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taxes

Andover Teacher Can Has Writes Good

by: Garrett Quinn

Fri May 08, 2009 at 14:38:09 PM EDT

"Andover teachers are not paid well because of the evil multinational corporations that control 25% of the world's wealth while only making up 5% of it and this is because we blamed the public sector for far too long and tax cuts and this is what an abusive relationship is like and rich people have too much money because of tax cuts for the wealthy and stagnant wages and this hurts teachers and we're so screwed and everybody is hurting and you can afford a tax increase even though you're broke and..."

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! SHUT UP! LEARN HOW TO WRITE!

Some teacher from Andover High School wrote this piece of garbage demanding voters pass a Prop 2 ½ override so he can get a goddamn raise. Everyone in Andover should vote against this override because this asshole cannot write. Enough with the sob story about how YOU need a raise. What about the rest of the taxpayers who are struggling to make ends meet? This line of "we're not paid enough, no one appreciates us" from the government employee unions never ends. This guy cannot even formulate the line properly. If you're going to make a case for higher property taxes do not bring up corporations and wealth inequality. Talk about how budgets will impact the art programs or field hockey. Talk about how losing teachers will result in children growing and not knowing how to form a decent paragraph.

I want to shove a pencil in my eye.  

Discuss :: (9 Comments)

Deval Patrick (D) gets an F from the Cato Institute

by: Karl Marx

Thu Oct 02, 2014 at 12:03:17 PM EDT

(#unexpectedly
- promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno
)

From the report entitled Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors 2014

"Governor Patrick's low score results mainly from his record of proposed and enacted tax increases. In 2012 he proposed higher taxes on cigarettes and corporations. In 2013 he signed into law increases in sales taxes, cigarette taxes, and gas taxes. The cigarette tax was increased by $1 per pack. The same year, he proposed a large income tax increase, which would have raised the individual rate from 5.25 to 6.25 percent. The plan would have reduced the sales tax, but would have been a large tax increase overall. Luckily for Massachusetts taxpayers, the plan did not pass. In 2014 Patrick proposed higher taxes on corporations and applying the sales tax to candy and soda."

The embattled Kansas governor Republican Sam Brownback received an "A". Unfortunately the media is playing up his political troubles, repeating a left wing talking point about the evils of tax cuts.

In Massachusetts few will really care since the state is "doing alright" economically or so it seems.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Promoting Prudent Fiscal Stewardship

by: Joshua Norman

Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 15:08:29 PM EDT

Rob Eno from RedMassGroup recently wrote about RMG's new project that will score, going back ten years, every spending and debt vote taken by Republican Legislators.  Scored will be Budget Bills, Supplemental Budget Bills, and bond bills.  Votes scored will only be on the final bills, not amendments.  Eno's concern is that many conservative organizations focus only on opposing tax increases and not enough on dealing with spending & debt.  Brad Wyatt told me that he would vote against the budget unless it held the line on spending.

I agreed with 99% of Eno's posting and the one percent I disagreed on relates to my focus as a fiscal stewardship activist.  I am the Research Director of the Newton Taxpayers Association and we primary focus our fiscal stewardship activist efforts on government spending, the size & role of government and Newton's $1.16 Billion Borrowing Binge consisting of unfunded pensions ($244 Million), retiree health care ($602 Million), bonded debt ($234 Million) and other liabilities ($80 Million).  

My belief, which I am instilling in the NTA's membership, is that an expanded role of government drives higher spending & debt.  Higher spending & debt drive calls for higher taxes at all levels and especially Proposition 2.5 overrides at the local level. Although we did not defeat the 2013 Newton override, we got 45% to vote no on the override, which is very good considering that we were facing the following headwinds:

1. The pro-override group co-opted opponents of prior overrides.
2. Mayor Warren had reduced compensation spending growth by reducing the growth of salaries & benefits.
3. The pro-override group was able to sell themselves as promoting "reform from reformers" because Mayor Warren was the primary spokesman for the override and made the override into a referendum on Mayor Warren's performance in office, specifically reducing compensation growth.
4. They made the usual arguments about rotting school buildings and infrastructure but also how Mayor Warren made a Capital Improvement Plan to fix Newton's infrastructure, which had never been done before in Newton.
5. When Mayor Warren was proposing his override in October 2012, the Newton Republicans were doing rallies for Romney in New Hampshire.
6. Scott Brown only got 33% of the vote in Newton in 2012 versus 55% in Shrewsbury.
7. There were Republicans that voted for some or all of the override questions, including the lone Republican Alderman Greer Tan Swiston.
8. The President of the Newton Taxpayers Association (at the time) was quoted as saying that Mayor Warren was doing a superb job in 2011.
9. The anti-override group Moving Newton Forward with Fiscal Responsibility did not form until 6 weeks before the election.

I am surprised that Newton's anti-override group Moving Newton Forward with Fiscal Responsibility got 45% against the override whereas Shrewsbury for Responsible Taxation only got 34% in the Republican stronghold of Shrewsbury.  That is not supposed to be a negative reflection against SRT, but rather show that when I was Co-Chair of Moving Newton Forward, I must have been doing something right.  I think my willingness to take on budgetary sacred cows such as employee compensation and costs for educating out-of-district students helped strike a nerve with our targeted taxpaying voters and swung votes our way.

I recently wrote in The Newton TAB about how the continuously climbing compensation of the Newton Public Schools system's unions and educrats is crowding out spending in other areas of city government in Newton's FY2015 budget.  I could tell it was very well received as I received two positive emails from Democrat Aldermen.  In addition, the head of the Newton Republican City Committee as well as the State Committeewoman for the First Middlesex & Norfolk District (Newton, Brookline & Wellesley) suggested I forward my column to the Executive Director of a well-known fiscal responsibility & good governance watchdog group.

I believe that good prudent fiscal stewardship is more than merely opposing tax increases, and highlighting poor fiscal stewardship through lavish compensation growth is a winning issue for our side.  I am pleased that my most recent column confirmed that.  My article prompted a follow-up response from former Newton Mayoral Candidate Bill Heck, an indirect rebuttal column from Alderman Rick Lipof and 2 letters rebutting the rebuttal column.  I am pleased that it got people talking about Newton's fiscal position in the Newton TAB.
I'm also happy that it generated interest on the Newton TAB Blog.  With 40 Comments, it was the third most commented on article this year.  With 13 Unique commenters, it was in the top 4 in terms of unique commenters.  The 40 comments for that article represented 34% of all comments on April blog posts.  The 40 total comments and the 13 unique commenters for my article were well ahead of the 5.5 average total comments received for all blog articles in April excluding my article.  When Village 14 made a blog post on Newton's pensions and linked it to my August 2013 column, it was so well-received that it was the highest rated blogpost in the history of Village 14 (Top Rated Posts-All).

When I publish research reports on Newton's fiscal woes, I seek to stimulate an actively healthy debate and show a prudent outlook centered on fiscal stewardship and good governance reform that is a Clear & Effective Alternative to Newton's political status quo.  Former Newton Mayoral Candidate Bill Heck said it best when he said "Joshua insists upon REAL facts, REAL consequences, and REAL debate when discussing Newton civic issues."  People in Newton have tuned out what goes on in the city as nearly 68% of Newton voters did not vote in last year's override election and 77% of Newton voters did not vote in last year's municipal general election.  These are the people I am trying to bring back to the discussion regarding Newton's fiscal and civic affairs.

Lastly, although the NTA is not currently endorsing candidates, the reason why I (personally) support Mark Fisher for Governor is that he is the only candidate that supports policies promoting prudent fiscal stewardship and good governance reform by limiting the size and scope of government.  Deval Patrick raised taxes by $1.3 Billion annually and Mark Fisher not only was the only candidate to sign the No-New-Taxes Pledge and articulate a bold tax cut platform, but also the only candidate that articulated specific areas of spending ($1.8 Billion annually on benefits for illegal aliens and $400 Million annually on EBT Fraud) he wanted to cut.  Mark Fisher supports the Tank the Gas Tax effort (and gathered signatures with Chris Pinto, Paul Franco & Billy McCarthy) and is also the only 2014 gubernatorial candidate that opposed the minimum wage increase, his town's Proposition 2.5 tax override, Cape Wind, RomneyCare socialized medicine and the $2.2 Billion South Coast Rail Boondoggle.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

The Eight Best Ideas in the New MassGOP Platform

by: MassFiscal

Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:47:45 AM EST

( - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

Like many others, we watched with great interest as the Massachusetts Republican Party debated and voted on its platform last week. (The full text can be found here.) However, we were focusing on those parts of the document that deal with our big issues: fiscal responsibility, a healthier business climate, and better government. With just over eight months left until the 2014 statewide elections, we decided to highlight what we view as the eight best ideas related to those topics. They're presented below in the order in which they appear in the platform. We hope all candidates in the 2014 elections will seriously consider supporting them. Full list after the jump...
There's More... :: (24 Comments, 636 words in story)

The Top Ten Massachusetts Political Stories of 2013

by: The Angelic One

Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 17:15:27 PM EST

Agree? Disagree? Here's my list of the Top Ten political events in 2013 that left their mark on Massachusetts:

01) The Boston Marathon Terrorist Attacks: Three people died & 260 were injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Bay State's iconic Boston Marathon. The actions of the alleged killers - Chechen brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - underscored the vulnerability of citizens in an open society to the whims of sociopaths.

02) Obamacare Impacts Massachusetts citizens: Unlike Romneycare, the implementation of Obamacare in Massachusetts has caused a great deal of headaches for those administrating it & those who wish to enroll into it.

03) Software Tax Repealed: Beacon Hill witnessed the ultimate flip-flop when a poorly-designed technology tax that had been passed by the Legislature & signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick lasted only two months before it was repealed due to the enormous backlash the tax produced from the Hi-Tech industry and anti-tax activists.

04) Dookhan Scandal: Former chemist Annie Dookhan's was convicted of faking lab tests that have now threatened the validity of thousands criminal convictions & will cost the state millions of dollars in re-trying drug cases.

05) James "Whitey" Bulger convicted: Though justice finally caught up with the notorious South Boston gangster, questions about his relationship with the FBI as an informant will remain unanswered until the bureau itself receives a full investigation to determine whether or not its culture aided & abetted Bulger's reign of terror in Massachusetts.

06) Casinos Shunned: Most communities haven't rolled out the red carpet to gaming interests since Massachusetts legalized casino gambling. The state still drools at the idea of wetting its beak with a share of the projected profits going into its pockets. The average citizen, though, seems more interested in the health of their respective communities.

07) Boston Elects Its First Mayor In 20 Years: Thomas Menino's decision not to run for re-election as mayor of Boston triggered a free-for-all that ultimately led to the election of Democrat State Representative Martin Walsh.

08) Lantigua Loses His Re-Election Bid: Lawrence mayor William Lantigua narrowly lost his bid for re-election to fellow Hispanic Democrat Daniel Rivera. The party had become fed up with Lantigua & had some of its senior politicos help Rivera win in order to maintain its grip on an important urban outpost that is home to a key block of voters.

09) Kerry, Markey, & Clark Move Upwards & Onwards: Once John Kerry was appointed Barack Obama's Secretary of State (following Hillary Clinton's departure), Kerry's open seat was won by Congressman Ed Markey. Markey's open seat was then filled by Katherine Clark. Republicans tried & failed to win the open seats once they became available.

10) Scott Brown leaves Massachusetts: The move of former US Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) to New Hampshire underscored the difficulties of the GOP to hold onto - if not maintain - political talent well suited for the Bay State.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

No Matter Who Wins MegaMillions, Obama's a Bigger Winner

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 15:16:02 PM EST

The MegaMillions Jackpot is reaching record territory this week.  On Tuesday December 17, 2013 the Jackpot is $550M, and the cash option is $295.3M.  If you won this money - and elected the cash option - at this time last year, you would have paid $24.8M less in taxes.  Obama's tax increases will cost, a cash option winner, close to $25M in taxes.

How do we get to that number?  

Continued after the jump

There's More... :: (11 Comments, 121 words in story)

MassFiscalScorecard.org Update

by: MassFiscal

Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 17:45:12 PM EDT

( - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

Today, the legislature voted on several proposals that would affect how lawmakers approach tax increases, among other things. There were several other key votes that took place. Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance will be updating our legislative scorecard (www.MassFiscalScorecard.org) with the new votes and scores. Please check our site this week for the updates.

If you watched today's debate in the legislature and have any ideas or suggestions for what we should score, please email us at: scorecard@massfiscal.org. Your feedback is always appreciated.  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Five Things: Tech Tax Roundtables, Tim Murray's $10K personal fine, Nate Little Resigns and more

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 07:39:18 AM EDT

Tech Tax Roundtables

The Massachusetts Republican Caucuses have held their series of Tech Tax Roundtables and have been getting very good press coverage.  Here's a roundup.

Mike Ryan, who declined to name the company for which he works, said software and technology companies could relocate because the tax is hurting their businesses.

Start-up companies may look elsewhere, he said.

"If this keeps going on there are going to be no tech jobs in this state," said Ryan. "This was poorly thought out."

Officials from the Corridor Nine, Marlborough Regional and Blackstone Valley Chambers of Commerce also spoke out against the tax, saying it will hamper the success of software and information technology companies.

In the days after the measure passed, members of the three chambers told local legislators that are unhappy with the tax.

"You're putting our businesses at a disservice," said Jeannie Hebert, president of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce.-Metro West Daily News

Ebon Elza, owner of EE Networks, was in the process of updating his small company's sales and use tax on July 30 when his bookkeeper - his wife - happened to notice a news bulletin on the state Department of Revenue's website about a new computer services tax.

She clicked on the link, and Mr. Elza started to scramble.

"I found out on July 30 that I was supposed to start collecting taxes on July 31," Mr. Elza said. "This was the first I had ever heard of it. It just came out of left field.

"It's like driving down the Mass Pike and all of a sudden the speed limit goes from 65 mph to 45 mph and no one tells you, until you get pulled over and get a speeding ticket," Mr. Elza said. -Worcester Telegram

Attorney Scott W. Foster has heard from six computer software businesses interested in joining a lawsuit to block the Massachusetts technology tax.
Scott Foster 2012.jpgScott W. Foster

The tax, an extension of the states' 6.25 percent sales tax to cover most software purchases is too vague to survive a court challenge, Foster says, with most software vendors unable to figure out exactly what they should tax and what they should not. The state ordered businesses to start collecting July 1, but the rules and guidelines won't be out until October.

"They need to collect a tax and they don't know what they will be collecting it on," Foster, partner at the law firm Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas in Springfield, said.

Foster said a new as-yet-unnamed business group is forming to put fort the suit has not yet been filed. - MassLive.com

Tim Murray personally responsible for $10,000 of $80,000 fines

Tim Murray and Attorney General Martha Coakley have come to an agreement on the fines Tim Murray owes due to his accepting contributions raised by a public employee.  The Boston Globe has the story.

As part of his settlement with the attorney general, Murray's political committee must pay a $20,000 fine. By Aug. 15, Murray's campaign account contained more than $227,000. Murray must also personally pay a $10,000 fine. Additionally, Murray must dissolve his political committee and have no involvement with a political fund-raising committee for two years, Coakley's office said.

Murray's agreement with the chamber of commerce already prohibits him from campaign involvement.

The second public official, Plante, solicited donations from DOT employees for his son, who was a Murray fund-raiser, according to the agreement. Plante, who makes about $88,000 per year, solicited donations from DOT employees and others for three Murray fund-raisers in Worcester in 2008, 2009 and 2010, the agreement said.

So Murray's fine is really $10,000 not the $80,000 in the headlines.  In contrast Tim Cahill was personally responsible for the full $100K of his fine.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 401 words in story)

Five Things: Knapik's New Boss in Hot Water, Fresolo 2014, First Tech Firm To Leave and more...

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 07:08:12 AM EDT

Former Sen. Mike Knapik's New Boss Under Microsope

Former State Senator Mike Knapik's new boss is in hot water over lavish spending.  Now the Patrick administration is calling on the Westfield State Administration to release spending details.

At the direction of Gov. Deval L. Patrick, the state's top education official Friday expressed concern about travel by Westfield State University President Evan S. Dobelle and ordered that an audit of Dobelle's spending be made public within 30 days.

In his first public statement on the issue, Secretary of Education Matthew H. Malone said media reports on Dobelle's expenses threaten to undermine public confidence in Westfield State and other schools.

In a letter to the university's board of trustees, Malone said the governor shared his concerns that taxpayer's funds be spent properly.

"As I am sure you appreciate, the issues ... call into question the proper use of taxpayer funds, and also undermine the good and important work taking place on your campus and public campuses across the state." Malone wrote.

Worcester's Anthony Weiner - John Fresolo to Run in 2014

The Worcester Telegram is reporting that John Fresolo is set to run again in 2014.

But despite resigning in disgrace, Fresolo says he will run next year to reclaim his seat. Because he speaks only to journalists who write fawning profiles of him, he announced his intentions to Rosalie Tirella of InCity Times, after she wrote that he was 'passionate' and 'sexy' and urged him to run. In response, Fresolo wrote that 'I do intend to run next year.'

His declaration came the same day as the special primary election to fill his seat, which cost $33,000 and will result in a Sept. 10run-off between Democrat Daniel Donahue and Republican Carol Claros, which, by the way, will cost another $33,000.

Despite the secrecy of the ethics probe, rumors have circulated that it focused on Fresolo's alleged abuse of his per diem expenses, along with an Anthony Weiner-like episode that involved a young female staffer finding a picture of Fresolo's, er, passionate sexiness on his office computer. The picture was reportedly not meant for the staffer, who was horrified nonetheless, and you can't blame her.

There's More... :: (5 Comments, 712 words in story)

Jeopardy Answer: When you do this, you get less of the thing you do this to

by: mp_stopa

Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 03:43:28 AM EDT

If you spend your weekdays filling the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds run, but reserve your weekends for pondering the more profound mysteries of the universe, here is one for you to consider while soaking in the sun slumped in your hammock as the days of summer wane: what is the essential basis of the tax policies of liberals and the Democrat Party? By this I mean, how do they decide whom they wish to tax and how much they wish the tax to be? Is there, in fact, any consistent philosophy at all?  
There's More... :: (5 Comments, 787 words in story)

5 Things: O'Connor-Ives Votes Don't Mesh With Her Spin, Baker Rising, and more...

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:14:06 AM EDT

Kathleen O'Connor Ives' Votes Don't Mesh With Her Spin

State Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives (D-Merrimack Valley) has been telling people in her district that she fought against higher taxes throughout the process, except for the final vote to override the governor's veto. Here's what she told the Valley Patriot readers this month.

Over the course of the budget process, the Legislature reduced those requested increases to a 3 cent gas tax increase tied to inflation. I strongly opposed that gas tax increase throughout the budget process, and I also fought against measures in the bill that set up studies that could lead to tolls on the New Hampshire border.

The problem for Ives is that her statement, that she fought against the gas tax throughout the process is demonstrably false.  On April 13, 2013 Bruce Tarr offered and amendment to strike all tax increases from the underlying transportation finance bill.  Kathleen O'Connor Ives voted against that amendment.  She also voted on that same day against another Bruce Tarr Amendment to take the software services tax out of the bill.    

It goes to show you that Massachusetts Democratic Politicians think that nobody will check their statements.  We will.

Baker Rising

Charlie Baker's path to the Republican nomination has been cleared and his stock is rising.  The Boston Herald has a great story on Baker's chances.

Republican Charlie Baker - a seasoned campaigner with a well-oiled fundraising machine - should not be underestimated once he finally gets in the governor's race, according to party operatives and one Democratic hopeful.

"I think Democrats need to take Charlie Baker seriously as an opponent," said Democrat Jul­iette Kayyem, the former homeland security official who jumped into the race Wednesday.

"We have been surprised - both parties have been surprised - recently in the last couple of years.

There's More... :: (12 Comments, 291 words in story)

Suicide Pact: How to cripple your state in five easy steps.

by: TLCWeld

Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 09:04:17 AM EDT

(Good rundown.  John Walsh is going to be mad you are denigrating our fine state though. - promoted by Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno)

http://www.nationalreview.com/...

Kevin Williamson strikes gold again.

Lets put it to the test. Is Massachusetts signing up for a suicide pact?

1. Make work expensive. The nine states with the highest personal-income-tax rates lost $100 billion in AGI from 1995 to 2010. The nine states without any personal-income tax gained $146 billion. In all, some $2 trillion has moved between the states during the years for which Brown has data, and the pattern consistently favors low-tax jurisdictions.

Our Democrat-controlled legislature just passed a $500M tax increase, and for the first time in state history applied the sales tax to software services. The one sector in MA that was actually growing was the innovation sector, of which software services are a driving force.

Check.

2. Attack lifetime savings. Florida is a good place to live and a great place to die. Its lack of a personal income tax is attractive, and so is its lack of an estate tax.

Massachusetts' estate tax excludes the first $1M, harsher than the federal of $5.25M.

Check.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 294 words in story)

Five Things: Dan Wolf ACORN Organizer that Shut Down a McDonalds, Gregoire Lies to Chamber & more.

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:45:34 AM EDT

Dan Wolf's ACORN Organizing Past

The Daily Caller obtained video showing, State Senator Dan Wolr - who is set to resign on August 29 - talking to a crowd at the Tatnuck Bookstore on Tuesday August 20, 2013.  He regales the gathering with stories of his ACORN organizing past.  Including how he shut down a private small business - a McDonalds Franchise - in Cambridge, MA. That took place when Wolf was a Union Organizer.

"After I got out of college I moved to Boston for a while, worked on Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester and Roxbury working for a group called ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now," Wolf said as several audience members began clapping.

"We should clap. You know, we can not continually push back [inaudible] the other side on issues where we really have been doing the right thing and doing it for the right reasons and then put to shame, which ACORN was I think for pretty wrong reasons," Wolf said, referring to ACORN's disbandment after it was revealed that ACORN employees were willing to help a faux-pimp with his business activities.

"And then I did some union organizing. We were trying to set up a union called the United Labor Union, which was an offshoot of ACORN aimed at organizing minimum-wage and low-wage workers in everything from some of the factories in Alston we organized, and also, we actually organized the McDonald's in Central Square, which then shut down. Which was kind of an interesting strategy," Wolf said.

Here's the video:

Wolf Clarifies - Will Resign if Ethics Commission Doesn't Change Ruling

Dan Wolf is not challenging the Ethics Commission in Court.  He has told Cape Cod Online that his decision is tentative based on an appeal to the Ethics Commission.

Cape and Islands Sen. Dan Wolf, who announced his candidacy for governor in July, will resign from the senate and suspend his gubernatorial campaign on Aug. 29 if the state Ethics Commission does not change its conflict of interest ruling against him, according to a statement released early this morning.

When considering a run for governor, the Harwich Democrat, who is the founder and CEO of Cape Air, said he met with Ethics Commission staff in May to make sure there were no conflicts between his ownership of Cape Air and his service as the state's top executive.

The article further states that Wolf is working on taking steps to divest in Cape Air completely if necessary to run for Governor.

State Rep. Randy Hunt, R-East Sandwich, said recently that the responsibility of appointing the Massport board would pose a conflict for Wolf if he were elected governor. In that scenario, Wolf said last week, he would take steps to "no longer have a financial interest."

The most extreme option, Wolf said, would be permanently separating from Cape Air, which he was prepared to do, he said during the Aug. 12 interview. He is also considering less extreme options such as creating a blind trust, but said he is awaiting further guidance about his options.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 520 words in story)

Five Things: Spilka Not Fooling Many, Lyons on Sad Remy Case, Welfare $ > than job and more...

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 07:05:31 AM EDT

Karen Spilka's sudden conversion is being taken with grain of salt

The business community and media are taking Karen Spilka's sudden conversion against the tech tax with a grain of salt. You may remember, Red Mass Group reported that Spilka voted six times for the software tax.

First up is a story by the new managing editor at the Boston Business Journal, Craig Douglass.

Modern politics being what they are, you've got to tip your cap to state senator and aspiring congresswoman Karen Spilka for nearly uttering the three little words that no other politician, even on their darkest day, will dare to say: I was wrong.

Of course, Spilka didn't say those three little words either when we spoke over the phone Wednesday evening. But she came really, really close when talking about why she is now filing a bill to repeal the state's über-controversial software and computer tax just weeks after she voted in favor of that very same tax. Gotta to love her moxie.

And the money passage.

But even while serving as the state senate's Majority Whip - essentially third in command - and chairwoman of the chamber's newly created technology caucus, Spilka said she and her fellow caucusians were more or less blindsided by the new levy's broad language and potential to raise two-to-three times the $161 million in tax collections it was designed to generate. The tax's original verbiage, included in Gov. Deval Patrick's budget proposal last winter ("I must admit that I didn't read all of the language in the governor's budget"), was more or less cut and pasted into the transportation bills endorsed by the House and Senate in June.

Senator Bruce Tarr reminds everyone that Spilka chose to ignore the GOP when they sounded the alarm.

"It should come as no surprise to anyone that taxing the state's innovation economy is a bad idea.  As far back as January, when the Governor proposed his version of the Fiscal Year 2014 state budget, Republican legislators have been warning that the new tax would seriously undermine the state's competitiveness.

The new tax on computer software services was a bad idea when it was first proposed, and it's a bad idea now.  We have opposed it consistently from day one, offering multiple amendments to eliminate or replace it, arguing at length during the transportation finance debate about its dire consequences, and we will be unyielding in our efforts to repeal it.  Putting a new tax on the innovation economy is no way to recover from a recession."

Keep up the pressure.

Jim Lyons calls for resignation of Middlesex DA and for Independent AG review in Remy Case

State Representative Jim Lyons (R-Andover) has called for the resignation of Middlesex District Attorney Marion Ryan over her offices handling of Jared Remy.  Specifically why they didn't fight to keep him locked up.

Martel was stabbed to death Thursday night. Her boyfriend, 34-year-old Jared Remy, the son of legendary Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, has been charged with killing her while the couple's four-year-old daughter was at home.

Remy has a violent criminal record dating back to 1998.

Lyons wants Ryan, whom the governor appointed to the job in April, to resign immediately.

"We've got a violent criminal who has violent past of assaulting women, who was left to walk out on the street," said Lyons. "I think it is just a total failure on the part of the District Attorney's Office."

In addition on Wednesday August 20, 2013 Lyons, in a letter to the Attorney General's office called upon Martha Coakley to fully investigate the circumstances of Remy's release.  

Lyons told Red Mass Group, "the DA's office's blaming of the victim for not showing up to a restraining order hearing, is reprehensible."

There's More... :: (5 Comments, 513 words in story)

MFYR Supports Tax Repeal Ballot Initiatives

by: MassYR

Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:42:03 AM EDT

Supports Efforts to Repeal Perpetual Gas Tax Increase & Tech Tax

Massachusetts Federation of Young Republicans MFYR) have announced their support for recently announced ballot initiatives to repeal the inflation anchoring of the gas tax and the ambiguous computer services tech tax.

The Democratically controlled Massachusetts legislature passed sweeping tax increases earlier this spring by votes of 97-55 in the House on April 8th and 29-9 in the Senate on June 19th. Those taxes included a hike of 3 cents per gallon to the gas tax with annual increases based upon inflation, an addition of $1.00 per pack of cigarettes, and a tax to the Computer Services Industry which the Department of Revenue is being tasked with regulating.

"With the best interests of our friends and neighbors in mind the Mass Young Republicans cannot in good conscience stand by while these taxes are being cast down by the Democrats in Massachusetts." Katie Regan, Chair of the MFYRs said. "With the gas tax perpetually indexed to inflation the legislature can hide from the people of Massachusetts after voting to increase their taxes every single year. We deserve more accountability from our elected officials; they should stand up and be counted each and every time they ask us to pay more from our pay checks. This is a disturbingly regressive measure that reinstitutes 'Taxation without Representation."

Jeff Semon, MFYR Communications Director added, "Taxing computer services is just one more example of the alarming practice of our Government picking industry winners and losers because they feel there's a few extra pennies they can pocket. Massachusetts is a National leader in the technology industry, and this is one of our fastest growing local industries. Sadly we've heard story after story of employers saying they're moving out of state and students saying they can already see the negative impact this tax is having on the employment market for anyone with a technical or computer based degree."

The MFYRs are joining their voices with a growing coalition of elected officials and tax advocates who are supporting two initiative petitions, one to repeal the computer industries tax the other to repeal the indexation of the gas tax to inflation. Those petitions were filed with Attorney General Martha Coakley on Wednesday, and by next month she will decide whether proposed initiative petitions meet the requirements for ballot eligibility. Certified measures will then be filed with the state will need at least 68,911 certified voter signatures by late November to move forward. Those measures are then filed with the Legislature in January 2014 with 11,485 additional signatures needed by early July 2014 to secure a ballot spot.

For more comments or to find out how to help the MFYR support these ballot initiatives, please contact Jeff Semon at massyrs@gmail.com.

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Massachusetts Federation of Young Republicans is chartered through the Young Republican National Federation (YRNF) which is the oldest political youth organization in the United States. Important to the growth of the Republican Party, the YRs reach out to registered Republicans, 18 to 40 years of age, and provide them with better political knowledge and understanding of the issues of the day.

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MFYR Supports Tax Repeal Ballot Initiatives

by: MassYR

Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:42:00 AM EDT

Supports Efforts to Repeal Perpetual Gas Tax Increase & Tech Tax

Massachusetts Federation of Young Republicans MFYR) have announced their support for recently announced ballot initiatives to repeal the inflation anchoring of the gas tax and the ambiguous computer services tech tax.

The Democratically controlled Massachusetts legislature passed sweeping tax increases earlier this spring by votes of 97-55 in the House on April 8th and 29-9 in the Senate on June 19th. Those taxes included a hike of 3 cents per gallon to the gas tax with annual increases based upon inflation, an addition of $1.00 per pack of cigarettes, and a tax to the Computer Services Industry which the Department of Revenue is being tasked with regulating.

"With the best interests of our friends and neighbors in mind the Mass Young Republicans cannot in good conscience stand by while these taxes are being cast down by the Democrats in Massachusetts." Katie Regan, Chair of the MFYRs said. "With the gas tax perpetually indexed to inflation the legislature can hide from the people of Massachusetts after voting to increase their taxes every single year. We deserve more accountability from our elected officials; they should stand up and be counted each and every time they ask us to pay more from our pay checks. This is a disturbingly regressive measure that reinstitutes 'Taxation without Representation."

Jeff Semon, MFYR Communications Director added, "Taxing computer services is just one more example of the alarming practice of our Government picking industry winners and losers because they feel there's a few extra pennies they can pocket. Massachusetts is a National leader in the technology industry, and this is one of our fastest growing local industries. Sadly we've heard story after story of employers saying they're moving out of state and students saying they can already see the negative impact this tax is having on the employment market for anyone with a technical or computer based degree."

The MFYRs are joining their voices with a growing coalition of elected officials and tax advocates who are supporting two initiative petitions, one to repeal the computer industries tax the other to repeal the indexation of the gas tax to inflation. Those petitions were filed with Attorney General Martha Coakley on Wednesday, and by next month she will decide whether proposed initiative petitions meet the requirements for ballot eligibility. Certified measures will then be filed with the state will need at least 68,911 certified voter signatures by late November to move forward. Those measures are then filed with the Legislature in January 2014 with 11,485 additional signatures needed by early July 2014 to secure a ballot spot.

For more comments or to find out how to help the MFYR support these ballot initiatives, please contact Jeff Semon at massyrs@gmail.com.

###

Massachusetts Federation of Young Republicans is chartered through the Young Republican National Federation (YRNF) which is the oldest political youth organization in the United States. Important to the growth of the Republican Party, the YRs reach out to registered Republicans, 18 to 40 years of age, and provide them with better political knowledge and understanding of the issues of the day.

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Five Things: Herald on Spilka, Wolf Should Challenge Ethics in Court, Vega Out and more......

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 07:02:13 AM EDT

Boston Herald Labels Spilka Flip Flopper

Great minds think alike.  On the heels of RedMassGroup.com blog post yesterday, the Boston Herald also focuses on the flip flopping nature and political expediency of Spilka's position.

"I've heard from a lot of tech businesses and a lot of people - more than I think we normally hear from," said Spilka. "There's a lot of information that has come to light about the tech tax and the potential impact. ... It's the opposite message we want to send the tech industry."

Asked if she still would have introduced the bill even if she weren't running for Congress, Spilka replied, "Absolutely," but also denied having any regrets for voting for the tax.

"No, I voted on the best information I had at the time," said Spilka. "There wasn't the human outcry that there is now."

Karen, sorry but the Republicans in the legislature shared with you how bad this was.  Also you didn't have public hearings, so how could you hear the public's position if you shut them out of the process?

Brad Jones and Bruce Tarr had particularly pointed words for Spilka.

"It's not lost on me that she's a candidate for Congress and that we found out about her filing this bill in the media as opposed to an email to her colleagues," said House Minority Leader Brad Jones.

Critics of the tax accused lawmakers of not doing their homework.

"We were on a very dangerous path of tax-first, ask questions later," said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, whose two amendments Spilka voted against. "There was such a rush to increase taxes that a lot of time was not taken to fully consider this."

File under... Flip Flop Hooray Ho!

Dan Wolf Should Challenge Ethics Ruling in Court

It is not often that I agree with my good friends over at Blue Mass Group.  On the issue of the Ethics Committee ruling on Dan Wolf's eligibility to run for public office I certainly do agree.  It is preposterous to me that someone that owns a business that pays the state money for a service can't run or hold office.  David Kravitz is challenging Wolf to man up and fight the ruling in court.

Wrong, Dan.  If you think they are wrong, it absolutely serves the public for you to take on the Ethics Commission in court.  Of course, the Ethics Commission is supposed to be a "watchdog of state government."  But, to beat a metaphor to death, watchdogs can sometimes jump the fence that keeps them where they're supposed to be, and then go on a rampage through the streets, biting innocent people who weren't intruding on their territory at all.  When that happens, somebody needs to get that watchdog back inside the fence.  And that seems to be basically what's happened here.  That unwelcome task has fallen to you.

It's important that the Ethics Commission - an unelected and basically unaccountable group of individuals whom at least 99.9% of MA residents (including me) cannot name - be free from interference in properly carrying out its mandate.  It's equally important, IMHO, that the Ethics Commission not go beyond that mandate, in the process depriving the people of MA of the services of honorable public servants.  As you yourself asked, "'How does getting me out of the state Senate and out of running for governor serve the public good?'"

Answer: it doesn't.  So, Dan, get your lawyers to draw up the papers.  If the Commission was right, the courts will say so, and you can then step away knowing you really did have no other choice.  If they were wrong, you'll have done the people of Massachusetts a service.  Win-win.

Fully agree here.  If Wolf thinks he is being singled out, it is his duty to challenge the ruling.  

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 406 words in story)

After 6 Votes for Software Tax, Now Congressional Candidate Spilka Wants it Repealed

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 21:10:49 PM EDT

"It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived." ― René Descartes

Massachusetts State Senator Karen Spilka(D-Ashland) has voted six times for a software services tax over the past few months.  Now, as she runs for Congress, and needs the support of the tech community she's changing her tune, and calling for a repeal of the software tax.

Three times Spilka was faced with a vote that specifically would have removed the 6.25% tax on software services from the underlying Transportation Finance Package, and three times she voted against removing the tax.

First Spilka was able to vote on Bruce Tarr's Amendment 63 to the bill which would have removed all taxes from the bill.  In a roll call of 4Y to 29N Spilka voted against removing all taxes from the bill (Roll Call #27 of 2013).

Then Spilka was able to vote to remove specifially the software tax.  The amendement was Bruce Tarr's Amendment 74 to remove the software services tax specifically from the bill. In a roll call vote of 4Y to 28N Spilka voted against removing the software services tax from the bill (Roll Call 32 of 2013).

continued after the flip...

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Five Things: Widmer on Software Tax, Eno on Herald Radio, and more...

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 05:35:36 AM EDT

NECN: Michael Widmer on Software Tax

Michael Widmer, and others weigh in on the software tax in response to Florida Governor Chris Scott's letter to Massachusetts businesses.  Scott told business leaders that his state was more competitive and they should relocate.

Rob Eno on Herald Radio

I will be on Boston Herald Radio this morning in the 7am hour.  I will be a guest with Bob Hedlund who is substitute hosting for Jeff Katz this morning.  You can listen at BostonHerald.com or by using the TuneIn Radio App, which you can download at TuneInRadio.com  

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Five Things: Worcester Urban Renewal Eminent Domain, Claros Fund., Boldyga milks goat and more....

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:58:39 AM EDT

Worcester <3s Kelo Decision

Worcester, Massachusetts is planning on doing their best Connecticut city impersonation, and planning on using eminent domain to seize buildings from property owners they feel aren't utilizing their property correctly.  The Telegram has the story.

Now they are threatening to wrest ownership of the small, indoor shopping center at 22 Front St., across from City Hall, from longtime owner Dean Marcus.

The tool that they could use to take over the mall - and other deteriorated downtown buildings - is eminent domain, the power of government to seize private property for the greater good.

And the vehicle for the exercise of that power is the newly reconstituted Worcester Redevelopment Authority. The long dormant quasi-public agency, which has eminent domain authority, has been rejuvenated with $500,000 to develop a formal urban renewal plan, the required legal precursor to any eminent domain takings.

"How long when you are a person of means can you sit on a property that does not serve the interests of the community?" said District 2 City Councilor Philip P. Palmieri, whose district includes the mall and who has been calling for years for the mall to be redeveloped. "A couple of major property owners shouldn't be able to unilaterally adversely impact growth in our city."

That kind of sounds, Councilor Palmeri, like the "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few".  Isn't this still America?

Carol Claros Fundraiser in Shrewsbury

Karyn Polito is headlining a fundraiser for Carol Claros in Shrewsbury later this month.  

Republican Women Leaders' Reception

                 Honorary Chairwoman
                             Karyn Polito

                     Host Committee
   State Representative Shaunna O'Connell
             State Representative Leah Cole
Kirsten Hughes, MA Republican Party Chairwoman
                       Desiree Awiszio
                    Mary Connaughton
                       Beth Lindstrom
                       Holly Robichaud
                         Hannah Kane
Chanel Prunier, Republican National Committeewoman
    State Committee Woman Bonnie Lund Johnson
  State Committee Woman Mindy McKenzie-Hebert
                The Honorable Jody Dow
         Angela Davis, Secretary of MA GOP

   Join these GOP Women Leaders for a
          Special Reception in Honor of
                         Carol Claros
Republican Candidate for State Representative

               Tuesday, August 20, 2013
                           7 to 9pm
           Italian American Victory Club
                     26 Dewey Road
                     Shrewsbury, MA

There's More... :: (5 Comments, 752 words in story)
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