Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Now it's with the Feds, Grand Jury looks at Probation Dept

As noted here in the past, the criminal acts, conspiracy, fraud and extortion will now be investigated by federal prosecutors.

From the Globe:
US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz has ordered probation officials to preserve all documents that could be used as evidence in the criminal probe, including e-mails, laptop files, BlackBerry text messages, and all of the agency’s paper records.

“This letter shall notify you that a federal grand jury is and has been conducting an investigation into allegations relating to violations of certain federal statutes,’’ Ortiz wrote to Acting Probation Commissioner Ronald P. Corbett Jr.

Our own AG Coakley has finally weighed in also.
News of the federal investigation comes just days after Attorney General Martha Coakley said she has assigned a team of state prosecutors to “aggressively pursue charges that might stem from bogus hiring and promotion practices at the 2,000-employee state agency.

Like the last 10 years on Beacon Hill, 2011 will begin with many trials and convictions. Beacon Hill will look considerably different in a year or so. When the facts, e mails, and testimony are brought to light, dozens of elected officials and employees will be found to be guilty of making our state look even worse than most would have predicted.

And in almost unbelievable statements be DeLeo, who seems to be oblivious to all that has happened under his watch, seems to condone all the actions of the legislature in this patronage scandal... including defending his actions in getting his god-son a job at the probation department.

The fact that his number three guy in all this Patrillata is still a rep is a sign that the battle is just beginning and those who defend such outright illegal activities should be banned from holding any elected office in this state.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sheriff DiPaola and double dipping

From the Globe:

Middlesex County Sheriff James V. DiPaola had it all lined up. He was going to take advantage of a loophole in state law allowing him to collect a $98,500 annual pension on top of his sheriff’s salary of $123,000, starting next year.

But after a sleepless Friday night, he succumbed to second thoughts.

“I think I made a mistake,’’ he said in an early-morning phone call to a Globe reporter yesterday.

Instead of taking his pension and keeping his job, the longtime sheriff said he has decided to resign in January, just weeks after easily winning reelection on Nov. 2. Governor Deval Patrick will name his successor.

Until the Globe began asking about his retirement deal on Friday, DiPaola had a much different plan.

DiPaola, a 57-year-old Democrat, had quietly filed retirement papers on Oct. 28, looking to exploit a section of the state pension law that allows retirees to run for paid elective office without losing their pensions. All he had to do was not accept a paycheck until his new term began in January.

That gambit, which even his own employees seemed unaware of, would have increased his annual income by $98,500 for doing the same job he’s been doing since 1997.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

No surprises.. .in the Probation Dept

From the Herald:

A court-ordered independent counsel who investigated the state Probation Department found “systemic abuse and corruption” in its hiring and promotions practices, according to a new report which prompted the state’s top judges to demand swift removal of senior probation officials, announce a new task force, and refer the findings to state and federal prosecutors “for such action as any of them may deep appropriate.”

here's the 337 page report:

Look at pages 41 on... see who's who in all this.

Some of you may not want to devl into this... but you will soon see trials, terminations and those details about how many people on the Hill know all about what was going on.

The best part... some how, this report was not released until after the election... in itself, is a unethical.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Medal of Honor

If you didn't get to see or hear of the young man from Iowa, staff sergeant Salvator Glunta who received the highest military award, let me tell you, it was very moving.

The now 25 year old veteran is the only living recipient from the Iraq and Afghanistan war and when you see this humble guy, know his commitment to his fellow soldiers when he was 22, my eyes watered. His acts of bravery could have turned out much worse for him as it has for the 7 other Medal of Honor recipients from the Iraq/Afghanistan war.

Whether we agree on the war or not, staff sergeant Glunta is a man we can all look up to and should consider ourselves lucky to have such a man in our military.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Young and older Veterans

Take a moment and just think about how many of our sons and daughters are leaving for war. It's in the hundreds of thousands. Then think about how many active duty soldiers there are in country, fighting multiple wars. That too is hundreds of thousands.

You already know how many men and women from the current 2 wars are coming back stateside with unimaginable injury's to so many young people who had so much life to live. That too sadly, is in the hundreds of thousands.

And lets not forget, All the men and women, of all colors and of all faiths, who volunteered to put their lives on the line, who still live today, from the past 5 wars,and those who still have not come home.... I say Thank you for your service and promise not to ever forget you.

Hundreds of thousands of residents who didn't go, Thank you also.

Town Meeting attendance

Mr. Town Meeting himself, Mr. Winnett compiled this graph of TM attendance for this past Town Meeting and sent it to us.

25 with perfect attendance at the 17 meetings

35 elected by precinct sometime during the year

28 Resignations (19 with no attendance and 9 with some attendance)

4 with no attendance (<1%) who will loose their seat as a TMM

29 current vacancies from 9 different precincts

62 TMMs attended all sessions of the Fall Town Meeting

24 TMMs did not attend any of the session of the Fall Town Meeting

I wrote back and asked if he could find out how many of the 62 TMMs who attended all sessions, stayed the entire time, read magazines, did homework, played on their lap tops, wore their hat in the hall, spoke at the podium about the wrong article or motion, on to many meds, or not enough meds, or have the intellectual prowess to understand whats going on.

A little humor in the question, but clearly from where I sit, many are not paying any attention to what's going on. 10 to 20% leave at the 9:15 break. Some nap, some come to the podium on the wrong article or motion. A few wear there hats in the peoples hall.

The poor attendance AND the lack of understanding among a few, make the case cor a city form of government.

More bid rigging.. under the radar

AG Coakley has brought suite against a New York firm, Tradition North America, claiming the company lied to the Commonwealth and orchestrated a complicated bid-rigging process. Mind you... the company worked for the State from 2000 to 2004 and was supposed to get the highest interest rates from banks on investments of municipal bond proceeds. Some 16 banks are being investigated by the feds and one Tradition agent has pleaded guilty.

What this means to Framingham and the Commonwealth? It means that 160 local and State government bond issuers have been taken to the cleaners... once again. I wonder how much more money we would all have, if the fraud would just stop.It's amazing to see it took 6 years to find this out.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

to no ones surprise, 18 districts approve marijuana reform

While hard to find, there is some good news from this years election cycle. The good folks at DPMFA, (Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts)work tirelessly in continuing to ask the voters how they feel about medicinal cannabis and regulated sales and taxation. The voters once again have weighed in on this subject, as Framingham did in 2000, with an overall average of 61%. Hard to argue against with those numbers.

From the DPFM:

Massachusetts voters ask legislators to allow medical use, repeal prohibition on sales

Arlington - For the sixth consecutive election cycle, voters in select State Representative and Senate districts delivered overwhelming victories on marijuana reform Public Policy Questions.

After approving a historic statewide decriminalization referendum in 2008 by an overwhelming 65% margin, Massachusetts voters returned to the polls yesterday and passed non-binding medical marijuana and regulation/taxation Public Policy Questions in 18 districts. Since 2000, voters have approved a total of 63 marijuana PPQ's around the state on reforms including decriminalizing possession, allowing medical use, and repealing prohibition on sales and taxation. For 2010, voters in 74 towns took part in deciding 18 marijuana PPQ's.

Medical Marijuana. Voters in nine (9) State Rep. districts overwhelmingly approved lanaguage allowing medical use of marijuana by a total of 59% to 41%, again urging the State Legislature to join the fourteen U.S. states allowing physician-directed use of cannabis. Since 2000, voters have approved all 20 State Rep. and two (2) State Senate medical marijuana PPQ's in different regions of the Commonwealth.

DPFMA has been working with the state legislature to pass H.2160, the “2009 Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act” sponsored by Rep. Frank Smizik. Currently fourteen states including Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine have passed similar legislation to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest and imprisonment. These PPQ's outline the basics of H.2160 and demonstrate the overwhelmingly public support for the bill.

In January 2008 the American College of Physicians released a landmark position paper endorsing full legal protection for medical marijuana patients. (full report: www.acponline.org/acp_news/medmarinews.htm) The ACP represents 124,000 member doctors and is the second largest physician group in the US. Here in Massachusetts H.2160 has been endorsed by the Massachusetts Nurses Alliance, Massachusetts Public Health Association, and many other health and legal experts, as part of the legislative campaign by Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance (see full details at www.masscompassion.org).

Marijuana Regulation and Taxation. Voters in eight (8) State Rep. and one (1) State Senate district approved PPQ's advising legislators to enact a regulatory system of sales and taxation for marijuana. Massachusetts voters showed they are ready to embrace a new approach, passing all 9 advisory questions with an overall 61% approval.

Lay offs at Biogen

Biogen Idec will slash about 650 jobs as part of cost cutting moves announced in a regulatory filing today.

The biotech company, which moved over the summer to a gleaming new headquarters in Weston, said it will reduce its work force of about 5,000 by 13 percent. Biogen also will close its facilities in Waltham, Wellesley and San Diego.

This couldn't have come at a worse time.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Blue Guy beats up on the Green guy...

The D's have spoken.. collectively, to my surprise. And even more surprising, JR got 1219 who think his vision is the way to go. Some hear what they want... some are just deaf. Resistance is futile... they say. And now I believe it.

Time to get back to work.

Thank you all for your support and kind wishes. We live to fight another day in another way.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Candidate at Home - 12 Hours Before the Election

Tune in to FPAC TV tonight at 7pm and spend an hour at home with me, talking about the election and the issues important to all of us as residents of Framingham. I hope you can tune in and get to know just a little bit more about me and what I stand for and what I think are the issues we need to work on to improve our quality of life, and that of our children and grandchildren.

Tomorrow is election day, and I ask for your support and your vote at the polls. Most importantly, I ask that you make your voice heard by showing up, voting, and being counted. That is what democracy is all about.

Alcohol the most dangerous drug

The Lancet is a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal, one of the world's best known, oldest, and most respected general medical journals. In a story published today, they say the most dangerous drug to others, the one doing the most damage and costing us the most in medical expenses is not heroin, or cocaine....but alcohol. The author goes so far as to say that if alcohol were introduced to society now as a new substance, it would be banned.

Where have you heard this before? I have been stating this same theory publicly for a very long time now.

For a summary of the article, click on the following link.


The last day of campaigning

This web site will direct you to your voting location:


With 60% projected voter turnout I can only hope the more the turn out, the better chances I have. It's been a tiring few months and with two decent debates and decent media coverage, my fate now rests in the hands of the voters.

Thank you all for taking an interest in this blog and the race here in Framingham.