September 2009 was pretty bleak. The likelihood of anyone from our party making the upcoming special election competitive was small, the chances of winning were dismal. But Scott Brown stepped into the breach - thanks to what he did and what Team Brown did - the people who tirelessly made calls and who stood in the snow holding signs on that magical day in January, 2010 - everything changed.
The magnitude of that change was profound, and should not now be forgotten. It is most evident when September 2009 is contrasted with February 2013. As a direct result of the change made by Scott Brown and Team Brown, the field of good, credible candidates who may run for Senate now is full - from Dan Winslow, to Bill Weld, to Lew Evangelidis, to Tom Wesley, to Karyn Polito, to Richard Tisei, to Kerry Healey, to Jon Golnick, to Bob Hedlund, to Sean Bielat. As a direct result of that change, we have two very strong candidates - Mary Connaughton and Charlie Baker - who hopefully will run next year. Plus, as a direct result of that change, those who will lead our party in the not-to-distant future - people like Ryan Fattman and Shauna O'Connell - are moving past the beginning of the beginnings of their careers.
In some ways, one-party dominance has not served even the Democratic Party well - John Kerry was the last home-grown politician from their party to be newly-elected Governor or Senator. And he was first elected before Massachusetts last cast its electoral votes for the Republican (1984 was a long time back - Larry Bird was still winning championships, Jim Rice was batting cleanup for the Red Sox, Tom Brady was graduating from kindergarten, and the parents of the Bruins top scorer were still in elementary school - ok, I'm guessing about elementary school, but it could be true). Everyone, even the Democratic Party, would benefit from working balance.
Let us now follow the gracious recommendation of Rick Green, and fully support Kirsten Hughes. With respect to the United States Senate, as a party, we are undefeated in special elections held on snowy January days; with Kirsten's good leadership, a strong candidate, and the work of those who were Team Brown, may we remain undefeated in special elections held on sunny days in June.
Please join the Honorable Karyn Polito, former candidate for attorney general Jim McKenna, former congressional candidate Tom Wesley, Representative Peter Durant, Representative Ryan Fattman, Representative Kevin Kuros, Representative Steven Levy, Representative Kim Ferguson, and activists across Central MA for a special event to support Keiko Orral in the 12th Bristol District.
The Greater Boston Tea Party will hold its third annual Tax Day rally on Friday, April 15th from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the Boston Common Bandstand.
The Greater Boston Tea Party is an all volunteer, non-profit public policy advocacy organization that works to restore and defend the Constitution of the United States. Formed in 2010, the organization conducts open-to-the-public rallies, meetings, candidate meet-and-greets, grassroots activist trainings and legislation education events in the Greater Boston area.
Members of the organization are excited to welcome Governor Tim Pawlenty's message of fiscal discipline to our annual Tax Day TEA Party rally. "Governor Pawlenty's leadership in Minnesota has put his state on a course towards economic success," said Christen Varley, President of GBTP. "His is a message voters need to hear."
The list of participating speakers/performers is as follows:
Musical acts Black Diamond Band and Chris Ross
Christen Varley, President, GBTP
Michael Graham, 96.9 FM talk, Rally Emcee
Rev. Paul Jehle, Plymouth Rock Foundation
Dick Patten, NoDeathTax.org
John Lumbard, Americans for a Balanced Budget Amendment
Karyn Polito, former State Representative and candidate for State Treasurer
I found The MassGop Chair's comments on WCVB's OTR Program regarding Karyn Polito and our statewide results extremely disappointing and one-sided. http://www.thebostonchannel.co...
The Chairman seemed to negatively imply that by attending a Tim Cahill for Governor event, Rep. Polito somehow endorsed the fmr Treasurer's botched campaign for Governor. In fact, Karyn endorsed Charlie Baker and donated to his Committee. http://www.bostonherald.com/ne...
As Karyn's senior staffer who oversaw a majority of her scheduling, I supported the idea of sending her to the Cahill event to attract the support of disenfranchised Democrats and Unenrolled voters, particularly on the South Shore. Why? Because that is the ONLY way a Republican candidate for statewide office can win in Massachusetts. And Jennifer Nassour knows it. Or should know that fact.
The State Ethics Commission is investigating whether state Representative Karyn E. Polito violated the state's conflict-of-interest law and secured coveted low-number Red Sox license plates for herself, her family, her friends, and supporters, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the agency's actions.
The Ethics Commission has asked the Registry of Motor Vehicles for plate applications submitted by drivers with ties to Polito from 2002 to the present, according to the sources, who were not authorized to speak for the record.
Using your position of power to hook up friends with undeserved benefits not available to (or cutting in line ahead of) the general public is an ethics violation - even if you personally don't think it's a big deal or the benefit isn't that expensive or even if the individual has an R next to her name.
Based on the facts laid out in this article, it sure seems like it:
The "RS" license plates, in existence for seven years, have been so popular that the Registry of Motor Vehicles is running out. When six plates were auctioned for charity in 2003, they drew huge sums: Ben Affleck paid $50,000 for the number 1, and Red Sox minority owner Phillip H. Morse bid $140,000 for Ted Williams's retired number 9.
So how did more than two-thirds of the first 100 numbers go to state Representative Karyn Polito, a Shrewsbury Republican running for state treasurer, her friends, relatives, campaign donors, and others with ties to her? [...]
Within a year after the legislation was signed by Governor Mitt Romney, Polito and her family were outfitted with some of the choicest plates. Polito received number 2. Her father and brother's companies and other relatives were assigned numbers 20, 21, 24, 26, and 80. Number 30 was originally issued to a Polito supporter from Shrewsbury, then traded like a baseball card, first to her father's company, Polito Development Corp., in 2004 and then to her husband, Stephan Rodolakis, later in that year, according to records.
In fact, 68 of the first 100 "RS" plates issued went to people with ties to Polito, many of whom live in Shrewsbury, according to Registry records. The Registry lets charities assign plate numbers to the first 1,500 applicants.
Jimmy Fund officials and Polito said the plates were available to anyone who applied and that the numbers were assigned on a first come, first served basis after the bill was signed into law Sept. 26, 2002.
Registry records, however, contradict that. On all 68 applications, the words "per KPolito'' or some variation appears, according to the documents, obtained through a public records request.
Dozens of applicants applied before Polito's friends, relatives, and donors, but received higher numbered plates
Polito's response was that, since she was leading the charge to create the plate, and since the RMV requires 1,500 pre-paid applications before they'll go to press on new charity plates, it makes sense that she'd reach out to family, friends, and supporters. That makes perfect sense, except that (and the Globe lists some clear examples) members of the general public got in line ahead of Polito's People but were given numbers behind Polito's People.
And that's where the conflict of interest issue comes into play:
The state's conflict-of-interest law prohibits officials from receiving anything of substantial value because of an official act. In addition, the law bars officials from getting anything of value for themselves or others not available to the general public.
Polito, who is running for treasurer as a watchdog who will fight what she calls the culture of corruption on Beacon Hill, did not explain why her name appeared on dozens of applications. but called the plate program "a huge success story" [...]
In 2004, the State Ethics Commission cracked down on politicians receiving playoff tickets from professional sports teams, saying that if the tickets were not available to the general public, politicians should not get special treatment, even if they pay face value. Later that year, the Ethics Commission clarified the rules in a special advisory opinion.
"Whenever a public employee is offered anything from a private party,'' it wrote, "he must first ask himself two questions: (1) whether the thing being offered is of 'substantial value' and, if so, (2) whether it is being offered for or because of any official act or act within his official responsibility that he performed or will perform.'' The commission has defined substantial value as anything worth $50 or more.
Given that the low-number plates were being auctioned off for thousands and thousands of dollars, I think we can agree that a two-digit plate had a "value" of $50 or more.
We all agree, I'm sure, that the fact that the plates exist is a good thing, raising money for the Jimmy Fund, a wonderful cause. But the question here isn't the quality of cause, which is wonderful, but rather it is an instance when a Beacon Hill insider - in this case Polito - apparently helped herself to a plum perk that she shouldn't have.
Polito wants to be our watchdog, but here's an instance in which it looks like she put us regular people at the back of the line behind her family, friends, and supporters. I'd like to hear her explain this before the election.
(And, before someone comments that "it's just license plate numbers," I'd pre-respond that it's not "just" license plate numbers, it's public trust. You can't decry fraud and favoritism and conflicts of interest on Beacon Hill, but then disregard it when it's committed by a Republican.)
This afternoon, the Boston Herald officially announced its endorsement of Karyn Polito for the office of State Treasurer.
..The edge goes to Polito, a hard-nosed fiscal conservative, who has pledged not to accept a state pension and will work to get all elected officials out of that system....
Reforming the way the current pension fund is managed - now with 130 outside active managers all collecting fees and 25 administrators on the state payroll, most of them collecting salaries of more than $100,000 plus bonuses - is also high on her to-do list.
Polito, who currently serves as a state rep from Shrewsbury, has earned a good deal of street cred for holding up a $400 million supplemental budget this month in the House - that is until a traffic jam proved her undoing.
It was a gutsy move - one that indicates she has what it takes to face down the spenders on Beacon Hill. And that alone deserves a vote.
(Patrick and Cahill have some xplainin to do. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
The state's pension obligations next year are set to cost taxpayers about $900 million more than the current year, and Karyn Polito yesterday asked the Patrick administration why this information was not disclosed to investors when the Commonwealth went to market over the summer with its most recent bond sales.
Polito sent a letter to Governor Patrick on Wednesday noting that the anticipated $900 million increase in the state's pension operating budget subsidy is much more than administration officials previously expected. In the letter, Polito questioned why financial prospectuses released by the administration over the summer projected a much smaller increase, and further requested that the administration clarify its disclosure in future bond deals. Polito also asked the Governor what plans he has to address the funding gap in the context of the $2 billion budget gap already projected for next year.
The Worcester Telegram and Gazette has officially announced its endorsement of Karyn Polito for the office of State Treasurer.
Here's some of what they said:
Shrewsbury's Karyn Polito has earned a reputation as a tenacious advocate for better government. During 10 years as a state representative, she has been an outspoken leader of a vastly outnumbered band of Republicans, and worked tirelessly to shed greater light into the darker recesses of Beacon Hill politics....
The Telegram & Gazette endorses Karyn Polito for state treasurer because she has made a persuasive case that the current administration - including the current treasurer - has not done enough to address pension abuses and unfunded liabilities, to bring down the state's debt, and to control spending....
A vote for Ms. Polito is a vote for positive change.
"It's not in the official job description, but one of the most important duties of the treasurer is to be a watchdog," says Polito, who is seated next to a canine watchdog in the ad.
"We need someone at the State House willing to speak out against higher taxes, wasteful spending and corruption," says Polito, as the dog barks in agreement.
"I'm not part of the political machine. That means I'm free to speak my mind and do what's right. I'm running for treasurer because you deserve to have someone looking out for you."
"The race for treasurer is about who will best represent the taxpayers on Beacon Hill," said Polito. "People across Massachusetts are tired and frustrated by poor leadership in state government. Wasteful government spending is creating higher taxes, and corruption stands in the way of real reform. I'm running to bring a new culture to Beacon Hill, one where I can serve as a 'fiscal watchdog' as the ad suggests. We need someone in the treasurer's office to speak out and stand up for taxpayers when necessary. I am the only candidate in the race who can be that independent voice and who can serve as that 'watchdog.'"
Today I tried to amend the supplemental budget to remove $11 million in pay raises for public employees, but the leadership refused to accept the amendment and under the rules of the informal session I was not allowed even to request a roll call. There is something seriously wrong when $400 million in spending can be approved by the Legislature without a single word of debate or a recorded vote.
Over the period of time this bill has been making its way through the building, I have tried to call the public's attention to the manner in which business is conducted at the State House. Debate is discouraged, all the decisions are made behind closed doors without public participation, and when legitimate questions are raised, threats are issued to close prisons or shut down homeless shelters. Through my actions, I hope I have been able to shine a light on this dysfunctional and irresponsible process.
Now that the bill is moving to Governor Patrick's desk, I call on him to veto the public employee raises in the bill. Of all the new spending in the bill, the most egregious are the salary increases. Pay raises should not be considered now, when so many of our fellow citizens are either out of work or struggling to make ends meet. The veto is the only mechanism still left to instill responsibility in the process and protect taxpayers from inappropriately-timed spending.
State Treasurer candidate Karyn Polito takes on Beacon Hill corruption in her newest television ad as she makes the case for "a whole new approach" in Massachusetts state government.
The ad makes use of the notorious FBI surveillance photos of former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson accepting a cash bribe as Polito asks, "Have you noticed how greed and self-interest come ahead of doing what's right for the people?"
"We need a whole new approach," says Polito. "Like everyone else, I'm tired of wasteful spending, high taxes and corruption."
Polito repeats her "No Pensions for Politicians" proposal, which calls for taking future elected officials out of the public pension system. "We need to return to a citizen government," she says, "where elected office is a privilege and not a ticket to retirement riches." Polito also reiterates her personal pledge not to take a public pension.
Karyn Polito, Republican candidate for treasurer, is asking her Democratic opponent to clarify his position on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, according to documents released by the Polito campaign today.
In a letter to her Democratic opponent, Steve Grossman, Polito requests that Grossman reconcile inconsistent statements he has made regarding in-state tuition recently. (The full text of Polito's letter follows below.)
In 2006, State House News Service cited a letter from Steve Grossman to then House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi urging the Legislature to pass a bill to provide in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants.
"'Dear Sal,' wrote Grossman, a top Democrat, '...Beyond the addition to our education coffers, the In-State Tuition Bill would strengthen our workforce, position Massachusetts as a state that welcomes immigrants, and most importantly, allow hard working immigrant students the chance to realize their dreams of a college education.'" ("House to Address Series of Amendments on In-state Tuition Bill," Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service, January 10, 2006.)
Karyn Polito, Republican candidate for state treasurer, released the following statement today concerning published reports in the Boston Herald today regarding the use of Electronic Benefits Transfer cards by recipients of Department of Transitional Assistance programs:
"People are fed up with waste and overspending in government. If I'm elected state treasurer, I'll make sure that EBT cash benefits are used for legitimate purposes, not for lottery, alcohol and other non-essential items. The Patrick administration should ensure that these funds are being spent appropriately on behalf of the state's taxpayers."
Karyn Polito, Republican candidate for state treasurer, today criticized her Democratic opponent for his long-standing support for granting in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants.
"There's a clear difference between Steve Grossman and myself on the issue of providing benefits to illegal immigrants," said Polito. "My opponent, the former chairman of the Democratic Party, has long supported in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. I oppose giving public entitlement benefits to illegal immigrants because I think doing so disadvantages taxpayers and provides an incentive for people to break the law. My record stands for itself, and as treasurer, I will continue working to protect Massachusetts taxpayers first."
In 2006, State House News Service cited a letter from Steve Grossman to then House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi urging the Legislature to pass a bill to provide in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants.
(Heavy Traffic allows legislature to spend $400M without debate. WOW! - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
State Representative Karyn Polito (R - Shrewsbury) sent the following letter to House and Senate leadership today expressing her objections to the $400 million supplemental spending bill and her disappointment that House leaders passed the bill notwithstanding her objections and despite the fact she arrived in the House Chamber mere moments after session began this morning:
(Looks like the Caucus is united in this. That is good. Come back to formal session. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)
I'm extremely disappointed by the political gamesmanship on display in the House of Representatives this week, but I can't say I'm surprised.
Sadly, spending hundreds of millions of dollars without debate or the opportunity for amendment appears to have become business as usual on Beacon Hill. This supplemental spending bill includes loads of new spending for agencies beyond what the Legislature approved only 90 days ago. It funds $11 million of pay raises for public employees and it includes over a hundred outside sections setting new policy for our state.
We all know this is not the time to be handing out pay raises, when so many people in the private sector are hurting and struggling to make ends meet. Debating these decisions and reaching a consensus is why we have a Legislature in the first place. But this bill is not open to such treatment. That's wrong for Massachusetts taxpayers, and it's bad precedent for our democratic process.
We face a $2 billion budget shortfall next year, and the spending decisions we make right now have a profound effect on our ability to address that gap without new taxes. For the third straight day, I have objected to this half-billion-dollar spending bill moving forward out of deep concern for its effects on Massachusetts taxpayers. I have had discussions with House Ways and Means Chairman Murphy on how to pare back the spending in the bill. Today, I offered to remove my objections to the bill's passage if the Democrats would agree to defer the collective bargaining agreements. That was rejected.
I have been assured by my Republican colleagues that an objection will be in place for the remainder of the evening and that no action will be taken on the bill tonight. As for tomorrow, I will be back at the Statehouse to continue discussions with my colleagues.
State Treasurer candidate Karyn Polito today criticized her opponent, former Democratic Party chairman Steve Grossman, for his continued support for a graduated income tax in Massachusetts.
"Steve Grossman's support for a graduated income tax is just another Beacon Hill money grab by the tax-and-spend crowd. The graduated income tax would raise taxes on middle-income families that are struggling to make ends meet in this recession. It was bad enough that Steve Grossman donated $25,000 of his own money to stop the income tax rollback in 2000. Now, we learn he supports raising the tax on a graduated basis. As treasurer, I'll fight to keep taxes low."
Governor Deval Patrick is asking us to add to the state budget by approving almost a half billion dollars in new spending -- without debate, without the possibility of anyone offering amendments, and without recording anyone's vote on the matter. This is no time for business as usual.
I registered my objection to the spending bill in the Ways and Means Committee. I am not a rubber stamp for Deval Patrick or anyone else. Because of the extraordinary financial situation we find ourselves in today, and because we are facing a multi-billion dollar deficit in the next fiscal year, I am asking that the Legislature return to formal session for the purpose of debating this spending bill. Alternatively, we can either wait three months for the resumption of formal sessions or consider a pared-down bill containing only the spending that is considered essential.