Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday roundup: Tsongas tried to keep Schilling's company in Mass.?

Wednesday was slow with a capital "S", so in keeping with the media's tradition of headlining a Red Sox story when nothing else is going on, we start with former Red Sox hero and current businessman/blowhard Curt Schilling. In a discussion with WEEI Radio about Rhode Island's decision to offer Schilling's video game company 38 Studios a $75 million guarantee to move the business to the Ocean State, Schilling mentioned that he'd only received help from one Massachusetts politician:

Although Schilling “absolutely” wished Massachusetts had offered incentives to keep 38 Studios in the Bay State, only U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass., made a significant effort to explore the possibility, he said.

“We made every effort to make that happen, and it was not going to happen,” he said. Officials in Massachusetts have said the state would never provide as large a guarantee as $75 million to a single company.
I'm not sure what pull Tsongas (D-Lowell) would have since the state would have made the decision, but Schilling's company is located in Maynard for the time being and Maynard is in her Fifth Congressional district, so perhaps she just saw it as good constituent relations.

In a completely unrelated item, challenger Jon Golnik (R-Carlisle) got the Lowell Sun to publish a story about his call for Tsongas to call for House Ways and Means Committee chairman Charlie Rangel to step down:
"Instead of supporting partisan friendships, Nancy Pelosi, Niki Tsongas and the rest of our elected officials in Washington need to stand up for what is right and demand for their colleague's resignation. People are cynical because once again, members of Congress are above the law," Golnik said in a statement....

"If his colleagues feel he is too unethical too keep his money, then he is too unethical to spend ours," Golnik said.
Tsongas probably has less pull with Rangel than she does with some state development authority, but at least Golnik got an article out of it.

Sam Meas (R-Haverhill) came out against the expiration of last decade's deficit-building tax cuts.


Middlesex and Worcester Senate District
Rep. Jamie Eldridge told the Lowell Sun that Schilling never asked him for any help. Maynard is part of the Middlesex and Worcester District.

Third Congressional District
Not only has Rep. James McGovern (D-Worcester) been all over the news as a leader of the anti-war effort, he has also drafted a letter (along with Democratic Rep. Jan Schankowsky of Illinois) urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to call for investigations of war crimes in Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Roundup: McGovern continues anti-war crusade

Rep. James McGovern (D-Worcester) continues to lead the anti-war effort in the wake of the leak of classified Pentagon documents relating to the war in Afghanistan. The congressman from the Third District explained his vote against yesterday's war appropriations bill to the New York Times:
“All of the puzzle has been put together and it is not a pretty picture; things are really ugly over there,” Representative James P. McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts, said. “I think the White House continues to underestimate the depth of anti-war sentiment here.”
Locally, McGovern is sponsoring a poster contest. He'd like someone to create a poster for his campaign. "This contest will allow me to showcase some of the best artists in the 3rd Congressional District,” McGovern said. Apparently all of the best artists in the Third District are Democrats.

The Attleboro Sun-Chronicle reports on a couple of endorsements. Marty Lamb (R-Holliston) has picked up the support of former state GOP Chairman Jim Rappaport. Brian Herr (R-Hopkinton) picked up the endorsement of Robbi Blute, wife of former congressman and current WCRN radio host Peter Blute.

In other news...

Middlesex and Worcester Senate District
Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) supported the Senate bill to apportion all of the states electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. According to the Boston Globe, he said:
What we are submitting is the idea that the president should be selected by the majority of people in the United States of America...Every vote will be of the same weight across the country.
The bill now awaits Governor Patrick's signature.

Second Congressional District
Rep Richard Neal (D-Springfield) announced that the renovation of Springfield's Union Station can go forward as the federal government has lifted it's funding freeze.

The Springfield Reminder profiled challenger Tom Wesley (R-Hopedale).

Fifth Congressional District
The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune announced that it is sponsoring a debate between the four Republican candidates for Rep. Niki Tsongas's seat. The debate will be August 30 in Haverhill.

First Congressional District
Channlenger Bill Gunn (R-Belchertown) appeared in Leominster yesterday. The Sentinel and Enterprise reports that he jumped into the race because he was upset about the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Worcester County Sheriff
All four candidates appeared in Leominster Monday night at a forum sponsored by the Twin City Tea Party. DaTechGuy has the video of each candidate's presentation.

11th Worcester House District sat down for an interview with new candidate Kevin Byrne (D-Shrewsbury).

Second Franklin House District
In yesterday's post, I noted that Lee Chauvette (D-Athol) issued a statement opposing a biomass plant being developed in Greenfield. I wrote: "The developers of the plant, Co-op Power, defended their proposed plant (they call it biodiesel, not biomass) in a post at Blue Mass. Group." I received an email from the Chauvette campaign explaining that his opposition is to "a 'biomass' plant being proposed in Greenfield by Madera Power under the name of Pioneer Power," not the biodiesel plant being developed by Co-op Power. I regret the error.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday Roundup: McGuane out of Second Franklin race, Chauvette opposes "biomass plant"

Lots of news coming out of the Second Franklin District today. The most important (and most inevitable) of which is the news that Martin McGuane (D-Greenfield) who pled to a DUI charge last week has pulled out of the race. Michael Henry of Montague Matters read between the lines of the former candidate's announcement:
In a simple press statement, e-mailed Thursday at 7:31 p.m., the 53-year-old candidate was quoted as saying, ‘Due to health issues and personal reasons, I am withdrawing from the race, effective immediately.’

...He might have done a good job if his “health issues” (read: alcoholism) and his personal reasons (read: piss-poor liar) didn’t force him to withdraw.
McGuane is the second candidate to withdraw from the contest this month. Genieveve Fraser (U-Orange) announced on July 7 that she was pulling out because she had "developed photosensitivity and must avoid direct sunlight." In her announcement, Fraser endorsed Roxanne Wedegartner (D-Greenfield).

In policy news, Lee Chauvette (D-Athol) is opposing the construction of what he calls a "biomass plant" in Greenfield. In a strongly worded statement, he wrote:
“People aren’t just worried about the quality of the air, or the 'eyesore'--such as the stack height of such a project; they’re concerned about their health and the health of their kids and community. These concerns have been voiced to me frequently, and not from just Greenfield residents, but residents from Gill, Erving and even Montague and beyond. It’s not enough to say the issue of Biomass in Greenfield is a 'Greenfield' issue, especially when as a candidate to represent the entire District I have an incumbent responsibility to protect the interests of all citizens.”*
In other election news...

Third Congressional District
Rep. James McGovern (D-Worcester) has been making the media rounds in response to the leaking of classified documents related to the war in Afghanistan. He told Chris Matthews on MSNBC:
"...The documents that were released paint a very grim picture and our men and women who are fighting the battle are doing an incredible job,” said Mr. McGovern. “It’s clear they have no reliable partners. They can’t trust the government of Afghanistan because Karzai is corrupt. They can’t trust the Afghan police or the Afghan military because they’re corrupt. Now we have news that the Pakistani intelligence are working to undercut the American men and women we’re putting in harm’s way. This is an outrage.”
Second Congressional District
Rep. Richard Neal (D-Springfield) continues to come under fire from European governments and the reinsurance industry for his proposal to do away with tax deductions for reinsurers based overseas.

Challenger Tom Wesley (R-Hopedale) has posted a new web ad criticizing Neal for...just about everything.

* -- Update 9:40 pm: In the original version of this post, I noted that "The developers of the plant, Co-op Power, defended their proposed plant (they call it biodiesel, not biomass) in a post at Blue Mass. Group." I received an email from the Chauvette campaign explaining that his opposition is to "a 'biomass' plant being proposed in Greenfield by Madera Power under the name of Pioneer Power." I regret the error.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend Roundup: Lazy days of summer

As one would expect after a lazy summer weekend, there were no big stories to break over the last couple of days. But there were a couple of things of note, here they are...

Sixth Worcester House District
Rep. Geraldo Alicea (D-Charlton) reports that progress is being made in the quest to bring a Registry of Motor Vehicles office back to Southbridge.

Challenger Peter Durant (R-Spencer) has called on Alicea to file Durant's bill to prohibit the state from breaking a lease similar to the former RMV lease in Sturbridge. The press release is a proof-readers nightmare. One hopes the bill is better written than the release.

11th Worcester House District
Kevin Byrne (D-Shrewsbury) announced recently that he plans to run for the Democratic nomination to replace Rep. Karyn Polito (R-Shrewsbury). Denis Leary (D-Shrewsbury) had been the only Democratic candidate to qualify for the ballot, but he recently pulled out due to health issues.

12th Worcester House District
Rep. Harold Naughton received the endorsement of The Gun Action Owners League of Massachusetts.

Challenger James Gettens (R-Sterling) was endorsed by Citizens for Limited Taxation.

37th Middlesex House District
Rep. Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg) voted in favor of the sales-tax holiday. Her anti-tax opponent, Kurt Hayes (R-Boxborough), criticized her even though she voted the way he would have.

18th Worcester House District
Selectman Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) has been under fire for literature claiming he won an award that he did not win. He is challenging Rep. Jennifer Callahan (D-Sutton).

13th Worcester District
City Councillor Joffrey Smith (D-Worcester) is balking at Worcester's newly proposed valet parking ordinance.

Second Franklin House District
Lee Chauvette (D-Athol) has been endorsed by the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts.

First Congressional District
Bill Gunn (R-Belchertown) brings his campaign to Leominster for a candidate forum Tuesday night at 7:00.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Roundup: GOP Money Trouble

The big story today is courtesy of the Associated Press, which reports that despite a supposed anti-incumbent wave this fall, GOP challengers for Congress are trailing badly in the fundraising race. The chart from the Telegram shows the details:

(Just a note to the Telegram...while Democrats in Sterling would love to be in the Third District with Rep. Jim McGovern as depicted in the map, we're actually in Rep. John Olver's First District.)

Third Congressional District
Speaking of McGovern (D-Worcester), Worcester Magazine has a long look at the race in the Third District. It is the first time McGovern has faced an opponent in four years.

One of his potential Republican challengers, Martin Lamb (R-Holliston) is under fire for his voting record. The Telegram reports that Lamb first registered as a Republican in 2009 and voted as a Democrat in every state and federal election between 2000 and 2006. The news drew a strong reaction from challenger Brian Herr (R-Hopkinton). Previously, Lamb unveiled his "lamb chop plan" (seriously? lamb chop plan?) to save the country to the Milford Daily News.

For his part, Herr told the MetroWest Daily News that he hopes to avoid the "nasty, unproductive banter" of Capitol Hill if he is elected.

Robert Delle (R-Westborough) tells the MetroWest Daily News that "Barack Obama is a Marxist." He claims to know this because he was a "bonafide socialist" while in college.

Michael Stopa (R-Holliston) told the Holliston TAB that he decided to run because it was "a travesty" that McGovern was unopposed last cycle. Now he appears to be the moderate Republican in the crowded primary field.

Second Congressional District
Jay Fleitman (R-Northampton) came out strongly against the Wall Street Reform Act that President Obama signed last week.

Rep. Richard Neal (D-Springfield) confirmed that he is running for Ways and Means chairman. Neal also spoke to ABC News about extending unemployment benefits and allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for people making over $250,000 per year.

Fifth Congressional District
A Wayland attorney is accusing town officials of violating the state's Open Meeting Law by not posting a meeting last November with Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell).

Speaking of openness, the Boston Globe suggests Tsongas could make it easier for constituents to find information about her earmarks.

Challengers Sam Meas (R-Haverhill) and Jon Golnik (R-Carlisle) both told the Lowell Sun that they would have voted against Wall Street reform. They were joined by candidates Robert Shapiro (R-Andover) and Thomas Weaver (R-Westford) in opposition to the extension of unemployment benefits. Tsongas voted for both bills.

Golnik told the Boston Herald that he opposes the road signs informing motorists of projects paid for by the stimulus bill.

WBUR profiled Meas, a Cambodian American who survived the Khmer Rouge as a child and came to the United States as an orphaned teen. The Lowell Sun says Meas is counting on strong support from Lowell's Cambodian community.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CMass Senate Roundup...Rolling the dice on casinos

Catching up on the last few weeks of the State Senate campaigns...

First Worcester
Sen. Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester) said Monday that she will oppose any compromise on the casino bill that includes slot machines at race tracks. The orignal Senate vote was 25-15 in favor, so if racinos are included opponents will only need to switch four more votes. In last week's Worcester Magazine, Chandler also said she was concerned that a House provision protecting local theatre venues might be dropped, though it was not clear if she would also change her vote if that provision were not included.

Chandler was endorsed by MassEquality.

William Higgins (R-Northborough) was endorsed by the Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Worcester and Middlesex
Sen. Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster) told the Telegram & Gazette that race track slots were not a deal breaker for her. She was backed up by Democratic Fitchburg mayor Lisa Wong, who argued in the Sentinel and Enterprise that restaurants and businesses in Fitchburg should be allowed to add slot machines in the future if racinos are approved.

Three weeks ago, Flanagan broke with most of her Democratic colleagues and attended a meeting of the Twin City Tea Party. Conservative blogger DaTechguy was there to take video of Flanagan and opponent Neal Heeren (R-Bolton) and came away impressed by the Democrat:
Without a question Heeren was a weaker speaker, he had to refer to his notes quite a bit on opening and seemed very uncomfortable on stage, rather odd for a lawyer. On the issues he was more correct but you have to be able to make the case to people. That’s a skill he can develop but if Flanagan keeps showing up and manages to make credible explanation and presentations it will be harder for him.

This more than anything illustrates why Flanagan’s presence was smart! Rather than avoiding the Tea Party in fear she confronts it directly.
Heeren was scheduled to attend the Greater Gardner Tea Party event earlier this evening.

Finally, some guy named Kevin Lynch has been mounting an independent campaign almost solely via the Sentinel and Enterprise comment boards. Perhaps someone will tell him that as an independent, he still has time to get enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin
Stephen Brewer (D-Barre) voted against the Senate's casino bill. The Springfield Republican called it a "politically difficult vote" because the Ways and Means Vice Chariman voted against Speaker Murray. Brewer explained his "no" vote to the Journal Register:
“The numbers just do not add up and cities and towns will end up picking up these extra costs,” said Brewer. As an example of how far short this number falls, Brewer said, at one point, the town of Palmer handed him a request for $50 million in mitigation costs.

“I am concerned that without first conducting a cost benefit analysis, as I advocated for, we may be getting ourselves into a situation that we did not intend,” Brewer said.
After eight years of trying, the Senate has finally passed Brewer's bill allowing police to arrest drivers involved in fatal or injury-causing accidents at the scene. Currently police can only arrest a driver at the scene of an accident if the suspect is under the influence.

Brewer also donned a 19th-century costume and delivered the Declaration of Independence at ceremonies July 4 at Old Sturbridge Village (at right).

Daniel Dubrule (R-Ashburnham) was scheduled to appear at the aforementioned Greater Gardner Tea Party this evening.

Middlesex and Worcester
Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) led the unsuccessful fight against casinos in the Senate. While he ultimately voted against the bill, he was successful in amending the bill to prohibit smoking in casinos. However, he was unable to convince senators that towns surrounding a proposed casino site should have veto power over the project. His amendmet to ban ATMs from casinos was also defeated.

Eldridge picked up the endorsement of MassEquality.

Selectman George Thompson (R-Westboro) spoke late last month at a forum sponsored by the Ayer Republican Town Committee. The forum appears to have made more news for who was not invited than what was said.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So, What's New?

If you happen to have followed this blog, saw the earlier update today, and wondered "Why has No Drumlins been dormant for three-and-a-half months and then up comes this rogue post about some guy from Greenfield?"...well, I'm here to tell you.

(But first, let's be honest. There probably aren't five people out there who wondered about that, but I needed some sort of opening premise.)

As election season starts to heat up, I've decided to re-start No Drumlins as a sort of Central Mass. election wrap-up. There are a handful of blogs out there (MassBeacon, Lovers, Muggers, and Thieves to name a couple) that have been looking at local and statewide races, but none that concentrate on Central Mass. in particular.

Since I'm not doing anything else right now (note to readers: if you are looking for a writer or a benefits professional, hire me), I figured I'd put some of my time into keeping an eye on the following contests:

Middlesex and Worcester (incumbent Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton)
First Worcester (incumbent Harriette Chandler, D-Worcester)
Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin (incumbent Stephen Brewer, D-Barre)
Worcester and Middlesex (incumbent Jennifer Flanagan, D-Leominster)

House of Representatives
Second Franklin (open seat -- currently Democratic)
First Middlesex (open seat -- currently Republican)
Third Middlesex (incumbent Kate Hogan, D-Stow)
37th Middlesex (incumbent Jennifer Benson, D-Lunenburg)
First Worcester (open seat -- currently Republican)
Second Worcester (open seat -- currently Democratic)
Fifth Worcester (incumbent Anne Gobi, D-Spencer)
Sixth Worcester (incumbent Geraldo Alicea, D-Charlton)
Eighth Worcester (incumbent Paul Kujawski, D-Webster)
Ninth Worcester (incumbent George Peterson, R-Grafton)
11th Worcester (open seat -- currently Republican)
12th Worcester (incumbent Harold Naughton, D-Clinton)
13th Worcester (open seat -- currently Democratic)
18th Worcester (incumbent Jennifer Callahan, D-Sutton)

Worcester County Sheriff (open seat -- currently Democratic)
Govenor's Council (open seat -- currently Democratic)

US Congress
First District (incumbent John Olver, D-Amherst)
Second District (incumbent Richard Neal, D-Springfield)
Third District (incumbent James McGovern, D-Worcester)
Fifth District (incumbent Nikki Tsongas, D-Lowell)

I figure that there is plenty of coverage on the statewide offices, so I'll leave those to others.

Oh, and so you know what my biases are, I am the chair of the Sterling Democratic Town Committee, have worked on local Democratic campaigns in the past, and expect to work for Democrats locally in this election cycle as well. I plan to present all of the information I can find as impartially as I can, but I do have a point of view.

State Rep. candidate arrested for OUI

Breaking news this weekend from Greenfield...Martin McGuane, who is one of five Democrats vying for the nomination for State Representative in the Second Franklin District, has been arrested and arraigned for OUI and an open container violation. From the Recorder:
GREENFIELD -- Martin A. McGuane, one of six candidates in the race for a state House seat, was arraigned Monday on misdemeanor charges involving alcohol in a vehicle.

McGuane, 53, of 252 Davis St., was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and driving with an open container of alcohol in his vehicle. He pleaded innocent to the charges Monday in district court.
Michael Henry of MontagueMatters is calling on McGuane to drop out of the race. He is also reporting that McGuane's campaign Web site has been taken offline.

The Second Franklin District includes five towns in Franklin County and Athol in Worcester County. There are currently five Democrats and one Republican running for the seat.

Update: More from and the Springfield Republican, including results of the breathalyzer and the brews in McGuane's car:
McGuane agreed to take a field sobriety test that requires walking a straight line and touching the tip of a pen. Haskins concluded that he failed the test and arrested him. McGuane was brought to the Greenfield police station where he took several breathalyzer tests, averaging 0.19 percent alcohol, twice the legal limit of 0.08.

Police notified McGuane that his license is being suspended. In his car, officers also found two empty bottles of BBC Steel Rail beer and a 1.5 liter bottle of pinot grigio with about an inch of wine left in the bottom of the bottle. Copyright © 2009 Premium Blogger Dashboard Designed by SAER