Monday, November 29, 2004
Glad Tidings

In the wake of Team Reform's election day drubbing it became fashionable to whine that state GOP legislative candidates were overcome by a "Kerry tidal wave" that swept across the Commonwealth. (source: Boston Globe, 11/3/2004)

So we went to the numbers to see if this theory held water.

Four years ago, 32 percent of the Massachusetts electorate voted for Bush/Cheney. This year, Bush/Cheney received 37 percent of the state's vote. In other words, a greater percentage of Massachusetts voters voted against John Kerry in 2004 than voted against Al Gore in 2000.

Four years ago, Al Gore beat George Bush in Massachusetts by 737,985 votes. This year, John Kerry beat George Bush by 726,753 votes. From 2000 to 2004 the Dems margin of victory actually fell by 11,232.

George W. Bush received 1,067,163 votes in the Commonwealth in 2004. That is the highest Republican vote since 1988, when Michael Dukakis beat Bush I/Quayle. (source: Sec of State's office, PD43)

Finally, the 2004 total number of votes cast (2,888,083) was 5.6 percent higher than the total number of votes cast in 2000 (2,734,006). And while the number of Democratic votes increased by 10.9 percent from 2000 to 2004, the number of Republican votes increased by 21.4 percent.

If there was a Kerry tide in 2004, it barely covered the lowest clam beds.

But at least the election solidified the state GOP, right? After all, the 37 percent of the electorate who voted for Bush also voted for Republican legislative candidates.



We reviewed the state Senate races. A total of 624,220 votes were cast for Republican candidates to the upper chamber. That's just 21.6 percent of the electorate who voted for a presidential elector.

Okay, so not every person who voted for president cast a vote for state Senator. While 2,888,083 voted for presidential electors, only 1,929,513 voted for a state Senator. That means that the total vote cast for Republican state Senate candidates (624,220) may have been smaller than the total number of blanks that were registered across the board.

Think we're being unfair? We'll put it another way. If 1,929,513 persons cast a state Senate vote, and 624,220 voted Republican, Team Reform can say that Republicans won 32.7 percent of the state Senate votes - in a state where 37 percent of the electorate voted for a Republican president.

The Fraud Governor couldn't deliver Massachusetts for the Republican presidential election, or the Republican presidential vote for the Massachusetts election.

Okay, so there's a wee bit of good news for Willard Mitt in the dark cloud that was November 2004. In 72 communities across the Commonwealth, the percentage of Republican votes for state Senate seats equalled or exceeded the percentage of votes cast for George W. Bush. Unfortunately, the wee bit of good news ends there. Because these 72 communities cast ballots for 15 combined Senate candidates, and only three of them (Brown, Tarr and Tisei) won. These three were all incumbent legislators.

Which means that not one of Willard Mitt's reform outsiders survived Election Day, 2004. Despite the fact that more persons voted for George W. Bush in Massachusetts than cast ballots for Ronald Reagan in 1980. (source: Sec of State's office, PD43)

Three weeks after their election day drubbing, Team Reform unveiled tighter welfare policies. Under their plan, the workfare requirements for Massachusetts welfare recipients would be lengthened, including for those persons who have disabilities. (source: Boston Globe, 11/25/2004.)

The Fraud Governor, in explaining his policy, said, "what we're saying is that even folks with disabilities can engage in "productive work activities."

Too bad Willard Mitt doesn't expect productive work activities from Alex Dunn, Tagg Romney and the other architects of his failed 2004 campaign.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004
The Fine Print

Yesterday we wrote of Willard Mitt's supposed "Health Care Plan" wherein he proposed to improve access to health insurance at no cost to the taxpayers.

So guess which carrots and sticks Team Reform wants to use to bludgeon compliance with their vision?

"(Fraud) Governor (Willard) Mitt Romney said yesterday that he envisions a range of penalties for businesses that fail to provide health insurance, such as forcing them to pay a higher minimum wage, banning them from doing business with state agencies, or slapping a decal on their window to publicize their refusal." (source: Boston Globe, 11/23/2004)

Pay a higher minimum wage? And this is not an additional cost to taxpayers?

To prove that the plan was business friendly, Romney trotted out Burnin' Bill Vernon, a Dan Shaughnessy-look-alike who, when he is not campaigning for Republican candidates, is the state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. As a spokesperson for Romney policy Vernon, who is a former director of the Republican State Committee, has all the credibility of ... Willard Mitt.

In this case, however, even Vernon's boosterism was lackluster: "Any time we move toward a more market-based solution to the problem, that's a good step. We in this state have always tended to look more at government mandates and more taxpayer money as the solution."

And forcing your membership to choose between paying health insurance or higher minimum wages is not a government mandate?

Oh yeah, and since when is raising the minimim wage a penalty? The last time Romney was going on the record about salaries, he purported to support increasing the minimum wage.

But that's not the best part. As the Globe reported, "Romney says that he is open to discussions with leading legislators, and that he hopes to forge a consensus with them and craft a joint plan, rather than file a bill of his own." (source: Boston Globe, 11/23/2004)

Rather than file a bill of his own.

The Fraud Governor has a plan to reform health care, but he won't commit it to paper.

Looks like someone doesn't want the fine print to bite him in the ambition down the road.

RiaF looks forward to Romney's next reforms: restructuring the nation's transportation system, and ending the war in Iraq. Both without any costs to the taxpayer. Op-ed editors are standing by.

Monday, November 22, 2004
Romney's Last Stand

To avoid completely disappearing into the miasma of irrelevance, Willard Mitt needs a win.

So yesterday, in a 'thanks-for-the-help-now-scram' slap at the Boston Herald, Romney leaked an exclusive to the Boston Globe outlining his "Plan for Massachusetts health insurance reform." (source: Boston Globe, 11/21/2004)

The Plan, which Romney claims to have been working on for more than a year (sort of like his invisible auto insurance reform?), would purportedly "not cost taxpayers more money" and have four main components:

1. provide bare-bones coverage to workers not now covered by allowing plans without costly "bells and whistles" and state enforced "carrots and sticks."

Romney, however, did not describe the bell and whistles he would leave out of this coverage. For example, would mammograms be considered an unnecessary luxury? How about flu shots? Or birth control? Would Willard Mitt agree to take this bare-bones coverage for his own family, or is it just for "those people" who can't get 'good' coverage??

2. use this bare-bones plan to extend the length of coverage the state offers the unemployed.

Tell it to someone who has short-term memory loss. Not too long ago, Team Reform wanted to reduce benefits for the unemployed. Now he wants to increase them? What a difference an election year drubbing makes.

3. replace the Uncompensated Care Pool with something called Safety Net Care.

Zounds. Not too long ago, Romney's answer to health care involved increasing private sector contributions to the UCP and reducing Medicaid reimbursement rates. (source: MPHA, February 2004) Okay, so this suggestion is better than that. Kind of. Now Romney wants to replace the narrow, expensive hospital based UCP with a larger, cheaper network of clinics and community health centers. Assuming the cost issue stops being a cost issue, how will this plan stop the hordes from the 'live free and get your health care from somewhere else' state of New Hampshire who have been flooding Massachusetts hospital emergency rooms from flooding Massachusetts' clinics and community health centers? And how will Romney pay for this expanded coverage? Remember, it will "not cost taxpayers more money." Wonder how much it'll cost feepayers. Wonder how many new feepayers will be created throughout the Commonwealth.

4. cut costs by boosting fraud detection, introducing malpractice reform, introducing first-in-the-nation electronic records, and crack down on asset transfers made to meet poverty criteria.

Wait a minute, Romney's been Fraud Governor for two years now, and he admits he hasn't been doing enough to detect health care fraud? So what other basic functions is Team Reform not performing?

As for malpractice reform, isn't this just another name for Tort Reform, that chestnut every Republican trots out to pretend they are going to do something that they never end up doing? And didn't Romney try going to this well already?

And why do we think that there's a Team Reform insider about to cash in on that electronic records thing? And are privacy concerns the only reason why 49 percent of practicing physicians in Massachusetts say they have no interest in pursuing this 'reform?'

As for the asset transfer policy, Romney already tried to ram this down our collective throat. Here's an idea: stop beating up Grandma and Grandpa Taxpayer, already. Let them keep their homes.

Willard Mitt needs a win. So he's cobbling together a host of policies that have previously been rejected and calling them a reform package.

Here's what we think: the Legislature should give Romney exactly what he claims he wants: pass the 'health care reform' package in total, 100 percent complete. Even if it's no more than an airy press release. And sunset it until November 8, 2006. Let the taxpayers experience the Romney vision until the next statewide Election Day.

Let's see what that does to the GOP's corner office winning streak.

Thursday, November 18, 2004
What He Said

Is anyone else sensing a lack of oomph coming from Team Reform lately? The Fraud Governor is still beating up on Beacon Hill. But now he's shifted his baleful aim and is lobbing long-range shells at ... a fellow Republican. Hey Matt Amorello, why does Willard Mitt hate you so much? Did you once refuse one of his multi-level marketing 'opportunities?' More on Team Reform's jihad against Amorello later. However, the wise guys are already making book on who will last longer on Beacon Hill, Amorello or Romney. And the early money is all on the former gentleman from the Second Worcester district.

But we were addressing Romney's health insurance claims.

Back when he was just a Fraud Candidate, Romney said 'his goal was to expand affordable health care to more citizens.' (source: Boston Herald, 8/7/2002) However now that he is Fraud Governor his platform consists of trying to force his way into the light of those who are actually trying to do something. His health care action plan is now "consistent with the Senate president's comments and goals." (source: Boston Globe, 11/17/2004)

That's the kind of can-doism that'll wow 'em in middle America.

We are pleased to report, however, that Romney's lethargy of action has done nothing to quash his propensity to take credit for the actions of others.

For example, despite the fact that Romney has done little more than promise to do something about extending access to health care, Team Reform's tarnished talkers are blithely bloviating as if they have actually accomplished something.

"Under (the Fraud) Governor Massachusetts is making progress," Romney's $150,000-a-year Loathsome Spokesman recently mewled. "We just eliminated the waiting list for Children's Health Plan." (source: Boston Globe, 10/22/2004))

Tell it to someone who doesn't remember Willard Mitt's budget proposal.

Because Romney's FY05 budget document proposed that the Children's Medical Security Plan (CMSP) receive $11.88 million. (Source: House 1A) This would have level funded the program, and left 15,000 children on its waiting list.

Not exactly progress.

The Legislature, however, increased the CMSP funding by appropriating $21.374 million dollars, (source: final budget/line item 4000-0990) enough funding to eliminate the waiting list. (source: Mass Budget and Policy Center)

The Fraud Governor did not "eliminate the waiting list for Children's Health Plan." He simply didn't stop the Legislature from eliminating the waiting list. Then took credit for the move.

Willard Mitt: he may not do as he says, but he's not afraid to say as others did.

What Are Friends For?

So why does Willard Mitt hate Matt Amorello? He is all but blaming Amorello for the Big Dig leaks. Despite the fact that Amorello was not chair of the Turnpike Authority when the leaky Tunnel (excuse us, the allegedly leaky Tunnel) was built.

Besides, Amorello is a Republican who has done something that Willard Mitt has proven he cannot, namely get a Republican elected to the Massachusetts legislature.

So why would Romney try to take this guy's scalp?

Unless he doesn't want the scalp. Maybe he's just trying to divert attention from someone else's scalp.

Like Bechtel's.

In fact, Rep. Joe Wagner said that "by faulting the Turnpike Authority and its chairman, (Romney) deflects responsibility from the real guilty parties: the project managers and contractors like Bechtel." (source: Boston Herald, 11/17/2004)

But why would Willard Mitt want to protect Bechtel?

True, he does have a previous relationship with the construction giant. After all, Bechtel had a $1.32 billion contract with Romney's SLOC during the Salt Lake City Winter Games.

And Romney did work side by side with Bill Wagner, who left a twenty-year career with Bechtel to join SLOC.

But it would be preposterous to say that the Fraud Governor was blaming Amorello to divert attention from Bechtel. That would be wrong. Willard Mitt has the highest ethical standing of anyone we know.

Willard Mitt would never do anything wrong.

Would he?

Monday, November 15, 2004
Job Open As Jobs Close

Willard Mitt had a plan. He said that he would spend the first 60 days of his adminstration "as the state's 'top salesman,' traveling around the country to persuade companies to move to Massachusetts." (source: Boston Globe, 11/3/2002) He also pledged to "create regional advisory boards" to help him target local economies. (source: Lawrence Eagle Tribune, 11/3/2002)

Groovy. So how's the job creation going there, Fraudo?

Not so hep. At least not according to the US Small Business Association who ranked the Commonwealth 47th in the change of employer "births" in 2003. According to the SBA, only 18,984 new employers were founded during Willard Mitt's first year in office. This is down from 21,262 "births" during the last year of Jane Swift's (R-StandardBearer) administration. Not surprisingly, more employers in Massachusetts closed their doors during Romney's first year than opened their doors. Fully 21,870 employers went under in 2003, versus 20,927 in 2002. (source: Commonwealth, Fall 2004)

So what happened to Romney's regional approach to economic survival? Who knows? Barbara Berke, who "spearheaded" the formulation of Team Reform's regional economic advisory councils quit on September 10th. (source: Boston Globe, 8/25/2004) The Fraud Governor has not yet seen fit to name her successor.

Looks like Team Reform doesn't think regional economic development is important anymore.

We know of 130-odd people who are hoping otherwise.

Thursday, November 11, 2004
Hill Bully

Poor Brad Hill (R-Ipswich). The Republican Representative just can't catch a break.

Just one month after Willard Mitt said "it's time to carry out the will of the voters by lowering our tax rate to 5 percent" (source: Boston Globe, 5/4/2004) Hill said no because "we were told in budget discussions that Medicaid would increase by 7 percent in Fiscal Year 2005" which would make the tax cut too costly. (source: Lawrence Eagle Tribune, 6/20/2004) Then, just days later, Hill changed his mind and decided that he would support the cut because "the numbers grew only by 4 percent, which allows more money to be available."

Pssst. Rep. Hill. You forgot the golden rule: never write when you can speak, speak when you can nod, nod when you can wink, or trust Romney's numbers.

Because earlier this week, Willard Mitt's numbers changed.

The Fraud Governor's 'top economist' said that the Commonwealth will collect nearly a billion dollars less than it requires to maintain programs and services in 2006. (source: Boston Globe, 11/10/2004)

Oddly, when asked if the anticipated shortfall would impact Willard Mitt's sponsorship of the tax rollback the flack formerly known as the stout, Reese Witherspoon-wannabe dye-job aide to Romney’s loathsome $150,000-a-year spokesman huffed that "we are not prepared to discuss the fiscal year 2006 budget at this time." (source: Boston Globe, 11/10/2004)

Too bad she didn't clue in Rep. Hill.

Hill believed Team Reform when they said the Commonwealth could afford an income tax rollback and that after implementing said roll back, the Commonwealth would not need the lost revenue - in fiscal year 2006 or beyond. He believed them, and flipped his position to reflect Romney's stance.

Okay, Rep. Hill. You opposed the tax cut when you thought we couldn't afford it, then supported it when you thought we could afford it, but are being told that even your (fraud) Governor thinks we'll not have enough money to meet our needs.

What's your new position?

Howsabout "you're not prepared to discuss the Fraud Governor at this time."

Monday, November 08, 2004
Semper Fi (Fo Fum)

It was the photo that launched a blog. Willard Mitt, who fled to France during the Vietnam War, posed in a flight jacket on the day that Massachusetts National Guardsmen left for Iraq. (source: Boston Globe, 3/27/2003)

As an anonymous cyber-cynic we have nothing against cowardice. But we do have something against hypocrisy. And when Romney, a draft-dodger, decided to play dress-up warrior, we decided to call the fraud a Fraud.

But then someone remarked that, if nothing else, veterans would have a friend in the Corner Office. After all, not even Willard Mitt would turn his back on vets after standing so publicly in their limelight?



In what has been termed his "most insensitive act since becoming (fraud) governor" Romney recently vetoed legislation that would have given disabled, retired veterans a $300 "bonus." (source: The Voice, RSCME Assoc., 11/2004)

Worse, Romney did nothing to prevent non-disabled vets from receiving the money. He reserved his animus for the disabled vets.

So what was the Fraud War Hero's excuse for vetoing the bonus? Romney claimed the state's Secretary of Veteran's Services "also recommended" that the bonus not be signed. (You know that "beeep beeep beeep" noise buses make when they back up? Now would be a good time to start playing that sound in your head.)

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs later told "irate" veterans organizations that disabled veterans should get the bonus and apologized for "not doing his homework."

However, Romney has yet to apologize to the disabled vets for the second-class treatment he accorded them.

Or to give back the National Guard flight jacket.

Not that the Guard would want it. Since Romney used it, the jacket just doesn't look right.

Winslow Update

When last mentioned, Willard Mitt's former legal counsel, Dan Winslow, was purportedly angling for a return to the bench. A move, we pointed out, that would violate Romney's pledge to depoliticize the judicial nomination process.

Team Reform recently announced that Winslow would not, in fact, be nominated to a judgeship. So did Romney decide to honor his pledge? Hardly. The Fraud Governor decided that he did not want to "put (Winslow) through a political meat grinder." (source: Boston Globe, 11/6/2004)

To his credit, Winslow said that "I didn't want anyone to be able to say that I was using my position to advance my career on the bench."

But he never said he wouldn't advance it elsewhere.

Thursday, November 04, 2004
Decision 2004: Hidden Winners and Losers

Marty Meehan: He'd have never won a special election to replace Kerry. After all, Meehan has fewer Democratic friends than Tim Cahill. On the plus side he has $2M in the bank. Which means he is now a bullet-proof Congressman-for-life.

Andy Card: once an anemic state rep, Card now actually provides council to President Bush. Hey, wait a minute, why didn’t Kerry use THAT in America’s heartland?

Bill Weld: wanted to be a US Senator, but was beaten by John Kerry. Placed Margaret Marshall on the bench, whose gay marriage initiative gave Karl Rove enough ammo to smoke Kerry throughout middle America. Revenge is a dish best served on a sharp pointy stick.

GOP Jr. Strongman Tim O’Brien: when asked to respond to Team Reform’s drubbing at the ballot box, O’Brien said, "This is what two-party government is all about. You have dozens of candidates who never had opposition, every two years was a coronation. Now, we've got real two-party government whether or not we win big." (source: Boston Globe, 11/3/2004) Keep telling yourself that, Tim. By the way, we hear that Isuzu Motors is looking for a new spokesman. Your ship just came in.

Kerry Healey: before Team Reform’s drubbing, Willard Mitt couldn't get a tunnel-naming bill through the legislature. After overseeing one of the grubbiest campaigns in recent history, Romney will undoubtedly look back on the past two years as a blissful honeymoon. If he thinks he has a future in national politics, Romney may be best served by easing himself out of the Corner Office. We suggest he ditch himself at the US Marshall’s office. Great half-day jobs at full-time wages. Which would make the Lightweight LG the Lightweight Acting Fraud Gov.

Kinkos Printers: expect a flood of resumes from former GOP legislative reform candidates.

Martha Coakley: who knew Martha hated her job? So what ring will she next toss her hat - AG? Secretary of State? Governor?

Barney Frank: he could have won the special election to replace Kerry, but is now just another bullet-proof Congressman-for-life.

Curt Schilling: the multi-millionaire hometown hero campaigned against the multi-millionaire hometown hero, who was supported by Schilling's multi-millionaire boss. After winning the World Series, could John Henry be looking to cut payroll? Does anyone else see Schilling smearing ketchup on a paid of Washington Expos socks?

Boston Globe: could have spent the next four years reporting about a hometown President. Instead, beat the stuffing out of Kerry, and can now spend the next four years reporting about how they could have been reporting about a hometown President.

Willard Mitt: the 2004 elections will go down in history as a high-water mark for the Republican Party. Everywhere but in Massachusetts. Here the GOP actually lost ground! They now hold the fewest number of seats in the Legislature since 1867. (source: Boston Globe, 11/4/2004) The two states where G. W. Bush asked Romney to help out, New Hampshire and Michigan, each went for Kerry. And the one governor for whom Romney campaigned lost. Thanks for stopping by, Fraudo. Next?

Romney's $150,000-a-year Loathsome Spokesman: his new threat, that "Romney is the only bridge Massachusetts has to the White House and a strengthened Republican majority in both houses of Congress" (source: Boston Globe, 11/4/2004) puts his boss in a lose-lose box. Anything the state gets, it will get because Romney is doing his job. Anything the state does not get, it will lose because Romney can not deliver. Brilliant!

Department of (MDC Job) Conservation and Recreation personnel office: expect a flood of resumes from former GOP legislative reform candidates.

Bloggers: who cares what they have to say? We certainly don't!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Still undecided?

by three.

Monday, November 01, 2004
Reverse the Pledge

Willard Mitt, who grew up in Michigan (source: Boston Herald, 3/24/2002) rooting for the Detroit Tigers has, in the past, used the Boston Red Sox solely as a campaign marketing tool, doing a one-man stand-out at Fenway that one paper termed a "pathetic showing" during his 1994 race against U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, and posing with a push cart vender in 2002 (source: Boston Herald, 4/5/1994; Boston Herald, 8/12/2002)

So how did Romney celebrate the 2004 World Series? Why, he treated it like a campaign marketing tool.

Several days ago, the Fraud Governor donned work gloves to pretend to take down the Reverse Curve sign that has long hung over Storrow Drive (and periodically been doctored to read 'Reverse the (BoSox) Curse.') The resulting photo op stunt caused traffic back-ups of over 1.5 hours and reportedly delayed several ambulances which had to 'fight their way Mass. General.' (source: Boston Globe, 10/31/2004)

The flack formerly known as the stout, Reese Witherspoon-wannabe dye-job aide to Romney’s loathsome $150,000-a-year spokesman defended the faux work-day by spatting that "the sign was an eye-sore and factually incorrect." (source: Boston Globe, 10/31/2004)

What she forgot to mention is that the Fraud Governor's antics broke his promise to treat the state's commuters with respect.

Back when he was just the Fraud Candidate, Willard Mitt pretended to support something he called a "Commuters Bill of Rights." Setting aside the fact that "rights" are immutable and can not be granted, Romney proposed granting "the right to have smart construction scheduling." Instead of roadwork on key routes during high traffic periods, Romney said he would avoid scheduling construction during the morning and evening commutes." (source: Romney/Healey, Inc., " Romney/Healey Propose Commuter Bill of Rights," 9/3/2002)

But then he up and scheduled his sign removal at the height of a high traffic period.

Of course, Romney pledged to avoid scheduling construction projects during high traffic periods, not self-indulgent photo ops.

2004 - 1918 = 1984

On Wednesday, October 27, the Red Sox won the World Series for the first time since 1918. On Wednesday, October 27, Team Reform decided to make more flu medication available to persons on the priority list by ... REDUCING THE PRIORITY LIST.

Gee. You think someone was trying to slide something under the radar screen?

As you may have heard, there's a shortage of flu medication. So, back in September, Willard Mitt announced a plan to make sure that "everyone in Massachusetts who wants a flu shot can get one." (source: office of (fraud) gov, "Romney announces shot in the arm for flu vaccine program, 9/29/2003) Romney's Public Health Commissioner validated Team Reform's intent, saying "our immunization program is the bedrock of our health care system."

And then Team Reform waited for their opportunity. One month later it came.

Front page headline: YES!!! - RED SOX COMPLETE SWEEP, WIN FIRST SERIES IN 86 YEARS (source: Boston Globe, 10/28/2004)

Inside page headline: State raises to 75 cutoff age to get vaccinated for flu (source: Boston Herald, 10/28/2004)

In an Orwellian move to guarantee that all on the State's priority list would have access to flu immunizations, Romney removed persons between the ages of 65 and 74 from the State's priority list.

Strangely this policy tidbit was not the subject of a Corner Office press release.

Perhaps the press lackey assigned to pen this missive was stuck in Storrow Drive traffic.


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