Mass Revolution Now!

Another member of Massachusetts’ reality based community. Maybe honesty IS the best policy.

June 16, 2006

Hold The Gore ‘08 Bumper Stickers

by @ 12:38 pm. Filed under Democrats, National, Election '08

Recently over at BMG there was a post by Lspinti singing the praises about Al Gore.  Perhaps the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that most Americans view Gore quite unfavorably (42% to 30%).  As I mentioned on Sunday, I was impressed with Gore and really love his message on global warming.  However, support for the issue can’t be misinterpreted for support for the candidate.  Gore was a pretty terrible candidate in 2000.  I am not talking about on the issues, I am speaking more to the actual style of the man.  America seems to remember this and that is probably why his favorables aren’t that favorable.

[HT to PoliticalWire]

June 14, 2006

DSCC Would Support An Independent Bid

by @ 8:30 pm. Filed under Democrats, National, Election '06

Joe Lieberman must not be feeling much “Joe-mentum.”  First there was the tria ballon on whether Joe should run as an independent, apparently he is getting the message that some real Dems aren’t all that thrilled with his stance on a lot of issues.  Then there is the recent news that Ned Lamont is gaining in the polls on the once unbeatable Lieberman.  Now it seems that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is taking that test ballon out for spin by declaring that the DSCC would support Lieberman in his bid for the Senate should he choose to run as an independent.  Is anyone else bothered by this?  If I were a big donor and I gave money to the DSCC I would not be thrilled to learn that some of my money was being diverted to a person who is not in the Democratic Party.  Frankly, even if the Dem candidate was somewhere to the right of Tom Delay I would still believe that the DSCC had to support the Dem and not some independent.  Now, the DSCC doesn’t have to give much support but I certainly don’t think it could endorse a non-Democrat.  What does anyone else think?

June 8, 2006

Murray’s Education Plan Is Right On

by @ 9:59 am. Filed under Democrats, Massachusetts, Education, Social Policy, Tim Murray, LG Race '06

I finally have had an opportunity to read over the education plan released by Mayor Tim Murray. I think it is a very solid plan that shows Murray’s continued grasp of the issues. One of my favorite things about the Mayor is that he sees the interconnected nature of the issues. He realizes that the issue of jobs doesn’t exist in a vaccuum. So when he talks about jobs he always talks about the two issues very intimately related to jobs: transportation and housing. Murray always manages to tie together the issues demonstrating that he more so than the other LG candidates has a vision for all of Massachusetts, not just single issue after single issue. He leads off the disussion of the education issue by summarizing exactly what we are facing:

If we are to properly prepare our children to thrive and succeed in our increasingly competitive global economy, we must revise, revive and renew our state’s educational compact.

More on the flip…

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June 7, 2006

Murray Releases A Plan To Improve Public Education

by @ 3:19 pm. Filed under Democrats, Massachusetts, Election '06, Social Policy, Tim Murray

Here is the statement from the campaign. I haven’t read the document so more will follow.

WORCESTER, MA Tim Murray, Mayor of Worcester and Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, today announced his plan to re-invest and reinvigorate public schools in Massachusetts In the report titled Making the Grade, Murray says “Public education is our state’s great legacy for supporting democracy and equal opportunity for all. Now, we must regain that legacy for our children.”

Murray’s action plan begins with financial stability and equity for all public schools. “On top of that,” added Murray, “we must build programs and models for educating our children that we know can achieve great results. To support our teachers, and for the benefit of our children’s future, I want to be part of the executive team at the Statehouse that makes public education a true and enduring priority; and calls upon state agencies, colleges and universities, businesses and community leaders to collaborate more with each other in order to improve the academic achievement of all of our students.” (The press release is continued on the flip…)

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McNamara Slams Gabrieli

by @ 1:33 pm. Filed under Democrats, Massachusetts, Election Reform, Campaign Finance Reform

Eileen McNamara takes Gabrieli to task today in her column. She isn’t too happy with the fact that Gabrieli decided not to pursue public financing. She wants to know if any is nauseated by the fact we are going to spend upwards of $12 million on the gubernatorial campaign and I tend to agree. Here are a couple of great nuggets:

The decision by Christopher Gabrieli to refuse public funds to avoid the spending limits that come with them is fresh evidence of how dysfunctional the campaign financing system has become in Massachusetts.

It isn’t fair to just pile on Gabrieli, afterall other luminaries such as Reed Hillman and Kerry Healey have opted out as well. The departure of Gabrieli, et al is an indication of how far we have to go if we want to ever get out elections back in check. It is notable that the two major candidates opting our are uber-wealthy, it appears that some feel it is possible to buy your way to the top.

This is what the repeal of the Clean Elections Law has wrought — a self-selecting system in which only the rich and the wired have access to the ballot in Massachusetts. The decision of Patrick and Reilly to accept public financing has no practical effect. Because Gabrieli opted out, he gets to set the spending limit, no matter how preposterous, for all three candidates. Unless they intend to commit political suicide, they will try to match Gabrieli check for check.

Finneran left a terrible legacy but few things demonstrate his DINO tendancies more accurately than his role in cutting the knees out on Clean Elections. We had an opportunity in this state, a real opportunity, to lead the nation in dramatically reducing the amount of money influencing our elections and we let a dirt bag like Finneran get his way. I agree with McNamara that with the exit of the clean elections law we can expect to contiue this race to the bottom. However, I disagree that Reilly and Patrick’s choice to opt in has no practical effect. I think it makes them both look good.  That is a practical effect for each candidate.  Plus they get a share of the money which both could use.

However my favorite line in the entire piece comes from Scott Harshbarger who said:

We have a situation where the Democratic Party is mobilizing its millionaires instead of mobilizing its members.

How true.

June 6, 2006

Gov Candidates All Denounce Fare Hike

by @ 8:34 am. Filed under Democrats, Massachusetts, Transportation, Governor '06

The Herald’s Daily Briefing is reporting that all three gov candidates have come out against the proposed fare hike by the MBTA. It is nice to know that before the mud starts flying that these guys can agree on something. If the T offered better service perhaps such a fee would be warranted but they just keep playing the same song whose refrain insists that this hike will finally bring the service we all deserve. I think it may be time to throw that tired line out the window and actually start doing something to improve T service.

Bogus Gabrieli Statement

by @ 7:54 am. Filed under Democrats, Massachusetts, Campaign Finance Reform, Governor '06

Yesterday both Patrick and Reilly stated that they would opt in for public financing and, as expected, Gabrieli choose not to accept the financing. Personally I think this is a shame. I laid out the reasons why I felt the candidates should accept the financing yesterday. But Gabrieli has decided to add insult to injury. Here is a statement by Gabs on the subject:

These laws were not designed for any of the current candidates for governor, all who have either vast personal wealth or huge campaign war chests. It seems to me there are better uses of taxpayer dollars.

Better use of taxpayer dollar? If I am correct the make up of this $750,000 comes from the volutnary contributions people make when filing their taxes which means it is going for the exact use I want the money to when I contribute. Secondly, this is the best use of the funds. Instead of getting a candidate that can just dump his ridiculous wealth on the primary I can get an equal playing field for all of the candidates. That is what I would prefer. Can’t Gabrieli come up with something better for his reasoning?

June 5, 2006

Reilly and Patrick Accept Public Money

by @ 6:46 pm. Filed under Democrats, Massachusetts, Election '06, Tim Murray

As is being widely reported, both Patrick and Reilly have accpted public financing.  This means it is up to Gabrieli to now set the ceiling as to how much can be spent in this primary.  I think the total given my Gabrieli on Friday will pretty much prepare us all for how ugly this primary is going to be.  If Gabrieli picks some off the wall figure like $15 million we can expect that the primary will not be pretty and that Gabs plans on just pouring his personal wealth into the race.  Remember, if Gabrieli wins the primary this means that the Dems are out $750,000.  Now this won’t be a big deal if Gabrieli promised to spend oh say $5 million or so of his own money in the general election.

On a related note, I emailed the Goldberg campaign today to see if they would accept the pledge I sought earlier.  I have yet to hear back from the campaign.  As far as I know none of the lieutenant governor campaigns have made an official announcement as to their intentions.  I am confident, however, that both the Murray and Silbert campaigns will follow the route of Reilly and Patrick.  What does anyone else think, should Goldberg accept my challenge and promise to write a check for $750,000?

Public Financing and the LG Candidates

by @ 12:36 pm. Filed under Democrats, Massachusetts, Campaign Finance Reform, Tim Murray, LG Race '06

There appears to be more strategy then I originally thought regarding the public financing. The lieutenant governor race actually has a huge role in the strength or weakness of our ticket on the day after the primary. See if you can follow along because it gets a little loopy.

I didn’t realize that the LG candidates also face the quesiton of public financing. As is likely to occur Murray and Silbert will most likely opt in to the public financing. However Goldberg is like Gabrieli in that she has a ton of personal wealth to draw on. If all three of the LG candidates opt in the spending limit for the LG race will be $750,000. Goldberg spent more than that on the run up to the convention so it is likely that she will not want to restrain herself to that amount in the primary(especially with over a million dollars in the bank right now). Here is the rub. If Goldberg opts out and ultimately wins the primary she will cost the Democratic ticket $750,000. How? Well Reilly and Patrick are likely to opt in to the financing system but we all know that Gabrieli will not. If either Patrick or Reilly win the primary (we know Gabrieli won’t) and they get put on the ticket with Goldberg then the ticket is not entitled to more public financing because the LG candidate did not take the public money. This loss, as I said, would be to the tune of $750,000. Can we afford this loss?

So for those of you who aren’t decided in the LG race ask yourself if strategically we can afford Goldberg? To the Goldberg campaign I ask you this: if you opt out of public financing will you publicly pledge that should you win the primary you will write a check to the ticket you are on for $750,000?

Feingold and Warner Impress New Hampshire

by @ 10:49 am. Filed under Democrats, National, Election '08

Russ Feingold was up in New Hampshire and Maine this weekend speaking to the Dem Party conventions in each state (too bad he didn’t make it here). Mark Warner was also there. Salon has a great write up about the speeches of both. One especially interesting note was that the author of the article, Walter Shapiro, thought that both were more “adept at this stage than their counterparts were four years ago.” I think this bodes well for the Democratic Party. Both Feingold and Warner are leading candidates (whatever that is worth at this very early stage in the game) in their respective “wings” of the party which means that we are at the very minimum more likely to have strong candidates than we did in 2004. Because I am biased for Russ I would also like to point out that apparently Russ was the more favored and energizing speaker of the two. He got more applause and ovations than Warner.  The Concord Monitor also has a good article on the speeches.

To Accept Or Not To Accept

by @ 9:25 am. Filed under Democrats, Massachusetts, Election Reform, Election '06, Social Policy

Now that the conventions are over the primary race has begun which means all of the campaigns (except for maybe the Gabrieli campaign) need to start thinking about their next wave of fundraising. All of the campaigns must make a decision by tomorrow on whether to accept a slice of the $750,000 voluntary public finance pie. Should all of the candidates opt in to this program they will share, in equal amounts, the purse as well as agree to limit their spending in the primary to $1.5 million. However, should just one of the candidates not opt in then the $1.5 million limit is no more. Instead the campaign(s) opting out have until Friday to submit what they think they will spend and the highest amount then becomes the spending limit for the campaign(s) that still choose to opt in to the system.

So the big question is should a campaign opt in? I would like to encourage all of the candidates to take the public financing. Let me spell out my reasons why:

First, I just think it makes the Democrats look good. Campaigns are tricky in that they require dual focus, we cannot just keep our eye on the task of getting our preferred candidate out of the primary but we must also keep our eye on the ultimate goal: getting a Democrat elected in November. If all of the campaigns use the public financing now they make a strong statement against the monied interests that are ravaging our electoral system.

Second, it saves everyone much needed cash for the general election (again, except for Gabrieli who will spend whatever he needs to from his vast personal wealth). Now this argument isn’t neccessarily persuasive because it makes no sense to save money for the general election when clearly two of the three candidates will not be going on to the general election and I admit some faulty logic there. That said it will help the eventual nominee conserve resources and put the Democrats as a whole in a better position to compete against Healey.

Thirdly, public financing is better for the voters. If the candidates accept the voluntary money the playing field is dramatically leveled giving the voters a much better frame in which to fairly judge each candidate. This argument is really aimed at Gabrieli. I don’t like to be a cynic but I think it is pretty darn clear that Gabrieli bought his way on to the ballot. He had no operation whatsoever but his $2.5 million in commercials allowed him to get his message out to the undecided delegates. He has proven in previous elections he has no problem spending vast sums of his personal wealth in losing endeavors. If Gabrieli is allowed to use this same strategy in the gubernatorial campaign he will be able to over-state his position in the race and negate his, at least this point in the race, miniscule support. The voters deserve to judge the candidates on the merits, not on the size of their wallet.

From the campaign’s perspective $1.5 million isn’t that much money to run a primary campaign on. I know there are a lot of political reasons to not accept the funds but if any of these campaigns are truly interested in reform they need to start by taking the neccessary leap and demonstrate some leadership on the issue. Anyone else have any thoughts?

June 4, 2006

Convention Results and My Thoughts

by @ 6:06 pm. Filed under Democrats, Massachusetts, Election '06

Check out David and Charley’s impressions of the convention as they have already beaten me to the punch. First I want to thank Cyndi Roy for making my convention experience ROCK! Cyndi is the communications director for the Mass Dems and I think it was very kind of her and the Party to give little old me full press privileges. Because of this I had a truly unique experience and got to meet a lot of people.  More on the flip…

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Fear Wins, But Only If We Let It

by @ 2:14 pm. Filed under Democrats, Massachusetts, Election '06

Fear is what will bring victory for Tom Reilly in September. As was inevitable, the press is starting to draw comparisons between Patrick and Howard Dean. Many have been quick to immediately dismiss the convention victory, frankly the entire convention, as nothing but a lefty lovefest for their guy Deval. The cynics promptly point out that the delegates in Worcester represented only about 1% of the voters likely to show up in September. And so begins, or rather continues, the fear mongering that is the Reilly’s biggest selling point.

Tom Reilly can only be elected if people ignore that voice within them that is clamoring for something different, that wants nothing more than to believe in their neighbors and the notion that a better tomorrow is best found by engaging in the world around us, by reclaiming our tomorrow. Tom Reilly wins when we start bandying about that silly, meaningless word: electability. The cynics and nay-sayers would have us believe that a person promising hope and opportunity, backed by a grassroots effort now exceeding 5,000 individuals cannot connect with the “average” voter and cannot therefore deliver victory and hence proving that candidates unelectability. If we believe in this formula of electability we allow our hope to be silenced and fear wins. Electability is not a formula predetermined by pundits. Tom Reilly is the pundits definition of electability based on generic factors such as money in the bank, name recognition, and generic moderation. Success in this race hinges on our ability and readiness to redefine electability. If we give in to all of the time tested stereotypes of who can and cannot be elected then we allow others to determine who wins our races because we give them the power, we allow our fear of change to win and in the end we lose. Deval Patrick is something different. He does not fit into tired and worn categories but this does not seal his fate. The definition of electability is whatever the voters want it to be; we can rebuff the talking heads, pundits, and consultants and show them all what our definition of electability is.

The only thing that stands between what we want and what we get is our fear. Deval Patrick is offering something different, he is offering true change. If we give in to our fear there is not doubt that we will end up with Tom Reilly as our next governor and 4 more years of the same, or maybe, at best, something slightly better. Patrick’s vision of hope and opportunity is harder to sell because it requires change and a confrontation with fear and that is why Deval Patrick has always faced an uphill battle for the corner office.

June 2, 2006

Blogging The Convention and Other Thoughts

by @ 12:39 pm. Filed under Democrats, Massachusetts

I am super excited for the convention! After being at the event last night with Obama and Patrick I am definitely ready to work hard for Patrick to make sure that the change he started spread through the entire state and sweeps Patrick and Murray into the corner office! I am going to be liveblogging the convention as much as possible. There will be all sorts of fun shindigs tonight and I am not sure of wifi access. I am lucky enough to have a Treo and bluetooth enabled Macbook which will allow me to rig up my own hotspot on the fly but I don’t want to be the only guy hudled in the corner blogging! Tomorrow will also be tough because I am going to be fighting hard to make sure that Murray gets 50+% tomorrow on the first ballot! But never fear, I will be adding my perspective as much as time allows and it should be interesting.  Keep reading…

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June 1, 2006

Rep. Lynch Endorses Murray

by @ 12:08 pm. Filed under Democrats, Massachusetts, Election '06, Tim Murray

Adding even more to the momentum I talked about yesterday with the local IBEW endorsement now Rep. Stephen Lynch has seen what so many of the rest of us have seen, that Tim Murray is far and away the best person for the position of Lieutenant Governor. I think Rep. Lynch’s words characterize Mayor Murray best: “Tim Murray has spent his entire career fighting for issues [working families] care about most.” That is one of the many reasons I am supporting Mayor Murray. Here is the campaign’s release:

WORCESTER, MA – Timothy P. Murray, Mayor of Worcester, today received the endorsement of U.S. Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA) in his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor.

In his endorsement of Murray, Congressman Lynch stated, “Working families are the backbone of the Democratic Party, and Tim Murray has spent his entire career fighting for the issues they care about most. Because of his leadership, the people of Worcester now have a first rate education system, higher quality health care, and a stronger economy. Tim will bring his record of achievement, vision and courage to the Democratic ticket and he will be an extraordinary asset on Beacon Hill.”

Mayor Murray said in response, “I am privileged to receive the endorsement of such a strong leader and member of our congressional delegation. Congressman Lynch understands the issues facing working families across the Commonwealth. I know he and the other members of our delegation work hard to make sure our interests are represented in

For a complete list of endorsements and more information on the candidate, please visit www.timmurray.org.

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There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.


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