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

Friday, February 08, 2013


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


Mo Cowan: Governor Deval Patrick's former chief of staff and chief legal counsel was sworn in on Thursday as the interim senator following John Kerry's departure for the State Department. While Cowan has made it clear that he has no intentions of seeking the office for a full-term, or any other political aspirations for that matter, the North Carolina native's swearing-in marked the first time that two black senators will serve at the same time in the upper house of Congress.

Dan Winslow: The former judge and current state Representative from Norfolk said on Thursday that he is in as a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate special election to replace Kerry this June after forming an exploratory committee earlier this week. Winslow, who worked as an aide to Mitt Romney during his time as governor, reportedly put $100,000 of his own money into his campaign to get it off the ground. He also received from free press this week when the story of a "Beer Pong and Politics" fundraiser he held in Boston back in 2011 got picked up by several media outlets, which may or may not score him some points with young voters considering that they played with water, not beer.

Sarai Rivera: The Worcester City Councilor saw some of her efforts on behalf of her constituents in District 4 come to fruition this week, as Chief of Police Gary Gemme announced that the Worcester Police Department will be reestablishing foot patrols in Main South for the next four to five weeks, a move Rivera was vocal about last fall. The City's task force to address prostitution, of which Rivera is a member, is also moving forward with its five working groups to develop recommendations on how to best deal with the issue, with an emphasis on public health and community outreach.

Scott Brown: He might not be running for Senate again, much to dismay of many Bay State GOP supporters, but it seems there are still plenty of people who want the former Republican Senator in their offices. Brown joined the board of Westford-based paper company Kadant, Inc. this week, where, according to the Boston Business Journal, he is poised to make roughly $175,000 a year in cash and equity payments. Brown is also reportedly in talks with Fox News to join the network as a contributor.

Stephen Lynch: The U.S. Representative from South Boston wants to hold six public debates across the state for his Democratic primary contest against Congressman Ed Markey. Central Mass may finally get the Senate debate it was looking for back in 2012, with Worcester on Lynch's list of locations along with Lowell, Boston, Springfield, Pittsfield and either Fall River or New Bedford. With the primary set for April 30, it'll be a tight schedule to squeeze in six debates, and it's still not clear whether any other Dems are going to jump in the mix.


Transparency on Beacon Hill: The state House of Representatives recently shot down a number of Republican-proposed rules changes, including several that would allow for greater transparency, such as posting committee votes online. The state Senate did approve a similar measure that will require the Senate clerk to post roll call votes online within 48 hours, but many observers said the changes fall far short of the level of openness the Commonwealth's legislature could and should be embracing.

Frank Beshai: The Worcester businessman and perennial candidate for public office got himself into hot water with the state's Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF). Beshai, who previously ran as a Republican for both Worcester County Sheriff and City Council, failed to file his campaign finance report after he lost in the Democratic primary for the 15th Worcester District state Rep. seat. He did eventually file the report after multiple unanswered letters from the OCPF, but he still has an unpaid fine of over $1,000. According to his report, all of the campaign funds he received were from Frank Beshai, and the money spent was to Frank Beshai. The liabilities are for money owed to Frank Beshai.

Patrick's Budget: The Governor's bold budget proposal that would raise the state income tax rate a full percentage point to 6.25 percent while cutting the state sales tax rate to 4.50 percent, among other things, in order to raise revenues by nearly $2 billion is looking less and less like it will make it through the legislature. According to reports, House Speaker Robert DeLeo is hearing some big-time concerns from fellow lawmakers and constituents alike in regard to the budget package, which would hike the cigarette tax by $1 per pack and eliminate sales tax exemptions for candy and soda.

Red Sox and PEDs: Former Red Sox pitcher and failed videogame entrepreneur Curt Schilling told ESPN Radio on Thursday that he was approached by members of the club's staff about using performance enhancing drugs back in 2008. Schilling said he reported the incident, and the MLB launched an investigation, but the out in the open clubhouse discussions of using human growth hormone, even if nearly five years gone, are a strike against the team currently trying to rebuild itself. 


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