ELECTION 2016 : ENDORSEMENTS FOR STATE AND LOCAL OFFICE

whipps-lee-kickoff

^ center, next to Governor Baker, stands Susannah Whipps Lee, perhaps our favorite legislative endorsee.

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We haven’t followed local contests as closely as we should have because the national election has been so controversial and existential. That said, we do have recommendations for our readers to think about. So here goes :

Massachusetts Legislature :   We think it important for Governor Baker to have control of the state’s Republican party, including a solid contingent of pro-Baker legislators. As the small Massachusetts GOP plays a vital role in state political reform, by way of providing us with referee-style GOP Governors, all of us have a vital interest in seeing our GOP led by bipartisan-minded activists.

To that end, we endorse the following GOP legislators who are not running unopposed :

Jim Kelcourse of Amesbury-Newburyport.

Sheila Harrington of Groton-Pepperrell-Dunstable

Shawn Dooley of Norfolk-Wrentham-Plainville

Susannah Whipps Lee of Athol-Orange-Petersham-Phillipston-New Salem

Donald Wong of Saugus-Wakefield

Steve Howitt of the 4th Bristol District

Kate Campanale of Leicester and Worcester’s Wards 6, 8, and 10 (partial).

Jim Lyons of North Andover-Tweksbury

Two State Senators are on our list :

Richard Ross of the Norfolk, Bristol & Middlesex District. Ross voted YES on the “TransBill,” the only GOP State Senator to do so. That’s all you need to know. He must be re-elected.

Patrick O’Connor of the Norfolk & Plymouth District. O’Connor was elected to fill out an unexpired term and now seeks a full term. A rare union-friendly Republican, O’Connor is one of our state’s up and coming generation of “Rockefeller Republicans,” a revival much needed if we are to have a useful GOP going forward after Trump.

NOTE : the first four of our House endorsees voted YES on the “TransBill” that enacted full civil rights into law for transgender people. We consider Kelcourse, Harrington, Dooley, and Whipps Lee heroes (along with five other GOP House members who voted YES).

Of our other endorsees, it may surprise some to see Jim Lyons on the list, as he is a die hard opponent of the “TransBill.” Our support is based on two factors : first, Lyons is as dedicated a local issues legislator as any. Second, he never uses hate or demonization to advocate his views, a welcome attribute quite untypical of his side’s usual manner.

We also endorse some Democrats facing contests for legislative seats. Here is our list :

Michael Day of Stoneham and Winchester (incumbent) : his opponent has discredited herself thoroughly by approving one of the vilest, most inflammatory hate mailings this observer has ever seen. Day was endorsed by Bill Weld in 2014 when he first sought the seat vacated by now State senator Jason Lewis. day MUST be re-elected.

Ken Gordon of Bedford-Burlington (incumbent) : has been victimized by the same despicable mailing that was thrown at Michael Day.. He faces a GOP opponent and must be re-elected if only as a protest against inflammatory hate mailings.

Jack Lewis of Framingham and Ashland : this is an open seat occasioned by Tom Sannicandro deciding not to seek another term. Lewis’s Republican opponent has, according to our sources, run a lazy campaign. We dislike lazy campaigns. Politics is an intense profession and must be addressed intensely.

Joan Meschino of Hull : this too is an open seat occasioned by Garrett Bradley’s resignation. The 3rd Plymouth District also includes Hingham and Cohasset, and it should elect a Republican. Unfortunately the Republican who should have won it lost his primary by a few votes; the winner is a Trump enthusiast who, when I interviewed her, refused to commit to defending the “TransBill” against a repeal referendum that will be on the 2018 ballot.

Evandro Carvalho of the 5th Suffolk District (incumbent) : Carvalho faces opposition from a perennial candidate who did in fact once represent the district. We like his opponent, an early transgender politician, for her courage and visibility : but Carvalho has a much more masterful grasp of today’s other issues and is also Chairman of the Boston legislative delegation — an honor his mastery of the issues fully merits.

For State Senator : Jamie Eldridge of the Middlesex & Worcester District (incumbent) : Eldridge can be a pain in the ass, as he leans his progressivism heavily upon those he thinks are his opponents (even when they aren’t), but he faces two opponents, one of whom is “alt right” and despicably proud of it. That candidate must be shown the door loudly and clearly. We urge a vote for Eldridge.

There is one other contest that merits discussion, the open State Senate seat representing the Cape and Islands. Both candidates — Republican Anthony Schiavi of Harwich and Democrat Julian Cyr of Truro — have much to appreciate: Cyr for his social activism, Schiavi for his 30 years of service in the Air Force, where he reached the rank of General. Schiavi certainly has the gravitas and the respect from others that one applauds in a candidate, and increasing GOP numbers in the present 34 to 6 State Senate is much to be desired. Our concern, however, is with the TransBill. We want any open seat candidate, of either party, to support it, as does Governor Baker. On Schiavi’s website, however, we cannot f ind the matter mentioned, not even one word. Considering that the Cape and Islands communities include some of our state’s most significant LGBT towns, it is imperative that the District’s Senator be stalwart in support of full LGBT rights. Cyr supports them passionately.

We’d like to see Schiavi win; but until we know that he supports full LGBT civil rights, we withhold endorsing him.

Sheriff : Only one race has attracted our attention, that in Essex County. We personally know the Republican candidate, Anne Manning-Martin and — disclosure — actively support her. The Democratic candidate, Kevin Coppinger, enjoys strong support from his fellow Democrats, as does manning-martin from fellow Republicans. Both she and Coppinger have excellent qualifications to do the Sheriff job — Coppinger was Lynn’s police chief, Manning-Martin a Department of Corrections executive for her entire career. But manning-Martin also serves as  a Peabody City Councillor — former school committee member — and so has working knowledge of municipal finances as well as the impact upon communities of those who are released from House of Correction custody. She embraces criminal justice reform fully, an advanced position in today’s GOP. If only for that reason, as well as her wide knowledge of corrections issues, she is the better choice. We are proud to endorse her.

—- The Editors / Here and Sphere

ELECTION 2016 SCANDAL :THE FBI BREAKS THE LAW

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^ Director Comey of the FBI : does not look happy, nor should he

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Someone who uses twitter a lot today tweeted the following : “this election will be the first time that the KKK, the KGB, and the FBI all favored the same candidate.”

That’s a bit much — the entire FBI does not have a candidate — but it’s not as far off the mark a sit should be. The New York office of the FBI has clearly injected itself into the election, in clear violation of the Hatch Act, leaking confidential information and goading sympathetic cable TV media to suggest that the candidate this FBI office opposes is under serious investigation.

Before I continue, it might be smart forb me to quote relevant portions of said Hatch Act :

(a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b), an employee may take an active part in political management or in political campaigns, except an employee may not—

(1)

use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election;
(2) knowingly solicit, accept, or receive a political contribution from any person, unless such person is—

(A)

a member of the same Federal labor organization as defined under section 7103(4) of this title or a Federal employee organization which as of the date of enactment of the Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993 had a multicandidate political committee (as defined under section 315(a)(4) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 441a(a)(4))); [1]
(B)

not a subordinate employee; and
(C)

the solicitation is for a contribution to the multicandidate political committee (as defined under section 315(a)(4) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 441a(a)(4))) 1 of such Federal labor organization as defined under section 7103(4) of this title or a Federal employee organization which as of the date of the enactment of the Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993 had a multicandidate political committee (as defined under section 315(a)(4) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 441a(a)(4))); 1″
Section (a)(1) is most germane here. “An employee (of the Federal Government) may not use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.” Can there be any doubt that the leaking, or dissemination, of information about investigations concerning Hillary Clinton or her family Foundation was official and intended to influence the outcome of this election ? The question answers itself.
The FBI is also said to be investigating various activities of Clinton’s opponent, including his connections to Russia and its government, and to that government’s many interferences in this election. Yet no FBI information about these investigation s has been released; indeed, Director Comey stated that it would be an improper interference were his agency to do so.
That statement should stun you; It certainly stuns me. So it’s a breach of agency rules to disseminate confidential investigation material for one candidate but OK to disseminate it for another ?
At the time that Director Comey forwarded his now famous letter to eight Congressional Committee Chairmen, he seemed to be interfering purposely in the election : Senator Harry Reid rightly responded that Comey might be violating the Hatch Act. Now, after all that we have learned about the actions of NY FBI agents, it appears quite differently : that Comey sent his letter when ne did — 11 days before voting day — in order to forestall its matters being leaked by the NY FBI office.
Doing so, he actually provide Hillary Clinton a favor : with 11 days left, she and her defenders had sufficient time to respond in full and to have the voting public judge of the matter well ahead of election day. Had the matters been leaked, they might have come later, leaving no time for response. as it is, the BNY FBUI office released other material that induced one cable TV reporter to assert — wrongly — that an indictment was coming. That reporter has since fully retracted what h called “a mistake,” and it has also been shown that the so-called investigation in the hands of the NY FBUI office is nothing much at all, if anything. Comey’s letter enabled the campaigns to discuss and dispose of the damage intended by the NY FBI agents.
That said, let’s say what needs be said : even if the FBI has a serious investigation going on — not a :”nothing burger” — and even if indictments are planned, as in some FBI cases they are — the subject of said investigation is entitled to full, uncompromised confidentiality : because the term “under FBI investigation” is extremely prejudicial.
To sum up : the hatch Act exists for a very important purpose. If democracy is to work; if the voters are to have confidence that authority is impartial and not inclined to pursue enemies; if we are to be a society of laws and not of naked, anarchic power, then Federal employees MUST honor their oaths and, whatever their personal political opinion, never, ever inflict that opinion on the performance of their oaths of office.
Anything to the contrary is a gross violation of our basic democrat
ic rules. I hope that after the electi9on is over, the DOJ takes action to sweep the NY FBI office clean of those who have compromised their oaths so gravely.
— Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

ELECTION 2016 : OUR NATIONAL ENDORSEMENTS

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^ Mrs. Clinton : we enthusiastically endorse her as the only rational choice a voter can make this year

For President :

Many of you have already voted. This election has forced us all to do so. One of the two President candidates has hurled an existential threat to our people, the nation, the Constitution, and democracy itself.

Two weeks ago we endorsed the other major candidate, Hillary Clinton. We enthusiastically confirm it. Hillary Clinton must be President. There is no other viable choice.

Doubtless you have heard in the media a stream  of negatives roll against Mrs. Clinton. The accusations roll unstoppably. As far as we can discern, they are false, some of them grossly and knowingly false. We reject them. Among those who are voting for Mrs. Clinton are both Presidents Bush, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Bob Gates, and hundreds of Bush-administration officials — Republicans all. Mrs. Clinton has won the endorsement of almost every newspaper in the nation. Do you suppose that any of these would be voting for Mrs. Clinton if even one of the smears thrust upon her were true ? The question answers itself.

Mrs. Clinton is superbly qualified, with experience in  Federal governance unmatched by anyone who has not actually been President. She is smart, steady, dogged, and tough. Our foreign adversaries know this, which is why our biggest adversary, Russia, has worked overtime to undermine her campaign and bulk up that of her unworthy opponent.

The campaign of disinformation, espionage, hacking, and theft of private property engaged by Russia should disgust all Americans, as it repels us. All the more reason to elect the candidate whom Russia fears. Equally, Mrs. Clinton is feared by her domestic opposition. which has threatened to spend the next four years investigating her endlessly — at huge cost to the taxpayer — and to block her nominations to office, including to the Supreme Court. We take this threat as seriously as we do that from Russia. It is nothing less than sedition, and if reports are correct, it has the FBI’s New York office supporting it.

In a separate article, we will address this matter — a direct attack upon civic democracy and the rule of law. Suffice it here to say that Mrs. Clinton must be elected, for every reason, including a top to bottom purge of FBI operatives disloyal to the nation and its laws.

Other Endorsements : The Senate

Because Mrs. Clinton’s seditious, Republican opposition has stated its intention to block every executive move she makes, including nominations to offices requiring confirmation, we urge voters in appropriate stares to elect Democratic Senators and to oust Republican incumbents. Only if the Senate has at least 50 Democrats — Vice President Tim Kaine would break ties, thus 50 is enough — will Mrs. Clinton be able to exercise her Constitutional powers. We therefore urge voters to vote for the following :

Illinois : Tammy Duckworth (D) over incumbent Mark Kirk (R)

Pennsylvania : Katie McGinty (D) over incumbent Pat Toomey (R)

New Hampshire : Maggie Hassan (D) over incumbent Kelly Ayotte (R)

Missouri : Jason kinder (D) over incumbent Roy Blount (R)

Wisconsin : Russell Feingold (D) over incumbent Ron Johnson (R)

Nevada — an open seat :  Catherine Cortez Masto (D) over Joe Heck (R)

North Carolina : Deborah Ross (D) over incumbent Richard Burr (R)

If all of these endorsees win, the Senate will have 52 Democrats, enough to assure that Mrs. Clinton will be able to see her nominees to high office — including to the Supreme Court — confirmed. It is a scandal that Merrick garland, President Obama’s nominee to the High Court vacancy occasioned by the death of Justice Scalia, has not been able even to have a hearing and vote. The Senate’s Constitutional duty to “advise and consent” upon and to Presidential nominations does NOT contemplate stonewalling them.

If the endorsees all win, the re-election of our favored Republicans — John McCain (AZ), Rob Portman (OH), and Mike Lee (UT) can proceed without interrupting a Clinton nomination.

For Congress

Currently the Republicans have a majority of 30 out of the House’s 435 members. Given that most Congressional seats highly favor one party over the other, it’s most unlikely that 31 seats will change parties. Nor is every Republican Congressman au fait with the stonewalling tactic. That said, in those Districts where you have a Republican Congress person with a a record of opposition to everything, we urge you to vote for his or her Democratic challenger as long as said candidate has sufficient qualification to do the job.

 

— The Editors / Here and Sphere