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August 6, 2014 / stacieshap

Political Happy Hour from The Boston Globe

happy_hourArticles Compiled by Joshua Miller, Globe Staff

 

September 3, 2014

MASS. DEM GOV RACE POLL WATCH: A big question before the Sept. 9 Democratic primary in the race to the succeed Governor Deval Patrick is where the race actually stands.

Polls are snapshots in time, but a few of them can give a flavor, if not a full taste, of reality. Here are recent ones of likely Democratic voters:

•WBUR/MassINC Polling Group from Aug. 24-31 : Coakley 47 percent | Grossman 23 percent | Berwick 6 percenthttp://bit.ly/1lIidjZ

•UMass Lowell/7News from Aug. 25-31: Coakley 52 percent | Grossman 20 percent | Berwick 9 percenthttp://bit.ly/1por2Kq

•Boston Globe/SocialSphere, Inc. from Aug. 17-19, Aug. 24-26 : Coakley 46 percent | Grossman 24 percent | Berwick 10 percent http://bit.ly/1qyKN5U

•Suffolk University/Boston Herald from Aug. 21-24: Coakley 42 percent | Grossman 30 percent | Berwick 16 percent http://bit.ly/WcdHhd

GROSSMAN GOES UP WITH NEW TV SPOT, TRUMPETING BOSTON GLOBE ENDORSEMENT: “Steve Grossman or Martha Coakley?” a female narrator asks. “For the Boston Globe, the choice is clear. Steve Grossman stands out for his ability to see and tackle the state’s big-picture challenges,” she says, quoting chunks of the Globe’s endorsement.

Here’s the upbeat spot, which is set to begin airing tomorrow morning through Election Day:http://youtu.be/H13L8XlF1rs

DEMS SPENDING CAMPAIGN CASH AS BAKER HOLDS ON TO DOUGH, from me on BostonGlobe.com: “With a competitive Democratic gubernatorial primary looming, Attorney General Martha Coakley and Treasurer Steve Grossman have been spending down their campaign accounts … [while] Republican Charlie Baker, who has not faced a particularly robust primary challenge … has been holding on to much of his dough. Should he be victorious on Sept. 9, state primary day, he could start the general election campaign with a real cash advantage over the Democratic nominee. …” http://bit.ly/1u1gbMV

PARTNERS’ MERGER WOULD RAISE HEALTH COSTS, COMMISSION SAYS, via Priyanka Dayal McCluskey on BostonGlobe.com: “The state Health Policy Commission on Wednesday formally endorsed findings that Partners HealthCare’s proposed acquisition of two hospitals north of Boston would raise costs and expand the already formidable market power of Massachusetts’ biggest health system. The panel voted to send the proposed merger to Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office for further review, even though Coakley has struck a deal with Partners that would allow the company to acquire Hallmark Health System in Medford and Melrose, along with South Shore Hospital in Weymouth. That settlement is still awaiting court approval. The Health Policy Commission … has no power to block mergers. …” http://bit.ly/1CqWPET

August 27, 2014 

CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF POLITICAL WAR: Sure are a lot of negative ads headed toward or already on your television set…

GOP SUPER PAC ATTACKS MARTHA COAKLEY ON GAS TAX POP QUIZ FLUB, PAINTS HER AS OUT OF TOUCH, AS GENERAL ELECTION BEGINS EARLY, from me on BostonGlobe.com:

“… A deep-pocketed Republican super PAC [backed by the Republican Governors Association] is poised to unleash an attack ad against Democratic front-runner Martha Coakley on statewide television Thursday [painting] the attorney general as out of touch and [taking] aim at her for incorrectly answering how much the state’s gasoline tax is during a pop quiz on a TV show in the spring. … ‘Uhh,’ Coakley grimaces, before guessing ‘10 cents.’ The ad plays the sound of a buzzer. ‘The correct answer: 24 cents,’ the narrator says. ‘Coakley doesn’t even know how much we pay in gas taxes, but she does support raising them.’ … ”http://bit.ly/1AV5OMP

Here’s the sharp-edged 30-second spot: http://youtu.be/lEoNjjquPJA

MARTHA COAKLEY LAUNCHES WEB VIDEO, KNOCKING BAKER OVER BIG DIG:

Reprising a Democratic attack against Baker from his 2010 bid against Governor Deval Patrick, the video — which is not currently backed by any spending — attacks Baker for his involvement with the massive transportation project when he was in state government in the 1990s. “No one knows big spending like ‘Big Dig’ Baker,” a female narrator says. “‘Big Dig’ Baker was at the center of one of the biggest boondoggles in history, costing state taxpayers a billion dollars.”

Baker spokesman Tim Buckley responded to the video in a statement saying Coakley had no new ideas outside of raising taxes and granting drivers’ licenses to undocumented immigrants.

“… [I]t is not surprising she would stoop to hypocritical, misleading attacks to help her now faltering campaign,” he said.

Boy, this 30-second spot from Coakley sure looks like it could be a TV ad: http://youtu.be/UcXnHQOFY3E

 

August 25, 2014 

TICK, TOCK — PRIMARY APPROACHING, ALL THREE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR MASS. GOVERNOR TURN UP THE HEAT IN DEBATE THIS MORNING, from me on BostonGlobe.com: “In the most bitter debate of Democratic gubernatorial race so far, Treasurer Steven Grossman sharply questioned the judgment of front-runner Martha Coakley, painting her as a protector of the Beacon Hill establishment, as former Medicare and Medicaid chief Don Berwick attacked his two rivals for their support of casino gambling in the state and their years-long embrace of ‘politics as usual.’ Coakley, the attorney general, defended herself, offered a few hits on Grossman, but also aimed some fire at Republican Charlie Baker, who is expected to be his party’s gubernatorial nominee. …”http://bit.ly/1tCtCl5

 

POLL OF THE DAY, via Jim O’Sullivan on BostonGlobe.com: “More than three times as many Massachusetts Democrats would vote for Hillary Clinton if she ran for president in 2016 than would back the state’s senior senator, Elizabeth Warren, according to a poll released Monday by Suffolk University and The Boston Herald. … The same poll shows Attorney General Martha Coakley leading the gubernatorial primary with more than 42 percent of the vote, with Treasurer Steve Grossman at 30 percent [and Don Berwick at 16 percent] … [and Republican] Charlie Baker [leading] Tea Party-affiliated Mark Fisher [by 59 percentage points among likely GOP voters] …” http://bit.ly/1pyW7jH

August 19, 2014 

BURNISHING BERWICK, via me on BostonGlobe.com:

“If only Don Berwick had more than 30 seconds. In the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful’s first television ad, set to begin airing Tuesday, Berwick tries to fit a big chunk of his biography into a small amount of time — and create a contrast with his two party rivals too. … The ad does not mention that Berwick served, under President Obama, as the head of the country’s massive Medicare and Medicaid programs for almost a year and a half. …” http://bit.ly/1oanfA4

The spot: http://youtu.be/urndAsnbWxk

MASS GOV CANDIDATES WEIGH IN ON FERGUSON CRISIS, via Andy Metzger of the State House News Service:

“If the days of unrest, violence and recriminations now occurring in Ferguson, Mo., took place in Massachusetts, a majority of the eight candidates running for governor said they would personally reach out to the community and families impacted, and three called for closer attention to be paid to the diversity of police hiring. … ”Link via the MetroWest Daily News: http://bit.ly/VE7KcV

August 12, 2014 

THE DAY AFTER THE PRIMARY:

It looks like whoever wins the Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial primary on Sept. 9 will have a lot of help the day after. Mass Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee, a super PAC supported by some powerful local unions and the Democratic Governors Association, has bought more than $728,000 of television time in the Boston and Springfield markets to air ads from Sept. 10-19, Steve Crawford, a spokesman for the group, confirmed.

FIRST MARTHA COAKLEY TV AD PAINTS HER AS AN OUTSIDER, from me on BostonGlobe.com:

“In the first television ad of her gubernatorial campaign, Attorney General Martha Coakley portrays herself as a feisty outsider who fights the powerful on behalf of the powerless, taking on entrenched interests for the greater good. The … spot … is narrated by a woman who says Coakley has stood up for women and children … and has taken on big banks … ‘The political insiders, the big-money super PACs, the old boys club — they’re all against her,’ the female narrator says in the spot. ‘That’s OK. She’s not fighting for them. She’s fighting for us.’ …” http://bit.ly/1oHf523

The 30-second spot: http://youtu.be/7_Ak0H8wZLY

“WOE IS MARTHA COAKLEY,” via David S. Bernstein of Boston magazine:

“It’s tough to be Martha Coakley, apparently. … It must be difficult, being her, waking up every day the underdog, fighting against these powerful forces that have her leading by a mere 30 percentage points in the primary with four weeks to go, and by double-digits in the general election. … I suppose the ploy here is A) graft Coakley onto the popular, populist, anti-Wall Street image of [US Senator Elizabeth] Warren, and B) position Coakley as a Beacon Hill outsider before Charlie Baker starts lumping her in as part of the Beacon Hill problem. … ” http://bit.ly/1l0rdAr

August 11, 2014 

STEVE GROSSMAN LAUNCHED HIS SECOND TV AD THIS WEEKEND, FOCUSING ON PRE-K, via Jim O’Sullivan in Sunday’s Globe:

“… The ad, entitled ‘Limitless’ and slated to air for nine days at a cost of $250,000, hits an economic theme, underscoring what Grossman advisers believe is his strongest argument against the front-runner in the polls, Attorney General Martha Coakley. By starting quality education earlier, the state would, according to the upbeat spot, better prepare its workforce of the future. …” http://bit.ly/1q3Xgvi

The spot: http://youtu.be/aq88K8BG4Bw

August 7, 2014 

MARTHA COAKLEY SET TO LAUNCH FIRST TV AD, via Jim O’Sullivan on BostonGlobe.com:

“Attorney General Martha Coakley plans to launch her first television ad of the gubernatorial campaign next week, campaign officials said Thursday. The ad, which will focus on issues rather than biography, will air on targeted stations as part of a strategy the campaign has developed to build its TV presence through the Sept. 9 primary, officials said. Throughout the race, Coakley has enjoyed a healthy lead in Democratic primary polling, though she lost the party convention in June to Treasurer Steve Grossman. … Grossman has already begun airing TV spots, supplemented by those paid for by a super PAC supporting him, that attack Coakley. …” http://bit.ly/1peJxFD

UNION PUSHES FOR HIGHER WAGES FOR AIRPORT WORKERS, via Gintautas Dumcius of the State House News Service:

“Joined by two candidates for governor, airplane cleaners and airport service workers on Thursday rallied for higher wages and the ability to form a union. … Attorney General Martha Coakley and Treasurer Steve Grossman, Democrats who are running for governor, struck a populist tone in their remarks to the small crowd gathered at SEIU offices in downtown Boston as part of a campaign to press for better working conditions. …” Behind paywall.

PART-TIME HOURS ELIMINATED AT SOME STORES, COAKLEY OPENS HOTLINE, via Jack Newsham on BostonGlobe.com:

“Market Basket is eliminating work hours altogether for many part-time employees because of the steep drop-off in business that has followed the stand-off between rival factions of the Demoulas family, which owns the supermarket chain. … In Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has established a hotline to help Market Basket employees with their work situation. …” http://bit.ly/X4Xpb9

CAMPAIGNS FOR AND AGAINST MASS. CASINO REPEAL SET TO RAMP UP, via Mark Arsenault in today’s Globe:

“… [L]eaders of the statewide effort to repeal Massachusetts’ casino law are getting ready to throw their first punch against the billion-dollar business. Canvassers next week will begin knocking on doors, and volunteers will crank up the phone banks … [Meanwhile] the gambling companies that will defend the casino law are gearing up their own campaign … They have been quietly gathering video for television commercials showing workers building the state’s first slot parlor, underscoring the argument that a vote for casinos is a vote for jobs. …” http://bit.ly/1pY4p07

August 5, 2014 

ONE OF THE CERTAINTIES IN LIFE, THOUGH NOT ALWAYS IN POLITICS — GUBERNATORIAL HOPEFUL MARTHA COAKLEY MAKES TAX RETURNS AVAILABLE:

She and her husband, filing jointly, had total incomes of $214,710 in 2013, $216,373 in 2012 and $214,346 in 2011, according to copies of federal tax returns from those years made available by Coakley’s campaign for governor to some reporters Tuesday. Most of that income came from her about $130,000 yearly salary as attorney general and the approximately $84,000 her husband, Thomas F. O’Connor, a retired police deputy superintendent, gets as a yearly pension from Cambridge Retirement Board.

Earlier Globe stories on other Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates’ taxes are here (and make for great beach reading!):

•Republican Charlie Baker http://bit.ly/WZznhZ

•Democrat Steve Grossman http://bit.ly/WZzvho

•Independent Evan Falchuk and Democrat Don Berwick http://bit.ly/1y2AMz7

YOUR MOM :  Actually, Treasurer Steve Grossman’s mom.  It turns out she’s a top donor to the super PAC backing his bid for governor. Akilah Johnson has all the great details in today’s Globe:

“A new state campaign finance law forced the release of the top five donors to a political action committee supporting … Grossman’s gubernatorial bid. Among them: his mother. ‘I’m not young. I’m old, and I haven’t been able to do anything for the campaign, and I believe in Steve,’ Shirley Grossman said in an interview. ‘I thought it over. I’m 92 years old. What could I do? I can’t go house to house.’ So, she decided to write a check to the [super PAC] …” http://bit.ly/1pAoPPE

Local political folks on Twitter had some fun with this:

@dbernstein: “Mama Said Knock You Out PAC #GrossmansMom”

@dbernstein: “Carry On Wayward Son PAC #GrossmansMom”

@KevinFranck: “I Had to Contribute to your Super PAC Because you Never Call PAC #GrossmansMom”

August 4, 2014 

COAKLEY CRITICIZES BAKER ON OPPOSITION TO EARNED SICK TIME BALLOT QUESTION, from me on BostonGlobe.com:

“In a hint of a potential general election attack, Democrat Martha Coakley today criticized gubernatorial rival Republican Charlie Baker for his opposition to a ballot question that, if passed by voters in November, would entitle employees in Massachusetts to earn and use up to 40 hours of sick time each year. …”http://bit.ly/1snzsHv

July 28, 2014

DEM GOV HOPEFUL DON BERWICK PITCHES BUSINESS AUDIENCE ON LIBERAL AGENDA, from me on BostonGlobe.com: “

… Berwick came before a variety of business leaders at a breakfast today and made a forcefully wonkish case for his liberal vision: … ending homelessness and poverty, reforming the criminal justice system …, single-payer health care, and more investment in government programs. And, he insisted to an audience that didn’t seem totally receptive to his pitch, his progressive agenda would be boon for business. … [T]he first audience question came from … the CEO of NAIOP Massachusetts, the commercial real estate development association. He wondered how Berwick, if he is elected governor, was going to pay for all his policies, especially given the Legislature’s historical distaste for raising taxes and adding new fees. …” http://bit.ly/1AqEDKr

BIG MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR’S RACE NEWS, via Akilah Johnson in today’s Globe:

“The super PAC backing state Treasurer Steve Grossman’s bid for governor released its first television commercial Monday, and it tells viewers that Attorney General Martha Coakley is the ‘wrong choice for governor.’ …”http://bit.ly/1rwM7FI

Super PAC ad: http://youtu.be/FHAwlj-gTCk

July 21, 2014

CAN THIS AD CHANGE THE DYNAMIC OF THE MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR’S RACE?     http://youtu.be/Req50GznKiY

STEVE GROSSMAN, WHO RELEASED HIS FIRST TV SPOT TODAY, HOPES SO, from me on BostonGlobe.com:

“… Treasurer Steve Grossman, looking to close the gap with gubernatorial frontrunner Martha Coakley, unveiled his first campaign television ad today. It outlines his story and insinuates he is better poised to deal with economic issues than Coakley, the state attorney general and a former district attorney. … The ad, set to begin airing Tuesday on Boston … stations [backed by about $300,000 over seven days, according to his campaign], ends with a distillation of the message: ‘Steve Grossman, the right choice for a tough economy.’ … In the most recent Boston Globe poll, the attorney general held a 34-point lead …” http://bit.ly/1nOeVW2

July 15, 2014

THE SUMMER OF THE ‘SURGE’ — BERWICK PREDICTS CAMPAIGN RISING, from me on BostonGlobe.com:

“Democrat gubernatorial candidate Donald M. Berwick, languishing in the polls, today said his ‘bold’ ideas would outshine his ‘timid’ Democratic opponents, and predicted a summer ‘surge’ in the run-up to the Sept. 9 state primary election. In an interview on WGBH-FM, Berwick emphasized that his positions — opposition to casino gambling in the state, support for single-payer health care, and working to end homelessness and hunger in the state — separated him from his party rivals. ‘My opponents, by comparison, are somewhat timid,’ he said …” http://bit.ly/1jMLadA

THAT WAS EASY — MASS DEM POLS BOYCOTT STAPLES, via David S. Bernstein of Boston Magazine: “Political campaigns buy a lot of office supplies, and here in Massachusetts many of those purchases take place at Framingham-based Staples. … Looks like some of that business will go elsewhere for the time being. … [A number of unions decided to boycott the chain] joining the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), which is boycotting Staples’ use of non-union workers at new subcontracted postal-service kiosks in their stores. … In response to my inquiries, Martha Coakley’s campaign for governor was the first to confirm to me that it has joined the boycott. Steve Grossman … Don Berwick [and other statewide Democratic candidates are] also joining the boycott …” http://bit.ly/1mewGxj

July 8, 2014

SUPREME COURT ABORTION CLINIC BUFFER ZONE RULING CONTINUES TO REVERBERATE AROUND NEW ENGLAND

In Massachusetts, via the State House News Service: “Attorney General Martha Coakley said proposed legislation to enhance security outside abortion clinics will balance public safety and free speech in the wake of a Supreme Court decision voiding the state’s so-called abortion clinic buffer zone law. … Opponents of abortion cautioned lawmakers Tuesday not to ‘rush to judgment’ when considering a new bill drafted by Coakley and Gov. Deval Patrick to increase security outside clinics. …” Link via Nashoba Publishing: http://bit.ly/1qHsGvc

TIGHTROPE WALK — COAKLEY TAKES ON PATRICK’S RECORD, GINGERLY, via Michael Levenson on BostonGlobe.com:

“The Democratic candidates for governor have largely avoided criticizing Governor Deval Patrick … [b]ut Attorney General Martha Coakley on Monday began to push back gently at Patrick’s record … Better management, she said, could have stopped Annie Dookhan, a state chemist who was convicted of tampering with evidence and jeopardizing tens of thousands of criminal convictions, and could have prevented a state-regulated compounding pharmacy from producing tainted drugs that killed 64 people and sickened 751. Both scandals unfolded under Patrick’s watch. ‘I don’t think under a Governor Coakley you would have an Annie Dookhan,’ Coakley said in an interview with the Lowell Sun editorial board. ‘I don’t think under a Governor Coakley you would have a New England Compounding.’”http://bit.ly/1qEMGyG

Lowell Sun story: http://bit.ly/1r6qLQi

June 24, 2014

COURT CLEARS WAY FOR CASINO REPEAL MEASURE ON NOVEMBER BALLOT IN DECISION THAT WILL IMPACT GUBERNATORIAL RACE, SHAKE UP STATE POLITICS via Mark Arsenault on BostonGlobe.com:

“Massachusetts’ highest court this morning cleared the way for a repeal of the state casino law to appear on the November ballot, setting up a fierce referendum campaign for the fall and placing the fate of the state’s nascent gambling industry into the hands of the people. The Supreme Judicial Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled that Attorney General Martha Coakley made a mistake last year when she rejected the anticasino ballot question. … ‘This is going to be a multimillion-dollar campaign, no doubt about it,’ said Springfield political strategist Anthony Cignoli… For passionate casino opponents across the United States, the Massachusetts repeal referendum presents a tantalizing opportunity to defeat an industry that has steamrolled opposition for years, spreading into 39 states. …”http://bit.ly/1nZVb5i

WHERE SOME GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES STAND

Martha Coakley (D): “I am pleased that [the SJC has] made a decision that now lets this to go to the ballot.” Says she will vote AGAINST repeal.http://bit.ly/1lNmYpt

Charlie Baker (R): “I fully support the SJC’s rebuke of Attorney General Coakley’s poorly reasoned position and I am happy the voters will be able to make their voices heard.” Aide says he will vote AGAINST repeal.

Steven Grossman (D): “I welcome the SJC’s decision to let the voters decide the future of casinos in our state…” Says he will vote AGAINST repeal.

Donald M. Berwick (D): “I am delighted that the Supreme Judicial Court has determined that the repeal effort can go forward to a vote in November. Casinos are a bad deal for Massachusetts.” Says he will vote IN FAVOR of repeal.

Jeffrey S. McCormick (I): “I do not believe that gaming should be seen as an economic development panacea, especially with all the unintended consequences that accompany casino gambling.” Says he will vote IN FAVOR of repeal.

June 16, 2014

THE THREE DEMOCRATS LEFT IN THE GOVERNOR’S RACE AIM FOR MOMENTUM COMING OUT OF SATURDAY’S STATE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION:

Both Attorney General Martha Coakley and Treasurer Steven Grossman today began tours of the state focused on jobs and the economy, 12 weeks and one day before the Sept. 9 primary election. From me on BostonGlobe.com: Coakley “…kicked off what her campaign billed as a ‘listening tour’ focused on building an economy that gives everyone a ‘fair shot’ in Dorchester Monday. She attempted to evince empathy and understanding, as workers told of long shifts in uncomfortable conditions at minimum wage, without any breaks. … Grossman, one of Coakley’s gubernatorial competitors also kicked off his own tour focused on economic issues today. He was set to visit a career center in Salem and an affordable housing non-profit in Taunton. …” http://bit.ly/1qW8TH9

DON BERWICK-MENTUM: The third Democrat, a former Obama administration health care official, says the wind is at his back, via Bob Salsberg of the Associated Press in Boston: “…Berwick said Monday he was confident he would make himself better known to primary voters in the coming months and dismissed attempts to frame the race as one between Attorney General Martha Coakley and state Treasurer Steven Grossman. … While saying he would have sufficient financial resources for his campaign, Berwick did not say whether he planned statewide TV ads that could be critical to getting prospective voters’ attention during the summer months. … ‘It is a two-way race,’ Berwick said. ‘It’s a race between boldness and timidity.’ …” Link via the Boston Herald http://bit.ly/1nKxSMO

POST-PARADE: Grossman’s and Coakley’s tour kickoffs come a day after both of them and Republican Charlie Baker engaged in some intense marching and handshaking in Sunday’s Bunker Hill Day Parade in Charlestown. There, Grossman sharpened attacks against Coakley. My report in today’s Boston Globe: “… In interviews with reporters before the parade, he questioned her liberal bona fides. Over the din of bagpipers, he said she is a ‘part-time progressive’ and ‘a career prosecutor,’ while he is a ‘progressive job-creator.’ … Asked about some of Grossman’s criticisms, Coakley declined to answer, instead pointing to what she has done as attorney general and pledging to stand up for people and be a voice for them as governor. …” http://bit.ly/1qT8Sn9

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