Keller at Large

Why Baker was a hidden election winner

In his latest Keller at Large on MassterList, Jon Keller says there was one hidden winner on Tuesday: Charlie Baker, the guy who didn’t hitch his political star to Donald Trump, supported Susan Collins, rejected ranked-choice voting and may have a 2022 re-election slogan at the ready, courtesy of Jon.

Keller at Large

Happening Today

Soldiers’ Home arraignment, Gaming Commission, House session

— An arraignment is scheduled for former Holyoke Soldiers’ Home superintendent Bennett Walsh and former medical director David Clinton, charged with criminal neglect for their roles in COVID-19 outbreak that contributed to the deaths of at least 76 residents at the facility, 10 a.m.

Mass. Gaming Commission meets and is expected to take votes related to the executive orders issued by Gov. Baker this week requiring casinos and restaurants to close by 9:30 p.m, with the meeting at 10 a.m.

Senate Democrats plan to convene via a virtual caucus, as lawmakers begin to finish up business during the post-election, lame-duck session on Beacon Hill, 11 a.m.

— The House meets in a formal session, its first since July 31, a day after teeing up a $423 million supplemental budget bill that would close the books on fiscal 2020, with roll calls xxpected to begin at 1:30 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: 27 new deaths, 9,836 total deaths, 1,629 new cases

NBC Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Protesters hit the streets across the state as the presidential vote count continues

The presidential race is still a nail-biter this morning, though Joe Biden did pick up Michigan late yesterday and inched closer to the 270 electoral-college votes he needs to become the next president, as the NYT and the Washington Post report.

Reacting to President Trump’s call to stop counting votes, peaceful protests broke out across the country and Massachusetts yesterday, as thousands demanded that every vote be counted. WBUR and the Globe and Telegram and MassLive and Salem News and Eagle Tribune and Berkshire Eagle report on local protests around the state. Meanwhile, the Massachusetts National Guard began deploying yesterday before protesters hit the streets in Boston, CBS Boston reports.

Galvin on Trump’s stop-counting demand: ‘Simply unacceptable and un-American and criminal’

Secretary of State Bill Galvin was in full Bill Galvin mode yesterday, mincing no words about what he thought about President Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud and calls to stop counting votes, as Erin Tiernan reports at the Herald. Galvin’s bluntness makes you think: Would Democrats have fared better if they had a presidential nominee equally blunt in his retorts to the president?

SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall) reports that Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito weren’t quite as blunt yesterday, but they did have a similar message: Just count the votes.

Boston Herald

This just in: Biden won by a single vote in 2 Massachusetts towns

So it wasn’t a complete Joe Biden blowout in Massachusetts. At least not in Sutton and Webster. MassLive’s Jackson Cote has the nail-biter details in the two towns, as well as results in other towns that flipped from Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020.

Elsewhere in Massachusetts, it was … a complete Biden blowout. WBUR’s Calum Borchers has three takeaways on the Massachusetts election results, including a town-by-town map of the presidential voting. Meanwhile, MassLive’s Steph Solis reports on the record voter turnout in Massachusetts on Tuesday, though a final vote tally hasn’t been released yet. 


For Beacon Hill Dems, Tuesday was a mild disappointment. But 2020 was still a great year

SHNS’s Chris Lisinski and Colin Young and CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt report on a yet another Dem disappointment on Tuesday: The failure of state Democrats to make major gains in legislative races across Massachusetts. But Lisinski and Young make a good point: When you count special-election contests earlier this year, 2020 was just fine for Dems, thank you. 

Sorry about that: Clerk’s vote-count boo-boo allowed legislative candidate to declare victory – only to lose in the end

He went to bed thinking his was a winner and woke to learn he was a loser. MassLive’s Stephanie Barry has the details on a Belchertown clerk’s misreporting of data on Tuesday that prompted Republican James “Chip” Harrington to declare he was the winner of the 7th Hampden District state representative race. He awoke to a different reality.


Baker PAC’s so-so results on Tuesday

Despite spending $900,000 on various races across the state, a super PAC tied to Gov. Charlie Baker saw few electoral gains on Tuesday, reports CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl. Indeed, one of the races it invested heavily in on Tuesday – the race for Norfolk County sheriff – ended in a loss for Republican incumbent Jerry McDermott.

The results were indeed mediocre. But mediocre was a win for Republicans on a day when they were supposed to get wiped out. 


What the heck happened to ranked-choice voting? It’s complicated

One of the biggest local surprises on Tuesday was the solid rejection by voters of Question 2, the “ranked-choice voting” ballot initiative that looked like it was headed for passage before the election. GBH’s Craig LeMoult and the Globe’s Matt Stout provide post-mortem analysis on why it lost – with explanations including it was too complicated and too new and strange for voters, etc. etc.

Meanwhile, in an editorial, the Globe is calling the defeat of Question 2 a “loss for democracy.” Our reaction to the editorial: Oh, please. Secretary of State Bill Galvin probably has it right when he says most voters apparently concluded that Question 2’s new voting system was indeed too complicated. Take a gander at the Question 2 summary at Ballotpedia. Care to disagree? Question 2 wasn’t just complicated. It was ridiculously complicated.

The final insult: Susan Collins wins in Maine, Republicans hold off Dems most everywhere else

GBH’s Jenifer McKim reports that Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who looked like a sure loser only a few weeks ago, has indeed won her fifth term in the U.S. Senate, fending off Dem rival Sara Gideon.

In a way, Collins’ victory is the final insult to national Dems, who dreamed of taking over the U.S. Senate, only to see those dreams dashed on Tuesday, as the Globe’s Victoria McGrane reports. With Republicans actually gaining seats in the U.S. House on Tuesday, the Washington Post is pronouncing the congressional elections a “political debacle” for Dems.


Note to Dems: ‘It’s the culture, stupid’

The first of an expected flood of post-election analysis pieces are starting to stream in, even as the votes are counted in the still too-close-to-call presidential race, and GBH’s Peter Kadzis has a good “8 takeaways” analysis of the election. Among the takeaways: Dems simply don’t seem to understand that “it’s the culture, stupid.”

The Globe’s culture columnist, Jeneé Osterheldt, thinks it’s about culture all right – specifically racism in America. But the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld thinks blue-state types have apparently learned nothing from 2016 and 2020: “Democrats still view half the country — tens of millions of Trump voters — as racists and fascists who just don’t know any better. It’s the ‘basket of deplorables’ all over again.”

Moulton looks ahead: Does another House leadership battle await?

With an easy re-election win under his belt, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is looking ahead to his next two years in Washington, Dustin Luca at the Salem News and Gayla Cawley at the Lynn Item report. But Moulton may have to choose whether to join a fresh challenge to the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who Scott Wong at The Hill reports is under fire from centrists again after Democrats saw losses on Tuesday.

Lame-duck action, Part II: House to unveil state budget proposal today

They’re definitely stirring on Beacon Hill now that the election is over, with House leaders expected to release a proposed budget for the rest of fiscal 2021, four months into the pandemic-era budget cycle, SHNSs Matt Murphy reports. Debate on the House budget could start next week.

Release of the House spending plan comes as new data shows tax revenues continue to flow into state coffers at a stronger rate than anticipated,SHNS’s Colin Young reports separately.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Body blow: Worcester schools warn of $10 million drop in state aid as enrollment declines

Another public school district is seeing an enrollment decline. Worcester school leaders say the city could lose as much as $10 million in annual state educational aid due to a plunge in enrollment tied to the coronavirus pandemic, Scott O’Connell at the Telegram reports. 

Enrollment dropped by more than 1,000 students this year as many parents, especially those of early-grade learners, seek in-person learning at other schools. The same thing is happening in other towns. It’s all about remote-vs-in-person learning.


Locked down: Westfield State latest campus to clamp down amid Covid surge

Westfield State University has canceled in-person classes and told students to remain in their dorms after seeing 23 new virus cases turn up in routine testing, Jeannette DeForge at MassLive and Larry Parnass at the Berkshire Eagle report. Last week, Assumption College ordered students to shelter in place amid a similar surge. 

Baker appoints National Guard general and Air Guard surgeon to Holyoke Soldiers’ Home board

As former administrators at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home face arraignments today over the scores of COVID-19 deaths at the veterans facility (see our Happening Today calendar section above), Gov. Charlie Baker has appointed two new members to the center’s board of trustees, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) and MassLive’s Stephanie Barry.

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

Interpreting the 2020 Elections

Award-winning author Evan Thomas moderates a panel discussion on interpreting the results of the 2020 elections. Register for this free Kennedy Library Forum to receive an email reminder with a viewing link before the event. Reservations are strongly recommended.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Veterans Day Virtual Job Fair

Statewide MassHire Veterans Day Virtual Job Fair: Exclusive access for veterans 9AM – 10AM; open to the general public and veterans, 10AM – 2PM.

MassHire Department of Career Services Veterans Program & MassHire Career Center System

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

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

Building a Better Business Through Diversity and Inclusion

In this panel discussion we’ll explore steps large and small organizations can make to further promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. How are companies going about building a more diverse and inclusive work environment, and what have been the major challenges, as well as best practices that assure a strong program.

Worcester Business Journal

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

Virtual-Revolutionizing Retail: The Omnichannel Experience

Omnichannel is a word we’ve heard tossed around the industry, but what does it really mean? Some years ago, in-store was the only channel, then we moved into multi-channel and now it seems omnichannel is the way to go. Join us to learn about which technologies are supporting the omnichannel approach, how 5G is opening up a word of consumer insights, and how retailers can use those takeaways.


Baxter Lecture with author Nathaniel Philbrick: Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Join for an online talk with Nathaniel Philbrick about his book Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War as part of the BPL’s Baxter Lecture Series. Ryan J. Woods from NEHGS will be the moderator and a representative of the State Library will be a co-host. BPL President David Leonard will introduce this program. Registration is encouraged.

Boston Public Library, American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society, the State Library of Massachusetts, and the GBH Forum Network

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

Data + AI Summit Europe 2020

Data and AI are converging. The Success of Apache Spark has accelerated the evolution of data teams to include data analytics, science, engineering, and AI. Date + AI Summit brings together thousands of data teams to learn from practitioners, leaders, innovators, and the original creators of Spark. Delta Lake, MLflow and Koalas.


Climate Change, Survival, and Deepening Our Humanity

City of Boston’s Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola leads a panelist discussion on how the belief systems that define and maintain our societies impact the planet and influence our survival. Register for this free virtual Kennedy Library Forum to receive an email reminder with a viewing link before the event.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

MIT: AI and the Work of the Future Congress

Join MIT’s Task Force on WOTF, MIT CSAIL, and MIT Digital for this year’s Congress which will be a virtual event highlighting research findings from the MIT Task Force on WOTF’s final report that will be released in November. Given the rapidly changing environment brought on by Covid-19, this topic is more important and relevant that ever.

MIT Work of the Future Task Force; MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab; MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy

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

Managing Climate Risk in the US Financial System

This webinar will be given by Robert Litterman, Chairman of the Risk Committee and Founding Partner, Kepos Capital, and Stephen Moch, MBA and MPP candidate at HBS and HKS. It is part of M-RCBG”s weekly Business and Government Seminar series. Registration is required.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business/Mossavar-Rahmani center for Business and Government

Interrupting Hatred Can Save Someone’s Life

This presentation, part of the Town of Lexington’s No Hate November series, will focus on lessons learned after the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Vincent Chen. The event is co-sponsored by the Lexington Human Rights Committee, Association of Black Citizens of Lexington, Chinese American Association of Lexington.

Town of Lexington

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

Virtual Job Fair: MassHire Central Region Honors Our Veterans

Virtual Job Fair featuring 45 employers from diverse industries throughout Central Massachusetts. Free and open to the public and veterans!

MassHire Central Region Career Centers

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

WBJ Central MA Health Care Forum

Healthcare Post Pandemic: The Covid-19 pandemic has not only claimed over 200,000 lives in our country, but has been a disruptive force to many industries, including healthcare. Join us for this timely and informative webcast where our panel of experts will discuss what has changed since the beginning of the pandemic and what lies ahead.

Worcester Business Journal

The State of Innovation: Electrification presented by Analog Devices

Across the network, Innos State of Innovations meetups focus on a specific industry, category, theme or individual and will feature a keynote, fireside chat, panel, pitch, demo or a combination of the five. Join us for a conversation with local innovators and experts.

The Boston Business Journals

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


Medical facility for Lynn’s homeless could close due to lack of funding – Lynn Item

Brockton reports 34 new Covid cases Wednesday – Brockton Enterprise


Hamilton-Wenham high abruptly switches to remote learning – Salem News

Natick: Plans put on hold for new building where fire destroyed entire downtown block – MetroWest Daily News

Charlton voters say no to $25 million public safety building – Telegram & Gazette


The polls under-estimated Trump’s support again and no one is sure why – New York Times

Why the Supreme Court probably won’t help Trump’s re-election fate – Politico

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.