Archive for December, 2009

The 2011 Podcast

Today, on LeftAhead, Lynne and Ryan looked at the year in review, then discussed what we expect to happen over the next year. Will Patrick win reelection? Will DeLeo and Murray still lead both of their respected chambers? Will the budget picture brighten up? Will Obama continue on his current course, or decide to make some halftime adjustments? Will we get a climate bill that actually helps the climate? These questions and more are all discussed.

We had a few technical difficulties in the beginning, so feel free to skip ahead to about 3:40 in, when Lynne gets on.

icon for podpress  2010 and Beyond [55:12m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Weak Health Reform Podcast

None of us is happy with how health-care reform has played out in D.C. Ryan and Lynne particularly hold forth on what should have happened in Congress and what the President and Speaker of the House should have demanded and should have done.

We discuss how and why the Republicans should be held accountable. However, we also compare and contrast how quasi-universal health care has already begun taking shape in Massachusetts…and the implications for next steps for the national plan.

icon for podpress  Miniaturized Health Reform [58:50m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Boston Term Limits Podcast

Tomorrow (Wednesday, 12/16), the Boston City Council votes on member Sam Yoon’s proposal for mayoral term limits. There should be an amendment calling for them for councilors as well. Yoon was able to call in (about 46 minutes into the show) to talk about it.

This is the closest this has ever gotten in Boston. Six of the 13 councilors say they support it and Yoon and others are lobbying hard for the seventh, deciding vote.

Yesterday’s Government Operations Committee hearing on the proposal was packed. All but one of those who testified favored limits. For in-depth and detailed coverage, see the Globe‘s piece here.

Councilor Yoon joined us to update on the progress. He also spoke to other efforts locally to increase voter turnout. That in turn should help address what people at yesterday’s hearing wanted from term limits — fresh ideas, greater democracy, and more involvement by both pols and voters.

icon for podpress  Forever and a Day [59:17m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Boston Term Limits Podcast: 2

Wednesday, Boston’s city council will vote on mayoral term limits. It has come up before, but this is the closest they’ve been.

The following is a cross-post from Marry in Massachusetts as background:


“We have six votes and one more day,” said Boston City Councilor Sam Yoon’s chief of staff, Mary Grissom. His term-limits law could need seven of the 13 for Wednesday’s vote. It would be an excellent way for him to exit after four years as an at-large councilor.You surely recall that Yoon did not run for re-election to go instead for mayor. He lost, as did Councilor Michael Flaherty, who got in the final against longest-serving Boston Mayor Tom Menino. (Links in this paragraph are to their Left Ahead! podcasts.)Today, I joined a hundred or more citizens, including Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin, at the operations committee hearing on mayoral term limits. UH has a lengthy report here. The gist of it is that Yoon wants two term (eight-year) limits on mayor. He want to limit council terms as well, but figured he had a shot at the seven votes for mayoral limits, and the council piece would naturally and shortly follow.This has inspired the Left Ahead! crew to revisit this subject for its podcast tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15th, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. The live stream is here. You can head there, to Left Ahead! or iTunes to catch it in the can.

If you can’t get enough of this, you can also check our podcast two years and a few days ago with Councilor John Tobin. He has long called for term limits and supports this version as well. Like a couple of his peers, he also calls for councilor term limits as well.

I’m not a regular at council meetings and can’t tally the six or seven who might side with Yoon. On the Government Operations Committee, John Connolly joined Yoon and Tobin at the hearing testifying in favor of term limits. Bill Linehan, Charles Yancey, and Committee Chair Maureen Feeney were against. Absent were Chuck Turner and Vice-Chair Rob Consalvo (coincidentally my new district councilor). I bet they split, with Turner for lmits and Consalvo against, but that’s my felt sense.

As such, the committee’s report would be favorable for passage in two days. In that vein, the other mayoral also-ran this, Kevin McCrea, testified for limits at the hearing. Intriguingly enough, he said he had very recently spoken with Menino, who he said pledged to sign the bill if it came to his desk. That’s delicious hearsay.

Councilor Sal LaMattina was briefly at the meeting but did not testify. Councilor Mark Ciommo opposes limits. Council President Michael Ross was absent but Fenney said he’d watch the hearing on council TV. Councilor Steve Murphy had no reason to be there.

If the dozen plus citizens inspired to rush through two-minute drills of testimony are any indication, term limits for mayor are very popular. Also, the number showing up for a hearing on Monday morning was extraordinary. Only one testified against term limits. The passion and calls for meaningful democracy definitely favored limits.

So, we can find out Wednesday how persuasive Yoon is in his last three weeks in office. According to his chief of staff, this is as close as Boston has ever gotten to mayoral term limits. Passage would require the councilors to put public interest above self-interest. If they hadn’t allowed themselves to consider it before, they heard today that limits on their jobs are in the chute if this comes down first.

~Mike

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Envelope Please Podcast

A quasi-settled special election brings us to Martha Coakley v. Scott Brown (v. Joe Kennedy, not those Kennedys). We analyzed, lamented, praised and projected the special election to replace U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy. None of the three of us favored the Dem or Republican winners, but we sure as heck think a tepid progressive is a vastly better choice than an arrogant right winger.

…not like we have opinions…

Click in as we discuss how Coakley skunked the other candidates. We don’t deal much with the type of Senator she’ll be short-term or out. However, we do deal with the high likelihood that she’ll trounce Brown on January 19th’s final, a candidate extremely out of touch with Massachusetts’ voters politics and brains.

I promised this link to the Globe’s map of Coakley’s wide victory.  For our views of the primary, which might have swayed voters if other candidates had tried, and even next year’s state auditor race, click in or download.

~Mike

icon for podpress  Envelope Please [48:55m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Vote, Then Tune In

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Tuesday, December 8th is a big day around here this year. We discuss the outcome of the special election primary for U.S. Senate on Wednesday this week only to accommodate it. It’s at the usual 2:30 p.m. time slot. Hear it live here then  or return later to play or download the podcast.

Your vote in tomorrow’s MA special election is huge. Not only should turn out in the plebiscite to replace Ted Kennedy in the Senate be very light, but think of the implications. As elsewhere, our new Senator is likely to serve 12 to maybe 36 years.

I made it plain over at my main blog who my candidate is. If you don’t have your candidate, go with mine. You can hear him on our Left Ahead! show.
Even if you want someone else, vote for sure. No excuses.

Polls here open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Tell your neighbors, friends, coworkers, the toll collector and the grocery cashier. It’s election day. The winner of the Democratic primary is almost certainly the next Senator…for a long time.

~Mike

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U.S. Senator Primary Podcast

We had a short poddy today, recapping the endorsements for the U.S. Senate seat for next week’s primary. We ended up explaining why none of the three of us could support AG Martha Coakley for the spot.

Next Week Sked: We shall have our podcast on Wednesday, December 9th, next week to discuss the results of the primary. It will be at the usual 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.

By the bye, as usual, Left Ahead! did not endorse as a group. However, we split individually, two for Mike Capuano and one for Alan Khazei. Catch our endorsements at Left in Lowell for Capuano, Ryan’s Take for Khazei, and Marry in Massachusetts for Capuano.

This almost certainly low-turnout election will hinge on the motivation levels of the supporters. Coakley still leads the polls with a strong plurality. Capuano and Khazei’s camps say that have more dedicated fans who will actually come to the polling locations. TBD.

Everyone seems to expect that low electorate this time. I am a clerk at a Boston polling place and heard the same in my training yesterday. Each vote is more powerful in such elections. The three of us urged people to vote and to tell friends, relatives, neighbors and coworkers in Massachusetts to do the same. While you’re at it, you should plug your candidate and give reasons.

~Mike

icon for podpress  Senator Primary [34:15m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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