MassGOP Chairwoman Amy Carnevale

Happening Today:

10 a.m. | Research Subcommittee of the Cannabis Advisory Board meets to discuss medical cannabis industry regulatory recommendations.

11 a.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu at the graduation for the city's EMS EMT-Recruit class, where she'll also recognize three recently promoted captains. | Faneuil Hall, in the Great Hall, Boston

3 p.m. | Business owners of color learn about procurement and contract opportunities from Encore Boston's Harbor supervisor of purchasing, Julianna Bellia.

11 p.m. | Sumner Tunnel restoration project moves into next phase. Tunnel will be closed at about 11 p.m. Friday and will reopen to traffic no later than 5 a.m. Monday, Sept, 18, per MassDOT. This is the first of eight planned weekend closures for the remainder of 2023.

Facing a pile of mounting legal debt and a dearth of donors, state Republican Party leaders will — for the first time — charge presidential primary candidates a fee to get on the ballot in Massachusetts, sources tell MASSterList.

The fee to make it onto the so-called Super Tuesday ballot would be $20,000 per candidate, but MassGOP says it would halve the fee to $10,000 for candidates who make a Bay State pit stop to stomp alongside state Republicans. In lieu of the fee, candidates can get on by collecting signatures or widespread media coverage.

Several state parties now charge ballot access fees, including Florida where GOP hopefuls will pay between $25,000 and $100,000 to get their name before voters in 2024.

Republican National Committeeman Ron Kaufman tells MASSterList it’s “a fair way to legitimately get some additional funding into the party, which it needs desperately.” As of Sept. 1, the party was more than $120,000 in debt, new Federal Election Commission filings show. 

Republican strategist and former lobbyist Michael Jones, who once ran an unsuccessful bid for Congress in the early 2000s, said even if every fledgling Republican candidate anteed up to get on the Massachusetts ballot, the one-time money still “pales in comparison to the ongoing hemorrhaging.”

He’s urging state committee members to move for bankruptcy protection at their upcoming Thursday meeting, which he said would “start to rebuild trust with donors who have abandoned the party.”

Kaufman conceded that “the hardest thing in the world to do in politics is raise money for debt,” but cautioned against bankruptcy, which he said would cause further ruin to party perception.

The party has seen a 73 percent drop in contributions in the first eight months of 2023 — amid revelations of 11 lawsuits, settlements and other legal troubles — when compared to the same period last year. MassGOP raised about $138,000 so far this year compared to the nearly $510,000 raised by this time last year.

Kaufman said he feels “hopeful” heading into the busy fall fundraising season change and credited new party Chairwoman Amy Carnevale with making inroads with donors “alienated by previous party leadership.” He expects those relationships to pay off at a series of upcoming MassGOP fundraisers — including one with Carnevale and former Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito at Worcester’s Beechwood Hotel on Sept. 26 that’s charging upwards of $1,000 a plate.

When it comes to the fiscal future of the Massachusetts Republican Party, Jones said “bold action” is needed to reenergize voters and make the GOP viable in the Bay State once again.

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Red Sox ditch Chaim Bloom amid Fenway flood

The scene captured outside of Fenway Park after a fire pipe at a nearby Target burst yesterday — sending tons of water sloshing through city streets after what can only be described as a difficult baseball season for Boston fans — was a symbolic way to wipe the slate clean for some Bostonians. Red Sox owners gave chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom the axe on Thursday after yet another stunning loss. On social media, a local Boston culture account called @OnlyinBoston captured the chaos on city streets.

The Boston Globe | MLB

MBTA still sloppy on safety, feds order ‘immediate action’ to protect T workers

The latest scathing rebuke of the beleaguered MBTA, federal transit regulators in a recent letter ordered the T to act fast to keep employees out of potentially deadly situations. The agency’s sloppy safety practices have been a source of concern for the feds for more than a year following a spate of injuries, deaths and near misses that have persisted despite repeated warnings, reports Matthew Medsger for The Boston Herald. The feds now say that “immediate action” is required to prevent trains from colliding with track workers, as they apparently nearly have several times in the last month alone.

State House News Service | The Boston Herald

Massachusetts voters want rent control, new poll says

The great rent control debate has befuddled progressive circles of late as officials try to move forward on housing policy that will take down through-the-roof rents. Some advocates and lobbyists argued against pursuing a ballot measure, claiming that it is unlikely to win and a loss would set the movement toward rent control back significantly — pitting advocates against one another. CommonWealth Magazine’s Dan Cohen writes in an op-ed, however, that the latest polls show voters of Massachusetts unquestionably favor the measure.

CommonWealth Magazine

Hurricane watch: Coastal Massachusetts, New England gearing up for nor’easter-style storm

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for much of the Massachusetts and New England coastline as Hurricane Lee continues its path northward in the Atlantic Ocean. As of 5 a.m. Friday, WCVB reports that Lee — now a Category 1 with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph — was located about 490 miles south of Nantucket. Landfall is expected sometime in the next 36 hours. The warning includes Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, Boston, the North Shore, and Cape Ann to the New Hampshire Seacoast.


Dam shame: Recent flooding threatens Leominster dam, draws attention hundreds of Bay State’s failing damns

Torrential downpours that inundated Leominster and surrounding communities at the beginning of the week nearly washed out a dam in the city, raising concerns it might fail. GBH’s Craig LeMoult reports the scare in Western Massachusetts raises alarm bells about a problem felt throughout the state — drawing attention to the Bay State’s aging infrastructure that includes hundreds of potentially compromised dams that are in dire need of repair or removal. Of the state’s roughly 3,000 dams, 328 are ranked as having “high hazard potential” and another 643 dams, including the Barrett Park Pond dam in Leominster, are rated as a “significant hazard” to loss of life and property should they fail.


State lawmakers seek to ease backlog of pediatric mental health patients ‘stuck’ in hospital ERs 

Lawmakers are eying a proposal that takes aim at a chronic backlog of pediatric patients who are stuck in hospital emergency rooms awaiting beds in mental health facilities. The Eagle-Tribune’s Christian M. Wade reports on a bill filed by Lynn Sen. Brendan Crighton that eeks to improve access for children under the care of the state Department of Children and Families who have mental health needs by overhauling the process of placements in congregate care settings.

The Eagle-Tribune

UMass board bypassed in mifepristone decision

A public records request reveals that the president of the University of Massachusetts and chancellor of its flagship Amherst campus appear to have bypassed the university system’s board of directors in April as they worked with Gov. Maura Healey’s administration to facilitate the state’s bulk purchase of abortion pills in response to a federal court decision seeking to ban them. The News Service’s Sam Doran reports on a “confidential” April memo to the board from UMass leaders informing them of the purchase ahead of predicted media mayhem.

State House News Service

Dana Farber to build cancer center with Beth Israel, cuts ties with Brigham and Women’s 

Executives from hospital giant Mass General Brigham expressed shock and disappointment at the news that research giant Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is ending its decades-long clinical partnership with Brigham and Women’s Hospital to take up a new deal with Beth Israel. For the Boston Business Journal, Cassie McGrath reports the new inpatient hospital for adult cancer care will be located on Beth Israel’s Longwood Medical Area campus im Boston. 

Boston Business Journal | The Boston Globe

So long, Mitt: Romney taps out after 30 years in and out of politics

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has his sights set on retirement after a three-decade career in politics that took him from the State House to the halls of Congress and twice within reach of the White House. His legacy and reputation for speaking the truth followed him throughout, writes columnist Scot Lehigh for the Globe. While serving Massachusetts, Romney was behind the state health care law coined “Romneycare” which was the precursor to subsidizing health care on state markets. 

The Boston Globe

Super-PACs showering cash on Boston preliminary races could be new norm

Deep-pocketed super-PACs showed up in force, showering cash on Boston’s historic preliminary races and setting up what pundits predict could be a new norm in Massachusetts electoral politics. WBUR’s Walter Wuthmann writes that campaign finance experts say this week’s spending in Boston elections signals a new era of big money in local politics. Two independent expenditure political action committees formed this cycle — explicitly formed to unseat two embattled Boston city councilors — saw donations in the six figures.


After water crisis, mayor drinks water to reassure public 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno took a long drink from a cup of what he said was city water at a press conference Thursday to emphasize his message that the water is safe again after a massive pipeline break earlier in the week led to a 48-hour boil-water notice and closed city schools.


Not close: Mayors say housing is North Shore’s most pressing problem

Even with a burst of construction activity now underway, a shortage of housing is by far the most pressing issue facing the North Shore, the mayors and managers who lead eight communities in the region say.

Salem News

City weighs options for spending millions from national opioid settlement

New Bedford has received its first million-dollar payment from a national settlement with opioid makers and The Light’s Grace Ferguson reports the city is still evaluating whether the money can best be spent on existing programs to address the addiction crisis or to explore new options such as spending to address social factors that lead to drug abuse.

New Bedford Light

Before bust, witness told cops Nantucket party yacht was being used to film porn

Before they joined with DEA agents to raid a yacht moored in Nantucket Harbor last weekend and arrest its owner on gun and drug charges, local police were told pornographic films were being made on the 80-foot yacht Jess Conn.

Nantucket Current | The Boston Globe

Weekend political talk shows

Keller@Large, with Jon Keller on CBS Boston (WBZ), 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. The guest is Boston City Council President Ed Flynn who will discuss the incumbents ousted in the preliminary election, and ideological divisions on the council and evaluate the work of Mayor Michelle Wu and School Superintendent Mary Skipper.

On the Record, WCVB-TV, 11 a.m. on Sunday. The guest this week is former Acting Gov. Jane Swift. Topics will include the rise of women in statewide politics, the current state of the Mass. GOP and her thoughts on Mitt Romney’s decision not to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate. | Ed Harding and Sharman Sacchetti host. Boston Globe Columnist Mary Ann Marsh and Republican Political Analyst Rob Greay join the roundtable discussion.

@Issue, NBC10 Boston or NECN, airs starting at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. This week’s guest is Boston City Council President Ed Flynn on on city preliminary results and his plans to take on Mass and Cass. Hosts are Sue O’Connell and Cory Smith.

Erin Tiernan was a Editor and Author of MASSterList