Archive for September, 2014

4 MA Ballot Questions: How to

The quick guide to the four MA ballot questions is:

  • No on Question 1
  • Yes on Question 2
  • Yes on Question 3
  • Yes on Question 4

Residents should all have gotten a booklet with details on the four. If you can’t find yours, click over the the secretary of the commonwealth’s site for the details.

I went through the four and provided short-form pro/con arguments for each, along with my position. If you haven’t decided, have a coffee or other drink while you hear me out on these.

Otherwise, I noted that I”m trying to schedule some candidate chats before the Nov. 4th general election. Dem. Gov. candidate Martha Coakley will surely be on again. We just had Evan Falchuk (United Independent Party). GOP candidate Charlie Baker is still not responding, but I keep trying. I may go back to indy Jeff McCormick. If you missed the first guest appearances of any candidate, check our archives.

If you are hi-info, you noticed that I had not listed Scott Lively, the other indy for the job. I enjoy having guests on whom I disagree with in several big areas. Lively would qualify there; he is virulently anti-homosexual and a huge parent’s rights guy. Truth be told, I have’t asked him on the show. I probably won’t. i don’t know that I could be civil, a trait I value highly

If you missed the WGBY/WGBH TV debate-like event with the five last night, it is available at the bottom of this page. If for no other reason, spend an hour and revel in Lively’s answers. Which one of these is not like the others?

Back to the ballot questions, be sure you decide before you get to the polls….or just do what I say.


icon for podpress  MA ballot questions [22:22m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Falchuk’s 2-Tiered Ambitions

Come late Tuesday Nov. 4th, we’ll know a lot about Evan Falchuk’s run for Gov. of MA. Of course, we’ll know whether he is the next head of the commonwealth, and we’ll know whether his United Independent Party will have official status for the next election.

He joined us for the second time. Catch his initial appearance and details of his platform here. You can learn more about his positions at his campaign site.

As usual, I was intrigued by his openness, by his optimism, and by his lack of canned speech. Frankly, I find that most candidates have programmed responses they try to return to on show, at stump speeches or in debates and fora. At the end, we chucked about how no topic is off limits for him and he likes it that way.

Click below to listen in as we hit on his progress and his campaign’s outlook. He doesn’t shy away from him low poll numbers. Instead, he’s into big issues. He is confident that his UIP will get at least 3% of voters to win party status for the next election. With that, he expects to flesh out future ballots, and attract change-minded candidates up and down.

It won’t hurt that the UIP wouild then get the 10-times fundraising advantage official party candidates have in the current system that hobbles independents.

Listen in as he excoriates the Boston Globe for editorializing to exclude him and the other two independent gubernatorial candidates from its televised debate. That was one of the many times he or I used “appalling” in the show.

Evan Falchuk provided a clear sense of what might be possible beyond the two standard parties in MA politics.


icon for podpress  Falchuk Update [36:38m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Coakley v. Baker Preview

We held forth on yesterday’s MA primary. We clawed a bit at the top contenders and previewed the November 4th campaign. Listen in below as we highlight and smudge the key players.

First note that in both GOP and Dem primaries, the divisive and distinguishing players did not prevail. The implication was that voters were low-information or that the had no belly for the big visions and distinctions offered by the likes of Tea Party Republican Mark Fisher or true progressive Dem Don Berwick. People who did not or would not vote for them should stifle themselves in political complaints.

We speculated about Dem winner Martha Coakley’s ability to unite Dems and attract the unenrolled (53% of MA voters) and Charlie Baker’s chances of turning his Christmas tree résumé so only the good side shows. Ryan contends that if he wants to claim the good parts of his Gov. Bill Weld/Big Dig experience, he’ll have to own the terrible outcomes too. Likewise, he was the architect of the Harvard Pilgrim turnaround with job slashes and rate hikes.

Both major candidates claim the other has no vision and neither puts anything out to be criticized. Mike holds that they have a short time to give the voters some faith in what their administration would do and how.

We figure that Dem shortfalls Steve Grossman and Berwick won’t drive voters to Baker. Likewise neither LG candidate is likely to make much difference in the outcome.

Listen in and hold us accountable.

icon for podpress  MA Primary Recap: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Showdown, showtime in Massachusetts

Bumped a day — to have something to talk about — this week’s show will be on Wednesday. We’ll cover the complex MA primary. If you can join us live, click here Wednesday, Sept. 10th at 2:30PM Eastern.

As always, the show will be demand later at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes channel.

If you keep scorecards, you can compare Mike’s previews from last week, here.

Republican’s have a crayon-worthy ballot, with really only the choice between two gubernatorial candidates. They didn’t begin to contest most races, ceding them to Dems. On the donkey side, six statewide slots have three or at least two in the primary.

We’ll get to draw sweeping, maybe reasonable conclusions from the specific winners Tuesday.


MA Primaries 2014 Preview

First a plug from Mike, poll worker: The Dem ballot is complex, with three candidates for many positions. Do yourself, other voters and the poll worker a favor. Come prepared with your picks.

No Ryan, so just Mike chatting up the primary candidates. I ran down the Dem and GOP ballots, highlighting differences. I also pointed to the Left Ahead archives. The Dems appear there, as does Republican gubernatorial contender Mark Fisher. If you are unfamiliar or unsure, listen to them in their own words.

I confessed that in a very unusual move for me, I endorsed in one primary race — Deb Goldberg for Treasurer.

We’ll do the follow-up on the primary the next day, Wednesday, September 10th at 2:30 PM Eastern here. For the others, you can check me on my calls. I don’t think the only contested GOP slot, Governor, will be a contest; Charlie Baker wins easily.

On the Dem side, the candidate with the best platform, Dr. Don Berwick should be a weak third, with Martha Coakley edging Steve Grossman by maybe 10%. I picked Steve Kerrigan for Lieutenant Governor and Maura Healey for Attorney General (tight race though).

As Ryan didn’t show, I have no one to share the blame.

icon for podpress  MA primaries 2014: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download