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MassFiscal Scorecard Update: Charter Schools & the Convention Center

by: MassFiscal

Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 15:43:18 PM EDT

( - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

Yes, we've done it again -- six new votes added to the MassFiscal Scorecard! As usual, you can check out a brief explanation of each new vote follows, then head over to the site itself to find out how your representative and senator voted.

SENATE (4 Votes)

1. Study PARCC Implementation Costs (Roll Call #406): This amendment sought to require an analysis of the costs associated with switching from the current MCAS assessments to the proposed PARCC tests. MassFiscal would have voted YES. The amendment failed 14-25 (D: 10-25; R: 4-0).

2. Senate Version of Charter School Expansion (Roll Call #407): This vote was on the Senate version of a proposal to raise the cap on the number of charter schools in Massachusetts. Unlike the House version, it included guarantees of more funding for school districts whose students transfer to charter schools. MassFiscal would have voted YES. The proposal failed 13-26 (D: 9-26; R: 4-0).

3. House Version of Charter School Expansion (Senate Vote - Roll Call #408): This vote was on the House version of a proposal to raise the cap on the number of charter schools in Massachusetts. Unlike the Senate version, it did not include guarantees of more funding for school districts whose students transfer to charter schools. MassFiscal would have voted YES. The bill failed9-30 (D: 5-30; R: 4-0).

4. Convention Center Conference Report (Senate Vote - Roll Call #409): This vote was to approve the conference committee report authorizing a $1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention and Exposition Center (BCEC). MassFiscal would have voted NO. The bill passed 33-7 (D: 33-3; R: 0-4).

HOUSE (2 Votes)

1. House Version of Charter School Expansion (House Vote - Roll Call #378): This vote was on the House version of a proposal to raise the cap on the number of charter schools in Massachusetts. Unlike the Senate version, it did not include guarantees of more funding for school districts whose students transfer to charter schools. MassFiscal would have voted YES. The bill passed 114-35 (D: 85-35; R: 29-0).

2. Convention Center Conference Report (House Vote - Roll Call #423): This vote was to approve the conference committee report authorizing a $1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention and Exposition Center (BCEC). MassFiscal would have voted NO. The bill passed 131-19 (D: 131-0; R: 10-19).

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Bastien Challenges Flanagan to Sign People's Pledge Banning Special Interest Donations in Race

by: Rich Bastien

Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:45:46 AM EDT

(Former Rep Bastien is staging a write-in effort in the GOP Primary for the Worcester & Middlesex District.  There is currently no candidate on the ballot for any Party. - promoted by Paul R. Ferro)

July 18, 2014
Former State Representative Richard Bastien sent the below letter to his opponent Jen Flanagan asking her to agree to join with him in banning outside special interest donations in the race for State Senate.

July 17, 2014
Flanagan Committee
Leominster MA 01453

Dear Jennifer,
As someone who believes that heavy outside special interest spending in campaigns, particularly since the Citizens United ruling can lead to the appearance of putting the needs of special interests above the needs of the citizens of our district, I ask you my fellow candidate, Jennifer Flanagan, to join me in agreeing to ban all campaign donations from lobbyists, PACS, Corporations, Unions, and special interest groups from our campaigns in the 2014 election for State Senate in the Worcester and Middlesex district. I believe that we can set a new standard that can show the Commonwealth and the nation that elections should be decided by the people, not by how much special interest groups can give to a candidate or candidates.

In the interest of reaching that agreement, I have attached a signed Pledge, modeled on the agreement between Senator Elizabeth Warren and Former Senator Scott Brown from the 2012 United States Senate campaign. If you agree to it, please sign yourself. With our shared commitment to banning special interest spending in this race and your record and mine as candidates and legislators in support of Clean Elections, I am confident we will have a signed Pledge in a matter of days.

We can together make this campaign about the needs and interests of the people of the Worcester and Middlesex district. Together, we can make this a campaign about our experience and vision for the Worcester and Middlesex District and avoid a campaign dictated by the spending of outside special interests. I look forward to you joining me in making this campaign about the needs of the people, not the needs of special interest groups.
Richard Bastien

The pledge that I signed and sent is below

There's More... :: (17 Comments, 499 words in story)

Brad Jones and His Leadership Team Could Learn A Lot From Market Basket Associates

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 17:52:38 PM EDT

Earlier this month RMG diarist, The Angelic One, posted on the current saga at Market Basket.  He outlined steps employees Associates could take to affect change at their beloved company. The Market Basket Associates seem to be taking his advice to heart.  

This week headquarters associates demanded that the board reinstate Arthur T. Demoulas or they were going to exercise a work stoppage before the weekend. This prompted the new leadership team of Thornton and Gooch - who ran Radio Shack and Shaws into the ground - to say any employee who walks out would be fired.  

With their demands not met, the entire headquarters operation is staging a work stoppage tomorrow.  They are standing up for their principles, regardless of the consequences to them.  It is a profile in leadership that Brad Jones should aspire to.

From the Save Market Basket Facebook Page.

Today's Meeting with F&G

Today at 3pm, F&G met with all HQ associates and told them that they have not gotten an answer from the Board regarding the demand to bring back ATD. They talked of a letter they sent to all associates which stated that any person who makes the decision to not go to work will be permanently replaced because they will have been seen as abandoning their jobs. HQ associates who were firm in their beliefs before this meeting became enraged at the threatening tone of the letter. Their livelihoods, their families, their association with the company they all love were being put in jeopardy for even thinking about protesting the current regime's plan to change forever the Market Basket way. Many of our associates spoke passionately, with voices shaking, and Gooch could only respond "Do your jobs. Do your jobs." More than one noted that ATD never spoke to them in such a way.

These two were given one simple job to do by all at HQ last week: get an answer for us. They did not do their job. Instead they focused on threatening each and every family member we have at HQ.

The meeting ended with associates walking away from F&G more irate and firm in their resolve than ever. Tomorrow, July 18, one year to the day that we had a rally in Andover, our associates at HQ will not be going to work. They will be backing up their words with actions and will be standing up for something they care so much for. They once again send the message to the board to bring back ATD and to the stores that they simply give them their support and nothing else. Continue to take care of our customers.

They Are Market Basket.

We Are Market Basket

If these employees are fired, I have shopped at Market Basket for the last time.

Hopefully Brad Jones and his leadership team are taking notes...

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Fattman says Patrick should consult with legislature on illegal alien housing request from Obama

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 13:08:01 PM EDT

Today, Ryan Fattman (R-Webster) is circulating a resolution to his House and Senate colleagues.  The letter asks Governor Deval Patrick to deny President Obama's request to house, clothe, provide services to, and feed illegal immigrants in Massachusetts, until he consults with and gets the approval of the legislature.  Here is his press release:

Rep. Ryan Fattman files resolution asking Governor to Consult Legislature

BOSTON, MA - State Representative Ryan C. Fattman (Webster) is circulating a resolution in the House of Representatives asking Governor Deval Patrick to deny a federal request from President Barack Obama to house thousands of illegal immigrant children.  The request from President Obama came earlier this week as a result of an influx of Central American children refugees crossing the border, causing what some are calling a "humanitarian crisis".

Frustrated with the lack of response from the state's executive agencies on immigration including no response from MassHealth and other agencies to provide information on costs of services being provided to illegal immigrants, Fattman is asking members of the Legislature to con-sponsor his resolution asking the Governor to first consult with the Legislature about the President's request, and heed to the outcry from constituents asking not to shelter the illegal aliens.

The resolution states "The Governor, in an act of solidarity between both Houses of the Legislature, shall not shelter illegal aliens in the Commonwealth at the request of President Barack Obama due to serious public safety, public health, and financial concerns".

The resolution, although non-binding, will be filed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.  It is the Representative's hope the resolution will pass in a House session early next week.  The deadline to co-sponsor the resolution is set for next Tuesday evening.

Additionally Fattman is asking people around the state to sign a petition in support of the resolution, and also will be tracking legislators who sign on to the resolution at  The site will be active at the end of today.

The text of the resolution can be found after the jump:

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 213 words in story)

On Voice Vote, Senate Approves Unconstitutional Measure

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:36:00 AM EDT

Yesterday, on a voice vote, the Massachusetts Senate passed an unconstitutional bill to limit the ability of citizens to express their first amendment rights.  The bill was passed in record time, with only a few days left on the legislative schedule.  

It is absolutely amazing the lengths Massachusetts politicians, of both parties, will go to ensure as many children as possible are killed by Planned Parenthood.  

It is a sad society that criminalized the activities of those trying to protect children from murder, and elevates those committing the murders.

Discuss :: (12 Comments)

Deval Patrick Equates Honduras to Nazi Germany

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 10:30:16 AM EDT

Deval Patrick likened Central American countries to Nazi Germany yesterday. Saying not helping, and sending back illegal immigrant children is like sending jews back to the gas chambers.   No really, he did.

Governor Deval Patrick on Wednesday said he wanted to find a way for Massachusetts to help alleviate the crisis of children seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, avoiding the type of feud with the White House into which other governors have been drawn, and invoking powerful imagery as his motivation.

"My inclination is to remember what happened when a shipful of Jewish children tried to come to the United States in 1939 and the United States turned them away, and many of them went to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps," Patrick said when a reporter asked how he viewed the border crisis. "I think we are a bigger-hearted people than that as Americans, and certainly as residents of Massachusetts."

He added, "Now getting from there to a practical solution, I have not done yet. I'm trying to think that through."

That is the problem with Deval Patrick and Barack Obama they see evil in their fellow citizen's eyes. Every time they disagree with them.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Bob DeLeo Hugs and Thanks George Peterson for Helping to Pass his Anti 2nd Amendment Bill

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 13:54:37 PM EDT

Someone has downloaded and packaged video of George Peterson and Bob DeLeo hugging it out right after Peterson talked about his support for DeLeo's gun bill.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Hearing on Unconstitutional Replacement for Unconstitutional Buffer Zone Bill Today

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 06:50:04 AM EDT

In an Orwellian New Speak move the legislature is proposing a new buffer zone bill that doesn't call a buffer zone a buffer zone.  Because as we know buffer zones are unconstitutional.  Massachusetts Citizens for Life, via email, alerted people to a hearing today about the legislation.

Late afternoon yesterday, Planned Parenthood's new Buffer Zone bill, (SD) 2106, was filed.  The Judiciary Committee will take testimony tomorrow, Wednesday, at 10 am in Gardner Auditorium.  We expect testimony will not go much past three.  Obviously, they will vote to report it out as soon as the testimony is over.

We need to prepare to testify.  This bill is worse than the one just overturned.  Our lawyers say that, in order to appeal successfully, we need a lot of testimony on the record.  That is where we come in.

We need to say the law is not needed, that Massachusetts has not arrested anyone outside a clinic in at least 20 years.  Most of all we need to say that this new law is so scary we would be afraid to go near a clinic to try to help a woman.  You can read the law at                

If I "detain" a woman to give her literature, I could face big fines and jail.  Who decides if I am detaining?  It looks as though the people in PP could decide.  The state looked dumb when it passed the unconstitutional Buffer Zone.  It will look totally deranged when it passes this new one.

Please plan on 10 am in Gardner Auditorium. For once it will be okay to arrive a bit late. Individuals have three minutes to speak and members of panels (3 or 4 people) have two minutes each. I will let you know any new developments.  If you are not able to testify in person, please prepare something written to email to the House Committee Chair before 9 am in the morning,

As always, mighty thanks!


To Beacon Hill insiders, nothing should stop the slaughter of innocent children, not even a pamphlet.

Discuss :: (9 Comments)

As Lynn Massachusetts Faces Illegal Crisis, Baker Blasts Patrick's Illegal Immigrant Non-Chalance

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 06:45:55 AM EDT

Lynn Massachusetts is feeling the brunt of the uptick in illegal immigrant children crossing the border, and it is straining the city's resources.

Lynn is a municipality on the brink. Key department officials say a recent influx of illegal immigrant children and families in the city is stressing almost every service from trash collection to healthcare.

"We have been aware of the unaccompanied children issue for quite a while, and we were able to absorb a lot of these children early on," said Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy. "But now it's gotten to the point where the school system is overwhelmed, our health department is overwhelmed, the city's budget is being sustainably altered in order of accommodate all of these admissions in the school department."

The influx is affecting the health of legal residents.

We have line items that we're borrowing from in the health department's budget in order to meet this immediate demand, but somewhere down the line, I'm going to have to deal with finding the money to replace that which has been taken out," Mayor Flanagan Kennedy said.

The mayor also says the solution is to stem the flow of illegal unaccompanied minors coming into her city on a federal level, and provide federal assistance to ease budget constraints.

"The way this is going, Lynn looks like a microcosm of the United States, in that we have been filled to capacity and we can't take anymore without having the people who are already here suffer," she said.

The Patrick Administration continues to show it does not care about this crisis, even with what is happening in Lynn.   Charlie Baker is showing he would deal with this in a different way.

continued after the jump

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 125 words in story)

Brad Jones Laments DeLeo's Loss of "Reputation" Over Probation Trial

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 06:33:29 AM EDT

Yesterday, in closing arguments, federal prosecutors named Democratic Speaker of the House Bob DeLeo as an unindicted co-conspirator in a bribery scheme for public jobs.  This came in closing arguments of the months long probation trial at the federal court house on Fan Pier in South Boston.  

The Boston Globe wrote a story about lawmakers who lamented the prosecution's descriptions of DeLeo.  Those lamenting the poor treatment of Mr. Speaker, include DeLeo's chief Republican lieutenant Minority Leader Brad Jones (R-Reading).

Representative Bradley H. Jones Jr., the House Republican leader, said the trial's depiction of insiders trading jobs for votes has been "a huge demonstration of the shortcomings of one-party government."

Yet he refrained from attacking his Democratic rival personally, pointing out that prosecutors have not charged DeLeo with any crime. "The old saying is, 'Where do you go to get your reputation back?' " Jones said.

That's right, the supposed leader of the opposition, who in reality is just another park of DeLeo's leadership team, basically defended the actions of the Speaker.  

By doing so he removed one of the strongest attacks Republican candidates have against the corrupt Democratic majority.  Once again foiling the electoral prospects of the party he purports to be a leader of.

It is time that we change Beacon Hill.  That begins with the resignation, or replacement of Brad Jones as the majority protecting Minority Leader.  

Call your members of the State Committee and ask them to publicly call for Jones resignation.  Without it, we will remain a minority party in perpetuity.  

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

It Takes Two to Tango, or Why Wasn't Bob DeLeo Indicted?

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 14:11:17 PM EDT

(It takes two
- promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

It takes two to make a thing go right
It takes two to make it outta sight
                                                  -Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock

While we were all glued to our televisions by the events of Marathon Monday, U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen Ortiz, added charges in the Probation Patronage Scandal.  Bribery charges were added to the already existing RICO racketeering charges.  If you missed it, you weren't alone.  

Ortiz's prosecutors lay out a case that the leaders of the state probation department set up a system to grant legislators favors, including jobs for patrons, in exchange for more money for themselves and the probation department.  They have indicted former Probation Commissioner Joe O'Brien, and two of his lieutenants.  Absent from any indictment are the legislators they allegedly bribed, and according to the indictment were complicit in the scheme. Doesn't it take two to tango?

It isn't only conservatives that are wondering why the legislators named in the Ware Report, and alluded to in the indictment filed last week in Federal Court.  Jack Sullivan at Commonwealth Magazine has also wondered why people like Speaker Bob DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) haven't also been indicted.

But the way in which legislators are described makes one wonder why they escaped the long arm of the law if they, in fact, did what they are alleged to have done. The indictment, handed up Wednesday by a grand jury, includes some damning statements about some of the more powerful actors at the State House, including Senate President Therese Murray, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, and nearly two dozen other lawmakers.

Among the details in the indictments are allegations that DeLeo was handed 20 openings for him and his House allies to fill in a way that circumvented the hiring procedures at a sex offender monitoring center in Clinton. The indictment says O'Brien used the jobs in an effort to help DeLeo garner support in his pursuit of the Speaker's post, which in turn would help O'Brien cement his position and his agency's funding through legislation. In fact, according to the indictment, O'Brien and DeLeo met in 2007 to fashion a measure that would further remove the probation department from scrutiny by the Chief Justice of Administration and Management of the Trial Court.

Sullivan is spot on, it is not "bribery absent a willing recipient."  DeLeo, et. al. allegedly received benefits from the bribery, and as such shouldn't they be indicted as well?


There's More... :: (6 Comments, 396 words in story)

Seven Republicans Fall under 90% in MassFiscal Scorecard Rankings

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 09:30:47 AM EDT

As the legislative season closes, a series of votes has affected the rankings of many Republican Members of the legislature.  Seven of whom have fallen, for the first time, under the 90% ranking threshold.

The seven Republican Members who are now under 90% for the session are:

Paul Frost (R-Auburn) - 89%

Donald Wong (R-Swampscott) - 89%

Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich) - 89%

Angelo D'Emilia (R-Bridgewater) - 88%

David Veiria (R-Falmouth) - 88%

George Peterson (R-Grafton) - 86%

Vinny DeMacedo (R-Plymouth) - 86%

These rankings cover votes in 2013 and 2014.  

If you were to separate out rankings by year, Instead of over time, many of these representatives would be in the 70s for 2014.  For example George Peterson had 9 votes, out of 38, out of step with Mass Fiscal.  Giving him a 76% rating for 2014 vs a 97% rating in 2013.  

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

What is Alec Loftus at HHS Hiding on Immigration Crisis?

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 09:12:43 AM EDT

Three weeks ago, when Michelle Malkin first broke the immigration flights to Hanscom Story, I sent a public records request to Alec Loftus, the press secretary at Deval Patrick's Executive Office of Health and Human Services.  I asked for specific information about the administrations cooperation with ICE on these flights and the social services then extended to these illegal immigrants.  Here is the public records request:

Re: Massachusetts Public Records Request

Dear Mr. Loftus:

This is a request under the Massachusetts Public Records Law (M. G. L. Chapter 66, Section 10).
I am requesting that I be provided a copy of the following documents in the custody of HHS and any of its affiliated agencies:

1) All communications and papers, including electronic mail, electronic documents, and paper, regarding flights of undocumented aliens, illegal immigrants, immigrants, undocumented workers, or any other term you may use to Hanscom Field, Hanscom AFB, Worcester Airport, and Logal Airport.

2)  All communications and papers, including electronic mail, electronic documents, and paper, regarding preparations to receive immigrant children transferred from DHS and or Border Control Custody to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families

3) All Communications between the Department of Homeland Security and or Border Patrol and any agency of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services

3) Records of all expenditures for the above by HHS  or any of its affiliated agencies.

The time period documents should be produced for is from May 1, 2014 until 3 days before production of the documents requested.

I recognize that you may charge reasonable costs for photocopies, computer disks, or personnel time to comply with this request. If you expect charges to exceed $100, please contact me regarding this request.

As you are aware, I must be provided with this information within 10 days. If you cannot comply with my request, please provide an explanation in writing.

Within 24 hours Mr. Loftus said, via email, EOHHS has no responsive documents."  Finding it hard to believe that there wasn't even one responsive document, meaning DHS never, ever, talked to EOHHS, I public record requested documents regarding my public records request.

Within 10 minutes Loftus, responded that there were no responsive documents... Of course that was a lie...

Continued after the jump

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 494 words in story)

Sticker War! Bastien announces bid for State Senate

by: Rich Bastien

Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:56:30 AM EDT

(Winnable seat, currently no candidates, Democrat or Republican, on the Ballot.

If you don't have a primary in your district, consider coming to help.  A half-dozen volunteers and I got 225 write-in votes in 2002 for a State Rep Candidate, WE CAN DO THIS! - promoted by Paul R. Ferro)

Touting Fresh Energy and Problem Solving, Bastien Announces bid for State Senate

FITCHBURG- Former State Representative Rich Bastien announced today that he is embarking on a sticker campaign for State Senate for the Worcester and Middlesex District. The seat is currently held by Jen Flanagan, who announced in April that she did not qualify for the ballot this September.

To find out more information or how to help, please contact Team Bastien at

"I appreciate Ms. Flanagan's 20 years that she's spent on Beacon Hill, but I believe we need a change in this district," stated Mr. Bastien. "I was born in Leominster, raised in Fitchburg, and outside of when I served overseas in the Navy, I've lived in this district my entire life. This is my hometown. I've traveled around the Worcester and Middlesex District these last few weeks meeting and listening to what people are going through. As someone who works for a living trying to make ends meet, I look forward to bringing a fresh perspective, energy, and ideas to this race."

Bastien served as State Representative for the Second Worcester District from 2011-2013, and spent the last year filling in as the Technology/Engineering teacher at Gardner Middle School while working nights and weekends at Advance Auto Parts in Gardner, oftentimes over 65 hours per week between both jobs. "I always tried to teach my students how to solve problems, and Beacon Hill has a lot of them. I know the meaning of hard work, and while the state budget has skyrocketed $8 Billion in just 6 years, local aid is down over $350 million, forcing cities and towns into Proposition 2½ overrides. I feel the legislature has their priorities wrong and know I can offer common sense solutions to restore local aid funding, bring back better paying jobs, and cut taxes for working families in our district."

With Senator Flanagan failing to qualify for the ballot, Bastien will be running a sticker campaign to win the Republican Primary on September 9th.  If he receives more than 300 certified write in votes, he will appear on the ballot in this year's November election. The district consists of the cities of Fitchburg, Gardner and Leominster and the towns of Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, precincts 1 and 2, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Sterling and Westminster in the county of Worcester; and the town of Townsend in the county of Middlesex.

To find out more information or to help Team Bastien, email

Discuss :: (14 Comments)

R.I.P. Brion Cangiamila, former GOP state rep

by: Karl Marx

Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 19:05:08 PM EDT

(Brion has been sick for some time...   - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

The sad news arrived today. Former Billerica state rep  Brion Cangiamila passed away after a three year battle with cancer. He will be missed. He always had a great smile.

From the Lowell Sun:

BILLERICA -- Brion Cangiamila didn't pull any punches when he had an opinion on how to improve the town of Billerica or anything else he was involved in, but even when he faced disagreement, he would respond and debate with a smile.

Cangiamila, 52, who counted the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Billerica Board of Selectmen among the many government and private groups on which he served, died Saturday after a three-year battle with cancer.

"He was very active and sincere," said Pat Flemming, who served on the Planning Board while Cangiamila was a selectmen. "Whatever he took on, he did it properly. He did it nicely, with a smile, and everything he did, he did well.

"He was involved in almost everything in the town," Flemming added.

Cangiamila served as a Republican state representative from 1991 to 1993, and then began a stint on the Board of Selectmen that lasted from 1993 to 1999. He was involved in at least a dozen other private organizations and town boards.

A great guy has left us but we'll always remember him fondly.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Missouri GOP Chair Calls for Investigation into Mississippi Runoff Election by Reince Priebus

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 11:05:31 AM EDT

In an Email, Ed Martin, the chair of the Missouri Republican Party has called for an investigation into the Mississippi runoff election and alleged illegal, and race baiting, activities by Cochran supporters and possibly the NRSC.

Here is that email:

Dear Friend,

We should sweep clean anyone in our party involved with these wretched ads.
In 1999, I had the privilege to lead a Freedom Ride. The Freedom Ride for Faithful Citizenship was comprised of three buses of mostly young people. We rode to Memphis, Tennessee and Birmingham and Selma Alabama. We walked the route of the civil rights heroes who plead their case for equality in those cities. On the Freedom Ride, we spoke of the new civil rights fights, such as for education equality and the inalienable right to life.

One rider was Sister Antona Ebo. Mother Ebo marched at Selma in the 1960s. She endured segregated convents. Her dignified witness and loving ministry lead to her becoming a teacher and leader to many Christians, Catholics and Protestants alike.

Sister told me that leadership takes fearlessness; if you speak and do the truth, all will be well. Once, faced with a staff member who was ineffective despite having been around for decades I asked Sister for her advice. "The new broom sweeps clean" was her simple answer.

There's More... :: (11 Comments, 378 words in story)

MassFiscal Scorecard Update: 14 New Votes!

by: MassFiscal

Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:04:03 AM EDT

(Nice they scored the convention center debacle - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

From all of us at MassFiscal, we hope you and your families enjoyed Independence Day! We think it's very much in keeping with the spirit of the Fourth of July to provide an update -- with 14 new votes! -- to our scorecard, as part of our continuing efforts to provide the citizens of the Commonwealth with independent information about what our elected officials are doing on Beacon Hill. Without further ado...

HOUSE (5 Votes)

1. Boston Convention Center Expansion (House) (RC #380): This vote was on final passage of a bill to authorize $1.1 billion in borrowing for the expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. MassFiscal would have voted NO. The bill passed 131-19 (D: 121-0; R: 10-19).

2. Closing Union Donation Loophole (RC #402): This amendment sought to close the loophole under which unions are allowed to donate $15,000 to a single candidate in a given year. MassFiscal would have voted YES. The amendment failed 29-120 (D: 0-120; R: 29-0).

3. An Act Pertaining to Campaign Finance Disclosure (RC #403): This bill is designed to change the rules regarding disclosure of information by SuperPACs, nonprofits, and other entities about election communications and independent expenditures, among other purposes. MassFiscal would have voted NO. The bill passed 145-4 (D: 120-0; R: 25-4).

4. Allowing Extra Time to Read the Budget (RC #410): This would have allowed House lawmakers an additional 48 hours to review the conference committee report on the FY2015 budget. Legislators had less than 24 hours to read the final document. MassFiscal would have voted YES. The motion failed 28-123 (D: 0-123; R: 28-0).

5. Final Passage of FY2015 Budget (Conference Report - House) (RC #411): This vote was taken in the House on final passage of the conference committee's report on FY2015 budget. MassFiscal would have voted NO. The bill passed 144-7 (D: 123-0; R: 21-7).

The Senate votes follow after the jump...

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 395 words in story)

Globe Columnist Offers Praise for Those Who Voted Against the Budget

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 12:34:59 PM EDT

It is amazing what standing on principle will do.  In yesterday's Boston Globe conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby praised the eight Republicans who voted against the budget.

BY VOTES so lopsided they were practically unanimous, 144-7 in the House and 38-1 in the Senate, the Massachusetts Legislature last week approved a $36.5 billion budget for fiscal 2015, the largest in state history. The puny band of Republicans who voted against the budget - Senator Robert Hedlund and Representatives James Lyons, Leah Cole, Geoff Diehl, Shawn Dooley, Ryan Fattman, Marc Lombardo, and Leonard Mirra - had no hope of changing the outcome. They didn't even represent a majority of the negligible GOP caucus.

They did, however, take their duties as elected legislators seriously enough to not merely cast a protest vote, but also explain it. None did so more notably than Lyons and Lombardo, who wrote a 1,250-word memo detailing "Why We Voted Against the Budget," and posted it online. The two representatives, both in their second terms, laid out seven principal - and principled - objections to the budget. Among them:

Jacoby concluded:

"When someone asks me, have I read the 500 pages that came out this morning? - I printed them off, I'm glancing through them," Representative Denise Andrews of Orange said, according to State House News Service. "But I haven't read it, and I won't, because I believe in the process that we're engaged in. I came in three years ago and have witnessed nothing but excellence and fiscal management from the chairman of Ways and Means and his team."

Lyons and Lombardo, who also entered the Legislature three years ago, take a very different view of their responsibilities. "We need a vigorous clash of ideas about how tax dollars should be spent," says Lyons, a former Democrat. "A small group of us are determined to promote a fiscally conservative philosophy, and we think if we promote it openly, the support will build."

You don't have to be a conservative or a Republican to appreciate that attitude - just a citizen who understands that democratic self-rule wasn't made for unquestioning sheep, and wants a state government that understands it too.

It is time to retire Brad Jones from his leadership position.  The time for aquiesence is over.

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A Greek Tragedy: The Demise Of "Compassionate Capitalism"?

by: The Angelic One

Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 19:50:09 PM EDT

The story of New England's Market Basket Supermarket chain (currently at 71 stores) is a contemporary Greek tragedy. To get up to speed on the company's backstory & how it has contributed to the current drama now unfolding, unfamiliar readers should consult online sources that cover Market Basket, the Demoulas family, or both.

It's latest chapter was written over a week ago when CEO Arthur T. Demoulas & several of his senior managers were ousted from their respective positions by a majority of the company's board of directors led by Demoulas' cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas. The move had been anticipated ever since Arthur S. managed in the previous year to "flip" one member of the board of directors to support his faction. But his desire to quickly remove his cousin was initially thwarted by the spontaneous show of support given to Arthur T. by thousands of Market Basket workers from across the region. Customers publicly groused about the situation with many individuals offering unsolicited testimonies in praise of Arthur T. the man & his business philosophy which could be best described as "compassionate capitalism".

It's a philosophy, laments The Lowell Sun, that'll be the latest casualty in the fallout from this family blood feud:

And what does this mean for the future of Demoulas Supermarkets?

While product branding is key in merchandising, without Arthur T, it's lost the face, heart and soul of the company co-founded and built by Telemachus "Mike" Demoulas and nurtured by his son, who's devoted 40 years to this enterprise, the last six as CEO.

Even as the supermarket chain grew to more than 70 stores in three states, it managed to maintain its family feel and ties to the community-- appreciated by both employees, customers, and the many charities that benefited from their philanthropy.

Workers have enjoyed a generous profit-sharing plan the envy of others in the industry and shoppers always know Market Basket's prices can't be beat.

And over the last decade, charities affiliated with the Telemachus Demoulas side of the family have donated more than $41 million to schools, churches, hospitals and community groups like the Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA.

Because Market Basket is a private company, many individuals and groups have been loathe to do anything but provide sotto voce commentary as they watch the drama unfold before their eyes. To their credit, many of the employees have banded together to figure out ways to protect the culture that has been good to them & to their (in some cases multi-generational) families. Save Market Basket is a Facebook blog that remains the best forum for employees to obtain or exchange information among themselves. The leaders of the blog have recently asked their comrades to "resist" the questionable blandishments of both Arthur S. & his hand-picked management team:

They will try to say that they want what is best for us and our company. We know that what is best for us and our company is for them to go away.

We must be resolute in our commitment to each other and our company.

We must understand that ATD is fighting harder than ever every minute of every day to get his company back.

We must resist ASD's handpicked executives.

There is no middle ground.


Arthur T. Demoulas IS MARKET BASKET.

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Sen. Bob Hedlund Explains No Vote on Economic Development Bill

by: Jared L. Valanzola

Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 20:05:56 PM EDT

(Jared is an aide to Senator Hedlund - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

The Economic Development Bill passed today does little to encourage or support job creators.

Instead, the bill expends over $63 million, including over $55 million in direct appropriations, to several government and quasi-government agencies and programs.

While the bill does provide meaningful tax credits for research and development, all amendments designed to reduce regulatory burdens on small business were rejected.  The bill reduces no fee or tax burdens on small businesses, and amendments to provide such relief were rejected.

Small business is the engine of economic growth and job creation.  In Massachusetts they account for a significant share of the state's economic production and hiring.  

According to the Small Business Administration's latest Massachusetts Small Business Profile, Small businesses represent 97.8 percent of all employers and employ 46.3 percent of the private-sector labor force.  When there is new job growth in Massachusetts, small businesses account for as much as 80% of those new jobs.
Not only are small businesses the creators of most net new jobs, they provide a significant share of the innovation in the Commonwealth.

There is also no explanation of what job skills will be provided in new job training funding or who gets the funding or where those jobs are located.

We are duplicating failed attempts to in efforts to influence private sector job growth.

There has been no quantification of results of job creation from previous "Economic Development" bills, including any results from the 2006 $473 Economic Stimulus Bill ("An Act Relative to Economic Investments in the Commonwealth to Promote Job Creation, Economic Stability, and Competitiveness in the Massachusetts Economy").  The Legislature had also approved $100 million in similar investments two years earlier, but slow job growth was used as a reason to revisit the economic development policies.

We still have no concrete results

The bill we just passed could have been entitled "An Act Promoting Bureaucratic Growth Across State Government"

Nothing in this bill promotes growth in freedom or prosperity.  Political directed spending can never duplicate market driven investment.  Instead of spending, we should promote growth by allowing business to keep more of its revenues to invest in our economy.

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