Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Healthcare Lobby Should be Ashamed

Health care has always been my biggest issue. As a college student who will graduate soon, I've been exceedingly worried about obtaining quality, affordable health care. Over the summer, during the ConCon, I called both my state rep and state senator and urged them to vote for a constitutional amendment to gaurantee healthcare in Massachusetts. That was the primary purpose of my call - and I think both of them listened, as they both voted against burying the amendment.

Sadly, the amendment died anyway. That's right, it died. As in, it's gone. Poof. It shan't be passed. But, what's worse than that, the health care lobby has somehow tried to blame the defeat of their bill on the gay rights movement. Because gay marriage won't come up to a vote, neither will the health care bill, they say. They're so furious that they've sided with the homophobes.
The folks backing the proposed constitutional amendment on health care have filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit, filed by Mitt Romney and others, to force the anti-marriage amendment onto the ballot.

So they've picked their sides. They'd rather stand with Mitt Romney and Team Homophobia than people like me who have fought long and hard for health care - longer and harder than I've fought for gay rights.

I warned them to divide the progressive movement at their own peril. It makes all of us weaker. We won through unity, now the healthcare folks idiots only put marriage equality at risk. If enough health care dolts lobby our state reps and senators to vote on marriage equality, this whole thing could be dragged on. Yet, mark my words, health care will fail anyway.

It already failed. In June. And it had nothing to do with marriage equality. Heck, the health care bill came up before marriage equality at that point. And it still failed. Like I said, the thing is d.e.a.d. DEAD d.e.a.d.

The saddest thing of all is that the amicus sent to the SJC by the health care lobby asks the SJC to do something that is just as unconstitutional as what they think the legislature is doing. They're asking the SJC to push the amendment to ban gay marriage forward, "their argument is that the failure of the legislature to vote should be deemed the equivalent of 25% of the legislature voting in favor of an amendment," says David. The SJC has no right to do that, something even David has readily admitted in the past. There's plenty of recent precedent on the matter.

So what does this all mean? The people behind the health care lobby are selfish assholes. I don't use that vulgarity lightly. They don't care about gay people. They don't care about unity. They made their decision to stand with Mitt Romney instead of Deval Patrick, with openly homophobic people instead of the rest of the progressive movement. As far as I'm concerned, I'm now looking forward to see the health care amendment fail. The ends don't justify the means, not when they seek to trample on the rights of tens of thousands of Massachusetts citizens. People who belong to any of those health care organizations should immediately leave and start new ones - ones that seek to be uniters, not dividers.

Update: Give them a piece of your mind.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Question, what has been the reaction of all the "the process! the process! It's WRONG to use perfectly legitimate and legal means" health care people? Surely they're not going along with asking the SJC to do something it has absolutely no authority to do and was just cooked up as a lame political stunt by Mitt? David denounced the hell out of this maneuver, right?

Honestly, besides being disgusted by the cravenness of these people and their willingness to just toss aside basic principles when it doesn't affect them personally, this shows incrdible naivete. You are so right, this has no hope of passing our old school DINO ridden chambers, not unless they can find a way to water it down to the point of meaningless anyway. Hello? Lived here long?

It's no coincidence that Trav put the health care amendment later on the agenda, what the hell does that tell these geniuses?

And one reason we have so many damn DINOs is because of people like this who'll trade their long term interests and allies for a crumb.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Ryan! Right on! The ends don't justify the means, not when they seek to trample on the rights of tens of thousands of Massachusetts citizens.

I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm glad to see you support the 17 tens of thousands of us who signed the petition to place a marriage amendment on the ballot only to see the legislature avoid the vote. They used the same argument, the ends of protecting gay marriage was more important than following the means laid out in the Constitution.

Ryan Adams said...

With all the fraud, you don't know how many people really willingly signed that.

Parliamentary procedures have killed thousands of bills and amendments in the past, get used to it. It's killed plenty of things I've wanted passed - you don't see me complaining. The system works.

Anonymous said...

Ryan,

What happened? You went from a moral absolutist to shit happens.

Well, in any case, I signed the petition knowing full well what I was doing. I followed the law, I did everything Constitutionally required of me, I should have my means protected from those who seek to subvert it by only caring about the ends, right?

Ryan Adams said...

If there were a snowball's chance in hell this amendment would be going through, I wouldn't be staking this position. However, there isn't. The only thing pushing this issue will do is divide the movement and maybe make both camps lose.

The gay marriage vote was a foul ball - but for once, it went the right way. That doesn't happen often, so I'm not going to go telling the ref about it =p

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to know that the "health care" group is homophobic. I'll be sure to avoid signing any of their petitions in the future.

Note to "anonymous" at 1:40AM: you really should check your reading glasses. The MA state constitution does not require the ConCon to take a vote on a proposed constitutional amendment, whether it be submitted by the legislature or by initiative petition. If no vote is taken during a legislative session, it dies.

--raj

laurel said...

Anon 11:03, the legislature also has done all the constitution requires of them. on the that the sjc has ruled previously, and shall again. so you have not been robbed of anything. you simply lost. do we need to call the whaaaambulance for you?

Peter Porcupine said...

Laurel & Raj - the SJC has ruled that a final - not procedural - vote IS necessary. Today, CJM Marshall said - didn't we make that clear? The plaintiff response was - apparently not. I expect the SJC to rule, explicitly, that a vote - a FINAL vote, not a roll call recess - IS required.

And the Federal suit, for violating 1st and 14th amendments, in which each of the 109 is individually named, should be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Correct, Peter. The SJC has ruled that the ConCon must vote on the amendment itself - it is Unconstitutional not to. However, they also ruled that being a separate and co-equal branch of government, they can not order the ConCon to do anything.

Ryan, its not a foul ball, its a foul. If it were basketball the ref's wrists would be crossed above his head because it would be a flagrant foul at that. Your not telling the ref (the means) because "for once, it went the right way" (the ends) not only contradicts your earlier self righteousness with the health care lobby, its just plain wrong.

The honor code at West Point says "A cadet will not lie, cheat,
or steal, nor tolerate those who do." You are tolerating those who do because it suits your politics.

Anonymous said...

Peter Porcupine

the SJC has ruled that a final - not procedural - vote IS necessary.

I'm sure that you can cite a case.

And the Federal suit, for violating 1st and 14th amendments, in which each of the 109 is individually named, should be interesting.

It'll be interesting when it is laughed out of court. The idea that the plaintiffs are being denied the right to assemble to petition the government for redress of grievances is fairly far-fetched.

--raj

laurel said...

Anon 1:15 wrote:
"The honor code at West Point says "A cadet will not lie, cheat,
or steal, nor tolerate those who do.""

Does it also say to hide when you speak big brave words? Why don't you stand by them by identifying yourself?

Ryan Adams said...

Anon 1:15 - I never went to cadet school, but I do believe in the concept that if something's inherently wrong, you don't necessarily have to follow it, at least if you're prepared to deal with the consequences. That's essentially a paraphrase of Martin Luther King, Jr. Ghandi's made very similar remarks as well.

The fact that signature-driven amendments only require 25% of the legislature's vote is a horrible, horrible policy. The constitution is meant to be hard to change, not easy. In a day and age when ANYONE can get requisite signatures if they can afford a hundred thousand dollars or so, 25% is a bar set too low. Because of that, the legislature shouldn't feel compelled to follow it - especially when they have parliamentary procedures available to them. Would I rather they have followed the rules? Yes. I made that clear months ago.

However, to argue this now is only to be divisive. That's why I've accepted the legislature's decision - and applauded the fact that they were willing to stand up for us. I'm not going to scold them for standing up in the wrong way or being too enthusiastic, because blocking the marriage amendment is a far better thing than I'm used to them doing.

The funny thing is this issue is clearly being driven by homophobia. Where was the outrage on Clean Elections - Kerry Healey certaily wasn't talking about that when she was running for office. Where was the outrage over the summer, when the health care bill was initially tabled? I'm pretty sure I was one of the ONLY people to blog about that on leftyblogs at the time.

Peter Porcupine said...

Raj - CJM said that the SJC had stated that the vote must be taken in Term Limits vs. Bulger, 1992. It may now issue a more explicit statement that the Constitution requires a final, not procedural, vote since some legislators seem to be confused on this case. Ms. Marshall said that the court expects the legislators not to abrogate their oaths of office.

As far as the Federal case is concerned, preliminary arguments were held yesterday in Federal Court, and a motion to dismiss was denied. So it isn't being tossed out as you expect. What else would YOU call 170,000 signatures being ignored than a denial of redress of grievances by the government? Along with preventing a vote?

The 109 are on their own here - the AG cannot defend them.

Peter Porcupine said...

Ryan said - "Where was the outrage on Clean Elections - Kerry Healey certaily wasn't talking about that when she was running for office"

As a matter of fact, Ryan, when explicitly asked about that in the debates, Healey said that she DID think the Legislature was wrong, and that Clean Elections SHOULD have been funded - for people other than just Warren Tolman.

Anonymous said...

Henry David Thoreau was talking about civil disobedience long before MLK or Ghandi, and they were all right. When something is fundamentally unjust, you don't have a duty to follow it. I absolutely agree that 25% of the GC is a bar far too low, but it is not unjust in and of itself, even if it can be used for unjust means. If your upset with the process to amend our Constitution then try to change it. Don't just ignore it.

I don't like the law that says I have to wear a seatbelt, but it is the law. I can try to change it if I want, but if I ignore it I can get a ticket and rightfully so. Our legislators should also face some penalty for violating the highest law in our land, the Constitution. I'm sure Socrates disagreed with the ruling that he was corrupting the youth of Athens, but he drank the hemlock anyway, because thats what civilized people do in a society. They follow the law, even when they disagree with it.

So you are not willing to "scold them" even they stood "up in the wrong way" for a cause you believe in? Why not? If it was wrong, it was wrong. The health care lobby at least has the courage of their convictions.

You are willing to let the Constitution get trampled because its better than what you are used to? Guess what, its the actions of people like you who let it get so bad.

Ryan Adams said...

She did say that, but there was no outrage - and she certainly wouldn't have mentioned it if not for the fact she was asked about it. If she was really consistent, she would have championed the issue because - after all - the people voted for it. And she was all about that when it came to the marriage ban.

laurel said...

Peter, thank you for the correction. I believe you are correct that the SJC did rule that a vote must be taken. However, they cannot compel a vote. So, the legislators will use the law as it stands. Flawed or incomplete? Perhaps. But that's the way the law stands. Maybe you can sponsor a citizen's initiative to stipulate in teh constitution a punishment for the non-vote takers. That might be more useful than trying to strip citizens of their civil rights.

Ok, I was honest about my mistake. Now your turn. It is disingenuous to keep using that number 170,000 signatures. We know that thousands were faked, forged, or obtained under false pretenses. To keep using that number is to support the deception that went into getting them.

Ryan Adams said...

Anon, you answered the question yourself: banning marriage equality is unjust. I'm not going to scold them for standing up for someone's fundamental civil rights. And, I'm sorry, but using parliamentary procedure - as has been done throughout the history of not only this country, but others that have proceeded it - does not constitute the same level of a violation of rights as does banning marriage equality. Your life isn't any different - mine would forever be ruined. And, yes, I said ruined. Not being able to marry the person I love and who loved me back would be something I don't think I could ever get over with.

Furthermore, the legislature knows exactly what it'll get for punishment - because there's precedence. They'll be chided a little bit, but ultimately there's nothing the SJC really can do.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, thats not the point. The point is that the 25% rule is bad policy, but its NOT fundamentally unjust. Eliminating gay marriage may or may not be unjust, but thats not the issue you raised.

Its also not a question of parliamentary procedure. Its a question of subverting the Constitution, the same Constitution that gave you the right to marry the man of your choice. You can't pick and choose the parts you want to follow, just like I cant pick the parts of the law I want to follow, like wearing my seatbelt. Take it or change it, but this isn't a cafeteria.

Ryan Adams said...

If it's unjust, certainly I can. It's called civil disobedience. You'll note, when this issue was still alive, I was for voting on it.

But it's dead. This whole thing is moot because it's dead.

Peter Porcupine said...

Ryan - a major component of civil disobedience is the willingness to accept the consequences of your principled actions. By adjourning the way they have, that is precisely what the Lege is trying to AVOID.

Ironically, the only way to change the 25% threshhold is .... to amend the Constitution.

Laurel - Unless you want to believe that over 100,000 of those signatures wre forged, the petitioners met the target. And you know that isn't true. The odd thing is that because of Know Thy Neighbor, this petition drive had more sunlight cast upon the signature gathering process than the health care amendment did - the publication of all the signatory names was unprecedented (and perfectly OK - the petitions are public records). So - where are the 100,000 protesting they DIDN'T sign? Laurel, more than the required 65,000 signed that petition - and the fraud issue is a red herring. It was certified by both the Sec. of State and the Attorney General - you can't just keep repeating that you just KNOW people didn't mean it without anything beyond anecdotal stories.

Laurel said...

Peter, not just anecdotal stories. Fact. That the Sec'y of State and AG signed off on it without a more thorough examination is a tragedy. That is why we don;t know exactly how many are crap. But we do know that at least 2,000 are. MassEquality and Sen. Ed Augustus got that far before running out of resources. It's pathetic for VOM to cry foul over the methods used by the Lege when the thing they are asked to vote on is based on an unknown amount of lies and deception.

Anonymous said...

Anon, first off, the highest law in our land is the US Constitution, what we're dealing with here in the Massachusetts Constitution, a great and venerable document but not the highest law of the land. Sorry, but none of the MA Legislators violated the highest law of our land.

Parliamentary procedure is not a violation of law. The same delaying tactic has been used at the ConCon in the past, sometimes it works in our favor, sometimes it doesn't. Our opponents can use whatever legal means are at their disposal, we accept that. I don't see you out demanding that reproductive choice be enshrined in the constitution because the ConCon didn't vote on it in 1990, it wasn't a matter of principle back then, was it? So who lives in the cafeteria? And if the health care people were so principled and so expert in con law, they wouldn't be signing up for some weird scheme to assign Legislators to votes they never cast. That's a far more serious violation of fundamental principle than garden variety parliamentary delaying tactics, bypassing the Legislature and making up votes for them? Some consistency would be nice.

This reminds me of Bush vs. Gore, the Supreme Court created a standard under the 14th Amendment that would essentially overturn the result of every election in every jurisdiction in the US, but then weaseled out of it by saying in essence that these super-standards only applied to Bush's 14th Amendment rights, which far exceeded anyone else's (kind of ironic considering it's the Equal Protection Clause) and tough luck on everyone else, it applied in no other case. If it's a matter of principle, why don't you go examine all the ConCon records throughout history to rectify all these horrible past wrongs and violations of principle across the political spectrum, instead of just worrying about one instance you care about where things didn't go your way?

It's called politics, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose and a perfectly legal tactic that helps you one year will screw you the next. Accepting that sometimes you'll be sitting sadly watching strangers walking around freely like it's their right with never a by your leave to you on their basic rights is all part of growing up. And maybe realizing that your "right" to be an authoritarian isn't more basic that other people's actual rights to fundamental liberties. (Though no doubt you feel you can't enter into a heterosexual marriage, paractice your religion, or speak an affirmative vote from the general public.)

Also, the thing about civil disobedience? It's a matter of conscience. Individual conscience, even. Your opinions on what is and is not unjust and what is and is not required of a citizen are fascinating, and all, but they're not really definitive. Everyone else is quite capable of determing what is and what is not unjust and forming principles that might actually be consistent, even if they conflict with yours.

"Unless you want to believe that over 100,000 of those signatures wre forged, the petitioners met the target."

PP, that's ridiculous. So if there's widespread abuse, we should just ignore the fact that the process has been throughly tainted and accept it on faith that at least a few of the signatures may be legit? Would you find that an acceptable standard if the shoe were on the other foot? Of course not. Of the 170,000 you cite 50,000 or so of them were already tossed out, as you know full well. Do you want to reinstate those too, "just because" it's a more impressive sounding number? Maybe we can phony up a few more to make it an even 200,000.

StunnedVoter said...

Anon 1:15, you're really confused. The only way you can accuse Ryan of hypocrisy is if you can catch him out saying that using parliamentary procedures to block votes is always or almost always illegitimate and undemocratic. Not, it would be better to have a vote, but if there is no vote it would be a gross violation of principle and our democratic rights have been trampled and it is totally unacceptable, we must vote.

Otherwise, you're just projecting your own beliefs on to his. He's not a hypocrite for violating something you believe but he doesn't.

Some people actually think that it's a good thing that there are certain tactics that legislatures can use to prevent the majority from running roughshod over the minority and violating their rights. No, no, quit cheering, that's not a good thing. Those can be badly used, but they can also be important democratic safeguards.

Personally, I'm not against parliamentary procedure on principle, and in '90 I would have been disappointed, sure. I'd have wished they'd done something different.

But I wouldn't try to ride in with the SJC, guns blazing, and demand a vote. They found an out, and they used it, that's their right whether I like the outcome or not. The next step for me could have been trying to elect more pro-choice legislators so we'd have a numerical majority. You should try that!

If you readt the entry, it seems like Ryan, like many of us, is in favor of both equality and health care. So, let's review, the Legislature made a maneuver that he doesn't seem to be against in the abstract, and the outcome was, something he's in favor of was defeated, and something he's against was stopped. And he seems okay with the result even though it wasn't totally positive for him. Doesn't want to take extreme measures to totally change the system so it can work 100% in his favor. Seems pretty consistent and non hypocritical to me.

Anonymous said...

The 109 are on their own here - the AG cannot defend them.

Yeah, it's only a matter of time before the public rises up to demand that they start catering to wingnuts and wasting even more time and resources.

In a way, I admire you, Peter, you have such a gift for self-delusion. OTOH, if you can pretend there's a chance of winning this suit, why don't you just pretend gay marriage doesn't exist and save all this trouble? We already had the vote--don't you remember how happy we were here in the reddest state in the nation?

Peter Porcupine said...

Anon 12:41 - why would I want to pretend that gay marraige doesn't exist? Some of the GOP town chairs are gay and happily married to their partners. I've attended ceremonies.

BTW - did you know one of the first gay marriages performed in the state was at King's Chapel in Boston, for Mitch Adams - and officiating was former Gov. Bill Weld with a special JP license?

My objection is the the failure of the rogue legislature to follow the Constitution they took an oath to uphold.

Anonymous said...

I'm quite sure that's your objection, Peter. Can you say "habeus corpus"? "Secret prisons"? "Indefinite detainment without charge"? Good of you to take some time out from your staunch crusade against the shredding of the federal document to worry about this comparatively trivial matter.

Well, if that's your objection, good news, no worries. The Constitution has been upheld, as it has been in the past. When you get no joy from either the SJC or the federal court, the interpreters of Constitutional matters, that's the end of it for you, correct?

Or else you're going to expand this crusade to all the other times the ConCon recessed without a final vote, even if it doesn't involved the current crop of rogues who were overwhelmingly reelected?

Your concern for the sanctity of the Constitution is crystal clear, because not once have you cited a bogus number like "170,000," (hint: when signatures are tossed out, that's because they're illegitimate on their face. Say perhaps, someone who doesn't live in the state or a false name/address), and your profound concern for the integrity of the process in the face of too many of your compatriots who say "fraud, schmaud, just drop teh hammer on teh gays already, I'll personally make up 10,00 names" is refreshing.

Peter Porcupine said...

Tell me - where are Trav's secret prisons? Post Office Square? Is THAT why they want to sell boston city Hall? <:-o

Guess what - they don't have due process in Dubai, either. Or Sudan. both are as relevant to this discussion of MASSACHUSETTS legislators and the MASSACHUSETTS constitution. It is the trademark of the Massachusetts liberal to begin to talk about Washington WHENEVER they are wrong in an argument.

And as far as signatures go - isn't it a rule of thumb to gather AT LEAST twice as many as you need to get on the ballot, because people have moved, sign with a P.O. box instead of a residential address, have been dropped from the rolls because they didn't return the census, aren't properly registered, etc.? Were all those candidates purveyors of fraud as well? And isn't this still a red herring, becuse you don't WANT to believe so many people chose to sign?

Ryan Adams said...

PP,

There are at least 2 thousand cases of fraud. That's when MassEquality ran out of money to find more of them. So, I would say a conservative estimate is that there were probably 3-5k more cases of fraud. I wouldn't be shocked to see something along the lines of 10k.

Sure, that still would mean enough signatures were collected, but I we - as a country - still have a duty to make sure all the votes, signatures, etc. are counted fair and square. We find it unacceptable to elect a President because they probably had more votes; it shouldn't be any different when it comes to signature collecting.

Peter Porcupine said...

Ryan - I would only like a distinction made between 'fraud' and 'unqualified' or 'inaccurate'.

For the sake of argument, let's say there are 5,000 fraudulent, and 5,000 unqualified. As you know, fraud requires a level of intent beyond carelessness and ignorance, which is why signatures are USUALLY disqualified. I do NOT accept that ALL disqualified signatures are the result of fraud, and I don't think you do either.

THAT SAID - fraud is wrong, should be rooted out, etc. But even though I didn't sign myself, I honestly don't think it was fraud that created this petition, I do not think that the 65,000 signatures should be ignored using fraud as a pretense, and as such, it should be treated as a bona fide petition by the citizenry.

Likes Bikes 2 said...

Seems to me the objection was to Peter repeatedly getting up in arms over 170,000 good citizens having their wishes for a vote on this issue being rejected by the legislature.

If you want to say they met the threshold of 65,000, then say that - don't keep using the 170,000, as you do agree that number is not valid.

Anonymous said...

Peter, Okay, I'll try to explain this veryyyyy slowly. You claim to be concerned that legislators aren't upholding our Constitution. Very admirable, I'm sure. But since far more damage is being done to the federal Constitution, perhaps you might want to give a bit of attention to that as well, since it's such an important principle of yours. That Constitution matters too, right?

Trav doesn't have secret prisons. THAT'S THE POINT. For a Constitutional purist like you, maybe the abrogation of the right of habeus corpus should attract your attention, if to a lesser degree than the whole plaintive "dude, people's getting married an' never asked me" lament of your friends.

Need to go slower? You following?

The situation in Dubai is facinating, and if we're doing better than they, that's good enough for a freedom and democracy lover like you. We however, live in the US and are supposed to have a slightly higher standard. And the rights that have been taken away from US citizens affect us in MA as well. (Massachusetts is part of the US. Write it down and try to remember.)

See, if you're locked up in federal prison without charge, you'll no longer be able to vote on anything, including whether or not your neighbors can marry if that ever comes up. It's all connected.

So in essence, Constitutional governance is the key to our liberty, except when it's not. The Constitution must be upheld except when it's a silly distraction from the important matters. That rings a bit hollow, is the thing. Violating the federal Constitution doesn't matter, and as you put it, "the failure of the rogue legislature to follow the Constitution they took an oath to uphold" only matters in this one instance. I've seen your picture, pardon if I'm mistaken but it appears that you would have been an adult in 1990, when "rogue legislators" also "failed to follow the Constitution." Surely you were up in arms about it then, even if too many of the others who are upset now and talking about dereliction of duty and unprescedented circumstances, seemed fine with it then?


Oh, Lord. Yes, yes, yes, it is QUITE customary to collect many more signatures than you need. It ISN'T customary to keep citing 170,000 when more than 40,000 were declared invalid, oddly enough. No reputable organization or individual would do that because it's at best misleading and at worse shady and dishonest. I can't see any reason for doing that other than to, put it nicely, exaggerate by citing a larger figure that you know to be incorrect.

That's apart from fraud, however. As you also well know, but are trying to confuse the issue. Fraud is a whole other issue. And there have been so many questions and concerns with the collection of the signatures that it really begs the question as to why people who bleat about "the process" are willing to turn a blind eye to all of the questions about the validity of the process. Your total lack of concern about how many of the accepted (accepted, Peter, not gathered) signatures were gathered by criminals means, and your lack of interest in holding the perpetrators accountable? Yeah, sorry if I don't really trust you to oversee the proper functioning of teh process. But hey, it's only a Constitutional amendemnt we're talking about, why exercise any oversight over legitimacy? Let's taek it on faith.

"And isn't this still a red herring, becuse you don't WANT to believe so many people chose to sign?"

Don't make me laugh, m'dear. I'm under no illusions that we only have wonderful, decent people here. I can't even count how many racist comments I've heard, how many times I've seen someone go up to a homeless person and yell, "Get a job!" And I've read your articles where you contend that Massachusetts wants to offer Osama bin Laden a hot bowl of soup and free therapy for his mommy issues. So yes, I find it easy to believe that we have as many dim witted, hate filled, ignorant bigots as any other state. That's not the issue. If you have prnciples, they should apply to your opponents as well as you. If you're concerned about the process, then turning a blind eye to fraud and expecting your opponents to swallow standards you'd be kicking and screaming about if you were on the other side doesn't cut it.

StunnedVoter said...

PP, what is that standard, "fruit of a poisoned vine"?

From what I understand, we know that the anti-equality people were paying volunteers to get these signatures. We know that some of them were making over a thousand dollars a day. We know that some of them claim that they lied about what the petitions were about and got citizens to sign under false pretences in order to make more money. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, some of them may even claim that they were trained in techniques of fraud by whoever hired them.

Taking all that into consideration, how and why are we supposed to just assume that there are enough valid signatures? It may be enough for you, but you can see why it's not enough for someone else, can you not?

Can you honestly say that if I were trying to pass a Constituional amendment that you were very strongly opposed to, you'd be saying that my petition should be considered bona fide? Because even though I openly engaged in fraud and tainted the whole exercise, still, I got a whole lot of signatures and it should just be assumed that 65,000 or so of them must be legit?

Peter Porcupine said...

Stunned Voter - you know many things. You KNOW that illicit signature gatherers earned thousands of dollars per day. Can you give me a name, a citation, any backup for this assertion?

And it isn't me who is saying that the signature threshold was met properly - it is Bill Galvin and Tom Reilly, no friend to conservative causes.

If you were trying to pass a constitutional amendment that I strongly objected to, I would do exactly what Know Thy Neighbor did - I would publicize the names of the signatories, and urge any and all who did not sign to please contact me so the petition could be contested. In this case, the swarm of people whose names were forged never materialized, did they? Which means, perhaps they DID sign it?

Ryan Adams said...

Lots of people did materialize, PP, but there wasn't the kind of news coverage of the story *ever* for people to think "gee... did I sign anything lately."

I just think that we should know exactly who signed what and when before we accept them, even if that means taking a longer time to count them accurately. Of course, there's always going to be some questions with something that requires more than 50,000 signatures, but there should at least be that close investigation to help ascertain some of those unanswered questions. Such an investigation never took place - and the media barely covered any of this fraud, despite the fact that it was a big and is still an important issue.

StunnedVoter said...

"Stunned Voter - you know many things"

Yes snookum, thanks for noticing, but it's okay that you don't, actually knowing even one thing is grounds for expulsion from the Republican State Committee, so it's for the best. As you enter, unbeknownst to you your skull is scanned to make sure it's as empty as the day you signed on, and there's a whole procedure if secret knowledge is discovered. Never been a need to use the protocol so far, though. Fingers crossed.

"Can you give me a name, a citation, any backup for this assertion?"

Well, I can't give you Kris Mineau's phone numner, but then you probably know it already or can easily get it from Willard. He knows a little bit more about the exact economic figures than I do.

"it is Bill Galvin and Tom Reilly, no friend to conservative causes"

Bwahhhaaaa. You've got us there. It would be different if we were dealing with old school hacks who refsue to do their jobs. Thank goodness we have liberal avengers on our side.

"In this case, the swarm of people whose names were forged never materialized, did they? Which means, perhaps they DID sign it?"

Well, that's a pretty unanswerable point. If the percentage of Mass residents who frequent the political blogs is .00000000000000000001, and those who frequent blogs where it's been pointed out that they can check the petitions for their own names is .0000000000000000000000001 of that, that would be a ridiculous argument, but since we know that it's actually 100% of our citizenry who are political junkies and they spend every minute on the internet constantly checking and rechecking the blogs, it's a slamdunk. And perhaps is a good enough standard, hell even not likely or next to impossible or impossible are good enough for me, my standard remains who cares anyway. I think we should always assume everything that comes from the Hackitude Newsletter is true, they've never steered us wrong.

"If you were trying to pass a constitutional amendment that I strongly objected to"

Right, that wasn't the question. Not how you'd react I was trying to pass an amendment you strongly objected to, but how you'd react if I were trying to pass an amendment using outright fraud. You don't have to answer, I'll spare you a struggle between your conscience and your sychophancy (relax, he's not dying, just leaving the state, visit New Hampshire, New England's winter playground), because you'd be running around like a chicken with your head cut off as anyone would. The process is important, but the integrity of the process is not, and since the Legislature would need to vote on a valid petition, according to you, let's pretend that it is and not ask too many questions. Why ensure the integrity of our process when this country was built on religious faith, right?

I'm sorry, Ryan, I tried not to be snarky, it's like a disease.

Peter Porcupine said...

Stunned Voter - I have no difficulty believing you are suffering from SOME sort of disease.

Ryan - I absolutely agree about fraud, and would have no problem with a longer certification period. However, the fact remains that this is a duly certified petition that ought to be acted upon - WHY are they so afraid to vote 'no'?

Anonymous said...

Let me understand. The Process Pimps who, like Peter Porcupine, hide their homophobia on process issues, are bitching and moaning about the fact that the legislature has refused to vote on the anti-gay marriage amendment using--um--process. Aside from the fact that the MA state constitution does not actually require the legislature to vote on constitutional amendments that have been proposed by initiative petition (Mr. Porcupine really should learn how to read Art. 48), the fact is also that the processes that may be proposed by the constitution are subject to the parliamentary processes that the legislature agrees to. Processes such as the quorum requirements in the MA constitution itself, and the parliamentary rules that the legislature has set into place.

If the Process Pimps, like Peter Porcupine, want to get rid of the processes that they dislike (on this particular issue, of course) they certainly have redress: amend the constitution to eliminate the quorum requirements (that provision has been amended at least once) and elect members to the legislature who will amend the parliamentary rules so that they are more to their liking. The sad fact is that the Process Pimps are uninterested in engaging in the actual political process required to do that. And the fact that the party of the Process Pimp Mr. Porcupine has been unable to motivate enough candidates or members of the electorate to their point of view more than suggests that they aren't likely to get the parliamentary rules amended any time soon.

--raj

Anonymous said...

Raj,

That's the crux of it. As you've realized, Peter Porcupine is the queen of misinformation. She is on here only to muddy the waters. Note that her reaction to being caught out is ALWAYS to change the subject.

Despite her "I'm not a homophobe, I know homosexuals" BS, her own blog refers to gays as "sodomites" and talks about "no special rights." She's also obsessed with gay marriage. Draw your own conclusions.

Anonymous said...

anonymous @ 12:30 PM

Thanks for the information. I was unware that "Peter Porcupine" had a blog.

I went over to its blog, and discovered the following:

Porcupine thinks that we should declare a moratorium on all social and sexual issues for a while. The estimated 10% of the population who are gay have cannibalized 90% of the legislative agenda for the last few years. They and their supporters are entitled to their views, but enough is enough. No more sex for a while -let's talk about GOVERNMENT.

No More Sex!

Apparently, the Porcupine troll is too stupid to recognize that, if the legislature actually gave gay people equal rights, then that "estimated 10% of the population" might be mollified. It is the fact that the Porcs among us refuse to grant the "estimated 10% of the population" that drives them to seek equal rights.

BTW, Porc's rants are not atypical of rants that I have seen elsewhere. It is interesting that gay people are, to them, the new Catholics and the new Negroes. What is ironic is that more than a few hangers-on to the Harlot Vatican and to the Negro Baptist Churches are unable or unwilling to understand the parallels.

--raj

Anonymous said...

Raj,

Ms. Porcupine's extensive postings on gay marriage and gay rights translate to one thing: "I don't mind gay people as long as they're not uppity."

The white supremacist movement and the anti-gay marriage movement have a lot in common. A generation ago, PP would have been talking about how sick she was was of hearing about race, not sex.

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