Posted inPolitics

The anti-tax woman goeth

WHEN COMMONWEALTH MAGAZINE arrived on the scene 20 years ago, Barbara Anderson’s most public battles were already behind her. It was in that context that founding editor Dave Denison paid her a visit at the downtown offices of Citizens for Limited Taxation and then, a week later, at her “small, cluttered Marblehead home.” Anderson, who […]

Posted inPolitics

Reality sets in

As a candidate, Deval Patrick was highlysuccessful without “listening to the experts.”AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki. On a Friday afternoon in early November 2006, I went to the office of Michael Dukakis, deep in the political science warren at Northeastern University, to talk about the job he held for 12 years, longer than anyone before or since, […]

Posted inHealth Care, Politics

Cost unconscious

On a Wednesday afternoon in late April, I went to the John W. McCormack state office building, a pillar of bureaucracy a half-block east of the State House, and found my way into a basement-level meeting room. There, 11 members of the Health Care Quality and Cost Council sat in a U-formation in the windowless […]

Posted inHealth Care

Tough medicine

Photo by Frank Curran As of April 12, 2006, Jonathan Gruber became the most influential economist in Massachusetts government. That was the day Gov. Mitt Romney signed a sweeping health care reform law that had Gruber’s distinct fingerprints on it. Of course, at the Faneuil Hall bill-signing ceremony the cameras focused on Romney and key […]

Posted inPolitics

Recipe for success

shortly after the polls closed on election night, November 7, it was clear that voters from all around Massachusetts had turned out in droves to elect Democrat Deval Patrick as governor. At one point that evening, CBS4 political analyst Jon Keller went on the air with some wry advice for the governor-elect. Noting that there […]

Posted inEconomy, Politics

Tax Talk

Illustration by Ryan Heshka IF ALL GOES according to the standard script for governor’s races in Massachusetts, there will be a moment this fall, probably in a televised debate in late October as voters are finally paying attention, when the candidates are asked to declare their true feelings about taxes. No candidate will have any […]

Posted inUncategorized

A Visit With David Driscoll

The first day of September was looking pretty good for Education Commissioner David Driscoll. As he sat that afternoon in the conference room adjoining his office, he could see something more than the usual view from the fifth floor of the state Department of Education headquarters in Malden–he could see education reform in Massachusetts beginning […]

Posted inUncategorized

The Last Harrumph

PREFACE.This is my last issue as editor of CommonWealth. It was my intention, believe it or not, to go out with something light and lively in this space. I wanted to reflect on how much fun Massachusetts politics can be. I suspect that hasn’t been evident enough in our pages–that we enjoy our subject considerably. […]