Happening Today

Governor’s Council, Warren at Keene State, Rove at Tufts

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairs a meeting of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, Crane Conference Room, 12th floor, One Ashburton Place, 10:30 a.m.

— The Massachusetts House plans to meet in a formal session, House Chamber, 11 a.m.

— The Governor’s Council meets, with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito chairing, Room 360, 12 p.m.

— Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren holds a town hall at Keene State College, with doors opening at 4 p.m., 48 Madison St., Keene, N.H., 5:30 p.m.

— Political consultant, policy advisor and Fox News commentator Karl Rove participates in a conversation with Alan Solomont, dean of the Jonathan Tisch College of Civil Life at Tufts University, ASEAN Auditorium, Cabot Center, Tufts University, 160 Packard Ave., Medford, 6:30 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

In Boston elections: Incumbents and progressives roll

The Globe’s John Hilliard and the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter report that incumbents and progressives in general had a good day yesterday in the Boston city council preliminary races, with councilor Michelle Wu, a potential mayoral candidate, leading the at-large pack. And, yes, Althea Garrison survived the first round. Hilliard and Cotter also have the results for key district races in Boston.

O’Connell and Humason advance in mayoral races in Taunton and Westfield

One way or another, Taunton will soon have its first female mayor after state Rep. Shaunna O’Connell and City Councilor Estele Borges finished one-two in a four-way preliminary race to succeed Mayor Thomas Hoye. Charles Winokoor at the Taunton Gazette reports. Meanwhile, state Sen. Donald Humason and police Captain Michael McCabe advanced to the November mayoral election in Westfield and the returns suggest a tight race ahead, Jim Kinney reports at MassLive. Humason  received 1,793 votes to 1,689 for McCabe. 

Crossing the political Rubicon: Dems launch formal impeachment inquiry of Trump

They’re going for it. From the NYT: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that the House would initiate a formal impeachment against President Trump, charging him with betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist a foreign power to tarnish a rival for his own political gain.

WBUR’s Benjamin Swasey reports that U.S. Rep. Richard Neal is now on board with launching preliminary impeachment proceedings – and that other members of the state’s congressional delegation are pumped by Pelosi’s move. And pundits at the Globe – Renee Graham and Adrian Walker and Michael Cohen — say it’s about time Pelosi took action. 

But our two-newspaper town has alternative views. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld says Dems are “playing a perilous game.” The Herald’s Adriana Cohen is condemning the “rush to judgment.”

War on vaping: Baker declares four-month ban on all vaping product sales

Declaring a public health emergency, Gov. Charlie Baker has taken the dramatic step of ordering a halt to the sale of all vaping-related products for four months in Massacusetts, citing concerns over the mysterious illnesses tied to vaping. Steve Brown at WBUR has the details on the unprecedented and first-in-the-nation action by the governor. The Washington Post is giving the move prominent attention, among others.

Baker’s order is being praised by public health officials, but vaping and convenience store operators, as well as those trying to quit smoking, aren’t cheering, as the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports. And from the Cape Cod Times: “Vaping product ban sends Cape retailers scrambling.” We’re going to be hearing a lot more about the public health-vs-commerce angle, we’re sure.


Smile for the camera: Regulators approve home deliveries of pot

They’re fighting nicotine-contraption sales on one hand, promoting pot sales on the other. Anyway, despite the reservations of Gov. Charlie Baker and one board member, the Cannabis Control Commission yesterday approved, as expected, plans for the home delivery of marijuana, with body-camera requirements, and the opening of future pot cafes in Massachusetts. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has the details.


Warren soaring here, there and everywhere

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is riding high and highest in new polls in New Hampshire (Monmouth University) and in California (Capital Weekly) – as Joe and Bernie look more vulnerable and/or weak by the day.

Meanwhile, Warren’s next big plan: Major ad blitz and staff expansion

It’s not all about polls and policy-wonk pronouncements. From the Washington Post: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren is planning a significant expansion of her presidential campaign, airing more ads and beefing up her staffing, a move that comes as the Massachusetts Democrat hopes to build on momentum that has placed her at or near the top of a growing number of polls.”

Washington Post

So maybe a tax increases will indeed be needed for the new education package?

This is interesting. SHNS’s Michal Norton reports that Senate President Karen Spilka says revenues for the legislature’s proposed $1.5 billion education package, unveiled last week amid widespread praise for its fairness and no-new-taxes approach, is dependent on continued economic growth and “declined to say tax increases won’t be necessary to carry out the proposal’s promises.”


MCAS test results: It just got tougher to be a 10th grader

Speaking of education, we’re late to this one, i.e. the Globe’s coverage yesterday of the new MCAS test results, which show that “dramatically fewer” 10th graders across the state scored in the highest categories of the revamped test. As the Globe’s James Vazinss reports, the results may be a “sign the new tests are far more rigorous than the ones they replaced.”

Other headlines related to the new scores – From the Telegram: “School accountability data shows little change across Central Mass.” From Wicked Local: “MCAS scores up statewide while South Shore sees mixed results.” SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) has more on the overall results.

Boston Globe

For Kennedy, it’s all about Camelot II in 2024

Forget all the talk about generational politics and climate-change issues. The U.S. Senate confrontation between Joseph Kennedy III and Ed Markey (and two other candidates) is all about Kennedy’s presidential ambitions and a potential White House bid in 2024, writes political columnist Peter Lucas at the Herald.

Meanwhile, Nik DeCosta-Klipa at Boston.com reports that Kennedy’s three Senate rivals are greeting his “People’s Pledge” challenge on campaign donations with a high degree of skepticism.

Boston Herald

The race for Kennedy’s seat: Goldberg’s internal polling says go, Feeney says no

In the new race for U.S. Rep. Joseph Kenndy’s 4th District seat, here’s a small surprise: State Sen. Paul Feeney, D-Foxboro, say he won’t be running, reports Jim Hand at the Sun Chronicle. 

Meanwhile, SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) reports that Treasurer Deb Goldberg’s campaign, just prior to U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III’s recent announcement that he’s challenging U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, commissioned a poll on how she might fare if she ran for Kennedy’s seat. Care to guess the poll results? Hint: She’s going to run, unless she has a dramatic change of mind. Newton City Councilor Becky Grossman and City Year co-founder Alan Khazei have both already launched campaigns for the 4th seat.

Sun Chronicle

Help wanted: Fall River asks judge to boot Correia from city hall

Can they get a little help here? The Fall River City Council went to court Tuesday to ask a judge to issue an injunction that would require indicted Mayor Jasiel Correia to vacate his office, Tori Bedford reports via WGBH. The council voted to oust Correia on Sept. 17, but he refused to hand over his keys, saying the order was not valid unless he signed it. 


Coincidence? Baker-Polito donors from Shrewsbury win license plate lottery

It’s batter-up time for Howie Carr, who just loves tracking assorted Shrewsbury coincidences. SHNS’s Michael Norton reports that James Coghlin and Nancy Coghlin — both listed at the same Shrewsbury address and big donors to Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Rep. Hannah Kane, the latter two also Shrewsbury residents – have won coveted low-number license plates via the RMV’s plate lottery. An administration spokesman says it’s “completely coincidental.” Norton has more.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Commission on Judicial Conduct investigating judge’s handling of ‘Straight Pride’ arraignments

This was almost inevitable. From Jerome Campbell at WBUR: “The Boston Municipal Court judge at the center of controversy over his rulings related to protesters arrested at the so-called ‘Straight Pride’ parade is under investigation by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct. The commission said in a press release that it’s investigating Judge Richard Sinnott’s handling of the arraignments, including ordering a defense attorney in contempt and having her taken into custody.”

The Patriot way: Foxboro will continue to display team’s banner under U.S. flag

The flag stays. Foxboro selectmen have reversed themselves and now say a New England Patriots banner will again fly on the town’s common on home game days, Jeff Peterson reports at the Sun Chronicle. The board had voted to end the practice earlier this year after some veterans — citing the U.S. Flag Code — argued it was disrespectful to fly the banner directly beneath Old Glory.

Sun Chronicle

The incredibly shrinking GateHouse Media

The BBJ’s Don Seiffert reports that GateHouse Media, owner of a slew of daily and weekly newspapers in the region, appears to have cut its overall newsroom headcount by 20 percent over the course of this year, from 212 to 170 staffers. The staff reductions have come as GateHouse’s parent company negotiate terms of a merger with Gannett Co., as Seiffert notes.


T board members: Bus improvement plans are ‘timid’ and ‘ridiculous’

Speaking of transportation-related matters, members of the MBTA’s oversight board are not happy with the pace of bus-service improvements, calling the agency’s current plans “timid” and “ridiculous” and urging more aggressive action, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine.


Biotech workers: Sick of commutes, ready to move

This just in: Local biotech workers are as fed up with long and frustrating commutes as everyone else. But because biotech workers are so key to the state’s economy, it matters what they think, including how they’d be willing to move for jobs elsewhere if it means more sane commutes. The BBJ’s Allison DeAnglis has more on a MassBio survey on the commuting discontent of life-science employees.


Hold your horses: Oversized crowd delays Rowley racetrack rollout

They’re champing at the bit. So many people turned out at Rowley Town Hall last night to hear details of a proposed $60 million horse racing complex that rural town officials were forced to reschedule the meeting, Jim Sullivan reports at the Salem News.  More than 200 showed up but the auditorium only holds 174; a larger venue will be sought for a redo.

Salem News

Barr donates $500K to MassDevelopment for Gateway art programs

From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “The Barr Foundation on Tuesday donated $500,000 to MassDevelopment to augment the state agency’s arts-based programming in Gateway Cities.” 


Boston Speakers Series: John Kerry

Kerry served as United States Secretary of State during President Barack Obama’s second term. He represented Massachusetts in the United States Senate for nearly thirty years, and was the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2004.

Lesley University

12th Annual Public Performance Conference

This year’s National Center for Public Performance (NCPP) Public Performance Conference marks the 12th year the nation’s top government and nonprofit performance professionals and academics will convene to emphasize the use of data to improve efficiency and efficacy of public services.

Suffolk University

ADL’s Breaking Barriers Speaker Series Presents: Survivor’s Club with Michael & Debbie Bornstein

ADL’s Breaking Barriers Speaker Series presents: Survivors Club with Michael and Debbie Bornstein. Please join us on Thursday, September 26, 2019 to hear from Michael Bornstein, one of the youngest survivors of the Auschwitz death camp, and his daughter Debbie Bornstein, co-author of Survivors Club. Register by Wednesday, September 25: www.adl.org/breakingbarriers2019

ADL New England

Starr Forum: Iran Reframed

A discussion about the evolution of the Islamic Republic and its reaction to President Trump’s Iran strategy

MIT Center for International Studies (CIS)

Boston Speakers Series: John Kerry

Kerry served as United States Secretary of State during President Barack Obama’s second term. He represented Massachusetts in the United States Senate for nearly thirty years, and was the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2004.

Lesley University

Today’s Headlines


Bettencourt opponent bows out of Peabody mayor’s race – Lynn Item

State panel to investigate judge handling Straight Pride parade protester arraignments – Boston Globe


NTSB: Columbia Gas unprepared with ‘catastrophic results’ in Lawrence-area explosions – Eagle-Tribune

Downtown Worcester ‘ambassador’ accused of threatening to shoot up workplace – Telegram & Gazette

Sheriff deals playing cards to get inmates talking – Patriot Ledger


House launches impeachment inquiry, setting up political clash – Washington Post

Major climate report warns of severe damage to oceans – New York Times

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