July 2008
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Month July 2008

Global Warming Solutions on the Governor’s desk

At the risk of getting myself in another Globe column for keeping you guys in the loop, here I am again… The House and Senate have both enacted the House’s rewrite of the Global Warming Solutions Act – it’s on the Governor’s desk. Looking forward to another bill-signing ceremony in the near future. So once we finish the green jobs bill (which was enacted next door in the House Chamber as I wrote this), we will have four significant pieces to our energy reform accomplishments – the Green Communities Act, Advanced Biofuels, Green Jobs and the Global Warming Solutions Act. The House set energy reform as its top priority this session and we are pleased to end on such a high note. Maybe we can get a column on that? David Guarino Communications Director Speaker DiMasi’s office

Help NPV get to Gov’s Desk! [Senate Roll Call Attached]

Update: NPV was enacted in the House and Senate yesterday night!

2nd Update: I was given wrong info by a clerk and NPV did NOT get enacted in the Senate yesterday.

Call Sen. President Murray’s office at 617-722-1500 and your state Senator to urge them to have NPV (No. 4952) enacted in an informal session!

It basically comes down to her now.  If a bill doesn’t require a roll call vote (as it doesn’t in this case for enactment) and is deemed non-controversial then we can still have it voted on and sent to the Governor’s desk.

Both the House (119-37) and most recently the Senate (27-9) have passed the National Popular Vote legislation.

Before heading to Governor Patrick’s desk it faces yet another vote in which both the House and Senate have to “enact” it.  These are usually quick and simple votes, but a small group of legislators may try to filibuster so we need to keep the pressure on!

If it doesn’t go through today we’ll call tomorrow as well and urge to have it enacted then or next week as I was informed by the Speaker’s aide that enactment can occur even after the session is over.

Check out after the flip how your Senator voted in the roll call.

Kerry Kicks Kyl’s A$$

UPDATE–masshole posted the LINK to the video.

I saw a diary at Daily Kos posted by Silence is Complicity.

Wow!  Kerry Kiced Kyl’s A$$!

John Kerry was on msGOP earlier this evening and it sounds like he wasn’t silent.

Talk about defending Obama against the smears, he was right there.  

He had Kyl on the run according to the posters at Daily Kos.

Here’s a hint:


WRONG, WRONG, WRONG

WRONG – on the surge preceding the Sunni Awakening

WRONG – on being greeted as “liberators”

WRONG – on Brittney Spears

Record Youth And Minority Turnout Threatened By Persistent Election Barriers

Cross-posted at Project Vote’s blog, Voting Matters

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns

Reports and exits polls this entire political season have built a narrative of tremendous, even record-breaking voter participation, pushing us to believe that voter turnout in November will exceed all expectations.

Maybe.

“Low Road Express”

The McCain campaign is trying to sharpen their attack on Obama. Their most recent ad alleges he will raise taxes and increase our dependence on foreign oil. In fact, Obama has called for a tax cut for the middle class, and favors investment in alternative energy to decrease our dependence on oil imports. This ad breaks several important rules in the  Republican attack ad playbook and may be a fiasco in the making (if so, the second in as many weeks after the Applesauce Surge at this painfully awkward staged event in a supermarket). First, it makes very dubious assertions directly, where they can blowback as evidence of mean-spiritedness, and dishonesty born of desperation. The Obama campaign has jumped right on that opening with their new Low Road Express website. The new site joins Fight The Smears as punchy siblings to BarackObama.com. The score in websites, by my count, is now 3-1 Obama. Second, it fumbles the delivery. The message relies on sarcasm, which is almost impossible to make clear in 30 seconds, let alone in a Presidential campaign. It also tries to pack three ideas into a single spot: (a) Obama is like Hilton and Spears, (b) he will […]

A Beacon Hill Scandal? Cognos, DiMasi, and Conflicts of Interest

Dedicated to Joan Vennochi

I’ve been following this story on Granby01033. These are the basics of what really is or should be a scandal. There are (alleged) instances of bribery and influence-peddling. The appearance of conflicts of interest is present.

Based on the jockeying for position taking place between the House Speaker’s heirs apparent, I’m guessing DiMasi’s days are numbered and almost everyone on Beacon Hill knows it. His position, however, is so powerful, no one wants to commit legislative suicide by making much of a deal out of it yet. The Globe has done good work on this story.

As more details come out, Cognos, the IBM subsidiary that secured grossly over-priced contracts with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, looks as bad as some of our state officials. Apparently using House Speaker Sal DiMasi’s influence, the maker of business intelligence software secured two contracts worth more than $17 million.

The deal, rushed through without proper bidding processes, was initially approved by Gov. Deval Patrick in the hapless, early days of his administration. The Patrick Administration, however, soon asked the Inspector General to look into things. The Inspector General smelled something funny, the deal was eventually canceled, and the state’s money was returned.

The irregularities of the Cognos deal included:

Cognos offering a Department Of Education official a job. The Globe reported that “a former state Department of Education administrator told investigators that she was offered a private sector job by a sales representative for Cognos ULC, around the same time that the software company was attempting to win a lucrative education contract in 2006, according to officials briefed on the matter.” The official now works for state, not the DOE.

The same Cognos official told the DOE administrator that he could have more money added to the DOE’s budget, apprarently if she signed onto to software deal.

The Bigotry According To Jay Severin

According to talking loudmouth racial bigot, Jay Severin of Greater Media’s WTKK, African Americans and all minorities and people of color are bad financial risks. Severin said the federal Equal Lending provisions should take into account that Blacks and minorities never meet their mortgage obligations and the real estate failure are do to a great degree because too many minorities are homeowners. Yeah, it was so much nicer when Blacks shuffled off to their slave shacks at that back of the plantation. Severin, time to sent you white sheet out for cleaning. You were so excited that you wet yourself. Severin, your “yellow” is showing. Hell, we are pissed off at you too you bigot!

Article 2, Section 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States. Congress is going on vacation in about 24 hours.  As if they weren’t doing nothing already, it’s going to be an official 5-week period of nothing.   Mike Pence is calling on Bush to, for the first time in his presidency, convene an emergency session of Congress over energy policy.  

Anti-Gay HS Principal Loses Suit

Dispatches from the Culture Wars had a recent post describing a lawsuit against a Florida principal…

…where the principal had suspended several students and declared that no one could have any message on anything in the school that was pro-gay rights

He goes on to mention some highlights from the ruling (pdf hosted on the The Volokh Conspiracy):

(Below the fold)

HIV travel ban lifted. Bush/McCain hedge on final step.

Cross posted at DailyKos

(This bill was sponsored by John Kerry and Gordon Smith)

One of the last vestiges of ignorance, fear, and hate that orginated with Jesse Helms has come to a close.  Yesterday, the President signed a sweeping AIDS bill that included the repeal of the HIV travel ban.  There is still one step left:  the Department of Health and Human Services must take it off its list of diseases that bar entry to the U.S., for which we still have not received a definitive answer from the Bush Administration or McCain on whether they will get that done.  Obama has promised he will.   But let’s not downplay the major significance of this congressional ban being lifted.  More details below the fold.