August 2016
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Month August 2016

Where, exactly, does Leland Cheung stand on Super PAC money?

About ten days ago, I received the following email from Leland Cheung’s campaign: Friends and Supporters, I was shocked to wake up this morning and find that nearly $20,000 in anonymous Super PAC money had been spent to attack our campaign. Shocked, shocked, I tell you!  He followed up two days later: Our opponent’s outside groups spent thousands lying about my record, and in response you sent thousands to counteract them. As your neighbor, I’m truly grateful. But we know they won’t stop at this. Donate now to counteract deceitful Super PAC money. Terrible, all that deceitful Super PAC money flowing into Massachusetts legislative races.  So, imagine my surprise when I opened up BMG this morning, and learned that literally ten times the amount Cheung claims was spent against him – $200,000 – has been dumped into a pro-charter group for the purpose of backing Cheung’s own campaign. Now, 200 grand is an insane amount for an outside group to dump into a state legislative race.  So I’d expect the folks who aren’t a fan of big outside spending – like Cheung, to judge from his emails – to quickly and forcefully condemn that kind of dark money flowing into a […]

Tom McGee for Mayor of Lynn in 2017, and Out at the MDP

I like Tom McGee a lot – most people who meet him personally do. He’s a warm, friendly guy, and as a State Rep. and State Senator, he’s had the interests of his constiuency his entire legislative career. Indeed, in that regard, he’d make his late, great father proud. With that in mind, I sincerely hope the rumors that he is going to jump into the mayoral race in Lynn in 2017, likely clearing the field if he were to do so, are true. When Senator McGee is focused on his chief task, serving his constituents and doing what he can to lay the groundwork for a more prosperous future for those on the North Shore, his strength and tenacity are rivaled by very few in the Commonwealth. As Mayor, I believe he would continue to help move Lynn in the right direction on its modernization aims. As Chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, I believe Tom has done his darndest to lead and has put his best foot forward. One must wonder, though, if he was merely Senator McGee from Lynn if he’d have caved to Charlie Baker as easily as he seemed to when it came time to […]

Climate Ride!

Ever since I heard about it, I’ve been wanting to do this for years: From September 8 through 12, I’ll be hitting the road on my bike, riding 390 miles from Bar Harbor ME to Boston, to raise funds and awareness for a few organizations fighting climate change. It’s called the Climate Ride — modeled after successful fundraisers like the Pan-Mass Challenge and so forth. They coordinate rides and hikes all over the country — California, NYC to DC, etc. They let you designate your beneficiary organizations, so I chose two local groups and two national ones. Locally I’m supporting the Better Future Project (which includes 350Mass) and the Boston Cyclists Union. For national groups I’ve chosen 350.org and the Union of Concerned Scientists. This follows my sense that since climate change is such a massive issue, there isn’t one single way to go about fighting it. We need in-the-streets rabble-rousing, insider lobbying, science, lifestyle/culture changes — the whole lot. So for the last several months I’ve been raising money through my social networks — Facebook is hugely helpful for this kind of thing — and I’ve actually blown through my goal of $3500. But I am greedy! You can […]

Crowdsourcing DFER

A couple of items today regarding Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), one of the groups supporting charter schools in Massachusetts. First, DFER is putting $200,000 into Leland Cheung’s Democratic primary challenge to State Senator Pat Jehlen. That’s a huge amount of money to spend in the last 10 days of a campaign. Senator Jehlen’s press release on this subject is after the jump. Second, DFER sent a questionnaire today to legislators, inquiring about their positions on ballot Question 2 and on charter schools generally. One can presume that DFER is intending to make other campaign spending decisions based on what (if anything) it hears back. The questionnaire, in PDF form, is here.  Since I know lots less about charter school issues than my fellow BMG’ers, I offer it up for their edifying comments.

SPREAD THE WORD – the Native American Protesters in the Dakotas are RIGHT – there is NO easment

The Dakotas are having a “horses against tanks” moment.  This story is one that brings tears to my eyes, as these folks fight for the safety and integrity of their families and land against a greed-based land grab.  See below.     http://countercurrentnews.com/2016/08/army-corps-engineers-confirms-no-written-easement-dakota-access-pipeline-construction-corps-property/   Army Corps of Engineers Confirms Native Protesters Are Right — There Is No Written Easement for Dakota Access Pipeline August 29, 2016 1:52 pm by Jeremiah Jones In the wake of hundreds of people protesting a couple weeks ago, Energy transfer Partners, the company attempting to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline, voluntarily stopped work at the building site just North of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The number of protesters is now over 4000 as many tribes have united to protect the land and water from contamination. KFYRTV reports, “The Army Corps of Engineers has confirmed that the company doesn’t have a written easement from the agency to build on Corps property. A corps spokesperson says that Energy transfer has filed the paperwork for the easement but it’s still under review.” “That’s true they don’t have the easement that’s required to install the segment that’s across the Oahe project,” said Larry Janis, Army Corps Of Engineers. Janis says […]

Governor’s Council, Third District. Who Should This Voter Choose?

I’m voting absentee this week.  My Democratic primary ballot doesn’t have a lot of choices, but on Governor’s Council I get to pick one of three. MARILYN M. PETITTO DEVANEY 98 Westminster Ave., Watertown Present Governor’s Councillor; Candidate for Re-nomination PETER GEORGIOU 126 Lexington Rd., Lincoln WILLIAM BISHOP HUMPHREY 712 Chestnut St., Newton Based on past experience and history, I’m certainly not voting for Devaney.  Anyone have thoughts on the other two? Georgiou’s website is down.  His declaration of candidacy is reasonable. Humphrey’s website is well thought out and passionate.  I’m wondering why this particular position is a good fit for him, and the “why I’m running” page didn’t solve it. I tend to agree with those who think the Governor’s Council should be abolished, but I haven’t found a candidate for that yet. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.

Citizens’ Initiative Review findings very favorable for marijuana legalization

Over the past year, the state government has been running a trial program of something called the Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR), a system pioneered in Oregon and intended to help the general public better understand ballot questions. Since it’s a program, they decided to only focus on one initiative, and chose Question 4, which would legalize marijuana for adults over 21. The final report just came out, and while it was intentionally balanced, it ended up being much more in favor of the question than against. How this process worked: In June 2016, CIR started putting together a group of 20 voters who were representative of the state population in terms of their demographics, ideology, party affiliation, and other demographics. They then spent many days hearing the pros and cons from the campaigns, and from unaffiliated experts. With the help of professional moderators, the 20 citizens then discussed the arguments and put together a document with their key findings and the most persuasive arguments on each side. The findings: You can read the entire 2-page document here, but here are the five key findings, which were totally up to the discretion of the citizens: The following findings are ranked in order […]

Open Thread: Anything but the Presidential Race

The rules are pretty straightforward. Rule #1 Don’t discuss the presidential race. Rule #2 DONT DISCUSS THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE Anything else is fair game. We have a lot of exciting local primaries, important ballot questions, and a lot of organizing to do for 2017 and 2018 races that will have a far more immediate local impact than who’s the in the White House. Sox are barely in the hunt, will the Pats go 4-0 with Jimmy the Panther? Will Horford be enough to stop Lebron in the East? How will the Broons rebuild? Early Oscar favorite Nate Parker derailed by sex assault controversy, can we separate the artist from the man? Worked for Woody, not for Cosby. And borrowing from David, confess your unpopular opinion about a particular subject (for the record: he loves Dominos!)

Jen Migliore in the 9th Essex!

I am writing today to support Jen Migliore in the 9th Essex house district primary and general election.  I am not associated with Ms. Migliore’s campaign, nor have I been approached to write this note.  I hope I can do her some justice with a view from Saugus. Jen Migliore is a young and passionate fighter.  She brings a level of energy to the campaign that I haven’t seen before and from what I can tell, she brings this energy to everything she does. Jen did something that is rarely done in my quiet, dead end street neighborhood; she knocked on my door.  On top of that, she responded within hours (probably minutes) to two e-mails I have sent over the past couple of weeks.  I should note that the Republican incumbent has repeatedly failed to answer/respond to notes I have sent his office.  Raised in Saugus by her mother (Jill) a certified Nursing Assistant and her father (Joseph) a two decade active member of the Plumber’s Union Local 12 (he also teaches at vocational high school), Jen learned what hard work and determination can accomplish.  She also learned that working class families deserve paid family and medical leave.  Jen’s […]

Let’s do this, Medford! Pat Jehlen for State Senate!!

Just a little clip I made to upload to our Medford, MA Politics Facebook group.