Election 2014 results thread

Moved to the flip…

Wonk Post: WBUR Turnout Projections

Turnout today will be either higher or lower than in previous elections. - promoted by Bob_Neer

From WBUR Poll Vault:

Where are we going?

The record. - promoted by Bob_Neer

What if President Romney had this record?***    

–unemployment from 11% to 5.9%; 11+ million new jobs; how many consecutive months of job growth? (50+)

–stock market from 7,000 to 17,300

–50+ consecutive months of economic expansion?

–stimulus bill that saved the country from depression (yes, it worked, it just should have been bigger)

–saved the auto industry (saving millions of jobs)

–saved much of the banking system (saving millions of jobs)

–largely out of Iraq

–largely out of Afghanistan

–15 million (?) previously uninsured Americans with health insurance (and counting)(yes, Romney likes people to have insurance)

–CFPB

–Dodd Frank

–annual deficit from $1.4 trillion to $450 billion

–ordered the risky raid that resulted in UBL taking one right between the eyes

–Sandy relief

–assistance for 9/11 first responders

–led government efforts to keep people in their homes who had predatory mortgages

–kept US safe at home

–increased energy independence

–increased use and development of alternative energy

–expanded the college tax credit

–lowest federal tax burden on middle-class families since the 1950s

–two women on US Supreme Court (“binders full of women”)

–first female Fed Chair (“binders full of women”)

***If I’m wrong on any of this correct me but this is off the top of my head; not researched, not fact checked. 

Would Republican candidates around the country run on this record, or cower in fear?

I just got to thinking, as we lose ground in the House and [perhaps] lose the Senate, how did we get here?  Do we as a country want to go back to Bush-era policies?  I don’t get it.   

Election day open thread

Today’s the day! Get out there and vote, and tell us what you see. Bob and I will be live-blogging the results this evening, from the BMG Media Empire compound, as they come in.

10 Reasons to Vote for Martha Coakley

Read on! - promoted by Bob_Neer

10 Reasons to Vote for Martha Coakley

[Here is the text - Ed.]

10 Reasons to Vote for Martha Coakley (from a Don Berwick Supporter)

I was a strong supporter of Don Berwick, and Martha Coakley was my last choice in the Democratic Primary. She is painfully vague on some important questions, but I’ve found enough in her and Charlie Baker’s websites, in their answers to questionnaires, and in their responses to interview questions, to feel confident in making a strong recommendation that voting for Martha Coakley is what we have to do on Election Day.

Here, then, are Ten Reasons to Vote for Martha Coakley for Governor:

#1. Charlie Baker’s No Tax Pledge renders the rest of his campaign commitments as empty rhetoric. Although Charlie Baker appears to have more specific proposals for addressing the Commonwealth’s challenges, he has made a no-new- taxes pledge and picked a Tea Party Republican as his running mate. If there’s one thing that anyone who’s running on his record as a CEO should know, it’s that implementing good ideas takes resources.

Charlie Baker talks about creating an annual fund of $100 million for infrastructure repair … at the same time as he opposes indexing the gas tax. He commits to increasing Local Aid; he talks about increasing State Budget spending on environmental programs, including more land acquisition , working with coastal cities and towns to develop and implement strategies for addressing rising sea level and storm-related concerns; he promises increased resources for treatment for addiction; he talks about expanding rehabilitative services for incarcerated persons; he calls for more extensive supportive services for homeless families and families at risk of homelessness … all without increasing taxes or adding to the burdens of cities and towns. We’ve had Republican presidents and governors who made those same kinds of “you-can-have-it-all-and-it-won’t-cost-you-anything” promises, and we know that it just isn’t possible.

BMG's ballot question endorsements: No, Yes, Yes, Yes

NYYY: New York Yankees, Yuck. Nice. -Bob
Bumped, because these questions are actually really important, and a lot of people aren't sure what they're about. Feel free to distribute this post widely! :) - promoted by david

It’s that time of year again, when everyone from newspaper editors to neighbors to your cranky uncle is telling you how to vote on November’s ballot.  Herewith, your humble editors’ submission with respect to the four statewide ballot questions.  Spoiler: the correct answers are No on 1, and Yes on the rest.  They are all pretty easy calls, in our view.

NO on 1.  Question 1, if passed, would repeal the indexing provision that the legislature recently added to the gas tax.  The indexing provision adjusts the gas tax (currently 24 cents per gallon) “every year by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index over the preceding year.”  In other words, it automatically adjusts the gas tax for inflation.

An outrage, some cry!  Taxation without representation!  The legislature should have to vote every time a tax is raised!  There are many problems with this argument, not the least of which is that the sales tax for everything else is a percentage, and therefore automatically adjusts for inflation – if prices go up, so does the sales tax in dollar amount.  Frankly, a percentage sales tax is probably a better way to manage the gas tax as well, but since the tax is per gallon, failing to index results in the gas tax actually losing value over time.

And an inadequate gas tax is a real problem, since the gas tax funds road and bridge projects around the state.  Needless to say, these projects are necessary.  MA’s infrastructure is not getting any younger; much maintenance has been deferred way longer than it should have been; and catastrophes like this one only seem likely to happen more often if something isn’t done.

The legislature isn’t very good at enacting sensible tax policy.  This gas tax bill was a rare exception (it probably didn’t go far enough, but it was a big improvement over what was in place before).  We see no good argument for undoing it.

YES on 2.  Question 2, if passed, would update the bottle bill (which requires a five-cent deposit on certain beverage containers, refunded when the bottle is returned) to include water, juice, sports drink, and other now-popular drinks.  The statistics around the bottle bill are overwhelming: 80% of containers with a deposit, but only 23% of containers without, are recycled.  Lots of anecdotal observations support this: it’s actually pretty rare to see a Coke can or beer bottle on the street, but plastic water and juice bottles are ubiquitous.

So, the bottle bill works, and things that work should be encouraged and expanded to keep up with the times.  Furthermore, the folks urging you to vote “no” have been … massaging the facts, shall we say, with respect to current recycling rates in Massachusetts.  This is bad behavior that should be punished; if it isn’t, they and others will assume (correctly) that they can get away it, and will behave similarly in the future.

YES on 3.  Question 3, if passed, would pretty much repeal the state’s casino law by making slot machines and table games illegal again in Massachusetts.  We’ve talked about this issue a great deal on BMG in recent months, so there’s no need to rehash those arguments in detail here.  In brief, we think casinos are a lousy economic development strategy (recent events in Atlantic City and elsewhere suggest that they are not the golden goose their boosters would have you believe), we think they prey on people who really don’t need another toilet down which to flush their money, and we think the shenanigans at the Mass. Gaming Commission have amply demonstrated that they tend to operate in a shady fashion.  We recognize that Springfield, in particular, could use an infusion of economic activity of just about any kind.  We are happy to see recent news reports that just such a thing appears to be happening, and we hope this is the start of a trend.  Building a plant to assemble desperately-needed subway cars is real economic development.  Gambling isn’t.

YES on 4.  Question 4, if passed, would require employers with 11 or more employees to allow their employees to “earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year, while employees working for smaller employers could earn and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per calendar year.”  This one is really so easy.  Of course employees should be able to take a modest number of sick days per year (five seems perfectly reasonable) without putting their jobs in jeopardy or (at larger employers) taking a financial hit for it.  If you’re sick and you stay home and rest, (a) you will get better and therefore return to productivity much faster, and (b) you won’t get your colleagues or the people next to you on the T sick.  It is both sensible economic policy and sensible public health policy.

Does it matter if Baker's fish story is fake?

Bumped, because fish. - promoted by david

As reporter after reporter fails to turn up anything to substantiate Charlie Baker’s now-famous (even made MSNBC) story about the huge New Bedford fisherman who dissolved in tears upon relating the story of his sons and their foregone football scholarships, the question must be asked: let’s say the story is fake.  Does it matter?

Watch the video of Baker telling his story again.  He’s awfully convincing in every detail.  How the guy looked.  Where he was from.  Which high school the guy’s kids went to, and what sport they played.  He betrays no doubt whatsoever that these are real people, and that he story he’s telling really happened.

But now, under the pressure of reporters not being able to verify what he said, Baker is admitting that he “may have gotten some of the details wrong.”  I’m sorry, but what??  Which of those details, so convincingly delivered, were made up?  Baker has pretty much clammed up on the matter, refusing to answer reporters’ detailed inquiries.  In response, the New Bedford Standard-Times, which endorsed Baker, now sounds like they are regretting it and really want answers.  In an editorial published today, they say this of Baker:

His slow response to our questions threaten to taint his relationship with this region, as our endorsement of his candidacy a couple Sundays ago praised him for his recognition of SouthCoast’s importance in statewide economic development.

We need to know that his fervor, his tears, his promises are genuine….

[W]e still want to know from the Baker campaign whether the story he shared at the debate was a symbolic anecdote or a calculated manipulation of the public — and New Bedford — for his political ends.

But, Baker insists, “the essence of the story is true.”  What does that mean?  Which part of it is the “essence,” and which are the apparently fake embellishments?  Baker won’t tell us.

I’ve already explained why I’m pretty sure that the telling of the fish story was planned.  Now, as it turns out, the story may well be fiction in some important particulars.  It is remarkable to me that a story should be so powerful that it causes Baker to break down in tears every time he’s told it for the last 5 years.  (Dianne Williamson at the Telegram puts it less charitably: “Should he care so much, though? Really? This big, strong man chokes up every single time he tells the same 4-year-old story?”) It’s even more remarkable if the story isn’t real.

All of which leaves us wondering what, exactly, we saw at that debate.  A man genuinely moved by the plight of fishermen in Massachusetts?  A father empathizing with the anguish of a man who felt he had steered his sons wrong?  A candidate for office so cynical and calculating that he not only made up a powerful story but then managed fake tears in the telling of it?  Some combination of the above?  Hard to say.

So, does it matter?  Yes.  It has to matter whether candidates tell the truth, whether the subject is large or small.  It just has to.

By the way, Ed Markey still wants your money

It’s been a while since I’ve complained about Ed Markey’s absurdly aggressive, scare-mongering fundraising emails.  So, here’s the latest installment, from my inbox this morning.

From: Ed Markey <info@edmarkey.com>
Subject: I need your help ASAP

No, no you really don’t.

Date: October 31, 2014 9:04:48 AM EDT
To: David

Dear Friend,

If the pollsters and the pundits are to be believed, we need to win just about every close race on Tuesday.

That’s true.  But yours isn’t one of them.

Right now, Democrats are running short — on time and room for error. And if we come up short on our $16O,OOO goal for October, we could be in trouble.

No, you couldn’t.  As of October 15, you had well over $2 million in the bank, while your opponent barely cleared $20,000.  And stop using “O” instead of “0.”

If we miss our fundraising goals, we can’t run the kind of GOTV operations that will lead us to victory. 

Yes, yes you can.  As noted above, you’re sitting on $2 million that you are barely going to need to tap into.

Help us keep our organizers in the field and getting out the vote — chip in $5 before midnight.

No.  Other people need my hard-earned money much more than you do, Ed.

Polling guru Nate Silver says that this year’s elections aren’t like 2012 or 2010. The Republicans have an advantage, but as Silver puts it, “they haven’t been able to put Democrats away.”

We’re still in this. Democrats can win this year, but only if we make the most of every remaining moment of this campaign.

What are you talking about, Ed?  You will win this year, regardless of what happens in other states.  Nobody in America thinks that Brian what’s-his-name is going to win this election, including Brian, I’d wager.

Other Democrats, however, may or may not win.  They’d probably find it easier to win if occupants of safe seats, like yourself, were helping them fundraise instead of padding their own campaign accounts.

Please contribute $5, $10, or more toward our $16O,OOO goal — we only have 15 hours left.

No.  You don’t need that much money this month.  In fact, you don’t need any more money, because you have two million bucks in the bank.  And please, for the love of God, stop using “O” instead of “0.”

Joke Revue: Supreme Court Backs Koch Plan to Fire Cash from Cannon at Voters

Borowitz:

Kochs Approve Plan to Fire Cash from Cannon at Voters

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—The billionaire Koch brothers have approved a controversial plan to shoot cash from cannons directly at voters heading into polling places on Election Day.

The plan, which Koch insiders have privately referred to as Operation Money Shot, would distribute as much as seventy million dollars in small bills in the hopes of seizing Republican control of the United States Senate next Tuesday.

While most state laws prohibit electioneering within a hundred feet of polling places, the Koch plan craftily skirts that restriction by using high-powered cash cannons, similar to the T-shirt cannons used in sports arenas, which have a range of up to a hundred and fifty feet. …

[T]he Supreme Court upheld the Koch brothers’ plan by a five-to-four vote on Thursday, arguing that spending money on elections was protected by the First Amendment, and that using a cannon was protected by the Second.

Midterms Prediction: Billionaires to Retain Control of Government

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—With just one week to go until the midterm elections, a new poll indicates that billionaires are likely to retain control of the United States government.

The poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, shows that the proxy candidates of billionaires are likely to win ninety-eight per cent of next Tuesday’s races, with the remaining two per cent leaning billionaire.

Although the poll indicates that some races are still “too close to call,” the fact that billionaires funded candidates on both sides puts the races safely in their column.

Davis Logsdon, who supervised the poll for the University of Minnesota, said that next Tuesday should be “a big night for oligarchs” and that both houses of Congress can be expected to grovel at the feet of their money-gushing paymasters for at least the next two years.

Calling the billionaires’ upcoming electoral romp “historic,” Logsdon said, “We have not seen the super-rich maintain such a vise-like grip on the government since the days immediately preceding the French Revolution.”

Obama Urged to Apologize for Anti-Fear Remark

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—President Obama is coming under increasing pressure to apologize for a controversial remark that he made on Tuesday, in which he said that the nation’s Ebola policy should be based on facts rather than fear.

While the anti-fear tenor of Mr. Obama’s comment was offensive enough to some, the President made matters worse by suggesting that science would play the leading role in guiding the nation’s Ebola protocols—a role that many Americans believe should be played by fear.

Daniel Kurtzman:

“The man in charge of investigating the 2012 Secret Service prostitution scandal has quit after he himself was caught with a prostitute – which explains why President Obama just appointed an irony czar.” –Jimmy Fallon

“The investigator who led the probe in the Secret Service prostitution scandal was caught with a prostitute. When cops found them together, he said, ‘Hey, I’m investigating here.’” –Conan O’Brien

“I want to settle everybody down. Let me put this in perspective for you. Your chances of catching Ebola are the same as the Jets chances of making the play-offs.” –David Letterman

“During a campaign event, former presidential nominee Bob Dole told the crowd that Mitt Romney should run for president in 2016. If there’s anyone who knows that the third time is a charm, it’s a guy who lost three times.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Vladimir Putin announced he’s abolishing daylight saving time. He said he doesn’t want to set Russian clocks back. I will say this: He’s done a pretty good job of setting the Russian calendar back — to about 1983.” –Craig Ferguson

“Scientists found they have evidence that human beings had sex with Neanderthals. Apparently the evidence is any episode of the ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey.’” –Conan O’Brien

“Last night, someone jumped the White House fence again. See, the problem is, if the pizza doesn’t get to Obama in 30 minutes, it’s free. And that comes out of their paycheck.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Maybe people would stop trying to jump the fence if the first lady weren’t taunting us by growing gardens full of that sweet, sweet kale.” –Jimmy Kimmel

Getting Out the Vote - It's now or never

  - promoted by david

I was going going door to door earlier this week and met a voter who was definitely planning on voting for the Democratic ticket. I reminded him that election day was coming up on Tuesday and gave him the opening and closing times. He realized that he will be out of town during voting hours. I explained that he could vote absentee at City Hall. He promised me he would vote absentee and thanked me for making sure he had the opportunity to vote.

We will win this election with our ground game. The polls show that voters are all over and the situation is very fluid. We can make a difference with our GOTV efforts. We will win this election, one voter at a time.

I spoke on Thursday at a rally with Governor Patrick I was channeling my inner Maura Healey and urged everyone to keep on going until the final buzzer. In Maura’s own words:

I believe you keep fighting every second till you hear the buzzer. And as strong as you are as an individual player, your team makes you a lot stronger. That’s how you win.

We need you as part of the team. I’m listing a number of events that people can join this weekend.

Martha Coakley Events
There are many opportunities to meet Martha Coakley and other Democratic leaders at events across the state. Martha is at all of the following events. Please come and bring friends. If you can’t take time from GOTV, send friends.

Don't like the way things are going? Vote United Independent

An alternative is presented. - promoted by david

My name is Angus Jennings, I’m a professional planner with a specialty in housing & economic development.  I’ve worked about half my career in Massachusetts town halls, and half my career as a consultant running my own small business.  As a consultant, I have worked on projects in nearly 40 cities and towns across the Commonwealth, many working for the community itself.  I was born in Springfield, grew up in Wilbraham, have lived in Quincy and Marshfield, and now my wife, young daughter and I call Concord home. Until this year, I had been a registered Democrat all my voting life, and was even on the Board of Directors of the Young Dems of Massachusetts (Mass Democratic Future) back in the early 2000’s.  On Nov. 4, I’ll be on the ballot as the United Independent Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor- my running mate is Evan Falchuk.  I’m here to humbly ask for your vote.

Thomas Menino, 1942-2014.

Sad news. One of my favorite Menino stories was when he introduced the outdoor performances of Bizet's great opera "Carmen," held on the Boston Common back in 2002, as "Cahmen on the Cahmon." The polls showing that well over half of Boston's residents had met Menino personally continue to astonish. He will be sorely missed. RIP, Mr. Mayor. - promoted by david

Sad news over the WCVB twitter feed, Boston has lost one of her finest sons and benefactors. Mayor Tom Menino was one of the happiest politicians I ever met, and someone who clearly felt blessed to have the job he did and treasured every minute of it. There are a lot of facts behind a complicated public figure. Three stand out to me.

The first is personal, I met the man at the L Street bathouse during the 2004 Democratic Convention where I volunteered to help set up the NY Delegation Party. He came personally, with just one black town car and two plains clothes cops to shake all our hands, chat with us a bit, and chat with all the kitchen staff and janitorial staff setting up the event. He showed up before the delegates to make sure he had that face time with us and let us know we were important ambassadors for the city.

The second, is that he is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, major political figure in our state or the country to endorse gay marriage. Marc Solomon, chair of Freedom to Marry, has said on record that there would be no gay marriage in America if it weren’t for Tom Menino. He was an founder and co-chair of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. Also a co-founder and first go-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, one of the largest and most effective gun control groups in the country.

The third is that he left office with 74% approval rating, and poll after poll showed almost 60% of the city had met their Mayor personally at one time or another. He never forgot the people he was elected to serve. Thoughts and prayers are with his family.