Scenes from the DNC, from our photographer (part 1)

I was happy to be able to take Glenn Kulbako, a friend and professional photographer, along to the DNC with me.  He took much better quality pictures than I was able to.  Here’s some of what he saw outside the arena, and in the corridors.  Scenes from inside the hall are in a separate post.  You can click the images for a larger view.

Outside the Wells Fargo Center

Baker Pays Off Political Debt With Petty Veto

Picknelly's firm is subsidized by the government far more than AMTRAK because the state pays for the roads. It's not efficient at all but, in fact, massively inefficient because we have to pay 100% of their biggest cost. He's been wallowing at the public trough every day he's been in business. - promoted by Bob_Neer

“Listen, I run a bus company. We run an efficient bus company that’s headquartered in Springfield, Mass. When you’re looking at publicly subsidized rail service it absolutely can have an impact on our business.”

–Peter Picknelly, CEO Peter Pan Bus Company

Charlie Baker, Governor of Massachusetts, has enjoyed popularity ratings inversely proportional to those of Donald Trump. He’s easily the most popular governor in the United States.

Peter Picknelly, the owner of Peter Pan Bus Lines, is a good business man: he donates to both Republicans and Democrats; he donates to philanthropic causes; and he does his best to boost the down-and-out City of Springfield.

Then candidate Charlie Baker greets Peter Pan Bus Lines owner at a Springfield fundraiser that the businessman held for Baker

Put them together and what do you get?

A transparently, politically cheap move to keep the public good ignorant of the potential benefits of east-west rail service.

Dan Glaun of Masslive has an outstanding, well-researched article on the subject:

Massachusetts State Sen. Eric Lesser’s push to study expanded east-west rail service is facing pushback from Peter Picknelly, the Springfield business leader whose Peter Pan bus company is currently the main provider of mass transit from Springfield to Boston.

Lesser’s (D-Longmeadow) proposal to launch a feasibility study of building higher speed rail across the state won approval from the legislature during budget votes in May and June. But on July 8, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker used his veto powers to amend the measure, changing it from a formal study to a working group that would study bus improvements and other transit options as well.

Two days before Gov. Baker’s veto, Picknelly, a major Springfield employer, philanthropist and state-wide political donor, sent an email to Baker and legislators urging Baker to reject Lesser’s proposal.

In the email, obtained by MassLive, Picknelly describes the proposal as redundant of other ongoing rail studies in the northeast, and argued any study should examine other forms of transport. Rail is expensive and would be no faster than his bus service, he argued.

“I am always disappointed that proposed studies like this only include rail, and never seem to take a comprehensive look at all modes of transportation,” Picknelly wrote. “A balanced approach to transportation would look at a number of alternatives, such as HOV lanes and express bus services.”

But he also cited the threat that an East-West rail line from Springfield to Boston posed to his business.

“I simply can’t see the point of spending huge amounts of taxpayer dollars for this kind of rail service, which would adversely impact Peter Pan, an 80-year old, tax-paying business that provides first-class service between Springfield and Boston, and which would also affect the hundreds of good union jobs Peter Pan provides to Western MA area employees,” Picknelly wrote.

Home run by Hillary

Bumped, for getting to work. - promoted by Bob_Neer

A great acceptance speech: responsibility delivered with passion. Plus, an evisceration of the Trumplet.

I’m ready to work hard to raise money, build support, and elect this excellent candidate to the White House.


I met the guy who was dancing during Katy Perry

What is it about Katy Perry?  First Left Shark, and now this?

Walter Weeks and BMG’s David

Anyway, video of this gentleman dancing has been making the internet rounds. So, maybe you’d like to know who he is. Happily, I bumped into him on the floor of the convention, and we had a brief chat. His name is Walter Weeks, and here’s what he said:

It's the last day! Follow BMG on day 4 of the DNC

Bumped, for today's grand finale. - promoted by david

Another day, another whole lot of walking, talking, snapping photos, and posting audio clips on SoundCloud. Most of the content will be on Twitter @bluemassgroup, or you can follow the stream here (I’m using hashtag #bmg16).

Jim McGovern talks to BMG about Hillary and Bernie

Congressman Jim McGovern addressed the MA delegation breakfast this morning, and I was able to catch up with him afterward.  McGovern takes a backseat to nobody in terms of progressive bona fides, and he’s been with Hillary Clinton from the beginning.  I asked him about that, and about how to encourage Bernie Sanders supporters who are skeptical of Clinton to vote for her this fall.  Here’s what he had to say.  As always, I’m grateful to Rep. McGovern for taking the time.

Follow BMG at day 3 of the Democratic National Convention

Bumped, for Philly. - promoted by david

Day 3: more of the same.  Wandering, talking, taking photos, and posting to Twitter.  I’m hoping to have a photographer friend contributing higher quality photos today. Follow @bluemassgroup, or watch the stream here.  Enjoy!

For overnight contemplation: Lord Gorgonzola

Here’s your late-night snack, before the sun rises on day 4.  I met this fellow on the way into the arena this evening.  The costume is good; his explanation for why he’s at the convention is better.

I agree with Bernie Sanders [...]

Together we can. - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

… who negotiated what I call a coalition result, and said “Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.”

I liked Bernie Sanders coalition building and stated coalition goals as demonstrated and show cased in his convention speech last night, 7/25/16.

If I use some of my still limited physical energy on politics it will be in trying to ensure the keeping of promises as to that coalition and those goals. This is what I call “coalition building, this is a quote from Senator Bernie Sander’s speech 7/25/16 at the Democratic National Convention:

“”It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That’s what this campaign has been about. That’s what democracy is about.

But I am happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Among many other strong provisions, the Democratic Party now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street and the passage of a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act. It also calls for strong opposition to job-killing free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” I agree with these negotiated, coalition goals. [Emphasis added]

I also agree with what Bernie Sanders said, next:

“Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.”

President’s cannot make this kind or level of change, alone. It does take allies, coalitions, and dare I say it, good manners from all involved, which means Democrats, all of them, treating one another with respect. Respect builds alliances and keeps allies; juvenile antics [which it seems were going on in several, if not all, quarters] are just not effective. So enough with booing, calling fellow change agent progressives [whether "Democrats" or allied independents] ridiculous. Consider this a call for maturity, manners, and the kind of behavior that makes a coalition effective.

I expect it will take every ounce of Sen. Sander’s tenacity, courage, leadership skills and energy to “…see that platform implemented,..” and that is a push I can add my energies, such as they are, towards bringing about. You can read the full remarks here.

Meet Keri Thompson, UIP candidate for state rep

A frequent knock on third parties is “hey, why are you just running for president?  Run serious candidates for state rep.  Build your farm team.”  So, here’s Keri Thompson, who is trying to do just that: she’s running for the soon-to-be-open Third Plymouth District seat as a United Independent Party (UIP) candidate.

We talked for about 15 minutes about Thompson’s role in the Bernie Sanders campaign (she was an elected Bernie delegate, but she resigned that position after registering UIP, giving up her position to an alternate delegate who is reportedly delighted to be here), and about her UIP candidacy.

A Senator, a Speaker, and a Sheriff talk to BMG

Bumped, for America. - promoted by david

This morning’s interviews at the MA delegation breakfast include Senator Ed Markey, Speaker Bob DeLeo, and Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins.  All very interesting and worth listening to.  As always, I very much appreciate their time.

Senator Markey:

Speaker DeLeo:

Sheriff Tompkins:

Follow BMG at day 2 of the Democratic National Convention

Bumped, for all the progressives in Philadelphia. - promoted by Bob_Neer

I’ll spend today like I spent yesterday: wandering around Philadelphia looking for interesting things to see and people to talk to.  I’ll post most of it to Twitter, again using the hashtag #bmg16 to keep track of things.  Follow me @bluemassgroup; you can also watch the tweet stream here.  And let me know if there’s anything in particular I should see or do!