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Common Wealth: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in Mass Politics?

Friday, November 23, 2012

 

Every Friday, GoLocalWorcester takes a look at who's rising and falling in the world of Massachusetts politics.

Hot

Martha Coakley: The Attorney General's Office has been firing on all cylinders in recent weeks. From water rate cases to multi-million dollar national drugmaker settlements to pushing for tax relief for the Commonwealth's distressed homeowners, Coakley is proving that Attorney General, not Senator, is the right job for her.

Worcester Public Health: The City's Division of Public Health, along with over 100 community partners, is currently in the process of developing the City's Community Health Improvement Plan, and has identified behavioral health and substance abuse as two of its top priorities. With heroin use at nearly twice the national average, the importance of developing strategies to decrease the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs and other opiates among youth in and around Worcester cannot be underestimated.

Elizabeth Warren: The Senator-elect wasted little time in making her agenda clear for her first few weeks in Washington. Warren has set her sights on the filibuster, joining forces with several other Senate Democrats to attempt to change the political stalling tactic, which they argue is paralyzing progress in the nation's capitol. 

Massachusetts Blue Laws: In the Bay State, Black Friday is restricted to actually starting on Friday thanks to the Commonwealth's blue laws dating back to the 1600s, which in their current incarnation prohibit retailers from opening on Thanksgiving and other holidays. As the start time of Black Friday sales continues to creep up to as early as 8:00p.m. on Thursday, it's nice to know that in Massachusetts workers can still enjoy an evening with their families before rushing back out the door, and that's something to be thankful for.

Not

Sheila Burgess: The state's former highway safety director resigned on Wednesday after her rather unsafe driving record came to light earlier this week. The Democratic operative had been in seven car accidents, received four speeding tickets and was cited for a number of other violations over the course of the past few decades, raising some serious questions about why she was ever given the job in the first place.

Deval Patrick: The Governor called Burgess' hiring "a serious screw up," and will now have to deal with searching his own administration for answers as to how the fundraiser landed the job without any prior experience in transportation. The ordeal will once again raise the specter of patronage on Beacon Hill, not something the Democrats need with cabinet appointments for President Obama's second term having the potential to shake up the Massachusetts political landscape.

Fiscal Cliff: If Congress can't pass a budget deal before the end of the year, economists said that Massachusetts could be in for a world of hurt. The average family of four would see their tax bill jump by around $2,200, and the state's defense industry, which generates nearly $9 billion in payroll each year and more than $3 billion in tax revenue, could take a major hit when sequestration kicks in as well.

 

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