What They Are Saying: Baker’s Plan to Fix the Democrat Deficit Receives Broad Support

The Worcester Telegram and Gazette:

“But we urge the Legislature to work with Mr. Baker by giving him the approval needed for those parts of his financial plan that are not under his direct control. … Mr. Baker deserves — and taxpayers need — all lawmakers’ support in putting Massachusetts back on a sound financial course.”

The Boston Herald:

“Critics are kvetching about the impact of pending state budget cuts. The state Democratic Party issued a laugh-out-loud statement tweaking Gov. Charlie Baker for his approach to closing a budget gap that is the sole responsibility of members of their party….

“Perhaps most important, [the governor’s budget] spares the taxpayers a demand that they dig deeper to make up for Beacon Hill’s outrageous budgeting mistakes.”

The Greenfield Recorder:

“Local elder advocates are praising Gov. Charlie Baker for sparing elders affairs programs from budget cuts to cover a $768 million shortfall.

“‘Governor Baker promised in January that he would make budget cuts with ‘great sensitivity and careful judgment.’ When it comes to elderly home care he has shown such sensitivity,’ said Al Norman, executive director of Mass. Home Care. ‘Last fall, home care lost $2.7 million in 9c cuts from Governor Patrick. Governor Baker knows our system is already under stress, and he has passed over our accounts without reducing care at home.’”

MassGOP Files Complaint Regarding Senator Joyce’s Alleged Ethics Violation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
February 5, 2014    

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245

BOSTON – Yesterday, the Massachusetts Republican State Party filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission after The Boston Globe reported that Senator Brian Joyce (D-Milton) may have received an unethical discount for gifts he purchased for his colleagues.

“Recent reports that Senator Joyce may have violated ethics laws should be deeply troubling to voters who have grown weary of corruption in the Democrat legislative caucuses.  We are asking the State Ethics Commission to investigate these potentially unlawful gifts and to take any corrective action deemed necessary,” said Kirsten Hughes, MassGOP Chairman.

The following letter was sent to the Ethics Commission:

February 4, 2015

State Ethics Commission
ATTN: Honorable Barbara Dortch-Okara, chair
One Ashburton Place Room 619
Boston, MA 02108

Dear Chairwoman Dortch-Okara,

On behalf of the Massachusetts Republican Party, I write to ask that the State Ethics Commission conduct an immediate investigation into Senator Brian Joyce’s conduct as documented in The Boston Globe’s January 30, 2015 article (enclosed) titled, “State Senator’s lavish gift raises concerns on ethics.”

Based on the recent Globe report, the Massachusetts Republican Party requests an investigation into Senator Joyce’s alleged near 60 percent discount received from Randolph Engineering.

As you know, according to state ethics rules under G.L. c. 268A, elected officials are restricted from receiving discounts that are not available to the general public.

The Advisory Opinion numbered 04-02 under Section II titled Unwarranted Privileges (§ 23(b)(2)) states:

“Whenever a public employee accepts a gift of substantial value given not for or because of a specific official act but because of his position, the conflict of interest law’s provision prohibiting the use of position to secure unwarranted privileges is implicated. This is because a public employee may not ‘knowingly, or with reason to know . . . use or attempt to use his official position to secure for himself or others unwarranted privileges or exemptions which are of substantial value and which are not properly available to similarly situated individuals.’”

In the Globe article, Senator Joyce is said to have paid $74.50 for each pair of sunglasses that typically retails anywhere from $234 to $244 a pair. Citing theGlobe’s report, “The $74.50 per-pair bulk price is not evident on the company’s website. In fact, customers who shop online are not offered a discount regardless of how many pairs they try to buy.”

The article further states that “members of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce are eligible for a 30 percent discount, meaning a $200 pair of sunglasses would cost them $140. Joyce’s price also appears to be lower than the wholesale price for stores that sell Randolph Engineering products. One local eyeglass retailer said he pays $104.50 for each pair of Concorde-style sunglasses, $30 more than Joyce paid for the identical glasses, which have a retail price of $209, not including the $35 engraving fee.”

Senator Brian Joyce, who has been in office for 17 years, should know that state ethics prohibits him from receiving a special discount that is not available to the public.

For the above reasons, The Massachusetts Republican Party hopes that this apparent violation of state law is swiftly investigated and if found to be improper, that Senator Joyce be held to account for his alleged failure to comply with state ethics rules.

Sincerely,

Kirsten Hughes, Chairman
Massachusetts Republican Party

enc.

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State GOP Chairmen Wager Friendly Bet for Super Bowl Game  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
January 30, 2015   

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245

BOSTON – MassGOP Chairman Kirsten Hughes and Washington State GOP Chairman Sarah Hutchison have agreed to a friendly wager via Twitter over the results of the Super Bowl Game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.

Should the Patriots claim victory, Chairman Hutchison will send fresh king salmon to Chairman Hughes. In the unlikely event that the Seattle Seahawks win, Chairman Hughes will send Chairman Hutchison a lobster dinner.

“I have full confidence that the Patriots will pull off this Super Bowl win. I’m looking forward to enjoying that salmon dinner from Chairman Hutchison upon the Patriots’ victory,” said Chairman Hughes.

The New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks will face off at 6:30 p.m. EST this Sunday.

Background:

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Hughes Re-elected MassGOP Chairman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
January 29, 2015   

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245
 

BOSTON–  The Massachusetts Republican State Committee tonight voted overwhelmingly to re-elect Kirsten Hughes as chairman of the MassGOP.

“I look forward to the next two years as Chairman of this Party, and working with our Governor and Lieutenant Governor to bring balance and fiscal responsibility to Beacon Hill.  In my second term, I will implement plans to build upon our recent successes, to grow the ranks of our party, to further strengthen our town and city committees, and to continue to improve our use of data and technology to reach and to inform voters about our outstanding candidates,” said Chairman Kirsten Hughes.

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ICYMI! MassGOP Calls Out Speaker DeLeo For Hypocrisy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 29, 2015

CONTACT:
Emmalee Kalmbach
617-523-5005 ext. 245

“Speaker DeLeo’s about-face is yet another example of Democrats on Beacon Hill changing the rules for their own self-interest…”

In reversal, Robert DeLeo opposes term limit
BOSTON GLOBE
By Jim O’Sullivan
1/29/15

“Speaker Robert A. DeLeo told House members Wednesday that he plans aThursday vote to abolish the eight-year boundary on a speaker’s term — even though he was the person who successfully championed that limit in 2009.

“Six years ago, the Winthrop Democrat led the move to establish term limits on his office as part of a wave of ethics reform following the departure of former speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, later convicted on federal corruption charges.

“Representative Garrett J. Bradley, who has served as one of DeLeo’s top deputies and is expected to help shepherd the rules debate Thursday, suggested House members would back DeLeo’s proposal as a way of fortifying the chamber against the Senate and the executive branch, both of which are under new leadership.

“’It’s about the House as an institution and how the House is viewed by our coequal branches of government, in particular the Senate and the administration,’ said Bradley, a Hingham Democrat. ‘And the last thing we need at this point, with all that’s going on, is an individual who’s viewed as a lame duck in the institution.’

“Granting DeLeo expanded power would allow him to continue enjoying the exalted fund-raising perch that helped him pay those bills, without facing the lame-duck status that could inhibit him.

“DeLeo recently refrained from pushing a pay raise for legislative leaders, which would have boosted his pension. Top Democrats said the delay meant that, in order to qualify for the enhanced pension higher compensation would bring, DeLeo would probably need to win two more terms as speaker, the second one in 2019.

“But the vote’s timing also matches uncertainty on Beacon Hill about the capitol’s new power dynamics. The new Senate president, Stanley C. Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat, is perceived as being to the ideological left of the House’s recent preferences, and the new Republican governor, Baker, is still finding his political footing after diagnosing a $765 million midyear budget deficit.

“In a May 2009 Globe op-ed column, DeLeo said the term limits had been passed as part of a broader effort ‘in order to restore public confidence in the government.’

“The vote on DeLeo’s proposal comes as members await their committee assignments, which the speaker decides and which dictate salary, influence, office space, and staff size. It is not unheard of for legislative leaders to wield their committee assignment authority to pressure members to toe the party line.

“The rules package DeLeo is expected to submit Thursday will drop the current term-limit language. The House must adopt a new set of internal rules at the beginning of each two-year legislative cycle.

“In a statement late Wednesday, state Republican Party chairwoman Kirsten Hughes said, ‘Speaker DeLeo’s sudden reversal on term limits he once championed smells of hypocrisy. Speaker DeLeo’s about-face is yet another example of Democrats on Beacon Hill changing the rules for their own self-interest and demonstrates a lack of commitment to changing the culture of corruption that led to the indictment of three consecutive speakers.’

“Senior Democrats said they expected opponents to seek to preserve the limits through the amendment process.”

Click here to read the article.

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