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The bombshell Office of Campaign and Political Finance investigation into the activities of Families for Excellent Schools did more than impose a record fine and the death penalty on that dark money front. It raised questions about FES's tax status as a charity, questions that the IRS or state attorneys general may want to answer.

Charlie Frank Sargent Baker

Is the 2018 Massachusetts gubernatorial election a repeat of 1970 or 1974?  Depends on which party you ask.

Republicans see a repeat of 1970 while Democrats hope to turn the election into 1974.  In their zeal, however, Democrats risk misreading the public mood by firing off trumped up charges that couldn’t deliver Cushman’s bread, let along victory (ask Professor Mo).

Families for Excellent Schools Advocacy is already a goner, given the death penalty by Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance. What's next for the dark money/charter school industrial complex?

With the start of a new academic year in September, academics often make resolutions, which are really all about how we can make things better.  With that in mind, here are a few ideas of how we can make our Massachusetts political system better.

Democrats for Education Reform Massachusetts is pushing a poll on Boston teachers that has two problems: we have no way to evaluate the poll, and we have no way of evaluating DFER MA.


Donald Trump's recent orders on transgender military personnel and Dreamers should finish off the Republicans' "party of Lincoln" label once and for all.

Trump is a failed human being in almost every respect. Pretending that he might “grow” into the toughest job on earth is moronic. Pretending that the signs of engagement that signaled confidence and competence in past presidencies can be interpreted similarly during the Trump presidency is not useful and may even be dangerous.

Tomorrow I will meet my fall 2017 semester students for the first time. Though I am teaching three different courses, all three of my opening day lectures will focus on the same point. All of my students will read a concise description of the dangers of political amateurism written last month by political science professor and blogger Julia Azari.

Azari’s thesis is simple and her perspective widely shared by political scientists. Democracy is not easy and widespread public political ignorance and apathy has long created fertile ground for populist calls for the elevation of political outsiders to power.  The problem is that political outsiders inevitably promote what Azari calls “the pernicious myth of populism that beneath elite squabbles there exists widespread unity of principles” among average Americans. Of course, there is no such consensus. Americans are committed to broadly defined ideals, like freedom, equality, and individual rights, but not agreed on precise definitions of these ideas or on how to realize them.  For that, they need professional help. 


They say money is fungible but when it comes to plutocratic efforts to privatize public education there are two kinds of money: upstream and downstream.


Massachusetts Parents United may be Old Wine in an Empty Bottle but it's attracted some big money backers. Let's take a closer look at the Walton Family Foundation, Longfield Family Foundation, and National Philanthropic Trust.

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