At last check, budding standup comedian and House Speaker Ron Mariano was still honing the laugh-out-loud claim of the year on Beacon Hill
Jon Keller has been reporting and commenting on local politics since 1978. A graduate of Brandeis University, he worked in radio as a producer and talk-show host before moving into print journalism at The Tab newspapers and the Boston Phoenix. Freelance credits include the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Boston Magazine, the New Republic and the Washington Post. Since 1991 his "Keller At Large" commentaries and interviews have been a fixture on Boston TV, first on WLVI-TV and, since 2005, on WBZ-TV. He is a 12-time Emmy Award winner for political reporting and commentary. He began his Massterlist column in March 2020.
More money, more problems: Inside the Legislature’s tax policy nightmare￼
The Legislature let an easy political win slip through their fingers. With a surfeit of cash, Democrats could have bucked their reputation for taxing and spending by delivering on a package of tax cuts. Instead, they got tripped up on a law that they forgot about that will still deliver relief to taxpayers, but make lawmakers look bad.
Here’s how sports betting crapped out in the Massachusetts legislature
The body language coming from House and Senate leaders on the prospects of a deal in the Legislature over sports betting has been bad leading into this final week, and Jon Keller is not betting on lucky sevens to come up by Sunday. In his newest column for MASSterList, Keller explains why the odds could be stacked against a deal.
Mayor Michelle Wu’s police overtime blunder
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has had to make a number of major decisions early in her administration, none more critical than the hiring of a new police commissioner. In his latest column for MASSterList, Jon Keller reports that Wu was able to thread the needle with her selection of Michael Cox to lead the department, earning kudos from both reformers and the officers union. But that just made her handling of a separate overtime issue all the more confounding. Keller’s advice to Wu when it comes to policing: Tread carefully.
Fear strikes out for MASS GOP
With a timely take on Monday’s Supreme Judicial Court decision upholding voting-by-mail as Constitutional, Jon Keller writes in his newest column for MASSterList that the defeat for the MassGOP is just the latest example of what he calls the “toxic flop-sweat brew” that Republican Party leader Jim Lyons has been trying to serve voters, and now the court, with no one biting.
Is Massachusetts political exceptionalism dead?
Massachusetts is different, right? Here politicians work together with a spirit of collaboration to accomplish positive outcomes for their constituents, right? The Bay State can’t be compared to the polarized swampland of D.C. right? Jon Keller isn’t buying it, and in his last column for MASSterList he explains why.
Why won’t Beacon Hill Democrats share the wealth?
In this week’s column, Jon Keller questions why after nearly five months since Gov. Charlie Baker proposed to spend some of the state’s revenue surfeit on tax cuts the Democrats at the State House are still hemming and hawing over how to provide relief. Who cares if the suspending the gas tax won’t produce exactly the relief at the pump everyone might hope? At least they could say they tried, Keller argues.