Archive for Watertown


A current mean is asking whether something is “still a thing.” Let’s consider personal responsibility in that big pile.

Perhaps the most obvious cases are the far too many caught on video and by witnesses where cops kill unarmed, non-threatening civilians and face zero punishment or even charges. “I felt threatened” seems too often to immediately convince prosecutors and internal-affairs sorts that all is right.

It isn’t. We see in other professions as well (think doctors and financial execs) that self-policing and such oversight are risible. Cultural change is necessary.

The ideas and ideals boomers saw and heard everywhere included being held accountable for bad actions. Books, movies and of course parents and clerics taught that if you did something bad, there were consequences.

The norm now is what tricks can you pull to avoid punishment or even accusation. Bad drivers skate with “unfortunate accident” for their most egregious, fatal sins.

Enough with this.

icon for podpress  Responsibility? [20:31m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


How Hardy the Party Podcast

John WalshJohn Walsh, chair of the MA Democratic Party, brought both is insights and optimism to the podcast. While it might have been a day for many progressives to mourn yesterday’s Senate seat loss, he’d have none of it.

Instead, listen in while he describes the types and levels of community organizing he’ll foster for the 2010 gubernatorial contest and then the 2012 rematch when the U.S. Senate seat lost in the special election comes for the full campaign cycle.

We had a full team of three commenting and questioning. For his part, Walsh ranged from specific predictions of two state senate seat pickups this year to how to move progressives into open and contested slots.

He didn’t dwell on whether the Dem efforts did the traditional campaign strategies well or poorly. He’s not concerned with doing things that aren’t effective better.

Likewise, he doesn’t have much patience with GOP claims that this loss meant a trend for Dems. Instead he drew the analogy of them after each storm (election) in a rubber life raft. After reach election, a few more of them fall overboard. Rather than save those, the remaining are delighted that they are still there. Dems aren’t and won’t be like that.

Listen in as Walsh describes his visions and strategies for the next two election cycles.

icon for podpress  How Hardy the Party [60:05m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Insidious March of Progressives

Let us chuckle together. What wingers seems to fear, election of progressive and leftist politicians, seems to continue in Massachusetts. Ryan and Mike reveled in the legislative possibilities following yesterday’s Massachusetts Dem primaries.

Sonia v. Dianne.  Huge without a doubt was the victory of Sonia Chang-Díaz over incumbent state Senator Dianne Wilkerson. Sonia lost two years ago in an all-sticker campaign. She eked and squeaked out a 1-plus percentage win over the eight-term (16-year) incumbent. Both offer progressive and activist aims and platforms. Sonia does it without the trappings and distractions of legal and financial troubles and regular revelations.

Kerry v. O’Reilly.  A week ago, we had Ed O’Reilly on to discuss being the first challenger to our four-term (24-year) incumbent U.S. Senator. Ed is a bit to the left of Kerry but of course far less experienced and with a might less defined platform. Voters would win either way, but they stayed with what they know and Kerry crushed O’Reilly. Ryan and Mike have seen a lot of legislative and program activity from Kerry. He didn’t seem to welcome the Dem challenge at all, but the constituents seem to have benefited already.

In a number of other races, progressives were re-elected or won vacant seats. A pair lost against a DINO rep in Medford/Malden, but  in Watertown/Cambridge, Jon Hecht walked away with it. Over in Somerville, Rep. Carl Sciortino won reelection on a sticker drive against a candidate on the ballot after not turning in enough signatures. 

All in all, we see solid gains, with some November races uncontested. We’ll be looking for some progressive legislation in the next incarnation of the General Court.

icon for podpress  They Have Been Chosen [42:49m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Stickers over Watertown Podcast

We learned quite a bit about how party town committees work and had a progressive candidate on to discuss his drive to become State Rep. form the 29th Middlesex in Watertown and a bit of Cambridge.

Steve Owens came on first. He chairs the Watertown Democratic Town Committee (coincidentally, we’ve known him for years as the blogger behind .08 Acres).  He explained how the May resignation of Rep. Rachel Kaprielian came after filing dates, meaning his committee with that of the 9th Ward in Cambridge could have picked a candidate to be on the ballot instead of her. Rather than play kingmakers, they left an open, sticker campaign.

There are four candidates likely to push themselves as sticker folk for the 9/16 primary:

We narrowed to Jon to focus on the issues. He also seems the most progressive candidate.

The show concentrated on those little issues, like what vital improvements are needed short-term and longer and how the devil we can pay for them.

icon for podpress  Stark Rep. Choice [61:59m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Sprint for Watertown/Cambridge

This is not the trek toward the White House. It’s a dash for Rep. Rachel Kaprielian’s 29th Middlesex seat (Watertown and Cambridge).

Kaprielian got the head of the Registry of Motor Vehicles. It was too late for the usual nomination process. We face an all-sticker race with four distinct candidates — a union one, a conservative, a progressive, and a Bill-Clinton admin alum.

Tomorrow (TU 8/19), we bring on Steve Owens, head of the Dem town committee. He’ll explain the forces and peculiarities that left t his race up for grabs.

On the same show, we’ll have Jon Hecht, the progressive to pitch his candidacy and explain what the district’s needs are.

If you want to do your homework, the candidates include:

Voters don’t have a lot of time to make up their minds. However, the results promise to reveal much about the district.