Archive for November, 2010

How Dirty MA? Podcast

We rolled around in the mud a bit. While this is the state that developed gerrymandering and has numerous corrupt politicians, like James Michael Curley, among its favorite sons, we wondered how dirty are we? Other states have their own scandals, as does Congress. Right now though MA seems right down with the worse.

For example, three of our last four House Speakers were guilty or presently charged with various corruption offenses. The last, Sal DiMasi, resigned and faces a federal trial. Noted and beloved state Senator, Dianne Wilkerson, and Boston City Councilor, Chuck Turner, were convicted of corruption in federal court and face sentencing. Just over the weekend, a well respected county sheriff and former legislator, James DiPaola, appeared headed for corruption charges and killed himself.

Truth be told, we here are like many states in liking to think that such goings on go on somewhere else.

Ryan and Mike kicked the corruption can up and down the hall for a half hour. We noted such discrepancies  as Congressional folk getting fines or reprimands and less prominent pols falling into federal stings and headed for prison.

We traced the sordid history of the short lived campaign-finance and public financing law that followed a 1998 ballot initiative. The legislature gutted it, effectively killing it, with the 2003 budget. They claimed we couldn’t afford public financing.

Instead we have most of our MA pols constantly fund raising for biennial elections. The need for and reality of constant cash has been a serious corruption factor. Likewise, MA in general and Boston in particular have dirty liquor licensing of uneven application and over restriction, leading to high costs, scarcity and a drive to bribe. We discussed these and other factors that need reform.

Ryan puts faith in the next round of the governor’s ethics reform. Mike would like to see the AG, auditor and governor’s offices identify corrupting factors and propose reforms for them. Plus, we agreed that much more open meetings would preclude the types of backdoor deals that lead to no-bid contracts and payoffs.

It’s a short show. Listen in as we ID issues and propose some solutions.

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Steve Garfield Podcast

While the rest of us were getting the hang of Facebook and Twitter, and watching some YouTube videos, Steve Garfield was a key player in both online video and social media. He has created a role for himself and made a career of them.

Steve joined us to tell us what he does with it all. He consults with companies and some politicians as well, teaching them how to make the most of video and social media. In fact, after so much experience and work in the area, he responded to requests and produced his popular book Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business. You can find it on Amazon or most book stores and his site linked off his name above has info on it.

He spoke about how politicians are the same and different in video use and particularly how they can use short, natural clips of themselves effectively. He says already video serves numerous purposes in political campaigns and how it will only become more pervasive.

Listen in as he describes his own development from pre-blogging posts and public-access TV and radio into full blogging, video and social media. He tells what works and perhaps as important what to avoid.

icon for podpress  Steve Garfield [58:12m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Video Power Podcast 11/23

recursivesg.jpgThe video god, Steve Garfield, joins us next week. Tuesday, 11/23 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. He’s made a career as the nation’s premier video blogger, consultant to companies and pols, and author.

We expect to concentrate on how politicians, organizer and the like can use video and get the greatest impact.

Join us live then or return here anytime to hear Steve on demand.


Grace Ross Podcast

Of course, we spoke of AG Martha Coakley and of the Tea Party and of Israel. Today’s guest was Grace Ross, after all.

We were just Grace and Mike, but we covered her analysis of the recent election, which led to many topics. While a professional and relentless activist, she has run for MA Governor twice — first as the Green-Rainbow nominee and recently in an effort to get on the Democratic ticket. She chomps and nibbles at the powers through advocacy, filing (often successful) legislation, and sometimes running for office.

She helped found the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending. Her principal economic and political positions are available in her book Main St. $marts.

Listen in as she speaks of:

  • The vastly misunderstood and best champion at the state level against major corporate interests run amok (Martha Coakley)
  • How she was smeared as an anti-Semite in 2006 for poorly worded Green-Rainbow platform statements
  • The worst of the Bush 2 legacy — “We fear our neighbors now.”
  • How the energy ridden recently by the Tea Party is not right wing, rather populist energy
  • The commitment to the revolutionary spirit alive and well in MA
  • More than ever, we need real people, not sexy campaigners, running for office
  • Populist candidates having a shot at office if they do enough groundwork between major elections

We spent some time on how in the recent election, the GOP did well in General Court and some local elections and were shut out of statewide races. She admits she has “a bunch of friends who are Republican elected officials” and that she misses “the traditional Republican candidates we had in Massachusetts.” She thinks too many of the Dems and Republicans here do not identify with ordinary citizens, who are concerned with jobs, mortgages, education and such.

Listen in as she explains what she sees as ways for them to present concrete examples of alternatives.

icon for podpress  Grace Ross [60:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Ross at the Roots 11/16

gracer.jpgEver the activist, often the gadfly, always the populist, Grace Ross joins us Tuesday — at 12:30 p.m. EST, two hours earlier than our usual showtime. Listen to the live stream then or come back to hear it on your own schedule.

The image here is part of a screen cap from a Greater Boston segment. You can prime yourself with that here.

She has long worked to change things for ordinary folk in MA and beyond, sometimes running for office, often filing legislation,  and running organizations. Many remember her as the one in the 2006 gubernatorial debates asking the salient questions when the other candidates were staying LITE.


Looking at 2012 Podcast

The two usual suspects, Ryan and Mike, today went on about what’s likely for the Presidential and MA U.S. Senate races in 2012. Even before this month’s midterms, the next big elections and their candidates were in play.

Listen in as we give unsolicited advice, particularly to President Obama. We know and reveal what he needs to do as political and military leader in the next two years. We go on about how he can get re-elected and help us all along the way.

We end up with the likely combatants for both President and MA junior Senator.

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2012 in the Works

Last week’s midterms were teasers for the campaigns fomenting now. Down in D.C., there’s a President aiming for re-election. Up here in Massachusetts, we have a certain junior Senator who’ll want a full term. We, on the other hand, might want a trade up to something better.

There’s crazy talk about Scott Brown slugging it out with Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin at the elephant trough. Dems are rending their garments over who could go into the Senate.

We can speculate too and intend to Tuesday, November 9th at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. Listen live or return here for on-demand.


Harsh Reality Podcast

Ryan and Mike spent a long time dwelling on the results in MA yesterday and the reasons for them. We did get around to the much uglier, grittier national returns.

As a party activist, Ryan had particular insight into the effectiveness of MA party head John Walsh’s strategy.

We got almost all our state wish list, minus one office.

We ended up extrapolating to the looming Congress.

icon for podpress  Harsh Reality [52:55m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download