by Kerry Healey
Government needs more than its current two gears: inert and glacial. It needs to be nimble enough to actually respond to real national emergencies; not in months, weeks or days, but in hours.
It’s no secret that dishing the dirt on the latest scandal is fun. But a Northeastern Study says gossip literally changes how we see others — and it’s meant to protect us.
Last month, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a measure that would strip public employees of collective bargaining rights over health care benefits. The move infuriated unions. On Wednesday, Senate leaders unveiled a similar measure, though it gives unions some more room to negotiate.
News updates from WGBH
As the special election to fill the late Ted Kennedy's US Senate seat approaches, WGBH's Greater Boston has the campaign covered.
Senate Candidates Debate - Jan. 11, 2010
Republican Scott Brown, Democrat Martha Coakley and Independent candidate Joseph L. Kennedy square off in the final televised debate of the US Senate race. David Gergen moderates the hour-long debate organized by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Voters can choose the next US Senator from Massachusetts on January 19th.
Republican Senate Forum - Dec. 7, 2009
Republican candidates for US Senate Scott Brown and Jack E. Robinson square off in their first and only televised forum on the eve of the party primaries.
Democratic Senatorial Debate - Dec. 2, 2009
With less than one week until the party primaries on Dec. 8, the four Democratic candidates — US Congressman Michael Capuano, Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley, City Year co-founder Alan Khazei, and Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca – participate in the last televised debate of the primary campaign in a special one-hour edition of Greater Boston.
Democratic Senate Forum - Nov. 23, 2009
The four Democratic candidates for the US Senate — Michael Capuano, Martha Coakley, Alan Khazei, and Steve Pagliuca — join Emily Rooney to speak out on issues from health care to sending troops to Afghanistan in a special one-hour edition of Greater Boston.
The Democratic Senate Debate - Oct. 26, 2009
The four Democratic candidates for US Senate — Michael Capuano, Martha Coakley, Alan Khazei, and Stephen Pagliuca — square off in a LIVE televised debate from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Dorchester,
Meet the Candidates for US Senate
State Sen. Scott Brown (R-Wrentham) is painting himself as a Washington outsider who would bring balance to Massachusetts' all-Democratic delegation. Brown opposes the proposed health care 'public option,' and in the State House recently voted against a bill to allow Gov. Patrick to appoint an interim senator. He has been critical of both Beacon Hill and Washington Democrats for what he describes as "out of control spending."
Michael Capuano succeeded Joe Kennedy in the US House of Representatives. He is now portraying himself as a an experienced liberal with years of Washington experience and boasts that his legislative record most closely resembles that of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. While Capuano is well-known in Washington and his own district, he faces the challenge of boosting his profile across the state.
Since becoming attorney general in 2006, Coakley has successfully prosecuted Big Dig contractors, resulting in millions in fines, and most recently challenged the federal Defense of Marriage Act as discriminatory and unconstitutional. She supports the public option as part of national health care reform and has called for greater oversight of the financial industry. Coakley is the only candidate to win statewide office.
Joe Kennedy, no relation to the “Kennedy” family, is an independent candidate running for the US Senate seat. Kennedy is an information technology executive and a libertarian who says there are no differences between the Republican and Democrat parties. He is running because he believes "the people need a choice."
Alan Khazei is the co-founder and former CEO of the national service organization City Year and the CEO of Be The Change, a community-based nonprofit. As a political newcomer, Khazei has demonstrated an impressive fundraising ability early in his campaign. The social entrepreneur has promised to focus his campaign on job creation and health care reform that includes a public option.
Venture capitalist and Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca paints himself as a “progressive Democrat” whose years of business experience make him “uniquely qualified” to represent Massachusetts in the US Senate. His estimated $400 million in personal wealth makes him the best-financed candidate in the race. He supports the public option as part of national health care reform, stronger regulation for the financial system and is skeptical about sending more troops into Afghanistan. Given his history of supporting Republican candidates, Pagliuca's biggest challenge could be convincing voters that he really is a Democrat.
This is Jack E. Robinson III's second run for the US Senate. In 2000, he unsuccessfully challenged the late Senator Ted Kennedy, capturing only 13 % of the vote. Now, Robinson claims his experience as a businessman and a lawyer make him a unique problem-solver who is qualified to tackle the issues facing Washington like taxes, the economy, and health care.