jeremy kapstein

Jeremy Kapstein’s name floated to stabilize Dodgers

April 25th, 2011 at 10:46 am by under Nesi's Notes

Jeremy Kapstein, who made an unsuccessful bid for Rhode Island’s Democratic lieutenant governor nomination last year, is a veteran baseball executive, currently serving in the Red Sox’ front office as CEO Larry Lucchino’s senior advisor for baseball projects.

But with the Los Angeles Dodgers in financial turmoil, might Commissioner Bud Selig ship the Providence native out to the Left Coast to take the helm of the storied team? That possibility was floated last week by The Boston Globe’s plugged-in baseball writer Nick Cafardo – though he appears to be the only one who’s done so thus far:

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has taken over operations of the Dodgers from owner Frank McCourt and first will appoint a representative to run the team and then choose a permanent owner to stabilize the storied franchise. …

Whom will Selig appoint to run the Dodgers in the interim? Likely someone with experience running a franchise.

He has John McHale and Joe Garagiola Jr. in the MLB offices who could perform those duties on a temporary basis. There are those with CEO experience, such as former Braves and Nationals president Stan Kasten and former Padres CEO Jeremy Kapstein.

For what it’s worth, Kapstein had $5,781 left in his campaign account at the close of last year – and still owed himself $63,500 from the $160,000 in personal loans he made to fund his LG candidacy.

How Lt. Gov. Roberts dispatched Bob Healey

November 8th, 2010 at 1:06 pm by under General Talk

Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts was probably the most underestimated politician in Rhode Island this election year.

The whispers about Roberts started last spring, when it emerged that she would face a primary challenge from Jeremy Kapstein, a wealthy Red Sox executive and Tiverton native whose father was a state lawmaker. (Roberts had already bowed out of the Democratic gubernatorial race the previous summer.) Pundits saw the makings of a tough race, and Frank Caprio wouldn’t even endorse Roberts.

But Kapstein’s campaign never took off – he raised little money and put minimal effort into the contest – and Roberts walloped him in the Sept. 14 primary, winning 64% of the vote to his 36%.

Then Roberts’ Republican opponent, Heidi Rogers, abruptly dropped out just days after winning the party’s nomination. The Republicans threw their support behind perennial candidate Bob Healey Jr., whose campaign platform called for eliminating the lieutenant governor’s office altogether.

As the election drew closer, plenty of people (myself included) thought Roberts was in trouble. Healey’s anti-establishment message offered an opportunity for a grumpy electorate to stick it to an incumbent, and our WPRI 12 poll just before the vote showed him within seven points of Roberts.

Those predictions were dead wrong. Roberts defeated Healey by a 16-point margin last Tuesday, taking 55% of the vote to his 39%.


The lieutenant governor’s race just gets odder

September 17th, 2010 at 3:26 pm by under General Talk

Heidi Rogers

The race for Rhode Island lieutenant governor is shaping up to be the oddest one of the year.

First, wealthy Red Sox executive Jeremy Kapstein decided to challenge incumbent Elizabeth Roberts for the Democratic nomination. Pundits expected a hard-fought race, but Kapstein never seemed to put much energy into his candidacy, and Roberts won renomination easily on Tuesday.

Now, just three days into the general election campaign, the race is taking another odd turn as Heidi Rogers, the Republican who won her party’s nomination, has apparently decided to drop out of the race.

Her reason gets to yet a third oddity in this contest – both Rogers and independent LG candidate Robert Healey Jr., who’s running for a third time this year under the Cool Moose banner, believe the office and its $1 million annual budget are so useless they should be eliminated. (Roberts disagrees.) Rogers is reportedly dropping out so that she and Healey don’t split the eliminate-the-LG’s-office vote.

There’s a reason this happened so quickly – today is the state deadline for nominees to withdraw if they want to let their parties put up a different candidate. That decision is now in the hands of G.O.P. Chairman Giovanni Cicione, who has said in the past he thinks local Republicans will prefer to vote for Healey.

If Rogers does formally withdraw today, her name will not appear on the ballot in November since no actual ballots have been printed yet, Robert Kando, executive director of the R.I. Board of Elections, just told me. (The R.I. Secretary of State’s office is in charge of actually printing them.)

Once ballots start getting printed, statewide candidates cannot withdraw from the race because then they would appear on ballots in some places and not in others, he said. (Local candidates can withdraw if their municipality’s ballots haven’t been printed yet.)

One option not open to the state’s Republicans is simply to make Robert Healey their candidate, too, which some states allow; all nominees are required to be members of the party on whose ballot line the will appear, Kando said.

Update: And for those who really want to understand how this process works, here’s the relevant section of state law.

Update #2: Anchor Rising’s Justin Katz is not amused by Rogers’ bait-and-switch:

What utter disrespect for Rhode Island Republican voters who believe that their primary votes are honestly given to sincere candidates. As it turns out, we are just as apt to be manipulated as any other group to serve the higher cause that our political betters have discerned to exist. Frankly, I probably would have gone with Healey in the general election, but there’s absolutely no way he’ll get my vote now.

There are rules. Voters have expectations about the meaning of their votes. Game playing and procedural manipulation are very much part of [the] current hostility toward President Obama and Congressional Democrats. Why on Earth would the RIGOP cheer along as a candidate who just won the party’s primary offers ham-handed illustration that the loathed “ruling class” with no respect for the rules extends to such a pitiful office as lieutenant governor?

Update #3: Commenter James correctly reminds me that another candidate for lieutenant governor qualified to appear on the November ballot: Bob Venturini, a Pawtucket resident.

(image credit: Facebook)

Watch LG candidates Roberts and Kapstein debate

August 28th, 2010 at 12:06 pm by under General Talk

A special edition of “Newsmakers” this week features the first televised debate between the Democrats running for lieutenant governor in the Sept. 14 primary – Elizabeth Roberts, the incumbent, and Jeremy Kapstein, a Boston Red Sox executive who is challenging her. Here’s host Tim White’s preview of the 30-minute exchange:

Roberts, of Cranston, is the first female lieutenant governor in Rhode Island history and a former 10-year member of the state Senate. Mr. Kapstein of Providence is a senior adviser for the Boston Red Sox; this is his first run for political office. Both candidate discuss their philosophy on the office of lieutenant governor, the pension system, the “Curt Schilling loan” and job creation.

WordPress won’t let me embed the video here, but click here to watch the full debate on The debate is also being televised at 5:30 a.m. Sunday on both WPRI 12 and FOX Providence. You can also watch Tim’s summary version from last night’s evening news. (One fun fact I learned is that Kapstein worked in the sports department here at WPRI back in the day.)

Update: Also, this is just the first in a series of debates on “Newsmakers” coming up this fall (on top of the series of special prime-time debates we’re hosting). Next week, Tim and co. will have the three Democrats vying to be the party’s nominee for attorney general – Smithfield Town Councilman Steve Archambault, former Providence city solicitor Joe Fernandez and state Rep. Peter Kilmartin of Pawtucket.

High stakes for Kapstein in Friday debate

August 15th, 2010 at 4:06 pm by under General Talk

Jeremy Kapstein

WRNI’s Scott MacKay has a new post up looking at Red Sox exec Jeremy Kapstein‘s nearly invisible campaign against incumbent Elizabeth Roberts for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor:

But Roberts isn’t the only one in Rhode Island who wonders just what Kapstein is doing in the race for lieutenant governor. With five weeks to go until the Sept. 14 primary, voters know very little about a man who is asking us to put him a heartbeat away from the governor’s office.

Call it the stealth campaign of 2010. Kapstein doesn’t hold news conferences or issue position papers. He has not aired television advertising. He is known to have considerable wealth, but his campaign finance chest has just a few thousand dollars in it. His campaign doesn’t release a list of daily meetings and events.

As of June 30, Roberts’ campaign had $449,755 on hand, compared with Kapstein’s $12,608, according to my colleague Tim White. Put another way, Roberts had about $35 for every $1 of Kapstein’s. As MacKay notes, the wealthy Sox exec could probably make up the difference with his own funds. But the lackluster fundraising doesn’t speak to a big base of support.

With just a month to go before the primary, then, the stakes are high for this Friday’s radio debate between Roberts and Kapstein on WPRO. The pair will go head-to-head for an hour at 5 p.m., as part of a week-long series of debates during Buddy Cianci’s program.

It will be the first direct confrontation between the two – in fact, right now it’s the only one scheduled – so this is Kapstein’s big chance to make an impact and shake up the race. For Roberts, the objective is to stay in the pole position – while the July Brown poll gave her a 49%-18% advantage over Kapstein, a third of the primary electorate was still undecided.

It will be interesting to see what contrasts Kapstein tries to draw as the challenger in this low-profile race for this low-profile office. He must be hoping his luck will be better than the Red Sox’s has been lately.

Regardless of which Democrat wins the primary, in November he or she will face two opponents whose main campaign planks are eliminating the office of lieutenant governor altogether. Now that will be an interesting debate.

Regrets? Kapstein’s had a few

August 2nd, 2010 at 9:20 am by under News and Politics

This was news to me: Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Jeremy Kapstein, a top Red Sox executive, played a key role in baseball’s modern labor relations history, The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported Sunday:

No-trade clauses are starting to annoy the teams who have given them out like jelly beans. You reach the point in every long-term contract where it’s bad enough you have to keep paying an aging player, then you have to ask for his permission to trade him after you’ve paid him millions. …

You can blame Red Sox senior adviser Jeremy Kapstein, who was the first agent to negotiate no-trade clauses into player contracts, for the likes of Don Gullett, Bobby Grich, Don Baylor, and Joe Rudi in the mid-’70s. But when Kapstein switched over to management as CEO of the Padres in 1989, he fought hard to eliminate them from negotiations.

We live, we learn, we switch to management.