5 Things: Coakley and Gaming Lobbyist Doug Rubin, Today’s Informa, Special Election $$$ and More…

Coincidence? Coakley Using Gaming Lobbyist Rubin for Campaign and Shuts Down Anti-Casino Ballot Question

Call me jaded from all the corruption that is seemingly business as usual on Beacon Hill, but this just smells fishy.  Two, at first glance, seemingly unrelated stories made it into the paper today.  The first is from the Boston Globe, where we learn Coakley is using Rubin in her probable campaign for Governor.

The involvement of political consultant Doug Rubin as unpaid adviser to Coakley caught the political world by surprise, while giving Coakley what could be an implicit boost even before she gets into the race.

Rubin has emerged over the last decade as the Democrats top political consultant, having won a string of high profile victories, including helping to elect Deval Patrick, Elizabeth Warren, and Joseph Kennedy III.

Both Rubin and Coakley’s political team declined to discuss the relationship.

Of course Rubin, after leaving the Patrick Administration, became a lobbyist for slot machine manufacturer GTech of Rhode Island.  GTECH paid Rubin’s firm, Northwind Strategies, $66,000 in the first half of 2013.

That brings us to the second story.  Coakley disallowed a question against casino gaming because she said it would take private property without compensation.  Now I’m for casino gaming, but that’s just a weird reason.

Attorney General Martha M. Coakley on Wednesday rejected a proposed ballot question next year to repeal the state’s 2011 casinos law, saying it would be unconstitutional.

In a written decision, the attorney general’s office said the proposed casino question would violate the constitutional right to compensation for the taking of private property for public use.

If approved, the ballot question would prohibit the Massachusetts Gaming Commission from issuing licenses for casino resorts and a slots facility, Coakley’s office said in the decision. The question would “impair” implied contracts between the commission and applicants for licenses, considering the state casino law requires the commission to consider and act on applications for licenses, the decision said.

Contract rights are considered property and may not be “taken” by

an initiative petition, the decision said.

These two stories are of course, just coincidence.

What Will Happen in Today’s Informal Session?

Today marks the third informal house session since Bob DeLeo restricted the rights of rank and file House Members to access the “can”, where all bills are kept.  During the first two sessions, conservative representatives, led by Lyons, Lombardo and O’Connell, shut down the proceedings.

As we learned yesterday, the Democratic majority tried using Marathon Bombing Victims as Pawns in this unfolding drama.  Former Representative Rich Bastien (R-Gardner) reminded everyone that a vote of the House is not necessary to present a citation.

Any Representative or Senator can issue a citation to honor any event, significant birthday, eagle scout attainment, former colleague’s release to home confinement, ribbon cutting, etc. This does not require any formal approval or going through the “can”. They are issued by a Representative or Senator. Here is what a citation looks like:

So Lewis’ threats are even more brazen, when you know the true facts of citations.  

Special Election Fundraising

The Special Election fundraising numbers are out for the elections taking place next Tuesday.  You can view a summary of all the reports at the OCPF website.

In the 16th Worcester, Republican Carol Claros raised a little over $9,400 and Democratic Machine Candidate Daniel Donahue raised around $17,500.  Claros has raised close to $20,000 overall and should have the resources to do what she wants to do in this campaign, Claros has $10K cash on hand and Donahue has $5,539.

In the 6th Bristol, Republican David Steinhof raised $9,940 plus close to $1500 in late contributions, while his opponent Democrat Carole Fiola raised over $20,000.  

Claros and Donahue faced off for a debate

The Worcester Telegram has a good recap of a debate in the 16th Worcester District.

Just six days before the special election, 16th Worcester District state representative candidates Daniel Donahue and Carol Claros debated issues and approaches at a forum Wednesday night in the basement of Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

Mr. Donahue, a Democrat, and Ms. Claros, a Republican, chewed through a host of issues in the hour-long forum, sponsored by the Grafton Hill Business Association, the Grafton Hill Neighborhood Association and the Oak Hill Community Development Corp., and moderated by Charter TV3 news supervisor and sports anchor Andy Lacombe.

Ms. Claros framed many of her answers around her support for lowering taxes and easing regulations for small businesses. Creating that business-friendly climate will create jobs that can affect positive change in the district’s neighborhoods, Ms. Claros said.

NY Times Outlines Just How Bad the Syrian Rebels, Obama Wants To Help, Are

The New York Times has written a piece on the brutality of the Syrian Rebels.  Picking a side in this fight is giving the West pause, says the Times.

The prisoners, seven in all, were captured Syrian soldiers. Five were trussed, their backs marked with red welts. They kept their faces pressed to the dirt as the rebels’ commander recited a bitter revolutionary verse.

“For fifty years, they are companions to corruption,” he said. “We swear to the Lord of the Throne, that this is our oath: We will take revenge.”

The moment the poem ended, the commander, known as “the Uncle,” fired a bullet into the back of the first prisoner’s head. His gunmen followed suit, promptly killing all the men at their feet.

This scene, documented in a video smuggled out of Syria a few days ago by a former rebel who grew disgusted by the killings, offers a dark insight into how many rebels have adopted some of the same brutal and ruthless tactics as the regime they are trying to overthrow.

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