Frank Falvey dives into current events, hot button topics and invites guests give their insightsFrank Falvey examines everything from Franklin to U.S. politics; from current events to the local community, giving his personal thoughts and considerations. Frank is also joined by local guests to talk the Franklin community and dissect current events
Friday, March 31, 2023
Saturday, January 8, 2022
If you missed the live broadcast, you can catch the reply on YouTube
|WGBH - "The Politics of COVID" (note original title - then changed and reposted to YouTube)|
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Democratic gubernatorial race change
"Ben Downing, the Democratic former state senator who staked his gubernatorial bid on progressive policies like universal child care and aggressive climate action but struggled to gain traction in fund-raising, said Tuesday that he is ending his campaign.
Downing, 40, pointed to financial challenges as the reason for dropping out of the race, adding that he made the decision “with a heavy heart.”
“You don’t get into a race with this as the intended outcome or even the expected outcome,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday. “But I’d like to think and hope we added a little bit to it along the way.”
"REP. JAKE AUCHINCLOSS, the newest member of the state’s congressional delegation, is finishing his first year in the House. To say it’s been a tumultuous initiation to Congress would be an understatement. His first days in office saw a mob-led insurrection in the Capitol building, and he faced a vote soon after on impeachment of a sitting president.Auchincloss, a 33-year-old Newton Democrat who won the seat vacated by Joe Kennedy, says on The Codcast that the jarring events of his early days in office have cast into sharp relief the natural tension that exists between staying true to the values of the constituents you represent while also working to advance their priorities."
|Auchincloss reflects during The Codcast (audio)|
Saturday, October 23, 2021
In his indignant article titled “Politics Sizzles” in The Franklin Observer (10/14/21) Alan Earls complains of—among other things--“one more departure from the traditional ‘non-partisan’ orientation of town elections” in Jennifer Williams’s use of “Act Blue, the national Democratic fundraising system, to gather funds for her candidacy.”
The nonpartisan description of Franklin elections has always puzzled me. Section 5-1-1 of the Town Charter says
"All elections of town officers and Town Council members shall be nonpartisan, and all election ballots shall be printed without any party mark or other political emblem."
What does that mean? The term “nonpartisan” as applied to elections simply means that candidates do not run with partisan labels. It means only that. The candidate will not be identified with a party on the ballot. Nothing more, nothing less.
The more interesting question is what it does NOT mean.
It does NOT mean that candidates cannot belong to a political party.
It does NOT mean that candidates cannot be supported by a political party.
It does NOT mean that candidates cannot use a party’s national fundraising system.
It does NOT mean that candidates cannot be supported by a PAC.
It does NOT mean that candidates cannot espouse the values or policy positions of their party.
Apart from the restriction about party affiliations appearing on the ballot, the nonpartisan clause is merely aspirational. It proscribes no actions beyond the ballot format.
Why does this discussion matter? For two reasons:
First, it makes clear that Williams has done absolutely nothing to violate the Charter’s nonpartisan clause.
Second, it exposes the hypocrisy of “editor” Alan Earls in bemoaning the partisanship in this election when he is himself a candidate and when he is the chairman of the Franklin Republican Town Committee.
Franklin Observer article link for reference -> https://franklinobserver.town.news/g/franklin-town-ma/n/45691/politics-sizzles
Thursday, October 14, 2021
October brings two things to mind: politics and baseball.
One historic Franklinite embodies the best of America’s pastime and national service: Eddie Grant. Eddie played baseball for Franklin High School, Dean Junior College, Harvard College, and—eventually—for Major League Baseball (MLB). He even played in the 1913 World Series.
When America entered the war, Grant answered the call to serve. He embodied courage, aptitude, and leadership in combat, and he was the first MLB player killed in WWI. His name is carved in stone on our Franklin Common.
I was thinking about Eddie on August 30th as I crossed the Common to hear comments from Senator Elizabeth Warren. I was surprised when a large group of protestors, donned in blacked, arrived and began shouting her down. I was outraged when they continued chanting through a moment of silence for Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, the Lawrence Marine killed in Afghanistan.
Some things should be beyond the tired left-right divide in this country. Surely those who have sacrificed everything for this country are first on that list. Maybe those hollering and heckling didn’t hear the call for silence, but that’s just the point. We have an important election coming up in Franklin. There are service-minded candidates running. They are Democrats, Republicans, and unenrolled. I may not agree with them on every policy position, but I’m voting for Democratic, Republican, and independent candidates for town council, school committee, planning board, and clerk. But there are also candidates who were clad in black that day in August—those who would shout down rather than join together in commemorative silence.
It’s October. Let’s root, root, root for the Red Sox. Let’s do our research and intentionally select the candidates we support. Let’s VOTE on or before November 2nd. Let’s elect citizen representatives worthy of the legacy of Franklin’s past leaders—especially Eddie Grant.
Monday, September 27, 2021
Terminology is always key. I have told a story that grass is green, Your grass maybe greener than mine or vice versa, but we both know 'green grass'. When it comes to ordering a particular shade of green, the color match becomes critical and the terminology plays more of a role. Emerald green, lime green, dark green... You get the point.
Monday, August 23, 2021
"If Joe Biden’s security staff are up to the mark, a new report on the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic will be placed on the president’s desk this week. His team was given 90 days in May to review the virus’s origins after several US scientists indicated they were no longer certain about the source of Sars-CoV-2.It will be intriguing to learn how Biden’s team answers the critically important questions that still surround the origins of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Did it emerge because of natural viral spillovers from bats to another animal and then into humans? Or did it leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology? And, if so, had it been enhanced to make it especially virulent?These are important questions – to say the least. If we want to prevent another pandemic, it would be very useful to know how this one started. However, given the paucity of new information Biden’s team will have unearthed over the past three months – while the Chinese authorities have continued to provide little extra data – it is unlikely hard answers will be provided this week."
Friday, January 8, 2021
Boston Globe: "In less than 30 minutes, New England politics is altered with news of two cabinet picks"
From the Boston Globe:
"Given the hierarchical and largely one-party political control of both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the churn of executive positions is slow. And the behind-the-scenes jockeying for those posts can last years among those angling to hold the job next.Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
But on Thursday afternoon the news came quick, bringing with it a major shake-up in New England politics. First, the word that Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo was President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to serve as commerce secretary. Then 26 minutes later, the scoop from Politico that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was Biden’s pick for labor secretary.
With this week’s pair of Democratic wins in Senate races in Georgia giving them control of the US Senate, confirmation for both Raimondo and Walsh should be assured. The real story, however, will be what their vacancies mean for politics in their home states."
Sunday, December 13, 2020
"THE MASSACHUSETTS Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled on Thursday that Gov. Charlie Baker’s various COVID-19 orders were authorized by the Massachusetts Civil Defense Act of 1950, and did not violate the plaintiffs’ due process rights or right to assemble under either the state or federal constitutions. The court’s opinion is superficial and poorly reasoned at best, and intellectually dishonest at worst, and is hardly the end of the matter.
The outcome of the opinion could readily be predicted from its first words, which identified the justice who authored it. Stunningly, that justice during the argument of the case had asked the plaintiffs’ counsel whether he didn’t agree that the governor was doing a good job with his COVID-19 measures. Any first-year law student, and indeed most sentient citizens, would know that the job of a justice ruling on a legal or constitutional challenge to a government measure is not to agree or disagree with any policy underlying the measure, or the results achieved by it, but rather to rule on whether it is indeed legally or constitutionally valid."
SJC got Baker emergency orders case right
THERE ARE AT least two important takeaways from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Desrosiers v. Governor, in which the court upheld Gov. Charlie Baker’s authority to issue emergency orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, the court’s conclusion was undoubtedly correct. The plaintiffs argued that the governor had “usurped” the role of the Legislature and violated the state constitution’s commitment to separation of powers, as well as the plaintiffs’ rights to due process and free assembly. At bottom, the plaintiffs maintained that the governor lacked the authority to issue emergency orders under the Civil Defense Act. That law, enacted in 1950, gave the governor the power to issue emergency orders in the event of, among other things, “fire, flood, earthquake or other natural causes.”
"Today the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled for Governor Charlie Baker in a lawsuit underwritten by Charles Koch and sponsored by Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance/Fiscal Alliance Foundation in which MFA sought to undo the governor’s emergency public health powers—just as Covid-19 is raging across the land. It wasn’t close.This was really a case about conflicting ideologies. On one side is the view that government should be empowered to help people to do needed things the people cannot do for themselves (the view of Abraham Lincoln, by the way) versus Koch’s ideology, which is that government should do nothing except to protect private property."
"The Supreme Court repudiation of President Trump’s desperate bid for a second term not only shredded his effort to overturn the will of voters: It also was a blunt rebuke to Republican leaders in Congress and the states who were willing to damage American democracy by embracing a partisan power grab over a free and fair election.The court’s decision on Friday night, an inflection point after weeks of legal flailing by Mr. Trump and ahead of the Electoral College vote for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Monday, leaves the president’s party in an extraordinary position. Through their explicit endorsements or complicity of silence, much of the G.O.P. leadership now shares responsibility for the quixotic attempt to ignore the nation’s founding principles and engineer a different verdict from the one voters cast in November."
"HOUSE REPUBLICANS have faced what amounts to a choice between standing for or against democracy: whether to sign on to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s delusional lawsuit to overturn the presidential election. A large majority of them failed the test. More House Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), on Friday signed an amicus brief supporting Mr. Paxton, just hours before the Supreme Court unceremoniously rejected the suit. This is a disheartening signal about what these members of Congress might do on Jan. 6, when at least some Republicans probably will object to the counting of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral votes.
Mr. McCarthy and the other extremists and toadies who have signed their names to President Trump’s antidemocratic plot may think their complicity is costless, because the Supreme Court was bound to reject the Paxton lawsuit, as it did on Friday, and there are enough Democrats on Capitol Hill to foil any GOP mischief during the electoral vote counting. They are wrong. Their recklessness raises the once-unthinkable possibility that a Congress controlled by one party might one day flip a presidential election to its candidate in defiance of the voters’ will, citing claims of mass fraud just as bogus as the ones Republicans have hyped up this year."
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
"FPAC presents Great Performances...At Home! Tune into our Facebook page at 7:30 pm EST every day this week for a LIVE mini-performance by an FPAC Favorite! Kicking us off tonight: Nick Paone! See you at 7:30!"
Late for this one as it was for Monday, tune in and find out who it is for Tuesday!
|FPAC presents Great Performances...At Home!|
For History and AP Government fans, pick your bracket to play along with Mr Walsh
The original tweet:
- The worksheet:
Friday, March 13, 2020
"Former vice president Joe Biden named Jen O’Malley Dillon as his new campaign manager Thursday, a major shake-up that comes as the party’s leading candidate plans an organizational expansion to prepare for the general election.Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
The move is intended to quell concerns raised in recent weeks by senior Democratic strategists about the leadership structure of the Biden campaign, which has been beset by underwhelming fundraising, scant staffing resources and organizational miscues during the early nominating contests.
“She will be a tremendous asset to a campaign that is only growing and getting stronger as we prepare to take the fight to Donald Trump this fall,” Biden said in a statement accompanying the announcement.
The campaign shuffle is an acknowledgment that while Biden has had a remarkable recent run of victories - at least 15 of the past 21 contests - his operation was not up to the challenge posed by President Donald Trump if Biden wins the nomination."
The Washington Post article (subscription may be required)
Thursday, August 1, 2019
"To get out of the mess we're in, we need a new story that explains the present and guides the future, says author George Monbiot. Drawing on findings from psychology, neuroscience and evolutionary biology, he offers a new vision for society built around our fundamental capacity for altruism and cooperation. This contagiously optimistic talk will make you rethink the possibilities for our shared future."https://www.ted.com/talks/george_monbiot_the_new_political_story_that_could_change_everything
Saturday, May 6, 2017
"Inspired by Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy, and still stunned by Donald Trump’s victory, increasing numbers of Democratic women are diving into Massachusetts politics.
“The national political environment we’re in, that’s the backdrop to every political discussion,” said Lexington resident Mary Ann Stewart, a freshly declared candidate in the upcoming special election to fill the 4th Middlesex seat in the state Senate. “I think it was a huge wake-up call to people.”
Before his win in the presidential election, Trump drew frequent criticism over comments he made about women. On a leaked “Access Hollywood” tape, the future president was caught boasting, in vulgar terms, about groping women. He disparaged a female political rival’s looks, then criticized a former beauty queen’s weight gain.
The 2016 election provided a stark illustration of the uphill climb women face in the world of politics, said Roslindale resident Katie Forde."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
Sunday, November 1, 2015
|photo of the full page ad with typo on top|
What do we know?
- The photos were taken from the Town Council page on the official Town of Franklin website.
- Town Council Chair Robert Vallee has been touting his leadership of the Council and its accomplishments taking time to read from the listing during a Town Council meeting and at the Candidates Night. The text could have been rewritten from the broadcast.
- The ad was submitted by the middle of October. I know as I had contributed to the paper when it first started and the cut off for the printing of the paper and set up for mailing to the individual Franklin households was usually the middle of the month.
Who would gain from such an ad?Let’s attempt to “follow the money” and see. Maybe we’ll find out who paid for the ad. That can take time, so it is not likely to be resolved before the polls open on Tuesday.
What do you do in the meantime?You, the Franklin voters have enough information to make your decisions based upon what has been shared about the individual candidates here and by the Milford Daily News.
With my three questions, I wanted to provide some depth to the candidate. Many of the issues are not easy yes/no answers. The issues are usually more nuanced. Hence I think we should know more about where the candidates are coming from rather than their answer on a specific issue. The answer on the issue today is not an indicator of their answer on a different issue tomorrow. Knowing more about the candidate as a person, their life here in Franklin, etc. I believe is important.
For example, that a Board of Health candidate actually has either a public health certification or nursing degree should provide some insights over someone who does not have that background.
That some candidates tout their openness and yet say definitively they’ll do something tells me that are not really that ‘open’ minded as they claim to be.
So in preparation for Tuesday, review the interviews that have been shared.
Make up your mind, and get out to vote. All voters (no matter what precinct you are in) are served by the one location at Franklin High School.
You get to cast seven votes for the School Committee and nine votes for the Town Council. You have a small choice for School Committee (one is left standing in this round of musical chairs). You have a bigger choice for the Town Council where 5 are left standing.
I have heard many claim that they will only vote for 3 or 4 but given the information that has been shared you should be able to vote for a full slate for both the School Committee and Town Council. Doing anything less than casting your full set of votes will allow someone else to get in that you may come to regret.
The Election Collection can be found here
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Here's my wish. May one. May the ideals of one boy unite one nation behind one critical idea that we are one people, we are the people who were promised a government, a government that was promised to be dependent upon the people alone, the people, who, as Madison told us, meant not the rich more than the poor. May one. And then may you, may you join this movement, not because you're a politician, not because you're an expert, not because this is your field, but because if you are, you are a citizen. Aaron asked me that. Now I've asked you.http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_the_unstoppable_walk_to_political_reform
Find out more about the wish here http://www.rootstrikers.org/
Thursday, June 10, 2010
the internet is enabling the possibility of collective human thought
it was going to be a difficult road
it was going to question every system of authority
political process, you need each other
you need to learn how to disagree without being disagreeable
all politics is local
it is possible to see the future where money didn't matter in an election
the internet has made it practically impossible to govern something like the nation
we have to use the same mechanism where we ran a campaign from the bottom to run the government from the bottom
A worthy lesson given the recent events around the override vote
Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the video clip.
Monday, January 19, 2009
According to CNN exit polls, of the 18- to 29-year-old voters, 66 percent of them cast their ballots for Barack Obama in November. And although a majority of students at Franklin High School are not of legal voting age, that minor detail has not stopped some from taking a sincere interest.
"Even though you can't vote, you can still make a difference," said junior Zachary Woodward.
He and classmate Sara LaFlamme recently started up a Young Democrats club at the school and held their first meeting last Thursday.
"I've always considered myself a Democrat," said LaFlamme. "But this election really caught my attention because the two (Democratic) candidates were a woman and a black man. Those are huge steps right there."
She and Woodward went through a number of issues at the meeting, ranging from the economy to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and presented the Democratic standpoint of each.
"I really see this club as a portal through which we can channel our ideas," Woodward told the 11 students present. "Just because we can't vote, we still know what's important."
Tina Leardi, a U.S. history teacher and the club's adviser, stressed that a person doesn't have to agree with all Democratic policies to identify with the party.
"I think (the club) is a really good idea," she said. "Kids should be reading the papers, watching the news, and forming their own opinions."
Read the full article on how the interest in politics has risen amongst high school students in the Milford Daily News here
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
If the voting pattern of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at Horace Mann Middle School is any reflection of the way the rest of the country will vote today, Barack Obama will win by a landslide.Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here
The final tally: Barack Obama, 329; John McCain, 181; Ralph Nader, 17.
'Our motto today is: `As Horace Mann goes, so goes the nation,''' said sixth-grade math teacher Patricia Metrick, who helped organize the mock election.
"Twenty, 30 years from now, this election's going to be in our textbooks. Their children will be learning about it. It gives (today's students) a chance to participate, even though they're only young adults,'' said Metrick.
Although the school has held mock elections in the past, this was "by far the snazziest, most authentic one,'' said sixth-grade English/social studies teacher Joseph Corey, who directed the video news team yesterday with sixth-grade math and science teacher Noreen Langmeyer.
"They're very excited, they're waiting for their turn to vote,'' Langmeyer said.