Happening Today

Economic development vote, ‘Need to Impeach,’ facilities bill signing

Joint Committee on Housing holds a hearing on a bill dealing with the Brewster affordable housing trust fund and a home rule petition allowing the Somerville Housing Authority to reconstruct the Clarendon Hill public housing project, Room B-2, 10 a.m.

Joint Committee on Public Services holds a hearing to accept testimony on seven bills of importance to Stoneham, Boston, Wilmington, Worcester, Northfield, Williamstown and Hardwick. Agenda, Room 437, 10 a.m.

— The Citizen Review Committee established by the Cannabis Control Commission meets to receive a presentation on the CCC’s social equity program and to discuss the committee’s role in that program, Room 222, 10 a.m.

— Department of Transitional Assistance holds a ceremony to celebrate achievements of clients who participated in DTA’s Employment Services Program, with DTA Commissioner Jeff McCue and Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray speaking, Great Hall, 10 a.m.

— The House meets in formal session and is expected to vote on the more than $60 million economic development bill originally filed by Gov. Charlie Baker, 11 a.m.

— Auditor Suzanne Bump discusses Medicaid auditing at a Government Accountability Office (GAO) Domestic Working Group meeting with members of Congress, the comptroller general, and other state auditors, 330 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C., 11 a.m.

— The Senate Committee on Global Warming & Climate Change hosts a Clean Energy Future Impact Report briefing, Room 428, 11 a.m.

— Democrat gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Education James Peyser and Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance Commissioner Carol Gladstone gather for the ceremonial signing of ‘An Act providing for capital facility repairs and improvements for the Commonwealth,’ Westfield State, Parenzo Hall, 577 Western Ave, Westfield, 1:15 p.m.

Tom Steyer’s ‘Need to Impeach’ campaign hosts a legal panel with Free Speech for People to address the legal grounds for impeachment proceedings against President Trump, W Hotel, Boston, 100 Stuart Street, Boston, 2:30 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Hampden Sheriff Nick Cocchi, District Attorney Anthony Gulluni, Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian and others celebrate the dedication of the ‘Michael J. Ashe, Jr. – Nationally Esteemed Pioneer of Enlightened and Effective Corrections Legacy Monument,’ in recognition of the former Hampden sheriff, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, 627 Randall Rd., Ludlow, 2:45 p.m.

— Republican candidates for attorney general Dan Shores and Jay McMahon debate live on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

Let the Supreme Court confirmation brawl begin

To get the big news out of the way first, via NYT: “President Trump on Monday nominated Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, a politically connected member of Washington’s conservative legal establishment, to fill Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court, setting up an epic confirmation battle and potentially cementing the court’s rightward tilt for a generation.”

Here are some interesting tidbits and stories related to Trump’s pick and the coming confirmation battle over Kavanaugh:

— U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts are already no votes and are urging others to reject Kavanaugh’s nomination (NBC Boston).

— Judge Thomas M. Hardiman, a Waltham native, obviously didn’t get the nod.

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, had previously warned Trump that Kavanaugh might be the hardest of the candidates under consideration to be confirmed (see NYT piece).

— The Globe’s Liz Goodwin says that those pinning their hopes on U.S. Susan Collins opposing the nomination are probably going to be disappointed.

— The Globe’s James Pindell takes a look at the six players who may hold the key to whether Kavanaugh is confirmed.

— The Globe’s Jeff Jacoby has piece on how not to fix the Senate confirmation process, such as resurrecting FDR’s old court-packing idea.

— Akhil Reed Amar, a professor at Yale Law School, says the nomination of Kavanaugh is actually “President Trump’s finest hour, his classiest move” (NYT op-ed). Not that his endorsement or idea for a confirmation “compromise” will stop the coming battle. They won’t.


House plans to pass economic development bill – perhaps with a sales-tax holiday goodie

The House today plans to approve the $610 million economic development bill that was originally filed by Gov. Charlie Baker this spring, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton at the Worcester Business Journal. Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times reports that House Speaker Robert DeLeo is signaling lawmakers may go along with a plan to hold a sales-tax holiday this summer after all – and there just so happens to be several sales-tax-holiday amendments tacked to the economic development bill.

Btw: The Globe’s Jon Chesto also reports that the same bill includes $100 million for a major upgrade to the Black Falcon terminal in Boston, as part of a Massport move to further boost the booming cruise-ship business.

DeLeo suggests stripping out ‘policy’ issues (i.e. sanctuary state etc.) from budget deliberations

With the state’s annual budget now nine days late, House Speaker Robert DeLeo has an idea: Strip out all the non-budget ‘policy’ amendments and simply pass the actual budget numbers, report MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg and SHNS’s Matt Murphy and Katie Lannan at CommonWealth magazine. Among the more controversial ‘policy’ provisions? The Senate’s amendment that would bar state and local police from asking about someone’s immigration status unless required by law, i.e. the quasi-sanctuary state proposal.

Northeastern professor defends ICE work amid plans for protest

Northeastern University students and activists are planning a protest tomorrow over the university’s $7.8 million research contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But the professor conducting the ICE research, Glenn Pierce, says his work is about identifying export products that might be used to build deadly weapons, not immigration matters, reports SHNS’s Chris Triunfo at WCVB. “We’re discussing something that has no overlap with [the protestors’] concerns,” he says.


Baker defends keeping medical-examiner official who ‘misrepresented’ her credentials

Does it pay to lie on your resumé? You decide. From the Globe’s Matt Stout: “Governor Charlie Baker on Monday said he has ‘full confidence’ in the state’s chief medical examiner and defended her decision to keep her former chief of staff on the payroll despite the fact she misrepresented her resumé to officials. Baker said he believes Dr. Mindy Hull, selected by his administration to lead the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in October, made the right call in suspending, cutting the pay, and removing Lisa Riccobene from the role of chief of staff, just months after Hull picked her for the position.”

Boston Globe

Is Warren more bi-partisan than she looks?

Shawn Zeller at CommonWealth magazine reports that a new study suggests that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a fiery leader of the progressive movement nationwide, may not be as partisan as she appears. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, who’s facing a tough primary challenge from a progressive trying to paint him as a milquetoast moderate, is actually more partisan than Warren. Go figure.


CommonWealth magazine to go all digital, drop print edition

Here’s a big announcement from CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl: “Today’s release of the print issue of CommonWealth will be our last. After surveying readers, consulting with board members of MassINC, and holding many discussions with my colleagues here at the magazine, I’ve decided we should stop printing the quarterly print magazine and focus all of our attention and resources on the CommonWealth website. The decision wasn’t easy.” 

The way he describes it, it sounds like the right decision, since the non-profit organization’s digital products seem to be doing rather well. For for-profit newspapers and magazines, going all-digital is an entirely different matter. See item below .


Meanwhile, two top Globe editors leaving paper amid push for more buyouts

The BBJ’s Don Seiffert reports that two senior editors at the Boston Globe, Ellen Clegg and Joe Sullivan, are planning to retire as the paper’s deadline to accept the most recent buyout offer looms. Clegg, a long-time employee who currently serves as the Globe’s editorial page editor, said that her decision has nothing to do with current buyout offers and that she hasn’t set a retirement date yet. The departure of Sullivan, who oversees the paper’s sports section, was recently announced on Twitter.


Ex-journalist arrested for threatening to shoot up Walpole Times’ offices

Speaking of the media: After last month’s deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, police aren’t taking any chances in situations like this. Norman Miller at the MetroWest Daily News reports that Amy Zuckerman, 64, an author and former journalist, was arrested over the weekend after she made what’s being described as a “very serious threat” against a journalist who works in the Walpole Times office.

According to CBS Boston, police say Zuckerman sent an email to a Times writer, accompanied by a detailed physical description of the newspaper’s office, that “mentioned shooting a firearm through the window of The Walpole Times while people were there,” in the words of Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael.

Healey probes Dunkin’ and other restaurant chains over alleged ‘no poach’ employment agreements

Attorney General Maura Healey and other AGs across the country have sent letters to Dunkin’ Brands, Panera Bread, Burger King and five other restaurant chains as part of an investigation into possible ‘no poach’ agreements that ban franchises from hiring employees from other stores, reports the BBJ’s Greg Ryan. Canton-based Dunkin’ denies it has such agreements.


Excluded no more: Malden to recognize women, African-American and other vets left off WWI memorial

With the centennial of the end of World War I approaching in November, the city of Malden is doing the right thing: It’s publicly recognizing the local women and African-American veterans who served in World War I but whose names were left off the city’s existing memorial. We’re talking a lot of names that were excluded – and not just females and blacks. Many were immigrants who spoke only Italian, Swedish, Russian, and Yiddish, report Lucas Smolcic Larson at WGBH. Our question: How many other war memorials across the state have similar omissions?


Former Mount Ida president points finger of blame at Lasell for college’s collapse

Former Mount Ida College president Barry Brown tells the Globe’s Laura Krantz that his school’s sudden closure was ultimately triggered by Lasell College’s last-minute changes in the terms of a proposed merger between the two schools, a move that killed the deal and forced Mount Ida to seek a takeover by UMass-Amherst. Of course, a merger wouldn’t have been necessary if the two schools weren’t so heavily in the red in the first place. But that’s a different story.

Boston Globe

District attorney races: Dull and ignored no more

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that there are more contested races for district attorney in 2018 than at any time in recent memory in Massachusetts. Of the state’s 11 districts, there are contested races in five, two of which will be decided in the Sept. 4 Democratic primary. It’s a shame not all of them are contested, but progress is progress.

Phillip Martin at WGBH, meanwhile, reports how the ACLU, via its ‘What a Difference a DA Makes’ campaign, is pushing to raise voter awareness about DA races in general – and it most definitely seems to be working in Suffolk County.

Meanwhile, it’s the ‘year of the women’ in legislative races

In a companion piece at MassLive, Shira Schoenberg also reports that there are about 105 women running for the state Legislature this year, compared to approximately 85 women each of the last two election years. This year’s figure doesn’t count possible write-in candidates.


Questions 1, 2 and 3 all set: Nurse staff levels, Citizens United override and transgender rights

Secretary of State Bill Galvin’s office has officially assigned the numbers for this fall’s three statewide ballot questions, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the Lowell Sun. They are: Question 1, the mandatory nurse staffing question pushed by nurse unions; Question 2, which asks voters to create a commission that would seek an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to override the Citizens United campaign-finance ruling by the Supreme Court; and Question 3, which seeks to overturn the state’s new transgender-rights law. Questions 1 and 3 are the biggies. 

The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett has more on what’s expected to be a very expensive fight over Question 1. The AP at WBUR has more on all three ballot questions.

Lowell Sun

Citizens not happy about non-citizens voting in Boston

Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell’s proposal to let non-citizens vote in city elections is getting panned by residents who believe the idea is ‘watering down’ what it means to be an American, reports the Herald’s Antonio Planas. The council takes up the controversial proposal at a hearing today. Campbell is saying that her voting idea applies only to visa and green card holders, legal permanent residents and those under Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, not undocumented immigrants.

Boston Herald

Troopergate lawsuit dismissed by federal judge

From Andrea Estes at the Globe: “A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by two state troopers who said they were illegally forced to alter a report on the arrest last year of the daughter of a district court judge. US District Court Judge George O’Toole ruled the alleged wrongful actions of top state police officials, even if proven, didn’t meet the standards for a federal claim. The two troopers, Ryan Sceviour and Alli Rei, still have a similar civil suit pending in Suffolk Superior Court.” Scott Croteau at MassLive has more.

Boston Globe

Wanted by town of Mashpee: A good Washington lobbyist

Hoping to spur federal lawmakers into action before the current term ends, the town of Mashpee is seeking to hire a government lobbyist to push for legislation that would end a challenge to the lands deemed to be in reservation for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, Tanner Stening reports in the Cape Cod Times. Selectmen authorized the town manager to make the hire in order to support legislation in both the U.S. House and Senate that would reaffirm the federal recognition of the tribe’s lands both in Mashpee itself and in Taunton, where the tribe hopes to complete work on its First Light casino. It always comes back to the casino.

Cape Cod Times

On Martha’s Vineyard, John Kerry tells crowd to fight for what’s right

Former Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the Martha’s Vineyard premier of a film highlighting the last year of the Obama administration and, while calling on Americans to fight for democracy, also admitted that critics of how government works have a point. “Government’s working in a half-assed way,” Kerry said in response to a question about how Democrats should deal with Trump supporters, Brian Down reports in the Martha’s Vineyard Times. Kerry also said the current times feel more fraught than the social upheaval of the 1960s but that he remains optimistic. 

MV Times

MGM Springfield parking garage to be free to all (for now)

MGM Springfield says the 3,400-space parking garage at its soon-to-open downtown casino will offer free parking to gamblers and the public alike when it opens in about six weeks, Peter Goonan reports at MassLive. But as Goonan notes, MGM has recently begun moving away from free parking at its Las Vegas resort, so it remains to be seen how long this perk will last. 


Pot shortage alert

The Globe’s Dan Adams has the latest on how there’s no way, at this time, pot growers can supply enough weed to satisfy pot heads once the legal retail sale of marijuana gets underway in Massachusetts. He explains why.

Boston Globe

Elected Officials, Business Leaders, and Transportation Advocates to Make Case for Regional Ballot Initiatives at Massachusetts State House

MAPC, PVPC and T4MA will host a discussion of the potential impact and benefits of Regional Ballot Initiatives.


Space Spotlight at Pier 4

Join NAIOP on Pier 4’s expansive rooftop terrace as we hear from Jessica Hughes, Brooks Brown and Dave Wilkinson.

NAIOP Massachusetts

The Climate Action Business Association’s Annual Cookout

Join the Climate Action Business Association for an evening of grilled cuisine, refreshments, and lawn games. Learn what our organization has been involved with this year, and engage with fellow member businesses and environmental professionals

The Climate Action Business Association

5th Annual Strategic Internal Communications–East Coast

For the past 4 years this highly anticipated conference has continued to bring over 100 internal communication professionals together to benchmark best practices. Together, over 3 days, attendees have brainstormed solutions for their biggest challenges, shared cost-effective resources, and gained an inside look at internal communication strategies from leading organizations.

Advanced Learning Institute

South End By Foot: A NAIOP Summer Walking Tour

Visit some of the South End’s most exciting commercial & residential projects, including completed developments & those to come. Following a presentation by Jonathan Greeley of Boston Planning & Development Agency, attendees will be guided on a walking tour to hear from developers of the Flower Exchange, Harrison /Albany Block Developments & AC Hotel / 7INK by Ollie at Ink Block.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Suffolk County Candidate’s Forum: District Attorney & Registry of Deeds

Please join Boston’s Ward 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 19 Democratic Committees for a joint forum with the candidates running for Suffolk County District Attorney and Suffolk County Registry of Deeds.

Boston’s Ward Committees (Wards 8,9,10,11,12, and 19)

CFO of the Year Awards 2018

Don’t miss your chance to meet & learn from Boston’s top CFOs at the 10th annual CFO of the Year Awards!

Boston Business Journal

Today’s Headlines


Suffolk County District Attorney race takes off – WGBH

Students and activists to protest after Northeastern University refuses demands to end contract with ICE – MassLive


Robert Reich backs Comerford in Senate race – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Former VP nominee Sen. Tim Kaine endorses Rufus Gifford in 3rd – Lowell Sun

Technetics closing Oxford business, laying off 97 – Telegram & Gazette

Berkshire Museum art sale opponents plan Saturday vigil – Berkshire Eagle


Former driver sues Trump for 3,000 hours of overtime – New York Times

How a private meeting with Kennedy helped Trump get to ‘yes’ on Kavanaugh – Politico

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