Coakley Leads Grossman by 25%, Baker by 10%

Mitt Romney Charlie Baker falls back. - promoted by Bob_Neer

From today’s Boston Globe Poll:

Coakley gaining ground against Baker, ceding in primary race

As it does every week, the poll also tracked the governor’s race, where Attorney General Martha Coakley continues to enjoy a gaping lead in the three-way Democratic primary, despite ceding some ground to Treasurer Steve Grossman recently. Coakley garnered 45 percent support among people who intend to participate in the Democratic primary, down from 50 percent from two weeks ago, while Grossman climbed from 16 percent to 20 percent during that time, meaning that Coakley’s lead had fallen by 9 percentage points.

Former federal health care administrator Don Berwick continued to trail, with 5 percent support, essentially unchanged over two weeks.

There was better news for Coakley in the general election matchup. After Charlie Baker, the leading Republican candidate, pulled within 3 points of her two weeks ago, Coakley has since widened her lead, opening up a 42 percent to 32 percent advantage over Baker

Baker still leads Grossman, 34 percent to 29 percent, in a head-to-head matchup, and Berwick, 37 percent to 24 percent, but his advantage over both has declined over the past two weeks

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2014/07/31/massachusetts-even-more-liberal-than-you-thought/HCk5j2MZ7b64zmi3SZiKzH/story.html

A new ad from the Berwick campaign! "John's story"

Berwickians and others: what do you think? - promoted by Bob_Neer

What do you all think of the ad released today by the Berwick campaign? By telling the story of John, a former Republican, I think it has the potential to draw the interest of many moderate Massachusetts voters. Maybe even a few Republicans too!

Here is my favorite line: ”Then, despite what Limbaugh and Hannity had led me to believe all those years, the safety net came to our rescue.” With Don as our next Governor, we would strengthen the ever-weakening safety net that our state government provides for those who fall on hard times and act as a beacon for the rest of the nation to follow.

Here is the 2nd Reason why the Disclosure Bill Rocks. (You know the first).

"For the love of money is the root of all evil," as an early blogger once wrote. - promoted by Bob_Neer

As all you readers of Blue Mass Group know, anonymous big money in politics is a major problem.  Luckily, today or tomorrow, if all goes well, the Legislature will finalize a bill to clamp down on anonymous SuperPac spending.  That’s good law, of course.   Reason 1.

But some want to torpedo the SuperPAC disclosure legislation at the last minute because of a part of the bill that raises individual contribution limits from $500 to $1,000.

Actually, the increase in the limit is a feature of the bill, not a bug.  For democracy in Massachusetts, raising that limit is very likely to be a good thing, and is almost certainly not a bad one.  It’s the 2nd reason the disclosure bill rocks. Follow me into the weeds to find out why.

State Should Support All Students

Posted by Senators Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville) and Ken Donnelly (D-Arlington). The Senators say charter schools have changed from collaborators with district public schools to competitors to them and are creating divisive dual systems of public education. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Last week, the senate voted to defeat a bill that proposed to raise the current cap on charter schools in 29 districts.  Beginning in 2017 the cap would rise from 18% to 23% of those school districts’ spending.

Before the vote, we heard from parents, advocates, students, and organizations on both sides of the argument. We sat down with whoever was willing to talk about the bill and what it would mean for students in the Commonwealth and the future of our public education system.

We went into all of these conversations with the goal of answering one essential question: what is our end game in expanding charter schools?

In 1993 when the Massachusetts Legislature voted to create charter schools, the intent was that charters would experiment with new practices for educating our children. Originally, it was intended to take the successful practices developed by charter schools and use them in the district public schools.

Today, charter schools are promoted not as collaborators with public schools, but as competitors in a marketplace where test scores take the place of profits. In this market, there are rewards for schools that can avoid students who are likely to score low. That was never the intent.

Question for AG and other candidates

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - promoted by Bob_Neer

What are your thoughts on the Commonwealth Fusion Centers?

What role and costs do these centers assume and consume and how do they actually make the average citizen safer?

Do you have any thoughts or suggestions about increasing transparency and general information to the public about the centers (Maynard, Boston) and why they should have oversight or not?

Is it the AG’s role to spy on the spies (surveillance and security information specialists) in order to ensure that accountability and civil rights are being protected?   If you believe the AG’s office or other offices/departments are needed to perform those watchdog services, how do you propose to do it?

Thank you  – I look forward hearing from you.   HD

 

Say no to Citizens United and shadowy SuperPACs

A bit of complicated political positioning for mid-summer. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Grossman once said, “Voters should determine who wins elections, not outside money!”

He was once on the right side of the argument. Shame.

Link

A petition by Martha Coakley via MoveOn.org

To be delivered to Steve Grossman

Join us in calling on Steve Grossman to denounce the SuperPAC formed in his name and publicly request their ads be immediately taken down. These attacks, the first negative SuperPAC attack ads ever launched in a Massachusetts Democratic Primary, will only hurt our Party, our state and our democracy in the long-run.

Petition Background

Massachusetts has been a proud leader in denouncing the Citizens United decision and preventing SuperPAC attack ads from influencing campaigns. Since Citizens United, these shadowy groups have used their unlimited, undisclosed corporate donations to launch negative attacks and drown out the voices of average voters across the country. In 2012, Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown led the way in voluntarily agreeing to ban these groups in their Senate campaign. Ed Markey and Steven Lynch followed suit in their race.

No matter which candidate you’re supporting, if you’re undecided or you may live outside Massachusetts, by joining our efforts, you’re helping to send a strong message that the Citizens United decision was wrong. These secretive, special interest groups drown out the voice of average voters, breed cynicism, and threaten our democracy.

We believe this campaign should be about grassroots activism and candidates’ ideas for the future, not attacks ads funded by undisclosed corporate interests.

Obama Calls Out Corporate Tax Dodgers

Hmm. - promoted by Bob_Neer

In his weekly address Saturday, Obama reiterated his call for Congress to pass legislation ending the “unpatriotic tax loophole” that allows some companies to pay fewer taxes.

“Even as corporate profits are as high as ever, a small but growing group of big corporations are fleeing the country to get out of paying taxes,” Obama said. “They’re keeping most of their business inside the United States, but they’re basically renouncing their citizenship and declaring that they’re based somewhere else, just to avoid paying their fair share.”

Even though “the vast majority” of U.S. companies pay what they owe, he added, some are able to “cherrypick” which taxes they pay by swallowing up a smaller foreign company and shifting their official address overseas.

The process is “totally legal” Obama said, but also “totally wrong.”

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/213414-obama-hits-unpatriotic-tax-loophole

Both the right issues and a great campaign issue for November.

So: Nobody walks to work. Who knew?

Heh. Thus are "narratives" shaped and media bubbles blown divorced from reality. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Thanks to the Boston Globe for proving scientifically that no one in the Bay State walks (or rides a bike) to work.

Instead, according to this week’s poll, we choose driving (82%) and mass transit (8%) or both (9%).

News storyPoll results

I’d never have guess that, but science! Also, people really like the T, with only 17% of T “customers” dissatisfied.

In fact, the number of satisfied “customers” outnumbers the number of people who, um, use public transportation by more than 10 to 1!

More remarkable science: We agree we don’t drive any worse than drivers in other states. Take that, Seattle!

But mostly, no one walks to work. Wow.

 

 

Celebrating the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Today we celebrate. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Tomorrow, we celebrate the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark civil rights law that has helped remove countless barriers for Americans with disabilities. It has made workplaces, schools, courtrooms, and restaurants accessible to people who previously could not get through the door. It has changed our national consciousness and made our state a more welcoming place.

But like all civil rights laws, the ADA is an unfinished promise. We have much more work to do to make opportunities in our Commonwealth available to all.

As a leader in the Attorney General’s Office, I fought hard to ensure that Massachusetts residents with disabilities were able to access education, employment, housing, transportation, and places of public accommodation. I achieved landmark agreements with Apple, Monster.com, and three national movie theater chains to make technology, websites, and entertainment accessible to those with disabilities. I also took action against landlords, employers, and storeowners who failed to meet their responsibilities to people with disabilities.

As Attorney General, I will continue to make the ADA’s protections real for all Massachusetts residents. I will advocate for inclusive technology in our workplaces and classrooms. I will ensure that people with disabilities are able to obtain health care and housing. I will improve employment opportunities and ensure access to places of public accommodation. And I will lead the way by making the Attorney General’s Office a model — investing in trainings, recruiting workers with disabilities, and prioritizing disability rights work throughout the Office’s many divisions.

A society is stronger and richer if it includes everyone. That’s what I will fight for as your next Attorney General.

Thank you for joining me in this effort,

 

Maura

P.S. To learn more about my experience and independent vision for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, please visit www.maurahealey.com.

Jury convicts in probation case

Globe:

John J. O’Brien, the disgraced former Probation commissioner accused of corruption, and his top aide, Elizabeth Tavares, today were convicted of mail fraud, racketeering, and racketeering conspiracy by a US District Court jury, which found that they ran the state agency like a criminal enterprise.

Another third former official, William Burke III, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy but acquitted of mail fraud and racketeering.

The jury found that O’Brien and Tavares committed fraud and racketeering by hijacking their department’s hiring process to favor candidates who were sponsored by state legislators…. Defense attorneys had argued throughout the trial that O’Brien and his deputies did nothing illegal, that it was simply patronage. But the jury found that they committed fraud, by creating a rigged system to make it look like they were following department protocol.

So, there you have it, I guess.  There will probably be post-trial motions seeking to overturn the jury’s verdict, and almost certainly an appeal to the federal appeals court in Boston.  But for now, at least, guilty.

If the verdict holds up, is Bob DeLeo next?  Or does he remain an “unindicted coconspirator”?

Progressive Dems of Mass. (PDM) Endorses Healey for AG, Conroy for Treasurer

  - promoted by david

Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts (PDM) is proud to announce that we have voted to endorse Maura Healey for Attorney General and Tom Conroy for Treasurer.  These endorsements follow upon PDM’s endorsement of Don Berwick for Governor earlier this month.

We encourage all progressive activists to join us in working to elect these three impressive candidates.

PDM is a statewide network of grassroots activists and organizers, which has been working since 2003 to build progressive power in Massachusetts communities and government.  PDM’s endorsements are made by our sustaining members after careful review and open discussion.  Our process considers both the candidates’ commitment to progressive values and policies and their likely ability to provide effective leadership if elected.  We only endorse if two-thirds of those voting agree.

In the present process, both Maura Healey and Tom Conroy received the support of more than 80 percent of those participating in the voting.  In two highly competitive primaries, these tallies reflect extraordinary consensus among our active members about the strengths of these two candidates.

Market Basket Prediction Thread

This post is by striker57 - not sure why the system is showing the author incorrectly. It's a worthy topic of discussion and speculation. Ernie has helpfully linked to a court filing that supplies additional information. - promoted by david

The Board of Market Basket is meeting tomorrow morning (Friday, July 25th). MB workers plan a massive (and “final” (their word) rally to coincide with the meeting. So BMG, what will the Market Basket Board do? Reinstate Arthur T? Stand by their earlier decision? Fire more workers? Nothing at all?

What say you?