Attend a screening of “Inequality for All”

The GBV Dems are proud to announce that we will screen Robert Reich’s “Inequality for All” at the Milford Library on Saturday, 4/5/2014 at 2:00 PM at the Milford Library, downstairs in the Granite/Quarry room.

See the trailer for the documentary here:

And here’s a link to a short clip from the movie:

http://vimeo.com/84187156

There will be a short discussion before the movie and a longer discussion afterwards – we hope to see you there!

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Joe Avellone’s position on casinos seems to have evolved

Last week, I attended a candidate forum in Grafton where Juliette Kayyem and Joe Avellone spent some time talking about their respective ambitions for the corner office this year.  I asked Kayyem about how she would deal with the legislature, and was very satisfied with her answer, as she talked about past jobs and how they entailed dealing with Congress and Beacon Hill.

Avellone, in his remarks, talked about how we are a commonwealth, and the meaning of that word, how it evokes an image that we are all in this together.  I asked him a pointed question about casinos and the lottery, citing my own experience with Casino Free Milford and a recent post on BlueMassGroup.com concerning the state lottery.  I pointed out how both casinos and the lottery prey on poorer, less-educated people, and a reliance on a regressive income stream of that nature really puts the lie to the word “commonwealth”.

He carefully parsed his answer to me, at one point admitting that he wasn’t giving me the answer that I probably wanted to hear, so I was happy to see that his position has apparently changed.  From the Springfield Republican (via BlueMassGroup.com) we see this today:

Avellone said the benefits of casinos were oversold and he is against casino gaming, a view also shared by Berwick.

“There is an overestimate in the revenue to the commonwealth,” he said. “And it will add a whole new health burden to this commonwealth. The cost is not worth the benefit and there are other ways to add to our economy.”

Good on you, Joe!  I hope I helped in some small way to change your mind on this topic.

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GBV Dems St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast with Jim McGovern!

The Greater Blackstone Valley Dems are happy to invite you to a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast at the Progressive Club in Uxbridge on 3/9/2014. Doors will open at 8 AM, with breakfast starting at 8:30 and a program of speakers starting AT 9:00.  Join our very special guest Jim McGovern as well as many state-wide and local candidates for a fun morning before the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Worcester!

Tickets are $20 single, $30 couple, and they are available from any of the members of the GBV Dems Executive Committee:  Lisa Mosczynski, Brett Belanger, Jay Gilchrist, Kate Mastroainni or John Tehan. Use our contact form to get in touch with the committee:

Contact the GBV Dems

You can also reserve a seat using ActBlue:

https://secure.actblue.com/page/stpat

The Progressive Club is located at 18 Whitin St, Uxbridge, MA 01569.  See you there!

Posted in Political News - Blackstone Valley | Tagged | 1 Comment

Bellingham DTC Announces Summer Kick-off Party

The Bellingham Democratic Town Committee is holding a Summertime Kick-off Cocktail Party on 6/12/2013 at the Coachmen’s Lodge at 6:00 pm. Details are in the attached PDF – they are asking to please RSVP for the event.

Bellingham DTC Summer Kick-off

See you there!

Posted in Political News - Blackstone Valley, Political News - MA | Tagged | 3 Comments

Casino Opposition Moving Forward in Milford

The Casino Free Milford group is meeting again this week on 4/3 at St. Mary’s church in the parish center at 7 PM, please come out if you’re interested in stopping the casino. We will be looking for volunteers willing to run for open town meeting seats on a write-in basis at the town election on 4/30, since it’s too late to get on the ballot.

Also, on Monday, 4/8, the Board of Selectmen will be hearing a proposal in the uper chamber at town hall from the developers, Crossroads Massachusetts and Foxwoods Resort. Please come out and show your support for stopping the casino in its tracks, and please wear red to show solidarity.

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IMF: End fossil fuel subsidies, tax carbon [The Hill]

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/290657-imf-end-fossil-fuel-subsidies-tax-carbon

“The link between subsidies, consumption of energy and climate change has added a new dimension to the debate on energy subsides,” David Lipton, IMF first deputy managing director, said in prepared remarks at a Washington event hosted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

. .  .

The White House and congressional Democrats want to remove about $4 billion in annual tax provisions awarded to the oil-and-gas industry.

Oil-and-gas interests, and their Republican allies, say the provisions are cost-recovery mechanisms and business deductions that other industries also claim.

In 2011, nations doled out roughly $480 billion of “pre-tax” incentives, which are “when consumers pay less than supply cost of energy,” Lipton explained. They are generally found in emerging economies, according to an IMF report released Wednesday. 

And “post-tax” subsidies — the sum of pre-tax and tax incentives — hit $1.9 trillion. About 40 percent of those subsidies were awarded in advanced economies, with the U.S. leading the way at $502 billion.

Posted in Political News - International, Political News - National | 2 Comments

The Scariest Climate Change Graph Just Got Scarier (MoJo)

http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/03/new-hockey-stick-graph-scarier

Today, it’s getting a makeover: A study published in Science reconstructs global temperatures further back than ever before—a full 11,300 years. The new analysis finds that the only problem with Mann’s hockey stick was that its handle was about 9,000 years too short. The rate of warming over the last 100 years hasn’t been seen for as far back as the advent of agriculture.

Posted in Political News - International, Political News - National | 2 Comments

link to BPR 2/26/13 Interview with Foxwoods’ Scott Butera

http://www.wgbhnews.org/post/bpr-charlie-baker-candidate-mayor-john-connolly-first-girl-win-state-wrestling-title

Like it or leave it, casinos are coming to Massachusetts. Jim and Margery spoke with casino “turnaround artist”, Scott Butera. Butera is the chief executive of Foxwoods, and has been reportedly eyeing  valuable land in Massachusetts.

FYI:  Jim Braude and Margery Eagan joined WGBH’s BPR (Boston Public Radio) as co-hosts in February.

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200 HSBC staff paid more than £1m in 2012 (UK Guardian)

Revelations about bankers’ pay come as HSBC reports a fall in profits to $20bn (£13bn)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/mar/04/hsbc-pay-top-earners

HSBC paid 204 of its staff more than £1m in 2012, a year when Britain’s biggest bank made profits of $20.6bn (£13.7bn) despite being fined £1.2bn by the US authorities for helping Mexican drug barons launder money through the financial system.

At the start of a week in which Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland are both expected to publish the pay of their highest earners for the first time, HSBC disclosed that 78 of those who took home more than £1m were based in the UK.

Britain’s biggest union, Unite, described the scale of the pay as an “outrage” given that some of its members at HSBC take home £14,000 a year and are facing changes to their pension schemes and holidays.

The bank paid $200m of corporation tax in the UK on the profits, which were lower than the City expected, causing the shares to fall 2.5% to 710p.

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Voters in Swiss referendum back curbs on executives’ pay and bonuses (UK Guardian)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/03/swiss-referendum-executive-pay

Swiss voters have approved measures to curb executives’ pay and outlawed golden parachutes that can result on directors pocketing multimillion-pound payoffs.

Exit polls suggested almost 68% of those who turned out for Sunday’s referendum, and all of Switzerland’s 26 cantons, were in favour of the measures, which also include giving shareholders a binding vote on executive pay, banning golden hellos and banning bonuses that encourage buying or selling firms. Boards of directors that fail to comply face jail terms.

In Zurich, Switzerland’s financial capital [ . . . ] analysts were suggesting that an overwhelming majority of 71% of voters approved the Minder initiative.

“The people have decided to send a strong signal to boards, the federal council [Swiss government] and the parliament,” Thomas Minder, the businessman and Swiss senator behind the measure, told the state broadcaster, RTS. Minder said he was not surprised by the projected results.

. . .

According to the proposed law, executives of listed companies who failed to abide by the new rules could face up to three years in jail and fines amounting to up to six years’ salary.

The Swiss government and the upper house of parliament opposed the initiative, warning it could provoke an exodus of big companies.

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