• Our View: Legislature should heed voters on redistricting

    Salem Evening News

    It may already be too late for this decade, but lawmakers ought to give serious consideration to the idea of having an independent commission, rather than their partisan selves, redraw congressional and legislative districts.

    A new MassINC poll shows that’s the clear preference of an overwhelming majority of voters in the Bay State.

  • Poll: Public favors independent panel for congressional redistricting

    Patriot Ledger

    Beacon Hill Democrats and the public sharply disagree on the fairest way to redraw the state’s voting districts, a new poll shows.

    Two-thirds of Massachusetts residents favor putting an independent commission in charge of the process, according to a statewide survey conducted last week by MassINC Polling Group, a nonprofit organization.

  • Bay Staters favor independent redistricting panel – Belmont Citizen

    Belmont Citizen-Herald

    Sixty-two percent of Massachusetts residents favor using an independent redistricting commission to redraw the political boundaries before the 2012 elections compared to just 23 percent who said they prefer to have the Legislature handle the task, according to a new poll conducted by MassINC.

    Massachusetts is poised to lose one of its 10 Congressional seats in the decennial redistricting process based on 2010 Census data that showed the state’s population growing more slowly than other parts of the country, namely the south and west.

  • Wages rise for all, but gap widens

    Boston Globe

    The state needs to focus more energy on developing its pool of workers with only some college education, or a high school diploma and professional certification, said Ben Forman, research director at MassINC, a Boston public policy research firm.

    “There are still a lot of unanswered questions about our economic future and the fate of the Massachusetts middle class,’’ he said. “How is our education system doing at preparing people at lower skill levels through the community college system? . . . I don’t think we are.’’

    State secretary of education Paul Reville said his department is “painfully conscious’’ of the challenges.

  • Putting money where jobs are

    Putting money where jobs are

    No more state tax breaks for pizza parlors, hair salons, or convenience stores.

    Massachusetts is now sharply limiting which companies receive valuable subsidies intended to encourage businesses to relocate or expand operations in the state.

    To address issues raised by the Globe, the state adopted new regulations earlier this year to limit which companies would be eligible for the subsidies and to give state economic development officials more discretion over the awards.


  • From old factories to new hope

    The Boston Globe

    About six years ago, the City of Haverhill decided to count its blessings. After decades spent wishing for new factories to replace those that had closed in the 1970s, the city chose another direction. Like an addict struggling to turn his life around, Haverhill forced itself to tally its assets and debits honestly.

    Those empty mills whose turrets soared above the deserted downtown? Since the ’70s they had been a sad symbol of lost prosperity; but their architecture pointed in another direction, as loft apartments or space for smaller, more innovative companies. Then there were train lines. Haverhill, fortunately, had two: A well-traveled MBTA service to Boston, and a stop on the then-new Amtrak “Downeaster,’’ which journeys north to Maine and south to Boston.

  • With carrots and sticks state can improve cities governance

    The Boston Globe

    Right now, state officials rarely enmesh themselves in a struggling city’s financial affairs until it’s in deep trouble, and then they improvise a solution on the fly. That’s how Chelsea ended up in receivership in 1991, and how the Legislature came to put Springfield under a tough financial control board in 2004. And that was the situation last year when Lawrence’s newly elected mayor, William Lantigua, went to Beacon Hill for help after inheriting a budget deficit that was estimated at $20 million.

  • Time to Rethink Transportation Financing

    The Worcester Business Journal

    Getting the public more focused on transportation investment begins with empowering communities to shape this vital infrastructure. In contrast to many other states, transportation in Massachusetts is largely financed by the state. The gas tax, sales tax, and tolls are all collected statewide and redistributed around the commonwealth. In a number of ways, this centralized approach has undeniably contributed to the difficult challenges Massachusetts now faces.

  • Housing plans for pricy Boston dont fit gateway cities needs

    Boston Sunday Globe

    In Boston, many middle-class people struggle, even in a soft housing market, to pay the going rate for homes and apartments. In the gateway cities, the problem is precisely the opposite: Affordable housing abounds even in what might seem like prime central locations, and market-rate housing is either dilapidated or lacking altogether.

  • Mobility means more vigor for states gateway cities

    The Boston Globe

    As policymakers in Massachusetts have come to grips with the possibilities of “smart growth,’’ an answer has emerged: By beefing up the MBTA commuter rail system, Massachusetts could spur the transformation of old factory buildings near train stations in mill cities into complexes that mix residential and commercial uses, while taking pressure off the state’s ever-diminishing amount of open space. In this spirit, Governor Patrick has vowed to start work on the long-planned commuter rail line to Fall River and New Bedford.

  • State’s gateway cities need a new opportunity to flower

    The Boston Globe

    Built to be important places in the world, cities like New Bedford, Brockton, and Haverhill are now struggling to make their presence felt in a state that caters far more to its capital and suburbs. Thanks in part to state housing policies, many of the gateway cities lack any hint of an upscale neighborhood. They serve instead as clearinghouses for the Commonwealth’s neediest — people evicted from Boston, priced out of the suburbs, unable to find services in rural areas.

  • MassINC urges state transport funding to focus on local efforts

    Springfield Republican

    The strategy paper, titled “Next Stop, Massachusetts: Strategies to Build the Bay State’s Transportation Future and Keep our Economy Moving” calls for regionalizing multi-modal systems that support local economies, allowing voters to have more control over transportation financing and making transportation spending more efficient.

  • MassINC releases report on transportation

    The Boston Business Journal

    The strategy paper, titled “Next Stop, Massachusetts: Strategies to Build the Bay State’s Transportation Future and Keep our Economy Moving” calls for regionalizing multi-modal systems that support local economies, allowing voters to have more control over transportation financing and making transportation spending more efficient.

  • Baker lays his loss to a narrow window

    The Boston Globe

    In a 971-word e-mail to supporters with the subject line “Thank you, thank you, thank you,’’ the vanquished Republican praised his backers for helping him build a credible campaign and said, “my inability to bring it all the way home for you hurts, more than almost anything else.’’

    Baker also offered his own analysis of why he lost to Patrick.

  • Women the key to Governor Patricks re election over Baker

    Watertown Press

    Baker’s margin among unenrolled voters was well short of what was needed to overcome Democrat’s statewide advantage in party registration. Patrick’s huge margin among female voters, which echoed the gender gap from pre-election polling, easily overcame Baker’s smaller advantage among male voters.

  • Poll Baker fell short among unenrolled and women- Belmont Citizen

    Belmont Citizen-Herald

    According to the MassINC Polling Group poll results, Baker registered a 13 percent advantage over Patrick among male voters and won by 14 percent among unenrolled voters, while losing among Democrats by a 79-14 spread and losing the female vote by 24 points.

  • A Post Mortem On The 2010 Governors Race

    WBZ Radio 1030

    The MassINC Polling Group’s survey finds Baker had a 13 percent advantage over Patrick among male voters, and he won by 14% among unenrolled voters.   The bad news is that he lost among democrats, picking up 14% of the vote, and was down 24 points among female voters.

    The WBZ Virtual Political Roundtable looks at the numbers and more.

  • In governors race Baker outpaced Patrick in MetroWest

    Lexington Minuteman

    Out of 22 towns and cities in this region, Patrick carried four – Framingham, Natick, Sudbury and Wayland. Baker won the other 18 communities.

    While Patrick prevailed in the two most populous towns in the area by thousands of votes, Baker ultimately brought in more votes in the region overall – 82,551 to 74,465.

  • Poll suggests contest is a dead heat with few left undecided

    The Boston Globe

    “What the poll shows is that it’s wide open,’’ said Steven Koczela, the president of MassINC Polling Group, which conducted the survey of 400 likely voters between Oct. 13 and Oct. 15. The 10th District covers the South Shore from Quincy to Plymouth and Cape Cod. Keating and Perry are running to replace US Representative William D. Delahunt, Democrat of Quincy, who is retiring after seven terms.

    The race has been a national priority for Republicans, in part because Senator Scott Brown won the district by 20 points in the special Senate election in January, raising GOP hopes they could take the seat and end the Democratic lock on the state’s House delegation.

  • Poll says Jeffrey Perry and William Keating in dead heat

    The Boston Herald
    When 400 likely voters were initially asked who they preferred, Perry came out on top 41 percent to 40 percent, with 13 percent of the voters undecided. Independents garnered only 4 percent collectively.

    This is the first public indication of what voters might be thinking as the Nov. 2 election approaches. Both the Republican and Democratic parties are pumping significant amounts of cash into the race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. William Delahunt.

  • Poll shows Massachusetts residents have dim view of future

    The Springfield Republican
    Polling results from just Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire counties seemed to mirror the statewide results, President Steven Koczela said. 

    In this region, 19 percent thought the next generation would be better off compared with 20 percent statewide; 36 percent thought the economy would improve in six months compared with 41 percent statewide.

  • Poll Dead heat in the 10th Congressional District race

    The Patriot Ledger

    A survey of 400 likely voters in the district – which stretches from Quincy down the South Shore to Cape Cod and the Islands – shows Democrat William Keating has a slight edge – 46 to 43 percent – over Republican Jeffrey Perry.

    The poll was conducted by WGBH and the MassINC Polling Group. The poll’s margin of error is 4.9 percentage points.

  • The Income Gap

    The Boston Globe

    Massachusetts is emerging from the recession ahead of other states, with job creation on the rise. However, the state leads the country (it is tied for first place with Arizona) in having the largest gap between the haves and have-nots, according to the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.

  • MASS MARKET More inclusive business leaders emerge in Boston

    MASS. MARKET: More inclusive business leaders emerge in Boston – The Patriot Ledger

    The cult of the CEO could be disappearing, at least here in Boston. It wasn’t that long ago when guys – and yes, they were almost always guys – like Chad Gifford, David D’Alessandro and Larry Fish called the shots. Fleet and BankBoston are now vestiges in Bank of America’s vast empire. John Hancock takes its orders from a Canadian corporate parent. And Citizens Bank’s autonomy from the Royal Bank of Scotland has been whittled away.

  • Former factory cities hope state law boosts investment

    Former factory cities hope state law boosts investment- The Boston Globe

    The Economic Development Act signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick last month contains several tax and funding provisions that open the way for more public and private investments in 24 so-called “Gateway Cities,’’ including 10 in this region.

  • Milford to get idea-sharing website

    Milford Daily News

    A new website geared toward getting Milford residents talking about the issues that matter most to them will be launched next week by a Massachusetts think tank.


    Localocracy is an online town hall forum that gives residents and local politicians a place to go to discuss town issues – everything from road construction to Proposition 2 1/2 tax overrides.


    The reason Milford was selected as Localocracy’s third town is because it was identified by MassINC as a “bellwether” community, meaning it consistently reflects how the rest of the state and nation votes in elections.


    “The point of this project is to let Milford residents talk about what is important to them and use this website as a vehicle to hash out local issues,” said Bruce Mohl, editor of CommonWealth Magazine, which is published by MassINC.

  • New political map puts Deval on the defense

    MetroWest Daily News

    Four years ago, the Democratic Party reached a new apex in Massachusetts with the landslide election of Deval Patrick as governor. And the demographics seemed to portend further happy days, with Democrats doing especially well among growing populations such as non-whites, urban residents, and college graduates. New voters were another source of encouragement, as exit polls in November 2006 gave Patrick a whopping 66 percent among voters under 30. Barack Obama’s victory in Massachusetts in the 2008 presidential election seemed to put an exclamation point on the pro-Democratic trend.


    But just over seven months ago, the moods of the two major parties in Massachusetts did a complete switch.

  • Cahill, Stein earn their places

    The Boston Globe

    Independent candidate Tim Cahill began his closing statement in Monday’s first gubernatorial debate with a plea to be included – along with Green-Rainbow party candidate Jill Stein – in subsequent debates. Then he and Stein went on to show, with their contributions to the debate on Cape Wind, that they bring thoughtful, distinct perspectives the voters deserve to hear.

    The single-issue focus of the debate provided a lens through which to view each candidate’s larger philosophy.

    Suffolk University, and especially the non-partisan think tank MassINC, deserve credit for producing a well-mannered and substantive debate that hopefully sets the tone for the rest of the campaign. Cahill and Stein both contributed to that substance, and have earned a place on future stages.

  • Nuclear Needed

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette

    The four candidates hoping to win this fall’s gubernatorial contest finally got down to business Monday night with a debate that focused largely on energy, including nuclear power’s role. 

    GOP challenger Charles D. Baker and independent candidate Timothy P. Cahill were sharpest, calling for more nuclear investment. Mr. Cahill said it is important to renew the operating license for the Pilgrim station, and contrasted the 10 percent of electricity that Massachusetts gets from nuclear to the 74 percent Vermont enjoys. 

    Gov. Deval Patrick expressed support for nukes, but also concern over waste disposal. In fact, the technical challenges of waste disposal have been largely solved. The cancellation of plans for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository was driven not by science, but by politics. Political leaders, including governors, must help change that dynamic. 

    Most disappointing was Green Rainbow candidate Dr. Jill Stein, who declared, “Absolutely no, we don’t want to go nuclear,” and said it would be “incredibly foolhardy” to back further nuclear subsidies. She cited the wildfires threatening Russian nuclear facilities and areas contaminated by fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. 

  • Wind farm powers gubernatorial debate

    Cape Cod Times

    The Bay State’s gubernatorial candidates duked it out yesterday over Cape Wind and its effect on climate change, the state’s economy and energy policy.

    But Democratic incumbent Deval Patrick, Republican Charles Baker, independent Timothy Cahill and Green-Rainbow Party candidate Jill Stein sparred over more than just the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm during a standing-room-only afternoon debate at Suffolk University’s C. Walsh Theatre.

    The candidates answered questions on natural gas production, re-licensing the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth and energy efficiency. The audience also learned their philosophies on government intervention in economic markets.

    Baker and Cahill pushed Patrick on the cost of Cape Wind, arguing that the project has been given preferential treatment and that it will hurt businesses and consumers.

    Patrick is the only one of the four who supports Cape Wind. Stein’s concerns are based on transparency and process issues; she expressed no concern with the environmental impact or project location.

    The debate was sponsored by MassINC and CommonWealth magazine.

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