The act of electing an “independent Republican” to represent Massachusetts in the United State Senate two years ago was, in some ways, a worthwhile exercise. Senator Scott Brown sometimes rejects the far-right majority that has become the brain trust and base of the Republican party. And he satisfies a certain instinct within our electorate to add variety to the range of political perspectives we have in our arsenal.
But in a Republican party that no longer boasts even the modest makings of a moderate wing, Brown has been — and, unfortunately, will remain—a follower, an afterthought, an outlier with little sway in the national debate moving forward. Moderate Republicans have been driven from the ranks by Tea Partiers and other hard-liners whose allegiances to far-right ideologues (see Grover Norquist and his no-taxes pledge) trump any reasoned attempt at compromise.
Massachusetts expects more from its two delegates to the US Senate. It is time for us to send a clear message about what direction we want from our leaders in the nation’s capital. Read more
Oct. 31, 2012
After 18 months marred by frequent infighting, city councillors today passed a compromise map that re-carves the political boundaries of council districts in the city. The vote to approve a map with amendments offered by City Councillor Tito Jackson was passed by a veto-proof majority, 11-2. Councillors Charles Yancey of Dorchester and Bill Linehan of South Boston opposed the measure.
This now marks the third time the council has sent a map to Mayor Thomas Menino, who vetoed two previous attempts due to the high concentration of people of color in District 4, which includes parts of Dorchester and Mattapan.
The mayor is expected to sign off on the map, his spokeswoman said shortly after the vote. Read more
Oct. 30, 2012
Leading in the latest Suffolk University poll by seven points over U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday said she still wants to debate Brown one more time, and suggested Thursday night for the final matchup.
Brown, however, has yet to commit to a new date for the debate, and suggested to reporters following the senator on his tour of storm damage that a fourth meeting might not be necessary. Read more
Oct. 30, 2012
City officials have assembled a team to work closely with home and business owners affected by Hurricane Sandy. Boston Home Center staff will be working with homeowners and senior homeowners to help facilitate any necessary renovations due to the storm. Also, a team of City Hall staff will "work closely with business owners in the coming days to offer guidance and assess the exact needs of each business affected in an effort to expedite the process of reopening."
DND’s Office of Business Development is standing by to provide technical and permitting assistance. Businesses affected by the hurricane can reach the Office of Business Development at 617-635-0355. Read more
Oct. 29, 2012
The city’s elections chief is warning voters to read up on today's ballot, saying its length could lead to longer wait times at the polls. The ballot spans two pages and is 18 inches long due to several complex ballot questions dealing with auto repair, assisted suicide and medical marijuana. Some ballots will have a fourth question, a non-binding resolution on federal budget cuts.
“You need to do your homework before,” said Election Commissioner Geraldine Cuddyer. Read more
The redistricting clock is ticking for city councillors, who must pass a map reordering Boston’s political boundaries next week.
Here’s the state of play heading into the weekend, as Hurricane Sandy is eyeing New England and the City Council prepares for a potential Halloween vote on Wednesday, according to City Hall insiders:
One of the precincts in the middle of the back-and-forth is the one City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo lives in: Ward 19 Precinct 7. Read more
Oct. 25, 2012
City councillors yesterday continued their internal debates as they worked to produce yet another map – their third this year – that would shift the boundaries of several districts for the 2013 municipal election. The council adjourned without making a decision and scheduled another working session for next week. The mayor’s vetoes of two previous maps have set off a scramble and increased tensions among the councillors who have struggled to put together a proposal that would pass mayoral muster. In both vetoes, Menino cited the concentration of people of color in District 4 as a top concern. Read more
Oct. 25, 2012
Opponents of a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana claimed on Monday that proponents ultimately hope to legalize the drug for all uses, but proponents accused them of using “hysteria and fear” to keep people from necessary medicine.
The two sides met in front of the State House steps on a sunny afternoon, where doctors and lawmakers on each side made their case, backed by those who said they suffered through the lack of proper pain relief, on one side, and those who had experienced the perils of drug addiction, on the other. Read more
The City Council’s agonizing redistricting process drags on this week as it weighs several competing maps that would redraw the lines of the district seats in time for next year’s election. District 4, which covers parts of both Mattapan and Dorchester, has become the main focus because two mayoral vetoes of earlier maps passed by the council specifically cited the “packing” of too many voters of color into the district. Read more
Could this be a preview of the gubernatorial race in 2014? The GOP’s nominee in 2010, Charlie Baker, is scheduled to appear with Treasurer Steve Grossman, a Democrat and past candidate for governor, on Friday on NECN’s “Broadside with Jim Braude.”
Both are frequently mentioned in local political circles as potential candidates for the Corner Office in 2014. Gov. Deval Patrick is not running for a third term.
The political chat show airs at 6 p.m. and will come after a busy week in politics, with a presidential debate set for Tuesday night and plenty of tough races in Massachusetts. Read more