Person #2547: 82 Posts

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  1. From the Institute for Justice: (0 Replies)

    Linked here:

    Massachusetts has a terrible civil forfeiture regime. Under Massachusetts civil forfeiture law, law enforcement need only show probable cause that your property was related to a crime to forfeit it. You are then in effect guilty until proven innocent, as you must shoulder the burden of proving that the property was not forfeitable or that you did not know and should not have known about the conduct giving rise to the forfeiture. Further, law enforcement keeps 100 percent of all forfeited property. The receipts are split: half to the prosecutor’s office and half to the local or state police. Massachusetts is required to collect forfeiture data, but in response to requests, the state provided data only for 2000 to 2003.

  2. Quote for the day: (1 Reply)

    “You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.”

    —Robert A. Heinlein

  3. So, a simple declarative statement: (0 Replies)

    I’m not going to blame either the Legislature or House Leadership for acting in their collective political self-interest, however much I may differ on matters of policy.

    In my opinion the issue is not one of a “broken” Legislature, but a vacuum on the ground. Case in point: Somerville turnout in the 2014 general was 48% .

    Somerville’s elected representatives seem to be a comfortable fit for you.

    You could help them (and their allies in municipal government) by working to increase turnout.

  4. I see no evidence that the Ledge is to the Right of the electorate on tax matters (1 Reply)

    In point of fact, I think that the General Court is somewhat more accepting of increased taxes (when they can get away with it) than the voting electorate, judging by the record of the past three decades.

    Without going too far into the demographic weeds, I have yet to see any polling data indicating receptivity to increased taxes of any kind by a majority of “Massachusetts Democratic voters”. More to the point, I have yet to see it reflected in election returns. (This begs the issue of Unenrolled voters – the majority of those registered – who exercise their franchise in Massachusetts Democratic primaries.)

    The problem is that anti-tax referenda tend to pass, and there is no interest on the Hill in being masochistic.

  5. Don't blame the messenger for this... (0 Replies)

    but the best grassroots campaign happened in the context of a corporate battle: Market Basket.

    The Arthur T. faction enlisted store management, who enlisted store employees, who enlisted customers, who enlisted their neighbors. I would argue that Arthur T mobilized more supporters than any constitutional candidate last year.

  6. Lemme see... (1 Reply)

    First, it involves respectfully asking people in a given neighborhood what their priorities are, and how they would advance the issue/candidate in that neighborhood.

    It then involves identifying credible local worker bees who are willing to organize and motivate their neighbors.

    It involves learning the nuances of local civic culture, who the credible locals are, and where the local civic venues are. Irrespective of whether they agree with you are not credible locals are contacted and consulted.

    It involves ascertaining that one’s premise accurately fits local realities; if not one adjusts the premise.

    It involves personal contact by the abovementioned locals, as opposed to media, cold-call phone banking, etc. Corollary to which, social media (if opted in) can augment field; it cannot replace it. Ditto phone banks.

    It means that, whenever possible, nonresident and/or non credible activists are kept away from activities on the ground, or anything else involving face-to-face contact within a given target universe.

    There’s more, but the general idea is to establish a self-motivated, task-oriented neighbor-to-neighbor mechanism with a minimum of outside supervision. When done correctly, this mechanism also constitutes an accurate reflection of local civic, social, and political realities with collateral political and public policy benefits. At worse, there is an accurate channel for bad news.

  7. Link to the Brookings Institute abstract (0 Replies)

    …that was sourced by the Post is here.

    Not all cities have the ability or right to annex neighboring municipalities without their consent; in addition increased income inequality is not a Boston-specific trend within the region, but is a statewide dynamic, particularly within 495.

    Purely as a working hypothesis I think that migration patterns in Boston (which has been exporting its working class for three decades (and this does not include white flight in prior years), while importing lower-income unskilled labor from abroad; and selectively bad pubic education) are the reasons for the datum referenced by your second question: our poor are getting poorer.

  8. The problem is lack of permanent on-the-ground organization (2 Replies)

    …embedded in, and operating on behalf of, local communities.

    What croaks progressives are their organizational cultures, which seldom if ever engage locals from a position of respect. As a result, there is a lot of unfocused populism out there, but little to no progressive traction therefrom.

    Case in point: the Coakley campaign had little in the way of credible surrogates in local communities; hence it operated primarily as a voter supression mechanism, to Charlie Baker’s advantage.

    Regarding taxation and the MBTA: Politicians do cost-benefit analyses before they commit to a policy. They see the results of the gas tax referendum (which passed despite being outspent 34-1), note the absence of any consistent outreach or competent pressure from progressives within their Districts, and act accordingly.

    It’s that simple.

  9. It's not just the Speaker (1 Reply)

    As I mentioned earlier, the lack of proactivity regarding the MBTA is pretty much universal on Beacon Hill, and is also the stated position of the Senate President:

    Winter’s assault on the Northeast left MBTA stations and trains barely operational. Now, as calls for reform echo through the State House, state Senate President Stanley Rosenberg says it’s not his place to decide what happens next.

    Rosenberg, D-Amherst, told the Patriot Ledger Editorial Board on Tuesday that the fate of the MBTA rests with the special commission that Gov. Charlie Baker recently formed to spearhead the T’s recovery. The Legislature is waiting to see what the commission recommends, he said.

    Insofar as an oppo PAC in the Speaker’s District is concerned, it would be a waste of money. All that outside funding would achieve would be to increase Robert DeLeo’s margin of victory in the primary.

  10. There's an old State House joke (0 Replies)

    What do you call the Governor’s budget?

    A door stop.

  11. Consider the presence of Rep. Haddad on the list of sponsors. (0 Replies)

    I think that’s an indication of major player support – on and off the sponsor list – and not coincidentally where the Speaker is on this. Sen. Forry and Rep. Coppinger on the list indicates a hemorrhaging of player support in the only sections of Boston that count politically.

    Senators Brownsberger and Montigny, although less precise an indication than the House supporters, indicate a level of scepticism Senate-side, in my opinion.

    At present, this is purely inside ball (neither side has competent grassroots ops), but it doesn’t look good for the pro-Olympics crowd, which is croaking itself due to it’s inability to transcend its political narcissism.

  12. You're missing one point (1 Reply)

    …among a whole slew of others, but this should suffice for the nonce.

    Mike Moran is not about to file a bill upon which the Speaker’s countenance does not shine. Below is the list of sponsors, as of this time:

    Byron Rushing, Michael J. Moran, Aaron Michlewitz, Bruce J. Ayers, Christine P. Barber, F. Jay Barrows, Jennifer E. Benson, Michael D. Brady, Paul Brodeur, William N. Brownsberger, Linda Dean Campbell, James M. Cantwell, Gailanne M. Cariddi, Evandro C. Carvalho, Leah Cole, Edward F. Coppinger, Brendan P. Crighton, Claire D. Cronin, Mark J. Cusack, Josh S. Cutler, Michael S. Day, Marjorie C. Decker, Angelo L. D’Emilia, Marcos A. Devers, Diana DiZoglio, Daniel M. Donahue, Shawn Dooley, James J. Dwyer, Carolyn C. Dykema, Lori A. Ehrlich, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, John V. Fernandes, Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Michael J. Finn, Carole A. Fiola, Linda Dorcena Forry, Gloria L. Fox, Paul K. Frost, William C. Galvin, Denise C. Garlick, Carmine L. Gentile, Susan Williams Gifford, Carlos Gonzalez, Kenneth I. Gordon, Danielle W. Gregoire, Patricia A. Haddad, Jonathan Hecht, Paul R. Heroux, Patricia D. Jehlen, Bradley H. Jones, Jr., Louis L. Kafka, Mary S. Keefe, Kay Khan, Peter V. Kocot, Stephen Kulik, John J. Lawn, Jr., Jason M. Lewis, Jay D. Livingstone, Joan B. Lovely, Timothy R. Madden, John J. Mahoney, Elizabeth A. Malia, Brian R. Mannal, Paul W. Mark, Joseph W. McGonagle, Jr., Joseph D. McKenna, Paul McMurtry, Leonard Mirra, Rady Mom, Mark C. Montigny, Michael O. Moore, Frank A. Moran, David K. Muradian, Jr., James J. O’Day, Keiko M. Orrall, Jerald A. Parisella, Alice Hanlon Peisch, Thomas M. Petrolati, William Smitty Pignatelli, Denise Provost, David M. Rogers, Richard J. Ross, Jeffrey N. Roy, Jeffrey Sánchez, Paul A. Schmid, III, Frank I. Smizik, Todd M. Smola, Timothy J. Toomey, Jr., Paul Tucker, Aaron Vega, John C. Velis, RoseLee Vincent, Timothy R. Whelan, Donald H. Wong, Jonathan D. Zlotnik

    You’ll note that the list includes the bulk of State House players.

    Insofar as the Charlotte Richie campaign is concerned, there were wheels within wheels. Suffice it to say that Richie was played like a fiddle.

  13. It's even worse (1 Reply)

    In any event, one gets the strong impressiion that DeLeo and Mariano are feeling very little pressure whatsoever from the back-benchers to fund the T. I’d love to be proven wrong on this.

    I was doing one of my occasional walkabouts at the State House on Friday, chatting up various friends on various staffs – House and Senate. The consensus among their bosses (most of whom represent Districts within the MBTA/Commuter Rail service area) seems to be that additional funding at this time is both bad politics and bad policy. The former is because there is nothing in the way of tangible pressure in favor of additional funding from within their Districts. The latter is because the MBTA’s institutional culture can be unfavorably compared to a Three Stooges movie, and the Legislature has taken pains over the years to avoid any legal obligation to monitor the agency.

    There will probably be some sort of blue-plate study, and depending on its conclusions, the MBTA may get something in the future, but any proactive support for mass transit at this time from the Legislature will be purely rhetorical and cosmetic.

    The ball is in Charlie Baker’s court by default.

  14. It's been done before... (0 Replies)

    …by the Carter Administration, and earlier, during World War Two as an energy saving measure.

    Acting with promptness difficult to fathom today, our elected leaders then enacted year-around Daylight Savings Time, dropped the speed limit to 55, and established government price controls. And, oh so fleetingly, we downsized what we drove. All gone.