Small business boost
Gov. Charlie Baker and Small Business Administration administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet give opening remarks at the ‘Massachusetts Business Matchmaker’ event hosted by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell, 9:30 a.m.
Rally by human service workers
Hundreds of human service workers will rally at the State House to garner support for creating a college loan repayment program, push for an expansion of a tuition remission program and lobby for affordable health insurance, Great Hall, 10: 30 a.m.
Solar bill signing
Gov. Charlie Baker will sign a bill to reform incentives and lift the cap on the amount of solar power that can be sold back to the grid, Governor’s Office, 11 a.m.
Drug price caps
The Joint Committee on Health Care Financing holds a hearing on Sen. Mark Montigny’s bill that would allow regulators to cap prices on some drugs and require manufacturers to disclose the cost of developing and marketing drugs, Room B-1, 11 a.m.
The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meets to go over its proposed annual budget, Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Suite 3830, 11 a.m.
North-South Rail Link meeting
Members of the proposed North-South Rail Link will meet at the State House to continue private discussions on how to advance construction of an underground rail link between North and South stations; Steve Kadish, the governor’s chief of staff, and former Gov. William Weld are among those expected to attend, Room 428, 12 p.m.
Sox home opener
The Boston Red Sox host their home opener Monday against the Baltimore Orioles, Fenway Park, 2:05 p.m.
Remembering Barbara Anderson, one of the most influential activists of her time
Whether you agreed with her anti-tax views or not, Barbara Anderson was easily one of the most effective and consequential political activists in recent memory in Massachusetts. Among other things, she played a leading role in getting the landmark Proposition 2 ½ passed in 1980. She played a huge role in burying the derogatory, damaging and then deserved “Taxachusetts” label that had dogged the state for decades. She was even once famously referred to as the “de factor governor” by a frustrated lawmaker. Anderson, the long-time head of Citizens for Limited Taxation, 73, died Friday of leukemia. The outpouring of respect over the weekend was pretty impressive.
Samplings from the Globe’s main story over the weekend:
— “To allies, Ms. Anderson was a ‘tax-cut tigress.’ To opponents, a ‘tax-cut terrorist.’ There was, however, no disagreement on her effectiveness. A longtime ally, Howard Foley, founding president of the Massachusetts High Technology Council, hailed her as ‘the most powerful political figure in Massachusetts.’”
— “When (Proposition 1 ½ ) was passed, in fiscal year 1981, Massachusetts ranked sixth among all states in the amount of state and local taxes residents paid per $1,000 of personal income. Five years later, in fiscal year 1986, it ranked 14th. By 1990, it had dropped to 36th.”
— “‘She was incredible,’ said Jim Braude, who as executive director of the Tax Equity Alliance for Massachusetts traveled the state with Ms. Anderson from the late-1980s through the mid-’90s, debating opposite sides of the tax-cut initiatives she championed. “She was a political force of nature. I’ve never seen anything like it before.’”
From the Herald over the weekend:
–“‘I probably was on the opposite side of everything Barbara Anderson used to advocate for,’ said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, recalling his battles with Anderson when he was a Democratic state rep. ‘I’ll tell you, she was a fierce, strong advocate for what she believed in, and she’s an icon in this city and this state for fighting what she believed was right and she’ll be missed.’”
— “‘She was a formidable opponent, she was well-prepared, she was very good on her feet,” (former House Speaker Thomas) Finneran told the Herald. ‘She would take some of the statutory language and boil it down to a few punches right to the solar plexus and you had to be prepared or you were going to look like a fool.’”
Ray Carbone at the Salem News, Anderson’s hometown paper, also has a good look-back at Anderson’s career and political impact.
The big winner after today’s drug prices hearing? The insurance industry
A legislative hearing will be held today at the State House to review a controversial bill that would allow regulators to cap some drug prices and force companies to reveal how much they spend making and marketing drugs. The Boston Business Journal’s Donald Seiffert dares to predict that nothing substantive will come out of the hearing except for something the health insurance lobby desperately wants: highly negative headlines about bad old drug companies.
About that ‘satirical front page’ in the Globe on Sunday
In case you missed it, the Sunday Globe ran a ‘satirical front page’ (as seen here in a pdf) on the front cover of the paper’s Ideas section, with an accompanying editorial inside titled ‘The GOP must stop Trump.’ Because it was in a well-known opinion section, there’s no problem here with the satire. It was sort of a clever concept. But the satire was a little, well, heavy-handed and crude. You decide, based on some of the fake front page’s headlines: “DEPORTIONS TO BEGIN” and “Curfews extended in multiple cities” and “US soldiers refuse to kill ISIS families” and “New libel law targets ‘absolute scum’ in the press.” Not exactly Onion material here.
The editorial’s explanation for the fake front page: “It is an exercise in taking a man at his word. And his vision of America promises to be as appalling in real life as it is in black and white on the page. It is a vision that demands an active and engaged opposition.”
OK, but here’s one problem with that explanation: The only thing more contemptible than some of Trump’s stated views is the high probability that he cynically doesn’t believe many of the contemptible things he’s saying. If he’s elected (and that’s a low probability), the non-satirical future headlines might read: “NYT criticized for not earlier revealing Trump’s true views on immigration.” Here’s another problem: To truly “stop” Trump, it’s important to understand what makes many of his supporters tick. It isn’t all about multiculturism, as the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan makes abundantly clear in this excellent Globe piece on how Trump is tapping deeply into working-class resentment over the loss of rural manufacturing jobs.
In addition, such media satire will “provide Trump with yet another talking point about how his candidacy is driving the media insane” and it will “embolden Trump’s ardent supporters,” as WaPo’s Chris Cillizza writes. Of course, Trump was already flogging the fake front page yesterday, according to the Hill.
The ‘Fight for $15’ minimum-wage campaign comes to the State House
Don’t look now, but the next big thing to arrive in force at the State House is the ‘Fight for $15’ campaign for a higher minimum wage in Massachusetts. Backers plan to hold a rally on Thursday to push the wage to $15 an hour, after a string of minimum-wage victories in other parts of the country, reports the Herald’s Jordan Frias.
‘The case for all female ride shares’
Callie Crossley on the new Chariot for Women ride service, by and for women, that debuts soon in Boston: “Well this is awkward. Me, the champion of anti discrimination and equal rights, excited about the possibility of an all female share riding service.”
Former Boston Harbor Hotel managing director tapped as state’s new tourism chief
Francois-Laurent Nivaud, best known for his former role as managing director of the Boston Harbor Hotel, has been appointed head of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, reports State House News Service’s Andy Metzger. Besides running Boston Harbor Hotel for years, Nivaud also helped found the Boston Wine Festival and the Massachusetts Lodging Association and long held a director post at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Sanders dominates Western Mass. political donations
Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brought in the most political donations from residents of Western Massachusetts, MassLive’s Shannon Young reports. Federal Election Commission data show Sanders raised $336,000 from residents of the region through the end of February, $84,000 more than rival Hillary Clinton and well ahead of all GOP contenders.
Norwell banker declares for Congress
Norwell banker Christopher Cataldo says he will run as an independent to unseat U.S. Rep. William Keating, D-Mass. in the state’s 9th Congressional District, Geoff Spillane of the Cape Cod Times reports. The 26-year-old is the second Independent in the race, which has also drawn two Republican hopefuls.
Railers eye corporate backing
Now that it has a name—the Railers—Worcester’s new semi-professional hockey team is now reaching out for the corporate support it needs, Sam Bonacci of the Worcester Business Journal reports. The team must raise a minimum of $350,000 in annual support form corporations to attract matching funds from the league, but is aiming to raise far more.
Lowell weighs school cuts
The city of Lowell is grappling with what is still a $1 million school budget deficit, one that will likely lead to layoffs, Amelia Pak-Harvey and Grant Welker of the Lowell Sun report. The city believes it can spare teachers from any job cuts as it continues to work on the deficit, which began at more than $5 million.
Federal judge reveals possible N.Y. Giants bias, disses Pat fans’ Deflategate suit
That was our stab at a satirical headline. Anyway, here’s Adam Gaffin on the latest in the Deflategate lawsuit by some Pats fans: “A federal judge on Friday rejected a request by several Patriots fans to order the NFL to give the team its first-round draft pick back this year. US District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor didn’t even wait for the NFL or Robert Kraft – also named in the suit – to respond to the original complaint. He said the suit was so unlikely to succeed he didn’t want to waste the court’s limited resources any further considering the requested temporary restraining order. … Judges don’t snort in rulings, but Saylor came close …”
Monday’s MassterList Review of Book Reviews
We’re going to experiment with a new feature in MassterList: A review of the weekend reviews of books of local interest or by local authors. It may or may not run every week. We’ll see how it goes. As for the inaugural Monday’s MassterList Review of Book Reviews post, here goes:
John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit by James Traub, reviewed by Joseph J. Ellis in the NYT. Ellis calls the biography of Boston’s very own John Quincy Adams ‘splendid’ and praises Traub’s approach toward capturing the life of the former diplomat, president and Congressman: “John Quincy Adams is easy to admire, but difficult to like, much less love. Traub, whose books include ‘The Freedom Agenda,’ recognizes this problem from the start and solves it by not trying. His Adams is cold, emotionally stunted, impossibly solitary and self-contained, just the kind of man who, as Ralph Waldo Emerson described him, took sulfuric acid with his tea. Even his own adoring son Charles Francis acknowledged that ‘he makes enemies by perpetually wearing the iron mask.’ ”
Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams by Louisa Thomas, reviewed Joanne Freeman in the NYT. Freeman is as awed by Louisa Catherine Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams, as the book’s author. Freeman on Louisa Adams: “(P)erhaps the most extraordinary thing about her was her penchant for writing. She left behind not only an abundant correspondence, but also a diary, poetry, plays, fiction and — remarkably — three fragmentary autobiographical accounts, one of them detailing her adventure-laden trip from Russia to Paris in the war-torn winter of 1815, the other two recounting her experiences and thoughts.” She’s also given credit for playing no small role in getting her husband elected president.
Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble, by Dan Lyons, reviewed by Nancy Franklin in the NYT. Franklin generally liked the book, about the author’s crazy experience working at Cambridge’s HubSpot, until the book skidded off the rails: “Lyons doesn’t get below the surface of the place, or get to know anyone; connection and insight don’t seem to be his strengths. It’s not all his fault: After being hired as a ‘marketing fellow,’ he is essentially ignored, and has nothing useful to do, and no one listens to his ideas. Naturally, he hates HubSpot almost instantly.” She adds that Lyons seems “an unreliable narrator of his own story” when he appears to feign surprise by a controversy involving a top HubSpot executive who tried to get hold of an advance copy of ‘Disrupted.’
And, yes, we’ll include non-NYT book reviews moving forward.
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