Person #1588: 3 Posts

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.


  4. 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.

  5. 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.:

    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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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).

  10. Yes (1 Reply)

    PILOT payments are 100% voluntary. The City’s only “enforcement” power is public shaming. That’s what’s going on here.

  11. What Troubles Me (3 Replies)

    Isn’t that I think you are some sort of monster. Rather, it appears to me that you are unqualified for this position and exaggerating your legal experience.

    Again in this interview (and here in your own op-ed:–tom-sheff-has-the-right-experience-to-be-the-next2f5ebbc445 ), you say you “attended Law School in Michigan.” This implies that you got a law degree from the University of Michigan, a top tier law school. When, in fact, a little digging reveals that:

    1) You attended Cooley Law School (affiliated only in 2014 with Western Michigan University). Cooley is a fairly new law school (1970s) with a mixed reputation at best. Hardly the University of Michigan School of Law.

    2) You only attended Cooley from 1987-1989 (two school years). And I don’t see anywhere that you actually graduated (usually that takes three years). Did you?

    3) You don’t anywhere say you are a member of the bar in Massachusetts or Michigan. I assume you never took the bar exam?

    4) In the op-ed (oddly written in the third person), you tout your experience as “office manager for the family law firm for years, where he developed an appreciation for the legal system.” You give the impression that you were a lawyer. Yet, despite the advantages of having a “family law firm” to work at, you seemingly never graduated law school, passed the bar or have ever actually practiced law.

    5) You seem to have founded a fairly unsuccessful and small non-profit designed to rehab used computers for use by students. (see: ) And you were also purportedly given the job of Office Manager in your “family law firm.” From this alone you claim: “Tom feels with his rare background in education, legal experience and entrepreneurship make him a perfect fit for the governor’s council.” I guess I feel differently. And that I am being purposefully misled.

  12. Nobody Serious Runs on Tax Increases (2 Replies)

    Sorry, somervilletom, I too would love to live in some sort of utopia where LOUDLY embracing a $2 billion income tax increase would be a feasible position in a Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign. But history show otherwise.

    Indeed, Governor Patrick himself ran in 2010 saying “I don’t have any plans for broad-based tax increases.” Every time Charlie Baker suggested otherwise, he fought back vigorously. Not, as you (and I) would clearly prefer, with a full-throated defense of the need for new, progressive revenue sources. But with equivocation, denial, and obfuscation.

    To expect more that the “I believe we need to explore every proposal that would make our tax system more progressive, and fairer, for everyone in the Commonwealth” answer we have already heard time and time again from candidate Coakley is simply to expect the impossible.

    Welcome to politics.

  13. Plenty of Specifics (1 Reply)

    I’ve been at least an active observer of hundreds of political campaigns over 20+ years working in politics. And this nonsense (wonky critics of candidates calling for more “specifics” on policy issues) happens every campaign, every time, to every candidate. But – nearly every time – the criticisms are as baseless as your charges here. So, some answers:

    What hers plan to fix the T?

    Regional investments in public transportation, etc, etc See:

    What’s her education fix?

    More investments in early childhood education, debt relief for college students, etc, etc. See:

    Her income inequality fix?

    Education and workforce training investments, earned sick time, and support for unionization. Etc, etc. See:

    Fixing gateway cities?

    Infrastructure investments, workforce triaing, etc. See here Transportation, Education and Jobs plans (all of which talk about GateWay Cities) here:

    Keeping young people in Ma

    Student debt relief, infrastructure changes, investment in higher education, immigration reform, civil rights, etc.

    Affordable housing?

    Support for Chapter 40B, homelessness prevention, etc, etc:


    Addressed above. See also here considerable efforts to fight the for-profit schools industry, e.g:

    Control costs, increase behavorial health funding, address disparities, etc, etc:

  14. The Only Reason? (0 Replies)

    The fact that Richard Tisei has an (R) after his name is helpful shorthand for the vast majority of voters who don’t have the time, interest and/or knowledge-base necessary to research Tisei’s policy agenda. But, for those of that do, here’s a list of policies that Tisei supports (publicly, on his own campaign website) that most progressive Democrats don’t and should not support:

    Jobs and the Economy: Tisei’s listed priorities include *reducing* corporate taxation, *repealing* business regulations, and “undoing the damage” of Obamacare. (Moulton’s top priority, meanwhile, is “comprehensive tax reform” to address the fact that “the wealthiest Americans and corporations get away with paying next to nothing.”)

    Federal Debt: Priority #1 is “admitting we have a spending problem.”

    HealthCare: Will “fix” Obamacare, which he characterizes as “a failure” (his specific fixes are repealing the Medical Device Tax and ending the death panels.) Allow across-state lines purchase of health care and more tort reform (the GOP’s two favorite “reform” alternatives to, you know, actually subsidizing health insurance for poor people).

    The idea that Tisei isn’t “really” a Republican (plus, he’s so nice!) doesn’t fly when you actually look at his policy stances and listen to him repeat tired, old GOP talking points time and time and time again.

  15. A Couple of Overstatements (1 Reply)

    I congratulate you on the creativeness of the “it only takes a penny” campaign. The well-cited reports around how pro-gambling politicians do not themselves gamble (including the Gaming Commission members) is striking and revealing.

    Yet, I can’t help commenting on these two statements from the diary and your letter:

    These gambling machines are built mathematically so users are certain to lose their money the longer they play.

    This is almost true. The machines are definitely designed so that the users (as a whole) are certain to lose money. Slot machines do, over time, take 5%-10% of all money put in to them. That said, it’s not true that users are “certain to lose their money the longer they play.” That’s not even really a logical statement. I think your letter would have more credibility if it instead said something like “These gambling machines are built mathematically so that the average user will lose, play longer, and lose more money the longer they play.”

    At the same time, the machines are literally designed so citizens cannot stop using them, exploiting aspects of human psychology and inducing irrational and irresponsible behavior.

    This is another very controversial thing to say and also strangely now talks about “citizens.” It’s not true and opens you up to fair attacks from those of us who believe in free will. Instead, you could make virtually the same point by saying something like “the machines are literally designed so that more users are more likely to become addicted, exploiting aspects…”

  16. It Would Be (1 Reply)

    If we were allowed to redeem our cigarette stubs for a full refund of the tax.

  17. Direct Jobs (0 Replies)

    MGM has said (and, listen, I recognize that this is an estimate and nothing more) that it will create 3,000 direct jobs working for the casino (including in it’s own restaurants and other attached businesses). The proposal claims 2,000 construction jobs and “thousands” of “indirect” jobs.

  18. November 4th (1 Reply)

    The election is on Tuesday, November 4th.

    Unless you plan on voting No on Question 3. Then, by all means, consider November 8th to be the important day.

  19. Labor Unions (1 Reply)

    Without mentioning your sister, how do you really feel about labor unions?

  20. Hanover was host to.... (1 Reply)

    …. this unusual Gubernatorial debate focused on the Arts:

    Grossman’s wife is chair of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a point he emphasized primarily at that debate. In Hanover.