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Common Wealth: Who’s Hot And Who’s Not In Mass Politics?

Friday, October 12, 2012

 

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

Hot

Elizabeth Warren: The Democratic hopeful gave a great performance during her third debate against Republican Senator Scott Brown in Springfield on Wednesday. The policy-oriented debate played to Warren's strengths, and she was particularly effective when critiquing Brown's record in the Senate on women's issues. Warren then stopped in Worcester the following afternoon where she was joined by Congressman Jim McGovern and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray to mark the anniversary of Brown's vote against the American Jobs Act and rally support in Central Mass for the final stretch before Election Day.

Springfield: The Commonwealth's third-largest city had a good week. Brown and Warren faced off in Symphony Hall on Wednesday in an hour-long debate that was packed with shout-outs to Western Mass in general and Springfield in particular. Penn National Gaming became the third casino company to try to woo the city with the $807 million plan it released on Thursday. Now Springfield will have its pick, and whichever developer the city chooses, the casino project will be sure to give its economy a lift.

Worcester Regional Transit Authority: The WRTA recently scored $4.4 million in Federal Transit Authority Clean Fuels grants to purchase three zero-emission battery-electric buses. With the possibility of more clean vehicles in the pipeline, the transit authority has New England's second-largest city headed in the right direction.

Leominster: The city approved a new program that will allow veterans to work off up to $1,000 a year in tax reductions, making it the second municipality to take advantage of the state's Valor Act. The move will surely be welcome news to veterans, who often face an even more difficult job market after returning to civilian life. 

Joe Biden: The Vice President gave the performance that President Barack Obama failed to pull off in his own debate against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney last week. Biden gave a strong defense of the adminstration's actions over the past four years and did not hesitate to take a more aggressive and confrontational approach with Paul Ryan on Thursday night.

Not

Scott Brown: The Republican Senator seemed stiff in his third debate with Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren this week. Brown was not as aggressive in his attacks on Warren as he had been in their previous two meetings, and he suffered because of it. Warren can go after Brown's record from his two and a half years in the Senate, but if he is going to avoid the character attacks of earlier in the campaign, Brown needs to figure out what else he can hit back with.

Massachusetts Property Taxes: The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan tax research group, ranked the Bay State property taxes 47th in the nation in its 2013 Business Tax Climate Index. With per capita property taxes in excess of $1,800, the cost of locating to the Commonwealth presents a hurdle for individuals and businesses alike.

New England Compounding Center: 14,000 people have been exposed to contaminated steroids from the Framingham compounding pharmacy, with 169 taken ill and 14 already dead from fungal meningitis. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that more cases may still be forthcoming, and the Massachusetts Attorney General is investigating whether the pharmacy violated state regulations for the preparation of compounded medications.

Paul Ryan: The Republican Vice Presidential hopeful did not fare too well against the older and more experienced Biden. The age difference didn't help the Republican any, with Biden coming off as the seasoned veteran schooling the young upstart. Romney's matchup with Obama last week worked in the former Governor's favor. Unfortunately for Ryan, the roles of the two parties were reversed in Thursday's meeting because the VP candidate can do much better, but Biden's experience won out.

 

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