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

Friday, September 28, 2012

 

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

Hot

Jim McGovern: Even though the Congressman is not facing a Republican opponent this November, he has stayed active on the campaign trail in Central Mass. McGovern joined former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley at Thomas Auto Body in Worcester to hear from local business owners and drum up support for Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren's new small business coalition.

John Tierney and Richard Tisei: Democratic Representative Tierney and his Republican challenger Tisei surprised everyone when they actually focused on the issues Thursday afternoon in their first debate at North Shore Community College. While the two candidates traded shots, they left the personal out of it, a refreshing change of pace in the current political climate.

Elizabeth Warren: In a week where the Massachusetts Senate race was largely beset by attacks and distractions, the Democrat picked up endorsements from Senator John Kerry and Boston Mayor Tom Menino. It's not much, but with the contest still close as it heads into its final weeks, every little bit counts.

MCPHS: The health sciences school announced plans to double the size of the student body at its Worcester campus over the next six years. The influx of new students--and all the development and economic activity they'll bring with them--will be a boon to the city's downtown area.

John Kerry: The Senator received a 100-percent rating from the American Association of University Women Action Fund for his work on and support for legislation advancing equality for the country's women. The nod to Kerry is a bright spot in an election season that has seen the revival of partisan debates over women's issues that many assumed to be long-settled.

Not

Warren's Native American Heritage: The controversy over whether the law professor ticked a box on her employment papers has persisted for months, distracting from the real issues in the important race. Things came to a head this week with Warren and Brown addressing the Democrats claims in campaign ads, and Native American groups have faulted them both for turning a cultural tradition into a talking point.

Scott Brown: The Republican Senator took a risk by going on the attack and continuing to question Warren's Native American heritage, and he paid the price when video emerged of his staffers and supporters performing tomahawk chops and war whoops. It may be time to get back to the good-guy independent image that helped him win his seat two years ago.

UMass Memorial Layoffs: With recent jobs numbers showing the Commonwealth's unemployment rate inching up to 6.3 percent, the announcement that the healthcare provider will eliminate 140 full-time positions in the coming months does little to boost the outlook for the Massachusetts economy. That the majority of the layoffs will be focused on the Medical Center in Worcester makes the news all the more painful for the city's residents.

MBTA: A state audit released on Thursday found that the T had somehow lost track of more than $100 million in fares between 2006 and 2011. No one knows where the money, gathered by the MBTA's automated fare collection system, went, but with 12 keys to the machines' cash boxes missing, it will be a while--if ever--before it's found.

State Drug Lab: The scandal involving chemist Annie Dookhan that has thrown thousands of Massachusetts criminal cases into jeopardy keeps getting worse. After officials discovered that she lied about an advanced degree on her resume and former co-workers admitted to never voicing their concerns about her work, Governor Deval Patrick said criminal charges are likely to be forthcoming.

 

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