Happening Today

Verizon workers go on strike

Nearly 40,000 Verizon workers on the East Coast, including workers in Massachusetts, went on strike this morning at 6 a.m. over a lack of a new contract.

Baker at medical device conference

Gov. Charlie Baker speaks to medical device industry executives and others at the 20th annual MassMEDIC conference, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St., 11:00 a.m.

Road repair bill

House and Senate leaders appear determined to get a $200 million road repair bill to the governor’s desk by day’s end.

House budget

House leaders hold a press conference to discuss their proposed annual fiscal 2017 state budget, House Members’ Lounge, 2:45 p.m.

Equal Pay Day

The Caucus of Women Legislators hosts Equal Pay Day to call attention to the gender pay gap; state Auditor Suzanne Bump, Attorney General Maura Healey, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Treasurer Deb Goldberg are expected to deliver remarks, Grand Staircase, 1:30 p.m.

Today’s Stories

The Paradox of Robert DeLeo: Nice guy, nice strongman

By all accounts, Robert DeLeo is a nice and affable man, an old-fashioned gentleman who craves “consensus’ in the House that he serves as speaker. Yet there’s also a paradox to DeLeo, writes Michael Jonas in CommonWealth magazine: “But ‘consensus’ has also come to describe a way of operating in the House that scorns debate and freewheeling back and forth on issues, and doesn’t easily abide dissent or disagreement. Consensus often looks like the end result of a forced march to a predetermined end, as DeLeo looks for votes among his bulky 126-member Democratic caucus to be as close to unanimous as possible. In the process, say many House members, they have been increasingly marginalized and genuine give and take on issues has become rare.”

Now let the coup d’etat rumors and paranoia begin!


‘Whoa: Verizon to bring FiOS to Boston’

Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub notes that Verizon’s big announcement yesterday that it will invest $300 million to bring fiber-optic Internet and cable service to Boston officially ends an old “death battle” between the giant telecom and the late Mayor Menino, who famously feuded with Verizon for previously not providing high-speed broadband service to most city neighborhoods. In an interesting side note, the Herald is reporting that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft played a behind-the-scenes role in getting city and Verizon officials together to hammer out a fiber-optics agreement.

Note: The Verizon-Boston deal came on the eve of planned strike this morning by 40,000 Verizon workers, from Massachusetts to Virginia, over the lack of a contract. As they vowed, workers officially walked off their jobs at exactly 6 a.m. today, CNBC is reporting. Meanwhile, the Verizon-Boston deal also comes as Verizon is reportedly eyeing a potential bid to buy Yahoo’s Internet business, Forbes has reported. Verizon sure seems busy these days.

Universal Hub

Field set for Plymouth and Norfolk Senate race

Republican Patrick O’Connor and Democrat Joan Meschino will face each other for the right to fill the open Plymouth and Norfolk state Senate seat after easily winning their primary contests on Tuesday, Christian Schiavone of the Patriot Ledger reports. O’Connor captured 85 percent of the vote in the GOP contest while Meschino cruised to victory with 61 percent of the Democratic ballots cast in light turnout.

Patriot Ledger

Winthrop’s Boncore emerges from crowded Senate field

A strong ground game helped Winthrop businessman Joseph Boncore emerge at the top of a crowded and diverse Democratic field in Tuesday’s primary for the right to represent East Boston and neighboring communities in the state Senate, CommonWealth magazine reports. No Republicans have declared for the seat, which will be filled in a special election on May 10.


Trump’s dismal poll numbers in Massachusetts show he’s no Ronnie

It sure doesn’t look like Republican front-runner Donald Trump will pull a Ronald Reagan in Massachusetts if he ever wins the GOP presidential nomination. Recall that Ronnie, in this bluest of blue states, won Massachusetts both in 1980 and 1984, largely by winning over disgruntled “Reagan Democrats.” But despite Trump’s big win in the Bay State’s GOP presidential primary in March, it appears he’d get trounced by Hillary Clinton or U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in a general November match-up, according to a new poll by the Western New England University Polling Institute, reports State House News Service’s Michael P. Norton. Trump’s main GOP opponent, Ted Cruz, doesn’t fare much better in the poll.

SHNS (pay wall)

Happy Birthday, RomneyCare! Mass. has highest health premiums in the US

WBUR commemorates the tenth anniversary of passage of the state’s landmark universal health care law with a series of essays by various experts on the historic measure. But before the state collectively pats itself on the back for a job well done – and implementing the Chapter 58 law was indeed well done, a remarkably smooth transition – there’s also one sour note that has to be pointed out: We’re paying for it. Literally. Ten years after the law’s passage, Massachusetts families are now paying the highest insurance premiums in the country, reports MassLive’s Michael D. Kane.


Paul Ryan shoots down his own presidential trial balloon

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan channeled William Tecumseh Sherman yesterday, boldly declaring he’s not angling to win the presidential nomination if there’s a brokered GOP convention this summer. “Let me be clear: I do not want, nor will I accept the Republican nomination,” said Ryan, as quoted in a story by WGBH’s Susan David. But the Herald’s Kimberly Atkins says Ryan still has his eye on the White House – only now it’s focused on 2020. FYI, here’s the original Shermanesque quote: “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”


‘We’re not too upset’

Top executives at HubSpot, the Cambridge digital marketing firm that’s the subject of a scathing new book by author Dan Lyons, now say they’re not all that perturbed about how their firm is portrayed in ‘Disrupted,’ which chronicled Lyons’s year working at the company, reports the Boston Business Journal’s Sara Castellanos. “We’re not too upset,” HubSpot’s Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan write in their blog post on LinkedIn. “Though we’re disappointed that Dan’s experience at HubSpot was in such stark contrast to that of most of our employees, he is, of course, entitled to his opinion. But it is one person’s opinion.” 

It probably helped that ‘Disrupted’ isn’t exactly getting rave views, as evidenced by this New York Times review. BostInno’s Dylan Martin has more on HubSpot’s reaction to the book.


Nursing homes push for higher pay for workers

As House leaders prepare to release their proposed 2017 fiscal budget today, nursing home owners and a major union are banding together, for the time being, in a joint cause. From the Kay Lazar of the Globe: “Nursing home owners are lobbying for millions of dollars in Medicaid money to boost compensation for poorly paid workers, a campaign that has won the support of powerful advocates. But it will be up to an overwhelmed state agency to make sure the money really goes to workers, and that is fueling concerns, even among backers of the proposal.”

Boston Globe

Did DraftKings’ Boston ties save daily fantasy?

An early decision by Boston-based DraftKings to build strong relationships with the city and state may have helped it save the entire daily fantasy sports industry, Jason Schwartz of ESPN reports. “For all its missteps, DraftKings has done one thing masterfully over the years: woo the city of Boston.” Those strong alliances may have helped convince Attorney General Maura Healey to shift her focus toward regulating and preserving the industry, according to the report. 


Capuano: Extend the Green Line, hold the frills

U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano is confident the Green Line Extension project will be completed, even if it’s a stripped-down, no-frills version, Tori Bedford of WGBH reports. “I’ve always believed in accepting what you can get, as opposed to what you want,” Capuano said.


How Mass. pols use their campaign cash

Politicians use campaign accounts for a wide variety of expenses long after elections—or even their political careers—are over, Jack Sullivan of CommonWealth Magazine reports. Expenses charged to campaign accounts include car washes, Halloween costumes and lots and lots of meals.


George Foreman’s son lands $1M in VC funding for Boston boxing venture

You’re reaction to the headline might logically be: Huh? Who? What? But, yes, Breakaway, a Boston venture capital firm and branding agency, has invested in a local boxing startup co-founded by George Foreman III, the son of legendary boxing champ and grill-meister George Foreman, reports the Boston Business Journal’s Sara Castellanos. The three-year-old EveryBodyFights, based in the Seaport district, offers a boxing fitness program and classes, and also recently launched an online training certification program, among other services and products.


Today’s Headlines


Congressman Michael Capuano: Green Line Extension Doesn’t Have To Be Pretty, It Just Has To Work – WGBH

Tensions flare over Boston Public Market’s future – Boston Globe

FIoS rollout could take up to 6 years – Boston Globe

Winthrop official takes 7-way Senate race – Boston Globe


Ex-tax commissioner never left corporate boards – Boston Globe

East Longmeadow votes overwhelmingly to adopt new town charter – MassLive

Barre selectman refuses to resign; recall election looms – Telegram & Gazette

O’Connor, Meschino to face off for state Senate seat – Patriot Ledger

Pols have carte blanche with campaign cash – CommonWealth Magazine


Turning away please, Ryan rules out presidential bid – Boston Globe

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