Not About Neal

A recent post on Tom Devine’s “Cosmos Report” drew my attention to some interesting lawn signs being distributed by Tom Wesley, one of this fall’s Republican challengers for the 2nd Congressional seat currently held by Springfield’s own Richie Neal. (Also running from the GOP is Northampton physician Jay Fleitman.)

The most prominent feature on the sign isn’t Wesley’s name (that’s stuck, in a smaller font, in the upper left-hand corner), but rather the provocative website name Wesley’s decision to highlight his foe’s name, Devine notes, “focus[es] more attention on Neal than himself!”—albeit, not very flattering attention. takes you to Wesley’s website, where voters unhappy with the status quo in government will find this very appealing sentiment: “Tom Wesley is not a professional politician and never will be. He believes that politics is a noble calling but does not believe in politics as a profession.”

Not surprisingly, Wesley takes direct aim at Neal and the Democratic establishment: “We sent Richard Neal to Congress to represent us, not the special interests that fund his campaign war chest. Washington has failed to listen to us and much of the blame rests with politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Richard Neal. It’s time to return the congress back to ‘We the People.’”

A Navy veteran and resident of Hopedale, Wesley describes himself as a fan of “free enterprise”; to create jobs, he writes in his campaign material, “We need to reduce the tax and regulatory burdens on businesses, especially small businesses. Complicated tax credit formulas don’t create jobs; increased demand does. We also need to lower corporate income taxes that compel corporations to export jobs to lower tax jurisdictions.”

Wesley also calls for strict enforcement of immigration laws, high standards in education, and portable, affordable health coverage. “A national, single-payer option is not in the best interests of the country,” he says.

Wesley, who has been making the rounds of the district’s Tea Party events, was endorsed by the Springfield Republican City Committee in June. In a statement announcing the endorsement, committee Chairman Alexander Sherman described Wesley as “the best chance in decades to move this seat to the Republican column, the people’s column.

“As a city hit hard by the economic recession, we know how important it is to have someone in Washington that has the right agenda for getting people back to work and restoring a healthy economy. Tom Wesley understands the critical role that small businesses will play in this recovery, and that government must encourage them, not impede them. He also knows the harmful effects that further tax increases fueled by out-of-control spending would have in this environment. And Tom is committed to working with community groups to regain control of their streets in order to raise their families in peace,” Sherman continued.

(In the same post about Wesley’s signs, Devine also answers the question that’s long been on the minds of the many devoted fans of his joyfully iconoclastic political writings: Has he ever thought about running for office himself?

Devine writes: “One of the reasons I have never run for public office (besides having little chance of winning because I’m too conservative for most liberals and too liberal for most conservatives) is because I don’t want to have to walk around all the time dressed like a lawyer.” Indeed, as regular readers of his blog can attest, some days, Devine doesn’t like to have to walk around dressed, period.)

Author: On Springfield

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