Happening Today

Marijuana host agreements, drug pricing plan and more

Massachusetts Clean Energy Board convenes to discuss  strategic planning for the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal and other issues, MassCEC Board Room, 63 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

Massachusetts Association for Community Action holds a public policy briefing to discuss a report it updated in December about children and families in poverty, with House Speaker Robert DeLeo among those expected to attend the event, Room 428, 10:30 a.m.

House meets in a full formal session and is expected to take up legislation dealing with marijuana local host agreements, House Chamber, 11 a.m.

Health Policy Commission meets with plans to vote on a final drug pricing review regulation and on the release of the 2019 Cost Trends Report, 50 Milk St., Boston, 12 p.m.

Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus hosts an event to present a new report focused on the Latino community in the labor force, Room 428, 1 p.m.

For the most comprehensive listing of calendar items, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available), as well as MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

Iowa joke, Part II: And the winners are … Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg?

For what it’s worth, Iowa officials have indeed, tardily, started issuing partial results of Iowa’s Democratic presidential caucuses from Monday night, showing that Pete Buttigieg continuing to lead the Dem pack, just ahead of Bernie Sanders and somewhat distantly (though not too distantly) ahead of Elizabeth Warren, as the NYT reports. The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky has Warren’s reaction to her third-place (so far) showing.

The night’s clear big loser: Joe Biden. But are there really any true winners and losers after Monday’s epic Iowa caucus-counting meltdown? Not really. Then again, Michael Bloomberg definitely senses an opening as a result of the post-Iowa chaos, via the NYT: “Bloomberg Plans to Double Ad Spending After Iowa Caucus Problem.” The Herald’s Howie Carr says the biggest Iowa winner was the current occupant of the White House. “It’s good to be Donald Trump today,” he writes. Anyone care to argue? And along the same lines, from the Washington Post’s Matt Viser: “The Democratic five-alarm fire has begun.”

Btw: All the candidates are now focusing on New Hampshire, where the latest poll, via the Boston Globe, shows Sanders with a comfortable lead.

‘You Had One Job, Iowa’

Count the Boston Globe’s editorial board and WBUR’s Miles Howard as among those who say it’s time to put a fork in the convoluted Iowa caucus system of selecting presidential delegates. In fact, the Globe, in an editorial headlined “Kill the tradition,” takes it a step further and says it’s time to also strip New Hampshire of its first-in-the-nation primary, saying both Iowa and New Hampshire aren’t representative of the rest of the nation.

Meanwhile, check out this NYT piece on all the reasons why Iowa’s caucus count failed on Monday – and scroll down to the “Caucus Math Work Sheet” that officials were supposed to fill out on Monday night. It’s crazy. The whole caucus system is crazy – and we all know it. One more Iowa-fiasco item from the Herald’s Hillary Chabot: “Hawkeye black eye: Iowa Dems admit ‘this hurts.’”

Mass. delegation’s response to Trump speech: Boycott, walk out and lots of criticism

Kevin Andrade at WGBH reports on the reaction of the state’s Congressional delegation to President Trump’s State of the Union speech last night. It included one boycott (Ayanna Pressley), one walk out (Seth Moulton) and lots of criticism (Jim McGovern, Ed Markey, Joseph Kennedy etc.).

Benjamin Kail at MassLive has more on Pressley’s boycott and her response to the president’s speech. Meanwhile, from the Globe’s Jaclyn Reiss: “Nancy Pelosi ripped her copy of Trump’s State of the Union speech in half when he finished.”


Messy in Melrose: Some voters turned away at primary polls

It was no Iowa caucus-level meltdown, but Melrose had its own election-related issues on Tuesday. Mike Caraggi at Melrose Patch reports more than 11,000 unenrolled voters were initially left off the list of eligible voters in the special legislative election held yesterday. Some voters were told to return later — and the full list was indeed available within a couple hours. Btw: Melrose City Councilor Kate Lipper-Garabedian handily won the special primary held to fill the seat that belonged to now-Melrose Mayor Paul Brodeur.

Melrose Patch

Wanted: New OCPF chief. Must apply soon

Isn’t this nice. The election year has started without a new head of the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance. SHNS’s Colin Young has the latest on the search for a new OCPF chief, in what’s become a surprisingly contentious hiring process for such a seemingly minor post.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

The Kennedys trounced her grandfather – and they may do it again to Ed Markey

Anna Kusmer at WGBH reflects on her late grandfather, Sumner Kaplan, who ran the doomed campaign of Ed McCormack when he ran against the then upstart Ted Kennedy in 1962 (“If your name was Edward Moore your candidacy would be a joke”) and sees parallels to today’s confrontation between Ed Markey and upstart Joseph Kennedy III.


Ocean Spray CEO ousted over alleged harassment violation

There’s not enough details yet to chalk this up to the #MeToo movement. Nevertheless, from the BBJ’s Gintautas Dumcius: “Bobby Chacko, a food and beverage industry veteran, is out as president and CEO at Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. due to what the company says is a violation of the company’s policy against harassment. The Massachusetts-based agricultural cooperative said it has ‘pledged to hold everyone accountable and ensure that every decision is made in the best interest of the cooperative.’”


Attorney: Trooper deserves his job back because he wasn’t as corrupt as others

In the warped universe of the State Police, his argument almost makes sense. From the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau: “A suspended Massachusetts State Police trooper who broke ethics law by receiving free guns from a state-contracted firearms dealer is suing the department, demanding his job back — and a promotion. One argument offered by the trooper’s attorney was that his misdeeds weren’t as bad as crimes and lies committed by other troopers still on the department’s payroll.”

Boston Globe

Federal judge: Boston can ban Christian flag

A new twist on ‘banned in Boston.’ From the Herald’s Andrew Martinez: “Boston doesn’t have to raise a Christian flag in place of the city’s flag at City Hall Plaza, a judge ruled Tuesday in a federal suit brought by a religious group claiming discrimination by the city’s initial rejection.” It has to do with the city allowing other groups to fly their flags (read: LGBT flag, for that’s what this is partly/mostly about).

Boston Herald

From rejection to endorsement: UMass-Boston faculty backs chancellor pick

What a difference seven months make. Last May, the UMass-Boston faculty created a storm of controversy when it voted to reject three administration-backed finalists for chancellor of the school. Yesterday, the same faculty unanimously endorsed the lone finalist for the school’s chancellor position, UCLA’s Marcelo Suarez-Orozco. The BBJ’s Hilary Burns has the endorsement details.


Spilka poised to file mental health parity legislation

The BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett and SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) report that Senate President Karen Spilka is expected to file later this month legislation aimed at expanding mental-health coverage in Massachusetts, asserting that the state currently isn’t delivering on its existing mental health-care parity law.

Connecting the dots: Political ad, Elizabeth Warren, Malaysian casino company, Taunton, Trump and one tribe

It’s indeed a “complicated story,” but Tanner Stening at MassLive tries to walk readers through a new anti-Elizabeth Warren political ad that has a very long and tangled back story to it. Meanwhile, from SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall): “Tribe Behind Taunton Casino Ready for Appeal Hearing.”


DEP to meet with hunger-striker opponent of gas project

SHNS’s Chris Van Buskirk reports that state environmental regulators plan to meet later this week with opponents of the Weymouth natural-gas compressor station, including (we presume) Boston University professor Nathan Phillips, who last Wednesday began a hunger strike in response to “serious public health and safety violations” at the Weymouth site.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Baker: Transportation fixes will be ‘disruptive’ but worth it

SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) reports that Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday warned that future repairs to the state’s transportation system will indeed cause commuter delays, disruptions and frustration. But he urged patience, saying it will be all worth it in a few years. CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl reports that Baker’s rather humdrum “stump speech” actually revealed some things about the governor’s management approach towards tackling problems.

Electric Cars: Disruptive technology or soon-to-be disrupted technology?

Speaking of transportation and disruptions, Ted Tripp at Boston Broadside flips through a recent MIT report on the future of transportation/mobility, specifically the future of electric cars, and wonders if electric cars are really as efficient and carbon-free as touted. And he also wonders whether Mazda may have its own disruptive gas-engine technology that could disrupt the disruptive electric-car industry before it has a chance to disrupt others.

Boston Broadside

Cut it out: Methuen mayor wants councilors to stop bothering City Hall workers

Leave them alone. That’s the message to members of the city council from Methuen Mayor Neil Perry, whose recent directive restricting councilor’s access to City Hall is getting fierce pushback, Bill Kirk reports at the Eagle-Tribune. Perry says “constant interruptions” are impacting productivity and he wants to route all contact with City Hall staff through his office.  

Eagle Tribune

Two journalists, two T stories from hell

Boston Magazine’s Alyssa Vaugh lives near the construction site of the new Lechmere station in Cambridge – and it’s been hell. Even though she knows it’s a worthwhile project.

Meanwhile, CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas was making his way through the Red Line platform at the MBTA’s Downtown Crossing when he “encountered a veritable obstacle course of hazards,” specifically torn up stairs. One tweet later, he got action. But he asks: Didn’t any T officials previously notice the problem.

Baker touts housing grants – and his housing bill

The Herald’s Sean Phillip Cotter reports that Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday announced tens of millions of dollars in new tax credits to help build hundreds of affordable housing units across the state, from Boston to Northampton. The governor used the opportunity to also push for his long-stalled housing bill on Beacon Hill.

Speaking of affordable housing, from Christian Wade at the Gloucester Time: “New 2% fee may fund affordable housing/Fiscal watchdogs say the proposal creates more taxes.”

Boston Herald

Early returns: Khazei is top fundraiser so far in 4th District

It’s a start. Early fundraising numbers reported by the seven Democrats who hope to take over U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy’s 4th Congressional district seat show Alan Khazei in the lead, George Rhodes reports at the Sun Chronicle. Khazei reported taking in $796,564 at year’s end, with Jake Auchincloss in second with $617,918 and Rebecca Walker Grossman third with $406,613 collected.

Sun Chronicle

Mall? Rats! Taunton Galleria could be latest victim of closure trend

Another one bites the dust? The new owners of the long-struggling Taunton Galleria have issued eviction notices to several of the remaining tenants and have shuttered the mall’s front entrance, moves that have many predicting it will be a ghost town in a matter of weeks, Charles Winokoor reports at the Taunton Gazette. 

Taunton Gazette

Paul Krugman at Back Bay Events Center

Paul Krugman presents Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future in conversation with Paul Solmon.

Harvard Book Store

10th Annual New England First Amendment Awards

Named after the late publisher of The Providence Journal, the Hamblett Award is given each year to an individual who has promoted, defended or advocated for the First Amendment throughout his or her career. NEFAC will honor A. G. Sulzberger at its tenth annual luncheon from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 7, 2020, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.

New England First Amendment Coalition

Campaigns 101: Resources for Candidates and Campaign Managers

Whether you’re a first time candidate or a seasoned candidate, you’ll benefit from this workshop about how to run for office in Dedham.

Women in Democracy Dedham

Thomas Pickering: U.S.-Russia Relations: What Can We Do About It?

Please join the Russia and Eurasia Program at The Fletcher School for a conversation with Ambassador Thomas Pickering about the current state of U.S.-Russia relations. The event will be followed by a reception in the Hall of Flags.

Fletcher Russia and Eurasia Program

Our Shared Work: Lifting up Democracy from Grassroots to Grass Tops

During challenging times in the socio-economic and political landscape, how does and can the university work with communities to engage individuals in efforts to lift-up democracy through grassroots organizing, public policy and institutional reforms, and civic engagement?

UMass Boston Office of Community Partnerships

Boston Speaker Series: Peter Diamandis

Fortune named Diamandis one of the “World’s Greatest Leaders.” A space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer, he founded the XPRIZE Foundation to fund big money competitions to inspire groundbreaking developments in science and technology, and to solve some of the planet’s most pressing challenges.

Lesley University

Being a Republican on College Campuses

Come and hear Jamie Gass of the Pioneer Institute who will present 2019 Math and English Common Core disappointing results and explain why, as well as Kaila Webb from Wellesley College present her non-profit which aims to bring diversity of thought on college campuses.

Wellesley Republican Town Committee

Boston Speaker Series: Peter Diamandis

Fortune named Diamandis one of the “World’s Greatest Leaders.” A space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer, he founded the XPRIZE Foundation to fund big money competitions to inspire groundbreaking developments in science and technology, and to solve some of the planet’s most pressing challenges.

Lesley University

Getting to the Point with Richard Blanco

Presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco will visit the Institute to discuss the themes in his poetry collection, How to Love a Country.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

ADL’s Breaking Barriers Speaker Series Presents: An Evening with Andrea Campbell

Please join us on Thursday, March 5, 2020 to hear from City Councilor Andrea Campbell.

ADL New England

Today’s Headlines


The indicted Harvard professor’s other double life: pumpkins – Boston Magazine

Federal judge says Boston can reject raising of Christian flag at City Hall – Boston Herald


Cape Cod Healthcare withdraws hospital expansion plans – Cape Cod Times

New UMass veterinary technology program to use Mount Ida campus – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Feds want Correia, Andrade tried together in corruption case – Herald-News


‘A systemwide disaster:’ How the Iowa caucuses melted down – New York Times

Democrats tear into Trump’s SOTU speech: ‘It was a MAGA rally’ – 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.

Subscribe to MASSterList

Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.