March 2006
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Month March 2006

Middlesex Clerk of Courts Race Heats Up

The $88,000 Middlesex Clerk of Courts position is open for the first time since the Eisenhower administration. At 85, Edward Sullivan has decided not to seek re-election. “Many people think it’s a crime to do a favor,’ he said. ‘In my opinion, if no one’s getting hurt, what’s wrong with doing someone a favor if you can help them out? That’s been our success, he said of the family’s political credo,” according to the Globe. With one eye, perhaps, on the family legacy his nephew, Cambridge City Council member and former Mayor Michael Sullivan has announced his candidacy for the job. The Somerville News reported today, however, that Somerville alderman Bruce Desmond has jumped into the race. There may be more to come since potential candidates have been waiting since the 1950s. In news from the campaign front, blogger Teddy Korkoros was not impressed by what he heard from Sullivan last night. “Coincidently the person who is leaving that job is Sullivan’s uncle. Sullivan tried to play this off saying he has to work harder to prove that he is not just getting the job because of his family name recognition. This argument falls flat because any one who looks […]

Republicans reverse street name change

An Update. I posted previously that the Board of Selectmen in Mansfield had changed the name of one of the town streets to Ronald Reagan Way. The Board of Selectmen in Mansfield voted last night 3-0 to reverse their earlier decision to change the name of one of the streets from Giles Place to Ronald Reagan Way. This was in response to letters from Democrats in town (see below) and appeals from the Giles family who’d been blindsided by the name change. (The Giles family gave the land the street is on to the town decades ago). The good guys won! I didn’t see the BOS meeting but I’m told they were sheepish and chagrined and they quietly voted to reverse themselves without any discussion.  Thanks to all the bloggers who helped publicize the controversy and congrats to the Giles family to whom this issue was more than just a political fight.

Democracy for America: Boston Calls for a Discussion on High Crimes & Misdemeanors

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to invite everyone to our DFA Boston meeting next Wednesday night. We will be having an open discussion led by John Bonifaz on how the presidency of George W Bush has affected this country and what we the people can do about it. A copy of the press release we will be sending out is below. Please pass the word on to friends/family ect. We hope this event will produce some lively discussion as well as spur people to take some action. We look forward to seeing some of you there.

Tim Murray beefs up fundraising; claims he’s got 15% of delegates

In a statement released today, Lieutenant Governor candidate Tim Murray reports that he raised about $136,000 in March, a substantial improvement over the previous two months in which he raised about $50,000 (February) and $32,000 (January). The end-of-March reports aren’t out yet, but based on the reports for March 1-15, Andrea Silbert’s previously torrid fundraising may be slowing (she brought in only about $17,000 in that period); Sam Kelley’s may be picking up, though not enough to catch up to his competitors (he raised $11,475); and Murray’s is taking off (he raised over $62,000 in the first half of March, and according to the press release must have raised over $70,000 in the second half). In addition, Murray says he has secured the pledges of over 15% of the delegates to the June convention – I believe his is the first Lt. Gov. campaign to have made that claim publicly.  And he says he’s got 7,000 of the 10,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot.

2 Studies: Pub Schools Outperform, 3/4 Mass schools likely to fail “No Child” in 2014

In “The Manufactured Crisis: “Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America’s Public Schools” Dr. David Berliner and Bruce Biddle argued that ongoing criticism of America’s public schools is baseless and partisan.  [ read review of book in Christian Ethics Today ]. A new study released January 2006, funded by the US Department of Education, by researchers at the University of Illinois at Champagne Urbana rebuts  claims on the alleged low performance of public schools

Message from the Murray Campaign!

Hello Blue Mass Bloggers,

I am sorry it has taken me so long to post – But I am here now. I just wanted to update you about how well our campaign is going. Thanks to a great team effort, the campaign just had its best fundraising month of the year! We raised $140,000 dollars in the month of March and are continuing to break our own fundraising records. Tim and the entire campaign are all grateful to the hundreds of people who have generously given to the campaign!

In addition to our fundraising success, the campaign’s strong field organization has secured the pledges of more than 15% of Democratic Convention delegates, the percentage needed to get on the Democratic ballot in September. We have also gathered more than 6,700 of 10,000 nominating signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.  Thanks to everyone who has helped this effort.

In other news, our campaign continues to lead in the number of endorsements from elected officials and organizations throughout the Commonwealth. Most recently, Tim received the endorsements of Rep. Anthony Petruccelli of East Boston and Rep. Benjamin Swan of Springfield. And we are proud to say that Tim has also received the endorsement of Iron Workers Local 7 and Roofers and Waterproofers Local 33. For a complete listing of endorsements, please visit 

*Read Below about our State-Wide Signature Collection on SATURDAY, APRIL 1st (Tomorrow!)

Joe O’Brien

Campaign Manager

Tim Murray for Lt. Governor

Archdiocese fires Scalia photographer

Today’s Herald reports that Peter Smith, the freelance photographer and BU photojournalism professor who took the picture showing Justice Antonin Scalia making an insulting/obscene/you-make-the-call gesture inside Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross, has been fired by the Boston Archdiocese.  According to the Herald, the Pilot (the Archdiocese’s newspaper), for whom Smith was on assignment at the time, had made a “journalistic decision” not to run the photograph, but Smith released it to the Herald.  As a result, the Archdiocese said, “we will no longer engage his services as a freelance photographer.” Smith is standing by his report that, in addition to making the gesture, Scalia uttered an Italian obscenity: “vaffanculo,” which means “f*&k you,” or literally, “go and take it in your a&&.”  (I’m trying to keep this post work-safe.) Of course, the notion that the Pilot could make a credible “journalistic decision” not only not to publish the photograph but to refuse to release it to anyone else is laughable.  Like it or not, what Scalia did was newsworthy – it may not be the most earth-shattering story ever reported, but Supreme Court Justices are important public figures, and Scalia’s gesture and comment were in response to a legitimate […]

Friday backblog

Drips and drabs that I’ve neglected to blog: So, a Kennedy school dean and University of Chicago prof release a white-hot report on the influence of pro-Israel lobbying groups on American foreign policy. I’m not going to address the merits of their argument; but I have to ask: Why in hell did the Globe quote David Duke’s response so liberally? Do we have to ask a racist ignoramus what he thinks about every foreign policy issue? Was the issue not controversial enough that the Globe needed to “punch it up” with some quotes from a vicious has-been? Does Duke’s opinion have anything whatsoever to do with reality? In other words, who cares what he thinks? Thanks for muddying the waters, Globe. Part of Christian Science Monitor editor Richard Bergenheim’s statement on reporter Jill Carroll’s miraculous release: The chorus of Muslim leaders condemning this kidnapping has been larger and louder than has been heard for some time. We hope that these voices of opposition to this crime will continue on behalf of all hostage victims until this practice stops. Often, more than 30 Iraqis a day are kidnapped, and the world doesn’t hear their voices or the voices of their families. […]

State Republicans clamping down on free speech?

There’s a good article by Brian McGrory in today’s Globe regarding a little tiff between “local developer and civic good-guy” John Rosenthal and the Outdoor Advertising Board. Apparently Rosenthal, who is probably most famous for his giant anti-gun billboard overlooking the Mass. Pike down by Kenmore Square, his ruffled feathers with a billboard advertising the website It looks like the OAB is trying to nail Rosenthal on a technicality, but there couldn’t be other motives at work, could there?

Candidates…..Lets see your Tax Returns

Pam Wilmot, Executive Director of Common Cause of Massachusetts and Phil Johnson State Dem Committee Chairman express very strong opinions on the reluctance of candidates to release their tax returns in a Globe story today. In this interview with Tom Reilly about financial disclosure , Reilly thinks those who come into politics from the private sector should show where the money is really coming from..”Are there any conflicts? These are things that people would want to know about a person before they vote”. The president does,the vice president does, so it is not an extraordinary thing”

Why is there absolute silence from the Deval Patrick progressives on this issue? Isn’t disclosure a liberal mantra? Do we only listen to Common cause and the chairman of their own party when it serves the liberal’s self interests?

I have been accused of fanning the flames on the $27,000 mortgage payment that Mr. and Mrs Patrick must make every month. But when one like Patrick brags about coming from nothing, makes millions overnite and runs for governor ,the public deserves an explanation. Do we want a Governor filing for bankruptcy in during his term? In political terms this will be an albatross around Patrick’s neck throught the balance of the campaign.  He really should come clean to clear the air now because I guarantee neither the blogs or the press will let the issue disappear.