Summer 2002

Summer 2002

Argument

State housing policy in Massachusetts is a failure, not only for those individuals and families seeking affordable housing, but for the communities of the Commonwealth as well. What is needed is a plan to distribute the responsibility for housing more evenly while giving cities and towns the flexibility to meet local needs creatively within the(...)

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State of the marital union

INTRO TEXT “Politics and marriage don’t really mix,” said Boston College political science professor Alan Wolfe at the June 18 Commonwealth Forum on “The State of the Union: Understanding Marriage in Massachusetts,” moderated by MassINC deputy director Matt Malone. But Wolfe and his fellow panelists agreed that changes in the institution of marriage have had(...)

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Prop 2 12 at 20

INTRO TEXT More than a few heads turned this spring when two different state representatives floated the idea of doing away with or amending Proposition 2 1/2, the state’s landmark property tax law. There was far less surprise at the hailstorm of criticism that quickly followed–and the lawmakers’ hasty retreat from the idea of even(...)

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GOP cyberkibitzer

GOP cyberkibitzer

INTRO TEXT Last fall, lots of Bay State Republicans were quietly fretting over acting Gov. Jane Swift’s sinking poll numbers, but only one posted his impolitic assessment of his party’s presumptive standard-bearer on the World Wide Web for all to see: Todd Sharek, GOP loyalist and Internet provocateur. WHO’S KIDDING WHOM? read the headline, posted(...)

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Crime labs morbid state

Crime labs morbid state

INTRO TEXT There is a rapist on the loose somewhere on the Cape, and Michael O’Keefe, first assistant district attorney for Cape Cod and the islands, says he’s pretty sure he knows who it is. But nearly a year after a woman was attacked and sexually assaulted in a home invasion, the prosecutor has been(...)

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Mapping Massachusetts Politics

Mapping Massachusetts Politics

Just as the candidates will tell you, there’s a clear choice to be made in this year’s gubernatorial election, but it’s not about them. Mitt Romney and the Democratic nominee will get the headlines, but they’re only surrogates for more powerful forces. Bay State voters will really have to decide between Plymouth and Concord, and(...)

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Converting to Modernity

Converting to Modernity

The series of events that began with the conviction of John Geoghan in Boston on charges of sexual abuse–along with the revelations that the Boston archdiocese had known about his problems and had nonetheless transferred him from parish to parish–are unprecedented in the history of American Catholicism. The consequences have been shattering: a lack of(...)

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Does job training work

Does job training work

The Job Training CharadeBy Gordon LaferCornell University Press, Ithaca, 320 pages Even after a long economic boom, the United States continues to have many adults trapped in an unacceptably large low-wage labor market. In 2000 nearly 10 million full-time, year-round workers had incomes below $15,000. Everyone’s favorite solution to this challenge is an amalgam of(...)

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Campaign Contributions

Already the most reliably Democratic state in national politics, Massachusetts puts its money where its mouth is. The Commonwealth is a cash cow for the national Democratic Party, but it’s of only middling financial significance to the Republicans. As of June 3, Democratic and Republican national committees and congressional candidates raised $15 million in the(...)

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