Archive for November, 2013

Disclosure Act Podcast

MA Sen. James (Jamie) Eldridge joined up to talk campaign-finance reform, specifically disclosure of contributions. He’s as appalled as we about the Citizens United decision. He is a leader in nibbling away at its most pernicious effects with legislation here. Click below to hear is descriptions of the problems and solutions.

Currently he has two bills that could make big differences in next year’s elections, ones in which we have open governor, attorney general, and treasurer/receiver general spots. The flood of undisclosed donations, particularly those from out of MA, into the recent mayoral election has set the stage. One of his bills, (S.321/H.651), requires timely disclosure of big donors — when contributions occur and not well after the election.

We covered a lot of the subject in the show — his current bills, the history of various campaign reform in both houses here, his own experiences running as a clean-elections candidate, the effects of outside money in Boston, and of course, the outlook for the watered down election-reform bill that passed our House and the outlook for S.321.

He also would like to see Citizens United reversed by Constitutional amendment. He doesn’t know whether public outrage will drive that in years rather than decades. Meanwhile, he is one of the legislators in various states hacking and nibbling at election-financing sins.

icon for podpress  Eldridge on Campaign Financing [30:13m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Eldridge’s Light on Dark Money

Leading advocate for election reform, MA Sen. Jamie Eldridge joins us. We’ll start with a few of his bills in the works. Notably, the Massachusetts Disclose Act (S.321/H.651, cosponsored by Rep. Cory Atkins) would let voters know before an election is over who’s paying for ad campaigns and funneling money to support candidates — that dark money.

Following Citizens United and subsequent elections like the recent Boston one, the many flaws in campaign-financing laws have become obvious. Sen. Eldridge is hard at work identifying the problems and trying to fix them.

If you can hear the show live, click here Tuesday, November 26th at 2:30PM Eastern. Afterward, you can hear or download his show at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.


Decade o’ Love Podcast

Today was a victory lap. Yesterday was a decade since the Goodridge v. Board of Health decision by our MA Supreme Judicial Court mandating marriage equality.

Not only has the earth not opened up to swallow us, but despite the naysayers and outright liars, nothing but good has come of it. We celebrated. We looked at the current one-third plus of the population in the country in marriage-equality states. We looked forward to either bringing in the other states one by one or a national decision in the SCOTUS or Congress to make it universal here.

We did deal a bit with the plug nasties who remain anti-gay and anti-equality. They have been reduced to trying to export their lies and bigotry to other states and other nations. They don’t seem likely to recant and repent, but we see their numbers and support dwindling steadily and inexorably. We also figure that when the country gets to 60% or more under marriage-equality, the SCOTUS is almost certain to finish the task.

Ryan proposed that the high-divorce states, which are anti-marriage-equality ones too have a correlation. If they are trying to force people to be unhappy, they end up being unhappy in general. I doubt that’s been studied but it makes sense.

icon for podpress  Decade of Equality [28:51m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Goodridge, Good Stuff

Ten years, count ’em, all your toes in time since the MA Supreme Judicial (our high bench) laid down THE WORD. Keeping homosexual couples from marrying like het ones was unconstitutional. A few months later, a legislatively constipated set of lawmakers couldn’t get its act together and it took effect.

Listen in tomorrow to hear our recap of nearly a decade of gay couples as well as straight ones marrying here. If you want to listen live, click here at 2:30 PM Eastern tomorrow, Tuesday, November 19th. Fret not if you’re busy, catch the show afterward at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.

As recently as this month, the anti-gay sorts are still chanting the same lies and calumnies. We’ll tell you whether our earth sunders, mountains tumbled, or citizens corrupted.


Fixing Bumblecare Podcast

Not even the personal-responsibility-taking POTUS denies that the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) has started well. Today we kicked around the likelihood of improving the new system. Listen in to our blend of hope and skepticism.

We talk about the well-reported calumnies of signup travails, low success/interest, and tripled policy costs. We also dealt with the Prez’ clumsy, bungled absolute of keeping your policy and doc if you like them.

We considered whether the stumbling ACA start will be worse for Dems than the shutdown for the GOP. We pretty much concluded that Republicans will get the worst of it, but likely not enough to lose enough seats to give Dems control of the House.

We discussed more substantial issues like whether Republican Congress folk and governors would protect millions per their states with enhanced almost-entirely-federally-funded Medicaid expansion (very unlikely).

Ryan glumly predicted more wasted votes on destroying the ACA and no dialog about improving the biill. Mike figures any tweaking will have to be with almost entirely Dem votes on administration-driven initiatives.

For 2014, Mike figures human angles on lives saved, families and individuals now covered, and truth against jive generalities and pure lies. Ryan thinks Dems can get out the vote with per-state minimum-wage ballot questions and going after Republicans for refusing Medicaid expansion.

We are sure that despite GOP fantasies the bumbling rollout will soon be perking along, and the success tales will abound. How quickly that translates into public awareness is yet to be determined.

icon for podpress  Obamacare fixes [31:01m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Mostly Boston Election Recaps

Yesterday was good for lefties. Mike preferred John Connolly and Ryan liked the winner Marty Walsh in Boston’s mayoralty. We agreed it was great to have a choice between two progressive sorts…with not a winger loony in sight.

We talked about the outcome of that and the City Councilors. With the new administration, they have a shot at helping define brand new agenda. Plus the addition of Michelle Wu on the at-large side is very promising.

Listen in on what we thought were the many highlights and few low ones in Boston, as well as Lawrence, NYC and Virginia.

icon for podpress  Boston election recaps [30:01m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download