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

Friday, March 01, 2013


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


Deval Patrick: The Governor turned to a direct appeal to voters with his ambitious budget this week, rolling out a series of 400 maps, two for each state Senate and House district, outlining all of the education and transportation investments for the specific area included in his FY14 proposal. The "Choosing Growth in Our Communities" play may prove to be a wise one if it can get enough local constituents to put pressure on their delegates and secure the support necessary to pass the state income tax hike Patrick has called for. Alternatively, the plan could backfire and actually decrease support for the governor's proposed $1.9 billion in additional revenue if voters and legislators decide the detailed maps show they're not getting enough bang for their tax bucks. It's a calculated risk Patrick seems willing to take.

Steve Grossman: The state Treasurer has already indicated that he's leaning strongly in favor of making a run for Patrick's office next year, and he used the podium at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce event this week to take his campaign pitch for a test run. Grossman's five-point plan for an ideal governor to lay out a vision for the Commonwealth, identify problems and then offer common-sense solutions, build a strong team around him or herself and embrace public accountability on a daily basis sounds pretty good in theory, but it remains to be seen how well a potential Governor Grossman could put it into practice.

Charlie Baker and Scott Brown: The two prominent Massachusetts Republicans are doing little to dispel the speculation that they might make a joint run for Governor and Lieutenant Governor in 2014. The two were at least reportedly working together as co-sponsors, along with several other GOP members, of a $3,800-a-plate fundraising dinner for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in Boston this evening. Newly-minted U.S. Senate candidate Michael Sullivan is also reported to be a sponsor. Whatever Brown and Baker's plans, both seem to be staying close to politics both inside the Bay State and out.

Caroline Kennedy: JFK's daughter is reported to be in the running for an appointment at U.S. ambassador to Japan. After backing Obama in 2008 and 2012, according to Bloomberg News, the President may be ready to return the favor with a nomination to the post. 


Sequestration: The impending budget cuts, in addition to the jobs and lives they will affect, are an ugly reminder of the gridlock and dysfunction that continue to plague the nation's capitol. With Massachusetts standing to lose $13.9 million in primary and secondary education funding and have roughly 7,000 civilian Department of Defense employees put on furlough, there are very real impacts on the local level from the inaction in the Beltway.

UMass Med and Biotech Park: The purchase of $40 million of real estate at the Biotech Park by newly-formed non-profit subsidiaries of UMass Medical School raised hackles in City Hall and elsewhere in light of the potential loss of around $1.5 million in tax revenue from the City's budget. While the school's chancellor said they will make every effort to secure taxable tenants for the space, the events served to highlight the fragility of the city's budget and certainly didn't win the school any friends this week.

Bill Eddy and Konnie Lukes: While several councilors signed onto an order to explore expanding the presence of food carts in Worcester, Councilors Eddy and Lukes both spoke out strongly against it, based largely on the perceived negative impact of such vendors on brick and mortar eateries and restaurants. However, the comparison seems to be apples to oranges, and the fact that a number of cities, such as Providence and Philadelphia, with thriving restaurant scenes also have thriving food truck scenes casts some doubt on the validity of the objection.


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