April 2008
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Month April 2008

Vetted Schmetted!

This is a but a small preview of the field day the GOP will have with the Clintons in the general, if Hillary can take the nomination.   Stuff from this period has never really been fully vetted because, in the wake of the ugly spectacle of Bill’s narrowly avoiding impeachment, most people just didn’t want to hear or think about any more Clinton scandals.  And, needless to say, terrorism is a much more sensative issue now then 1999. It’s bizarro world to think Clinton actually less vulnerable to GOP attacks in the fall.

What Matters, According to Dukakis

Via Jon Keller, the New York Observer gets Dukakis to talk and he’s got serious criticism for Obama.  Serious as a heart attack. Sen. Obama needs to improve his organization too, Mr. Dukakis said. “Obama hasn’t done anywhere near as good a job at the precinct level in the primary states as I would have expected,” he said. “There was no precinct-based organization in Massachusetts. None.” “Kitty Dukakis has been contributing to Obama since last spring,” he said, referring to his wife, “an Obama fanatic.” “She’s never received an e-mail saying, ‘Will you be a precinct captain?’ And the guy’s got, what, 1,200,000 contributors-every one of whom, in my judgment, by this time should have been enlisted at putting together a 200,000-precinct, 50-state operation. I don’t know why that hasn’t happened.” “I think we’ve got to be laying the groundwork for this 50-state campaign,” he said. “I don’t mean call 25 of your friends. That is not a precinct-based grassroots organization. Precinct-based is a precinct captain and six block captains for every precinct, accountable and reporting in every Sunday night-how many 1′s, how many 2′s, how many 3′s, how many 4′s. And thanks to [the Internet] you can do this […]

John Kerry receives Human Rights Campaign Endorsement

I came across this announcement today at John Kerry's website.  Seems like a pretty big deal to me.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has announced it is endorsing John Kerry for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

(Press Release Text) BOSTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has announced it is endorsing John Kerry for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, one of the savviest, most respected and most influential political, civil rights and human rights organizations in our country,” said Kerry. “When you’re in a fight to change our country, you can always count on HRC to be there with you in the trenches, and there’s no better ally in the fight to advance the cause of freedom and equality for all Americans.  I have been proud to work with the Human Rights Campaign for close to 25 years now in the U.S. Senate.  We’ve fought together to combat AIDS, including our fight this year in the Foreign Relations Committee to lift the HIV Travel Ban, to pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to end discrimination in the workplace through ENDA, and to work toward the day when same-sex couples are granted the same rights other Americans take for granted.  We’ve spent a lot of our energy these last years stopping bad things from happening with a Republican in the White House.  We’ve been proud to fight those fights, but I can’t begin to tell you how much I look forward to serving in a bigger, stronger Democratic majority in Congress under a Democratic president so we can wage and win the progress we’ve been waiting for and which the community deserves.”

Popping Obama’s Balloon

I wish I could draw, because the image I have in my head right now is of my candidate, Senator Obama, sailing through the clouds in a hope- filled balloon and his former pastor, the ever humble Reverend Wright, all smiles and bile, taking out a bazooka and popping a big hole in my man’s balloon. Obama has gamely and I think honorably tried to walk the tightrope that lay between denouncing the Reverend’s most incendiary comments and fully disowning a man who has been an important person in his spiritual life. The Reverend however seems to have the scissors out and wants to force his spiritual mentee to take sides, between his own political future, which very much hangs in the balance, and his relationship with the Reverend in particular and his black church in general – in a sense between the Reverend’s view of America the flawed and Obama’s view of America the hopeful.   It is an interesting place for a man of mixed parentage to be in, for a man who long sought a community to be a part of, but who also deeply cares that people from long-estranged communities come together – to be forced […]

A new metric: Earmarks

Clinton winning by a landslide; $2.3B to $0.0. Clinton: $2.3B in earmarks By Manu Raju and Kevin Bogardus   Posted: 04/28/08 08:08 PM [ET]   Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has requested nearly $2.3 billion in federal earmarks for 2009, almost three times the largest amount received by a single senator this year. The Democratic presidential candidate’s staggering request comes at a time when Congress remains engaged in a heated debate over spending federal dollars on parochial projects. It also has gained traction on the campaign trail. Presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), a longtime foe of earmarks, has called for eliminating what he dubs “wasteful Washington spending.” Democratic front-runner Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) has spurned earmarks, seeking no funds for pet projects in the upcoming fiscal year. Yet Clinton is continuing to request billions for earmarks, most of which will go to her home state. The money is needed for homeland security, emergency response and health projects throughout New York, according to documents provided by her office. The total amount Clinton requested greatly surpasses the $837 million secured last year by Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, the ranking Republican on the Appropriations Committee who took home the largest […]

GOP files ethics complaint against DiMasi, while hilariously missing the point of the story

Unsurprisingly — and, I’d add, appropriately — the state GOP has asked the Ethics Commission to look into allegations that a friend of Speaker Sal DiMasi, one Richard Vitale, engaged in lobbying without being a registered lobbyist, and while helping DiMasi out financially.  Charley’s write-up of the story is here; the gory details are laid out by the Globe’s Andrea Estes and Stephen Kurkjian. In addition to the Ethics Commission, Secretary of State Bill Galvin (who has supervision over lobbyists) has swung into action: Secretary of State William F. Galvin warned Vitale to register as a lobbyist or face possible penalties, fines or “additional enforcement action.” “We’re taking action,” Galvin said. “We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again. We can’t let people collect fees to try to influence public policy without disclosure.” Galvin’s office demanded the names of “all executive and legislative officials” Vitale met with or contacted and the dates, a list of all activities concerning ticket sales; the number of hours he spent on these activities, and his “salary, retainers, and any other payments or compensation attributable to lobbying efforts.” … Galvin’s office also wrote to James Holzman, the head of ACE Ticket Worldwide, who arranged […]

Bellyflop by the DNC on McCain’s Iraq Plan

I received a very exciting email today from Governor Howard Dean titled, “Devastating new Iraq ad.” The note reads in part: “John McCain wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years. He’s said it, and it’s on tape. But his campaign hates that he was caught. They’ve viciously attacked anyone who reminded the American people that he said it, including me. They’ve said that those who reference the 100 years comments are “deliberately misleading voters.” So we’ve taken John McCain’s own words — video of him saying that 100 years would be “fine with me” — and made a TV ad. There’s no confusion, no distortion, no misleading — it’s John McCain, on tape, for voters to judge on their own.” “No distortion.” As if. McCain said in Derry N.H. it would be fine with him if we stayed in Iraq for 100 years as long as no U.S. troops were being injured or killed — as in, for example, our bases in Turkey. To the best of my knowledge that is still his position. The DNC conveniently edited his caveat out of their ad and made it look as if he wants 100 more years of the current fiasco. […]

My Re-Election Campaign

I want to thank the BMG readers for your interest  in my re-election campaign, and I appreciate all the positive feedback I’ve received since my opponent announced his candidacy.  I want to share with you my response that I’ve sent to my email list today: Four years ago, I ran for office at a time when local aid for Medford and Somerville had been slashed, and a lot of important issues were at stake.  I made a commitment to bring effective representation to our community and to deliver for the families in Medford and Somerville. Last week, Somerville Alderman Bob Trane, whose opponent I supported in the municipal elections last year, announced he will be running against me in this year’s Democratic Primary.  He began his campaign by calling me “elitist” and “out of touch.” It is disappointing that he feels the need to resort to name-calling to launch his campaign.  The voters of Medford and Somerville rejected those kinds of divisive tactics in 2004 when I first ran, and I am confident that they will again this year. When I first ran, I was clear about my priorities.  Since then, I have succeeded in delivering on the commitments I […]

Thank You to Charley

I want to thank Charley for partiipating in my PoliBlogs class at Tufts University this evening. Charley, EaBo Clipper and Jay Tea from Wizbang joined our last class on Politics & the Blogosphere and made for an interesting and wide-ranging discussion about political blogs and their participation in political dialogue, electoral politics, and news delivery. I very much enjoyed Charlie’s thoughtful and frank observations — which I almost entirely agreed with. He is a fine ambassador for BMG – but you all knew that.

Clinton leads Obama by 9 in Indiana, catches up in N.C., gets endorsement of N.C. Governor too

A new SurveyUSA poll out today has Hillary Clinton increasing her lead in the state of Indiana. Hillary Clinton 52 Barack Obama    43 Undecided        2 1600 Indiana adults were questions between April 25 and April 27th. This poll has Hillary Clinton increasing her lead over Barack Obama from a poll released yesterday which had Clinton leading by 5%. It also appears that she is gaining ground on Barack Obama in North Carolina. Obama’s 25-point lead has been narrowed to 12 percent over the course of a week. Nationally, a new poll shows Clinton beating McCain by a much larger margin than an Obama vs. McCain race, which shows those two virtually tied. Public Policy Poll, April 26-27, 1121 Likely Voters Clinton 39 Obama 51 Undecided 10 According to this poll, Obama still has an advantage over Clinton in North Carolina, but his lead had ranged from 18-25 points in PPP’s previous five North Carolina polls. Last week’s PPP poll conducted April 19-20 had Clinton at 32 vs. Obama at 57 with 11 percent undecided. It also doesn’t hurt that North Carolina’s Governor is going to endorse Hillary either.