays. Fair and Balanced. You should read Al Chartock's column in the Berkshire Eagle, the same paper Shein writes for:

Democrats aim for seat in Congress

Posted February 26, 2012 by alanchartock
Categories: Uncategorized

The Democratic First Congressional District primary race is heating up. It’s a “no brainer.” Richie Neal, the popular, brilliant and powerful Congressman, will win.

Neal is an extraordinary man by any standards. There is a very good possibility that if the Democrats take back the House of Representatives in this presidential election year, Neal will become the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, one of the most powerful in the Congress.

So, when it comes time to bring home the bacon (or pork) for the district, Richie, as everyone calls him, will be in a great position. If you think he will ignore this part of the district, think again. Neal is a very bright politician. He knows that he has to earn the respect of his new constituents, just as he has done with the easterners in his district. He will come around to the degree that people will say, “Here comes Richie again.”

I can tell you this about the man: He is a natural teacher. He can take complex subjects and make them accessible to all of us. In the likely event that Barack Obama wins re-election, Neal will be the one who revises our outrageous tax code into a fairer, simpler system that people will believe in and that will make those who earn the most pony up. He has received the glowing endorsement of retiring Congressman John W. Olver, who some consider the most liberal member of Congress. That should certainly put to rest the undercurrent of criticism that Neal isn’t progressive enough.

Speaking of Olver, we expect he’s fit to be tied with Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., who did his best to shove Olver aside. Just try to put yourself in Olver’s place. How would you feel? This gets to character. Clearly, the popular Olver has major problems with Nuciforo and has made it quite plain that Neal has it head and shoulders over his opponent.

Hey, I know Nuciforo and have always liked him, but his insistence on staying in this race defies logic. For some strange reason, Nuciforo really believes he can win. His reasoning goes like this: while there are fewer residents in Berkshire County than in the Springfield area, the Berkshire people vote at a higher rate than the Springfield group. He assumes, of course, that he’ll get all the Berkshire votes. Of course that’s ludicrous, especially with Olver’s backing of Neal.

Those of us who vote in Berkshire County don’t vote on the basis of where someone lives. We are not clans. The rumblings I’ve heard among politically active folks indicate that they are going to support Neal. I saw the always perceptive Kate Maguire invite Neal to address the folks at the Colonial Theatre one night before a performance of “A Christmas Carol.” Neal got quite an ovation, and the Colonial is in Pittsfield, not Springfield, if you follow my drift.

As if Nuciforo didn’t have enough trouble, a progressive-type candidate named Bill Shein decided to enter the race. While Shein is not well known, I am pretty sure that whatever votes he does get will come out of Nuciforo’s Berkshire County pot. I doubt Nuciforo is very happy about that. Shein has nothing to lose. Maybe he will build his name recognition for a future run for something. One has to wonder whether Nuciforo hasn’t asked Shein to step out of the race. The little I know about Shein tells me he won’t.

I end as I started. It’s a no brainer. Richie Neal will win big, and frankly, he deserves to. He’s earned his seat in Congress, and he is our best bet.

Originally published in the Berkshire Eagle, 2/25/12

Posted by DDay on 3.7.12 at 15:16

DDay, couldn't you have just linked to the article?

Posted by Bill Dusty on 3.9.12 at 14:25
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