The Scrum 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: scrum@wgbh.org.
The Scrum

The Scrum

From WGBH Radio

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: scrum@wgbh.org.

Most Recent Episodes

Shannon Liss-Riordan makes her case for AG

The Democratic primary contest to succeed outgoing Attorney General Maura Healey has become one of the most interesting races in Massachusetts this election cycle. In this episode of the Scrum, labor lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan discusses what she believe sets her apart from rivals Andrea Campbell and Quentin Palfrey. Plus, Politico's Lisa Kashinsky and Yawu Miller of the Bay State Banner size up the Mass. GOP convention in Springfield and the Second Suffolk State Senate race, in which former Senator Dianne Wilkerson is trying to make an electoral comeback

The feds have lost confidence in the T. Who's responsible, and what happens next?

The Federal Transit Administration announced this week that it's taking on an "increased safety oversight role" of MBTA after a series of troubling breakdowns, including the horrific death of Robinson Lalin, who was killed after after his arm got caught in the door of a Red Line train. Jim Aloisi of Transit Matters and Stacy Thompson of LivableStreets joined Adam Reilly to discuss what that could mean for agency's future and what the move says about state leaders' recent stewardship of the system. Plus, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu's endorsement in the Suffolk County district attorney race created some serious tension this week between interim DA Kevin Hayden and his rival, Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo. GBH News' Saraya Wintersmith and State House News Service's Chris Lisinski joined Adam to analyze that, the latest twist in some North End restaurant owners' battle with the Wu Administration over outdoor dining fees, and the imminent passage of state legislation to give unauthorized immigrants access to drivers' licenses.

The feds have lost confidence in the T. Who's responsible, and what happens next?

Are Massachusetts politics as great as we like to think?

The idea that Massachusetts politics are exceptional dates back at least to John Winthrop's description of the young Massachusetts Bay colony as a "city on a hill." But while things are certainly different here, that doesn't necessarily mean they're better. Erin O'Brian and Jerold Duquette, the editors of "The Politics of Massachusetts Exceptionalism: Reputation Meets Reality," join Adam Reilly to deconstruct our lofty sense of self. Also, Democratic AG candidate Quentin Palfrey discusses his campaign and push to keep outside money out of that race. We'd like your feedback! Email us at talkingpolitics@wgbh.org--and while you're at it, subscribe to the GBH Politics newsletter at gbhnews.org/politicsnewsletter.

Will Massachusetts legalize sports betting?

Massachusetts took a big step towards expending the gambling industry recently when the Senate passed a bill that would legalize sports betting---but there are some huge and potentially irreconcilable differences between the Senate plan and the one the House passed last year. Adam Reilly spoke with Shira Schoenberg, a reporter at Commonwealth magazine, and Father Richard McGowan, S.J., an associate professor of finance at Boston College's Carroll School of Management, about those discrepancies and whether a compromise is likely. Also: campaign finance is taking center stage in two Democratic primaries, as AG candidate Quentin Palfrey calls on his opponents to reject Super PAC spending and Sonia Chang-Díaz urges Maura Healey to return donations from individuals linked to the fossil-fuel industry in the governor's race. The Boston Herald's Sean Phillip Cotter and GBH News's Saraya Wintersmith joined Adam to discuss those calls, former state Senator Dianne Wilkerson readying a run for her old seat, and more.

Can Elizabeth Warren save the Democrats from electoral disaster?

Senator Elizabeth Warren is sounding the alarm ahead of the midterm elections, calling on her fellow Democrats to focus squarely on Americans' economic concerns to avoid a blowout in November. But does she have the influence to inspire President Biden and the rest of her party to act? Talking Politics Host Adam Reilly speaks with Robert Kuttner, the co-founder and co-editor of the American Prospect and a professor at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management, about whether Warren's political Rx would work — and whether another Warren presidential bid might be in the offing. First, though, a new poll shows that Attorney General Maura Healey's lead in the Democratic Massachusetts governor's primary is pushing fifty percent. So how much time does Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz still have tos save her candidacy? Boston Globe Columnist Adrian Walker and Jenn Smith, a correspondent for the Dorchester Reporter and co-host of the Horse Race political podcast, sized up the state of the Democratic contest, as well as Republican candidate Chris Doughty's still-evolving description of his own political philosophy. We'd like your comments, criticism, and suggestions! If you've got feedback of any sort, please email us at TalkingPolitics@wgbh.org or find us online at https://www.wgbh.org/news/talkingpolitics. And while you're at it, why not subscribe to the GBH Politics Newsletter? To sign up, visit https://gbhnews.org/politicsnewsletter.

Remote access transformed politics during the pandemic. Will it last?

Public meetings have been more transparent than ever thanks to remote access and participation adopted during the pandemic. But now, as safety protocols are lifted, there are signs the political establishment wants to go back to the way things used to be. Advocates say it's the wrong move — including Kade Crockford, the director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts, and Dianna Hu, the chairwoman of the Boston Center for Independent Living. They join Adam Reilly to make the case for keeping politics accessible and transparent moving forward. Plus, GBH News City Hall Reporter Saraya Wintersmith and State House News Service Reporter Katie Lannan unpack new budgets from Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and the Massachusetts House, as well as Boston's Pride-parade hiatus and the Massachusetts Senate's climate bill and its discontents. We'd like your comments, criticism, and suggestions! If you've got feedback of any sort, please email us at TalkingPolitics@wgbh.org or find us online at https://www.wgbh.org/news/talkingpoli.... While you're at it, why not subscribe to the GBH Politics Newsletter? Visit https://gbhnews.org/politicsnewsletter.

Massachusetts roads are getting more dangerous. Are automated traffic cameras the answer?

As Massachusetts drivers head back to the roadways, there's been a troubling uptick in speeding and fatalities—prompting renewed interest in automated traffic cameras in Somerville and at the State House. Stacey Beuttell, the executive director of WalkBoston, and Mary Maguire, the director of public and government affairs for AAA Northeast, joined Adam Reilly to discuss the advantages and possible downsides of that technology. But first: a years-long push to let unauthorized immigrants get drivers' licenses is on the verge of succeeding at the State House. GBH News Politics Editor Peter Kadzis and Boston Business Journal Digital Editor Steph Solis joined Adam to examine the prospects for that proposal, as well as a push by State House staffers to unionize and a new Boston ad campaign that seeks to rebrand the city by rebranding the Boston accent. We'd like your comments, criticism, and suggestions! If you've got feedback of any sort, please email us at TalkingPolitics@wgbh.org or find us online at https://www.wgbh.org/news/talkingpolitics. And while you're at it, why not subscribe to the GBH Politics Newsletter? If you're interested, head to https://gbhnews.org/politicsnewsletter.

Massachusetts roads are getting more dangerous. Are automated traffic cameras the answer?

The North End dining debate and the future of protest in Boston

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is taking some heat over the city's outdoor dining policy for the North End, which includes fees absent in other neighborhoods and a shorter window. The Boston Globe's Joan Vennochi and Boston Post-Gazette's Pam Donnaruma join Talking Politics Host Adam Reilly to discuss Wu's recent attempt for a compromise and how, exactly, the desires of Boston business owners should be balanced against the needs of residents. Also: Massachusetts is one of the least affordable states when it comes to buying or renting a home. So why aren't some possible solutions getting traction at the State House? Massachusetts State Representative Mike Connolly and Symone Crawford, the executive director of the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance.

Chris Doughty and Kate Campanale Make Their Case for the Corner Office

In their first joint media appearance, Republican governor and LG candidates Chris Doughty and Kate Campanale join Adam Reilly to discuss their political identities, their take on outgoing Governor Charlie Baker's anti-COVID efforts, and their priorities if they win. First, though, Yawu Miller of the Bay State Banner and Mike Deehan of GBH News recap the week in city and state politics, including Boston Mayor Michelle Wu's push to limit residential protests and raise new money for affordable housing.

Wu Hits the Hundred-Day Mark

One hundred days isn't enough time to say whether Mayor Michelle Wu will be able to realize her biggest political goals, like creating a Boston Green New Deal or implementing some form of rent stabilization. But it's an appropriate point for sizing up Wu's early victories and setbacks — and asking whether she's made good, so far, on her pledge to govern differently than her predecessors. Adam Reilly sizes up Wu's tenure to date with his GBH News colleague Saraya Wintersmith, Abdallah Fayyad of the Boston Globe, and Gintautas Dumcius of the Dorchester Reporter.