CommonWealth Beacon takes the pulse of Massachusetts politics by examining the policies, personalities, and pressing issues shaping moves in local governance, on Beacon Hill, and among the state’s congressional delegation in Washington. 

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John Walsh remembered as optimist who worked for change 

Acclaimed strategist paved way for many ‘firsts’ in Massachusetts politics

Hundreds of people gathered in Faneuil Hall in Boston on Tuesday to remember John Walsh, a Democratic political strategist who is credited with reinvigorating campaigns with a focus on grass-roots organizing. 

Lawmakers playing chicken on Beacon Hill

Republicans have leverage, but only if they use it

Two high-stakes games of chicken are playing out on Beacon Hill – one between top Democrats in the House and Senate and the other between Democrats and Republicans in both chambers.

John Walsh was the ultimate grass-roots disruptor 

Democratic strategist and mentor to hundreds believed in people power

The most enduring impact of John Walsh was felt outside the headlines, where he reshaped how campaigns were waged and brought countless young people into the political fold with an encouraging message about their own ability and their potential to make a difference.

Mass Fiscal takes stock of past, future ballot Qs

Conservative group counts ranked choice denial as a victory

Leaders of the conservative Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance weigh in on ballot questions that were recently scuttled as well as those may be heading to the 2024 ballot.

At 90, Michael Dukakis still looks ahead

The state’s longest-serving governor remains an eternal optimist

Michael Dukakis remade the Massachusetts Democratic Party, suffered a bitter loss after winning his party’s nomination for president, then spent three decades teaching college students and preaching the virtues of public service, something he has modeled for more than six decades.

In Revere, Latino victory reflects a changing city

Union organizer Juan Jaramillo wins at-large city council seat

With his election victory on Tuesday to an at-large city council seat, Juan Jaramillo will become the lone Latino and only non-white official serving on the 11-member council.

Wu goes four for four in City Council races

Incumbent mayors do well, with 4 exceptions

Two years after her barrier-breaking victory, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu rallied behind four progressives looking for seats in the City Council. All four of her picks won in the low-turnout election, a feat without precedent in 40 years of Boston politics. 

Durant, amiable conservative, wins Senate seat

Republican campaigned hard against gun control, emergency shelter law

Durant swept to what appeared to be a double-digit victory in an election that offered a glimmer of hope that Republicans can actually win seats on Beacon Hill. An amiable conservative, Durant appealed to the rural, conservative-leaning voters in the central Massachusetts district and did a better job of getting his voters out in a…

Short takes: Extended hunt for SJC justice

Legend, Wu team up; MBTA vision barrier retool

“Third time’s the charm” is a proverb, not necessarily a legal doctrine. Even so, the team tasked by Gov. Maura Healey to help fill an upcoming vacancy on the state’s highest court is again extending the application deadline for people interested in becoming a justice on the Supreme Judicial Court.

Healey said abortion and LGBTQ-friendly policies make the state more competitive. Residents agree.

CommonWealth Beacon poll finds strong support for the socially liberal policies

In April, Gov. Maura Healey made an impassioned pitch to residents of other states: Massachusetts is the place to live, she said, if you care about abortion access and other civil rights. Results from the new CommonWealth Beacon poll suggest Bay State residents agree.


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