Washington Notebook

Advantage Democrats

Advantage Democrats

Despite recent GOP gains, Democrats have advantage in retaining the White House in 2016.

THIRTY YEARS AGO this month marked the last time a Republican assumed the presidency with the approval of Massachusetts voters. Ronald Reagan won 49 states in the previous November’s election, including every state in New England. Four years before, he won all of them but Rhode Island. This month, a new Republican governor, Charlie Baker,(...)

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Guest workers

Comprehensive immigration reform is a long-shot, but a Republican takeover of the Senate could mean more visas for Massachusetts.

most of the attention on the immigration bill that is now foundering in Congress is on the 11 million or so immigrants who live in this country without the government’s permission. The bill the Senate passed last year—the focus of the debate on so-called comprehensive immigration reform in Washington—would provide them with an arduous pathway(...)

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Do Not Call

Do Not Call

The list is leaking like a sieve, and Massachusetts residents are among those complaining the loudest

the federal trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry, once an effective deterrent to unwanted telemarketing calls, is now a toothless tiger. Telemarketing scam artists have found ways around the registry, as reflected in the rising number of complaints from angry consumers. Americans filed more than 3.7 million complaints about unwanted phone calls last year, more(...)

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The guiding hand

The guiding hand

Though largely unknown outside the world of politics, Mindy Myers has helped three current New England senators win office.

mindy myers has never called New England home, but she’s nevertheless left her political mark on the region. The 37-year-old Washington insider has run the successful election campaigns of three sitting New England senators—Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island (2006), Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut (2010), and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (2012). Myers is just as comfortable(...)

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Leading the fight against e-cigarettes

Leading the fight against e-cigarettes

For Susan Liss, the former top lobbyist for Massachusetts in the capital, the battle is personal

When Susan Liss became the top lobbyist for Massachusetts in Washington in 2006, she had a million things to juggle, from the rollout of the state’s new health care law to the search for federal funds. But it was a tough personal time for such a big assignment: Her husband, Jeffrey Liss, a partner with(...)

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What Markey needs to do

What Markey needs to do

Analysts say the senator needs to focus on potholes and getting better known

It seems like yesterday—in fact it was in June—when longtime US Rep. Ed Markey of Malden won his race to succeed John Kerry in the Senate. Markey’s win only entitled him to fill out the remainder of Kerry’s term, which ends in January 2015. And so Massachusetts’ new junior senator has just a year in(...)

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The chained CPI

The chained CPI

Few in Mass. delegation see eye to eye with Obama

THIS FALL, PRESIDENT Obama and Congress will have another chance to strike a grand bargain on the deficit. If it happens, a new gauge of inflation that would both reduce federal benefits, like Social Security, and raise taxes, will be at the heart of it. Only 13 states would be affected more than Massachusetts, with(...)

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Capitol turnover

Capitol turnover

When it comes to congressional clout, seniority isn’t what it used to be

MASSACHUSETTS REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS have for decades enjoyed key committee and leadership posts in Congress because of their seniority, and the state has reaped the benefits, both in funding from Washington and in policy advantageous to the state. Before his death in 2009, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy delivered funding for state projects ranging from the(...)

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Tsongas coming into her own

Tsongas coming into her own

Neither caretaker nor token

THERE’S A LONG TRADITION in Washington of political wives following their husbands into office. Sometimes those spouses have an impact apart from anything their husband accomplished—think Hillary Clinton—but more often they’re reliable placeholders. They win votes because of the tradition they carry on and, in office, they follow the political path worn by their husbands.(...)

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Waiver warfare

Waiver warfare

Obama administration offers states waivers from education and welfare law, but Republicans raise alarms

of the domestic policy achievements of the past two decades, most would agree the two biggest are the welfare reform law of 1996 and the No Child Left Behind education law of 2001. The first ended guaranteed lifetime cash assistance to needy families and required the poor to work while receiving temporary aid. The education(...)

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