3,194 Signatures (my new favorite number)

3194 signatures

Today is the deadline for submitting signatures  to the Secretary of the Commonwealth for ballot entry as a party candidate (Democrat, of course) for Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District.

The requirement is at least 2,000 certified signatures (which means from registered Democrats or unenrolled voters) within the District.  My final count: 3,194. I personally got over 1,900 myself.

There is nothing like talking to thousands of neighbors (and prospective constituents) about their concerns about this country and issues in their life.  It’s actually really humbling… I regularly ask people about their jobs, health insurance, whether or not they can make ends meet, and delve into other issues they raise.  I am amazed at the sharing and the candor. There’s a lot of pain in this district, and a lot of frustration.  Hopefully we can do something about both the pain and the frustration

The campaign website, MartinLongForCongress.com will be up sometime next week. Please stay tuned.

My book, The Reagan Memes: The Path from Reagan Conservatism to Modern Day Gridlock (and how to get out of it) will also be available on Amazon in mid-August. Very soon.  Stay tuned for more on the book as well.

The Democratic primary is on October 15, 2013. If you live in the Boston area, in the 5th Congressional district, don’t forget to register to vote!

I look forward to talking with more and more neighbors.  I love this stuff and learn so much every day.  Thanks for giving me this opportunity everyone.


I Am Now Officially Running for Congress

As of this afternoon, the Secretary of the Commonwealth has certified that I am a Democratic candidate for Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District.

I collected significantly more than the 2,000 signatures required for ballot access.

The campaign website, MartinLongForCongress.com will be up in mid-August. Please stay tuned.

My book, The Reagan Memes: The Path from Reagan Conservatism to Modern Day Gridlock (and how to get out of it) will also be available on Amazon in mid-August. Stay tuned for more on the book as well.

The Democratic primary is on October 15, 2013. If you live in the Boston area, in the 5th Congressional district, don’t forget to register to vote!

This has been an exciting few weeks, and will undoubtedly be a ton of fun over the next ten weeks (that’s right, only ten weeks until the primary).

An Open Letter to Vice-President Joe Biden on Gun Control

January 1, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20501

RE: Presidential Commission on Gun Violence

Vice President Biden:

I write to you today in your capacity as Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Gun Violence. But first: a very happy new year to you, your family and your staff.

I fondly recall learning to shoot a .22 rifle at Boy Scout camp oh those many years ago. I’ve had little direct experience with guns since then. But I do not write to you today as an anti-gun polemicist.

My partner’s sister has a close relationship with the family of one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. Consequently, I hear stories of the aftermath of that tragedy. But I do not write to you today as someone who claims any special insight into the horror of what humans are capable.

Rather, I write to you as a great believer in data and thoughtful consideration based in the empirical. I’m certain that you will receive a wealth of advice on approaches to take towards gun control. Accordingly, I’ll restrict my suggestions to you to just two issues.

First, I suggest you do all within your power to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment. As you know, the Tiahrt Amendment prohibits the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from releasing information from its firearms trace database to anyone other than a law enforcement agency or prosecutor in connection with a specific criminal investigation – and greatly limits the kind of information that can be released even to law enforcement.

Without the data on crimes that were committed with assault weapons, we cannot, as a society, have a rational discussion about gun violence. The ATF has information about the types of guns that were used in shootings, but are prohibited from sharing with the media, researchers and the public. It seems obvious why the gun lobby would want to restrict this information from public eyes. But the time of keeping it hidden must come to an end.

Therefore, I hope you can support including in any legislation that arises from the Commission on Gun Violence a provision directing the ATF to release all of the relevant information they have collected to date on the use of firearms, and to periodically (and thoroughly) update and release it to the public.

Second, I’d suggest that you look into federalizing regulations not just for assault-type weapons, but also for concealed weapon permits. As you know, Marianne Hammer of the NRA has been effective in liberalizing state concealed weapon legislation (initially in Florida) to so-called “shall issue” laws. The effect of this, as intended by the NRA, is that states no longer have discretion in issuing concealed carry weapon permits.

Mr. Vice President, I wish you luck with this Commission and in all of your pursuits and hope that one thing that can come of our re-evaluating our guns laws, is to assure that we take advantage of all of the information that we have about their uses, illegal and legal.

Sincere Regards,

Martin Long

P.S. I will publish this letter, in the form of an open letter to the Vice-President, on my blog: http://www.BornAgainDemocrat.com.

Mitt Romney, Jeremiah Wright and The Obvious: Mitt Does NOT Want to Talk About Mormonism

With all the flap about Mitt Romney yesterday (in case you were asleep, the New York Times published an article about a group of Republican strategists pitching to at least one billionaire to get the $10 million needed to fund a campaign against Obama based on his former pastor’s statements a long time ago).  Mitt Romney to his credit, quickly came out to distance himself from these efforts.  There has been much written about his motivation this time (he recently did not criticize a woman in Ohio who called for Obama’s trial for treason).  Some have said that Romney is trying to stay focussed on the economy and is having trouble corralling the conservative cats on the Republican activist right.

I have a much simpler suggestion as to why Mitt Romney went public to criticize this so quickly:  He has been lucky not to have any overt discussion about Mormonism during his election so far.  Any momentary schadenfreude he might experience reading about Wright and Obama would be overwhelmed by his horror at the thought of having to have an open dialogue with those who would criticize all the crazy in Mormonism.  If Obama were indeed to go negative, that’s so very obviously the place to go.

Do you think if Obama were the Mormon that all Republican groups would let it go?

How Do We Decide Where Your Tax Dollars Go? The House Appropriations Committee Would Rather You Didn’t Know

I read an interesting article this morning about openness in government. Specifically, tracking the implementation of a House of Representatives rule adopted in January 2011 requiring that video of hearings be made available online.

If you had to guess, which committee was the laggard, what would your guess be? Appropriations. That makes tremendous sense, as that’s where the government starts to decide where our money is spent. And it’s also the place where there is a great deal of lobbying. Putting the video of those hearings online would, of course, make it easier for the American people to see just how the decisions surrounding which agencies gets our money are made.

Rules rules rules. This would be a good one to make sure the House of Representatives actually follows.

A Criticism of SCOTUS on The Affordable Care Act

On April 9, 2012, the Federalist Society of Duke University hosted a debate on the Affordable Care Act. At about 28:30, Prof. Barak Richman unleashes a cogent argument on why it was that the Supreme Court did a terrible job in their recent oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act.

This is one of the most relevant commentaries on the Supreme Court. It actually enlightens, with respect to the recent oral arguments.

Why is The Affordable Care Act being challenged as un-Constitutional, but Medicare is not (and Medicare really is a command/control program, according to Prof. Richman).

Two Romney Problems Clash: Elitism Versus Tin Ear Syndrome

Maybe you read about how Gawker has had a mole inside Fox News. Well, he got caught and is now public.

On Joe Muto’s first post as a Gawker mole, he uploaded a really interesting video of the pre-interview banter between Mitt Romney and Sean Hannity. Take a look at the video at the top of that first blog entry now. Here is an excerpt from Joe Muto’s post on that video:

Romney professes his and his wife Ann’s well-known love of horseriding, praising the qualities of the “Austrian Warmbloods” that his wife rides—they are “dressage” horses, he notes—while maintaining his own preference for the “smoother gait” of his own “Missouri foxtrotter.”

Now there’s nothing wrong with Mitt and his wife loving horseback riding. But remember this video next time Romney attacks Obama for golfing. The inherent elitism and snootiness of golf is NOTHING compared to competitive horseback riding. And I think Mitt loses points with the GOP base for his correct pronunciation of dressage. To GOP-voter ears it sounds not only gay, but even worse, French.

Watching this video, I felt two contrary and competing emotions: horror and attraction.

Horror, due to Mr. Romney clearly not understanding that he is an elitist and that he comes off as one. I genuinely felt sorry for the guy. There can now be no doubt that he has a Ross Perot-sized tin ear.

Attraction, because I found myself realizing that this video actually shows Mr. Romney as more human than anything I’ve seen before (and he was my governor for four years). He’s sitting around, chewing the fat with Mr. Hannity — someone he is clearly comfortable with — talking about his wife and their mutual love of horses.

This simultaneous revulsion and attraction towards Mr. Romney was a new combination for me. It’s release will, of course, only exacerbate Mr. Rommey’s elitism problem. If the poor guy could only learn to show a little bit of the normal humanness that he lets out of the lock-box for his Hannity-banter, perhaps he could actually communicate with people.

Perhaps he’s so repressed that he purposely keeps everything bottled up inside just so he doesn’t come off poorly. If so, that strategy clearly isn’t working. My suggestion: spend some time with regular people and try to connect with what they find interesting. You just might find some common ground and seem human. Then again, maybe you really don’t have any common ground with regular people. In that case, I can only say, congratulations President Obama, you’ve been re-elected.