Impaired driving, Warren rally, WGBH trivia night
— State officials, the CEO of Sira Naturals marijuana dispensary, and Uber and Lyft representatives launch a campaign promoting alternatives to impaired driving, with Public Safety and Security Undersecretary Jennifer Queally, Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, Cannabis Control Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan and State Police Major Richard Ball participating, MassDOT Board Room, 10 Park Plaza – 2nd floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
— Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan plans to host a meeting of the Central South Opioid Task Force, Emerson Hospital, 133 Old Road to 9 Acre Corner, Concord, 10 a.m.
— Secretary of State candidate Josh Zakim holds press availability to detail his election security plan, State House steps, 10:30 a.m.
— Pioneer Institute government transparency director Mary Connaughton talks on ‘Radio Boston’ about the Legislature’s exemption from the public records law, WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.
— Elizabeth Warren holds a campaign rally, with her potential opponent in the U.S. Senate race, Republican Rep. Geoff Diehl, planning to hold a press conference outside the venue, Woburn High School, 88 Montvale Avenue, Woburn, 6 p.m.
— WGBH’s State House reporter Mike Deehan will host an evening of pub-style team trivia at the Boston Public Library. Questions, with questions based on news and current events, Newsfeed Cafe, Boston Public Library, 6 p.m.
— MBTA hosts a public meeting about the status of the rehabilitation of the Braintree Station and Quincy Adams Station parking garages, Lincoln-Hancock Community School, 300 Granite St., Quincy, 6 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.
Threefer: Republicans bash away at Warran, Trump and Russia
So was it an anti-Liz fest? An all-things-Donald fest? In a two-newspaper town, you never know. The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that yesterday’s Republican U.S. Senate candidates debate focused on different degrees of bashing incumbent Elizabeth Warren, with one candidate going so far as to say Warren is more of a threat to America than Russia. The Globe’s Matt Stout says the debate was about candidates either embracing or diplomatically distancing themselves from Donald Trump.
The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld writes that Beth Lindstrom was “the clear aggressor in the hourlong encounter, trying to paint (Geoff) Diehl as unelectable because of his close ties to President Trump.” Meanwhile, the Herald’s Hillary Chabot thinks all three candidates – Lindstrom, Diehl and John Kingston — need a little more debate practice.
Capuano and Pressley touch upon sensitive issues of race and gender
There was another debate yesterday and the Globe’s Michael Levenson has the details: “Representative Michael Capuano and City Councilor Ayanna Pressley ventured into touchy issues of race and seniority during a tense debate Tuesday between Democratic primary rivals who concede they agree on most policy matters.”
Meanwhile, mid-term test run: Republican holds thin lead in Ohio district contest
President Trump is declaring victory in the much-watched House special election in Ohio between Republican Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O’Connor, reports the AP at the Globe. But the NYT reports the race is still too close to call and may lead to a recount. The Washington Post is reporting that, no matter what, it’s still a victory for Dems, showing they can run strong anti-Trump campaigns even in a deep-red district.
Tuesday’s primary results appear to confirm that Ocasio-Cortez was an aberration
As for other elections yesterday across the country, the Washington Post’s David Weigel reports that moderate Democrats were the biggest winners in party primary battles yesterday, suggesting the national progressive wave, as represented by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset victory earlier this summer, may not be as big as once thought.
Is Barack Obama John, Paul, George or Ringo?
From Jacqueline Tempera at MassLive: “Barack and Michelle Obama drew quite the crowd on Monday night in Martha’s Vineyard as they left The Cardboard Box. … Video shared by The Cardboard Box, an Oak Bluffs restaurant, showed frenzied guests lining the street to scream ‘I love you’ as the former president and first lady walked toward their police escort. The crowd chanted ‘Obama! Obama! Obama!’ as the famous political couple waved goodbye for the night.”
Globe: Time to give ‘ranked-choice’ voting a try
This is interesting. In an editorial, the Globe is backing calls to introduce so-called “ranked-choice” voting in Massachusetts, or allowing voters to pick more than one candidate in a race, allowing the top ranked winners to face off in a general election. “The Massachusetts Legislature would be wise to adopt ranked-choice voting, coupled with a robust voter education campaign, for statewide elections,” the editorial reads. “Cities and towns should have a local option to use it as well.”
Is Amrhein’s the next Southie restaurant to bite the re-development dust?
The Real Reporter’s Joe Clements reports that a brokerage firm has been hired to peddle the sale of the landmark Amrheins restaurant site in South Boston, which Clements describes as “suddenly more prized for its new millennium development potential than a rich and storied history dating to 1890.”
After legislature fails to agree, school funding lawsuit back in focus
A group of school superintendents met earlier this week to discuss whether to move forward on a long-discussed lawsuit against the state over out-of-date school funding formulas, Christian Wade reports in the Salem News. The Mass. Association of School Superintendents tells Wade the group met with a select group of school leaders earlier this week and will hire a consultant to help it reach out to more districts.
Blame game: So it was Spilka who put a hold on the horse racing bill …
The initial failure of the Legislature to approve a horse racing and simulcasting extension bill wasn’t a case of something falling through the late-session cracks, as previously believed. Instead, Senate President Karen Spilka’s office is now confirming the Senate leader put a hold on the legislation. It’s not clear why, but Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports on speculation the move was payback for House Speaker Robert DeLeo not taking action on Spilka’s gender “X” driver’s license bill.
Hopefully, this is only a one-time incident and not the start of a New Jersey-bridges approach towards settling scores on Beacon Hill, impacting real human beings with real jobs, etc.
Blame game, Part II: Zakim blames Galvin for demise of early voting bill
Robert DeLeo isn’t getting blamed for this one. Instead, City Councilor and secretary of state candidate Josh Zakim is blaming his Democratic opponent, Secretary of State Bill Galvin, for the demise of the early-voting bill this past session, even though Galvin lobbied for the measure. SHNS’s Andy Metzger at WWLP has the details.
Blame game, Part III: Public defenders go on the offensive after lawmakers fail to pass unionization bill
Public defenders are angry that, once again, the Legislature failed to pass legislation that would allow them to form a union and at least one of them is blaming you know who in the House. The Globe’s Katie Johnston has the details.
Blame game, Part IV: The Teamsters did it!
Lawmakers have caught some flak for not passing some major bills in the waning days and hours of the legislative session last week, among them legislation that would have addressed the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Janus ruling striking down public sector union’s right to charge fees to non-members. But SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the Lowell Sun reports that unions themselves may be to blame, specifically the Teamsters.
Dinner one week with Donald Trump, beers the next with Barbara L’Italien
As you may have heard, Boston Beer Company chairman Jim Koch was scheduled last night to dine with President Trump, along with other CEO bigwigs. But before you damn or praise him for even being on the list, keep in mind that Koch is also billed as a “special guest” at an August 14 “Beers with Barbara” event to be held by Democratic Third Congressional District candidate Barbara L’Italien in Andover. The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett and SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) have the invitee details.
Spotted in Worcester, Lucchino says team doing ‘due diligence’
PawSox Chairman Larry Lucchino visited Worcester again on Tuesday as speculation continues to grow the city will unveil its offer to relocate the team from Rhode Island to Worceser in less than two weeks, Dave Nordman reports in the Telegram. Lucchino was spotted touring the Canal District, where the city has a site in mind for a new ballpark.
In legislative races, don’t look for much competition …
The numbers are discouraging for those who believe two-party competition is healthy for a democracy: Ten races for open House seats will be decided in the upcoming Democratic primary elections on September 4 because, well, no one has filed to run against the winners in the November general elections, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan. And then there’s this: “All 160 House and 40 Senate seats are up for election this year, and most lawmakers — 23 senators and 87 representatives — will cruise into another term without a challenger officially on the ballot.”
… and don’t look for much diversity on Beacon Hill either
The Globe’s Jamie Halper reports that there is “little chance that the Legislature — already one of the least diverse in the country — will look much different next year than it does now.” Bottom line: “While there are about two dozen legislative candidates of color vying to make inroads in the Legislature, according to a Globe tally, nearly half of them are seeking seats already held by minority politicians. And many of them are running against each other in the same districts.”
After racist rant goes viral, Dorchester man arrested
Speaking of diversity and lack thereof, from the Dorchester Reporter: “A 54 year-old Dorchester man who was arrested for disorderly conduct last Friday night after going on a belligerent, racist rant against two strangers near Adams Corner could face more serious, civil rights charges, according to Boston Police.” And he was ‘out of control’ and he was warned by cops to calm down. Here’s the disturbing Facebook video that’s gone viral in recent days. Advice: Don’t play it at work. It’s loud and it’s ugly.
Newburyport organizers apologize for letting Ayyadurai — and his bus — in parade
The organizers of the Yankee Homecoming Parade are apologizing for letting controversial U.S. Senate candidate Shiva Ayyadurai — and his equally controversial ‘Fake Indian’ bus — in this past Sunday’s parade in Newburyport. Dave Rogers at the Newburyport Daily News has the details.
Mental-health hospital group sounds alarm over nurses ballot question
From the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “Mental health hospitals are sounding the alarm about ballot question that would limit the number of patients each nurse can have, saying the law would have dire consequences and would lead to the loss of more than 1,000 behavioral health beds in the state.” This is just a preliminary warm-up fight. After Labor Day, the gloves are really coming off.
Baker’s mixed legislative-session record
Mike Deehan at WGBH reports that Republican Gov. Charlie Baker scored some victories here and there during the legislative session that ended last week, such as passage of a comprehensive opioids-treatment bill. But he also suffered major defeats, such as the failure of the Democratic-controlled Legislature to take up his “Housing Choices” legislation.
Governor makes changes to consumer protection bill
Then again, the governor does have the power to veto and amend. From Christian Wade at the Newburyport Daily News: “Gov. Charlie Baker has put the brakes on a (legislative) measure to protect consumers’ financial information from cyber breaches, saying the proposal shields too much information from courts and state agencies. … Baker sent the bill back to lawmakers with an amendment that, among other changes, gives courts and state agencies continued access to credit information.”
Begelfer to retire after 27 years leading state’s commercial real estate trade group
David Begelfer, the long-time head of NAIOP Massachusetts, the commercial real estate trade group, plans to retire at the end of this year, relinquishing his leadership duties to COO Reesa Fischer, who will become executive director, and senior VP Tamara Small, who will become chief executive, overseeing government affairs and lobbying activities, public relations and research. Max Stendahl at the BBJ has more on the departure of Begelfer, considered an institution within industry circles.
Lost and found in Chesterfield: Aerosmith’s original tour van
You truly never know what you’ll find in the woods of western Massachusetts. According to Robert Rizzuto of MassLive, the guys from the American Pickers TV show experienced some Sweet Emotion after they found a 1960s-era van used by Boston’s own Aerosmith when it began touring in the 1970s. The duo paid the property owner $25,000 for the ailing artifact—hardly enough for a Permanent Vacation. And while it’s not clear what they’ll do with the van, it seems pretty unlikely the band is going to get Back in the Saddle.
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