The problem with @mikesullivanma #masen #mapoli

Mike Sullivan, like most of us, loves the sound of his own voice. But being a good candidate, not even a great candidate, requires the skill to know when to answer a question and when to pivot.

Take his WGBH radio hit today.

Should Judge Stearns be dismissed from the Whitey Bulger case?

Did US Attorney Ortiz persecute Aaron Swartz?

And then this one, oye!

Does Sullivan lack the discipline or is he just plain out of practice? Not every media inquiry need be an academic exploration.

He’s not running for state Attorney General or is he?

Note to Mike: Stop talking already, pivot the questions back to your core issues. What are they again? I’m not even sure, because you NEVER pivot back.

Sullivan should try this technique:

REPORTER: Should Judge Stearns be on the Whitey Bulger case?

SULLIVAN: Well there was a time when I’d be very interested in that, but I’m running for US Senate, not US Attorney, I want to focus on creating jobs in our Commonwealth.

So easy. Adam Reilly disagreed with me today that Sullivan should respond to these questions. Reilly is correct from a governing perspective, but from a political angle Sullivan is digging his own grave.

@lynchforsenate critical of @edmarkey on fishing regulations #masen #mapoli

Stephen Lynch was critical of opponent Ed Markey’s testimony yesterday in which Markey defended catch limits that curtail the total amount of fish allowed to be taken in the commercial fishing industry.

“The commercial fishing industry is the life blood of communities across Cape Ann and the South Coast,” Lynch said, “From Gloucester to New Bedford, small businesses and families that have relied on this industry for generations are being crushed under the weight of overregulation and questionable stock estimates that benefit major corporate interests at the expense of the little guy.”

Lynch questioned Markey’s comments that blamed Republicans for the woes in the fishing industry.

“This exemplifies the problem we have in Washington right now,” Lynch said. “The left demonizes the right, the right demonizes the left, and petty politics trump action. The fishing families in Massachusetts don’t just have a problem with Republicans; they have a problem with NOAA and the New England Fishery Management Council.”

The Lynch-Markey spat is the latest in long term conflict that pitches working families against conservationists over issue of how much fish should be caught in order to maintain a renewable resource.

Last week Markey came out in favor of stricter fish labeling.

Even I’m going to miss @dbernstein and what other people are saying on twitter #mapoli

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Full disclosure, I’m not a fan of @dbernstein but I respect him.

Bernstein infuriated me with his never ending far, far, far, far, far left spin, ability to ignore the most glaring faults of the Democratic party and his meaningless twitter hashtag games which were occasionally so effective and fun that I too fell victim to his maniacal devices.

But gee, I’m sure going to miss him.

I trust and hope that he will land a new and even better gig soon, as he has proven himself to be among the best in a town blessed with an over overabundance of political and public affairs talent.

What the tweeps are saying:

@gomezforma releases plan to “Reboot Congress” #masen #mapoli

Gomez, in wake of The Letter, releases plan to reboot congress.

The plan, as released by email:

LOCK THE REVOLVING DOOR BETWEEN CAPITOL HILL AND K STREET Lifetime ban on Senators and Congressmen becoming lobbyists.

TERM LIMITS The President is term limited, the House and Senate should be too.  We need citizen legislators, not career politicians. Two term limit for newly elected Senators and a three term limit for newly elected Representatives. 

NO BUDGET, NO PAY If Congress misses its budget deadline in any year, then they work without pay for the rest of that year. 

BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT Massachusetts has to balance its budget, and so does every family and every business. The federal government should do the same.  

LINE-ITEM VETO 43 states, including Massachusetts, have the line-item veto. Congressional spending can’t be controlled without it. 

CONGRESSIONAL PAY FREEZE Members of Congress should get the same pay for the duration of their service.  

MANDATORY BLIND TRUSTS FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
An additional safeguard against Congressmen using insider information to enrich themselves.

Seal gets clubbed on twitter @gomezforma #masen #mapoli

The Gomez camp finally released a letter he sent to Gov. Patrick asking to be appointed interim US Senator. In the two page letter Gomez declares “I supported President Obama in 2008″ and appears to take positions contrary to what he laid out as recently as last night in the first GOP debate.

The Herald ran the headline, “In pitch for temporary Senate seat, Gomez called himself a ‘moderate’” as if being a moderate was a new type of political crime. The twitter reaction was fierce.

Note: @alcivar is a high level advisor to Gomez.

Winslow calls Gomez letter to Patrick “double-dealing” #masen #mapoli

The Winslow camp released a statement this afternoon blasting Gomez saying his letter to Gov. Patrick asking to be appointed to the US Senate seat vacated by John Kerry “raises many serious questions about Gomez’ candidacy. This letter reveals contradictions that show Gomez has been double-dealing with the voters of Massachusetts.”

Full statement here from @teamwinslow:

“Today’s release of Gabriel Gomez’ letter beseeching Governor Patrick to install him as the interim U.S. Senator raises many serious questions about Gomez’ candidacy. This letter reveals contradictions that show Gomez has been double-dealing with the voters of Massachusetts.

In his letter to Governor Patrick he claimed he will be a strong advocate for President Obama’s illegal immigration and gun control policies, even going so far as to say he would, “keep his word and work on these issues as I have promised.” Yet last night while speaking at the Republican debate Gomez did not keep his word and claimed to support policies quite different from President Obama on gun control and illegal immigration.

When he announced his candidacy as a Republican candidate a few weeks ago he told a reporter that the only reason he gave thousands of dollars to President Obama’s campaign was because a friend asked him to. Yet in this letter to Governor Patrick all we see is his unqualified support for the President as he wrote, “I supported President Obama in 2008.”

How can voters ever trust Gomez again when he tells Governor Patrick one thing in a private letter, that he never thought would see the light of day, and then tells Republican primary voters something completely different on very important issues? He can’t have it both ways and I think the voters of Massachusetts will see through his double-dealing.”

@lynchforsentae proposes raising social security tax on income up to $214K #masen #mapoli

Congressman Lynch today proposed raising the cap on social security contributions at an “accelerated rate” to “better fund the Social Security system.”

The first $113,700 of income is now subject to social security tax, under Lynch’s plan, social security taxes would be paid on the first $214,500 of income, which according to the South Boston Democrat would represent the total percent of income subject to social security tax in 1983.

We cannot cut benefits, and we cannot raise the retirement age. Instead, we must focus on the way Social Security is funded. In 1983, 90% of wages in this country were subject to the Social Security tax. As a result, this critical safety net was on more solid footing. But despite an explosion in wages for the wealthiest 1% of Americans over the last 30 years, funding for Social Security has not kept pace.

We have been raising the cap in small increments, but it’s not enough. The Chief Actuary of Social Security estimates that, to get back to the 90% rates we had under President Reagan, the cap should be raised to $214,500. Until we get that cap up, the burden for funding Social Security will continue to fall disproportionally on the middle class and lower income earners.

@danwinslow accepts four additional debate invites #masen #mapoli

@danwinslow accepted four additional debate invites today, making five total, only four short of his goal of nine debate goal.

Winslow, Sullivan and Gomez debate tonight for the first time at Stonehill College.

Winslow accepted the following debates:

March 27th Boston Media Consortium Debate Needham, MA (WCVB)

March 28th Western Mass. Consortium Debate Springfield, MA

April 2nd Boston Herald/UMass Lowell Debate Lowell, MA (UMass Lowell)

TBD Fox 25 Debate TBD