Yes you. The Massachusetts House Rules concentrate power in the hands of a few key players who determine which legislation makes it to the floor and which will die in committee. For over 10 years, for example, the updated bottle bill (which PIRG claims is supported by a majority of the members of the House) never has made it to the floor for debate and a vote. The amount of debate has diminished considerably compared to 20 and 30 years ago. Transparency has suffered as amendments are “consolidated” behind closed doors and a majority of the House meets in private before every important formal session to determine the outcome of legislation before debate. (And yes, Amberpaw, I support application of the OML and public records law to the legislative process). This is where you come in. Please contact your Representative and urge him or her to join the Rule 28 Coalition. You can see who has joined to date here: http://www.rule28.com. The leadership’s talking points warn rank and file Democrats not to join because the Coalition is an “election year Republican ploy” to increase debate, transparency and accountability. If that’s the ploy, perhaps more Democrats should be part of it. [...]
This just seems crazy to me. Gloucester Times: The state’s full congressional delegation, with the exception of Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, has written to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services backing a Massachusetts Fishing Partnership application for a three-year, $4 million grant for a project aimed at helping fishermen find their best fit for health insurance…. Brown declined due to the program’s funding source — “Obamacare,” Brown’s press secretary, John Donnelly, told the Times on Thursday…. According to Fishing Partnership statistics, the community outreach-based model and collective prevention efforts — whose “navigators” include Angela Sanfilippo of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association — has helped reduce the rate of uninsured fishermen from 43 percent to 13 percent. Yeah, it sure would be terrible to get Obamacare-tainted money to find health insurance for fishermen. Because God knows those guys are living high on the hog these days without a care in the world. Thank goodness we’ve got Scott Brown to stand on principle on things like this.
It seems like the attorney general is sweeping certain things under the rug. After investigating illegal campaign practice’s in the Criminal Clerks office the Office of campaign and political Finance is allowing certain people who testified under oath to re testify, so they may tell the truth this time and white wash the clerks practices using Clerk employees and her office to do her campaign business. I guess if no one knows it never happened.
Dear Ms. Braga: I have received the petition appealing the response of the City of Boston (City) to the request for public records. G. L. c. 66 s 10(b); http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleX/Chapter66/Section10 see also 950 C.M.R. 32.08(2) http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us/source/mass/cmr/950cmr.html Specifically requested that an electronic copy of the output created by the stenographer for the Boston City Council (Council) be provided via e-mail. The Public Records Law http://www.sec.state.ma.us/pre/preidx.htm strongly favors disclosure by creating a presumption that all governmental records are public records. G L. c. 66, s 10(c); 950 C.M.R. 32.08(4). “Public records” is broadly defined to include all documentary materials or data, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by any officer or employee of any town of the Commonwealth, unless falling within a statutory exemption. G. L. c. 4, s 7(26). http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleI/Chapter4 It is the burden of the records custodian to demonstrate the application of an exemption in order to withhold a requested record. G. L. c. 66, s 10(c); see also District Attorney for the Norfolk Dist. v. Flatley, 419 Mass. 507, 511 (1995) (custodian has the burden of establishing the applicability of an exemption). http://masscases.com/cases/sjc/419/419mass507.html It [...]
Onion: New Breeding Program Aimed At Keeping Moderate Republicans From Going Extinct WASHINGTON—Saying the now critically endangered species of politician is at high risk for complete extinction within the next 10 years, Beltway-area conservationists announced plans Monday for a new captive breeding program designed to save moderate Republicans. According to members of the Initiative to Protect the Political Middle (IPPM), centrist Republicans, who once freely roamed the nation calling for both economic deregulation and a return to Reagan-era tax rates on the wealthy, are in dire need of protection, having lost large portions of their natural terrain to the highly territorial Evangelical and Tea Party breeds. “Our new program is designed to isolate the few remaining specimens of moderate Republicans, mate them in captivity, and then safely release these rare and precious creatures back into the electorate,” said IPPM’s Cynthia Rollins, who traces the decline of the species to changes in the political climate and rampant, predatory fanaticism. “Within our safe, enclosed habitats, these middle-of-the-road Republican Party members can freely support increased funding for public education and even gay rights without being threatened by the far-right subgenus.” … “Last week we shot Gov. Mitch Daniels with a tranquilizer dart from [...]