Convention Notebook

Last night I posted the results of the delegate voting at yesterday’s Democratic State Convention and Friday I wrote about that night’s speeches by Elizabeth Warren and Deval Patrick. Tonight I’ll wrap up my convention reports with short summaries of the speeches given by the various candidates:

Deb Goldberg (Treasurer) stressed family, saying “we make community stronger when we treat each other as family rather than as strangers.”

Barry Finegold (Treasurer) had an introductory video with some familiar faces including Eileen Donoghue and Marie Sweeney. Two of his big lines were “I’ll be a treasurer you can trust.” and “I won’t back down from a fight.”

Tom Conroy (Treasurer) highlighted his college-aged triplet daughters in his video, saying if he could manage family finances with three infants arriving all at once, he could manage the state treasury.

Maura Healey (Attorney General) had what I thought was the best video of the day (see it at the end of this post). She was introduced by former US Senator Mo Cowan. Too memorable lines from Healey’s speech were “Progress is within our reach but we have to fight for it” and “if we want to get serious about income inequality, gambling is not the solution.”

Warren Tolman (Attorney General) had a light-hearted video that poked fun at himself and was a nice break from the seriousness of all the other. In his speech, Tolman emphasized his promised to use existing regulations to require all guns to have “fingerprint trigger locks.”

Leland Cheung (Lt Governor) stressed his status as a first generation American (his father came from China; his mother from Canada) and explained how as a kid his father took him on annual trips to visit relatives in China and the visible lack of freedom he saw there had a profound impact on him.

Mike Lake (Lt Governor) in his video on his remarks stressed his lifetime of public service and leadership. He had former governor Mike Dukakis endorse him in his video and Governor’s Councilor Eileen Duff introduce him.

James Arena-DeRosa (Lt Governor) said it was John Winthrop who said community and collective responsibility make America a better place. He asked everyone to think about a normal day; the water they drank, the roads they drove on, the internet, schools and many other things, all of which are provided by government which he said supplies the foundation upon which our economy is built.

Steve Kerrigan (Lt Governor) stressed his time as an aide to Ted Kennedy and especially his leadership in organizations to assist the survivors of 9/11 victims on of Massachusetts service members killed in action.

Juliette Kayyem (Governor) said Democrats “can’t take victory for granted” and that “becoming governor is not a lifetime achievement award.”

Donald Berwick (Governor) told a compelling story about a young leukemia victim he treated (Berwick is a doctor) who was killed by street violence. Berwick said this kid had two fatal diseases: leukemia and injustice, and we only cured one (leukemia) but we let the other one (injustice) kill him. Berwick kept returning to the “liberty and justice for all” line of the Pledge of Allegiance, saying “all means all.” (While Berwick is by no means a superb orator, I thought he gave the best – certainly the most compelling – speech of the convention).

Martha Coakley (Governor) began her speech by addressing head-on her 2010 US Senate loss to Scott Brown (which many delegates continue to hold against her). She said it was a great disappointment to many in the room as it was to her but that she had learned from it and had got back to work fighting against Defense of Marriage Act, unjust foreclosures and other things that ran afoul of our values.

Steve Grossman (Governor) said “this is no time for part-time progressives” and that the “quality of your health care shouldn’t depend on the size of your paycheck.”

Joe Avellone emphasized the opioid epidemic that is plaguing our state, saying “there is no super PAC for addicts so this problem has been ignored” while pledging to create a cabinet-level “office of recovery” to help those recovering from addiction.


The profusion of colored candidate t-shirts at times caused the floor of the DCU Center to resemble the flight deck of an aircraft carrier (except a flight deck crew is much younger and in much better shape than your average convention delegate). The candidates and their t-shirt colors were as follows: Don Berwick had black; Steve Grossman had blue & orange; Martha Coakley had blue; Juliette Kayyem had red (and some blue); Joe Avellone had white; Maura Healey had kelly green; Warren Tolman and Steve Kerrigan had the same shade of light green; Tom Conroy had yellow. Deb Goldberg had blue. Barry Finegold gave out yellow lanyards for delegate credentials. There were plenty of lapel buttons. Maura Healey’s was a basketball which was a nod to her days as a college and pro basketball player.