Hey Lege! Repeal 1913 Law Already
The Jim Crow era law that Romney used to limit same-sex marriages is in the news again
. It's putting Reilly into a corner, as he tries to run for Governor and be the Attorney General at the same time:
Reilly, who is vying for the Democratic Party's nomination for governor next year, once opposed same-sex marriage and the November 2003 Supreme Judicial Court ruling that legalized such marriages. More recently, he has said he supports same-sex marriage, saying, ''It's time to move on." As attorney general, though, he will be called upon to defend the 1913 law banning marriages in Massachusetts of couples who are not allowed to marry under the laws of their home states.
Supporters of same-sex marriage are attempting to overturn the 1913 law. They say it is a long-ignored statute with roots in turn-of-the-century efforts to stop the spread of mixed-race marriages.
Arline Isaacson, cochairwoman of the Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, lashed out at Reilly for defending ''the discriminatory law and its discriminatory application to gay people."
She also said that Reilly is trying to play both sides of the issue as he ramps up his gubernatorial campaign by saying he supports gay marriage while defending the 1913 law.
The Legislature needs to get on this: (1) it's the right thing to do (2) we need to solve as many problems in the legislature, not the courts as possible (as David at BlueMass wrote about earlier
) (3) it will help all Dem candidates get past this so that we can make the election about jobs, education, and healthcare.
On another note, I just went to get a marriage license recently, and it was uncomfortable reading the stipulations on out-of-state marriage that I had to agree didn't apply to me. Knowing how it's being used to discriminate was kind of unsettling. On the other hand, I can attest that they are doing this to straight couples as well, to play Romney's game (from same article):
In a brief filed at Superior Court last year, Reilly rejected the argument that the law is discriminatory, because he said it applies to same-sex and heterosexual couples alike.
This is ridiculous. If you say that another state's laws take precedence over our own, and those laws discriminate, then this law becomes a proxy for a discriminatory law -- it's a cute game, but we shouldn't play it.
It's as if we had a law that said anyone could vote as long as it was legal for them to vote in Saudi Arabia.
Old News, but Worth a Look
For all of the griping we bloggers can do about media coverage, this article
from The Beacon about the MA Convention is actually responsible, accurate (as far as I know) and well-researched. I wish that the next-day coverage had been as good.
Among the changes that some found objectionable was new language requiring organizations calling themselves "Democratic" to be approved by the Democratic State Committee; a new clause expanding the types of meetings that may be closed to the public; and the elimination of a clause that held the state committee responsible to the party charter and the resolutions of the state convention. Another controversial clause made it more difficult for delegates to pass motions from the floor of the convention without the support of the state committee. Some Democrats were also troubled by a clause which allows party officials to endorse candidates who are running against the winner of a democratic primary, as long as they don't endorse the candidate of another "major party."
Advocate on Deval Patrick
The Advocate has a cover story on Deval Patrick
The political playing field that Deval Patrick steps out onto is in many ways very different than it was four years ago when Mitt Romney was elected governor. In just the past year, the state has pulled to the left, against the general run of the country. Gay marriage is the law of the land, over Romney's objections, and there has been no political backlash. Former "Speaker for life" Tom Finneran is out and huggie-bear Sal DiMasi is in, bringing the state's liberal legislators like Byron Rushing (an African-American himself) out of the doghouse and into leadership positions. Although George W. Bush is president, John Kerry "cowboy'ed up" in his home state, pulling the state Legislature with him and dealing Romney and his "reform team" slate of legislative candidates a fairly stiff blow.
It's not unreasonable to read the tea leaves and conclude: a.) Gov. Romney's presidential ambitions (to the extent that voters believe he has them, his own protestations aside) make him vulnerable; b.) the Democratic party in the state is hungry for the corner office, and more unified than it has been in the past; and c.) while "liberal" may be a four-letter word in the rest of the country, it's becoming a point of pride here.
My favorite Patrick line
Patrick tipped his hat to candidate Romney, who talked about the governor as a salesman for his state and how a governor can encourage businesses to locate to the state. But Romney-as-governor hasn't been a very good salesman, Patrick said. "I believe in Massachusetts," Patrick said, drawing what he saw to be a distinction between himself and Romney. "I think the problem is: you can't sell what you're otherwise making fun of. And he's not a credible salesman because he's been going all over the country making us the butt of his joke."
and Peter Vickery gets a mention
When Patrick came to the Jones Library in Amherst on May 9, he was introduced by Governor's Councilor Peter Vickery. An outspoken progressive, Vickery's campaign for governor's council last fall energized activists in the Valley who had pulled for candidates like Robert Reich and Ralph Nader in the past. Standing in the garden behind the library before the event, Vickery told the Advocate he was backing Patrick. He said he thought Patrick was "the only candidate" who could beat Romney.
The Advocate also covered the MA Blogger movement
Media Coverage of Deval Patrick's WMA Visits
Some outlets do their duty -- North Adams Transcript
Meeting with about 30 people at the Holiday Inn, Patrick said he wanted to create a "Renaissance in public education," bolstering teaching institutes in the state with ideas like longer school years, broader access to early education and less emphasis on MCAS scores to evaluate learning.
Though he was admittedly no education expert, he said he wanted an agenda that "sets us on a course to have a public education system second to none in the nation."
Noting that the state is nationally ranked 47th in public education spending, Patrick commented, "You associate something like that with Mississippi, not Massachusetts."
Will post more as I find them.
Deval Patrick's Western Mass Swing
I attended the Northampton event -- hopefully, Michael
will write about the ones he went to.
It was a large turnout (60+) on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Bright yellow t-shirts from the convention were worn by a few local delegates supporting Patrick. I've now seen him so many times, that you'd think I wouldn't see to much new -- there were a couple of interesting highlights.
A questioner lamented the lack of foreign language education in our public schools, pointing out the benefits in dealing with an ever more global economy -- she specifically pointed out that there is a crisis in America in that we don't have enough Arabic speakers (which we need for a variety of reasons). Deval answered with an Arabic phrase (he learned conversational Arabic while serving for the UN in the Sudan).
Totally new question -- Frances Crowe
, local activist legend, asked about peak oil
. Deval had worked at Texaco and spoke a little about their view of oil supply but ended saying that he didn't care if we were swimming in oil, we need renewable energy now. As an aside, Frances is tireless in raising the awareness of this issue, and I have attended one of her showings of the The End of Surburbia
at her house. One of the most disturbing documentaries I have seen, in that they don't try to propose a solution -- the intent is more to ready you for the inevitable.
There was an interesting question about the media at the top of the event. He spoke about what it was like to deal with the media first hand -- most interesting was the revelation that some outlets will not cover the race until later this year (I wonder if they will refrain from commenting on name recognition -- see this for the explanation of the media two-step
Also notable, no Coke question (he had to bring it up himself in Amherst, because it wanted it out of the way, and it was not one of the first two questions). Since, I know for a fact that at least half of the audience knows what the coke question is (either because I have spoken to them about it or they were at the Amherst event), then they must be satisfied with DP's answer and want to move on, which I think is a good sign. Also, single-payer healthcare was not as big an issue as it was in Amherst, but that's probably because the activists in attendance already know his answer (and there were many there) -- from what I gather, the single-payer proponents want to move things offline, and engage the campaign constructively and deeply on this issue -- also a good sign.
Not to be lost in these highlights are of course his big three priorities, Jobs, Education, and Healthcare. Please check out the videos on his site
for his direct message.
I spoke to many people afterwards and there was much excitement for DP, some local organizers wanting to get involved.