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David Bernstein's Question About Jeff Perry's Qualifications and Achievements

by: ConcernedVoterInMass

Mon Oct 25, 2010 at 16:49:00 PM EDT

David Bernstein asks a very good and very obvious question regarding Jeff Perry's experience and qualifications for Congress:

Here's what's always confused me about Perry: putting aside the whole strip-search thing, what has he ever done that makes him more qualified for office than any Joe Schmoe in the neighborhood with conservative opinions? As best as I can tell, he's had a string of start-and-stop careers, of which I've never heard a single positive story, and then he's been a do-nothing state representative. Am I missing something? Is there some achievement, success, or contribution I'm missing?

RMGers, how would you answer Mr. Bernstein's query? What is he missing that makes Mr. Perry especially qualified to serve as a U.S. Congressman? Is your support based simply on the fact that Perry is the Republican in the race, or is there some high accomplishment/qualification that Mr. Bernstein is missing?

ConcernedVoterInMass :: David Bernstein's Question About Jeff Perry's Qualifications and Achievements
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Easy (0.00 / 0)
Its hard for the ultraminority Republicans in the State Legislature to get anything passed. However, Perry has long made clear his ideology on the issues, and cast votes that reflect that ideology, whether its on Illegal Immigration, RomneyCare, Massachusetts State Income Tax, the Death Penalty, or so on.

He has debated against the liberal proposals, and advocated and sponsored conservative legislation on Beacon Hill. For this reason, its pretty logical that a Massachusetts Conservative would want to send Jeff Perry to Washington so that he could take that record of fighting for Conservative values on Beacon Hill to Washington. Conservatives know where he stands on the issues, knows he has been consistent as a legislator, and thus, will likely do the same as a US Congressman, where his legislative impact will be greatly increased.  

(R)- Outside 495

What's the accomplishment though? (5.00 / 1)
Is it simply getting elected and being in a position to cast votes?

Its hard for the ultraminority Republicans in the State Legislature to get anything passed.

What major pieces of legislation did he get passed, then, that has demonstrated his prowess against the Democratic majority?

He has debated against the liberal proposals, and advocated and sponsored conservative legislation on Beacon Hill.

Isn't that Bernstein's point - that support for Perry is simply because he's the Republican on the ballot, not because he has personally achieved anything at all?

Keep in mind, that's not a criticism of you or other Perry supporters who are supporting him because they'd support any Republican on the ballot - that's just Bernstein's point, though. Besides the R next to his name, there's nothing he has accomplished to qualify him for anything like support for a Congressional seat.

[ Parent ]
Being the minority is a part of it (0.00 / 0)
We couldn't even pass a mandatory sentence of a single day in prison for violent rapists of young children.  Democrats always stand in the way.

Republicans are 15 votes out of 160 in the house.  That's why our bills don't get passed.  But I keep forgetting.  All the problems created by the Democratic legislature are... Charlie Baker's fault?  Huh?

He has no point.

"Never Head of Michael Graham." - Gabriel Gomez.

[ Parent ]
What does any of that have to do with Jeff Perry? (5.00 / 1)
I asked what has been Jeff Perry's big accomplishment. And you give me whining about Democrats and strawmen.

But no accomplishments of Jeff Perry's.


[ Parent ]
That's true DD4RP - You were whining back there (0.00 / 0)

Molon Labe

[ Parent ]
I think the problem here is we are suddenly using a new standard (5.00 / 1)
David Bernstein is trying to paint the qualification for being a Representative in Congress as necessarily having previously passed legislation. In this situation, Keating is at advantage to Perry, for he probably has passed more bills than Perry. Keating was a Senator in a Democratic majority Senate for more years than Perry's House tenure, and then served as a District Attorney and has compiled a record of suits. Perry by contrast has the experience of consituent service and a legislative voting record and bill sponsorship history, which Keating also has. So for Bernstein, a Democrat, its favorable to his candidate, Keating to point out the quality of politcal experience and accomplishment.
The reality is that the position of Representative does a lot more than just passing bills, and many different backgrounds can tailor strengths to those abilities. Few are perfectly qualified before they are elected to an office, however, as the voters, we hope they can carry enough positive attributes to cover the position, making it easier for them to adapt to their new role and take on the new attributes. Perry has sponsored legislation before, but he has never had the chance to successfully navigate it through the committees and floor votes thanks to the hyper Democratic nature of the Legislature. I do not think that it is a reasonable requirement that Republicans must successfully get 64 Democrats on board at some point in their legislative careers to get a bill passed, when the Democratic requirement allows them to lose 64 Democrats and still succeed.

Yes, Perry will have to learn how to deal with a bigger Republican minority, or even Republican majority and get bills successfully passed. However, Perry fills out almost all of the remaining qualifications that a typical Conservative voter may consider for their vote. He has a clear and consistent record of supporting Conservative positions through his legislative role of voting and playing a part during the passing of legislation. Additionally, he has demonstrated excellent consitutent service, the ability to articulate the issues and garner public support (Perry Amendment). His only other downside, and it is debateable, is his personal ethical record. Some may contend he bears responsibility for the Flanagan issue, and some may contend he doesn't. However, I think its quite obvious to say that Jeff Perry is quite able to execute the functions of Representative, be it on the state level or the Federal level.

His opponent on the other hand, exemplifies a record of bill passage, prosecution, and constituent service that may not satisfy a Conservative voter. Beyond carrying out a personal ethical standard, when has Bill Keating ever taken out constitent Conservative leadership?

You are trying to make the decision that Republican and Independent voters are making to vote for Jeff Perry appear as an irrational one. However, the reality is there is certainly some concrete backing to this decision, more than just pure partisan identification as you suggest. People are dissatisfied with the way Bill Keating and other liberals in Washington have led this country, and they are convinced by Jeff Perry's principled stances and voting record, that he will back the sort of solutions that will fix the Keynesian-Liberal policies in Washington.  

(R)- Outside 495

[ Parent ]
Now we're talking - a truly thoughtful reply (0.00 / 0)
Sincerely, thank you very much, MerrimackMan.

I would disagree with you, respectfully, that Mr. Bernstein's standard is singularly about legislation passed. If Mr. Perry had led a positively distinguished career as a police officer or businessman, that could certainly apply. Mr. Bernstein's argument - which well-meaning people can disagree with - is that Mr. Perry simply lacks any such distinguishing accomplishment of any kind.

But you raise a truly valid point. In an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature, it could be hard for Perry to have passed legislation. I would argue that it would be impressive if he found common ground with a Democratic counterpart and worked together to pass legislation. Finding common ground with political opponents to solve problems could be seen by some as the mark of a statesman, even though (or especially because) it could be seen a poor politics by hyper-partisans.

With no legislation to point to, suggesting that Perry has offered his constituents exceptional constituent service can be something to hang his hat on. Now, I don't know if that is accurate. I also don't know if Keating, in any of his elected roles had any demonstrably poor showings as it related to constituent service. But, it would be nice if Perry's public campaigning focused more on a record of constituent service - not doing so (or, at least, that not permeating to political followers) is, ultimately, a failing of his campaign (if there is any such substance to disseminate).

I'm not trying to make supporters' vote for Jeff Perry an "irrational" one, but rather a "generic" one. If it's dissatisfaction with Mr. Keating or liberals or Democrats in Washington that drives a specific voter's vote, then Mr. Perry is just a stand-in for "generic Republican" - which I think is the crux of Mr. Bernstein's contention in the first place.

Simply having a consistently conservative record, as I'd agree Mr. Perry does, is not a distinguishing accomplishment, but rather reinforces that he's just "generic Republican" - which isn't necessarily a criticism if your goal as a voter is simply to elect someone who will espouse such positions and serve as a roadblock to the agenda of President Obama or Congressional Republicans.

[ Parent ]
Part of Perry's Record (0.00 / 0)
Is the fact that he has worked in a number of fields, from Professor to Attorney to Private Investigator, Cop and Businessman. Sure, Jeff Perry isn't a lead Prosecutor, or the richest guy in the room. But he does have a great deal of experience in the community, and can relate to many different people. He knows what running a small business means, he knows what raising a family and taking enough home for them means. He knows how to be a Representative. It's his ability to relate to people, and articulate the Conservative principles that support people in the community that Sandwich, Bourne and Barnstable have liked from Jeff Perry enough to send him to Beacon Hill for the past eight years.

Yes, I think for many people, Jeff Perry is a generic Republican. I agree. People do not recognize him outside of his role as a candidate and representative. However, because of the closeness of this race, its pretty evident that people feel he fits this role pretty well.

I feel the same way for Keating. He has a record of accomplishments as a DA and State Senator, and certainly fits a liberal voter's understanding of what it takes to be a Democratic candidate and representative. However, for many people Keating is likewise a generic Democrat.

That's just the nature of American elections. Most people vote on the basis of party affiliation. However, there are voters in both camps, Keating and Perry that appreciate personal aspects of their character and background that appeal to their own experience and needs from a Representative.  

(R)- Outside 495

[ Parent ]
Let's work across the aisle (0.00 / 0)
and co-sponsor some legislation, MerrimackMan. What do you say?!

[ Parent ]
That's a good point ConcernedVoterInMass ... "What's the accomplishment though?" (0.00 / 0)

Molon Labe

[ Parent ]
Bernstin is a Joke (0.00 / 0)
He have never questioned a Democrat State Rep running for higher office in his life.

In the name of all that is decent and holy, the liberal media has no problem endorsing Niki Tsongas.  Niki Tsongas?  She isn't qualified to work at the GAP.

"Never Head of Michael Graham." - Gabriel Gomez.

So address Bernstein's question (0.00 / 0)
If you think it's ridiculous that Bernstein would question why Perry would be qualified to serve in Congress, please explain what impressive accomplishment or unique quality Perry has that qualifies him. Show Bernstein up by soundly answering the question. If there is an answer.

[ Parent ]
I'll address Bernstein's question! (0.00 / 0)
Perry hasn't produced even 1 Bill that has passed .... not 1.

Molon Labe

[ Parent ]
Nikki wouldn't have been considered "qualified" (0.00 / 0)
If her husband wasn't Paul Tsongas. She would've been a nobody.

Bernstein is such a hack.  

Perry's qualification is Tsongas' husband? Whah? (0.00 / 0)
RMGers - notably Mike "DD4RP" Rossettie and PioneerValleyGOP - if somebody asks you "What makes Jeff Perry qualified to be a Congressman?" and your response is "Niki Tsongas isn't qualified!" then it reflects really poorly on Jeff Perry's qualifications or lack thereof.

Seriously, amongst other things, RMG is forum where people can promote Republican candidates for office. So, promote away! What unique accomplishment has Jeff Perry achieved that qualifies him to be a U.S. Congressman? We're eagerly awaiting your answers!

[ Parent ]
Ah, so You Agree Then (0.00 / 0)
I am glad that you agree that Niki Tsongas isnt qualified. There probably isnt much else that we agree on.

[ Parent ]
Where did I say that? (0.00 / 0)
You might want to re-read my comment, very carefully, and with the assistance of others. Nowhere did I make any comment on Congresswoman Tsongas' qualifications.

[ Parent ]
This is a complete waste of space (0.00 / 0)
And I suspect you know it too.

What the hell can an legislator do when in an overwhelmed minority?  What major democratic initiatives came out of congress during the Bush admin when the GOP controlling the they could come up with being ankle-biters to the majority and obstruct whenever possible.  The Gov can't even sustain a veto if Beacon Hill decides to throw their weight around things are so lopsided.

Yup everyone has big expectations of the minority...that's rich.

Suffering Battered Voter Syndrome since 8/31/1981

Then why are you replying (0.00 / 0)
if it's a "complete waste of space"? Are you suggesting that the other RMGers who are posting comments to this diary are foolish time-wasters? Cuz that's pretty harsh, garyrlake.

What the hell can an legislator do when in an overwhelmed minority?

To answer your question, a legislator can work with colleagues (of BOTH parties - shocking, I know!) to pass legislation - that's a key role of a legislator.

However, more importantly, in case you missed it anywhere else because you didn't bother to read Mr. Bernstein's writing, this diary, or the comments, garyrlake, passing legislation is hardly the only standard by which Mr. Perry could have distinguished himself. Demonstrating outstanding accomplishment during his time as a police officer or a businessman could have served this role. But he clearly has no such distinguishing accomplishment.

[ Parent ]
He can work with other members to get things passed... (0.00 / 0)
Bob Hedlund, Bruce Tarr, Brad Jones and other Republicans can and have worked with Democrats to pass sensible and practical legislation that has no ideological bent and helps both their constituents and all citizens of MA.  Jeff Perry does not have that sensible ability in his DNA...he only wants to throw bombs.

[ Parent ]
Since when (0.00 / 0)
are you concerned with qualifications and/or achievements?
What are the qualifications to be a US Rep in your world?

......and good for you for using the ole "he could've worked with the opposition" meme.   Typical claim any time Linz have a supermajority politburo.  Goes away when live are in the minority....becomes obstruct obstruct obstruct.....

You want accomplishment?  ......bringing attention to the State wasting and looking to waste more of my hard earned $$$$$ on illegal immigrants.  Not a unique accomplishment, but the People need a smack every once in a while to wake them up.  

Now run along and find all those accomplishments of ANY lib candidate.

Obama....accomplished nothing, qualified for nothing.

"I acknowledge having racist and classist and sexist feelings of white male superiority." -John Howard

David Bernstein? (5.00 / 1)
What, the David Bernstein that Ebo makes a fool of on Broadside?

Like it really matters what David Bernstein thinks.

I started to asnwer, but stopped. (0.00 / 0)
Ovr the course of time, I've left comments on Bernstein's column, especially to correct errors of fact.  He deletes them; not one has ever been posted.  And it's not my computer or anything - Adam Reilly was very gracious about posting and sharing.

I was going to detail things like the bill he filed for a tax deduction on home heating oil back in the early 2000's, as opposed to the Democrats who proposed an additional SALES TAX on home heating oil at the same time.  Or his forgiveness of state gas tax on truckers during that same period, when we were looking at $4 gasoline and delivery prices were reflected in the cost of goods.  Paul Casey spat on these, but they were filed and worked for.

For community involvement, I was going to mention his continuing support for teen-aged Dylan DeSilva and his Cape Cod Cares for our Troops or the foundation he set up in the name of his late granddaughter who died of SIDS and its work with March of Dimes, NEOB, and others - but when I mentioned it in context of explaining who the little girl is in his ad, I was accused of ghoulish exploitation.

So I decided there was no winning with responding to Mr. Bernstein.  

Yr. Obedient Servant, Peter Porcupine, Republican

Rumor has it (0.00 / 0)
His pseudonym has been unveiled here.

Suffering Battered Voter Syndrome since 8/31/1981

[ Parent ]
So... (0.00 / 0)
had Perry introduced some tax-raising bill that passed the uber-majority socialist'd deem him "qualified" and vote for him?

That's what I thought, loser....

"I acknowledge having racist and classist and sexist feelings of white male superiority." -John Howard

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