Yes, I know, it's all Whitey all the time -- believe me, I'm enjoying the spectacle -- but let's remember that there's another sordid tale going on: the inability of the Massachusetts state legislature to pass a budget.
The fiscal year ends in six days, on Thursday June 30. So, to have money in the checkbook a week from today, a budget's got to be signed.
In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I offer a simple, one-step solution to the problems that have plagued the Massachusetts House of Representatives: abolish it.
That's right, we should shut down the House and go with a unicameral legislature.
This is not intended as merely an intellectual exercise.
Last night I was honored to moderate a Ward 5 Democrats forum for the candidates for the four at-large city council seats -- the first such forum of the year. Incumbents Felix Arroyo, John Connolly, and Stephen Murphy were there, joined by challengers William Dorcena, Michael Flaherty, and Sean Ryan. The only candidate not in attendance was incumbent Ayanna Pressley, who had to cancel to tend to her ill mother.
People don't usually get caught the first time they send crotch shots to women over the Internet; when they do get caught, the odds are very good there's a history of it. Same goes with public corruption.
An awful lot of folks in Massachusetts, especially Democratic lawmakers, and most especially the ones who were in the house of representatives with Sal DiMasi, seem to be treating the former Speaker's conviction for fraud and corruption as an isolated incident.
Statement released from Speaker Bob DeLeo. To me, too defensive and focused on how people perceive him and the house, rather than on DiMasi, but that's just my quick take.
Today's news delivers a powerful blow to the public's trust in government. I don‟t think I can imagine anything more damaging than the idea that the defendant's conduct was nothing other than 'business as usual' on Beacon Hill.
According to reports coming from journalists at the federal courthouse (particularly the Globe's Milton Valencia), former Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi has been found guilty on five counts, including conspiracy and extortion, for his role in the state purchase of a COGNOS sofware contract.
DiMasi reportedly faces up to 20 years in prison for the charges, although sentencing will come at a later date.
Brad Johnson at Think Progress beat me to the punch, so read it there -- bottom line, Mitt Romney came out decisively last night against providing federal disaster relief funds, saying it adds to the national deficit.
As governor, of course, Romney lobbied for, and received, such funds on several occasions, including the February 2005 blilzzard, October 2005 flooding, and May 2006 flooding.
Man, you could just feel the stupid last night, at the GOP Presidential debate up in Manchester, New Hampshire. The idiocy, the closed-information-loop spiral of nonsense reinforcing nonsense.
No, I'm not talking about the candidates; I'm talking about the media punditocracy.
Everywhere you look and listen, you're being told that the candidates, particularly Tim Pawlenty, ruined themselves by not attacking Mitt Romney last night.
In late 2003, I made myself look smart by saying publicly that I didn't think Howard Dean would win the Iowa Caucus, despite his lead in the polls (roughly 30% in Iowa, with others well behind). Dean was very different from the other candidates, I argued, and people had pretty strong opinions by that point on whether they wanted that kind of candidate or not.
I've avoided writing about this controversy, mainly because I didn't have the time or inclination this week to make phone calls about some dumb-ass thing said by an obscure and powerless state representative -- not that it isn't worthy of follow-up, but I it just wasn't high on my priority list. But I have been curious about how Representative Ryan Fattman of Sutton would walk it back.
My latest Boston Phoenix column looks at the potential effects of a low-turnout city election this year, particularly for minority candidates. I've just learned about an effort that just might change the odds a little.
Ron Bell, legendary organizer, tells me that he is collaborating with the Urban League of Boston to try to register 10,000 voters this summer -- in conjunction with the Urban League's national conference taking place in Boston in late July.
In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I look at the 2011 Boston City Council election, now that the field is pretty much set. What happens if they hold an election, and nobody notices?
Four years ago, when Boston last voted for City Council but not mayor, less than 14% of the Boston electorate bothered to show up.
Many have pointed out that Tim Pawlenty's big economic plan, unveiled yesterday, is so flagrantly cockamamie that he puts himself at risk of hurting himself with serious-minded conservative funders, not to mention eventual independent voters. I think he is taking a risk of that. But here's my guess at his strategy.
Most of the conservative base today sees two camps of economic theory: 1) the elitist, over-educated, ivy-tower, Harvard, Krugmanish liberal camp, with a bunch of charts and graphs; 2) the Commonsense Conservative camp.
The Des Moines Register reports on an Iowa Tea Party Bus Tour, in which five of the fringier GOP Presidential candidates have agreed to participate; the three-week event will tout conservative, Tea Partyish stuff while offering a platform for Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, et al.
The article says that the tour "is being organized by the tea party in cooperation with American Principles in Action, the Innocence Project and the Leadership Institute."