Happening Today

Governor’s Council, Neal/Amatul-Wadud debate, legislative debate, Bill Clinton discusses novel

Gaming Commission holds a meeting to review future meeting agendas, 12th floor, 101 Federal St., Boston, 10 a.m.

Governor’s Council holds its weekly meetig with votes possible on Gov. Baker’s nominations of attorneys Francis Flannery and Thomas Perrino to the Superior Court bench and attorney Kevin Maltby to the Northampton District Court bench, Council Chamber, 12 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and his Democratic challenger, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, will debate live on TV today, with Rich Tettemer of WWLP moderating, WWLP Ch. 22, 12:30 p.m.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg will attend the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon, which seeks to raise money for cancer research, Fenway Park, 4 Jersey St., Boston, 12:50 p.m.

— Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders attends a meeting of the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, Room 157, 2 p.m.

— Former President Bill Clinton will discuss his first novel, ‘The President is Missing,’ Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center, 100 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Rd., Oak Bluffs, 6:30 p.m.

— The five Democrats competing in the primary for the open House seat last held by the late Rep. Jim Miceli debate at Wilmington Community Television, with the event carried live on WCTV and streamed on WCTV.org, 10 Waltham St., Wilmington, 7 p.m.

— Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim, challenging state Secretary William Galvin in the Democratic primary, is interviewed on ‘NightSide,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 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

The Trump presidency: ‘The beginning of the end’?

The Globe’s Michael Cohen thinks that yesterday’s legal bombshells – the guilty plea by Trump lawyer Michael D. Cohen (no relationship to the Globe columnist), as the NYT reports, and the conviction of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, as the Post reports – may well be remembered as the “beginning of the end of the Trump presidency.”

The Herald’s Evan Slavitt writes that it’s still too early for anti-Trumpers to be taking a victory lap. Yet he adds: “Unless and until someone finds a note from Vladimir Putin to Trump saying ‘We’ve got your back big boy,’ the Cohen payoffs is the story to watch. And if what Cohen said is true, this could be the snowball that starts the impeachment avalanche.”

The Washington Post reports that the impeachment drums may start banging louder, but it’s unlikely President Trump will be indicted while still in office. Finally, the NYT reports on how White House staffers, already “numbed and desensitized” by the president’s past behavior, are privately almost speechless about what happened yesterday.

Our quickie take: If anyone can politically and legally defy the odds on this one, it’s Donald Trump, so don’t buy too much into all the media hype this morning. Still, the president is in serious peril. No doubt about it.

Poll: Warren, Biden and Sanders all leading Trump in 2020 match-up

If he isn’t thrown or pushed out of office before 2020, President Trump apparently faces another daunting problem, namely falling poll numbers. A new Politico/Morning Call survey shows Trump losing to former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, with Biden and Sanders running stronger against Trump than Warren. Meanwhile, the Herald’s Michael Graham, even before yesterday’s Cohen-Manafort developments, was writing that Trump is also facing problems in New Hampshire. 

There’s a part of us that wonders: Will the president even run for re-election in 2020? We can see him walking away from it all. He’d leave in a huff, blaming and blasting others, of course. We can also see him quitting in a huff. He’s just so unpredictable.


Warren’s anti-corruption initiative: ‘More like a key plank of a national presidential campaign’

Speaking of the 2020 presidential election, NPR’s Scott Detrow at WBUR calls ‘em as he sees ‘em: “Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren insists she’s ‘not running for president in 2020, I’m running for the Senate in 2018.’ … But the broad anti-corruption and government reform bill she rolled out in a major speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., felt much more like a key plank of a national presidential campaign platform than a portion of Warren’s cruise toward a second Senate term.”

Shannon Young at MassLive has more on the rollout of Warren’s anti-corruption initiative.


‘Oh look at that, labs are on the agenda, you all can chill the hell out’

Rest assured, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission this week is finally expected to vote on two proposed licenses for marijuana testing labs, in a move that could finally clear the way for retail pot shops to open in Massachusetts and get critics off the backs of commissioners. “(O)h look at that, labs are on the agenda, you all can chill the hell out,” Commissioner Shaleen Title tweeted yesterday afternoon. Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive has more.  

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Dan Adams reports on a bitter, behind-the-scenes feud over whose pot-testing technology is better.


Gerry Studds listed as among those who allegedly preyed on students at St. Paul’s

The name of late U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds first surfaced this past spring in a lawsuit that accused him and other staff members of sexually preying on students at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H. Now a new report detailing decades of sexual misconduct at St. Paul’s is also naming Studds as among past employees accused of engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior, reports Danny McDonald at the Globe. The AP at the Herald has more.

Boston Globe

Coakley on Catholic Church: ‘This institution has to change’

Moving on to another sexual-misconduct scandal, count former Attorney General Martha Coakley among those who thinks the Catholic Church can’t change fast enough, after the latest devastating sexual-abuse allegations against the church emerged earlier this month in Pennsylvania, reports SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall). Rich Barlow has a suggested change: Start ordaining women. “Disinfecting the ranks of clergy with an infusion of women is long overdue,” he writes at WBUR. 

Geoff Diehl’s non-Oscar worthy acting performance

There’s just something about Republican U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl that Globe columnist Scot Lehigh doesn’t like. It’s partly Diehl’s bad above-the-partisan-fray acting, Lehigh writes. It’s partly Diehl’s “grammatically and nomenclaturally incorrect” verbal signals that he’s not being frank, Lehigh also writes. Whatever, he doesn’t like him.

Boston Globe

Herald endorses Josh Zakim for secretary of state? The Herald? Zakim?

The Herald is conservative and Josh Zakim is as progressive as they come. But the Herald says it’s “time for a new vision” in the secretary of state’s office and so it’s endorsing Zakim over incumbent Bill Galvin in their Democratic primary battle.

Boston Herald

Globe endorses Gonazlez and anyone but Lively

In an editorial, the Globe is endorsing Jay Gonzalez over Bob Massie in the Democratic primary for governor, saying “if he can outline a credible plan to pay for his ambitious agenda, he is well positioned to give the incumbent a real race.” In a separate editorial, the Globe is endorsing Gov. Charlie Baker in the GOP primary for governor, saying it’s important for Baker and the Massachusetts GOP that the governor wins big over arch-conservative Scott Lively. 

Lively criticizes Baker for signing provision eliminating Sunday overtime pay

Speaking of the gubernatorial race, this is hitting Charlie Baker from a direction he probably didn’t expect. His conservative GOP gubernatorial opponent, Scott Lively, a born-again Christian pastor, is criticizing the governor for signing the “grand bargain” bill that included a provision wiping out time-and-a-half pay for employees who work on Sundays, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton at the BBJ. Unions have been blasting the Sunday pay cut, but now Lively, a highly unlikely ally of unions and liberals on any issue, is getting his licks in too.

BBJ (pay wall)

Landlord to Jacob Wirth Restaurant: Auf Wiedersehen!

Things are getting nasty on Stuart Street, as the landlord for Jacob Wirth Restaurant is seeking to evict the 150-year-old German beer hall for alleged non-payment of rent. Jacob Wirth is countersuing, arguing that it has actually overpaid its rent. The BBJ’s Max Stendahl has the details.

BBJ (pay wall)

Massie in more campaign-finance trouble

One more gubernatorial-race item, from SHNS’s Matt Murphy: “In addition to the $15,000 he loaned his campaign in July just to keep the operation afloat as he waited for public financing to come through, Democrat for governor Robert Massie paid an additional $9,000 out of his own pocket for a bond to secure the public funds in an apparent violation of state campaign finance law.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

In this primary corner, it’s …

David Bernstein at Boston Magazine has probably the best guide out there to next month’s primary elections, in the form of an old-fashioned boxing match poster, complete with the “Southpaw Showdown” between Michael ‘Chairman’ Capuano and Ayanna ‘New Boston’ Pressley. The undercard fight: Bill ‘The Prince’ Galvin vs Josh ‘Bridge Kid’ Zakim. He has the other fights too.

Fyi: Steve Brown at WBUR has his own voter guide. Separately, he thinks the secretary-of-state undercard fight mentioned above is the “feistiest” contest of the bunch.

Boston Magazine

… and then there’s the polite way to run a campaign

If you prefer your politics nice-and-easy to rough-and-tumble, Jim Hand of the Sun Chronicle has just the race for you. He reports that the Democratic primary between state Rep. Jim Hawkins and Attleboro City Councilor Sara Lynn Reynolds is remarkable in its complete lack of bombast, with both candidates choosing to emphasize how well they work with others. 

Sun Chronicle

Pressley launches Spanish-language ads in Seventh race

From Michael Levenson at the Globe: “City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who is being vastly outspent on the airwaves by Representative Michael Capuano, released the first ad of her campaign last week, a Spanish-language spot that touts her work on behalf of immigrants and the Latino community. Pressley’s campaign hopes the new 30-second spot on Telemundo and Univision will help her energize Latino voters before the Sept. 4 primary.”

It’s a good strategy. We’ll see if it works.

Boston Globe

West Nile carrying mosquitoes and invasive Asian ticks. What else can ruin the backyard barbecues this weekend?

The Associated Press at the Salem News reports that health officials have taken the rare step of increasing the statewide risk level for mosquito-borne West Nile virus, warning people to avoid the outdoors at dusk and dawn and urging people to use insect repellent etc.

Meanwhile, on the Cape, they’re getting worried about a potential invasion of the nasty Asian, or longhorned, tick that’s been reported in other nearby states, reports Cynthia McCormick at the Cape Cod Times. “It’s on our doorstep. But it’s not time to push the panic button,” said Larry Dapsis, deer tick program coordinator and entomologist with the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension.

Is the MBTA’s budget really balanced? Part II

More questions are being raised about whether the MBTA has really balanced its operating budget. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine has the latest doubts about the T’s balanced-budget claims. Last week, the BBJ’s Greg Ryan (pay wall) was the one tearing apart the T’s financial assumptions.

Keolis paid a record $8.2M in fines last year for substandard rail service

Speaking of the MBTA, Keolis, the private company running the T’s commuter rail system, is downplaying the record-level fines it had to pay last fiscal year for late trains and not having enough locomotives, etc., saying the fines are not as severe as they look, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine.


Artist Steve Locke: Caught in the middle of a ‘political war’

The Globe’s Adrian Walker has a good column this morning on how African-American artist Steve Locke has found himself the target of nasty and “fact-free” accusations that’s he a stooge of Mayor Marty Walsh in the debate over renaming Boston’s Faneuil Hall.

Worcester hires nothing but the best …

Dan Glaun has a good story about how Worcester, while trying to lure the PawSox to the Bay State’s very own second city, went out and hired a leading academic critic of publicly-financed sports stadiums, Smith College’s Andrew Zimbalist, who says the Worcester deal announced last week is the exception to his general rule that most publicly funded stadium deals suck. Zimbalist attempts to explain.


Worcester stadium deal now in council’s hands

Speaking of the PawSox deal, the Worcester City Council says it will perform rigorous due diligence on the sweeping agreement to bring the minor league team to Worcester even after most council members have expressed support for the move, Nick Kotsopolous reports in the Telegram. The council has scheduled two public hearings on the deal.

Telegram & Gazette

Campaign Ca$h

In MASSterList’s feature, Campaign Ca$h, our research team this week takes a look at the finances in the gubernatorial election. This edition has information on Jay Gonzalez. Click the banner to view a mobile-friendly, complete PDF list of his expenditures and donors since 1/1/2018. All information is from the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (ocpf.us). 

Stay tuned for more races throughout the election cycle. If there’s a particular race that you’d like us to consider for upcoming coverage, email dart@massterlist.com.

Download the report here (desktop – XLSX format)

Nurses fire another salvo in escalating Question 1 war

It’s not even Labor Day and the battle is already joined over the Question 1 nurse-staffing referendum. Yesterday, nurses were taking aim at hospital executives’ pay and hospital profits, as they try to paint opponents of Question 1 as out of touch with the concerns of nurses and patients. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has the details.


In GOP debate, AG candidate attacks opponent’s lack of trial-court experience

Jay McMahon and Dan Shores, two layers vying for the GOP nomination to run against Attorney General Maura Healey, agreed at a debate earlier this week that Healey must go, as SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports at the Enterprise. But what we found interesting was McMahon’s blistering attack on Shores for lacking trial-court experience. “I’m a trial lawyer, he’s a patent lawyer,” McMahon said. “There’s nothing in patent law that prepares anyone for the work in the attorney general’s office,” he said.


The next bridge-reconstruction nightmare: North Washington Street Bridge

Think the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge re-construction disruptions were bad? You ain’t seen nothing yet. The Globe’s Adam Vaccaro has the details on the upcoming North Washington Street Bridge repair project, a sort of Comm. Ave. Bridge project on steroids.

Boston Globe

Baker signs $2.4B environmental bill with climate-change infrastructure measures

From the Associated Press at WBUR: “Gov. Charlie Baker says a new environmental infrastructure law will help make Massachusetts more resilient to climate change. The bill ceremonially signed by the governor in Quincy on Tuesday authorizes the state to borrow up to $2.4 billion for environmental projects in the coming years. About $500 million is earmarked specifically for helping communities prepare for extreme weather events that many scientists believe will become more frequent with global warming.”


Sudbury shop owners say plastic bottle ban is hurting sales

Turns out water in cartons—not so much. Zane Razzaq of the MetroWest Daily News reports Sudbury business owners are grappling with the town’s ban on plastic water bottles, with one shop owner saying water sales are down 50 percent. Sudbury was the second town in the state to ban the bottle, following the lead of Concord.

MetroWest Daily News

Parks for All: How City Parks Address Inequity

The Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center invites a panel of experts to address the question of how cities can achieve equitable access to open spaces.

Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library

Former Governor Michael Dukakis kicks off Canvass for Katie McBrine for State Senate

Join Michael and Kitty Dukakis for coffee and breakfast pastries before heading out to canvass for Dr. Katie McBrine. Please arrive by 11AM to hear the Duke introduce Katie. Canvassing will begin about 12PM. Bring the kids!

Committee to Elect Katie McBrine

International Conference on Planetary Science and Particle Physics (CSE)

Conference Series LLC Ltd cordially invite all the participants from all over the world to share their latest research in the field of Planetary Science and Particle Physics at International conference on Planetary Science and Particle Physics which is going to be held on August 27-28, 2018 at Boston, USA.

New York Events List

21st International Conference on Past and Present Research Systems on Green Chemistry

Conference Series is glad to announce 21st International Conference on Past and Present Research Systems on Green Chemistry, August 27-28, 2018 at Boston, USA. Green Chemistry 2018 will be organized around the theme “Encouraging World Towards Pure Techniques”.

New York Events List

International Conference on Clinical Pediatrics and Medicine (CSE) A

ConferenceSeries LLC Ltd is privileged to announce its “International Conference on Pediatric Hospital Medicine” with the innovative theme “Dynamic and Collegial approach of Pediatric Hospitalists” which will be held during August 29-30, 2018 inBoston, USA.

New York Events List

4th Annual Congress on Infectious Diseases (CSE) A

Conference Series LLC LTD Conferences invites all the participants from all over the world to attend “4th Annual Congress on Infectious Diseases” during August 29-30, 2018 Boston, USA which includes prompt keynote presentations, special sessions, workshops, symposiums, oral talks, poster presentations and exhibitions.

New York Events List

John Angus & Harvard RTC hosting: Meet & Greet for Candidate Rick Green

John Angus and the Harvard Republican Town Committee invite you to Meet Congressional Candidate Rick Green at the Hildreth House (15 Elm Street Harvard, MA) from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM on Wednesday, August 29th. This is your opportunity to speak with Rick about any issues or concerns you might have about Massachusetts’ 3rd Congressional district. We hope to see you there!

Rick Green for Congress

Today’s Headlines


Board has to decide if House of Blues concert goers violated the subtle etiquette of moshing – Universal Hub

Dunkin Donuts is converting 30 Boston locations to ‘Dunkin’ – Boston Magazine


State refuses to referee marijuana testing dispute – Boston Globe

Worcester family whose home was raided sues a second time – Telegram & Gazette

Marblehead facilities director retires ‘early’ after organic garden flap – Salem News


Verizon throttled fire department’s unlimited data during California wildfire – Ars Technica

A one-two punch puts Trump on his heels – New York Times

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.

Subscribe to MASSterList

Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.