Grossman TV Ad

Yeah, I agree with this assessment. - promoted by david

Steve Grossman just released a new TV ad that goes after Coakley (a bit).

It opens with “Who do you trust to grow our economy as Governor? A career prosecutor? Or a proven jobs creator?”

I think it’s fine, but utterly forgettable. It won’t turn anyone off, but I doubt it will attract too many voters.

Also, someone might want to tell the Grossman campaign that the Massachusetts unemployment rate is 5.5%. The lowest it has been since August 2008.

Through MIT's Nuclear Goggles

MIT does have its own nuclear reactor in Cambridge, after all. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Switzerland came to the Boston area a week or so ago. There was a conversation with one of the political leaders of the country, Doris Leuthard, Councillor of the Swiss Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy, and Communications, at MIT on “Future Energy Supply and Security in Switzerland” and the next day a seminar on Watt d’Or, the Swiss award for the best energy projects in the country (, at Northeastern University to celebrate the opening of an exhibit that will stay up at Northeastern’s International Village until September.

A Pit In My Stomach

Couldn't agree more. And, on this topic, check out the "reasonable" independent MA-Gov candidate Jeff McCormick's statement on this topic. He opposes Governor Patrick's action because
the world is filled with many people who suffer from hunger, terror, war and injustice. Massachusetts can not be the savior for all of those people.
No, we can't. But if we can save some of them, surely that is what we should do. - promoted by david

We all have these chemicals in our heads that can take control without warning. A good spontaneous joke makes you immediately laugh. Reading BMG gets the ole angry molecules swimming around up there. Anger is far the largest motivator of comments and posts on here. Read something and boom!, there it goes. Think sports to try and take your mind off it.

Then there’s disappointment. Not the due-to-illness—the-role-of-Maria-Von-Trapp-will-not-be-played-by-Miss-Andrews-this-evening-but-instead-her-understuder-Mary-Szczbinski-will-perform-in-her-absence-disappointment.

I mean the real kind. The visceral kind. The I-can’t-believe-my-girlfriend-is-dating-the-entire-foorball-team-disappointment.

Disappointed not at a situation but in people.

The kind of disappointment that causes you take a step back and question your own perceptions.

The kind of disappointment that leaves a big pit in your stomach.

The kind of disappointment I feel when reading the words of few MA elected officials, residents, and even Howie Carr – can you believe it, I even thought Howie Carr, the guy that sent his kids to Catholic school, would not have made something of this – yelling because a few hundred children with no money, no friends, no family, and nowhere to go will be housed, fed, clothed, entertained, schooled as much as possible, and hidden for less than a year at zero cost to the community or the state inside a secured military base somewhere near them.

Polling the Governor's Race

A nice piece of context. Bumped, for glory. - promoted by Bob_Neer

The most recent polling of the governor’s race was done by the Boston Globe.

Several things are notable:

  1. Elizabeth Warren (55/39 +16) and Deval Patrick (54/41 +13) are our second and third most favorably viewed office holders, but the most favorably viewed is Martha Coakley (54/36 +18).
  2. 72% of those polled didn’t recognize Don Berwick.
  3. Polling for the Democratic Primary shows it split 53%/17%/5% for Coakley, Grossman, and Berwick.
  4. During the period from June 15 to July, support for Coakley strengthened slightly and support for the other two candidates declined, for example, support for Berwick shrank from 8% to 5%.

At this point, the Democratic Primary does not look like much of a race.

Bastien Challenges Flanagan to Sign People's Pledge Banning Special Interest Donations in Race

A trend emerges? - promoted by Bob_Neer

The post by Bastien begins here [Ed.]:

Campaign reform is an issue we can all get behind. Until Beacon Hill stops limiting transparency and conducting the people’s work behind closed doors, we need to ensure that special interest groups and PACs are not having an unfair and outsized manipulation of the process. The line between legislators being informed by groups on issues they care about, and the appearance or outright establishing of quid pro quos and buying of legislators is being obscured by the lack of transparency on Beacon Hill. If the debate was out in the open, one could judge whether someone was in a group’s pocket or not. When it’s behind closed doors, the public is shut out about knowing what their elected officials are really saying or supporting.

Former State Representative Richard Bastien sent the below letter to his opponent Jen Flanagan asking her to agree to join with him in banning outside special interest donations in the race for State Senate. Tell Jen Flanagan to sign the People’s Pledge and keep special interest and lobbyist money out of candidate’s campaign accounts.

July 17, 2014
Flanagan Committee
Leominster MA 01453

Dear Jennifer,
As someone who believes that heavy outside special interest spending in campaigns, particularly since the Citizens United ruling can lead to the appearance of putting the needs of special interests above the needs of the citizens of our district, I ask you my fellow candidate, Jennifer Flanagan, to join me in agreeing to ban all campaign donations from lobbyists, PACS, Corporations, Unions, and special interest groups from our campaigns in the 2014 election for State Senate in the Worcester and Middlesex district. I believe that we can set a new standard that can show the Commonwealth and the nation that elections should be decided by the people, not by how much special interest groups can give to a candidate or candidates.

In the interest of reaching that agreement, I have attached a signed Pledge, modeled on the agreement between Senator Elizabeth Warren and Former Senator Scott Brown from the 2012 United States Senate campaign. If you agree to it, please sign yourself. With our shared commitment to banning special interest spending in this race and your record and mine as candidates and legislators in support of Clean Elections, I am confident we will have a signed Pledge in a matter of days.

"What have you done today to make you feel proud?"

Of note, from the Globe story: "He made the announcement at a morning press conference at the State House, where he was joined by a rabbi from Brookline, a Muslim community leader from Boston, and Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston." - promoted by david

That was the title, or at least oft-repeated line, of the theme song for Deval Patrick’s 2006 campaign.  Today, I know how the Governor himself can answer that question.  He has had plenty of accomplishments.  I was recruited to the campaign by Nancy O’Connor Stolberg back in 2005 when if people heard of him at all they thought his name was Patrick Deval and have staunchly supported him since.  I am very proud of what MA has accomplished on his watch and was more open to casinos in part because someone I knew, campaigned for, and trusted was backing them.  MA has taken the lead in so many areas under his leadership.

However, I cannot think of a time that I have been prouder of him, or that I think he can be justly proud, than this week when he decided that yes, Massachusetts would welcome some of the refugee children from Central America into temporary housing in our state.  This is a stellar example of humanity trumping politics.  While some are unwilling to touch this political hot potato, some are threatening to not co-operate in solving the overall problem, and others are screaming, “Not our children, not our problem!” or “Go back to Mexico” (never mind they aren’t from Mexico), our Governor has acted to actually alleviate the situation rather than resorting to xenophobic rhetoric.  John Walsh at the Together PAC and the state party are currently trumpeting all the ways that Massachusetts leads the nation.  Those are well and good, but mostly measurable by statistics.  What the Governor has demonstrated here is a different kind of leadership, a moral leadership that is difficult if not impossible to quantify.

Wonk Post: Best Known and Liked 2016 Potential Presidential Candidates

Hillary's 2016 run appears to be a done deal, absent something extraordinary and completely unexpected. Does anyone doubt it? - promoted by Bob_Neer

Per Gallup, Hillary Clinton is the best known and liked potential candidate for President in 2016:

The ratings for potential Democratic candidats are pasted below:

…with Republicans here:

What side are Baker and Polito on?

More from the Globe on the Massachusetts Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee (an amusing name, because every group "organized to raise money for the purpose of making independent expenditures" is an "independent expenditure PAC," according to the OCPF.) - promoted by Bob_Neer

Most pundits agree that Charlie Baker’s “Extreme Makeover” campaign is working for him, so far. Though he’s made some missteps, he’s quickly put out the brushfires that do flare up. He also appears to have subdued the conservative wing of his Republican party in Massachusetts, in part by picking Karyn Polito as his running mate.  Polito is a telegenic Tea Party darling the Baker campaign hopes will win over female voters who might be attracted to the candidacy of Martha Coakley.

The Baker camp is too slick to have missed the fact that Politio was once a lead sponsor of “Right to Know” legislation, as reported by the Springfield Republican last night. According to a State House News Service story at the time, the bill that Polito proposed would require doctors to – among other things – offer to show women ultrasound images of their fetus before terminating a pregnancy.

Politio pushed the bill late in her first term in the House and touted its wisdom before a large State House crowd in October of 2003. Perhaps this was before she had statewide ambitions that could be inhibited by vocal opposition to a woman’s right to choose, free of intimidation.

The first thing any running mate vetting process requires is a list of bills sponsored by the candidate. The Baker camp had to have known about Polito and “Right to Know.”  But Baker’s campaign this year is built on trying to quietly have it both ways.

This time around, it’s not just that he backs away from past positions when forced to. All too often, he avoids taking any positions at all. It was nine days before Baker made any statement about the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, saying it “doesn’t matter.” A day later, he was backing away from his comments.

During his 2010 campaign, Charlie Baker advocated for rolling back minimum medical coverage benefits, of which contraceptive coverage is one, required under Massachusetts health insurance plans. In 2003, Karyn Polito sponsored a bill that would try to force doctors to intimidate women seeking abortions.

As they attempt to portray themselves as moderates, they‘d like us all to ignore their past conservative stances on fundamental issues.


Steve Crawford is the spokesman for Baker Facts, a project of the Massachusetts Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee that was created to provide reliable fact-checking throughout this year’s gubernatorial campaign. For additional information on Republican Charlie Baker’s record, please visit All material is fully researched, with source material provided.

Support Eric Lesser for State Senate

A long-time BMGer offers his endorsement. - promoted by david

Last Saturday, I spent an afternoon knocking on doors with one of my future students. It was a Day of Action for Eric Lesser’s state senate campaign in the First Hampden-Hampshire District, and the student I was working with was one of twenty or so student interns on the campaign. I’m not much for canvassing or making phone calls, but I put in the time because, as skeptical as I typically am, I strongly believe in Eric. Anyone at BMG who knows me well knows me as an active commenter, occasional diarist, high school teacher, small town selectman, active Democrat, and not much of an idealist. The closest I come to being idealistic is with my students: they all lifetime guarantee of support and good wishes. Until now, I have never extended that guarantee to the political arena. Eric Lesser has always been exceptional. 

BQHATEVWR Rides Again!

"Brown stood up, walked to the back of the diner, and took shelter in the bathroom." Hard to imagine anything more perfectly encapsulating Scott Brown's career to date. - promoted by david

I’m surprised this hasn’t already been written up yet for the BMG faithful – the legend of Scott Brown grows by the hour! Steve Kornacki was sitting in for Rachel Maddow tonight and he closed the show with a brief commentary about the various lengths Republicans have gone to in the past to avoid uncomfortable questions from reporters. He showed clips of Sharron Angle refusing to answer a reporter’s question about “Second Amendment remedies”, Michele Bachmann’s “sprinterview” as she ran from a reporter asking questions about untrue statements she made in a speech, and Jim Bunning telling a reporter that he was in the “senators only” elevator. It seems, however, that Scott “BQHATEVWR” Brown has topped them all…

Joan McCarter over at DailyKos has the story at this link by way of The Guardian. Paul Lewis, a reporter from the Guardian, wanted to ask Scott about the Hobby Lobby decision, but it seems that the campaign was being close-mouthed as to the candidate’s appearance schedule. So Paul used other means to find out where Scott was going to be and managed to track him down:

While an inquiring member of the public will be told about Brown’s forthcoming campaign stops, the schedule is kept secret from anyone who, like me, self-identifies as a journalist. Fortunately, I received a tip-off that Brown would be appearing later in the day at a diner 100 miles north, in the foothills of the White Mountains.

I found Brown at a table at a restaurant called Priscilla’s, introduced myself as a Guardian reporter and enquired if I could ask him some questions. Brown smiled nervously and replied: “What do you want to ask me about?”

“Hobby Lobby? That would be a start,” I said.

“I’m all set,” he replied. “We’re enjoying ourselves right now.”

“But you’re standing for Senate. It is routine for journalists to ask you questions and usually the candidates answer.”

“Not without notifying my office.”

Brown stood up, walked to the back of the diner, and took shelter in the bathroom. A campaign aide, Jeremy, looked bewildered. He lingered beside me for a few moments, before politely excusing himself–“Nice to meet you”–and joining his boss in the bathroom.

Lewis went to the next scheduled campaign stop, where he was spotted by Brown, who exited the room before any awkward questions were asked. Of course, the story gets even better after that – the campaign called the police! By the time they arrived, Lewis had left the event and Brown was holed up inside, probably cowering in fear from actual questions about current events. The officer had this to say:

Officer Valley mulled over the situation before delivering his summary judgment. “There’s no crime,” he said. “No issue here at all.”


But the best news of the day came from an NBC News/Marist poll of the race, showing Shaheen besting Brown by 50-42 with 6% undecided. Donate and/or volunteer for Jeanne Shaeen here.

Massachusetts Senate...KEEPING THE CHARTER CAP!

Always a popular topic. - promoted by david

To amuse myself this month I have been following Pioneer Institute’s “lift the charter cap” road show which began with a trial run commentary by Chieppo and Gas at, of all places, the Providence Journal.  Pioneer has been touring the cloud since, dropping down in Massachusetts towns like Milford to plea the cause for charter schools - but only in the state’s 10% lowest performing communities!  There are no charter schools in Milford.

There is so much misleading spin coming from Pioneer Institute on so many levels I’m having difficulty in knowing just where to begin.  In Tuesday’s, Huffington Post, Pioneer’s Kate Apfelbaum cited, once again, the “Stanford CREDO Study”, never mentioning that it has been discredited because the CREDO study is flawed and everyone knows it. I think Pioneer believes that if you say something enough times people will believe it is true!  “Credo, Credo, Credo”…don’t they think anyone will check, maybe read it?  In a review published by the National Education Policy Center, Andrew Maul and Abby McClelland, research experts and statisticians, have criticized the CREDO study for the weakness of its data and methodology. Charter school student’s performance was compared to the scores of hypothetical “virtual” traditional public school students that were invented by the study authors.

Healey's Clean Elections Clocks keep pressure on Tolman

It’s an exceptional example of adroit, aggressive Internet-age politics: a set of “clean elections clocks” on Attorney General candidate Maura Healey’s website are tracking “Time since June 3, 2014, the day Maura Healey released her tax returns and Warren Tolman promised to release his taxes “in a couple weeks.”

and “On February 2, 2014, Warren Tolman was asked to publish his candidate questionnaires (written responses to organizations from which he is seeking an endorsement) on his website. Tolman has yet to do so.”

Healey’s responses to questionnaires are published here.

A third clock — “On May 29, 2014, Maura challenged Warren Tolman to join her in a clean elections pledge to ban outside, special interest spending on direct mail. On July 11th, Warren Tolman signed the agreement. We now have a ban on unlimited, special interest spending in the race for Massachusetts Attorney General” — has been stopped at 42 days since Tolman posted his agreement to Healey’s terms last Friday on BMG.

Transforming a candidate who started the race as one of the state politicians most closely associated with clean elections — and justly so! — into a foot-dragger who takes 42 days to respond to a straightforward People’s Pledge proposal and hasn’t yet followed up on a weeks-old promise to release his tax returns is an impressive piece of politics.