According to the Massachusetts state web site:
"The SHINE1 program ensures that Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers have access to accurate, unbiased and up-to-date information about their health care options."
Forget that "unbiased" adjective. Over the last month the state SHINE office, a part of Elder Affairs, handed out Obama re-election propaganda from the New York Times that begins:
"Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made statements last week implying that the (Patient Protection and) Affordable Care Act (PPACA) would eviscerate Medicare when in fact the law should shore up the program’s finances. Both men have also twisted themselves into knots to distance themselves from previous positions, so that voters can no longer believe anything they say."
The Elder Affairs office says volunteers should give this information out to seniors. Boy that's unbiased; the state-distributed Obama re-election propaganda goes on to call Romney and Ryan liars about a half dozen more times.2
A state-and-federal-taxpayer-funded program and Massachusetts state employees should not be distributing political campaign material on public property (it was given to me at the Yarmouth, MA senior center).
But the state bureaucrats claim the material is "educational," not propaganda. This is similar to the "educational" Obama re-election event held by the Mayor of Somerville during the week of October 1. It looks like a trend of more "educational" events to come and seems to feature the same players, such as the Massachusetts Elder Affairs department head. (Also note that the Somerville mayor's event was held off public property; this seems to be a trend too. Handing the material to me on Town of Yarmouth property was a real no-no legally according to some I have spoken too although I think that's the least of the state's problem.)
Actually it did not educate me. I already knew how politically corrupt this state government is.
-- Dennis Byron
1Massachusetts' SHINE is part of the nationwide network of SHIP groups, 25,000 volunteers that help seniors and eligible disabled with Medicare issues. Typically they work out of local senior centers in Massachusetts towns.
2In addition, I can't find anything in the Obama campaign material that the state of Massachusetts Elder Affairs office says should be handed out to seniors by SHINE volunteers that is true (see future blog post)