Posts Tagged ‘Jason Marder’

Can 3rd Party Candidates Win?

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

By Jason Marder

Republican candidate Charlie Baker and incumbent Governor Deval Patrick have spent much of the campaign season using Independent candidate Tim Cahill’s campaign to their advantage while damaging their opponent.  But what about the man in the middle?  Political analysts agree that Tim Cahill’s role will ultimatley be the spoiler and that without a ground-swell of public support or the financial resources of a major political parties even a finish beyond a predicted low double-digits will be a shock.

Is Tim Cahill just not the right candidate at the right time?  Are major parties incapable of mounting an effective 3-way campaign strategy?  Or do the major party candidates cover the spread of voter needs making a 3rd candidate unnecessary?

Boston University’s Statehouse correspondent Jason Marder took a look at the issue.

Guiliani Endorses Polito in Treasurer’s Race

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

By Jason Marder

September 16, 2010

BOSTON— Standing in the shadow of Paul Revere’s statue in the North End of Boston this morning, Rep. Karyn E. Polito, (R-Shrewsbury) secured the endorsement of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in her bid to be the next Massachusetts State Treasurer.

“We need someone like her who understands fiscal integrity, understands the value of money and the reality that you just can’t spend it wildly,” said Giuliani.  “I enthusiastically endorse her for the position of treasurer in Massachusetts.”

The two greeted business owners and residents in the heavily Republican precinct while walking down Hanover St.. Rep. Polito returned the compliment saying it was an honor to stand with Giuliani two days before 9/11.  “That’s the same sort of leadership we need in state government now as people are really struggling across our Commonwealth and across our country.”

Polito said she would maintain her independence as treasurer pledging to be a watchdog for the people, not political parties or special interests.  Her plans call for a reduction of state sales tax to 5%, end to pensions for state politicians, and 10-year term limits for all serving the Commonwealth.

Polito said she supports expanded gaming in Massachusetts as a way to increase revenues and add jobs, but pointed to the implosion of recent legislative efforts as an example of, “dysfunction on Beacon Hill.”

Largely unrecognized outside of her district, Polito has relied on Republican heavyweights to help improve her name-recognition.  Previously endorsed by Sen. Scott Brown (D-Massachusetts), Polito is expected and to win the endorsement of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney tomorrow.

Both Polito and Giuliani called on their Italian heritage to connect with voters, but on the streets of the North End, Giuliani shined the brightest.

“It was amazing,” said Malden resident Susan Catricala who admitted over coffee that, “even though he’s from New York,” she’s been a fan of the Giuliani’s since 9/11.  “You always felt that he was making decisions based on what he felt was right and not on what someone else was saying.”

Not everyone in the area was star-struck.  An un-affiliated Brighton resident, known as Nash, sat back watching the endorsement and said he recognized Giuliani but wasn’t impressed by his presence.

“When I see a local politician bring a national name in to drum up support it seems like their more interested in the star-value than trying to convince people of the merit of their ideas.”

Rep. Polito has served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 2001 and has been re-elected unopposed since then.  She’ll face the winner of the September 14th Democratic primary.  According to a May Suffolk Law School poll, former Massachusetts and National Democratic Party Chairman Steven Grossman and Boston City Council member Stephen Murphy both held a slight lead over Polito.

After this weekend, Polito will have several high profile endorsements, but will still depend on her ideas and voter response to spark a revolution and catapult her to a new office on Beacon Hill.

Cahill Loses Running-Mate, Vows To Fight On

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

By Jason Marder

South Hadley man alleges free-speech rights violated by town officials

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

By Jason Marder

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BOSTON – A South Hadley parent filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court Tuesday claiming school officials violated his First Amendment rights by forcing him out of a public meeting for criticizing their handling of the alleged bullying that led to the suicide of freshman Phoebe Prince in January.

The 12-page suit filed on behalf of Luke Gelinas claims school officials violated his free-speech rights at a meeting April 14, when he called for the dismissal of several officials, including former chairman of the school committee, Edward J. Boisselle.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday at the Boston office of his attorney, Howard Friedman, Gelinas said school officials should have done more to prevent the suicide in January 2010 of 15-year-old Prince, who hanged herself after alleged bullying from her classmates at South Hadley High School.

According to minutes of the April 14 meeting posted on the South Hadley Public School website, Boisselle expressed concern that private information about Phoebe Prince had been provided to the media. He said private information could not be discussed during the meeting’s public comment period and restricted each speaker to three minutes.

Gelinas told reporters that he had been concerned about bullying at South Hadley High, where his son was a student, and claimed he spoke calmly and respectfully at the meeting. He said Boisselle raised his voice, interrupted, and ultimately refused to let Gelinas speak.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages against all the defendants and punitive damages against Boisselle.

Rosenberg says Wampanoag threat to state gambling

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

By Jason MarderGazette

Thursday, September 30, 2010

BOSTON – State Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst, warns that unless the Legislature renews its stalled efforts to expand gambling in Massachusetts, moves by an Indian tribe could cost the state millions in licensing and tax revenues.

“They could begin gambling on their land and operate without taxation, regulation or state interference at the level that state law currently allows,” Rosenberg said Wednesday.

Rosenberg said he is worried about an application submitted by the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe to the U.S. Department of Interior in 2007. If approved, approximately 300 acres of land in Fall River would be exempt from state and local regulation and taxes, leaving the tribe free to develop the area for a Class I or II gaming facility.

Rosenberg said a Class II facility could include between 1,000 to 5,000 electronic bingo machines that closely resemble slot machines.

Cedric Cromwell, the tribal chairman of the Wampanoag, said in an email that the tribe is confident its application will be approved. Once that happens, he said, the tribe could break ground almost immediately.

“There has been great momentum on this in Washington, and we have received incredible support from elected officials here in Massachusetts,” Cromwell wrote.

Rosenberg, a sponsor of the state Senate’s original casino bill, said Cromwell’s optimism is well-founded.

He warned the state would be the loser if the Wampanoag tribe is able to build a gaming facility before the Legislature acts on its own casino plan.

The 1998 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act classifies gaming in three ways. Class I is defined as social gaming for minimal prizes. Class II could include bingo or card games played without a “house.” Class III is considered casino-style gaming.

“This is not just guessing, these are comments based on factual and continuous updates from people who are in the position to know what is happening in Washington and what is likely to happen,” Rosenberg wrote.

The land-to-trust program arises from the historic treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. government. Between 1887 and 1934, the U.S. government took more than 90 million acres – or nearly two-thirds of the reservation lands – from tribes. The land-into-trust program was established to compensate tribes for their lost land.

Although tribal governments are required to consult with local governments about gambling plans, trust lands fall under tribal government and are usually not subject to state laws.

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe recently received support for it land-into-trust application from U.S. Sen. John Kerry, and Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. James McGovern of the Massachusetts congressional delegation. Fall River Mayor William Flanagan also supported the application.

Cromwell did not rule out continued negotiations with the state.

“We believe that our project can be a benefit to not only the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, but the Fall River area and the commonwealth as a whole by providing revenue and jobs,” he wrote. “However, we have certain rights as a federally recognized tribe that we will continue to pursue in lieu of the commonwealth passing expanded gaming.”

Not everyone believes the application should be approved.

Kathleen Norbut, former head of United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts, cited a 2009 Supreme Court ruling that she said should block the Wampanoag application.

That decision settled a dispute between the Narragansett Tribe and the state of Rhode Island over whether the tribe had to comply with local building codes.

The decision reversed the Department of Interior’s interpretation of the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, ruling that its secretary did not have authority to place land into trusts for tribes under state jurisdiction prior to 1934. Members of Congress have introduced legislation to change the federal law. If passed, the law would reinstate the Department of Interior secretary’s authority.

In a June 2010 memorandum, Secretary Kenneth Salazar said the Department of Interior would “move forward with processing applications and requests for gaming on Indian lands within the context of objective statutory and regulatory criteria.”

Rosenberg, who voted for the Legislature’s compromise casino bill, said that the lost revenue from Massachusetts residents gambling outside the state, the current unemployment rate and the recession – along with potential competition from the Wampanoag tribe – are all factors that should drive momentum to revisit the legislation.

He promised that an expanded gaming bill would be back in the Legislature.

House Speaker Robert Deleo’s office has refused to say if he would call the House back into formal session to revisit a gaming bill, but Senate President Therese Murray ruled out the possibility of a lame-duck session following the Nov. 2 election.

Baker goes after Patrick on immigration policy

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

By Jason MarderGazette

Saturday, September 25, 2010

BOSTON – Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker attacked Gov. Deval Patrick Thursday for not signing an agreement with federal immigration officials that he said would make it easier for state police to detain illegal immigrants.

“Gov. Patrick talks a lot about values,” Baker said at a news briefing outside the Statehouse. “Keeping the most dangerous criminals on the street by not coordinating with federal immigration officials like Gov. Patrick is doing, is not a value I would be proud of.”

Baker was referring to the Secure Communities program started under President Bush and continued by the Obama administration, which allows law enforcement to run fingerprints of those arrested through a federal immigration database.

“It’s outrageous the governor is dragging his feet on signing an agreement with federal immigration officials for a year now,” Baker said.

The Patrick campaign released a statement via email later in the day challenging Baker’s statements saying, “Governor Patrick supports the intent of the ‘Secure Communities’ program, which is to take violent criminals off our streets. He is working with public safety officials to evaluate the program to ensure that it will achieve this goal.”

The Patrick campaign went on to question how Baker would make communities more secure when his budget proposals call for cuts in local aid funding and public safety.

Baker cited 32 states and Boston as successful examples of the cooperative relationship Massachusetts should have with the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency. “With this program more than 41,000 criminal illegal immigrants have been removed from our streets,” Baker said.

Baker pledged to sign the agreement immediately if elected and said he would issue a memorandum of understanding that would allow state police to coordinate with ICE.

Former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan joined Baker at the Statehouse to support the federal-state agreement. Sullivan, a former Republican state legislator, said the public expects law enforcement to share critical information.

“The fact of the matter is there are criminal aliens that are allowed to walk the streets of the commonwealth and across our country because Massachusetts is refusing to enter into this memorandum of agreement,” said Sullivan.

Independent candidate for governor Timothy Cahill also criticized Patrick and cited in a letter to Patrick that Boston’s involvement in a pilot version of the program was a testament to its success.