Happening Today

Cybersecurity, Gaming commission, CIA director at Harvard

Gov. Charlie Baker joins Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria and Tel Aviv University professor Isaac Ben Israel to give opening remarks at the first CEO Cybersecurity Forum, Harvard Business School, Hawes Hall – 3rd floor, Cambridge, 8:30 a.m.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission meet to review requests for capital improvement funds from Suffolk Downs and Plainridge Park and a Suffolk Downs request for additional purse money, 101 Federal St. – 12th floor, 10 a.m.

Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association will host its 3rd annual Housing Day at the State House, Great Hall, 9:30 a.m.

Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash attends the monthly MassDevelopment Board of Directors public meeting, 99 High St., 11th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

Auditor Suzanne Bump hosts a public hearing led by general counsel Timothy Dooling on proposed regulations regarding the privatization proposal review process, One Ashburton Place, 21st Floor, Conference Room 3, 10 a.m.

Gov. Baker participates in the Whittier Technical High School ribbon-cutting for the school’s new advanced manufacturing facility and program, 115 Amesbury Line Rd., Haverhill, 10:30 a.m.

Coalition to Save UMass Boston releases a report tilted, ‘Crumbling Public Foundations: Privatization and UMass Boston’s Financial Crisis,’ UMass Boston Integrated Sciences Complex, 100 Morrisey Blvd., Dorchester, 12 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12:30 p.m.

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Stephen Pike will be among those participating in a panel discussion at the ISO New England 2017 Regional System Plan Public Meeting, Seaport Hotel, 1 Seaport Ln, Boston, 11 a.m.

Gov. Baker and Massport CEO Tom Glynn accept ‘Finest Kind’ awards from fishermen affiliated with Fishing Partnership Support Services at the organization’s 20th ‘Miracles at Sea’ gala, 212 Northern Avenue, Boston, 5:30 p.m.

Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo will speak with Harvard Kennedy School Professor Graham Allison at a ticketed event, Kennedy School, Cambridge, 6 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern is the keynote speaker at the Greater Boston Food Bank’s ‘Food is Medicine’ event, a fundraiser held with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Greater Boston Food Bank, 70 South Bay Ave., Boston, 6 p.m.

Gov. Baker joins Boston Mayor Martin Walsh at the Gosnold Legacy Gala, where he presents the Legacy Award to a member of the Governor’s Opioid Addiction Working Group, Raymond Tamasi, JFK Library, Columbia Point, Boston, 7:45 p.m.

Today’s Stories

House presses ahead with $275B in budget overrides despite fiscal warnings

The House was very busy yesterday, and will likely remain busy through the fall, on budget matters. From SHNS’s Andy Metzger: “Undeterred by tax collections that are trailing benchmarks two months into the fiscal year, the Legislature is half way toward restoring $275 million in spending that Gov. Charlie Baker vetoed from the annual budget. Without debate, the House on Wednesday voted to put back funding for Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, a big data fund, and rental assistance among dozens of other priorities.” Democrats, including House Ways and Means chair Jeffrey Sánchez, say the state can afford the overrides. But Republicans, including a spokesman for the Baker administration, say there’s “no basis to support the decision to increase spending.”

Fyi: Democrats say the bulk of the budget overrides, or $220 million, will go back to MassHealth to cover caseload costs, as Metzger writes.

SHNS (pay wall)

Health-care spending rate slows but …

As lawmakers debate spending issues on Beacon Hill, here’s some good news on the health-care spending front, via Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ: “The rise of health care spending in Massachusetts was relatively low from 2015 to 2016, growing to $59 billion during that time, according to figures released by the state on Wednesday. For the first time in two years, the growth of all health care spending in the state — from hospitals to outpatient visits to nursing homes to insurance payments — has been below the state’s benchmark.” Here’s our question: When will consumers see these slow-growth increases in our insurance premium bills? Not soon, we presume.


It’s ‘full steam ahead’ for L’Italien

Democratic State Sen. Barbara L’Italien has taken the first step toward becoming the first female to run for the Congressional seat to be vacated by retiring U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, opening an exploratory committee to start raising campaign money and pronouncing it’s “full steam ahead” for her campaign, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout and SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall). Murphy makes an interesting point: L’Italien also becomes the first elected official on the verge of actually putting her seat on the line in the race.

Markey jumps aboard the Bernie Medicaid for All express

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is the latest Democrat to sign on to a bill filed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders calling for single-payer health care, which Sanders has dubbed Medicaid for All, reports Katie Lannan at SHNS (pay wall). So it would appear political momentum is building behind the idea, an unstoppable progressive locomotive destined to make history, except for … how much it would cost and how most of today’s backers probably won’t back it when the bill comes due.

The Globe’s Astead Herndon reports how single-payer has exposed divisions within the Democratic party, while the Globe’s Evan Horowitz writes about how single-payer is a little more complicated (and expensive) than portrayed by its most passionate supporters. The NYT’s Margot Sanger-Katz writes: “Like (Republicans’) ‘repeal and replace,’ ‘single-payer’ is a broadly popular slogan that papers over intraparty disagreements and wrenching policy choices.” Of course, Bernie’s own home state of Vermont had a chance to implement single-payer – and Democratic leaders who passed it there then balked when they saw the bill, as reported by a certain Globe correspondent a few years back.

Feeney gets Bernie backing in state Senate race

Speaking of Bernie: U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has endorsed Foxboro Democrat Paul Feeney’s bid to become a state senator, repaying the work Feeney did heading up Sanders’ Massachusetts campaign efforts last year, Jim Hand of the Sun-Chronicle reports. Feeney is hoping the endorsement, which comes in the form of a video being shared on social media, will help him stand out from the huddled masses seeking the seat vacated by Paul Timilty.

Sun Chronicle

City candidates ready for the sprint to the finish

Now it gets real. Summer is over and with a big batch of municipal preliminary elections now out of the way, all eyes turn to early November. In Quincy, longtime pols were the biggest winners on Tuesday, with the three longest-serving city councilors on the ballot taking the top spots as six at-large councilor candidates advanced to November’s final election, Sean Philip Cotter of the Patriot Ledger reports. 

All told, 10 communities held preliminaries on Tuesday, including Salem and Peabody and Worcester.

Patriot Ledger

Sox toss protesters who unfurl ‘Racism is American as baseball’ sign at Fenway

A few weeks after Red Sox owner John Henry pronounced he was “haunted” by the racism of former team owner Tom Yawkey and the Yawkey Way street name, activists last night unfurled a massive “Racism is American as baseball” banner over Fenway Park’s Green Monster – and were promptly ejected, reports the Herald’s Chad Jennings and the Globe’s Nestor Ramos.

The Bill Delahunt Show, starring Sean Spicer and Chelsea Manning

None other than Sean Spicer and Chelsea Manning, who we assume need no introductions, will soon be coming to Harvard’s Institute of Politics, the latest star pols and celebs to be offered visiting fellowships at the august Harvard institute, reports the New York Times. So who’s organizing this “mind-blowing” parade of fellows, who include Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s former political operative? None other than former U.S. Rep. Bill Delahunt, now the acting director of the institute, as the Globe’s Joan Vennochi points out this morning.


Trump bans federal use of software developed by Woburn’s Kaspersky Lab

This is one of those rare bi-partisan occasions when members on both sides of the Congressional aisle will mostly applaud a presidential executive order. From the Globe’s Hiawatha Bray and Andy Rosen: “The Trump administration Wednesday ordered all federal agencies to stop using software produced by Kaspersky Lab, dealing a major blow to the Russian computer security company that has been trying to make inroads into the US market from its local headquarters in Woburn.”

Boston Globe

From pundit to Saudi lobbyist: The Robichaud and Diehl connection

Less than a week after 9/11 anniversary commemorations across the state and nation, we’re pretty sure a lot of people will find this report disturbing, via Jack Encarnacao at the Herald: “A key strategist for state Rep. Geoffrey Diehl’s U.S. Senate campaign worked for Saudi Arabia in its lobbying effort to kill a law allowing the families of terrorism victims to sue foreign governments it held responsible for the attacks in American courts. Holly Robichaud – who is on leave as a freelance Boston Herald columnist while she works on Republican Diehl’s campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren – registered in October to lobby on behalf of the Kingdom against the bill, which passed both houses of Congress but was vetoed by President Obama.”

Boston Globe

Judge passes on citing Sheriff Hodgson for contempt

A federal judge has decided not to pursue contempt-of-court charges against Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who recently arrived two hours late to testify in a case involving one of his deputies, Michael Bonner of the Standard-Times reports. The lightning-rod sheriff known for volunteering his inmates to help build President Trump’s border wall said at the time he was late because of traffic. 

SouthCoast Today

Hold on: Amazon denying it favors Boston as HQ2

The plot thickens. Amazon is now denying a Bloomberg report that senior Amazon executives favor Boston as the tech giant’s new ‘second’ headquarters city, reports David Harris at the BBJ. “The Bloomberg report is incorrect — there are no front-runners as this point,” said Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener. “We are just getting started with the process, and every city is on an equal playing field.”

Mayor Marty Walsh, meanwhile, said yesterday that the city of Boston is going to aggressively push Boston as a potential second headquarters site for Amazon, reports the Herald’s Jordan Graham. Two intriguing properties are emerging as potential sites for Amazon’s HQ2, as envisioned: Suffolk Downs and the former Boston Flower Exchange. The Suffolk Downs site sure looks like it could theoretically handle a large chunk of the eight-million square feet of space Amazon says it needs. 


DeNucci’s sad funeral

The Globe’s Emily Sweeney has a nice story and accompanying photos of yesterday’s Newton funeral for the late Joe DeNucci, the state’s former long-time auditor. Among those in attendance were Gov. Charlie Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and a slew of past and present pols from across the state.

Boston Globe

Lawmakers try to fill void left by DeVos’s retreat on student-loan protections

As U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinds some consumer protections for those with student loans, Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, has introduced a bill that would set up a new state licensing scheme for student loan servicers and create an ombudsman to handle student loan complaints, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. Lesser’s bill is one of a number of bills that have recently been introduced nationwide to increase state regulation of student loan servicers.


Pay equity gap closing, ever so slowly

Massachusetts women are slowly closing the pay gap with men, with the women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio in Massachusetts up by 2.7 percentage points in 2016, reports Michael Norton at SHNS (pay wall). But women still only earn 84.3 percent of what men make, according to new federal government data. Michael Williams at MassLive reports that Massachusetts women were the highest paid females in the nation, with median weekly earnings of $932, or $48,464 a year.

John Hancock names its first female CEO

Meanwhile, here’s some good news on the corporate gender front: John Hancock Financial Services will have its first female chief executive in the firm’s 155-year-old history, starting next month. Marrianne Harrison, most recently head of parent company Manulife’s Canadian division, has worked in Boston before as president of Hancock’s long-term care insurance business. The BBJ has the details.


Trump’s pretty undeniable gender gap in US. Attorney appointments

OK, one gender step forward at John Hancock, dozens of steps back at the U.S. Justice Department, where President Trump’s folks have now made 42 of 93 nominations for US Attorney posts across the nation – with 41 of those 42 nominees being men, the latest being Andrew Lelling in Massachusetts. David Bernstein at WGBH has the details.


Brookline to consider renaming Board of Selectmen as Board of Selectwomen

This issue is not directly related to the gender posts above, but the sentiment behind it mischievously is, or so it seems: Brookline Town Meeting in November will decide whether to replace the title “selectman” with “selectwoman” and the board of “selectmen” with board of “selectwomen,” even if a majority of members are men. The switch is being proposed by a Town Hall member. Via Universal Hub, where one commenter probably has it right: “I’m guessing they are trying to reinforce that if women can serve as a Selectman, why can’t men serve as a Selectwoman. It’s the counter argument for people who say the term is fine.” 

Universal Hub

Mass. Dem and Republican officials deny they’re evil, diabolical saboteurs of NH democracy

It’s just what you’d expect guilty Machiavellian party honchos to say and do: Banding together in bi-partisan fashion to deny Massachusetts Democrats and Republicans last year rigged New Hampshire’s presidential and senate elections, as the Kansas chairman of President Trump’s voter-fraud commission has suggested. CommonWealth’s Steve Koczela and Richard Parr have more on the plot to erase Kris Kobach’s line connecting the NH dots. 


After 235 years in business, Worcester’s Elwood Adams hardware store is closing

Thanks to online retail and big-box store rivals, the oldest running hardware store in the county, Elwood Adams in Worcester, is finally calling it quits, selling its last hammers and nails and lug wrenches amid a lot of sad good-byes from long-time customers, Alban Murtishi at MassLive reports.


Optometrists eye fall offensive at the State House, Part II

Correction: We got it wrong yesterday when we said optometrists are pushing lawmakers to allow them to do more surgical procedures. Not true. They want to be able to treat common eye infections like styes and glaucoma, not surgical procedures. Sorry about that. But we did get this right: They’re eyeing a fall offensive at the State House to win passage of their common-sense legislation that’s already passed the Senate and has the support of Gov. Baker.

Check out our ML Facebook page

While we’re cleaning the cupboard: A couple of MassterList readers asked why we didn’t mention the Globe’s dismissal of its COO yesterday, amid the newspaper’s ongoing printing and delivery woes. Answer: We did. On our updated Facebook page. Check it out. We now frequently run breaking news and other items on Facebook, in addition to what we provide in the morning newsletter. Other recent Facebook posts have included: ‘Wheelock College settles with professors who alleged anti-Jewish bias’ and ‘Anti-war banner on 9/11 anniversary riles Amherst College.’ Feel free to visit.

Facebook (MassterList)

Steve Bannon praises … Seth Moulton?

We assume U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton isn’t going to be touting this praise from ex-White House aide Steve Bannon. From Nik DeCosta-Klipa at Boston.com: “The Massachusetts congressman was among a few members in his party named by Bannon in a 60 Minutes interview with Charlie Rose, who the former strategist and Breitbart chairman said ‘understands’ how to potentially win back the government from Republican control.” Actually, it’s true, but it’s still not something Moulton can use on the campaign trail.


Surveillance camera plan riles Northampton residents

A plan to spend up to $100,000 to equip Main Street in Northampton with surveillance cameras is getting strong pushback from civil rights-minded residents, Caitlin Ashworth of the Hampshire Gazette reports. Local police say they have no plans to use facial-recognition technology on the video collected, but acknowledged that other state or federal agencies may have the right to do so. 


Advocacy Roundtable

18th Floor, “Hemingway” Room

Conversations on the Edge – A CCAE Lecture & Discussion Series

Cambridge Continuing Adult Education

AIM Executive Forum

Associated Industries of Massachusetts

Ales and Tails at Stone Zoo!

Stone Zoo

Arlington Town Day

Town of Arlington

ELDTC Massachusetts Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate’s Forum

East Longmeadow Democratic Town Committee, Chicopee Democratic Town Committee

A Roast of George Bachrach

Environmental League of Massachusetts

Today’s Headlines


Boston, non profit groups set up legal fund for immigrants – Universal Hub

$115 million gift, BU’s latest ever, will fund life sciences and engineering research – Boston Globe


Despite housing boom, mayors say more is needed – Salem News

City again rejects request for records involving officer  – Eagle-Tribune

Will it be a Petty-Gaffney rematch? – Telegram & Gazette

Eversource to build its largest solar plant at Springfield’s Smith & Wesson Industrial Park – MassLive

Officials ponder void to be left in Country Curtain’s wake – Berkshire Eagle

Tempers flare at Barnstable County Commission meeting – Cape Cod Times


Trump, top Democrats agree to work on deal to save ‘dreamers’ from deportation – Washington Post

Trump ethics watchdog moves to allow anonymous gifts to legal defense funds – Politico

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