Happening Today

Question 1 rallies, Cannabis Commission, Baker-Gonzalez debate

— Health Policy Commission Executive Director David Seltz will discuss the themes and findings of the HPC’s 2018 Cost Trends Hearing at a meeting of the Group Insurance Commission, 19 Staniford St., 4th Floor, Boston, starting at 8:30 a.m.

— The State House hosts its annual Women Veterans’ Appreciation Day event, with Brig. Gen. Meaghan LeClerc, assistant to the deputy judge advocate general of the U.S. Air Force, giving the keynote speech and Auditor Suzanne Bump and Treasurer Deb Goldberg attending, Great Hall, 10 a.m.

— Rep. Kay Khan, Michael Curry of the Mass. League of Community Health Centers, Stan McLaren of Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center and others participate in a rally against Question 1, State House steps, 11 a.m.

Stop Handgun Violence, a Massachusetts-based non-profit, unveils a new billboard designed by artist Manuel Oliver, the father of 17-year-old Joaquin Oliver, who was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Corner of Boylston Street and Dalton Street, with views of Dalton Street Parking Garage at 50 Dalton St., Boston, 11 a.m.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joins Senate President Karen Spilka, Rep. Jack Lewis and Ashland Town Manager Michael Herbert to announce a 2018 MassWorks grant award for road and streetscape improvements in downtown Ashland, Board of Selectmen Meeting Room, 2nd Floor, Town Hall, 101 Main Street, Ashland, 11 a.m.

— Boston Bar Association hosts a conference on marijuana laws and regulations in Massachusetts, with former Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral, who is now CEO of a marijuana company, among those planning to speak, Boston Bar Association, 16 Beacon St., Boston, 11:30 a.m.

— The Cannabis Control Commission meets and may take votes to approve more final marijuana business licenses, Health Policy Commission conference room, 8th floor, 50 Milk St., Boston, 1 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is a guest on ‘Radio Boston,’ WBUR-FM 90.9, 3 p.m.

— Boston Mayor Martin Walsh joins patients and nurses at a Yes on 1 get out the vote rally in favor of Question 1 Faneuil Hall, Sam Adams Park, Boston, 4 p.m.

— Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez square off one final time before Election Day, in an hour long debate hosted by a media consortium including the Boston Globe, WBUR, University of Massachusetts Boston John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies, and Western Mass News, with WCVB anchor Maria Stephanos and Bob Oakes of WBUR moderating, WCVB-TV, 7 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 Whitey Bulger murder: ‘Justice was not served’

Let’s get this one out of the way before jumping into all the election and other news. Former U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, whose office prosecuted gangster Whitey Bulger, says justice was served five years ago when Bulger was convicted of murdering 11 people. But justice was not served by his brutal murder earlier this week in a federal prison, she writes at the Globe. Count the Herald’s Howie Carr among those who believe justice was indeed served. At the suggestion of a relative of one of Bulger’s victims, he says he sent $100 to the prison canteen fund of one of Bulger’s suspected killers, Fotios “Freddy” Geas. Besides Geas, there may have been yet another Massachusetts-tied thug at the prison where Bulger was brutally murdered, reports the Globe’s Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy.

So just how brutal was Bulger’s killing? So brutal that he was “left unrecognizable,” the NYT and other publications report. The Globe’s Matt Rocheleau asks, and tries to answer, the big questions tied to the grisly prison incident: “Who did it? … How did they kill him, and why weren’t guards able to stop it? …Why was Bulger even at the West Virginia prison in the first place?” Finally, the Globe’s Renée Graham reports how Whitey played no small role in cementing Boston’s image as a racist town.

Baker vs Gonzalez: The final days

Yet another poll, this one by WBUR/MassInc., shows Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez continuing to struggle with name recognition among voters, trailing Republican Gov. Charlie Baker by a whopping 68 to 25 percent margin, reports Steve Brown at WBUR.

But it’s not over until it’s over – and the Globe this morning has a nice package on the gubernatorial race. The paper’s Matt Stout starts it off with a look at the contrasting campaigns of Baker and Gonzalez, the former glitzy and full of incumbent confidence, the latter a not-so-glitzy case of an underdog still plugging away. (Exhibit A of this phenomenon can be found in Kathleen McKiernan’s Herald piece this morning on Baker’s high-profile role in the Sox victory celebration yesterday.)

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Joshua Miller takes a look at Gonzalez’s days as former budget director under Gov. Deval Patrick, while Stout looks at Baker’s highly awkward relationship with fellow Republican Donald Trump. The two candidates debate tonight, btw. See above listing in our Happening Today section.

What a coincidence: Baker is making all sorts of election-season MassWorks grant announcements

Speaking of the power of incumbency: Can you believe it? Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Politio have been crisscrossing the state making multi-million dollar MassWorks grant announcements in the final weeks and days of the campaign season, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton. An end is most definitely in sight: Next Tuesday. Until then, expect more announcements, including one today involving Polito and, of all people, Senate President Karen Spilka, a Democrat (see our Happening Today section above).

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

The coming local blue wave?

This may not be enough to help Jay Gonzalez. But local Dems seem energized heading into next week’s general elections. From SHNS’s Colin Young at the Gloucester Times: “Massachusetts voters of all stripes are more interested than usual in the upcoming midterm elections but Democrats seem to be more enthusiastic about the contests and are more likely to act on their interest, a new survey of Bay State voters found.” Young has more on the Western New England University Polling Institute’s survey numbers.

Gloucester Times

Warren’s commanding lead narrows just a smidgen, but check out her lead among women …

Like a recent Suffolk/Globe poll, a new poll by WBUR shows U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren maintaining a solid lead over her Republican rival Geoff Diehl – and yet the survey shows an overwhelming number of voters don’t want Warren to run for president in 2020.

But a few other numbers caught our attention: 1.) Warren’s numbers are down a few points, and Diehl’s are up a few points, compared to a WBUR poll last month. Combined with far-right Independent candidate Shiva Ayyadurai’s 6 percent tally in the latest poll, one could argue the opposition total is actually 38 percent. 2.) Warren has just over a 40-point lead among women. Now that’s a gender gap.


Is Geoff Diehl overstating his role in the Trump campaign?

Antonio Caban of WGBH sets out to fact-check Geoff Diehl’s longstanding claim that he served as co-chair of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in Massachusetts and finds that while technically true, the role Diehl had was largely honorary and all but faded into the background once the state voted in the presidential primaries in March of 2016.


Warren’s Kavanaugh-tied fundraising: A serious or ‘frivolous’ matter?

The Globe’s Victoria McGrane takes a look at the complaint, publicly aired by GOP candidate Geoff Diehl during the U.S. Senate debate the other night, that Democratic incumbent Elizabeth Warren may have violated Senate ethics rules by attaching a fundraising button at the bottom of one of her anti-Kavanaugh messages to voters. It sort of looks like she may have violated the rule, technically speaking. But … who’s really going to care? The Herald was all over this issue the other day.

Boston Globe

Rep. Gobbi thrown on campaign defensive by sanctuary-state legislation

Perhaps this is Exhibit A on why House leaders weren’t thrilled about tackling the Safe Communities Act pushed by the Senate, aka the sanctuary state bill: State Sen. Anne Gobbi, a Democrat, is on the defensive over the legislation, as Republican challenger Steven Hall hammers away at the issue. And she didn’t even vote for the bill. James Russell at the Telegram has the details.  



Sure, it’s totally unfair. But it’s also fun. Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive reports on Republican secretary of state candidate Anthony Amore’s new website, “Galvin’s House of Horror,” complete with blood-orange Halloween colors and photos of incumbent Democrat Bill Galvin with evil glowing-red eyes. Or are they evil Sith eyes? Anyway, check it out. Remember: It’s OK to laugh at the unfairness of it.


Trick or treat: Sex offenders get Halloween visits from police in Worcester

Over the past ten years, it’s become a Halloween tradition: Police and probation officers in Worcester visiting the homes of convicted sex offenders to caution them against opening their doors to trick-or-treaters. They were scheduled to make the rounds again last night. Gary Murray at the Telegram has the details.


‘The New England Vampire Panic’

One more spooky item: You’ve heard of the Salem witch hunt of the 1600s. But what about the New England vampire panic of the 1800s? WGBH’s Edgar B. Herwick III reports on the scores of bodies that were dug up in the late 1800s amid fears that the undead were preying on the living. To this day, people are still visiting one grave site associated with the vampire panic in Exeter, R.I.


Juul offered Arlington agency cash to blame vaping surge on peer pressure

This is pretty brazen of them. An Arlington agency is among the groups offered as much as $20,000 by vape maker Juul to implement a curriculum that sought to lay the blame for the surge in vaping among young people at the feet of peer pressure, Buzzfeed reports. The Arlington Youth Health & Safety Coalition was approached along with schools in California and Colorado to adopt the curriculum, which Juul would teach. In July, Attorney General Maura Healey sued Juul, saying it was illegally targeting teens with its marketing. 


New England Teamsters facing $5.1B pension shortfall

One word: Wow. Are we going to have to pay for this? The Globe’s Robert Weisman reports on the giant pension shortfall facing the the New England Teamsters and Trucking Industry Pension Plan. We’re talking close to $5 billion – and the number is nearly $50 billion for Teamster pensions nationwide. Do lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, really want to shore up these and other pension funds? We’ll see.

Boston Globe

Auditing the auditor: Bump’s office has failed to audit 29 agencies on timely basis

More not-so-good news for the state’s top auditor less than a week before next Tuesday’s election. From Colman Herman at CommonWealth magazine: “State Auditor Suzanne Bump’s office is legally required to audit 210 agencies every three years, but she has fallen short of that mark 29 times recently. Three cabinet-level agencies — energy and environmental affairs, housing and economic development, and labor and workforce development — were all supposed to be audited two-and-a-half years ago, but they haven’t been done yet.”


Question 1’s ‘cry for help’

Setting aside the arguments for and against Question 1, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi asks what officials plan to do after Tuesday’s election concerning the “cry for help” issues raised by the nurse-staffing ballot initiative.

Boston Globe

‘So abusive it shocks the conscience’

Two Springfield police officers have been indicted for using excessive force during arrests of Latino teens in a case described as ‘‘so abusive it shocks the conscience,” reports Stephanie Barry at MassLive. From a report at WBUR: “According to the indictment, (one of the officers) used unreasonable force, spat on one teen, and said: ‘Welcome to the white man’s world.’”


MGH doctor says flight attendants just couldn’t believe a black person could be a doctor

Katie Camero at the Globe reports how Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford — an obesity medicine physician, scientist, educator and policy maker at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School – tried to help a woman having convulsions on a Delta Flight. But the flight attendants kept asking her to prove she was a doctor. Did we mention Stanford is black?

Boston Globe

Republican opponent: Moulton is a debate scaredy-cat

It seems a little late to be raising this point, with the general election now less than a week away, but U.S. Seth Moulton’s Republican opponent, Joe Schneider, is going after the congressman for not debating him during the campaign, reports SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall). Meanwhile, the Herald’s Adriana Cohen is going after Moulton, and other Democrats, over their recent campaign rhetoric.

No Trahan endorsements from Obama and Clinton?

Lisa Kashinsky at the Eagle-Tribune reports two of the nation’s top Democrats, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, are handing out endorsements like Halloween candy. But there’s been no treats for Democratic candidate Lori Trahan in the Third Congressional District race. Kashinsky tries to find out why.


Conservative group doesn’t get court blessing to air ads against Pacheco

The conservative Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, which really wants to run ads on Fox TV against state Sen. Marc Pacheco, yesterday failed to get a federal court injunction against a state law dealing with donor disclosures and other advertising requirements, rules the group says prevent it from airing the commercials. SHNS’s Matt Murphy has more.

SHNs (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Orleans voters narrowly reject retail pot shops

Tanner Stenning at Wicked Local reports that town meeting voters in Orleans have narrowly approved a ban on retail marijuana shops in the Cape town.

Cape Cod Times

Warren presses NRC over Pilgrim’s latest woes

From Christin Legere at the Cape Cod Times: “U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wrote to the chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, expressing “deep concern” over the performance of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, ‘particularly in light of recent events. The senator criticized the federal regulatory agency for not doing enough to force the plant to meet acceptable standards.”

Cape Cod Times

MGM Springfield tells investors casino is on track with forecasts

MGM Resorts International says the newly opened MGM Springfield is “performing in line with our expectations” and brought in more than $42 million in revenue in its first five weeks of operation, Jim Kinney reports at MassLive. 


Ridership down, slightly, at Brockton Area Transit after fare bump

Fewer riders are using the buses provided by the Brockton Area Transit Authority after a July fare increase, but the drop is not as bad as some had feared. Marc Larocque has the details at the Enterprise. 


Author Talk and Book Signing with Melinda Ponder

Author talk and book signing with Dr. Melinda Ponder, author of the book: Katharine Lee Bates: From Sea to Shining Sea. Tenor soloist Teddy Crecelius will sing “America the Beautiful.”

State Library of Massachusetts

A Nation of Immigrants Dinner & Reception

Join the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation for A Nation of Immigrants – Celebrating the Immigrant Experience in American Culture as we celebrate immigrants and their contributions to America’s culture and success.

New Frontier Network

2018 Distinguished Real Estate Awards Gala

Join NAIOP Massachusetts for the 2018 Distinguished Real Estate Awards Gala as we honor Related Beal for their achievements in real estate, charitable activities and community betterment. David Begelfer will be honored with this year’s Edward H. Linde Public Service Award in recognition of his 27 years of service to NAIOP.

NAIOP Massachusetts


On November 17, TEDxBeaconStreet will return to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum for a second year! Some of the most inspiring minds and speakers in the world will come to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum for the final day of TEDxBeaconStreet.


2018 Newman Civic Fellows National Conference

The Newman Civic Fellows National Conference is an annual conference exclusively for current Newman Civic Fellows that provides opportunities for networking, collaboration, and shared learning among Fellows. Only members of the 2018 Newman Civic Fellowship cohort may attend the 2018 Newman Civic Fellows National Conference.

Campus Compact

Today’s Headlines


Southie school hit with racist graffiti – Boston Herald


Springfield police officers indicted on charges of beating Latino teens – MassLive

Research Bureau urges GPS tracking for Worcester fleet – Telegram & Gazette

Attleboro-area incumbents hold money edge in Tuesday’s election – Sun Chronicle

Spending turns tide against nurse staffing question – Salem News

‘Sin-awareness’ group causes stir on UMass Lowell campus – Lowell Sun


Trump’s immigration push is Stephen Miller’s dream come true – Politico

Google employees plan a walkout to protest sexual misconduct – Vanity Fair

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