Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Reflections...

We are pleased to present the sixth and final installment of our weeklong tribute to the men and women who proudly serve this country. Our Memorial Day reflection comes to us from Representative Brad Jones:

Today, we gather first and foremost as Americans to honor those that have paid the steepest of prices for our freedoms on battlefields around the globe and here at home.

We come together with an abiding belief that that which binds us together is so much greater and more important than that which divides us. We assemble as friends, neighbors, family and fellow citizens – today we have much in common.

Memorial Day is a chance for Americans to celebrate in quiet solemnity those lives lost; but we also gather at various ceremonies to honor those who have paid the ultimate price since our nation’s birth more than two centuries ago.

Each of us knows that our community, our Commonwealth, and our country face difficult and important challenges. Let each of us draw inspiration and strength from the sacrifices of the fallen heroes we honor today. Abraham Lincoln said it best at Gettysburg “…It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain…”

Remembering those who have died for our freedom is not a passing commitment -- not a trendy undertaking, not a temporary fad; rather, it is a moral obligation of the highest magnitude for each and every one of us. It is an obligation that binds us and future generations as long as the Star Spangled Banner flies over our great nation. It is an obligation that must endure if we are to continue to enjoy the freedoms that will forever be the promise of the United States of America to not only its citizens, but people around the globe.

While all gave some - today we honor the some who gave all. Our human nature too often causes us to dwell on what is wrong. Our fallen heroes inspire us to find what is right about America, and to celebrate what is right about America.

Let us all remember tonight as we check the evening news that without the most powerful, dedicated and bravest military in the world, the freedoms that we love and cherish may be just be a distant dream, not a reality.

As we remember this day in history, let us rededicate ourselves to the notion that the price of freedom is not free, but is a precious commodity paid for a thousand times over by the men and women serving our country.

May God Bless and keep our fallen heroes. May God bless our service men and women. May he keep safe the children who are the future of this country. God Bless the United States of America.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Reflections...

Today, we present the fifth installment of our weeklong tribute to the men and women who proudly serve this country. This Memorial Day reflection comes to us from Representative Richard Bastien:

One of the earliest memories I recall is observing a Memorial Day Parade with my family and hundreds of others when I was about four years old. Even though I did not then realize all of its significance, I knew that it was a special day, a day for us to take a moment from the rush of our ordinary lives and remember those who served our country.

Memorial Day is a time of reflection, a day when we pause to reflect on those no longer with us, whose valor enables us to enjoy the freedoms we cherish today. We honor their sacrifice in defending our values and take this opportunity to thank them for what they died to defend.
That four year old grew up to be a sailor in the United States Navy as well. I was proud to serve our nation then, and now as a member of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs. I have the opportunity to help our returning veterans and their families receive the support they need in order to readjust and integrate back into civilian life. Our nations veterans ask for so little, this weekend let us honor them and their service.

This Memorial Day, in between our cookouts and gatherings, I hope we all take a moment to pause in appreciation that everything we hold dear is because someone stood up to defend it. We sleep safe in our beds because someone else was willing to stand in the cold night in a foreign land on watch. We may never repay those that have sacrificed so much, but let us endeavor to do our best, for it is by the courage that they displayed, that we are able to enjoy our freedoms this weekend.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memorial Day Reflections...

Today, we present the fourth installment of our weeklong tribute to the men and women who proudly serve this country. This Memorial Day reflection comes to us from Representative George Peterson:

At an early age, my father instilled in me the notion to honor our veterans by saying thanks for their service and sacrifices. When thinking of Memorial Day, I am reminded of the selfless decisions made by our veterans, who courageously defended our country.

Memorial Day is a day when we take a moment to reflect on the individuals who chose to leave their families to fight for the freedom of this great country. It is a great tradition of remembering and honoring those who have lost their lives so that we may live in safety here at home. As a veteran and elected official, I truly understand the cost of freedom that is paid on a daily basis. It is imperative that we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

As we go about this day at our picnics, our cookouts, or any other celebration, it is important to take a moment and pray for all of those men and women who have volunteered to defend our freedom. These individuals are truly heroes; and it is these individuals, both past and present, whom we remember and think about today. From the original Minutemen, to the Armed Forces of today, I appreciate every sacrifice that they have made.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

House Minority Leader’s Statement on the Swearing In of Representative Peter Durant

BOSTON—House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. issued the following statement today following the swearing in of Representative Peter Durant:

I am pleased to formally welcome Representative Peter Durant to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. I, along with my Republican colleagues, look forward to working with him not only on the issues that face the 6th Worcester district, but on those that face the Commonwealth as a whole.

Additionally, I would like to congratulate Representative John Lawn on his swearing in to the House of Representatives today. I look forward to working with Representative Lawn in the Legislature.

Memorial Day Reflections...

Today, we present the third installment of our weeklong tribute to the men and women that proudly serve this country. This Memorial Day reflection comes to us from Representative Sheila Harrington:

Memorial Day is a special time for our entire nation. It is a time where communities gather together to formally recognize those brave men and women who have fought to ensure the safety of all American citizens.

More often than not, we tend to take our freedom for granted. But on Memorial Day of all days we should take a moment to step back and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice; those who fought to give us a land where we can voice our opinions freely, a land where we can work to achieve any and all of our dreams. With Fort Devens being a part of the district that I represent, I urge individuals to visit the Fort Devens Museum to better understand the day to day lives of soldiers and their families as they train for war, but more importantly, to better understand the sacrifice made by so many to preserve our freedom.

John F. Kennedy once said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

This Memorial Day, I believe we as a Commonwealth and a nation should take these words to heart. Although this patriotic holiday has also become a day of family gatherings and backyard barbeques, we each need to make sure that we take the time to remember and appreciate the brave men and women who have served their country and lost their lives in the line of duty. As we formally acknowledge our fallen soldiers today, we should also remember that it is not just enough to recognize their efforts once a year. Let us be thankful and honor their memory and their courage every day of the year by never treating their sacrifices “casually”. Always will their memory be alive in our thoughts and prayers; and let us never forget those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Memorial Day Reflections…

Today, we present the second part of our weeklong tribute to the men and women that proudly serve this country. This Memorial Day reflection comes to us from Representative David Vieira:

I first learned about Memorial Day as a cub scout in East Falmouth by participating in the annual ceremony on the library lawn. Falmouth’s Veterans Memorial Lane and WWII Memorial are proudly placed between the library and Main Street as a constant reminder of the great sacrifices our veterans have made in the pursuit and defense of liberty.

Rain or shine, hot or cold, we gather around Veterans Memorial Lane each Memorial Day to step back from the hustle and bustle of life in our historic resort community to pay homage to those that made the ultimate sacrifice. The morning is a display of those traditions that have made our country great: service, sacrifice, reverence, and patriotism. Active military honor guards, honor guards of veteran’s organizations and public safety departments, Boy & Girl Scouts in uniform, and school bands gather to ensure we shall never forget those who have marched before us. Family members of fallen veterans are reminded the respect and honor due their loved ones from our citizens.

This Memorial Day I will be humbled to hear of the sacrifices of our veterans and their families; sacrifices that make our democracy possible and our nation a beacon of hope throughout the world. As a newly elected state representative I will not forget that the honor of my office would not be possible without the volunteerism and service of our citizen soldiers, the men and women of our Armed Forces.

So as we remember those who have gone before us, let us also pray that those currently serving will return to a grateful nation in short order.

Pro Deo et Patria.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Memorial Day Reflections…

Today, we begin our weeklong tribute to the men and women that proudly serve this country. This first Memorial Day reflection comes to us from Representative George Ross:

All across the Commonwealth we will gather on Memorial Day to celebrate and remember. In the often fast and furious world that we live in, we tend to forget those valiant men and women who serve or have served to preserve and protect our freedoms.

Our brave citizen soldiers have defended our great nation and given us all the ability to live free and prosper in order to become the greatest nation on earth. We must, on this day, reaffirm our commitment to their sacrifices and the values for which they have died. The City of Attleboro, which I have the honor of representing, has a long history of honoring its veterans. We have a number of organizations like the American Legion, VFW and disabled American veterans which are always there to ensure that the memory of our fallen heroes will always be kept alive.

While Memorial Day to some may be about picnics and good times, we must all pause and reflect on those who did not get the chance to return to their loved ones. They made the ultimate sacrifice. None of them ever asked for accolades and/or big parades.

As a Vietnam era veteran, I proudly served for five years in the US Army, and I am proud to help with organized efforts to honor our local returning service men and women. My own family is rich with military service. My son-in-law Cpt. Joshua Johnson will deploy in June to Afghanistan and my nephew, Cpt. Jason Castro, will deploy in September. As a member of our Veterans Committee, I have the opportunity to help our Massachusetts veterans and their families by supporting programs which will help them in their daily lives. We owe a great debt to our heroes and their families for their sacrifices, and I hope that I can make a difference and honor them in some way.

Today we remember our fallen brothers and sisters, and it is my sincere hope that we keep their memory alive within our hearts. We must always keep the ones that they left behind in our daily thoughts and prayers.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Memorial Day Tribute

Here at the Capitol View Live we are always looking for new ways to offer the thoughts, ideas and perspectives of the members of the House Republican Caucus. Starting on Monday and continuing right up until Memorial Day, a different member will offer his/her views and perspective of Memorial Day. They will talk about any personal experiences they may have had, or what the holiday means to the district that they represent. It is our hope to not only introduce you to members of the Republican Caucus, but to remember the sacrifice that the men and women of our armed services have made for us so that we may live in a free democracy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Seat At The Table…

In case you missed it, the Boston Herald reported that the White House Press office denied the newspaper full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser today.

In an email sent to the Boston Herald by the White House spokesman Matt Lehrich, Boston Herald officials were told that “I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters.”

The “snub” is in response to the White House’s objection to the Boston Herald placing an op-ed by Mitt Romney regarding jobs on the front page of the newspaper. The e-mail from the White House goes on to say, “my point about the op-ed was not that you (Boston Herald) ran it, but that it was the full front page which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting US President to Boston.”

This latest display of favoritism only reiterates the Republicans stance on the lack of transparency in government at both the state and federal level. The Obama administrations disapproval of a particular news story should not lead to the lack of a seat at the proverbial table.

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

Monday, May 16, 2011

Brown Delivers Poignant Message at Commencement

In case you missed it, Senator Scott Brown, while delivering the commencement speech at Lasell College, called for the end of one-party dominance in Bay State politics.

Senator Brown, citing the ongoing federal corruption trial of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi, told graduates “I don’t care if you’re Democrat or a Republican – just as one political party can’t be right 100 percent of the time, it shouldn’t have 100 percent of the power. Unchallenged power grows arrogant over time. It is what has given us one case of graft after another.”

Republican officials in Massachusetts have long said that corruption and a sense of entitlement are often the bi-product of one-party dominance. Reliance on a one-party driven government severely limits the checks and balances that would otherwise be in place. We are thankful for Senator Brown keeping this issue at the forefront, especially when addressing graduates who very well may be the future of politics in the Commonwealth.

Click here to read the Boston Globe article in its entirety.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Representative Jones Writes Op-ed for the Boston Herald

In case you missed it, House Minority Leader Bradley Jones wrote an op-ed for the Boston Herald regarding Mitt Romney’s vision for healthcare in the United States. As you may have heard, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney delivered a presentation on Thursday outlining the differences of his vision for healthcare, and those of President Obama’s. Representative Jones’ op-ed provides insight from his experience as House Minority Leader during the implementation of mandatory health care in Massachusetts. Additionally, Representative Jones offers his reaction to the comparisons between Mitt Romney’s healthcare plan for America and Obamacare.

Click here to see what Representative Jones had to say.

Representative Marc Lombardo Appears on the FOX-25 Morning News

In case you missed it, Representative Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica) made an appearance on the FOX-25 Morning News’ Zip Trip in Billerica today. Representative Lombardo joined VB and Gene Lavanchy for the “Let it Rip” segment. Click on the video below for more.

Billerica: Local Let it Rip:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Tool Highlights Municipal Health Care Costs

In case you missed it, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation recently launched an interactive analysis of the potential financial impact of municipal health care reform on local cities and towns.

The community-by-community analysis of municipal health care reform helps illustrate the amount of savings that would have been achieved if the community joined GIC over the past ten fiscal years. In a press release, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said, “according to analysis, cities and towns in the state have sacrificed hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs in the last decade because local officials have had limited authority to manage their exploding growth in health insurance costs.”

The interactive analysis allows users to enter their city or town, as well as their Senate district, to view the potential cost savings and job growth by switching to the state run GIC or plan design. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation determined that “more than $3 billion in savings could have been achieved statewide had municipalities been granted plan design authority in 2001, equivalent to approximately 6,500 municipal jobs statewide (at $50,000 per job per year).”

In an economy where cities and towns are struggling to operate under a fiscally responsible budget, and jobs are hard to come by, this interactive tool is a sobering asset. It is our hope that this online resource is yet another tool in allowing resident to fully understand the financial impacts of municipal healthcare.

Peter Durant Prevails…

In case you missed it, Peter Durant won the special election run-off in the 6th Worcester District yesterday against incumbent, Representative Geraldo Alicea.

Peter Durant’s victory is a testament to his passion, perseverance, and principles. For these reasons, we would like to congratulate Representative-elect Durant. We look forward to welcoming him to the Republican caucus, and working with him on not only issues that face the 6th Worcester District, but those that face the Commonwealth as a whole.

Additionally, we would like to commend Jim Dixon and his hard fought and valiant effort in the race for the 10th Middlesex District. Jim did a great job in spreading his ideas for Beacon Hill and the 10th Middlesex district. We are grateful for the campaign he ran. We extend our congratulations to Representative-elect John Lawn, who won, and look forward to working with him in the Legislature.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It’s That Time of Year…

In case you missed it, the House of Representatives will meet in a joint full formal session with the State Senate on Wednesday in order to debate and vote on amendments to the Constitution of Massachusetts.

This year, Republicans will be offering a variety of amendments to the Constitution that are fiscally minded, “good government” proposals. Republican amendments range from preventing eminent domain takings for any non-public use, to establishing a two-year budget cycle to help state and local leaders make more accurate financial plans for the use of resources over time. Other fiscally backed Republican proposals include a call for the repeal of automatic increases in compensation for members of the General Court.

If adopted, an amendment is then taken up for further consideration at the next Constitutional Convention in two years.

Special Elections

In case you forgot, today marks two special elections for seats in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

In the race for the 6th Worcester District, Democratic incumbent Geraldo Alicea is facing off against Republican challenger Peter Durant. As you may recall, a judge ruled that this race ended in a tie last November.

The other special election is in the 10th Middlesex District to fill the seat left vacant when Peter Koutoujian was appointed Middlesex County Sherriff. This race is between Republican James Dixon of Waltham and Democrat John Lawn of Watertown.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Neither The Time, Nor The Place…

In case you missed it, the Democratic Party’s reoccurring theme of being out of touch with the people of Massachusetts continues. This latest “episode” finds the Democrats looking to raise, among other things, the income and capital gains tax.

During a public hearing at the State House yesterday, the Joint Committee on Revenue heard testimony surrounding House Bill 2553/Senate Bill 1416. Filed by Representative O’Day and Senator Chang-Diaz, these bills look to raise the state’s income tax rate to 5.95% from the current 5.3% and increase the long-term capital gains tax to 8.95% from the current 5.3%.

In an economy where the unemployment rate stands at 8% and people are facing a $4 a gallon price tag at the pump, lawmakers need to remain focused on trying to put money back into the pockets of the taxpayers rather than taking money away. With the recent passage of the House FY’12 budget, which was free of any tax hikes, this most recent attempt to raise taxes in the Commonwealth is both ill advised and poorly timed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Representative Beaton to Make Media Appearance

Representative Matt Beaton (R-Shrewsbury) will be on the FOX-25 News Zip Trip to Shrewsbury tomorrow morning. Representative Beaton will be appearing on the “Meet the Peeps” segment at 8:50am. The segment will cover the issues and people in and around Shrewsbury.

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