Happening Today

Board of Higher Education, Markey on Iran, Congressional Black Caucus

Supreme Judicial Court hears oral arguments for four cases, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.

Board of Higher Education meets, One Ashburton Place, 21st floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— U.S. Sen. Edward Markey holds press conference with peace activists and veterans’ rights leaders to call on President Trump to prevent war with Iran, JFK Federal Building, 9th floor, 15 New Sudbury Street, Boston, 10 a.m.

— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is a guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley hosts press conference ahead of a visit to her district from members of the Congressional Black Caucus delegation, as part of the CBCs ‘State of Black America’ series, John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute, Northeastern University, 40 Leon St, Boston 6 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

PAC launches $2M ad blitz for Patrick in New Hampshire

We’re not sure it will help, but we know it can’t hurt. From the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “Deval Patrick is hitting the New Hampshire airwaves again with a $2 million ad buy funded by a political action committee, the announcement coming hours after a new poll showed the former Massachusetts governor still struggling to gain traction among Granite State voters.”

Boston Herald

Is it really coming down to Biden vs. Sanders (and not Warren)?

More bad news for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. CBS News reports that a new Monmouth University poll shows that Warren is losing ground in New Hampshire, where she’s now running fourth in the Granite State’s Democratic presidential primary contest. Still, caution is advised: It remains a tight race.

The Globe’s Liz Goodwin inserts caution into her story about the fluid nature of the Democratic presidential race. Nevertheless, she reports that it sure looks like the Democratic contest could be coming down to Joe Biden versus Bernie Sanders. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld writes that it may not matter who Democrats nominate. Trump is looking mighty strong these days, after the Soleimani-assassination affair, he says.

For Warren, former rivals make for the best allies

One more presidential-race item: What do the Democrats who have already quit the 2020 race have in common? They’ve all gotten post-dropout visits or calls from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who Annie Linksy at the Washington Post reports has poured significant resources into courting those candidates and their supporters — all in service of the idea that she is the best candidate to unite the party writ large. 

Washington Post

Group home horror: Fight clubs, sexual assault, physical abuse

Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has the disturbing details of fights clubs, stabbings and other acts of abuse that took place at group-home settings for the developmentally disabled. Actually, the word ‘disturbing’ isn’t adequate. More like ‘sickening.’ The Republican/MassLive obtained previously undisclosed complaint details against a group home provider via a records request to the Disabled Persons Protection Commission. And it isn’t pretty reading.  


How do you report that a city councilor’s brother was just charged with kidnapping and raping a woman?

First, the brutal and terrible news, as reported by the Globe, that a “man posing as a ride service driver kidnapped a woman leaving a Boston nightclub last month and drove her to a Rhode Island home where he raped her, Suffolk County prosecutors alleged Thursday.”

But who is the “man” now suspected of other rapes as well? Turns out, in the third graf of the Globe story, that he’s Alvin R. Campbell Jr., the older brother of City Councilor Andrea Campbell. There’s still a lot of questions about this case, but, right now, we happen to think the Globe handled the identification of Alvin Campbell well. And if you disagree, read Adrian Walker’s Globe column this morning that makes clear Andrea Campbell is not Alivn Campbell – and yet she carries the burden of her obviously troubled sibling.

And another New England governor backs off TCI …

The Herald is going full Herald on this one, splashing this story across its front page, to wit: Now Vermont Gov. Phil Scott is signalizing his opposition to a proposed regional Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) tax/fee that Gov. Charlie Baker supports, making him the third New England governor to either voice opposition or strong reservations about burdening motorists with extra costs in order to fight carbon pollution. SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) has more.

Boston Herald

Yet more expensive tales from the ‘super commuters’ road

Speaking of transportation costs, Tanner Stening at MassLive has yet more stories about “super commuters” in western Massachusetts traveling long distances to get to and from work. One of the people he profiles spends roughly $230 a week in tolls and gas.


Oh, that kind of free: Worcester councilor wants state to pony up funds for city’s fare-free buses

One more transportation item: A day after the Worcester City Council voted to support fare-free bus service, one councilor wants the city to ask the state to pony up $10 million to make a three-year pilot of the program possible, Thomas Grillo reports at the Worcester Business Journal. 


Can Dan Wolf’s latest seaplane idea take off amid intense political and legal flak?

A Long Wharf Oceanic Airport update from the Globe’s Jon Chesto, who reports that Cape Air’s latest plan for seaplane service in Boston Harbor – with passenger planes taxiing right up to Long Wharf – is catching flak from, among others, Boston Harbor Cruises and one formidable attorney who’s annoying the hell out of Cape Air owner Dan Wolf, the former state senator. Chesto explains.

Boston Globe

Baker expresses concerns about Galvin’s new broker-dealer rules

We’re surprised there’s been no reports of a volcanic eruption coming out a certain statewide elected official’s offices this morning. Anyway, SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports that Gov. Charlie Baker has sent a letter to Secretary of State Bill Galvin expressing concerns about the latter’s new standards of conduct for financial broker-dealers in Massachusetts, saying the “draft regulation may create more confusion rather than more clarity in the industry and for investors.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

At Harvard Law, they can’t give prestigious clerkships away

Harvard Law School has resorted to cajoling, urging and enticing students to please apply for prestigious clerkships with certain federal judges. But students aren’t biting if the clerkships are with judges appointed by President Trump. The Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes has more.

Boston Globe

And now Kahzei flexes his fundraising muscles …

Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss isn’t the only Fourth Congressional District candidate flexing his fundraising muscles these days. Brookline Democrat Alan Khazei raised nearly $800,000 last year in his bid to succeed U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, who’s running for U.S. Senate. SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) has the latest fundraising data for the crowded Fourth race.

Speaking of campaign finances, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker was on his way yesterday to New York City for his own undisclosed fundraising reasons, which we assume have nothing to do with the Fourth race. SHNS’s Murphy (pay wall) has that report too.

About the state’s new payroll data: Did you notice what’s missing?

The Globe’s Shirley Leung isn’t scanning the state’s latest payroll data in your typical media way, i.e. counting the number of six-figure salaried state employees, marveling at the pay of UMass and State Police personnel, etc. Instead, she’s scanned the payroll for what’s not there in great numbers: Women among the top 100 highest-paid state workers. “By my count, women accounted for only a quarter of the list in 2019, and no woman cracked the top 10,” she writes. And it gets worse, as she notes.

Boston Globe

Somerville’s ActBlue is on a billion-dollar roll

The Washington Post has an update on Somerville fundraising extraordinaire ActBlue. Its latest achievement: Funneling $1 billion in small-dollar donations to Democratic candidates last year. “Of the 6 million donors who gave to Democratic candidates and organizations in 2019, half were first-time donors, officials said.” 

Washington Post

MIT to faculty and staff: Please cooperate with ICE

Might it have something to do with all those government research grants and contracts at MIT? Just a thought. The Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes reports that MIT, bucking the non-cooperative trend of others, is asking its faculty and staff to cooperate with federal immigration officials “checking the status of foreign postdoctoral students, researchers, and visiting scholars working in the sciences.”

The haves and the have-nots of the state’s cannabis industry

First, the have-nots. The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett reports that protestors upset with the slow pace of issuing pot licenses to mostly minority applicants disrupted a Cannabis Control Commission meeting yesterday, the second time in the last month that a meeting has been sidelined over the issue.

As for the haves, Pittsfield couldn’t be happier with the state’s new marijuana industry, as the city pulls in hundreds of thousands of dollars in retail pot-tax revenue, allowing it to stash away money in a new rainy day fund, reports SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall).


Kerry: Faceoff with Iran inevitable when Trump tore up nuclear agreement

Former Secretary of State and U.S. Sen. John Kerry is weighing in on the threat of war with Iran, writing in a New York Times op-ed that the escalation of tensions and the brinkmanship now on display were all but inevitable when President Trump earlier walked away from the Iran nuclear deal Kerry helped craft.. “The tragedy of our current plight is that diplomacy was succeeding before it was abandoned,” he writes .


Babson College staff member fired over bombing joke that bombed

Even though the joke was in extremely poor taste, we question whether this punishment goes too far, i.e. Babson College’s decision to fire, and not just suspend, a staff member who suggested ‘cultural’ sites that Iran might bomb in the U.S., including the Mall of America and the Kardashian residence. WCVB has the details.


Taking on idling buses and scheming minors at casinos …

Encore Boston Harbor was warned – and now the Conservation Law Foundation is suing the Everett casino for continuing to allow nearby shuttle buses to idle for more than the state-allowed five minutes, reports Universal Hub. The CLF even dispatched observers to monitor the idling scofflaws.

In other casino-related news, SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) reports on casinos’ never-ending battle against minors trying to get into betting establishments with sometimes “very, very good fake IDs.”

Universal Hub

Meeting with candidate sparks teen’s Beacon Hill voting-age quest

She’s on a mission.  Hingham resident Samantha Bevins is leading a push to convince lawmakers to allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 before the November general election to cast ballots in presidential primaries. Anastasia E. Lennon at the Patriot Ledger reports Bevins started her Beacon Hill lobbying spree shortly after meeting U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand on the campaign trail. But the bottom line: Her bill faces dim prospects with Super Tuesday now less than two months away. 

Patriot Ledger

Sunday public affairs TV: Kim Janey, Deval Patrick and more

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. This week’s guest: Kim Janey, the new Boston City Council president, who talks with host Jon Keller about the mayor’s State of the City speech, improving public education, and the housing crisis.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Presidential candidate and former Gov. Deval Patrick, who talks with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu, followed by a roundtable political discussion with political analysts Mary Anne Marsh and Rob Gray.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m.  With hot Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s main topic: Legends and Luminaries, with award-winning Boston Globe photographer Bill Brett, among others.

50th Anniversary Kick-Off Breakfast

In the coming year, we are celebrating our 50th Anniversary, and we want you to be the first to know what we have planned! Come to hear about our groundbreaking projects in the parks and special events for 2020. Join us, along with Parks Commissioner Ryan Woods, for breakfast and the Kick-off of our 50th Anniversary at Suffolk’s Moakley Law Library, 120 Tremont Street, on January 14 at 8:00am.

Friends of the Public Garden

Author Talk and Book Signing with Vincent Brown

Join us at the State Library for an author talk and book signing with Harvard Professor Vincent Brown, author of: Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War

State Library of Massachusetts

Open House #2: Boston Common Master Plan

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the Friends of the Public Garden invite you to the second Boston Common Master Plan Open House on Jan.15th between 5:30 & 8pm at the Josiah Quincy School Auditorium, 152 Arlington St., Boston, MA. The public will have the opportunity to provide meaningful feedback, which is incredibly important in shaping the future of the Common.

Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the Friends of the Public Garden

Corporate Citizenship Conference (C3)

The inaugural Corporate Citizenship Conference (C3) invites corporate leaders to engage in authentic dialogues to shift the paradigm in corporate social responsibility.


Today’s Headlines


Expect ICE to visit, MIT tells faculty and staff, urging cooperation with visa checks – Boston Globe

Another Boston measles case reported – Universal Hub


Sandwich schools face staff layoffs – Cape Cod Times

Pot business booms in Williamstown as more stores plan to open – Berkshire Eagle

ICE protesters briefly shut down busy Mansfield intersection to oppose Bristol County sheriff – Sun Chronicle


House votes to limit Trump’s ability to attack Iran – Washington Post

Surging Steyer qualifies for Democratic debate – Politico

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