March 2009
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Month March 2009

Franken, Coleman, Murphy & Tedisco

With 610 of 610 precincts reporting, the Saratogian is reporting Scott Murphy (D) ahead of James Tedisco (R) by 65 votes.  

Did someone say recount?

Which race will be decided first?  MN Senate or NY 20?

Boston City Council Dockets Now Online

When I was elected president of the Boston City Council, I pledged to make the body more transparent by posting all dockets on the City of Boston’s website. This may sound like a small step, but getting the technology in place was more difficult than any of us expected. I’m happy to announce that the system is now live and you can now find PDFs of the orders, motions, and resolutions the Council will consider at our weekly meetings. Thanks to the city’s MIS department and the Clerk’s Office for their hard work in getting this program up and running. It’s appropriate that we started posting dockets online this week, as one of the items I filed will move the Council’s May 20 meeting to English High School in Jamaica Plain, marking the first of several meetings my colleagues and I will hold in the community this year. I am pleased to announce these important steps towards bringing government to residents, but there is much work left to be done. I am examining how we can overcome the technological obstacles and make all Council dockets fully searchable. I’m also in the early phases of looking at video technology that would […]

Globe Offers New Comment Tools

Coming soon to Boston.com, per an email: Recommend comments you like with one click. Sorting tools that allow you to determine the order in which the comments appear. Ignore this user, which removes from view the comments of posters who annoy you. Any of these you would like to see here, or other things you’d like to see?

Marian Walsh: “never mind”

UPDATE: See Doug Rubin’s comment below. Globe: [S]tate Senator Marian Walsh announced today she will not accept a $120,000-a-year position at a state authority, saying the public outrage over her appointment has created a “tsunami” that has forced her to change her mind…. Patrick said he was “relieved” at Walsh decision because of the public anger that had been aimed at Walsh. “We’ve been hammered,” he said. But he also said he regrets that Walsh will not take the job as the agency’s assistant director because she would have been a “change agent” at the agency. “I wish we had handled it different,” said Patrick, who put his arm around Walsh at one point to demonstrate his support for her. “It’s been very painful.” It certainly has.  And here’s a passage that leaves me with a sense of foreboding: She denied that Patrick, who has been politically damaged by controversy, or his aides, had prevailed upon her to step aside from taking the position at The Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority. Cue Frank Phillips’ next public records request … now!

HEFA board member comments on Marian Walsh

Marvin Gordon,long time financier and friend of Deval Patrick and the State Democratic Party said last week that the Marion Walsh/HEFA scandal is of Watergate proportions. Now with the FOI release of Emails from Governor Deval Patrick’s corner office there has been weight added to that charge. Those emails reveal that Doug Rubin – who the Governor MUST FIRE IMMEDIATELY – set the whole Hack Hiring of Marion Walsh in actions. Rubin and his ilk not only had to make up the job deescription for the HEFA position that had been unfilled for 12 years but Rubin and his cronies even made up the salary for this phony job. And just like Watergate both Deval Patrick and his stupid staff lied about the process to the public and the press. Fortunately, the Boston Globe asked for FOI search which revealed the email trail. How stupid is Doug Rubin? Rubin should be fired for his stupidity alone if not his corruption of the system and out and out lies in true Watergate style. Of course this followed the revelation of the reaming out emails he sent to James Aloisi for posting on this very discussion board in defense of his sister […]

Historic U.S. House Energy Bill Fuels Momentum for Action

Boston, MA-A major draft bill released today by Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Energy & Environment Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA) sets the stage for Congress to pass historic energy and global warming legislation, according to Environment Massachusetts.   The draft bill uses a framework advanced by major U.S. businesses.   “This is a pragmatic bill that tries to balance a historic opportunity to unleash clean energy to rebuild our economy and stop the climate crisis, with the diversity of views on the Energy & Commerce Committee,” said Environment Massachusetts Field Organizer Winston Vaughan. The draft legislation released today in Washington D.C. follows in the footsteps of major bills passed last year by the Massachusetts legislature designed to tackle global warming emissions and boost state efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources like wind and solar. State Legislators also expressed their support for the bill.  ”As we work to build Massachusetts’ clean energy economy and put Bay Staters to work building solar panels and wind farms, we’ll need a strong partnership with the federal government,” said Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) Vice-Chair of the State Senate Environment Committee.  ”Today’s bill from Chairmen Waxman and Markey […]

Chairmen Waxman, Markey Release Discussion Draft of New Clean Energy Legislation

Washington, D.C. –  Chairman Henry A. Waxman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman Edward J. Markey of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee and Select Committee on Global Warming today released a draft of clean energy legislation that will create jobs, help end our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, and combat global warming. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) is a comprehensive approach to America’s energy policy that charts a new course towards a clean energy economy.

“This legislation will create millions of clean energy jobs, put America on the path to energy independence, and cut global warming pollution.” said Chairman Waxman. “Our goal is to strengthen our economy by making America the world leader in new clean energy and energy efficiency technologies.”

“This legislation will create clean energy jobs that can’t be shipped overseas, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and make America the global leader in energy technology. We will create jobs by the millions, save money by the billions, and unleash energy investment by the trillions,” said Chairman Markey, who held many hearings on the major issues in the bill. “Chairman Waxman and I will work with our colleagues to ensure that we are protecting American consumers and that our clean energy future helps all parts of the country.”

“Reform before revenue”, huh?

Can this be true? The new Senate transport bill (passed 39-1) doesn't include moving the MBTA health care benefits into the GIC — or even making them comparable? One proposed reform, moving MBTA employees on to the Group Insurance Commission when contracts expire, could save at least $25 million a year, Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer said. While that reform was included in the bill reported out by the Senate Transportation Committee, it disappeared by the time the final bill made it to the Senate floor, replaced by a process by which MBTA employees could be moved to the GIC if health costs exceeded the GIC costs by an as-yet-undetermined amount. You have got to be kidding me. Madame President, say it ain't so. Does the Senate fear the Carmen's Union that much? Senators – you should fear the rest of us. (via Jay.) PS: Wouldn't it be ironic if the Senate used the “reform before revenue” mantra and the Jim Aloisi circus in order to … walk back the reforms proposed by both the governor and its own Transportation Committee?

Ayers Banned: Boston College 1 Education 0

Bill Ayers, centerpiece of the failed 2008 McCain-Palin campaign, will not speak at Boston College, even by satellite, after the administration cited “concern for the safety and well-being of our students.” Hilarious. If a satellite speech on education reform is a safety concern, maybe CNN should also be banned on campus. The real reason the university canceled the talk, it appears, is because they were afraid of protests organized by talk radio host Michael Graham — famous for his comment on Columbine: “They were targeting minorities and athletes – which, the athletes part, (is) one minor benefit to this otherwise horrible story.” — and Boston police officers, who blame Ayers for the 1970 killing of a Boston police officer during a bank robbery by his former Weather Underground associates. I’m no fan of Ayers, but he is a free man, and a respected education professor. He won the 1997 Chicago Citizen of the Year award for his work on teaching. If students at B.C. want to hear him talk, let them. Student Melissa Roberts put it well: “BC is setting a dangerous precedent by cancelling this event. In the past, administrators have cancelled events that they see as being at […]

Cost vs. Constitution

A “SINGLE VOICE PROJECT” is the official name of the petition sponsored by:  The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) THIS PETITION SEEKS TO ABOLISH ALL PRIVATE PRISONS IN THE UNITED STATES, (or any place subject to its jurisdiction) The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) is a grass roots organization driven by a single objective. We want the United States government to reclaim sole authority for state and federal prisons on US soil. We want the United States Congress to immediately rescind all state and federal contracts that permit private prisons “for profit” to exist in the United States, or any place subject to its jurisdiction. We understand that the problems that currently plague our government, its criminal justice system and in particular, the state & federal bureau of prisons (and most correctional and rehabilitation facilities) are massive.  However, it is our solemn belief that the solutions for prison reform will remain unattainable and virtually impossible as long as private prisons for profit are permitted to operate in America. Prior to the past month, and the fiasco of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and now the “Big Three” American Automobile manufacturers, […]