Friday, January 22, 2010

Massachusetts – No longer the Bluest State - Boston Globe Headlines: Mass. Democrats Brace for Republican Candidates in 2010

Dr. Jay Fleitman - Candidate 2nd Hampden photo 2bpblogspot

Earl Sholley running against Barney Frank, MA 4th District - photo

TheBoston Globe article on the Democrats who hold a stranglehold on Congressional seats in the Commonwealth being concerned they may be at risk due to Scott Browns win of the Senate Seat is of interest, although the main point is an error. Brown won the seat on his own merits, in a campaign which was executed by grassroots efforts with impeccable precision. This was mainly due to his overall appeal to the general population; one which is currently sick and tired of those who would be “rock stars”. Brown appeared to be “one of us” not one of them and was humble in his approach. (It is no surprise, however, that the media has taken Brown’s talents and turned him into a “celebrity” – virtually overnight. Nevertheless, Brown’s focus will be the will of the people, although pundits are busy trying to marginalize Brown’s win, as it relates to Obama, it is truly a rejection of the entire progressive approach to government – one to which Brown does not subscribe.)

That said, the article errs mainly due to the fact that Brown’s rise has nothing to do with the fact that Congressional Democrats are at risk and have been, long before Brown announced his candidacy. There is a new sense in Massachusetts that enough is enough. This antipathy towards the Democrats began with Deval Patrick, and the almost daily corruption on Beacon Hill. This angst has been aided by news reports of Barney Frank (Massachusetts 4th District), Richard Neal (Hampden Second), Niki Tsongas (Massachusetts 5th), James McGovern, (Massachusetts 3rd) and William Delahunt (Massachusetts 10th), all of whom are up for re-election in 2010, getting behind the President one-hundred percent, and voting straight party line, for years, not just since Obama became president.

With each budget in the red, with each new tax, with each new major program, the same old group can be seen in nightly newscasts or daily papers pounding home the message that they have a) experience due to the length of time they have held a certain seat, and, b) as a result they know better. Nothing brought this home more than the Town-Hall meetings held during the Health Care debate this past summer. With Massachusetts Congressional Democrats holding meetings where they were visibly uncomfortable facing their constituents. It was so difficult that Neal and McGovern had to team up to face the music, yet they went back to Washington oblivious of what they had heard from their constituents. The end result was a wake up call to the majority of the electorate. This was not the first time that the electorate started to take a close hard look at all elected officials in Massachusetts and the length of time they held an office and how they vote - it began to take shape immediately after Deval Patrick’s first year as Governor and it has snowballed ever since.

Republican candidates have been there all along, however, in the world outside the Bay State, any Republican (or someone running as a Republican) was basically pooh-poohed as spitting into the wind, so to speak, because Massachusetts votes Democrat. Then, about a year ago, (while the outside world was not watching) individuals began to form campaigns to run against those entrenched, lockstep Democrats who still feel the public has no other choice. In fact, every Congressional Seat mentioned above cannot be considered “safe Democrat” because there are several where campaigns are already well established, with grassroots organizations in place. Now, with 2010 here, the level of interest in retiring entrenched Massachusetts politician’s and replacing them with “citizen legislators” is extraordinarily high. These are not mentioned in the Globe article.

Richard Neal now faces two contenders for his seat, one of which, Dr. Jay Fleitman, another independent thinker, has had a campaign in place for the past year. Fleitman is one of those citizens one meets and instantly understands that it is not about “position” it is about the people. In other words, he has stepped forward, to offer himself to the service of the Commonwealth and the nation, in order to challenge a Congressman, who the district hears from every two years. Each election Neal recycles mailers proclaiming an impending social security crisis, should he not be reelected. The people are not buying this anymore. Nor will they fall for the “change of heart” tactic; the seat in the Hampden 2nd is far from safe. Jay Fleitman's website is, those Unenrolled, Republican and yes, even Democrats are already aware of Dr. Fleitman, and what he has to say about a range of issues, without making excuses or sounding like a “cookie cutter” party-line elitist (referring to Republicans). He’s another “one of us”.

The "big kahuna" of the Commonwealth’s Democrat Congressional Delegation, Barney Frank, is perhaps the one who is most at risk - this besides the fact that every single political pundit sees him as holding his seat, until such time as he feels the need to retire. Think again. In fact, Frank is facing challenges from his own party, let alone those running as Republicans. The most likely to give Frank the proverbial boot is a man who has run against Frank in the past. One who does not necessarily fit the Republican model, (or any model), one who looks to the Constitution and has a keen grasp of that document. Earl Sholley,, is an individual, somewhat quirky, not terribly charismatic, but sound, sensible and with an ideological approach to governing that he has held fast to for decades. Sholley, of all the candidates, does have some baggage (in political think), however, the candidate he faces has more, and as this man goes door to door throughout the 4th district, he finds discontent and volunteers. This did not happen overnight, or as a result of another candidates rise, but due to hard work and an unshakable belief in the Constitution, the public and the need for reform. Both of these candidates are the least likely to be called “rock stars”, yet, that’s precisely their appeal.

The fact that both candidates outlined above have been able to energize volunteers based on their own ideals, and, in equal measure, the candidate they are opposing, speaks volumes about the change that is going to reshape Massachusetts into a Commonwealth that is less “blue”, and more evenly representative of all the peoples of the Bay State. Yes, the Democrats of Massachusetts have hard campaigns ahead of them, perhaps much harder than the Coakley campaign, due to the fact that those who would run have had more time to prepare than did one Scott Brown. It is going to be a wild 2010 in Massachusetts politics. One can watch the “safe Democrat” stay pretty much the same on the pundit’s websites, until say, mid-October, when the handwriting on the wall becomes abundantly clear.

The number one search on this blog: Who is running against Barney Frank, has been joined by Who is running against Richard Neal, with a majority of those inquiries coming from within Massachusetts in the past two weeks, prior to that, they were coming from all corners of the nation, with a few hits here and there inside the Bluest State. Barney Frank inquiries average about 100 unique hits per day. (Which grew exponentially over the past week, to 300), which means that an investment, in time, talent and that all important cash needed to brand a candidate, is already in the “bank” so to speak.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

HR 3221 – HR 2669 - The Government Wants Control of All Student Loans – No to Private Student Loans

Do you Trust the Federal Government to Manage All Student Loans? image meridian cedit

HR 3221 also known as Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 was passed by the House and referred to the Senate in September of 09. The bill, in essence, moves control of the student loan industry from a combination of public and private institutions to one of total government control. In a piece from CNS News,

A bill currently before the Senate would empower the Obama administration to nationalize the student lending industry, eliminating the federally subsidized private loans millions of university students rely on to finance their educations.

Suggested: read the rest of the article here

The Bill, currently before Senate committee (Summary is available here) is now referred to as HR2669. In essence, this action allows the Federal Government to have total financial control over your student loans, regulating interest rates, and of course, collections should one default. In the instance of default one might prefer to have to face a Chicago politician or loan shark rather than the I.R.S.

One may think that the Government currently has enough on its plate owning the auto and banking industries, but in the never-ending quest for expansion, a move to take-over the student loan industry is of extreme interest due to the fact that larger numbers of individuals will be beholden to the government with no other recourse. If one cannot afford to attend college without a loan, the only option will be the “government loan”. There are always pros and cons to every bill, however, as usual; this little number is part and parcel of several other measures that have to do with the Department of Education - In other words, under the radar for the most part. This is one to watch – closely.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

U.S. Senator Scott Brown – The People’s Victory in Massachusetts – Analysis

For weeks, months, or possibly years, the pundits will be analyzing how Scott Brown, a State Senator from Wrentham, bested Martha Coakley, the clear Democrat front-runner, in what has been called one of the 5 greatest upsets in American political history. The blame game had begun well before the election, with both the Coakley campaign and the DNC pointing fingers at one another, with a media that was “shocked” that a Republican could win in Massachusetts. Health care, or health care reform, to be exact, was touted as the pivotal reason for Brown’s election. There are bits of truth to each: Coakley ran a lackluster campaign, that with the help of the DNC turned negative in the last weeks before the election and turned off the all important Independent voter, the media and pundits refused to acknowledge the fact, until yesterday, that the electorate in Massachusetts is dominated by unenrolled, or independent voters, which align themselves with neither party, and Health Care Reform, was one of the reasons that voters turned to Brown, but it was not the only reason.

Scott Brown won the U.S. Senate Seat on his own merits, by his own work and his ability to create a populist message with all sincerity - one which resonated throughout the Commonwealth. Additionally, his ability to stand by his own record, throughout the debates, in a straight-forward, no-nonsense way won over those who are sick of politicians who offer excuses - Brown “man’s up”. He shared his personal story with the populace, one which tells the tale of a young man, without the proverbial silver spoon, working his way through college, and never forgetting his roots, he is not above the rest of “us”; he is with the rest of us. Therefore, Browns’ natural ability to lead, added to the aforementioned, won the Senate Seat.
On issues, although health care reform was mentioned most often, Brown spoke, just as much about Cap and Trade legislation, foreign policy and his understanding from both a civilian as well as a military point of view. Brown is the real deal, right from the playbook of our founding fathers, a citizen legislator. His acceptance speech, was, like the candidate, at once, humble, telling those who he thanked for working so hard, how the seat belonged to them, it was “the people’s seat”, he then went on to sprinkle quick humor throughout the speech, and included what should be studied by one and all, that consider running for office – he was extremely gracious, both to Martha Coakley, but to the entire administration.

The electorate in Massachusetts, having witnessed several progressive administrations, including governors (Deval Patrick), Barack Obama, and then Jimmy Carter, rejected the policy of a one-size fits all, shoebox mentality that is chock full of entitlements, state and federal spending and taxing the daylights out of populace. As ads ran with words like “good progressives of Massachusetts, and “Obama’s agenda” sprinkled throughout and approved by Coakley, one could feel the anger rise amongst those who call themselves Independents.

This will be the message that will continue to be sent as the 2010 races come to the forefront. There are several congressional districts in play in Massachusetts this year, and the incumbent that sits on their laurels, makes few visits to a district, or follows a party line to the letter, is facing a populace in the Bay State that has clearly had enough. The message is clear, it is time to mix it up and send like-minded citizens to Washington. Although Health Care may or may not be an issue by the time the games, already underway, begin in earnest, which is only one of the issues that propelled Scott Brown forward.

If one has not seen or heard his acceptance speech, one should take the time to watch the clip below, and although one might have to go far to find another Scott Brown from Wrentham, as he is who he is, there are men and women standing ready to fight for the people’s seats, in every district in Massachusetts and in every state in the nation.

Suggest watching the following candidates closely (Seats are projected, what else? "Safe Democrat":

From the Massachusetts 2nd Hampden, Dr. Jay Flietman

Dr. Flietman will face entrenched Congressman Richard Neal who has a voting pattern over the past decades that refuses to cross a party line.

From the Massachusetts 4th District, Earl Sholley, a populist Independent Republican, who is an avid historian specifically regarding the Constitution and the model of the Congress.

Sholley will face, for a second time, Congressman Barney Frank, the man who is most associated with Freddie and Fannie, and otherwise, needs little in the way of introduction. His voting record speaks for itself.

Therefore, when pundits ask “how” Massachusetts could elect Republican’s, they should understand that, the colony which broke the yoke of England to form the United States of America, has the ability to endure heavy taxes and great burdens, but for only so long. The fact that Massachusetts residents have a higher tolerance level than residence of other states, should send a clear message to those citizens who would be legislators to step up, and remember Scott Brown’s words in speaking to the citizens of the Commonwealth: “You are the machine.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Massachusetts Elects Scott Brown, Republican, to U.S. Senate – Coakley Concedes

Scott Brown has been elected to represent the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States Senate. Just moments ago, the Associated Press called the race for Brown. Martha Coakley, Democrat, conceded. With 77% of the precincts reporting, Brown led by a solid 5 to 6% throughout the night.

MA Update, DEM Worker Caught handing out Absentee Ballots

Video just released at

Mass. Senate Race Update - Low Voter Turn-out as of Noon

Although the Democrat Secretary of State, Bill Galvin, has suggested there would be a high voter turnout, the reality may be that voter turn-out for this election is on the low side. The Boston Globe, is offering readers, city by city, to report on what is taking place at their polling station. The results are here. Count the Browns out of 1800 plus who have submitted results to date, and the fact that in almost each instance, the word is "low voter turn-out". It is not without a bit of rain, snow, and the fact that Coakley's declines in the polls, has hit Massachusetts Democrats (who are not voting for Brown) hard. This race will remain a close race, in all likelihood, however, the difference between reports from Brown voters vs. Coakley supporters is measurable by enthusiasm. Brown continues to have the momentum and his supporters are taking nothing for granted.

Today, Massachusetts Finally has a Choice – Brown vs. Coakley – U.S. Senate Race

For what seems like decades the voters of Massachusetts have had few choices if any when it came to most state elections, however, today the choice is there, in the form of one State Senator, Scott Brown. It is not so much that names have not been on the ballot, not that other candidates in the past were not worthy to hold a seat in the State Legislature, the Governor’s office, the U.S. Congress or the U.S. Senate, it has been a battle of name recognition and the quality candidate combined that turned the Commonwealth that gave history a Republic in the new world, into a state the pundits consistently called “Safe Democrat”. It has been so lopsided as far as one political party is concerned, that most often another name is not even on the ballot. In the past, when going to the polls, one found oneself focused on the ballot initiatives more than the actual candidates.

Today, voters go to the polls in Massachustts with a clear choice to fill a vacant U.S. Senate Seat – on one side they have Scott Brown, a Republican from Wrentham, MA who has been a State Senator for three terms. Brown is part of a small group of Republican’s that sit with a majority of Democrats on Beacon Hill. In 2006, this blog found Scott Browns website for constituent services and became interested in the Republican from Wrentham. His monthly newsletters to constituents here are filled with tips for constituents, and updates about what is happening in their government. In subscribing over a period of years, one found that Brown takes care of his constituents, listens to their needs, and offers suggestions. In addition, he does not always vote party line, but weighs the value of each piece of legislation regardless of the source before making a decision. This is the type of legislator that every district in Massachusetts would welcome. Brown, a conservative, is also a moderate, not too far to the right, nor too far to the left, but pragmatic when looking at a given issue. In other words, someone with some common sense and intelligence with a love of country that is apparent by his thirty years of service in the National Guard.

Martha Coakley, a former district attorney from Middlesex County and in her first term as Attorney General for the Commonwealth, is a different story. It is not so much that Martha Coakley is not a good Attorney General, or that she hasn’t done her best for her constituents in that particular position, however, her qualifications hardly suit her for the State Senate, let alone the U.S. Senate. It is not her decision making process, it is her extreme devotion to party over the people of the Commonwealth that makes Coakley the least desirable candidate in this particular race.

This Senate race has garnered a great deal of national attention, but it is, and remains, the race of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In all the endorsements, visits from party dignitaries and a great deal of advertising, robo-calls and the like, the only deciding factor is the actual candidate and that candidates qualifications to best represent Massachusetts, not for a party, not for a President’s agenda, but for the people. In the past several years, Brown has made that his priority, and in this campaign, his sincerity in his promise to continue to do so, is what makes him the most qualified to be the next U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.

Throughout this campaign, in speaking to those who would vote in Massachusetts, one simple instruction was given, investigate both candidates and then make a decision. A candidate, regardless of party, should be “given” a seat, or “entitled” to a seat, because of party, but because of a proven record. The last week or two saw advertising that was so chock full of fabrication (politely put) regarding Senator Brown’s record (which is available online), that it smacked of desperation, and arrogance. Arrogance that the good people of the Commonwealth lacked common sense and would do as they were told: vote for the President’s Agenda. The ads barely mentioned Martha Coakley as candidate.

One cannot predict the outcome of today’s election, although polls are giving Brown the edge, and Scott Brown clearly has the momentum, rest assured nothing has been taken for granted. Last night felt like Christmas Eve all over again, and that’s a rare feeling for moderate conservative thinkers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As we head to the polls in approximately an hour, the choice is there, and as the country watches, rest assured, the people were given a choice, they reacted to the choice, and, after the dust settles, and a decision has been made by the people. Side note: spotters from both parties (including unenrolled) will be in place at each polling station throuout the Commonwealth). Finally, regardless of the newspaper endorsements, regardless of the pundits from both inside and outside the Commonwealth and regardless of the perception that Massachusetts belongs to one political party – the Commonwealth belongs to its citizens.
Polls open at 7 am and close at 8 pm.

The next races to watch U.S. Congressional: The Hampden 2nd and the Massachusetts 4th District.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mass Senate Race: Latest Poll Brown Plus 9 Over Coakley

Real Clear Politicsshows a variety of polls on the Massachusetts Senate Race, all coming within the past 24 hours. The latest poll has Brown up by 9 points over Democrat Martha Coakley. The poll, conducted by Insider Advantage/Politico ((Marginals herewas taken on the 17th. Additional polls vary between a tie (Daily Kos) and 10%, with the majority coming in between a 7 and 10 point advantage for Brown.

That said, no one is taking anything for granted in Massachusetts, the get-out-the vote effort for Brown has risen with each poll, regardless of the point spread.

Note: A Suffolk University Bellweather Poll has reportedly gone to Brown in double digits, however, Suffolk University has not issued a press release and/or provided marginals, which is a rarity. Until marginals or a press release are available on Suffolks website regarding bellweathers, one would be wise to refer to Real Clear Politics list of polls, or check the Suffolk website here. Currently Suffolk is showing the last poll as of December 14th.

Brown Pulls Large Crowds Across the State

Scott Brown's Cross-State Tour yesterday pulled larger crowds that that of President Obama. Obama's one stop at Northeastern University on behalf of Martha Coakley, drew an estimated 2,000, while Brown, making a stop in Worcester, filled one hall with 1,500 had to open up two more venues to hold overflow (approximately 1,500). In addition, those that could not get into the venues and out of the rain lined the streets of Worcester trying to catch a glimpse of Brown. There was an opposition rally in Worcester with the Mayor of the City and about a dozen Caokley supporters.

Coverage from New England Cable News Network More video on site here

Brown 51% Coakley 46% - Margin +/- 2.8% - Latest Poll Released Sunday Night By Public Policy Polling

A poll releasedon January 17th, by Public Policy Polling has Brown Up by 5 points over Coakley, but still within the statistical margin of error, according to the pollste who noted a margin of error for the poll at plus/minus 2.8% - polling 1231 Massachusetts voters using an automated telephone polling methodology. The poll did not include a category for “other candidate” or for Libertarian candidate Joe Kennedy. Additionally, the pollster is known as trending “left” in their political stance, however, they correctly called both the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections, giving them credence. Polling, although a statistical science, is not without errors, specifically when the electoral makeup is not in line with the actual electoral makeup of the state, and questions posed are not either leading or not relevant to the race.

The Marginals: full marginals and cross tabs here
  • Voting: Brown: 51%, Coakley 46%, Undecided 4%

  • Favorable: Brown 56%, Coakley: 44%
  • Democrats 39%, Republicans 17%, Unenrolled 44%

  • Obama Approval: 44% approve, 43% disapprove, 13% unsure

  • Effective argument for election to Senate: Brown 56%, Coakley 41%

  • ACORN Stealing Election: 25% Yes, 38% no, 37% Unsure

  • Favorable Opinion of Democrats in Congress: 30%, Unfavorable: 55%, Unsure: 14%

  • Favorable Opinion of Republicans in Congress: 22%, Unfavorable; 63%, Unsure 15%

  • Brown: Liberal 4%, Conservative 58% Moderate 37%

  • Coakley: Liberal 64%, Conservative 4%, Moderate 32%

  • Political View: Liberal 23%, Conservative: 22%, Moderate: 54%

  • The pollster in calling a 5 point lead with a 2.8% margin of error a statistical tie included the following:
    ”Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may
    introduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify.”

    In reviewing the marginals, two (at least) anomalies are in place: first, the electoral makeup: Massachusetts electorate (based on 2008 statistics from the office of the Secretary of State), 35% Democrat, 12% Republican, 51% Unenrolled, and balance “other party”. In polls where Libertarian Candidate, Joe Kennedy is included, he garners 3% of the vote, in this poll, 4% of those polled are “unsure” which may account for the ommission of this candidate.

    Obama’s approval remains the same from this pollster, referring to the last poll taken a week ago and 48% oppose the President’s healthcare plan. More over the question asked regarding ACORN stealing the election is interesting: although it is doubtful that the majority of those polled know about the roll ACORN has played in the political arena (given the virtual news blackout by mainstream media regarding that organization) 37% show as unsure, and 25% expecting the organization to be involved in voter fraud. Had the question been posed a bit differently, as in: Do you think the Democrats in Massachusetts will try to steal the election: those numbers might have been a bit higher, due to rampant corruption associated with Beacon Hill and the majority of the electorate in the Commonwealth being well aware of said corruption.

    The pollster points out that “if” Coakley can energize the base in the final hours of the campaign, she can still pull it off – however, that would be an ACORN miracle at this point in the game especially coming into the final 24 hours of the election with a favorable of 44%. Note: both candidates lost favorability with this pollster, contributed to negative campaigning.

    If the pollster were confident, given the 2.8% margin of error, Brown would have Coakley by 2 points, which is still somewhat of a “toss-up” even if it is a lead. Also of interest: given the make-up of the poll and the heavy reliance on Obama’s approval, or the number of those who voted for Obama in 2008 versus McCain, one would be led to believe that Coakley, herself, hardly factors into the race. What will be the deciding factor in this race is going to be “grassroots” and organization and Coakley's campaign. That momentum lays with the Brown camp.
    Projection: Brown in a squeaker, (Factoring in the Dead, Acorn and the Momentum on Browns side). It is imperative that Brown’s camp continue the push, and should Coakley continue negative advertising, the margin for Brown may end up being a point or two higher. The weather and turnout: Forecast for Tuesday, January 19th from the National Weather Service: Springfield: Rain and Snow 50%, Boston: 60%, Worcester: 60% - should the forcast hold: advantage: Brown

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Obama Heckled in Massachusetts - 7 Year Old escorted from Rally - 2,000 in attendance

    In the most ridiculous move of his presidency, Barak Obama flew to Massachusetts in an attempt to rally Coakley supporters. Instead, the President found anti-Coakley sentiment. A segment of the rally is shown below - video courtesy of You Tube. At one point he ended up walking away from the podium. Perhaps he didn't see the polls coming out of Public Policy Polling, where he enjoys a 44% approval rate in the Bay State, and Martha Coakley's imploding campaign just took another turn for the worse. Public Policy Polling will release a new poll tonight at approximately 10:30 eastern. From what they had gleaned so far in this second and final poll, was that Obama's popularity rose 20%, which was a 5 point bump up, however, Brown appeared to have picked up an equal amount of Democrat voters. All eyes on Massachusetts, the Bay State is poised to shake things up a bit.

    Obama Schedule for Northeastern Coakely Rally - Doors Open at 1 PM

    Courtesty of the Boston Globe:

    President Barack Obama will headline a rally at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Northeastern University to try to boost support for Democratic US Senate candidate Martha Coakley, Coakley's campaign announced today.

    Doors will open at 1 p.m. to the Solomon Court at the Cabot Center at 400 Huntington Ave.

    The event is free and open to the public. The public is asked to limit personal items, and bags and umbrellas are prohibited.

    The public is urged to use public transportation, either the Northeastern station on the Green Line or the Ruggles station on the Orange Line.

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