Happening Today

Creative economy, Markey on health care, MBTA control board

— The Barr Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts and Americans for the Arts  host a press conference to highlight new data on the role of the creative economy, with speakers to include Senate President Stan Rosenberg and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Sonos, 2 Ave. de Lafayette, Boston, 9:30 a.m.

— Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez appears on Boston Herald Radio’s Morning Meeting, Boston Herald Radio, 9:30 a.m.

— The MBTA marks the start of Rail Safety Week at a press conference with Keolis Commuter Services and transit police, 700 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, 10 a.m.


— U.S. Sen. Edward Markey holds a meeting with health care organizations, advocates and providers to discuss effects of the health care legislation proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, JFK Federal Building, Room 900B, 15 New Sudbury St., Boston, 10 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito speak at a Brain Aneurysm Foundation event alongside a number of other state officials, Grand Staircase, 10 a.m.

— The Financial Services Committee will consider more than a dozen bills dealing with banking and debt settlement, Room A-2, 10:30 a.m.

— The Massachusetts State Lottery Commission meets, One Ashburton Place – 12th floor, 10:30 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III calls in to ‘Morning Meeting’ on Boston Herald Radio, 11:30 a.m.

— The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board will meet with plans to discuss Green Line Extension, a report to the Federal Transit Authority, the RIDE and recruitment and retention, Transportation Board Meeting Room, Second Floor, 10 Park Plaza, 12 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker speaks at the Providers’ Council 42nd annual convention and expo, Marriott Copley Place, 110 Huntington Ave., Boston, 1:15 p.m.

— Auditor Suzanne Bump welcomes a 15-member delegation of senior auditors from the Audit Bureau of Shenzhen, China, Auditor’s Office, Room 230, 1:30 p.m.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg attends a ‘Women in STEM’ discussion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 William T. Morrissey Boulevard, 1:30 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg gather for their semi-regular, closed-door leadership meeting, Speaker’s Office, 2 p.m.

Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change continues its statewide listening tour on climate issues, Groton-Dunstable Regional High School auditorium, 703 Chicopee Row, Groton, 6 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Republican health care plan on life support

It seems Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is once again hammering the final nail in the GOP coffin to effectively gut ObamaCare, saying yesterday it was “very difficult” for her to envision voting for the latest Republican health-care bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act, reports CNN. With Republican Sens. John McCain, Rand Paul and perhaps even Ted Cruz against (or leaning against) the bill, it seem the legislation, which would slash federal Medicaid funds to Massachusetts and other states, is kaput, though there’s still time for some serious arm twisting in Washington. Here’s one local pol who hope the GOP’s plan indeed fizzles: Republican Gov. Charlie Baker. The AP’s Steve LeBlanc at Boston.com has the details on our repeal-weary governor.


No joke: Comedian Jimmy Tingle is running for lieutenant governor

He saw his opening – and took it. With only one other declared Democratic candidate running for the office (i.e. former Obama aide Quentin Palfrey), local comedian and Cambridge native Jimmy Tingle has decided to run for lieutenant governor in Massachusetts, according to reports at MassLive.com and the Boston Globe and BlueMassGroup (where they link to Tingle’s actual OCPF filing, if you don’t believe it’s not a joke). 

Actually, we’re kind of wondering how a Tingle candidacy might play out. There’s definitely a populist, pro-outsider sentiment out there these days and, if Tingle runs a refreshingly different and yet responsible campaign, he might actually draw votes to a Democratic ticket. Fyi: In the comments section of the BMG post above, a reader notes that state filings also show that a certain Brian Felder, an apparent progressive, has filed to run against Secretary of State William Galvin. You learn something every day.

Cambridge city councilor pulls papers to run for Tsongas seat

Nadeem Mazen, a Cambridge city councilor who earlier this year filed paperwork to run against U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano in the 7th Congressional District, has now pulled papers to run for the Third Congressional seat to be vacated by retiring U.S. Rep. Nike Tsongas, reports Chris Lisinski at the Lowell Sun. Mazen, one of the state’s few Muslim elected officials, grew up in Andover and becomes the fifth Democrat to express serious interest in running in the Third District, Lisinski writes.

Lowell Sun

Trump’s NFL-anthem remarks kick off another round of protests …

Another day, another dunderheaded Trump pronouncement, another round of protests, another opportunity for pundits to place halos over their heads, etc. This time it was over the president’s critical remarks about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem – and the ensuing “firestorm” of protests at NFL games yesterday, including at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. If you believe this is an historic political moment in world and NFL history, have at it, with stories by the Boston Globe about the reaction of Bob Kraft and the counter-reaction by Trump to Kraft’s reaction, and by the Boston Herald about the boo birds in Foxboro yesterday, and by MassLive.com about Vin Wilfork’s reaction (with video).

Brookfield resident sues over effort to squelch sign

Far from the gridiron, another free-speech controversy comes to a head: Brookfield resident John Holdcraft has filed a lawsuit against the town, claiming his first amendment rights are being attacked because of pointed political messages he posts on a large sign in his front yard, Craig Semon of the Telegram reports. Holdcraft claims that the Zoning Board of Appeals began moving to enforce an expired permit for his property only after he used the sign to criticize sitting members of the board of selectmen. 


Felix Jr. vehemently disputes harassment charges

How’s this for preliminary election-eve intrigue: Felix G. Arroyo — the city’s former health services chief who was recently fired by Mayor Marty Walsh after Arroyo was accused of on-the-job sexual harassment — is vehemently denying harassment allegations and says in documents that the charges are “motivated primarily by a desire to destroy Mr. Arroyo’s reputation (Mr. Arroyo is a public figure) and cause him to lose his job,” reports the Globe’s Meghan Irons.

Boston Globe

Tito Jackson: Man of substance or all talk?

Speaking of tomorrow’s preliminary election: The Globe’s Meghan Irons also had a big piece on mayoral candidate Tito Jackson on Sunday, looking at his record and positions on the city council — and ultimately trying to get to the bottom of this question: Is he a man of substance or all talk? Personally, we think Tito’s real problem is that he’s a genuinely nice guy – too nice. But that’s just our opinion.

Fyi: Turnout is expected to be low tomorrow in Boston, but, as the Globe also reports, there’s some real good council races out there.

Framingham getting the hang of this ‘mad, mad’ city thing

Tuesday marks a major milestone for Framingham: the community’s first preliminary election as a city — and Spencer Buell of Boston Magazine writes that the the “mad, mad race” has already had a bit of everything, including an early scandal involving a video of one candidate moving another’s nomination papers inside the city library. 

Boston Magazine

Other candidates? What other candidates?

Lawrence has been at this city thing a while and Mayor Dan Rivera may be displaying some of the wisdom borne of that experience—or else he’s just being a jerk. Rivera’s latest campaign mailer blurs the names of all but one of the candidates he’ll face in Tuesday’s preliminary, a signal he wants voters to focus on the race as a head-to-head match between himself and former Mayor William Lantigua. Keith Eddings of the Eagle-Tribune has the story, including the reaction of other candidates, one of whom calls the mayor “really desperate.”

Eagle Tribune

‘Out-of-touch statement of Coakley-esque proportions’

Mayor Marty Walsh late last week gently castigated the media for hyping each and every mishap at the MBTA, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive (with accompanying video). “Most days, the MBTA’s reliable here,” Walsh said, when asked if the T’s performance of late might be a negative in the city’s bid for Amazon’s headquarters. “It’s just that when something happens, it gets spotlighted by the press so bad, that it’s like, it makes it sound like it’s crumbling. It definitely needs infrastructure upgrades and I said that yesterday at the Chamber.”

Blue Mass Group’s Charley on the MTA (i.e. Charley Blandy) says the mayor’s shilling for Amazon has gone too far. “This is an out-of-touch statement of Coakley-esque proportions,” he writes. “We don’t expect miracles; we do expect elected officials to be in touch with what’s happening on a daily basis in the city, and treat their concerns with urgency, not gloss.”


Can judges order people to be drug or alcohol free?

Just because a judge orders a defendant to be drug or alcohol free doesn’t mean a defendant can scientifically be drug or alcohol free – and that’s the crux of a case that will soon go before the Supreme Judicial Court, reports the Globe’s Maria Cramer. It’s a fascinating case that’s ultimately about psychological willpower versus medical realities when it comes to addiction. Most everyone knows that a combination of the two – willpower and medical treatment – are needed to beat addiction. But where do you draw the legal line?

Boston Globe

Meanwhile, the state now has no effective law against driving stoned

Thanks to a recent Supreme Judicial Court ruling against police roadside tests to determine if drivers are stoned, the state effectively has no way of cracking down on stoned drivers, write the Herald’s Hillary Chabot. And state lawmakers are reluctant to act until science-backed roadside cannabis tests are developed.

Boston Herald

Is the state going to blow it on Amazon bid, Part II?

The states of Colorado and Michigan are taking a different approach than Massachusetts when it comes to submitting bids to Amazon for its proposed ‘second’ headquarters: They’re putting their best foot forward and submitting just one bid, reports the Herald’s Jordan Graham. The Baker administration has decided to let individual towns and cities in Massachusetts submit their own bids, with the state not endorsing any of them, instead opting to tout the entire state in general. 

House Speaker Bob DeLeo, who favors the Suffolk Downs site, doesn’t sound too thrilled with the administration’s approach. 

Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren is backing Worcester for the Amazon headquarters – and he says Amazon could even help pay for high-speed rail linking both ends of the state, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the Telegram. Huh? A reverse economic-incentive plan in which Amazon pays Massachusetts to build here? Riiiight. Setti did get the Amazon headlines he was seeking in western Massachusetts, though. Not that he was wrong to connect an Amazon bid with transportation improvements, as James Aloisi and Peter Meade do at CommonWealth magazine. Their idea: Link a Suffolk Downs pitch with Blue Line improvements.

Boston Herald

‘Sometimes I think we have all gone a little crazy’

Raymond Mariano, the former mayor of Worcester and now an opinion writer at the Worcester Sun, thinks we’ve entered the political equivalent of the Twilight Zone, with Payaso the Clown running for office in Boston, Donald Trump issuing frat-boy tweets and his list of the strange, bizarre and just plain weird goes on.

Worcester Sun

The Codfather: Keelhauling isn’t good enough for this guy

OK, Peter Shelley, senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation, isn’t calling for cruel and unusual punishment, like keelhauling, for New Bedford-based fishing magnate Carlos Rafael, aka the Codfather, who has pled guilty to 28 charges of blatantly evading fishing quotas, falsifying reports and profiting off the sale of misreported fish. But he hopes Rafael gets the book thrown at him after his sentencing hearing this week.


What’s ahead for lawmakers on Beacon Hill: Veto overrides, Amazon bids, transportation needs

Carrie Healy at New England Public Radio interviews SHNS’s Katie Lannan about what’s going to happen this week at the State House and beyond. Think: Budget overrides, revenue collections, and lots and lots of jockeying over Amazon.


Which is the greater existential threat to Cambridge: Rampaging turkeys or ravenous bunnies?

From Universal Hub: “Wicked Local Cambridge reports Cambridge city councilors are talking tough on turkeys, demanding the city do something about the beaked menace. One counselor, though, says bunnies are just as bad. Another counselor accused one turkey of specifically waiting for him outside a meeting to do God knows what to him.” 

Universal Hub

The myth of ‘Taxachusetts’

No doubt: Massachusetts once truly deserved the not-so-welcome nickname ‘Taxachusetts.’ But the Globe’s Evan Horowitz shows, once again, that the nickname isn’t warranted today. Note: There’s also a myth out there that New Hampshire is a low-tax state compared to Massachusetts. True, if you just look at state income and sales taxes. But if you include local property taxes, as a certain author of MassterList once did for the Globe, the image becomes more blurred.

Boston Globe

‘The sheriff from Trumpachusetts’

The Globe’s Joan Vennochi has a good piece on Republican Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson, who, like him or not, isn’t going away soon in this bluest of blue states. Joan: “His success is a reminder that the reflexive left-wing politics of booming Boston and Cambridge don’t represent the entire state. ‘He’s a hard law-and-order guy, and that still has a lot of appeal in Massachusetts, among not just Republicans but unenrolled and conservative Democratic voters,’ said Republican strategist Rob Gray.”

Boston Globe

Seth and Liz tie the knot

A big congrats to U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton and Liz Boardman, who got hitched on Friday at Marblehead’s Old North Church before family and friends, who included Attorney General Maura Healey; U.S. Reps. Joseph Kennedy III and Eric Swalwell of California and Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin; David Gergen, political commentator and former presidential adviser; retired General Stanley McChrystal; and Sam Kennedy, president of the Red Sox, according a report at Boston.com.


Growth by Design II: Designing the Future of Worcester

The Research Bureau

JFK 100: Milestones & Mementos

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

Choosing & Managing Your Board: Insights from Serial Board Members

The Capital Network

Today’s Headlines


Walsh says Amazon would ‘force the T’ to improve – WGBH

Arroyo calls harassment charges an effort to damage his reputation – Boston Globe


Lowell High issue looms large over city election – Lowell Sun

Worcester State fundraising effort raises nearly $17M – Worcester Magazine

Kennedy throws weight behind Feeney in Senate race – Sun-Chronicle

Congressman Seth Moulton gets married – Boston Globe


Kushner used private email for White House business – Politico

Nothing is too strange for cities wooing Amazon – New York Times

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