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Eric Dahlberg, a candidate for the 3rd Middlesex Senate District, has called out the legislature for failing to pass health insurance ‘plan design’ for cities and towns.

A central feature in Massachusetts health care reform is the creation the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) Health Insurance law. All private entities and the state government benefit from the reduced health insurance costs. Read the rest of this entry »


The Massachusetts alimony reform bill (H1785) is for now stuck in committee while key legislators are busy with the casino bill battle.

A compromise alimony reform bill is being worked on in the Alimony Reform Task force.

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Ray Medeiros

We received an update from Ray Medeiros who is running for Representative in the 9th Representative district, (Dartmouth, Freetown, Lakeville, New Bedford). Ray is an electrician with a young family. His campaign’s message is focused on advocating for working families.

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Wicked Local Cambridge is reporting that Tracy Lee Ann Foley and Donald Heathfield, a couple arrested Sunday and charged with being Russian spies donated money to Rep. Marty Walz:

A Cambridge woman arrested and charged Sunday with being a Russian spy donated to state Rep. Marty Walz’s campaign in 2004.

According to state campaign finance records, Tracey Lee Ann Foley of 111 Trowbridge St., Cambridge, gave $50 to Walz on May 30, 2004.

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Rep. Robert Nyman

Rep. Robert Nyman was found dead at his home last night. The Globe is reporting:

Massachusetts State Representative Robert Nyman, 49, was found dead in a swimming pool at his Hanover home Friday night, authorities said.

Nyman had gone to a local golf course earlier in the day to participate in the planning of a charity event and returned home briefly and then went back to the course at approximately 1 p.m., according to a statement from the office of Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz.

It was not clear when he returned home again, but his family came home at about 8:30 p.m. and found him unresponsive in the family pool, according to the statement. The cause and circumstances of his death were not released.

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Age, Sex and Race Playing a Significant Role

The race is tightening. In the latest Rasmussen Poll, Patrick who last polled at 45% has seen support drop to 41%. He is still seeing benefits from good economic news. Before recent reports of an economic turn around Patrick was polling in the low 30’s.

Baker continues to rise. As the number of voters with no opinion of Baker shrinks he is seeing his poll numbers rise as expected. Probably not as quickly as he needs to, but the differential between Patrick and Baker is narrowing.

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RedMassGroup is reporting that a recent Public Opinion Strategies poll shows Jeff Perry with a commanding lead over Joe Malone of 41% to 25%.

  • Seniors:  Perry +37%
  • Republicans:  Perry +25%
  • “Tea Party” Supporters: Perry +26%
  • “Very Interested” Voters: Perry +18%
  • Heard of both candidates: Perry +42%
  • Opinion of both candidates: Perry +60%

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Josh Cutler

Josh Cutler is a candidate for the 6th Plymouth Representative District (Duxbury, Halifax, Hanson and Pembroke).

Cutler was honored as one of the region’s top 40 young business leaders last week. The “40 under 40” awards, sponsored by Plymouth and Cape Business Magazine, are designed “to spotlight young business leaders who excel in their industry and show dynamic leadership.” An awards banquet was held at the Plymouth Radisson on Wednesday. Cutler, 39, previously served 10 years as publisher of a family-owned newspaper business. He is running for state representative as the Democratic candidate in the 6th Plymouth District. For more information on the Cutler Campaign, visit

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Mike Walsh

Attorney Mike Walsh, Democract from Westwood, officially announced his candidacy for the Suffolk and Norfolk State Senate District. (Westwood, Norwood, Dedham, West Roxbury, Roslindale and Hyde Park )

State Rep. Mike Rush is also running for the seat, but he has been dogged by his close ties to the Probation Department Patronage Scandal. It’s a dirty and fascinating story about how insider politics works in Massachusetts.

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part 1

5th Congressional District Republican Candidates Debate

The four Republican candidates challenging Rep. Niki Tsongas for 5th Congressional Representative debated at the Shirley Republican Town Committee Candidate Forum on April 10th. The video was posted today, and it helps give us a sense if any of these challengers can be a serious threat to Rep. Tsongas.

Jon Golnik is clearly the standout from among the four. He had specific, rational policy ideas on every question. He knows the facts behind the issues, and his policy ideas seem to be based on practicality and reality. He seems like the kind of practical political leader who can listen to different sides of an issue and find reasonable solutions.

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Jennifer Callahan

Jennifer Callahan

Jennifer Callahan is a 5 term Representative from the 18th Worcester district. She grew up in Sutton on her parent’s apple farm. She is a nurse by training, and worked as a maternal child health coordinator at the VNA of Southern Worcester County as a trauma nurse at UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Much of her legislative focus has been on health care, particularly access to primary care, pediatrics and tick-borne illnesses.

Though she styles herself a as “liberal legislator,” she is representing a district which has been trending sharply Republican in recent years.
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Charlie Baker

Baker unveiled a sweeping tax cut proposal at the Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Friday June 10th, reducing corporate sales and income taxes all to 5%.

Corporate Tax Rate at 5%: The proposal is fairly comprehensive, but it would have the effect of greatly simplifying the corporate tax code. The current corporate tax code is complex and taxes businesses in different industries differently with a tax rate in most industries at 8.75%. Baker proposes to reduce the corporate tax rate on all industries to 5% within 4 years.

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Tom Hallahan

Thomas Hallahan is a candidate for Governor’s Council in the 1st District. Tom works as a tenured professor teaching courses in education policy and social justice. He also works as a policy consultant for the Department of Public Health and MassHealth. Tom has a long history of involvement with numerous non-profits doing work in the areas of youth engagement, substance abuse, mental health, AIDS, health care policy, equity/access to education and the arts. He serves on the board of directors for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and is a member of a number of NGOs doing work in the areas of inclusive education & disability rights in Cambodia and South Africa.

As we have done with a several other candidates, we conducted an email interview with Dr. Hallanan.

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Suffolk University/Channel 7 has released its latest poll on the Governor’s race essentially confirming the results of the Ramussen poll from 2 weeks ago.

It shows Governor Deval Patrick gained significantly as Tim Cahill’s support has crashed.  Jill Stein had a surprisingly strong showing of 8%, which indicates that many progressives are looking for alternatives to Patrick.

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Yvonne Abraham has an excellent editorial in the Globe this morning with some quotes from our elected officials which shows just how out of touch Beacon Hill has become.

Tim Cahill asked about his involvement in the patronage scandal:

“Does that not happen in government all the time? Obviously, it is part of the political process.’’

What’s he hoping to do? Demoralize us into giving up on democracy?

Michael Travaglini, head of the state’s pension fund, is resigning because the state is considering imposing caps on bonuses. At $322,000 per year, he is already one of the highest paid employees. He had this to say:

“I have a wife and three children, and I’m going to provide for them. Someone else can hang around for that, but it’s not going to be Mike Travaglini”

Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Redmassgroup posted what appears to be an internal strategy memo from the Baker Tisei campaign predicting that Patrick will have to wage a negative campaign. Leaked memos are sometimes leaked deliberately – so read this almost like you would a press release. It’s interesting nonetheless. I pretty much agree with it. I’m not sure going negative on Baker is such a great strategy for Patrick, unless he has got something very tangible on Baker.

This may be an attempt to immunize themselves against a possible negative attack by Patrick, by predicting it now, so they can have an “I told you so” later.

Memo after the jump:

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Brad Williams

Update: Rush denies involvement in note to Roslindale Transcript

Brad Williams and Rep. Mike Rush are both candidates for State Senate in the Suffolk and Norfolk District currently represented by Marian Walsh who is not seeking re-election.

Rep. Rush has been deeply entangled in the recent Probation Department patronage jobs scandal. It has been reported that Rep. Rush is one of the people who are able to help family and political supporters secure jobs at Probation, and that he was instrumental in getting a promotion for his father James Rush. Two years after being promoted to Chief Probation Officer, James Rush retired under a cloud of allegations of racial and sexual harassment of two employees at Probation. It is said that Mike Rush has been seeking revenge against Justice Mulligan ever since.

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Cindy Creem

Reforms likely to pass the Senate but not Robert DeLeo’s House of Representatives.

Following Sunday’s Globe exposé of patronage hires at the Probation Department, and yesterday’s move by the Supreme Judicial Court to suspend Probation Commissioner O’Brien, the Senate today proposed a budget amendment to reform some the Probation Department’s most egregious  structural problems, with a proposal that reduces some of the Legislature’s influence in Probation Department hiring.

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Chief Justice Robert Mulligan in 2008

Tensions between the Judiciary and the Legislature have simmered for years over the legislators use of the courts as a source of patronage jobs for the politically connected. This year’s budget process may have finally set off a battle between the Judiciary and the Legislature which will play out during the election season.

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Dan Winslow

Dan Winslow is a former Presiding Justice of Wrentham District Court, and a candidate for Representative in the 9th Norfolk district. Following the Globe‘s recent investigative article about patronage jobs at the Probation Department, Winslow has posted a series of sensible reforms to curb court system abuses.

His statement follows:

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