Manic Monday Markup 5/13/13…
…And the World:
We begin today in Pakistan, where the nation’s historic elections, the first that followed the full term of an elected Parliament have apparently yielded victory for the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif based on current projections. Sharif won as cricket player turned politician Imran Khan fell short. Amidst accusations of vote rigging, Sharif’s party has won the most seats in Parliament and is already forming his cabinet. Although Sharif’s relationship with the country’s powerful military, some have hope that Sharif’s emphasis on the economy will help ease regional tensions. Others are hopeful Sharif will curb general’s powers. As The Guardian notes, Sharif, who used to be religious conservative politicians, appears to have mellowed after eight years in exile following his ouster by then-Gen. Pervez Musharraf.
British Prime Minister David Cameron may be the US (with a visit to the Massachusetts State House on tap), but there is some trouble at home. His party is fracturing over Europe, specifically on leaving the EU. Meanwhile, Labour, has turned its attention to the impending referendum for Scottish independence that Cameron provoked. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has unveiled the campaign which is intended to differentiate Labour from Cameron’s Conservatives as a way to encourage Scots to stay in UK.
The mushrooming IRS tax-exempt scandal appears to be taking hold in Washington. Echoing the White House and the liberal blogosphere, more and more Democrats are calling for an investigation into the agency’s treatment of tea party and anti-government groups that sought tax exempt status. President Obama, in no uncertain terms, condemned the actions that appeared to arise out of a Cincinnati field office. Of course, any investigation must also contemplate both unfair treatment towards and abuse by partisan political operations—both liberal and conservative. Worth noting, liberals have been the target of the IRS, too, as recently as 2004.
Today in FAIL!, Senator Marco Rubio calls for IRS chief to resign in a letter to Obama. Except there is no IRS Commissioner for Obama to throw overboard. The IRS chief in charge when the targeting took place, Doug Shulman, resigned in November at the conclusion of his five year term.
Los Angeles’ mayor’s race has turned into a squeaker. A poll shows longtime favorite, Councilman Eric Garcetti, tied with City Controller Wendy Gruel. Garcetti got the endorsement of The Los Angeles Times, but Gruel has strong union support. Indeed, she made issue of a living wage recently, reflecting her labor credentials. Were she to win, Gruel would be L.A.’s first female mayor.
The State of Things:
On Cameron’s visit to the State House. He will enter through the Beacon Street doors to the building. The doors are reserved for foreign dignitaries, US Presidents and Massachusetts regiments. Needless to say, it is a rare occurrence.
Gabriel Gomez remains under pressure from revelations last week that he got a tax deduction for not doing something he was prohibited from doing. Now The Boston Globe’s Adrian Walker points out that Gomez got income from carried interest, the income made off of managing investments, which inexplicably is taxed at a lower rate than regular, everyday folks’ income. “Confused? Think Romney taxes. The Republicans’ response? Ed Markey and the House banking scandal…of 1990. It may have legs, but seriously, they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel right now.
The MetroWest Daily News look at some of the Democrats’ big names mulling a run for Governor next year. In particular, the focus is on Treasure Steve Grossman, who almost everybody expects to run. However, attention is also turning to Cong. Mike Capuano, who lost to Martha Coakley in 2009 special US Senate primary and could attract support from liberal suspicious of Grossman.
After a delay of a few days, the Springfield City Council approved the community host agreement with MGM. At-large Councilor Jimmy Ferrera turned up his dander in a rather inflammatory press release Friday, but ended up joining his colleagues on a unanimous vote approving the measure. But as Northeaster Public Radio’s Paul Tuthill and The Reminder’s Mike Dobbs both report, opponents are gearing up for a fight.
An item we neglected to discuss very much last week in our report on the City Council, Ferrera blasted the police for focusingpawn shops. But at-large Councilor Tom Ashe, barely containing his anger returned fire. He noted that the police were there at the Council’s request, not the other way around. Peter Goonan has the details, if a bit too weighted to Ferrera’s side.
Late last month, we profiled Michael Clark, Longmeadow School Committee Chair, who won his seat at age 21. But Clark is hardly alone working at the community level to influence politics. Across the state in Littleton, a member of the Massachusetts Politics Twitterati made his way onto his hometown School Committee on his second try. Like Clark, Alex Pratt, 19, to whom we award this week’s tweet prize, is hardly alone in making those runs for elective office to represent his generation. But for stick-to-itiveness, political youth activism, and in this case, success, Pratt gets our recognition.
Just sworn in as the newest member of the #Littleton School Committee! I’m humbled to have this wonderful opportunity to serve.
— Alex Pratt (@alexdpratt) May 13, 2013