By Adam Reilly | Thursday, January 26, 2012
Jan. 27, 2012
BOSTON — In a half-hour interview with WGBH News, Gov. Deval Patrick and host Emily Rooney covered everything from controversial legislation to his proposed budget to his Super Bowl bet with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. These are some of the highlights:
The Tim Murray scandal
Patrick defended the decision not to release the cell phone records of Lieutenant Gov. Tim Murray, who was involved in a mysterious early-morning crash last November. Patrick admitted it's possible to create a list of calls Murray made around the time of the accident — but thought generating that list would set a dangerous precedent.
"I can see where that would lead," he said. "I’m going to have everybody checking every single time I make a call to everybody or other and speculating what was said when it was said."
Murray has been expected to run for governor in 2014 but his changing explanations of the crash have raised doubts about his political future. However, Patrick maintained his staunch support for his deputy. "I love the guy and he's been a wonderful partner" in government, Patrick said. "Thank God he's alive."
Also casting a cloud are allegations that disgraced Chelsea housing chief Michael McLaughlin illegally raised money for Murray's campaign. Murray has asked for an investigation.
The allegations are "very, very concerning and I think the lieutentant governor was right to involve the Ethics Commission," Patrick said, adding that Murray "feels personally betrayed" by McLaughlin's actions.
The "three strikes" bill
As the Mass. House and Senate prepare to send Patrick legislation that could deny parole to some criminals, the governor warned the Legislature not to overreach.
He clarified the difference between what he wants and the currently debated proposals:
"There are two parts of what I'm looking for from the Legislature," he said. "One is to extend the period before which you are eligible for parole if you have committed three of these especially violent crimes. That does not mean that on the third one you get locked up forever. But it does mean the period within which you become eligible for parole would be extended. The Legislature, on both the Senate and the House side, has taken that a little bit further by eliminating the opportunity for parole for this list of crimes."
Patrick also said wants the Legislature to reduce prison terms for nonviolent drug offenders, saying, "We have been warehousing these folks for a long time" at great public expense.
By Emily Rooney | Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Jan. 25, 2012
WORCESTER — A year ago this month, former Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci went public with the fact that he is suffering from ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He’s been maintaining a full work schedule while at the same time spearheading a $10 million fundraising drive at UMass Medical School aimed at research into ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Cellucci deftly operates a wheelchair at the school. While he has lost some control in his arms and legs, his hands are still agile.
By WGBH News | Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Jan. 24, 2012
BOSTON — On Tuesday, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum released the final 45 hours of White House recordings from the end of the president's life. The tapes, which have been digitized and can be downloaded in full, cover topics including the war in Vietnam, relations with the Soviet Union ... and Kennedy's never-to-be-realized re-election campaign. WGBH News' Jordan Weinstein talked to JFK Library declassification archivist Maura Porter about the historical significance.
A few excerpts from the recordings:
On Nov. 12, 1963, the president meets with a team of political advisors for several hours to discuss details of the 1964 convention and the issues that might define the upcoming campaign.
Undersecretary of state George Ball tells Kennedy, "We don't want to be bogged down in Southeast Asia forever."
In the final seconds of taping, on Nov. 20, Kennedy talks about his plans for after he returns from Dallas.
By Sarah Birnbaum | Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Jan. 24, 2012
In the 25-minute speech, Patrick also renewed his support for the Legislature's three strikes bill, which would eliminate parole for individuals convicted three times of violent felonies like kidnapping, rape or murder. But he said at the same time, non violent drug offenders should be eligible for parole sooner.
Patrick also urged lawmakers to pass his bill dramatically changing the health care payment system. He said the current fee-for-service mode — where doctors and hospitals get paid for each test and procedure they order — just isn’t working.
After the speech, Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, said lawmakers have been working on a health care cost containment bill that she hopes will go to the governor's desk this year.
Republicans lawmakers faulted the governor for not spending enough time talking about how to improve the business climate in Massachusetts, which they said is the best way to create new jobs.
Patrick is set to release more details about his community college plan when he presents his budget proposal for the next fiscal year on Wednesday.
By Will Roseliep | Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Dec. 13, 2011
On Dec. 12, President Barack Obama held a press conference to announce the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the month. The announcement means that returning soldiers will be looking for jobs once they're back — a process that can be arduous, as former infantryman (and Occupy Boston protester) Jason Mazoula told WGBH News’ Phillip Martin this November.
Mass. Lt. Gov. Tim Murray said on “The Callie Crossley Show” on Dec. 12 that Bay State employers should make hiring these vets their top priority.
For one, he said, it’s good for business: “You get quality people who know how to get things done, who can work as teams [and] understand deadlines in pressure situations.”
Murray, who chairs the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services, said that private sector companies, nonprofits and the state's many colleges and university are well poised to employ and further develop the skills of these returning veterans.
By Adam Reilly | Monday, December 12, 2011
Dec. 12, 2011
BOSTON — Elizabeth Warren has one less Democrat to worry about as she prepares to challenge Republican Sen. Scott Brown in 2012. State Rep. Tom Conroy (D-Wayland) ended his Senate campaign at the State House, saying that after Warren jumped in the race in September, it quickly became clear that she’d be almost impossible to beat.
“I did not enter this race, however, to run against Elizabeth Warren,” Conroy said. “I entered this race to run against a reckless Republican who’s not serving the best interest of the people of Massachusetts. But her name recognition, financial resources and ability to energize thousands of volunteers have closed my window of opportunity to compete against him.”
Conroy also announced that he’s endorsing Warren in the Democratic race.
Asked if the other Democrats still running should clear the field for Warren, Conroy was noncommittal, saying the decision should be left to each candidate. But he also made it clear that he thinks Warren is already prepared to face Brown in the general election — and doesn’t need a competitive primary to toughen her up.
“I think she’s a very strong candidate,” Conroy said. “She’s very sharp and quick on her feet — I think she demonstrated that in [last week’s] debate. She’s a very intelligent woman.”
With Conroy out of the race, Warren’s challengers include lawyers Marisa DeFranco and Jim King and engineer Herb Robinson. During the Dec. 6 Democratic Senate debate at Stonehill College, DeFranco had some success attacking Warren from the left. But a recent UMass Amherst poll showed DeFranco had the support of just 6 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, compared to 73 percent for Warren. That same poll put Conroy’s support at 7 percent.