Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Adios, Mariposa

Well folks, it's moving day. My blog has moved to http://www.beyond495.com

Hope you like my the digs. Be sure to update your blogrolls. LeftyBlogs doesn't like my Feedburner RSS, so I might drop off the radar for a bit until I get another RSS deal figured out.

I'm leaving this site up for an archive, until I get around to moving all of my old stuff to my new WordPress blog.

Last one out, get the lights, 'kay?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Welcome Readers from Tom Reilly's Campaign

Yesterday, I wrote about my phone call with a Reilly volunteer calling to ask who I'm supporting. Well imagine my surprise when I got another phone call today from the same Reilly volunteer. This time thanking me for blogging about the campaign. She called because she wanted me to know that the folks at the Reilly campaign are working hard. I told her that I know they're working hard just like Deval Patrick supporters are working hard and we should be working hard, because after September we'll all be working hard together.

Reilly supporters and Patrick supporters may not agree on much right now, but S and I both agreed on that.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

15% Doesn't Seem Like Much, Unless You Don't Think You Have It?

Being a delegate (I'm an add-on) to the Democratic State Convention is like being the cutest girl in the school. I get lots of mail of the campaign literature variety and loads of phone calls. Heck, Deval Patrick even called to remind me to send my payment to Mass Dems. Thanks, Deval, I appreciate the reminder.

Today I got a call from Tom Reilly's campaign. The very nice campaign volunteer congratulated me on being selected as an add-on delegate and asked me who I was supporting. I thought I showed a tremendous amount of self-restraint by actually waiting until she finished her question before blurting out... Deval Patrick! She gave me a very polite, "Oh. Okay. Thank You." I was tempted to ask her how the campaign was doing on add-on pick ups... but I didn't. From the tone of her voice, I got a pretty good sense how things are going.

Speaking of phone calls, and honestly in a non-election year, I get maybe 2 phone calls a week. Yesterday, I got a polling call asking me if the convention were held today who would I vote for? I've gotten those calls before, but this day they added a question about which LG candidate I'm supporting. I haven't gotten that one before.

From what I understand, Chris Gabrieli will need to get something on the order of 16 to 17 delegates from each senate district in order to get his 15%. I don't know where he's getting those in my senate district. Everyone seems very locked in to their commitments.

I'm glad I'm going to the convention because I think I'd burst from stress of wanting to know what's going on!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Save the Date - Lowell LG Forum

cross-posted at Blue Mass. Group

BlogLeft, an unchained association of Massachusetts lefty blogger types and the Lowell Democratic City Committee (LDCC) together with the Greater Lowell Area Democrats (GLAD) are co-sponsoring a Lt. Governors Forum at the Lowell Senior Center on Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 2:00 PM.

This event will be a great opportunity to meet the LG candidates and get to know who they are and where they stand on issues that are important to voters here in Massachusetts.

You can see the LDCC page on the forum here and get directions to Lowell Senior Center here

Since this event is co-sponsored by a group of bloggers, it seems appropriate that this event will have an interactive nature to it. We will be asking for volunteers to live blog the event from the Lowell Senior Center and we will be solicting questions in advance from YOU, our fellow bloggers and readers for the LG candidates.

Action Item: If you would like to volunteer to live blog this event, or if you can just help out at the forum on May 21 or if you have any other questions, please contact me at beyond495-at-gmail-dot-com

Big thanks to LDCC and GLAD for co-sponsoring this event!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Left in Lowell Kicks the Door, Not Just Open...

But Off the Hinges

My blog sister Lynne over at Left in Lowell has an amazing post on the dangers of the "Good Old Boy" network at work in Lowell. Seems the Lowell City Council is about to fire replace their City Manager John Cox, who, if you are a regular reader of Left in Lowell, gets raked over the blog-coals on a fairly regular basis. Cox's replacement? Seems State Senator Steven C. Panagiotakos is the odds-on favorite. And that's the part Lynne drills down on:

GOB networks supplant and replace democratic and open governments. They discuss important issues in closed offices with their friends. They decide that a bridge realignment is the right choice out of four different proposed plans, though no such debate has been had in the public arena. If democracy is why I am here, writing, then I - and you, the readers - need to fight the GOB every time you see it.

Hell yes, we do.

Listen, I've sat in on meetings in stunned silence, fists balled, but quiet while some so-called "loyal Democrats" bitch that bloggers are not "real Democrats" because we are critial of the sacred cows of the state party. I don't even think it's just bloggers, it's anyone who dares to speak up when they see the kind of blantant cronyism that Lynne is speaking out against in Lowell.

Democrats constantly complain about the cronyism that goes on in the Bush Adminstration. Why are some Democrats so reluctant to turn that spotlight on ourselves? Cronyism kills. It can kill people, like what happened during and after Hurricane Katrina, or it can slowly kill our democracy by allowing those in power to further concentrate that power by excluding participation by citizens who are after a free, fair and open process.

Lynne has a few words for her critics too:

Oh, and before anyone complains about how I wasn’t born here in Lowell, I haven’t lived here long, so I have no right to criticize, you asked me to move here. Isn’t the whole Look At Lowell Now marketing campaign aimed at enticing young educated professionals looking for a fun place to live that isn’t overpriced-Boston? Now that we’re here, you can’t complain that we want to speak, to get involved, to evoke change. You either want our money and our contribution and our artistic sensibilities or you don’t. And you can’t live without us. We’re the new lifeblood of the city, and we’re here to make a difference. Now, let’s get to work!

Yes, let's all get to work.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

David Howard leaves Mass Dems.

Massachusetts Democratic Party Deputy Director David Howard has left the organization to work for the Gabrieli for Governor campaign. He's listed on the Gabrieli website as the regional contact for Middlesex and Essex counties.

I don't know when it went into effect, but they've already scrubbed him off the Mass Dems. website.

Interestingly, Mass Dems. has never updated my town committee information. Townsend isn't even listed on their DTC list.

I guess David won't be returning my e-mail...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Time For a Quickie

It's been pretty busy here in Beyond 495 land. We LeftyBlogger types have something exciting in the works. I'm not at liberty to give details just yet, so you'll just have to be satisfied with that tidbit for now.

So what else is happening? Well, for those of you keeping track -- I ran for Chair of my Democratic Town Committee here in Townsend, and I'm pleased to say that I was duly elected. Our town committee has a very dedicated group of folks. We have a lot of work to do here in 1st Middlesex and I think we'll be able to accomplish a lot here in town, and also within our district.

I have more opinions than time recently, so I haven't been able to properly blog some of the more interesting events. I'm going to do a quick lightning round:

Adios, Tom Delay. If you have the stomach for it, watch Chris Matthews of Hardball polish Delay's shoes. Hat-tip to AMERICAblog and Huffington Post

John McCain, former conductor of the Straight Talk Express has gone off the rails. I was talking to a fellow Democrat recently about McCain, and I continue to be surprised by the goodwill that some Dems have for him. I used to respect him, until he was willing to put up with Bush slandering his family, during the 2000 election, and THEN turn around and kiss up to ole Bushie. Since then he's voted for the Torture Memo Guy. I should warn you that the link goes to Rude Pundit - who gives McCain no quarter. It's sad to see what some candidates will do to win.

Jarrett Barrios drops out of Middlesex DA race. Blue Mass. Group has a good thread about this topic. Jarrett ran a good race, and brought up some very important issues with the emphasis on prevention, treatment and diversion for certain offenders and also stopping gang violence. We need to keep talking about these issues and I hope to see Gerry Leone continue this conversation.

I should be am working on my final project for school, so my posts may be a bit spotty for the next little bit. Thanks for your patience.