Gaming Commission hearing; final campaign push
— The Mass. Gaming Commission holds a public hearing on proposed new regulations. Proposed amendments affect the process for recognition of “veteran business enterprises” and the protocol for processing the monthly gross gaming revenue report. 101 Federal St., 12th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
— Free from any primary challenges, Auditor Suzanne Bump will attend a summer unity BBQ hosted by organized labor. Brockton High School, 470 Forest Ave. 2 p.m.
— Today at 5 p.m. is the deadline for returning absentee ballot applications ahead of Tuesday’s primary election. Secretary of State Michael Galvin says more voters have requested such ballots, but believes the election’s timing right after the Labor Day weekend may be a factor moreso than sheer voter excitement. Such ballots must be turned in to election officials by 8 p.m. Tuesday.
— Candidates will be everywhere this weekend, pressing flesh and making bids for every last vote in what could a low-turnout election decided by ground games and enthusiasm. Among those with planned events is Donna Patalano, a Democrat running to be district attorney of Middlesex County. 14 Emerald St., Wakefield, 6 p.m.
Death-threat arrest underscores how dangerous our times have become
Authorities say a California man used one of President Trump’s favorite phrases when he made threats to shoot and kill reporters at the Boston Globe after it led a nationwide effort to push back agains the idea that the press is “the enemy of the people.”
Robert Darrell Chain, 68, was Thursday at his Encino home, where authorities said they found 20 firearms, including a semiautomatic rifle purchased in May, Milton Valencia reports in the Globe. Prosecutors said that Chain made 14 calls to the Globe’s main newsroom number, using racial and gay slurs and making increasingly specific threats.
Spencer Buell reports in Boston Magazine that at one point, the Boston Police Department dispatched officers to the Globe’s new downtown offices because the threats were believed to be credit. Chain was released on $50,000 bond and will be sent to Boston to appear in federal court on Sept. 14.
The Globe’s high-profile efforts to unite the printed media against the president’s rhetoric clearly put a target on its back but it’s worth noting that the Globe kept these threats under wraps until he investigation bore fruit.
Of course, the Globe has been a target of haters before—see: city busing—but the specificity of the threats combined with their timing just two months after the shooting in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, makes them all the more chilling and frightening. And that’s before you add in the fact that the man making these threats used the president’s own words to justify them.
Closing Time has arrived
That may be a holiday weekend dead-ahead but for scores of candidates across the state, it will be non-stop labor as they seek to close out months of campaigning with one last push.
The last time a public poll was released in the 7th Congressional district primary, incumbent Michael Capuano enjoyed a substantial lead, but as Anthony Brooks reports at WBUR, the race feels a lot closer than that and may well come down to whether Boston itself or other cities in the district—including Capuano’s hometown of Somerville—send more voters to the polls.
In Springfield, Thursday night brought the second and final debate between U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and his challenger, Tahira Amatul-Wadad, who tried to paint the 30-year veteran of Congress as out of touch with his home district, Dusty Christensen reports at the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Also not missing the final days of the campaign: PACs. Matt Stout of the Globe reports that third party organizations will spend close to $300,000 supporting various candidates in the 10-Democrat primary field for the vacant Third Congressional district seat, the vast majority in the waning days of August.
Timing, other wild cards complicate vote predictions
Since Massachusetts will have the electoral political stage all to itself Tuesday, expect a lot of reading into trends but heading into the weekend, but for now, even Secretary of State William Galvin had to admit he wasn’t sure just how many voters will bother to cast ballots.
Complicating factor number one, of course, is the timing. Galvin told Shira Schoenberg of MassLive that increased requests for absentee ballots—10,000 more than the last statewide primary—could mean strong voter enthusiasm. Or it could mean that a lot of people have no intention of rushing back from their long weekends to vote.
Galvin’s educated guess is that 700,000 voters will cast ballots Tuesday—500,000 of them to cast Democratic ballots. That’d be about 15 percent turnout. Mass. voters are among the latest to head to the primary polls, with only voters in Delaware, Rhode Island and New York still waiting cast their ballots.
Christian Wade reports in the Salem News that some observers say a depressed turnout —one predicted it will be downright ‘abysmal’—because of the timing of the election could mean an even more insider-y result than usual.
How the Harvard admission suit could intersect with Supreme Court nomination
The U.S. Department of Justice is siding with a group of Asian-American students who allege admission bias at Harvard University, and the case could well end up before a Supreme Court that is awaiting Senate approval of a justice who is known to look unfavorably on affirmative action, Kimberly Atkins writes at the Herald.
At issue is whether Harvard unfairly denied admission to some Asian-American students after almost universally rating them low on personal traits. Deirdre Fernandes of the Globe reports that Harvard pushed back hard against the DoJ, accusing it of “recycling the same misleading and hollow arguments” as the plaintiffs in the case. An October date has been scheduled for the case to move forward in federal court.
MCC adopts stricter rules for state credit cards, out-of-state travel
After a solid week of bruising coverage from the Herald, the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s board of directors said Thursday it will install strict standards for use of state-issued credit cards and out-of-state travel, but steered clear of the issue of whether the Council’s director, Anita Walker, should continue to get a taxpayer-funded lease on her Toyota Prius and the $340 a month it costs to park near her office. Joe Dwinnell of the Herald has the details.
Maria evacuees facing eviction after judge’s ruling
After several reprieves, hundreds of Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Maria now have two weeks to find places to live after an unfavorable ruling by a federal judge in Worcester.
Worcester U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman denied a request for a preliminary injunction that would have halted plans by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to evict hundreds of families who have been staying in hotels in Massachusetts and across country since last year’s devastating hurricane, Elizabeth Roman reports via MassLive.
While acknowledging the families may “well be rendered homeless,” Hillman said he had no choice legally but to reject the injunction request, though he did extend the deadline to Sept. 14. But Hillman made clear he wasn’t happy with the decision or FEMA.
“The Court cannot order Defendants (FEMA) to do that which in a humanitarian and caring world should be done — it can only order the Defendants to do that which the law requires,” Hillman wrote.
Audit finds BPS bookkeeping woes run deep
An outside review of Boston Public Schools finances ordered by Mayor Marty Walsh after the IRS criticized the city’s handling of student acuity accounts has found the problem to be even more widespread, the Globe’s James Vaznis reports. The outside review done by Ernst & Young found problems at nearly every one of the 118 schools where it checked the books, but said none of the problems it found appear to warrant a criminal investigation.
DeLeo, Sanchez’ fundraising boosted by lobbyist gifts
Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth Magazine reports that House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez brought in 25 percent of his campaign fundraising from lobbyists, a larger share of his total than House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who saw 13 percent of his campaign donations come from registered lobbyists. Sanchez’ Democratic primary opponent, Nika Elugardo, had raised the issue with voters earlier in the week, Mohl notes.
Newly formed Patrick PAC lays out plans for midterm involvement
The newly formed Reason to Believe PAC formed by aides to former Gov. Deval Patrick held a conference call with dozens of people who have previously worked for him to lay out his plans to play a role in November’s midterm elections, Kyle Cheney of Politico. On the call, PAC co-founder John Walsh said Patrick is likely to campaign for candidates in South Carolina and Georgia and possibly in Texas, where he’s already appeared in support of a Congressional candidate.
From making public policy to spinning it
Former Senate President Therese Murray is teaming up with PR mogul Larry Rasky, SHNS’ Matt Murphy reports.
Murray, the first woman to serve as Senate president, will work as a senior advisor at Rasky Partner, having served on the firm’s advisory for two years. After leaving the Senate in 2015, Murray went on to launch MassIgnite, a nonprofit which bills itself as “supporting and expanding the Massachusetts innovation economy within the Commonwealth and around the globe.”
Youth movement in Plymouth state rep. race to fill Diehl’s seat
State Rep. Geoff Diehl is battling it out in the Republican primary for the right to take on Sen. Elizabeth Warren this fall.
And as Diehl makes a bid for higher office, four candidates, two Republicans and two Democrats, are competing for Diehl’s soon to be former seat in the 7th Plymouth, reports The Enterprise’s Josie Albertson-Grove.
The four offer an interesting mix of background. On the Democratic side, there’s former Abington selectman and contractor Alex Bezanson, 62, and Kevin Higgins of Whitman, 25-year-old organizer for SEIU Local 509, which represents social workers.
On the Republican side, there’s Alyson Sullivan, 30, of Abington and Gregory Eaton, 29 of Whitman. Sullivan works in the Executive Office of Finance and Administration while Eaton is a video editor at MIT.
All four agree the schools in their district are getting the short-end of the stick when it comes to state funding, though they disagree on what to do about it.
It’s also interesting to note that three of the four candidates are 30 or younger.
Mashpee police chief says chase that led to fatal crash should have been ended
Mashpee Police Chief Scott Carline said the police pursuit that led to a multi-car crash that killed three people should have been ended, Tanner Stening reports in the Cape Cod Times. Carline said an internal review found the officer engaged in the pursuit violated department policy, but that a supervisor who initially approved the chase did not. All of this, of course, is pale comfort to the three people who lost their lives, especially the young father who was returning from seeing his child born and was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Body cams in future for Springfield police
Springfield is on track to become the latest city to require its police officers to wear body cams. But whether we are talking the near or not so near future is another issue. City officials on Thursday laid out a three-part plan for rolling out the cameras, insisting it is “full-steam ahead,” reports The Republican’s Peter Goonan.
How quickly Springfield’s finest can expect to have to start donning the cameras, though, is another question. City officials had no details yet on the timeline or the cost, with the police supervisors union recently insisting its agreement will be necessary before anything is done.
Framingham moves to charge for downtown parking
It’s taken three years—the city was still a town, way back then— but Framingham is poised to finally raise parking rates, replace meters and all but eliminate what has essentially been free parking for many in its downtown area. Jim Haddadin of the MetroWest Daily News reports that while there have been meters on downtown streets before, many were removed during a 2014 streetscape revamp. Now, 146 new meters are ready to go up along with rates, which will rise a from $1 to $1.25 per hour.
Have a great Labor Day — and see you next Tuesday
MassterList will be taking off the Labor Day holiday on Monday. But we’ll be back on Tuesday, September 4, primary election day. Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend.
Corporate Citizenship Awards 2018
We look forward to seeing you on September 6th for the Boston Business Journal’s 13th annual event to recognize Massachusetts’ most philanthropic companies!
A Night of Music to Benefit Katie McBrine for State Senate
Come out for a Night of Music to benefit the campaign to elect Katie McBrine to the State Senate. Kingsley Flood and Eddie Japan will perform at the River Club in Scituate on September 7, 2018, beginning at 7:30PM. Tickets available now!
2018 State of the Region Address – North Shore Chamber
Join us September 12th at our Annual State of the Region Breakfast. The State of the Region Breakfast connects chamber members and business professionals with information about important regional issues, while providing direct access to elected officials.
Harvard Alum Stuart Eizenstat will discuss “President Carter: The White House Years”
The definitive history of the Carter Administration from the man who participated in its surprising number of accomplishments―drawing on his extensive and never-before-seen notes.Stuart Eizenstat was at Jimmy Carter’s side from his political rise in Georgia through four years in the White House, where he served as Chief Domestic Policy Adviser.
Development Unicorns: Neighborhood Game Changers
The most transformative multi-phase developments in recent Boston history started with a vision, taking decades to design, entitle, plan and execute. Join NAIOP to hear from the original visionaries behind three of these game-changing projects (Assembly Row, The Fenway and Seaport Square) to hear how they started and what has changed along the way.
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