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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NextEra tactics drive up costs for Mass. ratepayers

Maine ethics settlements highlight company’s secret funding efforts

NextEra has a lot of chutzpah. The Florida-based company portrays itself as one of the largest clean energy companies in the country, but for the last several years it has been doing everything it can to prevent the construction of a Massachusetts-financed transmission line carrying hydroelectricity from Quebec to New England. The company spent more…

Jane Swift’s life of public scrutiny and personal challenge

Former governor finds hope in grief, considers the changing place of women in public life

Swift’s years in elected office were marked by normal political scrutiny plus a fog of turn-of-the century skepticism that a young woman or a new mother could do the job. Now, with almost all of the state’s top constitutional offices held by women, the state and its media have been engaged in some self-reflection, considering…

SJC Justice Lowy to leave bench, take post as UMass counsel

Lowy will depart six years early to take high-paying job at his alma mater

Supreme Judicial Court Justice David Lowy will leave the bench on February 3 – well before the required retirement age of 70 – to serve as general counsel of the University of Massachusetts system.

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.


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