Left In Lowell

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November 21, 2013

Going Nuclear

by at 12:10 pm.

Right now, after a few more tries at getting a judicial nominee through and being filibustered, Senator Reid is finally done with the obstructionism and is going nuclear on the filibuster for judicial nominees.

The current vacancy crisis of our judiciary is often unremarked by the media, but it has very big consequences for the justice system we all live under. Republicans want to claim Obama is too slow to nominate, but with them using the filibuster to block so many nominees - qualified, good nominations, we’re not talking about political hacks, and even the Republicans can’t always find a good objection other than it being something Obama initiated - our judicial system has been hampered for years.

The concept of “going nuclear” on the filibuster was, of course, invented by Republicans over the few filibusters of some very shady Bush nominees (people who were not qualified…remember, Bush at first wanted Harriet freaking Miers for the SCOTUS, and even his own party was like, wahhhhh?). But now the media is forgetting their history (shocker) and is saying this is a Democratic idea. Well, no, actually, thanks for playing.

But if this is the only way to fill our judicial vacancies and actually get the people’s work done, let’s do it. If and when Republicans become the majority, these rules will apply to Dems as a minority as well. Let each party own their own damn governing without a filibuster, if the rules are going to be abused in such a manner.

PS - why yes, I am streaming C-SPAN right now, if you must ask…

Update the vote to change the rules just passed. For all judicial nominees except SCOTUS, a simple majority will confirm them! Finally, a Senate that will (somewhat) function.

October 30, 2013

Local Politic’s “Internet Problem”

by at 8:47 am.

Some politicians just never learn:

For those of you that need some background - Renee is a political chum of mine. We kinda agree on certain political principles, I would say. But, I think we express our political will in very different ways. So, that is Renee.

Matt Vieira is a blossoming politician that can’t get out of his own way. I think it’s because he gets bad PR advice from JMatt. Er, .. um, I mean JMac. Sorry. Freudian slip.

So, now you have the context, and the back story of how I came upon this Facebook back and forth.
(more…)

October 11, 2013

“Where the @*&# is the Democratic City Committee?”

by at 10:22 pm.

I couldn’t help, but notice this … exchange:

Maybe, it stuck out, as more prominent to me, because:
- I heard Dick Howe, on City Life, last week, diss the Democratic City Committee, while sitting next to Marie Sweeney.
- I have my own bone to pick with them and their do little, other than operate a ‘conserva-Dem’ incumbent protection program, approach to organizing local Dems.
(more…)

October 6, 2013

Back To The Future?

by at 10:25 am.

Gerry Nutter laid it out, by the numbers. (I’ll provide graphs, below the fold.)

Additionally, during those years that City Manager / Administration proposed and the City Council approved the use of about $17.87 million in one time money in Free Cash, nearly $6 million per year to sustain spending levels as opposed to making necessary cuts.All while being supported by the Editor at the SUN.

In October 2006 after removing that City Manager and with the appointment of a new CFO the City discovered that the budget that was now 1/3rd under way, was rife with miscalculations. Free cash to pay for services was estimated to be $3.5 million but in the end it was -$2.2 million, a difference of $5.7 million. Other local receipts were over estimated by about $2 million. The FY06 budget ran out of money for utility bills and they were moved into FY07 for payment making the already inadequate utility account doubly so

That is all fact, it supports and highlights the need for professional management along with a strong balanced council. Combined with the positive numbers I showed last week highlighting the upward direction the city is heading, why is this election being focused on stupid, petty garbage like OLD vs. New Lowell.

This week’s “The Column” opted to be cute by half with this treatment.

MONTHS AGO, outgoing Mayor Patrick Murphy held an event at The Old Court. Those who attended, including one veteran politician, observed that Murphy packed the room with young, exuberant 20-somethings whose apparent desire to get involved in politics signaled a “new Lowell,” an awakening of sorts.

I’ve heard the WCAP ‘infomercial’ try to lay the coining of this meme at the feet of Dick Howe, Jr. Of course, JMac only looks in the mirror, so he really won’t know where the phrasing comes from. Gerry Nutter puts it on an attention seeking local media, which includes us ‘big mouthed bloggers.’ I concur. The ‘new/old’ meme has been floating around for several years now. It spun off the chatter about ‘blow ins & grow ins,’ etc. It’s clear, from the way The Column above sidesteps it, that they didn’t do their homework. But, opted, rather, to parrot JMac’s empty headed contortion. JMac & Campi come up short. Funny, in my mind, was the word choice, ” veteran politician,” by Campi. Who hates Dick, Jr. only a little less than he hates Kendall Wallace, to the point Campi will only admit the existence of Dick’s Blog, if he absolutely has to.

Dick, btw, has given witness to Gerry Nutter’s framing of the corporate; desperate to survive, via, bargain basement fire sale journalistic ethics; local media:

In his Sunday Notes today, Gerry Nutter says that all the negativity about city government coming from the Sun and WCAP is designed to suppress voter turnout on November 5. I agree.

xxx

About those City Finance graphs:
(more…)

September 15, 2013

All In The Family (Update: Hayden Blurts to Rourke’s Defense)

by at 2:29 pm.

Update: As I was saying, we should look out for this sort of thing.


Duly noted.
xxx


“Those Were The Days”
by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse

Boy, the way Glen Miller played. Songs that made the hit parade.
Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days.
Didn’t need no welfare state. Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great. Those were the days.
And you know who you were then, girls were girls and men were men.
Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
People seemed to be content. Fifty dollars paid the rent.
Freaks were in a circus tent. Those were the days.
Take a little Sunday spin, go to watch the Dodgers win.
Have yourself a dandy day that cost you under a fin.
Hair was short and skirts were long. Kate Smith really sold a song.
I don’t know just what went wrong. Those Were The Days.

(more…)

August 29, 2013

Tim Murray on Michael McLaughlin’s Civil Settlement

by at 1:57 pm.

From Facebook -

Regarding today’s agreement with the Attorney General’s Office:
I am glad that this civil settlement brings to a close a process that I initiated in January of 2012 when I asked for an investigation by the Office of Campaign and Political Finance based upon reports that Michael McLaughlin was improperly soliciting funds for my committee.

I asked for the investigation because I have always sought to play by the rules and run my political committee within the letter and the spirit of the law. This review has been comprehensive and we have fully cooperated with the authorities every step of the way.

As I have said from the start, I never asked Michael McLaughlin to solicit funds for my committee, because I know that would have been wrong. The finding that Michael McLaughin violated the law by asking people to donate to my committee is not shocking today given what we now know about his character and his criminal actions. As a result of his criminal activity, many people have been hurt, most importantly many good people in Chelsea who simply sought dignified and affordable housing for themselves and their families. If I knew in 2006 what I know today about Mr. McLaughlin, I would have never had any association with him at all.

Nevertheless, Mr. McLaughlin’s behavior does not change the fact that I am ultimately responsible for administrative oversights made by my committee. While neither I nor any member of my committee was aware that Mr. McLaughlin was making such solicitations, we should have been more vigilant in monitoring the situation.

This investigation also found inappropriate fundraising activity by a state highway department employee. Again, I should have been more vigilant.

I have certainly learned from these mistakes and I hope that other elected officials, candidates for office and their political committees can as well.

This civil settlement and purging of the funds is a welcomed conclusion and I look forward to continuing to work hard in my role as President of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, to help businesses and institutions grow, create jobs and improve the quality of life for people in Central Massachusetts and the Commonwealth at large.

June 28, 2013

Let’s Preempt a Repeat, Please

by at 7:49 am.

All the other bloggers are chiming in on the Coakley gubernatorial “trial balloon” reported in the Globe, so I might has well have a say. The internets are exploding with a collective “NOOOOOOOOO!” and we all know why.

Susan of Below Boston has a particularly pointed take:

If Martha Coakley is ‘considering running’ for MA Governor because some of her former campaign staff are ‘giddy’ because they just came off working in the Ed Markey campaign which was ‘successful’, and she’s getting phone calls from some of them saying :’We know how to run a successful campaign now Martha!, Let’s try again, come on! It will be better this time, you’ll see’.

She better not seriously pick up these calls from these jokers – some of the activists on the South Shore had to ‘endure’ remnants of her campaign staff, who, for some totally unknown reason, but most possibly in my opinion it was because this state is in election overload and the truly BEST campaign operatives decided to take a ‘break’ after November of ’12 and the Coakley remnants found themselves with the opportunity to do something that most people who had previously failed so spectacularly seldom get a chance to do: get a second chance to prove themselves.

A few proved themselves alright – proved again why Martha Coakley lost, and in a few short weeks managed to alienate an entire region South of Boston for Ed Markey.

Ouch.

Dick Howe also has a post up as well, with more general analysis, where he’s a little more supportive. I’m wondering how he would react to Susan’s take, because not only did Coakley lose to Brown spectacularly, but her campaign was horrendous, and do we have any evidence she’d change any of the horses midstream??

Here’s my advice, Martha: if you want to stay “popular,” stay where you are. You’re a prosecutor, Jim, not a politician. Prosecutors do not, contrary to popular CW (common wisdom), make the jump successfully to higher offices like Governor or Senator. Reilly failed, Harshbarger failed, and you will fail (again), but you might take the Democratic party down with you when you do (like Harshbarger did). STAY HOME. Run for reelection as AG. DO NOT by any stretch of the imagination equate the excitement of your gawd-awful former campaign staff with any sort of activist excitement, cuz, we been there, we done that, and I know a SLEW of activists who would happily work against your campaign should you jump in.

Me, included.

PS/Update/Addendum: And as for the Grossman aspect, which Dick talks about in his post…well, let’s just say that he looks kinda shady going after endorsements from Panagiotakos and Murphy around here. Whatever candidate they think is great is someone I probably will not. Or, to put it another way…I want to run. Screaming.

June 4, 2013

F.U.D., Shit House Lawyers & Big Mouths (Updated)

by at 10:48 am.

Update: Put them all together and you get “Bob LeBlanc joined the Morning Show.” h/t to Teddy Panos for putting this ’stuff ‘ on line.


F.U.D.: fear, uncertainty and doubt. Also known as scare tactics, either accomplished by threat or making the opponent doubt his standpoint. Not only used in lawsuits, but also in politics and military propaganda.

shit house lawyer: an unqualified person who gives legal advice. Usually distorting the advice to favor a desired outcome.

big mouth: used in reference to somebody who likes to spread gossip, or who cannot keep a secret

The dominoes are tumbling. Everyone has an opinion about Wally Bayliss’ ill gotten goods. This thing is still playing out. And it won’t stop with Wally, (the poor bastard).

From the Blog of Record:

LOWELL — The city is targeting the Retirement Board, an autonomous city agency, for nearly $100,000 the city paid in retiree health benefits to former License Commission member Walter Bayliss Jr., who the current board has determined was improperly granted retirement in 2006.

In a letter submitted to the Retirement Board last Friday, City Solicitor Christine O’Connor says the city paid approximately $97,000 towards Bayliss’ health-insurance premiums from 2006 to the present.

“But for the Board inappropriately allowing Mr. Bayliss into the retirement system in 1995, and further allowing him to retire in 2006, the City would have never incurred such expenses,” O’Connor wrote.

“This letter is to inform the board that the city intends to hold the board responsible for its actions in this matter as well as for any and all damage that the city has and may incur as a result of such actions.”

In the letter, O’Connor highlights that the board approved Bayliss’ entrance into the retirement system in 1995 based on documents saying he had served on the License Commission.

Bayliss had in fact served on the Lowell Memorial Auditorium Board of Trustees from 1984 to 1995 and was not compensated.

Level heads will prevail. The Tuesday Night Kabuki, City Life & the Blogs will all go quite, right after the November election.

And, it will all come down to these:
Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC)

General Laws >> PART I >> TITLE IV >> CHAPTER 32

I’ll see you on the other side.

May 31, 2013

Let’s Ask Teddy Panos (Updated)

by at 11:34 am.

Hey, Teddy.

Your ass is in a knot over welfare fraud. (Yes. I do listen.) And, you are a proponent of the big government intrusion of mandating citizens present photo identification when they go to exercise control over government, via ballots. As social engineering is an incrementalist’s game, whether progressive or classic liberal, you should be happy as a clam to hear this:

From the Boston Dead Tree Rag:

It’s time to slap photos on EBT cards and crank up oversight of the state’s “broken” welfare system before more dead people can collect benefits, an incensed House Speaker Robert DeLeo told the Herald yesterday.

“Why do we have to let the wound fester? We have to stop this fraud, and we have to stop it now,” DeLeo said, adding he was “appalled” by a state audit released Tuesday that showed $2.4 million paid to more than 1,100 dead people and $27 million to live recipients collecting EBT benefits out of state, including in Alaska and Hawaii.

DeLeo said House proposals to put photos on EBT cards, create a Bureau of Program Integrity and allow the Inspector General to monitor the embattled agency “are needed now more than ever,” and promises by the Patrick administration that they are addressing the problems aren’t enough.

No?

For sure, if EBT cards are printed with a photo id of the benefit holder, an idea I fully support; then this will be a valid id. Thus, should the photo id intrusion into our ballot system of checks and balances move forward, those of us guarding against voter suppression will be partially relieved.

I love ‘checks and balances.’ It’s the wisest creation of The Founders.

Update: David Bernstein, of Boston Magazine, did a nice job sorting through the spin factor around the Auditor’s report. Such revelations will not help Teddy regain his composure. Maybe, it will help you, as it did me. Please proceed below the fold for an outtake.
(more…)

May 20, 2013

A Love Letter, Shady Lowell Style

by at 10:05 pm.

Found this note in my Facebook messages. The author is known to me.

Keep me off your trashy blog.

I do not want my name appearing in print on that piece of shit blog you write.

Out of respect, I will limit my future entries, with regards to the offended, to only passages from the Blog of Record. While I won’t argue the “Eye of the Beholder” aspect of my blogging being a ‘piece of shit,’ I do take exception to the notion that the Sunday Column is any less so.

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