Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The People's Seat

Congratulations to Massachusetts Senator-Elect Scott Brown, one of the few republicans I've ever voted for. In the coming years I hope he will stay true to his words and be the Independent voice of the people.

Even before the casino debacle I'd become increasingly disillusioned by political candidates of both parties. Despite the fact that our State and nation are becoming more moderate, politics continue to grow more partisan.

I'm pleased to note that my town of Bridgewater (a college town at that) voted for Brown 68% to 31%. Middleboro, 70% to 30%.

In fact, the same region of the State that was taken to hell in a hand basket by casino interests, intimidated by unions, gaveled to silence by their elected leaders, and mostly ignored by their their state and local reps went for Brown in a big way.

I hope that this message isn't lost on those leaders who put racetracks, casino lobbyists and other special interests ahead of the people they represent.

This tribe has spoken.


Jacquie said...

Congrats to Scott Brown. He ran a great, positive campaign and the people of Mass have spoken!

At least now Washington will need to stop and rethink this healthcare bill.
Once again, I was now asking the question to Washington..."What's the rush?"

When something is right, there is no need for backroom deals or bribing of states. What has been going on in Washington is absolutely disgraceful.

Scott Brown will start with a new perspective on the healthcare bill and if starting from the drawing board is what is needed, then so be it.

There should be no need to rush something so important to all of us.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Nancy Pelosi seems poised and determined to continue to push the current health care reform plan despite this very clear signal from Massachusetts.


Bellicose Bumpkin said...

Scott Brown is a far right conservative with a racetrack in his district and a record of voting in favor of expanded gambling.

If that's what y'all wanted, that's what you got.

"Republican candidate Scott Brown, a state senator from Wrentham, “is open to some form of expanded gaming in the commonwealth,” according to spokesman Felix Browne. Brown has previously voted for legislative proposals authorizing racetracks in Massachusetts to deploy slot machines. In May, he voted for a plan sanctioning up to 10,000 slot machines at the state’s four racetrack, citing the potential for economic growth and an obligation to help preserve jobs of racetrack workers. The plan failed 6-31." -

Gladys Kravitz said...

That's funny, I don't remember Martha Coakley coming out and opposing expanded gambling. In fact, that makes her pretty unique out of the other 49 State AGs. But far be it from her to stand up to her BFF Therese Murray, or for the safety of the people of the Commonwealth.

I really wanted her to come out against it. I know someone who worked on her campaign and asked him to ask her to share her real views. But she wanted to keep her real views secret.

Strangely enough, secretiveness is not a characteristic I've come to value in politicians. Coakley could have gone a long way this democratic voter by opposing expanded gambling a la Khazei. But no. It was not important to her.

Scott Brown may endorse slots, but now that he's a senator, this won't effect slot legislation here. I do suspect, however that he'd oppose a Carceiri fix. And furthermore, I bet he'd give you an honest answer on that if you asked him.

Scott Brown has said he'll listen to the people he represents, and he'll get two years to demonstrate whether or not that's true, because this state is does not vote far right conservative. He will undoubtedly be voted out if he fails.

Bellicose Bumpkin said...

Coakley did sign on the Carcier v. Salazar as Amici Curiae. Wherever she is on expanded gambling, at least she has some clue that there will be negative effects. So far there's no evidence that Brown does. I'd give the nod to Coakley on the gambling issue.

Beyond that, his support for a constitutional ban on same sex marriage, his tepid support for what I see as critical environment policies, and general cookie-cutter conservate republican platform make him an absolutely horrible senator for me.

To each his(or her) own.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Coakley signed on to Carcieri, and Patrick opposed the casino in Middleboro for the same reason - to keep casinos commercial, not tribal, so the state could collect more revenue if they were ever legal.

If you'd read my earlier post, VoteShock, you will note that I'm not a Brown supporter. I didn't like either candidate, and gambling isn't the only issue of importance to me.

Alan Khazei's opposition to gambling didn't make me for or against him - it was meeting him for myself that did it. He had reached out to me and my group. Even Capuano managed to to respond to a questionnaire. Martha couldn't even be bothered to do that. I'm tired of not mattering to the people in my own party.

Brown has two years to prove himself - which is better than six to life, and I'll bet that in two years a better democrat, who listens and cares more about my vote will be running against him.

Keep voting for the same old, you'll keep getting the same old. At least now we have a chance for change.

Bellicose Bumpkin said...

Mary - I'm glad you're happy with Brown.

My vote for Coakely was not "same old" it was a vote for the candidate that best represents my positions on equal rights for all, the environment, the economy, health care, foreign policy, and so on.

The Democratic party is the best choice for me based on their position on issues that are important to me.

A vote for Brown, for me, would be insane since he does not at all represent my views. You voted for him, are happy with your vote and the outcome, and I'm OK with that.

Jacquie said...

As far as the gambling issue goes....neither candidate is ideal.

I've directly spoken to Martha Coakley on a few radio stations asking her how she stands on the casino issue and she always gives me some political noncommittal response.

Constituents have more of a chance of swaying Brown to vote against gambling than Coakley.
I believe her candidacy was backed by unions and she would have been their puppet had she won.

At least Scott Brown ran an independent campaign and collected private funds.

...and what about Obama supporting a Carcieri fix?

...and he is not a "far right conservative", his stance on the issues is readily available.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Mark, (aka Bumpkin)

What I'm happy about is that there a chance for change.

I don't have a problem with your voting for Coakley, though you seem to think I do.

For the record, I struggled with my choice in this election. I always seem to these days. This is because I believe in the values of the democratic party - yet also feel that the democrats who represent me do not hold those same values.

They do not listen and they dismiss my concerns. I believe the overwhelming support for Brown in Cranberry Country reflects our disillusionment and frustration with our leadership here. Like I said in a previous post, I think we have some excellent democrats here in other parts of the State, thank goodness.

The Brown victory is a wake up call which I hope the party will take.

When I was at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention in Springfield this summer, Coakley's people were there campaigning. I was in the company of a person who would later work for her campaign who spoke glowingly of her, and I'd planned on voting for her. My vote was hers to lose and she lost it. She was terrible in the debates, too.

The difference between us here is that, for me, a candidates actions and character are equally as important as their voting record.

I grew to dislike Coakley while I grew to like Brown. I felt the democratic party needed change. A special election offered a two-year window for that to occur quickly.

My choice is sound.

In case you haven't seen this, it puts things in (hysterically funny) perspective.

Gladys (aka the name I ask people to use to refer to me when posting on this blog.)

Anonymous said...

They're all snakes, some just have less scales. The Healthcare Bill swayed me toward Brown.I've personally supported both parties, for different reasons. It's just that it appears that the Obama Admin. is trying to wipe the slate clean and make the U.S.A. the U.S Of Obama. I don't want to pay for the poor and the lazy. Gov't assistance for anything, has and will break the camel's back."Liberalism" doesn't work.

Bellicose Bumpkin said...

Jacquie - One of the major MA teaparty groups had a fundraiser for Brown - which he attended. The national Teaparty Express actively raised money and contributed to him.

These are groups that only support conservative candidates and will even oppose moderate Republicans. I guess the term "far right" is subjective. Scott Brown said the idea of two women having a child is "just not normal" and supported a constitutional ban on same sex marriage. In my book - that puts in in the "far right" category.

He is also supported by the swift-boaters, the NRA, and the National Organization for Marriage. This gives him far-right street cred in my book.

nicky said...


People are frustrated with government's out of control spending, forcing healthcare reform down our throats, outright bribery of states ,civil trials for terrorists that massacred thousands of Americans, bailouts, higher taxes, the mass corruption of government

( shall I go on??!!!!)

Let's just say this isn't the change that we were looking for. It's not the change that I want to see my children and grandchildren paying back for years and years to come.
Every generation wants to see the next live a better and more prosperous life....and that isn't going to happen or won't happen with what's going on with government right now.
Spending even more money when we have a trillion dollar deficit is just absurd. Our government needs to be fiscally responsible.

I am as passionate about healthcare reform as I was the casino.

One simple question I have is how are we going to pay for the new health care?? You can't add millions of people to the government's plan and not have any idea how we'll pay for it.

Anyone who agrees to stop this fast rolling, 2000 page, completely impossible to decipher bill, will get my vote.

I'm not into rushing anything as important as our healthcare through unless I am very well informed

...this bill needs to go back to the drawing board and Scott Brown is going to stop it.

I think we need to respectfully disagree on this one, after all that's what makes living in this country so great.

Jacquie said...

I'm not sure how that posted as Nicky...but I wrote it.

Bellicose Bumpkin said...

This election wasn't a referendum on healthcare for me - it was which candidate best represents my values.

That was Coakely.

Jacquie said...

I don't think we would have seen the likes of Obama had Coakley not been the crucial vote to clinch healthcare.

Healthcare was the meat and potatoes of this debate...and the one that required immediate attention from voters to prevent us from all falling into a massive healthcare abyss.

Gladys Kravitz said...

It was a referendum on healthcare for Obama and the other democrats who showed up in MA to support Coakley.

Healthcare was only part of the reason I voted for Brown, but I felt it was definitely another symptom of how the current slew of democrats don't listen to their constituents.

Another thing folks on the national level kept getting wrong in this election is the whole Ted Kennedy thing. They, apparently, have canonized him and assume we feel the same. I think that's like sort of like assuming everyone who lives in Utah is a polygamist, or that everyone living in Texas wears a giant cowboy hat.

Ted was a good guy, and did good things, but he was far from this saintly image of the perfect politician. If he didn't have the $$ and the family name, I'd doubt he'd have been re-elected as often. If anything, I think there was a fear that the next person we elect could end up being in that office for life.

Bellicose Bumpkin said...

I think that's like sort of like assuming everyone who lives in Utah is a polygamist, or that everyone living in Texas wears a giant cowboy hat..

Everyone in Utah is a polygamist and everyone in Texas does wear a giant cowboy hat.

No doubt the election was a referendum on healthcare for many - just not for me.

Gladys Kravitz said...

"Everyone in Utah is a polygamist and everyone in Texas does wear a giant cowboy hat."

Whoa.... Bumpkin!

Isn't that like assuming everyone who voted for Brown watches FOX news and listen's to Limbaugh.

I never touch the stuff!

Jacquie said...


This was not just a referendum on healthcare for me. If you read my post, as Nicky, you would have noticed there are multiple other active issues in government that need to be immediately addressed.

I have a big issue with civil trials for non-Americans trying to kill us. We read them their miranda rights, my tax dollars go to defending them in court and all of our secret defenses get divulged, strengthening the mission of those trying to kill us.

The families of 911 have gone through enough. To subject them to going through a civil trial in New York, of all places, is horrible and wrong.

Do you know how much integrity is instilled on Mass Health?
Answer = NONE.
For the few who want to get off the program and need a helping hand, I have such compassion for. But the reality is that many milk the system, work under the table thereby not only getting Mass Health but a double whammy of not paying taxes.
Wake up America...that's reality. Come and work with me for a day.

Would it be ideal to have everyone on healthcare?...absolutely. But not the way the government is pursuing it. They get in the middle ( where they shouldn't be) and screw everything up.

This is much more than just a healthcare issue for me.

Sounds like we do have different values....

I'll just leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

Masshealth is more abused than heroin on skidrow. It's a fact. I see it everyday.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if this topic was still a matter of discussion, I guess it is. Again, I am not from MA. But really raised my eyebrows when Mr. Brown offered up his 2 daughters from the podium after claiming his win.

I am from a state that has radical and very conservative US House and Senate members. It makes me cry tears of sadness to watch them time and again vote against the working class and underclass while looking the other way when corporate thugs take jobs off shore and wriggle out of paying corporate taxes.

I hope MA is well served by Mr. Brown and that he is a true champion of your views and causes.
It will be a longer 6 years than you can possibly imagine if he ends up undermining more than he champions. For once, I would be happy to be wrong.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Dear Anon. 11:33,

Brown will have 2 years in office before re-election. If he proves not to be the independent voice of the people, as he says he is, he will be voted out. Ours in not a right-leaning state. But an entrenched democratic party in the over-whelming majority, with a sense of entitlement and job security has proven not a recipe for success, either.

Many of the things you have said about conservatives in your state can be said about many of our 'progressives'. No one is really sure what it means to be a democrat here anymore, which would explain why 51% of the voters are here independent.

Everyone in office here seems to think they are helping 'working class families'. I guess that's just the thing to say now. During the casino chronicles I noticed that legislators mostly listened to lobbyists, indian tribes, union leadership and each other. Social services folks, concerned residents and their local reps were dismissed out of hand. Does this sound progressive to you?

Please remember MA is a different state with it's own issues. The fact that we've always voted down casinos and slots while the rest of the country embraced them should tell you something. As should the fact that we now have so many of those warm-hearted 'progressives' and a few math-challenged 'conservatives' in positions of power pushing expanded for gambling that the lobbyists and investors are smacking their lips.

As far as Brown's comments and his daughters, that's probably some family in-joke that slipped out on stage. The guy had been campaigning non-stop, after all, unlike Coakley, and was no doubt exhausted.

I do wish people would stop seeing every republican as Dick Cheney and every democrat as Nancy Pelosi. Stereotypical rhetoric is one of those things keeping us from working together to make real progress. There is plenty of middle ground among us, which, I think, was the real message to take from this special election.

Jacquie said...

Let me just give you an example of my day yesterday.

Patient #1.

37 year old with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair, has gross motor movements of his upper extremities. He is a poorly controlled diabetic, has a horrible heart and presents for management of his diabetes.

Patient # 2.

49 year old male sitting at ease in a chair with arms crossed and legs extended. His history is significant for a back injury 10 years ago at work, not requiring any surgery.

Which patient do you think works?

YUP...#1. He hates his job, as a typical greeter at a store, but he's working and paying taxes
( and should be on disability).

The other is milking the system, not paying taxes and probably working under the table.

..that's ideology vs. reality and it happens over and over again.

Anonymous said...

I second Jacquie. I too see it everday, the abuse is rampant. Some of these "abusers" call Fire/EMS hundreds of times a year. This happens in evrey city and town, in every state in the union.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Dear Jacquie and Anons. 8:59 and 9:40 am,

In the past few days I've had conversations with two members of my family who work in the health industry. They reiterate your stories in triplicate! They tell me stories their friends and co-workers tell them them. It's all the same. BTW, they are both democrats who enthusiastically voted for Brown.

I think people like me, who don't work in the health or human services fields would greatly benefit from more information and dialogue about what's myth and what's reality there. I found a great deal of resentment toward those who use a willing bureaucracy, paid for by overburdened taxpayers to fund a tax and labor-free lifestyle. And I discovered more resentment toward those elected officials who encourage or legislate it.

This most certainly isn't about not helping our state's most vulnerable citizens. Everyone I talked to seems to agree that's important.

My sister also made an observation I thought had merit - that past and present senators like Kennedy and Kerry, with their wealth and privilege, felt a deep and personal responsibility to provide for the poor. But they could never seem to understand how the system that was created to help people was being grossly abused. Working class people, however, saw these abuses every day. They saw their paychecks getting smaller while watching abuses become more widespread. But the democrats in their lives never seemed to pay attention. Suddenly, there's Scott Brown, vowing to pay attention.

And there you go.

Kathleen Conley Norbut said...

Sorry folks,

Scott loves slots. He has been a long time supporter of slots at the tracks, is "open to casinos" and won the endorsement of the AFL-CIO over a progressive FEMALE candidate for state senator....why would labor endorse someone with a terrible labor record you ask? Slots/casinos.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Kathleen, virtually all of my readers are anti-slots, but that isn't our only issue. We tried to address the Scott4Slots dilemma in comments:

January 20, 2010 10:54 AM
January 20, 2010 11:22 AM
January 20, 2010 11:52 AM