Happening Today

Ballot-place drawing, employment numbers, and more

— Secretary of State William Galvin holds a drawing to determine the order that the names of candidates for president will appear on the Super Tuesday ballot in March for all four political parties, Nurses Hall, 10 a. m.

— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, AARP Massachusetts State Director Mike Festa and senior advocates applaud passage of legislation to block harassing and illegal robocalls, JFK Federal Building, 9th floor, 15 New Sudbury Street, Boston, 10:30 a.m.

— Mayor Marty Walsh is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 11 a.m.

— Police Commissioner Willliam Gross and Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn are honorary holiday bellringers for the Salvation Army, in front of Macy’s, Downtown Crossing, 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.

— The preliminary November 2019 and revised October 2019 unemployment rate and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released today by the state.

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

Wine cave wars: Warren clashes with Buttigieg over fundraising

With just seven Democrats on the stage of the latest presidential debate, there was more opportunity for clashes last night — and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, no longer staying above the fray, was in the thick of the fight.

Warren scored one of the night’s most quotable lines when, addressing South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s fundraising, said that “billionaires in wine caves shouldn’t pick the next president,” reports Liz Goodwin at the Globe. 

Still, the national press seemed to think the night belonged largely to Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who Politico’s Elana Schneider says scored with her own attacks on Buttigieg, who had been rising in the polls ahead of the debate. The Globe’s James Pindell concurs, giving Klobuchar an ‘A’ for the night.

WGBH’s Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly have more, including how Warren and fellow progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders continued to avoid direct clashes. And Joanna Weiss at WBUR is just glad that Democrats are finally talking about wine caves.

Again? Warren to meet with tribal leaders to ‘atone’ for past heritage claims

Hasn’t she already done this before? Anyway, from the Washington Post: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will meet privately with tribal leaders this weekend during her first trip to her home state of Oklahoma as a presidential candidate, the latest outreach in a nearly three-year effort to atone to Native Americans for her former claims that she was ‘American Indian.’”

Washington Post

Setting the agendas: Patrick rolls out policy proposals

Meanwhile, former Gov. and late entry to the presidential race race Deval Patrick spent time leading up to the debate (which he did not qualify for) by rolling out a broad policy roadmap, reports the AP’s  Alexandra Jaffe at WBUR. The 11-page policy framework maps out mostly moderate positions and advocates for “leadership that builds bridges.”


Not my job: Baker defers on impeachment

He’s staying out of it. Asked about the impeachment of President Trump in his regular monthly radio appearance, Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday declined to take a stance, saying that he was dismayed by the partisan nature of the proceedings and that he hoped for a fair trial in the Senate, Arjun Singh reports at WGBH. 


You’re up, Mitt: Could Romney hold key to unlocking senate impasse over impeachment?

It’s almost Mitt’s moment. So says Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who writes that Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, should use his clout as the “custodian of what remains of his party’s moral and political balance” to ensure a more fair and balanced Senate trial on impeachment.  

Washington Post

Sacklers fight Tufts over removal of family name from buildings

So are they going to demand their donations back, revealing they were all along more about PR and ego than actually helping society? We’ll soon see. The New York Times reports the Sackler family of oxycontin fame/infamy is fighting Tufts University’s removal of their name from buildings and programs, unleashing a lawyer on the university etc.

New York Times

‘Baby step’: Gaming commission moves (slowly) on southeastern Mass. casino

They’re ready to study it some more, at least. The state Gaming Commission has directed staff to start exploring the question of whether southeastern Massachusetts can actually sustain a full-fledged resort casino now that three other gambling destinations are up and running — and missing revenue targets —  in a move that could eventually clear the way for some type of gaming facility in the region, reports Andy Rosen at the Globe.

Boston Globe

‘It … is … alive!’ Part II: Baker’s housing bill advances

From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) “Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposal to make zoning changes easier at the local level is one step closer to passage after the Housing Committee voted to advance it alongside 20 other bills aimed at generating new housing production. The Housing Committee voted 16-1 in a poll that concluded Thursday afternoon to favorably report out Baker’s bill (H 3507), according to a copy of the results acquired by the News Service.”

But  CommonWealth magazine’s Andy Metzger reports that House Speaker Robert DeLeo says a final deal is still far from certain. “I’ve heard some reps who don’t think it’s strong enough, reps who think it’s too strong, so we still have some work to do,” DeLeo said.

Give it up, already: Berkshire Eagle calls for UMass to undo big-time football move

Time to sound the retreat. The editors of the Berkshire Eagle are calling for UMass to end its eight-year run as a major football program, saying the lack of wins, poor attendance and high costs haven’t been worth it. 

Berkshire Eagle

The damage: Obamacare ruling could cost state billions in lost federal funding

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that a federal appeals court ruling that struck down ObamaCare’s individual insurance mandate could “ultimately jeopardize up to $2.4 billion a year in federal funding for Massachusetts, and health insurance for up to 375,000 residents, according to new report.” 

Here’s the BCBS report. 


Like a bridge over troubled water?

It’s Boston – and nothing gets done without a good argument. The latest example: The objections to the state’s plan to build a temporary bridge out into the Charles River to carry mostly Soldiers Field motorists during the upcoming massive Turnpike reconstruction project. Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine has the brouhaha details.

CommonWealth Magazine

Ex-State Police barracks commander indicted in fraud scheme

Are they steadily moving up the command ladder in this ongoing scandal? From the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau: “The former head of a State Police barracks was indicted Thursday for an alleged fraud scheme in which he collected more than $11,500 worth of paid time off he was not entitled to, state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office announced.”

Boston Globe

Rep. Benson leaving Beacon Hill to head progressive business group

Another special election alert: Rep. Jennifer Benson, a Democrat who’s been spearheading the House effort to craft a new health care bill, is resigning early next month to take over as president of the progressive Alliance for Business Leadership, reports SHNS’s Colin Young. 

State House News Service (paywall)

Jockeying begins for O’Connell seat

In other special-elections-to-be news, Longtime Taunton school committee member Carol Doherty says she’ll run to fill the seat being vacated by state Rep. and Taunton mayor-elect Shauna O’Connelll, Charles Winokoor reports in the Taunton Gazette. Fellow school board member Gregory DeMelo, on the other hand, now says he won’t run after all. 

Taunton Gazette

She can’t take it anymore: ‘Two years of this ridiculous, non-transparent, rigid, convoluted process’

The state’s Cannabis Control Commission abruptly adjourned its first-ever meeting at its new Worcester HQ Thursday after a woman applying for an economic-empowerment license blasted regulators for taking so long to review her application. She said she’s had it with “two years of this ridiculous, non-transparent, rigid, convoluted process.” Melissa Hanson at MassLive has more.


Governor’s point person on TCI: We don’t need N.H.

But what if Vermont and other states also pull out, as some fear may happen? Anyway, SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) reports Energy Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, the state’s lead negotiator on the multi-state pact to lower carbon emissions from vehicles, is confident that a Transportation Climate Initiative can move forward without the state of New Hampshire, whose governor has called the gas fee/tax plan a “financial boondoggle.”

The Herald’s Howie Carr continues to pound away at the TCI gas fee/tax idea – and pound away at Gov. Charlie Baker for supporting the gas fee/tax idea

Partners planning $400M expansion with new outpatient clinics

The biggest keep getting bigger. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall): “The state’s largest health care provider, Partners HealthCare, plans a $400 million expansion with the development of four outpatient centers in eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, the company announced Thursday.” File under: ‘Too big to fail’?

Cliff hanger: Salem voter lawsuit heard as swearing-in approaches

The lawsuit filed by a would-be Salem city councilor after a recount showed he lost the November election by a single vote is now being heard in court — as the clock ticks towards swearing-in day, Dustin Luca reports at the Salem News. Testimony so far has focused on a single voter, who did not make it through the check-in process in time to vote because of a language barrier. 

Salem News

Sunday public affairs TV: Bill Weld, Julia Mejia and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This weeks’ guest: Former Gov. Bill Weld, who is running for president as a Republican, talks with host Jon Keller about impeachment, the campaign in NH, and the public transit in Massachusetts

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. A countdown of the top ten business stories of 2019 with Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Rooney, Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe and Doug Banks of the Boston Business Journal.

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. The economy in 2019 and prospects for 2020 with Jim Lowell, chief investment officer at Adviser Investments; and Steve Manchel, an attorney and author of “I Hereby Resign,” provides advice on how to seek a new job in 2020.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a roundtable political discussionBoston Globe Correspondent Frank Phillips and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s topic: New faces of the Boston City Council, with guests Liz Breadon, Ricardo Arroyo and Julia Mejia.

The History and Collections of the MHS

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Medford 2020 – The Inauguration

MEDFORD 2020 is a celebration of community at the Historic Chevalier Theatre in Medford, Massachusetts.

Medford 2020 Inauguration Committee

Civic Practice Symposium: Reimagining Community Futures Through Arts & Philanthropy

How can creative people in place-based communities catalyze economic change, bridge divisions, and foster meaningful connections between people? How can philanthropic efforts be reoriented toward social weaving, toward participatory democracy, and toward the slow push in communities to integrate and reconnect—to build shared interests and shared purpose in heart and mind?

Adam Erickson

State of the City 2020

Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s annual State of the City address will review the City’s progress and lay out his agenda for his next year in office.

Mayor’s Office of the City of Boston

A Political Discussion As We Enter 2020

Author, politician, raconteur, Larry DiCara., former Congressman Michael Harrington and Government Relations Strategist Peter Mazareas will lead an interactive discussion on what is going on with our democracy. Come on January 7 and let us reason together. We’ll try to find common ground and avoid the harsh tones of current political divisiveness.

Harvard Club of the North Shore

Today’s Headlines


Groups slam Charles River temporary bridge – CommonWealth Magazine

‘A new Day: Dudley Square renamed Nubian Square – Boston Globe


Spilka will hold briefing to clarify state’s plans for MCI-Framingham – MetroWest Daily News

Stage set for Cape’s first retail pot shop – Cape Cod Times

After 50 years, The Pub bids adieu in Amherst – Daily Hampshire Gazette


Former White House officials say they feared Putin influenced the president’s views on Ukraine and 2016 campaign – Washington Post

Christianity Today editor calls for Trump to be removed from office – The Hill

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.