Monthly Archives: September 2011

Will 2012 Change Political Science?

In my class on the American presidency this semester my students are grappling with a very interesting and salient debate about the predictability of presidential election outcomes.

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Money for nothing

Frank Phillips of the Boston Globe is reporting today in Liquor lobby gives $45,000 to treasurer  that the liquor industry, which is regulated by an agency overseen by the state treasurer, recently ponied up $45,000 at a fund raiser for Treasurer Steve Grossman.

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Piling on

As some of you know I contribute a monthly column to Commonwealth Magazine online. My most recent piece has just been posted and I am going to link to it here. I am in lonely protest of the “three speakers in a row with federal convictions” narrative. In fact I think former house speakers Charles Flaherty and Thomas Finneran were badly mistreated by prosecutors (Sal DiMasi, not so much). I make this audacious case in Piling on.

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Casinos come to Massachusetts

Casino gambling is in our future and The Massachusetts Great and General Court has handled the issue exactly as expected. 

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The yeomen and the Tea Party

A while back I introduced the four cultural groups in Massachusetts politics written about by Edgar Litt in 1965 in The Political Cultures of Massachusetts: the patricians, workers, managers, and yeomen. I’d like to spend a little more time visiting with each group and suggest their relevance to modern day politics.

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Electoral Dysfunction?

Great coverage today in the Boston Globe about tomorrow’s city council preliminary elections.  But as David Bernstein noted in the Boston Phoenix in June, the whole affair is pretty low profile.  And voter turnout tomorrow, like the turnout last week, will be low.  As always.  Another example of our electoral dysfunction as a nation?

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Defending David Brooks

Criticizing David Brooks seems to have become a cottage industry.

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GOP Debate

Just finished watching the GOP debate.  It won’t change that much except the kernels of doubt regarding Rick Perry continue to multiply. He was unsteady and could not land a punch against Mitt Romney. 

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Low Voter Turnout in Brockton and elsewhere

Tuesday was election day in a number of localities around Massachusetts.  Voter turnout was slightly less than abysmal.  The Brockton Enterprise quoted MassPoliticsProfs contributor Peter Ubertaccio on low voter turnout in that city’s mayoral election.

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Hold that (robo) call

When a local (or any) candidate is considering whether to
spend money on robocalls the most effective message to deliver to a voter is “If the phone don’t ring, it’s me.” Let me explain.

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