Politics

Eminent domain reform needed in Massachusetts

Eminent domain reform needed in Massachusetts

Power should be limited, particularly at local level

UNDER OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT, there are various powers that are absolute and from which there are no appeal.  One example of such a power would be the president’s pardon or executive clemency power.  A president can, theoretically, pardon anyone for a federal crime for any reason or for no reason.  Another example, a little(...)

Read More »

Package store leader has it wrong

Package store leader has it wrong

Pumped-up prices don’t reduce drunken driving

FRANK ANZALOTTI, who leads Massachusetts’ package store trade association, has it wrong. Not only does he misunderstand calls to reform outdated Commonwealth alcohol laws, he misrepresents Total Wine & More’s role in that process. (See “Mega booze store out for self“). Updating targeted regulations from their Prohibition-era origins, ensuring a fair market, and including protections(...)

Read More »

Tired of waiting, Dempsey exits House for lobbying firm

Tired of waiting, Dempsey exits House for lobbying firm

Decision indicates DeLeo is not retiring anytime soon

THE PERCEIVED HEIR APPARENT to House Speaker Robert DeLeo said on Thursday that he is stepping down to take a top job at the high-powered lobbying firm ML Strategies, a move that suggests the speaker is not inclined to retire anytime soon. Rep. Brian Dempsey of Haverhill, the chairman of the House Ways and Means(...)

Read More »

The independence of independents

The independence of independents

Party leaders, consultants look for ways to win on new landscape

THE RANKS OF political independents continue to swell in Massachusetts, while the number of Democrats and Republicans remains roughly steady. Younger voters are choosing to remain “unenrolled” when they register to vote, rather than choosing a political party. The result is an increasing tilt toward the “unenrolled,” as they are called here, who now make(...)

Read More »

Lawrence’s Rivera facing tough reelection fight

Lawrence’s Rivera facing tough reelection fight

City showing signs of progress, but mayor faces battle to retain his post

Photographs by Meghan Moore THE MARCHERS PLOD ALONG, wearing matching maroon shirts and holding campaign signs, fronted by the candidate himself, Mayor Daniel Rivera, who waves to onlookers, his gut hanging over pressed khakis. It’s not a very enthusiastic display in a parade that features, by turns, synchronized Latin dancing, beauty queens in chiffon, and(...)

Read More »

Beating the craps out of each other

Beating the craps out of each other

A Massachusetts-Connecticut border war over gambling stirs fears of an Atlantic City meltdown

Illustration by Phil Foster CASINOS ARE ABOUT GAMBLING. Take away the restaurants, the shops, and the entertainment and what remains is the foundational reason for a casino’s existence—getting people to come and leave their money behind, lured by the slim chance they might walk away with a fatter wallet. Those who build and operate the(...)

Read More »

Progressive politics from the ground up 

Progressive politics from the ground up 

Heather Gerken has spent years making the case that state and local government is where the left should push change. With the election of Donald Trump, progressive federalism’s moment may have arrived.

Photographs by Frank Curran STATES’ RIGHTS HAS a long and ugly history in this country. The phrase has often served as code for the segregationist Jim Crow policies that southern states clung to in the face of federal pressure in the 1950s and ’60s. It made progressives wary of a bigger role for states in(...)

Read More »

It’s not my party, but I’ll vote if I want to 

It’s not my party, but I’ll vote if I want to 

Party primaries are increasingly non-partisan as party registration fades

AN EVER-GROWING WAVE of unenrolled voters is slowly overtaking Massachusetts political parties. Old Massachusetts Democrats and Republicans are dying off and more and more of their grandkids are ditching the two-party structure. As the overall number of voters keeps rising, the percent of undeclared voters climbs, while the share of both Democrats and Republicans shrinks modestly.(...)

Read More »

Walsh plays hardball at Quincy Market

Walsh plays hardball at Quincy Market

Mayor seeks to redo lease for higher return

BOSTON MAYOR MARTY WALSH is trying to play hardball with the company that owns the lease on Faneuil Hall Marketplace. City officials and heavily redacted emails obtained under the Public Records Law confirm that the city, which owns the marketplace, is attempting to renegotiate the terms of the lease, which dates back to 1975 and(...)

Read More »

Public records harassment tough sell

Public records harassment tough sell

Enforcement rare on statute aimed to give communities relief

WELLESLEY RESIDENT RONALD ALEXANDER seems to be exactly the sort of guy lawmakers had in mind when they included a harassment provision in the new Public Records Law. Alexander has filed more than 200 public records requests with Wellesley since 2013. He has filed 162 requests with the school department and school committee, 40 with(...)

Read More »