MassResistance addresses meeting of Independence Tea Party in Peabody
Brings message of unconstitutional "informal sessions" of Legislature
Boston media continues to ignore issue.
Action being planned for January!
POSTED: October 17, 2010
Brian Camenker of MassResistance addresses Independence Tea Party meeting in Peabody on Wednesday.
Last week the Massachusetts Legislature gave final passage to its huge $443 million budget bill. As we've been reporting, it was done in unconstitutional "informal sessions" of the House and Senate, where as few as 2 members are present, despite the Constitutional requirement of a legal quorum.
The bill diverts federal Medicaid funds for a variety of apparently unintended uses, including pay raises for government employees and the general slush fund. The bill also includes a provision to divert $11.5 million from the state's new sales tax on alcoholic beverages for a fund that the Commission on Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Youth could draw from for their homosexual / transgender programs in public schools.
State Rep Karyn Polito (R-Shrewsbury) had attempted to block it, but the Democrat and Republican leadership teamed up to thwart her efforts.
Media continues to ignore problem
We spent much of the week continuing to try to get the Boston media to report on this. We sent out a press release and made some follow-up phone calls. Frankly, it seems a bit like a Twilight Zone episode. They simply refuse to acknowledge anything untoward in the practice.
For example, we talked with the editor of State House News, which generally covers a wide range of often trivial issues. He wouldn't touch it. He didn't claim that we were wrong -- it's just that it's the way the Legislature works, or something like that. They offered to post our press release on their site but wouldn't write even the smallest article. No one else even returned our calls. Basically, at a certain level they're all in the tank with each other.
One state rep called us back, and had the House general counsel look into it for us. The short answer is, we're not technically wrong, but they've decided that it's their policy to do it this way. "It makes things a lot easier." It's mind-boggling.
Working with Tea Parties to take action
The good part of this is, under their rules just one member can demand a quorum count and stop any informal session, though they rarely do that. After the November election we'll see which newly elected legislators are willing to stop them once and for all.
On Wednesday evening Brian Camenker addressed the Independence Tea Party at their monthly meeting in Peabody. Needless to say, everyone was VERY enthusiastic about forcing the Legislature to obey the Constitution. We are also working with other Tea Parties so that after the election we can focus our energies on the new candidates.
When the new Legislative session starts in January, the end of informal sessions could cause the biggest tidal wave in the State House in decades. It will literally change the (corrupt) way they do most of their business.