Summer 1998

Summer 1998

Voter Registration

What’s in a name? Not much when it comes to the state’s “motor voter” law. Though it may conjure up visions of drive-through polling places, there’s still no “Kwik-Vote” kiosk at the local mall. But officials say the 3 1/2-year-old law has done a lot for Massachusetts, despite its misleading moniker: It has pushed the(...)

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The Button Lady

The stuffed elephant hat gets your attention, but it’s the dozens of campaign buttons that pinpoint Jeanne Matatall as a true-blue Republican. President Nixon–Now More Than Ever… Vote Volpe for Victory… Richardson Cares About People… Matatall, 62, started voting Republican around 1960 and has been collecting Republican memorabilia ever since. She estimates she has 600(...)

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Public Opinion Polls

What would you say are your chances of being polled? Very likely. Somewhat likely. Slim to none. No opinion. The fact is, if you have a telephone and the poll is done correctly, your chances are about as good as anybody else’s. But if you’re like most people, you wonder why incessant political polls claim(...)

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Campaign Debts

We could call it the $11,000 lesson: Always make political candidates pay up front. Richard Berberian, who owns a North Shore multi-media company, learned it over the last few years when it became clear he’d never see a check for the $11,000 bill still owed by The Paleologos Committee. As in former state Rep. Nicholas(...)

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Autumn Primaries

To the casual observer, the 1998 race for governor may have looked like a two-man face-off back in the middle of May. That’s when Acting Governor Paul Cellucci and Attorney General Scott Harshbarger took to the television airwaves–on the same day–and launched their advertising campaigns. Both candidates wanted to move early to get voters ready(...)

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Who the Heck is Kevin Sowyrda

Kevin Sowyrda calls from his car phone to say he’s giving up. He’s tired of being “stalked.” He’ll do the interview. He’ll be right over. Sowyrda, who is probably the most-quoted Republican political pundit in the state, has been trying to avoid this moment. He says he can’t understand why anybody would want to write(...)

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The New Face of Labor

Robert J. Haynes, the new president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, is in his Beacon Street office in Boston, expounding on one of his favorite themes–the changing face and expanding role of organized labor in this state and in the country–when he gets buzzed for a phone call. He had told the receptionist to hold all(...)

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In Search of a Sales Pitch

It is the middle of the school day and Somerville High is strangely quiet. The only sound of youth in the huge building comes from the score of teenagers who are composed in photo op balance behind a lectern in the lobby. The students are peer counselors and participants in an anti-violence program championed by(...)

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Cellucci Malone and the Republican Future

This is the nightmare scenario: Massachusetts Republicans wake up on Nov. 4, the day after Election Day, and find themselves with nothing. After a hard campaign, the Democrats have retaken the governor’s and lieutenant governor’s offices that they lost in 1990. Secretary of State William Galvin and Auditor A. Joseph DeNucci, both Democrats, have been(...)

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The MiddleClass Mindset

One Nation, After All: What Middle-Class Americans Really Think About: God, Country, Family, Racism, Welfare, Immigration, Homosexuality, Work, the Right, the Left, and Each Other By Alan Wolfe Viking, New York, 1998, 359 pages Good news rarely makes headlines. Vance Packard, David Riesman, Christopher Lasch, and many other social critics have delivered the bad news(...)

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