Thursday, March 31, 2011

Internet Sweepstakes Parlors Don’t Make Cent$

In case you missed it, two local television stations aired stories earlier this week about the growing trend of internet sweepstakes establishments throughout the Commonwealth.

These sweepstakes are flying under the radar predominantly because the establishments are hiding behind the notion that they are merely selling internet time, and not engaging in illegal gambling activities. Some sweepstakes establishments are going as far as handing out sodas and finger food to patrons.

As a result of these stories, we are urging the Attorney General, as well as necessary members of the Patrick Administration to look into these practices. Not only are these sweepstakes parlors potentially engaging in illegal gaming, they are skipping out on potential taxes that the state could rightfully collect.

Click here to view the Channel 4 (WBZ-TV) story in its entirety.

Click here to view the Channel 5 (WCVB) story in its entirety.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Now You Want To Talk…

In case you missed it, the Boston Herald reported that Governor Patrick wants to sit down “face-to-face” with Fidelity Investments executives to discuss the closing of their Marlborough offices.

In an interview with reporters at the State House, the Governor said “I want them to say it to my face, and I want to see whether there is something we can do.” This in reaction to him feeling “disappointed and frustrated” that Fidelity Investments chose to ship 1,100 jobs out of the Commonwealth.

While we are on the topic of jobs leaving Massachusetts, we can’t help but recall the closing of Evergreen Solar back in January. This announcement of the loss of 800 jobs, and millions in taxpayer dollars came with little notification to the Patrick Administration as well.

When the Governor found out about Evergreen Solar leaving the Commonwealth he gave what now seems to be his well rehearsed speech regarding companies leaving Massachusetts, but never asked to sit down with Evergreen executives and have them “say it to his face.”

It’s ironic that now that Fidelity is leaving, he wants to sit down and talk to them face-to-face. Yet when Evergreen Solar, a company that was highly touted by the Governor, and received $56.8 million in grants, loans, land, and tax incentives, decides to leave all the Governor does is give a press conference.

Let’s try and keep the jobs in Massachusetts so it doesn’t have to come down to a face-to-face meeting after the fact.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sweeping It Under the Rug

In case you missed it, at a press conference in the State House today, Governor Patrick felt that his vacation in Israel and the United Kingdom for the past 10 days was “successful and demanding.”

Choosing to focus on the so-called positive news and events of the past ten days, Gov. Patrick told reporters that “he and his team had ‘built relationships’ that will net future growth in the weeks and months to come.”

Excuse us if we don’t buy into the line that the Governor is feeding us this time. Saying that announcements regarding his trip abroad would be forthcoming seems to be the way that the Patrick Administration sweeps something under the rug until news that they “can run with” comes to light.

Instead of giving the residents of the Commonwealth a false sense of hope, the Governor needs to work on addressing the fact that yet again jobs are leaving the Commonwealth, as well as the fact that he was apparently the last to know about a major public safety issue. Cut to the chase Governor, it’s the least you could do.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Double Standard?

In case you missed it, State Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan yesterday announced that an 8 foot long light fixture, weighing 110 pounds, collapsed inside one of the Big Dig tunnels.

The incident, which occurred in early February, injured no one and went unmentioned for close to 5 weeks. The Patrick administration withheld the information regarding a public safety hazard for over a month.

The flip side of the coin is the recent departure of Fidelity Investments from their Marlborough office. Governor Patrick is “frustrated” over the lack of notice from Fidelity regarding their planned departure from Marlborough. While in England the Governor said, “I learned that this decision was in the works for months, and they were just executing a plan, I’m frustrated because these folks have been in touch with my folks, and with me, and never mentioned what this plan is.’’

It seems odd to us that the Governor is upset that he was kept in the dark. Flashback to the press conference held yesterday regarding the collapse of a light fixture in the “Tip” O’Neill tunnel. The current administration knew about the fixture collapse for over 5 weeks and told no one, but yet they remain “frustrated” that they were left in the dark over Fidelity’s plan to move jobs out of the Commonwealth.

It’s time for the double standards in the corner office to end, and for the citizens of the Commonwealth, the taxpayers, to know just what is going on in the state of Massachusetts.

House Republicans to Discuss Healthcare, Hold Caucus on Evacuation Day

With the cost of healthcare soaring, House Republicans plan to meet at the State House on Evacuation Day (March 17) to discuss healthcare, and its impacts on the residents of the Commonwealth.

At 11 a.m. today, House GOP members will be meeting with representatives from Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and Pioneer Institute in the Room A-1 of the State House. The meeting will focus on where healthcare reform is going in Massachusetts, as well as municipal healthcare and cost containment.

Immediately following the two hour-long caucus, members of the House Republican caucus will be available to answer questions from the press.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Packing Their Bags…

In case you thought the Patrick administration had held strong on their promise of a better job climate in the Commonwealth, various outlets yesterday reported the closing of the Fidelity Investments office in Marlborough.

With the closure of the Fidelity office, 1,110 jobs will be shipped off to New Hampshire and Rhode Island. This comes on the heels of Evergreen Solar closing the doors to their Devens facility, thus eliminating 800 jobs.

This latest news serves as a reminder that Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray should turn their attention to creating an economic climate where all businesses can succeed and thrive in Massachusetts

Click here to view the Boston Globe story in its entirety.

Click here to view the Boston Herald story in its entirety.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Representatives Winslow and Hill to Make Media Appearances

Two Republican lawmakers will be making media appearances in the coming days. Representative Dan Winslow will be appearing on Chronicle (WCVB Channel 5) Monday night at 7:30pm. Representative Winslow will be partaking in a debate with Harris Gruman, Executive Director of the SEIU public employees union. The two will be discussing the Management Rights Bill that Winslow has proposed in the House of Representatives.

On Tuesday, Representative Brad Hill will be appearing with Jeff Katz (Talk 1200) at 6:35am, Tom & Todd (WRKO 680) at 7:30am, Michele McPhee (WRKO 680) at 2:15pm and with Howie Carr (WRKO 680) at 6:05pm. Representative Hill will be discussing Melissa’s Bill, legislation that he filed to keep repeat violent offenders behind bars.

Be sure to check out Representatives Winslow and Hill. In case you miss it, we'll be sure to post their appearances on in the coming days.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Blue Cross Blue Shield Blues

In case you missed it, 7 News’ Andy Hiller aired a story earlier this week that draws comparisons between the Governor’s reluctance to comment on the payout given to former Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Cleve Killingsworth, and the Hyatt Hotels employees that were laid off two years ago.

We believe that Andy’s story was spot on, and is an accurate portrayal of the hypocrisy that the Patrick administration has displayed during the course of the Blue Cross Blue Shield fallout.

The story that aired points out the Governors willingness to jump head first into the layoff of the Hyatt Hotels housekeepers in 2009. During the public outcry of the layoffs the Governor said “if this decision is not reversed, I am not personally going to any events at a Hyatt Hotel.”

His reaction to the $11 million dollar severance package that Blue Cross Blue Shield, a non-profit, handed out, “it doesn’t matter what I think. I am not going to get into managing individual companies or individual compensation.”

Click here to view the story in its entirety.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Band-Aid Won’t Fix Local Healthcare Costs

In case you missed it, the Public Service Committee held a public hearing yesterday to discuss the municipal health insurance reform bill.

During the hearing, the Lt. Gov. was quoted as saying “…health care spending was crowding out funds for key local services”, and this is one case where we would have to agree with Lt. Governor Murray. Health care is the largest cost driver at the local level, in some cases accounting for 15% of town’s budgets, and the status quo is unacceptable.

Thus, the reason that Republicans in the House filed legislation that would not only expedite the process of allowing cities and towns to join the Group Insurance Commission (GIC), but would give them the authority to determine health insurance costs for their employees by implementing Plan Design. If one of these measures is adopted, the Massachusetts Municipal Association estimates that most cities and towns will be able to lower their health insurance costs by as much as 6%.

What we can all agree on is that healthcare at the local level is out of control, and the option of saving cities and towns hundreds of millions of dollars is a discussion that needs to be had.

Representative Brad Jones Appears on the Jeff Katz Show

In case you missed it, House Minority Leader Brad Jones made an appearance on the Jeff Katz today. As you may have heard, Governor Patrick is currently in the middle of a ten-day foreign trade mission with Bay State business leaders. Representative Jones had a chance to comment of the Governor’s travels, as well as the public outcry from the payout to former Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Cleve Killingsworth.

Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

House Minority Leader to Make Media Appearance

Minority Leader Brad Jones will be on air with Jeff Katz on Talk 1200, tomorrow morning at 6:35am. Representative Jones will be discussing Governor Patrick’s ten-day trade mission.

Be sure to check out Representative Jones. In case you miss it, we'll be sure to post his appearance on tomorrow.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Silence is Golden, but Costly

In case you missed it, former Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Cleve Killingsworth received an $11 million golden parachute after announcing his retirement.

While we believe in fair compensation, this time, it has gone a step too far and we can’t help but draw many comparisons between this recent event and ties to the Patrick/Murray administration.

According to a recent Boston Herald editorial, “Blue Cross Blue Shield has indeed been very good to Patrick, so too has Killingsworth.” The editorial goes on to say, “Killingsworth has over the years given more than $16,500 to Democratic candidates and to the party since 2004, including a total of $2,200 to Patrick and Lt. Gov. Tim Murray.”

Even our good friends over at the Boston Globe agree. In an editorial, they had this to say: “At a time when elected officials, hospitals, doctors, and insurers are all trying to hold down health-cost inflation, the pay, severance, and retirement money doled out to Cleve Killingsworth is an insult to well-meaning reformers.”

While all this is going on, less than a year ago, Governor Patrick blamed big health insurance company’s salaries and retirement packages as one of the sole reasons for the sky-rocketing health insurance premiums. But, when the Governor was pressed about the Blue Cross Blue Shield issue on Friday, he said “It doesn’t matter what I think. I’m not going to get into managing individual companies or individual compensation.” What a convenient time for the Governor to think his opinion doesn’t matter.

One thing that is clear is that money and donations from former CEO Killingsworth, as well as Blue Cross Blue Shields board members has bought silence from the Patrick/Murray administration. One can only wonder for how long it will continue to do so.

Click here to read the Boston Herald editorial in its entirety.

Click here to read the Boston Globe's editorial in its entirety.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

House Minority Leader's Statement on Effort to Appoint Independent Redistricting Commission

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today in reaction to the defeat of a plan to name an independent redistricting commission.

I am disappointed that our attempt for a more balanced and fair redistricting process was handily defeated. I remain a firm believer that a commission comprised of partisan and non-partisan officials is the best and most impartial way of redrawing the district lines within the Commonwealth. Even though similar legislation was offered by the Republican caucus in 2009, and rejected, I will continue to advocate for a more transparent style of government on Beacon Hill.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Time to Choose

In case you missed it, Governor Deval Patrick went on record in an article with the National Journal, and took a shot at Senator Scott Brown.

The Governor, who has been MIA from the Commonwealth for the past week or so, described Scott Brown as “…struggling a little bit to decide whether he’s going to work for the people of the Commonwealth or work for the hard right.” He went on to say “and I think he’s trying to find his footing. That’s what the experience of working with him as senator has been over the past year.”

This is an interesting comment, coming from a man who is racking up his frequent flier miles while trying to figure out if his allegiance lies with the residents of Massachusetts, his party, his book publisher, or his good ole pal President Barack Obama. And in case you’re wondering, Scott Brown has lived up to his promise of not missing any votes while promoting his own book.

We think it’s time that Governor Patrick lay off Scott Brown, who has to date been an independent voice, and vote for the people of Massachusetts. Instead, perhaps Governor Patrick should come back home and worry about the problems that face people of Massachusetts; jobs, unemployment, and health care. Just to name a few.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.