The Scrum is a weekly politics podcast from WGBH News, Boston's PBS and NPR affiliate (89.7 FM), hosted by Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis. The Scrum focuses on Boston and Massachusetts politics, but makes frequent forays into the national scene — especially when local individuals and issues of note make their influence felt. Talk back to us on Twitter (@reillyadam, @kadzis) or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ron Mariano: Different From The Old Boss?
There are certain stereotypes attached to Massachusetts State Government. The Senate is liberal; the House is (relatively) conservative; and they tend not to get along. When they do join forces, they’re often checked by the governor, and sometimes return the favor — though during Charlie Baker’s tenure, things have been pretty amicable.
Three months into Ron Mariano’s tenure as speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, though, the dynamics that have applied for years may be shifting in subtle but significant ways. Adam Reilly talks about Mariano’s style and its implications for policymaking with Mike Deehan, GBH News’s State House correspondent, and Shira Schoenberg of Commonwealth magazine.
"Never imagined that I'd see a Black mayor": Yawu Miller on Kim Janey's ascension — and what comes next
The intense national interest in Kim Janey’s ascension that her stewardship of Boston could change, or begin to change, perception of the city. It could also change the way the Boston sees itself. But there are some important caveats attached to the Janey era — starting with the fact that it could end in November, when Boston holds the final election to replace former mayor Marty Walsh.
Yawu Miller, the senior editor of the Bay State Banner, talks about what it’s been like as a Black Bostonian to watch the transfer of power from Walsh to Janey, and how the candidates who’ve already said they’re running can respond to the undeniable advantage Janey now enjoys. First, though, Janey gets some friendly advice from Jane Swift, who ran Massachusetts after Paul Cellucci became ambassador to Canada — and might have been elected in 2002, if Mitt Romney had turned his focus to Utah a bit earlier than he did.
Whatever Happened To Dennis White? Plus, Previewing The Somerville Mayor's Race
The push for a more transparent Boston Police Department was one of the hallmarks of Marty Walsh’s second term. But now, as Walsh gets ready to head to Washington, his pick to run the BPD — Commissioner Dennis White — is on leave as the city investigates domestic-violence allegations that surfaced after his appointment.
In this episode of the Scrum, Saraya Wintersmith updates Adam Reilly on the status of that investigation and how the various candidates hoping to replace Walsh are addressing (or avoiding) the White controversy. Plus, Zoe Mathews talks with Somerville Journal reporter Julia Taliesin about Joe Curtatone’s impending mayoral exit and the electoral landscape his would-be successors will navigate.
The Revere-Winthrop Primary And What It Means For The Boston Mayor's Race
Jeffrey Turco, a moderate Democrat who voted for former President Donald Trump in 2016, defeated a number of more progressive candidates in the 19th District special election primary to succeed former House Speaker Robert Deleo.
In this episode of the Scrum, Peter Kadzis talks with NBC10's Sue O'Connell and Liam Kerr of Priorities for Progress about the race itself, the role social media plays in elections and whether nationalizing local races is effective.
Are there lessons to be learned for the Boston Mayoral Race, and even the 2022 Gubernatorial race to come? Listen to find out.
Annissa Essaibi George: The Scrum Interview
The first two candidates in Boston’s 2021 mayoral race, Michelle Wu and Andrea Campbell, committed to running before labor-secretary-in-waiting Marty Walsh’s plans were clear. But Annissa Essaibi George took a different tack. In this episode of the Scrum, AEG talks with Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly about why she wouldn’t have run against Walsh; how she’d change Boston’s school system, including its school committee; how growing up in Boston with an Arab father shaped her worldview; and what she’d do to prevent any conflicts of interest between her career and her husband’s if she’s elected. As an added plus, she and Kadzis compare and contrast Dorchester accents.
If Denver Can Elect Black Mayors, Why Can't Boston?
It’s looking increasingly likely that the next mayor of Boston will be a female person of color — but for years, the city’s inability or unwillingness to elect anyone other than white men has been a defining trait. In Denver, meanwhile, which resembles Boston in several respects, three of the last four mayors have been people of color.
So what gives? Nearly a decade ago, GBH News senior editor Ken Cooper — who grew up in Denver, but has called Boston home for years — offered some answers in an article published by UMass Boston’s Trotter Review. He joined Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly to recap and update his findings — and to offer some thoughts on why, finally, Boston seems poised to change its electoral habits.
Great insight into local politics
I’m so happy that I found a podcast specifically focusing on politics in Boston! I love what I’m learning so far. Great interviews - thank you for producing this content!
High-minded, earnest, relevant!
I’ve been a Scrum listener for years (and three-time guest). I really like the guys who do the show, and that it is both a serious political podcast, but isn’t stuffy or boring. (But let me say I think stuffy and boring people would really respect the work.)
I also like their background music a lot. I kind of want that as a ringtone.
The Scrum covers all things #mapoli. You can’t claim to be up on the news until you’ve heard it!