Happening Today:

10 a.m. | Supporters of Question 1 hold virtual press conference to call on television stations to take down what they belive is a deceptive ad being funded by the 'No on Question 1' campaign.

11 a.m. | Boston Mayor Wu participates in a "Mondays with the Mayor" program on WBUR's "Radio Boston."

11 a.m. | Sen. Walter Timilty of Milton hosts the Ukrainian National Rowing Team during a visit to the Senate Chamber after its participation in the Head of the Charles Regatta.

12 p.m. | Community members, religious and union leaders and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries rally outside the Government Center T station to call on the Biden administration to protect TPS holders.

2:30 p.m. | Candidate for governor Maura Healey tours the Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Emergency Communications Center (SEMRECC) with Sen. Paul Feeney before going to Foxborough Town Common to greet voters.

More than $50 million has been spent so far to support or oppose the four ballot questions that will be decided by voters in November.

That’s close to double the close to $26.8 million spent by every candidate that has run for statewide office this cycle in both the primaries and general election, not counting super PACs.

So maybe it’s no wonder Secretary of State William Galvin said Friday that voter confusion over who to believe when deciding “yes” or “no” on the questions may be dampening voter “intensity” this fall and prevent turnout from rivaling the 2.75 million who voted in the last gubernatorial election.

The ballot spending is being driven by support and opposition for Question 1, which would amend the Constitution to charge a 4 percent surtax on income above $1 million. In total, roughly $31.6 million has been spent to litigate this question.

The newest campaign finance filings covering ballot question spending over the first half of October showed Fair Share Massachusetts – the proponents of Question 1 – raising an additional $3.16 million for their cause and spending $4.9 million over those two weeks. Business backed-opponents kept pace with $3.17 million raised and $3.6 million in new spending.

Unions continue to shower the “Yes on 1” effort with money. The National Education Association gave $2.5 million this month, while the AFL-CIO Massachusetts chipped in $250,000, the Boston Teachers Union gave $300,000 and Shannon Liss-Riordan, who spent millions of her own money on an unsuccessful bid for attorney general, donated $100,000.

Meanwhile, business interests have seeded the opposition with New Balance CEO Jim Davis giving $1 million to fight the income surtax and people like Bain Capital co-managing partner John Connaughton writing six-figure checks ($100,000).

The new Office of Campaign and Political Finance filings also show that the dental insurance-industry opposition to Question 2 raised close to $2.2 million over the first half of October and spent close to $3.5 million, outpacing the $2 million spent by proponents of requiring dental insurers to spend a fixed percentage of premiums on care.

The package stores that thought they had no opposition until Total Wine & More stepped up with $2.1 million to fight their question to overall liquor licensing laws raised $83,750 and spent $31,980.

Finally, the committee fighting to keep the law granting access to drivers’ licenses to undocumented immigrants raised $939,455 this month from groups like the ACLU, the Massachusetts Teachers Association and SEIU and spent $1.4 million. 

Ballot committees have one final campaign finance reporting deadline on Nov. 5 before the election.

— Brain drain in election offices as pressure of job becomes too much

The first part of a new investigation by The Boston Globe looks at the high turnover of clerks and other election officials in battleground states where the abuse they have endured since the 2020 election has pushed them to the edge. As false claims of voter fraud spread across the country, election officials have decided the job is not worth it, leading to the loss of experienced election administrators. Massachusetts – though not a battleground – has not been immune to the turnover, Jess Bidgood reports.

The Boston Globe

— Galvin warns against interfering with local voting operations

More locally, MassLive’s Alison Kuznitz reports that Secretary of State William Galvin warned that any interference from election “monitors” being trained by outside groups and political parties concerned about fraud will not be tolerated.  In-person early voting began across Massachusetts on Saturday.


— Appeal of mail-in voting strongest among a subset of voters

As of Friday afternoon, Secretary of State William Galvin’s office reported that 1,076,347 applications to vote by mail had been received by his office and 185,076, or 17.4 percent, had been returned by voters with their selections made. But the Globe’s Matt Stout reports that the distribution of these ballots is not even across the electorate, with the mail-in option most popular among older voters and those who live in more affluent and predominantly white communities.

The Boston Globe

— How to address inflation? A few ideas for the next governor

From rent control to the elimination of MassHealth co-payments for chronic conditions, the Globe’s Janelle Nanos talked with advocates and experts in various fields about what the next governor might do to alleviate the financial pressures being put on families by inflation. Democrat Maura Healey and Republican Geoff Diehl have both singled out the cost-of-living in Massachusetts as a concern and top priority should they be elected governor, but addressing a problem that is influenced as much by national and international factors as local ones will be a challenge for whoever wins.

The Boston Globe

— Amore distances himself from Trump

Republican auditor candidate Anthony Amore told WCVB in an interview that aired this weekend he almost instantly regretted his vote for Donald Trump when the former president began talking about the election being rigged. The Herald Matthew Medsger has more from the interview, in which he also brought up Democrat Diana DiZoglio’s work as a young woman for a conservative southern church.

Boston Herald

— No mas: Healey brushes aside Diehl’s request for third debate

After basically refusing to debate during the Republican primary, Geoff Diehl is suddenly in the mood. Diehl challenged Democrat and frontrunner Maura Healey to a third debate on Friday just a day after the two met in what had been billed as the second and final gubernatorial debate of 2022. And it will stay that way. Healey said no to Diehl’s request, with her campaign saying voters will have plenty of opportunity to hear from the candidate on the trail over the next couple of weeks before election day.

Boston Herald

— Campbell and McMahon face off in first and only debate

In their only debate before the Nov. 8 election, Democrat Andrea Campbell and Republican Jay McMahon left little question about how the two would differ in the approach they would bring to the attorney general’s office. The two candidates sparred over abortion, policing and COVID-19 restrictions, writes the Globe’s Alexander Thompson. The debate, moderated by WBZ’s Jon Keller, was taped live Thursday and aired Sunday morning on the station. Campbell enjoyed a 20-point lead in the Suffolk University poll released last week.

The Boston Globe | Watch on WBZ

— Libertarian infighting hurting quest for party status

The Massachusetts Republican Party isn’t alone in its intraparty fighting over ideology. The Eagle-Tribune’s Christian Wade reports how libertarians are at odds of what some consider to be the rightward shift of their national party and whether the Massachusetts chapter should fall in line. Third-party politics have never gained much traction in this state, though candidates have at times played spoiler in close races. The Libertarian Party of Massachusetts is trying to regain official party status this cycle, but in order to do so the two factions would have to unite behind some of their candidates on the statewide ballot.

The Eagle-Tribune

— Hodgson says fake Twitter account is sign of ‘dirty tricks’

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson is decrying “dirty tricks” after the emergence of a fake Twitter account that he says is just the latest example of online shenanigans aimed at damaging his bid for reelection. Frank Mulligan of the Standard-Times reports challenger Paul Heroux denied any knowledge of the Twitter account or other made-up social media accounts Hodgson says have been attacking him and his record.

Meanwhile, CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl reports Hodgson is one of the biggest recipients of financial support from the super PAC aligned with Gov. Charlie Baker, receiving more than $32,000 so far for digital advertising.

The Standard-Times | CommonWealth Magazine

— Cape candidate seeks injunction over mislabeled Dennis ballots

Even before voters began casting early in-person votes on Saturday, the Republican candidate seeking the 1st Barnstable District seat in the state House is asking a judge to prevent the counting of ballots sent to voters in Dennis that incorrectly label her opponent as the incumbent. Tracy Post filed for an injunction Friday to prevent the counting of any of the 2,600 mail-in ballots that went out falsely naming Chris Flanagan as the current holder of the seat, Sarah Colon of the Cape Cod Times reports.

Cape Cod Times

— Greenfield Community College reconsiders gender studies

Leaders of Greenfield Community College say they are considering moving away from the school’s longtime focus on gender and women’s studies programs amid a persistent decline in enrollment that dates back a full decade, the Recorder’s Mary Byrne reports. The school’s current enrollment of 1,413 students is a full 50 percent below peak numbers from 10 years ago and, over that time, just six students obtained degrees by utilizing the gender and women’s studies advising option.

Greenfield Recorder

— Trahan, Tran clash on abortion, election integrity at UMass Lowell

With UMass Lowell students asking the questions, U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan and her Republican challenger Dean Tran faced off Friday over topics ranging from election integrity and the Jan. 6 insurrection to the root causes of inflation. The Sun’s Melanie Gilbert reports things got especially heated when talked turned to abortion.

The Sun



Blunder in Affirmative Action case may cost Harvard $15M – The New York Times

California man to plead guilty to making threatening calls to Tufts University – Boston Herald


Diehl addresses crowd at White City campaign stop, calls for block of vaccine mandates – Telegram & Gazette

Massachusetts students hit 19-year low on national reading, math exams – The Boston Globe


McConnell-aligned super PAC withdraws from New Hampshire Senate race – The Hill

Everyone who’s won this seat in Congress has gotten divorced afterward – The Washington Post

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