Which Black Lives Matter?

The following opinion piece was written by Dennis Galvin, Massachusetts Republican State Committeeman. It was published in the “Letter to the Editor” section of WestfordCAT News on July 18, 2016.

On a cold dark night in March 2015, Boston Police Officer John Moynihan approached a car containing three suspected gang members on a Roxbury Street. All three happened to be African American. One of the suspected gang members was Angelo West, a hardened criminal, who terrorized the Humboldt Avenue section of Boston for many years. As Moynihan got to the front door of the vehicle, Angelo West jumped out of the car, directly in front of him, pulled a gun from his coat, and shot Moynihan in the face critically wounding him. West then engaged other officers in a gun battle in which he was eventually killed.

Within minutes of West’s death, a hostile crowd assembled within the African American neighborhood and began taunting and challenging the officers who had just brought down West. Cries of “hands up don’t shoot” began to echo louder and louder, waking the entire neighborhood. The crowd began to swell. Boston Police Superintendent William Gross courageously confronted the crowd absorbing insults and accusations of “police murder” and “cover-up”. Members of the Boston Chapter of Black Lives Matter began to assemble on scene, demanding explanations, as taunts of “murder” began to increase. Moynihan and the other officers were eventually exonerated in this shooting.

There is a very sad irony to this story. In the car with West on the night of the shooting was another career criminal by the name of Bizzy “Bizz” Bain. Bain like West has a long record for weapons offenses and violence. He was not shot or charged in the March 2015 incident. Since the West shooting, Bain has been in an out of courts for violent offenses and never seems to go to jail. Boston Police now say that a few weeks ago, Bizzy “Bizz” Bain and another accomplice lay in wait outside of the Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Boston. Someone inside the school pulled a fire alarm. As the students and teachers filed into the street, Bain and his accomplice opened fired. Four people were hit, one was a 67 year old woman, and another, 17 year old Raekwon Brown was killed.

No angry crowd showed up for Raekwon Brown, demanding justice for his murder. The only person, who publicly vocalized anger over his killing, was his sister Latasha Allen who demanded that Bain and his accomplice remove hoods they were wearing during their arraignment, so people could see who they were. Officer Moynihan almost died trying to take Bain off the street. Some community members smeared him, calling him a murderer. No one it seems connected the dots. If Moynihan had been supported, maybe Raekwon Brown would be alive today. Most significant is the fact that in the wake of Brown’s murder, Black Lives Matter was nowhere to be found, prompting the question which black lives really matter?

Note: The above editorial expresses a personal opinion and is not necessarily reflective of the positions or opinions of the Westford Republican Town Committee.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court allows proposed marijuana legalization ballot question to move ahead

The following article was published on http://www.masslive.com on July 06, 2016 at 11:36 AM; updated July 07, 2016 at 9:11 AM.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said in an opinion Wednesday that a proposed ballot question legalizing marijuana can proceed to the November 2016 ballot.

A group of 57 voters, including Westborough’s Josephine Hensley as the lead plaintiff, argued in a lawsuit that the court should knock down the question.

They said the ballot question was improperly certified by Attorney General Maura Healey because it contains two unrelated subjects: the legalization of marijuana for adult use and a potential change to the state’s medical marijuana treatment centers.

The group also argued the ballot question summary, crafted by Healey’s office and used by proponents to gather voter signatures, was unfair because it did not fully explain the ballot question would legalize “hashish” and food products containing THC, also known as marijuana edibles.

But the court allowed ballot question to go ahead and said that all marijuana includes THC. The court added that the title should be changed as well as a statement that voters will see when they receive the ballot. The statement should include the term “edibles,” the court said.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is behind the ballot question legalizing marijuana, claimed victory in a statement issued after the court ruling, saying the voters of Massachusetts will have “the opportunity to make their voices heard about legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana, an approach that is working in Colorado and other states and will work in Massachusetts.”

The pro-marijuana campaign also noted that the SJC called on the attorney general and Massachusetts elections chief Bill Galvin to tweak the title of the ballot question, which is currently “Marijuana Legalization.”

The court ordered that the title of the measure should be changed to “Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana,” which the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said “accurately reflects the intent of our initiative.” The campaign had asked the court to okay the change.

The attorney for Hensley’s anti-marijuana legalization group did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

The Safe and Healthy Massachusetts Campaign, which opposes the ballot question, also claimed victory, citing the court’s mention of marijuana edibles in its decision.

“We are pleased the SJC has recognized that this ballot question would usher in an entirely new marijuana edibles market and that voters must be informed of that fact,” said Corey Welford, a spokesman for the effort. “Under this proposal, the Marijuana Industry would be allowed to promote and sell these highly potent products, in the form of gummy bears and other candies, that are a particular risk for accidental use by kids.”

On Tuesday, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said they had gathered enough voter signatures to make it onto the 2016 ballot. Galvin’s office must validate the signatures, which the campaign said number at over 25,000.

“We received a clear message from voters who signed the initiative: It is time to regulate and tax marijuana in Massachusetts,” Kim Napoli, a campaign outreach coordinator, said in a statement.

A Problem Larger Than Radical Islam

The following opinion piece was written by Dennis Galvin, Massachusetts Republican State Committeeman.  It was published in the “Letter to the Editor” section of WestfordCAT News on June 27, 2016.

Our nation recently experienced one of the worst terror attacks in its history. Yet, rather than coming together, with a firm resolve to respond, Americans find themselves bitterly divided over political agendas.  There are three rails in American politics today. The conservative rail favors small government, strict adherence to the constitution and a free enterprise economic system.   The liberal rail favors larger government, wide latitude in the interpretation of the constitution, and qualified support for the free enterprise system, provided there is a safety net.  The third rail are the progressives.  They are neo Marxists, who believe that American society is inherently flawed and must be torn down and rebuilt. Centralized re-education, social re-structuring, pervasive government indoctrination and rule by fiat are their answer. They see the constitution as biased toward certain classes and believe that wealth redistribution is the only way to achieve social justice.

Progressive ideology has played a significant part in bringing about our division. The mass shooting in Orlando, Florida gives clear evidence of this.   It was perpetrated by a self-avowed radical Islamist, supported by an ideology focused on destroying western civilization.  Progressives distinguished themselves by their response to this incident. They fabricated a narrative to distort the intent of this ruthless killer, using his crime to attack American citizens, who do not agree with their agenda.  Gun owners, Christians, straight men, were all accused of contributing to the conditions that led to this carnage.  The leading national progressive, our president, became unglued over criticism of his leadership, attacking Republican candidate Donald Trump with a ferocity that should have been reserved for the terrorist ideology responsible for the killings.

This display is unnerving and it supports an assertion made by David Horowitz, a former member of the new left, now a progressive critic, who said that to understand progressives, one must remember that “the issue is never the issue, the issue is the revolution.”   Horowitz warns that the only focus of progressives is their agenda.  The implication:  no matter what happens, with regard to the radical Islamic threat, progressives would sacrifice our security to advance their goals. The anemic response of our President to ISIS, his unwillingness to fully commit the nation to their destruction, and the renewed calls to curb the second amendment support this assertion.  It would also explain his vehement public attacks on Republicans, rather than homicidal radical Islamists.

Horowitz’s implications are clear, progressives are so blinded by the correctness of their ideology, that they no longer feel an affinity for their nation or their fellow countrymen, if they disagree.  All that counts is the cause, anyone who gets in the way must be destroyed.  Offering a sobering insight into this mindset, Horowitz once said “ if you believed that you could bring about heaven on earth, what crime would you not commit and what lie would you not tell.”  Such audacity threatens our freedom and our security.  The aftermath of Orlando reveals that, as a nation, we are facing bigger problems than just ISIS.

Note:  The above editorial expresses a personal opinion and is not necessarily reflective of the positions or opinions of the Westford Republican Town Committee.

Consequences of the Bathroom Bill

Once the Public Bathroom Accommodations Bill is signed by Governor Baker and becomes law, will MA schools follow Washington State’s health education standards?

Washington State To Teach Transgenderism To Kindergartners

Peter Hasson,  Reporter, Associate Editor

6:15 PM 06/01/2016

By fall 2017 Washington state public schools will begin teaching gender expression to kindergarteners under newly-approved health education learning standards that designate sexual health a “core idea” of public K-12 education.

While some aspects of sexual health aren’t taught K-12 (HIV prevention begins in fourth grade), one component of sexual health titled “Self-Identity” begins in kindergarten, where students will be expected to “Understand there are many ways to express gender.”

The state’s health education glossary defines gender as “A social construct based on emotional, behavioral, and cultural characteristics attached to a person’s assigned biological sex.” Gender expression, meanwhile, is defined as “The way someone outwardly expresses their gender.”

These definitions differ from the state’s definition of “biological sex”: “Based on chromosomes, hormones, and internal and external anatomy.”

Nathan Olson, a communications manager for the statewide Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), told The Daily Caller that the glossary “was developed to support classroom instruction.” The new standards were finalized in March but OSPI has yet to issue a press release informing the public of the changes.

As part of an aspect of sexual health titled “Healthy Relationships,” kindergarteners will learn to distinguish between “safe and unwanted touch.” They will also learn to “Recognize people have the right to refuse giving or receiving unwanted touch.” OSPI did not answer a question from TheDC about whether this lesson plan amounts to teaching consent to kindergarteners.

By third grade, students will be expected to “Explain that gender roles can vary considerably” and “Understand [the] importance of treating others with respect regarding gender identity,” as part of the “Self-Identity” component of sexual health.

Gender identity is defined by the state as “Someone’s inner sense of their gender.”

“The standards don’t define ‘gender spectrum.’ But self-identity is a key component,” Olson said when TheDC asked whether learning that gender is a “spectrum” is considered part of learning about “gender identity.” Last month, Fox News’ Todd Starnes described a Virginia county’s lesson plans on gender spectrum as “the idea that there’s no such thing as 100 percent boys or 100 percent girls.”

That lesson plan–which was met with outrage from parents–was designed for middle and high school students.

By fourth grade, Washington students will learn to “Identify how friends and family can influence ideas regarding gender roles, identity, and expression” and define sexual orientation. The state defines “gender roles” as “Social expectations about how people should act, think, or feel based on their assigned biological sex.”

In fifth grade, students will learn to “Describe how media, society, and culture can influence ideas regarding gender roles, identity, and expression.” Under the guidance of school employees, fifth graders will also “Identify trusted adults to ask questions about gender identity and sexual  orientation.” It’s not clear if parents are automatically considered “trusted adults.”

By the end of elementary school (typically around age 11 or 12), students will be expected to “Understand the range of gender roles, identity, and expression across cultures.”

In seventh grade, students will learn to “Distinguish between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.” By eighth grade, students will be expected to “Recognize external influences that shape attitudes about gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.”

This education continues through high school where students will “Evaluate how culture, media, society, and other people influence our perceptions of gender roles, sexuality, relationships, and sexual orientation.”

OSPI denied that the state intends to force a set of beliefs upon its students.

The Untapped Potential of Real Republicanism

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Over the past few weeks I’ve been given multiple opportunities to help out our Republican candidates and conservative causes within the Commonwealth.  All of these opportunities were sponsored by the tireless activists we have in this state, who are willing to travel upwards of an hour to pitch in for our candidates.

 

What is unfortunate is that the sponsors of these opportunities are routinely locked out or disenfranchised by the MassGOP as a whole. Renew MA Coalition has been sponsoring a different candidate opportunity every week, and you aren’t a real Republican activist if you haven’t gotten an email from Desiree at some point in your life. Certainly,  every email ever sent criticizes this or that failure by the Dems, but there’s not that much in there about supporting the candidates we do have. There’s also not a portal for all of our candidates, if for nothing more than partisan legislative offices, on the MassGOP’s website.  I grant it that Republicans are not challenging a lot of offices this year – this isn’t like the State Committee where all the serious business gets done, after all – but we should still make it as easy as possible to access our candidates.

 

I imagine many voters don’t even know if there’s a Republican candidate for any state legislative office in their district. The state party should at least look like it is aware. It’s not as if the powers that be don’t know the districts either, as their endorsed State Committee candidates had State Senate districts defined down to the precinct level. In other words it’s not a lack of knowledge, it’s a lack of enthusiasm for our actual brand. For all the crowing about the Governor’s approval rating, the GOP doesn’t seem too confident in it’s own brand.

 

Let me share a key observation I’ve made, though: Conservatives aren’t afraid of the Republican brand.  The Massachusetts Republican Assembly is happy to encourage people to be Republicans and make voters aware of our candidates. The Massachusetts Federation of Republican Women had been promoting Republicans for eight decades before the GOP decided, under a female chair no less, to place their organization a position that required state chapters to violate their national charter. I somehow doubt “Women for Baker” is going to have the same enthusiasm in 2018 as it did in 2014 now that so many members of that organization have had the screws put to them by the Baker endorsed State Committee slate.

 

Rather, the GOP seems to take its cues from persons who hold themselves out as members of the Party – or leftists who claim to have its best interests – who have openly stated they’ll vote for Hillary over the Republican nominee. Who continually suggest that the key to a strong Republican brand is to mirror the Democrat brand – in tactics, and in policy, but never – and oddly, it seems – in organizational structure. The Democrats are a committed annual party and are structured to that effect. We are not, and it shows.

 

We ought to be taking our cues from the organizations that work tirelessly for our candidates and are not afraid of our Republican brand. We should cease taking cues from the quarterly carpool that travels from Beacon Hill to the State Committee meetings. We are more than “Not Democrats,” we are Affirmative Republicans.

 

Affirmative Republicans demand women’s organizations be reintroduced into the fabric of our party’s activism.

We stand for women’s safety, and oppose legislation that makes it a hate crime for them to act in their own defense in enclosed spaces.

We proudly proclaim that families are the building blocks of a free society, a society of limited government that acts with purpose only on the few roles it is suited to govern.

We support that natural right of every person to defend themselves from harm, including by exercising their 2nd Amendment Right enshrined in – not granted by – the Constitution.

We believe legal immigrants, the people who contribute greatly to our society and followed our laws, should not be treated worse by our government than people who jumped the line.

We believe education is best when it is run by local governments and not merely a way to send infinite sums of money to Pearson textbooks and other collaborators with The Gates Foundation.

And we back up these beliefs with action on the streets and in our neighborhoods.

 

Affirmative Republicans have a meaning, a drive, and a purpose. We’re not going away, and we’re not interested in a party that is afraid to call itself Republican. We are thus far an untapped resource by the party as a whole, but that can change in a mere political cycle or two. We aim to make that so.

 

Gun control measures fail to clear Senate hurdle

A series of dueling gun control measures in the Senate were defeated Monday evening in the first proposed legislation in the wake of the Orlando terror attack.

The four amendments all failed on procedural votes.

The first vote was on the amendment by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to enhance funding for an existing gun background check system which needed 60 votes to pass. The final vote tally was 53 to 47.

The second vote was on a measure by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., to expand gun background checks and close the so-called gun show loophole where firearm purchases are not tracked. The final vote tally was 44 to 56.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas pushed a measure that would allow the government to delay a gun sale to a suspected terrorrist for 72 hours, but require prosecutors to go to court to show probable cause to block the sale permanently. The National Rifle Associated backed the legislation, but it failed in a final vote of 53 to 47.

The fourth and final vote involved a measure by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to keep people on a government terrorism watch list or other suspected terrorists from buying guns. The Justice Department endorsed her legislation, but it also failed with a final vote count of 47 to 53.

The votes came after Murphy filibustered for almost 15 hours last week seeking action in response to the killing of 49 people in the gay nightclub Pulse by Omar Mateen, a Florida man who pledged his loyalty to ISIS in the midst of the rampage.

Since lawmakers were unable to come together on a piece of compromise legislation, the individual bills faced long odds. Democrats helped block two Republican amendments, arguing that they fall short in controlling the sales of firearms. In turn, Republicans were able to block two Democratic amendments, contending they threaten the constitutional rights of gun owners.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Orlando attack shows the best way to prevent attacks by extremists is to defeat such groups overseas.

“Look, no one wants terrorists to be able to buy guns or explosives,” McConnell said. He suggested that Democrats were using the day’s votes “as an opportunity to push a partisan agenda or craft the next 30-second campaign ad,” while Republicans wanted “real solutions.”

Cornyn said after the votes that he thinks there may be other votes on terrorism or guns later this week.

Murphy said Sunday on ABC’s “The Week” that the passage of the measures was unlikely and focused on the response to the filibuster.

“It wasn’t just that 40 senators came to the floor and supported my effort to get these votes but there were millions of people all across the country who rose up and who joined our effort,” he said.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch told “Fox News Sunday” that she also supported Cornyn’s proposal. Lynch said such an amendment would give the federal government the ability to stop a sale to somebody on the terror watch list.

However, she argued the federal government needs flexibility and the authority to protect the classified information used in denying a sale, if potential buyers exercise the constitutional rights to file an appeal.

“The American people deserve for us to take the greatest amount of time,” Lynch said.

The Pulse Orlando nightclub shooter was added to a government watch list of individuals known or suspected of being involved in terrorist activities in 2013, when he was investigated for inflammatory statements to co-workers. But he was pulled from that database when that investigation was closed 10 months later.

Both the Feinstein and Cornyn amendments would have tried to ensure that individuals like Mateen who had been a subject of a terrorism investigation within the last five years are flagged. Grassley’s would have required that law enforcement be notified if a person had been investigated in the last five years and attempted to purchase a gun.

Last week, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump tweeted that he would meet with the NRA about “not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no fly list, to buy guns.” Exactly what he would support was unclear.

Separately, moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is working with other Republicans, as well as talking to Democrats, on a bill that would prevent people on the no-fly list — a smaller universe than targeted by Democrats — from getting guns. But her bill had not been blessed by GOP leaders and it was unclear if it would get a vote.

In the GOP-controlled House, Republicans had no plans to act on guns and Democrats were unable to force any action, given House rules less favorable to the minority party than in the Senate.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Mike Emanuel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

MA House subpoenaed – Joyce investigation continues

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has been subpoenaed as part of an investigation of state Senator Brian Joyce.

The House’s chief legal counsel, James C. Kennedy,confirmed to the Boston Globe that the legislative body has “received a grand jury subpoena from the United States Attorney’s Office requesting certain records relating to an ongoing investigation of a member of the Senate. The House of Representatives is cooperating fully with the United States Attorney’s Office.”

No members of the House have been subpoenaed and no members are targeted in the investigation. The state Senate received a subpoena in May.

Joyce, a Democrat from Milton, has been the subject of allegations that he used his position to benefit himself and his law office. In February, Joyce’s Canton law office was raided as part of an ongoing federal investigation.

Shortly after the raid, Joyce announced that he would not see re-election.

Previously, Joyce paid $5,000 under an agreement made public by the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance for using campaign funds to pay for his son’s graduation party. He was also questioned about free drying cleaning he received from a business in his district.

Last year, he stepped down from his leadership position as the assistant majority leader after meeting with state insurance regulators on behalf of a private client.

Joyce has not been arrested or charged with a crime.