OK, it’s the Herald – not exactly the Dems’ best friend. So take it with as much salt as you’d like. But they’re still right: Youâd think a party that has been closed out of the Corner Office for the past 16 years would do a little soul searching about its internal workings. But noooooooo! The 15 percent rule (any candidate seeking to run for statewide office in the September primary must get 15 percent of the convention vote), which ought to have been lowered or abandoned long ago is back in play this year. And made even more onerous by requiring that candidates get over that bar on the first ballot. Gubernatorial hopeful Chris Gabrieli, who entered after most delegates were selected at local caucuses, has worked hard to reach that mark. But how embarrassing would it be to the party if a man with the solid credentials of Gabrieli were denied a place on the September ballot by a delegate or two? They also don’t like the “you can’t be a delegate if you endorsed a Republican” rule, which is a much smaller deal since it only affects a few delegates. But the 15% rule affects every Democratic [...]
I have been very impressed by Deval Patrick, but am going to vote for Chris Gabrieli on the first ballot this Saturday. If a 2nd ballot is necessary, I will then switch back to Patrick to help push him over the 50% threshold and win the weekend convention. The reasons that I am doing this are as follows: 1) Patrick is going to make the ballot and is assured of 15%; 2) Patrick is going to win the convention in any event; 3) Gabrieli is a legitimate candidate with impeccable democratic credentials and intriguing ideas; 4) The democratic party is about inclusion and Gabrieli could be at risk not to get to the required 15% threshold – that would be an embarrassment to the party and hurt us in the Fall; 5) Along these lines, I have not appreciated what I read about Reilly delegates being disqualified by DP supporters; 6) Patrick is fading in the polls and Gabrieli is a good hedge – in the end Gabrieli, Reilly, and/or Patrick are superior to the alternatives and 16 years of Republican rule is enough. Do we want to risk making it 20 years?
Matt Stoller is still afraid that MA congressmen Bill Delahunt could sell us down the river on net neutrality: The danger here is that the conflict between the Rules Committee and the Judiciary Committee produces a meaningless substitute bill [for the Sensenbrenner-Conyers Net Neutrality bill (HR 5417)], and some squishy Dem like Bill Delahunt sells us out and cosponsors it … That bill can then go to the floor and House Democrats will then vote for it while whimpering that it’s the only pro-net neutrality legislation they had the opportunity to vote for. Last week’s call to action by mem from somerville may have worked — but we’re still watching. For those in his district, it couldn’t hurt to give ol’ Bill a call at (202)225-3111, saying this, again: Here’s what to say. Urge them to support the bipartisan Sensenbrenner-Conyers Net Neutrality bill (HR 5417)… and to support it without amendment. Saying without amendment is key. (If you’re wondering what net neutrality is, watch a little video.)
South Shore Democrats have been sleeping… why are Democrats ignoring incumbent, strong, loud Republicans in the State Senate? There is a campaign that hasn’t received much attention yet, but is also quite important to Democrats: the Plymouth-Norfolk State Senate Race. For nearly 15 years, there has been a Republican in this spot. Despite the fact that there are more Democrats than Republicans in this area, and the House Reps in this region are Democrats, this position has always gone to a Republican. As you look through the voting record scorecards and legislative reviews (especially for important Democratic issues like equality in marriage, low income housing, immigration, alternative energy, healthcare, etc, etc), you always find the name of this Republican Senator, holding back Democratic policy. I am not clear why Democrats in the South Shore (and throughout Massachusetts – since this is a State position) have allowed this to happen for so long. One progressive Democratic candidate has stepped up to the plate recently, named Matt Mulvey (a building inspector / housing advocate / firefighter / Coast Guard Auxiliary / Democratic activist), to take up the challenge (http://www.mattmulvey.com) – however, he is not wealthy and self-funded like many of the candidates [...]
In my last rant on campaign finance as legalized bribery, I neglected to link a good article on the apparent change in attitude at the Department of Justice (I knew I’d seen it somewhere!): Unlike overhaul efforts in the past, though, which have relied on politicians cleaning up the very system that keeps them in power, the Justice Department’s Abramoff case opens up the possibility of genuine change. Imagine, for instance, if the oil companies and their executives could no longer link their campaign contributions to their interests in energy legislation. Or if trial lawyers couldn’t do the same with tort reform legislation. Robbed of much of their ability to bend the power structure with donations and other gifts, these industries would have less reason to give at all. They’d be forced instead to rely on the persuasiveness of their arguments rather than the power of their pocketbooks. Let’s hope that’s the end result. Much credit to the folks at DOJ for calling a spade a spade, finally.