Sept. 02--In August 2013, state Sen. Daniel Wolf held a fundraiser at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum for his fledgling gubernatorial campaign. It would prove to be the campaign's last public event.
Early the next morning, Wolf, founder and CEO of Cape Air, suspended his ill-fated run.
Two months later, he decided to end it once it became clear the State Ethics Commission would not finalize an exemption to the conflict-of-interest law in time for him to re-enter the race. (Unanimously approved in January, the exemption allows public officials with a financial stake in state contracts -- such as Wolf's interest in the agreements allowing his Hyannis-based airline to fly out of Boston -- to remain in office under specific conditions.)
Close to a year to the day later, with an exemption in hand and his eyes set on re-election, Wolf returned to that museum last Tuesday to reflect on the past year and look ahead to a possible third term in the state Senate.
"What I've learned in this past year is humility, how to say I'm sorry; if the press wasn't here I'd actually be a little less filtered. As I've learned in the past year, know when the press is in the room, right Fenlon?" Wolf said, referring to the gubernatorial campaign's spokesman, Matt Fenlon, now executive director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, who was looking on through aviator sunglasses.
Wolf said he was encouraged that the topic of inequality has garnered enough attention to become an issue regularly covered by the "mainstream media."
While he still does not know much about either of his two possible GOP opponents -- Mashpee financial consultant Allen Waters and Ron Beaty, the self-described tea party candidate -- Wolf said he plans to focus his campaign on the issues of economic development, wastewater, transportation and energy.
"I'm not going to be out-businessed by a Republican in this race," Wolf said. "This is going to be a positive race. I will say nothing negative about my opponent. But I'm going to talk about what it means to be an entrepreneur, running a business."
On transportation, Wolf said the proposed third bridge is needed over Cape Cod Canal. He asked for a show of hands from those who oppose the proposal, and seeing none, said, "Good, it's unanimous here."
"We need a third bridge, not to get more people here and clog the roads more, (but rather) because we're relying right now on 80-year-old infrastructure," he said. "When I sit in a traffic jam in February for an hour and a half to get off of Cape Cod, something's wrong."
And in perhaps the most confrontational portion of the speech, Wolf reiterated his opposition to NStar's use of herbicides to manage unwanted vegetation under power lines, saying he wants to continue looking into creating a "countywide utility that would be of a different ownership structure and serve us better."
"It's outrageous to me that 15 towns vote against NStar using chemicals near our power lines. We have volunteered to sit down and come up with a mechanical means of keeping the land under those power lines accessible and clear," Wolf said.
"And we are basically given "»" he paused and brushed the back of his hand under his chin, before continuing, "an F-you by NStar. It's not acceptable."
Governor's Council member Oliver Cipollini Jr. drew continued indifference from his own party Thursday when the Eastham Democratic Town Committee endorsed an off-Cape candidate running to unseat him in the Sept. 9 primary election.
Walter Moniz, a 40-year-old businessman from New Bedford, won the Outer Cape committee's endorsement for his "close ties to the community, his understanding of the day-to-day challenges faced by ordinary citizens, and his progressive stances on drug rehabilitation, a woman's right to choose, and other issues pertinent to the selection of judges," the committee chairman, Dave Schropfer, said in an announcement .
Like its counterpart in Yarmouth, the Eastham Democratic Committee also took a swipe at Cipollini, whose Marstons Mills residence makes him the only Cape candidate in the Governor's Council race. Joseph Ferreira, the recently retired Somerset police chief, and New Bedford lawyer Alexander Kalife are also running.
Cipollini, 62, who beat his Republican brother in 2012 to take the council's 1st District seat, has come into local Democrats' crosshairs for his stances against same-sex marriage and abortion unless the mother's health is in jeopardy.
"Our committee also felt it was important to replace Cipollini on the Governor's Council. His very conservative values are not well suited for a Democrat representing the Cape and Islands and nearby locales in the judicial selection process," Schropfer wrote.
The committee also endorsed former Assistant Attorney General Maura Healey over former state Sen. Warren Tolman in the neck-and-neck attorney general's race.
"Healey's pioneering work in challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), her work in protecting consumers caught by foreclosures during the financial crisis, and her achievement of a nationwide settlement with Apple to make its technology more accessible to disabled persons are examples of the leadership we would get if Healey were our next attorney general," Schropfer said.
Tweets of the Week
Democrats: State Rep. Brian Mannal, D-Centerville, @Brian Mannal: "Proud to be endorsed by teachers, nurses, police, firefighters, laborers, LBGT, pro-choice & animal rights advocates."
GOP: State Rep. Randy Hunt, R-East Sandwich, @RandyHuntCPA: "I'm a defender of the 2nd Amendment. I'm also a disciple of common sense. An 8- or 9-year-old handling an Uzi? No." with link to a CNN story about a fourth-grader who accidentally killed a shooting instructor at a gun range
Follow C. Ryan Barber on Twitter: @cryanbarber. Follow the Political Notes blog online at http://blogs.capecodonline.com/political-notes.
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