Romney's Flood Control Credentials
All the talk of Romney being named Flood Czar to reconstruct New Orleans has brought Romney is Fraud back with a devastating story
about Mitt's past accomplishments in this area. Has to be read to be believed.
Advocate on PDM and Patrick
The Advocate has a piece
on PDM and its endorsement of Deval Patrick
Patrick is, by all accounts, a bright and accomplished man, with a resume that includes two Harvard degrees, high-profile, high-paying corporate law jobs and positions with the Clinton Justice Department and the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund. He's got an appealing up-by-his-bootstraps bio (raised on welfare by a single mom on Chicago's South Side) and an engaging personality, the latter of which puts him in sharp contrast to his competitor for the Democratic nomination, Attorney General Tom Reilly.
But while Patrick's positions clearly run left--he supports equal marriage, for instance, and slammed Reilly's decision last week to allow an anti-gay marriage ballot question in 2006--he's dogged by criticism from some progressives, who accuse him of complicity in the alleged violent anti-labor and environmentally damaging misdeeds of one former employer, Coca-Cola. The question for Patrick isn't just whether Massachusetts voters are ready for a progressive governor, but if Massachusetts progressives can agree that he's the candidate for them.
PDM considered endorsing Reilly, sending a delegation to meet with one of the AG's campaign workers and Ruth Balser, a left-leaning state rep from Newton who's backing his candidacy. "There certainly is a case to be made for Tom Reilly," Clarkson says. "And the case was made, and it wasn't enough for us."
Reilly's support of the death penalty and shakiness on choice and gay marriage give pause, Clarkson says. "There's also the question of viability," he adds--so far, Reilly has shown little sign of running the kind of engaging campaign it will take to wrestle the governor's seat back after four consecutive Republicans.
PDM Endorses Deval Patrick
From this Press Release
Group started by Reich supporters is connecting with Patrick’s stance on health care, jobs, and educationRead the rest.
September 21, 2005: Proving that his focus on the issues that matter to voters is connecting with grassroots activists, Deval Patrick has today been endorsed by The Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts. A unanimous vote of the PDM coordinating committee, representing progressive voters and volunteers from all over the state, is putting all of the organization’s efforts behind Deval Patrick’s historic candidacy.
Northampton Preliminary Elections
Pathetic turnout (< 10%). Marjorie Hess made the next round on Forbes Library Trustee. As expected, Mayor Higgins and Rick Feldman will face off in November. Phyllis Rodin, a 91 year old Northampton institution missed the cut. The Republican reports
Rodin, 91, ran primarily on national and international issues such as global warming and nuclear power. Rodin, who uses a wheelchair, also faulted the city for its lack of handicapped accessibility and said she would have trouble getting into the mayor's office if elected. Rodin, who did not raise or spend any money in her campaign, shrugged off the loss, saying she had accomplished her objective of finding out "the how and the why."
I was at City Hall when the votes came in -- the main buzz was about the low turnout. There were audible gasps when some of the vote totals were announced -- not because of who they voted for, but because of how low the vote was -- one of the downtown precincts reported 89 votes (my guess is that's less than 5%).
So, congratulations to Marjorie, who now faces off against three others in November for two spots on the Forbes Library Board of Trustees.
A Healthcare Story
In the eighties, my mom was working for a very small, but well-known, company a few blocks from where I grew up. She loved working there and there were some nice perks, including being able to walk to work.
When I was about eighteen, one of her coworkers got cancer. I didn't know her -- and I'm sure that it was devastating to her and her family, but that is not my story. Luckily, her cancer was treatable, and I expect that she started receiving the standard treatment, and that it was all covered -- this is not a story about shoddy coverage. As far as I know, the healthcare coverage was fine.
The insurance company started raising the premiums.
They treated the company as an independent risk pool, and since there were probably about fifteen employees, it had a large effect. The company covered some of it, but what was passed through to my mom was approximately triple what she was paying before.
She stayed for a couple of months, to see if it would be possible, but ultimately we couldn't afford it any more (she was a single mom, raising two kids), so she looked for another job, which she got -- though, she has never again worked at a place she liked as much. Her career decision was based 100% on the cost of healthcare, and in ways that are completely fixable.
1. Obviously, risk pools should be based on the insurance company's entire pool, not ever broken down like this. I believe that the situation is better now, but creating a state-wide or nation-wide risk pool would be better. There is no reason why large companies should have an advantage over small companies and individuals when buying coverage.
2. We need to break the link between coverage and employment, and the only institution large enough to do that is the government. If Massachusetts passes universal healthcare, then we will have the problem that coverage is tied to address -- you'll have to live in MA -- but, that's better than what we have now.