Lantigua takes on Devers

The colorful and controversial William Lantigua made it official: He intends to run for his old House seat representing Lawrence as an independent. He still has to submit 150 voter signatures by Tuesday, but that shouldn’t be a big hurdle for a man who has been a fixture in Lawrence politics as mayor and state rep since 2002.

The current officeholder is Marcos Devers, the man Lantigua endorsed for the House seat when he reluctantly gave up the job after being elected mayor in 2009. Devers ran for mayor last year but came in third in the preliminary election behind Lantigua and Daniel Rivera. Rivera went on to upset Lantigua by 81 votes.

   

Lantigua, who is known outside Lawrence primarily for the many scandals involving his administration, told the Eagle-Tribune that his supporters urged him to get back into politics. “There is a void there because we have not seen anything being done and I feel proud that citizens are asking me to run because of the good job I did,” he said.

The campaign is likely to revolve around Lantigua, a polarizing figure in Lawrence who is beloved by many residents but also a symbol of corruption to others in the community. A former top aide, Leonard Degnan, was convicted of bribery in March for pressuring a waste disposal contractor to donate a garbage truck to a city in the Dominican Republic, where Lantigua is from originally. Lantigua’s former deputy police chief and a former campaign photographer are also facing charges.

A federal grand jury is also investigating allegations that Lantigua improperly used city paving contracts to win votes in the mayoral race. Lantigua repaved streets in every precinct, but concentrated the work in areas where he needed votes the most.

Devers vs. Lantigua will be a grudge match. Lantigua endorsed Devers for his old House seat but then Devers ran against Lantigua for mayor last year. Devers came in third in the preliminary election with 1,907 votes, well behind Rivera (2,799) and Lantigua (5,725). Lantigua, perhaps overconfident, made what some consider a fatal error by failing to court any of the other candidates. All of them, including Devers, endorsed Rivera in the final. If Rivera now returns the favor and supports Devers in the House race, the campaign could get very interesting.

–BRUCE MOHL  

BEACON HILL

Gov. Deval Patrick signs an anti-bullying bill, the Associated Press reports.

The New England Center for Investigative Reporting finds that Bay State lawmakers, like their colleagues in New Jersey, New York, and Minnesota don’t pass many pieces of legislation. WGBH contributor David Bernstein responds by renewing his call to abolish the House. CommonWealth‘s Spring 2012 issue detailed a marked fall in the hours legislators have spent in session since the 1980s.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh reverses course after saying he would not release any information on a contract deal reached with city firefighters until they had voted on the pact, revealing that the six-year agreement would give firefighters, who currently make an average of $97,000 per a year, an 18.8 percent raise.

Several of the guns recovered as part of Boston’s recent gun buyback program have been linked to criminal investigations.

Marblehead’s Board of Selectmen urge Town Meeting to reject adoption of the Community Preservation Act, the Salem News reports.

CASINOS

Mohegan Sun officials say their proposed casino is entirely in Revere, rejecting Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s claim of host community status. The officials also say their lease with Suffolk Downs is based on revenue — the more revenue the casino earns the more money Suffolk Downs makes in lease payments.

Twenty-two developers have applied to operate New York state’s four prospective casinos — facilities that could siphon off customers from Massachusetts and Connecticut.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

In a blog post, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler tries to set the record straight on the agency’s open Internet rules.

For Elizabeth Warren, the flurry of interviews she’s given as part of the book tour promoting her new memoir have been more like joining a big media softball league, the Globe reports.

A New Hampshire state representative says that women earn less than men because they don’t work as hard or as often.

ELECTIONS

Warren Tolman , a Democratic candidate for attorney general, has been involved for two years in a venture hoping to tap the lucrative market of online gambling targeting young people. Tolman says he stopped working for the company several months ago, but his picture and bio appeared on its website until Monday night — after the Globe began making inquiries for today’s story.

Steve Grossman has previously criticized super PAC spending, but now that there’s one backing his candidacy, he’s totally fine with the committees. Martha Coakley, who’s criticizing Grossman over the issue, is also refusing to swear off outside spending on her behalf; it happens that outside groups spent $1.7 million advancing Coakley’s 2010 US Senate effort.

Caroline Kennedy endorses Hillary Clinton‘s not-yet-official presidential candidacy.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Michael Lewis discusses his new book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, with The New Republic. Money quote: “I am ever more dubious that people who make lots of money are doing something useful.”

Paul Krugman and David Brooks butt heads over Thomas Piketty‘s new critique of capitalism.

Mortgage lending hits its lowest level in 14 years.

Amazon pilots an in-house package delivery fleet. The drivers are human — for now.

Matt Yglesias blames housing NIMBYism for sluggish economic growth. Greater Boston obviously receives special attention.

EDUCATION

Governing reports that many state lawmakers around the country are using the threat of funding cuts to bring state colleges and professors in line on such issues as homosexuality and gun control.

HEALTH CARE

Berkshire Medical Center plans to buy the North Adams Regional Hospital, ending the health care crisis in the northern part of the county. The entire facility could be open by this summer.

Attacks on the computer networks at Children’s Hospital in Boston may have been the work of the hacker network known as Anonymous in retaliation for the hospital’s involvement in the Justina Pelletier case, which has rankled Christian activists and civil libertarians, the Globe reports.

Patients with cancer and other debilitating illnesses, including a neurologist suffering from brain cancer who discussed the issue in the current issue of CommonWealth, urge Gov. Deval Patrick to speed the process for approving medical marijuana dispensaries, a process that has been slowed by reports of misrepresentations and conflicts of interest among license applicants.

Oh no, cosmetic foot surgery is a thing now, Time reports.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Scientists say they are seeing a decline in the number of baby lobsters off the Massachusetts coast, which could have negative consequences for the fishery if  the trend continues, the Gloucester Times reports.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Federal prosecutors in the upcoming Probation Department racketeering trial are going to have their hands full trying to track the payoff from patronage, CommonWealth reports.

New England officials gather to brainstorm ideas for curbing illegal gun trafficking, WBUR reports. Nearly half of guns seized by Boston police last year and traceable came from Massachusetts dealers and manufacturers, the Globe reports.

Peabody police report that crime has decreased substantially since 2010, falling by 22 percent, the Salem News reports.

MEDIA

The New York Times seems to be managing its transition to a digital future fairly well, Ken Doctor writes for the Nieman Journalism Lab. But most publications are struggling to increase digital ad revenue.

City University of New York is launching a social journalism degree, which is really a very different way of looking at the purpose of the profession.

Jared Remy pens an “an obscenity-laced, semi-literate jailhouse letter” to the Herald, which is not typically the way one gets the Herald to back off.