A Granite State welcome wagon, it wasn’t.
More than a hundred protesters — from the left and the right — greeted newly-minted New
Hampshire resident Scott Brown here Thursday night as he headlined a state GOP holiday party.
Inside the private fundraisers, Brown, who is a potential challenger of US Senator Jeanne Shaheen, was said to be greeted warmly and posed for photographs with supporters, while remaining coy about his plans.
But across the street, two separate protests merged as gun rights advocates, raffling off a firearm, stood shoulder to shoulder with Democrats to encourage the former Massachusetts Senator to return south, or, at least, not to run for office here.FULL ENTRY
President Obama on Thursday granted a rare commutation to the first cousin of Governor Deval Patrick, allowing the release of a man who in 1994 was given a life sentence on cocaine drug charges. Patrick said that he does not recall ever meeting his first cousin Reynolds Allen Wintersmith Jr., 39, and had no involvement in his application for clemency, which has been a cause of national advocates for years and has been featured in the national media.FULL ENTRY
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Baker today said he would work, by the end of his first year in office, to eliminate the state practice of sending homeless families to hotels and motels when shelters are full.
Calling homelessness in Massachusetts a “human tragedy,” Baker said the practice often separates families and, in particular, children from their established communities.
“This is not a way to create any kind of stability or permanence for the kids,” he said in a telephone interview.
Massachusetts is a right-to-shelter state, so when eligible homeless families apply for emergency housing, the state is mandated to provide it. Massachusetts contracts about 2,000 shelter beds. When those are full, the state puts additional homeless families in hotels and motels at an average cost of about $82 a night.FULL ENTRY
Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker, who has a history of strong fundraising, is badly trailing the pace he set in the initial months of his 2010 bid for governor.
Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley, meanwhile, has posted unimpressive fundraising figures since announcing her candidacy in September; advisers say she is focused on building a field organization.
And State Treasurer Steven Grossman, a longtime Democratic powerbroker whose fundraising leads the field, has garnered most of his financial support from companies that do business with the Treasury.
While all three are grappling with individual challenges, The fundraising patterns of the leading candidates reflect a broader dynamic: a languid start to a campaign slowed by election fatigue and dulled by the candidates’ inability, so far, to rouse voters’ interest in the race to succeed Governor Deval Patrick.FULL ENTRY
He’s planning to register to vote in the Granite State. He’ll headline a big New Hampshire Republican holiday party on Thursday. And an outside political group is spending significant sums of money across the New Hampshire, encouraging him to run against Democratic US Senator Jeanne Shaheen.
This much is clear: Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is moving north.
But what he’ll do as a New Hampshire resident now that he’s set to sell his Wrentham home remains a political parlor game.
Brown does not have a campaign team nor has he been gathering the activist-by-activist support needed to win a GOP primary in a state where facetime is political currency, according to a number of plugged-in New Hampshire Republicans.FULL ENTRY
Governor Deval Patrick is scheduled to return Wednesday from an 11-day Asian trade trip, when he’ll be met by state health insurance website woes. A day later, he’ll meet with political contributors willing to pay up to $5,000 to spend the Thursday before Christmas with him.
Patrick’s holiday party, and the private reception to follow, will bankroll his state political committee and his federal political action committee, the latter of which is permitted to accept the larger donations.
Serving on the host committee are several Beacon Hill power players and Patrick administration alumni, including former US Senator William “Mo” Cowan, who was Patrick’s chief of staff before the governor appointed him to an interim Senate term.FULL ENTRY
WASHINGTON -- Senator Elizabeth Warren announced today that she will introduce a measure to forbid employers from requiring credit histories on job applicants.
The Massachusetts Democrat’s measure has support from dozens of liberal consumer groups, who argue that credit history is a poor measure of character and discriminates against the economically disadvantaged. But it could face resistance from Republicans who oppose more restrictions on businesses and worry about taking away another tool in reviewing job applicants.FULL ENTRY
A Republican who embraces the Tea Party mantle is set to formally kick off his campaign for governor Monday evening.
Shrewsbury resident Mark R. Fisher, a 55-year-old political novice, will launch a bid with a speech about his “conservative platform” tonight at an Auburn steakhouse, according to his website and a campaign press release.
Fisher faces former health care executive Charlie Baker in the race for the Republican nomination.
While Baker, the 2010 GOP nominee for governor, is expected to be his party’s standard bearer, a primary opponent from the right could be a political headache for him.FULL ENTRY
Katherine Clark, surrounded by her new colleagues in the Massachusetts congressional delegation, was sworn into the House Thursday by Speaker John A. Boehner, replacing Senator Edward J. Markey.
The swift enshrinement into Congress, two days after her special election victory, will allow Clark, 50, to cast a vote on a high-profile budget deal aimed at preventing another government shut-down. The deal will also end some of the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester.FULL ENTRY
Democrat Katherine M. Clark cruised to victory Tuesday, capturing the US House seat long held by Edward J. Markey, in a lightly contested special election.
She will become just the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House.
Turnout appeared to be very low in a race that was an anticlimactic coda to the fiercely contested seven-way Democratic primary that Clark won in October.
A state senator from Melrose, Clark easily defeated three-little known opponents.
With 51 percent of precincts reporting, Clark had 65 percent of the vote to 33 percent for Republican Frank J. Addivinola Jr. Two independents, James Hall and James Aulenti, each had about 1 percent.FULL ENTRY
Turnout appeared to be very light in Tuesday’s special election to replace Edward J. Markey in the US House. In Cambridge, just 4 percent of eligible voters had showed up as of 11 a.m., according to Lesley Waxman, assistant director of the city’s Election Commission. In Melrose, city clerk Mary Rita O’Shea estimated that turnout was about 10 percent as of 3:30 p.m. Or, as she put it, “It’s low.”
Secretary of State William F. Galvin had predicted that as few as 10 percent of elegible voters might show up in the Fifth Congressional District, which reaches from Woburn to Watertown and from Winthrop to Southborough.FULL ENTRY
They won’t again get caught napping. At least, they say they won’t.
Democrats understandably uncertain about former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown’s political intentions have ratcheted up their defensive mechanisms as Brown has fed speculation he could run for Senate again – this time in New Hampshire
On Thursday night, the Democratic National Committee circulated video of Brown in New Hampshire appearing to talk about Massachusetts voters when he wanted to be talking about Granite State voters.FULL ENTRY
Attorney General Martha Coakley sketched out plans Thursday for how she would improve the state’s education system if she were elected governor next year, including lengthening the academic day and calendar.
At a South End school, Coakley said she wanted increased access to pre-kindergarten and to bolster underperforming school districts with “wrap-around services” that help children beyond sheer education.FULL ENTRY
The National Archives on Thursday will release most of the remaining withheld files of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, among the most sought-after government documents from the Cold War.FULL ENTRY
Massachusetts’ population will grow dramatically older over the next two decades, with one in five residents over the age of 65 by 2030, according to a new demographic forecast.
The overall population during that time is expected to grow much more slowly than the rest of the nation, threatening to dilute further the Bay State’s political clout in Washington. The University of Massachusetts study pegs the state pace at 4.4 percent between 2010 and 2030, while the country as a whole is expected to grow by 15.6 percent.FULL ENTRY
Senator Elizabeth Warren, whose political future has been the subject of intense speculation, said Wednesday that she would not run for president in 2016, her most ironclad statement yet.
“I pledge to serve out my term,” which ends in 2018, Warren said, when pressed during a news conference in Boston with Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh.FULL ENTRY
Massachusetts taxpayers can look forward to a little New Year’s gift: the state income tax rate will automatically drop to 5.2 percent from 5.25 percent on Jan. 1 because state revenues are coming in above projections.The state Department of Revenue plans to release more information about the automatic tax cut later today, including how much the average taxpayer can expect to save. The tax cut will cost the state about $65 million in lost revenue in 2014. The tax cut is being triggered by a 2002 state law that automatically cuts the income tax rate when revenues exceed benchmarks, essentially returning the state’s projected surplus to taxpayers.FULL ENTRY
US Representative Stephen Lynch on Monday introduced a resolution urging President Obama to release 28 still-secret pages from a congressional probe conducted after the attacks of September 11, 2001, that he maintains will shed new light on the worst terrorist assault in US history.
The South Boston Democrat, along with Representative Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina, recently reviewed the pages, which were almost entirely blacked out when the so-called Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001 issued its final report in December 2002. “These pages contain information that is vital to a full understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding this tragedy,” the South Boston Democrat, who said he has reviewed the pages, said in a statement.FULL ENTRY
Charlie Baker, the leading Republican candidate for governor, named former state representative Karyn Polito as his running mate on Tuesday, calling her a public servant in the mold of “one of both of our mentors – the late, great Paul Cellucci.”
Standing in a crowded diner in Polito’s hometown of Shrewsbury, Polito said she and Baker had bonded over their tenures in local government, their families, and a shared optimism for Massachusetts.FULL ENTRY
Democratic pragmatists are unhappy with Democratic idealists, believing that the latter group’s passion for raising the minimum wage could cost the party next November. At issue is a progressive push to raise the state’s minimum wage. The state Senate last month voted to boost the floor rate to $11 by 2016 and index future increases to inflation. House Speaker Robert DeLeo, under pressure from unions and progressive activists, has said his chamber will address the measure after the new year. And, lurking in the wings, is a petition headed for the Nov. 2014 ballot that would bolster the minimum wage by 50 cents less, still tied to inflation.FULL ENTRY
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Juliette Kayyem unveiled a blueprint for criminal justice reform today that calls for rethinking sentencing for drug offenders, creating a statewide task force to examine corrections programs, and allocating more money for inmate job training and health services.
The six-page plan was formally rolled out at an event at 50’s Diner in Dedham.
“The criminal justice reform plan is a continuation of Juliette’s promise to bring bold innovative ideas to tackle tough problems,” the Kayyem campaign said in a statement.FULL ENTRY
WASHINGTON — The image depicted the Air Force’s menacing F-35 fighter-bomber approaching at high speed above the words, “Hey Ice Cream Man . . . The Jets are coming.” The identity of the ice-cream man was never in doubt. Ben Cohen, cofounder of Vermont’s Ben & Jerry’s, said he viewed the rhetorical assault by a group of F-35 boosters as a victory. “I consider it a badge of honor,” the 62-year-old Vermont confection mogul said in a recent interview. Cohen has embarked on a unique undertaking in the world of philanthropic entrepreuers: combatting what he considers bloated, wasteful Pentagon weapons programs.FULL ENTRY
Vice President Joe Biden, in keeping with four decades of tradition, is on Nantucket for Thanksgiving
Vice President Joe Biden, keeping up a tradition spanning nearly four decades, is back on the shores of Nantucket for Thanksgiving. When Biden and his wife, Jill, began making the trek from Delaware, they were still dating. It was 1975. Later, they would pack their two boys -- and later still, their daughter -- into a car and take the Hy-Line Cruises ferry from Hyannis, staying in a rental house. Since he became vice president, the travel has become a bit more elaborate. He arrived Tuesday aboard Air Force Two, which landed at Nantucket Memorial Airport.FULL ENTRY
The Massachusetts congressional delegation is once again pushing to keep open six air traffic control towers in the state that are in jeopardy due to the lack of a long-term budget deal.
With the government now running on a ``continuing resolution’’ after the government shutdown this fall, the Federal Aviation Administration has the option of closing local air traffic control towers. Massachusetts’ legislators want to avoid that possibility, which was averted earlier this year after lawmakers approved temporary funding.FULL ENTRY
Two unlikely Senate partners are joining forces with a bill that would protect elderly, low-income veterans from scam artists who try to steal a portion of their federal benefits. Senators Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat, and Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act Thursday called the Veterans Care Financial Protection Act.FULL ENTRY