Happening Today

Gaming Commission, Baker-Gonzalez forum, New Englanders of the Year

— The board of directors of MassDevelopment meets, with Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash attending, 99 High Street, 11th floor, Boston, 9 a.m.

— Auditor Suzanne Bump attends the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents Executive Committee meeting, Massachusetts International Academy, 280 Locke Drive, Marlborough, 9:30 a.m.

— The Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets with an agenda that includes discussions on the Plainridge Park Casino license renewal, the Springfield Gaming School, a Suffolk Downs request for race horse development funds and the recent opening of MGM Springfield, Massachusetts Gaming Commission, 101 Federal St., 12th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to join 1A Auto CEO and Third Congressional District candidate Rick Green and 1A Auto President Mike Green for the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the new 1A Auto R&D Facility and video studio, 20 Mill St., Pepperell, 11 a.m.

— U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III appears on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 11 a.m.

— Democratic Congressional candidate Ayanna Pressley, Beth Chandler of YW Boston, and Sara Schnorr of counsel at Locke Lord join officials from other organizations for a Yes on 3 event, YW Boston, Kuumba Library, 140 Clarendon St., 2nd floor, Boston, 2 p.m. 

— Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez participate in an environmental forum hosted by the Environmental League of Massachusetts, Museum of Science, 1 Science Park Drive, Boston, 4 p.m.

— The New England Council presents its New Englander of the Year awards at its annual dinner, with this year’s recipients being General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Jeffrey Leiden, president and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Staff Sergeant Travis Mills and retiring U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, Seaport Hotel/World Trade Center, One Seaport Ln, Boston, 4:30 p.m.

— Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants speaks at the seventh annual Access to Justice Fellows event, hosted by the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission and the Lawyers Clearinghouse, Seven Justice Courtroom, John Adams Courthouse, Pemberton Square, Boston, 5 p.m.

MassVOTE holds its annual Champions of Democracy celebration, honoring the Election Modernization Coalition that includes the ACLU of Massachusetts, Common Cause Massachusetts, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and other groups, Scholars American Bistro, 25 School St., Boston, 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.

Today’s Stories

Baker and slim majority in poll: ‘No’ on Question 1

Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday came out against Question 1 on the same day that a new poll shows, for the first time, that a slim majority of voters oppose the ballot measure that would require strict nurse-to-patient ratios at hospitals.

The Associated Press at the Herald has more on the newly announced anti-Question1 position by the Republican Baker, who says a recent cost analysis by the state Health Policy Commission convinced him to vote against the measure. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey reports on a new UMass Lowell/Boston Globe poll that found 51 percent percent of likely voters oppose the ballot question, while 43 support it, a reversal of previous polls showing Question 1 with narrow majority support.

Meanwhile, Baker and Warren still riding high in latest survey …

The same UMass Lowell/Boston Globe poll shows that Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, are maintaining their commanding leads in their respective re-election races, with less than a month to go before the November election. 

In particular, Baker continues to be the most popular governor in America, according to the latest Morning Consult survey, as Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports. The Herald’s Michael Graham is almost in awe of the Republican Baker’s numbers in such a blue state. “His 69-17 percent approval in the new Morning Consult poll is more proof that, pound for pound, Charlie Baker is the best politician in America today—period,” Graham writes. But the Globe’s Joan Vennochi is not so impressed with Baker, based on his debate performance earlier this week against Democratic rival Jay Gonzalez.

Btw: The UMass Lowell/Boston Globe also continues to show overwhelming support among voters for retaining the state’s new transgender-rights law, as outlined in Question 3.  And Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive reports how the UMass Lowell/Boston Globe poll shows most Massachusetts residents aren’t happy about the corporate response to the gas-line disaster in the Merrimack Valley.

Just in time: Gonzalez hauls in $542K in public financing

He’s down in the polls and doesn’t have anything close to the campaign funds available to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker. But every little bit helps for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez, who, along with his lieutenant governor running Quentin Palfrey, has received $542,284 in public financing for his campaign, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive.


Coverup? Gonzalez and Baker spar over State Police records-destruction bid

Forget the poll and fundraising numbers. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez is still swinging away — and this is not a bad issue to be swinging away at these days. Gonzalez yesterday charged that State Police were attempting to cover up overtime abuses by requesting to destroy key payroll documents now at the center of federal and state investigations. But Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, while saying the documents shouldn’t be destroyed, said the State Police were simply following bureaucratic protocols and were blocked. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine has the details. 

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau advances the story a bit, reporting that State Police asked three separate times, not just once, to have the records destroyed. Each time, the Records Conservation Board tabled the request. … Just a thought: Is there a way to put the files under lock and key somewhere far, far away from State Police? They seem awfully eager to follow protocol.

Oh, btw, the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau also has the latest twist in the ongoing payroll scandal at State Police: “The head of the Massachusetts State Police has launched an investigation into new accusations of trooper payroll fraud, alleging some members used the union as an excuse to take paid leave.” 


MassHousing’s not-so-affordable headquarters lease …

After giving MassHousing’s payroll records a good scrubbing, the Herald is back with a look at another operational expense at the agency. From the Herald’s Mary Markos and Joe Dwinell: “The agency tasked with bankrolling affordable housing in Massachusetts has the second highest state rental bill in the city at over $4.5 million a year for office space in the exclusive One Beacon Street tower, a Herald analysis of rents shows. MassHousing pays a total of $378,828 a month for its 375 employees at the office located just a few blocks from the State House, agency spokesman Paul McMorrow confirmed.”

Boston Herald

Boston College opposes conversion of dive bar into pot shop near campus

With nearly 10,000 college students nearby, Boston College doesn’t think a proposal to convert the dive Mary Ann’s Bar into a pot shop is a very good idea. Neither do local merchants and residents. Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub has the details.

Universal Hub

Goldberg and Orrall clash over just about everything

Another genuine debate broke out at a debate in Massachusetts. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that Treasurer Deb Goldberg and her Republican opponent, state Rep. Keiko Orrall, disagreed on just about every issue last night during a televised debate on WGBH’s ‘Greater Boston.” Orrall, among other things, continues to hammer away at the proposed Lottery headquarters move out of Braintree. WGBH has a video of the exchange, accompanied by a story by ‘GBH’s Antonio Caban.

In other election-debate news, the Lowell Sun’s Chris Lisinski reports that Democrat Lori Trahan and Republican Rick Green “leaned on their central talking points” during a Third Congressional District debate last night.

Pressure grows on National Grid to end lockout of workers

Locked-out union members yesterday picketed outside the Boston headquarters of Blue Cross Blue Shield, demanding that the giant health insurer dump National Grid chief Mary Reed from its board for her role in the months-long lock out of utility workers, reports the Herald’s Kathleen McKiernan

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is urging utility and state officials to find a way to allow locked-out National Grid employees to work on pipeline recovery efforts in the Merrimack Valley, which is still recovering from the recent gas-line explosions and fires that have left thousands without natural gas service, reports Shannon Young at MassLive. Finally, Chris Triunfo at SHNS (pay wall) reports on how Gov. Charlie Baker’s handling of the National Grid standoff is  playing out in the gubernatorial contest against Democrat Jay Gonzalez.

Suffolk DA candidate Maloney’s campaign: After abuse allegation, put a fork in it

Democrat Rachael Rollins was already favored to win the general election for Suffolk County District Attorney – and now this nasty revelation will probably push her into the heavily-favored category. From Maria Cramer at the Globe: “Michael Maloney, an independent candidate for Suffolk district attorney, was accused by his former wife of pushing her, throwing objects at her, and threatening to harm her and kill her father, according to court records.  The documents detail three alleged outbursts between July 2013 and Nov. 1, 2014, when Maloney returned to the couple’s Easton home drunk and ‘started spiraling into a rage,’ according to a restraining order filed against him on Nov. 10, 2014.”

Boston Globe

State slaps additional limits on proposed Beth Israel-Lahey merger

They’re trying to make this as difficult as possible short of outright rejecting the merger. From the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “The Department of Public Health has placed additional restrictions on health care costs allowed under the proposed merger of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Lahey Health, an added burden that hospital executives are calling ‘unprecedented’ but ‘manageable.’”

BBJ (pay wall)

Michael Bloomberg update: ‘The Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent’ turns Dem again with eye on 2020

The media mogul and former NYC mayor is from Medford, so we’re going to treat him like a quasi-local for the time being. From the NYT: “Michael R. Bloomberg, the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, says he is returning to his roots: He has re-registered as a Democrat — an initial but essential step toward a possible run for president in 2020 as a Democrat.”


DPH: Ten percent of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in Massachusetts

Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel told officials yesterday that about 10 percent of sampled mosquitoes tested positive for the West Nile virus, a high rate that partly accounts for the record number of West Nile cases reported this year in Massachusetts. SHNS’s Katie Lannan has the details.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Chandler to renew push to end child marriages as other states increasingly adopt tougher laws

State Sen. Harriette Chandler plans to renew her legislative push to end child marriages in Massachusetts, after her most recent bill was shuffled off to legislative study this past session. Prithvi Tikh at the Telegram has more on Chandler’s legislative push – and why the legislation failed to pass this past spring.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has a big piece on how other states, including Texas and Kentucky, are cracking down on child marriages that mostly involve young girls wedding older men.


Suddenly, there’s a lot of chatter about an economic downturn …

Stocks took a nosedive yesterday, amid fears over higher interest rates and bond-market signals about the economy, the Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, the NYT has a piece about how a “downturn looms” in California and as everyone knows:  “So goes California, so goes the U.S.” And the Globe’s Tim Logan reports this morning: “Economists attending a major real estate conference this week in Boston generally agree on two things: The boom times for building in the United States are due for a slowdown, but it probably won’t be a crash.” No crash? Well, that’s a relief.

Mass. Fiscal Alliance files suit against state’s donor disclosure law, claiming free-speech violation

Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports on the latest legal broadside fired by one of the state’s most politically active conservative groups, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, which yesterday filed a lawsuit challenging a state law requiring the disclosure of campaign donors in the immediate months before an election. The groups says the law violates its First Amendment rights and would prompt the cancellation of television ads and mailings, Mohl writes.


The Globe’s Stat: It’s growing and people are paying for it

Laura Hazard Owen at Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab has a report on Stat, the online science news site started by Red Sox and Globe owner John Henry, and it seems the digital publication is financially doing somewhat well, or so says Stat officials, largely due to paid subscriptions that now account for almost half of Stat’s revenues. The digital publication, which is independent of the Globe and yet run out of the Globe’s offices, is increasingly targeting “group” subscriptions as a way to boost paid readership, Owen notes. Nieman piece via Editor & Publisher, btw.


Is the high-voting dominance of South Boston and other ‘traditional’ neighborhoods over in Boston?

James Sutherland and Lawrence DiCara crunched the numbers and analyzed voting trends in last month’s primary elections in Boston – and they believe the data suggests that the old electoral playbook of South Boston, West Roxbury and other pockets in the city known for dominating elections, via high voter turnout, may be changing. In other words: What were once called “white ethnic” neighborhoods are losing electoral clout – which isn’t too much of a surprise for those paying attention to demographic trends.


Boston’s incredibly shrinking middle-class

Speaking of demographic trends in Boston, the numbers in the post above are undoubtedly tied, to some degree, to the ones in this story by Benjamin Swasey, who reports at WBUR that Boston lost 15,000 middle-income families over the past 25 years, while the number of high-income households soared by 43,000 and low-income households jumped by 30,000.


Bump: Elderly Affairs doesn’t always properly report abuses

From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “The Massachusetts state agency charged with investigating elder abuse did not always properly report alleged abuse to law enforcement authorities for prosecution, according to an audit released Tuesday by Auditor Suzanne Bump.  Bump found the Executive Office of Elder Affairs did not always report incidents of abuse to district attorneys, as it was required to do.”


A Reception in Support of Jay Gonzalez for Governor

Please join Former Treasurer Steve Grossman; Former Mayor Setti Warren; Senator Cindy Creem; Representatives Ruth Balser, Kay Khan; Councilors Vicki Danberg, Josh Krintzman, Rick Lipof; Newton DCC Chair Shawn Fitzgibbons, DSC Member Martina Jackson; Hosts Dennis Kanin, Mike Offner for a reception in support of Jay Gonzalez for Governor.

Jay Gonzalez: Democrat for Governor

Get in the Know

Boston School Finder’s “Get in the Know” event will break down recent education data from a variety of sources, taking these insights from ideation to action by enlisting the help of parents and families. The goal is to equip parents and families with the information necessary to advocate for changes within schools and to work toward equitable opportunities for all students in Boston.

Boston School Finder

Book Release: “The Fight for the Best Charter Public Schools in the Nation”

Join us for a lively discussion of Pioneer Institute’s new book, “The Fight for the Best Charter Public Schools in the Nation.”

Pioneer Institute

Immigrants in an Anxious Time: Changing Laws and Personal Dilemmas

Dr. Westy Egmont of Boston College School of Social Work will moderate a discussion on immigration with panelists Eva Millona, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), and Patricia Sobalvarro, co-founder and Executive Director of Agencia ALPHA.

A Faith That Does Justice

11th Annual Public Performance Conference

Please join us for the 11th Annual Public Performance Conference. The goal of the conference is to examine and discuss performance management research and models for the adoption and implementation of compelling practices in the public sector.

Suffolk University

Divest to Invest: Divesting from the Prison Industry to Invest in Our Communities

Please join New Leaders Council Boston and community organizers, including the Corrections Accountability Project and College Bound Dorchester, on Thursday, October 18th to discuss a Boston-wide campaign to divest public and private funds from the prison industrial complex.

New Leaders Council

Negotiating Skills: Art, Science or Luck?

Learn how to identify the appropriate tactics and counter tactics employed for any type of negotiators to reach a more leveraged position (even when you think you’re at a disadvantage).

NAIOP Massachusetts

Fight Night Boston: Demetrius Andrade vs Billy-Joe Saunders

Matchroom Boxing USA and Murphys Boxing Promotions announce a major world championship boxing event to be held at Boston’s TD Garden on October 20, 2018.

Matchroom Boxing USA and Murphys Boxing Promotions

Boston Trade Compliance and Policy Seminar

International trade regulations change constantly—old rules are updated and new regulations are added every day. Attend one of the full-day seminars in a location close to you to stay up to date on the latest information. Learn about changing international trade regulations with industry experts—C.H. Robinson’s Kevin Doucette —who is passionate about this subject.

C.H. Robinson

We The People’s For Creators, By Creators

We The People, the world’s only multi-channel crowdfunding retail chain and community, is hosting a kick-off crowdfunding event where local entrepreneurs from companies such as Rocketbook, Think Board and allocacoc will provide tips on how to leverage crowdfunding to launch products. They will also discuss how to create crowdfunding campaigns and some lessons learned.

We The People

Real Estate Finance Fundamentals Onsite Course

This is a two part course that will be held on October 26, 2018 and November 2, 2018. This 2-day course will focus on debt and equity financing of income-producing real property. The course will look at both the private debt and equity markets for real estate finance, and the commercial mortgage-backed securities market for debt financing.

NAIOP Massachusetts

Back from the Brink: A Call to Prevent Nuclear War (Gonson Lecture)

Experts say we are closer to accidental or intentional nuclear war than at any time since the 1950s – and yet, at the same time, also closer than ever to an international ban to dismantle all of these immoral weapons. Come hear about the race for human survival, and what citizens can do to help.

Cambridge Center for Adult Education

Today’s Headlines


Open space may get $110M in surplus cash – Boston Herald

Boston Lost 15,000 Middle-Income Households Over 25 Years, Report Says – WBUR


Black advisory commission issues first recommendations to Baker – Boston Globe

Gonzalez: Records destruction bid suggests coverup – CommonWealth

Treasurer Deb Goldberg, challenger Keiko Orrall debate Lottery move, divesting from gun sellers – MassLive


Hurricane Michael slams into Florida panhandle – NYT

U.S. markets drop sharply as investors are spooked by rising rates – Washington Post

CVS and Aetna’s game-changing merger gains crucial approval – CNN

Chinese Spy Arrested and Is First Brought to U.S. for Prosecution – NYT

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