C/o Boston Celtics
226 Causeway St.
There comes a time in every political campaign to fish or cut bait. For you, that time is now.
Your saturation bombing ad campaign is definitely having an effect. My elite focus group, consisting of my mother, says: "I love his ads. He's the one with the funny name." So there is a 33 percent chance she'll vote for you, or Mr. Khazei, or Mr. Capuano.
I have a better idea. I can get you into those marble halls, where giants like George ("Broadway Melody of 1938") Murphy and Strom ("Racist at Large') Thurmond once roamed. Better still, unlike those pricey campaign advisers you have -- in the clubby world of political consulting you are known as "Pay-liuca" -- I will charge you nothing. My advice is absolutely free.
Here is it is.
Fact: You or one of your rivals can win the Teddy K. primary with as few as 200,000 votes, fewer still if a freak storm hits in early December.
Fact: You have $400 million. Do the math. You can offer each voter up to $2,000, which is a lot better than the measly $250 President Obama wants to hand out to Social Security recipients, praying they don't pull a Virginia or New Jersey on him in 2010.
It's true that you will have to liquidate most of your net worth, and that is a financial decision you might want to discuss with your wife. But look at the upside. You'll be in the Senate, making $174,000 a year, slurping as much Senate bean soup as you can drink!
Paying for votes isn't strictly speaking legal, but we can get around that. You could offer each resident a "gratuity" or "consideration," you know, like the drug companies that invite doctors down to Aruba for "informational" seminars. No implied obligation, but they always seem to remember Big Pharma when it comes time to write those 'scrips.
Give the people what they want:
1. Celtics tickets. I know they are in short supply, but surely you could spring a few hundred here and there to get the Pagliuca Plan moving. FYI, I have never seen the Lakers play in the Garden. Just saying.
2. A cool gizmo. Not the iPhone, that's so May 2009. I'm thinking of the Google-fueled Droid. It costs only $200 -- why not buy 100,000? Have you heard about the "augmented reality" app? You train the cellphone camera on your home, and the tag appears: "Future dwelling of the junior senator for Massachusetts." What will they think of next?
3. A job. Your rival Alan Khazei is organizing volunteer service days. Go him one better, announce a full-employment program raking leaves, or cleaning pools in your home town of Weston. People need jobs, just as your TV ads say, and unlike your boon companion Mitt ("Toast of Guatemala") Romney, you could employ actual American citizens.
Steve, thank you for taking my call, knowing full well that you might be the butt of some gentle ribbing. "Your idea would never work," you said. "In Massachusetts, the message is key. You can't buy voters here, they would figure that out."
Maybe you are right, but if you change your mind, I am in the book.
Best wishes, Alex
PS. Don't you wish you had bought the Globe? Then I'd be writing dithyrambs in your honor, instead of these snippy little columns.
Alex Beam is a Globe columnist. His e-dress is Beam@globe.com. To read previous columns, click here.
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