Politics

Prosecutors ask for pre-trial gag order on Turner

Federal prosecutors are telling District 7 Councillor Chuck Turner, whom they've charged with corruption, to pipe down, citing the intense media coverage of the case. Turner has pledged to fight the gag order.

In a motion filed on Monday in U.S. District Court, U.S. Assistant Attorney John McNeil asked for the gag order to be imposed on Turner, preventing him from talking about the case and any materials the government may have to give him over the course of the case.  Read more

More council hopefuls emerge out of Dorchester

Amidst news of Councillor Sam Yoon's growing bank account - at $158,158 as of Tuesday - at least one new potential candidate is rubbing his chin in contemplation - and the guy's OFD. And over in District 4, Councillor Charles Yancey also picked up a challenger.

"I'm keeping my options open," said Dorchester's Doug Hurley. "A run for at-Large is something I'm considering, but some things would have to happen."

Hurley hinted that it may have something to do with how many at-Large seats are left open by mayoral candidates, and who decides to run for them.  Read more

Ross ascendancy gives Connolly a new platform with 'Livable Boston' panel

Councillor Michael Ross's election to the Council president's chair on Monday signals yet another yearly council ritual - the backroom battles over committee assignments.

The early winner of this traditionally underground skirmish seems to be at-Large Councillor John Connolly, whose special "Livable Boston" committee was among Ross's first announcements. Connolly's committee theme recalls ideas he drove home at backyard barbeques and house parties all over the city during his 2007 campaign.  Read more

Patrick eyes major changes in health care payment system

Gov. Deval Patrick is considering fundamental changes to the health care system in Massachusetts, eyeing adjustments to the current fee-for-service payment system and planning cost reduction legislation by summer.

Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby said the administration is considering a system in which providers would receive payments related to outcomes rather than amount of care.  Read more

Governor looks to toughen laws on corruption in wake of scandals

By 
Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
Jan. 8, 2009

Responding to a series of allegations he said had "rocked the State House," Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled a package of tougher ethics and lobbying rules that he pushed the Legislature to pass within 30 days.

In statements, legislative leaders said only that they would consider meaningful ethics law reforms.  Read more

We get what we pay for in public life

Newsnote from the Associated Press: Congress members in 2009 will receive salaries of $174,000, a boost of $4,700 over the salary they have had since January 2008.

That 2.7 percent increase is mirrored by similar raises for associate justices of the Supreme Court, who will see their pay go from $208,100 to $212,800 and Chief Justice John Roberts, whose pay will rise to $222,100 from $217,400.  Read more

Yoon, posturing towards mayoral run, adds to coffers

The Boston Globe delivered a handsome gift for at-Large Councillor Sam Yoon on Christmas Eve, even if unintended.

On that day the paper ran a story that led with details about a fundraising appeal sent by Yoon's wife Christina that made mention of a "higher office" and went into a horse-race tally of Mayor Thomas Menino's, Councillor Michael Flaherty's and Yoon's bank accounts. Former Councillor Larry DiCara was quoted as saying, "Yoon has to have a six-figure number, or else he shouldn't be playing the game."  Read more

Software firm claims Cahill swapped campaign donations for contracts

A bingo software firm is suing Treasurer Timothy Cahill and the state's Lottery chief for more than $20 million over the awarding of gaming contracts, claiming they engaged in a conspiracy to favor a Georgia company in exchange for money for Cahill's campaign.  Read more

Chairman breaks with DiMasi as Speaker's vote nears

A veteran House member who earned a committee chairmanship under Speaker Salvatore DiMasi plans to vote against the House chieftain's bid for a third full term as speaker, and Monday became the first member of the chamber to discuss his decision publicly.

Rep. David Torrisi, House chair of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, told the News Service he would defect from DiMasi when the Democratic caucus votes next week on its leadership, citing the allegations of ethical wrongdoing that are dogging the speaker.  Read more

Kenneally is raising funds, mulling run for at-Large seat; Rest of the council-hopeful field is still shaping up

Andrew Kenneally: "Decision next month."Andrew Kenneally: "Decision next month."Andrew Kenneally, a former staffer for City Councillor Michael Flaherty, said he hasn't decided whether he will run for the Council at-Large seat his old boss is likely to vacate just yet, but he's fundraising anyway.

"I'm probably going to make a decision next month," he said. "I'm just trying to see what's out there in terms of raising cash and it's looking pretty good."

Kenneally has deposited $4,400 in his account, according to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, but said he is likely to reach $10,000 by the time this paper is printed.

Jamaica Plain's Felix G. Arroyo is the leading fundraiser among the challengers so far, with over $13,000. His first fundraising event - for Three Kings Day - is Jan. 10 at Mojitos nightclub downtown.  Read more