New Federalism

(Originally published in Greater Democracy)

When the Federalist Papers were written in the early days of our country, the total population of the United States was less than four million people. Today, over half the States in the union are larger than that. The country has gotten much larger. However, when the Federalist Papers were written there was not the instantaneous communications that we have today. You could not call, fax or email your representative, and it was a long and arduous trip to get to the to nations capital. So, as the country has gotten much larger, it has also gotten much smaller at the same time. Do we need to move more power away from Washington because the States are that much bigger or should we move more power to Washington because it is now only a phone call away. What does this tell us about Federalism in the twenty-first century?

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Mass. Dems Convention Evening Post

At the Massachusetts State Convention, Representative Ed Markey introduced Democratic National Committee Chairperson Howard Dean saying that Dean reached out to young voters and gave them faith in party politics.

Not only has Chairman Dean reached given young voters faith in party politics, but he has made them feel welcome. In his speech before the convention, he said that the most important thing that he wanted to tell everyone at the convention is, “We need you.”

He spoke about needing people to get out and knock on doors. He said, “We need a Democratic Governor in Massachusetts in 2006. We can’t do it without you. We need you to exercise some discipline on the party. We do not want to destroy ourselves before we get to the primary.”

Blogging the Massachusetts Democratic State Convention

After a week of driving down to Virginia to pick up my daughter from college and attending the fiftieth birthday party for Mayor John DeStefano, who is running for Governor in Connecticut, and whose campaign I work for as BlogMaster, my email inbox has grown to over 350 emails behind, and I suspect it is going to get worse before it gets better.

In a few hours, I will leave for Lowell, Massachusetts, where the Massachusetts Democratic State Party will be holding their State Convention. Last year, I covered the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. There was a lot of talk about the role of bloggers at conventions and questions about what will happen at future conventions. There wasn’t a lot of talk about conventions other than national conventions, which I think is unfortunate. The state and local conventions are incredibly important. In many ways, it seems as if the state and local conventions are where the real work of party building takes place.

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Plainfield Greyhound Update

A couple days ago, I posted here an email I had recevied about the Greyhounds of Plainfield Connecticut. In following up, I found this news about what is going on:

"Great news! The greyhounds at the Plainfield, CT track that is closing Are no longer under a May 15th deadline"

"It is still unknown how many dogs are at the track, and of those how many will be continuing to race at other tracks, and how many will need to be placed in homes."

They point out that the email which has been circulating is outdated and no longer has accurate information. However, they do encourage people to continue trying to find homes for the greyhounds and other pets at sites such as www.petfinder.org.

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Extreme Democracy

Last year, I wrote a chapter for the book Extreme Democracy. My chapter, like several others, dealt with DeanSpace. DeanSpace has now evolved into CivicSpace, and is being used for many non-profits, campaigns, and even businesses. Two examples that are particularly important to me are DeStefano for CT, and Toomre Capital Markets.

The book has been available for download for quite a while. Now it is available as a book at http://www.lulu.com/content/125298. Pick up a copy today!

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