Fall 1996

Who Votes

Suppose state government–or a high-minded philanthropist–awarded a special grant to communities that demonstrate stellar records of high voter turnout. Which Massachusetts cities and towns would be in the running? Who would win the Most Voter Participation (MVP) award, or the Gold Cup of Electoral Responsibility? A CommonWealth survey of voter turnout statistics from the 1992(...)

Read More »

The Veto Game

One of the facts of political life for Governor William Weld during the 1995-96 session of the legislature has been that, even if he had every fellow Republican in the State House backing him up, the Democrat-controlled House and Senate have the numbers to override his veto at will. Weld objected strenuously to a bill(...)

Read More »

Representation without Faxation

As any reporter, lobbyist, or campaign manager knows, trying to get a document by fax from a State House office or committee when the legislature is in session can be an experience that tries one’s patience–and keeps courier companies in business. It turns out not to be as easy as one might think. In the(...)

Read More »

Presidential Campaign Fund Plummets

Twenty years since public financing of presidential campaigns began, taxpayer contributions to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund are at their lowest level since the program’s first year. Taxpayers just aren’t checking the box on their tax forms–even though it doesn’t cost them a dime. Of the 16.1 million individuals and couples who filed federal income(...)

Read More »

One Tough Neighborhood

One Tough Neighborhood

Lyon Street in Dorchester is a modest little thoroughfare. It’s nothing more than a one-block-long connector between Dorchester Avenue and Adams Street, but when the Commonwealth’s biggest law enforcers came to crime-plagued Dorchester with designs on creating a new kind of crime-fighting model in 1993, it was one of the first places they looked. At(...)

Read More »

Getting Smart About Fighting Crime

What would Massachusetts need to do to wage a war against crime that was less symbolic and more practical, less scattershot and more systematic, less simplistic and more serious–not just tough, in other words, but tough-minded? The short answer is, we would have to do a lot of things differently, according to Putting Crime Control(...)

Read More »

Bringing up Children

Dinner is over at the Morgan household, but the woven placemats, flecked with crumbs of food, have not been cleared. It is hot and mom, Rebecca Morgan, fiddles with the fan in the kitchen to get some air moving. The girls–Abby, 7, and Emily, 4–burst in through the back door, arguing. Emily apparently picked flowers(...)

Read More »

Two Guys with Half the Answers

Two Guys with Half the Answers

In late summer, as the Senate race seemed to be hopelessly mired in policy sludge, reporters and some of the voting public were showing signs of disappointment. Great things were expected of this battle between Sen. John F. Kerry and Gov. William F. Weld. Yet in campaign appearances the two seasoned politicians showed a disciplined(...)

Read More »