Extremist right-wing again takes aim at the only one-house state legislature in America

Growing up, I hated everything about living in Nebraska, including the fact that its college sports teams went by the name “Cornhuskers.”

By extension, I hated the fact that the state had a single-house legislature, otherwise known as the Unicameral.

What I did not realize then, but know now, is that this configuration of state government, unique to Nebraska, was the brainchild of U.S. Senator George Norris, dubbed widely in the press at the time of his electoral loss in 1942 as “the last of the progressive Republicans.”

He was a staunch supporter of The New Deal and Franklin Roosevelt, despite being from the opposing party. He was pro union and was widely credited with the creation of the Tennesee Valley Authority. He is also credited with the fact that Nebraska has another distinction among the states that lasts until the present day: it is the only state where every single one of the residential electric, sewer and gas utilities is publicly-owned. That last part is remarkable in a state where the Republican Party has been so firmly in control for so long.

Norris was a visionary, and I now see how having one, non-partisan house of the legislature, in which there are nominally no Republicans and no Democrats, allows our Unicameral to get some progressive-ish legislation passed that would otherwise be impossible if a state party was in control of how people voted on the floor of the legislature. (Norris tried to start a movement whereby all state legislatures were one house, but obviously that didn’t work out.)

Votes for leadership in the Unicameral, including the Speaker, are by secret ballot.

Being well-liked and respected are therefore more important to the process of choosing a Speaker than is having the loudest mouth, the most strident agenda, and having a state party apparatus behind you. This means that Democrats and Republicans alike are free to vote their conscience, which they often do.

This means that, in a state where statewide offices are increasingly held by Republican extremists, the Speaker of the Unicameral very often tends be a more thoughtful kind of person because bombastic types tend to not be the most popular people in the Unicameral. This is not always the case, but it is true more often than you might imagine. And since state parties — and I include Republicans and Democrats in this — can often be beholden to corporate interests who have donated the most money to the party, this kind of corporate influence on legislation can be lessened under a Unicameral system.

Which is why, of course, Republicans in Nebraska hate both the one-house system AND the secret ballots for the legislative leadership. They are trying once again in this legislative session to change both.

Nebraska officially called its non-partisan unicameral for the first time in 1937, but a proposal by one conservative senator seeks to upend that longstanding tradition and embrace the partisan divide he says has always been present.

To State Sen. Steve Erdman, the unicameral is non-partisan in name only.

“Everyone assumes that but we’re not supposed to talk about it,” Erdman, from District 47, said. “It’s like it’s the elephant in the room.”

So Erdman is seeking to amend Nebraska’s constitution, turning the unicameral legislature into a bicameral legislature with a senate and a house. He said Nebraska’s legislature has underperformed neighboring bicameral systems.

“If the unicameral is so wonderful and we’ve accomplished so much, why are our taxes so high,” Erdman said.

And he said the body’s nature is already very partisan.

“There’s been a level of partisanship ever since it was created,” Erdman said. “And as time went by, the beliefs of the two parties have changed, have divided more than they were, so it looks like there’s more of a division.”

But an outspoken opponent of Erdman’s proposal–state senator Danielle Conrad–says that the legislature shouldn’t embrace the divides even in the face of what she referred to as “creeping partisanship.”

“This is not how we do things in Nebraska,” Conrad, from District 46, said. “This is not how we have organized ourselves as a government. And instead of just casually joining into partisan shenanigans, we as elected leaders should fiercely honor our oath and protect our institutions.”

Conrad says the official non-partisanship is a tradition worth preserving.

“It works,” she said. “It helps to keep the focus on the business of the people, not partisan special interest.”

Erdman says his proposal would give more power to rural areas, with a senator for every three counties, which would come out to 31 senators. There would be a 63-person house of representatives apportioned by population.

The creation of the U.S. Senate in the drafting of the Constitution was exactly this sort of trade-off between direct democracy — whomever has the most votes, wins — and artificially inflating the power of rural Americans vs. the cities. In some ways it made sense in the 1700s, mostly as a way to get rural buy-in for the nascent federal government and the Constitution.

But it is not needed in Nebraska and would only serve to amplify the power of the Republican Party and rural areas at the expense of Omaha and Lincoln, where most of the state’s residents live.

Conservative forces have not had much luck over the many years they have been trying to change the one-house system. Let’s hope they fail again this legislative session.

Nebraska’s one-house state legislature, the Unicameral.

Gay Republican who won NY congressional seat appears to be a giant fake

The 2022 congressional mid-terms race in New York’s 3rd Congressional District was billed as the first U.S. House general election to feature two gay men — one a Republican, one a Democrat.

The Republican, George Santos, won in a bit of an upset that saw Republicans in NY state make notable gains that helped the GOP take control of the lower chamber of Congress.

The problem is that much of Santos’ biography now appears to be fake:

George Santos, whose election to Congress on Long Island last month helped Republicans clinch a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, built his candidacy on the notion that he was the “full embodiment of the American dream” and was running to safeguard it for others.

His campaign biography amplified his storybook journey: He is the son of Brazilian immigrants, and the first openly gay Republican to win a House seat as a non-incumbent. By his account, he catapulted himself from a New York City public college to become a “seasoned Wall Street financier and investor” with a family-owned real estate portfolio of 13 properties and an animal rescue charity that saved more than 2,500 dogs and cats.

But a New York Times review of public documents and court filings from the United States and Brazil, as well as various attempts to verify claims that Mr. Santos, 34, made on the campaign trail, calls into question key parts of the résumé that he sold to voters.

Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, the marquee Wall Street firms on Mr. Santos’s campaign biography, told The Times they had no record of his ever working there. Officials at Baruch College, which Mr. Santos has said he graduated from in 2010, could find no record of anyone matching his name and date of birth graduating that year.

There was also little evidence that his animal rescue group, Friends of Pets United, was, as Mr. Santos claimed, a tax-exempt organization: The Internal Revenue Service could locate no record of a registered charity with that name.

His financial disclosure forms suggest a life of some wealth. He lent his campaign more than $700,000 during the midterm election, has donated thousands of dollars to other candidates in the last two years and reported a $750,000 salary and over $1 million in dividends from his company, the Devolder Organization.

Yet the firm, which has no public website or LinkedIn page, is something of a mystery. On a campaign website, Mr. Santos once described Devolder as his “family’s firm” that managed $80 million in assets. On his congressional financial disclosure, he described it as a capital introduction consulting company, a type of boutique firm that serves as a liaison between investment funds and deep-pocketed investors. But Mr. Santos’s disclosures did not reveal any clients, an omission three election law experts said could be problematic if such clients exist.

And while Mr. Santos has described a family fortune in real estate, he has not disclosed, nor could The Times find, records of his properties.

The defeated gay Democrat, on the other hand, has an admirable and easily verifiable CV:

Zimmerman received a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and a master’s in business administration for Fordham University. In 1988, Zimmerman co-founded a marketing communications company. He served on the John F. Kennedy Center’s Presidential Commission on the Arts and the National Council on the Humanities, nominated by Presidents Bill Clinton (D) and Barack Obama (D), respectively. As of 2022, Zimmerman was a Democratic National Committee member.

Was nobody in the Zimmerman campaign doing research on his opponent?

Or, for that matter, did nobody in the mainstream press bother to do even the most cursory check of the candidates?

Weird. So, so weird.

They’re coming for divorces next

One of the greatest things to happen for women in Western democracies was the ability of women to leave marriages at will. The ability to more easily divorce men who abused them gave women a power they never had before.

It’s no secret that many Republican conservatives have long felt that the ability of women to easily divorce men is one of the greatest catastrophes to befall Western civilization.

So it should come as no surprise that many high-profile Republicans are also saying that now is the time to work toward abolishing no-fault divorce laws:

Following the Supreme Court’s elimination of the federal right to abortion in June, conservatives have taken aim at other fundamental protections, such as same-sex marriage and access to contraception. But some on the right are resurfacing a different, long-simmering project: stigmatizing divorce, including, in some instances, attacking no-fault divorce laws.

No-fault divorce in the U.S. was first adopted in California in 1969, and New York was the last state in the country to pass a no-fault divorce law, which it did in 2010. Although state laws differ, in general no-fault divorce means that one party can successfully dissolve a marriage without needing to first prove wrongdoing by the other partner – including adultery, abuse, or desertion.

Ohio Republican Senate nominee J.D. Vance praised the idea of staying in violent marriages in remarks to high school students in southern California last September. Vance argued “all of us should be honest” about how “making it easier for people to shift spouses like they change their underwear” by leaving marriages that were “maybe even violent” had negative effects on the children, according to Vice, which first reported the comments.

Although Vance’s comments were made before the overturning of Roe v. Wade, they’ve taken on a new salience amid a conservative movement that sees formerly out-of-reach goals as newly attainable. And Vance has lots of company in right-wing media.

Reactionary YouTuber Tim Pool recently discussed no-fault divorce laws on his show, titling the clipped segment: “No-Fault Divorce Has DESTROYED Men’s Confidence In Marriage, Men Don’t Want To Get Married Anymore.” The discussion focused on how no-fault divorce laws were to blame for what the panel perceived to be a rise in prenuptial agreements, which segued into a meandering discussion lamenting divorce in general.

“The courts are heavily biased in favor of women to an insane degree, especially with children,” Pool said, parroting a cliche often espoused by so-called men’s rights activists, an anti-feminist movement that claims men are structurally disadvantaged in divorce proceedings and family court. (Although it is true that women are generally granted sole custody more frequently than men, the reasons for that are complicated and have to do with men historically having higher incomes and sexist ideas about mothers being natural caregivers.)

Crazy. They really do want to turn the tables back to the time when (to paraphrase Pat Schroeder) “men were men, women were children, and children were 14-hour-a-day chimney sweeps.”

Nobody should be shocked that Tom Brady is pals with Ron DeSantis

I have never liked Tom Brady as a person. This put me in a distinct minority of Boston-area residents, so I didn’t say it out loud much because it’s a stupid thing about which to pick a fight with friends, family and acquaintances.

As an athlete, he’s obviously in a class by himself. And I felt sorry for him during the entire made-up Deflategate scandal because it was clear he did nothing wrong and was being targeted by an NFL commissioner who was always jealous of the attention Brady received in popular culture.

I even started supporting, in my own small ways, the Patriots during this time because I had moved back to Red State America and it made the wingnuts crazy to say out loud in a public setting, “Tom Brady is the greatest athlete who ever lived.”

I don’t actually believe that, of course. It was just a way to get an amusing rise out of a certain kind of person.

I have always been confused that people in the Red State America hated Brady so much — it was partly the ultra-liberal Massachusetts thing, I guessed — because Brady is clearly, ideologically speaking, closer to Mississippi than he is to Boston.

He was wise enough, and financially savvy enough, to keep his mouth shut about this most of the time, despite his (and his coach’s) very public flirtations with Donald Trump — even after Trump was revealed to have racist, fascist tendencies. Brady and Coach Belichick did some sly stepping away from Trump after Jan. 6, but I’ll guess this was strategic more than it was that either man is no longer in Trump’s camp politically. I’m sure they’ll both secretly vote for Trump if he runs again.

So none of us should be shocked that Brady appears to be good buds with Ron DeSantis (R-Weimar Germany):

Tom Brady, the seven-time Super Bowl champion, has for years been the subject of public affection from former President Donald J. Trump.

But according to Tim Michels, the Republican nominee for Wisconsin governor, Mr. Brady is now on texting terms with another Republican seen as a White House contender: Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.

Mr. DeSantis attended a Green Bay Packers football game last month and spent part of the game texting with Mr. Brady, according to Mr. Michels, who hosted the Florida governor in Green Bay and told supporters in Wisconsin last week about their time together. Mr. Brady first expressed support for Mr. Trump in 2015, when he was quarterback of the New England Patriots. He signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.

“I took Governor DeSantis to the Packer game at Lambeau Field,” Mr. Michels told a gathering of the Lake Country Patriots, a far-right group, on Thursday at a brewery in Oconomowoc, Wis. The New York Times was denied entry to the publicly advertised event, but obtained a recording of Mr. Michels’s remarks.

Mr. DeSantis, who on the day of the Packers game had appeared at a rally for Mr. Michels and Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, “had never been to Lambeau Field before and he wanted to go,” Mr. Michels said. “We’re sitting there, you know, we’re watching the game and all of a sudden, I look over and he’s texting and he says, ‘How do you spell Lambeau?’”

Here is a thing I used to say in Boston out-loud that got me in trouble: Brady will run for national office eventually, and he will do it as a right-wing Republican. Possibly (probably?) as a full MAGA right-winger.

People in Boston used to tell me I was nuts for thinking that. I don’t think so many of them think it’s crazy any longer.

Plus they all hate Brady now because he went to Florida, so Brady’s former supplicants in New England all talk shit about him anyway.

DeSantis (left) and Brady.

Corporate executive suites becoming less politically diverse; more Republican, less democratic

From the good folks over at the National Bureau of Economic Research:

Executive teams in U.S. firms are becoming increasingly partisan. We establish this new fact using political affiliations from voter registration records for top executives of S&P 1500 firms between 2008 and 2020. The new fact is explained by both an increasing share of Republican executives and increased assortative matching by executives on political affiliation. Departures of politically misaligned executives are value-destroying for shareholders, implying the increasing political polarization of corporate America may not be in the financial interest of shareholders.

No big shock here. Large corporations are putting out press releases touting how progressive they are, but behind the scenes they support the worst right-wing politicians and their political action committees.

Even in Massachusetts, Republican moderation is dying

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), the organization for LGBTQ Republicans and their straight GOP allies.

The group has been around since the 1970s when it was formed to fight the Briggs Initiative in California, which would have barred gay men and lesbians from being teachers.

That referendum was defeated by the voters, thanks in large part to the fact that Republican then-Governor Ronald Reagan came out publicly against it.

It is thought that LCR did much work behind the scenes to rally opposition to Briggs among Republicans. It had to be behind the scenes because, at the time, public support for homosexuality was thought to be risky even for Democrats. For Republicans it was almost unheard of.

After the Briggs defeat, I think even a lot of LGBTQ Democrats had high hopes for LCR, which pushed the notion of being “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.”

At that time there were far greater numbers of what one might call “reasonable Republicans” who thought that the loonies of the religious Right, including former Miss America Anita Bryant, were embarrassments who were pulling the GOP away from its primary purpose of making sure corporations had as much power as was politically possible,

Of course, things did not turn out as hoped for, at least in terms of the people who ran LCR in the late ’80s and early ’90s when I first started writing about them in Boston. Back then, LCR dreamed of pulling the GOP to the center on social issues. By all means, be as right-wing as you want to be on corporatism. But, at the very least, don’t waste valuable party time on the culture wars.

I’ve been thinking about all of this because a couple of weeks ago I wrote about the GOP gubernatorial primary in Massachusetts, where a pro-Trump election denier was running against a more traditional pro-business Republican.

If there is any state in the union where Republicans could feel free to throw off the shackles of Trumpism and elect sane Republicans, it would be Massachusetts.

Everyone who thought that was wrong. Even in Massachusetts, Republican voters chose Geoff Diehl, the crazy Trump candidate.

In one sense, it is good because, while the statewide electorate in the Bay State will elect Republicans to the governorship — Bill Weld, Mitt Romney, Charlie Baker — they are not likely to choose a Trump crazy over Democrat Maura Healey.

In another sense, it is a very bad sign because in Massachusetts, arguably the home of the “reasonable” Republican, political moderation is on life support.

Mass. GOP primary winner Geoff Diehl will face Democrat Maura Healey.

Brett Favre’s alleged involvement in stealing funds meant for poor people just gets shadier and shadier

It never ceases to amaze me the ways that powerful well-to-do people will try to work the system in their favor even if it means taking money from poor people in the poorest state in the union — with the (alleged) added assistance of a powerful Republican then-governor.

Text messages entered Monday into the state’s ongoing civil lawsuit over the welfare scandal reveal that former Gov. Phil Bryant pushed to make NFL legend Brett Favre’s volleyball idea a reality.

The texts show that the then-governor even guided Favre on how to write a funding proposal so that it could be accepted by the Mississippi Department of Human Services – even after Bryant ousted the former welfare agency director John Davis for suspected fraud.

“Just left Brett Favre,” Bryant texted nonprofit founder Nancy New in July of 2019, within weeks of Davis’ departure. “Can we help him with his project. We should meet soon to see how I can make sure we keep your projects on course.”

When Favre asked Bryant how the new agency director might affect their plans to fund the volleyball stadium, Bryant assured him, “I will handle that… long story but had to make a change. But I will call Nancy and see what it will take,” according to the filing and a text Favre forwarded to New.

The newly released texts, filed Monday by an attorney representing Nancy New’s nonprofit, show that Bryant, Favre, New, Davis and others worked together to channel at least $5 million of the state’s welfare funds to build a new volleyball stadium at University of Southern Mississippi, where Favre’s daughter played the sport. Favre received most of the credit for raising funds to construct the facility.

This is in addition to the $77 million in additional funds for the needy that were allegedly misspent by a shady non-profit with Republican connections.

$77 million + $5 million in a dirt-poor state like Mississippi would have helped an awful lot of needy people.

Note also that Mississippi’s current GOP Gov. Tate Reeves “abruptly fired the attorney bringing the state’s case when he tried to subpoena documents related to the volleyball stadium.”

Reeves famously hates poor people and helped precipitate and then ignore the water crisis engulfing poor Jackson, Miss. residents.

Meanwhile, Favre appears to be so crooked I fully expect him to run for Republican office in the near future. The GOP base LOVES Republicans who cheat poor Black people and then paint the poor Black people with the age-old racist brush of being shifty and lazy.

Sports hero Brett Favre is alleged to have misappropriated funds meant for the needy to instead build a state-of-the-art volleyball complex at the university where his daughter attends.

Election challenge for 2022 and 2024: try to figure out why polls were so wrong and how to correct for it

There is one nightmare that must make Democratic election operatives wake up in cold sweats: much of the presidential polling was wrong in 2016 and again in 2020. Some of the biggest polls overstated Democratic support in both elections.

How and why this happened — and how to adjust for it in polling — is still somewhat of a mystery.

The New York Times debuts a newsletter today called The Tilt by Nate Cohn. (Sign up here.) Cohn examines in the inaugural edition of the newsletter these vexing questions.

Ahead of the last presidential election, we created a website tracking the latest polls — internally, we called it a “polling diary.” Despite a tough polling cycle, one feature proved to be particularly helpful: a table showing what would happen if the 2020 polls were as “wrong” as they were in 2016, when pollsters systematically underestimated Donald J. Trump’s strength against Hillary Clinton.

The table proved eerily prescient. Here’s what it looked like on Election Day in 2020, plus a new column with the final result. As you can see, the final results were a lot like the poll estimates “with 2016-like poll error.”

We created this poll error table for a reason: Early in the 2020 cycle, we noticed that Joe Biden seemed to be outperforming Mrs. Clinton in the same places where the polls overestimated her four years earlier. That pattern didn’t necessarily mean the polls would be wrong — it could have just reflected Mr. Biden’s promised strength among white working-class voters, for instance — but it was a warning sign.

That warning sign is flashing again: Democratic Senate candidates are outrunning expectations in the same places where the polls overestimated Mr. Biden in 2020 and Mrs. Clinton in 2016.

Cohn goes on to note:

The pattern of Democratic strength isn’t the only sign that the polls might still be off in similar ways. Since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision on abortion, some pollsters have said they’re seeing the familiar signs of nonresponse bias — when people who don’t respond to a poll are meaningfully different from those who participate — creeping back into their surveys.

Brian Stryker, a partner at Impact Research (Mr. Biden is a client), told me that his polling firm was getting “a ton of Democratic responses” in recent surveys, especially in “the familiar places” where the polls have erred in recent cycles.

None of this means the polls are destined to be as wrong as they were in 2020. Some of the polling challenges in 2020 might have since subsided, such as the greater likelihood that liberals were at home (and thus more likely to take polls) during the pandemic. And historically, it has been hard to anticipate polling error simply by looking at the error from the previous cycle. For example, the polls in 2018 weren’t so bad.

Some pollsters are making efforts to deal with the challenge. Mr. Stryker said his firm was “restricting the number of Democratic primary voters, early voters and other super-engaged Democrats” in their surveys. The New York Times/Siena College polls take similar steps.

My biggest fear is that the overstating of Democratic support will depress turnout among progressive voters. These polling mistakes only prove that, no matter how much you think Democrats are ahead, all of us need to get out and vote every time.

Source: New York Times.

Why is a rogue’s gallery of MAGA Republicans reportedly supporting a federal marriage equality bill?

The fact that there is a piece of pro-gay legislation that is allegedly attracting the support of Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) makes me suspicious.

Senator Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, said he expects there will be enough support from his party to pass a marriage equality bill this month.

Democrats have not yet attracted the 10 Republican senators they need to pass the bill in the evenly divided chamber, but negotiators are making progress, Tillis said.

The legislative push to codify same-sex marriages comes after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the high court reconsider the decision establishing a marriage right. Polling shows adult Americans strongly favor marriage equality, potentially giving Democrats a wedge issue if Republicans block the measure.

Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, and Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine are leading the talks, which now center on an amendment addressing religious liberties. Tillis said he and some of his GOP colleagues are generally supportive of what’s currently being discussed.

“We’ve made progress with the drafting,” he added. “I think we’ve addressed a lot of the religious freedom questions that some had and we think we’re going to move it this month.”

Asked if he thinks there would be at least 10 Republican supporters, Tillis responded, “yes.”

But Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, one of the few Republicans who have endorsed the bill, expressed caution. “I don’t know yet,” he said Tuesday evening. “We have a meeting tomorrow with some of us to talk about it, but it’s still uncertain.”

I’ll wait to see what’s in the “religious liberty” part of this to see what Democrats are giving away in exchange for the support of such a weird collection of MAGA Republicans.

Or perhaps the Republicans all have LGB or T loved ones.

But something is definitely up behind the scenes to account for these strange bedfellows.

Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), left, and Susan Collins (R-ME) are spear-heading an effort to codify same-sex marriage rights into law before the Supreme Court has a chance to overturn its previous key gay rights decisions.

Even in liberal Massachusetts, will Republicans support the Trumpiest of candidates?

Now and then I hear someone suggest that many Republicans, if given the chance to vote in secret, would reject Trumpism and support many progressive initiatives. But they are beholden to the crazies in their party and therefore have to “vote extremist,” if you will.

To them I always say: look at Massachusetts.

If there is any state where Republicans could adopt 100% the “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” model that some moderate Republicans espouse, why are so many Bay State Republicans supporting the Trumpiest of Trump candidates? After all, this is the state of William Weld and Charlie Baker, two MA governors who tried (and often failed) to walk the tightrope over the chasm that exists between GOP extremism and responsible governing.

Today is primary day in Massachusetts, so we’ll soon see just how deep MAGA goes in what is arguably the most liberal state in America.

Massachusetts Republicans are weighing which candidate has the best chance of keeping the governor’s office in GOP hands as they vote in Tuesday’s primary: a former state lawmaker endorsed by Donald Trump or a political newcomer who’s cast himself as the more moderate choice.

Geoff Diehl and Chris Doughty are vying for the chance to replace incumbent Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who’s opted not to seek a third term.

Democrats have a simpler decision. Attorney General Maura Healey — she would become the first woman and first openly gay candidate elected governor if she wins — is facing no challengers after the only other Democrat on the ballot dropped out of the running.

Republican voters in the state will become just the latest to decide whether the party will further embrace Trumpism or is ready to move back toward the center. In recent primaries in other blue states like Maryland and Connecticut, GOP voters have nominated Trump loyalists, hurting the party’s chances of winning against a Democrat in the November general election.

Diehl, the favorite among state Republican Party delegates in Massachusetts, has ties to Trump stretching to 2016, when he served as co-chair for Trump’s presidential campaign in the state. Trump lost Massachusetts by almost 30 percentage points in his two presidential campaigns. Diehl has also opposed COVID-19 protocols and hailed the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

Doughty, a businessman, said he supported some of Trump’s initiatives but wants to focus on challenges facing Massachusetts, which he said is increasingly unaffordable.

Diehl has come to embrace Trump’s false claims that he lost the 2020 election. Diehl said last year that he didn’t think it was a “stolen election” but later said the election was rigged, despite dozens of courts, local officials and Trump’s own attorney general saying the vote was legitimate. Doughty, meanwhile, has said he believes President Joe Biden was legitimately elected.

There are no “good Republicans,” and I’ve voted for a few in my lifetime. Bill Weld was a good Republican when I lived in Boston. In fact, I wrote the editorial endorsing him (for governor) in the pages of the newspaper where I was managing editor. But there are no Bill Welds coming to save the Republican Party.

Trump and MAGA own the Republican Party. And a vote for any Republican, even a “moderate” one, is to give strength to Donald Trump and his anti-democratic movement.

If chosen today by the Mass. GOP as its candidate, Trump Republican Geoff Diehl will face in the race for governor Democrat Attorney General Maura Healey, who would be the first female and first openly gay governor of Massachusetts.