A few items worth noting in today’s papers:
- Good news from the Rasmussen poll. The horserace numbers from the Rasmussen poll released yesterday show basically no change in the Gov’s race, but the favorable/unfavorable ratings are encouraging for Team Patrick.
Obviously, we’d prefer to see Patrick’s ratings moving in the positive direction, but considering the multi-million dollar barrage of ads directed against him lately, a modest -2 movement isn’t too bad, especially when you combine that with a +3 swing (from 48/50 to 50/49) in Patrick’s job approval/disapproval numbers. More importantly, Baker’s negatives are increasing. Apparently, Team Baker has got a double fail going: the negative attacks on Patrick aren’t working, and the more people see of Baker, the less they like.
Note, however, that Frank Phillips at the Globe appears to me to have gotten the numbers wrong. He reports that Baker went from 46/35 in June (correct) to 36/46 in July (wrong). That would be an enormously worrying swing of -21 … but I don’t see it in the numbers. It looks to me like Phillips simply misread the data … either that, or I did.
FURTHER UPDATE: Actually, it was Rasmussen who screwed up the data initially by transposing a couple of the numbers. So the error in the Globe story was not Phillips’ fault.
- Baker routinely a no-show at education board meetings. The Herald reports that, during the five years Charlie Baker served on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, he missed an awful lot of meetings.
GOP gubernatorial candidate Charles D. Baker – who casts himself as a champion of school reform – blew off a third of all meetings of a key state education panel, missing crucial votes to identify failing districts, expand charter schools and craft rules for scrapping bilingual education.
Baker was a no-show at 18 of 56 regular and special meetings while a member of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from 1999 to 2003, according to board minutes obtained by the Herald.
Among the missed meetings:
A Nov. 25, 2003, vote attended by then Gov. Mitt Romney – and dubbed “historic” by the board chairman – to declare troubled school districts failing;
A Feb. 25, 2003, vote to release new rules for a voter-approved end to bilingual education;
A Feb. 27, 2001, vote to add seven new charter schools and renew three others;
A two-hour strategy session on Jan. 24, 2000, on implementing education reform.
And a Nov. 27, 2000, confab on revising the curriculum for science and technology.
Excellent reporting. And it certainly supplies some much-needed context to Baker’s claim to have been deeply involved in the Board’s work. Here’s what he told WBZ-TV reporter Karen Anderson:
“I fought some of the fights.” Yeah – the ones you showed up for.
- Bill Clinton stumps for Steve Lynch. We’re still waiting to learn whether Mac D’Alessandro won the “Grassroots All-Stars” contest (the winner will be announced today – UPDATE: he came in second, a fine result). Meanwhile, though, his primary opponent, incumbent Steve Lynch, is bringing in a heavy hitter for a fundraiser on Thursday.
Former president Bill Clinton will attend a fund-raiser and rally for US Representative Stephen F. Lynch Thursday at a South Boston union hall. Clinton will speak on Lynch’s behalf at the rally, which will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Ironworkers Local 7 union hall. The event is open to the public, with tickets available from Lynch’s campaign. The fund-raiser, which will precede the rally, is closed to the public.
D’Alessandro so far looks to be a good candidate. But no one should think that knocking off Lynch is going to be easy.
- Murray should give back the $500. An embarrassing AP story reports that Tim Murray’s campaign received a particularly ill-timed donation from the head of a company that benefited from legislation that Murray signed while Governor Patrick was away last week.
The Patrick administration has reversed course on major legislation affecting the largest life insurer in Massachusetts, after the company threatened to leave the state and its CEO contributed to the lieutenant governor’s political campaign just before he signed the bill into law. The law allows the Savings Bank Life Insurance Co. of Woburn to begin charging different rates for life insurance it sells to men and women, after having long been forced by state law to charge the same rates.
Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray signed the bill into law on Sunday, as acting governor, while Governor Deval Patrick was returning from a trip to the Middle East. That happened six days after Murray’s reelection committee reported receiving a $500 contribution – the maximum annual donation – from SBLI’s chief executive, Robert Sheridan.
Bleah. Now, I don’t for a second believe that a lousy $500 donation bought Murray’s action. But you’d have to agree that the timing is awful. It was frankly stupid for the SBLI CEO to make the donation when this legislation was pending, and Murray shouldn’t accept it. Plus, it’s not like this guy is exactly a loyal Democrat. From a longer version of the AP story:
The records also show Sheridan donated $500 on April 1 to Treasurer Timothy Cahill, who is running for governor as an independent, and $500 in April and again last September
to Republican Charles Baker, who also is running for governor this fall.
Just send it back.