Candidates filing day, special election, Cannabis Commissiion
— Candidates for the Legislature must file nomination signatures locally for certification by Monday.
— Rep. Nick Collins is poised to succeed Linda Dorcena Forry in the Senate, assuming the heavily favored Democrat wins today’s special Senate election against independent candidates Althea Garrison and Donald Osgood Sr.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Harriette Chandler, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash and other state officials attend a half-day economic development conference, DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester, 9:30 a.m.
— Treasurer Deb Goldberg will attend the PRIM Investment Committee meeting, PRIM Headquarters, 84 State Street, 2nd Floor, Boston, 9:30 a.m.
— Board of Higher Education meets with an agenda that includes reviewing a proposal to redesign state financial aid and hearing from students about Open Educational Resources, Middlesex Community College, Bedford Campus, Campus Center, Café East, 591 Springs Road, Bedford, 10 a.m.
— Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers holds its annual State House outreach day, Room 222, 10 a.m.
— The Green Justice Coalition will hold a press conference to ‘confront the intersecting crises of climate change, racism and inequality,’ front steps, 10 a.m.
— Cannabis Control Commission meets with an agenda that includes an update on agency staffing and license applications, Gaming Commission, Public Meeting Room, 101 Federal Street, 12th Floor, Boston, 10:30 a.m.
— Advocates lobbying for three ‘Safe Communities’ amendments to the Senate budget hold press availability at the State House, Room 511, 11 a.m.
— ACLU of Massachusetts executive director Carol Rose is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.
— Mayor Marty Walsh provides welcoming remarks at the Hidden Heroes Summit, with U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III planning to attend, VA Boston, 1400 Veterans of Foreign Wars Pkwy., West Roxbury, 2 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker ceremonially signs An Act Designating May as Asian American Pacific Islander Month, joined by members of the Asian-American Caucus and Asian American Commission, Room 360, 3 p.m.
— Treasurer Deb Goldberg will have her monthly meeting with Gov. Charlie Baker, Room 227, State House, Boston, 4 p.m.
— U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark is the guest speaker at Metro Housing Boston’s ‘Foundations for the Future: State and Federal Affordable Housing Programs,’ Metro Housing Boston, 1411 Tremont St., Boston, 6 p.m.
— The New England Women in Energy and the Environment is hosting its 8th annual awards gala featuring Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit and others, Westin Boston Waterfront, 425 Summer Street, Boston, 6 p.m.
For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.
Shining a light on non-transparent agencies …
The State Police are apparently not the only ones with transparency problems. From the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau: “At least 19 agencies in Massachusetts appear to have flouted state law by failing to publish millions of dollars in payroll and spending data on a state transparency website as required by a 2010 law that mandated the public disclosures. All of the missing data belonged to so-called quasi government agencies, which are established by the state.”
A sampling of the agencies in question: The UMass Building Authority, the Steamship Authority, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and 14 of the state’s 15 regional transit authorities, some of which are now pleading for more funds from the state.
Governor’s re-election strategy: Pretend there’s no election until August
Gov. Charlie Baker has apparently adopted a sort of Rose Garden strategy for his re-election: Stay busy, busy, busy on official state business, get through the legislative session and then, around August, acknowledge, sort of, that he has a right-wing lunatic running against him in the GOP primary. Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive and SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the Salem News have the details.
Btw: The Herald, in an editorial, says Baker is absolutely right not to debate right-wing rival Scott Lively and “should not be complicit in giving his primary opponent press” in general. But the Herald, reflecting its pro-Trump shift under its new owner, comes back to how Baker shouldn’t ignore Donald Trump. It’s a convoluted editorial, yes.
Lively interview with Lively: Predator or prey?
Speaking of the GOP gubernatorial race: Why should Gov. Baker beat up on Scott Lively when the press will do it for him? Two days after making it onto the state Republican gubernatorial ballot, far right-wing candidate Scott Lively was interviewed over at WBUR – and it didn’t go so well. In a testy exchange, Lively accused WBUR of acting in an overly aggressive “predatory” fashion – and he has a point. Then again, WBUR was asking a legitimate, if long winded, question about a long ago battery case against Lively in Oregon. Check out the transcript.
Lively’s Ugandan gay problem
Still on the subject of Scott Lively, the Globe’s Joshua Miller reports that Lively, as he prepares for a spring and summer-long primary campaign against Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, must still contend with an active federal lawsuit “in which he was accused of conspiracy to deprive gay people in the East African nation of Uganda of their fundamental human rights.”
Top Senate Democrat says Baker ‘has done a good job’
Another reason why the Republican Gov. Baker doesn’t have to sweat his re-election until late summer: Yet another Democrat — this time Sen. Karen Spilka, the senate president in waiting — is praising Baker. “We work well together,” Spilka said over the weekend on WCVB’s ‘On the Record,’ as reported by SHNS’s Michael Norton. “I think in a lot of ways he has done a good job.” But she says she’ll support the Democratic nominee for governor.
Baker calls for Beacon Hill action on ballot questions without providing much guidance on action
How he’ll lead until August: Gov. Charlie Baker is calling on legislators to take action on a slew of issues in order to avoid costly ballot-question fights this fall. But as SHNS’s Colin A. Young and Michael P. Norton note at the BBJ, he’s not exactly giving clear guidance, at least on the proposed sales-tax cut initiative, on what lawmakers should specifically do.
Nurses who are pushing mandatory staffing ratios at hospitals know what they want to do: It’s full steam ahead on a ballot question, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the Recorder. … Btw: What would we do without State House News Service? Just putting in a proud plug for our sister organization.
California man sues Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, claims artillery barrage caused ear damage
The company actually hit something! Well, sort of. From Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin: “A California man who claims he suffered permanent ear damage from one of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company’s annual June artillery barrages on the Common wants $20 million in recompense – half from the historic group and half from the National Guard.” We better keep tourists away from the Esplanade on July Fourth and from Lexington and Concord on Patriots Day if this suit prevails.
Former Gore aide (and former son-in-law) seeks Cape House seat
A onetime staffer and son-in-law to former Vice President Al Gore has stepped forward to challenge the Republican holding the 2nd Barnstable district House seat, Geoff Spillane reports in the Cape Cod Times. Osterville resident Paul Cusack, a former Army Ranger, served as a personal aide to Gore during the second Clinton presidential term and was married to Gore’s daughter Kristin for four years. He is hoping to unseat GOP state Rep. William Crocker.
Cannibalization Alert: UMass-Amherst now says it will offer new degree-granting programs at Mount Ida
Former state higher education commissioner Richard Freeland warns at Commonwealth magazine that UMass-Amherst’s planned takeover of Mount Ida college could lead to the “cannibalization” of enrollment at UMass-Boston. As if on cue, WBUR’s Fred Thys is reporting that, yes, UMass-Amherst is planning new degree-granting programs offered in the Boston metropolitan area at Mount Ida’s Newton campus. The programs would be in business, nursing, computer science and engineering.
Wynn Resorts’ lipstick-on-a-pig strategy
The Globe’s Joan Vennochi says all the recent moves by Wynn Resorts – firing Steve Wynn, adding women to its board and changing the name of its Everett casino – still amounts to putting lipstick on a pig until current executives are held accountable for their enabling of the company’s former CEO, Steve Wynn, an accused serial sexual harasser.
‘Airbnb saved my life’
Taking a page from its ad campaign in Seattle last year, Airbnb is now running radio and online ads in Boston, obviously not content with mere email blasts against City Councilor Michelle Wu and others city officials who want to regulate the short-term rental company. The ad stars an elderly women named Deborah who claims ‘Airbnb saved my life’ and allowed her to stay in her Oak Square home. The Seattle ad campaign also featured elderly people singing the praise of Airbnb and how it saved them.
Congressional delegation lines up behind Kennedy over Fall River plant closing
From Dan Atkinson at the Herald: “U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III is demanding Philips Lighting keep more than 100 jobs in Fall River instead of moving them to Mexico — and Kennedy is pushing President Trump to intervene, laying the layoffs at his feet. Kennedy, in a letter to Philips co-signed by the rest of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, accused the company of using the Trump tax cuts to reward shareholders instead of keeping jobs here.”
The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld thinks Kennedy is picking a fight worth fighting – and a fight that could represent a “break out” moment for him on the national stage.
The T’s ridership estimates are all over the map
Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine cites some of the ways the MBTA’s unreliable/inconsistent ridership estimates are impacting major decisions at the transit agency. Separately, Mohl also has a story on the T’s hiring of a new vendor to manage its paratransit services.
Leominster’s bitcoin ransom: A cautionary tale for all municipalities
The Globe’s Andy Rosen has a good follow-up piece to last week’s news that Leominster had to pay a $10,000 ransom to hackers, all in bitcoins, to unlock its school department’s computer system. “The target has changed,” said Ross Rustici, of Boston cybersecurity startup Cybereason, referring to ransomware hackers now going after local governments. “Municipalities are really the low-hanging fruit . . . because they don’t have the cybersecurity budgets that corporations do.”
Koh launches early TV blitz in Third race
We’d argue this is a sign of weakness, not strength. We’ll see. From the Globe’s Matt Stout: “Dan Koh is putting his massive cash advantage to work in the crowded Third Congressional District. Koh, an Andover native and former chief of staff to Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston, launched a six-figure television ad buy Monday, opting to hit the cable airwaves more than four months before the Sept. 4 primary and at a time when few voters have decided on a candidate.”
Battle for progressive support
Look to see more of this now that the Democratic gubernatorial race is a two-way contest, after Setti Warren’s surprise withdrawal from the primary battle last week: Jay Gonzalez and Bob Massie competing for progressive support and votes. Yesterday, they each nabbed an endorsement from a major progressive group, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive. Meanwhile, Gonzalez has won the endorsement of former Treasurer Steve Grossman, the Globe’s Frank Phillips reports.
Our not-so-brilliant hunch: If Gonzalez can split the progressive vote, he wins the nomination, for his business and finance background are appealing to many moderate Dems.
Millionaires-tax cannon fodder, Party II: TJX’s CEO makes 1,501 times more than median pay of his employees
And we thought the TripAdvisor CEO’s 500-times-his-employees pay was on the high side. From Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “The TJX Cos. Inc. CEO and President Ernie Herrman’s total compensation last year was an estimated 1,501 times higher than the pay of the company’s median employee, one of the highest ratios of any publicly traded company in the country.” Some of this is attributable to his being in a traditionally lower-paid retail service sector, but still.
Baker seeking federal disaster relief for March storm
From the Associated Press at WCVB: “Gov. Charlie Baker is seeking federal disaster relief for six Massachusetts counties hit hardest by the March 2-3 nor’easter that pounded the region with hurricane-force wind and rain and downed trees. The Republican governor on Monday asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a major disaster declaration for Essex, Plymouth, Norfolk, Bristol, Barnstable and Nantucket counties.”
And the best speech at the GOP convention goes to …
Mark Sullivan at the Telegram has five observations about this past weekend’s Republican Party State Convention in Worcester, including the best speech delivered by someone you’ve probably never heard of and how, yes, Worcester’s downtown bars were packed on Friday night. Here are some accompanying photos from the weekend bar bashes.
Baker: State agencies need to share big data, not horde it
Gov. Charlie Baker told attendees at Comptroller Thomas’s Leadership Summit yesterday that state government can really gain from big-data analytics – if government agencies and lawyers stop blocking the sharing of data for turf, professional and even personal reasons. SHNS’s Colin Young has more.
North Shore finally gets its RMV location—and a much bigger rent bill
After two years of frustrating searches, the Registry of Motor Vehicles has finally found a new home for its North Shore branch, which will open this fall—but it will come at a steep cost, Paul Leighton reports in the Salem News. Rent at the new Danvers Crossing location will be $350,000 in the first year alone, considerably higher than the $42,000 the state paid for its last location inside the Liberty Tree Mall. State officials said the new lease reflects market rates and note that old lease was signed amid the 2008 recession during a buyer’s market for commercial real estate. Are they saying commercial rents have gone up by 800 percent since 2008? Just asking.
Thanks, MGM: Springfield residents more optimistic about city’s future, less worried about crime, poll finds
What a difference a casino makes. Residents of Springfield are expressing more optimism about their city’s future and the most upbeat are those who support the MGM Springfield project, a new poll finds, Peter Goonan reports at MassLive. The Western New England University poll found that a full two-thirds of casino supporters believe Springfield will be better off in five years than it is today. That level of optimism shrunk to 40 percent among casino detractors.
‘Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!’
We knew the New York Times was trying to get more provocative with its opinion pieces, but we weren’t expecting this May Day op-ed from Jason Barker (‘Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You were right!’). A lot of readers are unloading on the piece, noting a few million people died here and a few million died there as a result of others following Karl’s ideas about dictatorships etc. … Hey, look, the 130th anniversary of Martin Heidegger’s birth is coming up. Maybe the Times can have fun with his birthday too!
IEEE 2018 International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security
Author Talk and Book Signing with Kathleen Teahan
Leonard Bernstein and President John F. Kennedy
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