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  • April 16, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    A dozen Boston state representatives -- including the four in whose districts branch libraries are slated for closure -- have filed budget amendments aimed at saving those branches.

    The 12 lawmakers filed three amendments today; each would add a line item to the state budget for fiscal year 2011. The funds -- potentially over $3 million -- would be contingent on all 26 existing Boston Public Library branches remaining open through 2011.

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  • March 03, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I write about the newly-formed Cultural Caucus in the Massachusetts state legislature, and its unexpected first big issue: gaming.

    The group of about a dozen legislators (so far) is co-chaired by senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and representative Smitty Pignatelli.

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  • March 02, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    It's been rumored off and on, here and there, but now it's for real: South Boston state rep Brian Wallace will not run for re-election.

    Walsh is the fourth Boston rep not running for re-election, along with Marie St. Fleur, Willie Mae Allen, and Michael Rush -- who is running for the open seat of state senator Marian Walsh, who is not running for re-election.

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  • February 24, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    For the real Golden Dome junkies among you, who read my new article on dissent under Speaker Robert DeLeo and find yourselves wanting more data, you're in luck!

    Here are the Democratic state reps with the most and fewest total "votes off" -- opposite DeLeo -- cast on 214 roll call votes since DeLeo became speaker, that were examined by the Phoenix

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  • February 24, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I write about the level of intraparty dissent under the current Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Robert DeLeo.

    Two years ago, I wrote that "voting off" -- that is, casting roll-call votes contrary to then-Speaker Sal DiMasi -- had virtually ceased in the House.

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  • January 22, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Frank" asks via email:

    Do you think that Scott Brown's defeat will have any impact at all on the Beacon Hill hacks in the Legislature? Will these clowns get any serious opposition in either September or November? Do you think we will see not only GOP challengers to incumbents, but Democrats in the primary - tired of the nonsense going on in the State House?

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  • December 16, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    --Do you think the state house of representatives sits around and brainstorms ways to further lose the public's trust and confidence, or do you think it just comes to them naturally?

    --And, same question for the Boston Fire Department.

    --Meanwhile, this really begs the question: What would it take for the MBTA director of safety to lose her job?

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  • December 11, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Caroline" asks:

    Can the State House of Representatives vote out Willy Lantigua? If so, do you think they should?

    Lantigua is the newly elected mayor of Lawrence, who has decided to serve out his term as state rep, doing both jobs (and taking both salaries) for the year. I believe the House can force him out, but I'm sure they will not.

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  • December 11, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Anonymous" asks:

    In 2010 elections, are all state senators up for reelection or just half of them?

    And "Shady_Milkman" asks, via Twitter:

    Will there be any competitive races against incumbents for Staterep/senate this year?

    All 40 Massachusetts state senators -- and all 160 state reps -- are up for re-election every two years.

    Read More

  • October 02, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    Here's a great question, from "Sammy":

    Who are your favorite political staffs to deal with, whether it be mayor's office, city council, state, etc?

    Before I answer, I want to say that I've just realized that our snazzy new blog format is not showing that I am indenting the questions in these answer posts, like the one above.

    Read More

  • October 02, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Joel" asks:

    How many seats (if any) will the Mass GOP pick up in the legislature in 2010?

    That is a great question. Quick wild-guess prediction: they gain one in the senate, and five in the house. In other words, not a huge comeback, but at least a step in the right direction.

    They should gain a lot more, of course. The state is overflowing with disgust for the politicians under the golden dome -- which I don't think is based much on party, but the fact is the incumbents are all Democrats, so anti-incumbent mood has the same effect.

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