Archive for January, 2014

Juliette Kayyem Podcast

Mom of three, Juliette Kayyem, told us, “My goals as governor and parent are the same. I want to keep my kids here.” She envisions a MA that is so fabulous, with such a strong economy, that the college and tech-school grads want a life here.

Her platform delves deeply into improving infrastructure (think from broadband to rail to ports to regional transit) and education (think birth to career, universal pre-K to affordable colleges). It includes a detailed plan for linking various MA cities and industrial areas to advance the economy as well.

We touched a bit on her background, from civil-rights lawyer to overseeing the MA National Guard and the state’s Homeland Security, and then being a key player in the Obama Administration’s Homeland Security. Listen in as she explains how she views security far beyond terrorist threats and at a local level.

She admits she would have some hard sells, as in convincing the various MA regions (and their lawmakers) that “the challenges we face don’t have borders” and that the role of government “is to make the table big enough” for everyone. However, she speaks to how her style has long been to convince people to work toward larger goals, cooperatively. That actually reminded us of the current governor’s preferred methods.

She spoke at length about her definition of infrastructure. That includes MA as a coastal state, which needs to provide access points from ports to rail and beyond to enable business and economic growth. It also means she “can’t fathom” not being able to provide broadband to every area of the state. Her vision includes expanded regional transportation authorities and frequent, inexpensive personal mobility across regions. People as well as products need easy transit among home, school, work and elsewhere.

Among other key concerns are big improvements for veterans and an overhaul of the criminal justice system.Click below for a peek at her proposals and check the two links above for details.

icon for podpress  Juliette Kayyem [34:04m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Kayyem’s Campaign Podcast

Juliette KayyemJuliette Kayyem is in the hunt for the MA governorship. The Dem self-bills as a progressive and has a platform that supports that.

In this intriguingly crowded field, the GOP excepted, candidates will face the same challenge as the Boston mayoral and council ones did — differentiating themselves. All the while, they have to build their version of a GOTV machine and try to get voter’s attention.

We’ll talk to her about her big issues:

  • Reforming the Criminal Justice System
  • Honoring Veterans
  • Opportunity of Climate Change
  • Providing Education from Birth to Career
  • Growing the Economy through a Connective Infrastructure

Of course, we’ll also get a sense of her campaign and what she figures will make the difference in the primary.

If you want to listen live, go here next Tuesday, January 28th at 2:30 PM Eastern. Afterward, you can hear or download her show there, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.


Audacity of Hoboken Podcast

We tried, moderately successfully, not to get too gleeful in Chris Christie stew pot. Most of today’s show dealt with the so-called Bridgegate scandal in New Jersey and new allegations that Gov. Chris Christie’s office made handing out rebuilding relief to the hardest hit city, Hoboken. The vid at the bottom is great background and well worth 18 minutes. Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer is the antithesis of anyone in the Christie crew, as a compelling and believable character.

Click below for her charges and click on our podcast audio below that for our show today. We surmise that despite the misguided pretense of conservative types, this scandal is not going away. In fact, it is only heating up. Much to their chagrin, Republicans, involved in this and just being partisans, will likely see one of theirs having to do what they pretend to value, as in take personal responsibility.

Christie’s 111-minute, blame-everyone-else-and-feign-ignorance fest revolved nothing. Listen in as we predict many more shoes dropping.

icon for podpress  Christie Stumbles [26:39m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Nude Jerks in New Jersey

Like the demons streaming and screaming from Modest Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, troubles have just started for NJ Gov. Chris Christie. We’ll certainly talk about what’s known, what’s in the works, the winger diversionary tactics, and whether he honestly thinks blaming others/claiming ignorance of all around him is responsible responsibility.

I’m betting we’ll get to updates on same-sex marriage beyond Utah, as in Virginia.

Sometimes the bad guys can’t get away with their dirty tricks forever.

If you can join us live, do so, Tuesday, January 21st at 2:30 PM Eastern here. Afterward our putative wisdom will be available for listen or download at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.


Grossman Bullish on MA If He Is Governor’s no fluff or weasel words when Steve Grossman speaks. He joined us today to talk about his platform and campaign for MA governor. You can see his issues section on his website here. We touched on much of that.

Not surprisingly, Grossman is about jobs, economics and education. He spent a career growing his family’s envelope business into a large marketing firm. Then as treasurer/receiver general, he was about putting the commonwealth’s checkbook online for transparency, shifting MA funds from foreign banks to local ones where they could be encouraged to invest in MA, opening up nearly all contacts to competitive bidding and doing all he could to reform the budget and save money. For the latter, he also had places to put the savings.

Listen in as he talks about similar efforts he’d undertake as governor. For example, he wants to help create 50,000 manufacturing jobs in the next five years. That would happen, as his lit puts it, “by promoting access to innovative technology, enhancing workforce training, and lowering transportation costs.” He says he looks at the 100,000 jobs we can’t fill here because we don’t have adequately educated/trained workers. Listen in as he talks about using businesses, colleges, and tech/vocational schools to prepare workers — including retraining older ones.

He’s keen on finally updating MA’s infrastructure. He sees funding it through sales taxes on out-of-state internet sales (already approved by the U.S. Senate and about to go into hearings in the House). If that brings in $250 a year to MA, he would earmark the revenue for transportation infrastructure, such as better rail and even that mythical northern expansion of the MBTA Green Line.

Grossman stakes out some strong positions, sometimes alone. For example, he just posted in BlueMassGroup, calling for in-state-tuition for immigrants. You can read that and other BMG diaries by him here.

He spoke of his optimism for MA’s economic future and how he expects to lead it there. Click below.

icon for podpress  Grossman Gov. [30:47m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Grossman Going for Gov.

MA’s Treasurer and Receiver General Steve Grossman joins us on Tuesday, 1/14, to talk about his gubernatorial campaign. He’s been a straight-ahead official, as he was business owner. He put the commonwealth’s checkbook online for all to see, for the first time ever. He’s also famous in a lighter tone for his love of ice cream.

We’ll ask him about his very ambitious goalsSteve Grossman — 50K new manufacturing jobs, earned sick pay for workers, all schools digital-learning ready by 2016, universal pre-K, applying customer-service principles to citizens accessing government, and more.

He’ll have party primary opposition as well as a GOP contender if he is the Dem nominee. Of course, we’ll talk strategy.

If you want to listen live, go here Tuesday, January 14th at 2:30 PM Eastern. Afterward, his show will be available to hear or download at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.


GLAD’s Henry on Wins and Fights

An equality attorney joined us to recap and forecast. Vickie Henry is senior staff attorney for Gay & Lesbian Advocated & Defenders (GLAD).

Yes, it’s tempting to run victory laps when we saw DOMA overturned, when don’t-ask-don’t-tell is history, when CA returned to same-sex marriage, when the number of states with marriage equality doubled to 18 in a single year. Yet Henry cautioned, “We have to stay vigilant. There’s no question about that.”

She spoke not only of the snowballing of states allowing gay marriage, but also of the steady, increasing, dramatic popular opinion in favor of equality. She agreed that as in MA and ME, knowing homosexual individuals, couples and their kids has made a strong impression. Listen in as she speaks to the effects of pro-equality campaigns and ads.

As a lawyer, she touched on the intricacies of turning the many states with one-man/one-woman laws or amendments. She explains how those two differ and which might get beyond a state court. She noted that there were 40 or so lawsuits in the works around the country trying to establish and clarify family and marriage laws and rights. GLAD is in a support or other involvement in various of those.

Mike may be a bit hard-nosed in terms of those opposed to marriage equality. Henry had a different take when he spoke of crazy talk in various legislative hearings. She said that “people have to have their own process” that they evolve on their own schedule. In fact, she said that it was important for them to speak their opinions and see if those hold water.

icon for podpress  GLAD, Vickie Henry [30:35m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download