‘Ask the Guv’
Gov. Charlie Baker is scheduled to appear on Boston Public Radio with co-hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan for their monthly “Ask the Guv” segment, WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.
Clean Energy Day
Clean energy leaders plan to set up a “business showcase” to highlight their work, with officials representing the industry scheduled to be joined by representatives from the Baker Administration and Legislature noon, Grand Staircase, noon.
East Boston groundbreaking
Gov. Baker joins Boston Mayor Martin Walsh to celebrate the official groundbreaking of “Boston East,” a 200-unit housing development in East Boston, 126 Border St., East Boston, 1:30 p.m.
Senate budget amendment deadline
Senators have until 5 p.m. Thursday to file amendments to the Senate’s fiscal 2017 budget bill that’s scheduled for floor deliberations beginning on Tuesday, May 24.
Is Weld helping House Republicans to handpick the next president?
Bill Weld is going for it: The former Massachusetts governor is expected to announce today that, yes, he will be running for vice president, joining the Libertarian Party ticket along with former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, the party’s presidential candidate, report the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan and Frank Phillips.
Besides giving local reporters license to now hound current Gov. Charlie Baker about whether he will support his former boss, what else will Weld’s move accomplish? The Johnson-Weld team may end up attracting a decent amount of support in this crazy election year. Who knows? But here’s what really jumped out at us in the Globe story: “If (their) bank-shot approach works, Weld, according to those who have spoken to him, and Johnson hope to deny Trump — as well as the likely Democratic nominee, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton — the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. That scenario would cast the election into the House of Representatives, which is currently controlled by Republicans.”
So are the two Republicans (or former Republicans, rather) in reality scheming to let Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan et gang handpick the next president of the United States of America? Doesn’t sound very “libertarian” to us. It’s also not a very attractive prospect for voters fed up with both major parties and their likely nominees.
Walsh adviser had Grand Prix stake
Chris Keohan, a campaign adviser to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh during his run for office, tells the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld that he had a financial stake in the defunct Boston Grand Prix event, earning equity in the event in exchange for work done by his company, CK Strategies. Keohan lobbied Walsh to support the Boston Grand Prix, Battenfeld notes. The financial-stake revelation—which Walsh’s office said the mayor was unaware of—comes as organizers say it could take another two months to refund all the money it took in from would-be ticket buyers.
In Amherst, it’s goodbye Columbus Day
Amherst Town Meeting voters adopted a resolution Wednesday night to mark “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” instead of Columbus Day on the second Monday in October, Diane Lederman of MassLive reports. The proposal was brought forward by a group of 8th grade students and its modeled after a similar move made by the city of Berkeley, California.
Feds subpoena the entire state Senate in Joyce probe
Talk about a “sweeping” investigation. Federal investigators have issued a subpoena to the state Senate seeking records from a small group of senators apparently tied in some way with the ongoing probe of Sen. Brian Joyce, reports the Globe’s Andrea Estes. The names of senators and the records sought were unclear.
Fear not: The entire state Senate is not about to get indicted. Estes reports some think the feds may be looking at committee records to see if Joyce might have contacted them on behalf of clients.
Besides using the word “sweeping” to describe the investigation, the word “fishing” also pops to mind.
Everything you ever wanted to know about rattlesnakes in Massachusetts
Recently, we openly wondered if the state has indeed introduced rattlesnakes in other parts of the state, prior to the recent (and controversial) push to recolonize a Quabbin Reservoir island with venomous snakes. Turns out that’s not quite the case, as reported by MassLive’s Ginautas Dumcius, who explains the state’s past history of trying to protect and bolster the small rattlesnake population in Massachusetts. But it wasn’t a full-scale colonization effort like that proposed at the Quabbin. It’s a good explainer piece.
‘Millionaire tax’ would pit towns versus towns
As expected, state lawmakers overwhelming voted yesterday to advance a constitutional amendment designed to generate nearly $2 billion for education and transportation by assessing a new surtax on households with incomes above $1 million, reports State House News Service’s Michael Norton in the BBJ.
In a separate piece, the BBJ’s editor, Doug Banks, points out that recently released Department of Revenue stats about the number of millionaires in each town resemble data-base materials his newspaper has already dug up. That’s not necessarily his point, though. The fact is that the number of millionaires appears to be dropping in various cities and towns since recent federal tax-law changes and that the state may not raise as much money as some think with the proposed new graduated income tax, he says. The article is accompanied by a chart that allows viewers to look up which towns have the most millionaires – and which towns will contribute the most if the “millionaire tax” is approved.
Ballot-question ad material: Prosecutors say man stoned when he slammed car into trooper
Opponents of a ballot question that would legalize marijuana may have some strong, albeit tragic and borderline exploitive, campaign material if this turns out to be true: “The man who slammed into Massachusetts State Police Trooper Thomas Clardy’s cruiser, causing the trooper’s death, has been charged with manslaughter after authorities say he was high on marijuana and speeding at the time of the crash.”
MassLive’s Lindsay Corcoran goes on: “Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Travers said (suspect David) Njuguna was at a medical dispensary for marijuana one hour prior to the crash and got three marijuana cigarettes. Travers said police found one partially smoked marijuana cigarette and a second one missing from Njuguna’s car.” Njuguna’s attorney said his client “absolutely denies” he was under the influence of drugs.
A one-two punch at Tito Jackson over Boston student walkout
A Globe editorial roughs up Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson for effectively encouraging and welcoming city school students to skip classes to protest recent BPS budget cuts by the Walsh administration. The Globe’s Joan Vennochi delivers her own blow at Jackson. But she also thinks Mayor Walsh can and should be doing more, such as: “Stop blaming ‘adults’ for riling up the kids. Back the vision he has for Boston schools with the facts and figures that make his case. Build a coalition that believes in what he’s trying to do. Stand up to Jackson in particular and political grandstanding in general.”
Re CLF’s suit against ExxonMobil: Did similar suits kill the tobacco industry?
The somewhat histrionic lead aside, WGBH News reports that the Conservation Law Foundation is suing ExxonMobil for what the environmental groups says has been “a decades-long campaign to discredit climate change.” That deliberate policy of denial has harmed many local communities, including neighborhoods near ExxonMobil’s Everett facility, CLF says.
The story then gets to the real point of the lawsuit: “In practical terms, ExxonMobile’s Everett facility is more of a trigger than a target. If the CLF lawsuit is successful, the assumption is that other legal assaults would be mounted in other markets.”
But what would those suits accomplish? Isn’t this roughly the same legal strategy deployed against tobacco companies and the tobacco industry? Major cases were won and attorneys, ad firms, governments and others collected a lot of money from tobacco companies, but what was accomplished in the end? The same goes for all the recent multibillion-dollar settlements against Wall Street firms for all their antics last decade. How much really changed as a result of those headline-grabbing cases and settlements?
Pioneer hits UMass on out-of-state student ratio
The Pioneer Institute will release a report Thursday that blasts the University of Massachusetts Amherst for focusing too much on recruiting out-of-state students, a move it says makes the system harder for Bay State students to get into, Laura Krantz of the Globe reports. Last year marked the first time UMass admitted more non-Massachusetts students, and the report’s lead researcher and former state inspector general Gregory Sullivan says that has helped put “UMass Amherst out of reach for many kids.” UMass President Marty Walsh hit back at the report, saying the conservative-leaning institute had predetermined findings and is biased in favor of private colleges.
Buyback bill sponsor vows to fight on
Rep. Colleen Garry says she will continue to fight for her bill that would limit sick day and vacation time buybacks for retiring state workers, though she acknowledges the legislation—which caps buybacks at 15 percent of a retiree’s pay— is likely going nowhere in the current session, Brian Dowling of the Herald reports. “It’s called public service for a reason,” Garry said. “Nobody is supposed to get rich on this.”
As Framingham bids to become a city, it also wants to look like one
As a committee works to develop a proposal to transform the town of Framingham into a city form of government, a proposed zoning bylaw change could help make it look more like a city, too. According to a report by Jim Halladin of the Metrowest Daily News, a special town meeting will take up a new development rights bylaw that would allow buildings as tall as 10 stories to be built in certain parts of town while preserving remaining open space in others.
Mariano: ‘The MBTA is a disgrace – an embarrassment to every tax payer’
It’s not exactly a good idea to get on the wrong side of a House Majority leader, but that’s exactly what the MBTA has done with state Rep. Ron Mariano, who “could only express shame for how the T affects businesses in Quincy,” reports Liam Hofmeister of the Patriot Ledger at Wicked Local. “The MBTA doesn’t have any money,” Mariano said at a recent meeting of business owners in Quincy. “The MBTA is a disgrace – an embarrassment to every tax payer in Massachusetts.”
Now tell us what you really think, Ron.
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