The problem with tossing bombs is that sometimes they can go off in your hand! In reference to all the yelling from the mountain tops about the governor’s reform agenda and the apparent lack of the legislature’s action upon it – I read Senate Pres Murray’s SHNS comment today – the truth it seems as stated by her honor is that the Governor has not yet filed a Pension Reform bill for consideration and the legislature took the initiative and crafted their own and furthermore the Senate went forward with their own Transporation Reform legislation because the Governor had not yet filed a bill when they had announced their own plan. From SHNS: Murray noted that Patrick “never filed a pension bill” and that officials from his transportation department were actively collaborating with lawmakers on a compromise transportation bill. And Byron Rushing a leading progressive in the House and ardent Patrick backer seemed more than dismayed From SHNS: One of DeLeo’s floor leaders, Rep. Byron Rushing, ripped Patrick as “disingenuous” and questioned the governor’s understanding of the legislative process, part of the backlash against Patrick’s criticism of the Legislature. “The feeling is that we are working real hard for reform, [...]
Rep. McGovern arrested today for protesting genocide outside the Sudanese Embassy: “I don’t want to be here in 2012, calling on the Sudanese government to stop the killing,” McGovern said. “We need to care. We need to act. Every life is of equal value.” That’s leadership. No matter what you think about mass rape, the murder of children, and other atrocities in Sudan, I suppose everyone can agree that Rep. McGovern is not only talking the talk, but literally walking the walk of his principles. Any way we can get him back to the Commonwealth and make him Speaker?
Funniest thing I’ve heard all night.
Here is the link again: http://masslegislature.tv/?l=h… Consolidated amendments are flying down the shute – so far no surprises, though. I believe $200 million was added to local aid from the anticipated revenues from the increased sales tax [which has not yet passed the Senate, nor been signed by the Governor - or if vetoed, should it pass the Senate, had that veto over ridden] but the money expected from that anticipated source IS being spent, starting tonight. Again, as I stated in my post yesterday, increased and restructured revenue is needed. I don’t know, as of today, how the issue of raising revenue to maintain services will play out by the time the FY 2010 budget is in place, hopefully, on July 1, 2009.
Uh oh. This Internet/blogosphere/political activism thing hasn’t gone away after the first Facebook election. Instead, it appears to be getting worse: more blogs, better organized, more money, more transparency … more aggressive. I bet that big roll call posted below (hat tip, RMG) has already made more than a few people very uncomfortable. But I digress.
The latest stinging example is StopFakeReform.com, where a group of bloggers (including your trusty editors) have called out the DSCC and DCCC for their idiotic “one day of reform” plan. Click here to add your name.
Dear DSCC & DCCC -
We read that you have chosen to accept President Obama’s ban on fundraising from PACs and lobbyists, but only for June 18 – the day he headlines a fundraiser for you.
This isn’t just hypocritical – it defies common sense that you’d think the public would believe this was a principled stand against special-interest influence.
For 364 days a year, your rules would allow members of Congress to leave a hearing about regulating Wall Street and then walk straight to the DSCC and DCCC offices to “dial for dollars” from Wall Street lobbyists who want more bailout money and less accountability to taxpayers. Most Americans would find that conflict of interest repulsive.
We call on you to ban PAC and lobbyist contributions 365 days a year, just as President Obama did.
This is actually the least you could do to take on special-interest influence.
Will the DSCC and DCCC reject donations from executives of bailout recipients such as AIG, the way you did for Enron? Will you require candidates you support to publicly endorse the real solution to special-interest influence: public funding of congressional elections?
The public is tired of political gamesmanship. Please recognize that your “one day of reform” is absurd on its face and, if left standing, an embarrassment to your organizations. We urge you to announce a 365-day ban of PAC and lobbyist contributions – at a minimum.
Coverage (notwithstanding the Specterization of today’s political news) so far in NYT Activists Urge Top Democratic Groups to Ban Lobby, PAC Donations; HuffPo Progressives Call Out Dems’ “Hypocritical” Fundraising; Politico Activists, bloggers rip DCCC, DSCC; National Journal Dem Groups Urged to Ban Lobby Donors and WaPo To Lure Obama, Fundraisers Briefly Ban Contributions.
Freshman Rep. James Cantwell is a different man today than he was yesterday. The Marshfield double eagle switched his vote to help put Bobby DeLeo over the top with the sales tax increase. In return Cantwell got some goodies for Marshfield in the bond bill. Does Cantwell realize that the Governor decides which projects in the bond bill get funded? Always more projects than bond money. In other words, does Cantwell know he switched his vote in return for nothing? Will his vote be there for the veto? ——————————————– Several people got things in the budget to switch. Mike Rodriques made some moves to make the best of it and start his long journey back to a winning team. Carolyn Dykema succumbed to leadership after what some considered water boarding. ——————————————– Boobie prizes go to freshman reps and Harvard boys Jonathan Hecht and Jason Lewis. Both made their maiden speeches last night lecturing the voters on why they should pay a higher sales taxes. Gentlemen, nine out of ten people in the chamber last night thought you fools for using your maiden speeches to argue for higher taxes. The Lewis and Hecht expedition. Already lost and probably one-termers. ———————————————– It [...]
A crowd of about 50 showed up on Boston Common in sizzling weather for today’s noontime protest against the Exodus training going on at adjacent Park Street Church. Exodus is the world’s largest ex-gay organization and was in town to train local religious leaders to convert gays into straights. Chris Mason got things rolling by leading the crowd in some spirited chants blasting the ex-gays and their quackery. A couple of folks in the crowd related their perceptions of the ex-gay presence at Park Street Church via megaphone as we struggled (successfully) to get the sound system working. The speakers followed and consisted of Don Gorton for Join the Impact MA, Stewart Landers of the Mass. Dept of Public Health, Tom Lang of Know Thy Neighbor, and Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out and noted expert and author. (Wayne is a leading crusader against the ex-gay movement from New York.) There had been a call from some in the crowd to get closer to the Church so the Exodus folks could hear us. So as the speakers wrapped up, a call was made for a march on Park Street Church (going beyond the parameters of our permit.) Chris [...]
58 Dems plus Senator Specter, makes 59. If and when Franken is seated, we’ve broken the filibuster. I’ll follow up with more details when I get out of class (the whole “student” thing really gets in the way sometimes).
Patrick Abegg, who blogged here as PatrickA, passed away suddenly on Saturday. He was 44. I just learned of his death today. Patrick was active in various Democratic groups and had recently run for the DSC but withdrew from the race.
He was an early and long time member of the BMG community. He had personID 185, so we know that he joined our group very early. We could always count on Patrick for detailed information on arcane Party processes. I remember once I was wondering what Massachusetts Senate District was represented by the most members of Congress. So I asked the question in the Democratic Dispatch and Patrick did a detailed analysis for me with an exact breakdown of how many were represented by one, two or three members. There was one represented by five and none represented by four.
My friends from Gloucester all spoke highly of the work he did for Dems in the area.
He will be missed by Democratics throughout the state.
Obituary below the flip..
Arlen Specter has just announced he will be switching has switched parties and will be running in 2010 as a Democrat. And here I thought the 59th Senate Democrat was gonna be Al Franken… Looks like he’s gonna be the much sought-after (but not magical) 60! UPDATE: It should be emphasized that there is nothing magical about 60 votes. As Specter put it, My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords’ switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. So this move is more symbolic than anything, but it is a heck of a symbol!