Here’s the Diehl
Geoff Diehl made it official last night by formally announcing his Republican run against US Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Somebody pass Charlie Baker the antacids.
The Whitman state rep mixed his kickoff speech with sports references and denunciations of Warren as a soft-on-immigration, big-government enemy of the people. Diehl was a co-chairman of President Trump’s campaign in Massachusetts and his Senate bid will appeal to the state’s hardcore right-wing. Which is to say it does not have the makings of a winning effort. Touting a fresh endorsement from Curt Schilling, who jumped on board and ditched Diehl’s fellow right-wing Senate contender, Shiva Ayyadurai, does not look like a play for the state’s centrist voters.
But there is one Republican who very much wants to appeal to centrist voters in next year’s election, and Diehl’s campaign will be as helpful to that effort as Anthony Scaramucci was to bringing discipline and decorum to Trump’s chaotic White House.
Charlie Baker has already made clear that his reelection fortunes rest on corralling a huge chunk of the state’s unenrolled voters and even picking off a slice of Democrats who like his drama-free focus on nuts-and-bolts management of state government. The last thing he needs is to share the ticket with a guy who championed the cause of a president he did not vote for who has an approval rating here lower than in any other state except Vermont.
The best news for mainstream Baker Republicans? Word that veteran Republican operative Beth Lindstrom is considering jumping into the Republican Senate contest.
“She’s the adult of the declared Senate candidates: a well-regarded, successful businesswoman with ties to both Scott Brown and Mitt Romney. She complements Baker in a way that won’t turn off the voters the governor needs to keep,” Ubertaccio tells Kadzis.
Meanwhile, Joe Battenfeld talks to a conservative Republican activist who was broomed off the party’s state committee by a Baker-backed candidate. She tells him she won’t vote for Baker no matter what, and says there are plenty more disillusioned Republicans who feel the same way.
Those kinds of threats usually don’t add up to a lot of actual defections. The noise they generate might even help Baker with some wavering moderates. But it all goes to underscore the delicate dance maneuvers he needs to pull off next fall.
Gov. Charlie Baker says he’ll sign the state budget measure imposing $200 million in new assessments on businesses to help fund MassHealth even though the Legislature rebuffed his proposal for a companion set of reforms of the program’s eligibility standards. (Boston Globe)
The state Lottery reported that sales and payouts were down in fiscal 2017 but profits topped $1 billion for the first time. (State House News)
Former Bain Capital executive Mark Nunnelly is named the secretary of technology services and security, a new cabinet position in state government. (State House News)
Secretary of State William Galvin says Boston Mayor Marty Walsh may have his shadow law but that doesn’t mean the fight over a new Millennium Place tower is over. (WGBH)
Attorney General Maura Healey names former Suffolk County sheriff and state public safety secretary Andrea Cabral to the 25-member Cannabis Advisory Board. (Boston Herald)
A Herald News editorial decries the turnover in the city’s community development outreach coordinator position, which it says has served as a mayoral patronage appointment while not serving the city well.
A Globe editorial says Boston shouldn’t give up on the ideas spurred by its failed Olympic bid, such as getting the T fixed or redeveloping Widett Circle.
It turns out our own Scott Brown apparently introduced President Trump to the briefly-tenured White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. “I know him, I trust him, I think he’s going to right that ship,” Brown said of The Mooch in a radio interview on the day he was offered the White House job. (Boston Globe)
Mike Barnicle says Gen. John Kelly took the job as Trump’s chief of staff “because he loves this country and does not want to have it fail or falter.” Barnicle introduces his piece with an anecdote from former state treasurer Bob Crane, who is now 90. (The Daily Beast)
Trump tells the Wall Street Journal that the head of the Boy Scouts called him to gush over his speech to the scouts’ National Jamboree and told him it was “the greatest speech that was ever made to them,” but the organization says it is unaware of any such call made to the White House. The national scout leader, in fact, issued a statement apologizing for Trump’s insertion of politics into his speech. (Time)
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker files legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and to incentivize states to legalize the sale of pot. (Time)
The NAACP issues its first travel advisory — for Missouri. (McClatchy)
An editorial in the Republican throws cold water on all the presidential speculation about Massachusetts pols, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, US Rep. Seth Moulton, and former governor Deval Patrick. Meanwhile, Howie Carr is amused by the talk of Deval Patrick running for president. (Boston Herald)
Nurses are planning to put a question on the state ballot in 2018 that would mandate minimum staffing levels. (State House News)
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell says he will seek a fourth term. (South Coast Today) Last October, he indicated he was uncertain about seeking another term and was open to running for another office. (CommonWealth)
After two earlier deals fell through, Boston Globe Media Partners says it has an agreement to sell the former Globe headquarters on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester to Burlington-based Nordblom Co. (Boston Globe)
Some Boston charter school leaders draw eye-popping salaries, including one who made more than Boston’s school superintendent. (Boston Globe) If you look up “chutzpah” in the dictionary, you just might see a picture of Roger Harris of the Renaissance Charter School.
The Massachusetts system for rating the quality of schools is itself rated poorly for the way it treats high-poverty schools, but some in the Bay State are pushing back against the designation. (CommonWealth)
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which has already made buyout offers to 1,600 employees, says it’s looking to shed even more personnel as the hospital contends with rising labor costs and pressure on reimbursement rates from insurers. (Boston Globe)
Berkshire County residents plead with the state Department of Public Utilities to reject a $96 million rate hike request from Eversource. (Berkshire Eagle)
The “Top Chef” extortion trial of four Teamsters gets underway with a prosecution witness testifying he became so fearful of the union members he kept a kitchen knife by his bed. (Boston Globe)
The aunt of suicide victim Conrad Roy III says she wants to see Michelle Carter sentenced to 20 years in prison. Carter, convicted of involuntary manslaughter because of her texts to Roy encouraging him to follow through on suicide threats, faces sentencing tomorrow. (Boston Herald)
An usual hearing is probing the deliberation conversations among jurors who convicted a man of a murder 32 years ago in Brockton for any evidence of racial bias in their decision. (Boston Globe)
Brockton residents were on edge over a midday drive-by shooting in a residential neighborhood. (The Enterprise)
MEDIAThe Wall Street Journal comes under fire for publishing only excerpts of an interview with President Trump. The full interview, including some friendly banter with Trump, was assembled by Politico. (Columbia Journalism Review)
Daniel Golden of ProPublica (a former Boston Globe writer) revisits his book The Price of Admission and its suggestion that President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, got into Harvard because his parents gave the school a big donation. (ProPublica)