FIRST AMENDMENT UPHELD IN SUPREME COURT 9-0 RULING

Christian Flag To Fly At Boston City Plaza

By Brendan McDonald, New Boston Post, August 2, 2022, 16:29 EDT

This week, a Christian flag is expected to fly at Boston City Plaza.

The event, taking place on Wednesday, August 3, is roughly five years in the making. In 2017, Harold “Hal” Shurtleff, director and co-founder of Camp Constitution, applied to fly a “Christian flag” bearing a cross on a flagpole in front of Boston City Hall. The city denied the request. Shurtleff applied again with no response.

Camp Constitution seeks “to enhance understanding of our Judeo-Christian moral heritage” and “our American heritage of courage and ingenuity.”

Typically four flags fly in front of Boston City Hall:  the United States Flag, the POW/MIA flag, the Massachusetts state flag, and the Boston city flag.

On occasion, the city has allowed private organizations to apply to fly a different flag in place of the Boston flag. Between 2005 and 2017, the following flags flew above Boston City Plaza, according to court papers filed by Shurtleff’s lawyers:

There have been 284 ceremonies involving flag raisings at Boston City Plaza, according to court papers. Previously the city had never denied a request.

Shurtleff sued the city, arguing that since any private organization could apply to fly a flag, the city, in singling his flag out, violated his freedom of speech. Shurtleff received legal aid from Liberty Counsel, an advocacy group for religious liberty.

State and federal judges ruled in favor of the city four times, on the basis that the flag would constitute government speech and violate the Establishment Clause, which prevents the government from “establishing” a religion.

Shurtleff and Liberty Counsel appealed each time. The case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

On May 2, 2022, the federal Supreme Court, in a 9-0 decision, ruled in favor of Shurtleff that the city of Boston “did not make the raising and flying of private groups’ flags a form of government speech. That means, in turn, that Boston’s refusal to let Shurtleff and Camp Constitution raise their flag based on its religious viewpoint ‘abridg[ed]’ their ‘freedom of speech.’ ”

Stephen Breyer, one of the court’s three liberals, wrote the decision.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Biden Administration lent support to Shurtleff, urging the court to overrule the lower court decisions.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed on November 22, 2021, the American Civil Liberties Union argued that “The First Circuit not only misapplied the public-forum doctrine but also extended this court’s government-speech precedents beyond their appropriate reach.”

The United States Justice Department also filed an amicus brief in November 2021, saying that the ability to fly an alternate flag “is not government speech, but instead a forum for private speech.”

The Justice Department did issue a caveat, adding that in overturning the case, “the court should reaffirm that the First Amendment affords the city and other governments ample latitude to craft expressive programs — including programs involving contributions from private parties — without relinquishing their right to control the message or exclude other private speakers.”

Camp Constitution’s flag is slated to fly on Wednesday, August 3. 

Boston, as of October 19, 2021, is no longer accepting applications from third parties to fly flags on Boston City Plaza.

In a recent email message to NewBostonPost, Shurtleff said this decision by the city was neither his nor Liberty Counsel’s intent but that “we are very pleased” with the federal Supreme Court decision “and that our suit will be used to prevent religious viewpoint discrimination around the U.S.”

“As a Christian, I have to say that God’s Hand was in this from the beginning,” Shurtleff added.

On Monday, August 1, Liberty Counsel released a statement, saying that “the sole reason for the denial was that the application form referred to the flag as a “Christian” flag. Had the application used any word other than “Christian,” the City of Boston would have granted the application.”

Kathleen Lynch, a Republican state committeewoman, praised Shurtleff and Liberty Counsel, saying their work “shows that steadfast persistence in pursuit of justice and good cause is worth it.”

“Disallowing the raising of the Christian flag was a clearcut First Amendment violation and should never have been met with such resistance from Boston officials,” Lynch said in an email message to NewBostonPost. “I’m thrilled that the Supreme Court delivered a 9-0 ruling!”

The decision to deny Shurtleff’s request was made during former Mayor Marty Walsh’s administration. 

The current mayor of Boston is Michelle Wu.

NewBostonPost sent an email to Wu’s press office requesting comment on Monday, August 1. A spokesman for Wu did not respond by deadline.

The Christian flag case is not the first time the U.S. Supreme Court has overruled the city of Boston on a matter of free speech.

In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the city of Boston in the case Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston. In that case, a pro-homosexuality advocacy group sought to march in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston, organized by the South Boston Allied War Veterans. Parade organizers turned them down. The group sued. Massachusetts courts — including the state’s Supreme Judicial Court — ruled against the organizers, saying that they must accommodate the group on the grounds that the parade was a public accommodation.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the parade organizers, saying that freedom of speech includes the ability to exclude messages that parade organizers don’t want to send.

The decision was 9-0. The opinion was written by then-justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

MassDems convention delegates were required to present identification prior to vote

ID requirement initiated to preserve integrity, so why do they refuse to consider it for Massachusetts elections?

The Massachusetts Democratic Party’s nomination convention Saturday in Worcester included a requirement their own standard-bearer, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, calls a “discriminatory policy taken from the same playbook as Jim Crow.”

According to the Boston Herald, Democrats “wanted a level of legitimacy with voting” and employed the use of a voter identification smartphone application, with delegates “ordered to complete the voter identification process by 11:30 a.m. Saturday or they were banned from voting.”

The level of hypocrisy was not lost on Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons.

“The Democrats deployed a voter identification requirement on Saturday they’ve long smeared as being racist, even though it’s a policy that an overwhelming majority of Americans support,” Lyons said. “It’s obvious they can’t trust themselves to conduct an honest election so they turned to a voter ID requirement as a safeguard against fraud.

“It all boils down to this: If the Democrats are requiring voter ID to participate in their intraparty elections, why won’t they support the same requirement to ensure the integrity of Massachusetts elections?”

Despite being a Federal holiday, radical “progressives” in Westford want to cancel Columbus Day

This destructive agenda only serves to divide our community more

This week, the Select Board voted 4-0 to add a ballot question to the November 8 ballot. Westford’s so-called “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI) Committee is pushing to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. 

In a joint session of the Select Board and DEI Committee, the topic of how to best provide an opportunity for community input regarding this ballot question renaming Columbus Day was discussed. They decided the DEI committee would hold a community listening session in July. Voters should lend their opinions to this conversation. It remains to be seen how “diverse,” “equitable” and “inclusive” proponents will be when people offer dissenting opinions.

All people are imperfect, yet Christopher Columbus is being targeted and attacked while Indigenous Peoples are being glorified. This is imbalanced and destructive. This move to replace one holiday with another is actually inequitable and divisive.

An unhinged vandal decapitated the statue of Christopher Columbus
in Boston on June 9, 2020. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

Christopher Columbus is famous for being a brave navigator and explorer who completed four challenging voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, opening the way for European exploration and colonization of America. 

In Columbia magazine, Carol Delaney, former professor at Stanford and Brown universities, explained that Columbus gave strict instructions to the settlers to ‘treat the native people with respect,’ though some of his men rebelled and disobeyed his orders.” 

Robert Royal, author of Columbus and the Crisis of the West, wrote, “Contrary to the view that Columbus is the source of later mistreatment of Native Americans, he tried to get help in restraining that very abuse. At one point, he complained to the Spanish monarchs about the way that Spaniards were exploiting natives for gain and taking indigenous concubines. He asked them to send Christian missionaries to the Spaniards.” 

Regarding indigenous peoples, let’s not overlook some horrible practices. Royal described “evil practices … among native populations… For example, there was human sacrifice in the Caribbean and even cannibalism when Columbus arrived there.”

Sadly, people are imperfect and capable of doing horrible things that deserve condemnation. At the same time, people, including Christopher Columbus and Indigenous Peoples, are blessed with worthy attributes and actions. Let’s not forget this fact by demonizing one and glorifying another.

Besides, a simple internet search reveals that there is already a day for Native Americans, the Friday after Thanksgiving. And, there is a whole month in November devoted to Native American Heritage.

Finally, advocates of this proposal demonstrate a complete disregard, even contempt, for Italian Americans and members of the Catholic community, for whom Christopher Columbus is a figure of respect and admiration. Canceling Columbus Day will be an affront, which sends a message of exclusion and inequality to many citizens of Westford.

There is no need to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. Save Columbus Day!

It’s Tran vs Trahan for 3rd Congressional District

Inflation and Gas Prices Threaten State’s Democrat Monopoly in Washington D.C.

Tran said:  “the prompt submission of my signatures was the result of an eager, aggressive and hard-working grass roots effort to mobilize support throughout the district to end the incompetent and corrupt polices of the Biden administration which are supported by Congresswoman Lori Trahan.”   Tran said that his prompt submission was “a result of an effort that will continue to build as we move toward November.”           

Tran has attacked Congresswoman Lori Trahan’s dismal record in Washington on a host of issues ranging from the economy, public safety and civil rights. He said that the people of the third district are suffering from inflation and rising gas prices with many facing an economic breaking point, all the result of Biden-Pelosi-Trahan’s inept and incompetent leadership.  Tran said that this dire situation can be reversed by reducing inflation through gaining better control over Federal spending, encouraging and supporting small business, ensuring fair trade policies and encouraging energy independence.             

Republican Dean Tran has announced his bid to take the third district congressional seat away from incumbent Democrat Lori Trahan.  Tran a two term Republican State Senator from Fitchburg has made the November 2022 state election ballot, submitting close to 3,000 signatures, 1000 more than required.  Upon certification today, Tran became the first congressional candidate to make the ballot in Massachusetts, edging out his incumbent opponent.           

Dean Tran has a long record of service to his community starting as a member of the Fitchburg Planning Board, then as City Councilor and finally as State Senator.   He is married with four children.  He has no primary opponent and will be on the ballot challenging incumbent Congresswoman Lori Trahan of Westford, on November 8, 2022.

Westford H.S. Seniors invited to apply for Republican Freedom Scholarship

High School Seniors are invited to apply for the Westford Republican Town Committee Gunars Zagars Freedom Scholarship.  

This monetary award is given to a graduating senior who is a Westford resident and who understands and actively supports traditional Republican principles. All graduating high school seniors are eligible including public, private, parochial and home-school students whether or not they plan to attend college, a trade school, the military, start a business or join the work force immediately.

The scholarship is named after Gunars Zagars (1935-2018), an active Republican resident of Westford for close to 40 years. In 1944, when Gunars was 9 years old, he and his family escaped the Soviet communist occupation of Latvia as did thousands of Latvians during WWII. Experiencing the oppression of a communist government and following the plight of Latvia’s struggle to gain independence, Gunars was a strong proponent of freedom. 

Part of the application for the award is to submit a typed essay explaining what freedom means to you.

Graduating Westford high school seniors can fill out an application by following the directions at: https://westfordmagop.org/freedom-award/

Romney Attempts to Twist the Narrative on Ukraine

PROGRESSIVES MOVE TO LINK PUTIN TO REPUBLICANS

CNN has rolled out one of their favorite RINO (Republican in Name Only) Senators, Mitt Romney, to push a narrative that there are Republicans supporting Putin’s aggression. That is a lie.  In fact, Republicans have been among the most vociferous critics in opposition.  Former President Trump has called it “an assault on humanity”, Senator Rick Scott (R-SC) says the US “must stand up to Putin’s aggression”. Senator Ted Cruz called for shutting down Russia’s pipelines. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) criticized the Biden administration for being too slow in reacting to the Ukrainian situation. Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) praised President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people for their courage.           

Putin’s actions actually define the fears and concerns of authentic Republicans, which is the abuse of government power to coerce, and in this case murder people, who desire a free society and are willing to push back against the demented few, who seek to impose insane agendas upon them. Putin stands more in line with “progressive” Democratic party leaders like disgraced Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, Governors Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gavin Newsome of California, Thomas Wolfe of Pennsylvania and Mayor DeBlasio of New York, whose first answer to every emergency is to enhance their own political power through repression under the guise of crisis.              

Just north of us, another of their ilk has unveiled his iron fist, suppressing free protests by Canadian Truckers. Justin Trudeau has revealed his affinity for tyranny and his fundamental progressive disdain for working people.           

As far as Senator Mitt Romney is concerned, he has consistently taken his place with Liz Cheney, the Bush family, and the late John McCain, in representing the imperialist wing of the old Republican party, a branch that authentic Republicans are trying to saw off. That faction shares Putin’s impulse to ride tanks into territories, where they have no business to impose internationalist elitist agendas on people, who simply want to live in peace.           

The new Republican party, the reform Republican party, the authentic Republican party stands squarely on the side of the Ukrainians, who are people trying to care for their families. They hold a strong religious faith, and are willing to pay the high price for freedom.  All authentic Republicans support them in their struggle.  We must give them arms, impose painful sanctions on the aggressor and most importantly we must revive our own oil and gas production here in the US both to maintain our own freedom and to support our allies. The Green New deal now takes its place alongside the Russian Hoax investigation as another clear attempt to obstruct US influence in support of freedom around the world. The motives of those who have purveyed both hoaxes must be seriously examined.           

Romney has allowed himself to be used as a stooge once again. By now we have all learned that so-called progressives repeatedly succumb to one clear tendency, and that is projection – accusing your opponent of the very things that you are doing.  If Romney wants to throw treason around maybe he should look into the mirror. 

American Republicans stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, we share their hopes and aspirations.   They are working people who seek their own destiny and desire to cast off the yoke of elitist oppression.  They are us!

– Dennis Galvin, Republican State Committeeman

TRAN SETS SIGHTS ON CONGRESS

A Campaign That Defines and Will Defend the American Ideal       

Dean Train, a 46-year father of four and a well-known political figure in Fitchburg politics, threw his hat into the ring for the third Congressional District, challenging incumbent Laurie Trahan.   Before a crowd of over 150 supporters, who gathered at the British American Club in Fitchburg, the former State Senator promised to challenge and roll back many of the “Biden, Pelosi, Trahan” policies.            

Tran drew upon his experience as a Vietnamese refugee, who was forced to flee his native country in the face of Communist aggression, to express his deep faith and commitment to American ideals.  He described how his family had to sacrifice everything to come to the United States, but noted that once here, he was able to make a new start, become a contributing citizen, and raise his own family. He then introduced his wife and children, who stood by him during his address.  Tran made it clear his purpose in running was to preserve the opportunities that America offered him for the next generation to come.             

Tran targeted inflation as a top concern, noting that oil prices in the Fitchburg area were approaching $3.54 cents a gallon for gasoline, and 3.44 cents a gallon for home heating oil, stating that these prices were having disastrous effects on the American economy.  Relief is essential.  Medical freedom was his next priority. Tran pledged to defend and protect the right of individuals to control, what goes into their bodies, condemning the punitive polices of the “Biden-Pelosi-Trahan” administration, with regard to mask and vaccine mandates.  He said the mandates where hypocritical in the face of uncontrolled immigration at the Southern Border, stating that the failure to control the flow of migrants over that border was creating both public health and domestic security risks for the American people.  He pledged that he would help work to secure the border, and enforce national immigration policy, viewing these issues as national security imperatives.           

Turning his attention to the third congressional district, Tran pledged to remove pork from all federal infrastructure legislation, and he renewed a commitment to the redesign of route 2.  He condemned the police defund movement and pledged support for law enforcement, and all first responders to include: “police, fire, EMT’s and border patrol”.  He affirmed the parental right to control what their children are taught in school, pledging to defend that right.  He also made a passionate and emotional commitment to defend life as well.

Tran addressed a censure issued against him by the Democratically controlled state senate, calling it a politically motivated smear.  He said that he was denied due process, and never allowed to confront his accuser.  The complaint upon which the censure was issued was based upon anonymous hearsay.  He said that racism was the motivating factor behind action and its purpose was to flip his Republican state senate seat back to the Democrats, which happened in the next election when John Cronin edged him out by a very slim margin.  Tran reflected philosophically upon that outcome regarding it as an opportunity for bigger and better things. He said that it has allowed him the time to run for Congress.  His kickoff officially opens the 2022 election season in Massachusetts.  

Former Republican Senator Dean Tran to Challenge Democrat U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan

FITCHBURG — Former Massachusetts State Sen. Dean Tran is raising the stakes in the Massachusetts Third Congressional District.

The first-generation American and Fitchburg Republican announced this week he’ll be challenging incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan.

“Americans and especially Massachusetts residents are being hurt by the Democrats’ failed economic policies,” Tran said, pointing to skyrocketing rates of inflation, soaring energy prices, and disruptions in consumer supply chains. ” Rep. Trahan has proved she will do whatever House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and failed President Joe Biden say.

“With me, you’ll get someone who knows firsthand the promise of this great nation, someone who will put America first, and someone who will never be Speaker Pelosi’s personal rubber stamp.”

Tran was born in Vietnam but emigrated to America after his family fled the war-torn country by boat when he was just four years old. After spending two years living in a refugee camp, Tran’s family found a temporary home in Clinton, Mass., in 1980 after receiving a sponsorship from a local Catholic priest.

The Tran family eventually settled in Fitchburg, with Dean later graduating from Brandeis University in 1997. Tran made history in 2005 when he was the first minority elected to Fitchburg City Council. He broke more barriers and became the first Vietnamese American to serve on Beacon Hill when he won a special state Senate election in 2017, running on a platform of low taxes and less government.

“Having served a third of this district in the state Senate, I’ve spoken to many people across the district who are hurting, and they all said the same thing: Congresswoman Lori Trahan is part of the problem in Washington,” Tran said. “I’m running to give the voters an alternative to the status quo, to big government and the broken promises and fiscal policies of the Washington Democrats. I will give this seat back to the people to amplify their voices, not the voices of President Biden and Speaker Pelosi.”

Tran and his wife Kerry have four children. He serves on the executive board for the Boy Scouts of America and the Mount Wachusett Community College Board of Trustees and currently manages an engineering team for Burlington-based Avid Technologies.

“My campaign is about giving the people of the Third Congressional District an alternative to the failures of the Biden administration and their enablers like Rep. Trahan,” Tran said. “Under her watch, we went from having one of the strongest economies in our nation’s history with historically low unemployment rate for minorities and women to record inflation.” 

“This seat represents some of the most diverse communities in the Commonwealth, yet has never been represented by a minority. I will change that. I am proud to be a living embodiment of the American dream and my promise to the voters is that I will fight for our district like they’ve never seen.”

To learn more about Dean’s campaign for U.S. Congress, visit his website DeanTran.com

Westford Republicans Sending 18 Delegates to State Convention

The Westford Republican Town Committee congratulates all eighteen delegates who were elected at their caucus on January 31st, 2022! Ex-officio delegates are State Committee representatives Kathy Lynch and Dennis Galvin.

Chairwoman of the Westford Republican Town Committee and presider of the caucus Kathy Lynch invited candidates to give mini-speeches of introduction. A common theme expressed by the candidates was a serious concern over the leadership and direction of the nation and the Commonwealth.

Elected delegates will go to the spring Republican State Convention to endorse the party’s candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and State Auditor. To obtain the endorsement, a candidate must attain a majority vote of the delegates at the convention.

The State Convention will be held on Saturday, May 21st, 2022 from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM at the Mass Mutual Convention Center in Springfield MA.

Republican candidates are beginning to build their campaigns, schedule speaking engagements, gather volunteers, and solicit donations.

If you want to get more involved with the Westford Republican Town Committee, we meet at least once a month, with general meetings typically held on a Saturday morning 10 a.m. – 12 noon. You may reach us at info@WestfordMAGOP.org.

MassGOP Seeing High Energy in the Fight for Freedom

In a letter to Republican State Committee members today, Chairman Jim Lyons wrote, “The energy level is as high as anytime in my memory. The message we can all agree on is that we must support our candidates and defeat the Radical Left. This is a fight for our freedom. I will work tirelessly to elect Republicans and I urge each and every one of you to get up off the couch and encourage your friends and family to get into the arena.”

Lyons is keen on leading Republican candidates to victory on Election Day through winning seats to municipal and legislative office. The MassGOP has been holding trainings throughout the state. Forty more are in the planning stages.

First Middlesex Republican State Committeewoman Kathy Lynch, who spoke on the panel at the first two trainings, said, “I am thrilled to see such enthusiasm in Massachusetts. That’s what happens when tyrants are in charge. People wake up and ask how they can change things for the better.”

Lynch was referring to the unbalanced situation in the Massachusetts legislature, where Democrats overwhelmingly outnumber Republicans, as well as the massive power grab through COVID “emergency powers.” Mask, vaccine, and now vaccine passport mandates are striking a nerve with freedom-loving people who see no need to succumb to coercion over a virus with a 99.97% recovery rate.

Second Suffolk and Middlesex Republican State Committeewoman Debby Dugan said, “A lopsided legislature is a danger to our Constitutional Republic. Liberty-minded people need to get involved. We need to get back to everyday citizens forming our Republic – not out-of-touch career politicians. We need to take back our nation, and it starts on the local level.”

If you want to get go to a candidate training, now is the time because people are pulling papers for municipal seats right now. Contact the Westford Republican Town Committee or the MassGOP with your interest.

“The future of America is at stake. Freedom Matters!” wrote Lyons.