Dead Blogging The Cape Wind Gubernatorial Debate

As Bob Keough (late of MassINC and currently of the Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs office) happily remarked afterward, (paraphrase here) who woulda thunk that the first gubernatorial debate would be about Cape Wind?

But it was.

And it was pretty good – an engaging, substantive hour of good green talk. In general, the debate mirrored the gubernatorial race itself: 3 on 1.

Gov. Deval Patrick is all for putting the wind turbine farm in Nantucket Sound, while his opponents – Republican Charlie Baker, Independent Tim Cahill, and Green-Rainbow Jill Stein – are all against it for a variety of reasons.

Those differences were hashed out in detail during the debate. Among the highlights:

The Numbers Racket

The candidates spun a head-spinning array of figures throughout the hour, from electricity rates to Cape Wind building costs to Massachusetts taxpayer subsidies to green-energy employment projections.

Winner: Wikipedia.

Auto Immunity

During the lightning round, the candidates were asked to catalogue the cars they own.

Winner (technically – or technologically): Jill Stein, who drives a Prius hybrid.

Winner (real world division): Charlie Baker, who owns a ’66 Mustang.


Stein went after Patrick three times for taking campaign contributions from Cape Wind-associated businesses and state utilities, creating a pay-for-play climate on Beacon Hill. In her third foray, Stein asked the governor if he was willing to return the special-interest money and restore trust in state government.

Apparently three times was the harm, because Patrick finally defended his honor, asserting that he took no Cape Wind money while “deciding my position” on the project, and insisting that he has always pursued the best interests of Massachusetts in spite of the contributions.

Winner: Probably Stein, but it doesn’t really matter.

Tasty Bites

Patrick: This project is good from an environmental/energy/economical/symbolic point of view.

Cahill: Government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers in the private sector.

Baker: First, do no harm financially

Stein: The move to renewable energy is the task of our generation.

Winner: All four. And anyone who sees the debate.

(The hardworking staff assumes MassINC will eventually post the video on its website.)

UPDATE: And they did.

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5 Responses to Dead Blogging The Cape Wind Gubernatorial Debate

  1. CAvard says:

    *** Winner: Probably Stein, but it doesn’t really matter. ***

    That’s funny… and true.

  2. elibeckerman says:

    Wait ’til she keeps winning the debates… if you remember in 2002 her breakthrough debate performances, combined with a much stronger campaign 8 years later, and the political/economic/social/ecological crises that have been playing out over the last 8 years… you might think twice about downplaying her impact or writing her off.

    Voters are pissed off right now. And the uninspired brand of incumbent Governor Patrick asking for more time to finish what he’s started, versus the exciting grassroots campaign of hope & change 1.0 from 2006, leaves a hell of a lot of room for Stein to maneuver. And with people across the political spectrum looking for genuine leadership and thirsting for genuine political discourse, Stein’s in an interesting position. She’s in a 4-way race (can win with 26% of the vote), she’s the only non-insider, the only one not taking corporate campaign cash, and the only woman on the ballot.

    There are only so many debates she can win (and I heard from a number of people that they think she won this one) before people will stop writing her off, and start writing her checks! She’s got MY vote, MY money, and MY commitment to help her WIN!

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      I do remember that she did well in the Big Love debates back in 2002. I also agree that Stein seems to be a better candidate this time around.

      What my “really doesn’t matter” comment meant was that her attack on Patrick’s fundraising isn’t going to have much of an impact. He just doesn’t play as corrupt.

      That said, this race should be a corker. See you around the campaign trail.

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