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

Friday, October 05, 2012


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


Scott Brown: The Republican Senator scored points early this week when he bested Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in Monday night's Senate debate at UMass-Lowell. The meeting was a must-win for Brown after Warren took round one, and by staying on the offensive he was able to keep the count at 1-1 with two more debates to go. The Senator followed up the performance with a stop in Worcester on Tuesday morning where he picked up the endorsement of Celtics legend and Worcester native Bob Cousy.

Commuter Rail Deal: Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, city and state officials and CSX representatives descended on Worcester Thursday morning to cut the ribbon and finalize the Commonwealth's $100 million rail deal. With three additional commuter rail roundtrips from the city to Boston set to join the daily schedule at the end of October, activity in and around Worcester should be on the rise soon.

Mitt Romney: To the surprise of voters on both sides of the aisle, the Republican presidential nominee made a strong showing in his first debate with President Barack Obama. By staying moderate, on message and engaged, Romney turned more than a few heads during the 90-minute face-off. If he can continue to build on Wednesday night's momentum, the presidential race is likely to get a lot more interesting in the coming weeks.

Worcester City Council: The City tackled the difficult issue of its $656 million liability for post-employment benefits head on by setting aside $5 million in next year's budget to start paying it off. At the same time, the City Council requested that City Manager Michael O'Brien look into the feasibility of adding another 20 police officers next year to follow the 20 new recruits set to start training later this month.

Energy Efficiency: For the second year in a row, Massachusetts was ranked the most energy-efficient state in the nation by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy on Wednesday. Governor Deval Patrick's 2008 Green Communities Act has been a driving force behind the Commonwealth's rising rank, and the state's clean energy economy, which employs over 71,000 people, has grown by more than 11 percent in the past year.


Barack Obama: The President's first debate performance was a disappointment to many. Obama seemed less than excited to be on stage, and even though it was his wedding anniversary, his lackluster showing only served to make his opponent Mitt Romney shine even brighter in comparison.

Elizabeth Warren: The Democratic hopeful also suffered from the expectations game in her second debate with Republican Senator Scott Brown. After winning the first meeting, Warren failed to bring anything new to the table in the second, which allowed Brown to continue his attacks on her Native American heritage and legal career.

Worcester Job Growth: The metro area has made virtually zero gains in employment since last August, according to data released this week from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As more and more long-term unemployed give up looking for work and drop out of the labor force, the economic outlook is bleak. Hopefully the additional commuter rail trains starting later this month will have a galvanizing effect on the city.

Bobby Valentine: After stumbling through the team's worst season since 1965, the first-year Red Sox skipper got the boot on Thursday. While the ball club was handicapped by injuries and personnel changes throughout the year, Valentine seemed to always be out of step with the organization, except when it came time to fire him.


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