Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Yesterday's elections: a mixed bag

Is it a coincidence that political newbie and conservative Leah Cole won her special election in Peabody on the same day Massachusetts Democrats pitched a plan to raise $500 million in new revenues, including a 3-cent increase in the gas tax?

We think not.

Yesterday, we posed an open question whether Massachusetts residents had a “tipping point” where they would vote based on their wallet rather than on their party affiliation or any other competing motivation.

North Shore residents answered up by electing a fiscally conservative Republican to replace Democrat Joyce Spiliotis (who sadly passed away last year.) We think her win, while well-deserved and hard-earned, also represents a message to Beacon Hill that raising taxes yet again is not going to over well.

(Quick side note: Massachusetts voters seem to have an easier time voting for the fiscal conservatives in special elections. Think Lakeville's Keiko Orrall in 2011 and Wrentham's Scott Brown in both 2004 and 2010. Democrats have used this as a way to leverage super-support among their ranks in the following election.)

However, yesterday's election proved that tipping points are not universal throughout the state.

In Reading, residents voted overwhelmingly for a $15 million library renovation project, estimated to cost the average taxpayer in Reading $140 a year for ten years. Go figure.

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