LoPresti vs. Travaglini
AT first glance, the two candidates for the state senate Democratic primary, incumbent Sen. Michael LoPresti '70 and Boston City Councillor Robert Travaglini, appear to be identical.
At a candidate's forum in July, the two were asked their stance on major issues--and their responses were virtually the same.
But a closer look at the two candidates reveals that LoPresti deserves to win re-election. His 15 years of experience and top Senate leadership not only make him a known quantity, but one of the most dedicated and effective state public servants.
LoPresti's biggest achievement as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has been to implement a much-needed reform of the state's judicial system.
While some of LoPresti's opponents have criticized him for not being liberal enough, his record and the endorsements he has received in this race have proven otherwise.
LoPresti, a supporter of abortion rights since the early 1970s, has also been endorsed by the Boston National Organization for Women "for continued leadership on...feminist concerns."
He has the approval of the Greater Boston Lesbian and Gay Alliance--even though a lesbian was a third candidate in this race--for his consistent and early support of the Lesbian and Gay Rights bill. The bill, which seeks to prevent discrimination based on sexual preference and has been blocked by Senate President William Bulger, has proven to be a high priority of residents of this district.
LoPresti has been attacked for inaccessibility to constituents and a possible conflict of interest between his legislative duties and his private law practice. But these concerns have not lessened his legislative achievements. While Travaglini has voiced liberal positions in this race, LoPresti has the proven legislative track record to back up his platform. If it ain't broke, why fix it?
Howe vs. Vellucci
NOBODY will say who decided to merge the districts of Democratic State Representatives Marie E. Howe and Peter A. Vellucci this January, but whoever did missed his vocation as a mud wrestling promoter.
The two are natural enemies, and the redistricting put them in a struggle for their political lives as well as the 29th Middlesex distric seat. Although the odds favor Vellucci slightly, even the experts describe this race as too close to call.
While we find Vellucci the better of the two candidates, we support neither campaign's negative personal campaigning, which has often edged out questions of political positions.
Ironically, in a year when liberalism looks as attractive as campaigning in Idaho to most politicians, both candidates are chasing the liberal vote despite their traditionalist roots.
Both candidates have their roots in the old school of local Democrats. Howe is a fiery old-time Somerville pol with 23 years of experience and a host of allies. Vellucci has spent six years in office and a lifetime in local politics as the son of Cambridge Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci.
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