Manic Monday Markup 7/20/15…
…And the World:
We begin today at the United Nations, where the Security Council has unanimously voted to accept the deal brokered between Iran and the P5+1 nations (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK & US). While Congress grumbles about the UN getting to vote first, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues his public campaign against the deal.
Israeli Opposition Leader Isaac “Bougie” Herzog, the man who might have been Premier, reiterated he would not join a unity government, publicly dismissing rumors he and Netanyahu were working toward that. Instead, Herzog said he intends to dethrone Netanyahu. However Bougie & Bibi remain BFFLs on the subject of opposing the Iran deal.
A terrorist blast rocked Turkey along its border with Syria.
UK Labour party candidate Liz Kendall, arguably the most centrist of the four candidates, calls for the party to return to its roots of giving power to the people. She recently received the endorsement of Alistair Darling, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Gordon Brown in the battle for a new leader and amid a fight for the party’s survival.
Banks reopen in Greece and the government makes a late payment to the International Monetary Fund and an on-time payment to the European Central Bank. Last week, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reshuffled his cabinet after several members of his party defected during the vote in parliament to approve the new bailout terms.
A Black Lives Matter protest has snowballed into baptism by fire as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders confronts his limitations in the Democratic party electorate and led to a hazing on Twitter. Both progressive and mainstream media reports highlighted the situation.
On the same subject, we make The Feds today with our caution against the mad dash to Sanders among many who wanted Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president.
Maine Governor Paul LePage’s squandering of political capital has gone national as Politico writes about a potential investigation of his behavior and his breakdown with both parties in the legislature.
Practically still a freshman Florida Rep David Jolly is running for Senate as court-ordered redistricting looks likely to take a bat to his Tampa-St. Pete area House district.
In Connecticut potpourri: Democratic legislators have no plans to override any of Democratic Governor Dan Malloy’s vetoes, although Republicans did force an unsuccessful override vote in the House on an education bill. Meanwhile, Malloy’s former General Counsel, Luke Bronin, is making headway in the Hartford mayoral race against incumbent Pedro Segarra. Amid a spike in homicides, Segarra recently requested (and received) help from Bronin’s old boss.
The State of Things:
The Boston Globe owns the opening of the state political week with long stories on casinos and public records.
In a review of the pathetic state of Massachusetts’s public records law, reporter Todd Wallack describes how one request to the State Police yielded a $2 million bill, much of it information other states’ public record laws would disclose for free. A Joint Committee approved a revision of the law last week and it is now pending before the House Ways & Means Committee. Shocking though it may be, we are fully on board with The Boston Herald‘s editorial on the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s opposition to the reforms.
Meanwhile Sean P. Murphy of The Globe notes how lawmakers hopes in 2011 for a speedy open to 2-3 casinos plus the slots parlor have come crashing down amid lawsuits, delays and the threat of increased competition from Connecticut.
The Globe name-dropping continues. Jim O’Sullivan writes about labor’s fury at House Democrats for suspending the Pacheco Law, which sets standards for privatization of government services, with regard to the MBTA.
That suspension was in the budget, which Gov. Charlie Baker signed Friday. However, he vetoed $162 million in spending along the way.
East Longmeadow’s new administrator finds his executive power is quite limited in the town’s nebulous government.
Kurt Bordas’ bid for Ward 4 Council in Holyoke has risen from the dead. Incumbent councilor Jossie Valentin is running for reelection.
The Fourth Estatements:
After a controversial story was taken down from Gawker.com by the website’s leadership, two top editors resign.
As Massachusetts struggles with its public records law, The Times profiles a Vice writer who has become a master of the federal Freedom of Information Act.
Dylan Byers at Politico cautions the media against declaring Donald Trump over.
The death of Sgt. Thomas Sullivan in the Chattanooga shooting has cast a spotlight on Springfield’s East Forest Park neighborhood, where Sullivan grew up. The Republican profiled his military service, among many tributes offered by media and local officials.
Control Board-era official David Panagore finds work on Cape Cod.
Following release of a petition championed by at-large candidate Jesse Lederman, Mayor Domenic Sarno announced plans to restore a basketball momument in Mason Square.
The breakdown in Massachusetts records law shows the sad state of democracy in the Bay State. There’s really no sugarcoating it. They are the public’s records, not those of individual cities or towns. But bringing this change will require pressure on legislators, facing the objections of municipalities. Today we award the tweet prize to Northeastern University media professor Dan Kennedy, who has written in support of the reforms. He reminds followers that they have a role to play, and links to a post on his blog outlining the calls he has made to his legislators. One by one, that is how this fight for access to the people’s own records will be won.