Keller at Large

Message from an undecided voter: Where’s the DD goods?

In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller hears (sort of) from a typical undecided voter (sort of) who can’t decide whether to support Joe Kennedy or Ed Markey, listing all their respective pros and cons and deciding the first candidate to deliver the DD goods has his/her/their vote.

Keller at Large

Happening Today

Gaming Commission, Fourth interviews, and more

Mass. Gaming Commission holds a public hearing to gather input on amended regulations and then later holds a regular commission meeting, at which it’s expected to review pandemic restrictions at Encore Boston Harbor following a large hotel-suite party, 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., respectively.

Mass. State Retirement Board meets, with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairing, 10 a.m. — Boston City Council’s Committee on Civil Rights holds a hearing to discuss the city’s electoral recount process, 11 a.m.

Fourth Congressional District candidates Ben Sigel and Ihssane Leckey are scheduled for one-on-one interviews with Adam Reilly on WGBH’s ‘Greater Boston,’ WGBH-TV Channel 2, 7 p.m.

— Gov. Charlie Baker provides opening remarks at Boston Harbor Now’s virtual ‘Our Harbor, Our Home’ celebration, which supports the organization’s efforts to enhance public access to the harbor and protect the region from the effects of climate change, 7 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

Reminder to readers: SHNS Coronavirus Tracker available for free

A reminder to our readers as the coronavirus crisis unfolds: The paywalled State House News Service, which produces MASSterList, is making its full Coronavirus Tracker available to the community for free on a daily basis each morning via ML. SHNS Coronavirus Tracker.

The coronavirus numbers: 26 new deaths, 8,755 total deaths, 315 new cases

CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

For whom the polls toll: And they’re tolling for Markey

Polls can be wrong. We learned that in 2016. But it sure doesn’t look good for Joseph Kennedy heading into the final days of the Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate. The Globe’s Victoria McGrane and the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky report that three new polls – from Suffolk University, UMass Lowell and Data for Progress – show incumbent Ed Markey with commanding leads in the contest. Two of the surveys show Markey with double-digit leads.

Still, the battle rages on, via CommonWealth magaine: “Angela Menino throws support behind Kennedy.” Don’t you just love these endorsement stories?

Zannetos drops out of crowded Fourth race, endorses Mermell

The Stop Auchincloss Movement scores again. From the Globe’s Matt Stout: “Christopher Zannetos, a Wellesley tech entrepreneur, said Wednesday he is suspending his campaign in the Fourth Congressional District’s Democratic primary and endorsing Jesse Mermell, making him the second Democrat to bow out of the race in as many weeks.”

Speaking of Mermell, Sean Savage at the Jewish News Syndicate reports she’s backtracking on her response to an anti-Israel boycott survey question, with her campaign saying her initial response in favor of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was the result of an “error due to misunderstanding a very opaquely worded question.”

Boston Globe

SJC upholds state’s Sept. 1 deadline for mail-in ballots

We’re sure there will be many more mail-in-vote cases to fill this legal void. From Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin: “The Supreme Judicial Court ruled (Wednesday) that the Massachusetts requirement that mail-in primary ballots cannot reach local election officials after 8 p.m. on Sept. 1 is constitutional.”

As UH notes, the ruling rejected a request by Becky Grossman, a 4th District congressional candidate, to require election registrars to accept ballots until Sept. 10.

Universal Hub

Changing sides: Romney 2012 staffers announce support for Biden

He’s already locked out of the party, so why not? Thirty-four political operatives who worked on Republican Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential run have come out to support the election of Democrat Joe Biden, Max Cohen at Politico reports. The group’s thesis: Biden shares the type of “presidential traits” that led them to work for Romney, who, it should be noted, ran in opposition to the Obama-Biden ticket eight short years ago.


Not so easy: Cape Democrats seeking write-in nod face steep climb

Crazy year, crazy campaigns. Geoff Spillane at the Cape Cod Times explains the rocky path facing the two Democrats running write-in campaigns for the right to face off against Republican state Rep. William Crocker in November. Since neither Kip Diggs nor Michael Mecenas submitted enough signatures to appear on Tuesday’s primary ballot, they must not only capture the most votes but get at least 150 write-ins to advance. 

Cape Cod Times

A pandemic, two infectious disease experts, two candidates for Congress

The AP’s Steve LeBlanc at WBUR takes a look at two local Congressional candidates — Natalia Linos in the 4th District and Robbie Goldstein in the 8th District – who both happen to be infectious disease experts running in the middle of a pandemic. Their expertise may or may not be decisive on election day, but at least they gave it a go.


Walsh: Spike in East Boston virus cases may prompt curfew

He means business. From NBC Boston: “Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said a recent spike in coronavirus cases in the city’s East Boston neighborhood could result in additional restrictions, up to and including a curfew. In the past week, 127 East Boston residents tested positive for COVID-19, a rate of 11.4%. That’s five times higher than the citywide positive test rate of 2.3%.”

NBC Boston

BU to students: Attend or host a party and you’re gone

The new policy sounds tough. But didn’t they anticipate these parties when they first re-invited students back to campus? From WCVB: “Boston University students who host or attend a gathering of more than 25 people will be suspended for the fall semester, the school said Wednesday. Kenneth Elmore, Associate Provost and Dean of Students, outlined the consequences in a notice to students.”

Just to make the point clear, via the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “Marty Walsh tells city’s college students ‘do not have parties.’” And speaking of parties, from WCVB: “COVID-19 cluster traced to bachelorette party held in Rhode Island.”


Worth it? Host of party at Encore Boston suite pays $500 fine

OK, one more party post. Encore Boston Harbor says it has new protocols in place to prevent large gatherings in its hotel suites, even as the organizer of a 30-person get-together broken up by State Police earlier this month said he had received a $500 fine from the city of Everett, Abbey Niezgoda and Asher Klein at NBC Boston report. 

Seth Daniel at the Charlestown Patriot-Bridge reports Encore has put strict limits in place on how many people can be in a room at once and beefed up security on hotel-room floors.  

NBC Boston

Empty feeling: Another ominous sign for the future of office buildings

The Globe’s Jon Chesto and CommonWealth magazine’s Bruce Mohl report on a new survey by the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership showing that many companies don’t plan to fully re-occupy their office spaces anytime soon as a result of the coronavirus – and it sure looks like many will never fully re-occupy their office spaces, pandemic or no pandemic.

State judge blocks attempt to end eviction moratorium

One down, one to go? From Sarah Betancourt at CommonWealth magazine: “A Suffolk Superior Court judge on Wednesday rejected a request by two landlords to suspend the state’s moratorium on evictions, saying the ban is not an ‘unreasonable exercise’ of power.’” The ruling comes as a second case challenging the moratorium plays out in federal court.


If Celts decide to boycott playoff game over Jacob Blake shooting, Walsh has their back

The Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky and SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) report that Mayor Marty Walsh says he will support Boston Celtics players if they decide to boycott their playoff game tonight against the Toronto Raptors in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

Fyi: Other NBA, WNBA, MLB and MLS teams have already launched game boycotts (WBUR) – and there’s even talking among some teams of boycotting the entire NBA season (Globe).

But where, oh where, is that Beacon Hill police reform bill?

As protests spread across the nation over the latest police killing of a Black person, the Globe’s Matt Stout takes a look at where that compromise police-reform bill stands on Beacon Hill – and he finds it’s still behind conference-committee closed doors as negotiators try to reach an agreement on the legislation. State Rep. Russell Holmes isn’t happy at the lack of progress.

Speaking of reforms, from the Patriot Ledger: “State Rep. Mark Cusack, challenger Paul Hennesy talk police reform.”

Boston Globe

Ranking the state’s official foods: The good, the bad and the tasty

Someone had to do it – and Scott Kearnan is that someone. At Boston Magazine, he ranks the nine “official” state foods in order of deliciousness. We agree with his top pick, but we vehemently disagree with the criteria of his bottom pick. Why let annoying out-of-towner clichés interfere with our comfort-food delights?

Boston Magazine

Bitter harvest: Western Massachusetts farmers battle drought after long dry summer

Speaking of food-related matters, MassLive’s Jim Kinney reports that western Massachusetts farmers are battling drought conditions as a result of a long, hot and dry summer. “We irrigated as much as we could,” says one farmer.


‘The Greek Connection’: They came so close to destroying Richard Nixon’s career even before Watergate

Media critic Dan Kennedy at WGBH interviews local journalist and attorney James H. Barron, author of the new book “The Greek Connection: The Life of Elias Demetracopoulos and the Untold Story of Watergate,” which tells the tale of how Demetracopoulos and the Boston Globe came “tantalizingly close” to keeping Richard Nixon out of the White House even before Watergate.


Last resort? Lawrence police say 25 kids found in illegal daycare

A Lawrence woman faces possible criminal charges after police found what they say is an illegal daycare operation inside an apartment with as many as 25 children being watched by a single adult, Jill Harmacinski at the Eagle-Tribune reports. Police say they’re sympathetic toward parents scrambling to find child care amid the coronavirus pandemic, but said safety must come first. 

Eagle Tribune

Early college programs: They’re working

SHNS’s Michael Norton reports a new state analysis shows that high school students who participate in early-college programs enroll in colleges and apply for federal aid at higher rates than other students. The analysis is from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Virtual Grassroots Voter Education Launch

Join the YES on Question 2 campaign to learn more about our voter education strategy and how you can help win Ranked Choice Voting for Massachusetts this November.

The YES on 2 Campaign for Ranked Choice Voting

His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham discusses his new book, His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope with Michelle Miller, co-host of CBS This Morning: Saturday and CBS News national correspondent.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

US Foreign Policy and Europe

Ambassador (Ret.) Nicholas Burns, Harvard professor of diplomacy and international relations; Robert Mauro, director of the Boston College Irish Institute and Global Leadership Institute; and Alexandra Vacroux, executive director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, discuss US foreign policy challenges and opportunities in Europe.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956

Fredrik Logevall, Harvard University professor of history and international relations and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, discusses his forthcoming book JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956 with George Packer, staff writer at The Atlantic.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Virtual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards

Join the Boston Business Journal for our annual Corporate Citizenship Awards.

Boston Business Journal

Today’s Headlines


Marty Walsh tells Boston college kids “do not have parties” – Boston Herald

Controversial Brockton luxury apartment project dead after split vote on zoning overlay – Brockton Enterprise


McGovern kicks off annual farm tour in Sunderland – Greenfield Recorder

Few Covid cases identified so far as campuses reopen in Worcester – Telegram & Gazette

Coalition formed to further offshore wind initiatives – Cape Cod Times


Trump, GOP walk tightrope in wooing minority voters – The Hill

Trump demands that Joe Biden submit to a drug test ahead of the presidential debates –

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