On April 30, 2013, Linda Dorcena-Forry (D-Dorchester) defeated Nick Collins (D-South Boston) to win the Democratic primary for the First Suffolk Senate District. The margin of victory for Dorcena-Forry was less than the amount a third place Southie candidate got. This has riled up old guard Southie. The old timers were planning a write-in campaign, according to Boston Magazine's David Bernstein, and this wasn't sitting well with the real people who run the state. Namely the SEIU, and Senate President Therese Murray. Bernstein writes:
Collins has now shut that effort down, but not before it raised serious concerns in local Democratic circles. Enough concerns for SEIU leaders to warn Collins against it.
Even enough concerns, I have confirmed, to merit a phone call Monday from state senate president Therese Murray's office, to a member of the Collins political camp, making sure Collins understood how displeased Murray would be about such an effort.
Bernstein goes on to say that the powerbrokers wanted to ensure that Joe Ureneck, the Republican, didn't win through a split D ticket. Collins has apparently also gone to great lengths to be seen in public with Dorcena-Forry.
Of course if the residents of Southie don't like the SEIU telling them what to do, they can vote for Joe Ureneck, who shares their Conservative Catholic principles.
(On the mend and on the move!
- promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) released their "Rich States, Poor States" ranking today for 2013. Massachusetts, for the 3rd year in a row, shows a decline according to ALEC's rankings.
Pardon me for being the ever skeptic, but does the timing of Tim Murray's resignation from government strike you as an odd date. Yesterday he gave notice that he will be taking a job with the Worcester Chamber of Commerce, on June 3, 2013. His resignation, according to news sources will take effect on Sunday June 2, 2013.
His resignation will take effect June 2.
At a State House press conference on Wednesday, Murray said he initially dismissed the chamber's offer, but grew more enthusiastic when officials there talked to him about their plans to enhance the group's performance. His political woes, he said, were not a factor.
Why June 2? Why not May 31, 2013, which is Friday? We often hear of state workers staying on until after the first of the year for a pension bump. Is this true on a monthly basis as well? Maybe someone in the LG's office can educate us.
(I'm going with Tiny Tim. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
Let's think about this. Why is Tim Murray or the Patrick administration lying about why Tim Murray is leaving on the way out the door? They have two different stories on his departure so someone has to be lying.
Deval Administration via the Boston Globe:
"But the administration was engaged in trying to help Murray land a job in the private sector, according to a person familiar with those efforts."
Tim Murray himself:
"I wasn't actively pursuing any job."
So either he was pursuing a job with help, or he wasn't. There is no reason for the administration to lie about helping, nor is there anything illegal about looking for a new job. But then Murray says he wasn't looking for a job?
Embattled State Representative John Fresolo (D-Worcester) has resigned effective immediately. The resignation was part of an agreement to keep the proceedings of a House Ethics Committee investigation sealed. This means there will be a special election for this seat.
Red Mass Group has learned that a young, liberty minded, Latina Republican has all but made up her mind to run for this seat. Look for an official announcement to come soon.
The district has a heavy latino population, and the person considering running has longstanding ties to the community. This will be an interesting summer.
(ABC News has reported that he was about to confess to the Waltham murders before it got violent. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
Inbragim Todashaev, the man killed by an FBI agent during an interview, lived in Cambridge MA in 2010, and had been arrested for a road rage incident. Here is the wickedlocal story:
In February of 2010, Todashev was charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle, disorderly conduct, and civil infractions stemming from a motor vehicle collision downtown, according to a report from the Suffolk DA's Office.
Todashev was driving a 2009 Ford E30 on Washington Street in Boston on Feb. 11, 2010, when he allegedly engaged in a verbal confrontation in traffic with the driver of a Mazda3. The cars continued onto Tremont Street, where Todashev reportedly stopped his car abruptly, causing the driver of a Pontiac Vibe to hit his van.
Todashev allegedly jumped from his vehicle and continued to be belligerent toward the Mazda's driver and passenger. By the time Boston Police arrived on the scene, he was being restrained by witnesses and was shouting threats, according to the report.
Applying its State Tax Analysis Modeling Program (STAMP), the Institute compared both budget proposals and found that the legislature’s plan would destroy fewer jobs and investment and impose a far lighter claim on real household disposable income. In summary, the model found that the Governor’s proposal would:
• Raise $1.876 billion in new tax revenue
• Reduce employment by 17,800 jobs
• Shrink real disposable income by $1.2 billion, or by $480 per household
About this time last year, Shaun Sutner, of the Worcester Telegram, wrote an expose on the sad state of the Worcester Chamber of Commerce's finances. In the expose, he painted a picture of finance set adrift and a rapidly dwindling cash reserve.
But since the defection of the Westboro-based Corridor Nine group in 2003, the chamber has seen its savings bottom out to nearly zero and membership numbers shrink to 2,500. The group has frozen salaries, renegotiated its lease in the Sovereign Bank tower and looked for help from other business groups, according to tax documents and chamber officials.
"The (chamber) has declining membership and community support," Michael P. Angelini, chairman of the law firm Bowditch & Dewey and a former member of the Choose Worcester marketing group, wrote in a confidential report last fall on the city's major business and economic development organizations. "Its financial viability is tenuous."
Mr. Angelini's report came as City Manager Michael V. O'Brien and Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray, a former Worcester mayor, pushed for consolidation of the far-flung business groups to - in their view - streamline and strengthen marketing efforts to capitalize on development projects already under way in the city.
The document, which was obtained by the Telegram & Gazette, circulated in inner business circles and set off jockeying among leaders of the organizations, including Richard B. Kennedy, the 69-year-old president and CEO of the chamber.
According to the article the current President makes $157K. Murray is set to get 27% more than that figure per year.
The question then is, where did they find $200K to pay Tim Murray?
Last evening, Red Mass Group learned from multiple sources of a rumor that Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray was set to resign today. As it was only a rumor RMG held off reporting Tim Murray's name, but did tweet that something big was up in Worcester with statewide implications.
Jon Keller has confirmed and is now reporting that in fact Murray will resign today. Further reporting confirms the second part of the story we were informed of last night. Murray is being offered a $200K/year job with the Worcester Chamber of Commerce.
Fox 25 Undercover Nepotism Report Sparks Call for Investigation: Pioneer's Research Director Greg Sulllivan, former state Inspector General, called for an investigation by the Attorney General and the State Ethics Commission on the Fox25 report showing rampant nepotism in hiring at the state's largest agency, HHS. Click to watch the video (including administration spokesman A. Loftus' interesting response) and read the original story here:
Pioneer's Josh Archambault and Mary Connaughton want to know what the Governor knows about the "extreme premium increases" about to hit Mass. employers - read their Boston Herald op-ed, "Gov owes Obamacare Diagnosi$." In the piece, they reveal that Pioneer Institute has obtained tables from one of the reports that the administration will not release, showing that "hundreds of thousands of small-business employees will see double-digit increases up to 21 percent over the next three years."
Some are calling for a state income tax hike these days - but how many Mass. taxpayers actually volunteered to pay an extra 0.6 percent of their own income to the state's coffers? Mary Connaughton breaks down the numbers, in her latest blog post.
Charter schools in Massachusetts are a huge success story - and there is legislation on Beacon Hill to expand on that success by lifting the cap on these schools in the state's lowest performing districts. Join us on June 4th for a breakfast event on some of the factors that make these schools so effective, "Authorizing Excellence: Charter Public Schools in Massachusetts," from 8-10:30 AM at the Omni Parker House in Boston. Speakers include nationally-recognized charter and school choice leader Dr. Howard Fuller of Marquette University with introductory remarks by Edward Cremata of CREDO at Stanford University. As always with Pioneer forums, there will be a panel representing widely divergent viewpoints. Register here.
This morning at the Boston Police VFW Hall in Dorchester, John McCain attended a rally for Gabriel Gomez. In advance of this fundraiser, Gomez is attacking Ed Markey for twice voting against honoring 9/11 victims. Both votes saw Markey in very small minority of US Representatives who voted against the honor.
Congressman Markey Twice Voted Against Honoring Victims Of 9/11
In 2004, Markey Was One Of Only 16 Congressmen To Vote Against A Resolution Honoring The Victims Of 9/11.
· September 11 Remembrance - Adoption. "Adoption of the resolution that would express the sense of the House on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The resolution would extend the deepest sympathies of the House to the victims of the attacks and thank foreign leaders and citizens of all nations who have assisted the United States in its fight against terrorism." (H. Res. 757, CQ Vote #431: Adopted 406-16: R 218-1; D 187-15; I 1-0, 9/9/04, Markey Voted Nay)
In 2006, Markey Was One Of Only 22 Congressmen To Vote Against A Resolution Honoring The Victims Of 9/11.
· September 11 Remembrance - Adoption. "Adoption of the resolution that would express the sense of the House recognizing Sept. 11 as a day to remember those who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks, extend sympathies to their loved ones and honor those who aided the victims and risked their lives following the attacks." (H. Res. 994, CQ Vote # 440: Adopted 395-22: R 226-1; D 168-21; I 1-0, 9/13/06, Markey Voted Nay)
Geoff Diehl's recent post http://www.redmassgroup.com/sh... mentions the annual CEO Magazine survey of then views of corporate CEO's on the business climates of each of the 50 states. No surprise that Massachusetts ranks near the bottom (47th). But this year, CEO Magazine has posted comments from the CEOs.
What is really telling is that these comments are anonymous. CEOs are reluctant to openly criticize the governments of the states or countries in which they do business less the pols use the regulatory and taxation apparatus to attack them or their firms. Of course, there are exceptions like the CEO of Honeywell, a technology and manufacturing giant. http://bostonherald.com/busine...
"If I were designing Hell for a company, I couldn't do as good a job as Massachusetts has. We will be leaving the state within the next year."
"We are moving out of CA, MI, MA and NY in 2013 and terminating our employees there. The regulatory and tax environment has become untenable."
"Massachusetts is returning to the state of Taxachusetts, thanks to Governor Deval Patrick and the overwhelming Democratic party majority in both houses of the Legislature."
"Taxation and regulation are always the key barometers. Massachusetts and Oregon are the worst."
There is a real cost to the tax and regulatory climate-and the hostility to the market and capitalism evidenced by the Governor, legislature and the bureaucracy. Companies are not investing in Massachusetts. According to E&Y's recent survey, Massachusetts lags badly in private sector capital investment (at page 9). http://www.ey.com/Publication/...
CEOs are the ones who make the decisions that determine where investments in productive, good paying jobs will be made. And as far as America's CEOs are concerned, that's not going to be Massachusetts.
Wouldn't it be something if our Senate candidate could/would articulate our core message of a smaller, more nimble, less intrusive federal government as well as this instead of focusing on small ball issues like pay freezes and term limits. (Bold is mine)
This has nothing to do with what party is in power. That's why Americans should not mistake this for a battle between Republicans and Democrats. They should understand that it is a fight between Washington and everyone else.
Consider other examples of this fight between Washington and the people. The Associated Press, hardly a right-wing organization, is now a victim of privacy violations and excessive overreach by the Department of Justice. Private companies are being strong-armed by the Department of Health and Human Services to contribute to a "voluntary" fund to promote Obamacare. The administration's response to the sequester - which cut a paltry sum from Washington's $3.7 trillion budget - was to punish innocent Americans with long lines at airports and no more White House tours. The Environmental Protection Agency is accused of waiving fees for favored environmental groups but not for right-leaning organizations.
Though the recent examples involve a Democratic administration, Republicans have shown they are just as tempted to abuse the power of government. At its core, the IRS scandal is not the result of one political party attacking another. It is the inevitable consequence of a federal government that has gotten too big and too expensive to control. The federal government's massive bureaucracy is inherently dysfunctional, corrupt, intolerant, and incompetent - regardless of who is in charge. These are not random incidents perpetrated by bad actors. They are systemic features of the $4 trillion enterprise known as the federal government.
When the IRS can harass tea-party groups, when the Department of Justice can monitor reporters' conversations, when the EPA can adopt double standards for ideological allies and opponents, when Health and Human Services regulators can openly extort the businesses they regulate - in short, when there is no accountability - we are no longer citizens but subjects.
Conservatives often have a difficult time explaining why we support a smaller, more limited federal government. These scandals make that job a little easier. It's not that we don't like government, but we don't like government intimidating and harassing media outlets, businesses, citizen organizations, or anyone else in the manner these scandals have brought to light.
And we understand that because this kind of corruption and incompetence is inherent in any massive, unaccountable organization, simply passing a new law will not solve the problem. To prevent the next abuse of government power, we need to reduce government power.
On the second ballot tonight at the Republican State Committee Chanel Prunier, won the National Committee Woman spot. The final vote was 44 votes for Prunier 26 votes for Sheila Harrington and 2 abstensions.
Sneed[Columnist who likes to refer to himself in the third person] hears President Barack Obama, who is this/close to Holder, has set his sights on Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick as a possible replacement "when the heat dies down on the latest hot-button scandals to hit the U.S. Justice Department," said a top White House source.
Last year, Holder became a hot button over a congressional probe of the sale of government guns to drug cartels.
This time it's the double whammy of an IRS scandal and the U.S. Justice Department's seizure of Associated Press reporters' phone records - which has caused a media uproar.
- promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
The President has a press conference today at noon. In it, he will probably take the stance that "I am appalled by what happened, and heads will roll."
Specifically, that probably means Eric Holder resigns.
There's a certain Governor of a liberal northeast state who has been mentioned in the past as a potential candidate to replace Holder.
(Thank you Representative Diehl for weighing in. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
House and Senate conference committee members are still deliberating over the Transportation bill that includes "new revenue" (aka "Taxes"). I believe there are 7 reasons why Massachusetts taxpayers shouldn't have to pay higher taxes.
For the past 5 months our state revenue has continued to grow, according to DOR. Just last month (April) the Commonwealth collected $359 million above projections. That's 71% of what the House voted in new tax increases ($500M - H.3382). When you add in previous months, it is clear that "new revenue" is not needed. Below are the 7 reasons...
1. April tax collections are up 14.3%. Overall tax collections are up 5.5% over 2012 and $510 above benchmarks. This represents 5 straight months of collections over benchmark.
2. My 'Tax Amnesty' plan. According to figures released from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, there are 232,725 delinquent income taxpayers owning an average of $5,654 which totals $1,315,827,150. Business taxpayers total 66,200 and owe an average of $35,723 which totals $2,364.862,600. If the state collects a minimum of 15% of the $3.6 billion owed, this will generate $540 million. New Jersey enacted a similar plan and raised over $600 million.
Formerly friendly news outlet, the Washington Post summed it up pretty well.
It was that kind of afternoon for the former Time magazine White House correspondent, who, in the face of deep skepticism, continued to assert that Obama is committed to robust investigative journalism that is unobstructed by the government. Carney used the word "unfettered" a dozen times in his insistence that Obama believes in an open press.
"How can it be unfettered if you're worried about having your phone records seized," asked ABC's Jonathan Karl.
The press secretary explained that the Justice Department was conducting an investigation into leaks of classified information in issuing a subpoena for the AP records, and he emphasized that Obama understands the need to prevent leaks if they could jeopardize national security.
Oh and Megyn Kelly had her own take, which you can see after the jump.
The leaders of at least four local conservative organizations are outraged at notion that the IRS targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny. Yesterday, Paul Craney of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, Christen Morabito of the Greater Boston TEA Party, and Barbara Anderson of Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government sent the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation a letter.
Craney et al are particularly alarmed at the chilling effect on the rights to free speech and free association, guaranteed by the First Amendment that the questions these groups were asked raise. The groups were asked for things like everybody they personally talked to, what they posted on facebook, who they associate with, whether or not the leaders ever personally talked to government officials, and whether they ever gave media interviews.
Today just got much worse for the Barack Obama administration, it seems that the Associated Press has learned that their phone records have been seized by Eric Holder's Deparment of Justice. The Associated Press is reporting.
In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.
"There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know," Pruitt said.
This might make people long for the days of Richard Nixon.