March 2007
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Month March 2007

Warming to Senate President Murray

I have to say that I love this story about the infamous Faneuil Hall signing ceremony for the health care bill. [Senator Therese] Murray had privately fumed over Governor Mitt Romney’s elaborate ceremony, as did other Democratic legislative leaders who perceived the event as being staged for a future Romney presidential bid; they resented what they felt was his attempt to use them as props for upcoming campaign commercials. When Murray walked into the holding room and viewed the document showing the seating arrangement on the stage, she picked it up and tore it in pieces. “This is what I think of the seating chart,” she said, according to two sources who were present. As others in the room, including several top Romney aides, stood stunned, Travaglini took Murray aside and spoke to her, according to the sources who were there. He told one of the sources later that he advised her that if she wanted to be Senate president, she would have to curb those sorts of outbursts. As the guy who asked, on the day the health care bill was signed, “Who are the biggest rubes in Massachusetts today,” and answered his own question thusly … … I’ve […]

Looking forward to Opening Day

I was thinking that with heated debates over gay rights, 08 candidates, Deval’s performance, the 5th district race, the state senate race in Boston and Cambridge, and with all the RMGers crossposting, I thought it would be a nice time to make some predictions about the Red Sox season. I am fully pumped and excited about this upcoming season and believe that once again when it comes to power hitting, RBI totals, baserunning stats, all that good stuff offensively, I think we have been and continue to be a solid team. Ortiz will continue to be a great asset to the club hitting dem homers, whether he breaks his own new record is another thing, but this fan only hopes. If Manny quits being Manny and starts playing we could see big things from him, and of course we know the solid supporting cast from the hitting angle will continue to improve. The real question is the pitching and the bigger question there is whether or not Matsusaka will by the Japanese wonder or the 100 million dollar blunder. I will admit I was a skeptic but after seeing the youtube of the man throw a gyroball I went from […]

Question to all MA-05 Democratic Candidates

I’m going to keep the question simple.  Do you agree with Nancy Pelosi going to Syria? A nation we downgraded diplomatic ties with in 2005 to protest the murder of the duly and democratically elected leader of Lebanon. What say you?

Senator Clinton Comes to Boston

Just got back from Senator Clinton’s event at the State Room, which, we were told, raised over $1.4 million.  Lots of familiar faces throughout the crowd, including Mayor Tom Menino and his predecessor, Ray Flynn, Council President Maureen Feeney and Sheriff Andrea Cabral.  The state and region were also well represented with Senators Marc Pacheco and Harriet Chandler, a few reps, former Treasurer Shannon O’Brien, Providence Mayor David Cicilline and former DNC Chair Steve Grossman.  Lots of grassroots people there too from Kate Donaghue to the DSC’s Martina Jackson to Anita Cecchin-Gonzalez and Jess Taubner of JP. National GBLT Coordinator Mark Walsh of the South End got a big ovation when introduced. Many more there, of course (Barbara Lee had two tables) including a number of Massachusetts political operatives and advance men and women from Bill Clinton’s campaigns. Big applause lines — “I intend to be the first woman elected President of the United States”.  “If George Bush doesn’t get us out of Iraq by the election, I will” and “We need universal health care in the United States”.  Lots of commitment to a real energy policy.  Would have liked to have heard a bit more on job creation and […]

Will we have a new birth of freedom, or more social engineering?

According to Volume 14, Number 1, page 100 of the Journal of Children, Families, and Foster Care, “Family Reunification” by Fred Wulczyn babies are the most likely not to be reunited with their parents, and black babies are even less likely to go back to their parents then white ones.

After an oral argument last month, appellate counsel for DSS came up to me, and with a curled lip actually said, “How can you represent those people.”

My client’s child was taken straight from the hospital and she was never allowed to see her chlild more than one hour a week.  Never. 

No criminal history; no substance abuse history; her “crime” was to be a minority homeless mother with a mental health diagnosis and so she was never given a chance with her child.

How much would it cost to have given my client a real chance?

How can I not represent those people?

Tonight I watched Glory and I cried.  I must have had a pent up sorrow just waiting.

When a child is taken, straight from the hospital, how can a court find that DSS provided reasonable efforts prior to removal? 

The “new birth of freedom” that Lincoln spoke of in the Gettysburg address, and that the 54th Massachusetts died for will not be a reality if no one fights for “those people” and the child welfare system remains an engine of social engineering to take the children of one class, and provide them to others.

Will we reform child welfare in the direction of fairness, or continue with social engineering in Massachusetts?

Why is there no outrage about the murders???

Why is there no dialogue here on this ” Reality Based Commentary” about being able to walk in Boston’s streets without fear of being shot to death by a gangbanger?? Deval is dinning with Mia Farrow tonight worrying about Dafar? How about worrying about Geneve St where the city’s 15th murder took place yesterday???? Hey, crush out the “joints”, put down the latte cup  and let’s get serious here. What is “together we can” going to do about the murders?? What the hell is Deavl doing about it?

Optimism! cont’d

Some key Patrick accomplishments involve simply not being at all like Mitt Romney: Green-light to stem cell research. Green-light to Cape Wind. This is why we got him elected, right? Not to be a miracle worker, but simply to make the right call on fundamental things like this, indeed, to get out of the way of ideas whose time has come. We should appreciate how much the logjam of good sense has already broken.

Cops or grants?

It’s an unfortunate part of dealing with a big deficit that one has to make decisions like this: Put more cops on the streets, or fund more comprehensive programs that try to interrupt the cycle violence by dealing directly with the people involved. I don’t know if the Shannon grants are directly related to the “Boston Miracle” approach that worked, and then fell apart in the last few years. But I’m certainly sympathetic to the strategy. That being said, we’ve got Guardian Angels showing up in Boston now, which is frankly an embarrassment to the city. Those #$%$#%# berets are the worst possible advertising Boston could ask for. So how can we say we don’t need more real cops instead of the make-believe-ninjas from NYC? I expect that the eventual budget will split the baby down the middle somehow, weakening the Shannon Grants and providing for a handful of new cops. What a shame we don’t have the revenue — and more to the point, the political will to raise the revenue — to do both. I don’t know much about this issue — give us some clarity in the comments.

ACS Boston Lawyer Chapter Sponsors Panel On Reforming Election Procedures in Massachusetts

On Thursday, March 29, 2007, the American Constitution Society’s Boston Lawyer Chapter sponsored a great panel discussion, entitled “New Ideas On Reforming Election Procedures:  How Can We Make Sure That Everyone’s Vote Counts?” at Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts.  The topics of the panel discussion included: the implementation of Election Day Registration in New Hampshire and how it could work in Massachusetts; the use and misuse of electronic voting machines; auditing election results to ensure accurate results; and improving voting access for the disabled.  The panelists were:  David Scanlan, New Hampshire’s Deputy Secretary of State; Stanley Eichner, Executive Director, Massachusetts Disability Law Center; Donna Palermino, Adjunct Professor, Suffolk University School of Law; and Jocelyn Lippert, Chief of Staff to Massachusetts State Representative Jay R. Kaufman.  The panel discussion was moderated by John Bonifaz, Founder of the National Voting Rights Institute. The next ACS Boston Lawyer Chapter event will be in May on the topic of DNA testing and its effect on the death penalty.  Please contact acsboston@yahoo.com for more information  Thanks! 

End-of-Quarter Blog Fundraising Asks

cross-posted from the new ActBlue Blog On Monday I posted a tip for spicing up ActBlue fundraising pages by embedding video into ‘asks’. This is a very powerful fundraising tactic–especially when the asker and audience have an existing relationship. Over at Calitics, a great community blog in California, they’ve taken that suggestion and run with it. I’ve included a screenshot of their pitch to the right (click on it to view a bigger version in a new window). Besides the video, Calitics? blogger Brian uses several of the principles of fundraising to make a really compelling plea for his candidates.  Some of the successful elements they have included: Create Urgency- The pitch is for end-of-quarter donations.  Brian clearly states that there?s a deadline before which donors need to fundraise.  And he timed his pitch just a couple of days away from the end of quarter. Be Specific- Rather than overloading their page with a dozen candidates, Brian stuck with three candidates that have a common theme.  The majority of ActBlue donors give to an entire page’s slate of candidates?remember that when choosing your slate of candidates. Make it Personal- Brian, a Calitics blogger, is asking his own blog readers to […]