Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I turned 39 (2014)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tim Murray rakes in the $pecial Interest MONEY! The Massachusetts Lt. Governor's corruption fuels rumors that Deval may flee.

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Photo by Renee DeKona
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"Lt. Gov. Tim Murray rakes in $175G in two months: Fuels rumors that Deval may flee"
By Dave Wedge, Wednesday, June 11, 2008, www.bostonherald.com, Local Politics

Lt. Gov. Tim Murray has been on a fund-raising tear in the past two months, hauling in $175,000 as speculation swirls that Gov. Deval Patrick could flee the state early for a post in a Barack Obama White House.

Patrick has pledged to run for re-election, but Murray and other top Democrats who could succeed him - including Attorney General Martha Coakley and Treasurer Tim Cahill - have been building their war chests with an eye toward a potentially bruising and wide-open 2010 race.

Cahill leads the trio with more than $3 million in his coffers followed by Coakley with $600,000 and Murray with approximately a half million. But in April and May, Murray raised $175,000, tapping powerful public safety and labor unions, lawmakers, lobbyists and state workers. Coakley and Cahill each raised about $65,000 during the same period, records show.

Insiders say Murray’s windfall is partly the result of speculation that Patrick could land a Cabinet post in an Obama administration.

“You can’t help but hear the talk about if Obama wins, that Deval’s leaving,” said one political source close to Murray. “So you just have to be ready.”

If Patrick leaves before his term is up, Murray would be in line to serve as acting governor in the same way that Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift took office.

Of the recent flurry of campaign contributions, Murray campaign spokesman Michael Cohen said: “Tim Murray is focused on the job he was elected to do. He fully expects to be running for re-election in 2010 with Gov. Patrick.”

While Patrick has slapped down suggestions he’ll land a Cabinet post - possibly as Attorney General - he has campaigned hard for Obama, upping his national profile along the way.

Next Thursday, Patrick is scheduled to campaign in Chicago with Obama after the governor attends a biotech conference in San Diego. A day later, he’ll make several appearances in Washington, including accepting an award from the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Patrick campaign spokesman Stephen Crawford brushed aside the speculation, saying: “The governor is looking forward to earning re-election in 2010. He intends to run on the proven Patrick-Murray ticket.”

Coakley, meanwhile, wouldn’t rule out a future run for the Corner Office but said she’s focused on her current job and getting re-elected in 2010.

“I love this job,” she said. “It’s too early to speculate about other jobs at this point. The governor has said he plans to stay and run for another term so I take that at face value.”

While Cahill has said in the past he would not take on a sitting Democrat in a governor’s race, yesterday his spokeswoman, Allison Mitchell, said: “There will be plenty of time for speculation if and when the governor makes his intentions known.”

Mitchell added, “Treasurer Cahill enjoys serving Massachusetts as treasurer, and at this time he is solely focused on his current job.”
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Article URL: www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/politics/view.bg?articleid=1100019
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"Cinema, Shaker site, Sabic to share $1.4M"
By Jack Dew, Berkshire Eagle Staff
Saturday, June 14, 2008

PITTSFIELD — The state awarded three grants totaling $1.4 million yesterday in Pittsfield, providing a cash boost to a downtown cinema project, Sabic Innovative Plastics and Hancock Shaker Village.

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray announced the grants during a brief ceremony on the steps of City Hall. Flanked by members of the legislative delegation, city councilors and Mayor James M. Ruberto, he described the funds as central to the state's economic development plans and said they will build on Pittsfield's strengths.

"Granted, these are difficult economic times for the cities, towns and the state," Murray said. "That being said, we need to work together to find ways that we can partner with the business community and the nonprofit community to create jobs and expand the tax base."

The Beacon Cinema received the largest grant, an $825,000 contribution that will be used to reduce loans from the city and a coalition of banks for the $22.4 million project. Developer Richard Stanley — owner of the Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington — said he expects construction to begin in July and open in the fall or winter of 2009.

Sabic Innovative Plastics received a grant of $663,000 to train 195 career-level employees in leadership, financial management and communication. Sabic President and CEO Charlie Crew said the funds would help the company replace General Electric's training resources.

"We are ready to move quickly on this project and anticipate great results for our employees, the Berkshires and our company," Crew said.

And Hancock Shaker Village received $10,784 to provide computer training to 13 sales associates.

Murray said the administration's "No. 1 focus is job creation, and this is how you do it: Working and collaborating with municipal leaders, working with the business community and finding ways to leverage our strengths and our weaknesses in a thoughtful, strategic way. Clearly, the plan that Pittsfield has put forth on many fronts does just that."

The Beacon Cinema project has been years in the making, touted by its proponents as key to the North Street corridor, building on the successes of the Colonial Theatre, Barrington Stage and the Berkshire Museum. Through a complicated web of funding that involves private banks, Pittsfield, and state and federal tax credits, the backers plan to transform the Kinnell-Kresge building at 48-55 North St. into a six-screen cinema. The building is also expected to house a restaurant and a retail business.

According to city estimates, the theater will draw close to 250,000 people to the downtown each year while creating 46 jobs at the theater and the potential for 60 more from additional business growth among restaurants and nearby businesses.

Stanley said the cinema will be a "critical element" to the downtown, even helping attract new jobs to the area.

"When employers look at this area and want to know what people are going to do when they get here, the answer had always been a question mark, or they would have to go to a movie out of town," he said. "(This grant) has been a critical piece in the partnership, creating financing that will allow the cinema to go forward."

Before yesterday's announcement, Murray and members of his municipal cabinet met with city officials to discuss the downtown revitalization effort and the overall economic situation of the city. It was Murray's ninth such "listening session" in the state.

He said the administration wants to give cities and towns more tools to cope with their fiscal problems — from setting meals taxes to joining the state's insurance pool. "We have to explore ways to deliver services to constituents in a cost-effective and efficient way."

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Andy "Luciforo" swears in Pittsfield Mayor Jimmy Ruberto in early-January 2008.
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Berkshire Brigades: The Countywide Democratic Organization
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To join us, or for more information, call 413-499-3520, or e-mail us at "Victory2008@BerkshireBrigades.org".
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Mark Your Calendars!
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Thursday, May 15th, 2008, Reception for Andrea Nuciforo, Central Berkshire Register of Deeds, Special Guest Lt. Governor Timothy P. Murray, 6 to 8 pm, The Italian-American Club, 203 Newell Street, Pittsfield, suggested donation: $25 - $50 - $100. RSVP to 413-281-3302 or nuciforocommittee@yahoo.com
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Lt. Govenor Tim Murray
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Pittsfield's political inbred, dark prince: Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.! -(below)-
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Somerville, Massachusetts (Wicked Local with news from the Somerville Journal)
Lt. Gov. Murray meets with mayors tomorrow, talks coming cuts
Thursday, October 09, 2008, 9:50 AM

Somerville -

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray plans a meeting with mayors Friday, part of a string of sit-downs he's holding with stakeholders in the $28.2 billion state budget. Gov. Deval Patrick is seeking expanded budget-cutting authority from the legislature that would enable him to trim local aid accounts, but the legislature has not agreed to that.

A Patrick spokesman said the governor, who is preparing hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts, wanted to sit with the city bosses "to get their input."

"Everybody as you can well imagine is pretty anxious to find out what the approach in terms of 9C cuts will be," said Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, president of the Massachusetts Mayors' Association. "There's a lot of anxiety, a lot of concern."

Curtatone said he wasn't in favor of giving the governor expanded powers to cut local aid. "We certainly understand the commonwealth is cash-strapped, and it's exponentially worse given the economic climate," he said.

But he hopes to tell the Patrick administration to not "just slash and cut."

"You don't cut your way to success," he said. "We still have not recovered from the last round of 9C cuts from when Gov. Romney was in office."

Massachusetts Municipal Association Executive Director Geoffrey Beckwith said local government leaders are not expecting announcements Friday.

"It's a meeting to make sure there are strong communications through difficult times," said Beckwith.

Asked if the MMA was lobbying against Patrick's expanded budget-cutting requests, Beckwith said the MMA had not supported the expanded powers and has sought to emphasize the importance of local aid.

Members of groups representing non-profits and higher education institutes were in for meetings in the governor's office Wednesday. Quasi-public authority representatives showed up for a meeting with Murray at 4 pm.

Earlier, non-profit leaders outside Patrick's office, sporting "No on 1" pins, said they were pleased with the administration's attitude toward the looming reductions.

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Flanked by local mayors, Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray (at microphone) addressed the media after meeting with the elected officials at the State House yesterday on Beacon Hill. (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)
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"State layoffs imminent, lieutenant governor says"
By Matt Viser, Boston Globe Staff, October 11, 2008

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray warned yesterday that layoffs to the state's workforce will be announced next week. Although the administration previously had said there would be impacts to state employees, it was the strongest indication that people would lose their jobs as a result of a decline in state revenues.

"There will be layoffs that will occur," Murray said at a press conference after he emerged from an hourlong meeting with mayors from across the state. He did not provide specifics.

Murray and Governor Deval Patrick summoned Massachusetts mayors to the State House yesterday for a closed-door briefing on the deteriorating condition of the state budget. The 27 mayors who came to Beacon Hill - and 10 more on a conference call - said they were relieved to hear that local aid payments from the state will most likely be spared from the first round of budget cuts. The future outlook is uncertain.

"I feel much better coming out than I did going in," said Mayor Kimberley Driscoll of Salem. "The governor is being clear - local aid cuts are a last resort, and he wants to do everything he can to prevent that. That's good news."

But other corners of state government will not be spared. With state revenues falling $188 million behind expectations in September, and $143 million behind expectations for the first quarter, Patrick is planning to announce "hundreds of millions of dollars" in budget cuts next week. Education advocates, state lawmakers, and nonprofit groups have spent the week worried what programs and jobs will be targeted.

Patrick, who can unilaterally impose cuts to about two-thirds of the state budget, has been seeking expanded powers from the Legislature that would allow him to cut local aid. Patrick addressed the mayors yesterday at the beginning of the closed-door meeting, but then left for other meetings with his staff without making any public comments.

He emerged from his office to a pack of reporters, but declined to take questions as he stood uncomfortably with two aides at the elevator.

Patrick has spent much of the week meeting with his staff and various interest groups, trying to figure out a solution to the budget crunch. As an indication of the depth of the crisis, Patrick indefinitely postponed a trip to Israel scheduled for November that was supposed to build ties for the state's biotech industry and other trade links.

But this weekend, Patrick will campaign in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Ohio for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. He plans to be back at work on Monday, but Republicans yesterday criticized the governor for campaigning instead of staying in Massachusetts to focus on the budget.

"He's yet again taking his eye off the ball," said Barney Keller, spokesman for the state Republican Party.

Although yesterday's assertion about local aid cuts being a "last resort" was good for local officials, state officials have been careful to avoid ruling out cuts to local aid in the future. The mayors are bracing for the worst.

"We all know we're facing a crisis," Mayor Joseph Curtatone of Somerville, president of the Massachusetts Mayors' Association, said after the meeting. "We all know there's pain in what might lie ahead."

Mayor Michael J. Sullivan of Lawrence said he is already starting to make plans for a 7 percent cut to the city's $230 million budget, in anticipation that the state will cut into local aid down the road. "We're hopeful it's not something that's going to happen," Murray said, when asked about local aid cuts. "The situation is obviously very fluid. We can't predict what's going to happen with the economy. But we're going to do everything we can with the information that we have in front of us to avoid those types of cuts."

Murray also said the administration plans to revive revenue-generating legislation that failed this year to gain traction in the Legislature. The legislation includes local options to allow municipalities to raise taxes on meals and hotel rooms.

The money helps cities and towns pay for everything from teachers to trash collection, and when the state cuts the funds, services may be cut and fees may be raised.

Cutting local aid would put Patrick on the same path as his predecessor, Republican Mitt Romney, who slashed local aid in 2003.

At the time, Romney faced a similar budget crisis, with a shortfall nearing $650 million. He cut $344 million in spending, including $114 million from local aid and $133 million from health and human service programs.

He also cut $41 million from education, including $16 million from public colleges and universities.

Tempers flared so badly that Mayor John Barrett of North Adams accused Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom of bumping him with his chest and showering him with expletives after they appeared jointly on a television program.

It's an atmosphere that Patrick is hoping to avoid, in part by hosting the mayors yesterday. The administration is planning to hold a separate briefing next week for town managers and other local officials.
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Matt Viser can be reached at maviser@globe.com.
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"Murray leads bus trip to N.H., touts importance of Patrick’s relationship with Obama"
By Jeremy P. Jacobs, PolitickerMA.com Reporter

Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, in route to New Hampshire Saturday to volunteer for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and other Democrats in the Granite State, said Gov. Deval Patrick's close relationship with Obama would greatly help Massachusetts if Obama is elected.

In a phone interview from the bus to New Hampshire, Murray told PolitickerMA.com that there are approximately 100 people from Worcester on two buses, one filled with adults and another filled predominantly with college students. The buses, Murray said, are heading to Franklin, near Concord, to canvass.

Asked why he pulled the trip together, Murray, a Worcester Democrat, noted the importance of this year's election.

"It's the most important presidential election in my life, given where the country is at economically, the way we are viewed around the world and the situation in Iraq an Afghanistan," Murray said. "We need a president that is going to internationally restore people's trust in the country and who is willing to work cooperatively, not unilaterally around the world."

Murray also said that, if he's elected, Obama's personal relationship with Gov. Deval Patrick would greatly benefit the Bay State. He referenced the state's recent efforts to get the reauthorization of the federal Medicaid waiver, and said that with a President Obama, Massachusetts would have a direct line to the White House.

"Politics and government is a lot about relationships and trust," Murray said. "Having a governor that can pick up the phone and have access to the president and his cabinet is going to make a huge difference in terms of development of policy and legislation."

Murray also said Patrick's close friendship with Obama would help Massachusetts secure federal resources to help rebuild infrastructure and fund other projects.

"On so many different issues," Murray said, "having that close relationship will be beneficial to the country and to Massachusetts."

Murray is one of a few Bay State pols that are heading to New Hampshire this weekend. U.S. Sen. John Kerry is there today, as is Congresswoman Niki Tsongas .
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JEREMY P. JACOBS is a PolitickerMA.com Reporter and can be reached via email at jeremy.jacobs@politickerma.com.
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"Lt. Gov. Tim Murray: ‘I’m ready’ to lead if Deval Patrick skips town"
By Hillary Chabot, Friday, November 7, 2008, www.bostonherald.com, Local Politics

Lt. Gov. Tim Murray says he’s prepared to take over the Corner Office despite Gov. Deval Patrick’s insistence that he’ll seek re-election rather than an Obama administration post.

Murray, speaking after Patrick’s pal Barack Obama won the White House, said he took the job knowing he may have to grab the reins.

“When you run as lieutenant governor, you run knowing that you may have to step in at a moment’s notice,” Murray told the Herald. “I’m ready to do that.”

Patrick, a close friend and supporter of Obama, has repeatedly said he would not accept offers of a federal post. Murray, who ramped up his fund-raising machine this year, hurriedly added that even though he is ready, he expects his boss to stick around.

“Everything I see backs up what he’s said publicly,” Murray said. “He’s focused, he’s engaged, he’s not looking to put anything off. I’m confident we’ll both be on the ballot two years from now.”

A Patrick spokesman lauded Murray’s preparedness. “The lieutenant governor is absolutely prepared to be governor, which is why he is such an important partner in this administration and why the governor looks forward to running for re-election with him,” said spokesman Kyle Sullivan.
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Article URL: www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1130620
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"'Housing First': Stability vital for the homeless"
By Lyle Moran, Berkshire Eagle Statehouse Bureau, Monday, December 29, 2008

BOSTON — In 2006, 39-year-old Leticia Brown entered the House of Hope homeless shelter in Lowell. The shelter was a source of support during one of the low points in her life, but Brown had to abide by its many rules and regulations.

"The shelter was a huge blessing for me, but I felt like I didn't have control of my life," Brown said.

On Mother's Day 2007, Brown, a mother of two, moved into one of House of Hope's apartments for low-income residents as part of the organization's goal of finding permanent housing for its shelter population. Brown, who now works in the housing department of a local non profit, said getting her own space has given her a more positive outlook along with more independence and privacy.

"Once you get an apartment it is a whole new life," Brown said. "I feel motivated, proud and confident. I also can cook and eat whenever I want." House of Hope's strategy is known as "Housing First," a growing approach to end homelessness by securing housing for the homeless, rather than the continued reliance on shelter systems.

The philosophy moves support services, including medical and mental health care, case management and vocational training, from the shelter to the home setting. The primary focus is providing long-term help in a stable place, instead of an emergency shelter, for those who have been homeless for over a year or in a shelter at least four times annually. Most of this target group struggles with a mental illness.

"Housing is the absolute foundation for everything people can achieve in their lives," said Deb Chausse, executive director of House of Hope. "It enables education, employment and taking advantage of community resources."

Gov. Deval L. Patrick's administration has thrown its support behind the Housing First model, joining providers and advocates across the commonwealth. A major thrust came on Dec. 16 with an $8.25 million award to help eight regions in the state begin the switch to the new strategy. The fund was recommended in the Massachusetts Commission to End Homelessness' 5-year plan to eliminate homelessness in the state by 2013, and survived Patrick's budget cuts in October.

According to Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, the chair of the state's Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness, most of the money will help local agencies work together to implement Housing First plans, place people in housing and provide funds to help people stay in their housing.

"At the end of the day we want people to try to work together for the mission of housing people long-term for their health and economic betterment," Murray said. "We believe Housing First will drastically stem the tide of those at risk of being homeless, or in a hotel or motel." The new funding comes at an opportune time. By the end of November, 2,565 homeless families were being served by the Department of Transitional Assistance — a record high and almost 100 more than September. All 2,900 beds available statewide for individuals are filled, forcing communities to move people into motels. More than 650 families are in motels across the state, led by Cambridge (82 families) and Brockton (76).

As the housing crisis and economic recession continue, the numbers are likely to rise. The rise in homelessness has increased support for Housing First among providers and policy advocates.

In 2005 Quincy announced a 10-year, Housing First style plan to end homelessness. The city has seen a 52 percent drop in chronically homeless residents from 142 to 62 people between January 2004 and January 2008, according to John Yazwinski, the CEO of Father Bill's shelter in Quincy. This drop helped reduce emergency room visits in Quincy and provided stability to those who got housing, Yazwinski said.

"Many of the people we didn't think could be housed were able to be housed with the right supports," Yazwinski said. "They are no longer ricocheting in and out of systems of care." The South Middlesex Opportunity Council, a Framingham-based social agency started a Housing First program in October 2006, converting a Framingham homeless shelter into a resource center where the homeless could go for help and counseling to get them into housing.

From October 2006 to September 2007 the number of people entering the Framingham shelter was reduced to 641 compared to 1,000 the year before. The average length of shelter stay was reduced from 90 to 30 days during that time and 40 percent of the 549 people who left the shelter were placed in housing.

Katie E. , who asked that her last named not be used, is one of the council's success stories. Diagnosed with schizophrenia after finishing college, Katie was homeless for several years and hospitalized numerous times. In 2006, she entered one of the council's houses. She was connected with behavioral health services and participated in a day program.

"The house gave me a stable place to be and all the women there helped each other out," Katie said.

Last month, the 30-year-old moved into her own apartment where she is visited by a mental health department case manager. Katie said she is still adjusting to her new place, but feels much more stable.

"A lot of times in the house there would be chaos and I would have to deal with other people's problems on top of my own," Katie said. "It is much more peaceful now. I have had the longest streak of stability I've had in a long time." Springfield implemented a 10-year Housing First plan to end homelessness in January 2007, reducing the number of chronically homeless individuals needing shelter from 149 to 107 - a decrease of 28 percent - during the first year, according to Geraldine McCafferty, deputy director of the Springfield Office of Housing.

"Taking the chronically homeless out of the shelter has taken a lot of burden off the system," McCafferty said.

The Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, a policy advocacy group for the homeless that represents 88 agencies, has run a state-funded pilot program, Home and Healthy for Good, since 2006.

The program helped secure housing for 275 of its 336 participants, who had been homeless an average of 5. 6 years. The alliance found that for each tenant, the state spent an average of $7,224 less on housing and state services than they have for a person in a shelter.

"For too many people, the emergency shelter has become the housing niche for the poorest of the poor," said Joe Finn, the executive director of the shelter alliance. "Housing First is more efficient and effective, and we have seen reductions in healthcare costs in particular." Phillip Mangano, executive director of the U. S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which includes top officials from 20 federal agencies, applauds Massachusetts's support of the more cost-effective policy.

Mangano cites 65 cost studies from across the country that have found a sheltered person costs between $35,000 and $100,000 a year while a person in housing with supportive services costs between $13,000 and $25,000.

"People who are on our streets or who are in shelters long term are some of the most expensive to the public purse," Mangano said.

The interagency council encourages municipalities across the country to create 10-year plans to end homelessness. Mangano is thrilled that 14 communities in Massachusetts, including Lowell and Fall River, have taken that step.

"If you look at the plans around Massachusetts, the thing they have most in common is their commitment to innovative ideas," Mangano said. "Massachusetts has shown a great sensitivity to ending homelessness." Mangano points to Lowell's plan as a model of success because it is innovative, has political will behind it, along with support from the business community.

Promoting affordable housing is also a major component of the state's Housing First strategy. Patrick signed a $1. 3 billion housing bond bill in May that will boost the commonwealth's efforts to create and sustain affordable housing over the next five years.

"We need to work with housing authorities and private developers to refurbish older buildings or build new houses, so that we have more affordable housing units," Murray said.

But not all are enthusiastic about new spending for Housing First. An economist at the conservative-leaning Beacon Hill Institute believes it is not the time for the Legislature to invest $8. 25 million in the plan.

"We should be addressing the root causes of homelessness and to address many of the root causes there doesn't need to be a single dollar being spent," said Benjamin Powell, a senior economist at the institute. Pulster, however, believes that even with the state budget crisis homelessness will be substantially reduced because of the commonwealth's commitment to Housing First regionally.

"We think with regional approaches we will be better positioned to respond to the current increase in homelessness and leverage resources to deal with it," Pulster said. "We will see the reduction in the need for shelters."
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Lyle Moran is a Sun correspondent through the Boston University Statehouse program.
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"Governor cashes in on lobbyists: Denies dough at odds with ethics reform"
By Hillary Chabot & Michele McPhee, Friday, February 6, 2009, www.bostonherald.com, Local Politics

Gov. Deval Patrick, touting his efforts to scrub state agencies clean of lobbyists, has no problem raking in thousands in campaign cash from those same special-interest groups - many of whom have business before his Corner Office.

Patrick tucked into his budget a provision banning state agencies from using lobbyists, while pocketing nearly $700,000 last year, mostly from Bay State power players, one of whose clients won a $400,000 state contract in January.

“The public is understandably suspect when they see this kind of money in political campaigns,” said Common Cause executive director Pam Wilmot. “There is an appearance of pay to play.”

The consulting firm Deloitte & Touche in January won a $400,000 contract to help the state divvy up expected federal stimulus cash.

Members of the company’s lobbying firm, Bay State Strategies, donated nearly $2,000 to Patrick in the past three years.

“You can’t on the one hand say, ‘We need to do something about this and get rid of them,’ and then on the other hand say, ‘I’ll take your money,’ ” said one lobbyist who regularly does business in the State House but asked not to be named.

Patrick spokesman Joe Landolfi heatedly denied any connection between lobbyist donations and the contract. Deloitte & Touche were one of three approved companies for the job, Landolfi said, and they were the only ones to respond to the state’s bid request.

“They are a well-regarded international consulting firm, and we felt comfortable awarding this to them,” Landolfi said. The state didn’t deal with any lobbyists during the contracting process, Landolfi said.

Mintz Levin, whose lobbying division ML Strategies represents clean energy and health care firms, raised nearly $17,000 from 45 donors for Patrick after one December fund-raiser alone.

The governor unveiled a new wind power goal on Jan. 13, to boost state wind power use to 2,000 megawatts by 2020. Patrick’s wind power announcement was part of his longstanding “commitment to clean energy,” Landolfi said.

“Any criticism of this is really nonsensical. Our budget seeks to penalize lobbyists. It would prohibit state agencies from utilizing public funds to hire lobbyists,” Landolfi said. “It goes hand and hand with the governor’s recent ethics reform.”

Critics say the special interest cash doesn’t square with Patrick’s well-honed political image. The Milton Democrat ran as an outsider who wouldn’t be influenced by lobbyists or big industry agents and has since filed a stringent ethics reform bill that takes aim at lobbying donations.

“It certainly flies in the face of everything he said he would do when he ran for governor,” said Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei (R-Wakefield). “At this point, Deval Patrick the governor has morphed into something totally different than he was during his campaign.”
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Article URL: www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1150330
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"Lt. Gov. Murray topped fundraising pack in 2008"
By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press Writer, February 9, 2009

BOSTON --His name won't be on the ballot until next year, but Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray spent much of 2008 flexing his fundraising muscles.

Murray raked in more than $1 million last year, about a quarter of that in a December fundraising blitz. That's a jump from the roughly $626,000 he raised in 2007.

Murray's fundraising surge comes as campaign donations for the top office holder at the Statehouse, Gov. Deval Patrick, slipped. Patrick's fundraising dipped to $709,000 last year, from nearly $897,000 in 2007.

Treasurer Timothy Cahill came in third with about $511,000 in 2008, followed by Attorney General Martha Coakley with about $489,000. Cahill is a Democrat who has not ruled out challenging Patrick for their party's nomination.

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"...As always, I look forward to your thoughts and comments about this, so feel free to email me directly at LtGovOffice@state.ma.us with any ideas or concerns you have. By working together, I know we can make progress."

- Tim Murray

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'Irish Person of the Year'
"Hillcrest to honor Lt. Gov. Murray"
By David Pepose, Berkshire Eagle Staff, Monday, March 9, 2009

PITTSFIELD — The lieutenant governor will be feeling the luck of the Irish next month at Hillcrest Educational Centers' Eighth Annual Robert "Bees" Prendergast St. Patrick's Celebration.

Timothy P. Murray, the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, has been named Hillcrest's "Irish Person of the Year," according to the center's director of development, Steve Conroy.

"Elected officials have a tremendously difficult job, and we support their work for special education for treatment programs for Hillcrest," said Conroy. "Any time we can one of the elected officials, especially from the Boston area, to the Berkshires, it's great for Hillcrest, and great for our entire community."

Hillcrest Educational Centers helps students with behavioral issues with specialized education and treatment. The March 18 event will include dinner and Irish-themed entertainment, including music by the Brody Mountain Boys and performances by the Rosemary Campbell School of Irish Dance.

One element of the award that Conroy was hesitant to discuss was the roasting typically given to its recipient. In the past, the roasters have included the mayors of Pittsfield and North Adams, as well as members of the Berkshire County legislative delegation.

Also receiving accolades at the event are the Berkshire Life Insurance Co. of America and the Berkshire Life Charitable Foundation, which will receive the "Judge John A. Barry Community Service Award." Conroy said that the award was given because of the organizations' contributions to its technology, outdoor education and Hillcrest Dental Care programs.

"One of the reasons we chose them was for the number of wonderful things they've done not only for Hillcrest but all the other organizations they've helped in the Berkshires," Conroy said. "They are some of the most committed, passionate folks who really believe in doing whatever they can to support those in need in the Berkshires."
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www.topix.net/forum/source/berkshire-eagle/TTHGO10IAD0FJBDUD#lastPost
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Pittsfield, Massachusetts
"Local Irish laud Murray"
By Derek Gentile, Berkshire Eagle Staff, Thursday, March 19, 2009

PITTSFIELD — Although being of Irish descent sometimes means enjoying a good meal and good friends, Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray explained that it also entails social awareness and political activism.

"It means participating in politics," he said. "It means that in government at any level, people matter."

Murray was honored last night at the Eighth Annual St. Patrick's Celebration as the "Irishman of the Year." The event, held at the Berkshire Hills Country Club, drew more than 250 supporters, according to organizers. Proceeds go to the Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc.

In his remarks, Murray admitted that when he was appraised of the award, he began thinking about what being Irish means. He decided that in addition to being appreciative of a good party, it also entails "a degree of social activism. Of people coming together to solve problems."

Hillcrest Educational Centers, Murray said, have a similar mission.

"I'm blown away by the work done at Hillcrest," Murray admitted. Murray's remarks were part of a two-hour program that also included a performance by the Irish Step Dancers of the Rosemary Campbell School of Irish Dance, as well as remarks from North Adams Mayor John Barrett III, who roasted both Pittsfield Mayor James Ruberto and Murray in the span of about 7 minutes.

"The reason I'm here," said Barrett, "is because Jimmy Ruberto is out of town and the potholes in the streets are pretty big. Somebody has to take the hit. I accept that. I understand it."

He noted that Murray served three terms as the mayor of Worcester before he became Lt. Governor, "although he was actually a 'fake' governor, because he had a city manager."

But, said Barrett, "as a former educator, I understand the importance of a place like Hillcrest, how important their mission is to community
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Jim Leary
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"Lt. gov’s staff chief gets new UMass Medical post: Right-hand man for job
By Jay Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Business & Markets

Lt. Gov. Tim Murray’s chief of staff Jim Leary has landed a newly created six-figure job at the University of Massachusetts Medical School despite widespread cutbacks throughout the UMass system.

The appointment of Leary, a former state representative from Worcester, comes as UMass Medical School beefs up its community relations and economic development units.

Two other six-figure vice chancellor posts are also being created and the total annual bill for the three new positions could run about $500,000.

Leary, who begins his new job next month as associate vice chancellor of community affairs, will be paid $104,000, the same salary he’s now making as Murray’s right-hand man on Beacon Hill.

The new job was posted and received a total of 38 applications, said a UMass spokesman, adding that Leary, a Worcester native and cousin of comedian Denis Leary, had an “interesting background” in law, politics and government that qualified him for the position.

But Barbara Anderson, executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation, expressed frustration that UMass was hiring a well-connected ex-lawmaker for a new community affairs job at a time when state finances are tanking.

“I guess it’s further evidence we don’t really have a fiscal crisis,” she said, sarcastically. “At least they could try to fool people into thinking (the state) is in trouble.”

But UMass Medical School spokesman Mark Shelton said the medical school, while it has recently undergone some budget cutbacks and layoffs, is still a growing institution in Worcester. Only about $40 million of its $800 million budget comes directly from the state, he said.

Anderson shot back that it doesn’t matter whether funds come from the state or federal governments. “The federal government doesn’t have any money either,” she said.

Leary, whose old Beacon Hill job with Murray will be filled from within, declined comment, as did Murray, the former mayor of Worcester.

The entire UMass system’s state appropriation was slashed by $27 million last October, in the middle of the current fiscal year, as the state grapples with plummeting tax revenues.

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"Despite ethics bill, lobbyists carry on: Fund-raisers still a key resource for politicians"
By Frank Phillips, Boston Globe Staff, June 25, 2009

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray is scheduled to glad-hand his way through a room full of State House lobbyists and their clients at the offices of a Beacon Street lobbying company today, hoping to pick up a sizable bundle of campaign donations for his campaign committee.

And because the Legislature decided not to ban lobbyists from raising political funds for politicians in the ethics bill it is poised to approve, Murray can do it without a single pang of hypocrisy.

The Murray fund-raiser marks an awkward juxtaposition as Beacon Hill prepares to pass the first significant ethics overhaul in Massachusetts in a generation.

As Murray pockets campaign contributions from lobbyists, Patrick, a half block away at the State House, will be combing through the details of an ethics bill that the Legislature is expected to pass today. Patrick will also head their ticket in next year’s reelection campaign.

Patrick had demanded that the package include major changes to campaign finance laws. The Senate was pushing to ban lobbyist donations. The House wanted a study committee to consider how regulators could prohibit lobbyists from soliciting funds.

Among the items that hit the cutting-room floor were proposals to toughen restrictions on the kind of lobbyist-sponsored fund-raiser that is being thrown for Murray today.

The event is being sponsored by two lobbing firms, Morrissey & Associates and The Moynihan Group.

Murray declined to comment, but Michael Cohen, his political adviser, said: “We play by the rules. If the rules get changed, we will play by the changed rules.’’

The fund-raising breakfast is being held at Sean Morrissey’s office on the 11th floor of 6 Beacon St., where he heads a firm that represents the drug firm Eli Lilly and Internet powerhouse Google.

Sean Moynihan, founder and principal of the Moynihan group, touts his firm as a lobbying outfit, although it has not registered with the secretary of state’s office. Neither Morrissey or Moynihan responded to calls yesterday.

Current law caps a lobbyist’s donation to a candidate at $200 a year. A lobbyist cannot give more than $12,500 in donations overall in one year. But lobbyists can solicit and host fund-raising events, as long as they do not personally collect the checks and hand them to the candidate.

Patrick, who will have access to Murray’s fund when they run as a team next year, would not comment, according to his spokesman Joseph Landolfi.

As incumbents, Murray and Patrick have been able to stuff their political accounts full of donations from registered lobbyists and their clients, as have the Legislature’s leaders. Despite the $200-a-year restriction, lobbyists are able to raise tens of thousands of dollars by hosting fund-raising parties where their clients can socialize with officeholders and write checks to their campaign committees.

In their first year in office, Murray and Patrick had raised more than $1.4 million in combined campaign contributions, much of it from the special interest groups that the two had denounced as having too much influence when they ran in the 2006 election.

Last year, Murray turned to Robert M. Platt, a State House lobbyist and Republican fund-raiser, for help in building a campaign finance network. Platt had supported Patrick’s 2006 opponent, Republican Kerry Healey. He also supported former governor Mitt Romney’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Globe reports about Platt’s controversial business background led to his ouster from Murray’s finance team.

The lawmakers also rejected efforts by Patrick aides to lower the limit on donations to state political parties from $5,000 a year to $500, a change that could have dealt a serious blow to Charles D. Baker, the Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare president who is widely considered the most serious potential Republican challenger to Patrick’s reelection bid. The change would create a serious hurdle to Baker’s efforts to raise much-needed funds over the next year in conjunction with the financially strapped GOP state committee, which can financially back his campaign.

A senior Patrick administration official confirmed that the governor’s aides were pushing to lower the level for party donations, while Republican lawmakers lobbied heavily to keep the $5,000 donation level.

In turn, the Legislature tweaked Patrick by blocking his use of a campaign finance loophole that has allowed him to skirt the $500 annual contribution limits for individuals.

The compromise bill adopted a Senate provision that would prohibit his use of a special committee for which he can raise $5,500 donations from individuals, splitting it between his committee and the Democratic State Committee, which then picks up much of campaign costs.

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"Murray denies interest in seeking other office"
By Jim O’Sullivan, State House News Service, July 17, 2009

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray sought late yesterday to tamp down rumors he was eyeing office outside Governor Deval Patrick’s reelection ticket, rejecting rumors he was looking at running for another statewide or federal office.

Murray, a former Worcester mayor who has occasionally ventured outside the tightly held Patrick press operation to parry criticism of the governor, has repeatedly shot down rumors that he was weighing runs for the Senate, state treasurer, or state attorney general.

“I don’t know how I can say it any clearer,’’ Murray said during a telephone interview late yesterday.

“I am 110 percent focused on running as lieutenant governor with Governor Patrick in 2010,’’ he said.

Murray is also a former district attorney and has been heavily rumored as a candidate for higher statewide or federal office.

The state’s political picture is clouded by the ill health of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, diagnosed with brain cancer. With almost 70 years incumbency combined for the state’s two senators, a long backlog of would-be successors has assembled.

President Obama has credited Kennedy with playing a role in absentia in the development of healthcare legislation the White House is hoping will pass this summer.

Murray was initially viewed with some suspicion by Patrick’s close advisers, in part because of his coziness with Patrick’s rival, former attorney general Thomas Reilly.

Before Reilly opted for state Representative Marie P. St. Fleur, Murray had wanted to be on his ticket as the lieutenant governor candidate.

Murray’s willingness, though, to toe the administration line and go after its critics has endeared him to senior Patrick aides, particularly as he has handled aspects of Patrick’s portfolio with municipal officials and, increasingly in recent days, gone on the attack against critics of Patrick, accusing Senate minority leader Richard R. Tisei of preferring funding for the wildlife in state-subsidized zoos over health and human services.

It has been an occasional role for Murray, stepping in front of the official administration line to push an agenda.

Senior Bay State Democrats say a deterioration in Kennedy’s condition could push other Massachusetts politicians closer to revealing their intentions.

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Lt. Gov. Tim Murray (Photo by Nancy Lane; file).
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"Tim Murray said to have hard climb to another post"
By Hillary Chabot, Saturday, July 18, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics

Lt. Gov. Tim Murray has shelled out more than $40,000 this year on voter data and statewide polling to assess his political options, but pundits say the Worcester Democrat has an uphill battle if he wants to nab a different constitutional office.

“You haven’t really heard much about him and he hasn’t had a big presence,” said Jeff Gerson, a political professor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. “He was better known when he was the mayor of Worcester.”

Murray and a spokesman have strongly denied a Beacon Hill buzz that he is eyeing a run for state treasurer or attorney general.

But Murray has clearly been preparing for the campaign season ahead, spending $23,000 on a statewide poll in March to gauge his political mettle. He also shelled out $11,500 on “opinion research” in January and has dropped $6,000 on voter data since January, according to his campaign finance records.

“He’s looking at a quantitative mirror to see how politically good he looks,” said Jeff Berry, a Tufts University political professor. “It’s a matter of gauging his strengths.”

Murray, 41, has been a fund-raising powerhouse but could baffle voters if he decided to run for another statewide office, said Berry.

“I think that would be a head scratcher. People would regard him as abandoning a sinking ship and view him as disloyal,” said Berry, referring to Gov. Deval Patrick’s campaign.

Several pieces within the Massachusetts political landscape are shifting, bringing a wave of new statewide candidates and prompting higher office hopefuls who have been waiting in the wings to gear up.

Patrick already faces two Republican challengers with former Harvard Pilgrim CEO Charles Baker and convenience store magnate Christy Mihos. Attorney General Martha Coakley has strong interest in a U.S. Senate seat, and Treasurer Tim Cahill switched his voter registration to unenrolled as he prepares to take Patrick on.

“I’m sure Murray’s doing things quietly, maybe he’s kept some of his old connections,” Gerson said.

Jerry Mileur, a University of Massachusetts at Amherst political professor, said Murray hasn’t been able to make much of a mark on the administration.

“Lieutenant governors are like vice presidents, they do what the governor asks them to do and they don’t have a separate identity,” said Mileur. “If he’s looking to other offices, I expect he’d want to establish himself.”

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"Lt. Gov. Murray leading effort to rebuild his ranks"
By Associated Press, Wednesday, July 22, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray is leading a push to revitalize the nation’s Democratic lieutenant governor’s association, as he and Gov. Deval Patrick gear up for a re-election campaign.

The No. 2 Democrat in Massachusetts is participating in a conference call Thursday to announce fresh emphasis behind the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association.

Murray is serving as the group’s secretary/treasurer. Its chairman is Lt. Gov. Bill Halter of Arkansas, while its vice chairman is Lt. Gov. John Cherry of Michigan.

Murray recently fended off reports he might run for attorney general or some other post amid speculation he was agitated with some Patrick administration proposals and concerned about a Republican gubernatorial challenge next year by former Harvard Pilgrim Health Care President Charles Baker.

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The Boston Globe, Op-Ed
TIMOTHY P. MURRAY
"New hope for the homeless"
By Timothy P. Murray, July 26, 2009

THE NUMBER of homeless families housed in motels across Massachusetts is at a peak. This unfortunate statistic is both an indicator of the hard times wrought by the economic climate and stark evidence that the approach state government has used over the years to address homelessness has not solved the problem.

Homelessness is a complex and heart-wrenching issue, but we must do our best to address it. Early in our administration, Governor Patrick asked me to lead the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness, with a mission of breaking down bureaucratic barriers and finding better ways to deal with the issue so that we can end homelessness in Massachusetts.

On July 1, we took an important step toward that goal. While much of the focus in the news has been on major reforms in pension, transportation, and ethics, there have also been significant reforms to state homelessness programs.

Based on 18 months of work by the council, and following on the recommendations of the Massachusetts Commission to End Homelessness, we have shifted our approach on homelessness from a sheltering model to a “housing first’’ model. We have overhauled the state’s existing emergency shelter system and reorganized the state agencies that provide homelessness services.

As of July 1, shelter programs previously under the Department of Transitional Assistance were combined with the state’s housing resources under the Department of Housing and Community Development. This allows us to better coordinate and streamline services through a single entity, the department’s new Division of Housing Stabilization, and to shift the focus away from emergency shelter use to permanent housing. Our goal is to get the right resources to the right people at the right time to prevent homelessness and rapidly re-house those who are already homeless.

In addition, with support from the Legislature and with help from The Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, we have established 10 regional networks across the Commonwealth, bringing together agencies involved in the housing and support continuum that did not always communicate effectively before. In almost all areas across the state, these networks are up and running and will help us to intervene sooner, with integrated services focused on securing permanent housing options for at-risk individuals and families, and ultimately lessening the need for emergency assistance in shelters or motels.

MassHousing is also investing $7 million over four years to provide rental support subsidies combined with employment assistance and an asset-building component to keep at-risk families in their homes. This complements the administration’s efforts to increase funding to operate and repair the state’s 50,000 public housing apartments that serve our neediest families and seniors, and to direct federal funds to support housing for extremely low-income people.

Preventing homelessness means keeping children stable in one school, almost guaranteeing better academic performance. It saves school districts the cost of transporting children back to their previous school, if their family chooses, and it enables people to find and keep jobs more easily because they are not being shuttled between relatives’ or friends’ houses and shelters. Moreover, helping people stay in their homes costs a fraction of what it costs to house a family in a shelter or motel.

With the recent reforms and reorganization, as well as the establishment of regional networks focused on a housing-first strategy, the state has made a fundamental change in its approach to helping those at-risk of homelessness. These strategies should end the need for emergency motel placements, and help us achieve our goal of ending homelessness.
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Timothy P. Murray is the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts.
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THE BOSTON GLOBE: YVONNE ABRAHAM
"Anonymity, round two"
By Yvonne Abraham, Globe Columnist, September 30, 2009

Massachusetts is a study in political ambition right now, with legions of hopefuls up and down the political food chain salivating over possible vacancies.

But one guy is staying put: Tim Murray, our lieutenant governor.

In case anybody had any doubt, Murray issued a statement a few weeks ago telling his supporters he would not be running for the US Senate seat left vacant by Ted Kennedy’s death. Some ungenerous souls point out that Murray wasn’t actually on a lot of short lists in the first place. And earlier this year, Murray put the kibosh on speculation - fueled by his frenetic fund-raising and electoral temperature-taking - that he would be running for attorney general or some other office.

No. Despite the fact that others are leaving Governor Deval Patrick’s administration like rodents jumping, or being pushed, off a sinking proverbial, Murray says he is happy where he is and committed to continuing the work he and Patrick began.

“Absolutely, I am running for reelection, and I’m looking forward to the campaign,’’ he says.

Besides, a lot of people have no idea who Murray is. Almost half the respondents in a July Globe poll said they had never heard of the lieutenant governor (though 63 percent of those who know him viewed him favorably). Murray’s own polling in February told him the same thing. “I know I’m not a household name,’’ he says with a chuckle.

That’s how it usually goes with our state’s second fiddles. They show up where the governor can’t, leading unglamorous working groups, presiding over those somnolent Governor’s Council meetings on Wednesdays. They all want to be governor one day, and Murray admits he is no exception. But their fortunes are directly tied to their number ones. That’s good if your governor is insanely popular. Patrick isn’t.

Despite all this, the boyish-looking former Worcester mayor takes immense pride in his work on homelessness, veterans’ issues, and transportation: Just last week, he helped finalize a deal with railroad company CSX that will bump up rail service between Worcester and Boston and advance an eternally anticipated rail line to the South Coast.

He is settling into the role of administration pit bull, laying into gubernatorial hopeful Tim Cahill and Republicans on Patrick’s behalf. He’s the guy who delivers bad news about budget cuts to mayors and fields their gripes and requests.

Murray is the governor’s unlikeliest possible partner: an old-school, Claddagh-ring-wearing pol who gets back-scratching and payback in a way Patrick never will, or would want to. The lieutenant governor remembers his friends, and his enemies: He may have left the mayor’s job in 2007, but he still keeps a hand in Worcester politics. He is currently devoting considerable energy to unseating his old nemesis, Mayor Konnie Lukes.

So how does this affable, bare-knuckled 41-year-old respond to Patrick’s political miscalculations, from the decision to outfit his office with ridiculously expensive curtains to his appointment of a state senator to a plum post for which she had virtually no qualifications?

He doesn’t. You know Murray has got to be driven crazy by this stuff. But he keeps a lid on it publicly. The only frustration he will cop to is over the fact that a lot of the Patrick administration’s achievements have been obscured by the economic downturn.

“Sometimes the politics was tougher than it needed to be, but things got done,’’ Murray said in an interview at his campaign headquarters, where a portrait of his two daughters, adopted from Guatemala, hang on a wall. “There’s not a manual out there for how to be governor in the greatest downturn since the Depression.’’

Murray is hoping the economy recovers in time for next year’s election. His own future depends on it.
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Yvonne Abraham is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at abraham@globe.com.
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"Lt. governor attacks Baker running mate pick"
By Thomas Grillo, Monday, November 23, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray blasted the selection of Sen. Richard Tisei as gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Baker’s running mate, calling him the ultimate Beacon Hill insider.

“Senator Tisei is a 25-year State House insider who typifies the Republican establishment elite that created record levels of debt and deferred maintenance,” Murray said. “I was a quarterback on my high school football team when Sen. Tisei started serving in the Legislature. We look forward to debating him on the issues and the future of Massachusetts.”

Baker and the Tisei, a Wakefield Republican and Senate minority leader, will face convenience store magnate Christy Mihos in the Republican primary. The winner of that race will compete against state Treasurer Tim Cahill, who is running as an Independent, and Gov. Deval Patrick next year.

Murray said Baker is no outsider either. “When Baker was secretary of administration and finance under two Republican governors, he was part of the Big Dig financing plan which is the major factor in creating record levels of debt Massachusetts taxpayers are paying,” he said.

A spokesman for the Baker/Tisei campaign released a statement saying, “If you’re Tim Murray and Deval Patrick and you don’t have a leg to stand on because you’ve spent, taxed and mismanaged the state into a severe fiscal crisis, I guess all you can do is launch inaccurate negative attacks to try and trick the voters.

“Of course, the voters know better and are hungry for the change and fiscal discipline the Baker-Tisei ticket will bring.”

While a recent Suffolk University/7 News shows the governor would win a three-way race, only 42 percent of likely voters approve of the job Patrick is doing, while 51 percent disapprove. A majority of voters - 55 percent - indicated someone else deserves a turn at the top job.

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"In Murray, Governor Patrick finds loyal defender"
By Associated Press, via www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics, February 7, 2010

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick largely stays above the re-election fray because he’s got a scrappy No. 2 in Lt. Gov. Tim Murray.

Murray was educated in New York City and schooled in the council wards of Worcester, and he provides the punch to the Democrats’ re-election campaign.

He says when Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker talks about fiscal responsibility, it’s "like getting lectured on abstinence from Paris Hilton."

The Patrick-Murray administration is the product of a shotgun marriage of sorts. Murray beat a three-way field for lieutenant governor in 2006.

Patrick bested Attorney General Tom Reilly and education activist Chris Gabrieli for the Democratic nomination.

Now they’re ready to run for re-election against Baker, convenience store magnate Christy Mihos and other gubernatorial challengers.

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"Lt. Gov. Murray accuses Baker of leadership void"
By Glen Johnson, AP Political Writer, April 7, 2010

BOSTON -- Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray is accusing Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker of a lack of leadership.

He complained Wednesday after the former health care executive refused to comment on a lawsuit insurers have filed over the state's efforts to hold down their premium increases.

The case heads to court Thursday, and Murray says Baker is tacitly endorsing the lawsuit through his silence.

A Baker aide says he does not want to comment on pending litigation.

Baker himself has accused Murray and Gov. Deval Patrick of engaging in an "election-year gimmick" by rejecting the insurers' proposed small business premiums amid his re-election campaign.

The insurers say limiting their premiums -- without controlling the costs charged them by doctors and providers -- will cause them to lose hundreds of millions of dollars.

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"Lt. gov. offers tips for county to save"
By Dick Lindsay, Berkshire Eagle Staff, May 5, 2010

PITTSFIELD -- Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray toured the Berkshires on Tuesday and encouraged cities and towns to explore regionalization to improve government and save money.

Murray, who leads the state's Regionalization Advisory Commission, discussed the panel's new report on how communities can share services, personnel, equipment and possibly combine departments.

The report lists examples of successful regional entities and explains how the state can facilitate the formation of municipal collaborations through incentives and removing legal roadblocks.

"Through local technical assistance grants, communities will have the ability to do analysis and determine which shared services are feasible and make sense," Murray said in an interview with The Eagle's editorial board.

The report recommends how regionalization could better deliver a dozen different local services such as education, financial management, housing, economic development, public safety, public works and public health. Murray cited how Texas, a state with three times the population of Massachusetts, has only 107 public health departments compared to 351 here.

"When you have a health issue or pandemic, they don't stop at town borders," Murray said.

The Tri-Town Health Depart-ment, which has served Lee, Lenox and Stockbridge for 81 years, could be a model for others in the state, according to its director Peter J. Kolodziej. However, Kolodziej said regionalization should be left up to each community.

"Not every town needs to belong to a regional health department," he said in an Eagle interview. "Maybe a part-time health inspector is all some communities need."

Massachusetts has 403 noneducational special districts with 388 of them devoted to a single service including the Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District. The 12-member town regional entity coordinates the collection of bulky and hazardous waste, along with used paint, motor oil, tires, electronic equipment and mercury and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

The Regionalization Advisory Commission also found that simple agreements between two towns can be just as beneficial as a formal regional entity. The panel's report cites how the town of Washington, which lacks a public library, will purchase library services for its residents from the neighboring community of Becket.

Murray said the state is using existing regional models to promote more collaboration between cities and towns.

"It's a lot easier to give tangible examples and say what works and what didn't work," he said.

Kolodziej said regionalization shouldn't be limited to structured government entities.

"There are all kinds of existing models we can build upon, such as [a] health department's relationship with regional [visiting nurse associations], tobacco awareness programs and partnerships with colleges," said Kolodziej.

The Berkshire Region Group Purchasing Program, through the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, is another successful regional model that allows cities and towns to submit a single bid on road salt, asphalt and other bulk purchases.

Richmond Town Admin-istrator Matthew M. Kerwood said a first-ever group bid on heating oil for the current fiscal year allowed his town to lock in at $1.90 per gallon compared to $3.53 per gallon in fiscal 2009.

"The oil company was able to purchase on the futures market and get us a better price," Kerwood said.

Murray said communities in flux and the current economic downturn may open the way for more collaboration. For example, Pittsfield is seeking state funding toward a high school building project that could involve regionalization.

"We have a tremendous need to improve technical and vocational education and that could be through a regional effort," said Pittsfield Mayor James M. Ruberto.
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To reach Dick Lindsay: rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com, or (413) 496-6233.
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"Mass. Lt. Gov. Murray hospitalized, in good spirits"
Associated Press, July 6, 2010

BOSTON (AP) -- The lieutenant governor has been hospitalized after marching in several parades in 90-degree heat over the Independence Day weekend and becoming ill.

Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, who marched in five parades during a busy holiday weekend, felt under the weather and decided to seek medical attention Monday evening, spokesman Kyle Sullivan said.

Murray, a Democrat who's in his early 40s, was spending the night for observation at a hospital in Worcester, about 40 miles west of Boston, and was in good spirits, Sullivan said.

Murray is a former three-term mayor of Worcester, the state's second-largest city. He has worked with Gov. Deval Patrick to promote job growth while reforming ethics, education, pensions and the state transportation system and has made protecting local aid a priority for the Patrick administration, his website says.

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"With numbers of Massachusetts homeless living in hotels up, Deval Patrick seeks to overhaul program"
By Dan Ring, The Republican, February 24, 2011

BOSTON - Amid an alarming increase in the number of homeless families placed in motels this winter, Gov. Deval L. Patrick is seeking $38.5 million to overhaul the state’s program for emergency assistance and to help move people into apartments or congregate housing.

Currently, 1,067 families are being housed in motels in the state, including 300 in Western Massachusetts. The statewide number is up 17 percent from a month ago and the count in Western Massachusetts is up 20 percent from last month.

In Chicopee, 116 families are in motels or hotels; Holyoke, 80, West Springfield, 58; Springfield, 44, and one each in Greenfield and Westfield, according to state statistics.

“The numbers have climbed once again,” said Pamela Schwartz, director of the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness. “It’s the economy and jobs are still really hard to come by.”

The current counts are similar to January of last year when there were 312 homeless families in motels in Western Massachusetts and 982 across the state.

The problem drew public attention last year after the death of a baby at a hotel in West Springfield, and the abuse of two homeless children at a Westfield hotel.

Elizabeth Curtis Rogers, executive director of the state’s Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness, attributed the increase partly to a loss of federal stimulus dollars and the winding down of state pilot programs for placing people in apartments and housing.

If the governor’s reform proposal is adopted by the state Legislature, she said, officials are confident they can end the practice of using motels for homeless families within the fiscal year that starts July 1.

In his proposed state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, Patrick is proposing to create a new housing transition program for eligible homeless families. The program would be financed with $38.5 million of the money currently used for emergency assistance for family shelters and services. Under the program, the state would pay for a portion of monthly rent for an apartment, the first and last month’s rent and security deposit, utility charges and possibly extraordinary medical bills.

Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray, chairman of the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness, said it would be more economical and would help people become more self-sufficient if families could be moved into more permanent housing such as apartments or congregate housing.

Murray said it costs the state about $3,000 a month to put up a homeless family in a motel. Families are moved into motel rooms when shelters become full. The state expects to spend $159.3 million this fiscal year on emergency assistance for homeless families.

Murray said the state could also more easily provide related services such as day care and job training if a family was in congregate housing or an apartment.

“Even with those supportive services, it is cheaper on a monthly basis than it would be to put people in a hotel or motel,” Murray said.

Murray said state regulations need to be changed to allow more flexible use of money for emergency assistance to homeless families. Regulations now favor the use of emergency shelters such as motel rooms.

As part of the proposed program, assistance would be limited to 36 months and payments would be capped at $8,000 a year for all services, according to Patrick’s budget.

The effort would also include a special program to provide congregate housing for young families, including single mothers who now often end up in motels, Murray said.

Sen. James T. Welch, a West Springfield Democrat, said Patrick’s program is promising and he is very encouraged by it. “This is a huge shift in funding emergency shelter for homeless families,” Welch said.

The state budget for emergency assistance for family shelters and services currently exceeds the state money appropriated for all other housing programs including rental assistance, said Peter A. Gagliardi, executive director of HAP Housing in Springfield, a regional private, nonprofit agency administering state rental assistance and a variety of other housing services.

“We are spending more money on shelter than we are on housing,” he said. “There is something wrong with that picture.”

Gagliardi said he strongly supports Patrick’s move to a new model. His agency is among those that would help administer the new program.

Patrick is also proposing level funding - $37.3 million - for the next fiscal year for assisting homeless individuals.

William J. Miller, executive director of the Friends of the Homeless, which runs shelters for men and women on Worthington Street in Springfield, said he is working to boost state payments for his organization. The state currently provides approximately $700,000 annually to the Worthington Street shelters for men and women, reflecting the rate of about $14 per bed per night. Statewide, the average rate paid by the state to shelters is about $30 per bed, per night, he said.

“We’re at the losing end,” Miller said. “People respect the work we are doing, but everything is about cutting. There are no upward adjustments.”

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"Lt. Gov. Murray outraises other state officials"
By STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press (Boston.com), January 7, 2013

BOSTON (AP) — Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray has raised more in campaign donations in the past year than any other statewide officeholder on Beacon Hill, more evidence that he’s preparing for a gubernatorial run next year.

The Worcester Democrat collected nearly $447,000 in contributions through the end of December, according to an Associated Press review of state campaign finance records.

The review found that the next highest Beacon Hill fundraiser was Treasurer Steven Grossman, a fellow Democrat and another likely candidate for governor in 2014. Grossman raised more than $352,000 in donations.

The third-highest fundraiser was Attorney General Martha Coakley, also a Democrat, who pulled in nearly $230,000 in contributions.

The strong fundraising totals by Murray and Grossman reflect early political jostling as candidates hope to gain a financial edge even though the gubernatorial campaign is still a year off and a likely special election for U.S. Senate is dominating political talk in the state.

The numbers also reflect Murray’s fundraising muscle despite a series of political setbacks, including an early morning highway crash in November 2011 in which he totaled his state-issued car.

Speaking before the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce in November, Murray gave the clearest indication of his political aspirations, saying ‘‘like many of you in the room, I would like to be governor.’’

Grossman also hasn’t been shy about his interest in running for governor.

He told WCVB-TV that he was ‘‘leaning strongly in that direction’’ when asked about a possible run.

Gov. Deval Patrick has said he won’t seek a third term.

Murray’s strongest fundraising month was December when he collected nearly $155,100, much of it in the final weeks of the year, when he held a major fundraiser. Grossman also saw his biggest surge in December, when he raised more than $114,300.

Grossman reported an ending balance for the year of $442,200 compared with nearly $359,500 for Murray, although the totals don’t include money transferred into savings accounts.

Coakley was followed by Patrick, who collected more than $171,000 in 2012; state Secretary William Galvin, who pulled in about $151,000; and state Auditor Suzanne Bump, who raised more than $87,000 in contributions.

All three are Democrats.

There are several Republicans said to be weighing possible campaigns for governor in 2014 including former gubernatorial candidate and one-time CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Charles Baker, former Gov. William Weld, and Wrentham state Rep. Daniel Winslow, who also served as chief legal counsel for former Gov. Mitt Romney.

Baker hasn’t begun actively raising money for the gubernatorial campaign, but he reported more than $31,300 in his campaign account. Winslow reported nearly $19,200 in his account as of mid-October.

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"Lt. Gov. Murray opts out of Mass. governor’s race"
By Bob Salsberg, Associated Press, January 18, 2013

BOSTON (AP) -- Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray has decided against running for governor in 2014.

A political aide to Murray confirmed Friday that Murray, a former mayor of Worcester, has sent an email to supporters announcing his decision to skip the race.

The Democrat said in an interview with the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester that he wanted to spend more time with his wife and two daughters.

The decision could dramatically alter the landscape for the next gubernatorial election. Gov. Deval Patrick has ruled out running for a third term.

Democratic State Treasurer Steve Grossman has said he is leaning strongly toward running.

Murray had collected nearly $447,000 in contributions through the end of December, according to an Associated Press review of state campaign finance records, the most of the state’s constitutional officers.

Associated Press writer Steve LeBlanc contributed to this report.

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"Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray to resign, says controversies had nothing to do with his decision"
By Jim O’Sullivan, Michael Levenson and Frank Phillips, Boston Globe Staff, May 22, 2013

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray will resign from the administration next month to run the Worcester Chamber of Commerce, positioning himself as a hometown cheerleader far from Beacon Hill where he saw his reputation tarnished the last few years.

In a dramatic exit from the State House, Murray, once widely considered a front-runner for the governorship next year, will serve as president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. He becomes the first lieutenant governor to resign midterm since John F. Kerry joined the US Senate in 1985, leaving the state’s second-highest governmental position open until a new administration takes office in early 2015.

Murray has wielded a broader portfolio than many of his predecessors. But controversies over his ties to disgraced local official and an extraordinary early-morning car accident have hobbled him politically since late 2011.

“I have mixed feelings about it,” Murray said in an interview with the Globe Wednesday. “When I think about this job and its potential and the vision of where they want to take it, I get very excited.”

He dismissed the notion that his ties to former Chelsea Housing Authority chief Michael McLaughlin, who raised money for Murray’s campaign and earlier this year pleaded guilty to federal felony charges of concealing his salary, or his November 2011 car accident fueled his decision. As a longtime advocate for the homeless, Murray said, McLaughlin’s criminal behavior “pisses me off.”

“This has nothing to do with that,” Murray said during an interview in his office. “This is nothing that I sought out. People came to me.”

His resignation will take effect June 2.

At a State House press conference on Wednesday, Murray said he initially dismissed the chamber’s offer, but grew more enthusiastic when officials there talked to him about their plans to enhance the group’s performance. His political woes, he said, were not a factor.

“People are going to believe what they want to believe, but to me this is a right fit and a right decision, and I struggled with the idea of leaving early, because there are still items on the punchlist,” Murray said.

Two Patrick administration officials said Murray, who now makes less than $125,000 a year, is expected to earn over $200,000 as head of the Worcester chamber.

Murray also voiced the frustrations common among many in the state outside the metro Boston region: that much of the political and commercial focus is on the capital.

“It’s often times very Boston-centric, and that’s at the expense of other regions,” Murray said. “The fact of the matter is, if you took central Massachusetts and plopped it down in any other state in the country, it would be seen as a major economic force, which it is. But we don’t promote it and sell it.”

Murray earlier this year announced he would not seek the corner office next year, despite years of anticipation that he would look to graduate from the number-two post. As lieutenant governor, Murray worked as Governor Deval Patrick’s liaison to local officials, taking the lead on veterans’ affairs, and homing in on transportation and economic development issues.

The administration was engaged in trying to help Murray land a job in the private sector, according to a person familiar with those efforts.

“His departure leaves a very big hole in our team. So, I’m happy for him personally, but I’m a little miffed professionally,” Patrick joked at the press conference.

McLaughlin will be sentenced June 14 and is required to cooperate as a condition of his plea. Attorney General Martha Coakley is also still investigating McLaughlin’s fundraising on Murray’s behalf.

The state Constitution does not provide a mechanism for an appointment to replace Murray, meaning that Patrick will operate without a lieutenant governor until his term expires in January 2015. Next in the line of succession is Secretary of State William F. Galvin, who will serve as acting governor when Patrick is out of state.

The Worcester group reached out to Murray about a month and a half ago, he said. Murray, who worked in the chamber’s mailroom while in high school, said he hired a private attorney to consult with the state Ethics Commission and informed Patrick of the opportunity “a few weeks after” the initial inquiry.

The chamber’s executive committee voted Thursday to pursue Murray and extended an offer on Friday, he said. On Tuesday, he filed a disclosure of the appearance of a conflict of interest with the Ethics Commission. He said Wednesday he was unsure whether he would register as a lobbyist, but would adhere to state ethics laws.

Worcester political and business circles started buzzing late Tuesday about the prospect of Murray, who has remained popular in the area after three terms of mayor, taking the chamber post. Many in the region feel that Murray’s fate within the Patrick administration is symbolic of Worcester’s treatment at the hands of the state’s Boston-centered power structure.

Lou DiNatale, a Worcester-area based Democratic operative, said Murray’s tough sledding in Massachusetts politics is symbolic of what many in that city feel is the “continued Boston bias against Worcester.”

“What Tim Murray bumped into is the invisible shield that prevents Worcester political figures from breaking into Boston-based political world,” DiNatale said.

Paul J. Giorgio, a long time Worcester Democratic activist and publisher of the city’s Pulse Magazine, said Murray ran up against the “bias of the Boston big-shots.” He praised Murray for his leadership skills, saying the lieutenant governor would refocus the chamber on the changing face of Worcester’s economy.

“We’ve always been second to Boston, yet there’s a lot going on in biotech, medical research, video gaming, and energy.

Murray, too, addressed that dynamic, saying the capital has dominated “ the discourse, the focus, not only in the media but in this building, and I think we do a disservice to the whole state and quite frankly to the whole greater Boston area.”

Murray said the chance to avoid the hours of travel required by his current job and to spend more time with his wife and two young daughters also appealed to him.

Andrea Estes of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson. Frank Phillips can be reached at phillips@globe.com.

--------------------

"Murray to pay settlement, McLaughlin indicted over fund-raising"
By Andrea Estes and Jim O’Sullivan, Boston Globe Staff, August 29, 2013

Timothy P. Murray agreed Thursday to pay $80,000 to settle charges that he collected $50,000 in illegal campaign contributions raised by two public officials, capping a controversy that derailed the former lieutenant governor’s political career.

Murray, who resigned in June to take a position as head of the Worcester Chamber of Commerce, collected tens of thousands of dollars in donations solicited by former Chelsea Housing Authority executive director Michael E. McLaughlin, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley.

McLaughlin, who has already been sentenced to three years in federal prison for lying to state and federal regulators about his $360,000 salary, was indicted Thursday by a state grand jury in several campaign violations including unlawful solicitation by a public employee.

If convicted, he could face additional jail time. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the state charges Sept. 5, just days before he is to report to federal prison. McLaughlin may plead guilty to the state charges in exchange for a sentence of probation to be served after his federal prison term ends, according to two people briefed on negotiations.

A second official — E. Bernard Plante, a supervisor in the state Department of Transportation — also solicited donations for Murray in the Worcester area between 2008 and 2010, Coakley said. He was not charged.

“Political fund-raising and solicitation by public employees, especially those in management positions, is a violation of law that undermines the integrity of our campaign finance system,” Coakley said.

In a statement, Murray said he should have been “more vigilant” about who was working on behalf of his campaign.

“As I have said from the start, I never asked Michael McLaughlin to solicit funds for my committee, because I know that would have been wrong,” he said. “If I knew in 2006 what I know today about Mr. McLaughlin, I would have never had any association with him at all.”

In a phone interview Thursday, Murray said: “I’m glad that this civil settlement has been reached. It’s been a long, difficult process, but we fully cooperated every step along the way, and we’re just glad it’s come to a closure.”

Murray had asked state campaign finance officials to investigate after the Boston Globe reported in January 2012 that McLaughlin, who as a public employee was barred from fund-raising, had organized several fund-raisers on Murray’s behalf. McLaughlin solicited donations, often in cash, from Chelsea Housing Authority employees and friends and associates.

At the time, Murray downplayed their relationship and said he was unaware McLaughlin raised money for him.

Within months, the investigators turned their attention to Murray. They questioned him and others, in an effort to determine whether Murray himself had engaged in criminal conduct. In the end, prosecutors concluded that even if McLaughlin testified against Murray, there was insufficient evidence that Murray knew what McLaughlin was doing or that he conspired with him, according to three people briefed on the investigation.

Coakley’s office has had difficulty winning convictions in public corruption cases. Earlier this year, a Suffolk County jury found former probation commissioner John O’Brien not guilty of charges he raised money for former treasurer Timothy Cahill in order to get his wife a job at the state Treasury. And last December a jury could not reach a verdict in the trial of Cahill, accused of misusing state lottery money to finance an ad campaign for his 2010 run for governor. Cahill ended up paying a $100,000 fine.

Thursday, Murray repeated that the “process was initiated” by him after he learned that McLaughlin had “improperly solicited funds for my committee.”

“I asked for the investigation because I have always sought to play by the rules and run my political committee within the letter and the spirit of the law,” he said. “This review has been comprehensive, and we have fully cooperated with the authorities every step of the way.”

Murray, who had been preparing a run for governor, saw his political career shelved after the Boston Globe reported his ties to McLaughlin and he ran his car off the road in a predawn crash.

In January, he announced he would not run for governor and stopped fund-raising.

When he later announced he was resigning, Murray dismissed suggestions that the controversies prompted his decision.

As part of his settlement with the attorney general, Murray’s political committee must pay a $20,000 fine. By Aug. 15, Murray’s campaign account contained more than $227,000. Murray must also personally pay a $10,000 fine. Additionally, Murray must dissolve his political committee and have no involvement with a political fund-raising committee for two years, Coakley’s office said.

Murray’s agreement with the chamber of commerce already prohibits him from campaign involvement.

The second public official, Plante, solicited donations from DOT employees for his son, who was a Murray fund-raiser, according to the agreement. Plante, who makes about $88,000 per year, solicited donations from DOT employees and others for three Murray fund-raisers in Worcester in 2008, 2009 and 2010, the agreement said.

A person close to the investigation said Plante’s cooperation in the inquiry helped him avoid prosecution. The Patrick administration refused Thursday to disclose Plante’s name, though Coakley’s aides confirmed it.

“We learned of the attorney general’s investigation involving a MassDOT employee today,” DOT spokeswoman Sara Lavoie said in an e-mail. “We will be reviewing the attorney general’s findings and agreement with the employee and will determine whether or not further action is necessary.”

“That is just the decision that was made,” said Lavoie, explaining why the agency would not release the name. She said the department will circulate “reminder guidelines” about fund-raising rules for its employees.

In addition to four counts of unlawful solicitation by a public employee, McLaughlin is also charged with four counts of solicitation in a public building and four counts of conspiracy to solicit in a public building.

On Tuesday, Coakley and the Office of Campaign and Political Finance took action in another political campaign case, filing suit against Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua, alleging he had violated state campaign finance law by accepting thousands of dollars in potentially illegal cash and corporate contributions.

The legal maneuvering comes as Coakley herself is considering a gubernatorial bid. She has said she will decide soon whether or not to run.

Political observers said the fallout from Murray’s imbroglio with McLaughlin had left him politically damaged, but said his enduring popularity in Central Massachusetts and within the Democratic Party left the door open to a political comeback in the future.

“As bad as the car accident was, it could have been worse, and the same is true of the outcome of this entire situation,” said Mary Anne Marsh, a Democratic strategist with the Dewey Square Group. “Tim Murray doesn’t come out completely unscathed, like the car accident, and with this judgment and some time, Tim Murray could have some future here.”

Andrea Estes can be reached at andrea.estes@globe.com. Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at jim.osullivan@globe.com.

--------------------

"Former Mass. Lt. Gov. Murray fined $80K for campaign violations"
August 29, 2013

(NECN) - Former Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray and his campaign committee have agreed to pay an $80,000 fine for violations.

The fine settles allegations that he accepted illegally solicited contributions.

Attorney General Martha Coakley claims the money was solicited by former Chelsea Housing Authority Director Michael McLaughlin and another state official.

Murray has released a statement on the matter. He says he never asked McLaughlin to solicit funds, but in a statement he says: "Mr. McLaughlin's behavior does not change the fact that I am ultimately responsible for administrative oversights made by my committee."

Murray will not face criminal charges.

But on Thursday, McLaughlin was indicted for allegedly soliciting the contributions from state workers for not only Murray's campaign but others as well.

This is the latest legal trouble for McLaughlin. Earlier this year, he was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to hiding his inflated salary from authorities.

--------------------

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I am a citizen defending the people against corrupt Pols who only serve their Corporate Elite masters, not the people! / My 2 political enemies are Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., nicknamed "Luciforo" and former Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. / I have also pasted many of my political essays on "The Berkshire Blog": berkshireeagle.blogspot.com / I AM THE ANTI-FRANK GUINTA! / Please contact me at jonathan_a_melle@yahoo.com

50th Anniversary - 2009

50th Anniversary - 2009
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Columbus Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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Paul Capitanio, left, speaks during Monday night's Ward 3 City Council debate with fellow candidate Melissa Mazzeo at Pittsfield Community Television's studio. The special election (3/31/2009) will be held a week from today (3/24/2009). The local issues ranged from economic development and cleaning up blighted areas in Ward 3 to public education and the continued remediation of PCB's.

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Go Red Sox!

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Outrage swells in Congress!
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., left, and the committee's ranking Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., listen during a hearing on modernizing insurance regulations, Tuesday, March 17, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh). - http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090318/pl_politico/30833

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First issued in 2003, the Purple heart stamp will continue to honor the men and women wounded while serving in the US military. The Purple Heart stamp covers the cost of 44 cents for first-class, one-ounce mail.

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The bottlenose is just one of the new animals set to appear on the price-change stamps. It will serve as a 64-cent stamp for odd shaped envelopes.

2009 price-change stamps

2009 price-change stamps
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Go Red Sox!

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AP photo v Shepard Fairey

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A 2007 US Penny

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Sledding for dogs

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Hartford, once the wealthiest city in the United States but now the poorest in Connecticut, is facing an uphill battle.

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Mayor Jimmy Ruberto
Tanked Pittsfield's local economy while helping his fellow insider political hacks and business campaign contributors!

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Journalist Andrew Manuse
www.manuse.com

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New Hampshire Supreme Court Building
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Hampshire_Supreme_Court

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A look at some of the economic conditions the Obama administration faces and what resources have already been pledged to help. 2/24/2009

President Barack Obama

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The Oscars - 2/22/2009.
Hugh Jackman and Beyoncé Knowles teamed up for a musical medley during the show.

The 81st Academy Awards - Oscars - 2009

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Rachel Maddow
A Progressive News Commentator

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That is chump change for the corporate elite!

THE CORPORATE ELITE...

THE CORPORATE ELITE...
Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman and chief executive of General Electric

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The Presidents' Club
Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton & Carter.

5 Presidents: Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton, & Carter!

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White House Event: January 7, 2009.

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Bank Bailout!
v taxpayer

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Actress Elizabeth Banks
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Joanna Lipper
Her award-winning 1999 documentary, "Growing Up Fast," about teenaged mothers in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

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Happy Holidays...
...from "Star Wars"

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Massachusetts is one of the wealthiest states, but it is also very inequitable. For example, it boasts the nation's most lucrative lottery, which is just a system of regressive taxation so that the corporate elite get to pay less in taxes!

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Reese Witherspoon
Hollywood Actress

Peter G. Arlos.

Peter G. Arlos.
Arlos is shown in his Pittsfield office in early 2000.

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Turnpike OK's hefty toll hikes
Big Dig - East-west commuters take hit; Fees at tunnels would double. 11/15/2008.

The Pink Panther 2

The Pink Panther 2
Starring Steve Martin

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I was a victim of Manchester Police Officer John Cunningham's ILLEGAL USES of FORCE! John Cunningham was reprimanded by the Chief of Police for disrespecting me. John Cunningham yelled at a witness: "I don't care if he (Jonathan Melle) is disabled!"

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Barack Obama
The 44th US President!

Vote

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Elections

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A political cartoon by Dan Wasserman

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A rainbow over Boston
"Rainbows galore" 10/2/2008

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Our nation's leaders!
President Bush with both John McCain & Barack Obama - 9/25/2008.

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My FAVORITE Journalist EVER!

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...has all but abandoned the positions on taxes, torture and immigration. (A cartoon by Dan Wasserman. September 2008).

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A scripted candidate! (A cartoon by Dan Wasserman).

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Family FInances - September, 2008.

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Mark E. Roy
Ward 1 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

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Theodore “Ted” L. Gatsas
Ward 2 Alderman (& NH State Senator) for Manchester, NH (2008).

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Ward 3 (downtown) Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Jim Roy

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Ward 4 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

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Ed Osborne
Ward 5 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

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Ward 6 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

William P. Shea

William P. Shea
Ward 7 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

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Betsi DeVries
Ward 8 Alder-woman (& NH State Senator) for Manchester, NH (2008).

Michael Garrity

Michael Garrity
Ward 9 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

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George Smith
Ward 10 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

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Russ Ouellette
Ward 11 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

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Ward 12 Alder-woman for Manchester, NH (2008).

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“Mike” Lopez
At-Large Alderman for Manchester, NH. (2008).

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At-Large Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

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Sarah Palin for Vice President.
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U.S. Representative John Olver, D-Amherst, Massachusetts.
Congressman Olver said the country has spent well over a half-trillion dollars on the war in Iraq while the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate. 8/25/08.

Ed O'Reilly for US Senate in Massachusetts!

Ed O'Reilly for US Senate in Massachusetts!
John Kerry's 9/2008 challenger in the Democratic Primary.

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In a tax revolt, Massachusetts farmers fought back during Shays' Rebellion in the mid-1780s after The American Revolutionary War.

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Actress. "The Big Lebowski" is one of my favorite movies. I also like "The Fugitive", too.

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Go to: http://www.berkshirefatherhood.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=699&cntnt01returnid=69

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"The Bosley Amendment": To create tax loopholes for the wealthiest corporate interests in Massachusetts!

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John Edwards and...
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He wants online-privacy legislation. Some Web Firms Say They Track Behavior Without Explicit Consent.

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She gained fame with her antiwar vigil outside the Bush ranch.

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Olympics kick off in Beijing
Go USA!

Exxon Mobil 2Q profit sets US record, shares fall

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In this May 1, 2008, file photo, a customer pumps gas at an Exxon station in Middleton, Mass. Exxon Mobil Corp. reported second-quarter earnings of $11.68 billion Thursday, July 31, the biggest quarterly profit ever by any U.S. corporation, but the results were well short of Wall Street expectations and its shares fell as markets opened. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole, File) 7/31/2008.

Onota Lake 'Sea Serpent'

Onota Lake 'Sea Serpent'
Some kind of monster on Onota Lake. Five-year-old Tyler Smith rides a 'sea serpent' on Onota Lake in Pittsfield, Mass. The 'monster,' fashioned by Smith's grandfather, first appeared over July 4 weekend. (Photo courtesy of Ron Smith). 7/30/2008.

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Al Gore, Jr.
Al Gore issues challenge on energy

The Norman Rockwell Museum

The Norman Rockwell Museum
Stockbridge, Massachusetts

"Big Dig"

"Big Dig"
Boston's financially wasteful pork barrel project!

"Big Dig"

"Big Dig"
Boston's pork barrel public works project cost 50 times more than the original price!

Mary E Carey

Mary E Carey
My favorite journalist EVER!

U.S. Rep. John Olver, state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and Selectwomen Stephanie O'Keeffe and Alisa Brewer

U.S. Rep. John Olver, state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and Selectwomen Stephanie O'Keeffe and Alisa Brewer
Note: Photo from Mary E Carey's Blog.

Tanglewood

Tanglewood
Boston Symphony Orchestra music director James Levine.

Google

Google
Chagall

Jimmy Ruberto

Jimmy Ruberto
Faces multiple persecutions under the Massachusetts "Ethics" conflict of interest laws.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
Obama vows $500m in faith-based aid.

John McCain

John McCain
He is with his wife, Cindy, who were both met by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (right) upon arriving in Cartagena.

Daniel Duquette

Daniel Duquette
Sold Mayor James M. Ruberto of Pittsfield two tickets to the 2004 World Series at face value.

Hillary & Barack in Unity, NH - 6/27/2008

Hillary & Barack in Unity, NH - 6/27/2008
Clinton tells Obama, crowd in Unity, N.H.: 'We are one party'

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Wanna-be Prez?

WALL-E

WALL-E
"out of this World"

Crisis in the Congo - Ben Affleck

Crisis in the Congo - Ben Affleck
http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/popup?id=5057139&contentIndex=1&page=1&start=false - http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=5234555&page=1

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
NH's Democratic returning candidate for U.S. Senate

"Wall-E"

"Wall-E"
a cool robot

Ed O'Reilly

Ed O'Reilly
www.edoreilly.com

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
World Champions - 2008

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
J.D. Drew gets the same welcome whenever he visits the City of Brotherly Love: "Booooooo!"; Drew has been vilified in Philadelphia since refusing to sign with the Phillies after they drafted him in 1997...

Joe Kelly Levasseur & Joe Briggs

Joe Kelly Levasseur & Joe Briggs
www.2joes.org

NH Union Leader

NH Union Leader
Editorial Cartoon

Celtics - World Champions!

Celtics - World Champions!
www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_18_08_front_pages/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_17_08_finals_game_6/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_17_08_celebration/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_15_08_celtics_championships/

"The Nation"

"The Nation"
A "Liberal" weekly political news magazine. Katrina vanden Heuvel.

TV - PBS: NOW

TV - PBS: NOW
http://www.pbs.org/now

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone
List of Twilight Zone episodes - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Twilight_Zone_episodes

Equality for ALL Marriages

Equality for ALL Marriages
I, Jonathan Melle, am a supporter of same sex marriages.

Kobe Bryant leads his time to a Game 5 victory.

Kobe Bryant leads his time to a Game 5 victory.
L.A. Lakers holds on for the win to force Game 6 at Boston

Mohawk Trail

Mohawk Trail
The 'Hail to the Sunrise' statue in Charlemont is a well-known and easily recognized landmark on the Mohawk Trail. The trail once boasted several souvenir shops, some with motels and restaurants. Now only four remain. (Caroline Bonnivier / Berkshire Eagle Staff).

NASA - June 14, 2008

NASA - June 14, 2008
Space Shuttle Discovery returns to Earth.

Go Celtics! Game # 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

Go Celtics! Game # 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals.
Boston took a 20-second timeout, and the Celtics ran off four more points (including this incredible Erving-esque layup from Ray Allen) to build the lead to five points with just 2:10 remaining. Reeling, the Lakers took a full timeout to try to regain their momentum.

Sal DiMasi

Sal DiMasi
Speaker of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives

Kelly Ayotte - Attorney General of New Hampshire

Kelly Ayotte - Attorney General of New Hampshire
http://doj.nh.gov/

John Kerry

John Kerry
He does not like grassroots democracy & being challenged in the 2008 Massachusetts Democratic Party Primary for re-election.

Tim Murray

Tim Murray
Corrupt Lt. Gov. of Massachusetts, 2007 - 2013.

North Adams, Massachusetts

North Adams, Massachusetts
downtown

Howie Carr

Howie Carr
Political Satirist on Massachusetts Corruption/Politics

Polar Bear

Polar Bear
Global Warming

Elizabeth Warren - Web-Site Links

Elizabeth Warren - Web-Site Links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Warren & http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/WarrenAuthor.html

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren
Consumer Crusader

Leon Powe

Leon Powe
Celtics forward Leon Powe finished a fast break with a dunk.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett reacted during the game.

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo finished a first half fast break with a dunk.

Teamwork

Teamwork
Los Angeles Lakers teammates help Pau Gasol (16) from the floor in the second quarter.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant took a shot in the first half of Game 2.

Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins
Kendrick Perkins (right) backed down Lamar Odom (left) during first half action.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
The Boston Symphony Orchestra performed the national anthem prior to Game 2.

K.G.!

K.G.!
Garnett reacted to a hard dunk in the first quarter.

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce reacted after hitting a three upon his return to the game since leaving with an injury.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Kobe Bryant (left) and Paul Pierce (right) squared off in the second half of the game.

James Taylor

James Taylor
Sings National Anthem at Celtics Game.

John Forbes Kerry & Deval Patrick

John Forbes Kerry & Deval Patrick
Attended Celtics Game.

Greats of the NBA: Dr. J, Bill Russell, & Kareem!

Greats of the NBA: Dr. J, Bill Russell, & Kareem!
Attend Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis
The actor (left) and his date were in the crowd before the Celtics game.

John Kerry

John Kerry
Golddigger attends Celtics game

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton
Ends her 2008 bid for Democratic Party nomination

Nonnie Burnes

Nonnie Burnes
Massachusetts Insurance Commish & former Judge

Jones Library

Jones Library
Amherst, Massachusetts

Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton

Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton
2008 Democratic Primary

"US vs Exxon and Halliburton"

"US vs Exxon and Halliburton"
U.S. Senator John Sununu took more than $220,000 from big oil.

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
4- U.S. Senate - 2008

William Pignatelli

William Pignatelli
Hack Rep. "Smitty" with Lynne Blake

Ben Bernanke

Ben Bernanke
Federal Reserve Chairman

Gazettenet.com

Gazettenet.com
www.gazettenet.com/beta/

Boys' & Girls' Club

Boys' & Girls' Club
Melville Street, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Denis Guyer

Denis Guyer
Dalton State Representative

The Berkshire Eagle

The Berkshire Eagle
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Carmen Massimiano

Carmen Massimiano
Williams College - May 2008

Larry Bird & Magic Johnson

Larry Bird & Magic Johnson
www.boston.com/lifestyle/gallery/when_the_celtics_were_cool/

Regressive Taxation! via State Lotteries

Regressive Taxation! via State Lotteries
New Massachusetts state lottery game hits $600 million in sales!

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
"Luciforo"

John Barrett III

John Barrett III
Long-time Mayor of North Adams Massachusetts

Shine On

Shine On

Elmo

Elmo
cool!

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce kissed the Eastern Conference trophy. 5/30/2008. AP Photo.

Kevin Garnett & Richard Hamilton

Kevin Garnett & Richard Hamilton
Kevin Garnett (left) talked to Pistons guard Richard Hamilton (right) after the Celtics' victory in Game 6. 5/30/2008. Reuters Photo.

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce showed his team colors as the Celtics closed out the Pistons in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. 5/30/2008. Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis.

Joseph Kelly Levasseur

Joseph Kelly Levasseur
One of my favorite politicians!

Mary E Carey

Mary E Carey
In the Big Apple: NYC! She is the coolest!

Guyer & Kerry

Guyer & Kerry
My 2nd least favorite picture EVER!

Mary Carey

Mary Carey
My favorite journalist EVER!

Nuciforo & Ruberto

Nuciforo & Ruberto
My least favorite picture EVER!

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
U.S. Senate - 2008

NH Fisher Cats

NH Fisher Cats
AA Baseball - Toronto Blue Jays affiliate

Manchester, NH

Manchester, NH
Police Patch

Michael Briggs

Michael Briggs
#83 - We will never forget

Michael "Stix" Addison

Michael "Stix" Addison
http://unionleader.com/channel.aspx/News?channel=2af17ff4-f73b-4c44-9f51-092e828e1131

Charlie Gibson

Charlie Gibson
ABC News anchor

Scott McClellan

Scott McClellan
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/scott_mcclellan/index.html?inline=nyt-per

Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho
Downtown Boise Idaho

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Legislative Hearing in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, BCC, on Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
My favorite classical U.S. President!

NH Governor John Lynch

NH Governor John Lynch
Higher Taxes, Higher Tolls

Paul Hodes

Paul Hodes
My favorite Congressman!

Portland Sea Dogs

Portland Sea Dogs
AA Red Sox

New York

New York
Magnet

Massachusetts

Massachusetts
Magnet

New Hampshire

New Hampshire
Magnet

New Hampshire

New Hampshire
Button

Carmen Massimiano

Carmen Massimiano
"Luciforo" tried to send me to Carmen's Jail during the Spring & Summer of 1998.

Kay Khan - Massachusetts State Representative

Kay Khan - Massachusetts State Representative
www.openmass.org/members/show/174

Luciforo

Luciforo
Andrea F Nuciforo II

B-Eagle

B-Eagle
Pittsfield's monopoly/only daily newspaper

Jon Lester - Go Red Sox!

Jon Lester - Go Red Sox!
A Red Sox No Hitter on 5/19/2008!

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Dustin Pedroia & Manny Ramirez

U.S. Flag

U.S. Flag
God Bless America!

Jonathan Melle's Blog

Jonathan Melle's Blog
Hello, Everyone!

Molly Bish

Molly Bish
We will never forget!

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Celtics guard Rajon Rondo listens to some advice from Celtics head coach Doc Rivers in the first half.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace embrace at the end of the game.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon calls for the ball as he charges toward first base. Papelbon made the out en route to picking up his 14th save of the season.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka throws to Royals David DeJesus during the first inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka delivers a pitch to Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek during the second inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew is welcomed to home plate by teammates Mike Lowell (left), Kevin Youkilis (2nd left) and Manny Ramirez after he hit a grand slam in the second inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell crosses the plate after hitting a grand slam during the sixth inning. Teammates Manny Ramirez and Jacoby Ellsbury scored on the play. The Red Sox went on to win 11-8 to complete a four-game sweep and perfect homestand.

JD Drew - Go Red Sox

JD Drew - Go Red Sox
www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/gallery/05_22_08_sox_royals/

Thank you for serving; God Bless America!

Thank you for serving; God Bless America!
Master Sgt. Kara B. Stackpole, of Westfield, holds her daughter, Samantha, upon her return today to Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee. She is one of the 38 members of the 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron who returned after a 4-month deployment in Iraq. Photo by Dave Roback / The Republican.

Kathi-Anne Reinstein

Kathi-Anne Reinstein
www.openmass.org/members/show/175

Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy
Tragic diagnosis: Get well Senator!

Google doodle - Jonathan Melle Internet search

Google doodle - Jonathan Melle Internet search
http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q=jonathan+melle+blogurl:http://jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/&ie=UTF-8

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Billionaire U.S. Senator gives address to MCLA graduates in North Adams, Massachusetts in mid-May 2008

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
"Luciforo"

A Red Sox Fan in Paris, France

A Red Sox Fan in Paris, France
Go Red Sox!

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Interviewed on local TV

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
Luciforo!

John Adams

John Adams
#2 U.S. President

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I stood under a tree on the afternoon of May 9, 2008, on the foregrounds of the NH State House - www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/nhinsider/vpost?id=2967773

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Inside the front lobby of the NH State House

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Bill Clinton campaign memorabilia

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Liberty Bell & NH State House

Jon Keller

Jon Keller
Boston based political analyst

Jon Keller

Jon Keller
Boston based political analyst

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Franklin Pierce Statue #14 U.S. President

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
NH State House

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Stop the War NOW!

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
"Mr. Melle, tear down this Blog!"

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I stood next to a JFK photo

Jonathan Levine, Publisher

Jonathan Levine, Publisher
The Pittsfield Gazette Online

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I made rabbit ears with John & George

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I made antenna ears with John & George

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I impersonated Howard Dean

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
mock-voting

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
pretty ladies -/- Go to: http://www.wgir.com/cc-common/cc_photopop20.html?eventID=28541&pagecontent=&pagenum=4 - Go to: http://current.com/items/88807921_veterans_should_come_first_not_last# - http://www.mcam23.com/cgi-bin/cutter.cgi?c_function=STREAM?c_feature=EDIT?dir_catagory=10MorningRadio?dir_folder=2JoesClips?dir_file=JonathanMelle-090308? -

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Go Red Sox! Me at Fenway Park

Mary E. Carey

Mary E. Carey
My favorite journalist! Her voice sings for the Voiceless. -/- Go to: http://aboutamherst.blogspot.com/search?q=melle -/- Go to: http://ongeicocaveman.blogspot.com/search?q=melle

Velvet Jesus

Velvet Jesus
Mary Carey blogs about my political writings. This is a picture of Jesus from her childhood home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. -//- "How Can I Keep From Singing" : My life goes on in endless song / Above Earth's lamentations, / I hear the real, though far-off hymn / That hails a new creation. / / Through all the tumult and the strife / I hear its music ringing, / It sounds an echo in my soul. / How can I keep from singing? / / Whey tyrants tremble in their fear / And hear their death knell ringing, / When friends rejoice both far and near / How can I keep from singing? / / In prison cell and dungeon vile / Our thoughts to them are winging / When friends by shame are undefiled / How can I keep from singing?

www.truthdig.com

www.truthdig.com
www.truthdig.com

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Concord NH

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=loc&newest=1&addr=&zip=01201&search=Search

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
smiles & beer

Jonathan Lothrop

Jonathan Lothrop
A Pittsfield City Councilor

Michael L. Ward

Michael L. Ward
A Pittsfield City Councilor

Peter Marchetti - Pittsfield's City Councilor at Large

Peter Marchetti - Pittsfield's City Councilor at Large
Pete always sides with the wealthy's political interests.

Gerald Lee - Pittsfield's City Council Prez

Gerald Lee - Pittsfield's City Council Prez
Gerald Lee told me that I am a Social Problem; Lee executes a top-down system of governance.

Matt Kerwood - Pittsfield's Councilor at Large

Matt Kerwood - Pittsfield's Councilor at Large
Kerwood poured coffee drinks for Jane Swift

Louis Costi

Louis Costi
Pittsfield City Councilor

Lewis Markham

Lewis Markham
Pittsfield City Councilor

Kevin Sherman - Pittsfield City Councilor

Kevin Sherman - Pittsfield City Councilor
Sherman ran for Southern Berkshire State Rep against Smitty Pignatelli; Sherman is a good guy.

Anthony Maffuccio

Anthony Maffuccio
Pittsfield City Councilor

Linda Tyer

Linda Tyer
Pittsfield City Councilor

Daniel Bianchi

Daniel Bianchi
A Pittsfield City Councilor

The Democratic Donkey

The Democratic Donkey
Democratic Party Symbol

Paramount

Paramount
What is Paramount to you?

NH's Congresswoman

NH's Congresswoman
Carol Shea-Porter, Democrat

Sam Adams Beer

Sam Adams Beer
Boston Lager

Ratatouille

Ratatouille
Disney Animation

Ruberto Details Plans for Success - January 07, 2008

Ruberto Details Plans for Success - January 07, 2008
"Luciforo" swears in Mayor Ruberto. Pittsfield Politics at its very worst: 2 INSIDER POWERBROKERS! Where is Carmen Massimiano? He must be off to the side.

Abe

Abe
Lincoln

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime
Leader of the Autobots

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime
1984 Autobot Transformer Leader

Cleanup Agreements - GE & Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

Cleanup Agreements - GE & Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/cleanupagreement.html

GE/Housatonic River Site: Introduction

GE/Housatonic River Site: Introduction
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/

GE/Housatonic River Site - Reports

GE/Housatonic River Site - Reports
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/thesite/opca-reports.html

US EPA - Contact - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

US EPA - Contact -  Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/contactinfo.html

GE Corporate Logo - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

GE Corporate Logo - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/index.html

Commonwealth Connector

Commonwealth Connector
Commonwealth Care

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Healthcare Reform

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Healthcare Reform

Network Health Forward - A Commonwealth Care Plan

Network Health Forward - A Commonwealth Care Plan
Massachusetts Health Reform

Network Health Together: A MassHealth Plan - Commonwealth Care

Network Health Together: A MassHealth Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

www.network-health.org

www.network-health.org
Massachusetts Health Reform

Neighborhood Health Plan - Commonwealth Care

Neighborhood Health Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

Fallon Community Health Plan - Commonwealth Care

Fallon Community Health Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

BMC HealthNet Plan

BMC HealthNet Plan
Massachusetts Health Reform

Massachusetts Health Reform

Massachusetts Health Reform
Eligibility Chart: 2007

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare
Massachusetts Health Reform

Business Peaks

Business Peaks
Voodoo Economics

Laffer Curve - Corporate Elite

Laffer Curve - Corporate Elite
Reagonomics: Supply Side

Corporate Elite Propaganda

Corporate Elite Propaganda
Mock Liberal Democratic Socialism Thinking

Real Estate Blues

Real Estate Blues
www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/2008/0316/

PEACE

PEACE
End ALL Wars!

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech
Norman Rockwell's World War II artwork depicting America's values

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
A young Abe Lincoln

RACHEL KAPRIELIAN

RACHEL KAPRIELIAN
www.openmass.org/members/show/218 - www.rachelkaprielian.com

Jennifer M. Callahan - Massachusetts State Representative

Jennifer M. Callahan - Massachusetts State Representative
www.openmass.org/members/show/164 - www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/05/04/legislator_describes_threat_as_unnerving/

Human Rights for ALL Peoples!

Human Rights for ALL Peoples!
My #1 Political Belief!

Anne Frank

Anne Frank
Amsterdam, Netherlands, Europe

A young woman Hillary supporter

A young woman Hillary supporter
This excellent picture captures a youth's excitement

Hillary Clinton with Natalie Portman

Hillary Clinton with Natalie Portman
My favorite Actress!

Alan Chartock

Alan Chartock
WAMC public radio in Albany, NY; Political columnist who writes about Berkshire County area politics; Strong supporter for Human Rights for ALL Peoples

OpenCongress.Org

OpenCongress.Org
This web-site uses some of my Blog postings

OpenMass.org

OpenMass.org
This web-site uses some of my blog postings!

Shannon O'Brien

Shannon O'Brien
One of my favorite politicians! She stands for the People first!

The Massachusetts State House

The Massachusetts State House
"The Almighty Golden Dome" - www.masslegislature.tv -

Sara Hathaway

Sara Hathaway
Former Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.
A corrupt Pol who tried to put me in Jail

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.
Another view of Pittsfield's inbred, multigenerational political prince. Luciforo!

Luciforo

Luciforo
Nuciforo's nickname

"Andy" Nuciforo

"Andy" Nuciforo
Luciforo!

Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer)

Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer)
Nuciforo's henchman! Nuciforo tried to send me to Carmen's Jail

Andrea Nuciforo Jr

Andrea Nuciforo Jr
Shhh! Luciforo's other job is working as a private attorney defending wealthy Boston-area corporate insurance companies

Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer) Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr.

Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer) Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr.
Nuciforo tried to send me to Carmen's Jail! Carmen sits with the Congressman, John Olver

Congressman John Olver

Congressman John Olver
Nuciforo's envy

The Dome of the U.S. Capitol

The Dome of the U.S. Capitol
Our Beacon of American Democracy

Nuciforo's architect

Nuciforo's architect
Mary O'Brien in red with scarf

Sara Hathaway (www.brynmawr.edu)

Sara Hathaway (www.brynmawr.edu)
Former-Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Nuciforo intimidated her, along with another woman, from running in a democratic state election in the Spring of 2006!

Andrea F. Nuciforo II

Andrea F. Nuciforo II
Pittsfield Politics

Berkshire County Republican Association

Berkshire County Republican Association
Go to: www.fcgop.blogspot.com

Denis Guyer

Denis Guyer
Dalton State Representative

John Forbes Kerry & Denis Guyer

John Forbes Kerry & Denis Guyer
U.S. Senator & State Representative

John Kerry

John Kerry
Endorses Barack Obama for Prez then visits Berkshire County

Dan Bosley

Dan Bosley
A Bureaucrat impostering as a Legislator!

Ben Downing

Ben Downing
Berkshire State Senator

Christopher N Speranzo

Christopher N Speranzo
Pittsfield's ANOINTED State Representative

Peter J. Larkin

Peter J. Larkin
Corrupt Lobbyist

GE - Peter Larkin's best friend!

GE - Peter Larkin's best friend!
GE's FRAUDULENT Consent Decree with Pittsfield, Massachusetts, will end up KILLING many innocent school children & other local residents!

GE's CEO Jack Welch

GE's CEO Jack Welch
The Corporate System's Corporate Elite's King

Economics: Where Supply meets Demand

Economics: Where Supply meets Demand
Equilibrium

GE & Pittsfield, Massachusetts

GE & Pittsfield, Massachusetts
In 2007, GE sold its Plastics Division to a Saudi company. Now all that is left over by GE are its toxic PCB pollutants that cause cancer in many Pittsfield residents.

Mayor James M Ruberto

Mayor James M Ruberto
A small-time pol chooses to serve the corporate elite & other elites over the people.

Governor Deval Patrick

Governor Deval Patrick
Deval shakes hands with Mayors in Berkshire County

Deval Patrick

Deval Patrick
Governor of Massachusetts

Pittsfield High School

Pittsfield High School
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Sara Hathaway

Sara Hathaway
Pittsfield's former Mayor

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Pittsfield Attorney focusing on Father's Rights Probate Court Legal Issues, & Local Politician and Political Observer

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Very Intelligent Political Activists in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III, Esq. is the spokesperson of the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition. He has been practicing family law and has been a member of the Massachusetts bar since 1996.

Mayor Ed Reilly

Mayor Ed Reilly
He supports Mayor Ruberto & works as a municipal Attorney. As Mayor, he backed Bill Weld for Governor in 1994, despite being a Democrat. He was joined by Carmen Massimiano & John Barrett III, the long-standing Mayor of North Adams.

Manchester, NH Mayor Frank Guinta

Manchester, NH Mayor Frank Guinta
Cuts Dental Care for Public School Children-in-Need

Manchester, NH City Hall

Manchester, NH City Hall
My new hometown - view from Hanover St. intersection with Elm St.

Manchester NH City Democrats

Manchester NH City Democrats
Go Dems!

2008 Democratic Candidates for U.S. Prez

2008 Democratic Candidates for U.S. Prez
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards

NH State House Dome

NH State House Dome
Concord, NH

Donna Walto

Donna Walto
Pittsfield Politician -- She strongly opposes Mayor Jim Ruberto's elitist tenure.

Elmo

Elmo
Who doesn't LOVE Elmo?

Hillary Clinton for U.S. President!

Hillary Clinton for U.S. President!
Hillary is for Children. She is my choice in 2008.

The White House in 1800

The White House in 1800
Home of our Presidents of the United States

John Adams

John Adams
2nd President of the USA

Hillary Clinton stands with John Edwards and Joe Biden

Hillary Clinton stands with John Edwards and Joe Biden
Hillary is my choice for U.S. President!

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the Radisson in Manchester NH 11/16/2007

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
U.S. Senator & Candidate for President

Pittsfield's 3 Women City Councillors - 2004

Pittsfield's 3 Women City Councillors - 2004
Linda Tyer, Pam Malumphy, Tricia Farley-Bouvier

Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
My friend Brian Merzbach reviews baseball parks around the nation.

The Corporate Elite: Rational Incentives for only the wealthy

The Corporate Elite: Rational Incentives for only the wealthy
The Elites double their $ every 6 to 8 years, while the "have-nots" double their $ every generation (or 24 years). Good bye Middle Class!

George Will

George Will
The human satellite voice for the Corporate Elite

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren
The Anti-George Will; Harvard Law School Professor; The Corporate Elite's Worst Nightmare

The Flag of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Flag of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
I was born and raised in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

State Senator Stan Rosenberg

State Senator Stan Rosenberg
Democratic State Senator from Amherst, Massachusetts -/- Anti-Stan Rosenberg Blog: rosenbergwatch.blogspot.com

Ellen Story

Ellen Story
Amherst Massachusetts' State Representative

Teen Pregnancy in Pittsfield, Mass.

Teen Pregnancy in Pittsfield, Mass.
Books are being written on Pittsfield's high teen pregancy rates! What some intellectuals do NOT understand about the issue is that TEEN PREGNANCIES in Pittsfield double the statewide average by design - Perverse Incentives!

NH Governor John Lynch

NH Governor John Lynch
Supports $30 Scratch Tickets and other forms of regressive taxation. Another Pol that only serves his Corporate Elite Masters instead of the People!

U.S. Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter

U.S. Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter
The first woman whom the People of New Hampshire have voted in to serve in U.S. Congress

U.S. Congressman Paul Hodes

U.S. Congressman Paul Hodes
A good man who wants to bring progressive changes to Capitol Hill!

Paul Hodes for U.S. Congress

Paul Hodes for U.S. Congress
New Hampshire's finest!

Darth Vader

Darth Vader
Star Wars

Dick Cheney & George W. Bush

Dick Cheney & George W. Bush
The Gruesome Two-some! Stop the Neo-Cons' fascism! End the Iraq War NOW!

WAROPOLY

WAROPOLY
The Inequity of Globalism

Bushopoly!

Bushopoly!
The Corporate Elite have redesigned "The System" to enrich themselves at the expense of the people, masses, have-nots, poor & middle-class families

George W. Bush with Karl Rove

George W. Bush with Karl Rove
Rove was a political strategist with extraordinary influence within the Bush II White House

2008's Republican Prez-field

2008's Republican Prez-field
John McCain, Alan Keyes, Rudy Guiliani, Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, WILLARD Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Ron Paul

Fall in New England

Fall in New England
Autumn is my favorite season

Picturing America

Picturing America
picturingamerica.neh.gov

Winter Weather Map

Winter Weather Map
3:45PM EST 3-Dec-07

Norman Rockwell Painting

Norman Rockwell Painting
Thanksgiving

Norman Rockwell Painting

Norman Rockwell Painting
Depiction of American Values in mid-20th Century America

Larry Bird #33

Larry Bird #33
My favorite basketball player of my childhood

Boston Celtics Basketball - 2007-2008

Boston Celtics Basketball - 2007-2008
Kevin Garnett hugs James Posey

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
All heart! Awesome basketball star for The Boston Celtics.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady
Go Patriots!

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch
Owner of Fox News - CORPORATE ELITE!

George Stephanopolous

George Stephanopolous
A Corporate Elite Political News Analyst

Robert Redford

Robert Redford
Starred in the movie "Lions for Lambs"

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep
Plays a jaded journalist with integrity in the movie "Lions for Lambs"

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise plays the Neo-Con D.C. Pol purely indoctrinated by the Corporate Elite's political agenda in the Middle East

CHARLIZE THERON

CHARLIZE THERON
"I want to say I've never been surrounded by so many fake breasts, but I went to the Academy Awards."

Amherst Town Library

Amherst Town Library
Amherst, NH - www.amherstlibrary.org

Manchester NH Library

Manchester NH Library
I use the library's automated timed 1-hour-per-day Internet computers to post on my Blog - www.manchester.lib.nh.us

Manchester NH's Palace Theater

Manchester NH's Palace Theater
Manchester NH decided to restore its Palace Theater

Pittsfield's Palace Theater

Pittsfield's Palace Theater
Pittsfield tore down this landmark on North Street in favor of a parking lot

Pleasant Street Theater

Pleasant Street Theater
Amherst, Massachusetts

William "Shitty" Pignatelli

William "Shitty" Pignatelli
A top down & banal State House Pol from Lenox Massachusetts -- A GOOD MAN!

The CIA & Mind Control

The CIA & Mind Control
Did the CIA murder people by proxy assassins?

Skull & Bones

Skull & Bones
Yale's Elite

ImpeachBush.org

ImpeachBush.org
I believe President Bush should be IMPEACHED because he is waging an illegal and immoral war against Iraq!

Bob Feuer drumming for U.S. Congress v John Olver in 2008

Bob Feuer drumming for U.S. Congress v John Olver in 2008
www.blog.bobfeuer.us

Abe Lincoln

Abe Lincoln
The 16th President of the USA

Power

Power
Peace

Global Warming Mock Giant Thermometer

Global Warming Mock Giant Thermometer
A member of Green Peace activist sets up a giant thermometer as a symbol of global warming during their campaign in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007. World leaders launch marathon negotiations Monday on how to fight global warming, which left unchecked could cause devastating sea level rises, send millions further into poverty and lead to the mass extinction of plants and animals.

combat global warming...

combat global warming...
...or risk economic and environmental disaster caused by rising temperatures

www.climatecrisiscoalition.org

www.climatecrisiscoalition.org
P.O. Box 125, South Lee, MA 01260, (413) 243-5665, tstokes@kyotoandbeyond.org, www.kyotoandbeyond.org

3 Democratic presidentional candidates

3 Democratic presidentional candidates
Democratic presidential candidates former senator John Edwards (from right) and Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd before the National Public Radio debate yesterday (12/4/2007).

The UN Seal

The UN Seal
An archaic & bureaucratic post WW2 top-down, non-democratic institution that also stands for some good governance values

Superman

Superman
One of my favorite childhood heroes and movies

Web-Site on toxic toys

Web-Site on toxic toys
www.healthytoys.org

Batman

Batman
One of my favorite super-heroes

Deval Patrick & Denis Guyer

Deval Patrick & Denis Guyer
Massachusetts' Governor stands with Dalton's State Rep. Denis E. Guyer.

Bill Cosby & Denis Guyer

Bill Cosby & Denis Guyer
TV Star Bill Cosby stands with Denis E. Guyer

Denis Guyer with his supporters

Denis Guyer with his supporters
Dalton State Representative

Denis Guyer goes to college

Denis Guyer goes to college
Dalton State Representative

Peter Marchetti

Peter Marchetti
He is my second cousin. Pete Marchetti favors MONEY, not fairness!

Matt Barron & Denis Guyer with couple

Matt Barron & Denis Guyer with couple
Matt Barron plays DIRTY politics against his opponents!

Nat Karns

Nat Karns
Top-Down Executive Director of the ELITIST Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Human Rights for All Peoples & people

Human Rights for All Peoples & people
Stop Anti-Semitism

Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill

Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill
State House, Room 227, Boston, MA 02133, 617-367-6900, www.mass.gov/treasury/

Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley

Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley
1350 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01103, 413-784-1240 / McCormick Building, One Asburton Place, Boston, MA 02108, 617-727-4765 / marthacoakley.com / www.ago.state.ma.us

Bush v. Gore: December 12, 2007, was the seventh anniversary, the 5-4 Supreme Court decision...

Bush v. Gore: December 12, 2007, was the seventh anniversary, the 5-4 Supreme Court decision...
www.takebackthecourt.org - A political billboard near my downtown apartment in Manchester, NH

Marc Murgo

Marc Murgo
An old friend of mine from Pittsfield

Downtown Manchester, NH

Downtown Manchester, NH
www.newhampshire.com/nh-towns/manchester.aspx

Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei
Movie Actress

Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities (MCHC)

Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities (MCHC)
www.masschc.org/issue.php

Mike Firestone & Anna Weisfeiler

Mike Firestone & Anna Weisfeiler
Mike Firestone works in Manchester NH for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign

James Pindell

James Pindell
Covers NH Primary Politcs for The Boston Globe

U.S. History - Declaration

U.S. History - Declaration
A 19th century engraving shows Benjamin Franklin, left, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman at work on the Declaration of Independence.

Boston Globe Photos of the Week - www.boston.com/bostonglobe/gallery/

Boston Globe Photos of the Week - www.boston.com/bostonglobe/gallery/
Sybregje Palenstijn (left), who plays Sarah Godbertson at Plimouth Plantation, taught visitors how to roast a turkey on a spit. The plantation often sees a large influx of visitors during the holiday season.

Chris Hodgkins

Chris Hodgkins
Another special interest Berkshire Pol who could not hold his "WATER" on Beacon Hill's State House!

The Big Dig - 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto Milena Del Valle's car.

The Big Dig - 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto Milena Del Valle's car.
Most of Boston's Big Dig highway remains closed, after a woman was crushed when 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto her car. (ABC News)

Jane Swift

Jane Swift
Former Acting Governor of Massachusetts & Berkshire State Senator

Paul Cellucci

Paul Cellucci
Former Massachusetts Governor

William Floyd Weld

William Floyd Weld
$80 Million Trust Fund Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mike Dukakis

Mike Dukakis
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mary E. Carey

Mary E. Carey
Amherst, Massachusetts, Journalist and Blogger

Caveman

Caveman
www.ongeicocaveman.blogspot.com

Peter G. Arlos

Peter G. Arlos
"The biggest challenge Pittsfield faces is putting its fiscal house in order. The problem is that doing so requires structural changes in local government, many of which I have advocated for years, but which officials do not have the will to implement. Fiscal responsibility requires more than shifting funds from one department to another. Raising taxes and fees and cutting services are not the answer. Structural changes in the way services are delivered and greater productivity are the answer, and without these changes the city's fiscal crisis will not be solved."

James M. Ruberto

James M. Ruberto
"Pittsfield's biggest challenge is to find common ground for a better future. The city is at a crossroads. On one hand, our quality of life is challenged. On the other hand, some important building blocks are in place that could be a strong foundation for our community. Pittsfield needs to unite for the good of its future. The city needs an experienced businessman and a consensus builder who will invite the people to hold him accountable."

Matt Kerwood

Matt Kerwood
Pittsfield's Councilor-At-Large. Go to: extras.berkshireeagle.com/NeBe/profiles/12.htm

Gerald M. Lee

Gerald M. Lee
Pittsfield's City Council Prez. Top-down governance of the first order!

Mary Carey

Mary Carey
Mary with student

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox
Jonathan Papelbon celebrates with Jason Varitek

Free Bernard Baran!

Free Bernard Baran!
www.freebaran.org

Political Intelligence

Political Intelligence
Capitol Hill

Sherwood Guernsey II

Sherwood Guernsey II
Wealthy Williamstown Political Activist & Pittsfield Attorney

Mary Carey 2

Mary Carey 2
California Pol & porn star

Pittsfield's Good Old Boy Network - Political Machine!

Pittsfield's Good Old Boy Network - Political Machine!
Andy "Luciforo" swears in Jimmy Ruberto for the returning Mayor's 3rd term

Berkshire Grown

Berkshire Grown
www.berkshiregrown.org

Rambo

Rambo

The Mount was built in 1902 & was home to Edith Wharton (1862-1937) from 1903 to 1908.

The Mount was built in 1902 & was home to Edith Wharton (1862-1937) from 1903 to 1908.
The Mount, the historic home in Lenox of famed American novelist Edith Wharton, is facing foreclosure.

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