Features

The paradox of Robert DeLeo

The paradox of Robert DeLeo

The affable everyman with a vise-like grip on the House he leads

Photographs by Michael Manning ROBERT DELEO CLIMBED to the rostrum of the House of Representatives one afternoon in late January for what has become a routine annual ritual, but is also a remarkable expression of the power of his office. It was the seventh time DeLeo stood before the 160-member body as House Speaker to(...)

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Why whites control Lowell city government

Why whites control Lowell city government

Voting system concentrates power in heavily white Belvidere

Photographs by Meghan Moore LOWELL IS MOST commonly associated with block upon block of old mill buildings; immigrants from Asia and the world over; and tough streets, the kind that produced famed boxer Micky Ward. What probably does not come to mind are tidy tree-lined boulevards and quiet blocks filled with exquisitely restored Victorian homes,(...)

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Tackling the time warp at the T

Tackling the time warp at the T

Gerard Polcari tries to revamp procurement

Photograph by Mark Morelli ON HIS FIRST day on the job last May as the MBTA’s chief procurement officer, Gerard Polcari checked in with Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack and then headed straight to his office to learn everything he could about the department he was inheriting. He interviewed everyone on the staff and analyzed the(...)

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The yin and yang of Baker

The yin and yang of Baker

An MBA’s focus and a surprisingly emotional touch make for a strong start for the Republican governor.

Photographs by Mark Ostow CHARLIE BAKER IS getting worked up about “queueing theory.” He’s sitting at a conference table in his smaller “working office” in the governor’s suite at the Massachusetts State House. The space, last occupied by Deval Patrick’s chief of staff, is where Baker has opted to conduct most business, eschewing the ornate official(...)

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Closed doors

Closed doors

Newton supports affordable housing — until it’s time to build it

Photographs by Michael Manning   IN NEWTON, WHERE single-family home values are creeping into the million-dollar range, few things trigger more raw emotion than proposals for affordable housing. That emotion was on full display in early December at Newton City Hall as proponents and opponents of a mixed-use development packed the Board of Aldermen meeting(...)

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Politics behind the plug

Politics behind the plug

Utilities play key role in energy debate, but who are they looking out for?

THERE IS A PATTERN that runs through the energy debate on Beacon Hill. The Baker administration wants to bring new natural gas pipelines into the region; utilities are tasked with arranging the financing. The Baker administration wants to bring hydroelectricity down from Canada; the job of soliciting bids for that work falls to the utilities.(...)

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RTAs taking the wheel

RTAs taking the wheel

Regional transit authorities want to satisfy growing need

Photographs by Meghan Moore WHILE GREATER BOSTON AGONIZES over the multibillion-dollar MBTA project to extend the Green Line a mere five miles, another transit tug-of-war is going on across the rest of the state. The Bay State’s regional transit authorities have their own expansion dreams, albeit modest ones. Their dreams don’t involve complex rail construction(...)

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All bases covered at ML Strategies

All bases covered at ML Strategies

Firm includes an all-star cast of former government officials

(Updated October 20, 2015. A correction was added to the chart of leading lobbying firms.) Photographs by Frank Curran IT WAS CRUNCH TIME in the battle for a Greater Boston casino license potentially worth billions of dollars. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission was seeking some final feedback from the two finalists, Wynn Resorts and Mohegan Sun, and(...)

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Rich-poor divide in high school sports

Rich-poor divide in high school sports

Data reveal inequality that threatens American Dream

EACH YEAR, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association compiles athletic participation data from public, charter, and parochial high schools across the state. In nine out of the past 10 years, the publicized narrative about the data has been the same: that athletic participation is increasing. But below the surface, the data reveal some alarming trends about(...)

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Overlords of the MBTA

Overlords of the MBTA

A close-up look at the T's Fiscal and Management Control Board

Photographs by Michael Manning THE NAME JOSEPH AIELLO probably means nothing to most MBTA riders. But the first major snowstorm might change that.  Aiello is the chairman of the five-member MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board that has the job that has overwhelmed governors, transportation secretaries, and the system’s general managers for more than a(...)

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