Thursday, October 14, 2010

Who Is Brad Marston....

and why did he tape a flyer on our recently painted front door yesterday, informing us that Marty Walz has refused to debate him?  I read the flyer yesterday and found it extremely odd, knowing what I do about Walz. It got me thinking — often a risky activity, since I indulge in it so seldom.

I knew Marston was a Tea Party candidate. And now I've discovered he has never held public office or been active — apparently — for a civic organization beyond helping out with other Republican campaigns and helping out with Tea Party events. I just looked up his bio on his web site. He's a businessman and sometime actor, who "avidly" likes to cycle, play tennis, and ski. He's coached youth soccer and was a volunteer umpire in Little League. He lives in Beacon Hill.

Oh, I see, a jock — but not exactly a team player. I think we should strongly consider some of these credentials. A Little League umpire might be just what our House of Representatives needs. And it sounds like he has spent a considerable amount of his life waiting in lift lines and chasing tennis balls. And he can act. Might as well elect him, actually. I'm not sure those aren't transferrable political skills.

Honestly, I think it's a magnificent thing whenever any Concerned Citizen decides to throw his hat into the political ring and try to help fix the mess. And everybody has to start somewhere. But first things first. Don't proceed by making false accusations to attack the popular incumbent.

Instead, how about being active in a city or neighborhood organization? This might demonstrate that you care about your constituents. It might give us a sense that you actually care enough about local issues to work on them at a grassroots level — and can work successfully with people who don't share your political views.  It might (should) demonstrate to us that you can get something done, with patience, diplomacy, strategy — the whole host of skills that working in government at any level requires. It's how people get started in politics.

Right now, we have no idea about any of that as it relates to you, Mr. Marston.

Now, Marston's bio says he's a member of the Beacon Hill Civic Association and the Esplanade Association. But it doesn't describe what's he's helped them accomplish as a member. He doesn't have a leadership position at either. He holds no position at the Esplanade Association. He holds no position at the BHCA — and they have 35 elected directors. who chair committees. His website details his sporting activities exhaustively but gives scant attention to his civic accomplishments; it's possible he just pays membership dues, which entitles him to a credential. If he is, in fact, an active volunteer, I hope he'll describe his contributions. But so far, it's looking like this: A BHCA family membership is $50, membership in the Esplanade Association is $45.

Marty Walz has had a long career in public services, beginning in the trenches, in her neighborhood. And for three terms, she's consistently done an excellent job of communicating her ideas and discussing the issues she's been involved with during her many years as our state rep. She's smart, wise, and eloquent. She's always looking out for her constituents.

So it was obvious to me that Marston's little flyer couldn't be true. I took it down and threw it out.

This was just reported by Wicked Local Cambridge

Neighborhood group: GOP state rep candidate Marston lied about debates
By David L. Harris
A Republican candidate for state representative who says his Democratic opponent is blocking debates is taking heat from Boston neighborhood groups for not telling the truth.
The Brad Marston campaign issued a press release Tuesday saying that Marty Walz, the Democratic incumbent in the race, is refusing to participate in debates, and one group in particular, the Back Bay Association, expressed interest “until they found out who [the] opponent was.”
Meg Mainzer-Cohen, the president of the business-focused Back Bay Association, said the statement isn’t true.
“That is an out-and-out lie,” she said.
“It’s ridiculous that he would involve us in this,” said Mainzer-Cohen, who added her organization was first approached by Marston to “join the campaign” a year ago and then was approached again in recent weeks to ask to sponsor a debate. “We’re a nonprofit. We don’t get involved in debates.”
Marston also said in the release that the “heads of both the Beacon Hill and West End Civic Associations have stated they want to sponsor debates. Yet they still aren’t happening.”
Suzanne Bresser, the head of the Beacon Hill Civic Association, said the group is discussing hosting a debate between the candidates but hasn’t yet set a date.
“But we wish to assure you that neither candidate has turned us down or in any way indicated an unwillingness to participate,” said Bresser in an e-mail to both campaigns.
In his press release, Marston said Walz had been uncooperative and was deliberately barring debates.
“The Beacon Hill Civic Association says she hasn’t returned their calls regarding debates and the West End Civic Association told me Representative [sic] Walz said she wasn’t interested,” the statement reads.
Meanwhile, Walz said she would participate in any debate that’s scheduled before the Nov. 2 election.
“I’m completely open to debating my opponent,” said Walz. “I’m happy to educate the voters on my views and what my priorities are.”
A representative from the West End Civic Association was not immediately available for comment.
I hope you'll have your people come around and post a correction. Actually, if you could stick it in the mail slot this time, your neighbors would appreciate it. 

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