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Month May 2010

Who is the real progressive in the Auditor’s race?

The State Auditor’s race has generated some buzz on BMG but most of the talk has been sniping. While it’s clear the vast majority of BMG posters won’t be with Guy Glodis, there is a question that is far less clear – who is the real progressive in the Democratic race for State Auditor?

To answer that question let’s first look at the resumes of Suzanne Bump and Mike Lake.

Mike Lake:

Mike was appointed by President Clinton to serve as Special Assistant for White House operations.

As Director of Development for United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Mike built on the experience he gained at the White House, regularly communicating with the public to explain clearly and transparently the impact that their giving was making in their community.

In his current position, as Executive Director of Northeastern University’s World Class Cities Partnership…

Suzanne Bump:

State Representative/Chair of Commerce & Labor Committee

Assistant Vice President, Law and Government Relations, American Insurance Association

Regional Vice President, General Counsel, Citigroup

Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development

As a Lobbyist for the Insurnace Industry and Citigroup, Bump carried the insurance industry agenda in Massachusetts and nationally. Here’s what the American Insurance Association’s website says about what Bump’s job involved:

AIA is working to secure meaningful system reform in states, while blocking efforts by organized Labor and the trial bar to destabilize functioning state systems or impose artificial restrictions on rates.

http://www.aiadc.org/aiapub/la…

United Way or American Insuarnce Association? You decide.

So, what are the candidates’ for State Auditor’s positions on some basic progressive issues?

Start with casino gaming:

But it’s the “inevitability of casino gaming in Massachusetts” that had Bump excited.

“It was a proposal that I don’t think was well appreciated by a number of members of the Legislature who felt that, because they had voted on slots at the tracks, they had already considered what the destination resort casinos would be,” she said. “The governor wanted to take all the possibilities that we have for tourism development and work that into a proposal for destination resort casinos.

http://jonathanmelleonpolitics…

From an email response from the Mike Lake campaign:

One thing that distinguishes Mike from his opponents is that he is the only candidate opposed to the expansion of gaming in Massachusetts. Mike believes that although spurring job growth is essential, there are better ways to accomplish that end without expanding gambling. As is evidenced by

casinos around the country, the neighboring communities suffer from increased levels of crime and foreclosures, families further suffer from the negative impacts of gambling addictions. One of the reasons Mike was motivated to run for this office was to make a difference for future generations by influencing decisions made today. In the effort, Mike could not support casinos in Massachusetts as a short term strategy at the expense of long term stability.

So Suzanne Bump supports casino gaming legislation and Mike Lake opposes casino gaming.  

More Bad News for Israel (Updated)

N.B. I have updated this post on the legality of the blockade as I have continued to study the question Leave it to the Netanyahu government (and its predecessor, under Ehud Olmert)  to jump off a cliff from what should have been the moral high ground–”we withdrew from Gaza, which was then taken over by an internationally condemned terrorist group that lobs missiles into our cities indiscriminately”–into a deep, deep pit of international condemnation. The JTA reports that the Israeli encounter with the Mavi Marmara, a Comoros flagged vessel, took place 70 miles from shore. Israel, I am sorry to say, has not signed the Convention on the Law of the Sea (the United States has signed but not ratified the treaty). But if we regard the Convention as customary international law, as I think we should, it seems clear to me that leaving aside for the moment the impact of a declared blockade, under Article 110 of the Convention, Israel would have no right to board the ship on the high seas. It may be that Israel could justify the act as a blockade in the strict sense. There is some question (discussed in the comments below) about whether […]

A Heartfelt Thank You

While my recent State Senate campaign didn’t end with the result I had hoped for, I am grateful for having had the opportunity to lend my voice to the political process, and proud for having been a strong progressive voice.  And it is with the deepest gratitude that I acknowledge the efforts and dedication of the BMG family, who via money and volunteer hours provided a tremendous boost to our campaign.  

As you may have heard, I have decided not to challenge Senator Richard Ross again this November. I did not make that decision lightly — but in the final analysis, it seemed clear to me that it was not a winnable race for me this November.

Given that environment, it seems best that we focus our scarce resources this year on electing (or re-electing) strong progressive candidates in critical races, including Governor Deval Patrick and Mac D’Allesandro in the 9th Congressional. I look forward to volunteering on these campaigns this summer and fall – and to future opportunities to serve the people of this Commonwealth, both in a volunteer capacity and, hopefully, as a candidate for elected office again.

If you smell smoke today, you are not crazy (5/31/10)

Special weather advisory from Quebec which you can follow for updates states that VERY large forest fires in Quebec and Maine are leading to acrid smog from wood smoke, including cutting visibility in marine areas near Chatham. Checking “Special Weather Advisory” will get you updates as to when this acrid, eye burning stuff may move on out.  

Sham commission opposes cost analysis for Fernald

[Filed on behalf of The Fernald League for the Retarded, Inc.]

The Governor's commission was created in 1993 by then Governor Weld as part of an agreement to end U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro's 20-year oversight of the then Department of Mental Retardation.

As I noted in a post last year here (http://www.bluemassgroup.com/diary/14397/Governor ) Patrick, however, terminated the Commission's independent administrator and closed its office.  He never provided it with a staff or budget, but instead put Jean McGuire, assistant secretary of health and human services in charge of it. 

Boy Scouts = Catholic Church? Ouch!

An extensive post on DailyKos runs down the recent case in which the Boy Scouts of America were found liable in a case of sexual abuse that is being compared to the scandal that is rocking the Catholic Church. More to come, no doubt.

Everything is Illegal in Massachusetts

Edge of Darkness with Mel Gibson Five thumbs up on this one.  It has everything a former American middle class peasant who had to wait for the DVD release to see it.  Conspiracy, corrupt government, the Illuminati guy who keeps the sheeple illusions going but finally grows a pair and shoots the Senator in the head.  It might as well be a daily documentary in light of what is going on in this country today. I did, I did like it, alot.

BP’s New Station WITH POLL

If you live in the Parkway, you probably have seen the new BP station at the corner of Centre Street and Belgrade Ave. The station was formerly a Getty station, and then a Lukoil station, but as a result of recent transactions, BP is has rebranded it with the upbeat, jolly green BP logo. I encourage my neighbors to take their business elsewhere–the Hess station right across the street is friendly, and you can’t buy Hess trucks at Christmastime anywhere else! And more to the point, the best way we can tell BP what we think of it is to buy gas elsewhere. TedF

We have the technology – why doesn’t the MBTA use it?

Thursday night, we were returning home to Arlington from a Red Sox loss to the Kansas City Royals.  I took out my iPhone and looked at a most wonderful app called Mass Transit to check the schedule for the 77 bus from Harvard to Arlington Heights.  The bus was scheduled to depart at 11:03, and we were pulling into Harvard Station at 11:00, so it looked like the transit gods were in a better mood than the baseball gods.

Much more, including the real mood of the transit gods, after the fold.

Messaging & Allies Needed to Counteract Hateful State House Immigration Policies

Has anyone been paying attention to the awful legislative and budget debates at the Mass. State House around undocumented immigrants? I have called all the powers that be and they seem surprised to listen to a caller speaking to stop and veto these policies.  I called as a voter and US citizen to say no to this bigotry. We need allies to step up. Many years back we got local Irish and Italian immigrants and war veteran immigrants to be out in the press and in the State House to counteract this hate since we all know it is our Latino communities being targeted in particular, citizen and non citizens alike, even though all will be affected. As an African-American and Irish woman, I am ashamed of our state and nation. Obama should have acted months ago to avoid these outcomes and pushed forward comprehensive immigration reform. Hatred will not win. We need some powerful messaging to counteract this fear and willing allies. Let’s get our allies in action mode. Patrick will need courage and cover, as well as other electeds. Let’s give it to them. P.S. Drew Weston’s research and polling on this issue is a good start. Reaching […]