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.

 

Massachusetts’ Millionaires Tax

Editorial to the Lawrence Eagle Tribune

Over the past several years, there are two words that have, more than any other, sent Massachusetts lawmakers scurrying for cover: “tax increase.”

This state shed its infamous “Taxachusetts” moniker many years ago, when lawmakers rolled back a number of onerous taxes that had made the state a pariah for many companies and individuals. Every year for the past several years, top lawmakers such as House Speaker Bob DeLeo have expressed the sentiment that there is “no appetite” on Beacon Hill for tax hikes.

The tax rollbacks and the Legislature’s stand on taxes is a strategy that has made this state more competitive. Boston is one of the top 15 creators of new-economy jobs in the nation, according to Bloomberg.

A well-considered tax strategy can lead to job growth and economic expansion, and a habit of sticking to the strategy is something that long-term business investors seek.

But for some lawmakers, the old habits die hard. Take longtime state solon and current Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, for example.

The Amherst Democrat, speaking before a crowd of labor union representatives this week, trumpeted his support for a graduated income tax that would place a 4 percent surcharge on anyone who earns more than $1 million per year. You can sure more and more people will wind up paying the surcharge as legislators tinker with the tax code once the flat income tax is replaced by the grad tax.

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That money — perhaps $2 billion initially — would be used to create good-paying middle-class jobs and pay for better education, said Rosenberg. More money for road repairs and teachers, that’s the promise. Cue the thunderous applause.

Ah, yes, the rich. They don’t pay enough. Make them pay more. It plays well with many audiences, probably most audiences these days.

But this simplistic “solution” is a worn-out platitude to the working middle class. It feeds the worst impulses of politicians and the public, and in the end, it doesn’t accomplish what Rosenberg and other supporters claim.

If the surcharge were to pass, Massachusetts would regain its Taxachusetts reputation. It would have the third-highest graduated income tax rate in the nation, according to the State House News Service. Its impact on job growth is something that is harder to determine, but certainly it would give pause to start-up executives who want to locate in the Northeast. Consider, for example, that although Boston placed No. 15 in the nation for high-tech job creation in Bloomberg’s study, Manchester, New Hampshire, placed No. 6. Part of the reason for its high ranking is its tax policy. New Hampshire, which has no state income tax or sales tax, will no doubt use the millionaires’ tax to lure more businesses over the border.

The bigger problem for Bay Staters is the way that Rosenberg and other top lawmakers have punted down the road one of the worst fiscal problems in the state — the cost of universal health care, or MassHealth. A decade ago, when Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to pass universal health care, lawmakers failed to take action on a known ramification, controlling costs. Politically, it’s far easier to just pass the costs on to taxpayers, rather than face an office full of angry lobbyists.

As a result, the amount of money that taxpayers shell into the health care system is growing wildly. It now consumes half of all state spending, and most of the new tax revenue being generated annually is being fed into it, according to the Massachusetts Tax Foundation, a budget watchdog group. Little wonder why we have no money left over to put toward increased spending on schools and roads.

The problem with MassHealth will be punted even further down the road if Rosenberg gets his graduated income tax. With such a huge influx of money, there’s even less incentive to fix the spending problems.

The “tax the rich” mantra is the battle cry of politicians who lack the fortitude to take on the tough problems they had a hand in creating.

Please see the earlier post dated January 29, 2016 to view the list of representatives in favor of the bill (H3933). Representative Arciero is on the list. House Bill 3933 is a MA Constitutional Amendment that reads:

Amendment Article XLIV of the Massachusetts Constitution is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph at the end thereof:

To provide the resources for quality public education and affordable public colleges and universities, and for the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges and public transportation, all revenues received in accordance with this paragraph shall be expended, subject to appropriation, only for these purposes. In addition to the taxes on income otherwise authorized under this Article, there shall be an additional tax of 4 percent on that portion of annual taxable income in excess of $1,000,000 (one million dollars) reported on any return related to those taxes. To ensure that this additional tax continues to apply only to the commonwealth’s highest income residents, this $1,000,000 (one million dollar) income level shall be adjusted annually to reflect any increases in the cost of living by the same method used for federal income tax brackets. This paragraph shall apply to all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019.

This amendment will be heard in Joint Session on May 18, 2016.

 

Scalia on Environment

EPA’s Clean Air Act can regulate pollutants but not CO2

Justice Scalia wrote the dissent on MASSACHUSETTS v. EPA on Apr 2, 2007:

Numerous entities, including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, asked the EPA to judge that carbon dioxide (CO2) was a pollutant causing global warming and, acting under the Clean Air Act (CAA), to make rules restricting its release by newly manufactured automobiles. The EPA declined to do so.

HELD: Delivered by Stevens; joined by Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg & Breyer

The plaintiffs have standing for a federal case. Massachusetts, in particular could make a showing of injury (rising coastal water levels), causation (an incremental lowering of CO2 would be helpful), and remedy (the EPA could effect an incremental lowering). The EPA believed that Congress did not intend the EPA to regulate substances that cause climate change. The EPA, however, should find CO2 (among other gases) falls within the definition of a pollutant because it is a “substance” that is “emitted into the ambient air.”

DISSENT #1: Roberts dissents; joined by Scalia, Thomas & Alito

The plaintiffs do not have standing because they can show no concrete injury, the evidence of causation by greenhouse gases of rising coastal water in Massachusetts was minimal (and undercut by its own expert’s affidavit), and there was no showing that a rule issued by the EPA could provide measurable relief to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs’ claim cannot truly be resolved by decision of a federal court.

DISSENT #2: Scalia dissents; joined by Roberts, Thomas, & Alito

It was a reasonable interpretation by the EPA of the CAA that Congress intended the EPA to regulate air pollution in the “ambient air,” that is, air at or near the surface of the earth, not the upper reaches of the atmosphere where greenhouse gases are said to have their detrimental effects. Further, nothing in the CAA, not even a petition for regulations, requires the EPA to make a “judgment” that a pollutant should be regulated, and the Court is not free to order the EPA to do so.

McGaha and Galvin for 1st Middlesex Republican State Committee

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The Lowell Sun

UPDATED:   02/04/2016 06:38:22 AM EST

On March 1, voters across the state will participate in the presidential primary, selecting the best candidate to represent their party in the 2016 election.

The ballot will also ask party voters to choose their representative to the state committees and local party leaders. State and local representatives play an important role in forming the party’s platform, recruiting and supporting party candidates and challenging the opposition’s viewpoint.

The Westford Republican Town Committee unanimously endorses Georjann McGaha and Dennis Galvin for State Committee, 1st Middlesex Senate District representatives. The 1st Middlesex Senatorial District includes Lowell, Tyngsboro, Westford, Groton, Pepperell and Dunstable. One man and one woman are elected for a four-year term.

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McGaha and Galvin are strongly supported because of their knowledge and experience in the political process and fidelity to Republican principles. Both are lifelong Republicans and longtime members of the Westford Republican Town Committee. As active members of the Republican Party, McGaha and Galvin have served as delegates to the Republican National Convention representing Massachusetts.

McGaha and Galvin are highly qualified leaders. McGaha has been the president of Middlesex Republican Women and Massachusetts Republican Assemblies 3rd Congressional District. Organizing volunteers, McGaha spearheaded successful signature collection drives to oppose the gas tax and Common Core.

Galvin has served on the Westford Planning Board and twice run for state representative. Galvin’s position papers on 2nd Amendment rights and recreational marijuana have spurred the community to action.

Registered Republicans and unenrolled voters may select a Republican ballot in the primary. Those registered to the Democratic or Independent parties have until Feb. 10 to change enrollment status to pull a Republican ballot.

The Westford Republican Town Committee urges voters to participate in the March 1election and vote for McGaha and Galvin.

VALERIE A. WORMELL, chair

Westford Republican Town Committee

 

Read more: http://www.lowellsun.com/opinion/ci_29474559/mcgaha-and-galvin-1st-middlesex-republican-state-committee#ixzz3zCaUERW0

Georjann McGaha for State Committeewoman

I am a candidate for the MA Republican State Committee in the First Middlesex Senatorial District, which includes Westford, Lowell, Tyngsboro, Dunstable, Pepperell, and Groton. State Committee Members are elected every four years during the Republican Presidential Primary.

The State Committee’s main purpose is to promote the Republican Party by organizing and working for the nomination and election of candidates as well as setting the Party platform. This is exactly what I have been doing for the past 10 years. I have been a dedicated volunteer, working hundreds of hours for various local, state, and national Republican candidates. This includes phone banks, literature drops, door to door, signature papers, standouts, fundraising, writing letters to the editor, and poll watching.

I have been involved in many Republican activities:

  • Lowell Republican City Committee.
  • Westford Republican Town Committee (2005 – 2016)
  • WRTC College Scholarship Committee
  • Past VP and President of Middlesex Republican Women
  • Past VP and President of MA Republican Assemblies 3rd Congressional District (The organization promoted by President Ronald Reagan)
  • Fifth Congressional District Alternate Delegate for the 2008 Republican National Convention
  • In 2013, when the MA legislature linked the gas tax to inflation, I volunteered to help collect the 146,000 signatures needed to put this issue on the ballot. It was successful!
  • I stepped up to volunteer as signature captain for the Lowell area to prohibit tax dollars being spent on the Olympics. Once again taxpayers were protected because of our determination.
  • I recently drove to East Bridgewater to make “Get Out The Vote” phone calls for Geoff Diehl, who was a candidate for StateSenate.

As the daughter of a US Air Force officer and a sister of a US Navy veteran, I am a patriotic supporter of the Constitution. I taught elementary school for over ten years. My husband and I lived in Westford for 20 years, and all 6 children graduated from Westford Academy. For the past two years our family has enjoyed living in Lowell where my son attends UMASS Lowell.

With only 11% of MA voters being Republican, we must pull ourselves together and start building the Republican Party. We must recruit and develop strong town and city committees. We need to communicate the value of the core Republican principles which are; strong defense, limited government, individual liberty, lower taxes, balanced budgets, judicial restraint, and conservative values. We need a State Committee consisting of members who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work as hard as I do to elect Republican candidates. I have the experience, enthusiasm and leadership to make a difference!

Please vote for

Georjann McGaha

Republican State Committee on

March 1st, 2016

Thank you for your support!

Georjann McGaha and Dennis Galvin are endorsed by the many members of the Westford Republican Town Committee. Their life-long commitment to the Republican Party and principles merit your vote in the Presidential Primary on March 1, 2016.

A Message from MassGOP Chairman, Kirsten Hughes

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On behalf of the MassGOP, I want to wish you and your family a happy new year! With 2016 now fully underway, I wanted to reach out and provide an update from the Party about the exciting year ahead!
Looking Back: 2015 Successes
Last year was a great year for our party: Governor Baker was inaugurated and began to advance a smart, fiscally disciplined agenda on Beacon Hill. It’s clearly resonated with the people of Massachusetts: his sky-high favorability ratings make him the most popular governor in America. Given the successes of the Baker Administration this past year, the MassGOP could not be more proud to have played a critical role in his election.
We had other successes, too – the state party worked with a great group of campaigns in 2015 elections using the top-notch tools we leveraged in 2014. Working with dozens of campaigns across the state, we won key municipal and special elections using smart, data-driven campaign strategies. Of course, great candidates on the ground are the difference-makers – but we’re proud to be part of their winning teams.
2016 Opportunities
2016 is an opportunity to redouble these efforts. Some of the highlights you can expect this year:
  • The MassGOP will work with elected officials to defend their seats, and invest in smart offensive opportunities to grow our team on Beacon Hill. We’ll do this by providing candidates access to the MassGOP Toolbox. Learn more about the Toolbox by clicking here.
  • We’ll work with activists and GOP leaders across the state to improve the way we run campaigns. Stay tuned to learn more about important training opportunities in the new year.
  • We’ll continue to make sure RTCs and local activists have the tools they need to advance GOP voter registration in the Commonwealth – using our voter registration packets.
  • We’re going to work hard to pick up key special election victories in 2016. There are several House elections (including in Fitchburg and Peabody) on the ballot on March 1 – and a key Senate election (Bob Hedlund’s open seat on the South Shore) coming up later this spring. Historically, we’re able to make important gains in special elections, and 2016 is no different. Stay tuned about ways you can help these campaigns.
  • The MassGOP presidential primary is on March 1. With a competitive primary, we’re excited that our state is going to play a key role in helping the GOP pick the best candidate to defeat Hillary Clinton. We’ll work to make voters aware and excited about the choice they face in 2016.
Thanks again for all your support – this year and last year. Together, we’re able to accomplish so much for Massachusetts – click here to make sure you are on our volunteer list for 2016!

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To Victory,
Kirsten Hughes
MassGOP Chairman
Paid for by the MassGOP
info@massgop.com | www.MassGOP.com
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MA Presidential Primary Ballot set for March 1st

By Gerry Tuoti
gtuoti@wickedlocal.com


Posted Jan. 4, 2016 at 5:43 PM
Updated at 5:48 PM

The countdown to Super Tuesday has begun in earnest since the calendar turned to 2016.

While the state Democratic, Republican and Green-Rainbow parties already submitted their lists of presidential candidates to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office last month, the field will grow by one.

San Diego businessman Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente has qualified for the Massachusetts Democratic Primary ballot by filing 2.573 signatures with Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office, Galvin spokesman Brian McNiff said Monday.

Jan. 4 marked the deadline for presidential candidates to deliver nomination papers ahead of the March 1 Massachusetts Presidential Primary.

Under Massachusetts law, a candidate can qualify for the presidential primary ballot by being designated by their state party’s committee or filing nomination papers with at least 2,500 certified signatures. Additionally, the secretary can place candidates who have been “generally advocated or recognized in the national news media” on the ballot, according to state law.

De La Fuente was the only candidate to qualify for the Massachusetts ballot by filing signatures.

Galvin already held a random draw last month to determine the order candidates will appear on the primary ballot, pending the completion of final filing requirements.

In the Republican primary, Jim Gilmore will appear at the top of the ballot, followed by Lindsey Graham, Donald J. Trump, Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and John R. Kasich.

Bernie Sanders will appear first on the Democratic primary ballot, followed by Martin O’Malley and Hillary Clinton. De La Fuente will now be added to the field.

In the Green-Rainbow primary, Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza Curry will appear first on the ballot, followed by Jill Stein, William P. Kreml, Kent Mesplay and Darryl Cherney.

The registration deadline for voters is Feb. 10. Voters registered as independent, or unenrolled, are allowed to vote in any party’s primary under Massachusetts law.

Massachusetts is one of more than a dozen states holding presidential primaries on March 1, known as Super Tuesday.

Early nominating contests elsewhere include the Feb. 1 Iowa Caucuses and the Feb. 9 New Hampshire Presidential Primary.

Gerry Tuoti is the Regional Newsbank Editor for Wicked Local. Email him at gtuoti@wickedlocal.com or call him at 508-967-3137.

 

MassGOP Offers New Years’ Resolutions For Mass. Democrats

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

December 31, 2015

BOSTON — 2015 was a tough year for Massachusetts Democrats – they faced brutal headlines that chronicled their lack of a coherent strategy, and the party’s chaotic infighting.

Democrats must be looking to turn the corner in 2016, so the MassGOP is here to help – with some New Years’ Resolutions for top Massachusetts Democrats:

Elizabeth Warren – Try Telling The Truth For A Change
Our state’s senior senator had a tough time with the truth in 2015 – landing on the Washington Post’s “biggest Pinocchios” for one of her lies. (Shannon Young, “US Sen. Elizabeth Warren named one of ‘biggest Pinocchios’ of 2015,” Springfield Republican, 12/16/15)

Warren is expected to continue to neglect Massachusetts in 2016, but one thing she could do for her constituents is to stop embarrassing us with her high-profile struggles with the truth. We don’t want to set the bar too high for her, though – so maybe she could start by moving from four Pinocchios to three. Unfortunately, we’re not holding our breath.

Maura Healey – Find Better Friends
The new attorney general faced criticism this year for her alliance with the Teamsters union – whose members have been indicted for harassing women and the use of homophobic and sexists slurs. (Stephanie Ebbert, “Healey defends Teamsters union,” Boston Globe, 10/8/15)

Healey’s “inclusive” rhetoric on the campaign trail doesn’t match her actions – she’s gladly accepted campaign contributions from the Teamsters – who were accused in their indictment of employing “old school thug tactics” when they harassed women on a film crew last year.

Our advice to Healey – in 2016, find some new friends who aren’t facing federal indictment.

Stan Rosenberg – Read Up On Recent History
In an interview with the Boston Globe in late 2015, the new Senate president complained that state ethics rules are “way overreaching.” (MassGOP, “Dem State Senate President Ignores Recent Scandals, Says Ethics Rules Are ‘Overreaching,’ MassGOP.com, 12/16/15)

Next year, we’d recommend Rosenberg re-examine the recent history of Democratic scandals on Beacon Hill: three felonious Democratic House Speakers and a probation scandal that destroyed public confidence in the Legislature.

We hope Rosenberg takes the time to read up on the the sad history of Democratic corruption in the Legislature, because his tone-deaf comments don’t exactly inspire public confidence in his ability to be any different.

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85 Merrimac Street, Boston, MA 02114 | info@massgop.com | 617.523.5005
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