10 a.m. | Susan Collins, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, will share her perspective on macroeconomic conditions and the Fed's monetary policymaking as part of a virtual event with the Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution.
11 a.m. | Massachusetts Building Trades hosts a fundraiser for attorney general candidate Andrea Campbell at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 Apprentice School in Dorchester.
12 p.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker attends the Boston Semper Fidelis Society’s Marine Corps 247th Birthday Celebration at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
12 p.m. | U.S. Sen. Ed Markey delivers remarks detailing his efforts to pass environmental justice legislation at a conference at Northeastern University's Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy.
Programming note: Today is the last day for early in-person voting. As of Thursday afternoon, 854,523 voters had already cast ballots in this year’s election, including 152,087 who voted in-person over the past two weeks. That’s a turnout so far of 17.5 percent.
WITH JUST FOUR more days until Election Day, all the polling points to a Democratic landslide in Massachusetts on Tuesday. But it’s never too late to try to change the narrative.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl and the MassGOP are planning a rally for Sunday at Mechanics Hall in Worcester where organizers told MASSterList they are hoping to shine a different light on the party’s slate of candidates than the ultra-right, Trump-loving reputation many at the top of the ticket have earned so far.
In addition to Diehl speaking and lieutenant governor nominee Leah Allen serving as emcee, organizers plan to give the microphone to some of the lesser known legislative candidates on the ballot, including several women and minority candidates who they say represent the changing face of the party. They’ve invited a mix of voters, including college Republicans.
“This isn’t just for a highly conservative audience,” said Diehl campaign manager Amanda Orlando. “It’s going to be across the political spectrum and across the demographic spectrum.”
Oh, and the event is supposed to be fun. That starts with the Patriots game on the TV and former U.S. senator and ambassador Scott Brown plugging in his guitar and turning up his amp with his band Scott Brown and the Diplomats.
Brown has endorsed Diehl, as well as a number of legislative candidates, some of whom he served with on Beacon Hill. Though he lives in New Hampshire now, Brown told MASSterList he still loves Massachusetts and knows the challenges of being a Republican in a state as blue as this.
“It’s a blood sport. There’s so much strong influence by the other party that it’s very difficult on individuals and families to run in Massachusetts. That said, Massachusetts has always sent people to say, “Time out. We can’t keep spending like this.”
Brown said he both knows and likes Attorney General Maura Healey. “But look at her commercials. She’s going to cut taxes? No, she’s not,” Brown said.
Some on the Republican ticket this cycle sit far from Brown on the political spectrum, who ran and won like many other Republicans in Massachusetts as a fiscal conservative and pro-choice, social moderate. But Brown said the debate over things like abortion is obscuring what voters are really concerned about – inflation, jobs and energy prices.
“It’s very important. But in New England, every state is Roe v. Wade. To think that somehow Charlie Bake or Chris Sununu or Geoff Diehl is going take away a woman’s right to abortion is not true.”
Brown said he doesn’t know if the MassGOP’s shift to the right since he left will prove to be genius or folly.
“We’ll have to see how this election goes and if there’s success. It’s really up to Republicans in the state to form the direction they want to go. If there’s no wins at all, those things take care of themselves,” Brown said. “It’s all crystal ball stuff.”
— Legislature makes quick work of $3.8B spending package
Easy. Legislative leaders had little difficulty Thursday getting House and Senate lawmakers to agree to send to Gov. Charlie Baker a nearly $3.8 billion economic development spending package that omitted $500 million in tax rebates and $500 million in additional permanent tax reforms that were so popular just a few months ago. Of course, taxpayers are still getting $3 billion in refunds. And leaders promised to return to the idea of tax reform in the next session. But taxes weren’t the only items scrapped from the final bill, which could have been derailed by any one lawmaker. For instance, a local option to bring happy hours back to restaurants and bars was scrapped, as was a land provision intended to help Robert Kraft pursue a new soccer stadium on the Boston-Everett border. Check out coverage from State House News Service or The Globe for more on what made the cut.
— Pullman and Lynch convicted in Beacon Hill fraud case
Former State Police union president Dana Pullman and well-known Beacon Hill lobbyist Anne Lynch were convicted by a federal jury on multiple counts of fraud related to what prosecutors described a “pay-to-play” scheme that saw money and contracts going back and forth going back-and-forth between the two. The Herald’s Flint McColgan reports that sentencing has been scheduled for March 8.
— The potential of the youth vote is there
Younger voters have increasingly made their voices heard in recent elections, motivated by issues like climate change to get involved. Ahead of next Tuesday’s election, GBH’s Hannah Reale and Tori Bedford look at the youth vote in Massachusetts, where it is and what it will take to turn out young voters.
— Mass. delegation could win and still lose next Tuesday
The momentum building behind Republicans nationally may be unlikely to have an effect on races here, but the outcome of this year’s midterm will not leave Massachusetts untouched. Should Democrats lose control of the House or the Senate, prominent members of the state’s delegation will be bumped from their lofty perches from which they wield considerable influence over federal spending and the agenda on Capitol Hill. From Rep. Richard Neal’s position as chair of House Ways to Means to Rep. Katherine Clark’s status as assistant House speaker, the Globe’s Tal Kopan looks at what’s at stake for Bay State pols.
— Former inmates allege abuse in Framingham
Two former inmates at state’s only women’s prison in Framingham have filed a lawsuit alleging their were sexually abused by a prison guard during their stay in the facility. GBH’s James Bennett II has the details.
— Next up? Names abound for soon-to-be vacant MBTA GM job
Chris Dempsey for MBTA general manager. The Democrat and former Massachusetts Department of Transportation official is not ruling it out after his bid for state auditor came up short in the primary. The Herald’s Gayla Cawley reports that in the days since GM Steve Poftak announced he would step down on Jan. 3, interest and opinions on who should lead the embattled transit agency next have been in strong supply. Cawley also floated names like Dion Stubbs, a retired former MBTA chief operating officer who works as general manager of Valley Metro Light Rail in Phoenix, Ariz., MBTA Deputy General Manager Jeffrey Gonneville and Monica Tibbits-Nutt, a former vice chair of the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board. The decision will ultimately fall to the next governor.
— Campbell motivated by life and work experience
Poised to win next Tuesday and become the next attorney general of Massachusetts, the Globe’s Ivy Scott linked up with Democrat Andrea Campbell on the campaign trail to help discern what kind of law enforcement officer she might become.
— SJC takes up Southborough free speech case that dates to 2018
The Supreme Judicial Court has begun hearing the case of a Southborough couple who say their First Amendment free speech rights were violated by the town’s board of selectmen in 2018. The claim has drawn support from the ACLU and other groups, Marco Cartolano of the Telegram reports. Even though lower courts have repeatedly ruled in favor of the town, the ACLU argues that the town’s requirements for ‘civility’ during public comments are unconstitutional.
— State rules Oak Bluffs board violated open meeting law
The Oak Bluffs select board violated the state’s Open Meeting Law 14 separate times, mostly by failing to review and approve executive session minutes in a timely manner, the AG’s Division of Open Government has found. Rich Saltzberg of the Martha’s Vineyard Times reports the ruling came after the newspaper complained that the board was slow in releasing details about discussions regarding a possible merger of the town’s police department with neighboring Tisbury, and other topics.
— Fall River developers say veteran’s housing could be on the table
Developers in Fall River say they are in talks with an unnamed state agency to add a veteran’s housing component to a controversial plan to build 346 apartments on the city’s waterfront, Jo C. Goode of the Herald News reports. The project is one of several on the drawing board that would add housing units near what will be a new SouthCoast rail station in coming years.
— Facetime: Greenfield mayor to take resident questions
Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner has signed onto a plan to have her field questions directly from residents once a month through the city’s Community Relations and Education Committee, a move that city councilors say will help their meetings run more smoothly. Mary Byrne of The Recorder has more on something maybe more city and town leaders will start to think about doing.
The Talk Shows
Talking Politics, GBH 2, 7 p.m.: GBH political reporter Adam Reilly talks with The Globe’s Emma Platoff and UMass Amherst Professor and Poll Director Tatishe Nteta about Geoff Diehl what Platoff described in a recent story as the Republican’s “head scratching and haphazard campaign strategy.” Reilly and a panel will then discuss Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit to Boston this week and the coming leadership changes at the MBTA.
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Ch. 4, 8:30 a.m.: MASSterList columnist and WBZ political analyst Jon Keller previews Election Night with former Congressman Joe Kennedy III and Boston-based political strategist Wilnelia Rivera.
On The Record, WCVB-TV Ch. 5, Sunday, 11 a.m.: Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is the guest with hosts Ed Harding and Janet Wu. Wu’s interview will be followed by a political roundtable discussion with Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh and Republican political analyst Rob Gray.
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