Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts’
January 19th, 2010 at 5:55 pm
Follow CFIF for Election Night Coverage
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Tonight, CFIF will be tweeting live during Election Night in Massachusetts.  The race is a pure tossup between Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Martha Coakley.

When in doubt, though, we trust the markets.  Intrade, the betting market for all things political, currently predicts that Brown has an 84% chance of winning, a huge increase from earlier this month.

You can learn more and follow CFIF on Twitter by clicking here.

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January 19th, 2010 at 12:41 pm
Democrats See Writing on the Wall?
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The current political environment for Democrats appears gloomy.  The President’s approval rating continues to hover around 50%, Democrats can claim few political victories and now there is a strong chance that a Republican will be the next Senator from Massachusetts. The GOP has not captured a Senate seat in the Commonwealth since 1972.

A victory for Republican Scott Brown would make the passage of ObamaCare exceedingly difficult and perhaps kill its legislative prospects altogether, though Democrats will not completely cede the issue to the GOP.

As voters head to the polls in the Bay State, recent predictions are confirming that Brown has a legitimate shot at the seat.  Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight projects a Brown victory based on aggregate polling data since the first week in January.  Silver writes, “Coakley’s odds are substantially worse than they appeared to be 24 hours ago, when there were fewer credible polls to evaluate and there appeared to be some chance that her numbers were bottoming out and perhaps reversing.  However, the ARG and Research 2000 polls both show clear and recent trends against her.”

Charles Franklin at Pollster agrees with Silver.  Franklin noted, “Across all models, Brown leads by between 1.0 and 8.9 points.  Three quarters of the estimates have Brown ahead by 4 points or more.”

And now, Politico reports that some Democrats are working up contingency plans if Scott Brown proves to be the 41st vote against a government takeover of health care.  Their plan: Blame Republicans.  One Democratic staffer noted, “Sure you could say it’s worse because we didn’t pass anything.  But it might be better to get past this as soon as possible, and bring it up for a vote in the Senate, let Republicans kill it – and then blame them for everything.”

Nice strategy.  Voters will surely reward you for delivering on your message of transparency, lower taxes for the middle class and affordable health care.

January 19th, 2010 at 10:48 am
Massachusetts and Pelosi’s Plan B on ObamaCare

Today, all eyes are on Massachusetts as Bay State voters head to the polls to decide the fate of the U.S. Senate seat previously held by the late Senator Ted Kennedy.  Will Republican State Senator Scott Brown pull it out against Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley?  We will all know soon enough.

The special election between Brown and Coakley is, in large part, a referendum on President Obama’s agenda, including health care reform.  The President himself, while avoiding the health care issue as much as possible, all but admitted as much during a campaign speech for Coakley on Sunday.  If Brown does pull off a victory, Democrats will lose the 60th vote in the Senate needed to sustain their filibuster-proof majority to pass ObamaCare and possibly other legislation on President Obama’s agenda.

But that is not discouraging some in the Democrat leadership, most notably House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  According to Alex Koppelman at, Pelosi commented about the situation during an event in San Francisco yesterday:

“Let’s remove all doubt, we will have healthcare one way or another. … Certainly the dynamic would change depending on what happens in Massachusetts. Just the question about how we would proceed. But it doesn’t mean we won’t have a health care bill.”   

How can the Speaker be so confident?  According to a report in yesterday’s New York Times:

The White House and Democratic Congressional leaders, scrambling for a backup plan to rescue their health care legislation if Republicans win the special election in Massachusetts on Tuesday, have begun laying the groundwork to ask House Democrats to approve the Senate version of the bill and send it directly to President Obama for his signature.

In other words, Plan B for Pelosi appears to be to ask her caucus just to approve the Senate-passed health care bill, avoiding another vote in the Senate altogether.  That’s a big ask considering the numerous and significant complaints many in her caucus have expressed about the Senate bill.

If Scott Brown wins today in the most liberal state in the Union, the message to rank-and-file Democrats about health care “reform” and President Obama’s overall agenda should be clear.  If Brown wins and they continue to follow Pelosi’s lead and pass ObamaCare “one way or another,” they ignore that clear message at their own peril.

January 14th, 2010 at 1:39 pm
Barney Frank is Still Crazy
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The ostentatious Representative Barney Frank from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts never shies away from reporters or combative political opponents.  He once said to a constituent at a town hall meeting, “Ma’am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table.  I have no interest in doing it.”

Now, amidst rumors that Democrats are planning to delay the swearing-in of Republican Scott Brown if he were to win the special election in Massachusetts, Frank issued yet another linguistic tour de force.

Representative Frank opined, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve been asked in a long time.  That is insane, the suggestion could only come from a demented right wing source… That is conspiracy theory at its most contemptible.”  BAM!

Barney, you’re wrong.   ‘Conspiracies’ like this happen all the time in Washington’s political meat grinder.

Remember, Massachusetts Democrats changed the rules on filing Senate vacancies twice, once in 2004 when it would have aided Democrats, and again in 2009 to ensure a 60th Democratic Senator.

Remember, Representative Bill Owens (D-NY) was sworn in on a weekend so that Speaker Pelosi could secure his vote for health care reform.

Remember, Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL) almost had his swearing-in delayed because Speaker Pelosi wanted to reduce the number of Republicans.  Pelosi ultimately decided to seat Buchanan so that his district would have representation.  After Buchanan’s election, however, one Democrat noted, “No one who’s in a disputed election like this should get too comfortable in the House of Representatives.”

Because Massachusetts can take its time with certification and because the Senate, under Article I §5, “shall be the Judge of Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members,” then there is plenty of legitimate legal ground for Democrats to delay the ceremony.

However, since the public backlash against even the idea of a delay is so strong, it appears that the eventual winner will be sworn in the normal course, but “normal” might not occur until February if the Senator happens to have an “R” after his name.

Barney, you might be entertaining but you’re still crazy.

October 22nd, 2009 at 10:18 am
Individual Mandate Increased ER Visits
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Despite claims from some on the left, including the White House, that health care reform will lower visits to the ER, new statistics from Massachusetts prove that individual mandates could actually increase ER visits.

A survey of Massachusetts emergency physicians found that 42% said emergency care had “somewhat increased,” while 22% of respondents said ER care had “significantly increased.”

The main platform of health care reform in Massachusetts is an individual health care mandate for virtually all residents.  (Residents who fail to obtain coverage can face fines of up to $912.)  Dr. Angela Gardner, President of the American College of Emergency Physicians, noted, “The idea that emergency departments are filled with people who don’t need to be there is simply not true.”

Thus, despite increased access to care in Massachusetts, ER’s across the commonwealth are still inundated with patients.  This finding isn’t too surprising.  Sure enough, people will actually go out of their way to save their lives, even if government tries to get in the way.

September 24th, 2009 at 8:14 am
Sen. Kennedy’s Replacement to be Named Today

The Boston Globe is reporting that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will announce his choice to fill U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy’s seat on an interim basis.  He is schedule to make the announcement at a press conference at 11:00 a.m. 

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Paul G. Kirk, Jr., who served as an assistant to Senator Kennedy from 1969-1977, appears to be the choice. 

Earlier this week, the Massachusetts legislature changed state law to permit Governor Patrick to appoint an interim Senator, but the legislature stipulated that the Governor would have to wait 90 days or, alternatively, declare an “emergency situation” to name Kennedy’s successor immediately.  Not surprisingly, the Governor is choosing to do the latter.

September 22nd, 2009 at 3:41 pm
The 60th Senator
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As much as Massachusetts Democrats fought to remove their Governor’s power to appoint temporary Senators, it appears that principal has taken a back seat to politics once again.

Today, the Massachusetts Senate approved a bill allowing Governor Deval Patrick to name Senator Edward Kennedy’s replacement by as early as this week.

This was the same Senate that removed the power of the Governor to appoint to temporary Senators in 2004 when Republican Mitt Romney ran the show.

If there was ever a reason to loathe political parties, this is it.  Principal and logic, two qualities that most Americans possess, are constantly subsumed to politics in today’s world.