Cannabis Commission, Governor’s Council, and more
— The Cannabis Control Commission meets as it prepares to take feedback on its recently-published and rewritten industry regulations, Gaming Commission, 101 Federal Street, 12th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
— State Auditor Suzanne Bump will chair a meeting of the Municipal Finance Oversight Board, with the agenda including requests from Holyoke, Lowell, and Lynn, State House, Room 230, 11 a.m.
— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito chairs a weekly meeting of the Governor’s Council, Room 360, 12 p.m.
— Former New England Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson talks with Jim Braude about his advocacy for state legislation to require health insurance companies to cover care for those suffering from long term brain damage, WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 p.m.
— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is a guest on ‘NightSide,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 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.
Pressley ‘Loving’ pol or divisive force?
It’s a Tale of Two Newspapers this morning. The Globe has glowing pieces today on U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s high-stakes battle against President Trump, the first via Laura Krantz (“Facing their toughest challenge, members of ‘the Squad’ turned to Pressley for her ‘positive, loving tone’”) and the second via columnist Adrian Walker (“Ayanna Pressley has done more than weather Trump’s attacks. She’s winning.”)
Then there’s the Herald, via columnist Joe Fitzgerald (“Pressley should table divisive talk”) and a Herald editorial(“Enough already,” which takes whacks at both Pressley and Trump). Fyi: Here’s the video, via Real Clear Politics, of Pressley’s controversial comments at this past weekend’s Netroots Nation, which are referenced in the Herald pieces.
State GOP: Divided again over Trump?
Yet another sign of the deep divisions within today’s Massachusetts Republican Party? CommonWealth magazine’s Andy Metzger reports that the state’s top elected Republicans – Gov. Charlie Baker, House Minority Leader Brad Jones and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr – have all, to varying degrees, condemned President Trump’s “go back” comments aimed at U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley et gang.
But Massachusetts Republican Party chairman James Lyons, an outspoken conservative? He declined to comment. Republican National Committee members Ron Kaufman and Keiko Orrall did not respond to Metzger’s requests for comment. Ditto Geoff Diehl, the party’s nominee for US Senate last fall.
Btw: Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, a Republican, is also calling Trump’s comments racist, reports MassLive. Btw, II: In an editorial, the Herald, Boston’s conservative-leaning tabloid, is calling Trump’s “go back” remarks “grotesque,” while also taking swings at Pressley. See post above.
But is the president’s strategy working, Part II
The Globe’s Liz Goodwin reports that “President Trump appears to have settled on a 2020 reelection strategy — and it looks a lot like his old playbook,” i.e. “stirring up racial animus” as part of his plan to fire up his base. Whatever he’s doing, the Globe’s James Pindell reports it seems to be working in New Hampshire, at least among Granite State Republicans.
Btw: The NYT’s Ross Douthat and David Brooks both have interesting columns this morning on the general go-back and Pelosi-vs-Squad controversies, respectively, and what’s at stake in each.
Budget impasse, Day 17: Massachusetts poised to be last state again
It looks like Massachusetts is going to do it again: The last state in the union to pass a new fiscal-year budget. Ohio lawmakers, vying with our lawmakers in budget tardiness, plan to vote on a new state budget today, the Columbus Dispatch reports. And Massachusetts lawmakers? They hope to reach a budget next week, with the operative word being “hope.” SHNS’s Sam Doran and Michael P. Norton have the details.
SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)
DeLeo’s son tries his hand at brokering climate-resiliency deal
This is an odd one. Rob A. DeLeo, an associate professor of public policy at Bentley University and the son of House Speaker Robert DeLeo, has an opinion piece at CommonWealth magazine that sorts through Gov. Charlie Baker and his father’s competing climate-resiliency bills, saying both offer legitimate ways to fund programs. So why not use both?
Former environmental police chief sues state over his firing
For the Baker administration, he’s the Thing That Wouldn’t Leave. From Scott Croteau at MassLive: “Former Massachusetts Environmental Police Col. James McGinn, who was fired last year amid allegations of timesheet irregularities and surveillance of employees, filed a federal lawsuit against the state Tuesday claiming a violation of his civil rights and wrongful termination.” He’s demanding $1.4 million and his job back.
Is there a Baker-Polito ‘succession deal’ in the works?
Peter Lucas at the Herald writes that Gov. Charlie Baker, despite his current bout of second-term blues, is in a solid position to win a third term in office, if he chooses to run again. But the media should grill him on whether he intends to serve out the entire term – in case he has some sort of Weld-Cellucci and Cellucci-Swift succession plan in the works.
Public health agency bans Cub Scouts’ trip to gun club – and admits it did so illegally
We have a feeling we’re going to hear a lot more about this. The Granby Board of Health has banned a Cub Scouts group from attending a day camp at a town gun club, expressing “grave concerns” about the safety of the scouts. But the board chairman admits there’s “no doubt we violated” the open-meeting law by reaching a decision via phone, not at a public hearing, and will hold an after-the-fact meeting today to explain the move, reports Jim Russell at MassLive.
Rollins: Globe article engaged in ‘fear mongering’
From Arjun Singh at WGBH: “Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins on Tuesday slammed a recent Boston Globe article as having used unfair reporting tactics in their analysis that questioned the effectiveness of Rollins’ office’s policies.” She says the reporters engaged in “fear mongering” by citing a specific case from 2017.
Liss-Riordan: She’s a serious candidate against an incumbent ‘ripe for retirement’
Count the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld among those who aren’t counting out Shannon Liss-Riordan’s bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. It won’t be easy, but “she has money, a good message and an incumbent opponent ripe for retirement,” Battenfeld writes.
Warren rips defense secretary nominee over his ties to Raytheon
We’re assuming she’s not very popular in certain sections of Waltham this morning. Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday slammed President Donald Trump’s pick to be Defense secretary, Mark Esper, for his ties to defense contractor Raytheon. In a heated exchange at a Senate Armed Services confirmation hearing, Warren — a Democratic presidential contender — criticized Esper for not committing to extend for his entire tenure at the Pentagon his recusal from issues involving Raytheon, where he worked as a top lobbyist.
Wait, wait, don’t tell us: Bill Weld’s biggest financial supporter has a familiar name
Jessica Piper at OpenSecrets.org digs into former Mass. Gov. Bill Weld’s latest quarterly financial report and finds his biggest donor is … Bill Weld. Weld raised about $700,000 in the second quarter and also loaned his own campaign more than $180,000. And though he’s been mostly off the radar screen, Weld’s campaign spent $575,000 during the quarter, including a payout for a yet-unseen TV commercial.
‘Target on our backs’: ICE agents concerned about their own safety
Rick Sobey at the Herald reports that “attacks on ICE agents are getting personal” these days, a reflection of the growing tensions over the nation’s immigration policies.
This is also the 50th anniversary of Chappaquiddick, Part II
Yesterday, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi took the first crack at reminding folks about the upcoming 50th anniversary of Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick accident that forever derailed his White House hopes. Today, it’s Howie Carr’s turn at the Herald to ruminate on Chappaquiddick and “Kennedy justice” in Massachusetts.
Springfield mayoral race: Is it really about the 2023 election?
Matt Szafranski at Western Massachusetts Politics & Insight reports on the now three-way race for mayor in Springfield, with two women candidates challenging incumbent Domenic Sarno. The women are running to win. But are they also laying the groundwork for future change in Springfield, no matter the outcome of the 2019 race?
Healey: Flavored e-cigarettes are hooking a new generation on nicotine
From Steph Solis at MassLive: “Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey called on state lawmakers to move forward with legislation that bans flavored tobacco products, including vapes, from retailers across the commonwealth. ‘The research is clear: flavor in tobacco products increases their appeal to young people and promotes initiation,” Healey said during the Joint Committee on Public Health heading Tuesday afternoon.”
Bryon Hefner could get a two-fer
From the Globe’s Matt Stout:Attorney General Maura Healey’s office has agreed to split its nine-count sexual assault and misconduct case against Bryon Hefner into two separate trials, with the first slated for this fall. Hefner, the husband of former state Senate president Stanley C. Rosenberg, is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 11 on charges he repeatedly groped two men and forcibly kissed a third, according to Healey’s office.”
Somerville officially loses its emergency room
It’s official. The Cambridge Health Alliance says the emergency room at Somerville Hospital will close next year and become a walk-in clinic with limited hours, Sue Reinert of Cambridge Day reports. Trustees of the organization voted to make the move despite pleas from nurses and state legislators to delay a final decision until a new chief executive is in place.
Advocates push for expanded welfare benefits – and new ‘diaper pantries’ — for the poor
From Christian Wade at the Gloucester Times: “Anti-poverty advocates are making a major push to expand welfare benefits as part of a campaign to lift tens of thousands of children out of ‘deep poverty.’ One proposal, backed by more than 80 mostly Democratic lawmakers, would increase welfare benefits through the state’s primary cash assistance program, known as Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children.”
Meanwhile, Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports on legislation that would create a new fund to give grants to organizations that distribute free diapers to the poor, via “diaper pantries.”
Nahant vs. Northeastern: Not just any old zoning dispute
SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) and the Globe’s Joe Chesto report on yesterday’s packed hearing at the State House about the dispute between Nahant and Northeastern University over the school’s plan to expand its marine research center. At stake is the state’s so-called “Dover Amendment” that exempts certain non-profits from local zoning rules.
We know: Rockport is not Rockland, and vice versa
We knew it was only a matter of time before we made the blunder, i.e. referring to “Rockland” as “Rockport” in a post, and that’s exactly what happened yesterday in our post about the Rockland’s ongoing sex scandal. More than a few people pointed out the embarrassing mix-up. Sorry about that!
Railroad looks to flex its eminent domain muscles in Hopedale
You can’t stop a train, or slow progress. The Grafton & Upton Railroad is looking to use its federal powers to force the owner of 155 acres in Hopedale to turn over its property so the central Massachusetts rail line can expand its operations, Zachary Comeau reports at the Worcester Business Journal. In a filing with the Department of Public Utilities, the railroad says the parcel is the only one that fits the bill to help it meet rising demand.
Masters of Scale Live Podcast Event
Join the first-ever live recording of the Masters of Scale podcast! Host Reid Hoffman will lead a captivating conversation with a legendary founder (and some special guests) in an evening full of illuminating stories, hard-won truths and high-level insight on growing a business.
CFO of the Year Awards Luncheon
Don’t miss your chance to meet & learn from Boston’s top CFOs at the 11th annual CFO of the Year Awards!
YoungDemsRead Book Club: The Fifth Risk
Join #YoungDemsRead in reading “The Fifth Risk” by Michael Lewis in July Meet new friends in Boston and discuss this spellbinding piece.
Greater Boston Young Democrats
Developers signal intent for affordable tower, hotel on what is now a Chinatown parking lot – Universal Hub
Boston supermarket cited $300K for failing to pay employees minimum wage – Boston Globe
Three Worcester marijuana stores up for licenses – Worcester Business Journal
Ambassadors give Pittsfield a leg up – Berkshire Eagle
Playboy Playmates, other models, sue The Zone nightclub in Springfield, saying club misused their photos – MassLive
Washington rips SIlicon Valley but don’t expect much action – Politico
House calls for investigation into whether Pentagon weaponized ticks – The Hill
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