The Bay State shrugs
Thursday, January 31, 2013
The reaction to Gov. Deval Patrick
tapping friend and confidant William “Mo” Cowan for the interim post to replace Sen. John Kerry
was a muted “meh” in and out of politics.
While the governor showered praise upon his one-time legal protégé
, the huzzahs from the cognoscenti were more around the symbolism of picking someone of color rather than the substance of the choice
. Many who are supporting the pick say Cowan gets solid marks for his legal mind, but few can cite legislative experience and expertise that would have made him the unequivocal top candidate.
At the Globe
, the opiners are split on the quality of Cowan as a member of the august body, all of them noting that his ties to Patrick
are the reason he beat out the unnamed (except for Barney Frank
) competition. Yvonne Abraham
, who cheers the choice
, says the Cowan appointment “is such a Deval Patrick thing to do,” noting anyone who sees this as a surprise has not been paying close attention to the lame duck governor over the last few years. Abraham, like others in Cowan’s camp, cite his loyalty, preparation, and grasp of issues as his main virtues.
’s editorial staff wishes Cowan good luck but says Patrick missed an opportunity to go long
, fumbling the chance to pick someone with more heft and experience to deal with the issues on the Senate’s plate in the next few months that include President Obama
’s immigration and gun control pushes, his nominees who face divisive fights, and the never-ending debt ceiling debacle. Scot Lehigh pans the pick
, noting Massachusetts already made history with a black senator when Edward Brooke
held the seat for two terms. He also says that, if the administration’s apparent pique at Frank’s public lobbying for the job was what cost him the post, that it smacks of Meninoism.
’s editors praise the pick for one simple reason: it ain’t Barney
. The tabloid’s Truth Squad points out the post is a potential gold mine for Cowan
, a former partner at the politically connected firm of Mintz Levin. The five-month term comes with a lifetime pass to the Senate floor as well as parking and other enviable access that would make even the most connected lobbyist drool with envy. They also call attention to Cowan’s donations to the governor
. . .Mitt Romney
.MetroWest Daily News
takes the temperature of area lawmakers to the Cowan appointment and finds the response warm. The Berkshire Eagle
calls the pick “solid.”
Frank is magnanimous
but tells Peter Gelzinis
his immediate plans are to act on Broadway and collect big bucks for speeches and writing
’s Paul McMorrow
says the pick is more muscle-flexing by Patrick as he exits the office
without worry of political ramifications, placing his stamp on the seat as he has in other areas. McMorrow notes other recent Patrick appointments, such as Steve Tompkins
to replace Andrea Cabral
as Suffolk County sheriff
, was a snub to the entire Boston political establishment.
Clearly, this pick says much more about Patrick
than it does about Cowan. --JACK SULLIVAN BEACON HILL
The pitched battle to head the Massachusetts Republican Party comes to a head tonight
when members of the party’s state committee choose between a more moderate loyalist to former senator Scott Brown
and a hardline conservative contender. The Herald says
the question of whether Brown seeks a return to the Senate hinges, in large part, on the outcome of the contest. Southie
rules no more, says CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas.MUNICIPAL MATTERS Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua
pays a $5,000 campaign finance fine just before the deadline, the Eagle-Tribune reports
Neighbors of Hingham High School will pitch a scaled-back plan
to Town Meeting for new athletic fields at the school, saying the proposed $4.7 million plan approved by the School Committee is unnecessarily big.
A former member of the dysfunctional -- and now defunct -- Swansea Recreation Commission plans to file a $13 million suit against the town
-- to coincide with the year 2013, he says -- after a federal judge dismissed his $12 million suit claiming his civil rights were violated when officials wouldn’t issue him a taxi license.
The incidence of fires continues to drop nationally. Meanwhile, the need for health care services for an aging population is on the rise. One solution being tried in a few places, The New Republic reports
: flu shots and other basic health services provided by firefighters
-- most of whom have basic medical training -- at neighborhood firehouses. Somerville
officials begin implementing
a $90 million land taking around Union Square.NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON John Kerry gives his farewell speech
on the Senate floor, offering observations
about his career and the Senate itself.
Washington’s new bridge builder is Angus King
from Maine, the Daily Beast reports.
The National Review
wonders why Republicans have been AWOL
in the debate over women in combat.
A new poll shows President Obama
’s favorability is at its highest since his first year in office
, though still less than both Presidents Reagan and Clinton at the beginning of their second terms.ELECTIONS Keller@Large
is amped up
over the special Senate election. US Rep. Stephen Lynch
, in a new video,
says he’ll go to Washington to stand out, not to fit in. Joe Battenfeld
burnishes Lynch’s anti-establishment credentials, and says
he’ll be a fine candidate, so long as Democratic primary voters look past his record on health care and abortion.
The Republican push
in several states to change the way electoral votes are allocated
is going “nowhere fast.”RELIGION
The Diocese of Worcester rescinds a speaking invitation
to an outspoken Catholic activist
who says Islam
is an inherently violent religion.BUSINESS/ECONOMY
Despite irate protests from fishermen in the audience, the New England Fishery Management Council
approved drastic cuts in catch limits for cod
, potentially reducing
some boats to no more than a day at sea for fishing. Here is the Gloucester Times story
The country’s Gross Domestic Product dipped slightly
for the first time since the end of the recession in 2009, mainly due to reduced defense spending.
The state’s technology sector is spurring continued growth
in the Massachusetts economy, even as the national economy suffered an unexpected contraction, a new report says.
State economic development secretary Greg Bialecki
, looking to garner support for Gov. Deval Patrick
’s tax and budget plans, told the South Shore Chamber of Commerce the region is poised for a growth burst if the plans are adopted
Thirteen Massachusetts workplaces make a national list
of the 150 best employers. EDUCATION Gov. Patrick
announced $3.5 million in education grants
to the state’s Gateway Cities
Mayor Thomas Menino
takes to the pages of the Bay State Banner
to ask parents to look closely at the new school assignment proposals.HEALTH CARE Attorney General Martha Coakley
takes the pulse of Steward Health Care’s
first year in business, CommonWealth reports.ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT
The renewable energy industry
pushes for new financing mechanisms, the New York Times reports.CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Former state chemist Annie Dookhan continued her tour of courthouses as a defendant
rather than a witness yesterday, pleading not guilty to obstruction of justice charges
’s Winter issue has a look at how Dookhan was able to do what she told investigators
she did for so long.
A worker at the Revere Registry of Motor Vehicles
office is charged with giving licenses to people he knew were using false identities, the Associated Press reports
(via Lowell Sun
students are on edge
after a rash of street robberies near the campus.MEDIA
The New York Times reports
on what it believes to be Chinese efforts to hack the newspaper’s computer systems as reporters prepared a story on China’s prime minister.
Media critic Dan Kennedy
, a longtime opponent of legalized gambling
, is organizing against a movement to bring a slots parlor