June 2006
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Month June 2006

Chris Lydon looks for the “New England Common”

As many of you know, the Media Giraffe Project conference is happening this weekend at UMass-Amherst.  I went out there today for the blogger meet-up and for Chris Lydon’s session in which he asks, “Does New England need a virtual meeting place for news, analysis, discussion and action on politics, culture, environment and life?”  As always, Chris asked thoughtful and provocative questions of the 30 or so folks from a variety of walks of life who sat in on the discussion. As I’ve said to Lydon a couple of times, and as Adam Gaffin also noticed, I’d respectfully submit that BMG represents part of what he has in mind: a place for MA-focused political junkies to visit, say what’s on their mind, and find out what other like- or not-so-like-minded folks are thinking.  As such, this place brings together the collective knowledge and wisdom of a significant number of people who together know an awful lot about local politics, and a fair bit about other interesting things as well.  I know I’ve learned a lot from reading what’s written on this site, and I certainly hope others have too. But this site is of course openly partisan, and its principal […]

The Message Discipline of Healey’s Operatives & the Gullible Media

Wow, these folks are good.  I certainly know the press will be to lazy to catch it, I hope the Democatic oppo team can cast light on it (we do have oppo research going on, right Phil?) and I can only pray we Dems can exhibit the same level of message discipline the Republicans operatives have Kerry Healey and Reed Hillman on.

It’s vital to “stay on message” on every topic, to give the best sound bite with the most rhetorical spin.  And it is clear that Healey and Hillman are getting heavily briefed and they are doing what they are told.

Romney FOR spreading disease

Romney is a shortsighted opportunist Read more here. The Boston Globe article details Romney’s veto of a bill making for easier syringe access. A quick look at the data indicates that syringe access does not increase drug usage. It does, however, decrease disease.

Unfortunately this data is in conflict with the data that suggest that whenever a republican votes for progressive ideas, he will be hurt by his own party.

Dan Conley – Hurting More than He Helps

Within the past few years Boston’s homicide rate drastically increased while the arrest and conviction rate severely dropped.  The homicide rate is not as bad as in the late 1980s and early 90s but it is well on its way. One of the problems has been the competence of the Boston Police homicide division. Dubbed ‘the worst homicide squad in the country’, some of the malfeasance and misfeasance of the unit has been well documented. In addition, the unit responsible for forensics has historically been a dumping ground and the BPD is finding it difficult to bring it up to current standards. It has been obvious to many for years that the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes in Boston has been abysmal. Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley has shown zero leadership during this crisis. He has turned a blind eye to incompetence, neglect, unprofessional and possibly criminal behavior by members of the Boston Police Department. Why? Most likely because that is Conley’s political base – more or less. The D.A. does not have a base like other pols. All he has is about 200 jobs to hand out. More than 100 go to lawyers.  No one cares about […]

Terrorist Finance Tracking Hardly News

As the Republicans continue to divert attention from their failed war in Iraq, former Whie House officials are now saying that the LA Times hardly published anything new in its recent terrorist finance tracking piece. From today’s Globe: “There have been public references to SWIFT before,” said Roger Cressey, a senior White House counterterrorism official until 2003. “The White House is overreaching when they say [The New York Times committed] a crime against the war on terror. It has been in the public domain before.” Now either this guy is a communist or the Republicans are full of it. You decide.

Colbert Salutes MA Fireworks Enabler

Conservative news analyst Stephen Colbert has named New Hampshire fireworks vendor Steve Pelkey of New Hampshire’s Atlas Fireworks Factory a “Difference Maker” for his efforts to supply Massachusettts with fireworks. Pelkey, who compares his efforts to those of the Underground Railroad and says he could be considered the “Harriett Tubman of fireworks” has located his gunpowder vending centers just north of the state line at several convenient locations. I agree fireworks should be allowed in Massachusetts, at least for adults on the 4th of July, and perhaps New Years eve as well. Why not? We can SCUBA dive and rock climb, which has a high risk of personal injury, and allow noisy displays to celebrate Independence Day. Fireworks are fun, don’t hurt anyone when used responsibly, and like other things in life should be allowed if possible, subject to reasonable restrictions.

Marie St. Fleur….the peoples choice

Being the slowest week of the summer I thought I might check out the OCPF to see who would drop whatever bad news they had on the slowest news week.

Surprise…Marie St. Fleur

If you want a list of the people who make this state hum just check out the contribution list. Lobbyist, insiders and connected attorneys galore, my guess; less than 20 of the 350+/- contributors are in district.

Ernie Boch III has a pretty good handle on some of these people; tell us a story Ernie. How about former Malden State Senator John Brennan, former chair of the state senate banking committee and currently a real estate developer and President of the Brennan Group? Or maybe Patricia Brett, consultant to the Brennan Group, long time aide to former Senate President William Bulger, wife of former Rep. James Brett; last seen as the recipient of just south of $10,000.00 in campaign funds from former House Speaker Tom Finneran (see The Patriot Ledger 8/20/05).

Marie St. Fleur…the “peoples” choice

Governor Reilly Will Not Take a Pass

I believe that the majority of voters in Massachusetts support Democratic values.  And yet their anxiety over a Democratic Governor’s inability or unwillingness to stand up to the overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature has played a huge role – in my opinion, the biggest role – in the voters’ decisions to elect a Republican to the corner office for four consecutive terms. Last night, the three Democratic candidates were pushed to take a position on whether the Legislature should vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage or if they would condone the use of  parliamentary tactics to kill it without a vote.  This is a sensitive issue, no doubt, but one that unquestionably demands an unqualified position from our would-be Governors. Reilly: “I’m opposed to the constitutional amendment, but, yes, I think the legislators should vote on this.” In stark contrast, both Gabrieli and Patrick took a pass, deferring to the Legislature.  Patrick sidestepped by saying that he wasn’t running for the Legislature, he’s running for Governor.  Gabrieli volunteered that he would weigh in if it ever reached the voters.  Both answers completely failed to address R.D. Sahl’s simple, specific, repeated question: should the Legislature vote?  Yes or no. […]

Meanwhile in NH-02…

Since we have ten Democratic US representatives in safe seats, a Massachusetts Democrat who wants to influence control of the US House has to look elsewhere.  With the fundrasing reporting deadline coming up today, I want to remind you that you don’t have far to look. Paul Hodes (rhymes with “roads”) lost by about 20 points to Charlie “Catch and Release” Bass in 2004, but there are indications that he’s competitive this year.  He outraised Bass in the first quarter, and one poll has shown him trailing by only single digits.  The big liberal bloggers (whom we are apparently obliged to follow slavishly) have just added him to the ActBlue netroots candidates list, which has already gotten him over $2K. Hodes is a former prosecutor and a musician who is so far centering his campaign on some very progressive ideas about energy independence.  Bass is the Platonic ideal of the “catch and release” blue-state Republican who votes against unpopular GOP bills if, and only if, it doesn’t matter at all.  If you can spare any money for him today it would be most welcome.  If anyone on the NH border has any extra campaign energy, that would be welcome too.  […]

One more for the tool box

I’m Gibrán Rivera and I just ran a movement building campaign for the Boston City Council.  If a Massachusetts Working Families Party were solely controlled by organized labor, I probably would not have gotten its endorsement.  The Central Labor Council endorsed an overtly centrist incumbent over an explicitly working-class agenda – these structures can be terribly short-sighted. But I’m working on this reform because communities of color have been explicitly invited and welcomed to be a part of this process from the very beginning.  The conversation between communities of color and labor is long overdue, and together, these constituencies — which are completely taken for granted by the Democratic Party — can coalesce around a focused, specific, clear and incontrovertible bread-and-butter platform.  We will continue to disagree on many other things, but our ballot line will be informed by those five things we can agree on.