Gaming Commission, Red Line mock-up, Galvin-Zakim debate
— The Pension Reserve Investment Management Board meets with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg expected to attend as chair, PRIM Headquarters, 84 State St., 2nd floor, Boston, 9:30 a.m.
— The Gaming Commission meets less than two weeks before MGM Springfield opens and is expected to review issues related to the opening, as well as issues dealing with the Plainridge Park, Suffolk Downs and Encore Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Gaming Commission, 101 Federal Street, 12th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and others gather for the ceremonial signing of an opioid abuse treatment and prevention bill that Baker officially signed into law last week, STEPROX Recovery Support Center, 9 Palmer St., Roxbury, 10:30 a.m.
— A ribbon-cutting ceremony and press conference will be held to mark the educational and professional development partnership between Lesley University and the DeMello International Center in New Bedford, DeMello International Center, 128 Union St., New Bedford, 11 a.m.
— U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.
— Gov. Charlie Baker tours a mock-up of the new Red Line cars, with Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, MBTA General Manager Luis Ramirez and other officials expected to attend, City Hall Plaza, Boston, 1:30 p.m.
— Joint Committee on the Judiciary holds a hearing on a bill filed by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr at the request of a constituent regarding hardship licenses for first time DUI offenders, Hearing Room A-1, 2 p.m.
— Democratic secretary of state candidates Bill Galvin and Josh Zakim debate on ‘Greater Boston,’ WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 p.m.
— Herman Cain, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, is expected to attend a fundraising reception for U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl at the home of Herald columnist and radio host Howie Carr, 77 Benvenue St., Wellesley, 7 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.
Four more troopers put on leave in OT fraud case
We assume they’ll be applying for their state pensions soon, if they haven’t already. From Dan Glaun at MassLive: “Four more Massachusetts State Police troopers have been relieved of duty amid an ongoing investigation into overtime abuse that has implicated 46 members of the department. Internal affairs cases were opened on each of the four troopers after the agency’s ongoing audit of overtime earnings identified discrepancies between their overtime pay and their actual hours worked, State Police said in a statement.”
The Globe’s Matt Racheleau has more. And don’t forget: All of this is coming to light years after potential OT abuses were first flagged, as the Globe reported yesterday.
‘As facilities crumble, MBTA boasts of a balanced budget’
We were wondering how the media was going to handle all the contradictory news coming out of the T yesterday. Then along comes the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro to sum it all up: “The MBTA is in rare health, disclosing Monday that it finished its most recent fiscal year with balanced books for the first time in a decade. But the MBTA is also falling apart in some places, the sudden closure of the crumbling Alewife garage over the weekend the most recent example of years of deferred maintenance coming home to roost.”
Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive has more on the welcome balanced budget. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine and SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) have more on the unwelcome Alewife debacle.
Btw: Universal Hub was holding a sort of contest the other day. Should it be called ‘ALEWIFEAGEDDON’ or ‘PARKAPOCALYPSE’ or just plain ‘Monday Metrowest Disaster’? “You choose your disaster title!”
Btw II: Gov. Charlie Baker today will be inspecting a mock-up of the new Red Line cars that are being built for the T. Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine provided a sneak peek yesterday.
Coming soon to Rhode Island: Truck tolls just over the Mass. border?
Don’t look now, but a fresh border war could be brewing down south. Rick Foster of the Sun Chronicle reports that the Rhode Island Department of Transportation is moving forward with plans to set up as many as a dozen open-road tolling gantries on highways near the Massachusetts border. Though the tolls will only be collected from heavy trucks, some pushback is expected when a series of public hearings are held next week.
The Ocean State says it will use the tolls to fund as much as $450 million in bridge repairs over the next decade, but we’re not convinced this isn’t all an elaborate revenge plan connected to Worcester’s efforts to lure away the PawSox. We’ll see.
As Warren runs for re-election in Massachusetts, two aides decamp to New Hampshire
This is pretty blatant. From James Pindell at the Globe: “US Senator Elizabeth Warren will stand for re-election in Massachusetts in less than three months, but two of her aides have already decamped to New Hampshire — home of the first-in-the-nation (presidential) primary — for key roles with state Democrats.” As Pindell notes, past presidential wannabes have dispatched staffers to N.H., on someone else’s payroll, of course, well in advance of a campaign. So this isn’t unusual.
Btw: The Herald’s Hillary Chabot reports that candidates in the Third Congressional District are also eyeing voters in New Hampshire. In this case, it’s Massachusetts residents vacationing in the Granite State only weeks before the Sept. 4 primary election.
Essex DA joins those criticizing Warren’s ‘uninformed rhetoric’ on criminal justice system
It’s not going away. Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, a Democrat who also serves as president of the National District Attorneys Association, is the latest to take exception to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent claim that the criminal justice system is “racist … front to back.” He writes in a Facebook post that the “uninformed rhetoric she espouses is not helpful to those of us working tirelessly to build trust and improve relationships with our communities.” Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive has more.
So why are Vineyard Wind’s prices so much lower than Cape Wind’s prices?
The Globe’s Jon Chesto takes a look at the incredibly low prices Vineyard Wind tentatively plans to charge for electricity generated by its proposed offshore wind farm – prices considerably lower than those once proposed by the now defunct Cape Wind. He concludes there’s a number of factors at play, including increased competition and improved technologies.
We’d add to the list: Lack of political interference. (If you recall, National Grid and later Eversource were strong-armed by the Patrick administration into signing power-purchase agreements with Cape Wind, prompting then AG Martha Coakley to step in to modify the original terms, lowering prices from outrageous to only slightly less outrageous.)
‘Court tells homophobic politician he can’t appeal ruling that he won’
We missed this one from the other day. From Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin: “A year after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against gay-hating Scott Lively by a group representing LGBT citizens of Uganda, a federal appeals court has ruled that the judge’s condemnation of his ‘crackpot bigotry’ is no reason to overturn the ruling – because he won the case.”
Beauty queen who gave back crown over #MeToo skit stripped of ultramarathon crown for cheating
Maude Gorman, the Miss Plymouth County beauty queen who turned in her crown over a tasteless #MeToo movement skit involving a pageant official, is accused of repeatedly cheating in ultramarathon races and has had her finishes vacated in several instances, according to reports at MassLive and Marathon Investigation. The incorrigible Turteboys.com is going crazy on the story – and it’s accusing Gorman of making up a lot of other stuff too. They’re very serious accusations about very serious claims by her over the years.
Somerville mayor: ‘I will never drink Sam Adam’s beer again!’
Reacting to Boston Beer founder Jim Koch’s effusive praise of President Trump’s tax cuts at a presidential dinner last week, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone wondered in a series of tweets if Koch bothered to “express any concern for the families separated under (Trump’s) cruel and inhumane immigration enforcement policy” and he pronounced: “I will never drink Sam Adam’s beer again!”
But here’s the tweet in between those two lines that isn’t getting as much play: “We need to hold these complicit profiteers of Trump’s white nationalist agenda accountable!” Really? He’s calling Koch a complicit profiteer of a white nationalist agenda?
Berkshire DA cries foul over lawmaker’s effort to cull election field
Acting Berkshire District Attorney Paul J. Caccaviello says state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier crossed a line when she met with two progressive Democrats running against him in next month’s primary to discuss whether one of them should leave the race to increase the chances of unseating the loan male candidate. Larry Parkas has the details at the Berkshire Eagle.
GOP Super PAC: Hey, let’s ‘make political fun’
From SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “The Massachusetts political podcast landscape will have a new player starting this week when the Jobs First super PAC, which supports Republican legislative candidates, kicks off its new show called ‘Make Political Fun Again.’ Calling it ‘an insider’s look at the world of Massachusetts politics,’ Jobs First Chairman Andrew Goodrich said the podcast series will be the first in Massachusetts run by a political action committee.”
Keep in mind: The majority of legislative races are uncontested this year in Massachusetts, i.e. no Republican candidates, so you do have to wonder about the GOP’s cart-before-the-horse campaign priorities.
SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)
Judge in Hefner case: What was said to the Senate, stays in the Senate
In a setback to Attorney General Maura Healey, a Superior Court judge says witnesses in the Byron Hefner sexual-misconduct case who came forward under the promise of confidentiality by the state Senate deserve to have their identities remain a secret. Judge William F. Sullivan said prosecutors have had plenty of time to do their own legwork ahead of a planned 2019 trial for Hefner. Matt Stout at the Globe has all the details.
Revere councilors call on feds to investigate missing $92K
From the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter: “Revere city councilors want state and federal authorities to examine City Hall’s books for irregularities and possible crimes after a contentious hearing about $92,000 in missing parking revenues exploded into shouting matches between the mayor and councilors. ‘Public corruption cases need the feds,’ At-Large Councilor Dan Rizzo insisted during the meeting yesterday.”
Globe editorial faults Zakim and others over campaign-finance loopholes
In an editorial, the Globe is praising Bill Galvin, and criticizing rival secretary of state candidate Josh Zakim, over their stands on rejecting money from shadowy outside groups. The Globe is also rapping the knuckles of Sen. Barbara L’Italien, a candidate in Third Congressional District primary race, for a recent $70,000 loan to her campaign, some of which came from a “previously undisclosed ‘joint family checking account’ whose other owners are unknown.”
Lindstrom distances herself from Trump, then says she’ll vote for him in 2020
Maddie Kilgannon at WGBH reports how Beth Lindstrom, to her credit, was the only Republican candidate for U.S. Senate to show up at a televised debate on ‘Greater Boston’ on Monday. Lindstrom told host Jim Braude that she has distanced herself from President Trump, but she also said she’d vote for him in 2020 “based on the economy.”
Btw: Lindstrom was bashing away yesterday at Republican rival Geoff Diehl for opposing a legislative pay raise and then accepting it. Diehl countered that he gave the extra money to charities, reports Shira Schoenbergat MassLive.
Reminder: Tomorrow is deadline to register to vote in the primary
Secretary of State Bill Galvin’s office is reminding people that tomorrow, August 15, is the last day to register to vote in the state primaries set for Tuesday, September 4. WBUR has more.
Fact checking Baker’s campaign-launch rhetoric …
The Globe’s Josh Miller is on it, i.e. what was true and not-so-true in Gov. Charlie Baker’s campaign kickoff speech over the weekend. Josh starts off with a doozy: ‘We will always stand with the taxpayers of Massachusetts,’ followed by a list of tax and fee increases approved by the governor.
Good or bad sign for GE? Fidelity massively increases its stake in beleaguered company
Does it believe in GE’s long-term future? Or is it trying to profit from its breakup? We have our own hunch about what’s going on. Anyway, from Greg Ryan at the BBJ: “Fidelity Investments significantly increased its stake in General Electric Co. from March through June, a period that included the rollout of GE CEO John Flannery’s plan to break up the company. Fidelity ended June with 197.1 million GE shares, more than two and a half times the 75 million shares it held at the end of March, according to a new quarterly securities filing on Friday.”
In a Globe op-ed, Jeff Sessions defends ‘surge’ of anti-opioids prosecutors in Maine and elsewhere
You don’t see this too often: An opinion piece by the U.S. attorney general in the Globe. But Jeff Sessions indeed has op-ed in the Globe defending his office’s Operation Synthetic Opioids Surge, which is deploying more prosecutors to Maine and other areas hit hard by the opioids crisis.
After an eight-week lockout (and counting), can National Grid’s management and labor ever truly reconcile?
Bruce Gellerman at WBUR takes a look at the now eight-week-old lockout of workers at National Grid and explores whether the labor-management wounds will ever truly heal even if an agreement is reached soon. We’re sort of surprised this confrontation has: A.) Lasted so long and B.) Hasn’t generated more political heat – and pressure — to settle.
Shortage of truckers could hit Mass. consumers in the wallet
This is interesting: Fewer people are opting for a career in truck driving, but the need for trucker drivers in this e-retail era has never been greater, reports Tina Martin at WGBH. She takes a look at today’s shortage of truck drivers – and how it may impact Massachusetts consumers.
MGM unveils bus service connecting casino to downtown Springfield
With the just 10 days to go before it opens its doors, MGM Springfield unveiled a $200,000 bus service it will fund to connect the state’s first resort casino to existing attractions in the city, Jim Kinney reports at MassLive. A requirement of the casino’s community host agreement, the bus service will run continuously during most of the day and stop at sites such as the Basketball Hall of Fame and Union Station.
Location, location, location: Brockton restaurant hit by car for third time in three years
Finally: The third time is most definitely not the charm for Alex Kosmidis, whose Brockton restaurant, Heidi’s Place, has been slammed into by a car for the third time in three years – and now he wants the mayor to do something about the “crazy” intersection where his eatery is located. Cody Shepard has the details at the Enterprise.
National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) Public Meeting (In Person Meeting Option)
This registration is for the in-person meeting only. If you would like to attend by teleconference please register here – https://nejac-public-teleconference-option-august-2018.eventbrite.com
Sheriff Cocchi’s Annual Summer Cookout
At the Springfield Elks: 11 a.m. – Hot dogs, hamburgers, clam chowder, grinders with sausage, peppers, and onions 5 p.m. – Beef kabobs & chicken dinner, baked potato, corn on the cob Live music! Games! Raffles and more!
The Committee to Elect Nick Cocchi
Digital Summit Boston 2018: Digital Marketing Conference
AMAZING CONTENT. BRILLIANT SPEAKERS. PRODUCTIVE NETWORKING. FUN WITH FRIENDS. BE THE HERO OF THE OFFICE. NICE EXTRAS.
VOTER SUPPRESSION IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Richard Cohen, President, Southern Poverty Law Center
We Are America the Beautiful is pleased to host Richard Cohen, President of Southern Poverty Law Center to discuss: Voter suppression trends; Issues with voter ID, early voting, purges of voter rolls and restrictions in registration processes; Court rulings
DraftKings opens San Francisco office, plans Las Vegas expansion – Boston Business Journal
T ridership keeps falling, but at a slower rate – CommonWealth Magazine
Crunch time? Top PawSox trio spotted at Worcester City Hall – Worcester Magazine
Political notes: Clinton, Biden plan Vineyard visits – Cape Cod Times
Democrats square off in Baker’s backyard – Salem News
Quiet! Brockton councilor seeks to silence loud parties – Brockton Enterprise
2020 Democrats take a page from Trump’s playbook on race – Politico
Manafort turned to Kushner in attempt to get banker a Trump job – Bloomberg News
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