Happening Today:

9:30 a.m. | Governor's Council interviews Housing Court judicial candidate Eduardo Gonzalez.

11:15 a.m. | Governor's Council interviews District Court judicial nominee Nicola Gioscia.

12 p.m. | Boston Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper and officials from the Boston Red Sox and MassMutual hold a press event to announce details of a significant new partnership.

12 p.m. | Governor's Council votes to certify the results of the November 2022 election.

3:30 p.m. | Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito join U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on a visit to 6K in Andover to highlight efforts at the federal and state level to promote innovation in advanced manufacturing and clean energy technology.

4:45 p.m. | The Prince and Princess of Wales join Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Attorney General Maura Healey, and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Kerry for a welcome event on City Hall Plaza to kick off the 2022 Earthshot Prize Awards.

No days off. It’s a mantra Patriot’s fans have heard coach Bill Belichick repeat many times, and in recent years it holds true for Bay State politics as well.

Democrats in Massachusetts scored a resounding victory here on Nov. 8, reclaiming the governor’s office, building on their majority in the Legislature and sweeping statewide and Congressional races on the ballot.

It could be a time to rest to weary activists, donors and volunteers. But not when there’s a contest to be won 1,100 miles to our south.

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“We’re reeving [sic] up our support for our friends in Georgia and we could use your help!” read the opening line of an email sent this week by Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman Gus Bickford.

Two years ago Bay State Democrats mobilized just days after the presidential election to support Raphael Warnock and Josh Ossoff in their runoff elections in Georgia with control of the Senate in the balance. The party organized bi-weekly phone banking events and sold tickets to a virtual fundraiser with the cast of Hamilton to benefit the Warnock and Ossoff campaigns.

The state party is again trying to do their part in the Peach State to support Warnock, helping to recruit phone bankers for Warnock’s “Million Dial Day of Action” on Tuesday, and raising funds to support a campaign that raked in $52.2 million between Oct. 20 and Nov. 16.

During Warnock’s first special election win, donors from Massachusetts were rivaled only by the money that poured into Georgia from Georgians and Democrats in California and New York. Warnock’s cash advantage in Georgia with just a week to go before the runoff election will get a boost from President Joe Biden, who will be in Boston Friday for a fundraising event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey are both expected to attend the reception.

Warnock is trying to hold onto his seat in the face of a challenge from the Trump-back former NFL legend Herschel Walker. While control of the Senate does not hinge on the Georgia outcome this time, every vote in an evenly divided Senate matters.

The MassGOP, coming off its losses at home, has been less active than in 2020 when it tried money for Republicans in Georgia through the RNC, which had the added benefit of supporting the state party as well with a percentage of every dollar raised.

THE BRITISH ARE COMING: William and Kate, the prince and princess of Wales, will arrive in Boston today, and it appears they’re bringing a bit of London weather with them. The Royals are due on City Hall Plaza this afternoon, where the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports officials are making preparations for what could be a rainy and gusty affair.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Gov.-elect Maura Healey, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, and U.S. Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy are all expected to be on hand to welcome the royal couple.

– Baker’s risky decision on Fells Acres pardons

This was never going to be a slam dunk, and has the potential to do some damage to his by-the-book reputation. With his time in office winding down, Gov. Charlie Baker went out on a limb to recommend pardons for Gerald “Tooky” Amirault and his sister, Cheryl Amirault LeFave, both convicted in the infamous Fells Acres child sexual abuse case from 1986. Baker went against the advice of his Parole Board in issuing the pardons, questioning the methods investigators used to obtain testimony from children at the time. Now some of those victims are speaking out, telling the Globe’s Matt Stout they were “not coaxed” into making allegations against Amirault and feel they’re being forced to relive the case over again. The Governor’s Council has scheduled a Dec. 13 hearing on Baker’s pardon recommendations, but Councilor Terrence Kennedy said the group wants to be careful not to attempt to retry the case. The question they will try to answer is whether pardons at this stage in Amirault and LeFave’s lives are warranted.

The Boston Globe

— Romney among dozen GOP senators to back same-sex marriage

Eighteen years after a court ruling made same-sex marriage in Massachusetts legal, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted to require the federal government and states to recognize gay marriages performed in states where the unions are legal. The bill, if passed as expected by the House and signed by Biden, would codify in federal law a protection for same-sex marriages that until now has been dependent on a decision by Supreme Court. Anxious about the rightward shift of the Supreme Court, Democrats succeeded in passing the bill by securing the support of 12 Senate Republicans, including former governor and now Utah Sen. Mitt Romney. The vote marks the end of a long journey on gay marriage for Romney, chronicled here by the LA Times, who once opposed its legalization in Massachusetts and tried to block couple from other states coming here after same-sex marriage became legal.

The Boston Globe

— Baker points at drug dealing as ongoing issue at Mass. and Cass

Gov. Charlie Baker pointed the finger at the Boston Police Department on Tuesday challenging the city to address the problem of drug dealing in the area of Mass. and Cass at the same time city and state officials work to provide more housing and treatment opportunities to those who are homeless and living in the area. Baker joined members of his 2015 working group on opioid use in Quincy to highlight the accomplishments of his administration in addressing the crisis. While both her and Gov.-elect Maura Healey – who served on that committee – agreed more needs to be done, Baker defended the state’s work as a partner with Boston to create more housing to get people off the street, reports the Herald’s Matthew Medsger. “The one thing we can’t do much about are some of the issues around dealers,” Baker said. “That’s a city responsibility.” Baker and Wu have clashed recently over whether the state should be doing more to assist Boston with the situation at Mass. and Cass.

Boston Herald

— Lawsuits filed in Hingham Apple Store crash

Last week’s national-headline-grabbing car crash into an Apple store in Hingham has resulted in lawsuits filed by victims against the company and the owners of the Derby Shops alleging that safety barriers should have been installed outside the glass-fronted store to prevent such an incident. The crash killed one man and injured at least 19 others. The driver, who has been charged, says his foot got stuck on the accelerator. Since the accident, the Globe’s Travis Anderson reports that bollards have been installed to prevent a similar incident in the future.

The Boston Globe

— New approach to MBTA safety pitched

A new report published by the MBTA Advisory Board recommends taking away oversight authority of the MBTA from the Department of Public Utilities and giving it to a new independent agency. The Herald’s Gayla Cawley reports that the approach would be similar to how New York and Washington, D.C. operate their transit systems and begin to address some of the shortcomings identified by federal investigators after a series of safety incidents on the system. The paper was authored by Chris Dempsey, a former MassDOT official and director of Transportation for Massachusetts, who ran unsuccessfully for auditor this year. Dempsey and Advisory Board Executive Director Brian Kane write in a separate op/ed published by CommonWealth Magazine that Gov.-elect Maura Healey’s pitch for a statewide transportation safety chief “could be a good starting point for the creation of such an entity…”

Boston Herald

— Powerball jackpot helping to offset Lottery slowdown

The massive Powerball jackpot may have rescued sales numbers for the Lottery, but officials remain concerned about sluggish growth as the state prepared to introduce sports betting as more competition for gambling dollars. State House News Service’s Chris Lisiniski has more.

State House News Service

— Another court victory for Canadian hydropower

Massachusetts’s clean energy hopes for building a transmission line from Quebec into Maine to bring hydroelectric power to the region cleared an important legal hurdle, reports CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl. The Maine Supreme Court has overturned a lower court decision blocking the state from leasing 32.4 acres of public land for the line. It’s the latest legal victory for the project and Massachusetts after Maine’s top court ruled in August that a voter-backed referendum blocking the transmission project violated the rights of developers.

CommonWealth Magazine

— Deleted emails questioned in Back Bay condo lawsuit

The acrimonious fallout between two former business partners over the demise of a development planned for 1000 Boylston St. in Boston has led to charges of tampering with evidence as part of a $100 million lawsuit brought by Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish. Suffolk alleges that developer Adam Weiner knowingly deleted relevant emails and text messages when he wiped his phone clean and gave it to his son as a toy. Banker & Tradesman’s Steve Adams reports that Fish wants a judge to sanction Weiner for the action and instruct a jury that the information deleted from Weiner’s phone would have been detrimental to his case. Adams has more on the lawsuit, and the history of how this project wound up in court.

Banker & Tradesman

— Heroux taking it slow as he transitions to sheriff

Bristol County Sheriff-elect Paul Heroux discussed the transition with WBSM 1420’s Marcus Ferro, telling the New Bedford talk station that he doesn’t plan to go in and turn the place upside down on day one. Heroux, a former state lawmaker and mayor of Attleboro, defeated long-time Republican Sheriff Thomas Hodgson in this year’s election. “I respect the institutional knowledge of people,” Heroux said. “They’re doing their job. The jail is operating right now. If I were to go in and just start getting rid of people on day one, we’re throwing institutional knowledge out of the window.” Heroux also discussed his views on the sheriff’s role in law enforcement and how his approach to immigration might differ from the more proactive stance taken by Hodgson.

WBSM 1420

— Denied: Appeals court upholds Correia conviction 

A federal appeals court has denied former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia’s appeal of his conviction on corruption charges, rejecting arguments that prosecutors biased jurors during the trial and finding the case “unblemished by any reversible error.” Based on his original sentence,  Jo C. Goode and Dan Medeiros of The Herald News report Correia could be eligible for release from prison by May of 2027.

The Herald News

— Harrington eyes return to Salem mayor role

Former Salem mayor and current Salisbury town manager Neil Harrington said Tuesday he will bid to get his old job back and run in the upcoming special election to replace Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll, the Salem News’ Matt Petry reports. Harrington served four two-year terms as mayor in the 1990s and has been Salisbury’s manager for two decades. 

The Salem News

— Island mystery: Rental cars used by Biden entourage damaged

Officials on Nantucket say there’s no reason to believe a fire at Nantucket Memorial Airport that damaged several rental cars used by the Secret Service during President Biden’s Thanksgiving trip to the island was deliberately set, the Current’s Jason Grazjadei reports. The incident had some conservative pundits wondering why the Secret Service relies on Hertz to equip the team protecting the president.

Nantucket Current

MORE HEADLINE:

Metro

Somerville weighs project with nearly 300 apartments, no parking – Boston Business Journal

State energy board greenlights East Boston substation, enraging environmental justice advocates – The Boston Globe

Massachusetts

With federal money available, East-West rail commission plans first hearing on Boston-Springfield passenger service – MassLive

Possible national rail strike would be ‘devastating,’ Polar exec warns – Telegram & Gazette

Heroux could submit resignation Wednesday, kicking off chain of succession events – The Sun Chronicle

National

McConnell: Anyone meeting with antisemites is ‘unlikely to ever be elected president’ – The Washington Post

New York City to Remove Mentally Ill People From Streets Against Their Will – The New York Times

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