|Cicilline accepts the state Party nomination|
Cathy and I went to the Democratic State Convention Friday night as State Committee members to cast our votes to endorse the Democratic candidates for Congress in this year's election. Happily, though predictably, the Convention unanimously endorsed Rep. Jim Langevin, Rep. David Cicilline and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in their endeavors to be re-elected.
This Convention was pretty much a done deal, which was fine with me because I really like all three members of our Congressional delegation who are up for re-election. In 2010, the Convention had several contested seats - Patrick Lynch versus Frank Caprio for Governor, William Lynch versus David Cicilline for the 1st Congressional District, and Peter Kilmartin versus Joe Fernandez (endorsed by Charlestown Dems, Joe died suddenly just a week later) for Attorney General.
The only drama this year came from the three fringe candidates challenging the incumbents. Of the three, one was an angry, insulting jerk, another seemed to be off his meds and sounded like he was attempting to blackmail the Convention, and the third was not nearly as bad as I was expecting.
|Senator Jack Reed, who is not up for re-election, gave a|
nice speech to the Convention
The first of the three challengers to appear at the Convention was wealthy business guy and somebody in need of anger management, Anthony Gemma. Gemma brought a loud and raucous crew of supporters who cheered his every word. And almost every word Gemma spoke was an attack on the audience. Gemma especially came to Convention to insult the delegates, calling them pawns of the hidden power brokers.
|So did Lt. Gov. Liz Roberts. |
NOTE: I did not take Gemma's picture because he was
such a jerk. Besides, he can afford to pay
to run his picture on TV and in the newspaper
Of course, it had nothing to do with Gemma's jerky personality or his DINO ideology. No, no, no, claimed Gemma, he, not David Cicilline, was the true "progressive." Trust me, he said.
He also claimed that he was the only Democrat capable of winning the seat in November. He threw lots of nasty insults against Cicilline, at least at those times when he wasn't insulting the Convention body.
When it came time for nominations, one delegate, who said she grew up as a friend of Gemma's back in the day, stood to put his name in nomination. When Party Chair Ed Pachecho asked, not once but three times, if any delegate would second the nomination, not one delegate among the 200+ would do so.
That leaves me to wonder how Gemma can claim to be the only electable Democrat for the First Congressional District when he can't organize up a second to his nomination among 200+ Democrats. His supporters yelled out "democracy, democracy" when his nomination failed for lack of a second, but minutes later, they all filed out of the room.
|Todd Giroux - his campaign flyers read "Give me District 68 or you'll never|
see Senator Whitehouse again"
Amid his discussion of the internet, the economy, some other stuff, and how it all somehow fits together, Giroux said that if the Democratic State Convention gave him the House District 68 seat in the General Assembly, he would be willing to drop his challenge to Senator Whitehouse.
Huh? The room was hushed as they tried to take in Giroux's offer. Hmmm, if we give him a House seat, he'll forget about trying to topple Sheldon Whitehouse. Gee, that's a tough one.
Just FYI, House District 68 is in Bristol and the incumbent in that seat is Richard Morrison. I also found out that Giroux is also a general contractor in Bristol except his business is bankrupt and he is facing foreclosure on his house, according to the Providence Journal. Stress like that does a lot of bad things to people.
Giroux did not have any delegate willing to nominate him. As for his demand for District 68, the State Convention not only doesn't have the power to give it to him, but they don't even endorse candidates other than those running for state or federal office.
|Mattson the Carpenter - the face behind all those signe|
My theory about Mattson the Carpenter and his signs is that he spends all of his free time between elections making more "Mattson the Carpenter" signs.
Anyway, I had never heard Mattson speak and was expecting something weird. The weird thing was how not weird Mattson was. He wasn't angry and insulting like Gemma. He wasn't totally off the rails like Giroux. He came off as pleasant, sincere and soft-spoken. But beyond not being crazy or angry, he really didn't have anything going for him - no real platform except he wants to preserve Medicare and boost the economy.
I know he's doing his bit for the economy by buying lots of wood, nails and paint to make more "Mattson the Carpenter" signs.
He did not have any delegate to put his name in nomination. Welcome to the NFL.