Happening Today

Health Plans conference

The Massachusetts Association of Health Plans holds its all-day annual conference, exploring what this year’s presidential election means for health care, with Attorney General Maura Healey giving the opening, Seaport Hotel, One Seaport Lane.

‘Ask the Mayor’

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is a scheduled guest for his monthly ‘Ask the Mayor’ segment on Boston Public Radio, WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.

Rosenberg on the air

Senate President Stan Rosenberg is a scheduled guest on Boston Public Radio, WGBH-FM 89.7, 1 p.m.

National Guard commissioning and awards

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito attend the Massachusetts National Guard Commander-In-Chief State Commissioning and Awards Ceremony, Memorial Hall, 2:30 p.m.

Supreme Judicial Court oath taking

Gov. Baker delivers a ceremonial administration of the oath of office to Supreme Judicial Court Justice David Lowy, who took the official oath on Aug. 24; also in attendance will be Lt. Gov. Polito, former Gov. William Weld, and Speaker Robert DeLeo, House Chamber, 4 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Mitt’s latest flip-flop: Making up with Trump

So Mitt Romney, who spent the better part of the past year lambasting Donald Trump as a phony and a fraud and unfit for the presidency, now plans to meet with the Republican president-elect this weekend, in a discussion that could include the position of secretary of state, CNN is reporting. If the former Bay State Republican governor indeed lands the coveted foreign policy post, it would mean two failed Massachusetts presidential candidates in a row serving as secretary of state.

But it’s not going to happen. Notice this huge caveat in the CNN report: “One close friend expressed healthy skepticism that Romney would ever serve in the President-elect’s Cabinet. Romney has often talked how his father, George, did not enjoy serving in President Richard Nixon’s Cabinet. After McCain won in 2008, Romney told friends that he didn’t want to go into McCain’s Cabinet, if he won. ‘Trump’s Cabinet seems like an even lower probability,’ the friend said. ‘I wouldn’t say never, but I would be surprised.’”

And count the Herald’s Howie Carr as among the highly skeptical: “Mitt Romney for what? Hey, Mr. President, how long do you have to float this secretary of state trial balloon before you win the bet? We all understand that you keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”


Hey, what about Ernie’s job?

Ernie Boch Jr., one of Donald Trump’s first high-profile fundraisers in the Bay State, tells the Herald’s Gayle Fee that he hasn’t been invited to join the revolving door of donors, supporters and would-be cabinet members who have traveled to Trump Tower in New York. But if Trump does call, Boch may be ready to serve. Fee notes that Boch owns a home on the tropical destination of Nevis, where an ambassador’s post would be considered a plum job. Boch also thinks Trump’s loudest critics should chill: “I’m not afraid of President Trump and I don’t think people should be.”

Boston Herald

Mitt almost became owner of the Miami Marlins?

Before he decided to make up with Donald Trump, Mitt Romney et son were recently eyeing the possibility of buying, via their Boston-based Solamere Capital, Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins franchise, reports the Globe’s Matt Viser. The deal has apparently fallen through. Solamere’s Matt Waldrip told Viser “that Mitt Romney — who sits on the firm’s investment committee — was involved in the decision-making over the purchase, but he was not at the forefront of it.”

Boston Globe

The Trump Paradox: Defense spending could be a boon to Massachusetts

While local immigrant, civil rights and health-care advocates gnash their teeth over the prospects of a Trump presidency, there’s at least one group that’s happy about Trump’s election: Defense contractors, who could see a real bump in business if Trump follows through on his vow to boost Pentagon spending, reporters the Globe’s Curt Woodward and Hiawatha Bray. “The paradox of a Trump win is that even though the Bay State is very blue, this is going to be quite good news for its economy,” said Loren B. Thompson, chief operating officer of the Lexington Institute, a nonprofit think tank.

Boston Globe

Handy-dandy guide on when you can start growing your very own weed

With homegrown pot legal in Massachusetts as of December 15, as noted by SHNS’s Michael Norton and Colin Young at the Telegram, MassLive provides readers with an everything-you-need-to-know guide on the legalization of marijuana due to passage of Question 4, from when and where pot can be grown to retail sales to establishment of a new cannabis control commission. Of course, current marijuana rules, as stipulated in Question 4, are subject to likely changes by lawmakers.


Polito’s new million-dollar lakefront digs – with a private island

For some reason, we can’t get the B-52’s “Living in your own private Idaho” out of mind. From the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld: “Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito pocketed more than $100,000 in pay from her real estate company last year on top of her state salary, and just moved into a million-dollar home on a historic Shrewsbury lakefront that includes her own private island, records show. The state’s second in command listed herself on 2015 financial disclosure reports as a ‘consultant’ to Polito Development, and reported earning ‘$100,001 or more’ — the highest category on the state ethics forms.” 

Boston Herald

Ailing Sal to be freed from prison before Thanksgiving

US District Judge Mark L. Wolf may have initially sounded skeptical about releasing former House Speaker Sal DiMasi early from prison, but Wolf has ultimately decided to let the cancer-stricken DiMasi go home before Thanksgiving, citing the “extraordinary and compelling” medical reasons for his early release. DiMasi, convicted of corruption, could be freed from a federal prison in North Carolina as early as Tuesday, under the care of his wife, though they must immediately go their home in Melrose and report to probation officials, writes MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg, whose report is accompanied by a full copy of Wolf’s ruling.

Our quick reaction: Wolf deserves credit for being initially concerned about releasing such a prominent public official early from prison. But he deserves credit for showing mercy, too.


HBO’s marathon-bombing documentary premiers on Monday

HBO’s “Marathon: The Patriot’s Day Bombing” premiers on Monday night, the cable channel reports. The documentary by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg is getting good reviews, such as this LA Times review that calls it “a very human, very moving documentary.” Of course, the HBO documentary is not to be confused with Mark Wahlberg’s upcoming “Patriot’s Day” feature film, due to be released next month, just prior to Christmas. Here’s the official “Patriot’s Day” trailer, via Variety, released earlier this week.


Basile jumps ship for lobbying firm

Carlo Basile, the former East Boston state representative and a prominent Democrat in Gov. Baker’s Republican administration, is leaving his post as the governor’s chief secretary to join the lobbying firm of Smith, Costello & Crawford in January, the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan reports. Basile’s departure has led to a staff reshuffling in the Corner Office: “Senior adviser Tim Buckley will retain his title and add that of chief secretary. Baker legislative director Ryan Coleman will take the newly created position of deputy chief secretary. Kaitlyn Sprague, a State House veteran, will move into Coleman’s post as legislative director and serve as the administration’s main contact for lawmakers.”

The drought is worsening?

Despite all the recent rain, there still hasn’t been enough to reverse drought conditions in Massachusetts. In fact, conditions have only gotten worse, with areas of the state now experiencing “extreme drought” expanding to a total of eight counties, from Cape Ann to the Berkshires, reports SHNS’s Colin Young at the Salem News. “The U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday updated its drought classifications for Massachusetts and has declared 41.35 percent of the state to be under an ‘extreme drought,’ up from 28.87 percent last week.”

Salem News

State’s jobless rate falls to 3.3 percent, lowest since 2001

The state’s unemployment rate fell to a mere 3.3 percent in October, the lowest level since April 2001, according to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, as reported by the BBJ’s Greg Ryan. The national average is 4.9 percent. Fyi: The Herald’s Jordan Graham has a pretty good explanation about how the state’s jobless rate can fall while the actual number of jobs plummeted by 5,000. We would add: The jobless rate is based on household surveys, while payroll numbers are based on separate employer surveys that can be distorted up or down by big layoffs or hirings within specific industries. Bottom line: Yesterday’s jobs data was good news.


IndyCar steers rebates to ticket-buyers

The long-stalled rebate checks from the failed IndyCar race in South Boston are finally in the mail. Brian Dowling of the Herald reports that checks worth $650,000 have been sent to some 1,173 ticket buyers, with the office of Attorney General Maura Healey still looking for additional customers who are due refunds. 

Boston Herald

Master plan sets table for future development in Boston’s outer neighborhoods

The most sparsely built-out corners of Boston’s major neighborhoods would be filled in with large-scale mixed-use developments under a master-plan draft unveiled by city officials Thursday, Zeninjor Enwemeka of WBUR reports. The Boston 2030 plan also calls for commercial centers, such as downtown and the South Boston waterfront, to be reinvigorated by introducing more housing and gathering spaces.


Community Preservation Act votes stress state’s matching funds

A wave of communities surging into the state’s Community Preservation Act program, the result of ballot-question votes earlier this month, will stress the state’s ability to deliver promised matching funds and may force lawmakers to find additional revenue, Gary Tuoti reports in the Brockton Enterprise. While communities could receive a full 100 percent match in past years, the number this year will drop to under 21 percent, the lowest on record. State Sen. Cynthia Creem says she will likely file a bill to boost the $20 fee currently charged at the Registry of Deeds to fund the program. 


Worcester’s new Skybridge will financially ding DCU renovation

To comply with a court order to construct a pedestrian skybridge in downtown Worcester, the city will have to use funds that had been earmarked for improvements to the DCU Center, Brad Petrishen of the Telegram reports. The city has $25 million set aside for a second phase of upgrades to the arena and convention center, but building the bridge that connects it to a nearby hotel is expected to eat up a sizable chunk of that cash.


Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. Mayor Marty Walsh will talk with host Jon Keller about the presidential election results, the ballot questions outcomes and other political matters.   DC Dialogue, NECN, 10 a.m. Jim Brett, chief executive of the New England Council, talks with veteran political commentator Mark Shields about the 2016 election and the Trump transition, as well as with MassDevelopment CEO Marty Jones about his agency.

On The Record, WCVB TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. Congressman Stephen Lynch talks with anchor Ed Harding and State House reporter Janet Wu.

This Week in Business, NECN, 11 a.m. Former Congressman Barney Frank gives his take on the Trump election and the potential changes to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that he co-authored; Greater Boston Chamber CEO Jim Rooney talks about the fallout from the election, plus the new Boston 2030 blueprint for growth and development; and Doug Banks, editor of the Boston Business Journal, shares his take on some of the top business stories of the week.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 11:30 a.m. Dennis Ratner, CEO and founder of Hair Cuttery, talks about his nationwide family business—now 900 salons and growing. 

CityLine, WCVB TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s focus is: Women in Charge: from Hillary to Brookview House.

Today’s Headlines


Trying to get past Boston’s racial divide – Boston Globe

IndyCar hits gas on refund checks – Boston Herald

Harvard students who work as research, teaching assistants are voting on unionization – WBUR

City releases draft plan for future development in Boston – WBUR

Coming soon to a McDonald’s in Boston: Table service – Boston Business Journal


Ernie Boch Jr. awaits word to come on down – Boston Herald

As Sal DiMasi gets early release, state prisoners have no such opportunities – MassLive

Skybridge to take bite out of renovations planned for DCU Center – Telegram & Gazette

Is this farewell for Hanover’s Yellowman? – Patriot Ledger

Northampton city council stands against hate crimes – Hampshire Gazette

Two dog parks a go without taxpayer funding – Worcester Magazine

Do something nice on Tuesday. Gov. Baker says so – Boston.com

Power grid operator sounds alarms – CommonWealth Magazine

The MBTA doesn’t want you to know anything about absenteeism – Boston Magazine


In turnabout, Romney set to meet Trump – Boston Globe

Trump took credit for keeping a Ford plant that wasn’t moving – Washington Post

Fast-food fan Trump could remake healthy school lunches – Associated Press

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