Agree? Disagree? Here’s my list of the Top Ten political events in 2013 that left their mark on Massachusetts:
01) The Boston Marathon Terrorist Attacks: Three people died & 260 were injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Bay State’s iconic Boston Marathon. The actions of the alleged killers – Chechen brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – underscored the vulnerability of citizens in an open society to the whims of sociopaths.
02) Obamacare Impacts Massachusetts citizens: Unlike Romneycare, the implementation of Obamacare in Massachusetts has caused a great deal of headaches for those administrating it & those who wish to enroll into it.
03) Software Tax Repealed: Beacon Hill witnessed the ultimate flip-flop when a poorly-designed technology tax that had been passed by the Legislature & signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick lasted only two months before it was repealed due to the enormous backlash the tax produced from the Hi-Tech industry and anti-tax activists.
04) Dookhan Scandal: Former chemist Annie Dookhan‘s was convicted of faking lab tests that have now threatened the validity of thousands criminal convictions & will cost the state millions of dollars in re-trying drug cases.
05) James “Whitey” Bulger convicted: Though justice finally caught up with the notorious South Boston gangster, questions about his relationship with the FBI as an informant will remain unanswered until the bureau itself receives a full investigation to determine whether or not its culture aided & abetted Bulger’s reign of terror in Massachusetts.
06) Casinos Shunned: Most communities haven’t rolled out the red carpet to gaming interests since Massachusetts legalized casino gambling. The state still drools at the idea of wetting its beak with a share of the projected profits going into its pockets. The average citizen, though, seems more interested in the health of their respective communities.
07) Boston Elects Its First Mayor In 20 Years: Thomas Menino‘s decision not to run for re-election as mayor of Boston triggered a free-for-all that ultimately led to the election of Democrat State Representative Martin Walsh.
08) Lantigua Loses His Re-Election Bid: Lawrence mayor William Lantigua narrowly lost his bid for re-election to fellow Hispanic Democrat Daniel Rivera. The party had become fed up with Lantigua & had some of its senior politicos help Rivera win in order to maintain its grip on an important urban outpost that is home to a key block of voters.
09) Kerry, Markey, & Clark Move Upwards & Onwards: Once John Kerry was appointed Barack Obama‘s Secretary of State (following Hillary Clinton‘s departure), Kerry’s open seat was won by Congressman Ed Markey. Markey’s open seat was then filled by Katherine Clark. Republicans tried & failed to win the open seats once they became available.
10) Scott Brown leaves Massachusetts: The move of former US Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) to New Hampshire underscored the difficulties of the GOP to hold onto – if not maintain – political talent well suited for the Bay State.