Happening Today

Pharmaceutical prices, campaign finances, and more

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov Karyn Polito, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg attend the Greater Boston Food Bank’s 14th Annual Chain of Giving, 70 South Bay Avenue, Boston, 10:30 a.m.

— Senate President Karen Spilka and Sens. Cindy Friedman, Michael Rodrigues and Jason Lewis make an announcement about pharmaceutical legislation, Room 428, 10 a.m.   

Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets with an agenda that is heavy on horse racing matters, Plainville Town Hall, 190 South St., Plainville, 10 a.m.

— Senate meets in a formal session to take up legislation overhauling how political candidates report campaign fundraising and spending, Senate Chamber, 11 a.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, David Gergen of the Harvard Kennedy School and Molly Baldwin and Victoria Ramirez-Morales of the youth organization Roca participate on a panel discussing immigration, trauma and Central American youth, Parsnip Restaurant, 91 Winthrop St., Cambridge, 12 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

It’s already 2021: Let the mayoral race begin!

Not all the Boston city council races have been settled yet, with only 10 votes separating Julia Mejia and Alejandra St. Guillen for the fourth at-large seat in Boston and a recount is likely, as the Globe’s Milton Valencia reports. But one thing is clear: City Councilor Michelle Wu had another banner day on Tuesday. Check out her citywide election results, via a map by Matt McCloskey – and no wonder the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter and Erin Tiernan are effectively firing the starting gun for the 2021 mayoral election.

The Globe’s Joan Vennochi says Mayor Marty Walsh is no doubt “hearing the footsteps of potential challengers like Michelle Wu.” The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld says Walsh should actually be looking over his shoulder, albeit for the same reason he should be hearing footsteps: A new generation of Boston pols has arrived. From the Herald’s Jessica Heslam: “Lydia Edwards believes Boston closer to having female mayor.”

Meanwhile, David Bernstein at WGBH surveys Tuesday’s council results and concludes the winners are not your typical progressive candidates. Dare we say they might be “pragmatic progressives,” which is our description, not David’s description? Is there such a thing as a “pragmatic progressive? Just thinking aloud.

Special elections, anyone? Three lawmakers trading State House seats for local offices

SHNS’s Colin A. Young reports that three State House lawmakers — Republican Sen. Don Humason of Westfield, Democrat Rep. Paul Brodeur of Melrose, and Republican Rep. Shaunna O’Connell – won their respective mayor races in Tuesday’s local elections, meaning those elections will now lead to more elections, as in special elections to fill their Beacon Hill seats.

One of the winners, Humason, is only a tentative winner, with his opponent in the Westfield mayoral race demanding a recount, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive, who also notes that the narrow election outcome is forcing state Rep. John Velis to hold off (for now) on a possible bid for Humason’s Senate seat. Btw: Matt Szafranski at Western Massachusetts Politics & Insight has more on local-election results in his political neck of the woods.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Baker’s Super PAC has super day, going 11 for 15 on Tuesday

Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports that a new PAC with close ties to Gov. Charlie Baker had a good election day on Tuesday – with 11 of the 15 candidates that it backed winning contests. He has the names of the winners and losers.


Senate rolling out plan to tame drug prices

Gov. Charlie Baker has his health-care reform plan. Now the Senate has its own health-care reform plan – or part of an overall plan. SHNS’s Matt Murphy reports that Senate leaders today will unveil an ambitious proposal to rein in pharmaceutical prices, partly via a “system to empower a state watchdog agency to review and develop acceptable prices for well-known and expensive medications.” Senators plan to unveil more details today at the State House (see our Happening Today section above).

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Kerry Gilpin stepping down as State Police chief

As the Globe’s three-reporter team puts it: “Scandal elevated Kerry Gilpin to the head of the Massachusetts State Police, and her two-year tenure never escaped its shadow.” Well, she’s escaping the shadow now, announcing yesterday that she’ll be retiring later this month after a grueling tenure of scandals following scandals at State Police. SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) and MassLive’s Shira Schoenberg have more on Gilpin’s departure.

While some say Gilpin did the best she could under difficult circumstances, the Herald’s Wendy Murphy isn’t one of her fans: “Leadership under Gilpin was nonexistent.” And Murphy urges the Baker administration to hire a true reformer to overhaul the embattled agency, including: “Change the uniforms. Seriously — jodhpurs and jackboots belong to another time.”  

Boston Globe

Antigua and Barbuda to Harvard Law: Pay up

The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda wants Harvard Law School to make reparations to the country because the funds used to establish the school came in part from slave plantations there, Brie Buchanan and Ellen Burstein report at the Harvard Crimson. Harvard notes it removed the Royall family crest from the law school logo in 2016, but still faces calls to do more for the Caribbean island nation.

The Crimson

In Fall River, Coogan eyes restoring public faith in government

He knows it’s a heavy lift. A day after handily sweeping Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia out of office, Mayor-elect Paul Coogan said restoring public faith in local government will be his first order of business. Coogan tells Jo C. Goode at the Herald News that he’ll establish a “public integrity team” in his administration and that he plans to call city workers together Thursday to jump-start the process. 

Herald News

Former state GOP chairwoman nominated for judicial post

It’s pretty safe to say the word “patronage” was practically invented for moments like this. From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “Gov. Charlie Baker has nominated Kirsten Hughes, the former chairwoman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, to be clerk magistrate of the Stoughton District Court. … Hughes is currently general counsel for the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office, where she was also appointed a special sheriff.”

WBUR’s Lisa Creamer and SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) have more on the lifetime appointment.


Subpoenas galore: More communities acknowledge being asked for pot deal details

There’s plenty to go around. Officials in 20 Bay State communities now say they’ve been asked to provide documents or testimony to a federal grand jury examining community host agreements with marijuana companies, Jessica Bartlett reports at the Boston Business Journal.

Meanwhile, the Cape Cod Times and the Daily Hampshire Gazette have more details on how local communities are reacting to U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s subpoena spree. 


Third vaping-related death reported

From Laney Ruckstuhl at WBUR: “A third Massachusetts resident has died of a vaping-related lung injury, Department of Public Health officials announced Wednesday. The Worcester County man was in his 50s and reported vaping both nicotine and THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, health officials said in a statement.”


So whatever happened to that convenience store strike over menthol cigarettes?

We haven’t seen much in the media about the planned closure of convenient stores across the state yesterday in protest of a proposed ban on menthol tobacco products. But SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) does report that more than 100 convenience stores owners, presumably after closing their shops for the day, gathered at the State House on Wednesday to press their case against banning the sale of menthol cigarettes, as part of a larger vaping/smoking-related bill.

The waiting is over: Pressley endorses Warren

A day after signaling she was in no rush to endorse anyone in the Dem presidential race, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley broke with her fellow “squad” members by endorsing U.S. Sen. Elizabeth, a fellow Bay Stater, instead of rival progressive Bernie Sanders. Spencer Buell at Boston Magazine has the details.

Meanwhile, the Globe’s James Pindell ranks the top Dem candidates in the upcoming New Hampshire primary race – and the rankings are pretty much what you’d expect. But we found it interesting that he ranks Andrew Yang at No. 5.

Boston Magazine

Business group’s estimate of transportation needs: $50 billion

We did the math for you: It amounts to $2.5 billion a year. From Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine: “The business group A Better City estimates Massachusetts will need to raise a minimum of $50 billion over the next 20 years to meet transportation needs, and is proposing a series of specific revenue measures.”


Meanwhile, Brownsberger’s T message is resonating with many

As a business group outlines what it thinks will financially take to fix the state’s transportation problems, Sen. William Brownsberger thinks there’s a problem with the T’s grand multibillion-dollar vision of improving services on all its commuter-rail lines, effectively arguing in a recent 2,500-word blog post that the T must focus on improving services on specific lines where it can get more bang for the buck. And many people at the T and in the Baker administration are listening, reports SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall).

Emerson College to take over Vermont’s Marlboro College

Another small New England College is in financial trouble. But this time it’s not shuttering its doors per se. Instead, Vermont’s Marlboro College will be “absorbed” by Boston’s Emerson College – along with its $30 million endowment and $10 million in real estate. Alyssa Vaughn at Boston Magazine has the details.

Thirty years later: The Charles Stuart case and its scars

CommonWealth magazine runs Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins’s remarks at a recent panel discussion marking the 30th anniversary of the infamous Charles Stuart case that racially rocked the city of Boston. As Rollins notes: “The scars are still very fresh today.”


BMC workers protest Melania Trump’s visit out of ‘love’ for patients

WBUR’s Shannon Dooling and MassLive’s Benjamin Kail report on the protests by some BMC workers to First Lady Melania Trump’s visit to the hospital yesterday – and their insistence that the protest was really about supporting their patients, particularly immigrant patients. But the Herald’s Michael Graham said it was more about “hate,” i.e.  opposition to all things Trump.

Going down: Wynn says it will look to trim expenses at Encore Boston Harbor

Anyone care to wager this means eventual staff cuts? Wynn Resorts says it will look to decrease the amount it spends to operate the new Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett heading into 2020, Bruce Mohl reports at CommonWealth Magazine. In an earnings conference call, executives hinted that it could operate with fewer employees going forward. 

Top Women of Law

The Top Women of Law event celebrates outstanding achievements made by exceptional women lawyers. Each year Lawyers Weekly honors women attorneys who have made tremendous professional strides and demonstrated great accomplishments in the legal field, which includes: pro bono, social justice, advocacy and business.

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

2019 Distinguished Real Estate Awards Gala

2019 NAIOP Distinguished Real Estate Awards Gala honoring MIT Investment Management Company

NAIOP Massachusetts

Suffrage 100 – Massachusetts Women at the Forefront of Change

Fredie Kay, Founder and President of Suffrage100MA, will discuss the the suffrage movement in American and Massachusetts history.


MHSA Second Annual Gala

Please join the Middlesex Human Service Agency (MHSA) on November 7, 2019, as we celebrate our second annual gala and present the G. Peter Donovan award to James J. O’Connell, MD, President of Boston Health Care for the Homeless.

Middlesex Human Service Agency (MHSA)

Race in the Public Dialogue: Understanding Criminal Justice Reform

Panelists will lead a conversation on the present state and future of criminal justice reform and mass incarceration.

Museum of African American History

EPA Region 1: Risk Assessment & Emergency Response Plan Training

The U.S. EPA will be holding a one-day training to provide drinking water utilities with detailed information on America’s Water Infrastructure Act: Section 2013 and 2018. Specifically the training will cover the new risk assessment and emergency response plan requirements.

United States Environmental Protection Agency, Water Security Division

Today’s Headlines


At Doyle’s Cafe auction, a long goodbye comes to an end – Boston Globe

Massasoit to offer tuition-free college to low-income Boston students – Brockton Enterprise


Heroux’s winning percentage was big, but not nearly the biggest in Attleboro mayoral election history – Sun Chronicle

Three Framingham Youth Football coaches fired for racist texts – MetroWest Daily News

Mismanagement at Springfield District Court faulted for Hampden County lawyer shortage – MassLive


Stone Trial Links Trump More Closely to 2016 Effort to Obtain Stolen Emails – New York Times

Democrats set stage for Watergate-style TV hearings – The Hill

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