Category Archives: Mass Politics

To Compete or Non-Compete, That Is the Question

As lame duck initiatives go, the effort by Governor Deval Patrick to outlaw non-compete agreements as reported in the Boston Globe is one of the more contentious and interesting. Non-compete agreements are employment clauses imposed on employees by corporations that restrict the employees from working for a competitor for a period, like a year or two. It’s a political science mini-lesson in itself: political culture clashes, demographic change, political economy, interests, symbolism, and more. What fun!

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The View from the NEPSA Annual Meeting

This weekend, I will deliver my annual report on the state of Massachusetts politics to the New England Politics Roundtable at the New England Political Science Association’s annual meeting. For a comprehensive reconsideration of the state of Massachusetts politics last year at this time, you can (re)read my New England Journal of Political Science piece from last spring here.

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Senators Kirk and Cowan at Stonehill May 5

Senator Cowan & Senator Kirk will be speaking at the Martin Institute on May 5 at 7:00 at a forum moderated by NECN’s Alison King. And Senator Cowan is happy to tweet about it.

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Early Guv Race Polls Survey the Wrong Population

As far as I’m concerned the public polls to date on the Massachusetts governor’s race are little more than practice sessions for the pollsters, who use these preliminary surveys to fine tune their operations. Nothing in these polls is (or should be) impacting the game plans of any of the viable candidates in the race. As predictors of performance, I’d say these early polls are probably about as useful as the seeding’s in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

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Fisher v. Massachusetts GOP: What to Expect Today?

What might we expect when hearings resume today before Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins in the law suit brought by Mark Fisher against the Massachusetts Republican Party? I’ll be waiting by the twitter feed but Stephanie Ebbert of the Boston Globe reported on last week’s hearing and gave some sense of what to look for today.

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Charlie Baker’s Word Cloud

Is a word cloud worth a thousand words? Maybe, when the word is “Republican.”

Party polarization has been a big issue lately and it probably isn’t going to help Republicans in Massachusetts in 2012. That (R) following his name helped cost Scott Brown the 2012 senate race against Elizabeth Warren and drove him from the state in quest of a senate seat he could win. In Tisei, Baker, and the Tea Party “Smear” I wrote of the problem the Republican Party brand presents in Massachusetts. In Charlie, I Have Good News and Bad News and in What Deval Patrick’s 2010 Win Might Tell Us About 2014 I wrote about how increasing polarization in governor’s races may harm Charlie Baker’s prospects. So I was pretty interested to see this word cloud accompanying a new UMass Poll from our friends Professors Brian F. Schaffner, Ray LaRaja, and Tatishe Ntete from UMass Amherst. Feast your eyes:

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Tour de Website: Steve Grossman

Let’s continue our Tour de Website series looking for best practices on candidate web sites. Today the tour stops at the home of Steve Grossman for Governor.  There are some well-done standard features, some missed opportunities, and a real highlight.

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What Deval Patrick’s 2010 Win May Tell Us About 2014

I was just wondering – exactly how did Governor Deval Patrick defeat Charlie Baker and win re-election in 2010? I know plenty of people have their theories but the governor had some pretty ugly numbers. Or maybe I’ve just been looking in the wrong places.

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Immigrants and the Human Mind

Immigration is an important issue but three of the last five posts here at MassPoliticsProfs have touched on the topic. Is it that important? Are there more important issues we could be discussing but aren’t noticing for some reason? Last week I was obsessed by the Massachusetts Republican Party Convention; this week, nothing.

This phenomenon and some of the comments we’ve had here at MPP have me thinking about politics and the human mind; a fascinating topic that I am curious about but I warn you, I am “undocumented” in the field; so these are musings.

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Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

A few weeks back I criticized a Joe Battenfeld column in which he argued that the issue of driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants would be “a gift” to Charlie Baker. In that post I implied that it may actually be more useful to the Democratic candidate(s) for governor. Thanks to some insightful analysis by Professor Cunningham, I’m having second thoughts about that.

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