The Download

The politics of disasters

Disasters have a way of defining politics and elections. Many believe Hurricane Sandy, and then-Gov. Chris Christie’s embrace of President Barack Obama, helped push the president over the top for reelection because of his administration’s response. Likewise, many pundits thought President George W. Bush’s flyover and ham-handed handling of the relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina(...)

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It’s Jaws all over again

The fatal shark attack on 26-year-old boogie border Arthur Medici Saturday at Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet scared the hell out of me. Reading about the terrible incident, I could hear the John Williams theme to Jaws in my head. “Don’t go in the water.” The 1975 Steven Spielberg movie, based on the book by(...)

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Spotlight on Spotlight

For more than 50 years, the Boston Globe’s award-winning Spotlight Team – not the same people, they do change them – has put a spotlight on corruption, scandal, and inequity in the region. From exposing James “Whitey” Bulger as an FBI informant to revealing slothful schedules of Massachusetts judges to uncovering redlining by mortgage companies(...)

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Superintendent showdown

Mayor Marty Walsh quickly sought to stabilize the Boston Public Schools in late June by tapping local education nonprofit leader Laura Perille as interim school superintendent to replace Tommy Chang, who exited abruptly with two years left on his contract in the face of mayoral displeasure with his tenure. But that move is now running(...)

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Questions about ballot questions

With primaries out of the way and the November elections bearing down on voters, the push for two of the three referendums on the ballot is beginning to heat up. The onslaught of dueling data is just beginning to hit stride as both sides will tout studies and grab onto fungible facts that boost their(...)

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The chameleon governor

Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr calls Gov. Charlie Baker Tall Deval. Democratic rival Jay Gonzalez suggests Baker is indirectly backing the Trump agenda in Washington. And Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi portrays the governor as a timid, calculating wimp always trying to balance on a political tightrope. Will the real Charlie Baker please stand up? All of this(...)

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The Codcast: Disagreeing agreeably

“Politics, Ideas & Civic Life in Massachusetts” has been the tagline describing the focus of CommonWealth’s coverage since the magazine was launched 22 years ago. We didn’t say it explicitly, but the goal also was to promote a civil civic life here. A robust exchange of views and ideas, argued vigorously but respectfully, seemed then(...)

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It’s Woo everything in Worcester

At the press conference last month announcing the Pawsox would be moving to Worcester, the team’s chairman, Larry Lucchino, didn’t sound like he was a fan of WooSox as the club’s new nickname. Even though Minor League Baseball trademarked WooSox, Lucchino insisted the club’s name hadn’t been decided yet. When someone in the crowd shouted(...)

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DeLeo spins a positive tale

House Speaker Robert DeLeo dutifully sidled up to the state’s other top Democrats at a “unity” gathering yesterday morning in Dorchester, where party pooh-bahs reveled in their victories — and tried to paper over any divisions from primary races that saw some of them on the losing side of big races. Asked after the event(...)

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