Happening Today

Rally for transit workers

Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman Tom McGee, state Sens. Marc Pacheco and Sal DiDomenico, and other pols plans to rally with transit workers opposing privatizations efforts at the MBTA, Faneuil Hall, Boston, 12 p.m.

Governor’s Council

The Governor’s Council meets for possible vote on a new Superior Court judgeship and later meets to interview the nominee for a district court circuit judgeship, Governor’s Council Chambers, 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.

Environmental committee

The Joint Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee hears public testimony on a bill that would prohibit high-pressure gas blasting “that results in contamination or water quality reduction of a private drinking water supply,” Room A-1, 1 p.m.

McGovern talks Hemingway

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern will join Ada Rosa Alfonso Rosales, director of the Museo Hemingway and member of the Cuban National Cultural Heritage Council, Bob Vila, television home improvement show host, and others for a panel discussion on the effort to preserve Ernest Hemingway’s home, known as the Finca Vigía, as well the documents, photographs and books inside it, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Columbia Point, Boston, 2 p.m.

Rally for Harvard dining workers

The Massachusetts AFL-CIO, Greater Boston Labor Council and the Metro Boston Building Trades Council host a labor rally to show solidarity and support for the striking Harvard University dining services workers, Science Center Plaza deck, 1 Oxford St., Cambridge, 2:30 p.m.

Rick Steves’s pro-pot road show

PBS travel expert Rick Steves, who was in Amherst yesterday, will discuss marijuana legalization at an event hosted by Women Grow Boston and Moms for Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana, UMass Club, 1 Beacon St., Boston, 6 p.m.

Senate seat debate

Eric Lesser, the incumbent Democrat, and Chip Harrington, a challenging Republican, face off in a televised debate on issues in the 1st Hampden and Hampshire Senate district, Springfield Community Access TV, Ch. 17, Focus Springfield Studio, 1200 Main St., Springfield, 7 p.m.

Vacationing in Ireland

Gov. Charlie Baker is vacationing in Ireland and expected back in Massachusetts on Thursday.

Today’s Stories

The big question: How much damage will Trump’s candidacy inflict on GOP legislative candidates?

Brent Benson crunches the historical election numbers and finds that Donald Trump’s candidacy may have a major impact on key legislative races in Massachusetts. It all depends on how badly he loses in the state, writes Benson at CommonWealth magazine. He lists 12 closely contested legislative races, five of them with Republican incumbents, where an unexpectedly larger or smaller margin of victory for Hillary Clinton could “easily swing the race one way or another.” Republican Rep. Kate Campanale’s district faces the “highest degree of uncertainty,” he notes.


Bump quashes rumors on her future

Auditor Suzanne Bump made it quite clear yesterday: She is not stepping down early, she is running for re-election in two years, and she will retain control of her late husband’s businesses while letting someone else run their day-to-day operations. Left unsaid but definitely implied: All you lawmakers dreaming of moving up the political ladder can forget about it. The Globe’s Frank Phillips has more on Bump’s definitive quashing of speculation about her future.

Boston Globe

Did Globe coordinate editorial coverage with Hillary’s campaign?

The conservative New Boston Post, via the Daily Caller News Foundation, is reporting that the latest Wikipedia email leaks show that the Boston Globe “worked with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to maximize her ‘presence’ during her primary race against Sen. Bernie Sanders.” The issue had to do with an op-ed piece being timed with regular news coverage of a Hillary trip to New Hampshire. We hate to pop the conservative-conspiracy bubble on this, but timing op-eds and editorials with actual news events is done all the time. It’s what makes editorial pages timely and compelling. The conservative Wall Street Journal does it. The conservative Fox News does it. Dare we say even the New Boston Post does it too?

New Boston Post

Is ‘congestion pricing’ coming down the Pike?

The MassDOT’s contract with a consultant hired to help implement all-electronic tolling opens the door to additional innovations in the future, including congestion pricing that would charge drivers more for hitting the road during rush hour, Ryan Kath of WBZ’s I-Team reports. When seeking consultant proposals, the state also mentioned options such as carpool lanes and even charging drivers based on vehicle miles traveled—which would have been the focus of a proposed pilot program that Gov. Baker shot down earlier this year.


Citing Napoleon, Caesar and Hitler, Weld warns of being ‘enslaved’ under a Trump presidency

Former Massachusetts governor and Libertarian vice presidential candidate William Weld gave a part stump speech, part history lesson last night to Harvard Republicans, warning them about how democracies have died throughout history and weaving Napoleon, Caesar and Hitler into his talk. The upshot: the same could happen if Donald Trump wins the presidency. “The man on horseback comes along, people say you’re the only one who can save us and then they’re enslaved,” said Weld, as reported by the Herald’s O’Ryan Johnson.

Boston Herald

Warren presented Clinton with a do’s-and-don’ts wish list

We recall news reports that Elizabeth Warren pressed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to hire future administration staffers without strong ties to Wall Street. But what we don’t recall is Warren advisor Dan Geldon specifically singling out former Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin and current treasury counselor Antonio Weiss for harsh criticism, according to the latest alleged Wikipedia email leaks, as reported by Shannon Young at MassLive. Geldon was also “very critical” of the Obama administration’s choices of staffers, the emails suggest. The bottom line on this latest round of email leaks? They do no harm to Warren at all and, if anything, the emails show that she says in private what she says in public: She really doesn’t like Wall Street.


Transgender-rights law now under assault on two fronts

The recently passed transgender-rights bill is now being challenged on both legal and political grounds, with four churches yesterday filing a lawsuit against the new state law while the secretary of state’s office confirmed that opponents had gathered enough signatures to put a repeal initiative on the 2018 ballot, reports the Globe’s David Scharfenberg. The latter was expected. The former came as somewhat of a surprise and poses fascinating legal questions about whether churches must comply with the law’s anti-discrimination provisions, legal experts say. 

Boston Globe

Groups have poured $11M into ballot-question TV ads so far

The election season isn’t even over and already groups backing various ballot-question initiatives have spent or committed $11.3 million on television ads alone, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout. “The deluge, however, is expected to expand,” notes Stout.

Boston Herald

Shocker: Most businesses back charter expansion

Bay State businesses surveyed by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts overwhelmingly support expansion of charter schools by a two-to-one margin, Greg Ryan of the Boston Business Journal reports. The lobbying group—itself a supporter of Question 2—said 68 percent of the companies it asked want to lift the cap and 32 percent want to keep it in place. Meanwhile, the city of Lowell has injected some data points into the Question 2 debate, with an auditor’s report saying costs associated with charter schools have doubled since 2007 to nearly $17 million—even as state aid to cover those costs has remained basically flat—Grant Welker of the Lowell Sun reports. Lowell had 1,500 students in charter schools last year. 

Warren’s consumer bureau takes a legal hit

A U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency first conceived by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, is unconstitutional because its director is too powerful, independent and “subject to no check,”reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. A story by the Herald’s Kimberly Atkins is portraying the court’s action as a major legacy setback for Warren. But in a statement, Warren said the ruling will likely be overturned, adding it “bizarrely relies on a mischaracterization of my original proposal” and represents only a “a small, technical tweak” to the overall Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Feed the geese, pay the price

The Boston City Council is considering a flock of ideas to deter Canada geese from congregating and making a mess in city parks, including potential fines for people who feed the migratory birds, Dan Atkinson of the Herald reports. The city’s parks commissioner told the council his department is constantly picking up after the geese, who reportedly now number 8,000 within Route 128—each one capable of producing three pounds of waste daily.

Boston Herald

Legislation would protect evidence in sexual assault and rape cases for years

In the age of DNA testing years after a crime is committed, this makes perfect sense, as reported by SHNS’s Colin Young and Katie Lannan at Wicked Local: “Evidence in sexual assault or rape cases that have not yet been reported as crimes would be required to be preserved for at least 15 years under a bill the Legislature on Tuesday delivered to Gov. Charlie Baker. In practical terms, the bill is designed to ensure that evidence associated with rapes and sexual assaults will be retained for the duration of the statute of limitations, a step advocates hope will spur more victims to come forward and report the crimes against them.”

Wicked Local

Chelsea Clinton to campaign at mom’s alma mater

Chelsea Clinton is planning to stump for votes at her mother’s alma mater, Wellesley College, on Thursday, reports the Associated Press at Boston.com. The subject matter expected to be raised? Making debt-free college available to all, as Hillary Clinton has proposed. It’s called “playing to the audience.”


Holyoke the latest to mull panhandling fixes

Holyoke is the latest Massachusetts city to grapple with how to address an increase in complaints from residents, visitors and business owners about panhandling, Mike Plaisance of MassLive reports. One councilor wants the city to require panhandlers to obtain solicitation permits from the city, something that police officials said would help them address the complaints they receive from drivers who have to navigate around panhandlers at intersections. 


A tenant’s ideal landlord: DCR still struggles with raising rents

Four years after CommonWealth magazine reported on the struggles of the Department of Conservation and Recreation to collect rents on many of the properties it controls and three years after an ensuing state audit, the agency continues to struggle with the issue, Colman Herman and Bruce Mohl report at CommonWealth. “Progress has been slow, painfully slow. … Some DCR tenants continue to pay no rent, while the yacht and boat clubs are just now being required to increase their payments. An outside consulting firm brought in more than two years ago to help the agency get a handle on all its leases is still on the job, running up a tab that will reach $777,000 next year.” 


Today’s Headlines


City Hall wants to rid parks of Canada geese, considers fines for feeding – Boston Herald

Minority hiring advocate tells BPS to get more aggressive – Boston Herald


Dysfunctional DCR tries to be smarter landlord – CommonWealth Magazine

Four Mass. churches sue over new transgender law – Boston Globe

Complaint about Open Meeting Law filed vs. Holyoke Council President – MassLive

Study: In Mass, 1 in 5 motorists are not fastening their seat belts – WBUR

Usually amicable Baker keeps sparring with labor – Boston Globe

Question 4 opponents say timing isn’t right – MetroWest Daily News

State allows stronger Narcan doses – Gloucester Times

UMass reports decline in drug, alcohol offenses – Hampshire Gazette

Borges calls on O’Connell to denounce Trump – Taunton Gazette

Ballot question 2: Searching for numbers that cut through the rhetoric – WGBH

2 in 3 businesses back charter school expansion in survey – Boston Business Journal

Gun group opposes nomination of assistant attorney general as judge – Brockton Enterprise

After electronic tolling debut: MassDOT contract reveals what other changes could be coming down Pike – CBS Boston


Report: Lowell paying high price for charter schools – Lowell Sun

The 2016 electoral map is slipping away from Donald Trump – Washington Post

Structure of agency conceived by Warren ruled unconstitutional – Boston Globe

Early voting could signal a victory well before Nov. 8 – New York Times

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