Happening Today

Coronavirus planning and hearing, House transportation bill, and more

— Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and Public Commissioner Monica Bharel meet with senior public health officials, executives from the MBTA and Massport, and others to discuss preparedness planning for coronavirus in Massachusetts, Room 157, 10:45 a.m.

— The Massachusetts House debates the $600 million transportation-revenue bill unveiled by members last week, House Chamber, 11 a.m.

Governor’s Council meets to possibly vote on Superior Court nominee Camille Sarrouf, Council Chamber, 12 p.m.


Public Health Committee holds an oversight hearing on the state’s preparedness for a coronavirus outbreak, Room B-2, 1 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker announces the filing of the administration’s economic development bill, Salem Five Community Room, 210 Essex Street, Salem, 3:15 p.m.

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

Today’s Stories

Super Tuesday: Biden wins Mass., Warren on the ropes

Now we know how most of Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar’s former supporters voted. From Shira Schoenberg at CommonWealth: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren lost her home state of Massachusetts in Tuesday’s presidential primary to former vice president Joe Biden, in a surprise victory for Biden and a devastating blow to Warren that is expected to intensify calls on the state’s senior senator to drop out of the race.”

WBUR’s Robert Scalese  and the Globe’s Victoria McGrane and Matt Stout have more on Biden’s polls-defying win in Massachusetts and elsewhere across the nation yesterday – and Elizabeth Warren’s devastating third-place showing in her home state and just about everywhere else.

How devastating was it for Warren? From the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld: “It’s over for Warren, and the only thing left is for her is to make it official.” The Globe’s James Pindell isn’t putting it so bluntly, but he is saying it’s time for Warren’s campaign to admit “she may not finish better than third anywhere.” Which means: It’s over?

Obviously, Biden is the big winner nationally as well, considering his multiple victories in other states yesterday, making him the party’s instant frontrunner, though Bernie Sanders did win in California, as the NYT reports. WGBH’s Peter Kadzis marvels at Biden’s transformation from “dead skunk in the middle of the road” to current top dog in the race. Here are the Mass. Dem primary results (via WBUR) and the national primary results (via the NYT).

Btw: It was also a very bad day for Medford’s very own Michael Bloomberg, who the AP reports is now reconsidering his candidacy.

Elizabeth Warren’s branding problem

Even before yesterday’s disastrous Super Tuesday results for Elizabeth Warren, the New York Times and CBS Boston’s Jon Keller were running obit-like pieces looking at Warren’s various branding campaigns – and how they haven’t panned out. The NYT’s take: Too much Professor Warren, not enough Betsy Warren. Keller’s take: Her three brands were “stepped on by the brander herself.”

Oops, we almost forgot: Weld also lost yesterday

As CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl notes (scroll down), Bill Weld probably wasn’t toasting yesterday’s primary results either. The former Massachusetts governor also got crushed in his home state, losing to Donald Trump in the GOP primary – unless Weld considers 9.3 percent of the vote (WBUR) as some sort of symbolic win. WCVB has more, including Trump’s “THANK YOU MASSACHUSETTS!” tweet.

The progressive high-water mark in Massachusetts?

The Herald’s Hillary Chabot looks into the possible takeaways from moderate Joe Biden’s upset victory in yesterday’s presidential primary in Massachusetts – and whether there are any clues to Biden’s success that nervous Dem incumbents can learn from as they fend off primary challengers from the young-ones left.

Boston Herald

Legislative races: Lipper-Garabedian headed to House, special election fields set

Melrose City Councilor Kate Lipper-Garabedian had a Super Tuesday, winning the 32nd Middlesex District seat in the lone special general election on the ballot, Mike Carraggi reports via Melrose Patch.

Meanwhile, the fields are set for other special legislative elections, as a result of yesterday’s primary voting. Democrat Susan Moran and Republican James McMahon III will face off later this month to determine who will be the next state senator from the Plymouth & Barnstable District after winning their respective primaries, reports the Cape Cod Times. Taunton school board member Carol Doherty easily outpaced the field for the Democratic nomination in the 3rd Bristol district, reports the Gazette.  Results were still coming in, meanwhile, in the 37th Middlesex House District primaries, according to SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall).

Btw, from Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth: “PAC with ties to Baker sees mixed results.”

Bring it on: Newton voters clear way for huge housing project

Did they roll out the welcome mat or roll up the NIMBY mat? Anyway, in a closely watched vote that has become a surrogate for the state-wide housing-production debate, voters in Newton cleared the way for a massive mixed-use development in the city, setting aside concerns about traffic congestion and other impacts, Tiziana Dearing and Jamie Bologna report at WBUR. The Globe’s John Hilliard has more .


Coronavirus updates: Seafood Expo postponed, Baker reassures state employees, test restrictions

Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin reports that organizers of the annual Seafood Expo North America announced yesterday they’re postponing the big Boston event that was scheduled for later this month, due to coronavirus fears. … Meanwhile, from Steph Solis at MassLive: “Massachusetts state employees get guidance from Gov. Charlie Baker.” … From the Globe’s Felice Freyer and Kay Lazar: “Feeling feverish? Worried about coronavirus? Here’s why tests have been hard to get.” 

State Police issued 578 warnings in first week of hands-free driving law

Scott Croteau at MassLive reports that State Police troopers issued 578 warnings, not to be confused with actual fine-paying tickets, to motorists in the first week after the state’s new hands-free driving law took effect on Feb. 23.


Kelly’s Roast Beef beefs up for major expansion

First, Revere. Next, the world! Or at least Greater Boston beyond the North Shore. Melissa Hanson at the BBJ reports on the major expansion plans of the iconic Kelly’s Roast Beef, an expansion that could take it as far south as Providence and as far west as Worcester. Dare we say it: Maybe even Canada one day?


His $662K roll of the lobbying dice came up craps again

The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports how Chicago real estate magnate Neil Bluhm last year spent $662K in lobbying efforts as part of his quest to win a Brockton casino license, making his Mass Gaming & Entertainment venture the second largest corporate spender on lobbying efforts in Massachusetts. In 2018, he spent “only” $430,000 on lobbying in Massachusetts, as Chesto notes (with quote marks).

Boston Globe

Convicted rapist Ben LaGuer is back in prison for parole violations

Ben LaGuer, who argued for years that he was wrongly convicted of a brutal rape and beating of a women in 1984, is back in prison today for repeated parole violations, less than a month after his high-profile release from prison, as CBS Boston reports. .

CBS Boston

Suddenly, Super PACs are all the rage

Paul Craney, a spokesman for the conservative Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, isn’t exactly saying “I told you so,” but he does say it’s “heartwarming” to see more than a few prominent local politicians and organizations taking full advantage of Super PACs these days, ten years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United ruling on corporate campaign spending – a ruling many previously condemned.  


Welcome aboard, ICE: Peter Pan to continue allowing immigration checks on buses

Springfield-based Peter Pan Bus Lines says it will continue to allow immigration enforcement officials to board its buses, refusing to follow the lead of other carriers who are barring the practice, Philip Marcelo at the Associated Press reports via the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Lawmakers to feds: Divert Columbia settlement money thisaway, please

Send it back. Members of the state’s Congressional delegation are calling on the Department of Justice to ensure that the $53 million Columbia Gas agreed to pay to settle charges connected to the Merrimack Valley gas explosions makes it back to the impacted communities, Christian Wade reports at the Eagle-Tribune. The funds will be deposited into a national victim assistance fund, but lawmakers note that the DOJ has discretion over how the money is distributed. 

Eagle Tribune

Faulty steel beams caused T to pull new Orange Line cars

Boston.com’s Arianna MacNeill and SHNS’s Michael Norton (pay wall) report that the MBTA pulled all its new Orange Line cars from service yesterday due to faulty “bolsters,” or steel beams that are key for subway cars to navigate turns. The T hopes the new cars will be back in service later this week.

Walsh taps State House veteran as chief of staff

From SHNS’s Colin Young: “Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has picked a veteran State House staffer and campaign official as his next chief of staff, turning to Kathryn Burton to fill that position. Burton worked as chief of staff to then-Treasurer Steven Grossman beginning in 2012, after serving as his campaign manager. She has also worked as a senior official at the Barbara Lee Family Foundation and the Barbara Lee Political Office.”

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Embattled taxi firms looking longingly at $7M state fund for salvation

Bob Seay at WGBH reports on how taxi operators, decimated by the Uber-Lyft ride-sharing phenomenon, want a piece of a $7 million state fund that was established a short while back to help the struggling cab industry. The state hasn’t decided yet how to spend the money, perhaps because officials haven’t determined yet whether the industry can be saved at all.


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

Author Talk and Book Signing with Representative Josh Cutler

Author talk and book signing with Representative Josh S. Cutler, author of the recent book, Mobtown Massacre: Alexander Hanson and the Baltimore Newspaper War of 1812

State Library of Massachusetts

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


Is Boston’s innovation economy doomed? – Boston Magazine

A third try for a Downtown Crossing tower. This time it’s a lot shorter – Boston Globe


Methuen council rejects mayoral appointment – Eagle-Tribune

Northampton voters pass Proposition 2 ½ override by ‘large margin’ – MassLive


Democrats decide Biden may be the safest bet after all – New York Times

Gouge much? Purell for $149, face masks for $20: Coronavirus price hikes are making everyone mad – USA Today

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.