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Clips from CommonWealth‘s quarterly magazine and website come here to live. Hooray!


A super-awesome data-driven look at the 2014 elections by WBUR, MassINC Polling and CommonWealth. Click on over; the charts, graphs and maps are half the story.

Coakley won where it matters. Martha Coakley is your Democratic nominee for governor because she won big in the cities, where the Democratic base is strongest. September 11, 2014

Republicans follow Obama strategy on early TV buys. A Republican super PAC loves David Axelrod, kinda. September 5, 2014

Baker’s demographic dilemma. Republicans’ struggles with women are old news. Now, meet the Republican struggle with men. September 4, 2014

A tale of two primaries in Massachusetts. Women dominate the Democratic ballot, which is good news for Martha Coakley. September 3, 2014


spring2014w200Threading the Needle

For Massachusetts Republicans, it’s an increasingly narrow path to victory. The party’s two best hopes for major office in 2014 are plotting very different paths to get there. Spring, 2014

winter2014cover500widthDark Money Rising

Outside money, lots of it hard to trace, is flooding political races across the US, dramatically altering the campaign playing field. Wendy Kaminer, iconoclastic lawyer, civil libertarian, and political observer, and Liam Kerr, who heads a group that’s part of the spending spree but nonetheless worries about its impact, consider what it’s doing to campaigns and what, if anything, should be done about it. Winter, 2014

Post-Coal Decisions

What happens to coal power plants after they’re shut down? In Salem and Somerset, the answers don’t come easily. Winter, 2014

Fall2013Cover_w174The Zombie Coal Plant

Environmentalists want to kill off Brayton Point, a coal power plant that’s New England’s largest polluter. State officials prefer to sit back and let the market do the dirty work. Fall, 2013

City Maker’s Mark

Kendall Square’s turnaround didn’t happen by accident. Jesse Baerkahn — part lawyer, part broker, part urban cheerleader — talks about how it came about, and what it means for the way developers, residents and municipal officials bring neighborhoods to life. Fall, 2013


The New Campaign

In one race after another, candidates and operatives are returning to grassroots organizing and upending traditional political machines. Next stop: The all-out scramble for mayor of Boston. Summer, 2013

Managing Innovation

An interview with BRA Innovation District manager Nicole Fichera. Summer, 2013

spring2013Fear and Loathing on the Tax Trail ’13

The fight over higher taxes in Massachusetts is about everything but taxes. Spring, 2013


winter2013med2Cause Development

John Rosenthal is the state’s most prominent gun control activist, a crusader against homelessness, and an environmental activist. In his spare time, he’s also trying to pull off the first development project over the Massachusetts Turnpike in 30 years. Winter, 2013

fall2012A Bank for Infrastructure

If the state doesn’t have any money to pay for infrastructure improvements, can Wall Street help? Fall, 2012


Five takes on the Scott Brown-Elizabeth Warren Senate showdown. I look at what a victory map for either Brown or Warren would have to look like. Fall, 2012

Rumble in the Park

The Greenway has become a signature Boston destination, a vibrant ribbon of urban parkland. A battle over who should pay for its pricey upkeep is threatening its future. Summer, 2012

Finding her Voice

After a devastating Senate defeat, Martha Coakley is back. Spring, 2012

What’s Up with the Sales Tax?

It should ride the economy’s ups and downs, but is getting squeezed by high housing prices. Spring, 2012

Historical Roadblock

A standoff over land in Freetown casts a spotlight on a little-known agency with an outsized role over development in Massachusetts. Winter, 2012

Out of Reach

The housing bubble burst six years ago, but homeownership is even more elusive today for middle-class families in Massachusetts. Fall, 2011

Divining Devens

As the former Army base searches for its identity, a group of residents wants to form the state’s 352nd town. Summer, 2011


Who Does He Think He Is?

Dan Winslow is a veteran Republican operative turned freshman state rep. Now he is shaking up the State House with a flurry of policy proposals and a scathing critique of the Beacon Hill status quo. Spring, 2011

Money Talks — And Delivers

WinnCompanies has a history of giving big to politicians — and winning big when it comes to state and federal funding for its development projects. As federal investigators swirl around a company executive with ties to corrupt former senator Dianne Wilkerson, the real story isn’t about campaign finance fraud. It’s about what the company did legally. Winter, 2011

Raising the Bar

The race for auditor is grabbing little attention this crowded election season, but the office has the potential to wield enormous power. That potential hasn’t always been realized in the past. Will this year’s race yield a true watchdog? Fall, 2010

Power is a Money Magnet on Beacon Hill

As go the chairmanships, so go the campaign accounts. Oh, how the flush have fallen. Fall, 2010


State House on Trial. No legislators are being prosecuted in the federal Probation trial, but prosecutors are doing their best to dirty up Beacon Hill. May 20, 2014

Probation Defense: What Did Judge Mulligan Know? Forecasting the big clash of the trial over state hiring shenanigans. May 19, 2014

Probation Job was Answer to Woman’s Pension Play. The Senate president helped her land the position. May 19, 2014

Senate President Pushed Probation on Son of Judge. He dropped off flowers after landing the job. May 16, 2014

Young Reels in Lawyers in Probation Case. Judge in federal trial admonishes both sides to stop putting patronage on trial. May 12, 2014

Walsh at 101 Days. As he ticked off new initiatives, Boston’s new mayor sounded a lot like the old mayor. April 16, 2014

Super PAC Bill May Be Too Late to Cover Governor’s Race. The campaign finance package would impose stricter disclosure regulations. March 6, 2014

Compromising on Natural Gas. A Salem power plant developer will likely run its plant less often to comply with a lawsuit settlement. February 20, 2014

DeLeo’s Probation Problem. An upcoming federal corruption trial is likely to shine an unflattering light on the House speaker. January 30, 2014

Keenan Relents on Gas Plant Amendment. The lawmaker will let the SJC decide the fate of a Salem power plant. January 16, 2014

Communities of Color Key to Walsh’s Victory. Marty takes 101 of Boston’s 112 majority-minority precincts. November 8, 2013

Dark Money Flowing into Boston’s Mayoral Race. The influx of super PAC spending is unprecedented. October 24, 2013

Beacon Hill Blues. A post-debate recap arguing that Marty Walsh is being hamstrung by legislature’s go-along culture. October 16, 2013

The Color Line. Boston’s mayoral finalists make a big push in the city’s communities of color. October 15, 2013

No Letting Up. A campaign sketch/profile starring Boston mayoral hopeful John Connolly. September 12, 2013

The Natural. A campaign sketch/profile starring Boston mayoral hopeful Felix Arroyo. August 29, 2013

Vote Hunting. A campaign sketch/profile starring Boston mayoral hopeful Mike Ross. August 15, 2013

In Mayor’s Race, Out-of-Town Cash is King. A crowded field forces candidates to look to the suburbs. August 6, 2013

Biding his Time? Let’s speculate about Scott Brown’s political ambitions. July 27, 2013

Gomez’s TV Time Gap. The state GOP funds an ad campaign for the upstart Senate campaign. May 23, 2013

Markey’s Murky Path Forward. The towns where the would-be senator fared the best in his Democratic primary also had the weakest turnout performances. This is not an optimal trend. May 3, 2013

A No-Win Situation. The state gaming commission’s choice between licensing a tribal casino in southeastern Massachusetts, or a commercial one, comes down to a choice between imminent lawsuits. April 18, 2013

Patrick Threatens Veto, Calls DeLeo-Murray Plan “Pay More, Get Less.” The gov talks tough on transportation finance. April 4, 2013

Tax Tag Team. DeLeo, Murray rebuff Patrick with a smaller tax package. April 2, 2013

Taking Back Brockton. City officials cautiously eye taking underwater mortgages by eminent domain. February 28, 2013

Menino’s Ailments Slow His Fundraising. He’s way off the pace he set when he ran for reelection four years prior. February 7, 2013

Mr. Cowan Goes to Washington. After filling the last Senate vacancy with a Kennedy family friend, Patrick plugs a new vacancy with his own guy. January 30, 2013

GOP Rules Challenge House Lawmaking Process. Winslow targets Democrats on ethics. January 23, 2013

Patrick Pitches Spending, Punts on Funding Decision. The pitch for new transportation projects shows some political maturity. January 14, 2013

A Forgetful Cahill Defends Lottery Ads. The former state treasurer takes the stand in his ethics trial. November 30, 2012

Gateway Cities Key to Warren’s Senate Win. Forget the Boston turnout machine. Cities like Lawrence sent Elizabeth Warren to the Senate. November 14, 2012

Warren Turnout Machine Sweeps Brown Away. She wins with women, Dems, and new voters. November 7, 2012

Brown’s Bipartisan Money. The senator rakes in money from former Coakley donors. October 25, 2012

Warren Takes Lead in TV Ad Spending. She has a bigger field organization, and a 2-1 TV airtime edge in the Senate race’s final weeks. October 17, 2012

Coal-Fired Power in Massachusetts Down to Embers. August 17, 2012

BID Proposal Would Corral Landlords. A proposed law change would compel participation in the special tax districts. August 2, 2012

Greenway Standoff Continues. Conservancy insists that public funding of its parkland is crucial. July 27, 2012

Legal Ambiguities Face Mashpee Wampanoags. Lawmakers push to put a firm deadline on a tribal casino. July 16, 2012

Parking Politics. A Boston hospital hires a former Senate president to lobby for its bid to build a parking garage under a state park. June 29, 2012

Gambling Glitch. A burgeoning scandal in New York sheds a light on the differing standards between tribal and commercial casinos in Massachusetts. June 15, 2012

Storrow Drive Garage, Park Proposed. After losing its no-bid parking lot lease in a state park, a Boston hospital wants special legislation allowing it to build a garage under the park. June 14, 2012

Convention Center Chess. The convention facility’s massive expansion is notably absent from a state economic development bill. May 18, 2012

South Station Not on Track. The station overhaul, a lynchpin in everything from commuter rail expansions to high speed trains, is just crawling along. May 4, 2012

Cahill Lawsuit Leads to Indictment. The attorney general found enough to indict the former treasurer on state ethics charges in a lawsuit the treasurer himself filed against former campaign staffers. April 2, 2012

Essex Official Wants to Sue over Mortgage Mess. But he can’t; he’s elected to his job, but answers to the secretary of state. March 26, 2012

Lawyering Up on Beacon Hill. Lawmakers are scrambling to head off possible federal indictments. February 9, 2012

The Mashpee Mad Dash. Time is not in the would-be tribal casino owners’ favor. January 27, 2012

Galvin Trades Barbs with South Coast Officials. “We don’t expect belligerence and deceit,” the secretary of state says. January 24, 2012

Smart Growth Funds Running Out. A key housing fund goes unfunded. December 29, 2011

New Bedford Developer Sues over Gambling Law. Calls tribal provision an illegal racial set-aside. November 22, 2011

Somerville: End the Liquor License Cap. The city tries toppling a century of Brahmin rule. November 18, 2011

Court Rejects Parente Pension Claim. A former lawmaker can’t use travel payments to boost her pension. November 3, 2011

Playing Offense on Redistricting. Technology and open data change the game for voting activists. October 21, 2011

Greenway Lowers its BID Price. The parks conservancy has been chasing business improvement financing for more than a year now. September 30, 2011

Gambling Bill Could End up in Court. Attempts to tax tribal gambling are lawsuit bait. August 24, 2011

DiMasi Trial Pulls Back the Curtain. Courthouse testimony depicts a system gamed by powerful insiders. May 20, 2011

Bump Releases Report Critical of DeNucci. The new auditor audits the old auditor, and it isn’t pretty. May 5, 2011

At the T, Reform Gives Way to Revenue. The Green Line extension hinges on more money for transit operations. April 29, 2011

T Projects $1.1B Deficit over Next Five Years. The figure exceeds even the “bleak” outlook from a 2009 report. March 29, 2011

Convention Center Questions. The $1B expansion is no easy sell. March 22, 2011

Rumored Corruption. New documents show that the star witness in the Dianne Wilkerson trial gave the feds plenty of smoke, but no fire, on a host of other political wrongdoers. March 18, 2011

Lynch Pushes for Public Option. The South Boston congressman talks up government-run health insurance. February 14, 2011

DeLeo Doubles Down with Casino Allies. A leadership shakeup rewards the confrontational hawks in his inner circle. January 28, 2011

Turner Done in by his Own Words and Deeds. A lack of courthouse contrition, and acts of alleged perjury, lead to a stiff corruption sentence. January 26, 2011

Feds Float Turner Perjury Charge. The allegation precedes the former Boston city councilor’s sentencing hearing. January 13, 2011

Scott Brown Hits the Stump. The senator uses a business group speech as a reelection pitch. November 15, 2010

Finance Money Flows to Bielat. The businessmen Barney Frank regulates send money to his opponent. October 22, 2010

Tom Reilly’s Personal Endorsement. The former AG is still grinding an ax against the governor who ended his political career. October 15, 2010



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