Pubdate: Tue, 9 Feb 2010
Source: Eagle-Tribune, The (MA)
Copyright: 2010 The Eagle-Tribune
Author: Steven S. Epstein


To the editor:

Since Jan. 20, letter writers and pundits have written, analyzing why 
Scott Brown, a Republican, won the U.S. Senate seat. Thanks to late 
polling by David Paleologos, I voted my conscience and voted for Joe 
Kennedy, the true peace and prosperity candidate. Nonetheless, I 
offer my thoughts on why a Republican won in this state where 37 
percent of the voters are registered Democrats, 13 percent are 
Republicans and the rest independents. The blame goes to Mike 
Capuano, the congressman from Somerville and a co-sponsor of a 
federal marijuana decriminalization bill, who lost to "Reefer Mad" 
Martha Coakley in the Democratic primary.

Martha must have known of his sponsorship of federal marijuana law 
reform. Martha led the opposition to Question 2 in 2008. Her side 
lost in a landslide. She did the safe and prudent thing by not 
raising the "marijuana question." Michael miscalculated by not 
challenging her about it. Had he won the primary, he could have used 
the same club to dispel perceptions of Scott Brown as a populist by 
pointing out that he opposed Question 2 and filed legislation to gut 
it, though in his election to the state Senate in 2008, almost 8,700 
more people voted for Question 2 than voted for him in his district.

I believe that Mike didn't raise the marijuana question because he 
and his advisers didn't think of it as a wedge issue. Years of public 
silence on the marijuana question deafened him to the voice of the 
voters expressed in the privacy of the voting booth on Question 2. As 
we enter the 2010 election cycle, politicians should keep his mistake in mind.

Steven S. Epstein, Esq.

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