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Gov.-elect Charlie Baker, who ran for office in Massachusetts as a bipartisan policy wonk, is taking a break from his post-election vacation to attend a Republican Governors Association conference in Florida where presidential politics is on the agenda.

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Don't even think about prying cigarettes from their cold, dead hands. The right to smoke, or more properly, the right to consume legal products has roiled Westminster for weeks. The Worcester County town of 7,000 gained national notoriety in October for proposing a first in the country ban on the sale of tobacco products.

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Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly voted to uphold the state's casino gambling law earlier this month. By a margin of 20 percentage points, voters rejected a ballot question that would have repealed the 2011 law that legalized casinos in Massachusetts. The victory was a huge win for the casino industry, which has been buffeted by a regional slump; casino interests spent nearly $14 million fighting the repeal question. But now that the repeal question has been buried, it's unclear what sort of prize the casino industry, and its backers on Beacon Hill, have won.

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Whether it was an effort to tame some of the restive rebellious energy she has helped unleash, to tap into it at a time when the party’s fortunes have hit a new nadir, or some combination of both, Elizabeth Warren is now officially a Democratic Party insider. Or at least some version of one.

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The light sentences handed down on Thursday in the Probation Department patronage scandal sent a clear signal to Beacon Hill that federal prosecutors proved only half their case.

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