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Left In Lowell » 2012 » October » 17

Left In Lowell

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October 17, 2012

Can I Use the Word Now, Please?

by at 6:44 pm.

Fake outrage abounded at my use of the phrase “douchebag liar” when referring to Scott Brown. But seriously. The term 100% applies. Case in point:

During a question and answer session, one firefighter commented that both campaigns are publishing advertisements featuring family members of victims of asbestos-related illness. He asked Brown how Warren gets the victims’ family members to go on her commercial.

“A lot of them are paid,” Brown said. “We hear that maybe they pay actors. Listen, you can get surrogates and go out and say your thing. We have regular people in our commercials. No one is paid. They are regular folks that reach out to us and say she is full of it.”

One of the ads, entitled “Ashamed,” features Kingston resident Ginny Jackson, whose husband died of mesothelioma after working at a Quincy shipyard that was filled with asbestos.

Reached through the Warren campaign, Jackson responded to Brown’s comments, calling them offensive.

“A lot of them are paid…We hear that maybe they pay actors.” What. A. Jerk.

This is ironic coming from a campaign which is paying black people - including some who are homeless - what “works out to” $8/hour to show up to rallies in Brown tee-shirts, don’t you think??

I’ll be working a canvass this weekend. Why not join me? There’s a GOTV training at 9am with a kickoff by Rep. Niki Tsongas, then canvassing. (Sign up for both at those links. Like, right now. Yes, you. I want to see you there.)

H/T @elizabethforma Twitter feed.

Update: Oh, so now he’s apologized (in typical lukewarm fashion). It’d be nice if he stopped freakin’ doing and saying things to apologize for. A REAL apology, though, would be to pull his misleading, lying ads attacking Warren’s asbestos and other law work, and apologizing for those as well.

This guy can’t lose this race fast enough for me. Apparently, the voters are thinking the same thing. That poll may be an outlier (no one else has yet shown Warren 9 points ahead) but she consistently goes above 50% in several recent polls. Good signs, but we have less than 3 weeks to go in this election - get to work!

Are You Inactive on the Voter Rolls?

by at 6:11 pm.

You could be. This WBUR report has the details:

Thousands of registered voters could show up at the polls on Election Day only to be told that they have been put on the inactive voter list.

Voters on the inactive list can still vote, but it’s a time-consuming process. It involves showing ID and filling out an affidavit. If you don’t have your ID, you have to fill out a provisional ballot that may be counted later.

The problem is especially acute in Haverhill, where city officials fear major problems at the polls.


In Lowell, the problem is even bigger. Normally, the city has 12,000 to 13,000 inactive voters. This year, the list surged to 21,000. But because the Lowell elections office failed to send a follow-up card as required, the secretary of State and the city solicitor intervened to place most of those voters back on the rolls. The city solicitor is also taking steps to publicize the problem, and she promises an investigation after the election.

I actually have had to deal with this. If you forgot to fill in your little city census thingie, you can be placed as inactive on the voter rolls even if, like me, you show up to every bloody election. It’s not that big a deal, as mentioned - with a photo ID like a license and a few minutes to fill out the affidavit, you’ll be able to vote. And in Lowell it appears most names have been placed back into active until further notice. However, I recommend you bring an ID with you to vote in case, and have a few minutes on hand to address it if it happens. It’s unlikely to, but you never know.

H/T Marie on Facebook.

Serious People for Warren

by at 4:24 pm.

I just returned from a roundtable event with Elizabeth Warren here in Lowell at Mambo Grill, focused on women-owned small businesses, where I got to both be at the table, and also tweet my little heart out. (Dick Howe Jr, sitting nearby, was likely feeling a bit smug over that.) ;) If you happened to catch my Twitter stream this afternoon, you would have been treated to quotes and photos from the event.

The local visit is part of the rolling out of the latest Warren endorsement - not only was Elizabeth joined by first-Congressperson-to-endorse Rep. Niki Tsongas, but also by Sheila Bair, former chair of the FDIC, a Republican who has never endorsed or campaigned for a Democrat but has decided to wade into this race. A G.W. Bush appointee, Bair worked with Warren on issues of stopping foreclosures and helping consumers during the financial meltdown, then also when Warren had oversight of the TARP program and the formation of the CFPB.

In the toss-around that is the rather tired old “bipartisan endorsement” game in the Commonwealth these days, why should you care about Sheila Bair’s? Because unlike other endorsements, this one has gravitas. It might not be a recognizable name to you, but in terms of really knowing Warren and her work, in places where it matters to average people, you can’t beat this former Chair of the FDIC.

It was great to hear Bair in person, and her reasons for endorsing Warren that go beyond party lines. For her, it’s about Warren’s real, tangible work on behalf of consumers, the middle class, homeowners, and squaring the financial system so that it’s fair for all. She said, specifically, that Warren is not anti-bank or anti-business, but rather is for an equal playing field for citizens and businesses alike.

Oh hell, I was on fire on my smartphone, I’m just going to include my own tweets here:

[Apologies, previous Tweet has a smartphone-induced typo in Bair’s name.]

When a reporter asked the obligatory question about bipartisaniness, Bair responded with concrete examples of why Elizabeth Warren was the one who would do the real work:

Two things of gleeful personal note: the silly press people had to ask Warren about the asbestos lawsuit thing, again, which I imagine has to be tiresome beyond belief, but in her response, Warren cited the asbestos union, the many victims, and the victims’ lawyers who’ve expressed dismay over Brown’s lies about the case. Glad to have helped with that.

Second, I got to ask a roundtable question, and I was debating talking about DBE issues (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, a designation for federal DOT work as a women- or minority-owned business, for which my business was certified for several years) but…I decided to air out a long-standing frustration I have with a simple and obvious way that Dems can combat the “deregulate and untax businesses and they’ll grow!” idiocy from Republicans. I mentioned my own personal experience - that it’s the DEMAND from customers, not taxes, which are the arbiters of whether or not I expand as a business. If I have more work than I can handle, I hire. If it dries up, I shrink. Taxes and regulation have very little to do with it. If I can make money by expanding, of course I will!

This has been annoying the hell out of me - it’s such a simple, easily understood concept Dems could use to whack their Ayn Randian Republican opponents over the head with in debates and on the stump. Warren was all over it - citing the jobs bills that Brown voted against and helped to kill, which would have increased spending money in the hands of the employed, indirectly helping even my B-to-B business, nevermind the construction and infrastructure jobs bill which, as a WBE/DBE at the time, might have helped me land some really big contracts. Which would have forced me to hire, in all likelihood.

[Note to LiL readers: if this sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve said it before, and certainly the Mr. has said it before, to whom I give original credit.]

Anyway, I was grateful to finally get that little gem out in a meaningful way. I hope it is useful to her and she uses it! Now I just need to find a roundtable with Obama that I can crash…

Brown & Nangle Think You Are Stupid

by at 12:03 pm.

It was like shooting fish in a barrel.


State Rep. David Nangle on Saturday became the second prominent Lowell Democrat to back U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, making what he called a last-minute decision to endorse the Republican at his annual fundraiser.

Nangle made the announcement at an annual fundraiser his cousin Phil Nangle has organized since 1998. David Nangle said he was helping to prepare for this year’s event at Lenzi’s Millhouse Restaurant when he made his decision.

“Scott didn’t know I was going to do that,” Nangle said. “I had been giving it some thought over time.”

Brown returned the favor, endorsing Nangle, who faces a challenge from Lowell Republican Martin Burke.

During a brief speech, Brown said he met Democrats, Republican and independents at the event, and that he didn’t see the endorsement coming.

“I didn’t expect that,” Brown told Nangle. “You’re a good man and you fight very hard for your district. That’s the beauty of politics and friendship, and in my eyes friendship transcends politics every time.
(bold mine)

Come to your own conclusion. But, if I’m Scott Brown’s politcal director, I plan on using Dave Nangle’s endorsement to gain a footing with as many “movers, shakers, hacks, bubblites & insiders” as I can. So, I prearrange with Nangle a “last minute,” “impromtu” endorsement in front of Nangle’s loyal clique. Y’know, like the crowd that would be gathered at Nangle’s ANNUAL event.

It’s the perfect setting. Figuring the place is stacked with “hooray for me Dems” that take as much as the Party is giving, while giving back as little as possible and other lean Brown folks. The unfortunate true blue Democrat, poor bastards that are now stuck with glad handing with the faux moderate, who will vote for Mitch McConnell to be Senate President should the GOP take the majority, won’t be able to say shit because Brown is there under Nangle’s wing.

I’m imagining that Jim Campanini, Ted Panos and Warren Shaw will have a different spin on Nangle corralling his “friends” for Brown to ply. I imagine their spin will go like this:

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