Thursday, June 17, 2004

Reserve July 10th

Kudos to Steve Mershon, Rainbow Families of M/SO, et al. for taking on the task of organizing Maplewood's July 10 "Domestic Partnership" celebration - celebrating, that is, the July 10 effective date of NJ's Domestic Partnership law. Maplewood will be among the first municipalities in the state to register same-sex couples as legal domestic partners. As a celebration of and for families, this will be a good thing for all of us - and good publicity for Maplewood.

Who should Kerry pick for VP?

Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico.

Why? In terms of political advantage, he brings 5 electoral votes to the table - not as many as Gephardt's 11, but certainly more than the 0 that Edwards would bring. In 2000, Al Gore won New Mexico by only a few hundred votes, so Richardson would help in that swing state. Conversely, Gephardt's Missouri went for Bush in 2000, by almost 80,000 - not too many to swing the other way, but a little dicier. Richardson is of Hispanic heritage, and that can definitely be emphasized during the campaign - it should help bring out the Hispanic vote for the Democratic ticket. While he's from the Southwest and of Mexican heritage, his ethnic background might even help with enough Cubans, Dominicans, etc to help turn Florida. Richardson has extensive experience in national politics, having served in the House for 15 years, as Secretary of Energy, and as US Ambassador to the UN. His stints at Energy and the UN were during Bill Clinton's administration - and Clinton remains the most popular President of the last 20 years. Richardson has also served Bush II's administration, acting as a mediator and de facto Ambassador in setting up negotiations with North Korea and China over North Korea's nuclear capabilities. He's served as Governor of New Mexico for the last 2 years - a nice balance, both geographically and demograpically, with Kerry's Massachusetts. Northeast/Southwest, dense urban industrial/sparse rural agricultural. A good mix for a national administration that has to understand and accommodate the whole range.

Politically connected, geographically useful, experienced in both the legislative and executive branches, a skilled diplomat, the presumptive "first Hispanic VP candidate" ... a pretty compelling package, I think.

Of course, I doubt that anyone at Kerry HQ cares what my opinion is.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Supreme Court Justices Wusses

What is up with that "Under God" non-decision? After agreeing to hear the case, it seems as if rhe SCOTUS was afraid to rule on this one, instead handing down a 'decision' that the petitioner did not have standing to bring suit. Come on - if that's really so, why did they agree to hear the case in the first place? Absolutely nothing has changed since they agreed to hear this case that would have affected the petitioner's standing. What a bunch of chickens***s!


Today is the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday. Hoist a pint or two in memory of James Joyce, Stephen Dedalus, and Leopold Bloom. See you at St. James' Gate?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Springfield Ave.

I've noticed a few mentions on Maplewood Online recently (particularly by DrFalomar) of a blog entry of mine from last August, about how Springfield Ave development wouldn't get us much in the way of new tax revenue. I still believe that's true, but what was not clear from that post was that I believe Springfield Ave ought to be developed more fully for its own sake, not for any questionable increase in tax revenues. And, as they say, a rising tide lifts ALL boats - what's good for Springfield Ave. will be good for all of Maplewood.

BOE addendum

I ngelected to mention last night that Board member Rowland Bennett was absent for the vote, so Mark Miller's unanimous selection was on a 7-0 vote (The board normally has 9 members. Jerry Clifford, who Mr Miller is replacing, was obviously absent, as was Mr Bennett).

For them as don't know, the Board of Education's memebsrs now are:
Rowland Bennett
Greg Betheil
Lynn Crawford
David Frazer
Mila Jasey
Steve Latz
Robert Little
Mark Miller
Brian O'Leary - President

[hmmmm...seems like there's a definite prejudice against people with names at the back half of the alphabet!]

Monday, June 14, 2004

More on the BOE

Mark Miller will take the oath of office at next Monday evening's (June 21) Board of Ed. meeting. What makes Mark's selection interesting is that it leaves the Board with no really clear majority. As Steve Latz noted tonight, Mark is very much a consensus-builder, and with the board as it's now constitued I think they have a good shot at doing some real productive work.

Thanks and good luck to Mark and to all the BOE members, who do more work, with less thanks, than almost any other elected officials.

A shout out

Hey there, Strawberry! Thanks for the free advertising!

Board of Education doings

I'm just back from the Board of Education meeting. The BOE unanimously elected Mark Miller to fill Jerry Clifford's unexpired term.

One for the good guys!

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