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Menino's money problems

Letters to the Boston editor, June 18, 2010
David S. Bernstein’s article on the mayor’s feud with the firefighters and allegations that the city’s coffers are bigger than Mayor Tom Menino lets on is one of the only thoughtful treatments of this contract dispute to appear in the media.
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  June 16, 2010
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Boston pols bail on Bank of America

Locovore Banking Dept.
In this time of political stridency, where everything is either red or blue, Boston City Councilors have found a potential purple issue that everyone can stand behind, be they radical lefties or Fox News worshippers.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 14, 2010
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Take this to the polls

Endorsements
Our endorsements for the June 8 elections
By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  June 03, 2010
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Bragdon vs. Trevorrow, Greens, District 120

Primary 2010
Charles Bragdon and Anna Trevorrow vie in the East End legislative race
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  May 19, 2010
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Boston tucks away a $125 million windfall

More for Moneybags?
As debate continues over the city’s finances — and whether the city of Boston can afford firefighters’ raises, branch libraries, community-center staffing, and other costs in tight times — the city is planning to quietly tuck away a one-time windfall of more than $125 million.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  May 24, 2010
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Moneybags Menino

The mayor cuts services, but sits on a stash of cash.
Inside Boston’s political back rooms, there is a growing suspicion that Mayor Thomas Menino is sitting on millions of dollars — tens of millions, maybe as much as $400 million — that could be used to save vital city services, such as, among many examples, four branch libraries and eight community centers that are slated to be shuttered.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  May 17, 2010

Fed up and low down

For once, the beleaguered taxpayers of Maine can’t lose
Just kidding. Of course they’ll lose.
By AL DIAMON  |  April 21, 2010
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Shaking up the school system

The Reformer
Rhode Island education commissioner Deborah Gist’s take-charge style could make a winner of a state that often seems destined to fail. But critics say her free-market approach won’t work.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 21, 2010
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Cooking the books

How long until Love, Sex & the IRS collide?
Tax season got you feeling screwed? How about a little schadenfreude: Chances are Jon (Christian F. Luening) has it a lot worse and more embarrassing than you in Love, Sex & the IRS , the 1979 comedy by William Van Zandt and Jane Milmore.
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 14, 2010
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Box-office guru comes to Boston

Film school
The Massachusetts House of Representatives recently rejected attempts to cap the tax breaks offered to filmmakers in the commonwealth, which is good for Hollywood studios and for the local economy.
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 07, 2010

The ‘new Providence’?

Angel rising. Plus, the IRS blues, after the flood, drilling Obama, and Tiger talk
WRNI political reporter and Casa Diablo regular Scott MacKay was the first pundit to make the observation to your superior correspondents in the summer of 2002 that we were “about to witness either the last election of the ‘old Providence’ or the first election of the ‘new Providence.’ ”
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  April 08, 2010
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Murph’s Last Grasp?

Can Stephen Murphy rally his troops one last time, or is this stab at higher office his last?
The ever-restless Stephen Murphy is at it again, running anew for state treasurer — just a few months after voters re-elected him to the Boston City Council.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  March 24, 2010
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The Curse of the Big Dig

Tthe mere mention of the Central Artery Project can derail one's hopes for higher office. Charlie Baker is finding that out now.
Call it the Curse of the Big Dig: virtually every politician with statewide significance who has over the years become intertwined with the Central Artery Project (as it is officially known) has seen his or her dreams of higher office dashed.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  March 17, 2010

Get smart

Budget problems? It's the stupidity, stupid.
There are lots of theories about what's wrong with Maine's economy.
By AL DIAMON  |  March 10, 2010
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Team spirits

Competitive Drinking Dept.
Up in Vancouver, the red, white, and blue are riding high on gold (medals that is) for feats of awe-inspiring athleticism.
By SCOTT KEARNAN  |  February 24, 2010

Don't make promises

Paul LePage's disastrous mistake
In writing a weekly political column, you learn not to use the first paragraph to make extravagant claims you can't possibly deliver on.
By AL DIAMON  |  February 24, 2010
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Baldacci, Dems raise broad-based taxes

What Promise? Dept.
Despite numerous repeated claims that he and his party will not raise "broad-based taxes" while attempting to solve Maine's decade-old budget disaster, Democratic governor John Baldacci and legislative Democrats have done exactly that, and are now expanding those efforts by increasing an additional tax that hits many Mainers.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  February 17, 2010
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A church remakes itself in the face of hunger

Sustenance
On a bitterly cold morning not long ago, Jerry Viou pulled into the parking lot at Open Table of Christ and a woman popped out from behind a dumpster and shouted, "Do you have food?''
By ELIZABETH RAU  |  February 10, 2010
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Starting to clear Maine’s broadband backlog

Mapping the Internet
The biggest obstacle between Mainers and more, better, faster broadband Internet access is actually a very basic one: there's a lack of information about what kind of Internet service is already available where.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  January 27, 2010
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Trying times for Obama

Tough times for the nation
It was only a matter of time before President Barack Obama turned into a deficit hawk. But it is a measure of the desperation sparked by Scott Brown's election to Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat that Obama hatched before the conclusion of the 2010 congressional elections and unveiled a spending freeze.
By EDITORIAL  |  January 27, 2010
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Elephant in the Room

Massachusetts Republicans suddenly think this is their year — but if they shoot too high, they might fall hard
Platoons of state Republicans, energized by Scott Brown's stunning victory over Democrat Martha Coakley last week, are setting their sights on November.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 27, 2010
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A gadfly eyes public office

Pursestrings
Rhode Island's gubernatorial tilt is attracting more attention than any other of the state's budding races.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 13, 2010
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Instead of cuts: guts

Raise taxes on the rich? Only one candidate says ‘yes’?
Let’s assume, reader, that you’re concerned about economic and social justice. For those in real need — people who are poor, sick, old, mentally ill, addicted, disabled — you want decent care. You’re concerned, too, about proper funding of schools, community colleges, and university campuses.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 06, 2010
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It will not be a dull year!

The governor’s race, gambling, drama on Smith Hill, and more is on tap in 2010
The New Year is shaping up as potent dope for the political junkie.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 06, 2010
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Chafee and the hazards of a bold politics

 Tax Dept.
By the time a candidate for major office steps up to the microphone to officially declare for the seat, everyone already knows his intentions.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 06, 2010

Alternatives abound

Other states have found options
The 2009 tax increases around the country.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 06, 2010
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Split atop the RI Tea Party

Tea Time
The Rhode Island Tea Party, a right-wing assemblage best known for its tax day rally against government spending on the State House steps, was until recently run by three women — Colleen Conley, Marina Peterson and, to a lesser degree, Nan Hayden. But no more.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  December 30, 2009

Liquor madness

Booze restores Maine's financial liquidity
Raise your glasses and toast the financial genius who — without increasing taxes, cutting services or employing accounting gimmicks — solved Maine's budget crisis.
By AL DIAMON  |  December 16, 2009

Virtue and vice

The Maine Clean Election Act plays the errant-strumpet trumpet
The problem with being virtuous (or so I'm told) is that it has almost nothing to do with actual virtue.
By AL DIAMON  |  December 09, 2009
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State of flux

Inside the Massachusetts State House, a forecast of political chaos for 2010 promises extreme gridlock
A few weeks ago, the state legislature headed into its winter break with what might be called a flurry of inactivity.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  December 11, 2009

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