Primary elections across the state
— The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today as primary voters narrow the field of Democrats and Republicans competing for federal, state and county offices in the Nov. 6 general election.
— SHNS (subscription required) has an extensive list of where candidates will vote today and hold their election-night parties.
— Boston Police Commissioner William Gross is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.
— LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers, Celtics coach Brad Stevens and Boston Globe sportswriter Bob Ryan will host the ABCD Hoop Dreams, an initiative by the Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), a non-profit that uses a number of programs to help people lift themselves out of poverty, TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, 4 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.
Primary Day: All the races to watch …
WBUR has an excellent voters guide to all the major primary races today – U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor, secretary of state, district attorneys, etc. Check it out.
One of the big unknowns today has to do with voter turnout, seeing that this year’s primary elections come a day after Labor Day. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that Secretary of State Bill Galvin is guardedly optimistic turnout will be fine, based on absentee-voting trends. But statewide turnout may tell much less of a story than how many voters come out to the polls in the most contested races, such as Third Congressional and Seventh Congressional races, Milton Valencia reports in the Globe.
Btw: The Globe’s Hiawatha Bray also has a must-read story (whether you read it today or save it until after the primary races) on how digital technologies, including seemingly simple text messages, are transforming politics and leveling the playing field for candidates. His Exhibit A: Last week’s Democratic gubernatorial primary in Florida. The bottom line: If you think someone is going to win today, think again. It’s a brave new digital world out there.
Below, we take a closer look at some of the primary contests that will be decided today in Massachusetts.
The Congressional races …
Obviously, there are key Congressional races today, starting with the three-way Republican contest (Ballotpedia) for U.S. Senate and the right to represent the party against incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
But there’s also district U.S. House seats, with the Seventh Congressional contest between Michael Capuano and Ayanna Pressley now arguably the most watched of the bunch – or at least the most watched at the national level. The NYT this morning has a glowing piece on Pressley’s attempt to knock off the incumbent Capuano, grandiosely declaring: “Ms. Pressley is herself an emblem of change that can’t wait — and isn’t waiting.” The NYT’s Astead Herndon does have a Q&A sidebar piece (we assume it’s a sidebar) with Capuano. WGBH’s Adam Reilly, meanwhile, looks at the two candidates’ closing-days arguments.
In the crowded Third Congressional primary, the Herald’s Hillary Chabot reports on the candidates’ final sun-splashed push for votes over the long holiday weekend. Of course, don’t forget the Richard Neal and Tahirah Amatul-Wadud showdown (Ballotpedia) in the First Congressional primary race.
The governor’s race: Can they beat Charlie Baker?
The big question is whether anyone – Scott Lively in today’s GOP primary election or Jay Gonzalez or Bob Massie after today’s Democratic primary for governor – can beat Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.
As for the GOP primary, Sean Phillip Cotter at the Herald reports on how the state Republican establishment, in general, and Baker, in particular, are facing a major insurgency on the right today. If arch-conservative Scott Lively does well in today’s gubernatorial race against the centrist Baker – and if Trump enthusiast Geoff Diehl wins the GOP nod for U.S. Senate – it would be a major embarrassment for state party, he writes. The Herald’s Howie Carr is almost pleading with President Trump to tweet something favorable about Diehl, in the hopes it will further fire up the conservative base against Baker. Howie really, really dislikes Baker, in case you haven’t noticed.
As for the Democratic race for governor, the Globe’s Matt Stout and Joshua Miller report on how the two candidates have spent the past few days of the contest trying to convince voters that, yes, one of them really can beat Baker in the general election. Meanwhile, Joshua Miller, in a separate Globe story, reports how there really are some important differences between the two progressive candidates.
The legislative races …
Down ticket, there are a lot of legislative primaries today, some of which will decide who will actually serve on Beacon Hill. One of the more watched races is in Boston, where Jeffrey Sanchez and Nika Elugardo are battling it out in the Democratic primary for state representative. Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine reports that the incumbent Sanchez has most definitely smashed the glass and pulled the fire alarm in this one.
Another legislative race to watch is the Democratic contest to fill former Senate President Stan Rosenberg’s seat in western Massachusetts. Diane Lederman at MassLive has the details. And, of course, there’s the Democratic race to replace retiring state Rep. Stephen Kulik, as Mary Serreze at MassLive reports.
The Berkshire DA race: A true ‘bruiser’
Out in western Massachusetts, one of the tougher contests is the race for Berkshire County district attorney. Linda Enerson at CommonWealth magazine describes it as a “bruiser.” Indeed, some election clerks in western Mass. are girding for a strong turnout precisely because of the hotly contested race for the Berkshire County DA, Adam Shanks reports at the Berkshire Eagle.
Neal challenger shared essay arguing US should not have fought HItler
Switching back to the First Congressional race: Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Richard Neal in today’s Democratic primary, used her Facebook page to share an essay arguing that both 9/11 and Pearl Harbor were ‘inside jobs’ and that America erred by stepping in to stop Hitler in World War II, Mark Sullivan at the Telegram reports. The posts date to late 2015 and the Anti-Defamation League of New England is urging Amatul-Wadud to “clarify whether she agrees with these statements.”
The ‘i’ word is popping up more frequently in local races
The Globe’s James Pindell noticed something in the waning days of the local primary races: The increasing use of the word “impeachment” by Congressional candidates. He has the numbers and names.
Canvassing turns tragic as Zakim volunteer killed by car
This is a sad one. A 78-year-old campaign volunteer canvassing voters on behalf of Secretary of State candidate Josh Zakim was hit by a car and killed on Friday, Amy McKeever reports in the Patriot Ledger. Zakim’s campaign suspended activity following the accident that claimed the life of Weymouth resident Lionel Godbout.
Globe report: Warren’s claim of Native American heritage had no bearing on her law career
This sort of reminds us of the old days when the Kennedys and Globe regularly played political footsie together. In this less-blatant contemporary version of the game, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who’s running for re-election and eyeing a White House bid in 2020, handed over academic documents to the Globe, provided the newspaper with an exclusive interview and basically hoped for the best when it came to finally putting the “Pocahontas” controversy to rest. Subsequently, in the “most exhaustive review undertaken of Elizabeth Warren’s professional history,” the Globe’s Annie Linskey reports that a review of hundreds of documents and dozens of interviews with law school professors do indeed show that Warren’s past claims of Native American heritage had no bearing on her academic career. We have no doubts about the accuracy of the story.
But as the Globe’s Jeremey Fox reports in a follow-up story, the paper’s findings probably won’t make a damn bit of difference in the political world. Shannon Young at MassLive also has some of the original academic documents released by Warren, apparently after she released them to the Globe. Btw: We’re expecting a full Boston Herald counter-offensive to commence at any moment now.
Trump goes after Kerry over possible 2020 run
The media just can’t resist looking beyond this year’s mid-term elections – and over the weekend it was former Secretary of State and 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry’s turn to be in the presidential-wannabe spotlight. Appearing on ‘Face the Nation,’ Kerry wouldn’t rule out a possible bid for the White House in two years, the Washington Post reports. That’s all President Trump needed to hear, as the AP at the Herald reports. From the presidential tweet du jour: “I see that John Kerry, the father of the now terminated Iran deal, is thinking of running for President. I should only be so lucky – although the field that is currently assembling looks really good – FOR ME!”
Separately, the Herald’s Sean Phillip Cotter reports on how Democrats may talk about nominating a presidential candidate who reflects, and can make a connection to, young voters. But right now much of the talk about the 2020 presidential race is centered on a “cadre of septuagenarian white guys,” i.e. John Kerry, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.
If you’re reading this newsletter and planning to vote in today’s primary elections, you’re probably one of the “politically obsessed” that pollster Scott Rasmussen is referring to in this fascinating piece about how the average American actually has a life outside politics – and how the average American simply doesn’t fit into the nice and neat political narratives spun by those on the left and right.
Report: Healey convening grand jury to investigate State Police overtime scandal
The feds have already made some arrests as part of their ongoing probe of alleged overtime abuses at the Massachusetts State Police. Now Attorney General Maura Healey has convened a state grand jury to also investigate allegations of troopers getting paid for overtime work they never performed, reports Scott Croteau at MassLive.
Conservative group threatens to sue state and local officials over union dues
Christian Wade at the Newburyport Daily News reports on the legal sword rattling by a conservative group in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus-vs-AFSCME ruling earlier this year. Bottom line: The conservative group is demanding that Charlie Baker, Maura Healey, Marty Walsh et gang should put a stop to unions collecting dues from public employees – or else.
Tourism industry to lawmakers: Hey, how about flipping some of those tax dollars back to us
The tourism industry, via hotel and other taxes, generates hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue per year for the state – and all hoteliers and restaurateurs are asking for is that the state spend a little more of that money on actually promoting tourism. Abigail Summerville at the BBJ has the details.
Flip flop: Healey now says towns can’t ban medical marijuana centers
First they could. Now they can’t. Jack Sullivan at CommonWealth magazine reports how Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, which originally said towns could ban medical marijuana centers in their communities, has reversed its position and now says they can’t ban them. It’s a “startling turnaround” indeed.
Commuter school, not: UMass Boston flings open its dorm doors
WBUR reports that UMass Boston students over the weekend started moving into the school’s first campus dormitory in its 54-year history. The new tower on Morrissey Boulevard will house about 1,000 of UMass Boston’s more than 12,000 students.
Conditions are harsh inside the one-star-rated Bedford VA
Andrea Estes and Donovan Slack of the Globe report on the poor conditions and staff behavior that have led to the Bedford Veterans Affairs being one of just 11 such facilities nationwide to receive the lowest-possible score based on surprise visits and patient care quality. They report that the 200 veterans who receive care at the facility are more likely to suffer bed sores, receive too much medication and are in worse health than their counterparts at other facilities.
Once upon a time: The story behind the PawSox stadium deal
It took nearly 14 years and a number of behind-the-scenes players to strike the deal that will bring the Pawtucket Red Sox to Worcester, Zachary Comeau reports at the Worcester Business Journal. Comeau tracks the roots of the current deal to build a new $100 million ballpark all the way back to a 2005 conversation between the PawSox then-owner and a Worcester city councilor.
GPS bracelets don’t stop reoffenders ….
Forcing defendants in alleged gun-related crimes to wear GPS tracking devices while their cases wind their way through the courts does not prevent them from re-offending — and the new commissioner of the Boston police wants courts to change the practice, Meghan Ottolini reports at the Herald.
The political economics of cranberries …
From Alex Gailey at the Globe: “Cranberry farmers buried under a glut of the tart fruit are seeking permission for a radical way to dig themselves out: destroying millions of pounds of their crops. After struggling with an oversupply of the berries for nearly two decades, growers around the country are asking the Department of Agriculture for authorization to sell 75 percent of the supply and discard the rest.”
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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