Happening Today

Super Tuesday campaigning, Galvin election update, and more

— A three-judge federal panel hears oral arguments in a class action suit filed by former Mount Ida College students, John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse, Court of Appeals En Banc Courtroom, 7th Floor, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston, 9:30 a.m.

— A day before the state’s presidential primary, GOP presidential candidate and former Gov. Bill Weld meets in the morning with Scituate officials, then tours sea walls, followed in the afternoon with a tour of the AccuRounds manufacturing facility, Scituate Town Hall, 10 a.m. and 74 Bodwell St., Avon, 2:30 p.m.

— Secretary of State Bill Galvin holds a pre-election media availability ahead of Tuesday’s presidential primary and several special legislative elections, Room 116, 10:30 a.m.

Joint Ways and Means Committee meets for public hearing on aspects of Gov. Baker’s $44.6 billion fiscal 2021 budget concerning environment, energy and transportation, Berkshire Community College, Connector Space, 1350 West St., Pittsfield, 11 a.m.

— A day before the state’s presidential primary, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is in California to give a speech that her presidential campaign says will recognize ‘the Justice for Janitors movement,’ Monterey Park, Calif., 10:30 (7:30 PST).

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

Sports betting bill surfaces on Beacon Hill

We’re moving this story up high because we don’t want it to get lost in the Super Tuesday shuffle (see posts immediately below), to wit: Legislation has emerged on Beacon Hill that calls for college and professional sports betting in Massachusetts, confined to state casinos and a “handful of online operators,” as the Globe’s Andy Rosen and Matt Stout and SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) report. The bill comes courtesy of a legislative panel that’s been studying sports betting for a year now. … Now on to all things Super Tuesday and other matters. …

Super Tuesday Eve: Warren’s bad news and good news

After getting mauled in Saturday’s South Carolina primary contest, Elizabeth Warren can take some heart in knowing that two new polls show her running neck and neck with Bernie Sanders in her home state of Massachusetts, not trailing by eight points, as a WBUR poll claimed last week. The Globe’s Jess Bidgood has more on the latest Globe/Suffolk/WBZ-TV survey, while WCVB has the details on the UMass Amherst/WCVB poll.

But are the latest polls already out of date, with Pete Buttigieg’s weekend announcement that’s he’s calling it quits (NYT)? Where Buttigieg’s support goes is anyone’s guess. Btw: Tom Steyer also ended his presidential campaign over the weekend, but he almost literally doesn’t count.

In general, Warren, after his fifth-place showing in South Carolina, is starting to go on the offensive against other Dems, according to Benjamin Kail at MassLive. And the Herald’s Hillary Chabot reports that means going after even Bernie Sanders. The NYT has a report on how Sanders is clearly trying to deliver a knock-out blow to Warren in her home state. But Warren has picked up support from U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, as MassLive reports. The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld thinks Warren is an afterthought at this point.

Bernie’s local rallies: Show of strength or shabby stunts?

Thousands showed up for Bernie rallies on Friday in Springfield (WWLP) and on Saturday on Boston Common (WBUR), as the Vermont senator went in for the apparent campaign kill of rival Elizabeth Warren on her home turf.

Writing before the rallies, the Globe’s Scot Lehigh made his opinion clear: “Let’s call Bernie Sanders latest campaign move exactly what it is: Shabby, Bernie, shabby.” But as the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky reports, many were asking over the weekend: Where is Warren?

‘Bernie tweeted my housing story. Then my phone blew up.’

 The BBJ’s Catherine Carlock writes about how one of her seemingly routine local development stories suddenly went national with a Bernie Sanders tweet. From Catherine:

“I texted some of my colleagues. ‘So, uh, Bernie tweeted one of my stories?’ I wrote. ‘SANDERS?!’ wrote back fellow reporter Jessica Bartlett. I replied in the affirmative, then put my phone on airplane mode to enjoy the movie — the newest adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. (It was a charming delight.)”


‘The Pied Pipers of the Dirtbag Left’

Hey, we’re not the ones calling them dirtbags. They’re calling themselves dirtbags, as the NYT reports on the Bernie-backer podcasters trying their level best to be as unyielding and obnoxious in their views as conservative blowhards on radio. The Nietzsche line about being careful in choosing your enemies does spring to mind in this case, as does the Yeats line about the center not holding.


Coronavirus updates: R.I. reports two cases, Catholic church makes changes to mass, students told to stay home

The Globe’s Edward Fitzpatrick reports that Rhode Island now has two cases of the coronavirus, both tied to patients returning home from school trips to Europe. And similar European school trips are prompting some communities in Massachusetts to tell returning students and teachers to, well, take a few days off from classes, please. Universal Hub reports on Newton’s stay-home edict, while WCVB reports on similar action in Bellingham.

Meanwhile, the archdiocese of Boston is making changes in response to the coronavirus fears, suspending distribution of Communion wine in most cases, reports WCVB. The Globe has an update on how Boston Marathon officials are closely monitoring the spread of coronavirus ahead of next month’s big race. And from the Salem News: “Coronavirus, college costs hot topics at Moulton Town Hall.”

Baker’s counter-offensive to regain control of Mass. GOP

The Globe’s Frank Phillips reports that Gov. Charlie Baker’s “political team is using hundreds of thousands of dollars in undisclosed funds to wage a bitter intra-party battle to regain control of the Massachusetts GOP, a critical fight that could help determine whether he will run for an unprecedented third term.”

The Herald’s Howie Carr has announced his own counter-counter-offensive to beat back the Baker forces, saying that tonight “a lot of you will be getting robocalls from me. I’ll be suggesting who you should vote for if you oppose Baker’s Trump-hating, gas-tax-raising slate of payroll patriots.”

Btw: It should be noted that progressive Dems are launching their own committee-level offensives to gain control of the Democratic party in certain areas. Which raises the issue: Is Massachusetts moving towards a more polarized political system, similar to what’s seen in D.C., even as Beacon Hill types sing the praise of bi-partisanship? Just a thought.

Poll: Kennedy narrowly leads Markey in U.S. Senate race

Believe it not, there is a U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts – and the latest poll shows U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III narrowly leading U.S. Sen. Ed Markey by six percentage points. The Globe’s Victoria McGrane has the details on the Globe/Suffolk/WBZ survey.

Btw: WGBH’s David Bernstein takes a look at all the candidates vying for Kennedy’s open Fourth District seat.

Payment plan: Trahan opens legal-defense fund amid ethics inquiry

The attorney fees are stacking up. U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan has opened a Legal Expense Trust to help pay for legal costs associated with the ongoing Ethics Committee inquiry into her campaign fundraising activities, Chris Marquette reports via Roll Call. Trahan, who established the Trust on Feb. 20, has already racked up a nearly $350,000 bill with Perkins Coie as the House committee looks deeper into last-minute loans made to her 2018 campaign from her husband’s bank accounts. 

Roll Call

Personal appeal: Stymied in courts, Mashpee tribe leader turns to Trump for help

This has to be music to the president’s ears. Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell is making a direct plea to President Trump to intervene to help the tribe secure the right to open a Taunton casino after a series of court setbacks and stalled legislative fixes, Jessica Hill reports at the Cape Cod Times. Trump may have his own agenda here, but Cromwell definitely took aim at a soft target with his word choice, saying: “He is the only one who can fix this.”

Cape Cod Times

‘Hodgepodge of policies’: Beacon Hill’s secretive committee voting process

CommonWealth magazine’s Shira Schoenberg takes a look, as best she can under the circumstances, at Beacon Hill’s secretive committee voting process in which lawmakers are not always required to go on the public record about how they voted on bills in committee.


Massport salaries: They now average more than $100,000

Usually, the media reports on the number of employees receiving salaries of $100,000 or more at a given state agency. But Massport has hit a new milestone of sorts: Its salaries now average more than $100,000 per employee. The Herald’s Joe Dwinell and Erin Tiernan have more on the independent agency’s big and bigger payouts.

Boston Herald

The Globe’s bi-polar subscription trends

The BBJ’s Don Seiffert reports on the impressive late-year surge in the Boston Globe’s digital subscriptions. That’s the good news. The bad news is the accelerating subscription decline in the Globe’s printed paper, which, believe it or not, is still its main revenue generator.


State troopers injured after arresting patrons at Everett casino

Yet another incident at the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett, this time involving two State Police troopers who were injured while arresting a couple of patrons, reports WCVB and CBS Boston. One of the troopers may have suffered a concussion.

Trashed budget: Fall River could face steep shortfall thanks to Correia’s garbage move

Eliminating pay-as-you-throw trash fees may have been the most popular thing former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia ever did during his controversy-filled time in office. But now the new administration says the move is one reason the city could face a $5 million budget shortfall in its next fiscal year. Jo C. Goode at the Herald News has all the numbers. 

Herald News

Federal judge orders law firm to repay grossly inflated legal fees

File under: “Egregious” (the judge’s suggested word). From the Globe’s Andrea Estes: “A federal judge has ordered Boston-based Thornton Law Firm and a New York firm to give back nearly $15 million they collected by dramatically inflating their bills. Judge Mark L. Wolf concluded that Thornton, along with the Labaton Sucharow law firm of New York, double-billed for some attorneys working on a class-action lawsuit involving State Street Bank, and billed for others that didn’t even work for them, boosting their overall legal charges by millions.”

Boston Globe

Judge to DOC: Next time, consult me before limiting attorney access

This is all tied to the recent violence and crackdown at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center. From Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine: “A Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction against the state’s Department of Correction on Friday, ordering the agency to seek court approval for any actions limiting prisoner access to legal documents and attorneys that extend beyond two days in emergency situations.”

Btw, CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg reports on yet another interesting legal case involving a state agency: “Court: State not liable for assault at DYS facility.”

Report: ICE is definitely stepping up its activities in Massachusetts

From Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine: “Federal officials are issuing more warrants for wanted undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts, even as the number of warrants is declining nationally. The warrants, often called detainers, are requests for assistance from Massachusetts law enforcement and court officials in tracking down undocumented immigrants wanted for crimes.”


EDR: The great debate

It won’t happen in tomorrow’s election, but there seems to be a lot of chatter these days about election-day registration (EDR) in the future in Massachusetts, with a recent Pam Wilmot op-ed in the Globe, a Newburyport Daily News editorial on the issue and a look at EDR by Boston 25 News.

Stalled out: A year out, no sign of new UMass online college

Call this a lack-of-progress report. A year after UMass President Marty Meehan called for the creation of a new online college aimed at adult learners, the plan is still little more than an idea, Hilary Burns reports at the Boston Business Journal. Meehan made the idea the centerpiece of last year’s State of the University address and said at the time it had already been under study for a year-and-a-half.   


U.N. Perspective Series: Gender Equality (International Women’s Day)

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Impact Hub Boston and United Nations Association of Greater Boston.

United Nations Association Of Greater Boston

Mikhail Minakov: Post-Soviet Eastern Europe: A Comparative Analysis of the Six Eastern Neighborhood Nations

Please join the Fletcher Eurasia Club for a lunch conversation with Mikhail Minakov about the Eastern Partnership initiative and the political environment of Eastern European countries after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Fletcher Eurasia Club

Mikhail Minakov: Political Development of Post-Euromaidan Ukraine

Please join the Russia and Eurasia Program at The Fletcher School for a conversation with Mikhail Minakov about revolutionary cycles of independent Ukraine and post-Euromaidan political development of the country.

Fletcher Russia and Eurasia Program

Authors@MIT | Benjamin J. Pauli presents Flint Fights Back

MIT Press author Benjamin J. Pauli discusses his new book Flint Fights Back.

The MIT Press Bookstore

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

Boston Massacre 250th Anniversary Commemoration

Revolutionary Spaces invites you to a Commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Massacre to honor those who lost their lives that night and to reflect on how our most difficult national memories can inspire us to reach for our highest American ideals.

Revolutionary Spaces

Babson Latin American Forum

The Babson Latin American Club is proud to invite you to join their 12th annual forum at Babson College. The forum is a full day event where speakers, students, and faculty members from our Boston community come together to have meaningful discussions about Latin American business, culture, economics, and politics in an entrepreneurial way. This year’s topic is “Success Stories in Latin America”.

Babson Latin American Club

Africa Day 2020: Challenges to Pan Africanism: Afrophobia and Migration Across African Borders

The Africa Scholars Forum, The Pan African Graduate Student Association, African Student Union, and Ghanaian Student Associations at UMass Boston presents: AFRICA DAY 2020 “Challenges to Pan Africanism: Afrophobia and Migration Across Borders” The African Continent ‘s attempts to achieve integration and unity across its deeply plural and diverse borders are fraught with challenges such as Afrophobia, which refers to a form of Xenophobia directed by Africans toward other Africans. Evidenced by the surge of violent xenophobic attacks against African migrants to South Africa in 2019, Afrophobia has led to severe discrimination against fellow African migrants and it challenges Africa’s Pan Africanism.

The Africa Scholars Forum at University of Massachusetts Boston

2020 Social Enterprise Conference at Harvard

The 21st annual Social Enterprise Conference (SECON) at Harvard will bring together leaders, practitioners and students on March 7-8, 2020 to engage in rigorous dialogue and debate around social enterprise.2020 Social Enterprise Conference at Harvard.

HKS + HBS Students’ 2020 Social Enterprise Conference

2020 Boston Massacre Reenactment

Join us as tensions between the citizens of the Town of Boston and the British soldiers stationed in town build and eventually boil over resulting in the “Boston Massacre.” This day long event allows visitors to meet with reenactors portraying a variety of citizens of 1770 Boston who are eager to share their perspective on the events in Boston since the landing of the troops in Oct. of 1768.

Revolutionary Spaces

ADL’s “A Nation of Immigrants” Community Seder

ADL New England welcomes you as we continue our tradition of bringing diverse communities together to build bridges of understanding.

ADL New England

Reflecting Democracy: Reclaiming Equity in the Political Process

A reflective democracy will bring equity to our schools, communities & commonwealth. Learn about our strategy for civic engagement in 2020.

Massachusetts Voter Table & MassVOTE

Starr Forum: Russia’s Putin: From Silent Coup to Legal Dictatorship

With speaker Yevgenia M Albats, a Russian investigative journalist, political scientist, author and radio host. A session of the Focus on Russia Lecture Series co-chaired by Carol Saivetz and Elizabeth Wood.

MIT Center for International Studies (CIS)

A Conversation on Female Agency

Writers Marjan Kamali and Katrin Schumann present “A Conversation on Agency: Displacement and Power During Political Turmoil.”

Boston Athenaeum

Sanguinary Theatre: Evening with Dr. Joseph Warren & his Massacre Oration

With an exciting blend of modern context and costumed interpretation, join us to relive Joseph Warren’s fiery oration 245 years later.

Revolutionary Spaces

Boston Speaker Series: Susan Rice

Rice served as National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2017. She also served as the United States ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013. Under President Clinton, Rice worked for the National Security Council and was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Lesley University

Predicting the Democratic Nominee

Welcome to the Democracy Studio! Join us as we combine politically-inspired images and words to provoke a deeper understanding of the state of our democracy.

Tom Manning, Harvard ALI Senior Fellow 2020

Boston Speaker Series: Susan Rice

Rice served as National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2017. She also served as the United States ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013. Under President Clinton, Rice worked for the National Security Council and was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Lesley University

Jane Swift: The History of Women in Politics

Jane Swift was the youngest woman ever elected to the Massachusetts State Senate and the First Woman Governor of Massachusetts.

Aliali Belkus, Dean of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity

The Centenary of the 19th Amendment: New Reflections

Join legal and political science scholars to discuss lessons learned from the centenary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Boston University School of Law

Election 2020: The Crucial Questions – Conversations on the Edge

A discussion on the crucial questions of the 2020 Election with seasoned political pros.

Cambridge Center for Adult Education

Today’s Headlines


Superfund designation sought for stretch of Neponset River – Patriot Ledger

Judge orders Boston law firm to repay millions in inflated legal fees – Boston Globe


AG’s filing details Dracut procurement violations – Lowell Sun

Smith & Wesson CEO gets more than $1 million severance – MassLive

Follow the money: Buttigieg top donor recipient on Cape, Islands – Cape Cod Times


With Pete Buttigieg out, which candidate is primed to inherit his supporters? – USA Today

Inside Trump’s frantic attempts to minimize the coronavirus – Washington Post

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