Friday, December 31, 2010

House Minority Leader’s Statement on Long Overdue Resignation of Probation Commissioner

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement this evening after hearing Probation Commissioner John O’Brien finally handed in his resignation.

This evening’s resignation of Probation Commissioner John O’Brien is long overdue, however an appropriate way to usher in the New Year. It is my hope that this will be the first step in the long, difficult process of cleaning up what is known to be a very corrupt probation department.

The road to restoring the public’s confidence in state government will be a bumpy one but nonetheless this resignation is a critical step in making that effort become a reality.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sales Tax Holiday a Win for Taxpayers

As you may recall, during the summer, the state held a sales tax holiday to help businesses and taxpayers alike. While many Democrats would have you believe, this relief came at too high of a cost to the state, we here at The Capitol View see it as a win-win. Not only were businesses able to generate some much needed traffic in their stores during the lull of summer, but taxpayers were able to save close to $20 million as well.

The taxpayers of Massachusetts face one of the highest tax burdens in the country. The least the state can do is provide one weekend where shoppers can make purchases without being heavily taxed. Additionally, businesses here in Massachusetts have a serious disadvantage when it comes to competition thanks in part to tax-free internet shopping, not to mention sales tax-free New Hampshire. In times of economic despair, we, as a legislative body must do everything we can to allow business to thrive and flourish while also enabling middle-class families to enjoy the lifestyle they work so hard for.

We say kudos to the sales tax holiday weekend and bravo! We fully intend to file this legislation when the new session convenes next week and look forward to providing a little more relief next summer.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Appreciation and Gratitude to Secretary Kelley

As many of you have probably heard by now, Governor Patrick has asked Veterans’ Services Secretary Thomas Kelley for his resignation. Although we understand Secretary Kelley serves at the pleasure of the Governor, we are disappointed and confused by this decision.

Secretary Kelley has not only served the Veterans of Massachusetts well, but he has served his country with honor for many, many years. A Vietnam Veteran and a Medal of Honor recipient, Secretary Kelley has unconditionally fought for his country and the Commonwealth.

We here at The Capitol View would like to thank him for his many years of service. He is a true American Patriot who deserves all the respect we can give him. His successor certainly has big shoes to fill.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thoughts and Prayers with Family of Fallen Police Officer

As many of you know by now, this weekend, the life of a Woburn Police Officer was tragically cut short when a career criminal shot and killed the officer as a robbery attempt went terribly wrong.

Woburn police officer John Maguire served on the force for more than three decades and until this incident, it has been reported by several media outlets, that he had never fired his weapon before.

While there’s nothing we can say to console the family and friends of Office Maguire, we here at The Capitol View would like his loved ones to know that our thoughts and prayers are with them and they go through the very difficult process of grieving.

May God bless Office Maguire and his family.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

From all of us here at The Capitol View, we'd like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. We'd also like to extend our thoughts and prayers to all of our service men and women serving domestic and abroad who will not have the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with their loved ones.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

House Minority Leader’s Statement on Massachusetts Losing a Congressional Seat

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today after hearing the Commonwealth will be losing a Congressional seat.

I am disappointed that despite growth in population in Massachusetts, our state is set to lose a congressional seat. One less Congressman means one less voice advocating on behalf of Bay State residents in Washington. While this loss has been long anticipated it is disappointing nevertheless. In addition, our modest growth compared to other areas of the country will likely mean we could lose out on significant federal funding over the next decade.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Welcome, but Long Overdue Decision

In case you missed it, today the Patrick Administration announced that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will, “sign an agreement to formally join Secure Communities, a federal program that screens all people who are arrested and fingerprinted to determine who is an illegal immigrant.” That’s according to a recent update on the Boston Globe’s website.

The program will allow law enforcement to report those people who are here illegally and get arrested to be reported to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE will then make the decision whether to detain and deport them.

While this is a welcome policy shift on the part of the Patrick Administration, it is indeed long overdue. Hopefully, Governor Patrick will follow through on this initiative.

Click here to read more on the subject.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Farewell to the Outgoing Members

Today, the nearly 40 outgoing members in the Massachusetts House of Representatives bid a final farewell on the floor of the Chamber. From the Republican Caucus, Representatives Lew Evangelidis, Bob Hargraves, Jeff Perry and Karyn Polito all said their goodbyes to their colleagues.

We wish all of the members, especially our Republican colleagues, the best of luck in the future. No matter what paths they take, we know the future is bright for all four of them.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Congratulations to the Patrick-Murray Administration for finally catching up!

Today’s Consensus Revenue Estimate Hearing got under way with what we here at The Capitol View would call an epiphany on the part of the Patrick-Murray Administration. According to the Associated Press, testifying in front of House and Senate Leaders, A & F Secretary Jay Gonzalez said Massachusetts will have to cut spending by up to $1.5 billion. Gee, you think?

For nearly three budget cycles, House and Senate Republicans have been saying we need to change the way we deliver services on a state and local level. In addition, we’ve been insisting that we need to budget in a more responsible and sustainable manner. Instead, those warnings have been ignored time and time again and our state’s situation has grown more and more dire. It was only a week after Governor Patrick was re-elected, that Secretary Gonzalez would even acknowledge there was a budgetary shortfall going into next fiscal year. Now, he seems to be taking a more urgent stand. We only wish he had jumped on the bandwagon months ago.

Friday, December 10, 2010

And the bad economic news just keeps on coming…

It looks like Scrooge is looking to wreak havoc this holiday season in terms of the Massachusetts economy. In case you missed it, TJX announced today that it would be cutting 4,400 jobs nationwide, many of which are right here in Massachusetts. While we here at The Capitol View don’t enjoy being the bearer of bad news, it is essential that the public understand the severity of the economic crisis and not be fooled by Governor Patrick, who would have the taxpayers believe it is Christmas everyday!

Since Governor Patrick was re-elected, thousands of jobs right here in the Bay State have been slashed. Though he’d like you to believe we are “on the mend and on the move,” recent news would suggest otherwise. In addition to today’s TJX announcement, Biogen, Genzyme and Raytheon – all big employers in Massachusetts – have cut their workforce significantly.

We tend to believe that this may be just the beginning of even worse news. It’s time to get serious about improving the Massachusetts business climate. Until that happens, we fear even more people will be handed pink slips.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"A Date Which Will Live in Infamy"

Sixty nine years ago today, the American Army and Navy base in Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy. More than 2,000 Americans were killed and another 1,000 were injured. Today, on December 7th, we remember and honor those military men and women who lost their lives on that Sunday morning many years ago.

On this Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, all of us here at The Capitol View want to offer our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. We thank you and we honor you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Woodlief: "Republicans rarin’ to go"

In case you missed it, the Boston Herald ran a great op-ed by Wayne Woodlief today who said the growing Republican minority in the house is, "rarin’ to go." Woodlief, who spoke with House Minority Leader Brad Jones and Representative-elect Dan Winslow for the piece, said the re-energized caucus is, "ready to push for some fresh proposals that will be hard for the Democrats to deny our tax-burdened citizens."

Be sure to click here to read the op-ed in its entirety.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Hanukkah!

From all of us here at The Capitol View, we wish you and your family a very Happy Hanukkah!

Is This What Being “On the Mend and on the Move” Looks Like?

Governor Patrick has been fond of saying Massachusetts in “on the mend and on the move” lately but the recent layoff announcement from State Street Corp. is yet further proof that our Commonwealth still faces serious economic woes.

In the last month, several big companies including Genzyme, Biogen and Raytheon have announced significant reductions in their work force. Despite this news, Governor Patrick continues to take a victory lap around the state insisting Massachusetts is recovering faster than any other state in the nation. Tell that to the 400 workers who are being handed pink slips at State Street.

This Administration and the Democratic-controlled Legislature needs to get serious about getting Massachusetts residents back to work. We need to tackle this issue right out of the gate when the new legislative session convenes on January 5th.

One thing everyone can count on moving forward is that the Republican Caucus will be offering a number of proposals that will provide a better economic climate to foster job growth. Specifically, we will be working to provide a more stable tax policy, contain small business health care costs and incentivize opening a small business in Massachusetts.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

From all of us here at The Capitol View, we hope you and your loved ones have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Please remember to keep the men and women of our Armed Forces in your thoughts and prayers this Thanksgiving as many of them will not have the opportunity to celebrate this joyous occasion with their friends and families.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Assistant Minority Leader Pens Op-Ed for Worcester Business Journal

Assistant Minority Leader George Peterson recently had an Op-Ed published in the Worcester Business Journal. The Grafton Republican discussed his top priorities this legislative session while also reflecting on the success the House GOP had this election cycle.

Click here to read Representative Peterson's Op-Ed in the Worcester Business Journal.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Representative Brad Hill Appears on The Emily Rooney Radio Show

Minority Whip Brad Hill took time Wednesday to sit down and talk politics on The Emily Rooney Show on WGBH radio. The Ipswich Republican chatted about some of the hot topics on Beacon Hill this week including Governor Patrick's plan to give driver's licenses and in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants.

Click here to list to his appearance in its entirety.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Minority Leader’s Statement on Probation Department Report

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today after having the opportunity to read the report regarding patronage at the Probation Department.

While I have not finished reading through the Independent Counsel’s report on the Probation Department what I have read paints a profoundly disturbing picture of an abuse ridden agency in need of a complete overhaul.

Today’s report, which details widespread “abuse and systemic corruption'' serves as yet another black-eye on state government.

It is clear that the public trust has been violated in addition to the policies, procedures and likely the laws of the Commonwealth. As such the Attorney General and other law enforcement agencies should, with all due haste, pursue by any and all means necessary swift and severe action against those involved.

This report would make even Boss Tweed and the Tammany Hall machine blush.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Assistant Minority Leader Discusses In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants on Fox 25

Assistant Minority Leader George Peterson appeared on Fox 25 News last night to discuss Governor Patrick's desire to provide illegal immigrants with in-state tuition rates. As The Capitol View reported yesterday, the Republican Caucus does not and will not support this initiative.

Click here to watch Representative Peterson's appearance on Fox 25.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jones: Governor Patrick Putting Illegal Immigrants Ahead of Needs of Massachusetts Residents

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement after hearing that Governor Patrick intends to push a proposal allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates.

I am confident speaking on behalf of the entire Republican Caucus in saying Governor Patrick’s plan to allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates is not only a ridiculous idea but also a slap in the face to all Massachusetts taxpayers who expect state government to be focusing on stimulating the economy and putting people back to work.

Providing in-state tuition to illegal immigrants should not be a priority of Governor Patrick and the fact that it is does not shock me, but it certainly disappoints me. We’re facing a potential $2.5 billion structural deficit going into the next fiscal year. This is not the direction we should be heading and it sends a very bad message to the taxpayers who are told year after year by the Patrick Administration that they must pay more in taxes, while at the same time receiving less services.

This idea failed miserably in the legislature a few years back and I am confident it will do so again.

Monday, November 15, 2010

SHNS Talks Republican Gains in House

Last week, State House News Service sat down with some of the members of the Republican Leadership team to discuss the Republican gains made in the House this election cycle.

As SHNS reported, "Republicans gained 16 seats last week, 12 by way of rejecting incumbent Democrats and four by winning open seats held by Democrats who opted to run for higher office or retire. All 11 GOP incumbents won reelection, and the party also held five of its own open seats in the House giving them a total of 32. In practical terms, nearly 1.3 million Massachusetts residents will represented by House Republicans on Beacon Hill in January, up from 640,000 this year."

Click here to read the article about the wide-ranging interview its entirety.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You to All of Our Veterans

Let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us re-consecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.
~General Dwight D. Eisenhower

On this Veterans Day, all of us here at The Capitol View would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the men and women who have fought in wars past and who continue to fight to protect our great country. We thank you, we honor you and we will never forget the sacrifices you have made.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Budget Gap Finally Recognized, but will Democrats do anything to Address it?

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today after hearing Governor Patrick’s A&F Secretary Jay Gonzalez finally recognized the “significant” budget gap the state of Massachusetts is facing going into the next fiscal year.

The fact that this Administration is only now recognizing the enormity of next year’s structural deficit is mind-boggling to say the least. The deficit has been an ongoing issue and the Administration has chosen to continue to put this major problem on the back burner.

Now that the election has passed, it is my hope that Democratic leaders on Beacon Hill, especially the Governor, will make an effort to be more receptive to the many reforms Republicans have offered and will continue to offer.

The only way we’re going to begin to move forward is by being open minded. We must find ways to make government run more efficiently, to improve the business climate in order to foster growth and most importantly we must get people back to work. The only way to tackle this challenge is head on.

Happy 235th Birthday Marine Corps!

Today is a very special day for our country as November 10, 2010 marks the 235th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. We’d like to take a moment here on The Capitol View to say thank you to all of our Marines. Your service to our country and the great sacrifice you make makes us all proud to be American.

Tomorrow we observe Veterans’ Day, but today let us honor the men and women of the Marine Corps. It was on this day in 1775, that the Marine Corps was established and ever since then, brave Marines have fought in many conflicts in order to protect our country and our freedoms. Thank you Marines and happy birthday.

Semper fidelis!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Big Promises, No Results

In case you missed it, the Boston Herald today ran a story highlighting how the Biotech Bill which was sold as a way to create jobs has failed to deliver on that promise. In fact, as the Boston Herald points out, two of the companies to receive aid, Biogen and Genzyme, both recently let go several hundred employees.

According to the report, “This year, Weston-based Biogen committed to creating 50 jobs in exchange for its $1.5 million tax break, but it is unclear whether the firm can meet that goal after last week’s announcement of 86 layoffs in the Bay State.”
The Herald also reports, “Genzyme similarly promised to create 200 Bay State jobs for its $6 million tax credit, but the firm claims it can still meet that goal even as it laid off 127 workers in the Bay State, with plans to leave open another 58 positions.”

Governor Patrick and his Administration made big promises with regard to the life sciences industry; however the results have been minimal. We agree that as a state we must promote sound fiscal policies and provide a climate for economic growth, but Governor Patrick needs to focus on all industries not just the ones who back his agenda.

It is past time for the Legislature and the Governor to implement policies that will foster economic recovery. The House Republican Caucus has been pushing these principles for several legislative sessions. The upcoming session will be no different as we intend to file a number of initiatives that will encourage, not dissuade, businesses from opening up shop here in the Commonwealth.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Massachusetts Media Outlets Recognize GOP Gains in the House

In case you missed it, Massachusetts Republicans made big gains in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. In fact, we more than doubled our Republican membership. Many media outlets throughout the state are recognizing this accomplishment and we wanted to make sure all of our readers had a chance to read what newspaper reporters are saying.

Here’s a sample of outlets covering our gains: Boston Globe report, Boston Globe editorial, Boston Herald report and the Assocaited Press report.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Congratulations to the New Members of the House Republican Caucus

Election Day has come and gone and though there were indeed some disappointing results at the polls yesterday, we here at The Capitol View would like to take this moment to extend a well earned congratulations to the many Republican candidates who were elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives yesterday. We are very proud of your hard work and your impressive achievement at the polls. We'd also like to congratulate those candidates who came up short yesterday for a hard fought campaign.

We look forward to having all of the Representatives-Elect sworn in just two short months! Congratulations!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day 2010

The day many of us have been waiting for is finally here - that's right folks - it's Election Day! Hundreds of thousands of voters will be going to the polls today to vote for their candidates of choice. Be sure to get out there and have your voice heard. Regardless of the results today, it is critical that we all exercise our civic duty. This is what our Founding Fathers wanted for us - so lets show our appreciation and vote!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ted Kennedy, Jr. says “Don’t Be Tricked”

Ratepayers and taxpayers alike have been buried by higher fees and taxes over the last four years and if Deval Patrick has his chance, they’ll get hit at least one more time. We’re talking about Cape Wind, a project sold to the general public has a way to go green but in reality the only green ratepayers will be seeing is their money going out the door!

Today’s Boston Herald featured a piece by Ted Kennedy, Jr. who is urging residents not to be tricked by the big promises being made with regard to Cape Wind. Among the many arguments made by Kennedy, one in particular stuck out – “Cape Wind — composed of unnecessary rate hikes, sweetheart deals and hidden costs — has been disguised by a clean, green energy cloak, camouflage enough to fool any environmentally conscious consumer into thinking that if it looks green, it must be good.” Kennedy goes on to say, “Cape Wind is a fiscal boondoggle — not a green-energy marvel.”

Click here to read a very compelling argument as to why Cape Wind must be defeated.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jones: Patrick’s Unwillingness to take Responsibilityfor Welfare Abuses Indicative of Lackluster Leadership

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement in response to Governor Patrick’s accusation that House Republicans are holding up a welfare bill for political purposes.

The people of Massachusetts are growing tired of Governor Patrick’s unwillingness to take responsibility for a single thing that goes wrong within state government.

Governor Patrick is perfectly happing touting his record of reform, many of which have been less than meaningful, on the campaign trail. However, the moment a negative story is written in the newspaper, he’s more than happy to point his finger at everyone else.

Just to set the record straight, my Republican colleagues and I, as well as many Democrats in the House, are frustrated with not only the sudden urgency of this bill, but also several provisions contained in the legislation. Governor Patrick’s bill, which has been sitting in the Committee on Third Reading since July 1st, does not tackle the issue of EBT cards being used to purchase lottery tickets or cash from EBT cards being used to purchase cigarettes or alcohol.

I have reached out to the Chairmen of the Ways & Means Committee and Third Reading to work to address this issue but neither has seen fit to get back to me on this issue. I take that as a strong signal that Democratic Leadership is not serious about passing meaningful reform. Instead, they want to pass a bill just for the sake of saying they did something.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Minority Leader Appears on Howie Carr Show

House Minority Leader Brad Jones appeared on the Howie Carr Show the other day to discuss the upcoming election. Representative Jones also discussed the final gubernatorial debate, which was held Monday night.

Click here to listen to the segment in its entirety.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Even the Boston Globe Agrees!

In case you missed it, the Boston Globe editorial page had a terrific piece today explaining how Massachusetts residents can help rebuild a two-party system. That’s right - the Boston Globe is encouraging Bay State residents to vote Republican on Tuesday. Why you ask? The Boston Globe says, “Having more Republicans in the Legislature will make Democrats more responsive, and diminish the power of Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray, whose stranglehold on legislation can frustrate the best intentions of any governor.”

The editorial board also says, “There is a significant opportunity on Tuesday to promote sound tax policy, increase accountability, and restore some needed balance in both branches of the Legislature.”

We’ve been saying all along that the only way to change Beacon Hill is to change the faces. Kudos to the Globe for taking a page out of our memo!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Two Months - 24,000 Jobs Lost

Governor Patrick wants you to believe we are on the right track but in case you missed it, his Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts lost nearly 21,000 jobs in the month of September and revised a 2,100 August gain into a 3,000 job loss.

The Patrick/Murray spin masters like to tout the fact that the unemployment rate dropped and we are heading in the right direction. However, no amount of sugar-coated, happy talk by the corner office can convince the unemployed or those hanging on by a thread that we are on the right track. The numbers confirm we are going in the wrong direction.

The reality is more than 300,000 people have lost their jobs since Governor Patrick took office. Eliot Winer, the former chief economist for the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development told the Boston Herald he’s "concerned by the last two months’ cuts in payroll jobs and fears the recovery may be stalling.” He's not the only one concerned!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Foreclosures hit 10,000 for the Year

On the heels of a very bad job report, The Warren Group today announced that more than 10,000 homes have been seized by foreclosure this year in Massachusetts.
Though Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray would have you believe that Massachusetts’ economy is recovering at a rapid rate, they’d prefer you not pay attention to facts.

Here are the facts: 21,000 jobs lost in September, 10,000 foreclosures in Massachusetts this year, a $2.5 billion structural deficit going into FY12, hundreds of millions of dollars in local aid cuts and more than $1 billion in new taxes.

Anyone, other than those wearing rose colored glasses, think those facts indicate economic recovery?

Jones: Patrick’s Rose Colored Glasses Ignores Real Pain

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement in response to September’s job report released today by the Patrick-Murray Administration.

Once again, Governor Patrick is painting an unrealistic, rosy scenario while missing the headline in today’s job report. While Governor Patrick and his Administration are touting a declined unemployment rate, the corner office is choosing to refrain from discussing the big picture – which is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts lost nearly 21,000 jobs in September.

In fact, the numbers show his heralded gain of 2,100 jobs in August was actually a loss of 3,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, according to the press release distributed by the Executive Office of Workforce Development, state government actually grew in September by 400 jobs. If that isn’t a shining example of misplaced priorities by Governor Patrick, I don’t know what is.

Governor Patrick’s unwillingness to acknowledge the enormity of the economic crisis we are in is not only alarming, it is a sign that he is unfit to lead the state out of the dark days we are in now and into a brighter tomorrow.

The Governor likes to say he sees the people behind the numbers – except apparently when it comes to unemployment.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Welfare Abuses Outrageous and Result of Lackluster Leadership

By now, you’ve probably read the Boston Herald’s coverage of the outrageous abuse happening within the welfare system in Massachusetts. Late last week, the Herald reported, “That $392 million in welfare cash was given out in the form of Electronic Benefits Transfer cards that work like regular debit cards, allowing recipients to take out cash from ATMs and use it for whatever they want.” Some of this money was being spent on booze, lottery tickets and even on slot machines.

This lax oversight and waste of taxpayer dollars is a direct result of lackluster leadership in the corner office. This system needs to be reformed and unfortunately Democratic leadership on Beacon Hill, especially the Governor, isn’t willing to make the hard choices. One more reason to restore two party balance on Beacon Hill!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Governor Patrick Paving the Way for Progressive Income Tax

More tax talk from the tax hike Governor himself this week! In case you missed it, Governor Patrick’s been talking up the benefits of moving towards a progressive income tax system. Now, the Governor and his staff are saying that it is something he favors, but not an initiative he would take on if re-elected.

Sorry Governor – but no one’s buying what you’re selling! We’ve been duped before! Remember, when Governor Patrick was just “Candidate Patrick,” he insisted he would lower property taxes and had no interest in raising taxes. Fast forward a few years and as you know he’s raised taxes 8 times since being elected.

We’ve been fooled once, we can’t be fooled again. Democrats would like you to believe they have no intention to raise taxes – but we all know that will all change on November 3rd!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More Democrat Disconnect!

In case you missed it, many Democrats have been out there in the press saying there is no appetite for new taxes. Well…what else are they going to say? Let us translate for you – when they say there’s no appetite for new taxes that is Beacon Hill doublespeak for – they won’t raise your taxes until November 3rd!

The failure to rule out a tax hike after 8 increases over the last few years in this economy shows just how disconnected Democrats on Beacon Hill truly are. The people of Massachusetts can’t afford any new or increased taxes – heck, they can’t even afford the current tax burden!

More Democrat Disconnect!

In case you missed it, many Democrats have been out there in the press saying there is no appetite for new taxes. Well…what else are they going to say? Let us translate for you – when they say there’s no appetite for new taxes that is Beacon Hill doublespeak for – they won’t raise your taxes until November 3rd!

The failure to rule out a tax hike after 8 increases over the last few years in this economy shows just how disconnected Democrats on Beacon Hill truly are. The people of Massachusetts can’t afford any new or increased taxes – heck, they can’t even afford the current tax burden!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Republican Leadership’s Statement on Supplemental Budget

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr., Assistant Minority Leader George N. Peterson, Minority Whip Brad Hill, Assistant Minority Whip Betty Poirier and Representative Vinny deMacedo issued the following statement regarding the supplemental budget.

The Republican Leadership Office is ready to allow the supplemental budget to move forward. After several meetings with the House Ways and Means Committee, as well as some conversations with various Executive Branch officials, we feel our concerns and questions have been adequately addressed. We are pleased with some of the compromises the committee has been willing to make in order to make this a more fiscally responsible piece of legislation. Obviously, this bill still faces one major hurdle and it will remain to be seen if we will be able to support the bill pending any changes the Senate may render.

In addition to paring back the bill substantially from its original form, we are glad to see nearly $200 million being put back into the rainy day fund, as we had urged back in August. Additionally, we are satisfied that nearly 90% of the money being spent is going directly to Medicaid, an account that was dramatically underfunded in the FY11 budget passed by the Democratic-controlled Legislature and signed by Governor Patrick.

This bill further underscores that Governor Patrick’s budget was not balanced, irresponsible and certainly not sustainable. The fact that he and his Administration remain mute on their priorities is further proof of his lack of leadership when it comes to managing the state’s budget.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Jones: Business as Usual on Beacon Hill

Boston – In issuing the following statement, House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. called the last minute filing of a supplemental budget business as usual on Beacon Hill.

Other than closing out the books on the FY10 budget, I cannot in good conscience support rushing through the proposal polled out of the Ways and Means Committee Friday night and filed only moments before today’s informal session. The bill is 80 plus pages and some 134 outside sections.

While it appears that the list of items to be funded has been pared back it remains extremely frustrating that such little information is available to the full membership from the Patrick-Murray Administration about the spending priorities for this fiscal year. If the Governor had kept his word and filed a plan there would have been dramatically more information about many of these spending items.

The absence of a spending plan by the Administration highlights that this budget was, is and will remain out of balance despite Governor Patrick's happy talk to the contrary. Instead, today we are left with a lengthy document which is still changing, no direction from the Administration and the push to lump everything together into one mega bill. The fact that changes are still being made this morning by Democrat leadership underscores the point that this bill has not only been rushed but that members have not had adequate time to read and analyze its contents.

For at least today, the appropriate course of action is to slow down and allow everyone a better opportunity to review the bill and try to understand the fiscal implications as well as the needs of the programs and agencies it seeks to fund. The Governor can and should facilitate this effort by at long last filing a plan and sharing publicly information on where we stand fiscally for FY11.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jones Appears on the Howie Carr Show

House Minority Leader Brad Jones appeared on the Howie Carr Show last night on WRKO. With November 2nd right around the corner, Representative Jones discussed the legislative races as well as the Governor's race.

Click here to listen to what Representative Jones had to say.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Governor Patrick Putting Partisan Politics ahead of Governing

In case you missed the ridiculous display of partisan politics put on by Governor Patrick yesterday, let The Capitol View fill you in. As you may or may not have heard, yesterday Governor Patrick made a baseless accusation claiming Republicans on Beacon Hill are holding up a supplemental budget. Now, keep in mind and for the sake of clearing the air, no supplemental budget has actually been filed with regard to the FMAP money as of right now and therefore, there is no budget to be considered, let alone blocked.

We offer our sincerest apologies to Governor Patrick if he feels lawmakers don’t have the right to read a piece of legislation before casting their vote, but we will not make any commitment to support or oppose a bill that doesn’t even exist.
Governor Patrick’s disregard for the legislative process and the members in the House and Senate further speaks to his lack of leadership and his unwillingness to work in a cooperative manner with the Legislature. If passing a supplemental budget is such a priority to the Governor, we suggest he take time to actually file one – until then he has no right to complain.

That’s right - Governor Patrick and his administration have yet to file a supplemental budget dealing with the FMAP money recently allocated to Massachusetts. So, while he’s out there saying he’ll have to make tough 9C cuts, be sure to ask him why he hasn’t laid out a plan to use the federal money that was sent to the state nearly 2 months ago!

Sounds like a bad case of playing politics at the expense of the well being of Massachusetts residents!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Massachusetts Misses the Mark

Massachusetts has long been criticized for its high taxes, strict regulations and unfriendly business practices, but today the Commonwealth is not even considered a promising state to obtain a job. According to a new study conducted by, Massachusetts is not considered one of the 28 states with improving unemployment rates. You know what that means? Governor Patrick and his sidekick Lieutenant Governor Murray are either not telling the truth or don’t know any better as they make their way across the state touting the strong economic recovery in Massachusetts.

The study compared the unemployment rate from July 2009 to July 2010 to identify states where the unemployment rate decreased. In the Northeast region; Maine, New Hampshire and New York made the list. Absent on that list is Massachusetts.

There are currently 300,000 people out of work in Massachusetts so for the Patrick-Murray Administration to be declaring victory in this economic crisis is not only disingenuous, it’s flat out wrong!

Click here to see what states did make the list.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Congratulations and Good Luck in November!

As many of The Capitol View readers know, the House Republican Caucus is losing three of its members this year as they have moved on to run for higher offices. Those members include Representatives Lew Evangelidis, Jeff Perry and Karyn Polito. Representative Evangelidis is running for Worcester County Sheriff and Representative Polito is running for Treasurer. Neither faced primary opponents yesterday but Representative Perry who is running for Congress in the 10th Congressional District won overwhelmingly during yesterday’s primary.

All of us here at The Capitol View congratulate Representative Perry for yesterday’s victory and would also like to wish all three of them the best of luck on November 2nd. They will be missed in the House Caucus but we wish them all the best in their new endeavors!

Remember to get out and vote on Election Day – it is right around the corner!

Representative Brad Hill: Is Democracy Still Alive in Massachusetts?

Is democracy still alive in Massachusetts? If it is alive today, it is on life support. Citizens of the Commonwealth elect legislators to make difficult and educated choices. A legislator’s job is to represent their community to the best of their judgment, not dodge the issues of the day.

I am sorry to report to my constituents that during this legislative session there were numerous times in which I was not given the opportunity to perform the simple task you sent me to Beacon Hill to perform, vote. Instead of taking up hard hitting issues that would make a difference in many communities across the Commonwealth, countless votes were buried by being voted to be “put to a study”. This became very frustrating, as putting a bill to a study essentially means that the issue is being tabled until next legislative session, IF the issue is brought to the floor again.

Important issues that countless constituents called my office on, whether they were in support or against the objective of the legislation were sent to a study because fellow politicians were afraid to make difficult choices and be held accountable by their constituents.

By my count a total of nine hard hitting issues were sent to a study. This included an amendment to the budget, which would have required the State to check on an individual’s legal status before issuing any sort of public benefits. This particular issue had previously been sent to a study as well. How long are we going to study an issue?

Following the vote to amend the budget in regards to the issue of immigration, I was forced over and over to explain to the public that I had not voted against the amendment. My “No” vote had been against sending the first amendment to a study. Essentially on the final vote a “Yes” vote meant to send the amendment to a study and a “No” vote meant that the Representative wanted to bring the amendment to the floor for a vote. In the end, the amendment to the budget was sent to a study and once again politicians were able to hide from the issue that was brought to the Legislature’s attention to repair.

Beyond the issue of immigration, the Legislature also chose to study managed care plans for MassHealth. This reform would relocate all Medicaid and MassHealth fee-for-service programs, including primary care clinician plans to a managed care form of Medicaid. In essence, the bill would have allowed for those under Medicaid to stay healthy by being under the constant care of a doctor instead of looking for ways to cure themselves once they have become ill; a much costlier way of dealing with healthcare. But once again, our Legislature chose to ignore the true meaning of democracy and neglected to vote on the issue.

Furthermore, an eradication of the added sales tax and alcohol tax were sent to be studied along with a bill that would have had our Legislature vote on the death penalty.

Two major roll call votes that took place during the budget debate, that would have helped bring more local aid to many of our struggling municipalities, were also further amended and voted to a study, instead of simply having the matter voted upon. The first of these amendments would have restored local aid to the amount that the Governor allocated for in his budget, a discrepancy of 234 Million dollars. The second would have obligated 50% of any surplus revenue to be administered for the purpose of local aid. It is imperative that we have open discussions when dealing with issues that are as important as funding our cities and towns instead of avoiding the issue at hand.

It would be one thing if being “put to a study” actually meant some studying was going on. I understand the original intention of studying an issue because we needed more time to comprehend the effects of the legislation on the citizens, not the repercussion for politicians. And if that’s the case, hold us to a deadline. But here’s the dirty not-so-well-kept secret, the political process has been manipulated where issues are put to a study but there is no intention of ever taking the test.

Agree or disagree with me on issues, but hold me and my colleagues accountable by making us take a stand. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to let the public know that putting an issue to study is an often abused tactic by professional politicians to take themselves off the hook. And when transparency and accountability are subtracted from the political process, then democracy has been diminished just a little bit more.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Get Out and Vote!

Today is primary day in Massachusetts and there are several contested races across the state. From all of us here at The Capitol View, we hope you'll get out and make your voice be heard by voting for the candidates of your choice.

Polls are open until 8 pm, so there's no excuse for not voting!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement on the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Nine years ago today, the values and principles of America were attacked and thousands of lives were senselessly taken. We must never forget that day and always honor those innocent lives taken from us.

The families of the victims, the first responders, and the service men and women who have fought since that day and continue to fight in order to protect us must always remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Deval’s Delusional if he Thinks These Numbers are Good!

Not everything is puppies and rainbows as Deval Patrick and Tim Murray would like you to believe. Don’t believe us? Well, just take a look at State House News Service’s latest report on layoffs in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

According to SHNS, “Massachusetts employers last year took 275 mass layoff actions involving at least 50 or more people, the largest number of such events since 2002, according to federal figures released on Friday.” The report went on to say, “Last year also marked the first time that the number of initial unemployment claimants increased by more than 10,000 on an annual basis since data first became available in 1996. In 2008 and 2009, the number of mass layoff events in Massachusetts totaled 437.”

The Patrick-Murray Administration would like you to believe that Massachusetts’ economy is heading in the right direction, but statistics like this don’t seem to back up that assertion. Looks like Deval is playing fast and loose with the numbers once again!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Further proof Governor Patrick to blame for track pink slips

A recent poll conducted by State House News Service further proves the notion that many throughout the state blame Governor Patrick for the recent pink slips handed out at Bay State tracks. According to the SHNS poll, “Thirty-seven percent of respondents, and 45 percent of gambling supporters, fingered Patrick when asked who “bears the most responsibility” for expanded gambling failing to win approval this year. Nineteen percent of the whole sample, and 16 percent of gambling proponents, faulted DeLeo, while 5 percent pointed at Senate President Therese Murray and 5 percent blamed them all equally.”

Governor Patrick’s behavior in the waning days of the legislative session showed he is incapable and unwilling to work with those who may have a different opinion towards a common goal. Because of his unwillingness to compromise and inability to broker a deal with the Speaker and Senate President, hundreds of track workers are now unemployed. Here’s a situation where he had the opportunity to make a difference and do the right thing, instead he took his ball and went home.
It’s no wonder the majority of those polled blame Governor Patrick.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Representative deMacedo Appears on Broadside

Representative Vinny deMacedo appeared on Broadside with Jim Braude last night on New England Cable News. The Plymouth Republican discussed last night's gubernatorial debate, mid-term elections and the nation's climbing debt.

Click here to watch the segment.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Business Confidence takes another Tumble

The Patrick-Murray Administration is making its way across the state, cherry picking statistics to make it look like it actually has a record to stand on. What this administration fails to tell you is along with the thousands of Massachusetts residents who are unemployed, facing foreclosure or struggling to put food on the table – the business community is also suffering as well.
In fact, according to Associated Industries of Massachusetts, “Business confidence Index lost eight-tenths of a point in August to 47.7, its second consecutive monthly decline.”

Raymond G. Torto, Global Chief Economist at CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. and Chair of AIM's Board of Economic Advisors said, “This is the first time we have had back-to-back drops since the recession bottomed out. Weakening business and consumer confidence, along with downward revisions of second quarter growth estimates and of expectations for the third quarter, all point to a loss of momentum in the recovery and Massachusetts employers are clearly concerned about the national economy.”
Families and small businesses are having a tough time staying afloat in Massachusetts let alone having the opportunity to thrive and prosper. Things need to change significantly in this state in order to get the economy moving in the right direction.

Representative deMacedo to Appear on Broadside

Representative Vinny deMacedo is slated to appear on Broadside with Jim Braude tonight on New England Cable News. The Plymouth Republican will be discussing tonight's gubernatorial debate and the mid-term elections.

Be sure to tune in tonight at 6pm on NECN.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More bad news for Massachusetts

While Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray are running around the state touting the success of their economic policies, State House News Service is reporting that the Commonwealth’s jobless rate is higher than the New England region’s average. Late yesterday afternoon, SHNS reported, “At 9 percent for July, the state’s jobless rate was well below Rhode Island’s 11.9 percent, but significantly higher than New Hampshire’s 5.8 percent, Vermont at 6 percent and Maine at 8.1 percent. Connecticut’s unemployment rate registered at 8.9 percent in July.”

Looks like Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray are being a bit disingenuous saying the Massachusetts economy is on a quicker road to recovery than most states. Regardless of other economic indicators, the fact of the matter is hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents remain unemployed or underemployed.

The fact that the Patrick-Murray Administration hasn’t spent more time on job creation further underscores its disconnect with the people it claims to represent. Governor Patrick can claim he’s handled this recession well, but we’re doubtful unemployed residents would agree with that assertion.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Howie Carr gets it right - again!

In case you missed it, Howie Carr had a great column in Sunday's Boston Herald about the recent withdrawal of a Patrick nominee to a six-year term as administrative law judge at the Department of Industrial Accidents. So why you ask did Chris Maclachan withdraw his name from the nomination? Interestingly enough, because he doesn't technically live in Massachusetts!

Click here to read Howie's latest column in its entirety.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Boston Herald: Smackdown in Gloucester

In case you missed it, the Boston Herald ran a great editorial today called Smackdown in Gloucester.

As mentioned on The Capitol View on Tuesday, Judge Richard Welch III said (in respect to the Gloucester Charter School fiasco), “There is a strong factual showing that the Commissioner (Mitchell Chester), despite his affidavit to the contrary, did not perform his own independent evaluation of the GCA application but, to the contrary, ignored state regulations and caved into political pressure to recommend the project to a Board eager to approve at least one charter application regardless of its merit.”

Today, the Boston Herald said, "Governor Deval Patrick and his top education advisers had to be thrilled with the timing of the big Race to the Top announcement on Tuesday. The pep rally helpfully overshadowed an embarrassing development in the Gloucester charter school e-mail mess."

As House Minority Leader Brad Jones said Tuesday, "Governor Patrick and his team have proven time and time when it comes to education their agenda is driven by politics, not sound public policy."

Kudos to the Boston Herald for calling out Governor Patrick and his team.

Click here to read the editorial in its entirety.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Judge’s ruling shows Governor Patrick playing politics with education

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. and House Minority Whip Bradford Hill issued the following joint statement after a judge said state education officials “blatantly ignored and violated state law” in its efforts to get a charter school approved in the City of Gloucester.

The judge’s ruling in the Gloucester Charter School case further demonstrates Governor Patrick politicizes nearly every policy decision made by him and his administration.

In the ruling, Judge Richard Welch III said, “There is a strong factual showing that the Commissioner (Mitchell Chester), despite his affidavit to the contrary, did not perform his own independent evaluation of the GCA application but, to the contrary, ignored state regulations and caved into political pressure to recommend the project to a Board eager to approve at least one charter application regardless of its merit.”

The Patrick-Murray Administration should be ashamed of its handling of the Gloucester Charter School fiasco. Its mismanagement of the situation not only jeopardizes the public’s confidence in its elected officials, it also puts at risk the education of hundreds of school children.

Governor Patrick and his team have proven time and time when it comes to education their agenda is driven by politics, not sound public policy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Governor Patrick: Do as I Say, Not as I do

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today after hearing Governor Patrick is looking to hire Parsons Brinckerhoff for the Green Line extension project, a project that has nearly doubled in cost since only 2007.

Governor Patrick’s hypocrisy is laughable at this point. His ability to talk out of both sides of his mouth on any number of issues proves only one thing: he’s great at campaigning but when it comes to actually governing his efforts are dismal at best.

“Candidate Patrick” campaigned against the “Big Dig Culture” but Governor Patrick is not only embracing that culture he railed against, he’s waist deep in it.

“Candidate Patrick’s” campaign slogan was “Together we can,” his governing motto should be “Do as I say, not as I do.”

*Quotes from Governor Patrick to refresh your memory on his campaign against the “Big Dig Culture.”

Boston Herald, “Pol wants big dig firm ban”

“Patrick recently blasted Massport officials for hiring Parsons Brinckerhoff even though MassHighway has paid the controversial firm more than $300,000 for engineering work since the governor took office, the Herald disclosed yesterday. However, the department has rejected or frozen bids from the contractor issued in fiscal 2008 for four state projects, including a bridge project in Amesbury.”

Boston Herald, “Dig ‘culprits’ still making Mass. Cash”

Patrick tore into Massport on WTKK-FM last November after officials hired Parsons Brinckerhoff for $30 million to construct a parking complex at Logan International Airport, saying, ``You did not want to be on the other end of the phone when I heard that.''

The Daily News of Newburyport, “Governor provides answers”

Asked why the state would employ Parsons Brinckerhoff, the firm behind the problem-plagued Big Dig, to work on the massive Whittier Bridge replacement project, the governor acknowledged he doesn't like the situation.
"I have a lot of heartburn about them still doing business in the commonwealth," Patrick said.
The firm wasn't disbarred as part of the attorney general's case, he said.
"I wish they had been," he said.
In some instances, the state will still have to use them when the proposal comes in at the lowest cost, Patrick said.

The Associated Press “Patrick admits state budget leaner than he thought”

He was incensed when he learned that Parsons Brinckerhoff Americas, part of the consortium that built the problem-plagued $15 billion Big Dig, had been hired by the Massachusetts Port Authority to design and manage construction of a $377 million parking garage at Logan International Airport.
The firm, which earlier this year joined in a $458 million settlement with the family of a woman killed in a Central Artery tunnel ceiling collapse, will be paid $37 million for its work. Massport officials say the project will be led by a different team of engineers.
"You did not want to be on the other end of the phone when I heard that," the governor said. Patrick refused to reveal with whom he spoke, but he labeled the news "enormously disappointing" and said despite the explanation, "the optics are terrible."

Patrick’s Promise of Property Tax Relief=Failure!

In case you missed it, the Boston Globe ran a piece over the weekend telling readers what they already know: Massachusetts values are down, but property tax bills are up! According to the article, “The average tax bill on a single-family home in fiscal 2010 increased about $140, a 3.3 percent increase, according to figures released this month by the state Department of Revenue. The average tax bill for a single-family home was $4,390. The statewide home values, which have more than doubled since 2000, peaked in 2007 but dropped about 4.6 percent last year to an average of $373,702.”

Where’s that property tax relief “Candidate Patrick” promised? Oh that’s right, nowhere to be found! Instead, Governor Patrick has raised taxes by more than $1.5 billion. If that’s the change Governor Patrick wants to guard, we’re scared of what other guard he wants to change!

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Peterson Participates in Constitution Ride Across America

Assistant Minority Leader George N. Peterson, Jr. participated in the Constitution Ride Across America. For those of you not familiar with the effort, click here to read about the Constitution Ride Across America. On Wednesday, the ride made its way to Boston where Representative Peterson was responsible for accepting a copy of the Constitution and signing a pledge to uphold and protect the Constitution.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Laid Off Wonderland Workers can Thank Governor Patrick

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today after hearing Wonderland Greyhound Park would be closing, ultimately putting dozens out of work.

Governor Patrick’s lack of leadership and failure to compromise with legislative leaders today came to a head as Wonderland Greyhound Park announced its intentions to suspend all operations.

Laid off employees of Wonderland have no one to blame but Governor Patrick whose unwillingness to cooperate with the Legislature led to the ultimate demise of the expanded gaming bill.

While Governor Patrick is out touting his successes today, more than 100 Wonderland employees will be wondering where their next paycheck will come from.

Today’s announcement comes only two short weeks after Plainridge laid off nearly 160 workers at its facility.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jones sits in as guest co-host on the Tom and Todd Show

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. had the opportunity to sit in as guest co-host on the Tom and Todd Show on WRKO. Filling in for the vacationing Todd Feinburg, Jones spent the morning chatting about all the hot topics making headlines across the country and right here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with former Speaker of the House Tom Finneran.

“To say it was a great experience would be an understatement,” said the North Reading lawmaker. “Anytime two people from two different political affiliations have the opportunity to come together and discuss issues on a level like this makes for good dialogue and in this case good radio.”

The Tom and Todd Show, which airs on WRKO from 5:30am-9am has an array of personalities on every day. From journalists to elected officials, voters to candidates, the Tom and Todd Show is known to have all of the people making news on as guests and commentators.

“I am very thankful the show decided to have me on as a guest co-host and I hope to have the opportunity again someday,” added Representative Jones.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sales Tax Holiday Weekend Dubbed a Success

This year’s sales tax holiday weekend has come and gone and retailers and shoppers alike are dubbing it a success! As you all know, the Bay State did not offer a sales tax holiday weekend last year thanks to Massachusetts Democrats saying we couldn’t afford it. Very little has changed from last year but always putting politics first, Democratic leaders on Beacon Hill decided this year (an election year) we could afford a sales tax holiday weekend.

The Retailers Association of Massachusetts told the Boston Globe, “Sales statewide appear to have exceeded the expectations of $500 million over the weekend.” While the Department of Revenue is saying this weekend will have cost the state about $20 million, we in the Republican Caucus prefer to see it as taxpayers being allowed to keep $20 million of their own money!

We’re proud to have filed this proposal this year and in years past and will file it again next year.

Click here to read the coverage in the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jones to sit in for Fienburg on the Tom and Todd Show

Mark your calendars - House Minority Leader Brad Jones will be sitting in for Todd Feinburg on the Tom and Todd Show on WRKO Wednesday. That’s right, the Republican leader in the House will be taking to the airwaves alongside former Speaker of the House Tom Finneran from 5:30am–9am so be sure to tune in.

Jones has appeared on the Tom and Todd Show, but never as a fill-in co-host.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Jones: Lt. Governor Murray either disingenuous or oblivious

BOSTON—Saying the Patrick-Murray Administration shouldn’t make any more promises it can’t keep, House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement after reading what Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray had to say about increasing train service between Worcester and Boston.

Given the Patrick-Murray Administration’s track record on keeping promises, I can’t say I’m surprised that Lieutenant Governor Murray has been out making new campaign pledges. Valuable time and money have been spent pursuing Tim Murray’s pipe dreams before we even know if there will be enough riders to justify it. Additionally, to lead people to believe this project will be a reality by 2012 is just plain wrong.

It’s an election year, so I’m not shocked at the Lieutenant Governor’s behavior but since the Patrick-Murray Administration has failed to reduce property taxes and put more cops on the street, I had hoped the two of them would have learned their lesson by now.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Boston Herald gets it right!

The Boston Herald editorial page couldn’t have said it any better: Plug the damn hole! As many of you know, thousands of commuters sat in upwards of four hours in traffic the other day after a gaping hole appeared on I-93 North. Governor Patrick, in his oh so elitist way, decided it was more important to politick and point fingers than show actual leadership.

The Capitol View applauds the Boston Herald for being so candid and blunt with its readers. We especially appreciate the editorial’s closing line - Please: More patching, less politicking.

Click here to read the editorial in its entirety.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lowell Sun gets it right!

In case you missed it, there’s a great editorial in today’s Lowell Sun. In the editorial Democrats fail to get the job done, the writer says in regard to the gaming debate, “Massachusetts residents are tired of the game playing and political infighting that has repeatedly derailed progress here.” The editorial goes on to say, “Patrick and the Democratically controlled Legislature made a grievous error by failing to fully cooperate on the gambling measure. Their lack of vision and weak leadership have caused residents to lose confidence in the state's economic recovery. That is unacceptable.”

There are too many good lines to quote, so please check the editorial out in its entirety by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Economic indicators show a struggling economy

According to a recent report by State House News Service, “Three economic indexes out Tuesday morning contained discouraging news for the state's economy, reflecting three straight months of diminished home sales activity and significant erosion of employer and consumer optimism.”

Meanwhile, the Patrick-Murray Administration would have you believing everything is the state is heading the right direction. They’ve been out around the Commonwealth touting their sound decision making and leadership. But has State House News Service reported, the economy is anything but sound.

Click here to read the story in its entirety.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jones: Governor Patrick All Politics, No Policy

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement after State House News Service reported media strategy played a role in Governor Patrick’s plan to push for a new crime policy initiative.

I am appalled by the recent reports but certainly not surprised. I’ve grown to expect this kind of behavior from the Patrick-Murray Administration – after all Governor Patrick’s track record precedes him.

This is just the latest in a long list of poor public policy decisions made by the Patrick-Murray Administration for nothing more than political consideration. From the Gloucester charter school licensing debacle to the effort to artificially cap health insurance rates and most recently the abandonment of state education standards, Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray have sacrificed sound public policy in favor of special interest demands.

State House News Service reported late Saturday night on the contents of the memo called “Crime Bill Strategy.” In that memo, two aides to Governor Patrick said, “We recommend waiting until after the weekend when the Globe may run their spotlight series on the Department of Community Supervision reform to determine whether to work with legislators to push for the following: creation of a Department of Community Supervision; requiring reports from probation; or merely a commission to study the creation of a Department of Community Supervision.”

The memo went on to read, "If these sentencing reform amendments were pushed and failed, the House would be on record opposing sentencing reform and it would make it more difficult to fight for sentencing reform in conference committee. The sentencing reform advocates … are also working to make sure that these amendments don't get filed. The advocates want to wait for a more favorable opportunity and until they can secure votes before pushing for sentencing reform.”

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Economic Development Bill Not the Answer to all our state’s problems

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement after the Massachusetts House of Representatives engrossed the conference committee report on economic development.

While I applaud the conference committee members for the progress made on a bill aimed at stimulating the economy, I must say I am disappointed that the single most important issue facing the Commonwealth was left to the last possible minute.

This bill contains many positive elements – but by no means is the contents of this bill the answer to all of our state’s problems. The economic development bill passed in the House today is a step in the right direction but unfortunately more than 300,000 Massachusetts residents are still out of work today and many more remain underemployed. We can and must do better and I hope when we convene next year, economic development will be the top priority on the Legislature’s agenda.

In fact, a key portion of this bill is fixing mistakes this Legislature enacted and Governor Patrick signed into law that has hurt our economy – mainly the Patrick-Murray Administration’s corporate tax bill from 2008.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Representative Hill appears on Broadside

House Minority Whip Brad Hill appeared on Broadside with Jim Braude last night to discuss the effort to bring expanded gaming to the state of Massachusetts. As you know, the legislative session ends Saturday and yet no bill has emerged from the conference committee tasked with hashing out the differences between the House and Senate bills.

Click here to watch Representative Hill on Broadside.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Republican Leaders Hit Closed-Door Casino Talks

BOSTON – Senate Minority Leader Richard R. Tisei and House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. today criticized House and Senate leadership for excluding Republican negotiators from a late-afternoon summit on casino gambling.

The State House News Service reports that following today’s leadership meeting with Governor Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo are meeting with House and Senate conferees in a “last-ditch effort to salvage” the casino bill before the end of session. However, neither of the two Republicans serving on the conference committee – Senator Richard Ross and Representative Paul Frost – has been asked to participate in the meeting.

“It’s pretty pathetic that it’s come down to this, where decisions on a proposal that will dramatically impact the landscape of the entire state are being made behind closed doors without input from Republican members,” said Senator Tisei. “It’s ironic this is happening under the watch of the same governor who campaigned on a promise of more openness and transparency in state government. This is nothing more than the same old ‘business as usual’ on Beacon Hill.”

“This latest stunt further highlights that the status quo is alive and well on Beacon Hill,” said Representative Jones. “It is this kind of behavior that the people of Massachusetts are fed up with and though I am not surprised by this latest display of arrogance, I am indeed disappointed and frustrated especially since this is an issue where Republicans have been supportive.”

The casino gambling bill has been in conference committee since July 6. Unless the House and Senate agree on a compromise by July 31, the bill will have to be re-filed for the 2011-2012 session.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jones: Reville’s Audacity is Astonishing

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement in reaction to Education Secretary Paul Reville’s comments regarding his request for postponement of the Board of Education’s vote on adopting national standards:

I was appalled to read Education Secretary Paul Reville’s comments in response to my call to postpone today’s vote as “absurd and politically motivated.” Unfortunately for Reville, his record as Education Secretary speaks for itself.

It was not too long ago that Secretary Reville was encouraging the Patrick Administration to get behind the licensing of a charter school in Gloucester, saying in an email, “Our reality is that we have to show some sympathy in this group of charters or we’ll get permanently labeled as hostile and that will cripple us with a number of key, moderate allies. It really is a matter of positioning ourselves so that we can be viable to implement the rest of our agenda.”

Reville’s actions surrounding the Gloucester charter school debacle prompted calls for the Education Secretary’s resignation. The Boston Herald went as far as saying, “Reville has shown where his priorities are. Now that his credibility is shot to hell he should do the right thing and resign.”

Suggesting that allowing more time for parents, teachers and the public to comment on and learn about the curriculum changes is politically motivated is an insult to the students who will be most affected by these changes. In fact, if Reville thinks collecting public input before a monumental policy shift is made is absurd, maybe he is not the right person for the job. If shifting toward a set of national standards is indeed the best choice, the Administration should be more than happy to open the subject up for additional public hearings in order to get teachers, parents and students on board with the dramatic change. If they’re scared to hold public hearings, then I am scared for the future of the Massachusetts public educational system.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sound public policy or egregious example of pay to play?

BOSTON—Saying education is too important an issue to rush, House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. today called on Governor Deval Patrick to postpone tomorrow’s Board of Education vote regarding Education Commissioner’s Mitchell Chester’s recommendations. On Friday, Commissioner Chester recommended moving away from the state’s already high standards in favor of a national set of standards.

Representative Jones, like many others, is frustrated by not only the timing of this announcement but also the political expedience that seems to accompany the decision. “Governor Patrick’s reelection campaign was just endorsed by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, considered among the most powerful unions in the state, who spent more than $2.5 million on his 2006 election campaign. This decision is either a hasty public policy choice at best or an egregious example of the ultimate pay to play,” said Representative Jones.

In a letter sent to Governor Patrick today, the Republican Leader said, “I hope you will show true leadership and postpone Wednesday’s Board of Education vote in order to provide ample time for public hearings to be held across the state.” The letter went on to say, “Like any major policy decision, inviting public input is a necessary step in the process.”

According to the American Legislative Exchange Council, Massachusetts ranks third in the country in terms of academic excellence. Representative Jones stressed the quality of a Massachusetts public education in his letter to the Governor, saying, “I can appreciate why the large pool of Race to the Top funds would be so enticing to you and your Administration, particularly during these difficult economic times; however, no amount of money justifies the risk of lowering Massachusetts’ public school system standards.”

Friday, July 16, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration playing politics with public education

BOSTON— House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement after hearing the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will vote next week on a proposal that would eventually erode local standards of the state’s education system.

Today’s announcement can only lead one to believe that the Patrick-Murray Administration is playing politics with public education and jeopardizing Massachusetts’ already exceptional educational standards which have propelled our students to the top of academic excellence.

I can’t help but notice the day and time of this controversial announcement. I am particularly frustrated that like with Governor Patrick’s effort to cap insurance rates, this policy decision appears to be political in nature and certainly not in the best interest of our public education system. To think that such an important decision will be voted with such short notice in just a matter of days is beyond belief.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Governor Patrick: Public perception trumps public policy

It’s doubtful you missed it, but just in case we wanted to point out a Boston Herald editorial that ran today which once again proves that with Governor Patrick, public perception trumps public policy.

As you know, the Patrick Administration has been facing much scrutiny for its plans to cap insurance rates. As the Boston Herald editorial staff points out, “Just in case anyone thought the Patrick administration’s health insurance rate cap was anything other than an exercise in raw political pandering, along comes a set of e-mails that proves the point.”

Click here to check out what else the Boston Herald had to say.

Boston Globe calls it as we see it!

In case you missed it, the Boston Globe ran an editorial today basically calling it as we see it! As you know, the House enacted the so-called “Municipal Relief” bill yesterday and the Democrats in the Legislature are touting it as a way for municipalities to move forward. Unfortunately, the bill neglects to address the single most expensive issue facing cities and towns and that’s health care costs. The Boston Globe says that not only does this bill miss the mark, but it may actually end up costing communities money.

Click here to read the editorial in its entirety.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Governor Patrick all for a no-bid deal on Cape Wind

Governor Patrick got himself into a bit of a pickle recently after saying putting slots at each racetrack in the state would effectively be a “no-bid” deal for track owners. Well, Conor Yunits of Liberty Square Group capitalized on that slip today saying, “The Governor called this a no-bid handout last week. He doesn’t seem to be taking bids on Cape Wind, and that doesn’t have the immediate revenue or job benefits a gaming and entertainment venue (at Rayhnam Park) offers.” We couldn’t have said that better ourselves! Kudos to Yunits for calling out the Governor on yet another one of his many double standards.

Governor Patrick’s all for taking “handouts” from the Federal Government but apparently he’s got to be choosy when handing them out himself! After all, it is an election year!

Municipal Relief Conference Committee Report another Missed Opportunity

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today in response to what he dubbed a modest conference committee report that misses the mark.

The so-called “Municipal Relief” bill that came out of the conference committee doesn’t do one thing to address the single biggest cost issue facing our cities and towns.

Municipalities are practically begging the Legislature to give them the tools they need to better handle their budgets and tackle the rising cost of employee health care. Unfortunately, their requests have gone unanswered and once again the wants and demands of powerful unions are put before the needs of hardworking taxpayers of the Commonwealth. The irony is several public employees have or will lose their job because of the failure to make any progress on this issue.

During the House debate, we were prepared to offer two amendments that would provide substantial relief to already struggling municipalities. Those two initiatives include plan design with a local option as well as giving municipalities a better opportunity of moving employees into the General Insurance Commission. Those ideas were put on the back burner as Democratic leadership insisted they were working out a deal with unions and municipalities that would be announced by June 11. Well, today is July 14 and with only a little over two weeks to go, I am doubtful any progress will be made.

The modest proposals in this bill do not offset the fact that we will have done nothing in two years to address the municipal health care issue. The Democratic-controlled Legislature has done nothing to relieve the burden they have placed on cities and towns, all of whom have faced significant cuts to local aid. Once again, the majority of rank and file Democratic members has relinquished its power blindly to their leaders banking on the idea they would deliver relief to their municipalities.

There is a reason that no one is willing to commit to an amount anticipated to be saved. It’s because there aren’t any real savings. I will be voting against this conference committee report today. I hope other members will join me in saying we can and should have done more to help our communities.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Vermont's Republican Governor chats with Republican Leadership

As you know, the National Governors Association is in Boston this week for their summer meeting. A group of Governors gave a press conference to the local press corps this morning. Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont was among those in attendance today. House Minority Leader Brad Jones and Assistant Minority Leader George Peterson had the opportunity to spend a few minutes chatting with the Governor from the neighboring state.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Patrick’s trouble with the truth

In case you missed it, the Boston Herald editorial page ran a great piece today highlighting what we’d like to call Governor Patrick’s trouble with the truth. As you know, UMass-Boston is set to embark on a $750 million dollar building project and all the work will be done by union workers only. Governor Patrick claims that project is the only project labor agreement in the state but as the Boston Herald reports – that’s not exactly the case.

Click here to read the editorial in its entirety.

Sales tax holiday amendment adopted in the House

BOSTON—Saying the citizens of Massachusetts need tax relief now more than ever, House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. today said he was pleased that his colleagues across the aisle would join him and the Republican caucus in providing temporary tax relief to the citizens of Massachusetts with a sales tax holiday weekend in August.

The tax holiday began as a one day event in 2004, but expanded to a two day holiday in 2005. The taxpayers of Massachusetts were not granted relief last year as Democratic leaders on Beacon Hill claimed the state couldn’t afford the lost revenue.

“While I am pleased the taxpayers will feel a tiny bit of relief, we still need to do much more to make the Commonwealth of Massachusetts a more cost-friendly place to live and work,” said Representative Jones, the sponsor of the amendment. “Massachusetts businesses are at a severe disadvantage and the taxpayers of the Bay State have seen their taxes raised substantially over the last several years. This is the least the Democratic-controlled Legislature can do to make things a little easier for residents here in Massachusetts.”

The amendment passed while the House debated a piece of legislation relative to economic development. Only 13 members voted against the amendment.

If signed into law, the holiday weekend will take place on August 14 and 15. Retailers will waive the sales tax on products costing under $2,500, including computers and home appliances. Some items are still taxed during the holiday, including motorboats, meals and tobacco.