Archive for ‘MA’

January 29, 2013

Kerry wins confirmation, will become 68th secretary of state

The nomination of Massachusetts Democratic Senator John F Kerry (above), has been approved by the U.S Senate. [ photo: Boston Globe]

[ photo: Boston Globe] 

With broad bipartisan support, the U.S Senate on Tuesday confirmed Sen. John F Kerry (D-Mass) as the next Secretary of State.

The final tally was 94-3, with three Republicans : Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and James Inhofe of Oklahoma opposing the nomination. Senators John Hooven (R-N.D.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash) were absent from the floor, while Kerry himself voted present in a vote that caps  over a quarter century in the Senate.

Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War Veteran, five-term Senator, and the 2004  Democratic presidential candidate, was nominated by President Obama last month to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as the President’s chief foreign policy adviser in his second term cabinet.

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December 21, 2012

President Obama taps Kerry for Secretary of State

Kerry nom

President Obama has chosen Massachusetts Senator John F Kerry (right), as his nominee to be the next U.S Secretary of State….( LA Times, from Carolyn Castor/ Associated Press )

President Obama has nominated Massachusetts Senator and former Democratic Presidential candidate John F Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as the 68th U.S Secretary of State, a move that could lead to yet another high stakes Senate race in the Commonwealth.

 The President announced the nomination to members of the press Friday afternoon, during a joint appearance with Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden in the White House Roosevelt room. In his prepared remarks, the President lauded the five-term lawmaker and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for what he called ‘an extraordinarily distinguished career’.

 “Over these many years, John has earned the respect and confidence of leaders around the world,” said the President. “I think it’s safe to say that few individuals know as many Presidents and Prime Ministers or grasps our foreign policies as firmly as John Kerry.”

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September 11, 2012

Western Massachusetts observes the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks

Residents throughout Massachusetts and the nation will be marking the tragic anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Several events honoring the victims and recalling the horror of that day will be held in several communities throughout Western Massachusetts.

Time: 9:30 a.m.
Where: Agawam Fire Dept., 800 Main Street.
Event: Memorial and prayer service, featuring speakers and music

Time: 9:45-10:45 a.m.
Where: North Pleasant Street Fire Station

Time: 7:00 p.m.
Where: Town Common
Event: Candlelight Vigil

Time: 5:30 p.m.
Where: Saint Anthony of Padua Church, 56 Saint Anthony Street
Event: Memorial Mass, celebrated by consortium of eight churches in Ludlow and Chicopee

Time: 8:00 p.m.
Where: East Longmeadow Fire Dept., 150 Somers Road
Event: Candlelight vigil

Time: 6:00 p.m.
Where: Enfield Fire Station No. 2, 199 Weymouth Avenue
Event: Parade, followed by a ceremony at the 9/11 memorial garden

Time: 10:00 a.m.
Where: Ludlow Fire Department, corner of Chapin and Center Streets

Time: 7:00 p.m.
Where: War Memorial, Converse Middle School, 24 Converse Street
Event: Candlelight vigil featuring speakers and song

Time: 9:45 a.m.
Where: Southwick Fire Department, Depot Street

Time: 10:00 a.m.
Where: Public Safety Complex, 1212 Carew Street
Event: Memorial service, featuring city leaders and song

Time: 6:00 p.m.
Where: Sons of Erin Club, 22 William Street

Time: 8:30 a.m.
Where: Melissa Harrington Hughes Memorial, Town Green


August 2, 2012

Massachusetts House signs off on resolution for Constitutional amendment ending ‘Corporate Personhood’

Working late into the night last Tuesday, the Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution urging that Congress support and send to the states for ratification, a twenty-eighth amendment to the Constitution aimed at curbing corporate and labor union money in politics.

The issue was among several others taken up by the House on the night of July 31, moments before the end of its legislative session and four days after the Senate overwhelmingly passed its version of the nonbinding resolution, by a vote of 35 to 1.

Massachusetts is now the seventh state to pass such a resolution.

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June 29, 2012

Massachusetts U.S Senate race round up part one

Much has happened over the past few weeks since I last blogged about the Massachusetts senate race.

During the Massachusetts  state Democratic convention in Springfield on June 2, the party faithful rallied around Elizabeth Warren who officially captured the Democratic nomination for November’s high stakes senate race against incumbent Republican freshman Senator Scott Brown (R-MA).

Warren’s popularity with the liberal and more populist activist elements of the party base was on clear display when she won the nomination with the backing of 95.7% of delegates, more backing than any state Democratic candidate for any office received in thirty years of the convention system.  The former Harvard Law Professor and  Obama administration special assistant trounced her last remaining rival for the nomination, long shot candidate and Milton immigration Attorney Marissa DeFranco who failed to muster the necessary 15 percent support from delegates to challenge Warren in the Sept 6 Democratic primary election.

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January 18, 2012

Warren fundraising strength shows, while both sides seek to curb super PAC ads

Seeking to capitalize on last week’s news that they brought in more money from donors in the closing three months of 2011 than incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown, the campaign of  Massachusetts Democratic Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren detonated a ‘money bomb’ Friday, that will deliver even more.

The fundraising blitz, which according to the campaign staff has already brought in $236,000, is scheduled to coincide with the two-year anniversary of Brown’s surprise victory over Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley in the 2010 Special Election  to complete the term of Sen. Edward M Kennedy, who died in August 2009.

Last Wednesday, the Warren campaign disclosed that during the fourth fundraising quarter of 2011, (or what is the term  employed to what us mortal refer to as October, November, and December), Warren raked in $5.7 million, while Brown raised $3.2 million during that same period.

Still Brown now has a campaign account totaling $12.8 million, while Warren who began flirting with a  possible Senate run in August and rocketed to the top of the Democratic primary field in September, has $6 million altogether.

Recent polls suggest that Warren maintains has developed a slim lead over Brown in the strongly liberal state. But Brown’s staunch support from Republicans, likability among independents,and image as a bi-partisan problem solver willing to defy partisan orthodoxy, makes Brown a strong candidate. 

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December 13, 2011

State Rep. Tom Conroy bows out of Massachusetts Senate race

The number of candidates in the Democratic primary field was widled down further yesterday, when State Rep. Tom Conroy  declared that he will be ending his campaign to be the party’s nominee in next year’s Massachusetts Senate race.  Instead, Conroy says he will  run for a fourth term to his seat in the Massachusetts House, where he represents the communities of Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland which comprise the 13th Middlesex District.

News of the former Washinton D.C Foreign Policy aide turned private sector consultant turned state politician’s departure from the race came Monday morning in the form of a letter posted on his campaign website.

Through October and November, I delivered a strong and clear message about who I am, why I was running, and why I could win. I continued to learn about the concerns and hopes of voters throughout Massachusetts. Your stories, ideas and suggestions inspired me. Your generous contributions of time, talent and treasure empowered our team to continue efforts to win back the US Senate seat for the future of Massachusetts. However after much reflection, it is clear that, while support for my candidacy has been generous, we could not run the kind of campaign we needed to run throughout next year.

With deep gratitude and a still strong commitment to a winning path forward for all, I am withdrawing from the race for U.S. Senate.

Later in the morning at a press conference in front of the State capitol, where he officially ended his bid and later endorsed Democratic front runner Elizabeth Warren, he reportedly said that the enthusiasm she generated, fund raising success, and name recognition; were all obstacles too large for him to compete against in the primary.

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November 17, 2011

Elizabeth Warren releases first TV ad

Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren released the first television ad of her nearly two month campaign Tuesday, as part of an effort to rebut what she calls ‘ridiculous attack ads’ by Republican leaning groups.

The sixty-one second ad, alternating between a shot of Warren on camera, and a montage of photographs that reach back into her past, is a biographical ad of the former Harvard Law professor and consumer advocate.  that seeks to introduce Warren to the general electorate. In it, she briefly tells of her working class childhood, brother’s military service, her own marriage, life as a mother of two children, college education, time as a school teacher, law school, career in academia, and consumer protection efforts.

“For years, I worked to expose how Wall Street and the big banks, are crushing middle class families, it just isn’t right,” says Warren. 

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November 15, 2011

South Hadley gives nod to Proposition 2 1/2 override,to fund a new public library.

The South Hadley Public Library, which is presently at 27 Bardwell Street in the Falls area.

South Hadley voters, in a special town election last Tuesday, endorsed a measure exempting the cost of  repaying any loans from the state to build a new Public library, from the Proposition 2  1/2  cap on annual property tax hikes.

The debt exclusion vote, which was the only item on the ballot in the Nov 8 referendum, passed 1,751 to 1,412, thereby allowing the town to use money from raising property taxes above the 2.5 percent levy ceiling on increases, that it is permitted to collect in a given year under Massachusetts law,  in order to reimburse the state for any money it borrows in helping cover the project’s estimated $10.1 million price tag.

Backers of the measure, say that the money in additional taxes,that is collected,  will on average amount to an extra $38 a year in taxes, though the town Accessor’s office said they haven’t calculated the numbers or released any such information. 

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November 2, 2011

Editor’s Note: Sorry about the delay.

"Stomp and Holler' march from the Bridge Street School down to City Hall in Northampton on Oct 22.

Sorry about the delay for my posting on the Oct 22 ‘Stomp and Holler’ in Northampton, similar to the ‘Slut Walk’ demonstrations  organized to raise awareness of sexual abuse and victim’s rights,that have surfaced in cities around the globe, will be up a little later than I had planned due to the blackout and other personal obligations I have had to deal with. I will have it written and posted as soon as I can. Again I am sorry about this.