Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mass shorfall... 200 mill and growing

I'm sure you guys and gals have heard, Massachusetts revenue is expected to be 200 million lower than projected for this past month... Help me Rhonda...

Many in the know.. had predicted a major shortfall and while we in Mass have much better economic recovery news lately, homes sales are up and unemployment is bad, but not as bad as it could be. Look for more cuts in Public Safety, education, local aid and Health and Human service.

All this is happening and Coakleys office has been giving out huge raises and her overall budget has increased by huge amounts. Her defense to this is, that she is hiring more attorneys to sue as many companies as she can to bring in more money to the state.... the question is... where does all that money go... and it's considerable money. Not enough to bail us out... but it's a small fortune.

Joe Kennedy is running?

I'm sure all of you have read that a Joe Kennedy, a libertarian, not related to the Kennedy clan, has thrown in his hat for senate. He has to gather the same amount of signatures and has little funding, BUT.. consider the fact that in the past 10 years, many voters who have not paid any attention to the news, have voted for a deceased legislator, an indicted elected official and supported candidates for name recognition only.

If this Joe were to get on the ballot, I think, many would not know the difference.

Check out his page and platform.....

He speaks volumes to me. Can he as an outsider be good for Mass?

Lets see dirt

As expected, the media will have a filed day with the large amount of candidates for Senate and governor. And this is just the beginning.

Mihos gets whacked for 22,00 in penalties from the IRS for not paying 143K in taxes on time in 2006. A lien has been put on his mansion on the Cape.

Voting records of the candidates has come to light. Pagulia has not voted much since 2000, Coakley and Capuano have voted always.

Coakley is looking for all powerful women in the country to back her run for senate. Not surprising she is doing this and while I agree strongly, more women should be elected to office, they shouldn't be elected just because they are women.

All the candidates have until Oct 25th to gather 10K signatures to be on the ballot. For all of them, time is not on their side and with little money, candidates who don't have war chests to rely on, this may slim down the field by the end on the month.

Fixing Beacon Hill

A group of like mined individuals is seeking to restore some credibility to the Hill. The folks at has had a constitutional amendment initiative petition approved by the State. The proposed amendment, among other good things, would have the Speaker of the House and the Senate president be elected in a secret ballot. Also, allowing the speaker and senate president to each appoint 4 leadership positions, requiring both bodies to elect in secret a committee on committee's, establish rules of the chamber, keep minutes on all votes and make public this information.

I think this will be a no brainer for all voters in the state. If this were to pass, many of the problems we have with the Hill would be eliminated.

Just when we thought we had made progress in ethics reform, the Legislature voted to delay new rules designed to limit gift giving by lobbyists till Jan 1. They also voted yesterday to exempt as gifts, commercially reasonable loans, inheritances, gifts from family members and political contributions.

They do want they want ........ to serve themselves.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Deval picks Paul Kirk

So now the D's have 60 votes in the Senate. Let's see what happens now with Health Care Reform... and the hand full of critical items before the constantly bickering body.

Beacon Hill as promised, both House and Senate... NOT by overwhelming numbers approved the switch that allowed Deval to pick a temporary replacement for Ted.

Time to move on to the elections in January. The field of candidates continues to grow.. on all sides.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Did you know... some legislators pay no taxes on their state house salary?

I only read this in the paper last week. Beacon Hill Roll Call is the most voter friendly, informative news that can only be found in the paper.

1/3 third of our elected 200 reps pay no federal taxes on their State House salary. Those who live over 50 miles are eligible for a special tax break. The 1981 federal law allows them to take a daily wage for 365 days a year as a deduction, whether or not they actually go to the State House or stay home. The daily rate is between 267 and 320 per day, or yearly 87 to 116K.

Health Insurance for 330,00 thousand current and former employee's, their families and dependents are offered 9 health insurance plans fro the Group Insurance Commission. The plans for family range from 971 to 1786.00 monthly. Single plans range from 404 to 755.00. If elected before June 30, 1993, the state pays 75 % of premium, if elected after June 30, 2003, the State pays 75% of premiums.

35 Dem Senators and 5 Gop Senators will get bonus this year, the legislature decided that over the past few years. Karen Spilka makes 83,639.00 as a base salary.

Our reps get an annual general expenses of 7,200.00 yearly, they do have to claim it on a 1099, but they don't have to say how they spent it.

They make out like drug lords.....

Who.. is considering a run?

Stephen Pagliuca - who only weeks ago made a bid to buy the Boston Globe - is “seriously considering,” a darkhorse bid to run for the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s vacated seat, according to a source close to the Weston Democrat.

Pagliuca’s wild card entry into the race would raise deep doubts as to whether he’ll purchase the Morrissey Boulevard broadsheet. It would also shake up a race currently dominated by well-known, experienced pols such as Attorney General Martha Coakley.

“There is a role for a credible alternative in this race,” said a source who’s discussed the campaign with Pagliuca. “He’s someone who brings a lot of experience on the economy and health care.”

A challenger to Coakley.... he certainly has the money to play, the question is, does a novice belong in the Senate to fill Ted's chair? I can't imagine what left winger would vote for him over Coakley

The I's have it

By a vote of 240 to 179, the House has spoken with a vote of disapproval for the breech of protocol displayed by Congressman Wilson last week at the Presidents address to the Joint Session. Perhaps if only the man would have apologized to the House, none of this would have happened. The blue right would have looked foolish piling on Mr. Wilson after that.

This can't help the big picture, but the left is so intrenched with being the left.. you can bet... the left will certainly retaliate.. and the beat goes on, more tea parties, millions unemployed, poverty and hunger, more soldiers die in Afghanistan and I'm not sure yet... whether health care reform will include illegal aliens.

one more reason for a third group of like minded realistic middle-of-the-roadists who are representing the general well being of this countries population.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dover review, Pam is on a roll...

Rep Richardson has filled two bills to help Framingham deal with the Dover Amendment. One bill says that the Commonwealth will reimburse the Town for lost tax revenue from tax exempt property and another would eliminate the ability of the tax exempt corporations to by pass zoning and planning departments.

All well and good, but if anyone thinks the state, who is in terrible financial shape will reimburse Framingham for over 200 tax exempt property's may need a reality shake. Even the useless former State Rep John Stasik is quoted as saying, "doesn't think her proposal will gain traction".

Framingham falls under the 5% cap by 3 tenths of a percentage point. Does this mean 2 or three more non profits could set up here?

I do believe the defination of what "educational" means is what needs to be more clearly defined. Some have tried to change Dover but are pushed back by the illusion of discrimination by the academic and social service groups, all of which heavily support the D crowd at election time.

One could call it pandering to the voter, but something must be done about Dover in this State and specifically in Framingham. If anyone wants to hear from the horses mouth, she is hosting a political open house at Annies Book Shop in the Nobscott shopping center on September 21 at 6:30 PM. The place could hold 20 people, maybe, so camp outside the night before to get a good seat.

Heckling the President

Watching Obama last night..... and hearing the "Liar" comment thrown out by a R from S. Carolina leads me to believe, no other subject to date has created such anger and disrespect as this health care reform debates.

We've entered into 4 wars, financial calamity, huge budget deficits, bail outs by the bucket loads and no one is calling the President a liar in joint session. Just talking about health care reform is bad for civility.

The field of canidates grows larger.. still

While it is disappointing not to see Joe Kennedy run, did anyone catch the salary he makes at his non profit? 535,000.00, your not making that in the Senate. Joe chickened out... for his own reasons and that's that.

The list of want-to-be's is still growing on the D senate side, Mihos has switched again and said he will run for Governor and not for the Senate, Baker is in on the R side, with perhaps Brown and a former Bush aid form Holbrook perhaps running to fill Ted's seat.

And then there's Cahill, who is bucking the system and running as the independent. Perhaps he could be the anointed leader of a movement to take back the State House in 2010.

Millions and millions will be spent from now till the elections next year and the majority of money raised will not come from working class, it will come from big business and special interests.

We will get, what they pay for.

Beacon Hill Roll Call

More on the per diems:

Richardson got 954.00 for going to work 53 days, Linsky got 1600.00 for 89 days, Sannicandro got 1300.00 for 50 days, Gregorie got 2400.00 for 94 days.

The lowest salary any new Sate Rep can make is 68,939.00 while the highest is 96,439.00

The total amount of money for per diems for Reps and Senators was 300,000.00 for this year.

Is it fair to the taxpayer for local reps to get paid to travel to Beacon Hill?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Any wonder why Health Care Reform gets so ugly?

there's lots at stake here.

Pfizer, the worlds biggest drug maker was hit with a 2.3 BILLION dollar penalty for for repeatedly cheating. They are, and continue to be promoting their products to doctors with lavish junkets. This is the 4th time the Feds have caught them cheating in the past 10 years. Now, the Feds have put in place a special monitoring by the Health and Human Service Department inspector general for 5 years. In the past 10 years, drug companies in the US have paid 11 BILLION dollars in settlements. In the latest criminal and civil case, Mass gets 15 MILLION dollars.

Six corporate whistle blowers will share 102 MILLION dollars as a reward.

And today, we learn from CNN, there are 6 different lobbyists per Senator from Health Care advocates.

Bottom line..... if these industry giants can afford to pay BILLIONS in fines for civil and criminal proceedings... then we as consumers have been paying way to much for our drugs, for way to many years. It's past the time for drug companies to be regulated.... this coming from a Libertarian...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Beacon Hill Roll Call

20 of the States 40 senators did list any days and did not request any per diems for 2009. This does not mean that those who didn't file for per diems, weren't there, it just means they didn't file for the per diems. Karen Spilka did not file for any per diems, but Scott Brown got 2,500 for 99 days, Harriett Chandler got 3,900 for 111 days, James Eldridge got 2,500 for 106 days, Richard Moore got 2,700 for 57 days, James Timilty got 1,600 for 93 days and Marian Walsh got 410.00 for 41 days.

Tax free money for traveling to work at an average salary of 61,000.00

Attendance at the State House from our reps. Richardson 98.5%. missed 3 roll calls, Sannicandro the same, Linsky missed 9, Kahn missed 15, Naughton missed 48, John Rogers missed 18. Just a handful of the reps from this area made it to work 100% of the time.

Moving Vietnam Wall... POW MIA Day

For those of you who haven't experienced the tribute to our fallen soldiers, consider heading out to Millennium Park (field C) in West Roxbury on September 17th to the 21st. A nightly ceremony will begin at 6PM.

As someone who could have gone and should have gone, I personally have so much sadness in my heart for those and their families who volunteered or were drafted and are now memorialized on the moving wall that travels around the country reminding us all of the sacrifices that so many have given.

POW MIA Day is September 18th. There are still many who are unaccounted for and here in Mass there are 39 men still to this day, unaccounted for from the Vietnam war.
There are, depending on who you believe, around 1700 still unaccounted for during the Vietnam war and only recently have we heard that two POW MIA's from the Iraq war were found, one from Mass. Some bone fragments around a US fighter jet have been uncovered in Laos and once in a while do we read about another servicemen s' family finally getting closer on their loved ones.

While our government still searches for POW MIA's, long past the time when they could have done more, as Americans, we owe it to our servicemen and to their the families to make dam sure, who ever goes off to war, is brought home.

With two wars raging now, causalities mounting, with no sense of when these conflicts will ever end, the brave men and women who go off to war, put themselves in harms way, we should never forget those who are prisoners or missing in action, ever.

Not enough water in Framingham?

I'll bet most of you have heard about Framingham's decision to go after stimulus money for tapping into some abandoned wells near the Wayland town line. The rub, if Framingham does this, 3.8 million dollars in rate increases would have to be applied to all the other Towns who are served by the MWRA, lower lake levels and threaten the Sudbury river.

Having our own water source certainly makes sense to me and I was a proponent of this years ago, after all, if the wells can be cleaned up, why not use the water right here. What I didn't consider was the amount of money other's would have to pay and the environmental impact such work would have on our community.

Let's see what the Feds and State watch dogs have to say about this.

Will Joe Kennedy run?

The big question for the day. If so, the others should just wait their turn. If not, the others, and there are many, have huge sums of money to throw at a campaign. Interestingly, the 4.5 million left in Ted's account would not be able to be used, the election laws state that the maximum is 2,000.00 that could come from Ted's war chest to help Joe. But the families worth, in the billions would not likely hinder Joe or any other family member from doing anything.

There's Coakley, Lynch, Capuono, Healy, Markey,and a host of political neanderthals just waiting for Joe to speak.

My money is on Joe. Only a Kennedy could start to fill a Kennedy's legacy.