Election 2012: 30 Issues in 30 Days

Starting Sept. 24, WGBH News is cutting through the confusion and chatter of Election 2012 with a six-week series highlighting what's really at stake. Here you'll find links to the ten topics that you've said matter most — as well as the complete coverage of all 30 Issues. 

What issues matter to you, and why? Let us know. We may use your story on the air or online.

1) Medical Marijuana

2) Women’s Health

3) Job Creation

4) Climate Change

5) Immigration

6) Funding for Scientific Research

7) Entitlements

8) Health Care

9) Funding Education

10) Municipal Energy

Credit to WNYC for pioneering the 30 Issues concept.

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YEAR IN REVIEW
10:02 am
Fri December 28, 2012

2012: The Year in Review

The new wing of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is now open to the public.
Credit Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Who can remember this headline from January 1, 2012: "Disputes Over Television Fees Lead to a Few Blackouts"? How about "Iowa Caucus Voters Lack Enthusiasm"?

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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
7:39 am
Sun November 4, 2012

30 Issues: Your Top Five Issues on Election Day

The candidates fought like cats and dogs to get your vote.
Credit rikkis_refuge / Flickr

At long last, the race is run and you're registering your choice. What's driving you to the polls today? From mid-September though Nov. 2, WGBH News covered 30 issues we thought might make a difference in your vote. 

Of WGBH's 30 issues, these were the five that got the most votes in our online surveys:

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
3:53 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

30 Issues Discussion: Foreclosures

Foreclosures have weighed heavily on voters and our economy since the recession. Though the number of foreclosures here in the Bay State is down slightly, experts are quick to point out that we're not out of the woods yet.

As part of our 30 Issues in 30 Days discussion, WGBH's Phillip Martin speaks with Grace Ross about foreclosures in Massachusetts.

GUEST:

  • Grace Ross, former gubernatorial candidate, and coordinator for the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending.
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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
11:29 am
Fri November 2, 2012

30 Issues: What You Need to Know About ... Housing and Foreclosure

Credit MapScience / Flickr

What the Candidates Think  

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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
7:02 am
Thu November 1, 2012

30 Issues: The Impact of the Occupy Movement on Election 2012

Occupy activists outside Boston Police headquarters protesting the razing of their encampment by police in the early morning hours of Dec. 10, 2011.
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH

It's more than a year since activists camped out in Boston's Dewey Square and on Wall Street in New York to demand economic equality. The Occupy Movement then spread to 80 countries and 600 communities across America. But what impact, if any, has the protest had on the 2012 election? WGBH senior reporter Phillip Martin looks at the Occupy message, the messengers and their effect on the Presidential and U.S. Senate races. 

30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
5:36 am
Thu November 1, 2012

30 Issues: Green Party Candidate Echoes Occupy's Message

In this Oct. 24, 2011 file photo, Jill Stein of Lexington, Mass. speaks during a news conference outside the Statehouse in Boston.
Credit Associated Press / AP

Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee for President, has embraced the Occupy Movement and its message at a time when many Democratic politicians are keeping their distance from the protest group.  Chris Faraone, a writer and columnist with the Boston Phoenix who has written a book on Occupy explains to Phillip Martin why Stein has endeared herself to the eclectic movement. 

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
12:01 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

30 Issue Discussion: Everything Money Edition

As a part of our 30 Issues in 30 Days coverage WGBH is taking on the issue of bank regulation, specifically looking at something that isn't regulated at all- microfinancing. Enterprises such as Kickstarter and Kiva are both examples of this bottom up approach to lending money.

Boston Public Radio financial consultant Sheryl Marshall returns to discuss how this works with Emily Rooney.

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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
8:53 am
Wed October 31, 2012

30 Issues: Your Issues — The Final Countdown

Credit hjl / Flickr

With only four issues left before Election Day, we’re entering the final stages of our 30 Issues in 30 Days campaign. We’re already a little nostalgic, so we are taking a walk down memory lane to see which of our issues have mattered most to you. If you don’t see your issue on this list, never fear. There’s still time to tell us what will influence your vote on Nov. 6.

The issues that matter most to you are still: 1) medical marijuana, 2) women’s health, and 3) job creation — but climate change and immigration are following close behind.

Here are a few more of your issues:

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
3:59 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

30 Issues Discussion: Was the Stimulus 'Money Well Spent?'

No issue has been more important in this election than the economy. And President Obama’s handling of the economic stimulus program has been a focal point of that debate. Republicans claim it was a colossal — and costly — failure. Supporters maintain it saved the country from a depression. Michael Grabell thoroughly researched the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for his book “Money Well Spent?" So what was his conclusion? As part of our 30 Issues in 30 Days election coverage he discussed just that today on BPR with Kara Miller.

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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
8:45 am
Tue October 30, 2012

30 Issues: What You Need to Know About ... Stimulus Money

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod received $71 million in federal stimulus funds for various projects and initiatives.
Credit Sean Corcoran / WGBH

What the Candidates Think  

Obama: President Obama reportedly wanted a larger stimulus bill than the $787 billion plan he ultimately signed, but he was skeptical that a more costly spending plan would pass Congress. At a press conference on the one-year anniversary of the bill being signed into law, the president touted the “dramatic action” that was taken by the bill:

“Let’s face it, no large expenditure is ever that popular, particular at a time when we’re facing a massive deficit. But we acted because failure to do so would have led to catastrophe. We acted because we had a larger responsibility than simply winning the next election. We had a responsibility to do what was right for the U.S. economy and the American people. One year later, it is largely thanks to the Recovery Act that a second depression is no longer a possibility.” 

Romney: Gov. Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, both have spoken out against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

According to the National Journal, while visiting Iowa this spring, Romney said,  “President Obama started out with a near trillion-dollar stimulus package ... the biggest, most careless one-time expenditure by the federal government in history. And remember this: the stimulus wasn’t just wasted — it was borrowed and wasted.  We still owe the money, we’re still paying interest on it and it will be that way long after this president’s out of office.”

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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
4:06 am
Tue October 30, 2012

30 Issues: Tracking Stimulus Funds

Dan Vortherms, CEO of OpenCape Corp., points to where 288 strands of high-speed, bundled fiberoptic cables cross the Cape Cod Canal via the railroad bridge. From this point, the cables extend for 350 miles through Cape Cod.
Sean Corcoran WGBH

Art Gaylord stands next to the tracks in front of Cape Cod's railroad bridge. It's a strange-looking bridge, with a center span that goes up and down like an elevator, so trains can chug across it and boats can float under it. Spanning its top is a bundle of newly-installed fiber-optic cables — they're high-speed, networking cables that Gaylord said snake some 350 miles across Cape Cod.

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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
7:01 am
Mon October 29, 2012

30 Issues: Why You Should Care About ... Campaign Finance

Is our campaign finance system out of control — and will it affect your vote?
Credit takomabibelot / Flickr

If you think this election season is all about money, you’re right. The economy and deficit are major issues, and reports on the candidates’ fundraising efforts are a regular part of the news. Then there’s the money not raised by candidates, but spent on their behalf. More than $1 billion has been spent on negative ads, mailings, robo-calls and other tactics to sway voters.  That’s double from what was spent in 2008.

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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
5:05 am
Mon October 29, 2012

30 Issues: Campaign Finance — The Players, the Numbers

Which Massachusetts donors give the most money to campaigns — and where does it go? Find out in NECIR's interactive graphic and read the center's report.

BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
3:04 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

30 Issues Discussion: Trade

We continue our 30 Issues in 30 Days election coverage with a conversation on trade. Both President Obama and Mitt Romney touched on it earlier this week during the foreign policy debate, so Boston Public Radio host Philip Martin asks, what role should trade play in deciding the election?

GUEST:

  • Sonia Rolland, Associate Professor at Northeastern University School of Law and author of "Development at the WTO"
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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
10:11 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

30 Issues: What You Need to Know About ... Trade

Images of Money Flickr Creative Commons

What the Candidates Think  

Obama: President Obama wants to increase America’s ability to trade. Obama's website states that he “is working to double American exports over the next five years by promoting U.S. goods and removing trade barriers, expanding access to credit, and promoting strong growth.”

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
1:20 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

30 Issues Discussion: Should Organizing Be a Civil Right?

Union membership has declined steadily from its peak in the mid-1950s — when 30 percent of private sector workers were unionized — to just under seven percent of private sector workers as of 2011. Unions, once a powerful and compelling political force, have largely become associated with special interest lobbying.

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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
12:26 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

30 Issues: What You Need to Know About ... Unions

Brooke Anderson Flickr Creative Commons

What the Candidates Think  

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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
11:25 am
Wed October 24, 2012

30 Issues: What You Need to Know About ... Marriage Equality

torbakhopper Flickr Creative Commons

What the Candidates Think  

Obama: President Barack Obama supports gay marriage and equal rights for same-sex couples. As his website notes, “President Obama was the first sitting president to publicly announce his support for marriage for same-sex couples.” Obama’s first public support of gay marriage came last May, when he told ABC News he believed one should “treat others the way you would want to be treated."

Romney: Gov. Mitt Romney does not support gay marriage. On his website,  Romney argues, “it is so important to preserve traditional marriage — the joining together of one man and one woman.” As president, Romney will support a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution that would define marriage being between a man and a woman. 

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
9:46 am
Wed October 24, 2012

30 Issues Discussion: Gay Marriage

A same-sex marriage ceremony in San Francisco. The presidential candidates have differing views on whether same-sex couples should be able to marry and enjoy the same benefits as heterosexual couples.
Wikimedia Commons

Gay marriage hasn't gotten a lot of coverage in recent debates, but for certain voters it's the defining issue in how they cast their ballot. As part of our 30 Issues in 30 Days coverage, Callie Crossley looks at what role gay marriage may play in this election.

GUEST:

BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
3:15 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

30 Issues Discussion: The Presidential Race on the Global Stage

Global issues are a key factor in how people vote, according to a poll from the Harvard Kennedy School. Monday night's presidential debate has given voters more to consider when they head to the polls. Kara Miller looks at the role the American presidential race has on the global stage as part of WGBH's 30 Issues in 30 Days election coverage.

GUESTS:

30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
6:53 am
Tue October 23, 2012

30 Issues: Why You Should Care About ... How the World Sees Us

Reagan had to deal with the U.S.S.R. What foreign policy challenges will the next presidential term bring? And what does the rest of the world think of Obama vs. Romney?
Horia Varlan Flickr

The final presidential debate on Oct. 22 focused on foreign policy. But what does the world think of the U.S.?  The World's Aaron Schachter explains why it matters.

30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
6:59 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

30 Issues: What You Need to Know About ... Candidates' Visions for the Future

President Obama and Governor Romney shake hands after their first debate.
The University of Denver Flickr

What the Candidates Think  

Obama: President Obama’s "Economy Built to Last" envisions the United States as a global leader in technology and innovation and his plans are aimed at creating what he calls the jobs and economy of the future. Development of renewable energy and a robust green tech sector are central to his plans for both energy independence and economic growth.

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
12:13 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

30 Issues Discussion: Obama's Vision for America

WGBH's 30 Issues in 30 Days election coverage continues with a look at President Obama's vision for the country. In 2008 his vision of hope and change for the country was crystal clear. Four years later we're posing the question of whether or not if  Obama's vision has changed? Does the President have a clear vision for the future?

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
3:09 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

30 Issues Discussion: The Looming Retirement Crisis for Cities and Towns

There's no shortage of fiscal challenges for mayors, selectmen and city councilors across Massachusetts. In particular, Massachusetts' three-hundred-plus municipalities are dealing with pension obligations taking up nearly 20 percent of budgets.

Here's a shocking statistic: if current trends continue, more than half of every dollar in tax revenue could go to pensions.

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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
10:32 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

30 Issues: What You Need to Know About ... Municipal Aid

Phillip Martin WGBH

What the Candidates Think  

Massachusetts Democrats: In their party platform, Massachusetts Democrats state their support for spending state revenues to support local wellbeing, saying, "responsible investments today will provide positive outcomes in our communities for years to come." 

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
2:36 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

30 Issues Discussion: Rhode Island's Economy

The issue of jobs has been top of mind for most voters this election season. We learned this morning that unemployment here in the Bay State rose slightly from 6.3 to 6.5 percent last month. That’s still well below the national average of 7.8 percent — and nothing compared to our neighbors in Rhode Island, where they continue to struggle with  an unemployment rate of nearly 11 percent.

As part of our 30 issues in 30 days coverage we turn our attention now to the ocean state and the effort of one organization to turn things around there.

GUEST:

30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
11:40 am
Thu October 18, 2012

30 Issues: Why You Should Care About ... the Rhode Island Economy

The Rhode Island State House, as seen from College Hill.
thurdl01 Flickr Creative Commons

The collapse of Curt Schilling's 38 Studios has put Rhode Island's economy on the hot seat. But the Ocean State is struggling with bigger problems than the Schilling deal. Rhode Island has the nation's second-highest unemployment rate and considered one of the least business-friendly states in the U.S. Everyone, from Gov. Lincoln Chafee on down, is trying to turn it around.

30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
7:10 am
Thu October 18, 2012

30 Issues: What You Need to Know About ... the Rhode Island Economy

What the Candidates Think  

Cicilline: First District Cong. David Cicilline is a democrat who strongly supports President Obama’s economic agenda. During his time in office, Cicilline has introduced bills to give grants to struggling small businesses and prevent offshoring, and supported legislation focused on ending currency manipulation among America's trading partners. 

Doherty: Republican candidate Brendan Doherty supports Mitt Romney’s plan for lower taxes and budget cuts. Doherty argues he will support small business through "(1) fairness and consistency in the tax code; (2) lower and more predictable energy costs; (3) a smarter regulatory policy; and (4) reduced and predictable health care costs," and says, "By focusing on those areas, I believe the government can set the private sector free to usher in a new era of American economic expansion." 

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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
10:18 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

30 Issues: What Do You Think About ... Immigration?

Jens Schott Knudsen Flickr Creative Commons

What the Candidates Think  

Barack Obama has supported the bipartisan DREAM Act, which has not been passed in Congress but would grant conditional permanent residency to certain undocumented residents who arrived in the U.S. as minors, graduate from U.S. high schools and lived in the country continuously for at least 5 years prior to the bill's enactment. Additional residency time can be obtained for military service and college education.

Obama has added border patrol officers in the South and raised deportation figures from the previous administration, but those figures have been challenged by Republicans. 

Mitt Romney promises permanent immigration reform. He says he will “pursue a permanent solution that will not incentivize further illegal immigration, will be fair to those immigrants who entered the country legally and waited in line and will be consistent with his efforts to strengthen our legal immigration system.” Romney has called for giving young people the chance to become permanent residents, and eventually U.S. citizens, by serving in the military.

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30 ISSUES IN 30 DAYS
4:42 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

30 Issues: What's on the Minds of Immigrant Voters?

Vladimir Saldana, a senior at UMass Lowell and an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, will soon vote in his first presidential election.
Anne Mostue WGBH

We continue our 30 Issues in 30 Days series with a topic that was hot during the race for a Republican nominee, and re-emerged at the Oct. 16 debate: immigration.

The immigrant experience in Massachusetts teeters between excitement and fear. Vladimir Saldana is excited. At 21, he's a senior at UMass Lowell. But it's his journey to the States when he was 10 that has been building to this day. A few years ago, his mom became a U.S. citizen and since Saldana was 16, he too was naturalized. Now old enough to vote for the first time in a U.S. Presidential election, Saldana rattles off the major issues, "I care a lot about health care, it’s really important for every citizen, not just for immigrants or non-immigrants," he says. "I think it’s important for every citizen. Due to my history, I think health care, it should be universal. It should be for everyone so I do agree with how they call Obamacare, I side with that. Also, student loans and job creation."

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