Saturday, May 15, 2010

Massachusetts 4th District Update – Barney Frank 2010 Challengers Sean Bielat and Earl Sholley Updates

Red Massachusetts? Sean Bielat running against Barney Frank in the 4th District - photo Massachsuetts election blog

A recent op-ed by Washington Examiner columnist, William Krystol asks: “Red Massachusetts?” Krystol got a tip from a friend of his that the political climate in Massachusetts has changed over the past year, beginning with Scott Brown’s election, and most recently the election of Richard Ross to Brown’s vacated State Senate Seat. Ross, as a Republican, garnered 62% of the vote in this heavily Democrat State district. He goes further to speak about Congressional Districts that are in play: the Massachusetts 5th, the Massachusetts 10th and the Massachusetts 4th. He did not mention, the Hamden 2nd, where incumbent Democrat Richard Neal is facing Dr. Jay Fleitman, of Northampton, who is quite capable of taking Neal’s seat come November. Fleitman made his candidacy official on May 11th, turning in over 3700 signatures (2,000 required) to the Statehouse.

Earl Sholley running for 4th District - Photo by Steve Azzara, PR Web

Over in the 4th District, Sean Bielat, ( who made his campaign official on May 11th, according to the Boston Globe. Bielat will face a primary challenge from Earl Sholley ( the opportunity to unseat Barney Frank of Freddie and Fannie fame. Sholley’s Campaign Manager, Lisa Camp, recently announced her resignation, along with Deputy Campaign Manager, Joseph Lydon in a press release dated May 12th. Camp, one of the who’s who of the Mike Huckabee 2008 Presidential Campaign, noted differences in campaign management style as reason for her departure. Camp, who had worked on the Sholley campaign since May of 2009 noted: "Both Joe and I wish Mr. Sholley well in the balance of his campaign," said Ms. Camp, "and we believe that either Mr. Sholley or his opponent, Sean Bielat, is better suited to hold the Congressional Seat currently held by incumbent, Barney Frank." There has been no comment from the Sholley Campaign.

Lisa Camp, Resigns as Sholley Campaign Manager - image Facebook

Of interest however, is that both Camp and Lydon are both noted grass-roots activist on the South Coast, where Bielat may be lacking some support. The announcement came on the heels of Bielat's Press Conference announcing his candidacy.

Meanwhile, Over at Public Policy Polling Blog they are asking which districts to poll next. Comments for polling the Massachusetts 4th appear to be leading.

NJ Govenor Chris Christie – Why We Need More Chris Christies At All Levels of Government

Politico has an article with video (below) on a press conference with New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, in which the Governor expounds on the differences between himself and the press. It is, without a doubt, one of the most refreshing lectures from a Conservative to a “politically correct” press, one has heard or seen in eons. Christie lays it out in terms that leave no doubt as to who is he and how he plans to govern, and lets the press know, in no uncertain terms, that they will be faced with his particular brand of humor and straight-forward, shoot-from-the-hip style that should be bottled and exported nationwide. One can often hear the lament: “Why can’t our governor be more like Chris Christie”, and no wonder. For decades, from the President to the local dog catcher, conservatives have treated the press with kid gloves, understanding that the press was not friendly in the least, even using avoidance (See George W. Bush) when it was necessary to be confrontational. That ship has sailed, so to speak, with Chris Christie outlining the “way it is”. It can only be hoped that, when challenged for something ridiculous, any conservative, will kick it up a notch and stand up for themselves when faced with a hostile press.

As more and more average American’s turn to other sources for their news, it is not the economy, nor the Internet, nor a poor performance on the part of a news anchor, be it national or local, that is driving down subscribers and viewers, it is the transparent and obvious partisanship displayed both on screen and in print that has created a backlash.

There are more GOP and Tea Party candidates running in 2010 races (local, state and national), than at any other time in recent memory, yet one cannot find much coverage, unless on resorts to blogs, which may or may not have the whole story or be written from a specific point of view (see this blog, for example). As these candidates pick up little press (or more to the point, national negative press based on innuendo (See Boston Globe article on GOP Candidate, Jeff Perry who is running for the 10th Congressional District in MA, being vacated by Democrat Bill Delahunt. Although Perry must face a primary, the Globe decided to run a story that covers a 1990’s police incidence, (Perry was a police officer) where Perry was nearby another officer who was obviously out of line. The story is here for review. Connecting a political candidate to a “scandal” no matter how thin a stretch, is part and parcel of the type of “journalism” that is driving readers over to the dark side (i.e. blogs and alternate news sources and the GOP or Tea Party (or neither - as an independent). There may be hundreds, thousands of Chris Christie’s in the waiting, only November will tell. If this hunch is correct, then watching the local news (and/or YouTube videos of the news which, may leave out a detail or three), will become extremely entertaining.

Gov Christie calls S-L columnist thin-skinned for inquiring about his 'confrontational tone'

Friday, May 14, 2010

Massachusetts – Homeless Housed In Hotels Reminded of Safety Regulations after Fire Breaks Out in Western Mass. Quality Inn – The Insanity of the DHCD

FromThe Springfield Republican: 32 homeless families housed at a Quality Inn in West Springfield, MA were given a reminder not to cook in hotel rooms after a fire broke out the night before. Massachusetts routinely houses homeless families in hotel rooms, racking up two million dollars a month in taxpayer funded hotel bills. Surely, with $24 million dollars a year, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts could purchase and renovate buildings suitable for short and long-term stays of families, include resources for education and hire those that are housed (and able to work), and even save a few bucks. There should be sane measures in place to lift up, not house those who, through illness, and or lack of education are forced to literally live in the streets. From a “but for the Grace of God” perspective, anyone can experience the loss of income and the subsequent loss of a home; therefore, the concept of housing homeless families in hotel and motel rooms throughout the state should have been a temporary measure, until the State could, again, use existing vacant buildings, and or existing homeless shelters, expand those for family units, and re-educate or educate those that are able, and give dignity to families who are now crammed like cattle into mid-priced hotel rooms across the Bay State.

Several State Legislators have tried to solve the problem; apparently, they were not taken seriously by the powers that be on Beacon Hill. A 10 point plan submitted by State Sen. Stephen J. Buoniconti, D-West Springfield, and state Rep. James T. Welch, D-West Springfield is outlined below: (From the Republican Webite:

10-point plan to address the placement of homeless families in hotels and motels, as outlined by state Sen. Stephen J. Buoniconti and state Rep. James T. Welch, both D-West Springfield.
1. Require the Department of Housing and Community Development to submit a report to the Legislature within 30 days that will detail a plan to eliminate the policy of housing homeless families in hotels and motels within one year. This will eliminate an ineffective policy that costs taxpayers nearly $36 million per year.
2. Develop specific residency requirements for families seeking shelter. Require the person seeking shelter to provide a minimum of one piece of documentation that clearly shows that their last known address is inside Massachusetts. For example: utility bill, bank statement, driver’s license.
3. Change current language that states that a woman automatically qualifies for emergency family shelter once she becomes pregnant to once the woman gives birth. A pregnant woman would still be eligible for standard homeless shelters up to that point (a shelter provides better structure and resources for a pregnant woman as she is preparing for birth).
4. Remove language that states the DHCS does not have have authority to make regulatory changes to their policies regarding homelessness unless the account is running at a deficit.
5. Waive the 20-mile rule that states a family must be placed within 20 miles of their last known address.
6. Families will receive only one option. If the option is refused, they must wait one year before reapplying for shelter.
7. If DHCD places a family in a hotel, DHCD will be responsible for notifying the community’s Health Department, Police Department and School Department (if school-aged children) within 24 hours of placement.
8. DHCD must conduct a search of all open shelter space that is currently idle in Massachusetts. If a shelter is available, but not being utilized and is up to code, DHCD must ask for a request for proposals.
9. If DHCD places a family with a child under the age of 3 in a hotel or motel, it must notify the state Department of Children and Family Services. The Department of Children and Family Services must then contact the hotel to ensure that the room that is being provided is equipped with a crib that meets all safety codes. The Department of Children and Family Services must then inspect the room with 24 hours of placement. If the hotel has failed to provide a crib that meets standards, it will be subject to a $10,000 fine.
10. The Department of Housing and Community Development will be required to reimburse communities for each pupil that is bused out of district while placed in a hotel. Each School Department must keep a list of students that are being bused from a hotel to a neighboring community and submit a request for payment on a quarterly basis.

There are several problems with the current system included in the outline above, which just leap off the page – specifically, the fact that no documentation of residency is required, and that pregnant women are warehoused in hotels, again, when a suitable alternative could be built for less.
For example a listing for a 72 room motel in Springfield, close to a community college, is listed for $1.5 million. Hotels from Hyannis to Pittsfield are on the block with price tags that would require an initial investment, yet in the long term, save the Commonwealth a chunk of change in the long-run. All things considered, specifically the reception Rep’s. Walsh and Buoniconti received from the State, surely the DHCD could come up with something more cost effective and safe could be done to ensure that more homeless families could be served with dignity and hope of a future.

Vide from Local News Affiliate WWLP

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Poll – Widespread Public Opinion Supports Arizona Immigration Law - Analysis

Illegal Immigrants Cross the Arizona Border - from the blog Seeing Red AZ
A poll released by Pew Research shows overwhelming support for Arizona’s Immigration Law, which mirrors the Federal Immigration Laws already on the books. Aside from calls from the Los Angeles City Council to boycott Arizona, and similar calls from cities such as Boston, the average citizen, regardless of political affiliation or age, supports the immigration law passed by the State of Arizona.

The Pew poll divides into four categories; a total of all participants which gives the law requiring people to show proof of documentations receive a 73% approval rating. A partisan divide breaks that total down by party; Republicans 85%, Democrats 65% and Independents at 73% - which is a high rate of approval for the Democrat moniker. The third category is by age – with 18-29 year olds least supportive at 61% and the fourth is based on Obama’s handling Immigration, which receives a net positive of 31%.

Although one can argue that younger people and Democrats do not support the law as much as older Independents and Republican’s, the fact that the percentage is above 50% in both cases leaves one the impression that, nationalism aside, the news coming from border states as well as the current economy and laws either on the books or in progress regarding support for illegal’s (for example: See in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants proposed by Mass. Governor Deval Patrick), has not gone unnoticed.

Additionally, support from Hispanics who have entered the country legally has not been polled, and one would hazard to guess, not unlike any other immigrant who has had to run the gamut of legal fees and tests a U.S. high school graduate could not pass, might not favor an open border policy.

Is the Arizona Law racist? Although that’s the hue and cry from most that are in opposition to the Arizona law, one finds that most who oppose do so regardless of country of origin. There are other considerations that are on the minds of individual citizens regardless of ethnicity – such as border security vis a vis terrorism, and the number of crimes being committed in Border States as well as states that have high illegal immigrant populations is of concern.

The fact that by entering the country without going through Federal border crossing protocol, is, in itself, an illegal act, is not missed by the main populace. The fallacy that the open border policy is favored by the majority of Hispanics who vote in this country, may be the downfall of those politicians who are crying foul. A sensible immigration policy (the one already in place), allows for work visas, as well as offers a path to citizenship (granted one that is lengthy and costly and should be reformed), and protects those who reside legally within the borders of the United States. The fact that several administrations, from both parties, have neglected to secure the borders, and enforce the laws, will, in the end result, foster racism. As more border state violence is reported, as more fatal accidents involving those here illegally increase, it will be natural for citizens, regardless of ethnicity to look to the most egregious cause of the problem, and that will come by way of the southern border. Should the laws be enforced, those entering legally would be embraced by the majority (given that there will always be those who are bigoted, regardless of country of origin - See Irish Immigrants and circa 1900.

Plainly put, it is the Federal Governments Job to protect the borders (north, south and the coasts), but having failed to do so, the State of Arizona, in desperation, needed to be able to protect its citizens by enforcing Federal Laws on a State Level. The facts are not lost on the average citizen, regardless of party or age. Those who see the United States citizenship as less than notable are Progressives, who would rather have an open border policy. Progressives now align themselves with the Democrat Party, but it is a mistake to consider all Democrats as Progressives. Progressives (i.e. Socialists) hold a separate political ideology (see Nancy Pelosi) and, as of now, hold positions within the United States Government and espouse views that are contrary to the majority and the laws established by the Constitution. Unless and until border policy as defined by current laws is followed to the letter, the violence along border states and exported inland, will continue unabated.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

House GOP Asks America Where To Cut Spending While Democrats Push to Vote on Big Spending Measures before Summer Recess

Republican House members are planning to give the public a say in what programs should be cut in order to bring spending in line. The program, entitled “You Cut”, part of the House GOP’s Economic Recovery Group plan to cut spending, gives citizens a vote each week on five spending options. As spending spirals out of control, the plan to place additional spending items on-line – for a “citizen’s vote” is a breath of fresh air. The premise – the spending item with the highest number of votes will be brought to the floor of the House in an attempt to eliminate said item in a House vote. Although the Dallas Morning News opines that this is a “Gimmick”, the program is the first step towards transparency and democracy taken by either party, and a welcome change from Washington politics as usual.

The Dallas Morning News:

"The You Cut project is not about finding the one silver bullet to our debt problems. It is designed, rather, to challenge Washington's culture of spending and replace it with one of savings," says a fact sheet circulating among House Republicans ahead of today's announcement by Cantor, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Dallas and others. "With a deficit near $1.5 trillion, we don't think it is too much to ask of Congress to spend some time debating bills to actually reduce spending."

Meanwhile, Democrats are planning on pushing additional spending programs though Congress prior to the summer recess. The Hill is reporting :

Democratic leaders are looking in the next three weeks to send President Barack Obama a slew of measures that cost more than $200 billion, including a multiyear extension of unemployment benefits, an extension of expiring tax provisions and Medicare doctor payments totaling $180 billion and a $33 billion Afghanistan war supplemental bill.

These additional programs will be added to the already unsustainable budget deficit, which is a concern for the average voter. With special elections taking place within weeks in the Hawaii 1st and Pennsylvania 12th both trending Republican, additional spending foisted on the American public seems to be a Jim Jones act on the part of the Democrat Party. In States across the country both House and Senate races are steering right (see polls at Real Clear, one has to wonder if the current powers that be are either ideologically driven to the extreme or just plain incompetent. It is to the point where, regardless of party, one has to recognize that, with only half of the nation paying taxes, sooner or later, the house of cards is going to collapse. Kudos to the House GOP, gimmick or no, for at least giving a ray of hope to the “masses” who are left to foot the bill and to those Democrats who will be further bankrupting the nation, November is less than six months away, and the voters will, indeed have an opportunity to weigh in on out-of-control spending.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No Surprises and Fannie Mae now Seeks Bailout of 8.4 Billion – Barney Frank – Retirement Options are on the Table

Fannie Maeis seeking an additional 8.4 billion in funding from the federal government on top of the 13 plus billion loss in the first quarter. Fannie Mae, sister to Freddie Mac, are examples of government run and funded programs that have spiraled out of control over the decades. The mortgage giants can be directly linked to the start of the financial crisis that began the spiral of recession in the last year of the Bush Presidency. The chief architect and cheerleader for the institutions is the Congressman from Massachusetts 4th district, Barney Frank (D-Ma), who has repeated gone to the defense for Mae and Mac.

As recently as the 5th of May, Frank had asked the White House to protect his favorite lenders from “Republican attacks”. The trail of corruption and Frank’s insistence that the two lenders are on solid ground can be traced back to 2003, when frank told a Frank insisted before Congress that the two entities were “sound” quote from NYTimes Article:

''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

Perhaps it is time to take government control away from certain types of institutions (namely anything relative to the financial strength of our nation). Just how many government run programs are not rife with corruptions, bankrupt and supported endlessly by politician’s who receive large donations from whichever industry happens to be at the public trough? The Federal Government should be divested from corporations it currently “oversees” (sic. “Owns outright”) and allow those to either fail or succeed based on their merits. One has to question how much debt can the United State continue to amass?

As to Barney Frank, his sister-in-arms, Nancy Pelosi, and the ringleader of the Senate Clowns, Harry Reid; it may not be long before they are replaced by conservatives (see November 2011). In Frank’s district, two republicans are running against Barney Frank: Earl Sholley, a stalwart fiscal conservative, and a new face to Massachusetts Politics, Sean Bielat will face off in a September primary. Whichever one of these men, who make it through the primary, should be a force in the 4th district, and deserving of support on a national basis in order to rid our nation of that imbecile, Frank. That is, of course, if Frank does not pull a Gordon Brown and simply bows out of the race at the last minute, by announcing his retirement (and those rumors have been rampant.)

Over in California, Dana Walsh is giving Pelosi a run for her money, literally. Walsh,a conservative who will not support taxing your great-grandchildren to pay for Nancy's earmarks, can be found at

In Nevada, there are so many running against Harry Reid and besting him by double digits, the conclusion is somewhat foregone. One of three or four Republicans are leading Reid according to polls at Real Clear Politics.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Unemployment up 9.9% as US funds Greek Bailout and U.S. Union Employees Far outpace Private Sector.

Greek Union Workes Riot as Benefits Slashed

From: the Washington Post the latest unemployment figures released Friday who an increase from 9.7 percent in March to 9.9% in April, this figure is an average of all claims across the country. In Georgia, for instance, the unemployment rate is now at 10.6% (Atlanta Journal Constitution) and despite claims of jobs added, it appears that the recovery will continue to grow at a slower than anticipated pace. (Note: Inflation is also rising on food and fuel a la Carter, while analysts are touting a 2% inflation rate that does not include fuel and food)

As the situation deteriorates in Greece due to a policy of government entitlements, specifically government unions who represent government employees, the bankrupt State of Greece has turned to the IMF to bail them out to the tune of 40 Billion dollars – who is the largest contributor to the IMF? the American Taxpayer.
As the present administration continues to promote programs that increase the number of entitlement programs, specifically adding members to the National Federation of Federal Employees somehow affiliated with the Association of Machinist and Aerospace workers, the AFGE who represents DC and Federal workers, Of interest, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, estimates that approximately 15.3 million American’s are union members and a recent New York Times article follows with the headline Most U.S. Union Members Are Working for the Government, New Data Shows”> these, according to the Times, far outnumber those non-union members who work in the private sector.
The what if: the U.S. Debt Crisis becomes so severe in the next two to three years (, that the benefit and entitlements now given to those holding union government jobs, are unsustainable and either must be cut or eliminated?

Hawaii Special Congressional Election Update: Democratic Party Infighting Hands 1st Congressional to GOP

According to the Associated Press (full article here), local party infighting has caused the DCCC. to consider abandoning the race in what has now become the Bluest State . (Title previously held by Massachusetts).

Depending upon the poll, Republican candidate Charles Djou, leads both Democrats, one of which, Colleen Hanabusa, who has the larger poll deficit, refuses to give up the race – thereby splitting the Democrat vote. One might call it denial, or ego, or what-have-you, she refuses to leave the race. Of interest: Djou continues to lead despite Obama robo-calls supporting the Democrat “agenda” and the urging voters to caste a ballot for the Administrations favorite of the two Democrats: Ed Case.

As the final weeks of two special congressional elections winds down, Public Policy Polling (trend Democrat) notes that both Hawaii and Pennsylvania will go to the GOP Article here from May 6.
Should either of these districts elect a Republican Congressional Representative, it would send yet another message across the nation, and especially to Washington, that no seat is “safe” for incumbents who vote to increase spending. Should both go the way of the GOP – then it will indeed, be a long summer recess for those members having to defend them and actually camping in home districts.

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