Happening Today

Early voting opens, Question 1 debate, Worcester DA debate, Secretary of State debate

— The first ballots in the 2018 election can be cast today with the opening of early voting.

— Campaigns supporting and opposing the three ballot questions have until today to report to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance their spending and contributions for the period between Oct. 2 and Oct. 15.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds a public hearing to accept input on the applications it has received to run live horse racing in 2019, 101 Federal St., 12th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Democratic nominee for governor Jay Gonzalez visit the University of Massachusetts to kick off early voting in Amherst and plug their own campaigns, UMass Amherst, Student Union Building, Cape Cod Lounge, Amherst, 11 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals CEO Jeffrey Leiden kick off STEM Week with an event at the Dearborn STEM Academy in Roxbury, 36 Winthrop St., Roxbury, 11 a.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey joins Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux, Attleboro Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Laurie Regan and others for a discussion highlighting Project Here, Robert J. Coelho Middle School, 99 Brown Street, Attleboro, 11:30 a.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker joins Assistant Secretary of Energy Patrick Woodcock, Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike and Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Thaaning Pederson to participate in the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal Lease Signing with Vineyard Wind, New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal Office Lobby, 4 Wright Street, New Bedford, 3:30 p.m.

— Somerville residents will be joined by Democratic congressional nominee Ayanna Pressley to rally and march for affordable housing, jobs and ‘responsible development,’ ahead of a Somerville Board of Aldermen vote on a land transfer of Union Square parcel to developer US2, Union Square, Somerville, 4 p.m.  

— ‘Radio Boston’ airs an hour-long debate on the nursing-staffing Question 1, with Massachusetts Nursing Association president Donna Kelly-Williams arguing in favor of the initiative and Boston Medical Center chief nursing officer Nancy Gaden arguing in opposition, WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

— Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early, a Democrat, and challenger Blake Rubin, an unenrolled candidate, square off in a debate hosted by the ACLU of Massachusetts, Worcester State University, 486 Chandler St., Worcester, 6 p.m.

— State Secretary William Galvin and Republican challenger Anthony Amore face off in their only scheduled debate, a half-hour show moderated by Jim Braude, WGBH-TV Ch. 2, WGBH-FM 89.7, WGBHNews.org, 7 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross appear on ‘Nightside,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively.

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

Warren and Diehl debate the man who wasn’t there: Donald Trump

Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Geoff Diehl went at it during two U.S. Senate debates held over the past three days – and, not surprisingly, Donald Trump and Warren’s presidential ambitions were the hot topics. The Globe’s Victoria McGrane and Joshua Miller and the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter report on yesterday’s showdown.

As for Friday’s debate, we liked Peter Kadzis’s coverage at WGBH: “Friday night’s session, refereed by WBZ political analyst John Keller, resembled a demolition derby. The hour had no dramatic arc; issues didn’t unfold in context. Warren and Diehl gunned their engines, burned their tires, and — whenever possible — T-boned each other.” 

Fyi: There was another man who wasn’t there: Independent candidate Shiva Ayyadurai, whose supporters disrupted Sunday’s debate at one point to protest his exclusion from the showdown. Shannon Young at MassLive has the details.     

Reclaiming her Okie roots …

 Is another Massachusetts presidential wannabe distancing him or herself from Massachusetts? Recall ex-Gov. Mitt Romney’s attempt to nearly wipe clean his association with Massachusetts when he ran for president in 2008 and 2012. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren isn’t going that far, but she is trying to emphasize and reconnect to her Oklahoma roots as she gears up for a probable run for the White House, as the Globe’s Jess Bidgood reports. 

In other 2020 news, the NYT reports that three women, one of them Warren, are now at the early forefront of Democrats vying for the presidency. The NY Post’s Michael Goodwin says a fourth female candidate might as well be added to the list: Hillary Clinton. Btw: Bernie Sanders was stomping around South Carolina over the weekend, raising more than a few eyebrows, The Hill reports.

Boston Globe

Environmental police chief canned for spying on staff and fixing tickets

In yet another police-related embarrassment for Gov. Charlie Baker, the state’s top environmental cop and Baker’s former campaign driver, James McGinn, was fired on Friday (of course it had to be a Friday) after an internal review found he was spying on staff and fixing traffic tickers. The Globe’s Danny McDonald and MassLive’s Gintautas Dumcius have the details (with MassLive having the full internal report).  

As for the spying, we’re talking about the hiring of an actual private detective and installing unauthorized surveillance cameras to snoop on one officer in particular “in order to determine if the officer was reporting for duty in accordance with his time records.” In other words, McGinn appears to have suspected that he had his very own State Police-like no-work problem.

The Herald’s Howie Carr is all over the story: “McGinn’s lawyer said the firing was ‘politically motivated,’ as if the hiring wasn’t as well. But the most interesting thing the lawyer said was that his client, the hack ex-statie, now plans to expose ‘significant misconduct on the part of those holding supervisory responsibilities above him.’ You don’t say, Colonel? Anybody we know? I guess you could say, the head of the clam patrol doesn’t plan to clam up.”

As more troopers plead guilty in OT scandal, Baker says he’s open to changing how State Police chiefs are selected

Speaking of the governor and police behaving badly: Two more state troopers (one of them recently retired) have pleaded guilty to their roles in the ongoing probe into alleged overtime abuses at State Police, report the Globe’s Kay Lazar and Travis Andersen. Meanwhile, the Globe’s Matt Stout reports that Gov. Charlie Baker is now saying he’s open to the idea of changing state law so that someone from outside the agency can be hired to run State Police, something that “his Democratic challenger has repeatedly pushed amid still-simmering scandals at the agency.”

Gonzalez: ‘People are feeling the momentum’

And speaking of the governor’s race: After what many consider a strong showing in last week’s gubernatorial debate (or at least a stronger showing than that of his rival), Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez says “people are feeling the momentum” of his campaign, polls and pundits be damned, Laura Crimaldi and John Hilliard at the Globe report. Meanwhile, the Herald’s Mary Markos reports on all those Democratic pols who are endorsing Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

Finally: In 2014, then candidate Baker vowed to aggressively fight the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts – and Felice Freyer at the Globe reports that many experts say the governor has largely kept his word. But Freyer adds: “Even his fans identified shortcomings and continuing challenges in confronting a catastrophe that no one believes is close to ending.”

‘Jackpot junkets’

Some of the freebie foreign trips by Beacon Hill lawmakers are legitimately tied (to varying degrees) to their official business. Then there are the “jackpot junkets” – the ones that are hard to explain beyond the fact they’re largely paid for by others. The Globe’s Joshua Miller and Matt Stout have the names and places around the world where  lawmakers have visited over the years on someone else’s dime, due to a “galactic-sized loophole” in state ethics regulations. 

State Sen. Marc R. Pacheco seems to be the king of travel, spending the “equivalent of eight months — at least 240 days — traveling to give speeches, attend conferences, and tour foreign countries, according to his disclosures.”

The head of one watchdog group is defending the trips if they’re exposing lawmakers to different cultures. But, strangely, lawmakers don’t appear to be interested in learning about cultures in Africa and South America. They seem more interested in Europe, China and other exotic locations. Here’s a Globe map of their travels.

Boston Globe

‘The Washington Globe’?

Don Seiffert at the BBJ reports on the departure of two more Globe newsroom staffers – reporter Sacha Pfeiffer to NPR’s national investigations team and the Globe’s Washington bureau chief Christopher Rowland to the Washington Post. Globe editor Brian McGrory, noting in a memo how so many Globe reporters have recently decamped for the Post, joked that the Post “might as well be renamed the Washington Globe.”

BBJ (pay wall)

‘Charlie B on the T’

We missed this one from the other day at Dig Boston: Andy Metzger’s illustrated history of the T since Charlie Baker became governor.

Dig Boston

‘T invites enemy state into our midst’

We had to check the date to make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s Day when we read the above headline, as well as the subhead (‘Chinese rail car maker could be a Trojan Horse’), on state Rep. Shawn Dooley’s opinion piece at CommonWealth magazine. Not to dismiss his concerns out of hand about Chinese espionage in general and the fact new T cars are being built by a Chinese company. But is he aware of how many of our cell phones are now made in China, as well as numerous other products? Just wondering. The Chinese make a lot of things these days.


Columbia Gas is making very costly progress in Merrimack Valley

The Associate Press at WBUR reports that Columbia Gas announced yesterday it’s 80 percent through its work replacing main pipelines in the Merrimack Valley — and about halfway through its work replacing 6,100 service lines to homes and businesses still without natural gas due to last month’s gas-line explosions and fires.

Meanwhile, Dan Glaun at MassLive reports that Columbia Gas has shelled out nearly $20 million in claims to Merrimack Valley residents and businesses who suffered losses due to the gas-line disaster.


Sorry to tell you, but RGGI isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Jonah Kurman-Faber, a research associate at Climate Xchange, says the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is good-intentioned and better than nothing when it comes to cap-and-trade carbon policies. But he argues at CommonWealth magazine that its success has been overrated and the state needs much tougher carbon policies.


As Green tries to downplay ‘D.C. circus’ issues, Trahan predicts big female turnout

The Globe’s Matt Stout reports that Republican Third Congressional candidate Rick Green is trying to “insulate his campaign from national tides,” dismissing many campaign subjects as merely “D.C. circus” issues. But Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times reports that Democratic candidate Lori Trahan is almost counting on national issues energizing voters, particularly women angry over the recent Kavanaugh high-court hearings in Washington.

So where are the anti-LGBT forces getting the funds for Question 3? Answer: Winchester

Christian Wade at the Salem News dives into the campaign finance reports and finds out who are the big backers behind the Question 3 push to repeal the state’s new transgender rights law. A Winchester woman, in particular, is writing big checks to Keep Massachusetts Safe.

Meanwhile, transgender-rights advocates may have a bigger problem on their hands: The Trump administration wants to bureaucratically write transgender people out of legal existence. The New York Times has the details.

Salem News

Former principal who came out as transgender lands new job as a teacher

And speaking of transgender issues: It certainly looks like a demotion, but a Swampscott school principal who came out as transgender earlier this year – and whose contract was curiously not renewed at about the same time – is nevertheless back in the classroom as a teacher, as part of an agreement with the school district, reports the Globe’s John Hilliard.

Boston Globe

Rats invade suburbs

Waltham declared a public health emergency over the summer. Belmont had to close a popular children’s park twice. Other towns are holding meetings and appropriating funds to fight the problem. What’s going on? A rat infestation of the suburbs, an all-out invasion by the look of it. And it’s not just happening here. Dugan Arnett at the Globe has the details. It’s as if it’s all coordinated worldwide!

The odd timing of restraining orders involving Suffolk DA candidate Maloney

Isaiah Thompson at WGBH reports on how, a few weeks prior to being the subject of a restraining order sought by his former wife, Suffolk DA candidate Michael Maloney got a restraining order against his apparent former housekeeper and personal assistant, who was allegedly mouthing off about how she was fired and how she had affair with him, etc. etc. Thompson has the details, including Maloney’s various denials.


After taking on Nazis, terrorists and art thieves, he’s now taking on … Bill Galvin?

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive takes a look at Republican secretary of state candidate Anthony Amore, a private security expert who’s running against incumbent Democrat Bill Galvin, aka the Prince of Darkness. You can’t quite say Amore has “battled” Nazis, terrorists and art thieves. More like … well, read the article.

Btw: The Springfield Republican is not impressed. It has endorsed Galvin.


Kennedy and Israel: Where does he stand?

Jacob Kamaras at the Jewish News Syndicate rakes over the coals U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy’s record and comments about Black Lives Matter, Israel’s capital and other issues – and some don’t like what they’re hearing when it comes to Israel.


‘Lelling means business’

Peter Lucas at the Lowell Sun (and at the Herald too) is praising U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, while also lobbing criticism at Attorney General Maura Healey and Gov. Charlie Baker, for his recent actions against Fall River Mayor Jasiel F. Correia, state troopers accused of overtime abuses, Lawrence drug dealers and East Boston MS-13 gang members. Concludes Lucas: “U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling means business.”

Lowell Sun

The Lottery: ‘Robin Hood in reverse’

Jonathan D. Cohen, who is writing a dissertation on the history of state lotteries in America, says the formula used to distribute Massachusetts revenues to towns is outdated, unfair and should be changed to stop favoring affluent communities. He has more on the ‘Robin Hood in reverse’ system at CommonWealth magazine.


Amherst adds up cost of educating kids living in tax-exempt UMass housing

Here’s a hidden cost to school districts that we didn’t appreciate until now: The children of graduate students who attend local public schools while living in tax-exempt college housing. In this case, it’s UMass-Amherst graduate students, with children, living in UMass housing that’s not taxed by the town. It’s costing Amherst. Jim Russell at MassLive has the numbers.


Yet another building boom leaves poor and middle-income families behind

No, we’re not talking about Boston’s building boom. We’re talking about Quincy’s building boom – and how it’s geared mostly toward luxury living, leaving behind low- and middle-class residents. Erin Tiernan at Wicked Local has the details.

Wicked Local

Mental health: It’s increasingly becoming a ‘private-pay’ business

The Globe’s Liz Kowalczyk has an excellent story about how many poor and middle-class patients are struggling to find a provider who will see them for their mental health needs, largely because so many psychiatrists and others believe Medicaid and private insurers don’t pay enough for their services. Kowalczyk’s key graf: “Mental health care has become, in large measure, a private-pay business that operates outside the insurance system.”

Boston Globe

Despite push, no seat on transit panel for Berkshires

A 19-person task force established by the Beacon Hill lawmakers to examine operation of the state’s regional transit authorities will not include a representative from the Berkshires region, despite heavy lobbying from more than 30 communities and regional planning groups, Larry Parnass reports at the Berkshire Eagle. 

Berkshire Eagle

Polito, Kennedy and Vertex CEO sound STEM alarm in joint op-ed

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III and Vertex Pharmaceuticals CEO Jeffrey Leiden pen an opinion piece at the Globe on why the state and others need to focus more on increasing the number of women and minorities entering STEM career fields.

Boston Globe

Backlash over payout to former parole board member

From Hillary Chabot at the Herald: “Bay State taxpayers recently paid out $200,000 to a former Massachusetts’ parole board member who resigned following her controversial vote to free a violent convict that went on to gun down Woburn patrolman John Maguire in a 2010 botched department store robbery. … The state settled Pamela J. Lombardini’s 2013 lawsuit, which alleged that former Gov. Deval Patrick’s chief of staff and armed state troopers threatened and intimidated her into resigning after the shooting death of Maguire.” Needless to say, police are not happy that she’s getting a payout.

Boston Herald

After complaint, candidate says he’ll stop wearing firefighter gear in campaign ads

Paul Fullen, the GOP candidate seeking the open 17th Worcester District House seat, says he won’t appear in campaign ads wearing his firefighter gear any more after the state’s Democratic party filed a complaint with the Mass. Ethics Commission, Cyrus Moulton reports at the Telegram. 


Financial Experience Design Conference

The 2018 FXD Conference, a one-and-a-half-day conference, is a select gathering of more than 150 executives, experts, visionaries, and progressive thinkers from across the insurance, banking, wealth management, and fintech industries.


Belmont Savings Bank and Boston Business Journal: Maximizing the Value of Your Board

Join the Boston Business Journal, Belmont Savings Bank and distinguished industry experts for an exciting panel discussion and an outlook on how to maximize the value of your board and learn from the local experts who made it happen.

Boston Business Journal

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


Rats suddenly surge in Boston suburbs – Boston Globe

MBTA offers retail space in Lynn and Swampscott for bid – Lynn Item


Libraries, museums turn to craft beer to raise money – Brockton Enterprise

Records show Cape-based cryptocurrency plot – Cape Cod Times

In Attleboro, seat of city power wants some new seats – Sun Chronicle


‘Transgender’ could be defined out of existence – New York Times

Trump gets ready to play the midterm blame game – Politico

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