Friday, February 27, 2004
Tinker, Tax Tout, Sailor, Fraud

Willard Mitt said he would amend Proposition 2 ½. His exact quote was, "I propose a 10-year sales tax moratorium on hybrid vehicles and reworking the vehicle excise tax in a revenue-neutral fashion to encourage the purchase of fuel-efficient cars." (source: Boston Globe, 10/12/2002)

Which meant Romney wanted to drop some lucky driver’s excise tax, while increasing some unlucky driver’s excise tax. Which meant that Romney proposed increasing the excise tax. And as Willard Mitt’s new best pal, BaaBaa Anderson, could attest, Proposition 2 1/2 cut the excise tax from 6.6 percent to 2.5 percent of a vehicle's book value. (source: Boston Globe, 9/30/1990) Under Prop 2 1/2, you can't 'rework the vehicle excise tax.' Not even for one unlucky taxpayer.

Which means Romney proposed tinkering with Prop 2 ½. (Not that he personally cared. The last time we checked, the Fraud Governor was tooling around in a Chevy pickup truck with New Hampshire plates. (source: Boston Herald, 4/30/2003))

But now Romney has decided to unpropose his proposal to amend Prop 2 ½. (Or so he proposes!)

Willard Mitt recently promised to squash any senior citizen tax relief plan "to take the burden away from senior citizens and keep them away from the voting booth to stop Prop. 2 ½ overrides." (source: SHNS, 2/26/2004)

Wait a minute, Romney won't cut seniors taxes because he wants to unburden them? He is refusing to lower their taxes to help them? The Fraud Governor's rationale makes us think that he spent the Vietnam War interning in the Pentagon, rather than hiding in a French bakery. We have to wonder, though, if Romney's 'I refuse to lower seniors taxes' is a revenue issue, or just another in Team Reform's long line of 'Seniors Stink' initiatives.

And then Willard Mitt made his Shermanesque decree: "I will veto anything which tinkers with Prop. 2 ½."

Anything which tinkers with Prop 2 1/2.

Groovy. So, we have to ask: would Romney veto Romney's plan to change the excise tax?

And if Sailor Scott "Beefcake" Brown was invited to the veto ceremony, would he have to wear pants?

Thursday, February 26, 2004
The Naked and the Dread

How well do you know your state Senate candidates?

For example, who said, "There was a period in my life when I was a real jerk. I was beating up on kids and stealing." (source: Boston Globe, 6/10/1982)

If you guessed the Honorable Scott Brown of Wrentham, you are right!

How about, "Glamour, sex, being an object - that stuff can only go so far. I want people to see that I'm a nice guy. Women look at me and think, hmmm, I wonder if he's good in bed." (source: Boston Globe, 6/10/1982)

Scott Brown? Right again!

Okay, what about "Men are jealous too. But they're not the men who count. They're not men who are my friends." (source: Boston Globe, 6/10/1982)

Brown? Yay!

"But once, a teacher saw me yell at a girl. She took me aside and said: You know you're better looking than anyone here but there's no need for you to act like a (expletive deleted). You're obnoxious. You've got to learn to be nice to people who are fat, ugly and have green teeth." (source: Boston Globe, 6/10/1982)


"A lot of people are good looking, great looking, but that's all they seem to have: looks. Everybody is looking for a personable person. I have not yet met the kings of the male model world but I know competition is keen." (source: Boston Globe, 6/10/1982)


"After this incident, I clearly have a higher name identification than any of the other announced or potential candidates for governor."

Brown? Nope, sorry. That would be the other nekked Republican, Greg Hyatt. (source: Boston Globe, 4/10/1986) But we can see how you'd get them mixed up.

Mr. Brown Jeans

According to the Rat Line, Beefcake Brown may have appeared in one or more ads for Jordache jeans. If anyone out there can find and send us a copy of those ads, we'll make sure a major league reward wends its way to you and yours.

All entries must be received by nine o'clock, Monday morning.

We suggest you wear rubber gloves when hunting.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Hand-Me-Down Beefcake Brown

You look at the picture more than once. You check the face, just to make sure it’s really him. And you check to see if he is really naked. (He is.) Then you check the face again.

Then you wonder what he’s holding in his hand.

And then, if you’re at all like us you wonder if this is the same guy you’ve been hearing about: the Navy vet; the family man; the standard-bearer for family values.

Then you’ll look back and realize – he’s naked!

Yesterday, the Scott Brown for State Senate campaign issued a press release titled “Where’s the Beef?” and asked what their opponent has to hide. (source: Scott Brown for State Senate, 2/24/2004)

Which we found very timely. Because yesterday we received pictures of Scott Brown which raised a few questions of our own:

Where’s the Beef? And what does Scott Brown have to hide? Maybe more than meets the eye!

Why does Brown keep telling everyone he meets that he's against gay marriage? Who is he trying to convince?

If we see Scott Brown on the street (do we have to shake his hand?) and should we say, "Good day, Mr. Representative," or "Hello, Sailor!"

Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Generation Gap

Willard Mitt actually said it with a straight face.

"I believe that we owe the Greatest Generation everything we possibly can to provide them the option to live in the way that provides the greatest dignity and the greatest opportunity for fine quality care." (source: Boston Globe, 2/19/2004)

Groovy. You owe them everything you possibly can ... provided it doesn't cost anything.

Case in point: the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that the Commonwealth pays its retirees.

Because the Fraud Governor is proposing that the state implement a requirement that any new benefits added to a pension system, including changes to the COLA base, be fully funded within three years of taking effect. (source: Mass.gov)

Which means the Commonwealth would stop granting cost-of-living adjustments to all retirees, including those "we owe everything."

For example, at present, if the state decided to increase the COLA base from the current $12,000 a year to $15,000 a year (and give retirees $90 whooping dollars more a year in retirement monies), the pension funding schedule would increase by $50 million a year for the next 19 years. (source: RSCME, The Voice, March 2004) Which would be expensive, but manageable.

Romney, however, wants the state to have to eat the increased cost within three years. Which would be beyond expensive, and unmanageable.

Which raises an interesting issue: Romney proposed a three percent raise, then priced it out of existence by mandating his recapture language.

Since the Fraud Governor had no intention of granting his three-percent COLA raise, why not show the Greatest Generation some respect and offer an extravagent fake COLA raise - like 50, 75 percent, or more?

Hey, if they're not going to get a three-percent COLA, why not let them not get a 500-percent annual COLA raise?

The cost to the Commonwealth will be the same.

And think of the electoral support that the Greatest Generation could pretend to promise Willard Mitt in return!

Monday, February 23, 2004
PRIM Time Player

The state's nine-member Pension Reserve Investment Management Board (PRIM) is a rarity in state government. Structurally, the Board falls under the aegis of the state Treasurer's office (and the Treasurer acts as its chair), but the (fraud) Governor picks most of its appointed members. (source: Boston Globe, 10/2/2003)

Last week, Michael Travaglini (who served as first deputy to former state Treasurer Shannon O'Brien) was appointed executive director of the PRIM Board (source: Boston Globe, 2/20/2004, 2/21/2004), an appointment made possible by all three of Willard Mitt's appointees who voted "whatever you command, my liege."

Which left us wondering if Lightweight LG Sherry Kerry Healey sent a note of congratulations, and apology, because not too long ago, she called Travaglini (who used to be state Treasurer Shannon O'Brien's first deputy treasurer) an unqualified hack.

Okay, so Healey's exact quote was "patronage such as this, waste and mismanagement has characterized Shannon O'Brien's tenure as treasurer. We need strong leadership from someone who is independent of the special interests and the lobbyists at the State House." (source: Boston Herald, 9/19/2002) But if you mix up the letters, we're pretty sure they spell 'unqualified hack.'

Romney/Healey Inc spokesmoll, Shawn Feddeman, continued the slander, snarling that "political connections have taken precedence over qualifications in the treasurer's office." (source: Worcester T&G, 9/19/2002)

But now Travaglini's their man. Go figure. Team Reform can't even talk straight about people they profess not to like.

Predictably, back when the venom was flying, Willard Mitt played 'good cop' and spoke less harshly of Travaglini. But he did pose a rhetorical, albeit prescient question: "I don't know Michael Travaglini. . . . Is he going to work in my administration?" (source: Boston Herald, 9/25/2002)

To which we would rhetorically answer: 'sort of.'

Malone Watch

Yet another member of the Lost Tribe of Joe Malone has come in from the cold. The Fraud Governor has appointed Greg White to the PRIM Board. (source: Boston Herald, 2/21/2004) White formerly served as Malone's Michael Travaglini from 1993 through 1997. (source: SHNS, 2/21/2004)

Which means that the only member of the Lost Tribe not yet working for Team Reform is ... Joe Malone.

And Richard Arrighi. But he'll be available by 2006.

Friday, February 20, 2004
Weak Link

Perhaps embarrassed at the lack of support he has offered candidates to the state Senate, Willard Mitt yesterday carpooled to North Attleboro to campaign (on State time) for Scott Brown. (source: SHNS; Boston Globe, 2/20/2004)

Romney did Brown the disservice of highlighting Team Reform's "education initiatives" which the Mass. Taxpayer's Foundation recently panned as inadequate.

To whit:

"(Romney's) recommended increases in local school support do not come close to offsetting the cuts of the last three years. The (fraud) Governor's recommendations for school aid other than Chapter 70 are $234 million, or almost 50 percent below 2001 spending." (source: masstaxpayers.org)

Okay, so Romney had no good news to deliver on Brown's behalf. But at least he provided paltry support.

And paltry support is better than no support at all, which is what the GOP Strongman Darrell Crate appears to be lending candidates challenging Sen. Robert O'Leary, from the Cape.

The first GOP candidate out of the chute, Lou Gonzaga, is no longer in the GOP. Citing a lack of support from the Party, Gonzaga changed his political affiliation to Independent. (source: The Gonzaga Committee, 'Gonzaga changes his stripes,' 2/11/2004)

A one-time GOP stalwart who ran for Congress against Bill Delahunt (source: Cape Cod Times, 1/27/2004), Gonzaga quit Romney when Team Reform recruited [beep beep beep static - hey, what happened to the signal?] to run in the primary. [Shhhhhhh-pop-pop-shhh], who worked at Robert Posen's Fidelity Investments, is a carpetbagger who moved to Yarmouth from off-Cape. (source: Barnstable Patriot, 2/13/2004)

Senator O'Leary, may we suggest the following debate question: "Ms. [Shhhhhhh-pop-pop-shhh], or is it Dr. [Shhhhhhh-pop-pop-shhh]? Can you please tell us what you have done to improve life on the Cape during the past few years? Other, of course, than return to Nahant when your vacation was over?"

So what is the GOP doing for [Shhhhhhh-pop-pop-shhh]? About as much as they are doing for Brown.

The GOP does have a "Hot Link" to the Barnstable County Republican Club. And we presume the Barnstable County Republican Club is affiliated with [Shhhhhhh-pop-pop-shhh].

It is unclear, however, if the Barnstable County Republican Club is affiliated with the Mass. Republican Party, or just Mass. Republicans looking for an early bird special.

Thursday, February 19, 2004
Where There’s Smoke, There’s A New Tax

Despite rhetoric to the contrary, Massachusetts’ No New Tax Governor continues to pile new taxes on the state’s taxpayers.

The latest is a use tax on cigarettes purchased from out-of-state internet smoke shops.

Willard Mitt’s Department of Revenue recently asked AG Tom Reilly to file a lawsuit against discount cigarette retailers, demanding that they provide the Fraud Governor with the names and addresses of their Massachusetts customers.

Why? So Romney can add to his voter ID database? Maybe. But more immediately so that the Fraud Governor can recoup lost excise taxes.

According to a DOR spokespuppet, “under federal law, the state is permitted to tax the sale of cigarettes.” (source: MetroWest Daily News, 2/18/2004)

Permitted. Not required.

Yet while Willard Mitt said he would not raise taxes, in the last six months of 2003, DOR took in $162,000 in new cigarette use tax money. That means they’ve smoked 1,200 addicts almost $136 each in new tax revenue, monies that were never collected before Team Reform took office.

So is the new cigarette tax a “good tax” because it offsets ancillary health costs?

Who cares? This is less about tax policy than fraud policy. The Fraud Governor said he would not impose new taxes.

And this is just the first step. According to DOR, “eventually the state will begin scrutinizing all shipments into Massachusetts to see if residents are buying items on which they should be paying a use tax.” (source: Boston Globe, 2/15/2004)

All shipments. And not just cigarettes. All shipments.

But don’t worry. Willard Mitt won’t abuse the power of government and use this enhanced data collection to try to intrude into your personal life.

We can trust him; he’s a reformer.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Follow The (Fraud) Leader

You may know that May 1 is "Law Day," particularly if you are a judge, a lawyer, a law student, or a state rep who has made a speech memorializing a new, a refurbished, or (if you are in Taunton), a recently condemned courthouse.

But we'd bet no one has heard of "Follow the Law Day."

However, if you can believe recent mutterings by Willard Mitt, "Follow the Law Day," (a new state holiday?), is about to be created.

"My position is quite clear. I haven't wavered. I'm not waiting for a public opinion poll to tell me where I should come out on this. I've indicated from the very beginning what my position is and I'm going to be entirely consistent throughout this discussion. There are certain acts that I can take within the law with regards to filing legislation and the like and I'll evaluate all the options which exist within the law, and I intend to follow the law fully as it exists day-to-day and particularly as they exist on May 17." (source: 02133.org)

Team Reform intends to follow the law(s) as they exist on May 17.

Which means, we presume, that on May 17, the Fraud Governor will fire the two Educational Management Audit Council members who have missed more than two meetings (source: Boston Globe, 2/15/2004), and the two pathologists who were appointed to the Commission on Medicolegal Investigation despite not being certified in forensic pathology by the American Board of Pathology, as the law requires. (source: Boston Globe, 1/14/2004)

Then, perhaps, Romney can set about creating another holiday: "Try Not To Be A Fraud Day."

Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Ethics Brouhaha Brewing?

One day after a state GOP press release charged a state senate candidate with using public resources for political purposes (source: MA GOP, "MA GOP calls on McQuilken to reimburse state for use of public resources for campaign purposes," 2/10/2004) Willard Mitt Romney's loathsome $150,000-a-year spokesman signaled that Team Reform may have used public resources for political purposes, saying national Republicans had been in contact with Romney's chief of staff, Beth Myers, and her deputy, Peter G. Flaherty to keep tabs on the (gay marriage) debate, and that staff had been in regular contact with the Bush White House and the national Republican Party. (source: Boston Globe, 2/13/2004)

State GOP junior strongman Dominick Ianno admitted the issue could help Republicans running for House and Senate seats, and the Bush campaign. (source: Boston Herald, 2/14/2004)

As the GOP press release indicated, state ethics laws explicitly prohibit the use of public resources for political use. "You may not use public resources for political purposes. Examples of 'public resources' include: office computers, phones, fax machines, postage machines, copies, official cars, staff time, uniforms, and official seals." (source: State Ethics Commission)

If Myers and Flaherty were on state time and used state-funded 'office computers, phones, or fax machines' to stay in 'regular contact' with the national Republican Party they may have violated the state's Conflict of Interest Law against using public resources for political purposes.

As a matter of routine, the State Ethics Commission does not confirm or deny on-going investigations. As such, it is not known whether or not the Fraud Governor's telephone logs or computer hard-drive (or those of his subordinates) have been subpoenaed.

It is also not known how the Ethics Commission would define a Conflict of Interest violation, however charges of this type are typically narrowly drawn. For example, in 1998, Rob Gray, a GOP-consultant who has done work for Romney (source: Boston Globe, 11/20/2003) but was then Paul Cellucci's campaign manager, indicated he would file complaints in both the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, and the state Ethics Commission, in part, because of "a campaign-related press release written by (Joseph D. Malone's) taxpayer-salaried deputy treasurer." (source: Worcester T&G, 1/7/1998; Boston Globe, 1/7/1998) (We wonder who that could have been.)

(Ironically, the charges mentioned by Gray, now a GOP-consultant who has done work for Romney (source: Boston Globe, 11/20/2003), were grounded in criticism by Malone of Robert Cordy, who has since been named to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Cordy opposed the Court's recent gay marriage decision.)

Wait a minute. We just realized that after 414 words, we haven't made one joke.

But then, this whole thing isn't very funny, is it?

Monday, February 16, 2004
Romney Flipped on Gay Marriage Question

Two years ago, Willard Mitt said he opposed a Defense of Marriage Act petition that his wife, son and daughter-in-law had signed (search "Ann", "Romney", and "Belmont") which would have proposed a constitutional amendment banning both gay marriage and domestic-partner benefits in Massachusetts.

Romney's loathsome $150,000-a-year spokesmen said Willard Mitt opposed gay marriage but also opposed the amendment. He claimed Romney's family members had signed the petition "without reading the fine print," that Willard Mitt "did not know they signed it, and does not support it (as) it goes farther than current law, and therefore it's unnecessary." (source: Boston Globe, 5/22/2002)

But now the Fraud Governor is telling anyone who will listen (and some who will not) that "marriage should be preserved as an institution between one man and one woman" (source: Boston Herald, 1/25/2004) and that he now wants to change the marriage laws.

How perverse.

We can't wait to read the fine print.

Friday, February 13, 2004
SATURN Survives, Sort of

Remember former Gov. Jane Swift's (R-FlagBearer) SATURN (Statewide Anti-Terrorism Unified Response Network) anti-terrorism site we told you about last year? And how we wrote that Willard Mitt and Ed "Easy on Crime" Flynn had let the site fall into disrepair? (see RiaF, 11/25/2003)

Shortly thereafter, media reports stated that Team Reform was both scrapping (source: Boston Globe, 1/23/2004) and saving SATURN. (source: Boston Herald, 1/24/2004)

Well, we recently went back to our original post to check just how snazzy the Saturn site had become. And guess what we found? All of the links we had compiled showing weak spots on the SATURN site were dead!

Team Reform had reformed the site to make us look like … weanies. Here we were, directing loyal readers to links that no longer worked.

How unfair is that?

Unfortunately, what the Fraud Governor doesn't know is that we weren't the only site linking to SATURN. The Waltham Fire Department still links there, as does the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Oh well. But they really made us look silly.

Not really, because what Team Reform forgot is that once a site lives on the web for a while, it lives on the web, and can be found fairly easily.

Like here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

This is not to say that Team Reform has killed SATURN all together. As Ed “Easy on Crime” Flynn said, the reports of SATURN’s "demise are greatly exaggerated." (source: Boston Herald, 1/24/2004)


Okay, let’s do this the way they do it on late night TV.

Here’s your former SATURN system.

And here’s your SATURN system on Romney

Any questions?

Thursday, February 12, 2004
Uncivil Union

To all who think that Willard Mitt is a strong leader, reforming Massachusetts politics and reshaping the Republican Party, we give you ... embattled state Rep. Shaun Kelly (R-Dog-gone), whose grip and grin the Fraud Governor missed last week due to a snow shower. (See RiaF, 2/6/2004)

Well, Kelly has had his revenge. And doesn't Romney look silly now; the Man who would be Cheney can't even hold Sagging Shaun in line.

How ignoble.

Yesterday, Kelly's New York-based consultant issued a statement that as "the longest serving Republican representative" he (Kelly, not the consultant) supported gay marriage. (source: office of Rep. Kelly, "State's longest-serving Republican Representative intends to vote against any constitutional amendment that restricts marriage -- and speaks out in support of the Supreme Judicial Court's decision," 2/22/2004 ? and yes, that is the actual title of the statement)

Aside from the fact that being "the longest serving Republican representative" is a bit like setting the world record for most home-runs for the Pawtucket Red Sox, yeah, it's wicked cool, but if you were any good, you'd be somewhere else, Kelly just made an enemy.

The Fraud Governor, who thinks that everyone but his great-grandfather should be in a traditional marriage, has made the gay marriage ban a loyalty vote. And not only did Kelly vote off, but he pointedly stood up and spit in Team Reform's face.

So how 'bout this for a campaign slogan: "Republican Shaun Kelly - he hates the racing industry as much as the Republican Party hates him!"

(Hmmm, so now who's going to bring all that local aid back to the distr ... oh yeah. Kelly never brought local aid back to the district when he had friends in the corner office. Forget it.)

There were two votes yesterday on gay marriage, and Sagging Shaun voted agin 'em both.

But what really hurt Willard Mitt was the fact that the first vote, to approve a constitutional amendment against gay marriage and civil unions, failed by just two votes.

And the other Republican renegades? Senate Minority Leader Brian Lees (R-E. Longmeadow) and two of his lieutenants.

Wait a minute, Republican leadership voted against Republican leadership? If only two of these guys had flipped, Romney would be today claiming victory.

Hey Cindy Gillespie ... nice job organizing the delegation.

According to the Globe, Romney yesterday "shared views with lawmakers 'who I think I can have influence with.'" (source: Boston Globe, 2/12/2004)

Great. So did you call anyone other than Sen. Bob Hedlund (R-WWF)?

Wait a minute, he voted against you, too (on the second question.)

Now all Romney can do is make weak statements about how he will block gay marriage until a vote can be finagled in 2006. (source: Boston Globe, 2/12/2004)

So much for the Fraud Governor's promise to "follow the law as provided by the Supreme Judicial Court, even if we don't agree with it." (source: Boston Globe, 2/9/2004)

Sounds like it's been reformed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Romney MARs Massachusetts Libraries

Willard Mitt loves standards.

He’s proposed new standards for mercury emissions (source: BU Daily Free Press, 9/26/2003); for notaries public (source: Boston Business Journal, 12/22/2003); for the death penalty (source: office of (fraud) governor, 9/23/2003); and for marriage (source: Boston Herald, 2/10/2004)

Too bad he can’t meet the standards that are already in place.

Case in point: your public library - particularly if it recently received a waiver of the FY2004 Municipal Appropriate Requirement (MAR).

But, as usual, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Let’s do this the Reagan Way. Libraries have standards: standards of operation and of funding. Using the standards that have been enumerated into law, is your library better off than it was fourteen months ago?

Team Reform has been in office since January 2003. It is now February 2004. Fourteen months ago was 2002.

According to Massachusetts General Law, no city or town receives state aid from the Board of Library Commissioners if their appropriation "for free public library services" is below an amount equal to its three-year average appropriation, plus two and one-half per cent. Give or take a 'provided that.' (source: MGL Ch 78, sec 19A)

Libraries failing this requirement which can prove hardship can apply for a waiver. For example, in calendar 2002, thirteen city or town libraries applied for MAR waivers.


Let’s look at that one more time in slo-motion replay. In calendar 2002. Thirteen city or town libraries. Applied for MAR waivers.


And then Team Reform came to town and began their assault on local aid.

In 2003, 68 municipal libraries applied for MAR hardship waivers.

65 qualified:

Abington, Arlington, Athol, Attleboro, Auburn, Barnstable, Bellingham, Berkley, Beverly, Boston, Braintree, Bridgewater, Chelsea, Duxbury, Easthampton, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Foxborough,
Framingham, Franklin, Freetown, Gardner, Greenfield, Hatfield, Haverhill, Holbrook, Holliston, Lenox, Lexington, Longmeadow, Lowell, Lynn, Marlborough, Melrose, Milford, Montague, New Bedford, Newbury, North Andover, Northampton, Northbridge, Quincy, Randolph, Revere, Royalston, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Somerville, South Hadley, Southbridge, Springfield, Stoughton, Townsend, Uxbridge, Wakefield, Wales, Walpole, West Springfield, Westport, Weymouth, Winthrop, Worcester and Wrentham. (source: Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners)

And it's not over yet. Chapter 159 of the Acts of 2000 set the maximum number of waivers at ten. However, under Team Reform, “the number of waivers available for FY2005 will not be determined until the budget language is final for FY2005.” (source: MBLC)

With a little luck, maybe each of the state’s 338 libraries will be granted waivers from appropriation standards.

Then the Fraud Governor will be free to implement his Master Solution.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004
MA State GOP Support of Scott Brown Bytes

Remember how Willard Mitt and his cronies at the state GOP really, really wanted to get more Republicans elected to the legislature? And how they promised to get off to a fast start by electing state Rep. Scott Brown to the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex state senate seat formerly held by Cheryl Jacques?

Well, if the state GOP website is any indication of the level of support that Crate and Co. are lending Brown, he might want to hold off on ordering any new gold-embossed stationary.

First, check out the Calendar on the GOP homepage. You'd figure that Brown's March 2nd election would be listed as a major event, right?

You would be wrong. It's not even listed as a minor event.

In fact, the calendar skips March 2nd all together.

Okay, next jump to the "Events and News" page. Brown is certainly deserved of an Events and News peg, if only to help spread the word about upcoming fund-raisers, right?

Again, no. The page has no sign of Brown. it does, however, have a "Top-Secret Song List" purportedly from a John Kerry fund-raiser. Perhaps it's coded to say good things about Brown's candidacy if you read it backwards.

But without a decoder ring, Brown news is MIA.

Next check out the "Get Involved" section of the website. For continuity, pull up the "Wrentham" page. (Wrentham is Brown's hometown.)

Holy smokes, not only was there no "Help Scott Brown" link to help you Get Involved, but the site lists the Wrentham state senator as ... Cheryl Jacques, a full five weeks after she vacated her office.

So just what is the state GOP doing for GOP candidate Scott Brown? Other than sending GOP junior strongman Dom Ianno to the Patriot's Super Bowl parade? (source: Rat Line)

Well, we're sure they're lining up to take credit if Brown wins.

And if Brown loses? They'll undoubtedly blame the date the election was held.

Or they'll blame Jane Swift (R-FlagBearer).

Sure beats blaming themselves.

The only question now is 'when will the state GOP amend their web-site to include Brown?' Two hours after this is posted? How about two days (because 'they were going to do it, anyway')? How about never?

Hey Rep. Brown, the next time Crate and Co. decide to "help" you, make them buy you flowers first.

Monday, February 09, 2004
Words To Live By

"We still await (fraud) Governor Romney's comments on rising health costs," said a health care advocate in response to comments posed by Angry Eric Kriss, who stepped out of his Music Room long enough to write a 'sick people stink' article for Commonwealth magazine.

Well wait no more!

Because last week Willard Mitt not only commented on rising health costs, he took credit for them, bragging that his administration is "under-reimbursing providers for their full cost of treating Medicaid patients." (source: SHNS, 2/4/2004)

Wait a minute, didn't Romney famously (and fatuously) promise to solve Medicaid funding by increasing the federal reimbursement from 50 percent to 77 percent? (source: Worcester T&G, 9/29/2002)

Okay, so now that he's admitted failure with Plan A, is there a Plan B?

'Romney said the Executive Office of Health and Human Services for more than a year has been developing a proposal with a handpicked task force to "create a far better coverage" for the uninsured. Romney said the administration is "working very hard" on its proposal… Romney declined to fully elaborate on the proposal.' (source: SHNS, 2/4/2004)

Golly, another task force.

We hope they've been working on their secret plan to reform health care as hard as the task force that's been working on Romney's secret plan to reform auto insurance! (source: Boston Globe, 12/18/2003)

However, before anyone out there accuses us of being one-sided, we will let a couple of Team Reform insiders have the last word.

First up, Christine Ferguson, the Fraud Governor's own Public Health Commissioner, answering the charge that Romney is leading a 'reckless assault on public health services.'

"I am heartsick about this. I don’t think there is anyone here who would say this is the right thing to do, that we would do this whether we had resources or not, that this is restructuring or fundamentally reforming government." (source: SHNS, 2/4/2004)

And then there's Ron Preston, Willard Mitt's Secretary of Health and Human Services:

"We don't like the idea that we are contributing to the greater problems of the system." (source: Boston Globe, 2/5/2004)

Now THAT'S what we call vison - a sound bite that can double as a campaign slogan.

Team Reform: contributing to the greater problems of the system.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Willard Mitt wants to build the Republican Party by sponsoring legislative candidates and getting new blood into the State House. According to Republican State Committee junior strongman Dom Ianno, "(Fraud) Governor Romney wants real reform, and he needs help in the Legislature. The current group of legislators, minus the Republican caucus, are not working in the interests of the public." (source: Boston Globe, 12/21/2003)

But if the whispers can be believed, the Fraud Governor's "real reform" is causing heartburn for the few old blood Republicans that are currently in office.

Which means that, one day after cavorting in the Wall Street Journal (and before a snow shower cancelled his trip), Willard Mitt had planned on winging it west to visit Wahconah Regional High School (source: SHNS, 2/6/2004) to lend some in-kind support for one of his suddenly sagging solons, state Rep. Shaun P. Kelly (R-Dalton). (source: Rat Line)

How ignoble.

Kelly, who took $5,800 in per diem reimbursements from the taxpayers in 2003 (source: North Adams Transcript, 1/14/2004), is a one-dimensional state representative known largely for his repeated attempts to close two pari-mutual dog tracks that operate in eastern Massachusetts.

Perhaps justifying why he spends so much time focussing on activities that do not impact his Second Berkshire House district, Kelly said, “This is a moralistic issue. I don't like the industry. I would just feel better if this state where I live and where I pay taxes did not allow dog racing.” (source: Boston Herald, 5/16/1999)

However, this is not to imply Kelly ignores issues that impact his district.

Just last year, for example, Sagging Shaun took two votes that had very large local impacts: records indicate he voted to sustain gubernatorial vetoes that could have denied kindergarten and school breakfast services to schoolchildren in Becket, Cheshire, Dalton, Hancock, Hinsdale, Lanesborough, New Ashford, Peru, Richmond, Washington, Windsor, Pittsfield, Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Colrain, Leyden, Northfield, Shelburne, Cummington, Middlefield and Plainfield. (source: House Journal, roll calls 149 & 252, 2003)

And under Kelly's tutelage the three regional school districts in Sagging Shaun’s Second Berkshire district took among the largest Chapter 70 (education) cuts in the Commonwealth, with Central Berkshire realizing a twelve percent education cut, and a 57 percent cut in transportation aid.

Talk about going to the dogs! So much for working "in the interests of the public."


Thursday, February 05, 2004
Technical Foul

We dislike getting personal, but Team Reform appears to have decided to go to the mattress over this gay marriage thing - which some people consider a decidedly personal matter.

And each time Romney's loathsome $150,000-a-year spokesman prattles on about how "the (fraud) governor's position on gay marriage is clear, marriage should be preserved as an institution between one man and one woman" (source: Boston Herald, 1/25/2004) we can't help remember that, according to press reports, Willard Mitt's great-grandfather was a polygamist who had ... three wives. (source: Boston Globe, 8/8/1994)

So, if you accept Romney's own construct that marriage is between one man and one woman, does that mean that Great-Grandfather Romney was not married? And if so, would that make the Fraud Governor a legitimately illegitimate, honest to goodness bast....

Nope - not gonna do it. Wouldn't be prudent.

Besides, we dislike getting personal.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Turnaround Specialist

What a difference a day makes.

On Monday, David Driscoll, Willard Mitt’s education czar, appeared before a legislative committee and criticized the gap in MCAS scores between minority and white students as "a disgrace." (source: State House News, 2/2/2004)

However, just one day later, Driscoll had a new view of the world.

"I am extremely proud of where we are today," Driscoll 'said' in a Team Reform press release. "Our students are passing the MCAS exam in larger numbers, our achievement gap is closing, (and) our minorities and LEP students are succeeding…." (source: office of (fraud) gov, "Romney announces MCAS retest results for class of 2005," 2/3/2004)


On Monday the MCAS minority/white gap is a disgrace, yet by Tuesday minorities are succeeding?

It would appear that the Fraud Governor wasn't kidding when he told Holyoke school students that their failing test scores didn’t "mean anything" about them. (source: Associated Press, 1/9/2004)

If David Driscoll’s shifting statements are any indication, MCAS scores don’t appear to mean anything to anyone.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004
No Bones About It; Kriss Gives Romney Black (and white) Eye

Just before Willard Mitt took office, it became trendy to say that "grown-ups" had returned to the State House. (source: Boston Globe, 12/20/2003)

Paging Miss Jean. The Romper Room that is Team Reform is getting out of control.

Last week, Angry Eric Kriss interrupted a legislative Ways and Means hearing to say that black men are no more at risk from prostate cancer than men of other races. "I don't think you can call this a black-and-white issue; if you live long enough, if you're a man, you will get prostate cancer," he barked at State Senator Diane Wilkerson. (source: Boston Herald, 1/30/2004)

So prostate cancer is not a black-white issue?

Kriss is wrong, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health which found prostate cancer in blacks caused 33 deaths per 100,000, yet 13.1 deaths per 100,000 whites, and 8.9 deaths per 100,000 Hispanics. (source: Division of Research and Epidemiology, Mass DPH, June 1999)

Kriss is wrong, according to the Centers for Disease Control which found that death rates for prostate cancer were more than twice as high for blacks than for whites. (source: www.cdc.gov)

Kriss is wrong, according to the American Cancer Society which found higher incidence rates of prostate cancer in blacks (234.2 per 100,000 versus 144.6 for whites and 103.4 for Hispanics) and higher death rates (53.1 per 100,000 blacks versus 22.4 for whites and 15.9 for Hispanics.) (source: American Cancer Society, Surveillance Research, 2002)

Question: is Angry Eric this wrong often?

Earlier this year, Tom Keane wrote that Kriss has a passion for music and "found time last year to put together an album of instrumentals." (source: Boston Herald, 1/14/2004)

Yikes. During a year that he described as the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Angry Eric found time to put together an album?! Most secretaries of A&F barely have time to listen to an album, never mind make one.

We think Kriss should spend less time in the music room and more in the library - reading, for example, health statistics. (And we promise to rely less on Spellcheck.)

He should also act like an adult and learn to admit when he's over his head. Kriss should kick back with Ed "Easy on Crime" Flynn's plasma TV and catch "Bones" McCoy on a few old episodes of Star Trek. "Damn it Jim, I’m a doctor, not a mechanic." "I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer."

Before fleeing to the relative safety of the William Weld revolution, Eric Kriss served a short stint as CEO and president of Manson Kriss, a lingerie manufacturer. (source: INC magazine, 8/1990)

Damn it, Kriss, you’re an underwear salesman, not a doctor. If you want to impress us, show us a good support hose; leave the expert testimony to the experts.

Monday, February 02, 2004
Staging a Houston Home-Coming?

In honor of Willard Mitt’s abdication of ethics this Super Bowl weekend, we are taking Monday off. Hey, if the Fraud Governor doesn’t have to work, why should we?

However, we do have a follow-up to Romney's 'ticketgate' contretemps: the Fraud Governor claimed he received his Super Bowl tickets from "old friend" Robert White. (source: Boston Globe, 1/30/2004) However, White, who chaired Team Reform’s transition committee (source: Boston Globe, 12/1/2002) appears to be less Romney’s ‘old friend’ than political crony.

Why hasn't anyone asked how White came to possess his Big Game ducats? For example, if a lobbyist slipped the tickets to White, and White shared them with Romney, wouldn't the lobbyist, by extension, have given the tickets to Romney? Would that transaction be legal, or ethical?

Not that we believe Willard Mitt would ever do anything unethical! At least not in Houston. After all, he's a Bain man; he has a reputation to uphold.


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