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Public Finance

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Menino's money problems

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.
Letters to the Boston editor, June 18, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  June 18, 2010
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Boston pols bail on Bank of America

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.
Locovore Banking Dept.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 11, 2010
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Take this to the polls

Our endorsements for the June 8 elections
Endorsements
By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  June 04, 2010
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Bragdon vs. Trevorrow, Greens, District 120

Charles Bragdon and Anna Trevorrow vie in the East End legislative race
Primary 2010
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  May 21, 2010
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Boston tucks away a $125 million windfall

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 for Moneybags?
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  May 21, 2010
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Moneybags Menino

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
The mayor cuts services, but sits on a stash of cash.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  May 14, 2010


Fed up and low down

Just kidding. Of course they’ll lose.
For once, the beleaguered taxpayers of Maine can’t lose
By AL DIAMON  |  April 23, 2010
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Shaking up the school system

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.
The Reformer
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 23, 2010
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Cooking the books

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.
How long until Love, Sex & the IRS collide?
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 16, 2010
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Box-office guru comes to Boston

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.
Film school
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 09, 2010

The ‘new Providence’?

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 e
Angel rising. Plus, the IRS blues, after the flood, drilling Obama, and Tiger talk
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  April 09, 2010


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Murph’s Last Grasp?

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.
Can Stephen Murphy rally his troops one last time, or is this stab at higher office his last?
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  March 26, 2010
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The Curse of the Big Dig

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.
Tthe mere mention of the Central Artery Project can derail one's hopes for higher office. Charlie Baker is finding that out now.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  March 19, 2010

Get smart

There are lots of theories about what's wrong with Maine's economy.
Budget problems? It's the stupidity, stupid.
By AL DIAMON  |  March 12, 2010
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Team spirits

Up in Vancouver, the red, white, and blue are riding high on gold (medals that is) for feats of awe-inspiring athleticism.
Competitive Drinking Dept.
By SCOTT KEARNAN  |  February 26, 2010

Don't make promises

In writing a weekly political column, you learn not to use the first paragraph to make extravagant claims you can't possibly deliver on.
Paul LePage's disastrous mistake
By AL DIAMON  |  February 26, 2010


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Baldacci, Dems raise broad-based taxes

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 expa
What Promise? Dept.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  February 19, 2010
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A church remakes itself in the face of hunger

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?''
Sustenance
By ELIZABETH RAU  |  February 12, 2010
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Starting to clear Maine’s broadband backlog

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.
Mapping the Internet
By JEFF INGLIS  |  January 29, 2010
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Trying times for Obama

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 congre
Tough times for the nation
By EDITORIAL  |  January 29, 2010
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Elephant in the Room

Platoons of state Republicans, energized by Scott Brown's stunning victory over Democrat Martha Coakley last week, are setting their sights on November.
Massachusetts Republicans suddenly think this is their year — but if they shoot too high, they might fall hard
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 29, 2010


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A gadfly eyes public office

Rhode Island's gubernatorial tilt is attracting more attention than any other of the state's budding races.
Pursestrings
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 15, 2010
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Instead of cuts: guts

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, commu
Raise taxes on the rich? Only one candidate says ‘yes’?
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 08, 2010
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It will not be a dull year!

The New Year is shaping up as potent dope for the political junkie.
The governor’s race, gambling, drama on Smith Hill, and more is on tap in 2010
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 08, 2010
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Chafee and the hazards of a bold politics

By the time a candidate for major office steps up to the microphone to officially declare for the seat, everyone already knows his intentions.
 Tax Dept.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 08, 2010

Alternatives abound

The 2009 tax increases around the country.
Other states have found options
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 08, 2010


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A split atop the RI Tea Party

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 n
Tea Time
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  December 25, 2009

Liquor madness

Raise your glasses and toast the financial genius who — without increasing taxes, cutting services or employing accounting gimmicks — solved Maine's budget crisis.
Booze restores Maine's financial liquidity
By AL DIAMON  |  December 18, 2009

Virtue and vice

The problem with being virtuous (or so I'm told) is that it has almost nothing to do with actual virtue.
The Maine Clean Election Act plays the errant-strumpet trumpet
By AL DIAMON  |  December 11, 2009
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State of flux

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