Letters: Dykema broke campaign promise on transparency vote

by susan on January 30, 2013

[Ed note: My Southborough accepts signed letters to the editor. Letters may be emailed to mysouthborough@gmail.com.]

In separate letters to My Southborough, two residents express disappointment this week in Representative Carolyn Dykema after she voted against a bill aimed at publishing legislative committee votes online.

Dear Editor,

Last fall during the Hopkinton debate for State Representative, Carolyn Dykema changed her position on putting committee votes online. Despite voting against it twice, she pledged moving forward that she would vote in favor of letting the public know about these votes by putting them online.

Unfortunately, she did not keep that commitment. Only three roll calls into the new session, she broke that promise! That’s right, the third vote of the year she went back on her word.

Committee votes should be online so the public can see them. It is disappointing that Rep. Dykema says one thing during the heat of the campaign and does the opposite at the State House. She owes her constituents an apology.

Donald Folkes
Southborough, MA

************

Dear Editor

I’m writing to express deep disappointment in Rep. Dykema. Last October Marty Lamb criticized Dykema for voting against putting committee votes online. Even the moderator challenged her about voting against this common sense transparency reform. At that point in the debate, she said she would now support putting these votes online. That promise was very short lived.

In the third vote to happen this year, she voted against it again. This is a prime example of a politician saying anything to get elected and then doing the opposite on Beacon Hill.

Rep. Dykema has proven she is the ultimate Boston politician with no respect for the voters.

Lisa Keefe
Southborough, MA

1 Frank Crowell January 30, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Voting in line with the speaker…………..wow I am shocked.

More transparency in this state would not be a good deal for the Democrats.

What was the argument again for not having more Republicans in the State House? Oh yeah, Ms. Dykema has done so much for our town. Would this be one of them?

2 Iron Mike January 30, 2013 at 10:08 AM

With arrogance and disdain for the voters so typical of this new generation of ‘liberal government elites’ – Dykema brazenly lied through her pretty teeth last fall to get re-elected.

Then it was back to business as usual.

She votes EXACTLY the way the Speaker tells her to. The only thing ‘transparent’ is her stiff-arming the people of her district.

Her local cheering squad won’t care. They’ll defend her arrogance to the death. All those union guys who turned out for her – do you think they care about votes posted on line? They too do exactly what they’re told.

When will Mass voters wake up, and rise up to break this cycle?

Come 2014, Dykema will again be making the rounds, asking for donations and telling you what a great job she’s been doing. Will you buy it again, – or will you remember her lies?

3 Resident January 30, 2013 at 11:56 AM

I found this troubling and out of character for Dykema, so I clicked through to the full article.

It looks like she does in fact support the initiative, but did her homework and found that the technology does not exist yet to accomplish it!

“Dykema Thursday said she still thinks it is wise to put committee votes online but has learned once again that the technology still does not exist.

She said she met with legislative information services and learning that workers in that office had not been told this was something some legislators wanted.

“There is a working group that looks at these issues, and interestingly, to their knowledge no one had raised this with them before. After we’ve taken the time to understand what resources are necessary and have a plan, we can move forward to make something happen,” she said by e-mail.

Why would they put an initiative to a vote if the technology to carry it out doesn’t exist yet? Sounds like a lot of political game-playing and that yay or nay would not have lead to any change in policy. I don’t blame her for not getting behind a poorly-crafted bill. Don’t our legislators have better things to do? Or why didn’t they do their homework before they put the impossible up for a vote? What a waste of time.

4 Margaret Reeves January 30, 2013 at 5:24 PM

The Senate voted the next day to put the committee votes online. The technology does exist and the Senate voted for this.

5 Resident January 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM
6 Matthew January 30, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Burn the witch!!!
You guys got right up to 11 pretty quick!

While I agree that she should have voted the way she said she would I can’t help but think there is something a bit more to it. The MWDN article referenced says that the tech doesn’t exist to post committee roll calls and that Dykema went so far as to meet with the IT people who had not heard of the request before. Being technical myself I understood this to mean that her IT people don’t have the means to AUTOMATICALLY post voting results nor the nor the people or process in place to hand over to someone to manage.

If she or the other Dems(AKA Team Evil) had voted for publishing votes then you still wouldn’t have seen them online until the infrastructure was put in place and people assigned to manage that process. Most likely it will be an IT person getting the data via email and updating a website, not at all very technical, or difficult, or time consuming, or challenging. Just something that needs to be identified as a need, planned as a project, and deployed as a service.

I can’t believe someone would put this up for a vote if it couldn’t happen or they didn’t also have a timetable for when it would. Either the sponsor (Bradley H. Jones, Jr, R, Minority House leader from North Reading) didn’t do the research or wasted everyone’s time or Dykema really is the devil.

Or maybe the IT folks were only asked if they can and not when they could.
Hypothetically Brad asks if they could and gets a yes and Carolyn asks if they can and gets a no.

Without lighting more torches, can anyone tell me when the vote is likely to come up again? Or how about getting the IT folks to say if they were consulted on the process and timetable? Of maybe we should check out the wording of the vote, please correct me if I have the wrong one…

“Amendment #3 to H.2015
Committee Roll Calls on Web
Mr. Jones of North Reading move that the bill be amended in proposed Rule 4, in line 306, by inserting after the word “hour.” the following sentence: “Such roll calls shall be posted on the Legislative Web Page by the Clerks of the two branches.””

I’ve got a call in to the part of the IT group that would be in charge of this process and hope for a call back. Everyone I spoke to was extremely helpful. No one sounded evil, or tried to make me buy anything.

I highly recommend this site BTW…
http://www.malegislature.gov/

Seems like an active site that gets a lot of daily updates already. I’m sure they have the means, they just haven’t been asked to make it happen.

Please don’t think I’m a fan of Rep. Dykema in this moment, I voted for her and will do so again given the same choices. But she has a little bit more homework to do if she’s going to get past this one cleanly.

7 Frank Crowell January 30, 2013 at 2:10 PM

The Web site you posted looks sophisticated enough to me to complete the committee members listing (very few members listed) and add committee votes. I am interested to hear how your phone calls go. In the mean time, I’ll be constructing my torch.

8 Matthew February 4, 2013 at 9:28 AM

This past Friday evening I received a call back from the MIS department on this and was satisfied with his response.
Essential the House and Senate have different rules for doing things and different people in place for getting things done. Different but similar enough that he could say that the issue has certainly entered the planning stages but he couldn’t say when it would be completed.
His attitude towards this issue seemed very relaxed and he mentioned that this sort of thing happens at all levels all the time. The politicians work at a different pace and a different world compared to his own that what he needs to do has to involve project planning with human and technical resources just like any other IT firm in any company we might be familiar with.
He couldn’t speak to the confusion or the politics but could say that there are often many starts and stops on projects like this that happen while the politicians figure out what they want.

9 Iron Mike January 30, 2013 at 3:03 PM

>> I can’t help but think there is something a bit more to it

Right! Her inexperience….

She’d never voted on a bill that didn’t have a tax or a regulation designed to squeeze the taxpayers – like that unionizing family day care centers thing.

She was looking for the tax – waiting for someone to write the Pay-per-View part of the bill. Why should taxpayers get to see voting records for free?

10 Margaret Reeves January 30, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Here is the video in Ms. Dykema’s own words from the debate – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0E66UJ3IPI

This is about holding elected officials accountable. Of course, her supporters want her votes to stay hidden. Rep. Dykema flip flopped on publishing committee votes online. She voted with the Speaker as usual. Moreover, all of her votes so far are with the Speaker this year. Her campaign rhetoric claiming to be an “Independent Democrat” in campaign literature is false.

Of course the technology exists. It existed then and it exists now. She admitted the technology existed. She said in her defense that the technology was not there and that she had checked with the technology people at the State House. However, during the debate she said the technology was available.

The day after the House vote, the Senate voted to put committee votes online. They did vote for this in the Senate. So, the technology exists and the Senate votes Yes.

This is why it is so important to watch how a politician votes. They say one thing in the district for the purposes of getting re-elected, and then vote differently on Beacon Hill.

How elected officials vote is what matters. This is how they really represent constituents, and as we see, Ms. Dykema votes the opposite to what she says during the campaign and in lockstep with the Speaker from Winthrop.

11 MKatz January 30, 2013 at 5:51 PM

No matter who the Rep. is, we all need to hold their feet to the fire! They work for us! Rep, Dykema is just like every other politician. She says things we want to hear just so she can get elected. Then, once elected, thumbs her nose at us. I’m sick of this!

12 Neil Rossen January 31, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Is anyone surprised at the groupthink, one party activity on Beacon Hill? I’m not. It’s what the voters wanted and what they will get.

13 Kelly Roney January 31, 2013 at 12:13 PM

For those who actually want facts, see Carolyn’s well-reasoned response.

The short version is that Republican Minority Leader Brad Jones again filed an amendment without doing the least bit of homework. He didn’t even walk down the hall to see whether the State House’s information services people had any input.

Carolyn, on the other hand, is a serious and careful person. She’s just not going to vote for thoughtless proposals. Instead, she’s co-sponsoring a bill that would start addressing transparency of these votes instead of merely laying the groundwork for yet another perennial political nontroversy.

You might also read my letter in the Metrowest Daily News.

I shudder to imagine that Marty Lamb’s campaign, which was unremittingly negative for all of 2012, will continue without let-up for the next two years. Didn’t he get the message from his 22-point shellacking that the voters don’t want his brand of smear politics?

14 Margaret Reeves February 1, 2013 at 12:55 AM

Ms Dykema’s response has many holes. Are we supposed to be fooled by this attempt at covering up her mistake? Most of us know that legislation never gets out of committee. Furthermore, if you want to get technical, committee votes is not supposed to be law. It is the operating procedures in the House. The rules were debated 10 days ago. They will not come up again for another 2 years. So technically, this matter has been considered by the legislature and cannot be taken up again.

15 MKatz February 1, 2013 at 8:06 AM

@Kelly Roney:

Firstly – I NEVER saw anything negative about Mr. Lamb’s campaign. If bringing out facts about your ‘golden girl’ is being negative, then so be it.

Secondly – Why shouldn’t the people watch what our politicians are doing on Beacon Hill? Winning an election doesn’t make one immune from criticism from their votes and actions. I see nothing wrong in holding all of our elected officials accountable whether they are Democrats or Republicans. After all, we don’t live in China where criticizing their elected officials is against the law.

Previous post:

Next post: