Happening Today

Presidential primary, House and Senate races, transfer fee

— Massachusetts is among 15 jurisdictions holding presidential primary elections today, dubbed ‘Super Tuesday,’ with most statewide polls open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

— The Massachusetts House 3rd Bristol and 37th Middlesex districts hold special primary elections to decide who will represent the Democratic and Republican parties in general special elections on March 31.

— The Massachusetts Senate Plymouth-Barnstable and 2nd Hampden-Hampshire districts also hold special primary elections to fill vacancies.

Joint Committee on Revenue holds a hearing to consider four bills, including a home rule petition from the city of Boston seeking permission for the city to impose a real estate transfer fee, Room B-2, 1 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker hosts a ceremonial bill signing of ‘Nicky’s Law,’ an act to protect persons with intellectual or development disabilities from abuse, Room 360, 3 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

Super Tuesday: The pressure is on Warren to perform – or go

With Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropping out of the Dem presidential race and endorsing the moderate Joe Biden (NYT), pressure is building on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren to perform in today’s Super Tuesday contests around the country and in her own home state  – or drop out in order to help the candidacy of fellow progressive Bernie Sanders, according to various media reports. A sampling from MSM world, via the Washington Post: “Bernie Sanders’s Elizabeth Warren problem.” … A sampling from the non-MSM world, via the progressive In These Tmes: “Elizabeth Warren, Please Drop Out for the Sake of a Better World.”

But Warren says she’s in the race for the long haul, no matter what happens today, according to a report at WBUR. And from the Globe’s Jess Bidgood: “Some candidates are dropping out. Elizabeth Warren still sees a path forward.” … Here’s an interesting piece on what’s shaping up to be a coming Biden-Sanders showdown, via the Washington Post: “Moderate Democrats are doing what Republicans refused to do in 2016: Getting out of the way.”

Super motivated: Galvin predicts record voter turnout today

From WBUR’s Steve Brown: “Highly-motivated voters could lead to a record turnout in Massachusetts’ presidential primary, said Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin at a pre-election briefing Monday afternoon.” Bottom line: As many as 1.5 million Dems could cast ballots today, while 350,000 Republican take part in the GOP presidential primary, Galvin says.


BYOP: Bring your own pen to voting booths?

File under: ‘Don’t leave home without it.’ From Steph Solis at MassLive: “Poll workers will be expected to clean voting booths and replace pens regularly as people fill out their ballots on Super Tuesday to help prevent the possible spread of the novel coronavirus, Secretary of State William Galvin said. Voters can also bring their own pens — as long as the ink is not red — to cast their ballots.”


Coronavirus updates: Mass. reports second case, panic buying, school protocols

Speaking of coronavirus fears, you can almost feel it creeping in closer and closer. From the Herald’s Rick Sobey: “Norfolk woman back from Italy school trip is Massachusetts’ 2nd suspected coronavirus case.” … From the Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey: “Baker says state is preparing for ‘all possible scenarios’ of the coronavirus.” … From Universal Hub: “Northeastern tells students, staff returning home from some countries to stay home for a couple weeks.” … From the Herald’s Jessica Heslam: “School superintendents set to meet on coronavirus protocols.” … From the Telegram: “Central Mass. colleges are bringing home study abroad students as coronavirus spreads.” … From the Cape Cod Times:  “Barnstable County seeks emergency funds to address virus.”… And from the Globe’s Steve Annear:“Store shelves wiped clean of some products amid increasing coronavirus fears.”

‘Coronavirus quarantine kit: What you’ll need at home’

Speaking of panic buying, MassLive and the Boston Herald provide some advice on what you might want to pick up during your next  trip to the supermarket and what you might want to keep handy around the house in case you’re quarantined. We deeply appreciate this tip from the Herald: “Make sure you have a working can opener for items like beans, corn and Spam.” … Spam! We knew we had forgotten something.

How about using unemployment insurance to combat coronavirus?

Here’s one idea on how to combat the potential negative economic impact of a coronavirus outbreak, via Boston University’s Jay L. Zagorsky at the BBJ: Unemployment insurance. He explains. And it’s not as crazy as it sounds.


MBTA pulls new Orange Line trains from service

This just in. It doesn’t look too major. But … From the Globe’s Emily Sweeney: “MBTA officials said Tuesday morning that all new Orange Line trains are being taken out of service. ‘The new Orange Line trains have been temporarily taken out of service,’ MBTA officials tweeted at 5 a.m. ‘Inspectors identified a fault with the bolsters which is being corrected to ensure the vehicles are reliable & safe for the duration of their service lives. We expect to return them to service later this week.’”

Boston Globe

Everyone has an opinion on transportation bill

Speaking of transportation, the House is supposed to debate the controversial transportation bill later this week – you know, the one with proposed hikes in the gas, corporate and ride-sharing taxes etc. But first House members will have to wade through a mountain of amendments attached to the legislation, as SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay roll) and the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro report. As Vaccaro notes, “It seems everybody has something to say about transportation these days.”

Btw, via CommonWealth magazine: “Straus lays out rationale for transpo revenues.” Btw II, via the Globe’s editorial board: “House makes right move on transportation.”

Senate not betting the House on sports gambling

SHNS’s Colin Young reports that a new sports gambling bill that was unveiled by a joint legislative panel late last week doesn’t exactly have wholehearted support in the Senate, which is “framing sports betting as a House initiative that the Senate could give some thought to later down the line.” Meaning? It’s not a big priority in the Senate.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

More talk of possible state intervention in Boston schools …

Mayor Marty Walsh and others are bracing for what’s expected to be a rather harsh state report on the Boston Public Schools – and a growing number of state officials and other advocates are calling on Massachusetts Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley to take decisive action, reports the Globe’s James Vaznis. 

Late last month, the Bay State Banner’s Yawu Miller reported such decisive action might come in the form of some sort of state intervention in Boston schools.

Boston Globe

King of the Hill: Casino cash pushes lobbying firm to top of Beacon Hill rankings

There’s a new top lobbying firm in the Bay State, Bruce Mohl reports at CommonWealth Magazine. Smith Costello & Crawford took in the most lobbying cash last year on Beacon Hill, outpacing previous longtime top dog M.L. Strategies, with help from clients in the gaming industry, including would-be casino owners in the Southeastern region. 


Mass. Republicans: They love Trump, not Baker

How deep is the divide between Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and average GOP voters in Massachusetts? Steve Koczela at WBUR dives into the numbers of a recent ‘BUR poll to find that Republican voters today are overwhelmingly pro-Trump – and overwhelmingly unimpressed with the moderate Baker, as well as moderate Republicans Mitt Romney and Bill Weld.

CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl was sifting through the same GOP poll numbers the other day. But we wish pollsters had asked Republicans the following question: Would you rather have had Democrats in the corner office instead of Baker, Romney and Weld? The answers would have been very illuminating about potentially strong political-suicide tendencies within the Grand Old Party.


Call of the wild: Police issue warnings after coyotes surround woman and dog in Southborough

NBC Boston’s Gaia De Simoni and the Globe’s Matt Berg report that area police are issuing warnings now that the “coyote breeding season is in full swing” and the critters are acting more than a little aggressive these days. How aggressive? One woman and her Shepherd-mix dog were surrounded by four coyotes in her Southborough backyard on Sunday night. The woman’s husband chased the coyotes off with a broom.

Jack Welch, legendary General Electric chief, RIP

Jack Welch, a Salem native, UMass grad and legendary former CEO of General Electric, has passed away at the age of 84. The BBJ’s Greg Ryan and the Globe’s Bryan Marquard report on the life and sad death of the “brilliant, aspirational leader.” The NYT also has more on the “manager of the century.”

But they have a slightly different take on Welch out in the Berkshires. From the Eagle Tribune: “Ex-GE CEO’s legacy still felt in Pittsfield.”

Setting the record straight on the Boston Massacre

If a second revolution ever comes, Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell has just revealed himself as a British Tory sympathizer and propagandist who dares to question our handed-down truths about the Boston Massacre, starting with whether or not it was really a massacre 250 years ago. 

Boston Magazine

House advances bill allowing older siblings to adopt siblings

From SHNS’s Chris Van Buskirk: “Older siblings could adopt their younger whole or half family member under a bill that is beginning to move in the House. Rep. Jack Lewis (D-Framingham) filed the legislation (H 1492) for the first time in mid-January 2019 with the intent to expand options for families around adoptions.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Inside job: Some voters will cast ballots for inmates

They vote on behalf of those who can’t. Quincy Walters of WBUR reports on a program that matches prison inmates with voters on the outside willing to cast a ballot on their behalf. Organizers of the “Donate your vote” program say the biggest hurdle to growing it further is finding enough voters willing to give up their own right to choose, especially in a presidential election cycle.


Leaders raise alarm as Holyoke hospital over plans to close mental health wing

Community leaders and state officials are pushing back against plans put forward by the owner of a Holyoke hospital to close its inpatient psychiatric ward and lay off some 200 people in the process, Dusty Christensen reports at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Providence Behavioral Health Hospital says it can’t find enough psychiatrists to staff the facility, a claim at least one of the unions representing displaced workers says doesn’t match the facts. 


Making his case: Moulton starts laying out case for re-election

He’s not wasting any time. U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton won’t appear on a ballot until September at the earliest but he has started his re-election campaign in earnest, making a stop at the Daily Item in Lynn to tout his accomplishments on behalf of 6th Congressional District constituents. Steve Krause reports Moulton cited his efforts to keep local GE plants humming and to bring federal funds to bear on the opioid crisis. 

Lynn Item

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


Massport building boom has created a crowded Seaport, critics say – Boston Herald

With Finn retiring, who should lead Boston Fire? – Boston Globe


Milford selectmen appoint Baltimore police commanders as new police chief – MetroWest Daily News

Attleboro mayor seeks more parking, fewer tickets – Sun Chronicle

West Stockbridge fire chief pays $5,000 penalty for ethics violations, admits wrongdoing – Berkshire Eagle


Congress closes in on $7.5 billion deal for coronavirus funding – The Hill

Democrats embrace Biden as Sanders hopes for a big Super Tuesday delegate haul – Washington Post

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