While the national battle for Congress is rightly dominating the headlines, there are important local, but far less known, races that matter as well. The struggle between the Democrat Paul DePalo and the extremist Trump-Republican Jen Caissie for the local Governor’s Council seat is just such a race.
The choice is pretty stark: DePalo is interested in making sure judges respect working people’s rights and understand our communities, while Caissie is a hard-right extremist from the Trump wing of the GOP. Anyone who values such basic American ideals such as fairness and democracy, core tenets of our nation that are under assault possibly more now than at any point in any living person’s memory, should vote against Caissie.
Reason to vote DePalo
DePalo would be superb at the job that a Governor’s Councilor should do. Don’t be ashamed if you don’t know what that is; most people don’t. The council has a few roles, but the most important of which is to approve, or not, the judicial nominations put forward by the governor. As the hearings on, and subsequent confirmation to the Supreme Court of, Brett Kavenaugh have vividly reminded us, judges matter. Which judge is confirmed, and who is doing the confirming, matters deeply.
Some background on Paul DePalo
DePalo, born in Shrewsbury and now a Worcester resident, is formerly a teacher at Shrewsbury High School. He gave up teaching to practice law after seeing what happened to a student who made mistakes and found himself part of the justice system. I know DePalo because he volunteered his services at Worcester’s legal aid agency, where I used to work. Taking on several cases there, he fought for individual kids’ rights to a decent education. One of the top volunteer lawyers at Community Legal Aid, he was added to the Volunteer Lawyers Service honor roll. (By the way, CLA does an important service by making sure everyone has legal representation – you can donate to them at this link.)
He is running to make sure that only judges who understand our communities, what happens to young people in “the system,” and how the law can affect working people’s lives, are appointed. You can read more at his campaign website.
Urgently need to remove Jen Caissie from office
Jen Caissie is not a Massachusetts moderate Republican, as people might assume. Instead, she’s a Trump lowing, tea party, fringe-right-wing extremist. Her goal in being on the council is to make sure as many Brett Kavanaughs as possible get into local judicial positions. She won her seat as part of the 2010 Tea Party wave, making a name for herself at Tea Party rallies.
Caissie supports Trump – even when he “grabs ’em by the p**sy”
Remember when the civilized sections of the American people were outraged by Trump stating that he could sexually assault women, or “grab ‘em by the p**sy”? Caissie wasn’t outraged. Instead, she defended Trump, saying, “We’re going to get into personal locker-room talk? Give me a break. I think the American people deserve better than that. At the end of the day, I think it’s an indictment on the media. You can quote me on that.”
Caissie wanted to weep – for Brett Kavenaugh
I really want to see more women in office – but not women who think rape and sexual assault are okay, and who side with the alleged perpetrators. Above, I mentioned now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh. While most people in Massachusetts were feeling sympathy for Dr. Blasey-Ford, who tearfully told a Senate sub-committee that Kavanugh had raped her, Caissie spent her time crying for Kavanaugh. I’m not exaggerating; Caissie called into WAAF, saying, “I almost wanted to weep, uh, for Justice Kavanaugh,” before going on to state that Blasey-Ford had “mental health issues and a need for attention.”
Caissie sides with gun nuts over kids
If you watch videos of Governor’s Council meetings where judges are interviewed, you’ll see that Caissie
routinely asks the question, “Where do you stand on the Second Amendment?” This is her signature issue, where she stands on it is far outside of the mainstream. She wants to get rid of bipartisan Red Flag law, which would allow the police to confiscate someone’s guns if they were a danger to themselves or others. Gov. Charlie Baker – a member of her own party – signed the legislation into law, saying, “Even in a state like ours, which has made tremendous progress on this issue,
when there’s more to do, we do it.”
Indeed, Caissie is such an extremist in her anything-goes gun law views, she supported the Fox News host Laura Ingraham – when Ingraham was suspended for harassing a teenager who survived the Parkland massacre.
Caissie part of GOP faction looking to oust moderates, bring in more Trump supporters
Speaking of Charlie Baker: I’m a Democrat, and voted early for Jay Gonzalez, but I do understand that there are many people who vote for him, considering him to be a Massachusetts moderate Republican. If you’re one of these people, it is especially important for you to vote against Caissie, because she is from the other faction of the state GOP, the faction that is actively trying to oust people like Baker from the leadership of the party. If you look into OCPF records, you’ll find that Caissie gave thousands of dollars to the now completely discredited former leader of that faction, Michael Gaffney, about whom you can read more on this blog.
If you value kids’ lives over guns, oppose Trump and the Tea Party, think sexual assault is a fundamental evil, then the clear choice is Paul DePalo for Governor’s Council.