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An MBTA Hackathon at Laugh Boston? Not as funny as you think

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Thu May 28, 2015 at 11:02:48 AM EDT

Last Friday I spoke with Norm Laviolette, the comedy godfather of Boston. Norm, along with his partner Chet Harding, founded the Improv Asylum and Laugh Boston.  The interview, on Herald Radio, was wide ranging, but one part stuck out, Laviolette's unorthodox idea of a hackathon to work out the problems with the MBTA.  

Laviolette first floated the idea on Facebook a few days prior to our conversation, so I brought it up on the radio.

I propose we have a hackfest to address the MBTA's problems. Boston has some of the brightest and most creative minds in world. Let's get them all; from the tech, comedy, marketing, music, venture capital, art and finance worlds attacking the problem. I will offer Laugh Boston to host the event for free. Lets stop bitching about things and get shit done!

The idea is intriguing, get a bunch of Boston's best, brightest, funniest, and everyday users of the transit system together in a room for a day and have them go at it.  Identify real areas for improvement and present the MBTA with an action plan.

Now this only works if the current leadership at the MBTA and administration is open to it and nurturing of it.  I've put Norm in contact with the appropriate people in the administration.  Let's hope this becomes a reality.  

It is a sound concept, hackathons are routinely used in technology to develop new products, new processes, and new ideas.  Let's harness the intellectual power of the region coupled with a few beers to solve this problem.  But let's hurry, "winter is coming."

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Lyons Event for Cruz RSVP's Closed Due to Overwhelming Response

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Thu May 28, 2015 at 10:39:45 AM EDT

The first non-fundraising, grassroots event of the 2016 Massachusetts Primary season has exceeded all expectations of both the Cruz campaign and Representative Jim Lyons.  Due to overwhelming demand, the event is now closed to new attendees.  

If you've RSVP'd I look forward to seeing you there on Saturday.  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Don't Discount Santorum

by: Mike "DD4RP" Rossettie

Fri May 16, 2014 at 10:36:01 AM EDT

(Senator Santorum is announcing a second bid for the Presidency today, so in honor of that, a blast from the past from RMG's own Mike Rossettie, who apparently now lives in a secret GOP bunker in Shrewsbury with a Labradoodle.  Or at least that's what I read in the Boston Globe. - promoted by Paul R. Ferro)

Rick Santorum is not my guy.  I stand with Rand.  Yet all indications are that Rick Santorum is likely to make another run for President and his chances should not be dismissed.

1) Rick Santorum has always outperformed:

The only thing that proves electability is winning elections.  Santorum has not only done it, but has repeatedly shocked conventional wisdom with how well he has done it.

  • In 1990, at age 32, Rick Santorum challenged a 7 term incumbent Democrat and won a major upset by a 51%-49% margin.
  • In 1992, Democrats targeted Santorum with redistricting.  In his new district, Democrats outnumbered Republicans by a 3:1 Margin that mirrors the Massachusetts state average.  Santorum was re-elected by a 61%-39% landslide anyway.
  • In 1994, he ran for the United States Senate challenging another incumbent Democrat and won again.
  • In 2000, he was re-elected by a 6% margin.  In the same state, in the same year, President Bush lost by 4%.  While some people might think of Pennsylvania as a swing state, in reality no Republican nominee for President has actually won PA since 1988.
  • In 2012, he was given no chance, had no money, won the Iowa caucuses (sort of), and 10 states overall before dropping out.  More on 2012 later.

Yes, he did lose a single election in 2006.  So did every Republican.  Even then, Democrats had to nominate a Pro-life, Pro-gun Democrat to do so.

MORE AND VIDEO BELOW THE FOLD...

There's More... :: (43 Comments, 682 words in story)

CLT Memo to the Legislature on the Income Tax Hike

by: Karl Marx

Tue May 26, 2015 at 22:39:05 PM EDT

( - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

This just in from our friends at Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Re: Income Tax Hike
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

To:  Members of the General Court
cc.  CLT VIP (Very Important Media) List
Re:  Senate vote to kill the people's income tax rollback

Contact:  Barbara Anderson

Might as well start with the letter to the Boston Globe, attempting to correct its editorial error stating that the Senate increased the standard deduction (it was actually the personal exemption), which hasn't been published.

"Re: the Senate vote to stop the income tax rollback.  First: tax hikes must originate in the House, and the House didn't originate this. Second, the voters ordered in 2000 to return the income tax to its traditional 5%, as they were promised when the rate was increased in 1989.  Third, the Senate is attempting to graduate the income tax, which is unconstitutional. Fourth, we've seen this scam before: the Legislature, led by the Senate, increases the personal exemption as it supports a rate hike, then reduces the personal exemption again as soon as it can."

Trying to stop the rollback ballot question, the Legislature doubled the personal exemption in 1998. This was subsequently cut in 2002 at the same time that the rollback was frozen. Still isn't adjusted for inflation, as we'd been promised: but what's a promise between citizens and their elected representatives?

We couldn't help but notice that one defender of the income tax hike was Sen. Rodrigues, who in 2009 was caught by an alert citizen with a camera buying liquor in tax-free New Hampshire after voting for an increase in the Massachusetts alcohol tax.  Last week he was quoted by the SHNS:

"The voters did choose to reduce their personal income tax liability, but they were given no choice on the method. We are providing the same amount of tax relief to the voters of the Commonwealth by a different method. It's not a matter of if we provide that tax relief, but how we provide that tax relief," Rodrigues said.

Cute, Senator.  The voters chose to "keep the promise" (the official name of our ballot campaign) that the income tax rate would return to 5%. You want to substitute a permanent hike in the rate for all hard-working taxpayers, reduction for only lower-income workers, another temporary hike in the personal exemption. Why don't you put it on the ballot and see if voters like it better?

Meanwhile,  we are grateful to the House for not raising taxes, and hope you prevail with the SJC: we agree that our founding fathers had good reason to give the power to initiate tax increases to the people's branch instead of to the arrogant, aristocratic Senate - which apparently hasn't changed much.

We appreciate the Senate roll call on the tax hike. Also are beginning to understand why the Mass. Fiscal Alliance counts procedural votes: look at the unanimous vote for a Senate budget containing an income tax hike, a broken promise to voters, and an attempt to sneak through some graduation of the income tax despite voters saying five times that they don't want this. We'll count that in our 2015 rating too.

We hope the House prevails at the SJC, ending this fiasco.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Comm Mag's Jonas Sophmoric, Obtuse Crap Accusing Shirley Leung of Being on the Take - WITH POLL

by: Ernie Boch, III

Tue May 26, 2015 at 22:44:06 PM EDT

( - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

Really, the more I read what folks over at Commonwealth Magazine write the more I am convinced that this town proves Woody Allen wrong. You only need to show up one percent of the time, not ten as the Woodman suggests.

Case in point. Check out this petty school yard vomit by Michael Jonas accusing Shirley of being in the bag for the Olympics because she chose to opine that rather than everyone pile on with their anti-Olympic demagoguery let's let this thing play out for a reasonable length of time.

Why is everyone acting like Luddites? Oh yeah, it's Boston. Whatever it is, I'm against it.

Charley Baker's on this. Time for the details.

That was Shirley's point.

How dare she.

My friends at BMG took her on too.

Poor Shirley, she dared have an original thought in this jerkwater town. Shame Shame Shirl. Shame Shame.

Also funny how COMM MAG ignored Mayor Walsh's calling out of Steve Crosby for being corrupt. Thats the biggest story of the year

Here's the link to the Jonas article. (I forget how to format link)

http://commonwealthmagazine.or...

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Court of Appeals Upholds Injunction Against Obama Amnesty

by: Paul R. Ferro

Tue May 26, 2015 at 15:14:03 PM EDT

President Obama was dealt his second legal setback by the courts on his Executive Amnesty plan.  As the Washington Times reports.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of Texas, which had sued to stop the amnesty, on all key points, finding that Mr. Obama's amnesty likely broke the law governing how big policies are to be written.

"The public interest favors maintenance of the injunction," the judges wrote in the majority opinion.

Unless SCOTUS were to take up an appeal, and with two straight legal losses in the lower courts that's not a sure thing, Obama's Executive overreach may finally be checked.

Developing...

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Blue Mass Group Sucks - Things Are On My Mind - Rosenberg/DeLeo - Steve Crosby Corrupt? - WITH POLL

by: Ernie Boch, III

Mon May 25, 2015 at 14:58:07 PM EDT

(Welcome to the Free Speech Zone.  Though we could do with a couple less four letter words... ;) - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

Blue Mass Group has suspended me for calling SomervilleTom a "sackless gurley man" or something like that. This is my third suspension and by far the longest. (3 months). Also I have to re-apply, or something like that, to get back in.

My first suspension was for a one papragraph parady I did on a ficticious guy from Medford. His story went on and on. I then get an e-mail from one of the BMG editors that starts out, "That's it Ernie!"

Two weeks I got. Two weeks because the stupid fucks thought I was talking about some real guy.

My second suspension came within a day of the Watertown-Keystone-Cops-boat-shootout. Within an hour of the capture I blogged of the cluster fuck of incompetents self-congratulating each other. Damn circles jerk if there ever was one.

Wrong place, wrong time I guess. A month suspension. What frauds.

IT's not that they don't shit ice cream. It's just that they don't shit.

I'm done with them.

And I have lots on my mind

-
More After The Jump

There's More... :: (9 Comments, 486 words in story)

ISIS taking over Middle East and Obama talks Global Warming at CG Academy

by: Vote3rdpartynow

Thu May 21, 2015 at 13:49:45 PM EDT

( - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

The army of terrorists that Barrack Obama once termed 'JV' has now taken control of half of Syria.  The same army of terrorists is  in control of huge portions of Iraq and Libya, and Northern Africa. Worse yet is that thousands of young men and women are joining in a clandestine effort in the Uk and USA and elsewhere.  

'Not to worry' you say?  Why worry, Barack Obama is out speaking to the Coast Guard and probably telling them exactly how to thwart the efforts of this 'JV' group of misfits.  Right?  Well Obama was at the Coast Guard graduation yesterday, but he spent much of his valuable time speaking instead about Global Warming.  

Yup, the Commander-in-Chief gets a chance to speak to newly minted CG grads and he talks about melting ice packs and Polar Bears in Manhattan.  He spends his time preaching the imaginary gospel of Al Gore to the grads, who didn't sign up to fight global warming, but rather to defend our waters.

Obama quote from Academy:

"If you see storm clouds gathering or dangerous shoals ahead you don't just sit back and do nothing," President Obama said Wednesday. "You take action to protect your ship, to keep your crew safe. Anything less is negligence. It is a dereliction of duty. So to with climate change."

What a buffoon!  What an utter embarrassment to all who serve in the CG or any armed forces and what an embarrassment to the USA.  

"Denying it or refusing to deal with it endangers our national security," Obama also said. "It undermines the readiness of our forces."

So in Obama's world of insanity the military has the job of fighting global warming.  How dare he suggest something like this when it is a fact that perhaps 1,000s of people in this country alone are signing up to fight with ISIS.  ISIS is taking over the Middle East and our Commander-In-Chief is telling the troops to pay attention instead to Global Warming.  I think if there is dereliction of duty happening it is at the White House.  

I wonder if Putin would speak to his military about global warming?  I wonder if Ronald Reagan ever spoke to his military about global warming?  I don't even think the tubby little Dictator from North Korea spends his time speaking to the military about global warming.  I think if you speak to the military about global warming its because you can't speak intelligently about anything military.  

I am a little less proud of being an American because of Barack Obama.  

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Jim Lyons to Host Ted Cruz at "The Barn" May 30, 2015

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Wed May 20, 2015 at 13:39:42 PM EDT

Massachusetts most conservative legislator, will be hosting the United States Senate's most conservative senator for a meet and greet at his home, in "The Barn.". The date is May 30th, at 6 p.m.

This event has no cost. It is free, there isn't even a "suggested donation."  It is a pure meet and greet.


Photo: Lyons Facebook Page, Gage Skidmore Wikimedia Creative Commons

From an Email by Jim:

Next week, Bernadette and I will be hosting a meet and greet at the Barn with US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Senator Cruz is a great believer in the tenants of limited government and individual liberty which we have made a cornerstone of our time on Beacon Hill. Details of the event are below. We are asking anyone planning on attending to RSVP to Ethan Zorfas at ezorfas@tedcruz.org. We hope you will be able to join us.

The Barn is a center of conservative activism in Massachusetts. Much like the Liberty Clubhouse in Central Massachusetts, the Lyons have made their home available for countless conservative candidates and causes.  This is not an event to be missed.

The address is 12 Highvale Lane and RSVP's are required at the email address above.

What: Meet and Greet with Senator Ted Cruz
Where: The Barn, 12 Highvale Lane, Andover MA
When: Saturday May 30, 2015, 6-8pm

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Broadside: Barry Finegold and I Talk Hillary, ISIS and Deflategate

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Wed May 20, 2015 at 12:54:40 PM EDT

I was on Broadside last night with Steve Aveson on necn.  Here is the video.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

The E.P.A a rogue agency out of control

by: Karl Marx

Wed May 20, 2015 at 10:48:58 AM EDT

(Gina McCarthy, brought to you by Mitt Romney. Oh Joy! - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

Like the I.R.S. the Environmental Protection Agency is working  hand in hand, perhaps illegally, in promoting agency policy. Under Gina McCarthy, the agency works day and night not to be accountable to Congress. As it pursues policies seeking the decarbonize the American economy, the E.P.A clearly is offering another example of how it needs to be reined in by Congress and, if it believes in the rule of law, the White House.

Lest you think this is some Fox News fantasy, the source of the story is the New York Times. (So it must be true).

WASHINGTON - When the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a major new rule intended to protect the nation's drinking water last year, regulators solicited opinions from the public. The purpose of the "public comment" period was to objectively gauge Americans' sentiment before changing a policy that could profoundly affect their lives.

Gina McCarthy, the agency's administrator, told a Senate committee in March that the agency had received more than one million comments, and nearly 90 percent favored the agency's proposal. Ms. McCarthy is expected to cite those comments to justify the final rule, which the agency plans to unveil this week.

But critics say there is a reason for the overwhelming result: The E.P.A. had a hand in manufacturing it....

Read the whole piece here.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Mass Fiscal Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Baker's MBTA Reforms

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Mon May 18, 2015 at 11:58:53 AM EDT

The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance just sent out the following press release.

(BOSTON)--In a poll conducted late last week, Massachusetts voters indicated overwhelming support for Governor Charlie Baker's plan to reform the MBTA. 84% of those surveyed said they are behind Baker; only 16% opposed his approach.

The poll was commissioned by the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that advocates for fiscal responsibility and good government solutions on Beacon Hill.

"It's clear that voters overwhelmingly support the Governor's plan to fix the MBTA. Our poll showed statewide support at 84%. I don't think even chocolate ice cream polls that high," said Paul Craney, executive director of Mass Fiscal Alliance. "We are calling on every senator to reject the watered-down measures offered by Senate leadership, heed their constituents' voices, and get behind Governor Baker's plan today."

Baker's plan includes important measures like placing T management in the hands of a fiscal control board, auditing its retirement system, and relieving the system of the state's anti-privatization statute, known as The Pacheco Law.

The poll includes 11,278 high-propensity registered voters in 29 of the Commonwealth's 40 Senate districts. Senator Brian Joyce's Milton-area district came in most favorable for Baker's plan at over 91% support, while Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz's district was the lowest, demonstrating 67% approval. Districts entirely or mainly located in Western Massachusetts, the South Coast, and the Cape and Islands were omitted from the survey.

Topline figures and district-by-district data can be found at http://bit.ly/1ebbnR1.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

VIDEO:Charlie Baker's Testimony at MBTA Hearing

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Mon May 11, 2015 at 18:08:06 PM EDT

The folks at New Mass Playbook PAC recorded Charlie Baker's testimony at the MBTA reform hearing today.  

Here is is testimony.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Orange Suit Club for the Connector Folks?

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Mon May 11, 2015 at 07:56:40 AM EDT

A bombshell new report from the Pioneer Institute, which they shared with the FBI, details what we already knew.  The Massachusetts Health Connector Authority was rife with corruption, secrecy, and overall incompetence.  The Boston Herald reports:

iting internal documents and whistleblower accounts from former project officials at UMass Medical Center, who came forward in early 2014, Pioneer also sent its findings in an October 2014 letter to the head of the FBI and other federal watchdog agencies. One of the whistleblowers told the Herald he has already been questioned by the FBI.

"Although the state knew as early as September 2012 that the project was behind schedule and off track, the UMass Medical team chose to conceal CGI's deficiencies rather than remedy them," reads the report authored by health care expert Joshua Archambault of Pioneer. The "Commonwealth misrepresented the project's progress, both in a March 2013 connectivity test with the Federal Data Services Hub, and in a May 2013 presentation to CMS."

The October 2014 letter from Pioneer to the FBI claims "the Commonwealth appears to lie about progress on project to keep funds."

The case could put two political allies in an awkward position, with the administration of President Obama investigating the inner workings of the administration of longtime friend former Gov. Deval Patrick. Patrick could not be reached for comment yesterday. His former secretary of Health and Human Services, John Polanowicz, declined to comment, saying he had not seen the report.

The Patrick administration willfully hid the fact that the website would not be ready.  That put the health of the citizens of the Commonwealth at stake.  

This shows once again that Obamacare wasn't really about helping citizens, but about control of their lives.

What are the chances I"m going to get my $1100 fine back from the Commonwealth for not being able to purchase insurance last year?

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Globe: Hedlund to run for mayor of Weymouth.

by: Karl Marx

Wed May 06, 2015 at 12:38:53 PM EDT

(Hizzoner the High Mayor of Weymouth?  Sounds nice.   - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

Does GOP have backup plan to keep seat should Hedlund win the mayor's office?

Read more about his ambition to be mayor in the Globe

Hedlund, planning a June 4 official kickoff, said he wanted to work on issues like the development of SouthField at the former site of the South Weymouth Naval Air Station.

"There's just a lot of issues that I've watched here in the town that I live in that need to be addressed," he said.

Kay said Hedlund gave her a "courtesy call" to apprise her of his plans.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Forget a speeding crackdown, it is time to raise the speed limits

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Tue May 05, 2015 at 09:13:12 AM EDT

You may have seen the stories coming across your social media streams, the six states of New England are initiating a coordinated speeding crackdown this weekend.  The problem isn't speeding, it is artificially low speed limits that are a remnant of the 1970s.  It is time to raise them.

Maine, under the leadership of Paul Lepage, was the first state east of the Mississippi River to increase it's speed limit to 75 MPH on some stretches of highway a few years ago.  The speed limit is also 70 MPH just about anywhere but Portland, and Bangor.  

NH raised its limit north of Concord on Route 93 to 70 mph recently and has had bills to do the same on Routes 89 and 101.    

Massachusetts is one of only 12 state's with a 65 MPH or lower maximum speed limit as the figure below from Wikimedia Commons shows.

"US Speed Limits 2015" by Wxstorm - Derived from US_Speed_Limits_2014.svg. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

In Massachusetts there are plenty of spots where the de facto limit is over 65.  In those spots the limit should be raised.  Here's some suggestions, what are yours?

Route 3 N from Burlington to Nashua is a 55 MPH speedlimit.  This should be raised to 70 MPH except the Lowell Stretch which should be 60 MPH.

Route 495, the entire length, except Lowell and Lawrence stretches should be 70 MPH.

Route 95 North and South of 128 should be 70 mph

Route 3 South, and Route 24 South should be 70 mph

The Massachusetts Turnpike should be 70 mph west of 128 and 75 mph west of 495

Route 2, the divided highway portions should be 65 MPH at a minimum.

The maximum speeds on state route should be up to 60 MPH in certain circumstances.

Massachusetts would join the vast majority of the rest of the country by doing so.  Including two other New England States.  

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Service information for Kamal Jain

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Tue May 05, 2015 at 08:23:37 AM EDT

Here is the service information for Kamal Jain:

Kamal will be waked on Friday May 8, 2015 at the McDonough Funeral Home at 14 Highland Street in Lowell.  The time is 3-7 pm with a service at 7 P.M.

Getting to the Funeral Home is easy.  Take 495 to the Lowell Connector. Go all the way on the Lowell Connector until it ends.  Then take a left. At the next light the funeral home will be up the street on the left.  

As soon as the online condolence book is available we will post that link.  

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

A sad day: RIP Kamal Jain

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Mon May 04, 2015 at 13:27:00 PM EDT

It is with heavy heart that I am reporting about the death of Kamal Jain. According to the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Lowell, whose board Kamal served on, he passed away while working with his wife on her farm yesterday.

Jain, as you remember launched a spirited, yet respectful, campaign for Auditor against Mary Z. Connaughton.  Upon learning of his death Mary Z. told Red Mass Group, "Kamal and I got to know each other during the campaign and even better after the campaign.  We shared a similar vision on so many matters, my heart sank when I heard the news.  We lost a committed public servant and my heart goes out to him and his family.  He will be dearly missed by so many."

But beyond that, Jain has been working tirelessly to make my hometown Lowell, Massachusetts a better place.  He has been helping to run Lowell Makes, a community workshop where people can turn ideas into products and creations.

Putting up the mailbox.

Posted by Marlin May on Saturday, October 12, 2013

His death has provoked an outpouring of grief in his adopted city of Lowell.  People on the left and right are offering condolences on Facebook.  

I am pretty much at a loss for words. This is a sad day indeed.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Hell Hath Frozen Over, Lyons Votes for Budget

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 07:52:56 AM EDT

The Mayans were apparently off by three years in their calculations.  2015 is apparently the beginning of end times.  Why you ask? Simple, after five years Jim Lyons (R-Andover) has voted for a state budget.  State Representative Kevin Kuros captured the moment in a photo for all posterity.

In all seriousness though, in a phone conversation Lyons told Red Mass Group why he voted for the budget. Lyons said, "there have been areas that I have been looking for in a budget since I got here.  Due to the leadership of Governor Baker those issues have been addressed.  The areas include a serious effort at reining in the growth rate of government spending, shrinking of the size of government - which Baker is doing with early retirement, and serious entitlement reform.  This budget includes those and more.  I am alos extremely happy that Representative Lombardo and I were able to get a serious look at the problem of the Department of Children and Families taking children from parents due to medical disputes."

The budget package approved, unanimously, by the house, has many of Governor Baker's priorities in it.  This is no doubt due to his soaring popularity in the polls, and the Democrat leadership's not wanting to be on the wrong side of the administration during the honeymoon period.

A Republican representative told Red Mass Group that this budget is a win-win for Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey, "if the budget works Dempsey can take credit, if it doesn't he can say 'we gave the Governor what he wanted as a courtesy and it didn't work."  

Budget highlights include a reduction in medicaid (MassHealth) spending, a moratorium on the Pacheco law for the MBTA for a period of time, and other strong reforms.  

The budget goes on to the state senate next.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Why Did Brad Jones and House Republicans Refuse to Stand for Diehl Olympic Amendment?

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Wed Apr 29, 2015 at 07:11:39 AM EDT

Yesterday the Massachusetts Republican Party sent out this statement by Chairman Hughes about the lack of transparency in the budget process.

Democrats on Beacon Hill owe the taxpayers of Massachusetts a more open and accountable budget process. The majority's lack of transparency on this multi-billion dollar budget is just another example of the excesses of one-party rule in the Legislature. Speaker DeLeo should move debate into the public eye, and let taxpayers see how their money will be spent."

One of the great equalizers that Republicans have as the minority party is the ability to keep their amendments out of consolidation, and to call for roll calls.  It only takes a little less than half of the Republican minority to stand for a roll call, that's 16 members, in order for a roll call to be recorded.

That is why when you read the fine print on this State House News Story (via the Lowell Sun) you have to scratch your head.

Rep. Geoff Diehl sponsored an amendment to prevent tax dollars from being used "to procure, host, aid, further or remediate the effects of, the 2024 Olympics." The amendment permitted transportation investments "even if such expenditures may also facilitate procuring, hosting, aiding, furthering, or remediating the effects of, the 2024 Olympics."

"What we're trying to avoid is having the taxpayers on the hook for overruns. I urge the membership to pass this amendment so we don't have to wait for the ballot question to come about and have it passed for us," said Diehl, whose amendment calling for a privately-funded Olympics surfaced after 8 p.m. Monday.

When Diehl asked for a roll call vote, an insufficient number of both his Democratic and Republican colleagues rose to meet the threshold for a recorded vote. His amendment was then defeated on a voice vote.

Sources tell Red Mass Group that about ten Republican members stood for the Diehl Amendment.  Why would Republican members not want to get the body on record on the use of taxpayer money for the Olympics.  Polling shows that the public supports Diehl's conservative approach.

Why did Minority Leader Brad Jones, once again, not have the caucus stand for a conservative's common-sense budget amendment? Especially when the leader of the Party Kirsten Hughes is calling for more transparency.

The more things change, the more they really stay the same.  

Discuss :: (1 Comments)
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