Happening Today

Supreme Judicial Court to hear cases

The Supreme Judicial Court hears arguments in Commonwealth v. Eric Snyder; Commonwealth v. David Miller; and Commonwealth v. Eric Durand, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, second floor, Pemberton Square, 9 a.m. 

Carmen Ortiz keynotes women’s conference

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz keynotes the Network of Women in Solidarity’s 9th annual Women’s Conference. Reps. Jeffrey Sanchez, Liz Malia, and Marcos Devers are slated to host the event, State House, 9 a.m.

Education funding hearing

The Joint Committee on Education holds a rare Friday public hearing on H 4219, a bill that would change the way the state funds local school districts, Room A-2, 12 p.m.

Baker at Senate candidate fundraiser

Gov. Charlie Baker attends a fundraiser for Ludlow School Committee member Chip Harrington, who is running for state Senate in the 1st Hampden and Hampshire District, the Polish American Citizens Club, Ludlow, 6 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Down ticket trouble for GOP? Part II

In an item yesterday, we wondered how Donald Trump leading the Republican ticket this fall might impact local down-ballot races in Massachusetts. The somewhat conventional-wisdom conclusion: He’ll probably end up hurting local Republican candidates in this bluest of blue states.

But then State House News Service’s Matt Murphy came out with this stunning news, appearing in Commonwealth magazine: Republicans plan to put up challengers in only about 40 percent of House and Senate seats this fall. That’s right: The majority of seats are going unchallenged. Even for Massachusetts Republicans, this is extraordinary.

But state Republicans say it’s actually a deliberate policy to target very specific races they think they can retain and win – and that the strategy is aimed at a net increase in GOP seats. “We’re trying to work smart and efficiently, recognizing that this is a presidential year in an overwhelmingly entrenched Democratic machine state in terms of the top of the ticket, so we’re trying to make as much use of the year as we can,” said Mass GOP Chairwoman Kirsten Hughes.

OK, we get the theory and the limitations facing Republicans. And we also get the fact that Donald Trump, the future GOP presidential nominee, may well excite and attract a substantial number of blue-collar workers in some districts, such as in Revere, as MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg notes.

But state Republicans are definitely trying to thread a very small political needle here.

CommonWealth (SHNS)

Will Trump crown Warren?

Irony of ironies: Trump could end up hurting local Republicans while helping Elizabeth Warren. David Bernstein argues in Politico that the ascendance of Donald Trump may indeed help make Warren the leader of a new, powerful progressive movement in the U.S. Senate. While many have lamented her absence from the presidential race, Bernstein says Warren may be playing a long game that sees her emerge atop a newly constituted senate. “While Republicans decide which cliff to leap off, Trump’s nomination could unwittingly usher into power a small army of liberal women, following Warren into battle against wealthy money men like himself.”


Energy policy showdown

It might seem obscure: A court hearing yesterday over how to pay for new natural gas pipelines in Massachusetts. But the legal case is actually a big, big deal, as the Herald’s Jordan Graham notes: “A showdown that could dictate the future of energy in the Bay State is now in the hands of the state’s highest court as justices weigh whether utilities can charge ratepayers a surcharge for new natural gas pipelines.”

The issue is basically pitting the Baker administration, which favors some pipeline expansions in the state, against 
Attorney General Maura Healey and the Conservation Law Foundation – with an LNG company hovering in the background, it should be noted. CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl has more on the court hearing.

Boston Herald

Hospitals in talks with union to avert ballot question

This is interesting, as reported by the Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey: “Hospital industry executives are negotiating a deal with a major union for health care workers to stave off a November ballot question that could cost some of the state’s most prominent medical institutions hundreds of millions of dollars a year. At issue is a proposed ballot initiative by the Service Employees International Union, Local 1199, that would dramatically change the way health care is financed.”

Boston Globe

Cities offer up $75M to save Green Line extension. But will it be enough?

In an attempt to save the proposed Green Line extension project, the cities of Somerville and Cambridge have taken the unusual step of offering to contribute a combined $75 million toward getting the delayed project back on track, reports Andy Metzger of the State House New Service (pay wall). The offer came as a regional transportation planning agency also took steps to shift another $152 million toward the earlier stages of the extension project, reports the Globe’s Tim Logan and Travis Andersen. But with project cost overruns now pegged at about $1 billion, will the combined $227 million be enough? The MBTA and MassDOT boards may vote on the fate of the Green Line extension project as soon as Monday.

When it comes to fighting anti-Semitism, Newton can learn from Swampscott

In a piece headlined “A Tale of Two Jerusalems,” the Jewish Journal’s Joshua Resnek reports on how two communities – Swampscott and Newton – reacted differently to recent anti-Semitic incidents. The bottom line: many Jewish resident are still furious and frustrated that a city meeting last month in Newton, called after recent anti-Semitic incidents at Newton schools, somehow evolved into a discussion about discrimination in general.

As we’ve noted before, sometimes trying to broaden a message blunts a message. In the case of Newton, good-intentioned efforts to link one form of prejudice and hate to other forms of prejudice and hate merely blunted the important message that very specific anti-Semitic incidents were occurring in Newton. City officials lost sight of that simple fact.

Jewish Journal

GE’s Jeff Immelt finds a home in Boston

It seems General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, whose company is relocating from Connecticut to Boston, has found his own new abode in the city. The Boston Business Journal’s Catherine Carlock has the scoop: “Public records indicate Immelt and his wife, Andrea, are under contract to purchase a 3,565-square-foot triplex home at 36 Commonwealth Ave., a four-bedroom property located a stone’s throw from the Boston Public Garden. The condominium was listed for just shy of $8 million, or $2,243 per square foot, almost double its December 2007 sales price of $4.6 million. Features include a gourmet eat-in kitchen, a private deck, wood-paneled library and three fireplaces.”


Indy race explored Suffolk Downs option as bid sputtered

Organizers of the late effort to bring Indy Car racing to South Boston made a last-ditch effort to save the event by attempting to move it from Southie to Suffolk Downs, Joe Battenfeld of the Herald reports. Though some called the move a strategic one meant to appease investors, organizers went as far as to survey the horse track before pulling the plug completely.

Boston Herald

Farmers’ Market beer sales approved by Senate

The Massachusetts Senate has approved an agriculture bill that legalizes the sale of locally brewed beer at farmers’ markets and bans the use of plastic bags at those events, Shira Schoenberg of MassLive reports. The bill also gives farmers more options for selling raw milk to consumers and includes support for community garden programs.


DCF lags on hearings

The Department of Families and Children is falling short of its goal to expedite appeal hearings when children are removed from a home, Michael Levenson of the Globe reports. The problem is especially acute for low-income parents for whom obtaining legal counsel is a burden and comes as the DCF is on pace to remove a record number of children from their homes.

Boston Globe

Cap raised on Walsh attorney hire

A defense attorney first hired by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh last fall in the wake of the Top Chef scandal has had the cap on his contract with the city lifted to $200,000, Kyle Scott Clauss of Boston Magazine reports. Nixon Peabody attorney Brian T. Kelly is earning $625 an hour from the city and was originally to be paid no more than $50,000.

Boston Magazine

Sunday public affairs TV

DC Dialogue, NECN, 10 a.m. Rich Doherty, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, on how to make college more affordable and the economic impact of the commencement season in Massachusetts; political analyst Scott Spradling discusses presidential politics  

This Week in Business, NECN, 12:30 p.m. Guests: Jim Rooney, Greater Boston Chamber CEO, and a panel discussion on whether Boston is the city of “no,” hydropower policy, post-college job hunting, and the changing role of CEOs.

CEO Corner, NECN, 8:30 p.m. Timberland president Stewart Whitney on plans for growth, the switch from being a family owned company to corporate-owned business, and Timberland’s commitment to philanthropy and environmental causes.

On the Record, WCVB Channel 5, 11 a.m. Guest: U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, followed by a political roundtable discussion on current political events.

Matter of Fact with Fernando Espuelas, WCVB Channel 5, 11:30 a.m. Guests include: Francesca Chambers, White House correspondent for the Daily Mail, on the presidential race, and Diane Guerrero, an actress in the Netflix show “Orange is the New Black,” on her new book about her life as the daughter of undocumented immigrants, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the National Institute of Health.

Today’s Headlines


Cities offer $75m Green Line lifeline – Boston Globe

Grand hopes dashed for Indy event – Boston Herald

Marty Walsh increases defense attorney’s taxpayer-funded contract to $200,000 – Boston Magazine

Boston public schools students may have consumed lead-tainted water – Boston Magazine

Wynn says construction will start this summer – CommonWealth Magazine

GE CEO Jeff Immelt has found a home in Boston – Boston Business Journal


Lowell schools begin to address serious lag in minority hiring – Lowell Sun

Carney to pursue horse racing at Fairgrounds after casino bid dies – The Enterprise

Analysis: Massachusetts is still not Trump country – WBUR

Foes of legal pot say public misled on ballot initiative – Cape Cod Times

Abington now final hurdle for Southfield developer – Patriot Ledger

Worcester urban renewal plan gets mostly positive response – Telegram & Gazette

Worcester deputy police chief Steve Sargent is promoted to chief – Telegram & Gazette

Enraged Wellesley parent’s emails led to cancellation of Trump skit – Boston Magazine

The gateway debate over marijuana – CommonWealth Magazine

State fight for delegates divides Democrats – Boston Globe


Paul Ryan declines to endorse Donald Trump – Boston Globe

Strategist Mary Matalin leaves GOP. Here’s why – Boston Globe

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