^ nominated to a 7th term, with major black voter support : Mississippi’s Thad Cochran

—- —- —–

Last night, voters in Mississippi made history. By re-nominating Senator Thad Cochran to a seventh term, in the manner and with the voters that they did it, Mississippians who voted in the Republican primary gave their Senator an entirely new coalition as well as the chance for a new term.

In the article linked below, the Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza expresses amazement that Cochran was able to bring to his side at lest 10,000 Back voters. Amazing it was; but Cilizza doesn’t mention the bigger point : Cochran now becomes the only GOP senator in the entire nation ti owe his GOP nomination significantly to Black voters. this is as big a deal as it gets.

Link to Chris Cilizza’s Washington Post column here :

For almost 50 years now, and increasingly, the GOP has gotten along without important Black support. T>he party that was of Abe Lincoln, that was the home of civil rights and Black advancement — and remained significantly that right into the Richard Nixon years — has become the party almost entirely of Caucasian voters. Almost no Blacks shape its policies, its platform, its language. Almost no Black voters vote for its candidates. and thus the GOP of the last 50 years has behaved like a man with only one arm, or one leg ; doing only half the job a major political party is supposed to do; and this at a time when the other major political party, the Democrats, became the party of pretty nearly everybody.

The GOP of the last 50 years had no choice but to act by half only. As black voters left it, what remained to the GOP was what the party had to lead. A party has no choice but to begin by voicing what its core voters want. That’s how the ;party’s nominees for office are chosen. Voters who don’t participate in the choosing do nor enter that conversation.

It was that GOP, the GOP laid waste to by Thad Cochran’s victory, in which the Tuesday loser, Chris McDaniel, represented so negatively. He deserved to lose: and with the giant effort made by Cochran’s team, he did lose.


^ gone for now and probably for a long time ; the politics of White voters only.

In Mississippi now, all of that has changed. How big was Black participation in yesterday;s win by Cochran over his tea Party challenger ? As Cilizza notes, voting in the 24 Mississippi counties whose vote is 50 percent Black or more rose by a full 4o percent; where in the state’;s other counties it rose only by 16 percent. The extra 7500 votes picked up by Cochran from Black Mississippians more than equalled his margin of victory.

Nearly all the Black Mississippians who assured Cochran’s victory are Democrats and will likely remain so. But for Cochran, they now have a stake in his success, and he in their participation. Big results are likely to follow. First, Cochran is likely now to become the first GOP Senator to vote for a new Voting rights act. Second, Cochran is likely to pursue the education funding, job training programs, and housing support that his Black core of supporters want. third, other GOP candidates in Mississippi are likely now to seek out the votes of those who gave Cochran his nomination : if only because if they don’t, their GOP opponents will.

Even bigger consequences may well follow. Black voters in other deeply red states may decide that they, too, need participate in a GOP primary in the states that allow open primary voting). After all, what to do ? Be let out entirely of the decision, or become the big decider ? And thus the national GOP faces huge change : because no group has a greater ability to impact a GOP nomination than Black voters, almost entirely out of the party’s loop for so long.

It was always going to be in the South — the deep South especially — that this revolution had to occur if at all. The GOP has become such a party of the South that whatever changes it there changes its direction generally; and Black voters of the deep South have the greatest numbers to bear upon the GOP. Cochran’s victory may not be replicated in other states; nothing is inevitable in politics. But the potential is there. the GOP stands at the edge of a huge revolution, which, if it happens, will utterly change — and all for the better — the entire nation’s policy future.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere


photo (37)^ fully mainstream and fully appreciated : Mayor Marty Walsh with drag troupe on Boston Pride Day

—- —- —-

In Massachusetts at least, gay, lesbian, and transgender people — once a separate category stamped “LGBT” — have become fully mainstream. A Pride parade featuring same sex couples, lesbians on bikes, and beautiful trannys, is now a family day like any other parade. At the Salem parade yesterday I saw trannys with their parents, one pretty tranny had her nine year old daughter in tow (see the photo). Every elected official in the City was either at the parade or at the “Pride flag” raising a month ago.

It’s the same in Boston. There, Pride week featured a drag show, after which Mayor Walsh posed with the troupe for a photo op.

photo (36)

^ beautiful tranny Kelly with her proudly beaming young daughter

But the story that says it all comes from Salem. Yesterday, openly gay ward 4 City councillor David Eppley (see photo) told of how, knocking doors in last year’s city election, he introduced himself to an 80-year old lady at her door only to have that elderly woman say to him, “oh yes ! I’m voting for you. i met your husband at the polls in September !”

Just like that.

photo (38)

^ Salem City Councillor David Eppley (with Paisley Rojagato)

That gay, lesbian, and transgender people now know that they are filly accepted as neighbors, friends, partners, citizens, even elected officials, is a terrific thing for our community as a state. Because after all, people are people no matter what sort of gender or sexual preference life they lead. Gay, lesbian, and transgender people are parents, citizens, community volunteers — everything that anybody else is. And the people of Massachusetts have embraced it fully.

It seems so simple now, so obvious. But thirty years ago, for trans people, is wasn’t obvious, it wasn’t even thinkable. For gays, the same ostracism fifty years ago.

You don’t have to go back that far, though. Just ten years ago it was hugely controversial for Massachusetts to enact a marriage equality law. The spew of toxic hate leveled at gay people during that debate was sickening to see, to hear, to feel. A referendum was demanded, and only narrowly did the legislature refuse to offer one, siding with marriage equality supporters who said, correctly, that “our civil rights are not a matter of majority vote !”

Even more recently — just two, three, four years ago — an even more disgusting barrage of hate was shot at trans people testifying at the legislature’s hearings on a transgender rights law. One Kris Mineau, a name for us all to remember as we remember segregationists and anti-Semites, led a pressure group that captured the votes of 32 of 33 GOP house members in opposing the transgender rights law that was enacted. that same 32 even wrote an open letter to the Governor asking that the new law not be enforced.

The hate did not end there. this winter our state’s GOP state committee adopted a platform — the vote was reportedly 56 to 12 — affirming “traditional marriage.’ Of transgender rights, it said nothing : because the state committee does not accord trans people any such rights.

Yes, the Chairman of the state GOP, Kirsten Hughes, rejected the platform. And Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito, running for governor and lieutenant governor, have made it known in the most definite words and ways available, their full embrace, legally and otherwise, of gay, lesbian, and trans people. Yet it was depressing that Baker and Polito felt the need to do so — though clearly they did have to.

But things in this arena have changed almost day by day. Six months ago, a gay GOP candidate was thought bold simply to be openly gay. Now, Richard Tisei, running for Congress in the 6th District, posts a campaign ad featuring his husband, Bernie Starr. Tisei stole the show at Salem Go out Loud’s equality Forum on Friday night — how could he not ? And in attendance were GOP activists long known to me, men and women who would not that long ago have avoided such a venue for such a purpose.

The state’s GOP is even becoming trans friendly. It helps that there is at least one totally public trans person among its activists. I think, in fact, that the smartest GOP activists are glad to know that their ranks include a public tranny. They know that today inclusion is the dynamic, trans the thing to be — Laverne Cox of “Orange Is the New black” really has tipped the point; but this point had already been surging even without her, as drag shows become the rage — drag kids the fad — in every city, town, suburb, and burg of our state.

Gender and sexual preference remain huge issues for people living with them; but today they’re no more a matter for legal or social exclusion than a teenager’s acne or a young adult’s loss of a limb or lung. We’ve learned to live with people as they are, not just as they are supposed to be; and that’s a good thing, a very VERY good thing indeed.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere


1 John Tierhey

photo (35)

^ top : Congressman John Tierney. bottom : challenger Rich Tisei

—- —- —-

Who could have predicted, twenty years ago, that a time would come when candidates running for Congress would all appear — and be glad of it — at an issues Forum hosted by gay activists ? So it was, last night, that at the Hawthorne Hotel’s main ballroom in Salem, all five candidates seeking to represent the 6th Massachusetts District spoke their speeches and answered questions posed by Go Out Loud’s Chris Sicuranza.

Present at the table were all four Democratic primary candidates : (1) Marisa deFranco, a feisty, street-talking attorney who has gained a large reputation as an immigration lawyer and also represents many LGBT clients (2) John Devine, whom I had never met or heard of until last night and who spoke much too quietly to be heard (3) Seth Moulton, of Marblehead, the night’s most eloquent speaker by far but who, when faced with giving specific answers to Sicuranza’s questions, faded to gray; and (4) John Tierney, the nine-term Congressman, who needs no introduction and who had a bully-f0rce cheeri9\ng section on hand to applaud his succinct, authoritative remarks.

Equally present was the Republican challenger, Rich Tisei, whose 24 year career in the state legislature and Senate saw him, among other work, participating in our state’s pioneering legislation on gay and transgender rights.

Tisei had a huge advantage for a gay activist Forum: he is openly gay and married to a man who sat in the front row and of whom, as he told the full room of people, “I wouldn’t be where I am today without his love and support.”

Questions were asked of all five candidates, concerning specific gay rights legislation they would support, issues of housing and job discrimination, and the problem of homeless gay youth — homeless often because their families have rejected them. These questions were answered more or less effectively : the more effective answers came, not surprisingly, from Tierney and Tisei. Still, none of these questions had any effect on the central issue raised at the Forum by these two leading candidates :

Argued Tierney : “Yes this Congress did nothing. You want a Congress that does something ? change the majority. Don’t send Rich Tisei to Congress, because one man cannot change the GOP caucus.”

Tisei’s response : “Yes, send me to Congress because my being in the House GOP caucus changes it right there. Also my record of bipartisanship.”

Both arguments make sense. T^ierney is right : Congress will do nothing useful as long as the current GOP remains in the majority. Tisei is equally right ; putting an openly gay Congressman into the house GOP caucus DOES change the caucus irrevocably. (Note : Tisei won’t be as alone as Tierney thinks. openly gay Carl DeMaio, of San Diego, California, is sure to be elected. He leads the polls in his Congress district by ten points.)

So, which man’s argument do I choose ? It’s a terribly difficult choice. John Tierney has been an excellent Congressman, right on all the issues, tireless in attending our District,; and the troubles faced by his wife on account of her rather criminal brothers should not — must not — be held against him. On the other hand, changing the House GOP caucus seems to me a vital national mission. Our nation cannot rise to the occasion if it has one progressive political party and another that wants to regress. We need two progressive parties, differing on priorities and methods but not on the ultimate goal of a more just, inclusive, welcoming society.
Re-electing John Tierney will NOT change the majority. The GOP now controls the House by a majority of about 50. It is not likely to be ousted, now or in the forseeable future. Thus Tisei has the better practical argument : change the house GOP caucus. It’s also the more vital national mission. For the entire nation’s sake, the GOP must change — must change a lot. Only Republicans can change it.

The election of Richard Tisei is a strong start. I am glad that both he and Tierney framed the election in these terms.

— Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere


2 Speaker DeLeo3 Cha Baker

^ allies even though neither can admit it : the two men who dominate Massachusetts state politics today : Speaker DeLeo and GOP governor candidate Charlie Baker

—- —- —-

No one should have been surprised to see Don Berwick, the most vocally progressive Democratic candidate, win 15 percent of the Democratic convention vote last Saturday. The surprise was that he won much more : a full 22 percent, only one point behind second place finisher Attorney general Martha Coakley, who leads all polls but whom activists remain skeptical of and rightly so).

Berwick now commands a solid position in the Democratic field. Fringe he may once have been seen. No longer. He continues to win power endorsements, adding State Senators Ken Donnelly and Dan Wolf to his list. Wolf would have been a leading candidate himself, had the state’s Ethics Commission not caved his candidacy (as you may recall). His endorsement of Berwick will certainly matter for the Democrats’ September primary.

Berwick is surging because Democrats of an ideological bent want to be heard and felt and listened to. Progressives, as they style themselves, see that the state’s legislative leadership — all of it Democratic — does not share their concerns or support their agenda and that that leadership has the power to snuff progressive voices out. Time and time again i have heard progressive Democrats complain — bitterly — about “the legislative leadership,’ by which, of course, they mean Speaker Robert DeLeo. Berwick is the progressives’ answer to what they see as DeLeo’s shutting them out.

The current Speaker is definitely no progressive. His constituency is business. That and traditional labor, but business first of all. It’s about the money. Business interests have the ear of Speaker DeLeo — a fact he does not try to hide. As such, he is no friend of tax increases; when Governor Patrick last year called for $ 2 billion in new revenue for his Transportation Bill, the DeLeo-led House gave him $ 500 million, and that grudgingly.

That said, DeLeo’s business friendly agenda is no departure at all from the priorities of past speakers who, if anything, have been even more conservative than he.

In a state as Democratic voting as Massachusetts, business interests cannot afford to be exclusively, even primarily, Republican. Business has huge money to spend on lobbying its agendas, and it does so. Almost always, these past 25 years, business lobbying has dominated both the governor and the Speaker — the State’s two most powerful elected offices. In few states, if any, does the partnership between state government and local business go this far this successfully. Significantly that’s because a large portion of the state’s well-paying jobs, in building trades, health care, and education, arise from state government funds and legislation. In Massachusetts, the interests of business coincide with the interests of a great many wage earners and salaried people, and these people dominate the ranks of our state’s political activists. it’s no surprise at all that the current Democratic governor campaign has concentrated on the upper income suburbs of Boston and on the City’s highest income wards.

Unfortunately for Speaker deLeo, the state’s high-income voters (and some of its businesses are not uniformly as tax-skeptical as he is. Our state’s Progressives inhabit primarily the upper income city wards and suburbs. as such, now that they have hit upon the Governor primary as a vehicle to make themselves seriously felt, Democratic progressives have managed, with Don Berwick, to seriously inconvenience the Speaker and his very powerful legislative and lobbying allies. most of these would, I suspect, like to see Steve Grossman the Democratic nominee. They know him and they believe they can bring him to their side. In this they aren’t wrong. Grossman talks “job creator’ talk so aggressively you’d think he was Mitt Romney.

Yet even Grossman now calls himself “the progressive job creator.’ Obviously he sees himself being gouged from the left.

the division between the DeLeo constituency and the Progressives is causing big problems for Martha Cockney. Who, exactly, are her voters ? certainly not the progressives; almost certainly not the DeLeo people. as i see it, her voters are the non-involved, people who know her name and he work as Attorney General and not much else. Will that work in a Primary, in which the involved vote big time, the less involved not so much ? maybe so; because Coakley is the only woman in the race, and she polls very strongly with women voters. But we will see.

Meanwhile, as the Democrats split between progressives and DeLeo-ites, Charlie Baker is presenting a campaign perfectly attuned to alliance with DeLeo on business interests and also with DeLeo on labor issues. it is axiomatic in Massachusetts that only a Republican governor has a power base independent enough to face the Speaker on equal terms. the Progressives tally about 25 to 33 percent of Democrats, maybe 15-20 percent of all voters; much less than Charlie Baker’s 30-32 percent core.) Beyond the axiomatic, however, is baker’s current campaign, in which support for a $ 10.50 minimum age — the nation’s highest — is accompanied by expanding the earned income tax credit and initiating some tax credits to corporations for hiring welfare recipients and offsets to the wage hike. if you read Baker’s plan — see the link below ** — you’ll find it remarkably like what Speaker deLeo wants to enact. What is more, baker is having success bringing city voters to his side, communities of color included and several ethnic communities. He’s doing it in Boston and in Worcester and in Lynn, next door to his home town of Swampscott. Baker’;s Lynn campaign has drawn no media attention at all, but recently he has held several Lynn rallies at which hundreds of folks — mostly communities of color and immigrants — have gathered. Lynn is usually a 7500 vote victory for a democrat. I think Baker will carry Lynn this time. A 7500 vote turn around isn’t that big, but it is significant of Baker’s concentration upon Essex County generally : his home base, and one that he is pushing hard to win, as he probably must.

** Link to Charlie baker’s economic plan :

Some Democrats want to compare baker’s campaign to that of Scott Brown in 2012. The comparison is false. The Baker campaign is sui generis and quite ground breaking ion its unification of many voter groups who have much in common that has not been attended to by our state;s governor campaigns since at least 1994 if ever. While the Democrats split, the baker campaign unifies. i suspect that Speaker DeLeo is quite happy to see it. Nov ember’s result is beginning to take shape.

—- Mike Freedberg / here and Sphere


photo (34)

^ Democratic convention nominee Steve Grossman chats up legendary Charlestown pol Gerard Doherty on Union Street, at Bunker Hill Day parade

—- —- —

On Saturday Democratic activists made their choice for our state’s next governor emphatically known. They want Steve Grossman.

Grossman, who currently serves as state Treasurer, won about 35 % of delegate votes. His nearest rival, Attorney General Martha Coakley — once thought the front runner — received only 23 % of votes, barely edging Don Berwick, who won 22 %. Juliette Kayyem, my pick, won 12 %, Joe Avellone 7 %.

The delegates were not rong to favor Steve Grossman. He is well prepared, has every issue at his immediate command, articulates the details in easily understood sentences. He has a long history as Democratic activist, an even longer history operating a family business, understands jobs and economic priorities. Other things being equal, he would be a very strong governor.

But other things are not equal.

First, the real governor of Massachusetts is the Speaker of the House, currently Robert DeLeo. What DeLeo wants for legislation, gets enacted. what he does not want, does not get enacted. time and time again he — like his predecessors — has shown Governor Patrick who the real power is in the State House.

Second, Democratic legislators — there are 130 of these — do not like to be out in a vise between the Democratic Speaker and a Democratic governor. Much easier for them to work with a GOP governor, because then the Democratic party’s State House power is concentrated on the Speaker, and all can follow his lead, unpressured by a Democratic governor’s competing constituency.

The one requirement, for this scenario to work, is that the GOP candidate for governor be credible, as a leader, as a politician, as a vote getter. Charlie Baker this time around is proving himself that and more. He is, simply put, running the most voter-appealing, solid outreach campaign — to big city neighborhoods especially — that I’ve seen from our GOP at least since 1998, the year that gave us the late Paul Cellucci.

Baker has also raised a vital issue : major reform of the state’s technology. Almost every branch of state government needs it. Technological obsolescence is one big reason why DCF, for egregious example, has failed. Baker also supports the $ 10.50 – $ 11.00 minimum wage raise up, with significant add ons that will help low-income families and small businesses too. I’ve seen nothing like it from any of the Democratic governor hopefuls.

This is a fact that even Steve Grossman cannot compete with. For all his command of issues and all of his solid ties to Democratic activists, he still represents division, not unity, in the State House. And unlike Deval Patrick, he is not Black, or an outsider, and doesn’t move the heart of civil rights activists from Salem to Pittsfield and everywhere in between.

Only a GOP governor has an independent power base, in the 63 % of Massachusetts voters who aren’t Democrats, sufficiently large to force the Speaker to deal. This too is a fact. it is the single most important fact in choosing a Massachusetts governor. Right now, my money says that Charlie Baker will win in November by 52 % to 48 %. the polls point to that result as well.

Let the game begin for real.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere


California teachers case

Three days ago a California court ruled that California laws addressing tenure for teachers is unconstitutional. We disagree in part.

Laws regarding tenure may be overturned and may be ruled unconstitutional. But for the most part, tenure is not a matter of statute but of contract. Already the ruling by Judge Rolf Treu of Los Angeles Superior Court has generated big ideas from those groups who want to break teachers’ unions, and one can surely expect cases like the California instance to be brought in many states. It’s not a development I welcome at all.

Before i discuss my own opinion, I invite you to read Judge Treu’s. Follow the link below :

Judge Treu is correct that California has handled teacher tenure in a discriminatory way. I applaud him for seeking to undo the harm caused. But the problem, as I see it, is not tenure. the problem is its misapplication. Granted, that tenure by state statute opens the door to misapplication, where tenure by contract negotiation does not.

In Massachusetts, teacher tenure is a contractual covenant. Both the MTA and BTU unions have such a covenant in their collective bargain agreements. as such, the provision is a fairly dealt deal and appropriately implemented. Tenure by contract does not require the imposition of bad teachers on students in the classroom. In boston the contract includes a provision — which Superintendent McDonough is now using — that enables principals hiring autonomy and to slot replaced teachers into other school jobs. this isn’t ideal — it would be more effective simply to terminate incompetent teachers, by buying out their tenure if need be — but it’s not scandalous. Covenants bargained for cannot be pushed aside.

Every time a teacher union contract comes up for negotiation, because the public is the payer, the public gets to opine on what should or cannot be in the new contract. it’s a kind of referendum, that legitimizes the agreement eventually agreed to. call it democracy in action — a good thing.

Tenure by state statute seems less democratic and much harder to administer. Still, there are answers even to tenure by law that fall short of declaring them unconstitutional. The law can be spelled out in state regulations issued thereunder that authorize (1) buyouts of tenured employees not performing to standard (2) a longer period before tenure is granted — in California the period is two years, much too brief (3) a board of monitors to oversee teacher assignment, so that poor and minority school districts do not become dumping grounds for poor teachers.

Life is complex. No part of it more so than public education, an institution vast and heterodox to the max. But : you want to have public education, you learn to live with heterodoxy. it’s not beyond our pay grade.

That California has failed, Judge Treu makes clear. His remedy however seems more like a hasty rant than a wise ruling.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere


photo (32)

photo (31)

top photo : Warren Tolman with State Rep. Ed Coppinger of West Roxbury

bottom photo : Maura Healey at a meet & greet in Jamaica Plain

— — — —

Voters have to choose, sometimes between the lesser of two evils but not always. once in a while voters get to choose between two candidates both superb. That’s difficult. it’s difficult for me. In politics I’m not used to such luxury, but in the current race to choose a new Massachusetts Att0rney General that’s what we’ve got.

Warren Tolman would have been a superior candidate for governor much less Attorney General. Watertown town meeting member, State Representative, State Senator; retired to private practice as an attorney of distinction. his brother Steven Tolman is a major, long time labor leader in our state. Tolman speaks impressively, has commanding presence, should easily be nominated and just as readily elected over the very honorable but politically nowhere, Republican nominee, John Miller of Winchester.

Except that Tolman has a rival of almost equal resume and who is a very eloquent speaker to boot. Maura Healey currently serves as Martha Coakley’s top Att0rney General assistant and claims insider status : she knows the office and has alrready worked — successfully, passionately — on the issues it confronts. At a recent met and greet at Canary Square in Jamaica Plain — hosted by District City councillor Matt O’Malley, Healey spoke forcefully on point, hitting the bullseye on every count, from civil rights to consumer protection to mortgage lender confrontations. She also looked terrific — and yes, that may seem like a sexist remark, but it still matters a lot where a female candidate is at issue. (and is there something wrong with looking one’s best ? I hope not.)

Tolman will NOT get the authoritative better of Healey. But neither will she get the better of him. When it comes to fund raising, both candidates show major clout. Each has raised more than four of the seven or eight) Governor candidates. Below is a tally of each’s fundraising since March 1, 2014 :

Tolman :

raised March 1 -1 5 41,217.97
raised March 16-31 94,598.47
raised April 1 – 15 56,310.00
raised April 16-30 75,161.50
raised May 1 – 15 64,177.48
raised May 16-31 98,979.88
— ending balance 766,262.14


raised March 1 -15 19,651.86
raised March 16-31 81,736.11
raised April 1 – 15 25,145.90
raised April 16-30 81,377.81
raised May 1- 15 23,474.61
raised May 16-31 79,498.89
— ending balance 484,884.90

The money says that Healey is an underdog. So does her following : it’s weighted heavily to the Progressive side, representing about one-third — not more — of activist Democrats. Tolman, on the other hand, commands big support from labor — as you’d expect — and from legislators and establishment types.

Tolman hasn’t set priorities yet, and it’s unlikely he will concentrate on cutting edge legal strategies. Healey will surely oversee the state’s three casino projects rigorously ; she opposes casinos but acknowledges that our State is probably going to have them. Tolman’s labor supporters very much want the casinos for the jobs they will bring.

All this said, both candidates merit a strong thumbs up from this journalist, and they have it. It may be a cowardly decision on my part, but i am going to say it anyway : readers, pick either candidate. You won’t go wrong.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

Heather Cornell’s rant : I DON’T KISS A$$

 1 Heather C

  1. I don’t kiss a$$, I don’t suck up, I don’t say what you want to hear, I say what i MEAN, I say the truth -if that’s what you need or ask for. And sometimes even if you don’t. If I’m quiet and say nothing to you EVER, good or bad – chances are I’ve put you in the chapter of my life, I like to call call …CLOSED!

    If I give you respect, RETURN IT!

    If you are not living MY LIFE EVERYDAY, do NOT mistakenly THINK you have the right to an opinion, do NOT feel ENTITLED to speak on and about subjects you know little to NOTHING about… #Fact

    You say you “hate” people who talk $h!/- but you gossip about family, friends, and acquaintances – as if they were your enemies.
    You say you “hate” prejudice – yet every person “different” from yourself, or your beliefs. .. IS WRONG, STUPID, or (_____)!

    You say you “Hate” liars, and cheaters – but if omitting the whole truth alleviates possible discourse, you quickly cheat that very same person out of the very truth they DESERVE.

    THEY SAY: Those who live in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones.

    I think in order to have a house- FIRST you have to stop destroying, & tearing down structures built by others. All while learning how to build a steady foundation to BUILD ON yourself.. PERIOD!!

    Stop complaining that life sucks if you have NO intention on taking action to change it.

    STOP pointing out the faults of others, and preying on their weaknesses.

    That just means you’re too much of a coward to stop deflecting long enough to realize YOU NEED the tears and sorrows of the weak and hurting just to GET BY.
    Start inside, work on your emotional FUPA’S , and work out your insecurities without it being at the expense of someone else’s self esteem.

    BUILD don’t BREAK. You may have to change the course you’re travels to BUILD -CHARACTER- by reconstructing it.
    In order to RECHART and Stay The Course!! #BeABetterVersionOfYou,#StartingSomewhereLeadsAnywhere#BeContentWithBeingImperfectlyPerfect.

    — Heather Cornell / Here and Sphere


1 Baker and Coakley BG

^ closing the gap ; Martha Coakley now leads Charlie Baker by only 5 points, and the lean is in his direction

—- —- —-

About three hours ago the Boston Globe published anew poll showing some significant movement in the relative positions of the leading candidates for Governor. Specifically, the poll showed these numbers

Baker 32  Coakley 37

Baker 32 Grossman 26

Against Juliette Kayyem and Don Berwick, Baker leads. Kayyem and Berwick remain unknown to almost 80 percent of Massachusetts voters.

This is a link to the graphic detailing the numbers in this poll :

Now let us take a closer look at baker’s numbers against Grossman and Coakley and you will see that he is doing better even than these numbers indicate :

Baker is unknown by over 20 % of Massachusetts voters but draws 32 percent.
Coakley is unknown by only 5 % (or less) and draws 37 %. What this comparison actually tells us that Baker is ahead even of Coakley though he polls behind by 5 points. Baker gets his 32 percent from 80% — a “win rate” of 40 %. Coakley gets her 37 % from 95 % of voters : a “win rate of 38 %. assuming that Baker continues to win 40 % of the 20 % who don’t know him, and Coakley wins only 38 % of these voters, the November result would be something like Coakley 44.5 %, Baker 40 %, leaving the decision up to a still large number of undecideds (the two independent candidates draw 9 % and 2 % respectively, but as election day nears their vote will decrease).

Against Steve Grossman, Baker gets, as I said, his same 32 percent from 80 % of the voters; Steve Grossman gets his 26 % from the 60 % of voters who know his name. Grossman’s “win rate” is much higher than Coakley’s. He is getting 42 % among the 60 % of voters who know him. This gives him a November target of 43 %, a margin of three points over Baker’s November potential.

Both Baker results now point to a very close race; and the momentum at present is strongly running in baker’s direction. He is making a strong impression, and — surprise — capturing the interest, and tweaking the imagination, of city voters. Given that about 16 % of Massachusetts voters remain undecided (or supporting one of the side candidates), Baker has strong potential to close the gap with both Grossman and Coakley. A nine to seven break in his favor makes it a one point race versus Grossman and a two pointer versus Coakley.

At that point., all bets are off. Baker can win this thing. Right now I think he will. But yes, there is a long way to go and much can change.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere


1 charlie b aker and karyn polito

^ right now, the team to beat : Karyn Polito and Charlie Baker

—- —- —-

Governor campaigns in Massachusetts resemble no other partisan election here. Whatever the polarization poisoning elections to national office, none have any force when our commonwealth’s voters go to choose who will run things at the State House. It was proved to me forcefully, yesterday at the iconic Dorchester day parade. There, marching over three miles along Dorchester Avenue from Lower Mills to Columbia Road, Republican candidate Charlie Baker got a very enthusiastic reception from the crowd — mot of whose hands he shook. There, in the heartland of Marty Walsh’s almost entirely Democratic-enrolled wards of Boston, Baker — and his electrifying running mate Karyn Polito — conquered all. Beyond the reception, which might well be just a nicety, there was commitment given by many activists and neighborhood leaders whom i talked to. There was also, so a first hand source told me, a very good bond established– revived — even celebrated — between Mayor Walsh and both Baker and Polito, conversing before the parade’s start, with whom, after all, Walsh served during his legislative time. I do not suppose a commitment was given; that wouldn’t work. But my source’s impression — that of a political activist — was that Baker, Polito, and Walsh made it clear to each other that they could work together and would work together if Baker is elected. One friend, who is himself a candidate this year (not for Governor), seeing the reception given to Baker, told me quite directly : “Baker’s gonna win.” There are several solid reasons why Baker and Polito look so strong right now : 1. Baker and Polito are running as a team. On the Democratic side, with four (of five) governor hopefuls running and three (or four) lieutenant governor hopefuls, who knows who will be the ticket ? Or if they can work together, even like one another ? In addition, none of the Democratic candidates or the second spot has anything close to the experience that Karyn Polito has, not to mention the charisma. 2. Baker — and Polito — have forged solid ties to several big-city ethnic communities, not to mention the LGBT communities. I’ve personally witnessed it and seen the results as I have talked to many, many people whom I know in all these communities. The reception given baker and Polito at the Dorchester Day parade tells me that, as of now, they’d win a much bigger share of the Boston vote than any of the Democratic hopefuls : possibly as much as 40 %. Of course the election is NOT now. But the momentum and presence is there. 3.The fundamental fact of how Massachusetts is governed is that only a GOP governor has a power base big enough, and independent enough, to deal with the Speaker of the House on a more or less equal footing. When the governor is a Democrat, he or she and the Speaker compete for influence within the same party — or else they split the party, and as has been shown time and again, the Speaker always wins that fight. It’s his agenda, his priorities, his timing, his details, that get enacted. With a strongly based GOP governor — and baker would be that — there’s influence on legislation beyond the Speaker’s range of power, and a GOP governor isn’t embarrassed, as Governor Patrick has been, facing a Speaker who is also a Democrat, to compromise with a Speaker not of his own party. Thus the fact ; a GOP governor and Democratic Speaker move the state forward with strong political efficiency. At last night’s Governor / Lieutenant Governor Forum at Roxbury Community College, all of the weaknesses of the Democratic position stood in plain sight. The lieutenant governor trio — Mike Lake, Steve Kerrigfan, James Arena-DeRosa- either bloviated with great prolixity Lake) or talked blue ribbon agendas that would do justice to a high school civics aclass but on which no elected lieutenant governor — certainly not these three, whom no one but activists has ever heard of — would have the slightest influence. The governor hopefuls definitely have learned a thing or two since I first saw them on stage Forum-ing. At the Roxbury event several actually mentioned Speaker DeLeo, quite respectfully too. Clearly they see that they had better include him in their message, because of exactly the problem i have outlined. The matter is not merely my own thing. at several recent Forums, progressives have pushed the governor hopefuls ; what exactly will you do about the Spreaker’s conservatism ? the answer that i heard most often last night was “compromise.” That they will have to do, because the agendas set forth by several at the Forum reach for the moon, a place that does not include Speaker DeLeo in its population. It is not a good sign when candidates feel the need to mae promises which they surely cannot keep, just as surely will have to unravel if they’re to get anything at all done. And much needs be done. Juliette Kayyem continues to get the fundamental point, one that Charlie baker has been talking for two months ; the state needs to modernize its systems big time. Baker calls it “move the state’s technology into the 21st Century,” Kayyem calls it “better data management,’ but the policy point is the same. Steve Grossman soke the Forum’s best answer, to any question, when in two minutes he summed up the injustice and the financial waste of incarcerating people for low level drug offenses. His message is too “jobs and business” to fit the progressive dream, but time and again he shows long and profound command of social justice issues. Clearly as governor he will be as aggressive as possible ; “level playing field, no one left out.” Yet Grossman has no more, or longer, commitment to social justice issues than Baker, and so far I have yet to see a Grossman plan that surpasses the social justice, economic connection tandem that Charlie Baker has put forth. All of what i have just written can change. Next weekend the democrats convene to choose a party nominee. After that, media focus will shift to that nominee and to the Democratic run up to the September primary. Baker will no longer have the voters basically to himself. And if the Democratic nominee has to play catch-up — ironic, in this bluest of states on national issues — there’s plenty of Democratic voters to play catch up with. Still, Baker and Polito have given themselves a huge head start; and my experience says that votes won early are the votes won most solidly. Steve Grossman, now the likely Democratic nominee, has a huge fight on his hands.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere