Archive for Lt. Governor

MA Without the Usual Suspects Podcast

Mild apology up front, as our service cut off the podcast just at 30 minutes with no grace. We were still holding forth, but there’s some beef in the bun. Ryan and Mike looked to the strong possibility that Boston mayor may not run and the term-limit certainty that the governor can’t.

We never got to speculating about a possible special election for US Senate if John Kerry gets sucked into an Obama cabinet post.

We had plenty to consider and pontificate about with possible replacements for Mayor Tom Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick. Ryan’s hoping for a Boston dark horse, but Mike figures on a city councilor. They name names. Likewise for governor, we went through some prime suspects and wild cards.

Listen in as we play what-if and who.

icon for podpress  MA Usual Suspects [30:04m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Apres le Deluge 11/3

OK, kiddies, this was a bye week as we strapped on the campaign gear and showered ourselves with hopes. Next week, we push our regular podcast a day so that we can talk about the Nov. 2nd results.
Check us at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on 11/3 for our commentary, complaints, and we would hope, a bit of bragging. Here it live here. If you can’t or are just being petulant, go there later or return to Left Ahead! for an on-demand listen.


MA Elections Picks Podcast

The Left Ahead! trio rarely endorses candidates. However, each of us often does so individually at our main blogs. Look to Ryan’s Take and Left in Lowell, and Mike already has listed his statewide picks for offices and ballot questions at Marry in Massachusetts.

We ran through some trends in the last two weeks of the campaigns, including the oddment of the GOP nominee for governor pushing internal polls claiming he was winning. There was also the appearance of the mystery man of state government, the non-debating Secretary Bill Galvin. Mike has a promise of a DVD of his sudden manifestation, as recorded by the Whitman Hanson Community Access TV (not available online). He’ll report then it arrives. Galvin was in Hanson at a forum when he knew his opponents were engaged in mutual political agon on stage in Newton.

We (Ryan and Mike today) detailed our individual picks for candidates and positions on the three statewide ballot questions.

icon for podpress  Players and Picks [55:59m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Two-winged Trolley Podcast

With homework for left and right wingers, William S. Lind gave us his past-is-future vision of public transit. His pessimism and hope on the topic are available also at The American Conservative and in full at the book he co-authored, Moving Minds: Conservatives and Public Transportation.

While a famous commentator on military and foreign affairs issues for that other wing, Lind is a serious pragmatist. As an urbanist and strong public-transit advocate, he calls conservatives and progressives alike to task. Listen in as he explains why many conservatives disdain public transit (even if they ride commuter rail) and what lefties need to do to talk the language and roll in the ideas taht are meaningful to the other side.

He gave us the history and concepts of when America could move by rail inside all towns of 5,000 or larger and intercity across America. He decries how the interstate highway system and its cars-over-trains subsidies killed that. Yet, he notes that unlike the multi-billion-dollar high-tech alternatives, trolley and related systems in the millions are within reach. Moreover, much of the necessary infrastructure is still in place, like rights of way.

Unfortunately, Lind suspects that as a nation, we are likely to do the usual — wait until it’s panic time to fix this. Fortunately, he said we can do the trick affordably within a decade.

His vision has work for everyone and sounds worth the effort. The sweetness is that the vision is worthy of both conservatives and progressives.

icon for podpress  Bill Lind [59:37m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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MA Nov. Choices Podcast

Empty promises have hit the fan…again. The Nov. election in MA may have even more important matters than the pick of governor. In particular, ballot question 3 would slash the sales tax from 6.25% to 3%.

Two of the usual LA suspects, Ryan and Mike, spoke of what that might mean. The only good angle to its being on the ballot is that it might increase voter turnout.

They also kicked around the chances of Gov. Deval Patrick’s re-election, even in the swirling winds of a recent poll of questionable worth showing a very tight race with GOP challenger Charlie Baker. Listen to hear what we think.

icon for podpress  MA Nov. Choices [33:55m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Worcester Check-In Podcast

Social activist (podcaster, blogger, video maker and on and on) Mike Benedetti joined us from and to talk about Worcester. That helped keep us from our usual speculation and judgments of politicians. He is much less rarefied and concentrates on real issues of real people, like the homeless and immigrants. His own real life is after all with the Catholic Worker community.

Listen in as we figuratively walk through Worcester to talk about what matters there, how it is the same and different from other Massachusetts cities and what has been changing there. We deal with the impact (and lack thereof) of having the lieutenant governor and one of the most influential members of Congress in Jim McGovern.

You can learn more of Benedetti in this The Pulse Magazine profile (about the middle).  You can also see more of his craft and labors at Pie and Coffee and WCAATV’s 580 show.

He discusses such progressive issues as the surprising effectiveness of placing group homes in Worcester. He also walks us through the slow economic recovery of the central downtown. Listen in to hear what is and what isn’t happening…and why Worcester is a fine place to be a vegan.

icon for podpress  Mike Benedetti [49:08m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


MA Gov. Race Podcast

The usual three suspects held forth on the four candidates for MA Governor. We put our spins on what various candidates would have to do (and be) for a shot at the office.

Nobody so far has much good to say of the GOP’s Charlie Baker. The debates are just starting and he seems to be broadly vulnerable as voters begin to confront his history of association with the Big Dig financing and Harvard Health’s rapacious price hikes/downsizing, among other negatives.

Patrick though will have three foes tearing and nipping. He has a long, long scroll of accomplishments and righting wrongs of the past administrations. He’ll have to be in top form to stick with his positives and not let the others weasel and twist. He can’t afford to be slimy, even if other candidate are.

Listen in as we discuss the new version of the Patrick/Murray grassroots organizing and his prospects for re-election.

icon for podpress  Yes? We Can [46:10m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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MA Campaigns Podcast

 The three usual suspects recapped and expanded on the MA races underway, replete with plaudits and warnings.

We’re big on the down-ticket races — treasurer, secretary, and auditor. We want debates, many and now. We see the positions as having great potential for change.

For our part, we offer podcasts with four candidates. For secretary, independent challenger Jim Henderson has been on the show.  All three treasurer contenders have too:

Listen in as comment on the trends and events we find noteworthy.

icon for podpress  MA Campaigns [59:31m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Deval, Slots, Health Podcast

Punditry special today — 2010 primary and elections, and gambling. Ryan and Mike anticipated Gov. Deval Patrick’s campaign, which starts in earnest this weekend and the destructive fantasy of casinos and slots here.

We looked favorably on Patrick’s accomplishments, but not on his presentation of them. We agreed that the info is there and the in several key places, notably the state of the commonwealth address, the governor detailed an impressive list of them. However, as Ryan was quick to say, the political junkies like we are know all that. Patrick and running mate Tim Murray need to brag, be plain, and repeat.

We don’t see casinos and slots as viable growth and job creation strategies. While House Speaker Robert DeLeo claims to have the votes to push this into law, we remain to be convinced. Next week’s debates in the House will tell.

We urge citizens here to demand realistic accounting and projections of the claimed benefits.

icon for podpress  Deval Re-election [57:56m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Tim Murray Podcast

Some of the strongest achievements of the MA executive branch have come recently in transportation. Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, the lead behind those efforts, joined us to speak of what they’ve done, how they did it and what’s still part of his vision.

Tim Murray mugAs mayor of Worcester, he campaigned on that vision. That includes such long-needed improvements as rail from where people live to where they want to work. When trains are fast, frequent and affordable are in place, employers and employees alike have many more options. Such transit-oriented development inevitably leads to new businesses and business expansion…as well as jobs during and after.

Murray spoke of the leapfrogs over boulders people had wanted to jump for years. There was the Transportation Reform Law that finally compressed the various related satrapies into a manageable and more affordable agency. There was the CSX deal (with eager help from the likes U.S. Sen. John Kerry among others) that makes major rail infrastructure improvements and additions to freight and commuter lines. Just recently the nearly $100 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER)  will enable three major train projects here.

Listen in as Tim Murray speaks of how they funded and got support for these massive improvements. Now he’s looking ahead with us to rail that would support high-speed train and even WiFi where we don’t have any.

icon for podpress  Tim Murray Drives the Trains [53:58m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download