March 11, 2014 | Comments Off
Evan Falchuk seems intent on taking the sport out of MA politics. Like weather talk, bemoaning the shortcomings of Dems and then Republicans is our MA sport without colorful hats and jerseys. He is confident that his new political party will shut your mouth.
Click below to listen in to his vision of the United Independent Party that is at once synonymous with Falchuk and then is is vision of the new commonwealth political order. He starts with the cliché about not having to vote for the lesser of two evils, then zooms into specific details on what he and the UIP would do differently.
Falchuk is a big vision guy. That includes:
- Healthcare — squelching the monopolies created that drive up costs and give patients no choices
- Taxes — repealing the 1915 commonwealth constitutional amendment mandating a flat tax, setting up a commission to define what makes sense heading to progressive tax regs
- Infrastructure — similar to taxes, defining what makes sense for the next three or four decades and working toward that instead of patch, patch, patch
- Economic growth — building for more citizens as well as more jobs, while doing what’s necessary to foster health of small and medium businesses
Falchuk also has plans beyond this election. He sees the UIP fielding candidates at multiple levels in MA. He certainly figures he’ll have the resources for this gubernatorial run. He claims to have hundreds of passionate volunteers augmenting his staff, and a vigorous fund-raising effort, including his personal $2 million contribution.
It’s time you got with the program. Running headlong in the hunt for MA governor is Evan Falchuk. He has strong platform planks and a great conviction that voters here don’t want a Dem or GOP top exec this time. You can get a sense of his positions in my blog post here.
He joins us Tuesday, March 11 at 2:30 PM Eastern and you can go here then if you want to hear him live. Afterward, his show will be available at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page to hear or download.
We’ll talk his populism, his planks and his strategy.
Balancing praise with self-promotion in evaluating the pol you want to replace can be tricky. Today, Joseph Avellone managed that well. He is one of five Dems eager to follow Gov. Deval Patrick, who leaves term limited after eight years.
Avellone said Patrick “has created a very exciting and compelling vision for our commonwealth,” adding, “we don’t need a new vision.” Instead, he wants to continue and expand on Patrick’s drives for new industry, education improvement, and healthcare cost containment.
With an impressive and diverse résumé, Avellone has been surgeon, COO of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of MA, biopharmaceutical exec, and more. Click below to listen in as he describes how he’d build on Patrick’s work and layer on his own ideas.
We talked of his year-old Commonwealth Pledge he is driving, at first for Dem candidates and for all if he wins the primary. That would expand the People’s Pledge to include instate PACs and lobbyists, effectively shutting off outside money from the campaigns. We got into an ease of expertise and passion — healthcare cost control. We also spoke of his detailed education plans and his problem/solutions sets there from pre-K up. However, we did not have time for his Office of Recovery or energy and environment ideas. See his site’s Issues area for those.
Another physician in the 2014 run for MA governor is Joe Avellone. A surgeon who went on to be a health-care/pharmaceutical exec, We’ll talk his big, progressive goals, like tens of thousands of new jobs and wrangling health costs, all without raising taxes.
He has tons of relevant experience (like COO of BC/BS) and limited elected background (six years as Wellesley selectman). Check the link above to his campaign site for his issues/proposals.
If you can join us (changed to 2 PM, on Thursday this week), do that on March 6th, Thursday at 2:00 PM Eastern here. Afterward, his show will be available at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.
“I’ve never accomplished anything in my life by taking the easy roads,” Jeff McCormick said. “I never had access to the easy road.”
As an independent candidate for MA governor, he knows he’s on a tough one. We spoke today a lot about what he wanted to do if he wins and a bit about he he expects to do that.
I opened by drawing a contrast with another MA venture capitalist, Willard Mitt Romney. Like him, McCormick has earned piles and has lots (dare we say binders) of successful companies he can cite that he helped fund. Unlike Romney, McCormick actually is self-made, coming from a blue-collar home in upstate NY, without a rich, powerful, politically and corporate connected father. In that vein, McCormick is good at brief descriptions. When asked about his campaigning, he said because of his background, “I’m really comfortable in diners, much more than in ballrooms.”
He wants voters to think of him as Jeff for Jobs. He cites his VC successes and his ideas of how to create tens of thousands here. Listen in as he describes how education and training will prepare the workforce. He also is keen on helping gateway cities outside the Boston and Worcester areas.
You can hear the VC background as he speaks of changing the culture of Beacon Hill to one of problem solving. Here he points to US Sen. from ME Angus King as a model. McCormick said that when people see you are solving problems, they want to join you and that’s an easier way to govern. McCormick ways he’d bring his work style over. “I’m part of the team. No one is voting for a CEO here.”
Founder of VC firm Saturn Partners, he got degrees in biology, molecular genetics and finance first. He’ll explain how he plans to replicate and expand his success in growing companies to adding tens of thousands of jobs in the commonwealth.
His platform has planks for education, economic growth, health care, environment and energy. We’ll talk about how he expects to implement those and how he plans to leapfrog the big party pols.
McCormick has the requisite progressive social positions, such as women’s choice and marriage equality. Yet he exudes confidence that his policies would at once expand educational opportunities from K through college, control health-care costs, and add those thousands of jobs.
He says up front that being governor would be a huge change for him. He says he’s quite wealthy, mostly from his VC successes. Yet he longs for public service and to make major improvements, and is willing to lose lots of potential income by doing so.
He points to those successes as proof of his understanding of the economy, and in particular the MA economy.
If you want to hear him live, click here at 2:30 PM Eastern, Tuesday, February 25th. Afterward you can listen on demand there, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.
It’s an atavism, a viscous one. Many of our states continue perpetually to punish ex-convicts who have, as the American ideal runs, served their debt to society. That is, after they are out of prison, not on parole and not on probation, they still can’t vote. In 11 states, that is permanent.
The U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is on the case. He has been speaking on the irrationality and counterproductive nature of such laws. For great background, check his speech last week on reforming criminal justice here. In it, he draws heavily on a report from The Leadership Conference, which you can see here.
Among the must-know findings are that 5.8 million Americans are thus disenfranchised. They are three times more likely to re-offend (33% in contrast to 11% for those allowed to vote after prison). The United States is the only democracy that follows this inane throwback policy.
Today, we ran down the basics, discussed the Democracy Restoration Act, itself imprisoned in a U.S. House committee since 2012, and suggested direct involvement. Learn a bit from these sources linked. Tweet or blog your thoughts. Contact your U.S. Rep. and maybe Senators. This bill could use some sponsors and visibility.
Otherwise, for near-term podcasts, we’re roping in some more MA gubernatorial candidates. Watch this blog for notices. Also, if you want more direct contact, consider the Suffolk Law Rappaport Center’s lunch roundtables with the candidates, which you can sign up to attend here.
February 17, 2014 | Leave a Comment
We’ve been on this before, but have new good company. A serious American cliché is that any of us can serve our debt to society in prison, thus behind rehabilitated and re-entering as full citizens. Not bloody likely.
Our Attorney General, Eric Holder, has put the lie to that. He is working to see laws past to remedy huge civil-rights wrongs. In particular, he lists the many states where convicted criminals permanently lose their ability to participate in democracy. They can’t vote, for the worst example.
Much of America thinks that’s swell, He cited detailed analysis and study proving that doing so dramatically increases recidivism. Meanwhile, many folk figure if you commit a crime and get convicted, there really is no such thing as serving your debt.
We’ll be talking it tomorrow. If you can join us live, go here at 2:30 PM Eastern, Tuesday, February 18th. Afterward, you can hear or download the show there, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.
Dr. Don Berwick joined us today to talk about some of his many, detailed platform planks. (See his campaign site’s Issues tab for more.)
He unabashedly bills himself as a solid progressive. Also, in the mold of Gov. Deval Patrick when he ran for the first time in 2006, Berwick is not afraid to put out his positions and almost dare competitors to take shots. For example, he does not think casinos are a viable economic-development strategy and wants a plebiscite on the ballot that could withdraw approval. He sees catching up on the long-delayed infrastructure maintenance is essential; he’s want a higher gas tax short term, then something like a mileage fee longer term to make sure we avoided the trap. Listen in as he describes his proposals and how he’d plan to fund them.
Berwick is huge on education and health. He’s drive for universal pre-K, scrub for-profit charters, while encouraging in-district ones, providing they were transparent and shared their methods and successes with all. Drawing on both his management expertise and background as a pediatrician, he would immediately “create a new, cabinet-level position to facilitate total cooperation among state agencies, cities and towns, and families in fostering child health and well-being to the age of five – the most critical years.” Check is Issues for proposals for every stage of ed through college. He’d drive to make sure everybody could afford public colleges too. That would include in-state rates for undocumented students.
Understandably, he has special emphasis on health care. Both our conversation and his site have a lot about what’s wrong with it now and how he’d aim to fix it. In perhaps his most progressive point, he’d aim for single-payer health care. To that effort, “On day one, I will appoint a multi-stakeholder Single Payer Advisory Panel to investigate and report back within six months on how Massachusetts moves to a single payer health insurance system like Medicare for all.” He noted that MA is capable of driving the single-payer agendum, much as it did with universal health coverage. Listen in as he describes how he thinks insurance carriers and others can be won over.
Long-term physician and manager Dr. Don Berwick is in the race for the Dem nomination for MA governor. He joins us next week to tell us what he’ll pitch in the campaign and what he wants to accomplish. Mike saw and heard him at the Suffolk Rappaport lunch thingummy. He’s quite the progressive and has gotten a lot of attention here.
If you can join us live, click in here next Tuesday, February 11th at 2:30 PM Eastern. Afterward, you can hear or download his show at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.