MBTA-DOT meeting, Baker in D.C., legislative hearings and more
— American College of Surgeons Massachusetts Chapter holds an annual advocacy day on Beacon Hill focusing on the state’s opioid crisis, Great Hall, 9 a.m.
— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg attends the Massachusetts School Building Authority Administration Operation Facility Subcommittee meeting, MSBA Headquarters, 84 State Street, Board Room,5th Floor, Boston, 10:15 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker meets with House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and House Minority Leader Brad Jones, Speaker’s Office, 11 a.m.
— MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board and the MassDOT Board of Directors hold a joint meeting, starting with an executive session and later discussing the fiscal 2017 budget, modal planning, the Green Line extension, cybersecurity, and asset management reports, Transportation Board Room, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.
— Massachusetts Bar Association kicks off a series of events marking Conflict Resolution Week with speakers that include Sen. Eric Lesser, Superior Court Judge Mark Mason and Probate and Family Court Judge David Sacks, Hampden County Hall of Justice, 2nd floor, 50 State St., Springfield, 12:45 p.m.
— Joint Committee on the Judiciary holds a hearing on bills that deal with privacy, protected classes and special commissions, including legislation filed by Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey to expand the list of offenses that could be investigated with a wiretap, Hearing Room A-2, 1 p.m.
— Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight holds a hearing on a number of bills, including legislation dealing with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Historical Commission, Food Policy Council, Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Governor’s Council, Room B-1, 1 p.m.
— U.S. Reps. Joe Kennedy and Katherine Clark are joined by Democratic Reps. Stephanie Murphy of Florida and Eric Swalwell of California to discuss the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with immigrant youth, 55 Boylston St, Chestnut Hill, 1:10 p.m.
— Cannabis Advisory Board’s Cannabis Industry Subcommittee holds an initial meeting to discuss its charge and the areas of regulation it is tasked with advising the Cannabis Control Commission on, 100 Cambridge Street, 2nd floor, Boston, 3 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker head to Washington, D.C., where he will discuss the U.S. opioid epidemic on a panel at the National Academy of Medicine annual meeting, 2101 Constitution Ave NW., Washington, D.C., 4 p.m.
— MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow with head a discussion with former Obama administration members on national security issues, including Ashton Carter, the former defense secretary, Jeh Johnson, who was secretary of Homeland Security, Ernest Moniz, who was secretary of energy, and Samantha Power, former ambassador to the United Nations, Kennedy School, Cambridge, 6 p.m.
Notice anything different about the Boston Globe’s Sunday edition, both in print and online? It included a special “Newsroom commentary” section touting the pluses of Boston, as Amazon decides where to build its ‘second’ headquarters, and how Amazon in turn can help Boston. The multi-story section included only one byline piece, by business columnist Shirley Leung, who basically set the tone for the overall section, i.e. how Amazon can help itself by helping Boston. Our reaction? It was a little … strange. We kind of wish there was a little more explanation about the ‘Newsroom commentary’ section – who put it together, who wrote the individual pieces, whether we should expect more multi-page “newsroom commentary” sections etc. Nothing against journalistic innovation in this age of savage newsroom cuts. But …
Btw: Moody’s Analytics says Boston should get to the second round of the Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes, but it’s not necessarily Amazon’s top choice, reports the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock.
Truth hurts: R.I. Gov. Gina Raimondo learns not to state the obvious when it comes to the media
Speaking of the modern media: Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo didn’t accuse the media of producing fake news. She didn’t call for the pulling of licenses because she didn’t like the coverage of a story. All she said was that the Providence Journal, after all its recent newsroom cuts, is now a mere shell of its former self. The Globe’s Tom Farragher relates how some journalists negatively reacted to an objective truth that’s applicable to so many other newspapers across the country.
Easton selectman resigns after newspaper raises financial questions
Wait a second. More evidence that newspapers are not dead. Daniel J. Murphy—the chairman of the Easton board of selectmen and a onetime state representative candidate—says he’ll resign his position after being questioned about financial issues dug up by the local newspaper. Tom Relihan of the Enterprise reports the paper found “hundreds of thousands of dollars in state and federal tax liens and monetary judgements” against Murphy, a professional tax accountant. Murphy had previously said he wouldn’t run for his seat again in the spring and now says he’ll step down.
Felix D. Arroyo: Vindicated? Or shall we say ‘completely vindicated’?
This is about as close as you can get to vindication within the political world: A new report on the Suffolk County probate office says that Suffolk Register Felix D. Arroyo was basically right when he claimed he inherited a dysfunctional office rife with racist attitudes and a demoralized workforce who ultimately sought to undermine his authority, according to new internal court report obtained by both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald. If the report is true, Arroyo, who was suspended while court officials investigated accusations of mismanagement, has every right to be upset about the way he was treated.
Backlash: Black leaders not impressed with Warren’s endorsement of Walsh
Her endorsement was meant to boost Mayor Walsh’s re-election prospects in progressive neighborhoods of Boston, such as Jamaica Plain. But U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s move has also irked some of the city’s black leaders, who say she’s snubbing the minority community, reports the Herald’s Antonio Planas and Matt Stout. The Globe’s Meghan Irons has more on Warren’s endorsement of Walsh over rival Tito Jackson, an African American.
The no-subsidies fallout …
Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and many other locals were not happy, not happy at all, with President Trump’s announcement late last week that he plans to scrap federal subsidies for health insurance plans in Massachusetts and elsewhere, as part of Trump’s two-pronged executive-order assault on ObamaCare.
Jonathan Dame at the Milford Daily News reports on how Trump’s move could lead to higher premium rates for thousands of Bay State residents. The Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey has a good roundup of the political reactions at the State House. The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett reports on the reaction of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, the behind-the-scenes policy architect of ObamaCare.
And, last but not least, the Herald’s Brian Dowling and Jordan Frias report how AG Healey’s latest lawsuit against Trump has some political wags speculating she may yet run for governor. Actually, it’s only one Dem specifically speculating, or dreaming, about that scenario – which isn’t going to happen, assuming Healey means what she’s said countless times before, i.e. she’s running for re-election, not for governor.
Why the subsidies matter … and don’t matter
Also on the health-care-subsidies front: The Globe’s James Pindell says President Trump has politically stepped in it, big time, and his move to scrap health-care subsidies “might be the worst political decision he has made so far” as president. … Then again, the Globe’s Evan Horowitz argues that Trump’s move isn’t a big deal, because “this cut to one subsidy will trigger an automatic increase in other kinds of support.”
Agawam business owner gets an earful from customers for attending Trump’s executive-order event
One last post on Trump’s health-care action: Dave Ratner, owner of Agawam-based chain Dave’s Soda and Pet City, is now expressing regret that he attended a White House executive-order signing ceremony last Thursday — “an event which he said he thought would be focused on helping small businesses, not rolling back the Affordable Care Act,” reports Shannon Young at MassLIve. His firm’s Facebook page has since been flooded with complaints from customers upset by his appearance with Trump.
Excuse me, Meat Loaf calling
It’s most everyone’s mini-nightmare: The old cell phone going off in the middle of a serious, solemn event. In the case of state Rep. Angelo Puppolo Jr., his ringtone started blaring the famous opening riff from Meat Loaf’s ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’ during a press event involving Springfield Domenic Sarno and Gov. Charlie Baker. Patrick Johnson at MassLive has the details (with an accompanying video) of everyone cracking up over the Meat Loaf interruption. Btw: Here’s the full “Paradise by Dashboard Light” video, if you need to jog your memory (via YouTube)
Using drugs to fight drugs
Edward Murphy, who headed three state agencies between 1979 and 1995, says that, like it or not, the fight against opioid addiction requires medication-assisted treatment, not just traditional non-medical addiction programs guided by the principles derived from 12-step program. “The treatment is not a magic bullet and medication-assisted treatment does not guarantee success, but it has a substantially higher rate of positive outcomes than traditional non-medical treatment programs,” he writes at CommonWealth magazine.
So who is this Seth Moulton guy and what does he want?
Seth Stevenson at Slate is scratching his head trying to figure out what exactly U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is up to these days and what exactly he wants, assuming he’s not serious about running for president in 2020. Stevenson: “He clearly doesn’t intend to be a mere congressman from Massachusetts forever. So then … putting himself out there for what, exactly? A run for Senate? The 2020 veep slot? … I can’t know Seth Moulton’s heart. But there’s no doubt that grand ambition stirs within.”
With low turnout predicted, state Senate hopefuls bring out the big guns
The state’s two U.S. senators and a member of the Kennedy family were among the Democrats rolled out to campaign for Paul Feeney ahead of Tuesday’s special election, where predicted turnout as low as 15 percent and the presence of a third-party candidate could put the race up for grabs, Jim Hand of the Sun-Chronicle reports. Republican Jacob Ventura was joined in his own campaign stops by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito while independent candidate Joe Shortsleeve used social media-driven flash mobs to drive his last-weekend campaign push.
Ex-President Clinton: Compromising is sometimes a sign of strength, not weakness
Former President Bill Clinton was in Boston over the weekend and had some good advice for students living in our take-no-prisoners era of politics, as reported by Steve Brown at WBUR. “I think most of us, once we trust each other, want to compromise,” said Clinton. “I watched Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat compromise. I watched Nelson Mandela put the leader of the party that put him in prison for twenty-seven years in his government, forcing himself to compromise when he had gotten 63 percent of the vote. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s not weak, it’s strong, so long as it’s principled, and you know what you will not do.”
Can a letter from 1958 stop a $40 million art sale?
The family of Norman Rockwell says it has provided Attorney General Maura Healey’s office with a letter from 1958 in which they claim the Berkshire Museum said it would keep one of the artist’s works in its collection permanently, Larry Parnass of the Berkshire Eagle reports. But family members tell the paper the AG’s office is not sure it can intervene to stop the museum’s planned auction of numerous art works, including two Rockwell paintings.
Bill would allow campaign funds to be used for child care
Legislation that would allow candidates to use campaign funds to pay for childcare expenses connected to their election efforts drew support during a recent hearing on Beacon Hill, Kaitlin Milliken of the Telegram reports. Supporters say the move would help create a more diverse field of candidates by enabling working parents to enter the fray more often. The legislation would allow child-care costs to be defrayed through campaign coffers only when the expenses are tied directly to electioneering.
Globe hires Gannett veteran to fix dysfunctional printing operations
Dan Kennedy reports how the Boston Globe, still trying to figure out how to make its new printing operations work as designed, has turned to Dale Carpenter, a Gannett Company executive, to figure out what went wrong in Taunton. “He sounds like the sort of person who should have been hired before the Globe opened its troubled Taunton printing facility,” Kennedy writes. “Maybe he’ll be the guy who straightens it out.”
‘All aboard the complain train’
MBTA and MassDOT managers appear to be more than a little frustrated with the hiring and promotion process within their agencies, bellyaching that union-placating moves and other policies are hindering their ability to attract and keep top employees, according to a management survey obtained by the Herald’s Matt Stout.
Former MBTA chief raises $180M for new venture fund
Brian Shortsleeve, the former general manager of the MBTA and still a member of the T’s control board, is back to doing what he knows best – venture capital – and he’s already raised $180 million for investments by his new private firm M33 Growth, reports the Herald’s Beth Healy.
UMass-Boston sees strong interest from developers for Bayside Expo site
From the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock: “Some 16 development firms have submitted ideas to the University of Massachusetts Building Authority as to how to redevelop the 20-acre Bayside Expo Center site in Dorchester. By UMass’ estimation, the site could yield up to 2.5 million square feet of mixed-use development and would likely include academic, research, retail, residential, dining, entertainment and cultural uses.”
‘How many guys can be living in one laundromat?’
Local police have spotted a trend among drug-dealing illegal immigrants: Their fake driver’s licenses often list laundromats, corner stores and mailbox rentals as their residential addresses, reports the Herald’s Hillary Chabot. “I mean, how many guys can be living in one laundromat?” asks Saugus police officer James Scott. We’re sure there will be a sudden surge in address changes after this report.
Vicki Kennedy is back
She’s still dedicating much of her life protecting and promoting the legacy of her late husband, U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. But Vicki Kennedy has also resumed, quietly, her previous life as a high-powered corporate lawyer in Boston, renewing a career, on her terms, reports the Globe’s Mark Arsenault.
Paradigm Shift? Millennials in Politics
Show Me the Money: Countering North Korean Illicit Finance
DGC’s 6th Annual Real Estate Summit “Pulse of the Market: What’s Next in Real Estate”
2017 HR Workshop
Creating a Game Plan for Your Digital Transformation
LeadBoston! Engaging in Socially Responsible Leadership
Children’s Vision Advocacy Day
Massachusetts Councils on Aging Annual Fall Conference
Mass. Marijuana Summit: Understanding the challenges and opportunities in the new age of legalization
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