Over 300 people attended the "Reformer's Reception" held by State Representative Shaunna O'Connell (R-Taunton) last Friday (September 20, 2013) at Benjamin's Restaurant in Taunton, MA. Boston Herald columnist & WRKO talk show host Howie Carr was a special guest at the standing-room-only event with State Representative Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman) acting as the evening's master of ceremonies. Also in attendance was Boston Herald Lone Republican columnist Holly Robichaud, State Representatives Jim Lyons (R-Andover) & Keiko Orell (R-Lakeville), Taunton Mayor Tom Hoye, GOP State Committee persons Barbara Bush, Bill Gillmeister, & Mark Townsend, Taunton Republican City Committee Chairman Gene McCaffrey, Miss Taunton 2013 Ashleigh Chaves, Republican state senate candidate (& "Three Strikes" activist) Les Gosule, Republican state representative candidates Jeff Bailey & Shaun Dooley, former GOP candidate David Steinhof, & three (3) candidates running for the Taunton City Council.
Prior to introducing O'Connell, Diehl lauded her "courage" in taking on "difficult" issues such as obtaining welfare data on benefit balances from the state Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), forcing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to disclose to the public information on its pension system, & resisting tax increases at a time when the state's Department Of Revenue reported that tax revenue had come in higher than projected.
O'Connell then used Diehl's introduction as a foundation upon which she detailed to her approving audience some of the unusual steps she took to get what she wanted. For example, when the DTA insisted that O'Connell pay $800 to obtain the data she sought, the statuesque beauty didn't bat an eye when she coughed up the money. "They thought I wouldn't call their bluff," she observed with a wry smile. The audience loved that moment & several others like it. Before the night was out, O'Connell would receive at least three (3) standing ovations from the star-struck audience.
During the course of her speech, O'Connell called for an audit of the DTA & pledged to push a "bill of rights" for businesses in Massachusetts that would included - among other things - a year's notice for any tax or fee increase, mandatory public hearings on tax increases (along with cost/benefits analysis on any regulation that impacted business), & update/streamline laws that regulate independent contractors. She stated that because she was "not a seat warmer" & was never going to be a part of the "go-along to get-along crowd", she said she "expects" the Democrats to send "a cruise missile" her way in the form of a candidate hoping to unseat her in 2014. She thanked her supporters for assisting her in her mission to "restore integrity", promulgate transparency, & "fight" on behalf of the state's taxpayers.
O'Connell also gave a special shout out to Carr for his efforts to highlight her work in exposing fraud & allowing her to frequently go on his radio show in order to take her case directly to the public. As if on cue, Carr took a break from hawking his books (copies of "Rifleman" were flying off his table) to give a heartfelt endorsement of O'Connell the person & the type of public servant she represented. The talkmaster declared that O'Connell's fights with Beacon Hill "resonated" with his radio fan base & that the power brokers on Beacon Hill "hate her" because "she rocks the boat".
Carr said he was assured by O'Connell that she would stay in the legislature to fight the good fight & forgo any appeals for her to run next year for state-wide office (such as the office for Lt. Governor). He pointed out that few people of integrity had the stomach to endure both the "hard corruption & the soft corruption" that he said was endemic on Beacon Hill. "We need more people like her in the legislature," opined Carr in a rare moment of seriousness.
After the event was over, I overheard Carr say that he & his team had "sold a lot of books". A person manning the table for the group pushing the initiative petition to repeal the gas tax expressed his satisfaction that "a lot of people" were "happy" to sign his sheets. The electricity in the room for O'Connell dissipated only after members of the audience left the building to return to their respective homes. It remains to be seen whether or not O'Connell's strong show of support will translate into a successful re-election bid next year. But her record of accomplishments and the passion of her supporters should give her an edge against any "cruise missile" lobbed at her by her political opponents.
As my RMG colleague Rob Eno pointed out today, Massachusetts House of Representatives Minority Leader Brad Jones scrambled to co-author legislation designed to amend the rules of the House so that the restriction to bills on the House floor would be lifted. This victory for transparency was made possible by a hearty band of Republican House members dubbed the "Gang of Five". The resolution filed by Dan Winslow was supported by his plucky Gang of Five colleagues Shaunna O'Connell, Jim Lyons, Marc Lombardo, & Geoff Diehl. Everyone else - including Democrats! - knew a good thing when they saw it & quickly threw their support behind the legislation. The rest, as they say, was history.
But the question remains: why didn't Jones himself take the initiative to challenge the lack of transparency promulgated by Speaker of the House Bob DeLeo? Why did he wait till the last minute to help his GOP colleagues? WHY?
As Eno pointed out in another post, special election Republican candidates Carol Claros & David Steinhof actually did pretty good considering the fact that both first-time candidates had scarce resources & their respective races happened deep within Democrat territory. Still, DeLeo had no problems publicly pounding the pavement & shaking the money tree for the members of HIS party like Dan Donahue (Claros' opponent) who were also running in those special elections.
Now where was the Minority Leader when two Republican candidates had a chance to win two open seats? Sure, the MA House Republican PAC doled out $500 & Jones personally donated $100 to Claros (no word yet if he did the same thing for Steinhof), but...but was THAT all he did? Why wasn't an independent expenditure from the GOP PAC done for either Claros or Steinhof? Jones allowed his name to be attached to an invitation to an event for Steinhof but he never showed up at said event. In fact he was completely absent from ANY event staged for Claros & Steinhof. He was a NO-SHOW!!!
Some Establishment Republicans may titter over a cartoon & squeal, "where's Waldo?" but ALL GOP activists should righteously respond with "the hell with Waldo - where's Jones? What's he doing? Where's the leadership?"
Yesterday both the house and senate passed a $500M tax package, supposedly to pay for transportation projects. The taxes include a 3 cent increase in the gas tax that will increase every year with inflation, this way the legislature will never have to vote on the tax again. The house passed the bill by a vote of 106-47 (roll call not yet available). The Senate only had six votes against.
Also included in the legislation is a software services tax. The tax, according to Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman) is poorly defined and will be subject to interpretation by the Department of Revenue, and must be enacted within 4 days of passage, to start July 1, 2013.
In a statement issued by his office Wednesday evening, Patrick said he could not support the bill because it fails to account for a revenue source that will not be available in the future. While the statement did not specify that source, it was an apparent reference to tolls on the western portion of the Massachusetts Turnpike that are scheduled to be taken down in 2017.
Without those tolls, the Patrick administration believes the $805 million in new transportation funding that the bill promises by fiscal year 2018 would not be achievable.
Of course the Governor threw his temper tantrum while out of the state. There is no news if it involved a bottle of chardonnay and a nap.
There I was, dutifully checking the in-box of my e-mail for the day, when suddenly I beheld an electronic missive from newly-elected National Republican Committeewoman Chanel Prunier. It wasn't the usual mass-mailing piece that automatically winds up in my spam bucket. When I opened it, I was greeted with the following (partial) paragraph:
In my efforts in support of Republican candidates, I come across different items that I find are worthy of passing along: articles, events, and general information that may be of interest. So I've started a regular email list for my fellow political junkies and activists. If you think this has merit, I urge you to pass it along. If not, simply unsubscribe. You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you for all you do to bring better government and conservative values to our state.
After that, Prunier proceeded to provide a pdf version of a roll call vote taken on Republican Representative Geoff Diehl's amendment to the rules which would require the House conference committee budget to be posted online for 24 hours before a vote on it occurred (it failed but that's another story for another day), a variety of news articles, press releases, & Op-Eds pertaining to major political issues, a calendar of GOP-based events/happenings, & a quick list of phone numbers belonging to contact people working on the special US Senate election for Gabriel Gomez.
Now what I've just described is not new if you're a Democrat who takes something like the aforementioned e-mail from Prunier for granted due to the number of professional smooth operators within the party who keep its machinery thoroughly lubricated. But Prunier's e-mail is the first time THIS Republican has received anything of its kind from a Massachusetts-based GOP national committee person. This suggests to me that Prunier might be serious about engaging the Republican grassroots in an effort to rebuild the party from the ground up.
Yeah, a part of me remains cynical since I've seen these types of tactics promulgated by past GOP state committee leaders & their enablers on Beacon Hill. But I'm willing to give Prunier the benefit of the doubt just to see if her kind of leadership is the real deal. To paraphrase an old song, I know what she offers is only hope & change - but I like it.
Dear Friends, Family & all Supporters of the Campaign,
This past week was the culmination of two years of hard work by so many people and I've done my best to thank each and every one of you at events, by phone and/or by letter.
Wednesday's Inauguration was a validation of not only my belief that there might be a better way to govern in our state, but also proof that people CAN have a voice, despite a dominate party rule. My promise is to maintain my beliefs and actively legislate as YOUR VOICE on Beacon Hill.
I have agreed to contribute to a blog through WATD (95.9 FM, Marshfield), entitled "Beacon Hill Blotter." My first entry is called, "Inaugural Post, Post-Inaugural" and it gives my thoughts on the events of this week: http://www.959watd.com/politic...
You will also be able to follow my activity through two other web sites:
I hope you will visit the sites periodically to monitor what I promise to be an active term of service as one of your State Representatives.
In closing, I would also like to add my congratulations to both Rep. Bradley H. Jones, Jr., who was re-elected to the Minority Leader's post in the House, and to Chairman Jennifer Nassour, who was also re-elected to the job of running the Massachusetts Republican Party.
I can say without equivocation that these two leaders of the Republican party have vision, experience and the ability to grow and solidify a solid core of conservative members and elected officials which will serve us well in the years to follow.
Thank you, once again, to every single person who helped put me in this position and I look forward to an ongoing dialogue as we work to bring a brighter future to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
From day one, I've made clear that my campaign was to work towards doing what is right for the towns of Abington, Whitman & East Bridgewater, as well as all citizens of the Commonwealth. To know that the Speaker of the House wants to protect one of his guaranteed votes indicates to me that my campaign has exposed Beacon Hill for what it really is... A super-majority run by career politicians who don't want what's best for Massachusetts, rather what will keep them in power.
From the Boston Globe (http://bit.ly/90sBJf):
"Many Democratic incumbents, including Senator Susan Fargo of Lincoln and Representative Allen McCarthy of East Bridgewater, who are locked in tough battles with conservative challengers, have been sounding traditionally Republican themes such as lower taxes and spending cuts.
McCarthy is facing Geoff Diehl, a Whitman Finance Committee member and sign company account executive. The candidates have battled over taxes and immigration. McCarthy, who acknowledges that he is in a tough battle, has been getting fund-raising and other help from House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, according to members of DeLeo's leadership team."
Please help me send me to the State House so I can work to restore the trust we need in Massachusetts leadership.
Join WATD-FM as we continue our series of political forums with an event for the two candidates vying for the 7th Plymouth District seat.
State Rep. Allen McCarthy and challenger Geoff Diehl will debate tonight on WATD (95.9 FM), and we are asking our listeners to submit questions for the candidates - you can do that by going to www.959watd.com/candidatequestions.
McCarthy, a Democrat from East Bridgewater, and Diehl, his Republican challenger from Whitman, are running for the 7th Plymouth district seat, which includes Abington, East Bridgewater and Whitman.
WATD's Managing Editor Christine James will be joined in studio by Kevin Tocci from Whitman Cable Access, Meaghan Glassett from the Whitman Express, and John Zaremba the Suburban Editor from The Enterprise.
The debate will air live at 6:15 p.m, and will be archived the following day at www.959watd.com/politics/forums.
Follow us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/959watd and on twitter at www.twitter.com/watdpolitics
The 4th installment of a series of half-hour shows featuring Geoff Diehl, candidate for State Representative. Topics will include the issues facing Massachusetts and the 7th Plymouth District (Abington, Whitman & East Bridgewater). Host for September's show is Peter Hamilton - East Bridgewater.
The people of my district (7th Plymouth - Abington, Whitman & East Bridgewater) felt very strongly about electing Scott to the US Senate (combined 70/30 on Jan. 11) and we were able to rally a lot of support behind him leading up to the Special Election.
But as we all know, it was Scott's efforts that made him a winner that day. The stories of his time spent in our towns is, I'm positive, echoed across the Commonwealth so I won't bog this post down with yet another campaign tale. Suffice to say that he worked tirelessly and set the bar for all of us who are running - for that I am supremely grateful. There's a quote - "The speed of the pack is determined by the pace of the leader."
I look at Scott's effort as the benchmark for what I have to do in this race and as I meet fellow Republican candidates for all offices, I sense that the same determination that permeated State Senator Brown has rubbed off on them, as well.
So here I stand, humbled by the energy and effort it took for US Senator Brown to pave a path for the rest of us and I thank him for showing us (and the Country) the way. To come back onto the campaign trail and continue the fight to bring accountability and common sense to the Commonwealth is more that I could have asked and when all is said and done, I think we will owe Scott yet another debt of gratitude.
I have had the great fortune to have been raised in the greatest nation on earth, and I will do all I can to succeed - for the future of my family, my towns and my state. Thank you to all who have contributed to the campaign I've been lucky to be in and let's get ready for November... There's still a lot of work to be done. Right, Scott?
Geoff Diehl, candidate for State Representative for the 7th Plymouth district (Abington, Whitman & East Bridgewater) speaks about the importance of Election Day (Nov. 2, 2010) for the three towns he will fight for once in office.
If you believe in Geoff Diehl and his message, please contribute to the campaign so that we can spread the word by Election Day!
Contributions can be sent to:
"Committee To Elect Geoff Diehl"
10 Village Way
Whitman, MA 02382
Geoff Diehl for State Representative 2010: Campaign HQ Grand Opening 529 Washington Street, Whitman
Monday, July 26, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Statewide candidates, local elected officials & the GD2010 Committee will be christening the New Voice, Smart Choice office.
All GOP candidates on the November ballot are invited to bring campaign signs which will be hung on a common wall to create awareness for everyone looking to bring balance to Massachusetts!
The event is free, but donations are welcome (and needed!)... There will also be food and refreshments.
For more information, contact Karli Connors (email@example.com)
The 2nd installment of a monthly series of half-hour shows featuring Geoff Diehl, candidate for State Representative. Topics will include the issues facing Massachusetts and the 7th Plymouth District (Abington, Whitman & East Bridgewater). Host for May's show is David Walsh - East Bridgewater.
Video 1 (of 3) [Show broken down into 10 min. segments):
Video 2 (of 3) [Show broken down into 10 min. segments):
Video 3 (of 3) [Show broken down into 10 min. segments):
If you like what you see and what to support the campaign to bring REAL reform to Beacon Hill, please go to http://www.geoffdiehl.com to register to become a volunteer or feel free to send a donation to:
Committee to Elect Geoff Diehl
10 Village Way
Whitman, MA 02382
(no more than $500 per person / calendar year)
The 1st episode in what will be a monthly series of half-hour shows featuring Geoff Diehl, candidate for State Representative. Topics will include the issues facing Massachusetts and the 7th Plymouth District (Abington, Whitman & East Bridgewater). Host for this show is Steve DeGrechie, Whitman resident.