Tag national

Senate President Stan Rosenberg Post-Election Statement on Behalf of the Massachusetts Senate

Over the last week I have heard many heart-wrenching stories about children and adults expressing their sadness and fear based on the results of the national election. It is natural to feel sad and disappointed when your candidate doesn’t win. It is not typical though, in our country, to feel fearful at the end of an election. But because of the repeated expression of bigoted views about women, racial minorities, people of both the Jewish and Muslim faiths, immigrants, members of the LGBT community, and people with disabilities, many people are fearful about the future. While bigoted words and incivility in public discourse are out of line in and of themselves, the greater threat is that they may create a false belief that now there is license to do something even worse in our communities and in our public policy: commit bigoted deeds. The election is over, and as Americans have done for centuries we must unite and move together into the future. As we do so, the members of the Massachusetts State Senate want to be clear. Our unshakable support for the civil rights and civil liberties of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts drives our commitment to […]

November Ninth

This presidential election is not a contest between Clinton and Trump (and, to a lessor extent, Johnson and Stein).  Rather, it is a referendum on Trump. And assuming that Trump is going to lose, the voters will be electing whomever is running against him.  Turns out, that’s Hillary Clinton (remember her?). Although Clinton’s election Trump’s defeat will be a monumental smackdown with a mandate against all his horrors, HRC will not have a mandate. Let’s assume my prediction of a 48.3%–45.2% popular vote spread is correct, which many of my friends think is waaaaay too high for the Donald.  This plurality harkens back to her husband’s 43% win back in 24 years ago (count ‘em!), but that was with a serious third party contender.  Still, I expect about 20% of her supporters aren’t voting FOR HER they’re voting AGAINST HIM.  It’s not unusual to have some voters only voting against the “lesser of two evils.”  But I can’t imagine it’s ever been this significant. Add to that her unpopularity; her not being a good campaigner (cf. Coakley, Martha); and all the faux scandals drummed up by Faux News.  And it’s clear to me that few voters in America will be supporting her. […]

Sen. Markey: Champion of the Environment? Or Corporate Dem Sell-Out?

Sen. Ed Markey gives campaign money to corporate Dem Patrick Murphy over progressive champion Alan Grayson. I am writing to express my disappointment in Senator Ed Markey (MA-D)’s recent financial support for Congressman Patrick Murphy (FL-D) as he works to secure the Democratic primary nomination for Marco Rubio’s recently vacated Florida Senate seat. Rep. Murphy supports the Keystone XL pipeline, the TPP, and other anti-environment, pro-corporate initiatives. Rep. Murphy is a New Dem who falls in line with the corporations; NOT progressive ideals Sen. Markey and our other representatives from Massachusetts champion so well. Rep. Murphy’s opponent, Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-D), is a true grassroots champion, raising the most campaign contributions in the House from small donors of $200 or less. Rep. Grayson’s progressive ideas and policies make him the candidate we need standing next to Senator Warren, Senator Sanders, and other progressive leaders. I was truly disturbed upon calling his Washington D.C office on July 13, when a staffer confirmed Sen. Markey “directly contributed money to Rep. Murphy’s primary campaign along with twenty other Senate Democrats.” Twenty other Senate Democrats many considered the neoliberal corporatist DINO wing of the Democratic party: U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Richard “Dick” Durbin (Illinois); […]

Massachusetts Senators Should Champion Federal Medical Marijuana Bill

Last Tuesday, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, the first time in history a comprehensive bill to legalize medical marijuana has been introduced in the US Senate. To protect Massachusetts patients and respect the will of our state’s voters, Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren should endorse this bill and fight hard to make it into law. Arguably the most important part of the bill would establish true federalism in marijuana policy, exempting state-legal programs from the federal Controlled Substances Act. Congress took a big step in this direction by attaching an amendment to the “cromnibus” spending bill last December, which banned the Department of Justice from spending money enforcing federal prohibition against states with legal medical marijuana programs. This bill would take that a step further, widening the ban to apply to the entire federal government and making it permanent. As Massachusetts is one of the 23 states that allows medical marijuana under certain conditions, ending the federal ban on medical marijuana is of utmost importance. We saw the awful impact of federal prohibition last year, when the DEA went so far as […]

New Era of ‘Open Debates’ Begins In Elizabeth Warren’s Backyard

Hey BMGers! This was posted by Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green on the PCCC’s blog, The Daily Change, and is cross-posted here in hopes of great participation from the Blue Mass Group community! Also posted at The Huffington Post.    Today, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is proud to announce that we will host a first-of-its-kind Open Debate in the special election for Congress in Massachusetts. All 5 Democrats running in the primary to replace now-Senator Ed Markey in the House of Representatives have agreed to participate in our Open Debate, where the public submits and votes on the questions. This is also Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s home congressional district. Open Debates will be a game changer in our political process — ensuring that questions get asked that the public actually cares about. What starts in Massachusetts will hopefully become the norm for local, state, congressional, and even presidential debates in the future. The debate will be held Saturday, August 10, at 11am Eastern and will be broadcast live online at OpenDebateQuestions.com. At this site, the public can submit questions, vote, learn about the candidates, and sign up for a reminder to watch the debate.

Did state lawmakers help John Roberts?

August 6 is the 48th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act. This is the first anniversary since the Supreme Court invalidated Section 4 of the Act, striking critical protections for voters in 9 Southern states and various additional counties across the nation, places where Congress had found patterns of discrimination aimed at preventing racial minorities from voting. Looking back at this court case, one of the worst in the history of voting rights law, it is a good moment to reflect and ask: did our state lawmakers inadvertently help Supreme Court Justice John Roberts strike down the heart out of the Voting Rights Act? Robert’s ruling was based on the notion that while there were racial disparities in voting and voting rights problems in the states listed by Congress in Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, there were also similar problems in the North.  In February’s oral argument, Robert singled out Massachusetts: Chief Justice Roberts: “Do you know which state has the worst ratio of white voter turnout to African-American voter turnout?” U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli: “I do not.” Roberts: “Massachusetts.” While Roberts’ statement was heated refuted by state officials, the point — that states […]

Why Planned Parenthood Stands with Ed Markey

In just my second week at Planned Parenthood, I’m delighted to join the conversation here about the U.S. Senate race. I wanted to let you know about our endorsement of Congressman Ed Markey. Congressman Markey has been an unwavering champion for women and their access to health care. That’s why the Planned Parenthood Action Fund has endorsed Congressman Markey for U.S. Senate. We saw here in Massachusetts that women’s health was a defining issue in the 2012 elections, and champions for women’s health like Senator Warren were elected across the country. Still, the attacks on women’s health have continued, which underscores the need for Massachusetts to elect Congressman Markey, who, like Senator Warren – as williamstowndem pointed out just this week – understands that protecting access to sexual and reproductive health care is nonnegotiable.  In the last Congress, Congressman Markey voted against several dangerous bills that would restrict access to safe and legal abortion, including a so-called “Personhood” bill. He understands that personal health care decisions should be left to a woman in consultation with her doctor, her family and her faith – without interference from politicians. Congressman Markey is a consistent and trusted advocate for women’s access to health care […]

Ai-Jen Poo, National Domestic Worker Leader and Time 100 Honoree, Will Speak at the Boston Care Congress on June 16th

Ai-Jen Poo, a gifted community organizer recently honored by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, will speak at the Greater Boston Care Congress on June 16th. The Congress will launch the Massachusetts Caring Across Generations Campaign, part of a national movement to unite care workers, seniors, members of the disability community, and allies in order to create jobs, win affordable care services, and transform the care industry. The Massachusetts Domestic Worker’s Alliance will convene in the morning at the same location to draft legislation for a Massachusetts Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights. Poo is a daughter of pro-democracy immigrants from Chiang Kai-shek’s Taiwan who has been active for decades in worker-led groups. She was influential in New York’s recent passage of a historic Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights and is providing leadership for the new national campaign, Caring Across Generations. Caring Across Generations is the movement-building campaign of a national coalition of several hundred organizations representing care workers and care consumers. The Massachusetts Caring Across Generations Campaign is led by a steering committee of local organizations including 1199/SEIU, Mass Senior Action Council, Massachusetts Coalition of Domestic Workers, and Massachusetts Jobs With Justice. The […]

Mourning the Demise of American Jobs

On Tuesday, Senator Scott Brown chose the 1% over the 99%. Yesterday, we mourned the middle class’s untimely death at the hands of Scott Brown and his Republican leadership on the steps of the Mass GOP headquarters. Pastor Paris Cherry of Dorchester delivered the funeral sermon, flanked by a row of coffins marked with the names of the deceased: American Jobs, the Middle Class, Massachusetts’ Infrastructure, and the United States Economy. “The people of Massachusetts came to weep, to feel, and to wonder in anguish as we share in the loss of our nation’s middle class,” said Cherry. “We gathered to mourn our senator’s vote to kill the family-supporting jobs our communities so desperately need.” Following the procession of pall bearers and Cherry’s sermon, eulogies were delivered by unemployed Boston-area workers whose jobs have been effectively killed by Brown’s support of the national Republican agenda. “Like me, millions of people will be hard hit by these senseless deaths – fatalities at the hands of Scott Brown and the politicians in Washington,” said Olivé Hendricks, an iron worker who has struggled for years to find consistent work. “As a Christian, I believe in good and evil – and their actions are […]

From Quirky, to Movement…

(Cross posted from my blog Left in Lowell. I’ve been thinking a lot about where we are and where we are headed lately in light of the Occupy[America] protest movement. Are we seeing a sea change, or just another blip like the anti-Iraq-war movement? Is this finally where the real work begins?) I’ve been following (mostly online) the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Boston protests since nearly the beginning. They got traction and coverage on blogs and Twitter long before the media was covering it – in fact, before the unprovoked pepper spray incidents that made the news, the only place to read about what was happening was online. The media complained that they weren’t cohesive enough and there wasn’t news to cover. Well, that has quickly changed and evolved. For starters, there were some very bad decisions from the NYPD – both institutionally, and by some idiot individuals – which put the protests on the map for the media, and solidified the motivation of participants and supporters. What’s more, it seems the organic sort of organizing that has sprung up has – and I have to use the word evolved again – to meet the challenges of running a […]