MA Sen. James (Jamie) Eldridge joined up to talk campaign-finance reform, specifically disclosure of contributions. He’s as appalled as we about the Citizens United decision. He is a leader in nibbling away at its most pernicious effects with legislation here. Click below to hear is descriptions of the problems and solutions.
Currently he has two bills that could make big differences in next year’s elections, ones in which we have open governor, attorney general, and treasurer/receiver general spots. The flood of undisclosed donations, particularly those from out of MA, into the recent mayoral election has set the stage. One of his bills, (S.321/H.651), requires timely disclosure of big donors — when contributions occur and not well after the election.
We covered a lot of the subject in the show — his current bills, the history of various campaign reform in both houses here, his own experiences running as a clean-elections candidate, the effects of outside money in Boston, and of course, the outlook for the watered down election-reform bill that passed our House and the outlook for S.321.
He also would like to see Citizens United reversed by Constitutional amendment. He doesn’t know whether public outrage will drive that in years rather than decades. Meanwhile, he is one of the legislators in various states hacking and nibbling at election-financing sins.
Leading advocate for election reform, MA Sen. Jamie Eldridge joins us. We’ll start with a few of his bills in the works. Notably, the Massachusetts Disclose Act (S.321/H.651, cosponsored by Rep. Cory Atkins) would let voters know before an election is over who’s paying for ad campaigns and funneling money to support candidates — that dark money.
Following Citizens United and subsequent elections like the recent Boston one, the many flaws in campaign-financing laws have become obvious. Sen. Eldridge is hard at work identifying the problems and trying to fix them.
If you can hear the show live, click here Tuesday, November 26th at 2:30PM Eastern. Afterward, you can hear or download his show at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.
Today was a victory lap. Yesterday was a decade since the Goodridge v. Board of Health decision by our MA Supreme Judicial Court mandating marriage equality.
Not only has the earth not opened up to swallow us, but despite the naysayers and outright liars, nothing but good has come of it. We celebrated. We looked at the current one-third plus of the population in the country in marriage-equality states. We looked forward to either bringing in the other states one by one or a national decision in the SCOTUS or Congress to make it universal here.
We did deal a bit with the plug nasties who remain anti-gay and anti-equality. They have been reduced to trying to export their lies and bigotry to other states and other nations. They don’t seem likely to recant and repent, but we see their numbers and support dwindling steadily and inexorably. We also figure that when the country gets to 60% or more under marriage-equality, the SCOTUS is almost certain to finish the task.
Ryan proposed that the high-divorce states, which are anti-marriage-equality ones too have a correlation. If they are trying to force people to be unhappy, they end up being unhappy in general. I doubt that’s been studied but it makes sense.
Ten years, count ‘em, all your toes in time since the MA Supreme Judicial (our high bench) laid down THE WORD. Keeping homosexual couples from marrying like het ones was unconstitutional. A few months later, a legislatively constipated set of lawmakers couldn’t get its act together and it took effect.
Listen in tomorrow to hear our recap of nearly a decade of gay couples as well as straight ones marrying here. If you want to listen live, click here at 2:30 PM Eastern tomorrow, Tuesday, November 19th. Fret not if you’re busy, catch the show afterward at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.
As recently as this month, the anti-gay sorts are still chanting the same lies and calumnies. We’ll tell you whether our earth sunders, mountains tumbled, or citizens corrupted.
Not even the personal-responsibility-taking POTUS denies that the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) has started well. Today we kicked around the likelihood of improving the new system. Listen in to our blend of hope and skepticism.
We talk about the well-reported calumnies of signup travails, low success/interest, and tripled policy costs. We also dealt with the Prez’ clumsy, bungled absolute of keeping your policy and doc if you like them.
We considered whether the stumbling ACA start will be worse for Dems than the shutdown for the GOP. We pretty much concluded that Republicans will get the worst of it, but likely not enough to lose enough seats to give Dems control of the House.
We discussed more substantial issues like whether Republican Congress folk and governors would protect millions per their states with enhanced almost-entirely-federally-funded Medicaid expansion (very unlikely).
Ryan glumly predicted more wasted votes on destroying the ACA and no dialog about improving the biill. Mike figures any tweaking will have to be with almost entirely Dem votes on administration-driven initiatives.
For 2014, Mike figures human angles on lives saved, families and individuals now covered, and truth against jive generalities and pure lies. Ryan thinks Dems can get out the vote with per-state minimum-wage ballot questions and going after Republicans for refusing Medicaid expansion.
We are sure that despite GOP fantasies the bumbling rollout will soon be perking along, and the success tales will abound. How quickly that translates into public awareness is yet to be determined.
Yesterday was good for lefties. Mike preferred John Connolly and Ryan liked the winner Marty Walsh in Boston’s mayoralty. We agreed it was great to have a choice between two progressive sorts…with not a winger loony in sight.
We talked about the outcome of that and the City Councilors. With the new administration, they have a shot at helping define brand new agenda. Plus the addition of Michelle Wu on the at-large side is very promising.
Listen in on what we thought were the many highlights and few low ones in Boston, as well as Lawrence, NYC and Virginia.
How ’bout that GOP loony rap about the POTUS and Dems never compromising, never conceding? Madness.
We held forth on the many, many areas, particularly budget levels and specific cuts, where both the POTUS and Congressional Dems rolled over. Then, the GOP pols took each as a new starting point and got even crazier in their demands. We spoke of the imaginary budget and deficit problems and causes (like Social Security) and the real (like the financial meltdown, multiple unfunded wars, absurd and untenable tax cuts, and an unfunded Medicare expansion by W).
Fortunately for the nation, a bloc of progressive pols, lead by the likes of Sen. Warren, are supplying the leadership, morality and sense that the POTUS and Dem leaders have lacked. This promises to have more reasonable outcomes in the debt-level and budget battles tarting tomorrow with the conference committee. Ryan holds that the Prez is finally understanding what’s possible.
We sidetracked on whether we’d be willing to give up Warren in the Senate if Hillary Clinton does not run for POTUS in 2016.
Lackaday, we figure on more of the same Republican nastiness in November and December. Also, we figure that too many GOP House members are in very safe districts to swing control to the Dems, but we do figure that like 2012, they’ll lose seats and the returning cowards will be nervous from left and right.
Ryan aptly defined the GOP pols as “playing chicken but they don’t know when to stop.” I think the newly gutsy Dems can help them with that.
We’ll take an 8-day break from our maybe over-coverage of the Boston municipal elections. This week, we’ll talk about how likely the POTUS will be to let happen what he’s been proposing for months — cuts and other changes to Social Security and Medicare. We’ll get into how much he and Congressional Dems have conceded already.
If you can join us live for that discussion, go here tomorrow, October 29th at 2:30 PM Eastern.
Of course, the next week, the day after the election, we’ll talk the Boston municipal results. There’ll be a new Mayor-elect for the first time in 20 years. Plus with four vacant District Council seats open, others challenged and four at-large Councilors to choose, there are likely to be big changes in that body.
If you can join us live for the recap and commentary, go here on Wednesday, November 6th, at 2:30 PM Eastern.
As always, after the shows, you can hear or download them back here at Left Ahead, at the show URLs, or on our iTunes page.
Weeks in the making, I was pleased to have the other shoe today, the second of the two finalists in next month’s final for Boston mayor, John Connolly. See last week’s show for Marty Walsh.
Connolly called in between two events. He gave me full attention, but was only on for 17 minutes. If you’d like to skip my intro, context setting and blather, drag bar ahead to 8:30 minutes in the player below, or your own if you save the file for later.
I had prepared policy questions before we rescheduled the show several times. Meanwhile polls have come out, much money has been raised, and lately many pols have endorsed, most for Walsh. Knowing we’d be short of time, I trimmed the topics considerably.
Listen in as we start with the largely artificial controversy about whether three years full time in the classroom gives him leave to say he is a former teacher. He believes those remain transformative years that inform his work and politics. He jocularly said those who would denigrate that as being like birthers.
For the next few weeks:
- He does not believe the campaign will get nasty or classist.
- He thinks both sides have enough money and staff for a fair race.
- He won’t be changing his approach for the next two debates (tomorrow and the next Tuesday evenings).
- He thinks that voters will ultimately decide between the candidates’ platforms.
Note: If you’re wondering where normal co-host Ryan has been, be aware he recused himself from the mayoral shows because of political (and blogger activities that might conflict.
Among other topics we got to was housing. I challenged him on what seemed like spongy lingo in his development planks. Phrases like “As mayor, I would leverage the resources and influence of the Department of Neighborhood Development, the BRA an the Housing Trust” do not inspire me to believe his administration would drive enough of the right kind of housing. Listen in as he talks about how he’d get it done.
He also claims that women, those financially struggling and communities of color like his economic plans to do more than bring some jobs. He also wants business founding via entrepreneurial centers. His vision is folks in places like Dorchester and Roxbury starting companies and hiring neighbors.
Both shoes have dropped, rather both shows.
After much scrambling to grab time with Boston mayoral candidate John Connolly, we’re set. If you want to hear him live, join us at 11 AM Eastern Monday, October 21st here.
Note this has been pulled in a half hour from 11:30. Let us pray.
His show will be available on demand for downloading or listening on line at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page afterward.
The other finalist for November’s election, Marty Walsh, was on last week. You can hear him here.
I had to toss my list of questions. Much has happened — polls, fundraising, endorsements, the first debate.