Keller at Large

What Nov. 3 means to Massachusetts

In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller dares to contemplate what might be in store for Massachusetts if Joe Biden or Donald Trump wins next week. The former would be good news for Massachusetts. The latter? You don’t want to think about it.

Keller at Large

Happening Today

Soldiers’ Home hearing, evictions protest and more

— Special Joint Oversight Committee on the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke COVID-19 Outbreak holds another hearing on the veterans-home tragedy, 9:30 a.m.

Massachusetts State Retirement Board convenes virtually with Treasurer Deb Goldberg chairing, 10 a.m.

— Ralliers plans to call on the Legislature to prevent mass evictions and criticize Gov. Baker’s eviction diversion plan as inadequate, 10 a.m.

— U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman and others hold press conference ‘to expose rampant wage theft and tax fraud in the construction industry,’ 3 p.m.

— Massachusetts Technology Collaborative hosts a cybersecurity forum, featuring recorded videos by Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and others, 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

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: 36 new deaths, 9,700 total deaths, 1,137 new cases

CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Historic nomination: Budd tapped to become next SJC chief – and state’s first Black female to head high court

Gov. Charlie Baker made some history yesterday, nominating Supreme Judicial Court Justice Kimberly Budd to be the next chief justice of the state’s highest court and putting her in line to become the first Black woman to hold the post in the court’s 328-year history, report the Globe’s Matt Stout and NBC Boston’s Marc Fortier

SHNSs Chris Lisinski (pay wall) reports on the ”bittersweet” moment for Budd, who replaces the late Chief Justice Ralph Gants, who died last month. The Herald’s Erin Tiernan has a short bio on Budd.

Franklin-Herald poll: Biden’s crushing it but …

The Boston Herald has one of the last local polls before next Tuesday’s big election – and the Franklin Pierce-Herald survey shows Joe Biden is absolutely crushing Donald Trump nationwide. But the attention-grabbing stats reflect the popular vote, not the Electoral College vote, and Trump’s forces are still hopeful victory lies with winning with less than a majority via swing states.

Boston Herald

Confirmed: Voters in wealthy communities love early voting

As of yesterday afternoon, nearly 2 million Massachusetts voters had cast early ballots in the presidential election, as MassLive reports. And the early turnout in wealthy communities is particularly strong, as in 60 percent or higher turnout, as WCVB reports.

Hint on what towns dominate the top 10 turnout list: Six of them belong to the state’s Dual County League.


As Dems dream of super-duper majorities on Beacon Hill, Baker PAC desperately pours yet more money into local races

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski (pay wall) reports that local Dems are hoping to ride the anti-Trump wave in Massachusetts, possibly expanding their supermajorities on Beacon Hill into super-duper supermajorities on Beacon Hill. WBUR’s Steve Brown takes a look at some of the contested legislative races in Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports that a super PAC with ties to Gov. Charlie Baker is no longer in a bi-partisan mood, as it dumps another $373,000 into local races in the waning days of the election cycle, mostly to Republican candidates desperately trying to avoid getting swamped on Tuesday.

The U.S. Senate race: Why, Kevin? Why?

The Globe’s Danny McDonald explores why Kevin O’Connor, a successful lawyer from well-to-do Dover, is even bothering to run as a Republican against heavily favored U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. Maybe because he thinks Markey is beatable and that he can beat him? Apparently so.

Btw, from the Herald’s Lisa Kashinsky: “Charlie Baker to participate in fundraiser for Kevin O’Connor.”

Boston Globe

Swampscott’s pro-Trump rallies: KKK robe, man in blackface, Confederate flag

Arianna MacNeill at reports on disturbing (to put it mildly) displays at recent pro-Trump rallies in Swampscott. And there’s photographic proof accompanying the story.

Worcester County: Will it stand by Trump?

Donald Trump may be trailing Joe Biden by landslide proportions in Massachusetts. But the president may be able to eke out a victory in at least Worcester County, where voters have been tilting red in presidential elections over the past 20 years. Carrie Saldo at GBH has the statistical details.


Immigration Service told new citizens they can’t vote this year – even though they can

Perhaps depending on where you stand politically, this can be viewed as either an innocent mistake or a classic voter-suppression move, to wit: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ inaccurately telling hundreds of new U.S. citizens in Massachusetts that they couldn’t vote in next week’s presidential election, as GBH’s Isaiah Thompson reports. We’ll give ‘em the benefit of the doubt that it was a misunderstanding over registration deadlines.

Weld: Trump simply doesn’t understand the Justice Department isn’t his personal law firm

In a Globe op-ed, former Gov. Bill Weld, who tried his best to deny Donald Trump this year’s GOP presidential nomination, says the rule of law isn’t under threat by the Trump administration. It’s already under assault – and part of the reason why is that the president views the Justice Department as “a law firm that exists to serve his every need and desire.”

Boston Globe

More history: District to elect first woman to State House in three-way race

It’s wide open but one thing is certain: Kim Ring at the Telegram reports on the three-candidate race to fill the 12th Worcester District state representative seat being vacated by Harold Naughton, which will definitely end with the district sending its first female representative to Beacon Hill. 

Meanwhile, from the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert: “Women make historic electoral gains over four years.”


Dormitory blues: 22 percent of Assumption University’s residential students are in isolation or quarantine

MassLive’s Melissa Hanson reports that more than one in five of Assumption University’s residential students are now in isolation or quarantine, as the Worcester college battles a surge in campus COVID-19 cases.

In other group-setting pandemic news, from NECN: “Coronavirus Cluster Tied to Martha’s Vineyard Wedding Sickens at Least 8.” 


‘Bad idea’: Baker knocks Connecticut and New York travel advisories

SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) and’s Nik DeCosta-Klipa report that Gov. Charlie Baker isn’t exactly enamored by Connecticut and New York’s stay-away-from-us advisories that apply to people traveling to and from Massachusetts. There must be some way to retaliate. But until then, via WCVB: “Baker urges Massachusetts residents to adhere to other state’s travel advisories.”

Meanwhile, Baker is catching some flak here at home, via a coalition of physicians who are urging the governor to rollback reopenings, reports the Globe’s Emily Sweeney.

The 2021 Boston Marathon won’t be held in April

It’s a vote of no-confidence that a miracle vaccine is around the corner. From the AP’s Jim Golen at WBUR: “Boston Marathon organizers said Wednesday that the 2021 race won’t be run on Patriots Day because of the coronavirus pandemic, the second straight year that it has been moved from the April weekend that was its home for more than a century.” 


Assuming state gets fed funds, Baker sees ‘pretty decent’ budget next year

As lawmakers strive to pass a new state budget for this fiscal year, Gov. Charlie Baker is already looking ahead to next fiscal year starting July 1, 2021 – and he sees a “pretty decent” budget as long as the feds pass a stimulus bill after the election. And he thinks they will. SHNS’s Katie Lannan has more.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Not so bad: Cape towns’ worst budget fears didn’t come to pass

Speaking of budgets, it’s better save than sorry on the Cape. Officials in several Cape Cod towns are crediting quick action to tighten belts as well as stronger than anticipated summer season with helping to avoid the bleakest municipal budget outcomes, Doug Fraser at the Cape Cod Times reports. 

Cape Cod Times

Not fur sale: Wellesley votes to ban sales of new fur products

The good citizens of Wellesley are making a true sacrifice during these trying times: They’ve voted at a Special Town Meeting to ban the sale of new fur products, starting next year, reports Bob Brown at the Swellesley Report. Via UH.

Latest Census lawsuit cites pressure to end count in Massachusetts

Did they make it up? A new lawsuit claims Census workers–including those in the Bay State–who were under pressure to complete field counts ahead of a moved-up deadline falsified their counts and cut corners in order to bring the tally in on time, Mike Schneider at the Associated Press reports, via the MetroWest Daily News. 

MetroWest Daily News

Sweet dreams: Developer proposes Japanese-style ‘capsule’ hotel in Boston

Universal Hub reports that the Boston Licensing Board is expected to review a plan today that calls for a Japanese-style ‘capsule’ hotel – where people sleep in tiny pods, similar to old sleeper compartments on trains – on High Street in Boston.

Universal Hub

Norfolk County sheriff to create ‘deinstitutionalized housing’ for incarcerated women

From the Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo: “Norfolk Sheriff Jerry McDermott is retrofitting a facility at the county correctional center’s Dedham campus to create a deinstitutionalized housing environment for incarcerated women, but victims’ advocates said resources should be invested in preventing women from ending up in prison in the first place.”

Boston Herald

Slam, counter-slam: Brockton and state trade blame on school slide

They’re not denying the problems exist, just the root cause. School leaders in Brockton are seeking to turn harsh criticism of the district’s recent performance back on state officials, saying the drop in graduation and test rates trace back to years of underfunded budgets, Ben Berke at the Enterprise reports.  


Defense Project Series: Civil-Military Relations during a US Election

The atmosphere around the national elections to be held on Tuesday, November 3, has brought to the fore many important issues of how the US military interacts and is viewed by the public and civilian leadership in government.

Harvard Kennedy School

Energy Policy Seminar: John Holdren on “Thawing Permafrost: A Local and Global Disaster”

Join us for an Energy Policy Seminar featuring John Holdren, Teresa and John Heinz, Professor of Environmental Policy at HKS. Professor Holdren will speak on “Thawing Permafrost: A Local and Global Disaster”. The seminar will be hosted by HKS Professor Joe Aldy.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business

Virtual 2020 Power 50: Extraordinary Year, Extraordinary People

We often look from a different lens each year as issues as circumstances shift. 2020 is truly an outlier and a year like none other in recent memory. This year’s Power 50 will take on a different title and goal, as we look to recognize those people whose influence, innovation, commitment, and courage are making a difference in the community during an extraordinary time.

Boston Business Journal and Webster Bank

Challenges and Opportunities of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Policy Over the Next Decade

Please join Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government for a Regulatory Policy Program seminar featuring Michael Fitzpatrick, Head of Global Regulatory Affairs at Google. Registration is required.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business and Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government

The Buchanan Channel: How the Pro-Apartheid Movement Undercut the Reagan Administration’s Anti-Sanctions Effort, 1985-1987

International Security Brown Bag Seminar Series: This seminar examines how the institutional failure of the Reagan White House to invigorate a sterile sanctions debate created a window of opportunity for pro-South Africa conservatives. Augusta Dell’Omo, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program, speaker.

Harvard Kennedy School and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Philanthropy and Inequality

Please join the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy for its signature weekly series this fall, The Fierce Urgency of Now, featuring Black, Indigenous, People of Color scholars, activists, and community leaders, and experts from the Global South.

Harvard Kennedy School

Tamara Payne on The Dead are Rising: The Life of Malcolm X – Central Library Author Talk Series

Join the Boston Public Library together with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Museum of African American History, and the GBH Forum Network for another virtual event in the American Stories, Inspiration Today author series. Learn about the epic biography produced from 30 years of research by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Les Payne.

Boston Public Library

Critical Conversations: Racial Justice and the Immigrant Rights Movement

The Binger Annual Immigration Law Forum brings together lawyers, students, advocates and community members to learn from each other and develop tools to continue the struggle to protect human rights, basic dignity, and the rule of law.

James H. Binger Center Annual Immigration Law Forum

ICP – Breaking the crime-poverty cycle

Panel Debate – The event will feature an overview by Professor Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, Director, Center for Crime, Justice and Policing, University of Birmingham, a quick historical recap of antiquated laws and contributions by the panelists.

ESRC IAA – University of Birmingham

Virtual Discussion – Women Who Lead: Navigating the Challenges of 2020 and Beyond

Join us for a virtual live-streamed panel discussion with four female business leaders moderated by Carolyn Jones, publisher of the Boston Business Journal. Women have unique perspectives to offer on leading through these current turbulent times from how to build organizational resilience to how to advocate for themselves in a politically charged environment to maintaining a work/life balance.

Boston Business Journal and Santander Commercial Banking

Local Voices Network Conversation: Civic Engagement (Honan-Allston)

Join the Boston Public Library and Local Voices Network for an online discussion about civic engagement. LVN conversations are focused on sharing our lived experience, rather than beginning the conversation with our positions on issues. We are doing this in order to help build connections and to foster conversations that improve our understanding of one another.

Boston Public Library

Modern Mobility Aloft: Elevated Highways, Architecture and Urban Change in Pre-Interstate America

Join the Boston Public Library and the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library for an online talk with Amy D. Finstein, author of Modern Mobility Aloft: Elevated Highways, Architecture and Urban Change in Pre-Interstate America.

Boston Public Library

Managing Change to Grow Business – Part II: Growing Your Business in a Virtual World

Please join Middlesex Savings Bank and the Boston Business Journal for this conversation about managing business change in our new normal.

Boston Business Journal and Middlesex Savings Bank

Disinformation and Digital Citizenship: Disinformation and Election Psychology

Disinformation and Digital Citizenship is a Learning Circle that meets weekly to discuss disinformation and its effect on civic institutions and society during an election year. Learning circles are small groups of individuals who explore and area of shared interest through discussion in a collaborative, friendly and mutually supportive environment.

Boston Public Library

The Future of Higher Education

As schools around the country plan, react, and adapt during the Covid-19 pandemic, the presidents of Greater Washington’s top universities will gather virtually to discuss health and safety, diversity and inclusion, and budgeting and development of the future of higher education. Join the Washington Business Journal for a look behind the scenes with the decision makers.

Washington Business Journal

Inno on Fire

The Inno on Fire Awards is our annual celebration of innovators, big and small, people, and organizations in Boston. What makes a company or individual on fire? We are looking at startups that have had a banner year, people and companies with hew funding, recent product launches, hot hires, innovative approaches to solving problems, and creative leaders who think out of the box.

Boston Business Journal

2020 Women Who Mean Business

Join us as we celebrate outstanding women at our fourth Women Who Mean Business awards program. These women represent the scale of business in Greater Boston and have demonstrated significant growth in their companies.

Boston Business Journal and Webster Bank

Today’s Headlines


UMass Boston report shows climate change views vary by race – Dorchester Reporter

Downtown Crossing Charlie Card store set to reopen after being closed since March – Boston Globe


North Adams weighs ban on sale of animals raised in ‘puppy mills’ – Berkshire Eagle

Three New Bedford businesses fined for employees not wearing facial masks – Standard-Times

Fall River Mayor Coogan promises investigation after teen boy’s death, family living in filth – Herald News


Trump confronts his 50 percent problem – Politico

The Rust Belt jobs boom that never came under Trump – Axios

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