Will Democrats Regain Control of Congress in 2018?

Thomas P. O’Neill III, CEO of O’Neill and Associates, was a Sunday guest on NECN‘s DC Dialogue with Eileen Curran and James T. Brett, President and CEO of the New England Council, to review the current state of politics from Boston to Capitol Hill. Tom discussed Roy Moore and the Alabama Senate race, Democratic victories in the recent Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections, and partisanship and the upcoming Congressional midterms.

 

TPO NECN

Link to full interview: here!

 

CEO’s Corner: July/August 2016

220px-Thomas_P_O'Neill_IIIIn 2015, the number of mass shootings in the United States outnumbered the days in the year – not to mention the hundreds of people injured each day from gun violence. From Baton Rouge and Orlando to Newtown and Virginia Tech, the carnage and innocent lives lost in mass shootings have become an all too frequent part of the national news cycle.

As a result, the question of how to stop the spread of preventable gun violence has once again emerged as a top policy issue. Despite a 25-hour sit-in by House Democrats, a 15-hour filibuster by Senate Democrats, and a bipartisan compromise proposal in the Senate, Congress has been unable to enact any legislation to increase gun safety. In the midst of this void, some states are taking steps to try and stem the wave of gun violence that claims the lives of more than 33,000 Americans every year.

Here in Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey announced a new effort to enforce the Commonwealth’s ban on assault weapons. This July, she sent a directive to gun makers in Massachusetts ceasing the sales of “copycat” or “duplicate” assault rifles. The Commonwealth is one of just seven states and the District of Columbia that bans the sale of high-powered assault rifles like those used in recent mass shootings. And enforcement of these bans works too – the rate of gun fatalities in Massachusetts is one of the lowest in the country.

Unfortunately, gun manufacturers have been circumventing Massachusetts law by making and marketing copycat assault weapons to Commonwealth buyers under the label “state compliant.” The Attorney General’s office estimates that about 10,000 copycat assault rifles were sold in the Commonwealth in 2015 alone. While this commonsense directive is not a new law, it closes a critical loophole that gun manufacturers have exploited for over a decade.

Attorney General Healey’s courageous and reasonable approach on gun control has had a ripple effect nationally. She has earned support from Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the entire Massachusetts delegation, 5 former Massachusetts Attorneys Generals, many Commonwealth mayors, law enforcement, and a whole host of public health and community leaders, among countless others. She has also won praise from assault weapon opponents, who are desperately seeking ways to stop the spread of these weapons.

However, Attorney General Healey has also – predictably – been the subject of hysterical attacks from the gun lobby and second amendment activists, many of which don’t even live in Massachusetts. A quick Google search shows how the National Rifle Association and others are leveraging Attorney General Healey’s enforcement effort to raise money, while also personally attacking her with language so offensive and reprehensible that it is unfit to print or repeat.

Rather than contributing solutions to help prevent gun violence, this vocal minority has been hurling personal attacks in an attempt to mislead the public about what the directive does and does not do. Attorney General Healey deserves credit for her courage and willingness to truly enforce the laws that protect our citizens and ultimately save lives. That spirit and commitment is especially important in this current climate and election cycle.

Dr. Arun Gandhi Delivers Inaugural Lecture for John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Chair in Peace

Gandhi Ireland.pngA year after receiving an honorary degree and delivering the commencement address at the University of Ulster-Magee Campus in Derry, Northern Ireland, Tom O’Neill returned to campus with his wife Shelly for the Formal Launch of the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace. Dedicated in honor of their efforts to foster peace and advance the reconciliation process during and after the Troubles, the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace seeks to use the lessons learned from peacebuilding in Northern Ireland to prepare future peacemakers of the world.

Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of the world-renowned non-violent Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi, served as the keynote speaker of the inaugural events, which revolved around the commencement ceremonies for the INCORE Class of 2018. During his time on campus, Dr. Gandhi met with the Clinton Summer School INCORE participants and delivered a lecture around peace and nonviolence. The Smyth Memorial Lecture, “Building a Culture of Peace: Lessons from My Grandfather” emphasized the importance of learning in order for future peacemakers to create a culture of peace. Mahatma Gandhi led India’s non-violent independence from Britain and Dr. Arun Gandhi recalled learning from his grandfather that justice did not mean revenge but rather transformation through love.

Professor Brandon Hamber is the Director of INCORE and was appointed as the professor for the Chair in Peace to help future peacemakers in cultivating a more peaceful world. He was congratulated by Emmy-nominated actress and producer, Dr. Roma Downey, through a video message where she expressed her warm congratulations and her confidence in his valuable contributions while holding the Chair in Peace. Professor Brandon Hamber meditated upon the current violence conflicts around the world and recognized the great work that will be done to empower a generation of peacemakers.

While these events remind us that there is much that remains to be done to stimulate peace around the globe, the formal launch of the Chair in Peace was an opportunity to celebrate people like Mahatma Gandhi, John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill. Tom adds:

“The origin in modern history of peace, brought about in a non-violent way, for the essence of equity and justice to be realised, was really at the hands of the great Mahatma. It was the others that followed him, because they had been reminded of what peace can do.”

Looking forward, we can only hope the next generation continues to follow and be reminded of these great leaders and what peace can do.

Coverage of the Formal Launch included The Irish News, the Londonderry Sentinel, the International Fund for Ireland, and more.

Tom O’Neill Talks Congress, Local Politics, and more with POLITICO Massachusetts

220px-Thomas_P_O'Neill_IIIO’Neill and Associates’ Chief Executive Officer, Thomas P. O’Neill III, recently sat down with Lauren Dezenski from POLITICO Massachusetts to discuss his take on current House leadership, the state of the Congress, longevity in delegation, local politics, and more.

“When you lose seniority in Congress, even though the rules of seniority have been changed and altered, the fact is that you lose some of that leadership and the ability to deliver policy and product back home to your state.”

To read the full article, click here.