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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 84,472

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Democratic lawmaker calls CT budget 'a knee on the neck of the Black community'

Lamont hits back, defends his spending plan as 'progressive'

The Hartford lawmaker who lost his battle for tax reform with Gov. Ned Lamont opened Wednesday’s final budget debate with an inflammatory critique that likened the impact of the resulting fiscal plan on the Black community to the police killing of George Floyd, the crime that set off a national debate over criminal and economic justice.

Sen. John Fonfara, who normally would be advocating the merits of the $46.4 billion biennial budget as co-chair of the tax-writing committee, instead questioned the state’s commitment to addressing longstanding racial inequities, a criticism that could be interpreted as directed to his Democratic colleagues as well as Lamont.

“The murder of George Floyd generated an unprecedented response from many across the state. It did so primarily because of our ability to see Derek Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes,” Fonfara said.

Fonfara said the decision not to tap revenue recently amassed by Connecticut to reverse gaps in education, health care, housing and economic opportunity was a moral failure.

Read more: https://ctmirror.org/2021/06/09/democratic-lawmaker-calls-state-budget-a-knee-on-the-neck-of-the-black-community/

Rhode Island elected leaders favor AG's package of gun safety legislation

The Campaign for Gun Violence Prevention Rhode Island (CGVPRI) held a rally outside the Rhode Island State House on Tuesday that was attended by Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee, Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos, Attorney General Peter Neronha, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea.

Speakers included Representative Justine Caldwell (Democrat, District 30, East Greenwich) and Senator Gayle Goldin (Democrat, District 3, Providence), who have long been advocates for gun safety legislation. All the speakers called on Senate and House leadership to pass the Attorney General’s package of gun safety legislation before the legislative session ends for the year. The legislation is supported by more than half of the members of each chamber.

Notably absent were Speaker of the House Joseph Shekarchi (Democrat, District 23, Warwick) and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (Democrat, District 4, Providence), the two elected leaders with the power to bring the bills to the floor for passage.

The event was held on the north side of the State House, and there was sparse opposition to the rally. Two members of the public opposed to the new gun laws watched quietly nearby, and Representative Justin Price (Republican, District 39, Richmond, Exeter, Hopkinton) positioned himself so that the press could be sure that he did not approve of the proposed legislation.

Read more: https://upriseri.com/ri-electeds-gun-safety-legislation/

Mass. GOP shootout in a lifeboat continues

LOU MURRAY, the chairman of the Ward 20 Republican Committee in Boston’s West Roxbury neighborhood, gets it at least partially right in an op-ed in today’s Boston Herald when he says Massachusetts Republican Party chairman Jim Lyons has become a “pariah.”

Murray, who is billed as having served as a “national Catholic adviser to Donald Trump,” is a huge Lyons fan, framing the party chairman’s reputation as “the pariah of progressives” as a badge of honor. The problem is that Lyons is now also a pariah among Republicans, an outcast within the party he leads.

In an already awkward and tense situation that seems like it’s reaching a breaking point, seven former state party chairs released a letter yesterday calling on Lyons to step down or for the state committee to remove him if he won’t. The move came after Lyons issued a statement ripping 29 of the 30 Republicans who hold seats in the Massachusetts House for submitting to “poisonous woke cancel culture groupthink.”

Ostensibly, the war of words has to do with a Ludlow representative on the Republican state committee, Deborah Martell, who recently told a gay Republican candidate for Congress that she was “sickened” by the fact that he and his husband have adopted two children.

Read more: https://commonwealthmagazine.org/politics/mass-gop-shootout-in-a-lifeboat-continues/

Harvard professor Danielle Allen to launch historic bid for governor

Harvard professor Danielle Allen will launch a historic campaign for governor on Tuesday, entering the Democratic field as the first Black woman to run for the executive office as part of a major party in Massachusetts at a time when women and people of color are breaking barriers in city and state government.

Allen, 49, joins what’s likely to be a crowded primary with a hefty academic resume but no experience holding elected office.

A MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient and the head of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics since 2015, Allen says she is running to bring the lessons of her career as a political philosopher — that government must meet a high bar, serving all people — to Beacon Hill.

And her bid solidifies a family legacy steeped in fights for racial justice: a grandfather who helped found the first NAACP chapter in his North Florida community, where doing so meant risking one’s life, and a grandmother, working as a nurse in the segregated South, who dreamed that one day her offspring would study at Harvard.

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/06/13/metro/harvard-professor-danielle-allen-launch-historic-bid-governor/

DeSantis signs home insurance bill sought by industry and opposed by some consumer advocates

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed property insurance legislation Friday that allows for larger rate hikes at state-run Citizens Property Insurance and makes other changes requested by private insurers and opposed by some consumer advocates.

Touting the bill as an effort to "turn the corner" on the struggling property insurance market, DeSantis signed the measure during an event in downtown Sarasota that included a roundtable discussion on insurance issues.

Many private property insurers are hiking rates by double digits as they complain about litigation costs, prompting lawmakers to respond. Supporters of the insurance bill say it will keep rates down by targeting what they describe as unscrupulous legal practices.

"You've seen major premium increases," DeSantis said. "You’ve even seen some homeowners, they just, their policies get canceled, they get dumped onto Citizens and so we wanted to do something to stabilize that, to try to invite more people from the private sector to participate in the market and ultimately give consumers more opportunities to have policies that are affordable and that will protect them from whatever mother nature throws our way."

Read more: https://www.palmbeachpost.com/story/news/politics/2021/06/11/governor-ron-desantis-signs-property-insurance-bill-targeting-ailing-homeowners-market/7651372002/

Valencia College adjuncts are poised to unionize in a push for non-poverty wages

In a feat that’s at least three years in the making, adjunct faculty at Valencia College in Orlando have secured a union election.

Adjuncts are now in their final week of the election; the deadline for receiving ballots is Wednesday, June 16.

At Valencia, adjunct professors make up about 70 percent of the total faculty at the public college and earn roughly $2,000 for a three-credit course, on average, teaching one to six courses a semester. It’s a part-time position that — at Valencia, and at many other higher education institutions across the country — comes without health benefits, lacks job security, and often requires juggling multiple jobs to compensate for work that is chronically undervalued.

Teresa Greene, a 74-year-old adjunct professor of psychology at Valencia, says she first began talking to her colleagues about organizing back in 2014.

Read more: https://www.orlandoweekly.com/orlando/valencia-college-adjuncts-are-poised-to-unionize-in-a-push-for-non-poverty-wages/Content?oid=29466121

OAN, Trump's Favorite Fake News Network, Is Expanding in Florida

The right-wing One America News Network is best known for fawning over former President Donald Trump, promoting conspiracy theories of all kinds, and spreading outright lies.

The 2020 presidential election? That was rigged, according to the fake news outlet to end all fake news outlets. The elderly protester who was knocked down and bloodied by Brooklyn police during a George Floyd protest? He was an antifa plant trying to disrupt legitimate police business. Chemical attacks by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's regime on his own citizenry? Couldn't have happened — everyone loves him.

Since its founding in 2013, the network commonly known as One America News (OAN) has maintained a presence in Washington, D.C., San Diego, and New York City. Now the network is looking to establish a beachhead in Florida. On its website, the company says it is hiring a political correspondent and videographer to report from Tallahassee.

The hiring effort comes at an interesting time for Republican Party politics. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump disciple, is up for re-election in 2022 and has entered the national spotlight as a potential frontrunner for the 2024 presidential election. Despite criticism of DeSantis' response to the COVID-19 pandemic and his resistance to mask mandates and shutdowns, he has declared himself victorious in the fight and has legions of supporters who agree.

Read more: https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/oan-one-america-news-is-coming-to-florida-12339168

Longtime legislator John Zampieri dies at 80

John Zampieri (D) didn’t care how long it took.

In the weeks after his January birthday, the former buildings commissioner and legislator was in his Ryegate home writing letters by hand. They were thank-yous for nearly 200 notes he had received — solicited by his daughters in a local paper — wishing him well and reflecting on how he’d inspired them.

“He never expected to receive that many,” daughter Rebecca Zampieri said.

But looking at his life in Vermont, it isn’t exactly a surprise.

Zampieri, the namesake of the state office building in Burlington, died Monday from advanced heart failure at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. He was 80. Family members are still finalizing service details.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2021/06/13/longtime-legislator-john-zampieri-dies-at-80/

Canadian company pays $800K to settle claims of fraudulent sale of Jay Peak

Jay Peak Resort’s receiver has reached an $800,000 settlement in a lawsuit accusing the former Canadian owners of the ski area of engaging in the fraudulent sale of the property, which eventually led to a massive financial scandal.

However, not much of that money will benefit the foreign investors allegedly bilked by Ariel Quiros, the Miami businessman who bought the Jay Peak ski resort in northern Vermont.

The settlement, reached quietly earlier this year, ended a legal battle that started in April 2017 when the lawsuit was filed against the Canadian company, now known as Saint-Sauveur Valley Resorts.

The lawsuit accused Saint-Sauveur of fraudulently accepting $18 million in investor funds raised through the federal EB-5 visa program as part of Quiros’ payment for the ski resort. That money from foreign investors for the Tram Haus Lodge and Hotel Jay developments at the resort was legally bound to be held in separate escrow accounts for each project.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2021/06/11/canadian-company-pays-800k-to-settle-claims-of-fraudulent-sale-of-jay-peak/

Red Scare: Former Police Chief del Pozo Claims Burlington's 'Socialists' Did Him In

Oh, please. Not that tired old trope.

Former Burlington police chief Brandon del Pozo is shifting responsibility for the social media scandal that cost him his job in Burlington in late 2019. Now he's blaming "the Socialists" on the city council for his downfall. He also maintains that he resigned only after Mayor Miro Weinberger refused to defend him from opponents who had "their knives out."

That's different from the two men's earlier claim that del Pozo's behavior — trolling a critic on Twitter with a fake account — was the consequence of a serious concussion he suffered in a 2018 bike crash.

Del Pozo was testifying recently to New Hampshire legislators about a bill on limited immunity for police officers when a Granite State lawmaker asked about his departure from Burlington. Del Pozo said his tenure had been going well until "the Socialists" took control of the city council and sought to overhaul his police department. Del Pozo started by noting that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) lives in "very left-leaning" Burlington.

"Even as a very progressive police officer, I was seen by many people on the far left as some sort of right-leaning — I was a cop; I could do no right," he said. Before he was hired as chief in 2015, del Pozo was a New York City police officer for 19 years.

Read more: https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/red-scare-former-police-chief-del-pozo-claims-burlingtons-socialists-did-him-in/Content?oid=33160509
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