Elizabeth Warren Voting NO on Question 2

Excellent. So are all the BMG editors. A Yes vote would be reckless, and is unnecessary. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Senator Elizabeth Warren has released a statement that she is going to vote NO on Question 2:

“I will be voting no on Question 2. Many charter schools in Massachusetts are producing extraordinary results for our students, and we should celebrate the hard work of those teachers and spread what’s working to other schools. But after hearing more from both sides, I am very concerned about what this specific proposal means for hundreds of thousands of children across our Commonwealth, especially those living in districts with tight budgets where every dime matters. Education is about creating opportunity for all our children, not about leaving many behind. I hope that the Legislature, the teachers, and the parents can come together to find ways to make sure all kids in Massachusetts get a first-rate education without pitting groups against each other.”

I am glad she made that statement, all schools including charters, pilot schools and other non-traditional schools should have a role in better educating our children. Charlie Baker and his charter frat house he created in his education cabal need to work with the legislature and create a plan that helps all children.

Every sniff from the debate

Seems like something may be going on. (Hat tip, NYT).

I am tired of paying Donald Trump's taxes - aren't you?

The result of a whole lifetime spent in his own Trump world. - promoted by Bob_Neer

am tired of paying Donald Trumps taxes. Aren’t you?

Clinton destroys Trump

She was prepared and coherent. He wasn’t. The turning point of the debate was his incoherent answer to the birther question. He seemed to lose energy and become increasingly dysfunctional after that, just repeating alt-right talking points and, toward the end, reduced to echoing whatever the last complicated word Secretary Clinton had just used. Thoughts?

Twitterstorming the debate

Debate Predictions Open Thread

Moderator is a Republican, so we can expect a healthy dose of misogyny, racism, and rich-get-richer economics from him, if the party's nominee is any indication. - promoted by Bob_Neer

I’ll start:

Hillary wins.

Spare a Thought for the Down Ballot Races

Of note. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Folks, the national scene is deservedly getting a lot of attention, and my eyes will be on the debate Monday. The presidential race and senate races, in particular, could not be more important this year. But down ballot races in Massachusetts also deserve your focus and support. In my districts, I’m lucky to have a fairly safe congresswoman, state senator, and state rep. While I will likely be spending some time in New Hampshire between now and November 8, yesterday I spent the afternoon with the incomparable Amanda Smith canvassing for freshman state rep Mike Day (Winchester and Stoneham, 31st Middlesex district), after a rousing sendoff by Congresswoman Katherine Clark.

Mike Day is a hard-working rep who is in the legislature for the right reasons and has made a positive impact in his first two years. He has a far right-wing opponent (though she does not present herself that way) who is a Republican state committeewoman and has been endorsed by Gov. Baker (though he did not endorse her in the Republican primary). The choice could not be clearer. Yet Mike Day won his last race by barely 2 percentage points against this same opponent, and she’s coming on strong. This could be a close race, and it depends on getting to the doors, getting the message out, and getting out the vote. If you want to make an impact and keep this dedicated progressive Democrat in the legislature, you might throw some support his way. He has a long list of endorsements including Congresswoman Clark and State Senator Jason Lewis.

In Massachusetts, the strategy of the right seems to be to build a farm team of republican selectmen, city councillors, etc. who can then move on to state rep and state senate seats, aided by a lot of out-of-state money. Let’s stop this one. It’s not my district, not my campaign, but it matters to our ability to improve the lives of residents today and tomorrow. Check out his website for more info. The key point here is that every vote counts. People need to 1) register, 2) vote, 3) complete the entire ballot, 4) tell their friends and neighbors that their votes for all offices matter, 5) make sure that people who have trouble voting on election day can either vote absentee or vote early, and 6) Get Out The Vote. (Others should feel free to chime in, highlight their important local races, and share exactly how we can help one another.)

Great ad for Clinton "Mirrors"

Trouble brewing at EOEEA?

There have been three not-great stories for the Baker administration recently, all coming out of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA):

  • Two top officials of the Department of Conservation and Recreation were suspended without pay for a week after the press revealed that they used state resources to throw a party for Republican bigwigs.
  • Baker named his former campaign driver, James McGinn, as the head of the state’s environmental police – perhaps the most controversial of several hires within EOEEA that have the whiff of patronage about them.
  • An EOEEA employee was harassed and faced on-the-job retaliation after her fiancé announced that he was planning to run against an incumbent Republican state senator.

Baker has defended the hiring of McGinn, and has strongly criticized the employees involved in the other incidents.  Nonetheless, one has to wonder whether it’s coincidence that all of these incidents are happening within EOEEA.  When Baker named Matthew Beaton, a not-very-well-known state rep, to be his Secretary of EOEEA, eyebrows were raised.  And I wondered whether he was up to the job of running such a large operation:

one does wonder whether a 30-something, 2-term state rep with no evident experience overseeing anything other than a small construction company and a state rep’s tiny office is ready to hit the ground running with respect to a large secretariat that encompasses at least seven different agencies (honestly, if I had to hazard a guess as to which major Baker appointee will step down “to spend more time with his family” first, it’d be Beaton, since Baker will be the last guy to have patience for someone who isn’t up to the managerial aspect of the job).

So far, Baker is expressing “full and unequivocal support” for Beaton.  But I’d expect that to change if this starts to look like more of a pattern than it already does.

Massachusetts Ballot Questions, in haiku form

No no, Yes yes is easy to remember. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Inspired by Damian Carroll’s version of this for California and LA.

Builds a slots parlor
Exclusively Suffolk Downs
Without open bid

Twelve new charter schools
Must be opened every year
First in poor cities

Animals’ cages
Must be a minimum size
If grown or sold here

Legalizes pot
Licenses granted by State
Towns vote to opt out

Q5 (Boston and other places voting on the CPA):
Small property tax
Pays for housing, old stuff, parks
Some State matching funds

Q5 (Somerville):
Build new High School or
Risk deaccreditation
Borrowing money

Restoring the 4th amendment -- and rebuilding trust -- here in MA

Two more horrific shootings of black men by police this week, in Tulsa and Charlotte. It seems that this will never end — perhaps because it’s never stopped. Most likely we are simply more aware of racist police violence because of social media, and the instant ubiquity of news; back in the day, we’d only know what was happening across the country if some national outlet happened to pick up the story.

But we’ve got problems here. The MA Supreme Judicial Court even made a pro-4th Amendment ruling that is at once justified, and stunning in its conclusions: That under the circumstances, black people actually have good reason to fear the police, and that flight is not [by itself - edit] adequate cause for suspicion:

We do not eliminate flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion analysis whenever a black male is the subject of an investigatory stop. However, in such circumstances, flight is not necessarily probative of a suspect’s state of mind or consciousness of guilt. Rather, the finding that black males in Boston are disproportionately and repeatedly targeted for FIO [Field Interrogation and Observation] encounters suggests a reason for flight totally unrelated to consciousness of guilt. Such an individual, when approached by the police, might just as easily be motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by the desire to hide criminal activity. Given this reality for black males in the city of Boston, a judge should, in appropriate cases, consider the report’s findings in weighing flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion calculus.

This situation of mistrust has been not helped in the least by the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association’s stonewalling on police cameras. The patrolmen agreed to a voluntary body camera program; then somehow no one volunteered to wear one. When the commissioner then ordered some of them to wear the cameras, they took it to court: You can’t make us – it’s voluntary! This does not sound like good faith negotiation.

And in Walpole … does this sound familiar?

Jean-Paul Wahnon has never run afoul of the law. So when a Walpole police officer rifled through his Toyota Prius on an August afternoon and repeatedly asked whether the car was his and whether he had a gun in his possession, Wahnon was concerned.

Senator Warren takes Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf to Woodshed

Must see YouTube. (If you prefer reading about eviscerations to watching them, BMGer terrymcginty offers some of NPR’s summary here.)