Manic Monday Markup 7/14/14…
…And the World:
We begin today in Egypt, where the government there has proposed a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, which has launched rockets at Israeli cities prompting retaliatory bombings of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli cabinet is set to meet to discuss the proposal. Doubts the cease-fire will work abound. Elsewhere, Israel shoots down a drone from Gaza and the Palestinian Authority calls for UN intervention in Gaza.
There is an effort in Afghanistan to reform its constitution and weaken the presidential powers, which have been near dictatorial, in favor of more power in Parliament. Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry over the weekend announced a deal between the two presidential contenders to audit all of the ballots from the highly contested presidential runoff.
In British political potpourri, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband wants to meet Barack Obama badly, but The Guardian says that alone is not going send him to Number 10 Downing Street in next year’s elections. It comes as a new poll shows Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party with a micro-lead, although it really is too far ahead in the future to read much into it. Cameron, meanwhile, is in the midst of a Cabinet reshuffle, which includes moving William Hague, the Foreign Minister, out of the cabinet. And the Church of England votes to allow women bishops.
Skirmishes along the Ukraine-Russia border lead to flaring temperes.
There appears to be an emerging compromise to replenish the Federal Highway Trust Fund before it runs out of money at the at the end of the month. The White House also will begin ratcheting up pressure to get the funds in place. Independent economists agree with the urgency the White House is placing on the matter.
The AP looks at what is all but assuring the GOP hold the House, but also notes the lawsuits that could upend the party’s redistricting in Florida and maybe North Carolina, too.
Ads have begun to hit the Connecticut gubernatorial race. See the ones from Dan Malloy and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, who must face 2010 nominee Tom Foley before the general election against Malloy.
In the NY Labor beat, talks between the Long Island Railroad and its union appear to falter. Meanwhile, a bookstore owner who had fired four employees after voting to establish a union in his store, rehires four of the employees (he gave a severance to the fifth) after public pressure led him to reconsider his actions.
The State of Things:
Legislation has been filed to establish new protections for women’s health clinics following the Supreme Court’s striking of the Massachusetts buffer zone law last month. Also on Beacon Hill, Gov. Patrick issues his vetoes for the state budget, but the legislature may overturn some of them.
The Probation trial in federal district court will go to the jury this week.
Agawam Town Councilor James Cichetti discusses the resolution of his campaign finance reports and getting onto the ballot. Cichetti was denied a spot on the Democratic ballot because he had not registered as a Democrat in enough time. He claimed he received conflicting information between the Agawam town clerk and the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office and appealed the ruling, but it appears unlikely he will run if he wins.
The 1st Hampden & Hampshire Senate race comes to Mass Politics Profs. Jerold Duquette, one of the professors of the poli sci blog, discusses the political implications of ambition. He isolates Ludlow School Committee member Chip Harrington and former White House aide Eric Lesser as the major contenders in the race.
Elsewhere in the legislature, Rep. Aaron Vega describes his opposition to raising the state’s charter school cap. Meanwhile, perhaps facing a tough fight for a full term as senator, Senator Don Humason is touting some projects in his district as part of a bonding bill. Left unclear if whether he had anything to do with the projects’ inclusion or not, but an obligatory quote from him is there.
Springfield officials announced their intent to sue to reclaim 195 State Street, formally the School Department building, on the grounds that the developers breached their agreement with the city. Work, some of which has been done, was supposed to be completed by now. While WWLP had a report today on the property, initial credit goes to The Reminder’s Mike Dobbs who raised questions about the project’s sluggish project in a June column on casinos.
Our profile of Chief Administrative & Financial Officer T.J. Plante is up. Be sure to check it out!
Police Commissioner John Barbieri will meet with the Public Safety Committee to discuss his anti-crime initiatives.
Economic Development has and will likely remain one of the most crucial and difficult challenges of the City of Springfield. While other factors including crime, livability and infrastructure, few issues like the economy feed off of and into those other matters as much. Too often, it seems like the almost desperate need to find something, anything has driven a lot of the city’s development policy, which in turn hampers long term growth and the other issues that face Springfield. This is why today’s action on 195 State Street, whether win or lose, is good. Today we award the tweet prize to none other than the City itself. This comes DESPITE our discovery that the Mayor’s Office has blocked our Twitter account from the municipal one. While a bit cluttered from a stylistic point of view, the tweet conveys (with an assist from the media, see City Slickers) something that we are thrilled to see: accountability. Developers walk all over Springfield all the time and too often the city quivers in their wake. Not today, it seems.
— CityofSpringfield,MA (@SpfldMACityHall) July 14, 2014