- Jerold Duquette on What’s worse than Tea Party economic policy? Tea Party foreign policy.
- Tour de Website: Martha Coakley’s Home Page | on The Myth of Martha Coakley’s Mistakes
- Patrick Johnson on What’s worse than Tea Party economic policy? Tea Party foreign policy.
- Ed Lyons on Charlie Baker’s Party Problems
- What’s worse than Tea Party economic policy? Tea Party foreign policy. | on Why is bad economics good politics?
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Category Archives: Mass Politics
Among the myriad metrics by which we are judging the gubernatorial campaigns, how good are the candidate websites? What characteristics make for an effective political website? I’ll offer some analysis with help from an article by Professors Girish J. “Jeff” Gulati and Christine B. Williams of Bentley College, “Closing Gaps, Moving Hurdles: Candidate Web Site Communication in the 2006 Campaigns for Congress,” in Costas Panagopoulos’s book Politicking Online: The Transformation of election Campaign Communications. First up, Martha Coakley.
The presumptive 2014 Republican nominee for Governor, Charlie Baker, will have to campaign hard to win in November simply because the state of affairs in the Bay State is pretty good and the outgoing Democratic governor, despite concerted efforts by rightwing pols and pundits, will exit the stage to general applause. Unfortunately for Baker he has the additional burden of his political party’s very unpopular brand in Massachusetts.
Recently the Boston Globe ran a story detailing how Independent candidate for governor Jeffrey McCormick either did or did not play fast and loose to avoid or not avoid income and capital gains taxes in Massachusetts.
I hope that’s clear.
In December 2009 McCormick bought a condo in Portsmouth, NH and in mortgage documents said it would be his principal residence. New Hampshire has no capital gains or income taxes which might come in handy if you happened to be a resident who made a $640 million profit a week before the closing, as McCormick and his firm did. But then McCormick’s tax returns for the relevant years list Massachusetts as his primary residence. So where was he?
Gosh, what might Abraham Lincoln say about something like this?
I spend a lot of time in this space exposing the folly of anti-intellectual political punditry. The Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby is a prime example of a highly partisan, rigidly ideological, and highly anti-intellectual media pundit. His writing is almost always entirely unconvincing to all but the most committed politically conservative readers, which is why his latest column (“The Value of Preaching to the Unconverted”) must have induced more than its share of spit takes at Sunday morning breakfast tables around New England yesterday morning.
In today’s Boston Globe Professor Ubertaccio and Professor Cunningham publish an op-ed arguing that the 15-percent rule at party caucuses contributes to democracy. The profs bolster their conclusion with four reasons that the caucuses serve the Massachusetts political system well — and unlike Rick Perry, they even remember all the reasons. Click on the link and read the Globe op-ed piece.
Painful as the expulsion of Rep. Carlos Henriquez may have been for House members, it could have been worse. When Representative Frank Gethro was expelled in 1906, he was at the center of a bribery scandal in which the local district attorney subpoenaed the entire House. This was a problem because many of the legislators had in fact been taking bribes to kill a bill outlawing “bucket shops,” shady brokerage businesses that competed with established houses. For a scandal of that magnitude the House sought the one attorney who could deal with such monumental outrage, as Patrick S. Halley relates in his book Daniel Coakley: America’s Most Corrupt Politician.
Professor Ubertaccio stood up for the Democratic Party’s 15% rule yesterday against the combined might of Boston Globe columnists Scot Lehigh and Joan Vennochi. Lehigh argues that the party requirement robs voters of a wider range of voices in the primary. Vennochi criticizes party insiders deciding what the people alone should determine. Professor Ubertaccio replied that in fact the caucus and convention system is a positive boon for self-government.
Let me add two additional reasons to support Professor Ubertaccio’s case. The caucus/convention system adds a counterweight in favor of the citizen versus big money influence; and the organization bolstered by the system pays off politically.
If only Globe columnists could vote, the 15% rule at party conventions would be thrown into the rubbish bin.
First, Scot Lehigh called the 15% convention rule “not a system designed to serve voters well.” Yesterday, Joan Vennochi wrote that this meager threshold is the equivalent of “the Massachusetts Democratic Party exercising power by taking power away from the people.”
As our friend George Will might say, “Well.”
An increasing cadre of Massachusetts politicians is showing up on what the Boston Herald terms “bombshell ‘sponsor’ lists” kept by the state Probation Department encompassing “stunning documents” detailing recommendation letters. So are politicians fleeing the frenzy?
Actually many of them proudly own up to their efforts to help constituents get jobs and some are utilizing my all-time favorite defense from James Michael Curley, the “I did it for a friend” excuse. The deftest channeler of The Rascal King has been none other than Attorney General Martha Coakley.
New York Times columnist Nick Kristof, wrote a column the other day lamenting that professors are not sufficiently engaged in the public sphere. When I first encountered the piece, I skimmed it, recognizing familiar arguments and claims, and thinking that in general a call for greater participation by academics in public debate and dialogue is healthy enough, and certainly not offensive. As I often do, I posted it to my Facebook page along with other articles I intended to look more closely at later, with a note of agreement. Soon thereafter, I came upon a couple of very thorough and negative critiques of Kristof’s column, written by professors who see themselves and their fellows as highly engaged.