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

Friday, February 22, 2013


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


Donald Berwick: The healthcare expert and former Obama Medicare chief looks to be getting more serious about his run for governor next year. Berwick donated $50,000 to his campaign committee and loaned another $50,000 of his money to the effort as well. According to the most recent report filed with the state's Office of Campaign and Political Finance, the healthcare wonk is sitting on $106,960 in campaign cash. State Treasurer Steven Grossman, widely considered a top candidate for Deval Patrick's post, has over $436,000 in his war chest for comparison. Granted, Grossman had quite a bit of head start, and Berwick would likely be able to add to that 100 grand quickly if and when he announces an official campaign for the state's top office.

Markey's House Seat: The only thing hotter than John Kerry's former seat in the Senate is Ed Markey's current one in the House. State Rep. Carl Sciortino (D-Meford) and state Senator Katherine Clark (D-Melrose) have both declared their candidacy for Markey's not-yet-vacated seat, and state Senator William Brownsberger (D-Belmont) has made preparatory moves and said he will run if Markey is elected to the Senate. Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, also a Democrat, reportedly said he would strongly consider running if Markey moves up to the Senate as well. No word on who wants to run for Rep. Stephen Lynch's seat, which may be telling in terms of which way the tides are moving in the Democratic party.

Martha Coakley: The Commonwealth's Attorney General is calling on banks to put it in writing when it comes to foreclosing on distressed borrowers in the Bay State. Coakley wants to make sure the banks are following new rules and provisions that allow for loans to be modified when there is a second mortgage on a piece of property. A GoLocal investigation earlier this year revealed that several big banks were accused of fraudulent foreclosures in Massachusetts, and any help Coakley can give to the state's homeowners facing foreclosure is a welcome sign.

Elizabeth Warren: After calling on her supporters to sign an online petition to force the Senate GOP to take an up-or-down vote on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray, Warren sent out another email blast on Thursday to solicit funds for her PAC for a Level Playing Field. Warren already proved she could raise massive amounts of cash with her Senate run against Republican Scott Brown, and the leadership PAC, formed back in December and bearing one of her main campaign slogans, will help her raise money for other Democrats' campaigns.


Ed Markey: The veteran Congressman and Senate hopeful got himself into a bit of trouble this week when it became public that he will be holding a fundraiser co-hosted by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who resigned his office back in 2008 following a prostitution scandal. Newly-minted MassGOP chair Kirsten Hughes went after Markey for the company he keeps, but the Democrat fired back that his Republican opponents should sign the People's Pledge that he and Lynch agreed to. Elsewhere, Markey ruffled feathers with comments he made comparing the Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United case to the Dred Scott ruling, which upheld slavery.

Scott Brown: The former Republican Senator should have left well enough alone, but instead he tried to explain away his erratic tweets a few weeks back by blaming them on his iPhone going off in his pocket and saying he hasn't been drunk since before he got married, creating a field day for enterprising parodists to poke fun at all his gaffes in recent years, which no longer can be excused by accidentally over-imbibing. Brown said he would consider the Governor's race in 2014, but he'll need to stop the recent slide soon if he hopes to stand a chance against the Democratic establishment.

Sean Bielat: Bielat was maybe in for the U.S. Senate race, but now he's definitely out. Even though the twice-failed candidate for Congress filed with the Federal Election Commission to set up a Senate campaign committee, he ultimately decided the race for Kerry's former seat wasn't for him, announcing on Wednesday that he would not run in this year's special election. Of course, over the six intervening days he was able to rack up any contributions supporters were willing to throw at him, whether in support of his expected candidacy or in order to try to encourage him to jump in the race. Instead, Bielat will just take those donations to the bank and bide his time until the next open seat.


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