Beacon Hill Democrats launch new scheme to soak commuters at the gas pump

Feb. 27, 2020

CONTACT: Evan Lips, communications director, 617-523-5005 ext. 245iu

WOBURN — Beacon Hill Democrats, despite the state still brimming with historic levels of tax revenue, are clamoring for more, and this time are looking to whack taxpayers at the gas pump as part of a $600 million transportation bill.

Following House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s lead, his underling House leaders are parroting his “revenue can’t wait any longer” plea, this even after 2019 fiscal year tax revenue topped the previous year’s by almost $2 billion and with 2020 estimated to soar beyond that figure.

“Here they are, two years after Speaker DeLeo and company enacted their $18 million in pay raises, crying poor once again,” said Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons. “And here are the Massachusetts taxpayers, again facing a Democrat cash-grab at the gas pump, even after already having voted in droves to kill their dream for an automatic gas tax increase.

“When will the message ever get through to these tax-and-spend Democrats on Beacon Hill? What amount of other people’s money will ever be enough?”

Lyons also pointed to the most recent estimates associated with illegal immigration in Massachusetts, which have pegged the cost at roughly $2 billion.

“And still, the radical Democrats on Beacon Hill want to turn Massachusetts into a sanctuary state,” Lyons said. “They’re already on the verge of granting driver’s licenses to those who entered this country illegally.

“In the end, it will be the law-abiding Massachusetts taxpayer who will be footing the bill for all of this, and these radical Democrats will still demand more.”

CAST TWO VOTES THAT COUNT: Lynch and Galvin Seek to Reform MA GOP

79368756_420855222128577_5706994655632031744_oMarch 3, 2020 is the Presidential primary. There is a race on the Republican ballot with significant ramifications for this Commonwealth. In addition to the presidential race, Republican and Un-enrolled voters, selecting a Republican ballot, will also be voting for representatives to the Republican State Committee. This is the policy making board for the state’s Republican party and guides its direction. It sets the party’s strategy, direction and priorities.

This race is particularly significant this year. Massachusetts is widely known as the “bluest of blue” states. Consequently, Massachusetts voters are given very limited options at the polls. The choice generally comes down to which candidate wants to raise taxes less. Additionally, a great misconception has been perpetrated, that by having a Republican Governor, we have bipartisan government, even when the state’s legislature is overwhelmingly Democrat. This masquerade simply hides the fact that the Republican Governor is a “lame duck.”

Massachusetts politics has become increasingly lopsided over the past fifty years. Voters should not be fooled into believing that this has occurred because of the persuasive power of the Democratic party message. Politics have devolved here for two reasons. First, much of the Democrat vote is bought through patronage jobs, and through the influence of state contracts and benefits. Second, the Republican party relinquished the field. Rather than press their case, many GOP leaders adopted a “go along to get along approach” in order to gain favor with the Democrat majority.

In January of 2019, former state representative Jim Lyons of Andover was elected chairman of the party in a major upset. Since that election, Lyons has made it clear that the MA GOP will end its slumber, and begin to aggressively advocate for those issues that are important to working people: promoting small business, improving transportation, ensuring effective domestic security, defending civil liberties, and ending the culture of corruption that has characterized state government for so long.

However, to do that, he will need the support of the Republican State Committee. The Committee is comprised of two elected representatives from each state senatorial district. One representative has to be a man and the other a woman. Kathy Lynch is running to become the district’s State Committeewoman. Dennis Galvin is running for re-election as the State Committeeman. Both are committed to supporting Lyon’s efforts and both have won his endorsement. They have the integrity, the courage, and the drive to be outstanding representatives for the Republicans in the First Middlesex District. Massachusetts needs more than one idea, and one way of thinking if it is going to successfully meet the challenges of the future. Vote for Kathy Lynch and Dennis Galvin, help restore the vibrancy of a two party democracy in Massachusetts once again.

LOWELL STATE REPRESENTATIVE DAVE NANGLE ARRESTED BY FBI

Associate of Mary Burns In The Statehouse “Culture Of Corruption” Indicted For Misuse Of Funds

          WCVB Television news has reported the indictment and arrest of Lowell Democratic State Representative Dave Nangle.  FBI and IRS agents arrested Nangle this morning at his home.  He has been charged with misusing campaign funds to cover personal gambling debts.  The indictment alleges that he has been doing this since 2014. 87055583_2568647410072517_4259168434350194688_n
          Representative Nangle has been an associate of Republican State Committee candidate Mary Burns for some time.   Nangle is one of several Democratic candidates, that Burns has admittedly made donations to over the years, describing Nangle as “ a friend”.   Burns has dismissed a censure by the Lowell Republican City Committee for making such contributions saying that “ you have to take care of your friends”.
          This is a classic example of how the culture of corruption works on Beacon Hill. Decisions are made based solely on personal considerations involving money and relationships. The needs of the people are ignored.  This practice has turned democracy in this state into a farse.  This is why House Speaker Robert DeLeo is able to act as legislative dictator.  People like Nangle and Burns enable him.  This is not an isolated event, and there will be serious ramifications for all Massachusetts citizens if this way of doing business does not change.  It should now be clear that if Burns is elected, she will work to stifle legitimate opposition in order to preserve her own personal influence with the Beacon Hill crowd.  That has been her history, and there is no reason to think she will change.  Republicans have an opportunity to set a new and decisive direction for our party toward honest government; government that will serve the public good not the special interest. Vote Kathy Lynch on March 3, 2020 for Republican State Committeewoman for the First Middlesex District.

BURNS WANTS LYONS OUT AS GOP CHAIR

Republican State Committee Candidate Has No Problem With Helping Democrats

Mary Burns, a candidate for the Republican State Committee, openly admitted today that she has contributed to the campaigns of Democratic candidates, and is also calling for the ouster of state chairman Jim Lyons. In an appearance on “City Life,” a local cable television program produced in Lowell, Burns openly admitted giving donations to Democrat candidates and saw nothing wrong with it, saying: “you have to take care of your friends.”  She charged Chairman  Lyons with failing to raise funds for the Party, and said that the direction of the MA GOP must be changed.

Burns is locked in a race for the First Middlesex Republican State Committee seat with Kathy Lynch of Westford.  The seat represents Lowell, Westford, Groton, Pepperell, Dunstable and Tyngsborough.  The committee is the governing board for the Massachusetts Republican party, setting its direction, strategy and priorities.

Burns statement came in response to charges made by her opponent Kathy Lynch, who cited Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) reports, showing that Burns contributed to Democrat candidates.  Lynch also found that Burns contributed to State Representative James Arciero’s campaign in 2018, a year in which Lynch challenged Arciero.  Mary Burns has also been censured by the Lowell Republican City Committee for her contributions to the campaigns of Thomas Golden and Dave Nangle, both Lowell Democrats, in violation of the city committee’s bylaws.

The race between Lynch and Burns represents a clear choice for the Republicans in the First Middlesex District.   Lynch strongly believes that a conservative message can resonate in Massachusetts if it is given sufficient support and the MA GOP remains united behind it.  Burns believes that this strategy should be abandoned in place of a go-along-to-get-along policy with regard to the Democrat establishment.  The choice couldn’t be clearer.

Jim Lyons was elected as chair of the MA GOP in January 2019 following one of the most disastrous elections for Republicans in recent state history.  Lyons began a reorganization of the Party and, during the process, uncovered significant levels of questionable spending under the administration of former chair Kirsten Hughes.   One fact uncovered by Lyons was that although millions of dollars had been raised by the pro-Baker/Hughes administration, only 4% of that money went to support state house and senate candidates.  Lyons has vowed to reverse this.  Lynch has thrown her full support behind Lyons’s strategy to retake the legislature, one seat at a time.

The election for Mass Republican State Committee will be held during the Presidential Primary scheduled for Tuesday March 3, 2020.   The race will be on the same ballot as the Presidential primary.   This is an important race for Massachusetts Republicans.

–  Dennis Galvin

Lynch’s Republican State Committee Opponent Caught Funding Democrats

The Lowell Republican City Committee (LRCC), on January 30, 2020, unanimously censured member Mary Burns, currently a candidate for Republican State Committeewoman, for making financial contributions to the campaigns of Representatives Nangle and Golden in Lowell, both Democrats, in violation of the City Committee’s policy and bylaws.

The bylaws state, “​No member of the Committee shall sponsor, endorse or provide material or in-kind support to any candidate, or otherwise in any way serve the interests of any political party other than the Republican Party with careful exception to Unenrolled candidates that uphold the principles of the Republican Party when no duly registered Republican is nominated for any seat serving the City of Lowell or any of its several Wards.”

On further review of the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) reports, it was discovered that Burns had a history of making donations to Democrats. Twenty Democrat candidates received donations from Burns through the years, totaling over $9,000. Lynch said, “Why would a woman funding Democrats run for a Republican leadership role that is supposed to help Republican candidates? I am outraged to hear of this.”

It was further disclosed through OCPF that Burns gave contributions to Westford Democrat Jim Arciero in the 2018 2nd Middlesex State Representative race between Lynch and incumbent Arciero. Burns contributed a total of $650 in donations to Arciero for his State Representative races. “People wonder why Republicans don’t fare well in races. It’s bad enough when you have Democrats working against you but Republicans too?! We need to drain the swamp of Republicans in name only,” said Lynch.

Lynch and Burns are both running for Republican State Committeewoman in the First Middlesex District which includes Westford, Lowell, Groton, Pepperell, Tyngsborough, and Dunstable. The Presidential Primary election for the State Committeewoman race is March 3rd, 2020.

Message from Candidate Kathy Lynch

Kathy Lynch, Chair of the Westford Republican Town Committee, and 2018 Candidate for State Representative, is running for Republican State Committeewoman in the First Middlesex District: Westford, Pepperell, Tyngsborough, Dunstable, Lowell, and Groton.

Election Day is March 3rd. Early voting will be held the week of February 24. Absentee ballots can easily be obtained by calling your Town or City Clerk. Select the Republican ballot and Vote Kathy Lynch!

 

LETTER from Kathy Lynch, Candidate for Republican State Committeewoman

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          A healthy, bi-partisan government has checks and balances that counteract tendencies for those in power to lead in corrupt and oppressive ways. With only 18% of our legislature Republican, the Massachusetts government puts citizen’s freedoms in jeopardy. Like a business monopoly, we don’t want or need a government too big, powerful, and self-serving.

          Unfortunately, there has been a lack of leadership within the Republican Party as evidenced by the low number of Republicans within the State Legislature. There are only 32 out of 160 State Representatives and 4 out of 40 State Senators who are Republican.

          With the recent election of Jim Lyons as the new Massachusetts Republican Party Chair and the reorganization of the Party, we have a tremendous opportunity for renewal. Our vision includes standing for freedom, individual responsibility, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and rule of law. We wish to live freely and peaceably while not infringing upon the rights of others.

          I am running for Republican State Committeewoman because I would like to bring guidance, training, communication, and resources to help the Party grow and increase its ability to recruit and elect quality candidates. I will support efforts to increase transparency, participation, and effectiveness.

          If you live in Westford, Lowell, Groton, Pepperell, Tyngsborough, or Dunstable, I ask you to select the Republican ballot for the Presidential Primary on March 3, 2020 and vote for Republican State Committeewoman, Kathy Lynch.

Note: Kathy may be reached by email: Kathy.Lynch@me.com, phone: 978-496-8064, website: VoteKathyLynch.com or Facebook: VoteKathyLynch.

Selectmen Seek Funding for Stormwater Accounting: Should We Give It to Them?

Article 6 on the warrant for Westford’s Special Town Meeting on October 28th seeks to support a decision made by the Board of Selectmen to initiate a fee program to pay for storm-water infrastructure upgrades mandated by the EPA. This article should be opposed.  We all want clean water, but the fee program is a controversial venture, which sets aside a long-standing principle of town government, that tax proposals shall originate in the legislative body (Town Meeting), not the executive body (the selectmen).

At the heart of this issue is the question of whether the fee program is a fee or a tax?    Despite town counsel’s assurance that it is a fee, questions remain that raise reasonable doubt about this claim. The fee program will impose a levy on all property owners in town, even non-profits, based upon the amount of “impervious surface”. This is the total square footage of the roof over your head, and the hardtop on your driveway.  The concern is a Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling called the “Emerson Rule,” which provides a clear legal line of demarcation between fees and taxes.   The former are financial assessments made upon subscribers for voluntary services rendered by a municipality.  If assessments are mandatory then the so-called fee is a tax.

The Board of Selectmen have offered assurances, that the fee program is voluntary, because it offers credits for property owners, who make improvements to curb storm-water runoff.  The credits are limited, however, and cannot be extended to all property owners because the funding program might collapse.  Additionally, the alterations needed to defray the assessment are so cost prohibitive for most home owners, that they render the claim of voluntariness illusionary.  If someone challenges the fee system under the Emerson rule and succeeds, the town could find itself in a financial world of hurt.  The revenue collected could conceivably have to be returned.  There is a better way.

The town can establish a Municipal Water Infrastructure Investment Fund. It would work like the CPA.  Each property tax payer would be assessed a surcharge, set by town meeting and ratified by town wide vote, preserving legislative authority over taxation.  Taxpayers would have notice of any changes in the surcharge.  Increases would have to come before the voters for approval.  In contrast,  the selectmen’s fee system is under their sole control and can be increased at their whim.  The only way you will know about an increase is when you receive a bill.  This is administrative taxation. If we are forced to raise this money, let’s do it in a way that preserves the town meeting’s fundamental right to decide local tax issues.  Vote No on this article. Send this matter back to the Selectmen with a strong message that Town Meeting does not wish to gamble with the law, and will jealously guard its traditional authority to tax.

– Dennis Galvin

THE GREEN “NEW STEAL” HITS HOMES

The Green “New Steal” is here.  Like a stealthy, aggressive weed it will be creeping into the municipal budgets of all 350 cities and towns in this Commonwealth and will soon start sucking the financial lifeblood out of taxpayers.  Most of them won’t even know it.   Like a famished lamprey, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will be directly attaching itself to each and every municipal budget in the Commonwealth, forcing local officials to pay for compliance with its storm-water management mandates.  Under the Clean Water Act, the federal government has the authority to hold municipalities responsible for the purity of water run-off, that flows into lakes, rivers and streams after it rains.

What happened to federalism you say, the principle that keeps the federal government out of our backyard ?    Your ever progressive state legislature opened the door to direct EPA oversight back in 2013 by declining a state option to take over storm-water compliance, making Massachusetts only one of four states to do so.   The legislature refused to assume this responsibility, which would have allowed for more flexibility in compliance and a far less financial impact on municipalities.  They rejected it because it would have entailed a 9.5M state budget commitment. They had better things to do with your tax money, than to ensure clean water.   That decision subjected your city and town to direct oversight by the EPA, something that generally happens only by court order.

As the program rolls out, it is being met by a wide range of responses.   As to be expected, Milton and Brookline happily coughed up the money.   Lowell and Franklin, however, raised objections and are appealing the assessment of the EPA.   The Dracut Town Meeting approved an enterprise fund for compliance, but failed to put any money in it.    Many cities and towns aren’t even aware of the assessments yet.

One of the most surreptitious compliance schemes offered thus far, is that undertaken by the Town of Westford MA.   They intend to fund the compliance effort through the imposition of mandatory fees on every property owner, who maintains a roof over their head, or a hardtop driveway in their yard.  This approach makes King George III’s “tea tax” appear whimpish.  To get out of the tea tax, all you had to do was give up tea.  To get out of Westford’s “rain tax”, you have tear up your driveway and remove the roof on your home.

In an upcoming fall town meeting, the Westford selectmen will roll out a fee schedule, that will pro-rate assessments based upon estimated units of “impervious surface”, which is the total amount of hardtop and roofing on a particular property.  This wily approach is fraught with some risk.   The most obvious is that the fee scheme may actually be a de-facto property tax, which would by law require the selectmen to move forward utilizing the proposition 2 ½ override process.  The Westford selectmen don’t want to go through that, because they fear the measure might not pass.  Instead, they have decided to portray their financial imposition as a fee, which allows them not only to circumvent the proposition 2 ½ process, but  leaves the Town Meeting out of the rate setting discussion altogether, hence taxation without representation.

This gambit runs the risk that their fee scheme may be challenged under the Emerson Rule, a decision by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts,  which requires among other things that fees be voluntary.   Those assessed must have a chance to opt out.    The selectmen claim that they meet this legal standard because they are willing to grant reductions to property owners for improvements that reduce storm water flow on any particular property.  Their argument is illusionary however, because they have admitted that the amount of credits they can grant is limited.  At some point a financial wall will be met, where the granting of credits will undermine the funding for the compliance effort, and no further deferments can be given.

To  gain a deferment, property owners would have to make significant investments to reconstruct their driveways and roofs, which for many would be cost prohibitive.  If the selectmen lose this gambit and someone successfully sues, a state court could order the return of all the revenue gained, putting the town in a financial world of hurt.

And what will this new revenue pay for ?    Based on a roll out of anticipated expenditures in Westford, about 25% of the new funds will be earmarked for new staff and administrative equipment to issue compliance reports to the federal government.  Another 25% will go to relieve current financial commitments on infrastructure bonds.  The rest will be directed to actual operations, which involve purchasing street sweepers, up-scaling culverts and mains, and installing electronic leak detection equipment.  Municipal Department heads love this proposal because it will free previously encumbered general fund revenue for redistribution in the town budget making this in effect a backdoor proposition 2 ½ override.

This is a snapshot of the turmoil that has arisen due to the decision by our state legislature to defer jurisdiction over federal storm-water compliance.  Perhaps what is most unfair, is the fact that state roads and highways are perhaps the most significant contributors to storm water runoff.  Rather than assume their rightful financial responsibility for this, our legislature decided to push this onto local taxpayers.  If you are interested in how this matter is being handled by your city or town, contact the person in charge of your municipal water infrastructure, or your assessor and ask them.  Some municipalities have levied the assessment administratively, without anyone even knowing.  If you notice that your family budget is missing a few hundred dollars at the end of the year, it’s a good bet it was probably appropriated by the “Green New Steal”.

– Dennis Galvin