August 2006
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Month August 2006

Blurb for LG Candidate John Sullivan

Nicole L. Nionakis, Press Secretary, Mihos for Governor Campaign, provided us with this statement about John Sullivan. I requested the information a few days ago as part of our continuing effort to provide comprehensive coverage of the LG race. I sent a similar request to the Green Party but haven’t heard anything from them. “John Sullivan’s experience leading complex corporations and serving as a public official for more than 35 years make him an ideal choice for lieutenant governor. He knows the needs of municipalities after serving 27 years as town moderator and nine years as a selectman in Winchester, and he understands that increased local aid is vital to the successes of the Commonwealth’s cities and towns. “While some of the candidates for lieutenant governor have been longtime business people or lifelong politicians, none can claim they have more combined experience than John Sullivan. He has great knowledge of engineering, construction, finance and elder law. He is a professional engineer and a practicing attorney. “John will be an independent voice for residents, an advocate for cities and towns and a leader on Beacon Hill. He’s the best candidate for lieutenant governor, and we’re confident voters will agree on Nov. […]

“Alex Beam, How Dare You!” OR “Charley, You Never Disappoint” – With Poll

I read Alex Beams column yesterday on global warming. Then I waited. And waited. It took longer than I thought, but I trusted my instincts. And voila! Today Charley posted his attack. What took so long Charley? You see, Alex (one of Ernie’s favorites, right behind Joan Venocchi) had the audacity to try and confirm Al Gore and others’ claim that no one of any qualifications disagrees with anything he is saying. As Beam tells it, “Al Gore delivered the kickoff lecture, and, 10 years later, he reiterated Schneider’s directive. There is no science on the other side, Gore inveighed, more than once. Again, the same message: If you hear tales of doubt, ignore them. They are simply untrue. “I ask you: Are these convincing arguments? And directed at journalists, who are natural questioners and skeptics, of all people? What happens when you are told not to eat the apple, not to read that book, not to date that girl? Your interest is piqued, of course. What am I not supposed to know?” God Damn Alex Beam for being inquisitive! You are sooo right Charley. Don’t ever question what a lefty flavor of the week says. Has Alex Beam no […]

On Taxes: Deval Patrick = Glass Joe?

I was never really into video games, but I did end up with a Nintendo gamesystem back in the late-80′s and the one game that I could not stop playing was Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!  Simply put: that game kicked ass.  For the unfamiliar, Punchout!! featured a fictional boxer, Little Mac, who battles his way through a string of progressively more challenging boxers until he meets Mike Tyson in the championship bout.  Litte Mac’s journey begins with a match against Glass Joe, a fighter whose nickname is derived from his notoriously fragile glass jaw.

Why in the world am I reminded of this?  Because I saw a some Glass Joe in Deval Patrick’s response to Tom Reilly’s challenge of his tax record yesterday.  As Charley pointed out in his diary, if Patrick didn’t see this coming,  I don’t know what he expected. 

Taxes and spending always rank at or near the top of voter concerns in every poll.  As I have previously argued, the income tax rollback goes way beyond just taxes and spending.  It goes to the heart of whether voters can trust a Democratic Governor to stand up to the Democratic Legislature – on taxes, finances, special pensions for their alumni, or whatever.

Tom Reilly is smart – and well within bounds – to challenge Deval Patrick on what is always a key issue in any campaign.  There aren’t a lot of issues that truly separate the candidates – and this is a big one.

Mayor Murray Fails to Make the Ballot!

I bet that headline caught your attention.  I just (absentee) voted and was surprised to find only the titles of incumbents or current statewide office holders on the ballot. So for the LG race, none of the 3 candidates had any designation, like “Mayor of Worcester” or “Former Chair of the Brookline Selectmen”.  For the uninformed voter (as if there were such a thing) they’ll have no idea which ones are current or former office holders (which arguably could hurt my candidate, Andrea Silbert). Deval did not even rate a “Former US Attorney General”.

Dunk on NECN 7pm tonight.

NECN Jim Braude will interview Phil Dunkelbarger, The show is scheduled to air tonight at 7:00pm on Thursday August 31.

Yard signs sprouting for Deval

Seen from a single corner in my Medford neighborhood: five Deval Patrick yard signs.  (For the record, my house doesn’t have one.)  I don’t think I’ve seen a single Gabrieli or Reilly yard sign anywhere, much less in my area, and the Patrick bumper stickers are also much more in evidence than the other two.  And this is Medford, not exactly the headquarters of the alleged loony left. This is all pretty unscientific.  But I’m guessing that if you care enough to plop a yard sign on your lawn, or even enough to stick a sticker on your bumper, you care enough to show up on Sept. 19.  And things bein’ how they are, that’s good news for Patrick.

Galvin a no-show at Medford forum. Weak.

SHNS reports that Bill Galvin no-showed at what was supposed to be a quasi-debate between him and Secretary of State candidate John Bonifaz.  Reportedly, Galvin begged off at the last minute because he was “stuck in New Bedford.” I’ll readily acknowledge that I haven’t been exactly banging the drum for Bonifaz, and that I’ve expressed doubts about some of his statements.  But look, this is getting ridiculous.  Galvin finally agrees, after months of requests, to appear together with Bonifaz in a televised event – to the point where a bunch of people actually show up at Medford city hall – and then he’s “stuck in New Bedford”?? That’s pathetic.  Come on, Galvin.  You’re the Secretary of State, fer chrissakes – you’re supposed to be into elections.  At least make a show of caring about your own. Supposedly, Galvin and Bonifaz (along with Jill Stein, the Green party’s SoS candidate) are appearing together in Worcester tonight at 6 pm.  Bets on whether Galvin shows? UPDATE: In the comments, a representative of Galvin’s campaign (Kara) says that Galvin had never actually committed to attend the Medford forum.  I have left messages for the folks in Medford who put this thing together, and […]

Surprise! Romney plays politics with stem cell research

Mitt Romney’s Department of “Public Health” recently announced regulations that, basically, gut the stem cell research bill that was passed over his veto a few months back.  The regulations resurrect the specter of scientists going to prison for conducting research that, in any normal state or country, would be not only allowed but encouraged.  Legislators have denounced the regulations and have announced plans to hold hearings to see what they can do about them. The Globe says: “Paul Cote, the state public health commissioner, acknowledged that the rules were developed in ‘active dialogue’ with Romney’s office.”  I am shocked!  Shocked!  Meanwhile, according to SHNS, Romney defended the new rules today with a truly bizarre comment: “Romney added: ‘It is Orwellian in scope.  It’s almost like the movie The Matrix.’”  Huh? Poor Kerry Healey has once again had to distance herself from the administration in which she works, stating that “the field of stem cell research is still rapidly evolving, and it is a mistake to impose regulations that could have a chilling effect on those individuals at the forefront of this emerging field.” Deval Patrick quickly denounced the new regulations: “The Romney-Healey Administration is once again playing politics with the […]

Alex Beam and the romance of denial

Globe columnist Alex Beam clearly prides himself on being a smart, contrarian sort. I can’t imagine, then, why he writes such a credulous piece on MIT’s famous global-warming denier Richard Lindzen: “This is the criminalization of opposition to global warming,” says Lindzen, who adds he has never communicated with the auto companies involved in the lawsuit. Of course Lindzen isn’t a fake scientist, he’s an inconvenient scientist. No wonder you’re not supposed to listen to him. Cue the John Williams score in the background, please. OK, spare me the hysterical self-pity. Look, it’s all fine and well to inveigh against intellectual orthodoxies, but you know, at some point you’ve just got to decide based on the actual merits of something. Lindzen’s opinions are one data point in a vast constellation of scientists who say he’s wrong. Why does Beam choose to lionize this guy? I’m not calling Lindzen a crackpot, or a shill, or a jerk, or a jaywalker, or anything. And calling attention to those who do is utterly beside the point: Who cares what Laurie David thinks, one way or the other? Look Alex — there’s just a huge mountain of evidence and people every bit as qualified […]

California to go single-payer?

I have no idea if there’s a snowball’s chance in hell of this getting over Arnie’s veto, but it’s damn impressive anyway: The Democratic-controlled Legislature is on the verge of sending Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a bill that would create a state-run universal health care system, testing him on an issue that voters rate as one of their top concerns in this election year. On a largely party-line 43-30 vote, the Assembly approved a bill by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, that would eliminate private medical insurance plans and establish a statewide health insurance system that would provide coverage to all Californians. The state Senate has already approved the plan once and is expected this week to approve changes that the Assembly made to the bill. Wow — single-payer health care as an electoral winner. Awesome. Too bad the mealy-mouth Dem Gov. nominee doesn’t support it. From winner to whiner, here’s a funny response from the Republicans: “This takes us in the wrong direction,” said Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian, R-Stockton. “This creates a government-run system akin to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Do we want health care taken care of by another bloated bureaucracy?” Now, can someone explain to me why […]