Archive for March, 2009

New England SSM Podcast

 Ryan and Mike started today’s podcast on the rapidly advancing state of SSM legislation in New England. We had the great fortune of being joined by John Hosty-Grinnell, the progressive activist behind Live, Love and Learn among other online connections.

He was in one of the in-flux states, New Hampshire, pushing equality there. That state is likely to pass SSM legislation this term in both houses. Gov. John Lynch personally opposes SSM although he signed the civil unions law there two years ago.

Our buddy doubts the override numbers are there in the Granite state.  He suggests letting the governor and the party leadership know you support same-sex marriage for New Hampshire.

For New Hampshire specifically, the contacts for the Democratic Party are:
New Hampshire Democratic Party
2 1/2 Beacon St
Concord, NH  03301
Phone: (603) 225-6899

For the governor, they are:
Office of the Governor
State House
25 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301
(603)271-7680 (fax)
Email form

We hit on the possibility of the six New England states legalizing SSM by 2012 (that 6 by 12 call). It seems more likely all the time. Both houses in Vermont will certainly pass their bill shortly. While Gov. Jim Davis promises a veto, there may well be an override majority.  No longer surprisingly, Maine is not far behind. There are pro-SSM majorities in both houses and Gov. John Baldacci is pro-equality and sure to sign it.

Rhode Island with reactionary Gov.  Donald Carcieri and conservative heads of the two houses is the smell at the bottom of the region. The legislature and public polls supporting SSM, but the lawmakers have been too timid to fight. They are looking for the governor to exit by term limits in two years. By then, they may well be the only regional state without SSM.

Listen in for the way we call these states.

icon for podpress  N.E. Same-Sex Marriage [49:14m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


3rd Suffolk: Candidate Michlewitz

“Sal DiMasi is not going to get me elected. Aaron Michlewitz is going to get me elected,” we heard today on our podcast.

Michlewitz is going for the 3rd Suffolk House seat vacated by his former boss DiMasi. He figures that’s a pretty good advantage, particularly because of his four and one-half years running the ex-Speaker’s constituent services. Moreover, he does not feel he has to distance himself from DiMasi, even in this time of ethical questions in the State House and beyond.

This candidate faced a broad and diverse set of questions from Lynne, Ryan and Mike. That sounds like his district, which is also widely diverse. He touched on his role, if elected, in education —  advocate and watchdog. He likes standards, including MCAS, but wants to make sure no big decisions come out of a single September through June performance figure set. Likewise, he appreciates a lot about charter schools, but doesn’t see them as a big fix, rather putting his emphasis on that likely state commission to see what works and does not about them.

Michlewitz has a track record in each of the eight neighborhoods in the district. He thinks these sections share much more now in concern for issues and much less than in their stereotypical cultural and racial differences.

Listen in to hear his positions on urban development, gas taxes, tolls and casinos.

icon for podpress  Aaron Michlewitz for 3rd Suffolk [32:18m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


3rd Suffolk: Michlewitz Up Next

The presumptive leader in the 3rd Suffolk House race is on our podcast Tuesday. As former Speaker Sal DiMasi’s fixer, the constituent services guy, Aaron Michlewitz is already well known and respected in the district. Listen in for his strategy to build on that.

You can listen to the live stream Tuesday, March 24th at 2:30 p.m. You can also catch it later at the same URL or back here to use our player or download the MP3.

In the past two weeks, we had Susan Passoni, who owned the South End in her bid for Boston City Council. She’s a serious progressive. Then this past Tuesday, Ryan Higginson spoke with us. He is not a professional pol and is pushing civic engagement and community involvement as essential to solving our biggest problems.


3rd Suffolk: Candidate Higginson

Ryan HigginsonAdmitted different candidate Ryan Higginson joined us today. He comes not from elected office, rather appointed public service and diverse management positions. His background and policy proposals are on his website.

He also differs in his proposals and approach. He believes that civic engagement and community involvement are the only ways for this district to solve its major problems and advance. This includes green jobs, tax credits for volunteer work, grants and tax breaks for small,  and neighborhood-based businesses.

Higginson does not hesitate to point to and support current pending bills by a number of state Representatives. He believes there is a lot of good legislation in the pipe.

On one hot issue, he is not big on raising taxes, but he is a big supporter of public transportation. He supports Gov. Patrick’s proposed 19¢ hike in the gas tax.

Otherwise, he has a wide-ranging set of goals…many of which are mold breakers.

icon for podpress  3rd Suffolk: Higginson [31:35m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


3rd Suffolk: Candidate Passoni Podcast

Mike, Lynne and Ryan chat with 3rd Suffolk Candidate Susan Passoni, one of six candidates vying for the Special Election to fill Sal DiMasi’s old seat. Susan is a long-time resident of Boston’s South End, one of the several neighborhoods in this ethnically and socio-economically diverse district. Other parts include slices of the North End, Beacon Hill, Chinatown and even Roxbury. Her background is both as a very active community organizer, serving on many local education and community boards, as well as a longtime research analyst in finance.

On the show, she talks about reasonable measures to raise revenue, reforming home rule policy so cities and towns are able to make even basic decisions without needing state approval, as well as a great deal on education reform. Plenty of policy details abound in the 30 minute show.

icon for podpress  Standard Podcast [33:05m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Passoni Gunning for 3rd Suffolk

The winner of Sal DiMasi’s old seat in the House doesn’t get seniority, much less to be Speaker. It’s a high profile and key spot though.

First up in our series of contenders in a crowded field (six so far) is Susan Passoni. She came very close in the last Boston election for a district City Council seat. She swept the South End among other areas. That gives her a head start in a district that includes her fans, but it doesn’t give her the election.

Join us on Tuesday, March 10th, at 2:30 p.m. for the live stream on BlogTalkRadio here. If you can’t, come back here to listen to show or download it.

Get a head start by clicking over to her website. A good entry point is her surprisingly detailed and precise issues page.

Keep checking here too. We have other 3rd Suffolk candidates in the wings for podcasts.


Jaws of Death Podcast

Fifteen Massachusetts residents who legally married as part of a same-sex couple filed suit in federal court to demand equal legal and financial treatment under federal law. We started today’s podcast with our opinions.

Ryan is unsure about the chances of success, but Mike is very strong on the timing and right nature of taking the fight to the feds. The suit is very specific in what rights and privileges were denied legally married SS couples simply on the DOMA restrictions.

We verbally ran about today, covering:

  • New legislation in the U.S. House to overturn the ban on gays in the military
  • The California Supreme Court preparing to hear arguments on Prop 8
  • Massachusetts’ Treasurer proposing a series of slot machines (with absurdly high revenue projections)
  • Taxes and other income sources for the commonwealth
icon for podpress  Jaws of Death [41:23m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download