State GOP looks to 2014
The state’s Democrats kicked off their gubernatorial hunt last week with a convention in Lowell. The Republican answer came more quietly, in the form of a meeting and conference call among Charlie Baker, Scott Brown, Bill Weld, and Ron Kaufman.
The Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan reports today that top Massachusetts Republicans huddled quietly last week to try to map out a strategy for the 2014 election. The meeting, organized by state GOP chair Kirsten Hughes, included top aides to Brown (Eric Fehrnstrom and company) and Baker (his former campaign manager Timothy O’Brien), as well as state party stalwarts like Weld, Kaufman, and lobbyist Steve Silveira. The meeting was a step toward forming a slate of candidates for 2014, starting with the party’s gubernatorial nominee.
Both Baker, who mounted an unsuccessful challenge to Gov. Deval Patrick in 2010, and Brown, who remains personally popular despite suffering an 8-point thumping at the hands of Elizabeth Warren last November, have been mentioned as possible gubernatorial contenders next year. O’Sullivan writes that the uncertainty over Brown and Baker’s plans has put the GOP’s efforts to assemble a slate of candidates in 2014 “in a holding pattern.”
Brown, as is his wont, has played coy and refused to rule out any run, for any office, ever. He might be playing a long game for the Senate, ducking a special election against Ed Markey with an eye on a matchup against Markey next November. He might point his truck north on I-93 and run for Senate from New Hampshire. He might run for governor. Or he might just be happy with money in his pocket, and his current job as a rainmaker at Nixon Peabody.
Baker, however, can’t commit to anything until Brown makes up his mind first. Nobody wants to be in the thick of a race and then, days before Election Day, hear Brown chirping in the background about how he “absolutely” could have run a stronger race than you.
Kaufman tells the Globe it’s “too soon” to rush to set a slate of candidates, reasoning that, as seasoned candidates, both Baker and Brown “have the advantage of being able to wait,” and not jump into the race too soon. But too soon is also relative. Steve Grossman, the current state treasurer and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, began tweeting his cash on hand totals a month and a half ago. The GOP, usually at a numerical and fundraising disadvantage, needs to raise plenty of money in 2013 if it’s going to be serious about 2014. And before it can get serious, it needs a standard-bearer to rally around.
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Marblehead resident Steve Solomon and Salem’s Neil Chayet are pushing for legislation to rein in metal thefts around the state, the Salem News reports.
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Lawrence finance director Mark Ianello appears before a grand jury investigating a sharp drop in parking garage receipts, the Eagle-Tribune reports.
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The men’s fashion designer Joseph Abboud company in New Bedford has been bought by The Men’s Wearhouse, reuniting the company with its namesake founder who is the chief creative director of Men’s Wearhouse.
The Chicago public school system is preparing to lay off more than 2,000 employees, largely due to a giant pension obligation that is straining the system, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
A controversy is brewing in Taunton after someone scraped off the first two words of “God Bless America” in a patriotic school mural painted by a student’s parent at the end of the school year.
The president of Quincy Medical Center abruptly resigned yesterday after a bad spring in which he faced a nurses’ strike and a surprise state inspection that found squalid conditions in the for-profit hospital’s psychiatric ward for elderly patients.
Heroin is making an alarming comeback in New England’s smaller cities and towns, the New York Times reports.
With half its buses failing to run on time, the Worcester Regional Transit Authority changes its bus schedule, the Telegram & Gazette reports.
Words no Big Dig driver ever wants to hear: the tunnel “will never be leak-free.”
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A landmark federal study indicates fracking chemicals did not contaminate groundwater at a western Pennsylvania drilling site, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
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An imprisoned Plymouth Marine is expected to be released today after a military court denied a government appeal to reinstate his murder conviction from one of the most publicized war crimes of the Iraq war.
The New Yorker takes a look at new approaches to stemming the toll of domestic violence in a story focusing on efforts in several Massachusetts communities (subscription required for full contents).
MEDIAJack Griffin, who’s currently trying to buy the Globe with a pair of Taylor cousins, sues his previous would-be Globe co-owner, Aaron Kushner.
MIT moves to intervene in a lawsuit seeking the release of Aaron Swartz’s Secret Service file.