Democratic National Convention
Hillary Clinton will deliver a prime-time speech tonight in Philadelphia accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination for president of the United States.
Former Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and U.S. Reps. William Keating and Jim McGovern are slated to speak to Massachusetts and Washington state delegates at a joint breakfast program at the DNC in Philadelphia this morning.
Criminal fees hearing
The Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee will hear testimony on fees and fines related to the state’s criminal justice system, with the committee expected to hear from District Court Chief Paul Dawley, Probation Commissioner Edward Dolan, Deputy Correction Commissioner Carol Mici, Parole Board Executive Director Michael Callahan, Public Counsel Services Committee Chief Counsel Anthony Benedetti and Prisoners’ Legal Services Executive Director Leslie Walker, Room 428, State House, 10:30 a.m.
Things to watch for in Hillary’s speech
For many in the media, the narrative for Hillary Clinton’s big speech tonight in Philadelphia is already written: She’s the first female ever nominated by a major party for president of the United States of America – framed with obligatory references to her trying to overcome divisions within her Democratic party (and some possible boos and heckles by Bernie backers during her speech), her inevitable shots at Donald Trump (to thunderous cheers) and her own long and contentious road to this moment (the list is too long to cite here). But here’s what we’ll be looking for tonight: Her attempts to reach out to middle America. Specifically, how she addresses terrorism and the economic concerns of Americans, particularly working- and middle-class Americans. This is where the presidential ballgame is going to be decided this fall.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (circa America 1970s), Gerald Ford once made an historic presidential “gaffe” by asserting that there was no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. It cost Ford a lot of votes in the ’76 presidential election. But Donald Trump did that comment one better yesterday, expressing hope that Russia’s email-hacking intelligence services release Hillary Clinton’s own hacked emails in the middle of a presidential race, as the NYT reports. Granted, Trump’s camp later backed off the comment and, granted, Russia today is not the Soviet Union. But it’s still a hostile nation that has thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at the United States – and Trump’s comment is simply off-the-charts irresponsible, reckless and whatever else you want to call it. But you no what? It probably won’t make a damn difference, even though it damn well should. He’s Teflon Trump, in addition to being Tricky Trump, etc., etc.
Former DNC flack ponders his place in hacked emails history
Former Democratic National Committee flack, political consultant and columnist Kevin Franck explains in a piece on Medium why his name appears in one of the emails released after a mysterious hack that many say is tied to the Russians. “The Russian government may have its eye on me,” Franck writes, noting that he expected to see his name appear even more in the inflammatory documents released by WikiLeaks, since he regularly keeps in touch with former colleagues at the DNC. Instead, he’s mentioned once in connection with a column he was planning to pen for the Herald on Donald Trump’s tax returns.
Fired up Sanders pays a surprise visit to Massachusetts delegation
The backers of Bernie Sanders may still be steaming over the nomination of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party’s nominee for president. But Sanders, Clinton’s primary rival over the past year, is showing he means it when he says he’s going to go all out in support of Clinton against Donald Trump. Yesterday, he paid a surprise visit to a breakfast gathering of Massachusetts delegates in Philadelphia – and proceeded to rip into Trump, reports Andy Metzger at SHNS (pay wall). “I’ll tell you what is different about Trump and what is dangerous about Trump. Trump is a demagogue,” Sanders told delegates. “We all have Republican friends and we disagree with them, but most of them happen to believe in the constitution of the United States of America. Trump does not.” The Herald’s Chris Vallani and Chris Cassidy report that some (repeat: some) of Bernie’s backers are grudgingly accepting his new message. “I have held out until the very end, until I heard from Bernie that it is time to move on and support Hillary and I am going to do it,” said Vermont resident Martha Allen, the head of the Vermont chapter of the National Education Association.
Healey facing growing backlash over her ‘copycat’ assault weapons edict
Criticism of Attorney General Maura Healey’s crackdown on “copycat” assault weapons is no longer confined to Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, and the gun-industry lobby. Democratic lawmakers are now pushing back against her edict last week that would make it more difficult for gun dealers to sell modified assault weapons in Massachusetts. Rep. Harold Naughton, the House chair of the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, wrote in a letter to Healey that she was “overstepping her authority” and that her new directive on the sale of assault weapons is “confusing,” reports the Boston Herald. Meanwhile, Rep. John Fernandes, the House chair of the Judiciary Committee, has circulated a letter among his colleagues this week for signatures to ask Healey to clarify how her office would now enforce the assault weapons ban and to point to her constitutional or statutory authority to take such steps, according to a State House News Service report at Wicked Local.
But Healey has her share of defenders. “Our Massachusetts Attorney General is correctly enforcing our existing assault weapons ban,” Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan said in a statement, as reported at MassLive.“It is shocking that over 10,000 copycat assault weapons were sold last year in Massachusetts.”
Baker’s SJC nominees: Two down, one to go
David Lowy, a Superior Court judge who was nominated to the state’s highest court by Gov. Charlie Baker, won unanimous approval from the Governor’s Council yesterday to be the state’s next member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, according to a report at WBUR. “I want to congratulate the administration on an outstanding nominee,” Councilor Terrence Kennedy said, making the motion to confirm Lowy. “He is a great jurist and he is going to be a great addition to our Supreme Judicial Court.” Lowy is the second of Baker’s three recent nominations to the SJC. The council recently confirmed Superior Court Justice Frank Gaziano for a seat on the top court, and the council is scheduled to hold a confirmation hearing for the third Baker nominee, Kimberly Budd, on August 3.
And now Baker gets to leave his mark on the state’s appeals court too
Gov. Baker, who got the rare shot of nominating three people at the same time to the state’s highest court, now gets to leave his stamp on the state’s appeals court. Baker nominated two Superior Court justices and two people from the attorney general’s office yesterday to the Massachusetts Appeals Court: Superior Court Justice Kenneth Desmond, Superior Court Justice James Lemire, state solicitor Peter Sacks, and Assistant Attorney General Sookyoung Shin, reports the Globe’s Meg Bernhard. Martin Healy, chief operating officer of the Massachusetts Bar Association, praised Baker’s picks. “What struck me at first was that all of the nominees have toiled in the trenches of law practice,” he said.
Study: Why not use E-ZPass transponders for other purposes, even drive-through restaurants?
Noting the emergence of all-electronic tolling and the planned elimination of Turnpike toll booths later this year, the Pioneer Institute has issued a new white paper that calls on state leaders to embrace transponder payment technology for a wider variety of purposes, such as for parking and retail services, not just for roadway tolls, the Boston think tank announced yesterday. The transponders could be used for T and Logan Airport parking garages, ticket purchases and other transit services – and they can even be used for private commerce in general, from gas stations to drive-through restaurants, the report says.
The idea isn’t nearly as far-fetched as it may sound. In her recent book “Move: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead,” Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter argues it’s critical for transportation officials and others to adopt emerging sensor technologies for a wide variety of uses, including traffic-light stops and railroad crossing gates. She didn’t mention McDonald’s or Taco Bell drive-thru windows, though.
Somerville mayor stands firm on banner
Despite a planned protest today by police officers from around the state, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone said the Black Lives Matter banner that has sparked outcry will not be removed from City Hall. O’Ryan Johnson of the Herald reports that Curtatone swatted away suggestions that the banner is inflammatory and could encourage violence against police. ““We don’t put up signs for the sake of putting up signs,” Curtatone said. “That sign is a testimony of this community’s values and when we say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ we’re saying your life matters, mine, yours, and everyone else’s — including police.”
The fastest growing school district in Massachusetts? Everett
As the Boston Business Journal’s Craig Douglas notes, when one thinks of fast-growing school districts in the state, it’s usually of affluent towns and cities where new residents flock to send their kids to the best schools possible. To an extent, that’s quite true, with communities such as Belmont, Brookline and Wellesley seeing huge student enrollment surges over the past ten years. But blue-collar cities like Everett and Chelsea are also seeing dramatic rises in student enrollments. Douglas explains why in his story.
Odds are long on second slots parlor
Even if voters back Question 1 in November and clear the way for a second slots parlor in the state, the plan faces a number of additional hurdles—all of which help make the ballot referendum “one of the most mysterious ballot questions voters have confronted in years,” Stephanie Ebbert of the Globe reports. The shadowy developer behind the push would still need to convince the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to rewrite its rules and strike an agreement with host community Revere, where the mayor has derided the proposal, the Globe reports.
HUD funding shift hits home
Changes in federal funding formulas that favor “housing first” programs have meant millions in lost dollars for existing safety net programs across the state, Kathleen McKiernan of the Herald reports. In Boston alone, $2.5 million in funding has evaporated, leading to job cuts and closure of job training and mental health support programs. A Lawrence facility that has housed a dozen homeless men for the past 30 years is expected to close its doors this fall.
Senate battle highlights charter divide
The race for the state Senate seat representing Medford, Somerville and Cambridge highlights the division even among Democrats over how the state should approach the expansion of charter school seats in Massachusetts, Mike Deehan of WGBH reports. Incumbent Sen. Patricia Jehlen has campaigned against the ballot question that would lift the cap, while challenger Leland Cheung says he backs the initiative. But the two Democrats do share some common ground: Both see the proposed “Millionaires Tax” push as a necessary step to boost overall spending on education.
Brockton mayor’s driver was paid OT after all
The back-and-forth over police overtime budgets and the mayor’s use of a police detail driver continues in Brockton, with a city councilor releasing a document that shows the driver was paid overtime in fiscal year 2016, Marc Larocque of the Enterprise reports. Mayor Bill Carpenter’s use of a police driver, which he said is necessary at times for security, became an issue after the mayor pushed back at the City Council for reducing his overtime budget request for the police department. “I’m releasing the information, and we’ll let the public decide,” City Councilor Winthrop Farwell said after he provided the document to the media.
Last stop: ‘Voice of T’ is retiring
Frank Oglesby, Jr., known as the “voice of the MBTA” for his recorded voice announcements on T trains and buses, is retiring at the end of this month, after 20 years doing the automated voice recordings so familiar to transit riders, Spencer Buell reports at Boston magazine. “It just seemed like a good time,” says Oglesby of his retirement. Next stop for Oglesby? Maybe some studio voice gigs elsewhere, he says.
Following boy’s death, center’s director is on leave – Boston Globe
Somerville mayor holds firm on Black Lives Matter banner – Boston Globe
Suffolk board expected to discuss McKenna inquiry – Boston Globe
Cambridge/Somerville/Medford Senate race showcases Democrats’ split over charter schools – WGBH
Brushing off criticism, Healey defends gun action – Boston Globe
Taunton city councilor calls for more communication between tribe and city over casino construction – Taunton Gazette
Menagerie of Mass. ballot questions seen as sign of civil health – New Boston Post
Four nominated to appeals court – Boston Globe
Plan for second Mass. slots parlor faces steep odds – Boston Globe
HUD shift shutters shelters – Boston Herald
Worcester garages could soon sport ads – Telegram & Gazette
Pets get political on Cape Cod – Cape Cod Times
Proposal to tax B&B’s unlikely to pass – Cape Cod Times
The towns and cities with the fastest-growing school districts – Boston Business Journal
Suit that delayed $40M downtown Lowell dorm construction settled – Lowell Sun
Central Mass. unemployment drops in June – Worcester Business Journal
Document: police detail assigned to drive Brockton mayor makes $25,000 in overtime in fiscal ’16 – Brockton Enterprise
Obama passes baton of hope to Clinton – New York Times
Trump again proves he’s the chaos candidate – Washington Post
Clinton’s convention is for TV; Trump’s is for Twitter – New York Times
‘Treason’? Critics savage Trump over Russia hack comments – Politico
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