Coakley v. Baker – almost a yawn

Tonight's televised benign if mildly tense debate between Charlie Baker and Martha Coakley was clearly a draw, which may have been the defensive  objective of all concerned. Comfortably  moderated by WGBH talk show hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, both candidates stuck to their well honed, but by now shop-worn messages, spoke calmly, and smiled wanly …

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Gubernatorial debate: too crowded for clarity

WBZ performed its civic duty by including three independent candidates for governor in Tuesday's gubernatorial  debate, but the three added little to the process.  It's one thing to give everyone equal access in the early stages of the campaign, helping the independents get themselves known,  make their views known,  raise some money and perhaps gain some …

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Silly season in the Governor’s race

Forget the gaffes, and get to the issues.  Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker reportedly referred to Fox TV reporter Sharman Sachetti as "sweetheart," and she and other women have taken umbrage.  Massachusetts' National Organization for Women (NOW) has blasted his "sexist treatment of a female reporter."  Baker said he "was kidding" and later apologized.  Sounds …

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Observations on state primary 2014

The Y chromosome was in short supply among top winners in yesterday's primary.  The result is that party candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, state treasurer, attorney general and, in my home county, district attorney and governor's council, are all women.  (So, too, with unopposed candidates for state auditor, state senator and state representatives.) The women's vote may …

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Grossman at the top – in all but polls

  The Democratic gubernatorial debates ended last night. Three decent, intelligent individuals with strong commitment to Massachusetts and public service.  Notwithstanding Attorney General Martha Coakley's double-digit advantage in the polls, it is Treasurer Steve Grossman who has emerged as the most solid choice. Coakley has the advantage of superior name recognition, while Grossman has drawn the …

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Clock ticking on state gov. candidates

Democratic gubernatorial candidate state treasurer Steve Grossman has  narrowed the gap between Attorney General Martha Coakley and him, but it's unclear if he can make up a remaining 12-point deficit in the last two weeks before the state primary. Right now, however, those same polls show Coakley holding a 23-percentage lead over Grossman among women voters, some …

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Pol ties to gambling have implications for state races

On May 5, the state's Supreme Judicial Court will take up the question of Attorney General Martha Coakley's rejection of a ballot referendum to repeal the Massachusetts casino law. She concluded in December, 2011 that the referendum should be a no-go. The repeal, it seems, would break the implied contract between the gaming (the industry's preferred synonym for …

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Running for A.G. – a familiar face stands out

On April 19 last year, longtime political activist, former elected official and Watertown resident Warren Tolman found himself 300 yards from the capture of Marathon bomber Zhokar Tsarnaev.  With a helicopter roaring overhead, police on both sides of his driveway and in his backyard, Tolman listened as a swat team worked its way through his basement searching for the …

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St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast: more love-in, less roast

Southie's traditional St. Patrick's Day breakfast was anything but traditional yesterday.  A testament to the new Boston, a majority-minority city, the breakfast was hosted for the first time ever by a woman, a person of color, a Haitian-American, and a resident of Dorchester...all wrapped up in the energetic and charismatic persona of State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry. …

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2014 Mass. gubernatorial primaries up for grabs

Today's papers announced the latest entrant in the 2014 race for governor: a Tea Party challenger to Charlie Baker for the Republican nomination. Mark Fisher, a Shrewsbury resident and newbie at electoral politics, runs a metal manufacturing company. His website has a family photo album and an issues list that starts and ends with eliminating Turnpike tolls.  …

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