New In The Phoenix -- Deadline At The Statehouse

In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print and online now -- I write about two topics concerning state politics, and one concerning Mitt Romney.

In my column, I start by considering the backlog of legislation on Beacon Hill, with time ticking down to the July 31 end of the formal '09-'10 session, and wonder why there isn't a greater sense of urgency to move bills through considering how different things might be starting in 2011. And I suggest that part of the answer may be that inside the legislature, there's an assumption that they'll all be back to pick up on any unfinished business next January.

Think about it: have you heard anyone talk about this being, perhaps, the last two weeks for Deval Patrick to pass his legislative priorities? Have you heard anyone talk about this being, perhaps, the last two weeks for Democrats under the Golden Dome to pass legislation without a Republican holding the veto stamp and a larger GOP presence in the legislature?

It's certainly still very possible that Republicans, from Charlie Baker on down, could do very well here in November -- and one thing that might help them is the list of ballot initiatives officially approved by the Secretary of State last week.

That's the second part of my column. All three of this year's ballot questions are essentially anti-Beacon Hill measures, including two tax roll-backs. Millions will be spent, on both sides of the issue, and some feel that it figures to help stir the public mood for ousting the current residents.

And finally, in a separate item, I consider the proposed changes to the 2012 Republican Presidential primary calendar -- and how the drawn-out process could hurt the chances of former Governor Mitt Romney winning the nomination.

The column on state politics is here: He'll Be Back?

The Romney piece is here: Bad News For Mitt?

And you really should read this week's cover story, written by a guy who recently learned that his friend Misha is in fact an agent spying for the Russian government: My Buddy The Spy

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