Happening Today

Environmental co-sponsorship fair

Environmental League of Massachusetts holds an environmental bill co-sponsorship fair to highlight environmental advocacy priorities for legislators and their aides, Great Hall, 10 a.m.

Tim Kaine at Tufts

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, the 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee, is scheduled to visit Tufts University and talk about public service, policy priorities, and America’s role in the world, Cohen Auditorium, Aidekman Arts Center, Tufts University, Medford, 10:30 a.m.

State House leadership meeting

Gov. Charlie Baker meets with Senate President Stan Rosenberg and House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President’s Office, 2 p.m.

SJC hearing

Supreme Judicial Court Judge Margot Botsford holds a hearing in the case Bridgeman v. District Attorney, a suit dealing with criminal cases tainted by state crime lab chemist Annie Dookhan, according to the ACLU of Massachusetts, John Adams Courthouse, Boston, 11 a.m.

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meets, DESE, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, 5 p.m.

Today’s Stories

The weekend’s political fallout

Three quick reactions to the hundreds of thousands of people at this past weekend’s Washington Women’s March and the incredible 150,000-plus turnout in Boston alone: 1.) Pretty damn impressive. 2.) Where was this political energy on November 8? 3.) What’s the potential political fallout? 

Besides the “exhilarating, cathartic, history in the making” thrill of it all, as reported by the Globe’s Nicole Fleming, such a groundswell of opposition to President Donald Trump amounts to a post-election “silver lining” for the state’s all-Democratic Congressional delegation in Washington, as they suddenly find themselves at the forefront of that opposition, reports the Globe’s Victoria McGrane. “For this strident band of liberals, being the face of the Trump resistance makes good back-home politics.” OK, but read the next item.

Not fitting the narrative: Warren shows surprising weakness in poll while Baker shines

Bay State women are up in arms over Donald Trump as president. So this should logically help U.S. Sen. Liz Warren’s 2018 re-election bid and spell trouble for Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, right? Not necessarily. A new WBUR polls shows that 51 percent of state voters view Warren favorably, but only 44 percent think she “deserves reelection.” Hmmm. This doesn’t exactly fit the “silver lining” narrative for Dems. Meanwhile, the same ‘BUR polls shows Baker, who also faces re-election next year, having substantially higher favorability ratings than Warren and only 29 percent of voters think Baker should yield to another candidate. Again, the Democrats-surge narrative is not adding up.


Yet Baker still has troubles

A galvanized Democratic grassroots movement in Massachusetts could indeed spell trouble for Gov. Charlie Baker’s re-election hopes in 2018. But Holly Robichaud says Baker, a Republican, must first make peace with conservatives within his own party – and he isn’t going to do that by backing Kirsten Hughes as GOP party chair, she writes.

Boston Herald

Spotted: Baker lands upper-box seat at inauguration

Speaking of Baker, SHNS’s eagle-eye Antonio Caban pulled out the magnifying glass (figuratively speaking) to examine an interactive CNN “gigapixel” photo of Donald Trump’s inauguration and, yes, he found where the poncho-wearing Charlie Baker was sitting. It wasn’t in the nose-bleed section, where one might have expected him to land  for not endorsing Trump. Instead, he got a rather coveted main-podium seat, albeit about 15 rows up from Trump and near the grandstand section. Here’s Antonio’s blown-up Twitter photo of Baker.

Twitter (Caban)

Not just in the big cities

Fyi: The weekend women’s marches weren’t just held in big cities like Washington, New York and Boston (and you might as well throw in London, Paris, Singapore etc.). They were also held in a lot of small towns and cities, such as Northampton, as reported by the Daily Hampshire Gazette, and in Greenfield and parts of Vermont, as reported at MassLive, and in Central Massachusetts, as reported by the Telegram. Again, pretty damn impressive. But also again: Where was this outrage and energy on Nov. 8? Hillary Clinton must be wondering the same thing. 

FiveThirtyEight fesses up on those pre-election polls

FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver engages (sort of) in some soul searching about how pollsters — and journalists – blew it when it came to predictions about the November presidential election. From a MASSterList reader on Silver’s article: “Excellent – most particularly for its acknowledgment that people who recognize the existence of cognitive bias are still subject to cognitive bias. Also for acknowledging the asymmetric influence of certain forms of information in democracy today.”


After she moves into his district, Brianna Wu plans to challenge Stephen Lynch’s credentials

In her run against U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, Gamergate heroine Brianna Wu may be a beneficiary of the intense anti-Trump sentiments out there among many women. But she still has to move into the 8th Congressional District before she officially runs against the incumbent Democrat. Her current lack of residency isn’t stopping Wu, writing at the Beacon Hill Patch, from calling into question Lynch’s credentials, as a Democrat, that is, not as a resident. 


Baker unveils local aid and school funding plans

From SHNS’s Michael Norton at WWLP: “In (this) week’s annual budget proposal, Gov. Charlie Baker will call for a $91 million increase in education local aid and a $40 million boost in unrestricted local aid to cities and towns. The combined $131 million increase in the two main local aid accounts compares to a more than $158 million increase in the two accounts in this year’s state budget.”


Report: Airbnb not harming local hotels

As Gov. Baker and lawmakers mull how (not whether) to tax and regulate Airbnb and other home-rental companies, a new study by market researcher STR Inc. says there’s no clear effects so far on hotel industry performance attributed to Airbnb in Boston and other parts of the country, reports the Globe’s Curt Woodward. We suspect the report won’t make too big of a difference on Beacon Hill. The impact on local hotels is only one of many concerns related to Airbnb et gang– and State House leaders sure could use the extra revenue raised via a new rental tax.

Boston Globe

Boston to press lawmakers for 151 more liquor licenses

Mayor Marty Walsh and the Boston state delegation are strategizing how to garner enough support on Beacon Hill for 151 more liquor licenses for the city, following last year’s “low-level feud” over the oftentimes contentious issue, reports Seth Daniel at the Charlestown Patriot-Bridge, via Universal Hub.


Legislation would sharply cut pot rights outlined in Question 4

This isn’t exactly abiding by the wishes of the voters. In fact, it’s a comprehensive watering down of Question 4. From the Globe’s Joshua miller: “The right of Massachusetts adults to possess and grow marijuana would be sharply curbed, and the ability of retail shops to begin selling it for recreational use next year would be deeply undercut if legislation filed Friday by a key state senator becomes law. Senator Jason M. Lewis is proposing bills that would reduce the amount of marijuana people 21 years and older could possess in their home from 10 ounces to 2 ounces, and the number of marijuana plants people could grow from 12 per household to six per household.”

Boston Globe

Seeking common ground on beer distribution

State Rep. John Mahoney filed legislation Friday seeking to find middle ground between small breweries and beer distributors on the length and structure of distribution deals, Jessica Bartlett of the Boston Business Journal reports. The bill has the backing of the Beer Distributors of Massachusetts. 


Long-term care insurance to rise as much as 40 percent

From SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Recorder in Greenfield: “Roughly 55,000 people in Massachusetts will face higher costs in their long-term care insurance policies under rate increases state regulators announced on Friday. The increases range from 10 percent to 40 percent — with hikes greater than 10 percent phased in over multiple years — and were negotiated with 16 insurance companies by the Division of Insurance.”

The Recorder

Setti Warren may not be frank, but he’s got Franck

He’s still saying he’s only mulling a run for governor, as the Herald’s Matt Stout notes, but Newton Mayor Setti Warren continues to make moves that more than suggest he’s going to run. The latest sign: Warren’s hiring of Kevin Franck, former spokesman for that state Democratic party, as a communications advisor.

Boston Herald

Helipad lands a task force

MassDOT has formed a task force to identify potential sites for the publicly-funded helipad that was promised as part of the state and city’s incentive package to land General Electric’s headquarters in South Boston, Kyle Scott Claus of Boston Magazine reports. The group, which includes state lawmakers, city councilors and members of the Baker administration, will hold its first meeting next week. 

Boston Magazine

Kennedy again urges Dems to hear voters on economy

Expanding on his comments at a recent Newton gathering of Dems, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy is urging his fellow party members to focus more on the economic concerns of voters who may have drifted away from the party in the November election and also says he’s willing to work across the aisle with Republicans, reports Steve LeBlanc of the Associated Press at the Tauton Daily Gazette. “You’ve got to fight, but you’ve got to also try to move an agenda forward,” he said.  

Daily Gazette

Chinese home-buying binge in Boston may be winding down

Due to new Chinese government restrictions on money flowing out of China, Greater Boston may see fewer buyers from China snapping up properties in the city’s toniest neighborhoods and suburbs, reports the Herald’s Adam Smith. “The trend is going to slow down very fast,” predicted Xiaowen Yang, CEO of GeoHome, a Boston-area real estate-data startup. By June, when the rules go into effect, Yang said she is anticipating “a dramatic drop- off,” Smith writes.

Boston Herald

New England Patriots Loyalty Quiz

A test of your loyalty to the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots, who absolutely stuffed the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday to once again land in the NFL title game: Would you favor a repeat of a Pats Super Bowl victory if it also meant a repeat of the snow blizzards that buried the region after the team’s last appearance in the Super Bowl in 2015? 

It’s a close call, but our answer is … yes! Call us crazy, but revenge is sweet. Feel free to send in your response to our New England Patriots Loyalty Quiz, to jay@massterlist.com. We’ll try to post some of responses and gauge how crazy the MASSterList readership truly is.

Today’s Headlines


Walsh Officials Secretly Negotiated with Bob Kraft on Soccer Stadium, Critics Say – Boston Magazine

MBTA struggles to get people to and from Boston Common protest – Universal Hub

It takes a task force to build a helipad – Universal Hub


WBUR Poll: Republican Gov. Baker More Popular Than Democrat Sen. Warren – WBUR

State report says water infrastructure investment lags by $17 billion – MetroWest Daily News

Mass. lawmakers find silver lining in 2016 election outcome – Boston Globe

Study: Airbnb likely doing little damage to hotels – Boston Globe

Four women enter Framingham selectmen race – MetroWest Daily News

US Rep. Kennedy: Democrats must heed voters’ economic fears – Taunton Gazette

Thousands march, rally in Northampton – Hampshire Gazette

Women’s Marches drew crowds in Greenfield, Northampton, Vermont – MassLive


A rocky first weekend for Trump troubles some aides – New York Times

Challenged on falsehoods, adviser says Trump team has ‘alternative facts’ – Washington Post

Hillary Clinton plots her next move – Politico

WikiLeaks calls out Trump for refusing to release tax returns – Politico

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