Mass. Gov. Patrick to create federal PAC
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is forming a federal political action committee.
The director of Patrick’s state committee said the governor decided to form a federal committee to help coordinate and finance his activities on behalf of the national Democratic Party.
David O’Brien, who will be the director of the new PAC, said Patrick decided the fundraising committee would help him play what O’Brien called a “significant part in the country’s discussion about our future.”
The decision followed Patrick’s recent meetings with top Democratic operatives, including Obama political adviser David Axelrod in Chicago and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine in Washington.
Patrick, who ran a successful re-election campaign during a tough year for Democrats, is being tapped to play a role in President Barack Obama’s re-election.
Kerry says Brown disclosure could help others
Sen. John Kerry says his Massachusetts colleague, Sen. Scott Brown, should be congratulated for his decision to disclose the sexual and physical abuse he suffered as a child.
Kerry said Friday that Brown’s willingness to share personal details about his childhood could help other victims of abuse understand that they are not alone.
In a book to be released next week, Brown said he was sexually abused by a camp counselor and physically abused by a stepfather. He also discussed the abuse in an interview airing Sunday on CBS television’s “60 Minutes.”
The two appeared together later at an unrelated event, but Brown ducked out without speaking to reporters.
Brown, a Republican, gained national attention when he won a special election last year to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.
Mass. education commissioner recommends 17 charter schools
Massachusetts Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester is giving his blessing to 17 proposed charter schools planned for seven communities across the state.
Chester announced last week that he will recommend that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education grant the charters this month to groups seeking to open schools in Boston, Chelsea, Lawrence, Lynn, New Bedford, Salem and Springfield.
The recommendation includes 14 Commonwealth charter schools and three Horace Mann charter schools.
Commonwealth charter schools are fully autonomous and operate independently of the local school district.
Horace Mann charter schools are developed and operated in close cooperation with the host school district, and require approval of the local school committee.
Chester said the proposed schools show potential to provide students with a strong academic program.
New docs on checks irks Mass. immigrant advocates
Massachusetts immigrant advocates are upset that newly released documents show a voluntary federal program to run all criminal suspects’ fingerprints through an immigration database was only voluntary until cities refused to participate.
Patricia Montes, executive director of Somerville-based Centro Presente, said last week that the documents show that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has confused local officials, including those in Massachusetts, on the program known as Secured Communities.
According to the documents, the Obama administration tightened the rules after facing resistance so that cities had no choice but to join the program.
The documents were made public after a Freedom of Information lawsuit.
Montes said federal officials were sending mixed messages.
Gov. Deval Patrick recently announced the state would join the program after he was told it was mandatory.