Monthly Archives: January 2013

Senate politics on Greater Boston

Watch Jan. 30, 2013: Interim Senator Mo Cowan on PBS. See more from Greater Boston.

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Mo Cowan “For a Vast Future Also”

Frank Phillips has a very good story in the Boston Globe today on the Mo Cowan pick, made all the more excellent by quoting my favorite political scientist: me. I was responding to criticisms from founder David Kravitz and other progressives that Barney Frank would have been a better pick: “The impact that someone could have for just five months in the Senate is not great, and the argument overstates the ­importance of having a Frank, Meehan, or a Kennedy.”

Let me expand on my thought.

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Campaign Finance: the New Brown Paper Bag?

I’ve had a hypothesis for a while and not enough time to do the research to test it, but here goes anyway: whereas in times past the greatest danger of political corruption was the straight out bribe, these days it is the fattening of campaign finance accounts. Lt. Governor Tim Murray is the latest politician to run afoul. The campaign finance account is the new brown paper bag.

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Gov. Patrick: “Sorry Barney but less is Mo.”

Today’s announcement of William “Mo” Cowen as the temporary replacement for John Kerry in the US Senate was no surprise and it shows that the governor has decided to “play it safe.” All things being equal, the governor understands that this seat is the Democrats’ to lose in the upcoming election.

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Menino and his city

Given his health issues, we might have expected to see a frail man take the podium last night in Faneuil Hall to prepare for his life beyond City Hall.  Instead, the longest-serving Mayor in Boston’s history laid out an aggressive agenda.

He looked great and sounded like a man fully intending on an additional term in office.

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Appointment Intrigue and Special Election Tedium

This should be an interesting day here in Massachusetts. Governor Deval Patrick will appoint an interim senator to serve in Secretary of State John Kerry’s seat until a special election is held in late June.

As I’ve written before I think it would be most interesting for the governor to appoint a new and fresh figure who at least cracks the mold somewhat. The appointee would get a political boost and perhaps bypass our sclerotic sort-of democracy in the commonwealth. Perhaps another woman, Hispanic or African-American candidate, someone associated with an important issue like gun control, or someone who has achieved at the highest levels in business or academia or the non-profit world. An ideas person. Someone like Elizabeth Warren, perhaps?

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Will Steve Lynch Buck the Party Central Committee?

Steve Lynch is in or out, Scott Brown is in or out …

TheKerrySeat is becoming the seat no one wants – no one but Ed Markey of course. The Malden Democrat is near to clearing the field with a little help from his friends in the Democratic establishment,  most especially the party check writers, aka the Central Committee of the Democratic Party – excuse me, I meant the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Diddy was right –“It’s all about the Benjamins” —  and damn this thing we call our sort-of democracy in Massachusetts.

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It’s On!!!

The brawl to (temporarily) have it all is on, according to Secretary of State Galvin’s office. It was announced today that the primary election (if necessary) will be April 30th, and the general election for Senator Kerry’s vacated US Senate seat will be held on June 25th.

What does it all mean? How will the calander impact the shape of the race? Whose summer vacation plans will take the worst beating? Stay tuned to this space. We will explain it all to you in as close to real time as we can.

Next up… Who gets the even more temporary nod from the Guv?

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Will Scott Brown become Charlie Brown in 2013?

If the latest polling results convince Scott Brown to enter the race to fill John Kerry’s senate seat, odds are he will end up looking like Charlie Brown when its all said and done. The chances of the football being there when he tries to kick it are not good. Polls showing Brown with a comfortable lead over his likely Democratic opponents simply do not mean what the media consistently pretends they mean.

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“In my day….” A brief self serving rant about the quality of thinking in America

It is increasingly difficult to read about American politics in the newspapers without having to endure stories of what used to be widely understood to be unacceptable stupidity and/or temerity. Why is it so easy for politicians, political partisans, interest group leaders, activists, journalists, and commentators to make so many absurd mistakes and transparently flawed judgments on a routine basis without losing their jobs, credibility, or audience?

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