Calling all progressives! We need your help to call and canvass voters from the Regional Democratic Office at 1343 Massachusetts Ave. in Arlington. Phonebanks are running Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 6-8:30, and Saturdays from 12-4. Canvasses are running 12-4 on Saturdays and Sundays. I’ll be there every Saturday through the election. C’mon down!
ThinkProgress explains: As ThinkProgress has noted, there are currently two competing visions of governance in the United States. One, the conservative vision, believes in the on-your-own society, and informs a policy agenda that primarily serves the well off and privileged sectors of the country. The other vision, the progressive one, believes in an American Dream that works for all people, regardless of their racial, religious, or economic background. The conservative vision was on full display last week in Obion County, Tennessee. In this rural section of Tennessee, Gene Cranick’s home caught on fire. As the Cranicks fled their home, their neighbors alerted the county’s firefighters, who soon arrived at the scene. Yet when the firefighters arrived, they refused to put out the fire, saying that the family failed to pay the annual subscription fee to the fire department. Because the county’s fire services for rural residences is based on household subscription fees, the firefighters, fully equipped to help the Cranicks, stood by and watched as the home burned to the ground:
Or at least its broad outline. My position for several years has been that the most accurate and respectful way to characterize opponents of progressive political viewpoints is as “regressives.” It is simple, easy to remember, and the opposite of “progressive.” More generally, if a single phrase describes reactionary conservative philosophy it is: turn back the clock. The literal meaning of “conservative,” after all, is “protect the past” or “reluctant to accept changes and new ideas.” In the case of the Tea Party, for example, to America before Barack Hussein Obama was elected (i.e. to the worst economic collapse since the 1930s, but never mind). In the case of Rand Paul, to the time, at least, before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the case of Fox, and its owner News Corporation, presumably to the Gilded Age at the end of the 19th century when corporations could do as they pleased. In the case of true believers like Antonin Scalia, all the way back to the Revolution, and perhaps even earlier. MSNBC appears to agree. NYT: MSNBC, once the also-ran but now the No. 2 cable news channel, has a new tagline that embraces its progressive political identity. The [...]
…without some kind of scorecard. Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the bigfoot trade group representing the interests of employers and business on Beacon Hill, has issued its 2009-2010 legislative scorecard. The scorecard tracks eight votes on AIM’s priorities in the House of Representatives and nine votes in the Senate. It’s worth a look. Not that I agree with AIM’s positions or even its descriptions of the issues. And, picking another nit, the scorecard reflects the Legislature’s practice of late of recording roll-call votes that are unanimous, or nearly so (which largely explains why the lowest score is a 38). But in this era of radio silence from the media on the inner workings of the Legislature, it’s one of the very few compilations of votes that the compilers are willing to make public. So points to AIM for transparency. Maybe BMG should become a compiler, too.
Two news events in the past week make clear the importance of bringing new ideas and a new approach to the office of Secretary of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding the “radio silence” about the race among most members of the media. First, there is no doubt that behind L’Affaire Loscocco, and the continued calls from pundits and politicians alike for both Tim Cahill and Jill Stein to drop out of the gubernatorial campaign, is the concern for the “spoiler” effect, that somehow votes are being stolen away from the dominant party candidates. But this belies the fact that, in the face of catcalls and negative advertising, thousands of Massachusetts voters still believe in the messages put forth by the non-mainstream candidates. The voices of these voters should not be functionally silenced, even though our election system creates the perverse incentive to do just that. Second, Suffolk University Law School last week released the results of a September poll, which found that (1) 70% of Massachusetts voters “believe that public access to government is critical to the functioning of good government”, but (2) 57% of the voters believe that Massachusetts government is secretive in nature. This is easy to understand when requests [...]
Most of you know me as an occasional poster and contributor here at BMG. What many of you know as well is that as a recent college grad, I’ve been working full-time in campaigns trying to get progressive candidates elected this fall.
Right now I’m working with Patricia Commane in Andover ( http://www.patcommane.com ), a great Democrat and a great progressive who is the Democratic nominee for the seat in the State House of Representatives held for the past 14 years by Barry Finegold ( http://www.barryfinegold.com ). Finegold is now running for State Senate, leaving his house seat open. Pat’s opponent is first-time candidate Republican Paul Adams of Andover ( http://www.votepauladams.com ), who is employed at The Coalition for Marriage and Families ( http://www.coalitionformarriag… ), a radical right-wing organization dedicated to preserving discrimination by law against LGBTQ citizens.
The current high sales tax / low gas tax formula leads to lots more driving to New Hampshire. We should lower the sales tax to spur the local economy, and make up for the revenue short fall with a higher gas tax. It’s a no-brainer. Question Three will be a boon for local economies and will reduce gas consumption even if we don’t raise the gas tax, but of course we will have to in order to save the fire departments, etc, so it will wind up reducing gas consumption considerably. I don’t see any other way to raise the gas tax than to do it because we had to, because voters lowered the sales tax. But keep this secret! Don’t tell the Republicans about our sneaky plan, or they’ll choose the higher sales taxes just to stick it to the environment. They actually enjoy driving to New Hampshire, it gives them a feeling of independence and smartness, like they are in control of their lives and saving money. Some of them might keep on doing it just for that 3%. But most people will reduce their driving and start walking to local shops run by local people.
In a political season replete with shallow and evasive discussions of policy 175 business leaders will be gathering Friday with top policy leaders and thought-provokers to explore the products, practices and policies that can drive invention of a more sustainable, competitive economy. I am talking about the Fall Summit of the Progressive Business Leaders Network (PBLN). What’s the difference between this group and business as usual? Everything, we hope. For one, it is mainly principals – CEOs and entrepreneurs, C-Suiters from all sorts of companies. They are the prime movers of change in their businesses and industries, and if educated and empowered by each other and by exposure to the topics and processes that matter, they can contribute lots more positively to public discourse than they do. The US Chamber and the range of industry councils are hardly the only voice of business. Our goal is to meet the need of pushing progress-oriented voices of business into the public discourse and the political/policy making process. What do we stand for as an organization so far? Our policy agenda is on our website. PBLN Supports Cape Wind, putting a price on carbon emissions, universal healthcare, global payment, the affordable housing and [...]
But probably not the way he envisioned… SCOTUS D-2518 IN THE MATTER OF DISCIPLINE OF THOMAS M. FINNERAN Thomas M. Finneran, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, is suspended from the practice of law in this Court and a rule will issue, returnable within 40 days, requiring him to show cause why he should not be disbarred from the practice of law in this Court. I wonder if Sal DiMasi will make it that far?
After the Citizens United decision last year, leaders like Representative Cory Atkins, Bill Strauss and Senator Jamie Eldridge worked hard on legislative responses to the damage that Citizens United did to our democracy. But they also called for Congress to send to the states a Constitutional amendment to overturn the decision and the fabrication of corporate rights. Now a bipartisan group of more than 50 law professors and former public servants, including former Massachusetts AGs Frank Bellotti and Scott Harshbarger and former Arizona (and Republican) AG Grant Woods, agree about Citizens United and the need to examine adoption of a Constitutional amendment. Here’s there letter, which was drafted and organized by Free Speech for People. I serve as general counsel of Free Speech for People, and I hope you can join our efforts.