theloquaciousliberal

Person #1588: 3 Posts

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  1. S.1004 Changes (1 Reply)

    Senator Rodrigues bill to “clarify” the ballot initiative makes several substantive changes designed to undermine and weaken the earned sick time law approve by the voters. The big ones are:

    1) Weakens employee protections through numerous new provisions that, for example, allow termination of employees who don’t follow all the new rules to the letter around requesting sick time, eliminate most of the bill’s treble damages provisions, deny the right to use sick time to care for a child over 18, and allow employers to deny the right to carryover sick time.

    2) Impose costly new burdens on the Attorney General and the Labor Department. The provisions look like this: “There shall be a fiscal impact statement made by the state Office of the Attorney General regarding the costs associated with analyzing, promulgating, and educating Massachusetts businesses and individuals regarding the new law. The cost associated with this should also itemize the cost associated for businesses to analyze, operationalize and possible risk cost associated with legal cost associated with non-compliance.”

  2. Punters Only? (0 Replies)

    I’m afraid I’m such a nit, that I can’t take a real stand in this election. ;-)

  3. You're Sure? (1 Reply)

    Baker announced and Opioid Addiction Working Group in February:
    http://www.mass.gov/governor/press-office/press-releases/steps-to-combat-opioid-addiction-crisis-announced.html

    That 16-member group included AG Healey, EOHHS Secretary Sudders and 14 other heavy-hitters.

    You still expect a different “Task Force” that “competes with Healey”?

  4. Oh, And (1 Reply)

    I forgot to say that I still do think your initial comment about Coakley “dismissing the allegations” was misleading since it was made without noting that she did nevertheless start an investigation. It confused me, at least, in to thinking you were saying that the AG chose to completely ignore the charges altogether. Which is why I responded with the fact that there was what I consider to be a fairly thorough AG investigation.

  5. Fair Enough (0 Replies)

    She didn’t quite say it was a “stunt.” And I wonder what she might have said before or after that sentence (I can’t seem to find the quote in question in any context). But, that said, no, you didn’t significantly mis-charecterize her comment.

    But all AG investigations of government officials are political. I have more inherent trust than you in those processes, obviously. The results of this one, started in the midst of but not finished until more than six months *after * the Mayoral and Senate election, speak for themselves. And, in exonerating Kineavy, the investigation’s findings mesh with my personal experience with the Boston City Hall email system at that same time period.

    I am an attorney and knew that my cityofboston.gov emails were legally required to be retained as public documents. But, I swear, the IT department (MIS) repeatedly told us that they backed up the email server every night. We were specifically instructed that this was enough for compliance with the law. Plus, space definitely was an issue and our email boxes were often “getting full” so that we’d get escalating warnings directing us to fee up space. L Double deleting became routine in that environment.

    I know that I double deleted thousands of emails from my cityofboston.gov account, without even considering the possibility that I was destroying them forever (which, again, I knew very well was illegal). MIS told us otherwise! I believe Kineavy when he say that he did the same.

  6. The AG Investigation Concluded Otherwise (2 Replies)

    On the matter of Mr. Kineavy’s intent, the AG investigation conclusion was definitive. They said:

    Kineavy stated that he had a long-standing daily practice of deleting his emails on his desktop computer and then emptying his deleted items folder in his email program. He stated that he did not believe that this practice actually resulted in the destruction of the emails but, rather, that they were saved by the City’s MIS Department.

    As indicated by the specific City policies above, he had valid reason for such a belief. In fact, Kineavy was managing his email in a manner that was consistent with the direction he had been given by the governmental entity for which he worked.

    Interviews with witnesses and forensic analysis of Kineavy’s hard drives produced no evidence that Kineavy “double-deleted” emails with an understanding that he was actually destroying them.

    For you to simply state “double-deletion is designed to thwart the law” is indefensible and, frankly, a needlessly paranoid conclusion. The facts (as determined by the investigation that included interviews with Kineavy himself) do not support your assertion. And neither do my personal experiences at Boston City Hall as an employee during much of the time period in question.

    How did I change my tune?

  7. Double Deletion (1 Reply)

    There’s absolutely no evidence that Kineavy double deleted email with the intent of thwarting the public record retention law or policies. Quite the opposite, this practice was *encouraged* by the IT department in City Hall in the years preceding the scandal (the 2000s).

    Way back them, computer storage space was very limited. Without regular maintenance, including deleting one’s Trash folder, individual cityofboston.gov email accounts would fill up quickly. Then, you could no longer receive or send emails. It was a very common practice to double delete to avoid that problem. Indeed, That’s what we all were instructed to do by the IT department and, we were told explicitly, that the IT department backed up the server every day so that compliance with public records retention was not an issue.

  8. No (0 Replies)

    I did delete some email every day. Whenever I “dealt with” (responded to or otherwise) an email, I would delete it. Sometimes, yes, that would take at least a few days. Other times, I would print an email (I kept a paper file) if I thought it was likely to be needed in the event of a problem or dispute at a later date. Often, I deleted an email the same day it was received. And, like Kineavy, I made it a habit to “double delete” emails from my Trash every work day to make room for more emails. The number of emails that could simply remain in either one’s Inbox or Trash folder was much more limited. It would fill up quickly, especially if one was emailing documents or other attachements.

  9. Well (1 Reply)

    I worked at City Hall from 2001-2007. I deleted email very regularly but was also told that a back-up was made at least once a day of our entire system and saved on the main server. My understanding, and those of many of my co-workers, was that this was the general practice of all City workers and compliant with the public records retention policies. At least in my Department.

  10. Selective Memory (2 Replies)

    As with most things Coakley, your raw hatred of her seemingly overcomes your usual commitment to reality-based truth again here.

    The truth is that the AG’s office completed a thorough investigation of the Kineavy email issue, reviewing “thousands of pages of documents from the City of Boston”, completing “a forensic analysis of Kineavy’s computer systems” and conducting “interviews of more than a dozen witnesses.” The conclusion was that the facts did not support criminal charges.

    Like almost all Boston City Hall employees from 2000-2010, Kineavy deleted his emails on a daily basis with the misunderstanding that back-ups were kept on the City Hall server. I know for a fact that this was the common practice of City Hall employees during that period of time. That, as the AG’s investigation found, “the City’s own policies indicated that all emails were being saved on a back-up server and specifically encouraged employees to delete emails on a daily basis.”
    See:http://www.mass.gov/ago/news-and-updates/press-releases/2010/ago-completes-city-of-boston-email-investigation.html

    So, there’s that reality.

    Meanwhile,is there any truth at all to your allegation that Coakley dismissed the Kineavy email issue as a “campaign stunt”? I can’t find any reference to that at all. (see e.g.: https://www.google.com/search?num=20&newwindow=1&q=coakley+kineavy+%22campaign+stunt%22&oq=coakley+kineavy+%22campaign+stunt%22&gs_l=serp.3…308426.315920.0.316127.36.31.1.1.1.0.255.3456.0j17j4.21.0.msedr…0…1c.1.62.serp..25.11.1609.8IBnHSUOnO0 )

  11. Nonsense (0 Replies)

    The Mayor and the City Council are accountable to the people during elections but also otherwise.

    I guarantee you that the Boston City Council (for one) does *not* “freely ignore the will of the people until they are voted out of office.” To the contrary, like most local elected officials, they are constantly seeking to assess and understand the will of their constituents. Not only because they want to be reelected but because they understand that they have a moral and ethical duty to represent that will. That, plus “leading” on important matters where the current “will” of the majority is counter to what is best for the municipality, is the job.

    Anyone who believes that “the people’s” only role in shaping the jobs that their local elected officials is to vote are ignorant of the lobbying process.

  12. With All Due Respect (1 Reply)

    I’d urge you to rethink your position, in this particular case.

    I, too, oppose term limits for legislators (Governors and Mayors are a different thing altogether).

    HOWEVER, I see nothing wrong-headed in self-imposed term limits for leadership positions within a legislative body. The Boston City Council, wisely, decided about ten years ago to impose term limits on its own President. And the House decided to do that on its own in this case. In the City Council, that has worked well to diversify the leadership there. It could and should work well in the House too.

    To me, there is a big fundamental difference here. Term limits within a legislative body have virtually no impact on the power of the voters themselves. And, as we’ll surely see today, the rule can be changed simply by a vote of the Legislators who imposed the term limits in the first place.

    So, we get all the benefits of term limits (as DeLeo himself outlined) without hardly any of the downsides.

  13. Mostly Agreed But (3 Replies)

    First, I certainly agree that the trial out to have been moved (probably out of state) to ensure a less-biased jury pool.

    Second, I personally oppose the death penalty in all circumstances. I share your personal belief that he is guilty and deserving of a life sentence without parole. I would have like to see the federal prosecutors accept a plea bargain to that effect rather than a trial.

    HOWEVER, I’m definitely confused by this muddled language in your comment:

    and will be have to be sentenced to the latter in order for a conviction… It’s a shame that won’t be an option due to the capriciousness of the US Attorney

    What are you trying to say here? I think you misunderstand how the trial is now scheduled to proceed?

    The plan is for a two-staged (guilt and sentencing) trial. Should the jury unanimously convict on a charge that carries the death penalty in the guilt stage (which currently seems likely), they would still have to vote unanimously to impose the death penalty. If they fail to vote unanimously for execution, then Tsarnaev would receive life in prison without parole.

    So…

  14. Uhhh (1 Reply)

    This just isn’t true:

    The purpose of the grand jury is to find probable cause for an indictment, not to find the person innocent.

    That’s simply not true. If the purpose of the grand jury was “to find probable cause”, then it would be redundant. Without the grand jury system, we could simply leave it to police and prosecutors to prove probable cause at an ordinary preliminary hearing before a judge. The true purpose of a grand jury is to convene a panel of ordinary citizens to act as a real check against overzealous police and prosecutors. The true purpose is to determine whether or not the police and prosecutors have assembled enough evidence to convince a jury that there is at least enough probable cause to believe that the defendant may be guilty of the crimes charged.

    All that said, this is undoubtedly true in this case and the Michael Brown case:

    This is a perversion of the grand jury system.

    But that’s because, seemingly, the prosecutors didn’t do their jobs to present the best possible case for probable cause to the grand juries. Not because the grand jury system isn’t intended to primarily protect innocent defendants. Which it is.

  15. More Snark (1 Reply)

    Get over yourself, jconway, and your “disappointment” about the November elections.

    Quite contrary to your nonsense here, no single government official has done more on this issue (Partners and cost/price disparities) than AG Coakley. See e.g.:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2011/06/22/ag-calls-for-hospital-price-caps.html?page=all

    http://www.mass.gov/ago/docs/healthcare/2013-hcctd.pdf

    The facts are clear. Despite years of very forceful lobbying (backed by a series of four comprehensive and detailed reports) by AG Coakley, the Legislature and the Patrick Administration have refused to take meaningful action to reduce the cost disparities outlined in this post. Since the AG began her advocacy on this issue, the Legislature debated and enacted two major cost containment bills (including the huge and complex Chapter 224 reforms) *without* addressing the price disparity issue in any meaningful way.

    Blaming “Martha” for the State’s failure to meaningfully regulate hospital prices is simply ridiculous. The Attorney General’s job is to enforce existing laws but what’s needed here are new laws and new anti-trust enforcement authority. New laws and new authority that no one has advocated more forcefully for than AG Coakley.

  16. Would the Dean Have Been Wrong... (1 Reply)

    … if she had instead said something like: “It is unacceptable, wrong and a criminal felony that these men assaulted you. In cases like this, Jackie, we strongly encourage you to file criminal charges with the Richmond police. It’s ultimately your decision but, if you choose to file charges, please know that the University and this office will join you in and assist you in filing a complaint, finding an attorney, and throughout the entire process. If you decide that you prefer not to file charges, there are alternative processes – both formal and informal – available through the school’s Sexual Misconduct Board.”

    Wouldn’t that be better? Isn’t that more empowering?

  17. Go lawlessness! (1 Reply)

    It’s not unconstitutional to give out a summons to a violator just because other violators haven’t been issued a summons.

    Yes, it is. If you have a system established that is targeting particular violators with increased enforcement.

    Overall, that’s one great idea you’ve got there, fenway! The City should simply ignore the Constitutional limits on its powers, acting instead to punish particular persons/institutions who they’ve been unable to fully shame in to voluntarily giving it money. After all, its only we the taxpayers that will have to pay the City’s attorneys to defend these indefensible actions and pay the inevitable civil court judgment.

  18. I Appreciate Your Enthusiasm (1 Reply)

    I’m for an all-in strategy to mitigate climate change. So, I appreciate the effort to look at all possible solutions.

    That said, I find it very hard to believe this assertion:

    More of our man-made carbon emissions to date have come from land mismanagement and the resulting loss of soil carbon than from burning fossil fuels.

    My understanding, is to the contrary, that burning fossil fuels (in our cars, homes and businesses) is far and away the largest contributor to man-made carbon emissions (over 50%). And that deforestation and land use changes account for less than 20% of all man-made carbon emissions.

    Do you have a citation or other information about this assertion?

  19. These Are Not Available Tools (1 Reply)

    The city can also do other things, such as put the delinquent institutions at the top of the list for code, traffic and parking enforcement.

    Taking these actions would pretty clearly violate the 14th Amendment, which protects against targeted enforcement of laws without a rational basis and a compelling state interest. Neither of those conditions exist here.

    They can also put the institutions at the bottom of the list for constituent services and make it extra difficult for them to get approval for new construction projects.

    Making it “extra difficult” to get approval for particular new construction projects would be a clear violation of the proponent’s procedural due process rights.

    Finally, I’m not sure what exactly you have in mind around putting them at the “bottom of the list” for constituent services. First, there’s almost certainly no such list (for what kind of services do you have in mind?). Second, I also have a hard time imaging a “less city services” scenario that would both survive Constitutional scrutiny and would also be an effective incentive for the institutions.

    I think we’re back to shaming (or repealing their non-profit status or changing the laws around whether non-profits are legally obligated to pay taxes).