A weekly podcast on Massachusetts politics, policy and elections. Hosted by Steve Koczela, Jennifer Smith, and Lisa Kashinsky.
Episode 191: An expensive debate over gig workers' rights
11/18/21--This week, a solo Jenn speaks with MassINC Polling Group Research Director Maeve Duggan about the latest survey on Massachusetts parents of K-12 students. While parents are largely optimistic about the rest of the in-person school year and their children's success, inequitable access to resources remains.
Plus, a deep dive in what is likely to be the most expensive ballot question of 2022. If passed, it would establish that platform based drivers would be considered independent contractors and set certain required benefits specifically for those workers while exempting the companies from providing benefits required by state law for employees. We hear from the "Yes" campaign, represented by Conor Yunits, senior VP at Solomon McCown & Cence and spokesperson for the Massachusetts Coalition for Independent Work, as well as the "No" campaign, represented by labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan,
Episode 190: The Senate's revolutionary mental health bill
11/11/21-- This week, Steve and Lisa are back in the virtual bunker to celebrate a birthday, rejoice in vaccinations for children, and discuss the latest in the #mapoli scene.
A new mental health bill unveiled by the state Senate would revolutionize treatment. Co-chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery Sen. Julian Cyr stopped by to explain the mechanics, the goal for mental and phyiscal health parity, and what the pandemic meant for the genesis of the bill.
Later, Lisa rehashes what went down on Beacon Hill during the drawing of congressional districts. A heated debate broke out regarding the 9th and 4th districts--Lisa explains why the final decision could determine who ends up with more federal aid and political aid.
Episode 189: Election Rodeo
11/4/21-- This week on The Horse Race, Steve, Jenn, and Lisa review the elections that took place all over the state. They break down all the highlights of the mayoral election, plus results of the at-large and city council elections and ballot questions.
Later, Rich Parr, research director at The MassINC Polling Group joins in to talk about the notable elections that took place in cities throughout Western Massachusetts.
Episode 188: Who benefits from COVID recovery?
10/28/21--Happy Halloween from The (Headless) Horse Race! This week, Jenn, Steve, and Lisa discuss the final Boston mayoral debate before the election, the makeup of the House of Representatives's spending plan for the states remaining American Rescue Plan Act funds, plus, of course, Halloween.
Later, state Senator Sonia-Chang Diaz drops by to break down the racial equity scorecard used to assess how the House's ARPA spending plan tackles issues of racial injustice.
Episode 187: Rising Tides: Under the Sea...port
10/21/21--This week, a poll from Public Policy Polling finds Governor Baker's approval ratings have dipped quite a bit among likely 2022 Republican primary voters. Lisa says this reinforces what anecdotal evidence has suggested for a while, that he's more popular among Democrats and Independents than those in his own party. In a hypothetical matchup with Geoff Diehl, Baker trails 50 to 29.
Jenn, Steve, and Lisa rehash the major takeaways from Tuesday night's second Boston mayoral debate between Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi-George, noting that this was the first significant moment in which frontrunner Wu was in the hot seat--faced with tough questions from both moderators and Essaibi-George.
Later, Deanna Moran of the Conservation Law foundation describes what is in store for Boston and the rest of Massachusetts as the effects of climate change begin to manifest. Sooner than we are perhaps prepared for, we will be faced with weather events that threaten our critical infrastructure. Moran says, there's so much more the state needs to do to become more climate resilient.
Episode 186: What happens in Mass. if Roe v. Wade falls?
10/13/21--This week, Steve shares findings from the latest poll on the Boston mayoral race. He spells out just how strong Michelle Wu's lead is so far over Annissa Essaibi-George, and how likely voters' priorities for the city differ based on who they plan to vote for.
Later, Lisa and Steve are joined by state Rep. and member of the Special Joint Committee on Redistricting, Andy Vargas. Rep. Vargas explains the redistricting process, what the goals for redistricting are, and the challenges that the redistricting committee has faced so far.
The Texas abortion law instated in early September is one of the strictest measures in the nation, banning abortion at six weeks -- when many women don't even yet know they are pregnant. Rebecca Hart Holder, executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts explains what it means that this law made it on the books, and what the implications are for the future of Roe v. Wade.
Honestly really good
I look forward to listening to the Horse Race every week!!! The hosts are great interviewers, funny, well-informed— it’s great. I recommend it to all my mapoli involved friends
Essential mapoli podcast
The Horse Race is a must for mapoli addicts. The presentation style is refreshingly free of rancor and bias and offers true expert analysis.
Good but biased
I am a loyal listener and enjoy the hyper local takes on politics in Massachusetts. Caveat emptor however, the content is very biased towards liberals and Democrats. They tend to toss softball questions to liberals and 100 MPH fastballs to anyone remotely center right. But despite that, it’s a good listen.