Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why I am Voting for Governor Patrick

Posted at

Why I am Voting for Governor Patrick
by: lkirwan
Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 16:02:51 PM EDT
(The voice of reason speaks. Leslie Kirwan was Governor Patrick's Secretary of Administration of Finance until last year. - Bob

It's also worth noting that Leslie Kirwan worked very closely with Charlie Baker in the Weld and Cellucci administrations. She knows both candidates well. - promoted by David)

Dear Friends,

For three years I had the privilege of working with Governor Deval Patrick as his cabinet Secretary for Administration and Finance. On November 2, I will be proud to vote for Governor Patrick to help assure that he has the chance to continue the important work he has started. I am writing to tell you why I admire and respect the Governor so much, and to ask that you give him your vote on Election Day, November 2.

Governor Patrick has been challenged by the worst recession in generations, and it has required him to find budget solutions of approximately $13 billion during his four years in office. For a governor deeply committed to making state government work for individuals, families, businesses and communities, balancing the budget was not a responsibility Governor Patrick relished. Nonetheless, he took it very seriously, and personally made sure that even as he was forced to find budget solutions, he did it in ways that reflected his values and priorities. Education is Governor Patrick's top priority -- one stemming from his own personal story -- and under his leadership Chapter 70 education aid has reached its highest level ever. He preserved health and human services spending as much as possible to make sure the Commonwealth's most vulnerable citizens were protected when they needed help the most. He has made targeted investments in green jobs and other environmental initiatives, and in the life sciences and other industries where Massachusetts is most competitive. These investments have helped Massachusetts lead the nation in recovering from the recession.

Some governors let their staff do the heavy lifting on budget development. Not Governor Patrick. Time and again, I watched as he personally put his own stamp on the choices he made, taking each budget document home with him and working long into the night, making adjustments in his own handwriting to ensure the final product reflected his values. He took it personally every time he had to make a cut that hurt a program or a person.

Governor Patrick's opponents would like to paint him as a big spender. It's not true. Governor Patrick's four budgets have averaged spending increases of 1.7% year over year. In contrast, Mitt Romney's budgets increased by 6.6% on average, and when Charlie Baker was in charge of the budget, annual increases averaged over 5%. And in spite of the recession, Governor Patrick's management of the state has earned reaffirmations of the outstanding double-A rating from the three bond rating agencies again and again at a time when many states have been downgraded. Contributing to their favorable ratings have been the many reforms led by Governor Patrick: ethics and lobbying reform, curbing pension abuses, abolishing the Turnpike Authority and reorganizing the transportation agencies, education reform, auto insurance reform, allowing civilian flaggers to work on some road and bridge construction projects, and successfully implementing Massachusetts Health Care Reform. Other governors only talked about these reforms; Governor Patrick got them done, and is continuing to work on every single one.

This is going to be a very close election, and every vote matters. That is why it is very important for every voter who supports the Governor to take the time to go to the polls on Election Day, November 2. I hope that you will be sure to vote, and that you will join me in supporting Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray.


Leslie Kirwan

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Those Tea Partiers Sure Are Regular Folk

That's Politics and POLO!

Bill Hudak, Republican candidate for U.S. Congress 6th District, speaks with Jen Quinn and Michael DePaulo during the Hamilton Republican Town Committee Politics and Polo event.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

From the Real Socialist: Bernie

Taxes at Lowest Level Since 1950

October 26, 2010

During the past two years, Congress passed a total of $509 billion in tax cuts for American families and small businesses. The tax burden on Americans is now at its lowest level in 60 years, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The most significant single change was a decrease in income taxes by up to $400 a year for individuals and $800 for married couples. Who knew? In a recent New York Times/CBS News Poll, fewer than one in 10 respondents knew that taxes were lowered for most Americans. A third even thought that their taxes had gone up. "We did a magnificent job of selling this tax break," Sanders deadpanned at an event last weekend in Hardwick, Vt., where he mentioned the poll.

The following list identifies the major tax cuts enacted during the past two years.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5; JCX-19-09)

  • Tax relief for individuals and families (e.g., Making Work Pay Credit, American Opportunity Tax Credit, first-time homebuyer credit, and AMT relief)

$232,426 million

  • Clean energy incentives

$19,963 million

  • Tax cuts for businesses

$6,150 million

  • Manufacturing recovery provisions

$1,850 million

  • Economic recovery tools (e.g., recovery zone bonds, new markets tax credit)

$6,501 million

  • Infrastructure financing tools (e.g., school construction bonds, Build America Bonds)

$19,638 million

  • Low-income housing and energy property provisions

$74 million

  • $250 refundable tax credit for federal and state pensioners not eligible for Social Security

$218 million

  • Health Coverage Tax Credit provisions

$457 million

  • Low-income housing tax credit provisions

$143 million

  • Assistance for COBRA health coverage premiums

$24,677 million

TOTAL (over 2009-2019)

$312,097 million

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148; JCX-17-10 and CBO, Table 2)

  • Tax credit to help small businesses afford health coverage

$37,000 million

  • Tax credit to help individuals afford health coverage (Exchange Premium Credits)

$106,000 million

  • Therapeutic Discovery Tax Credit (for small businesses to produce innovative medical therapies)

$900 million

  • Adoption tax credit

$1,200 million

  • Health professional state loan repayment tax relief

$100 million

TOTAL (over 2010-2019)

$145,200 million

Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-92; JCX-45-09)

  • First-time homebuyer tax credit provisions

$10,823 million

  • Business tax cut (increase carryback period for net operating losses)

$10,407 million

  • Military BRAC fringe provisions

$243 million

TOTAL (over 2010-2019)

$21,473 million

Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (P.L. 111-147; JCX-6-10)

  • Payroll tax forgiveness for hiring unemployed workers

$7,616 million

  • Business tax credit for retaining newly hired workers

$5,422 million

  • Business tax cut (increase in expensing of certain depreciable assets)

$35 million

  • Qualified Tax Credit Bonds provisions

$4,561 million

TOTAL (over 2010-2020)

$17,634 million

Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-240; JCX-48-10)

  • Small business tax cut (modification to exclusion for gain from certain small business stock)

$518 million

  • Small business tax cut (5 year carryback of general business credit of eligible small business)

$107 million

  • Small business tax cut (general business credits of eligible small business not subject to AMT)

$977 million

  • Small business tax cut (reduction in recognition period for built-in gains tax)

$70 million

  • Small business tax cut (enhancements to section 179 property provisions)

$2,177 million

  • One-year extension of bonus depreciation

$5,454 million

  • Increase deduction for start-up business expenditures

$230 million

  • Limitation on penalty for failure to disclose reportable transactions based on resulting tax benefits

$176 million

  • Deduction for health insurance costs in computing self-employment taxes

$1,919 million

  • Cell phones and telecommunications equipment provisions

$410 million

TOTAL (over 2011-2020)

$12,038 million

Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act (P.L. 111-198; JCX-34-10)

  • Extend eligibility for the first-time homebuyer credit

$140 million

TOTAL (over 2010-2020)

$140 million

Charitable Donations for Haiti Earthquake Relief (P.L. 111-126; CBO)

  • Tax benefit for charitable cash contributions toward Haiti earthquake relief

$2 million

TOTAL (over 2010-2020)

$2 million

Friday, October 22, 2010

Whose Fault is the Deficit?

The following link provides a very nice summary of the country's current budget deficit troubles. Send it to your tea party friends.

Friday, October 15, 2010

In Your Guts, You Know He's Nuts

In 1964 Barry Goldwater ran for President with strong support from John Birch Society members and similar right-wing wackos. His campaign slogan was: "in your heart, you know he's right." Democrats responded with "In your guts, you know he's nuts." You know how that election worked out.

In 2010 it seems like Republicans have once again become the party of far right extremists. To read an excellent article entitled "Confounding Fathers" in the current issue of the New Yorker click here. It traces tea party roots to the John Birch Society.

For some reason I kept thinking about this during last night's Tierney-Hudak debate.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sounds Right to Me

"EA Sports released a new version of the video game 'NBA Jam' that features Obama, Biden, Bush, and Cheney. Bush and Cheney play the first half, then Obama and Biden try to come back from a 6 billion point deficit."

-Jimmy Fallon

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tea Party Hates Wall Street

Crony Capitalism: Wall Street's Favorite Politicians


A full 90 members of Congress who voted to bailout Wall Street in 2008 failed to support financial reform reining in the banks that drove our economy off a cliff. But when you examine campaign contribution data, it's really no surprise that these particular lawmakers voted to mortgage our economic future to Big Finance: This election cycle, they've raked in over $48.8 million from the financial establishment. Over the course of their Congressional careers, the figure swells to a massive $176.9 million.

The complete list of these Crony Capitalists is below, along with the money they pulled in from Big Finance, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics ( The career data goes back to 1989. Of the 69 House members who voted with Wall Street on both the bailout and financial reform, 60 are Republicans, while nine are Democrats. All 21 Senators who voted with Wall Street on both issues are Republicans, and Republicans raked in over 90 percent of the total campaign contributions.

And here are all of the Cronies, along with their Wall Street hauls:

Senator 2010 Wall Street Cash Career Wall Street Cash
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) $1,600,000 $4,900,000
Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) $1,500,000 $2,600,000
Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) $333,600 $3,300,000
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) $1,500,000 $3,300,000
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) $2,500,000 $3,500,000
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) $451,700 $1,200,000
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) $3,100,000 $3,300,000
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) $3,200,000 $4,700,000
Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) $1,300,000 $2,600,000
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) $1,100,000 $2,000,000
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) $233,200 $1,100,000
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) $1,400,000 $2,600,000
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) $1,400,000 $4,700,000
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) $1,500,000 $4,200,000
Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) $2,800,000 $3,800,000
Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) $412,200 $2,500,000
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) $947,600 $34,000,000
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) $4,300,000 $5,300,000
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) $268,200 $909,700
Sen. John Thune (R-SD) $1,600,000 $3,900,000
Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) $435,200 $2,800,000
21 Republicans
0 Democrats
Senate Total $31,881,700 97,209,700
House Member 2010 Wall Street Cash Career Wall Street Cash
Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La. $106,500 $422,300
Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala. $611,600 $4,400,000
Rep. Gresham Barrett, R-S.C. $20,400 $806,700
Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark. $24,900 $663,700
Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill. $395,000 $1,900,000
Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. $1,200,000 $3,800,000
Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio $1,300,000 $3,700,000
Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala. $90,400 $702,200
Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif. $190,000 $733,400
Rep. John Boozman, R-Ark. $257,700 $491,000
Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla. $123,100 $722,200
Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va. $92,700 $1,400,000
Rep. Charles Boustany Jr, R-La. $226,300 $934,600
Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas $157,000 $840,500
Rep. Henry Brown, R-S.C. $35,700 $494,000
Rep. Vernon Buchanan, R-Fla. $336,800 $1,400,000
Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif. $180,300 $940,300
Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich. $588,000 $1,700,000
Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif. $413,400 $1,200,000
Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va. $2,100,000 $4,400,000
Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del. $749,100 $3,200,000
Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C. $23,400 $502,500
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. $110,000 $686,000
Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas $161,500 $711,800
Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla. $86,100 $717,000
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas $90,600 $606,900
Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa. $177,900 $881,000
Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas $324,200 $1,900,000
Rep.Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich. $8,500 $292,200
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo. $143,900 $904,400
Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Okla ($1,000) $340,700
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J. $86,200 $840,300
Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa. $251,600 $1,800,000
Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas $140,000 $1,100,000
Rep. Wally Herger, R-Calif. $171,500 $1,100,000
Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich. ($1,000) $300,600
Rep. Bob Inglis, R-S.C. 0 $572,800
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. $173,900 $1,600,000
Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. $1,900,000 $4,200,000
Rep. John Kline, R-Minn $170,900 $989,100
Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif. $31,800 $748,000
Rep. Daniel E. Lungren, R-Calif. $147,700 $622,500
Rep. Howard McKeon, R-Calif. $132,100 $1,100,000
Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif. $144,500 $902,000
Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz. $130,900 $558,000
Rep. Sue Myrick, R-S.C. $93,600 $1,200,000
Rep. Soloman Ortiz, D-Texas $40,200 $381,700
Rep. George Radanovich, R-Calif. $24,900 $462,000
Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala. $128,200 $1,000,000
Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky. $50,200 $468,000
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. $127,000 $986,000
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. $531,500 $1,900,000
Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio $121,900 $519,700
Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz. $39,700 $1,200,000
Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. $30,700 $403,600
Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Ind. $20,500 $266,900
Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo. $112,500 $524,200
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas $258,900 $1,300,000
Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind. $40,500 $405,800
Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio $169,300 $476,300
Rep. John Sullivan, R-Okla. $79,200 $494,800
Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb. $202,600 $1,400,000
Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas $42,500 $603,400
Rep. Patrick Tiberi, R-Ohio $555,500 $2,800,000
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. $81,700 $929,400
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore. $180,700 $732,400
Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn. 0 $715,700
Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C. $155,500 $580,200
Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. $90,400 $1,100,000
60 Republicans $15,873,400 $72,443,800
9 Democrats $1,108,400 $7,233,000
House Total $16,981,800 $79,676,800