From the Archives: October 1, 2007

Here’s a post from Marie Sweeney from 14 years ago this week. It was a busy time politically with a special election for the local Congressional seat looming and the general election for Lowell City Council and School Committee just a month away.

A Busy Time

By Marie Sweeney – October 1, 2007

Fall is my favorite time of the year – but it’s so busy! It’s always part of some election cycle and for so many activities it’s the beginning of a new year. While I’ve personally long-since given up the arduous task of door-to-door campaigning, fall is the perfect time. People seem more receptive and walking seems easier. Niki Tsongas workers out these last few weekends in Lowell and in neighboring towns are reporting a good reception. City councilors, school committee members and their challengers took on the SUN “scribes” in a spirited softball game Saturday afternoon. While I’m no expert – there are some pretty good athletes on the Lowell ballot this year. Of note was the playing of Kevin Broderick, Dave Conway, David Koch, Mike Lenzi and the coaching of Dennis Canney. Steve Panagiotakos and Tom “Tipper” Golden as pitcher and catcher were outstanding. The “senior” cheerleaders, families, friends and supporters had a great time and later enjoyed a generous cookout. Chancellor Marty Meehan in his “borrowed” equipment was a fair and impartial          umpire. Oh, did I note that the “scribes” beat the “senators” 9-0?

On Friday morning my friend and fellow Democratic State Committee member Curtis LeMay and I participated in a press conference announcing that the 2008 Democratic State Convention will be in Lowell on June 5 & 6. This is the fourth time for the MDP event in the Tsongas Arena. The 2005 Lowell convention was particularly memorable as really the first time that rank-and-file Democrats felt the full impact of Deval Patrick as a candidate for Governor. He wowed the delegates and won many as ardent supporters with his “yes we can” speech.

Earlier in the week I attended an event for Ron Hall – candidate for the final open seat on the Board of Selectmen in Tewksbury. It was interesting to see and hear three of the BOS incumbents heartily endorse his candidacy in this 3-man race.

I must admit that the highlight of the week for me was the Clinton/Tsongas Rally last night at the LMA. I am an unabashed FOB – Friend of Bill. Despite the delay caused by his need to drive to Lowell rather than fly/drive – the audience stayed and was rewarded! Although he was obviously tired from the trip, he seemed energized by the enthusiastic reception. Recent quips and barbs from the press, some columnists and on some blogs about Bill Clinton and Paul Tsongas and their relationship in 1992 were swept away by his praise of Paul and his gracious comments about Niki. His endorsement of her was “ringing.” His comment “I’m about at a point in my life when I think women should run everything” brought down the house! Kudos to Steve Panagiotakos for the unenviable job of holding the whole program together last night – his passion and commitment to Democratic principle was definitely on display as well as his wit and intelligence. Former challengers Donoghue, Eldridge, Finegold and Miceli did a good job making it clear that all Democrats are united behind Niki Tsongas.

In an interesting twist – I found myself at the Parker Lecture Series in the afternoon listening to UML faculty member Pat Fontaine’s excellent presentation on former Fifth District Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers (R) – the first woman elected to Congress from New England and the longest serving woman in the House. Due to my seat on the stage at the Rally – my week came to an end with a hearty handshake from Bill Clinton. Who could ask for anything more!

Note: The first in a series of forums for City Council, School Committee and Regional School Committee candidates takes place tonight October 1, 2007, at 7pm at the Wang School. The neighborhood groups are sponsoring the event. Later in the month on Monday October 22, 2007, the UTL and Central Labor Council sponsors a forum that may also be televised.