Happening Today

7 a.m. | Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce holds its first Breakfast Club event of 2022, featuring a keynote from Mass. Life Sciences Center President and CEO Kenn Turner.

10 a.m. | Massachusetts Gaming Commission meets.

12 p.m. | U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley and U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (MO-01) join the family of Andrew Joseph III and Black Lives Matter organizers outside the Justice Department to call for the end of qualified immunity.

1 p.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker is a guest on GBH’s Boston Public Radio for his regular “Ask the Governor” segment.

Today’s Stories

Good morning,

Chris Van Buskirk is back tomorrow, so that means I have your attention for one more day. Thanks for reading, and let’s get to it.

Republican Chris Doughty created a little buzz around his campaign Wednesday when he introduced former Rep. Kate Campanale as his running mate. Campanale not only added a little experience and Beacon Hill know-how to Doughty’s campaign as a twice elected official from Central Massachusetts, but could also help open some doors for the Wrentham businessman to the Republican establishment.

It didn’t take long for Campanale’s experience, however, to get put under the microscope.

While the campaign highlighted the Spencer Republican’s work on alleviating student loan debt for workers and protecting women from domestic violence, the Democratic Governors Association on Wednesday painted a far more conservative picture of the former lawmaker.

The DGA pointed out that Campanale was one of 14 House legislators in 2018 to vote against a ban on conversion therapy intended to change the gender identity or sexual orientation of a minor, which was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker. She also has ties to the ultra-conservative Renew Massachusetts Coalition, which supports policies like defunding Planned Parenthood.

“As Trump-back Geoff Diehl continues to gain steam, Chris Doughty’s decision to select a far-right legislator like Kate Campanale shows this Republican primary will be nothing more than a race to take harmful, right-wing positions that are out of step with a vast majority of Massachusetts families,” DGA Deputy Communications Director Sam Newton said.

The Doughty campaign did not quibble with the conservative branding the DGA tagged on Campanale, but instead took it as a sign of “momentum.”

“We never expected compliments from the Democrat National Governor’s Association,” Doughty campaign strategist Holly Robichaud told MASSterList in response. “Their attack on Chris’ running mate shows that they are afraid of a Doughty-Campanale ticket and makes it abundantly clear that we are the campaign with momentum.”

Robichaud continued: “But more importantly, perhaps unnoticed or disregarded by the DNGA, was Maura Healey showing her true colors this week when she refused to support local aid for cities and towns. It is a clear sign that she wants to defund law enforcement which will cost her the election.”

Healey told State House News Service last week that as governor she would make sure cities and towns have the “support they need,” and then followed up the next day with a more detailed statement saying Baker’s practice of matching growth in local aid to projected annual growth in state revenue should be the “floor.”

Healey, who has the potential to be the first woman elected governor of Massachusetts and the first openly gay governor, did not get asked about Campanale or her positions on LGBTQ issues during an interview on Greater Boston Thursday, but she did talk about some other topics like climate change and reparations. – Matt Murphy

Also on tap today:

— Both the House and Senate are in session today. House lawmakers are prepared to vote on Speaker Mariano priority offshore wind bill (H 4515) today, which is designed to increase competition for wind energy contracts and spur job growth in the sector.

–The Senate meets to consider bills to increase access to disposable menstrual products in prisons, homeless shelters, and public schools (S 2730) , and to expand access to maternal postpartum care (S 2731).

Healey goes after Tik Tok

Attorney General Maura Healey plans to lead a bipartisan group of colleagues from other states in investigating social media video platform Tik Tok over its impact on young people and whether it violated state consumer protection laws, Amy Sokolow of the Herald reports.

Katie Lannan of State House News Service notes Tik Tok is increasingly used by elected officials: Healey has her own Tik Tok account and U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss used the platform to post a reaction to the State of the Union speech earlier this week.

Soldiers’ Homes official says he was fired after blowing whistle

Eric Sheehan, who was tasked with righting the ship at Soldiers’ Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke after they were ravaged by the coronavirus, tells the Globe’s Andrea Estes he was fired four days after raising ongoing safety concerns at the facilities with the office of Inspector General Glenn Cunha.

The Boston Globe

Foxboro’s Feeney wants Election Day to be state holiday

Sen. Paul Feeney wants to make Massachusetts the 21st state to make Election Day an official holiday. The Foxboro lawmaker’s bill to name the day after former President John F. Kennedy has already received a favorable recommendation from one committee, Stephen Peterson of the Sun Chronicle reports.

Attleboro Sun Chronicle

Breaker, breaker: ‘Freedom’ convoys make Bay State stops

Pick a convoy, any convoy. A few hundred people turned out in Auburn as the People’s Convoy passed through Wednesday on its way to Washington, D.C., Craig Semon of the Telegram reports.

Meanwhile, just a little further west, the Truckers’ Freedom Convoy made a brief pit stop at the Whatley Diner, where the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s Chris Larabee found a crowd of about 100 well-wishers. Both convoys aim to deliver the same increasingly anachronistic message: That it’s time to end vaccine and mask mandates.

Winners, losers emerge as MLB season teeters on the brink

The Worcester Red Sox ticket office at Polar Park has seen a surge of business in the wake of Major League Baseball’s decision to cancel the first few series of the year, Joe McDonald of the Telegram reports.

But Annie Probert of the Globe reports the lockout is not such good news for Fenway-area businesses that were banking on April baseball to help them shake off the pandemic doldrums.

Inspector General finds $6.4 million in Medicaid payments to dead people

A report from the office of Inspector General Glenn Cunha says MassHealth paid out $6.4 million worth of claims to 2,700 people who had already died over a four-year period ending in 2020, Christian Wade of the Newburyport Daily News reports.

Newburyport Daily News

Rapid response: Two candidates declare for vacancy on Governor’s Council

That was quick. Scott Merzbach of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports Springfield City Councilor Michael Fenton and East Longmeadow resident Jeffrey Morneau have both declared their intention to seek the seat on the Governor’s Council being vacated by Mary Hurley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Mount Holyoke’s Stephens latest college president to step away

Mount Holyoke College President Sonya Stephens plans to leave the Hadley school at the end of August to take over leadership of American University in Paris, France. Ron Chimelis of MassLive reports Stephens becomes the third leader of a school in the Pioneer Valley to announce they were moving on after the heads of Smith and Amherst colleges made similar moves.


Mayor says Gardner police review nearly complete

Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson says an investigation into the city’s police department being conducted by retired State Police Detective Paul L’Italien is nearly completed. No details have been given about what sparked the inquiry and the reason both the police chief and a deputy were place on paid leave will be released when the review is complete. Stephen Landry of the Gardner News has the latest.

Gardner News

Seized at the borders

It’s been more than two years since Massachusetts banned the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products, and seizures of that contraband coming across the border now eclipse those of traditional untaxed cigarettes. The Multi Agency Illegal Tobacco Task Force reports that more than 213,000 electronic nicotine delivery systems were confiscated by state police and members of the task force last fiscal year, writes Christian M. Wade in the Gloucester Daily Times.

Gloucester Daily Times

Today’s Headlines


Google employees in Cambridge will return to the office April 18 – Boston Globe

Tourniquets, first-aid kits and lab space: How Boston’s tech community is helping Ukraine – Boston Business Journal


State Ethics Commission raps outgoing Hampden-Wilbraham superintendent Albert Ganem for family hires – MassLive

Wayland developer proposes 200 affordable units at Whole Foods site – Worcester Business Journal


Jan. 6 panel claims Trump ‘engaged in criminal conspiracy’ – The Hill

Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings to begin March 21 – Washington Post

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