Democrat Katherine M. Clark cruised to victory Tuesday, capturing the US House seat long held by Edward J. Markey, in a lightly contested special election.
She will become just the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House.
Turnout appeared to be very low in a race that was an anticlimactic coda to the fiercely contested seven-way Democratic primary that Clark won in October.
A state senator from Melrose, Clark easily defeated three-little known opponents.
With 51 percent of precincts reporting, Clark had 65 percent of the vote to 33 percent for Republican Frank J. Addivinola Jr. Two independents, James Hall and James Aulenti, each had about 1 percent.FULL ENTRY
Turnout appeared to be very light in Tuesday’s special election to replace Edward J. Markey in the US House. In Cambridge, just 4 percent of eligible voters had showed up as of 11 a.m., according to Lesley Waxman, assistant director of the city’s Election Commission. In Melrose, city clerk Mary Rita O’Shea estimated that turnout was about 10 percent as of 3:30 p.m. Or, as she put it, “It’s low.”
Secretary of State William F. Galvin had predicted that as few as 10 percent of elegible voters might show up in the Fifth Congressional District, which reaches from Woburn to Watertown and from Winthrop to Southborough.FULL ENTRY
They won’t again get caught napping. At least, they say they won’t.
Democrats understandably uncertain about former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown’s political intentions have ratcheted up their defensive mechanisms as Brown has fed speculation he could run for Senate again – this time in New Hampshire
On Thursday night, the Democratic National Committee circulated video of Brown in New Hampshire appearing to talk about Massachusetts voters when he wanted to be talking about Granite State voters.FULL ENTRY
Attorney General Martha Coakley sketched out plans Thursday for how she would improve the state’s education system if she were elected governor next year, including lengthening the academic day and calendar.
At a South End school, Coakley said she wanted increased access to pre-kindergarten and to bolster underperforming school districts with “wrap-around services” that help children beyond sheer education.FULL ENTRY
The National Archives on Thursday will release most of the remaining withheld files of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, among the most sought-after government documents from the Cold War.FULL ENTRY
Massachusetts’ population will grow dramatically older over the next two decades, with one in five residents over the age of 65 by 2030, according to a new demographic forecast.
The overall population during that time is expected to grow much more slowly than the rest of the nation, threatening to dilute further the Bay State’s political clout in Washington. The University of Massachusetts study pegs the state pace at 4.4 percent between 2010 and 2030, while the country as a whole is expected to grow by 15.6 percent.FULL ENTRY
Senator Elizabeth Warren, whose political future has been the subject of intense speculation, said Wednesday that she would not run for president in 2016, her most ironclad statement yet.
“I pledge to serve out my term,” which ends in 2018, Warren said, when pressed during a news conference in Boston with Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh.FULL ENTRY
Massachusetts taxpayers can look forward to a little New Year’s gift: the state income tax rate will automatically drop to 5.2 percent from 5.25 percent on Jan. 1 because state revenues are coming in above projections.The state Department of Revenue plans to release more information about the automatic tax cut later today, including how much the average taxpayer can expect to save. The tax cut will cost the state about $65 million in lost revenue in 2014. The tax cut is being triggered by a 2002 state law that automatically cuts the income tax rate when revenues exceed benchmarks, essentially returning the state’s projected surplus to taxpayers.FULL ENTRY
US Representative Stephen Lynch on Monday introduced a resolution urging President Obama to release 28 still-secret pages from a congressional probe conducted after the attacks of September 11, 2001, that he maintains will shed new light on the worst terrorist assault in US history.
The South Boston Democrat, along with Representative Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina, recently reviewed the pages, which were almost entirely blacked out when the so-called Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001 issued its final report in December 2002. “These pages contain information that is vital to a full understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding this tragedy,” the South Boston Democrat, who said he has reviewed the pages, said in a statement.FULL ENTRY
Charlie Baker, the leading Republican candidate for governor, named former state representative Karyn Polito as his running mate on Tuesday, calling her a public servant in the mold of “one of both of our mentors – the late, great Paul Cellucci.”
Standing in a crowded diner in Polito’s hometown of Shrewsbury, Polito said she and Baker had bonded over their tenures in local government, their families, and a shared optimism for Massachusetts.FULL ENTRY
Democratic pragmatists are unhappy with Democratic idealists, believing that the latter group’s passion for raising the minimum wage could cost the party next November. At issue is a progressive push to raise the state’s minimum wage. The state Senate last month voted to boost the floor rate to $11 by 2016 and index future increases to inflation. House Speaker Robert DeLeo, under pressure from unions and progressive activists, has said his chamber will address the measure after the new year. And, lurking in the wings, is a petition headed for the Nov. 2014 ballot that would bolster the minimum wage by 50 cents less, still tied to inflation.FULL ENTRY
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Juliette Kayyem unveiled a blueprint for criminal justice reform today that calls for rethinking sentencing for drug offenders, creating a statewide task force to examine corrections programs, and allocating more money for inmate job training and health services.
The six-page plan was formally rolled out at an event at 50’s Diner in Dedham.
“The criminal justice reform plan is a continuation of Juliette’s promise to bring bold innovative ideas to tackle tough problems,” the Kayyem campaign said in a statement.FULL ENTRY
WASHINGTON — The image depicted the Air Force’s menacing F-35 fighter-bomber approaching at high speed above the words, “Hey Ice Cream Man . . . The Jets are coming.” The identity of the ice-cream man was never in doubt. Ben Cohen, cofounder of Vermont’s Ben & Jerry’s, said he viewed the rhetorical assault by a group of F-35 boosters as a victory. “I consider it a badge of honor,” the 62-year-old Vermont confection mogul said in a recent interview. Cohen has embarked on a unique undertaking in the world of philanthropic entrepreuers: combatting what he considers bloated, wasteful Pentagon weapons programs.FULL ENTRY
Vice President Joe Biden, in keeping with four decades of tradition, is on Nantucket for Thanksgiving
Vice President Joe Biden, keeping up a tradition spanning nearly four decades, is back on the shores of Nantucket for Thanksgiving. When Biden and his wife, Jill, began making the trek from Delaware, they were still dating. It was 1975. Later, they would pack their two boys -- and later still, their daughter -- into a car and take the Hy-Line Cruises ferry from Hyannis, staying in a rental house. Since he became vice president, the travel has become a bit more elaborate. He arrived Tuesday aboard Air Force Two, which landed at Nantucket Memorial Airport.FULL ENTRY
The Massachusetts congressional delegation is once again pushing to keep open six air traffic control towers in the state that are in jeopardy due to the lack of a long-term budget deal.
With the government now running on a ``continuing resolution’’ after the government shutdown this fall, the Federal Aviation Administration has the option of closing local air traffic control towers. Massachusetts’ legislators want to avoid that possibility, which was averted earlier this year after lawmakers approved temporary funding.FULL ENTRY
Two unlikely Senate partners are joining forces with a bill that would protect elderly, low-income veterans from scam artists who try to steal a portion of their federal benefits. Senators Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat, and Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act Thursday called the Veterans Care Financial Protection Act.FULL ENTRY
As the world remembers President John F. Kennedy’s legacy and Friday marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination, Kennedy’s great nephew is requesting that Congress consider memorializing one of his key policy initiatives, the Peace Corps. Massachusetts Representative Joseph P. Kennedy testified Thursday before the House Committee on Natural Resources for a bill that would allow the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation to establish a memorial on federal land in the District of Columbia.FULL ENTRY
WASHINGTON – Barney Frank, the former congressman who was among the first to publically promote Elizabeth Warren as a Senate candidate, said Tuesday that she would be a strong contender for president if Hillary Clinton chooses not to run. “If Hillary doesn’t run she’s going to be very much in the mix,” Frank, who retired in January, said in a phone interview.FULL ENTRY
Democrats have enjoyed a long run of one-party hegemony on Beacon Hill, but on Wednesday their two leading candidates for governor found themselves a bit out of tune.
Both state Treasurer Steven Grossman and Attorney General Martha Coakley attended a morning fund-raiser for Senate majority leader Stanley C. Rosenberg, whose likely ascension to the chamber’s presidency ensured a healthy attendance.
Grossman arrived first, but could only look on as Coakley was ushered to the head of the receiving line waiting for Rosenberg, according to multiple lobbyists who attended the feting at Carrie Nation, a Beacon Hill restaurant that opened earlier this year.FULL ENTRY
Bowing to intense political pressure from within his own party, President Obama announced Thursday that he will allow health insurance companies to provide insurance coverage that falls short of the Affordable Care Act’s new standards for an additional year. Purging substandard plans, which carry low premiums but weak coverage, from insurance markets around the country was a key goal of the president’s 2010 health care reform law. But Obama had promised Americans multiple times that they would be allowed to keep their insurance under his new law, if they liked them. So when insurance companies sent out hundreds of thousands of cancellation notices for non-compliant plans in recent weeks, it created a political furor.FULL ENTRY
Although Massachusetts has made great strides in providing quality healthcare to most residents, there is more work to be done, Attorney General Martha Coakley is set to say in a speech Friday. In particular, the state needs to increase access to mental health treatment, an issue that is deeply personal to Coakley: her brother committed suicide in 1996.
Coakley, who is running for governor, has rarely spoken about his death during her long career as a public official, though she has brought it up more frequently in the last few years.
“My younger brother Edward was a brilliant person — he was smart, funny, a great pianist. He also suffered from depression,” she is set to say in a speech at the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans’ annual conference in Boston. “When he was 33 years old, he committed suicide.”FULL ENTRY
Two top Democratic hopefuls for governor have released web videos in recent days, offering a peek into the messaging they are likely to emphasize over the course of a long campaign. Both Treasurer Steven Grossman and Attorney General Martha Coakley highlight efforts their respective offices have made to help people in the state.
In a highly-produced video released today, Grossman introduces himself to voters, speaks about his career as a businessman, and notes some actions he has taken as treasurer.
When he took office, he says he was troubled to find much of the state’s reserve deposits were invested in foreign banks. So, he says, he started a program to put more state deposits in local banks.FULL ENTRY
FRAMINGHAM — Sporting a tie decorated with Christmas lights in celebration of his 57th birthday, gubernatorial hopeful Charles D. Baker bounded into Panza Shoes on Wednesday afternoon and made a cheerful declaration to everyone in the store: He was going to buy some new footwear.
“I could really use another pair of dress shoes. I’m like 12D, maybe,” he told Robert Bronzetti, an employee at the shop in downtown Framingham.
Baker, who launched his campaign for governor in September with a promise that a more authentic version of himself would emerge on the trail than during his losing 2010 effort, was relentlessly -- often boyishly -- cheerful during an hour-long tour Wednesday of this town a half-hour drive west of Boston.FULL ENTRY
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren continued her crusade against the ``Goliath’’ banks of Wall Street on Tuesday, saying not enough has been done to protect the middle class in the wake of the 2008 recession. In a speech to the Americans for Financial Reform and the Roosevelt Institute, Warren took large swings at both the Obama administration and Congress for not following up when regulators missed deadlines to impose new under the 2010 Dodd-Frank legislation.FULL ENTRY
Eight days after Martin J. Walsh was elected mayor of Boston, the race to succeed him as the state representative for a diverse swath of Dorchester is heating up.
Dan Hunt, director of government affairs at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, said late Tuesday he would be a candidate for the 13th Suffolk District.
“I’m running because I have a strong commitment to public service, the neighborhood, and its people,” said Hunt, who appears to be the first person to jump in the race.FULL ENTRY
The Massachusetts Republican Party asked the state campaign finance regulatory office Tuesday to create “a third-party investigation” into Attorney General Martha Coakley’s political spending.
In a letter to the Office of Campaign & Political Finance, Kirsten Hughes, the GOP state chairwoman, said any review of Coakley’s management of her political funds should be conducted outside the current system - which calls for the attorney general’s office to enforce campaign finance infractions as determined by the OCPF.
“It is unfair to ask OCPF to conduct an investigation when its findings would either exonerate Attorney General Coakley or result in OCPF asking the Attorney General to enforce the law against herself,’’ Hughes wrote.
“The obvious conflicts inherent in an OCPF investigation into the Attorney General’s conduct compel a departure from the normal course,’’ she said.FULL ENTRY
A new cover story on Senator Elizabeth Warren’s potential as a presidential candidate has created another wave of speculation about the liberal darling’s ambitions, and forced the Massachusetts Democrat to issue another denial to the Globe on Monday that she is not planning to run.
The article in this week’s New Republic has an especially provocative cover, a sea of people behind masks of Warren’s face, a riff on the poster for the movie “Being John Malkovich.” The article, by Noam Scheiber, poses the question of whether Warren would run for president in the event that presumptive favorite Hillary Clinton fails to aggressively fight Wall Street. It follows a recent front page story in the New York Times that speculated on a Warren run, noting her popularity with the left.FULL ENTRY