Inspired by the career of his brother, former state legislator Nick Paleologos – as well as former Gov. Mike Dukakis and the late U.S. Sen Paul Tsongas – noted Massachusetts political pollster David Paleologos has formed a new Greek Political Action Committee.
The national political survey specialist told the State House News Service he wants to get Greek-American candidates excited about getting into public service again after Dukakis and Tsongas and a raft of others with Greek heritage blazed a trail.
“It’s about encouraging young Greek-American women and men to run for office,” Paleologos told the SHNS about the new group, of which he is Chairman. He said, “There’s been kind of a void since Mike Dukakis left office,” and ran for President in 1988.
Paleologos is Director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center and said that funds raised by the PAC would also go to candidates who are “committed to promoting the ideas of Hellenism.”
“It’s like viewing the people who are receiving the support as you would people in your family,” Paleologos explained. He said the PAC would be non-partisan and said it would not present conflicts for him in his political polling.
“The only conflict there would be if someone was running for U.S. President, Governor or U.S. Senate,” said Paleologos, who said the PAC would focus on local offices and the state Legislature. He said, “It’s not to elect a Greek President.”
His brother Nick was in a group of progressive Democrats who challenged the old iron-fist style of politics at the Massachusetts State House in the 1970s and 1980s before moving on to become a noted producer on Broadway and with films such as Mississippi Burning.
THE GREEK ROOTS
But pollster Paleologos, who has carved a name for himself around the country with his on-target surveys, including picking up late momentum in the Donald Trump Presidential campaign, said depending on the success of the Massachusetts PAC he is “absolutely” open to a Federal counterpart to take the hunt for Hellenophile and Greek-American candidates nationwide.
Paleologos said his grandparents came from Sparta and Mani on the Peloponnese, and from Athens, transplanting in the US and infusing the family with their heritage.
He said it was his son, Arthur, a high school senior and Co-president of the student body at the prestigious Phillips Academy, who had the idea to push young Greek-Americans to involve themselves in politics and create another generation of candidates.
“It was a brainchild of my son,” Paleologos said. He said, “He knows that his generation is very skeptical of politicians and politics in general.”
Paleologos, who hails from the city of Woburn, between Boston and Lowell, had just graduated from high school in the 1970s when brother Nick first won election as a state legislator, serving for more than two decades.
“When Dukakis ran back in the old days it was people like Nick and other people who were inspired by what he was doing,” Paleologos told the News Service.
Massachusetts also produced another notable Greek-American politician, Andrew Natsios, a maverick Republican in the State House who served with Paleologos and later became head of the Agency for International Development (AID) for President George W. Bush.