Ethics and Open Government

Pushing ranked choice with beer (and pie)

Pushing ranked choice with beer (and pie)

A recipe to revive democracy in Massachusetts elections

AMERICANS ARE ALL too familiar with the divisive saga of the 2016 presidential contest, but few are aware of the quiet revolution that blossomed in Maine and is now taking flight in Massachusetts. On November 8 last year, Maine voters enacted Question 5, making Maine the first state in US history to upgrade its voting system(...)

Read More »

Rep joins unenrolled in-crowd 

Rep joins unenrolled in-crowd 

Athol lawmaker abandons Republican Party 

Rep. Susannah Whipps joined the political in-crowd this week, switching her party registration from Republican to unenrolled.  Statewide, unenrolled voters – those not affiliated with any political party – are taking over. They became the largest political designation in 1990 and an outright majority in 2008. They represent the most voters in 132 of the 160 House districts. In Whipps’s central Massachusetts district, 66 percent of the voters(...)

Read More »

Catching up with inaccuracy

In an editorial on Thursday, the Metrowest Daily News unloaded on President Trump for his embarrassing stance on climate change, which the newspaper said prompted scientists to leak a draft government report detailing the negative impact of rising temperatures and sea levels out of fear the administration would suppress it. “The changes are already real(...)

Read More »

Does web browsing leave a public record?

Does web browsing leave a public record?

Dispute with Baker administration heads to Healey

THE STATE’S SUPERVISOR of public records says a state employee’s web browsing history is a public record, and has asked Attorney General Maura Healey to order the Baker administration to turn the information over to a reporter. The case represents another attempt by state officials to determine what a public record is in an increasingly(...)

Read More »

How a health care bill becomes a law

While all eyes yesterday were on the Senate hearing where Attorney General Jeff Sessions was testifying, some actual legislating is taking place in Washington — or so we are led to believe. The once-moribund Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill, which the House resuscitated last month, passed, and sent along to the Senate, may be moving toward a(...)

Read More »

Opening the gate

Former FBI director James Comey now joins the growing ranks of law enforcement officials fired by President Trump, alongside former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and Preet Bharara, the former US attorney in New York. In addition to their shared fates, they also are three law enforcement officials who were overseeing active investigations into the(...)

Read More »

The Codcast: Probation, patronage, and power struggles

Patronage, no matter how blatant or unsavory, is not a crime. At least that’s what a federal appeals court ruled recently in overturning the convictions of former Probation commissioner Jack O’Brien and two of his colleagues, who doled out jobs at the agency to curry favor with lawmakers. William Fick, one of the attorneys who(...)

Read More »