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Politics

Congress 2nd slackest in history

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — The 113th Congress will just have to settle for being bad instead of the worst — at least as far as productivity is concerned. President Barack Obama signed a whopping 51 bills Thursday, the White House announced, bringing the most recent tally of laws enacted in the past Congress to 286, according to a Los Angeles Times review. That would be just three more than the 283 public …

Governor gets high-level call on air

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has fielded calls on hundreds of subjects during his monthly “Ask the Governor” radio show. But this call was one of a kind. “Uh, Governor, this is Barack Obama, formerly of Somerville,” the caller began Thursday. “I’ve got a few complaints about service in and around the neighborhood, but I’ve moved down South since that time.” The …

Warren backers set up shop in Iowa

Thursday, December 18, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa — Liberal activists eager to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren into a run for president are working the ground in Iowa, the pivotal early-voting state where an organizing effort is already in place — for Hillary Rodham Clinton. MoveOn.org held a meeting Wednesday evening in Des Moines as part of its …

Group asks Baker to act on mental health policies

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Gov.-elect Charlie Baker should move quickly after taking office to address issues surrounding mental health treatment, including disparities between insurance payment rates for behavioral health and other medical services, an advocacy group said Tuesday. The Massachusetts chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness unveiled …

Moderates may wield clout in new Senate

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

WASHINGTON — Soft-spoken Republican Sen. Susan Collins is quite popular these days, fielding calls from President Barack Obama, members of the GOP leadership and top Democrats Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer. The outreach was more than just congratulations …

In party’s loss, Obama may see opportunity

Monday, November 10, 2014

WASHINGTON — With his party soon to be out of power on Capitol Hill, White House officials say President Barack Obama feels liberated by the prospect of detaching himself from Democrats who saw little role for him in …

Anger, low turnout fuel GOP rout

Thursday, November 6, 2014

WASHINGTON — Their rout complete, Republicans are celebrating sweeping victories from North Carolina to Colorado. The GOP’s success, however, may have as much to do with the dynamics of a low-turnout midterm election as widespread dissatisfaction with President …

Democrats suffer from shrinking share of white vote

Thursday, November 6, 2014

WASHINGTON — White voters of all ages were less likely to back Democrats this year than in elections past, helping Republicans nationwide but most acutely in the South — and overpowering Democratic efforts to turn out their core …

Non-binding questions on political corruption, legalizing marijuana approved Tuesday

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Non-binding ballot questions on strengthening anti-corruption laws for politicians and moving toward legalizing marijuana were approved Tuesday in two local legislative districts. Question 5 in most of the Hampshire, Franklin & Worcester District represented by state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst, instructed him to support legislation to “prohibit state …

Malloy wins re-election in Conn.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy narrowly won re-election Wednesday after an Election Day marked by polling problems in the state capital and a last-minute court battle in the campaign’s closing hours. Malloy’s re-election marked a rare win for Democrats on a night when Republicans gained complete control of …

Ralph Nader to lead weekend workshop at Rowe Conference Center

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

ROWE — Ralph Nader will be in Franklin County for the second time this year when he leads a weekend workshop at the Rowe Camp & Conference Center called “It’s Easier Than You Think: How You Can Change America.” The workshop, Friday night through Sunday, gives participants opportunities …

Obama, GOP see hope for compromise

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WASHINGTON — One day after sweeping Republican election gains, President Barack Obama and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to try and turn divided government into a force for good rather than gridlock on Wednesday, yet warned …

Baker, Patrick expect ‘seamless’ transition

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

BOSTON — The state’s current and future political leaders moved quickly Wednesday to close — publicly at least — any lasting wounds from a bruising race for governor that ended with Republican Charlie Baker narrowly defeating Democrat Martha …