Saturday, November 10, 2012

Goal!


Dear Friend,

As you may know, in 2010 as a result of the efforts of the Patrick-Murray Administration, Worcester Airport was sold by the City of Worcester to MassPort. The intent of this transfer was to accelerate development at the airport and expand aviation services to the Central Massachusetts Region by leveraging MassPort’s airline contacts and expertise. Last week, I was proud to join Congressman McGovern, Rectrix executives, and officials from the City of Worcester and MassPort to announce that Rectrix, a premium private jet and aircraft management company, would be the official service provider at Worcester Regional Airport.


The company won a multi-million dollar contract from MassPort to develop world class fixed-base operations (FBO) services at both Worcester Regional Airport and Hanscom Field. This new development will create over 100 new jobs to include flight crews, mechanics, and ramp workers. Rectrix has also announced that they will be investing $5 million to develop 27,000 square feet of hangar and office space at the Worcester airport. This project is to be completed within 2 years and all of the buildings will be LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.


On a side note, former Boston Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr, who serves as an ambassador for Rectrix and believes in Massachusetts businesses, was also at the announcement. I remember going to the Worcester Public Library as kid in the mid-1970s with my brand new library card and checking out my first book, a book about Bobby Orr. His hard work and determination made him one of the greatest players to ever play hockey. Good hockey players know where they puck is, great hockey players anticipate where the puck is going to be. Obviously Bobby Orr and Rectrix, along with JetBlue’s interest in Worcester Regional Airport, anticipate that the aviation puck is coming to Central Massachusetts soon. This will be a “goal” for the entire Commonwealth. 


As always thank you for your time and support.

Sincerely,


Lt. Governor Tim Murray

Sunday, November 4, 2012

L'Italien Should Be Voted Back To The State House


As we get closer to Election Day, I'd like to tell your readers about a great experience I had, working with Barbara L'Italien, candidate for State Representative in my district.

About three years ago, my neighborhood found out that a cell phone tower was going to be built on our street. Abutters had not been notified.  We were concerned for many reasons, including possible consequences for public health, neighborhood aesthetics, and effect on property values.

I remember feeling pretty powerless at the time.  Here we were, a group of neighbors up against a large company connected to a large industry with lots of leverage and money at their disposal.

Our neighborhood group knew that only by working together with our State Representative could we stop the tower, so we contacted Barbara L'Italien.  I had met Barbara before, and found her to be a warm, sensitive, and genuinely sincere individual.  But now our group was asking Barbara to go to bat for us against a big company.  As events progressed, I was extremely impressed to see that Barbara was someone who could conduct business in a cool, efficient, and powerful manner, without sacrificing any of her personal integrity, and without hurting anyone in the process.  She approached our problem in a balanced fashion, working alongside both local citizens and state agencies.

To make a long story short, our neighborhood won the battle, due in no small part to the efforts of Barbara L'Italien.  I will never forget the combination of personal integrity and the powerful use of public office that Barbara exemplified in this event.  I'm urging everyone in our district to vote for Barbara L'Italien in the coming election.

Thank you,
Elliott Jacobowitz

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Letter: ‘Vote for Barbara L’Italien’

Serving on the Andover Board of Selectmen, I saw first hand the importance of setting aside politics in order to develop responsible policy. Whether it was working with my fellow Selectmen, my colleagues on the School Committee, or our representatives in the state legislature, we all understood that despite our differences, we needed to work together to move Andover forward.

During my service I was lucky to have a partner in Barbara L'Italien. As our State Representative, Barbara made the effort to regularly communicate with residents and local officials in fighting for the Merrimack Valley.

While it may sound abstract to say that Barbara communicated, I cannot think of a better way to describe her hands-on approach to serving our town. Whether it was regularly attending community meetings, or making herself available for a quick phone conversation, I always knew Barbara to be a legislator who viewed local officials as partners in improving Andover.

In government, no two people ever agree 100 percent of the time. But what is undeniable is that government can not function if we don't elect people who can set aside differences, roll up their sleeves, and work together for the betterment of the communities they are suppose to represent. That is why I ask that you join me in voting for Barbara L'Italien as our next State Representative.

John Hess
Chestnut Street, Andover

Saturday, October 27, 2012

LETTER: L'Italien on Boxford's Salt Shed Issue

Living in Boxford's precinct 2 we were fortunate to have Barbara L'Italien as our State Representative for 8 years.  At the same time Boxford was also fortunate to have Brad Hill as a State Representative and Bruce Tarr as our State Senator.  The three of them worked together very effectively for Boxford and were able to accomplish a great deal.  I believe they were particularly successful because of the bipartisan nature of their relationship.  While they had many accomplishments during that time, the most important was the work they did to address the terrible problems that some Boxford residents have with salt in their water.  Barbara L'Italien was key in passing legislation to compel MassDOT to commission an engineering study of the salt problem and recommend solutions to restore the groundwater quality.  I do not believe that the legislation would have been passed in its current form (over the Governor's objections) without Barbara's strong advocacy.  She demonstrated many times that she is willing to do what she believes is right, independent of party.

During those 8 years, Barbara was often in Boxford.  She was at Selectmen's meetings, Masco meetings, held monthly office hours at our senior center and attended other events regularly.  She was consistently responsive to constituent questions and issues.  Between Barbara, Representative Hill and Senator Tarr, we have become accustomed to legislators who are available and responsive, working with Town officials to address Boxford's issues.

In 2010 Jim Lyons was elected to replace Barbara L'Italien.  While Barbara always paid attention to our town, the same cannot be said of Mr. Lyons. Just this past summer, Senator Tarr requested a meeting with the Boxford Selectmen to discuss an issue relative to the salt study.  Senator Tarr, Representative Hill and Representative Lyons were in attendance.  Before the meeting started, I watched as Representative Lyons introduced himself to the members of the Board of Selectmen.  After a year and a half in office, he had never met our town officials nor attended a Selectmen's meeting.  Ironically, at this same meeting the Selectmen recognized Barbara for her important role working on this issue.

Due to redistricting, only residents of precinct 1 have the opportunity to vote for Barbara L'Italien.  I hope that they will vote for her, as she has demonstrated that she will be an effective, responsive Representative for all of Boxford. 

Sincerely,
Barbara Jessel
Boxford

Friday, October 26, 2012

As State Rep, L'Italien Will Work With Both Parties

"I know that this Nov. 6, I'll be voting for the representative that works together with both sides to address the issues important to the town of Tewksbury, Barbara L'Italien. I urge my friends and neighbors to do."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

L'Italien on Bipartisan Solutions


We support Barbara L'Italien for a lot of reasons -- her work ethic, her solution-oriented approach to legislating, and her tremendous accomplishments during eight years as one of Andover's state respresentatives.  But after two years of stalemate and partisan rancor, perhaps the biggest reason we plan to vote for Barbara is because of her willingness to reach across the aisle and her history of finding bipartisan solutions.

Barbara was first elected in 2002, entering the Statehouse as a Democrat just as Mitt Romney began his tenure as a Republican governor.  From the beginning, Barbara made it clear that party politics was not her style.  At considerable risk to her own political future, Barbara stood up against Tom Finneran as one of the very few Democrats unwilling to rubber-stamp Another Finneran term as Speaker.  At the same time, she established good relations with the Romney administration, an important reason why Barbara was so successful so early in her career at getting legislation passed that made a difference in her constituents' lives.  This bipartisan approach won her no political favors from Mr. Finneran, but they established Barbara as a leiglstor to be taken seriously.

Her colleagues took note.  After only three terms, Barbara was promoted over many long-time legislators to become Vice Chairman of the critical House Ways & Means Committee.  In that position, Barbara played a huge role in passing a balanced budget at a time when the Commonwealth's finances were disarray.  Working with colleagues from both parties, Barbara found a balanced solution that included painful spending cuts coupled with difficult but necessary revenue increases.  Barbara was never under illusion that either the spending cuts or the revenue increases would be popular -- but she just as when she stood up to Tom Finneran to do the right thing, again she stood up to criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike in order to bring sanity and restraint to the state budget.

It's easy for a politician to seek refuge in the extreme wing of his party, to demonize colleagues from the opposing party, and to declare fealty to abstract principles like never raising taxes or never working across the aisle.  But governing is serious business, one that requires our elected representatives to stand up to their own party and to be willing to work with their opponents. Throughout her career, Barbara has exemplified the very best qualities that we hope from our state representatives.  We hope that you will join us in voting for Barbara L'Italien on election day.


Bob and Annie Gilbert

Gray Road
Andover

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mitt Romney: Bad for Massachusetts, Bad for America


Since the first Presidential debate, Mitt Romney has been extolling his
record as Massachusetts Governor (from 2002- 2006). But an independent
study concluded that Massachusetts was among the lowest-performing states
during that period. Romney's failed policies resulted in an approval rating
of 34% when he left office! Contrary to Romney's promises, spending cuts
alone did not fix the state's economy, did not create jobs, did not protect
the middle class, and did not promote economic growth. Responding to these
draconian cuts, municipalities raised property taxes on average 24%.
Sweeping state fee increases further raised middle class taxes.

His promised "second to none in the history of the state" job creation
program was anemic. During his 4 years, Massachusetts nationally ranked 47
out of 50 for job growth, new job growth was less than 1%, 14,000
manufacturing jobs were lost, and unemployment remained significantly higher
than average.

His bipartisan claims similarly proved empty. He issued a whopping 800
legislative vetoes and had little involvement with even Republican state
legislators.

During his last two years, Romney effectively quit his job in order to
pursue his Presidential ambitions. His more than 100 out-of-state trips cost
taxpayers some $200,000. More significantly, he had morphed from a
moderate to a very conservative Romney.

As Massachusetts residents, we have seen Romney up-close as a government
CEO. Mitt Romney was bad for Massachusetts in 2006. There is no reason to
believe that he will be any better for America in 2013.

Lois Karfunkel
John Zipeto
Andover, Massachusetts

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Scott Brown on women's issues: not a moderate



Scott Brown claims to be a moderate Republican. However, I have found that
he says one thing, but his US Senate voting record suggests an entirely
different ideology. His nearly perfect voting record against women's health
care and equal pay suggests an allegiance to a right wing conservative
ideology that is at odds with the best interests of women in Massachusetts.

Scott Brown opposes the Affordable Care Act which provides for diagnostic
medical services for women, such as mammograms and cancer screening tests.
While Scott Brown believes that we need to get big government out of our
lives, he is ready to impose government restrictions on extremely personal
and private decisions women make every day regarding birth control and
family planning. Scott Brown voted to allow employers authority to
arbitrarily restrict health care coverage, including birth control and
family planning services. Scott Brown has also voted against a bill that
would support equal pay for equal work.

Scott Brown, along with a majority of the republican members of the US House
of Representatives and US Senate, wants to turn back the clock on the
advancement of women's rights that has been achieved over the past 50 years.
In my view, Scott Brown has not voted as a moderate in the US Senate on a
wide range of issues from Wall Street to health care to the environment.
Please look beyond the "nice guy" image that his campaign is carefully
promoting for candidate Brown. His past votes in the US Senate demonstrate
his lack of commitment to issues that are important in Massachusetts.


Patricia Commane
7 Hall Ave
Andover, MA

Monday, October 15, 2012

In the Merrimack Valley, Obama has more donors, Romney more money

In Andover, Obama raised $90,527 and Romney raised $77,700.

“Even though Andover is typically Republican it is a testament to the work that the democrats have done at the grassroots level,” Padova said.”You work hard and generally you get the pay. That is why I think they bucked the trend here in Andover.”


In the Merrimack Valley, Obama has more donors, Romney more money

Friday, October 5, 2012

Andover DTC Supports Elizabeth Warren in Lowell



L to R - Gail Mann, Cindy Ade, Jessica Anthony, Tom Fedak and Pat Commane


Romney Finally Recalls He Was Once Governor Of Massachusetts

During the first Presidential debate, I was surprised to see Mitt Romney extol his record as a former single term Governor of this Commonwealth—especially when during much of the past 18 months of this campaign he mentioned the word “Massachusetts” only when unavoidable. Perhaps this former reluctance is because his record as CEO of this state resulted in an approval rating of only 34% when he left office.

This loss of public support can be attributed to the disparity between Romney’s grand economic promises and his record as Governor. Despite coming into office in 2002 professing that his jobs program would be “second to none in the history of the state” jobs program -- much as he now touts that he will create 12 million new jobs -- Romney’s record as a job creator was dismal. During Romney’s 4 year tenure: 1) “…the pace of job growth significantly lagged the nation’s.” [Boston Globe, 9/6/12 at p.A-1.] He created only 31,000 jobs, a 1% rate increase verses the nation’s 5% during the same time period [Globe, 9/6/12]; 2) he oversaw anemic job recovery, the state ranking 47th for job growth [Globe, 10/1/12, confirming this ranking as “accurate”]; 3) new jobs increased a mere 0.8%, the 4th weakest rate in the nation [Globe 5/31/12, citing to Moody’s Economy.com]; and 14% of manufacturing jobs were lost, making Massachusetts “among the lowest-performing states in the country.” [Globe 5/31/12 citing to A. Sum Northeastern U. study.] Sure seems like Romney’s record as a “job creator” (without even considering his Bain Capital tenure job losses) is just campaign fluff. 

Other economic indicators for financial recovery similarly were disappointing. Unemployment remained higher than the nations’ average, and would have been more so if some 3.5% of workers had not left the Commonwealth to find jobs elsewhere [Globe, 9/5/12]. To create a “balanced” budget, Romney cut state aid to cities and towns, including 4% cuts for schools. This approach to education negatively impacted on the quality of the Commonwealth’s public schools, a main attraction to business growth and stimulus. If Massachusetts’ schools were doing well, as Romney now claims, this was not attributable to the Governor’s support. Romney’s other actions effectively raised taxes on the beleaguered middle class. Not unexpectedly, after the cuts in state aid, financially stressed municipalities responded to the reduced revenue by raising property taxes, on average, about 24%. [Globe, 9/6/12]. The middle-class also paid more “taxes” through sweeping increases in government fees (such as the cost of marriage licenses). [Globe, 9/6/12] If these actions foreshadow Romney’s current plan to “lower taxes” for all (unclear due to his lack of specifics on his proposed economic plan) , the middle class should expect to bear the brunt of the pain.

Finally, Romney claims that he worked effectively with the Democratic controlled legislature, and can do so again. Romney fails to remind voters that he issued some 800 vetoes as Governor, nearly all of which were then overturned. [NPR, 6/13/12] Also, those were different pre- Tea Party times when one party’s leader did not proclaim that his first goal was to defeat the incumbent president and not to govern on behalf of the nation, a promise backed up by constant filibustering and partisan obstruction. 

What should we conclude from Romney’s record as Massachusetts Governor? Reality as shown by the economic facts should make voters question hard Romney’s self-promotion as a turnaround expert and sunny promises of millions of new jobs. Economists tell us that recovery from the “Great Recession”, based on historical experience, will be slow and difficult. We should be wary of claimed quick fixes by political salespeople, especially when not backed up by specifics.


Lois Karfunkel
22 Orchard Crossing
Andover, MA

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Expanding Our Creative Economy


Dear Friends,

Last month I was at Mount Washington Town Hall in south Berkshire County where more than ten percent of the residents of the town attended a meeting to discuss the Patrick-Murray Administration’s efforts in bringing universal broadband to every municipality in the Commonwealth. Considering that the town of Mount Washington only has a population of 167 residents, a turnout of 22 residents including all 3 selectmen and members of the town broadband committee, on a Friday afternoon demonstrates how important this issue is to residents across Massachusetts. This is especially true in more rural parts of the state where a lack of access to broadband is a major obstacle to economic development, education, and public safety.

The Massachusetts Broadband Institute, created by the Patrick-Murray Administration and the Massachusetts Legislature in 2008, is in the process of building MassBroadband 123, a 1,300 mile fiber-optic backbone network that will connect over 120 communities in western and north central Massachusetts. This project is funded by approximately $45 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, in addition to $30 million in state matching funds. Construction will be completed in the summer of 2013. 

I also had the pleasure of visiting Hitpoint Studios in Hatfield, the largest independent gaming company in Massachusetts with 44 fulltime employees. The affordable cost of living in western Massachusetts and access to the wealth of talented artists, designers, and programmers in the Five College area allows Hitpoint to compete with their competitors in Seattle, New York, and San Francisco.

Hitpoint is only one example of how we are using the Commonwealth’s resources such as our talented workforce, a product of our outstanding universities, to encourage businesses and industries to operate in every region of Massachusetts and make strategic investments to attract new and modern industries. 


For more information on the Creative Economy please visit:
http://www.mass.gov/hed/economic/industries/creative/createmass.html

Once again, thank you for your support on this and other Patrick-Murray Administration’s initiatives.

Sincerely,



Tim Murray

Friday, September 14, 2012

Elizabeth Warren for MA | TV Ad: Fighter

Let’s fix Medicare, not throw it away

The Eagle Tribune published an op-ed piece prepared by a guest columnist on Saturday, August 25, 2012. It highlighted how the Paul Ryan Medicare Plan was similar to the health insurance program enjoyed by members of Congress. I offered commentary to respond to the op-ed piece. It has never been published. Below is my response to the August 25 op-ed piece:


Let’s fix Medicare, not throw it away

 
Your editorial on Medicare (Eagle Tribune, Aug. 25, 2012) makes the case that the Ryan Medicare Plan is very similar to the health care plans provided to members of Congress.

The more important question is: does the Ryan Medicare Plan mirror the traditional Medicare Program? Not by a long shot.

Let’s look at accessibility and affordability. Medicare subscribers can visit any doctor and any hospital in the US that accepts Medicare. Federal health care plan options, like HMO’s or PPO’s, require subscribers to be part of a limited network of doctors and hospitals. The Medicare Part B monthly premium ranges from $ 80 to about $ 150, and the monthly premium for Medicare prescription drug coverage begins at about $ 20. A comparative single status monthly premium for non-Medicare federal health care coverage is several hundred dollars more.

The Ryan Medicare Plan seeks to reduce the overall cost and burden to taxpayers by shifting a significant portion of premium costs to eligible senior citizens. According to recently published articles, the average added premium cost to a Medicare recipient would be about $ 6,400 per year. A married couple on Medicare would see their premiums skyrocket nearly $ 13,000 per year. While it’s fair to say that some Medicare recipients can afford such an increase, the vast majority of seniors cannot. Under such a scenario, we can expect that millions of Medicare recipients will likely cancel their coverage. We will have effectively turned back the clock on medical care for seniors to a time when poverty, home foreclosures, and bankruptcy were the typical choices that seniors had to face.

Over the past 45 years, Medicare has proven to be a life saver for many. Now is the time to make a successful health care program even better. We can also agree that Medicare reform must be part of a comprehensive program of budget control and deficit reduction. But attempting to make major program and cost changes during an especially contentious presidential campaign will not achieve a fair and balanced result. A full and complete airing of proposed changes to Medicare from all parties must be made to all Americans in a transparent manner. Scare tactics and misinformation must not be part of the discussion.


John F. Zipeto
14 Canterbury Street
Andover, MA 01810
978-475-7844

Monday, August 27, 2012

Scott Brown: Taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil are OK


According to published reports, the four largest transnational oil companies reported $ 139 billion in profits last year. But even with these highly profitable companies, the US taxpayers still subsidize the oil industry with about $ 64 billion. When the US Senate recently voted to eliminate the taxpayer subsidies for oil companies, Scott Brown sided with the oil industry and voted to disapprove the bill.

Scott Brown claims to be a political moderate. His record on the taxpayer subsidy bill for oil companies demonstrates otherwise. He claims to support the best interests of Massachusetts voters. But a big tax giveaway to Big Oil—is that in our best interests?

I think not.

Here’s one way for Scott Brown to really demonstrate his support for the best interests of Massachusetts voters: be a real job creator. He should convince his republican colleagues in the US Senate to redirect Big Oil tax subsidies to building highways, bridges, water and sewer lines, ports and harbors, and internet infrastructure. By investing in America, thousands of new jobs in Massachusetts will help jumpstart the economy. A renewed demand for goods and services will enable small businesses in Massachusetts to hire new employees and further stimulate the economy.

Scott Brown’s wealthy “job creator” friends have been sitting around for almost four years now, not creating good paying jobs. Scott Brown has also blocked virtually every jobs creating bill that has been considered by the US Senate in the past two years.

So, here’s the big choice: go with Scott Brown and retain tax breaks for Big Oil, or redirect taxpayer subsidies to create new jobs and watch people with paychecks in their pockets stimulate the economy and create more jobs. This choice is a really a no-brainer.

Whether it is wishful thinking or just blind ideology, Scott Brown is moving Massachusetts in the wrong direction—job killing instead of job creating.

Scott Brown thinks that more tax cuts for wealthy Americans are the only way to create jobs. The trickle down theory was tried in the early 1980’s under Reagan. It didn’t work then and it isn’t working now. Let’s stop subsidizing Big Oil and start investing in Americans—let’s put them back to work.

John F. Zipeto
14 Canterbury Street
Andover, MA 01810
978-475-7844

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Brown Record Speaks for Itself

As a long-term resident of the Merrimack Valley, I am deeply concerned that the public image Senator Scott Brown presents via the media and scripted speeches fails to focus on the reality of his record.

To set the record straight I believe voters should know the following FACTS about Mr. Brown’s legislative actions:

1. Contrary to his numerous claims and his recent ads, Mr. Brown’s voting record is one of a partisan Republican and not a moderate independent. Until Elizabeth Warren entered the Senate race, 93.8% of the time he voted the straight Republican Party line. (ProgressMass study of voting record, 5/7/12). 

2. He has promoted this false image of being independent by claiming to support Democratic measures --while working behind the scenes to obstruct them. For example, while he belatedly voted to support financial reform, the truth is that private emails show he worked behind the scenes to permit banks to continue risky business practices. As the Boston Globe reported on June 4, 2012, “Senator Scott Brown has trumpeted his role in casting the deciding vote in favor of the 2010 Wall Street overhaul, but records show that after he voted for the law, he worked to shield banks and other financial institutions from some of its tough provisions. E-mails between Brown's legislative director and US Treasury Department officials show that Brown advocated for a loose interpretation of the law so that banks could more easily engage in high-risk investments.” (at p. A-1, Metro).In similar fashion, he initially voted NO twice to block a needed payroll tax cut extension to help 160 million mostly middle class Americans – but then, once it became clear the measure would pass, he changed his vote to yes, proclaiming he supported the idea all along.
3. Contrary to his image of being a “man of the people” with his truck and barn coat – and high six figure income, Brown’s voting record shows him to be a Wall Street best friend, to the point that Forbes Magazine named him one of Wall Street’s favorite Senators! A grateful Wall Street has responded by making more financial contributions to Brown than to almost any other Senator (N.Y. Times, 11/18/11).
4. Brown has been anything but a Job Creator and friend of small business! His No votes to promote JOBS and protect workers include opposing bills that would:  

a) extend Unemployment Insurance (S. 1660)
b) protect 22,000 MA teacher, firefighter, and police jobs. (S. 1723)
c) create 11,000 MA infrastructure repair jobs (S. 1769)
d) promote American jobs while discouraging off-shore jobs (S.3816)
e) provide summer jobs for teens (Boston Herald).

5. Brown’s voting record shows him NOT to be a “Friend of the Middle Class/Students/Women/ Environment”. Repeatedly he voted with the Republican Party leadership against the interests of the middle class. He voted NO to renew Student Loan relief. The reason he gave was that the relatively small cost for helping financially strapped students and their families was to be paid by closing tax loopholes for the rich – he preferred cutting preventative health care for the poor. (NYTimes, 6/28/12). He voted NO to the “Buffet Rule” to tax millionaires fairly. He co-sponsored the effort to limit women’s access to health care insurance coverage at work. (Boston Globe, 2/15/12). He voted NO to give women equal pay for equal work (S. 3772). He voted NO on the Senior Citizen Relief Act that would help seniors struggling on social security just a little (S. 3985). Brown voted NO to help 9/11 responders exposed to toxins get needed health care coverage. (NYTimes, 12/9/2010). He voted NO to protect clean air regulations, such as the EPA’s efforts to reduce carbon pollution – which science shows contributes to children’s asthma and other illnesses. A May 13, 2011 letter to him from some 40 environmental groups pointed out that Brown’s votes contradict his misleading claims that he is a supporter of a “clean environment”.

The Brown record speaks for itself. Voters need to separate myth from reality when assessing his candidacy -- and the press needs to step up and help identify the facts.

Sincerely yours,

Lois Karfunkel
22 Orchard Crossing
Andover, MA

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Important Voting Information

We need your help in contacting all Democratic and Unenrolled college students in Andover who will be returning to school very soon. This is a MUST DO effort. Each student must register to vote and be prepared to complete a ballot regardless of WHERE they may be in September or November. Please spread the word as quickly as you can--by email, face-book, twitter, cell phone, or even across the dinner table. The election information provided below will serve as a guide and reminder for them. 

Voter Residency—You must submit your voter registration form in your home town using your home address. College and university dormitory and away-from-home apartment addresses will not be accepted in non-resident communities.

Massachusetts Voter Registration forms are available at post offices, public libraries, Registries of Motor Vehicles and City/Town clerk’s offices throughout the state. You can also receive voter registration forms from the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office by calling 617-727-2828 or on the web at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleidx.htm. Since each state has its own voter registration requirements and forms, DO NOT use non-Massachusetts voter registration forms. Submit your completed voter registration form as soon as possible, preferably before you return to school.

Absentee Ballot Information— If you do not plan to be in Andover on September 6, 2012 or November 6, 2012, stop by the Andover Town Clerk’s office (978-623-8255), Town Hall, Bartlet Street, as soon as possible (i.e., before returning to school) and file an Absentee Ballot application. If ballots are available, you will be able to vote on the same day. Otherwise a ballot will be mailed to you. IMPORTANT: Your completed ballot MUST BE RECEIVED on or before the date of the election to count. If you are unable to complete an absentee ballot application at the Town Clerk’s office, contact the Secretary of State’s office at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleidx.htm for the form and mailing instructions. Submit your application as soon as possible to allow the time for your receiving and completing the ballot. 

Deadline to register to vote in the State Primary Election is Friday, August 17, 2012. The Town Clerk’s office is open until 8 pm. Mail-in voter registration forms must be postmarked on or before August 17, 2012.

State Primary Election—Thursday, September 6, 2012. Precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 vote at the Field House, Andover High School. Precincts 1, 7, and 8 vote at the Senior Citizen Center, Whittier Court. Polls open from 7am—8pm. Absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before September 6, 2012.

Deadline to register to vote in the State Election is Wednesday, October 17, 2012. The Town Clerk’s office is open until 8 pm. Mail-in voter registration forms must be postmarked on or before October 17, 2012.

State Election—Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 vote at the Field House, Andover High School. Precincts 1, 7, and 8 vote at the Senior Citizen Center, Whittier Court. Polls open from 7am—8pm. Absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before November 6, 2012.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

L'Italien Blasts Lyons on Budget

Calls “No” vote “hypocritical” and “irresponsible.” Says she would have made better choice.

 July 16, 2012 – Barbara L'Italien sharply criticized Rep. Jim Lyons Monday for his vote against the recent vote against next year’s balanced state budget, calling his vote “extremely hypocritical.”

Read more by clicking here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Support Grows for L’Italien Comeback Bid

Residents of Andover, North Andover, Boxford, and Tewksbury are excited about Democrat Barbara L’Italien’s decision to run for state rep. in those towns. L’Italien previously served in the House for eight years and developed a reputation as a tireless, full-time advocate for the communities she represented.  By contrast, her opponent, Republican State rep. Jim Lyons, has been barely visible in the six communities he has represented for the past two years.

Read more on Blue Mass Group by clicking here.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

L’Italien to challenge Lyons - Tewksbury Town Crier: News

L’Italien to challenge Lyons - Tewksbury Town Crier: News: ANDOVER - Stating she will be a “better representative,” Barbara L’Italien announced her campaign to represent the new 18th Essex District, which will also represent Precincts 3 and 3A in Tewksbury. She will take on Representative James Lyons (R).  



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

L’Italien Announces State Rep. Candidacy

“If we want results, then we need to roll up our sleeves and work together,” said L’Italien, who worked closely with both Democrats and Republicans as a State Representative," she said. “We don’t need a loudmouth – we need a strong and reasoned voice that gets results. As a state representative I built a reputation as someone who worked with both political parties to get things done – and I delivered.”

Click here to read the full article.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Former State Rep. L’Italien Seeks Return to House


Stating she will be a “better representative,” Barbara L’Italien announced her campaign to represent the new 18th Essex District. 

“When I served in the MA House of Representatives I made it my priority to help my constituents—not grandstand for political points,” said L’Italien. “My neighbors in this district deserve better than what they have today.

Click here to read more.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What Has Obama Done?

How many times have you read or heard from people who claim that President Obama " has done nothing" during his 3 years in office. Well, you can respond with a remarkable list of accomplishments. Use them to write your own letters, or as a response to know nothing political activists. The list is by no means complete, but it will give you plenty of content to use in your discussions.

Increased auto efficiency standards
Assassinated Osama bin Ladin
Passed air toxic regulations under the Clean Air Act
Ended the Iraq War
Eliminated the need for Interior Department approval for development on Indian Reservations
Passed historic health care legislation --Affordable Healthcare Act
20 year ban on new mining claims on one million acres near the Grand Canyon
Reducing defense budget by eliminating two Army brigades from Europe.
Rejected Keystone XL pipeline project on 1/18/2012 due to an unrealistic approval deadline imposed by Congress. Canada can resubmit proposal at a later time.
Reformed School Lunch Program to increase nutritional standards for students and lower caloric and fat levels.
Establish a mortgage program enabling qualified mortgage holders to rewrite loans at lower rates to avoid foreclosure.
Pushing to end military role in Afghanistan in 2013.
Signed the new START Treaty in 2010 that mandates a reduction of long range nuclear weapons to 1,550 by Feb. 2018.
Education reform--Race to the Top-- Increase in student achievement standards in 46 states.
Reformed the Student Loan Program to streamline funding and eliminate overhead costs imposed by lenders.
Patient's Bill of Rights
Drug discounts for Senior Citizens
[ ] Successful bailout of the US auto industry. Loans have been paid back and the industry is investing in new plants and technology.
DADT was repealed.
The President signed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
The President signed the Lili Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
The President appointed two new Associate Justices to the Supreme Court
US will pay $ 1 billion to 41 Native American tribes in a settlement for long standing grievances including land mismanagement and unlawful use of properties.
Obama signed the JOBS Act into law. Provides for crowd funding for small businesses.
Declared that same sex marriage should be legalized. (May, 2012).
The President proposed to reduce air quality standard for fine soot particles from 15 ug/m3 to 12-13 ug/m3.
The President limits the deportation of young immigrants.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Warren's Character Sets Her Apart


To the editor:

Let's put the facts on the table. First, it is complete nonsense to insinuate that Warren obtained any affirmative action advantage in her being hired as a full professor at several of the best law schools in the country. Such was the statement of the noted Professor Charles Fried, who served as U.S. Solicitor General under President Reagan - one agreed with by all those involved in the hiring process. Second, any school would be fortunate to have Warren on their faculty. 

It is not disputed that Warren is a remarkable teacher. No wonder Harvard actively recruited her! At the U. of Pennsylvania her peers and students selected her for the Lindback Award for distinguished teaching (in 1994). At Harvard, two graduating classes - for the first time in the school's history - selected her as best law school teacher (the Sacks-Freund Teaching Award).
The fact that she is a great teacher is evident from NPR's recent report based on interviews with 60 former students - including those who clerked for a number of conservative Supreme Court Justices. The reporter "... could not find one former student with anything negative to say about Warren." Rather, their comments affirmed that Warren was the type of teacher who cared deeply about her students, was supremely generous with her time, was witty, wise and "cool", and made a significant positive contribution to their personal and professional lives. We should all be lucky enough to have such a teacher!

A person who cares deeply about doing the best job she can, who listens and empathizes, who gives generously of her time - even when there is no remunerative reward, who communicates effectively with those of diverse backgrounds and political leanings, and who will go the extra mile to help others - surely this is a person with the kind of character and seriousness we respect and admire. As Elizabeth Warren's teaching history shows, we are fortunate to have her running as a candidate for the U.S. Senate.


Lois Karfunkel
Andover 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Elizabeth Warren Stands Up for Women


Elizabeth Warren Stands Up for Women
Scott Brown Opposes Equal Pay for Equal Work

On June 5, 2012, Republican Senator Scott Brown voted “NO” on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill aimed to decrease the wage gap between men and women. “Across the nation, women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, and over their careers, that means they take home hundreds of thousands of dollars less than men,” Warren said. “Women deserve equal pay for equal work – especially now, when women are the sole breadwinner or the co-breadwinner of so many families.”

According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, the average woman in Massachusetts who works full time takes home $46,213 per year, while the average man in Massachusetts makes $56,959 per year. That’s an annual gap of $10,746 between men and women who work full time. And, during a 40-year career, the average women makes $434,000 less on average than men for comparable work [Center for American Progress].

Scott Brown has a track record of voting against women. He first voted against paycheck fairness in November 2010 and, a few months ago, Brown co-sponsored the Blunt Amendment to let any employer or insurance company refuse to provide women’s heath care services, Scott Brown and his team believe that paycheck fairness and the effort to close the wage gap is a “burden.” Elizabeth believes that what you’re paid for your work should be based on your experience and ability.

“With his vote, Scott Brown is telling the women of Massachusetts he thinks it’s okay that they continue to earn less than men with the same education doing the same work. His vote is costing Massachusetts families hard earned dollars that they can’t afford to lose in these tough times,” said Warren.

The Paycheck Fairness Act works to ensure that wage rate differentials are a result of relevant job-related factors like education, training, or experiences, rather than sex. It increases protection against retaliation and strengthens enforcement mechanisms. In addition, it improves data collection, authorizes training programs, and requires the creation of assistance programs to help small businesses. The Republican Party’s attacks on women need to stop, and that starts with making sure women receive equal pay for equal work. Tell Scott Brown that women deserve to earn fair wages: http://elizabethwarren.com/paycheck-fairness.