Census calls it: State loses one seat in US House, Redrawn districts for 2012 election

The US Census Bureau has confirmed what the state’s top political leaders were dreading: Massachusetts will be losing a Congressional seat, one of ten states in the nation to do so, according to figures the bureau released on Tuesday.

Lawmakers will turn into mapmakers next year, redrawing the state’s political boundaries to account for a smaller US House delegation, now all Democrats, that will be diminished from ten members to nine in 2012.  Read more

Jackson announces District 7 run

Tito Jackson, a top political aide to Gov. Deval Patrick and Grove Hall native, said Monday he is running for former City Councillor Chuck Turner's District 7 seat.

Jackson finished fifth out of eight candidates in the 2009 City Council At-Large race, falling just short of grabbing one of the four At-Large seats on the City Council. Turner, who was booted from the council this month after he was convicted of accepting a $1,000 bribe, has said he is backing Jackson for the seat.  Read more

Preliminary election to replace Turner likely set for Feb. 15; final election on March 15

The preliminary special election to replace former City Councillor Chuck Turner will be held on Feb. 15, with a final election set for March 15, under an order the City Council is expected to approve tomorrow.

Turner, District 7's representative on the 13-member body, was expelled from the council by an 11-1 vote on Dec. 1 after a federal jury found him guilty of corruption charges. District 7 includes Dorchester, Roxbury, Lower Roxbury, and parts of the Fenway, and the South End.  Read more

Patrick lays out plans for Jan. 6 inaugural

Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Dec. 14, 2010

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 14, 2010….Gov. Deval Patrick will a host a “scaled down” inaugural celebration next month, planning a far less lavish celebration than four years ago when he takes the oath of office in January for a second term in the midst of a slowly rebounding economy.  Read more

Mattahunt partnership kicks off with United Way donation

Reporter Staff
Dec. 3, 2010

United Way supports Mattahunt CenterUnited Way supports Mattahunt CenterWheelock College officially launched the Community Engagement Process at Mattahunt Community Center in Mattapan on December 2 with a reception at the center. The partnership for the Mattapan neighborhood between the City of Boston and Wheelock College will support academic achievement in young people, youth leadership and development, and offer adult and family programs for people supporting children and youth.

At yesterday's event, United Way CEO Mike Durkin presented a $30,000 donation to help subsidize the programming at the center. A public meeting to discuss the partnership will be held next Thursday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the center on Hebron Street. Pictured above, left to right, are Wheelock College president Jackie Jenkins-Scott, United Way CEO Mike Durkin, State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry and her daughter, Madeline.  Read more

In this week's Reporter: Rep. Walsh's new job in January, City Council presidency

In case you might've missed 'em, two items of political note in this week's Dot Reporter:

-- State Rep. Marty Walsh is taking a job as the head of a powerful regional union umbrella group. The Dorchester Democrat will continue working as a state representative.

-- Stephen Murphy, a Dorchester native and now a city councillor at-large from Hyde Park, appears to have the votes for City Council President.

-- Also, this occurred after we had gone to press, but City Councillor Chuck Turner was ousted by his colleagues yesterday. His last day as a city councillor is Dec. 3.  Read more

Turner expelled from council in 11-1 vote

Gintautas Dumcius
Dec. 1, 2010

Councillor Chuck Turner: Ousted by colleagues in 11-1 vote.Councillor Chuck Turner: Ousted by colleagues in 11-1 vote.It was not an easy decision for any of the city councillors. City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo had wrestled with expelling a mentor and a friend since the day he knew it could occur.

But by an 11 to 1 vote on Wednesday, Councillor Chuck Turner was removed from the 13-member City Council after an emotional hearing at City Hall's Iannella Chamber. It was the first time in the council's history that a member was removed.

Only Dorchester's Charles Yancey —- who repeatedly challenged the authority of the council to take the vote on Wednesday and whether it could expel a member -— voted against Turner's removal, which will be effective Dec. 3. Turner was unanimously convicted by a jury last month of accepting a $1,000 bribe and lying to FBI agents about it.

Read more from CivicBoston: Pariahs, Pantheons and Chuck Turner  Read more

Editorial: Common-sense reforms for ‘Sober Homes’; Chuck Turner's fall

A Reporter story published last month after a multi-week probe into the operation of so-called sober homes in the city raises important policy questions that demand answers from the industry and from our city and state governments. The report— done in partnership with Northeastern University’s Initiative For Investigative Reporting — found that local authorities have virtually no regulatory controls over these homes. Alarmingly, neither city nor state government officials could tell us with any level of certainty just how many such homes exist in our neighborhoods.  Read more

Walsh to take key union post; plans to keep House seat

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Dec. 1, 2010

State Rep. Marty WalshState Rep. Marty WalshStarting in January, state Rep. Marty Walsh will be taking on a new job as high-profile official at a regional union umbrella group. He was elected to the post – secretary-treasurer and general agent of the Boston Building Trades Council – this fall.

The Dorchester legislator intends to keep his House seat after he assumes his new responsibilities.

Walsh has held down a lower-profile union job while a state representative for the last 12 years, serving as president of Local 223, a construction and general laborers’ union, a position he also intends to keep. He receives an annual $1,500 salary and runs a meeting of the local once a month.

The Dorchester Democrat and union officials said the new job has been vetted for potential conflicts of interest with his position as a state representative. He is awaiting a final response from the state Ethics Commission, which has given an initial okay, he said. He has retained an attorney from Boston law firm Mintz Levin to help with the vetting.  Read more

Local contractor's testimony, Wilkerson granddaughter could factor into former senator's Dec. 22 sentencing

Former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, a Roxbury Democrat who pleaded guilty earlier this year to federal extortion charges, is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 22.

The sentencing session, set for three days before Christmas, is expected to start at 9 a.m. and last for much of the day. Prosecutors have asked for Judge Douglas Woodlock to sentence her to four years in jail, while her defense attorneys say given her history of helping the needy, she should receive considerably less.

But before she is sentenced that day, prosecutors and Wilkerson's defense attorneys will spar over whether Azid Mohammed, a local contractor who allegedly gave money to Wilkerson, should be factored into the federal judge's sentencing. Wilkerson's attorneys say he volunteered to provide the money as a gift, while prosecutors say the money was solicited and illegally provided.  Read more