The Codcast: Palfrey and Tingle on the quest to be the Dems’ No. 2

When the subject of the lieutenant governor’s office comes up, there’s an old saw in Massachusetts political circles that is offered to explain its place in the state’s political firmament: There once was a woman who had two sons. One was lost at sea, the other became lieutenant governor, and neither was ever heard from again.

On the one hand, the job puts someone a heartbeat away from the governor’s office, and we’ve seen two lieutenant governors — Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift — take the reins as governor in recent years. But for the most part, those who’ve held the post toil in relative anonymity once you get outside the Beacon Hill bubble. For proof, watch what happened when then-Lt. Gov. — and great sport — Tim Murray did some first-hand survey research a few years ago in Boston’s Public Garden.

But that doesn’t mean the LG can’t play an important role in a governor’s administration. Two Democrats — Quentin Palfrey and Jimmy Tingle — are vying for the September 4 nomination for lieutenant governor. The winner will be paired with the victor in the party’s gubernatorial primary and go into the November match-up against the GOP ticket — widely expected to be led by Gov. Charlie Baker (who faces underdog challenger Scott Lively) and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (who is unopposed for the Republican nomination).

The two Democratic hopefuls, who came in for separate conversations on the Codcast, both bring a passion for the party’s values of tackling inequality, but with very different backgrounds.

Palfrey, an attorney who previously directed the health care division of the Massachusetts attorney general’s office and served as a senior advisor on jobs and competitiveness in the Obama White House, comes with deep public-sector experience steeped in public policy. Tingle,  known widely as a comedian who delivers humor with a progressive political punch, says he’s ready to bring a strong belief in Democratic Party values to public service.

Palfrey, who won the Democratic Party endorsement at its state convention this summer, said he’d like to serve as a “bridge between the governor’s office and cities and towns,” where he said lots of the things that most directly affect residents happen. “I think that this is a role that is what you make of it, and is what the governor lets you make of it,” said Palfrey, who referred repeatedly to the need to “lean in” on different problems facing the state.

Tingle also talked of serving as the administration’s liaison to local officials — a role that LGs, including Polito, have often been tasked with. But he said the principal issue he wants to be involved with is helping to tackle the state’s opioid crisis. Tingle tied that to his own recovery from alcoholism and the difference it made in his life when a man answering the phone at a Cambridge program he reached out to 31 years ago said, “You called the right place,” and got him admitted for treatment.

Both professed to be undaunted by the polling on Baker’s high favorability. They each argued that can change when the Democratic ticket brings its message focused on ways state government can address problems that have festered under Baker, from inadequate education funding to transportation woes, while highlighting the moderate Republican governor’s fundraising ties to conservative national Republican money.



Lobbyists with business on Beacon Hill poured money into the campaign accounts of House Speaker Robert DeLeo and House Ways and Means Chair Jeffrey Sanchez. Indeed, 25 percent of the money Sanchez raised this year came from lobbyists. (CommonWealth)

A Globe editorial says the state Cannabis Control Commission should step in to enforce limits on fees local communities can extract from marijuana retailers, as prescribed in the state pot statute.

Only 4 percent of state websites passed a pair of cybersecurity tests, including Massachusetts, which was rated the third most secure by the technology foundation that conducted the tests. (U.S. News & World Report)


Residents in downtown Quincy neighborhoods continue to raise concerns over the sprawling development proposals underway, with the latest resistance coming against a planned 51-unit building that ballooned from its original 18-unit proposal. (Patriot Ledger)

Who are the NIMBYs? Researchers at Boston University say those who show up at local meetings in Eastern Massachusetts to oppose new development projects tend to be older, whiter, and wealthier than their neighbors. (Boston Globe)

Framingham officials will eliminate free parking downtown and reinstall parking meters as well as hike the price. (MetroWest Daily News)

A push by Lakeville residents forced selectmen to suspend their intention to hire Rhode Island’s deputy fire marshal as the new fire chief until going back and interviewing two in-house candidates. (Middleboro Gazette)

Just a nice story: A Bridgewater woman posted a note on a closed Facebook page for town residents about her husband accidentally losing $100 in daycare money and then got a call from police that an anonymous donor left a note and $160 at the station after seeing the post. (The Enterprise)


Federal judge Timothy Hillman, sitting in Worcester, ruled that the US government can stop providing temporary housing for Puerto Rico hurricane evacuees. (Associated Press)

President Trump’s disapproval rating has hit an all-time high of 60 percent with clear majorities backing the probe by Robert Mueller and supporting embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

With an ardent supporter in the White House, gun sales lag around the nation compared to the record pace of purchases during the Obama administration triggered by fears of a crackdown on gun ownership. (Wall Street Journal)


Greg Henning is the law and order candidate in the race for Suffolk County district attorney, but there’s a twist to that characterization — Henning has personally helped some of the people he locked up. (CommonWealth)

The Lowell Sun endorsed Donna Patalano in the race for district attorney in Middlesex County.

PAC money is pouring into the Third Congressional District in the closing days of the Democratic primary race there, with the bulk of it spent on behalf of three candidates: Rufus Gifford, Juana Matias, and Barbara L’Italien. (Boston Globe)

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud tries to paint US Rep. Richard Neal as being out of touch with the people of his district in their last debate before Tuesday’s Democratic primary. (Berkshire Eagle)

The Berkshire Eagle profiles the third candidate in the Democratic primary race for district attorney — Judith Knight.


Disney terminated two agreements that provide the company with hundreds of millions of dollars of economic assistance from the city of Anaheim, California. Anaheim officials are hailing the move as enlightened, but union officials wonder if the company has an ulterior motive. (Governing)


A new city audit mirrors the findings of an IRS review last year that found questionable spending and accounting practices at 18 Boston Public Schools, with the new probe finding such problems in all 118 schools it examined. (Boston Globe)

Mayor Marty Walsh apologized for the rash of missing and late school buses this week. (Boston Globe)
The US Justice Department filed court documents in support of a lawsuit brought against Harvard University alleging bias against Asian American applicants in its admissions system. (Boston Globe) At what point do we “sacrifice individuals in order to achieve societal goals?” asks Herald legal columnist Evan Slavitt about the case.

Judith Scannell, the superintendent of schools in Methuen, resigned after it was learned she lacked the professional license to do her job. (Eagle-Tribune)


One person is dead and 12 infected after an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. (Lowell Sun)


A California man was charged in federal court with making threatening phone calls to the Boston Globe in connection with the paper’s campaign to get editorial pages to speak out against President Trump’s attacks on the media. (Boston Globe)

In a Globe op-ed, Walter Robinson, who oversaw the paper’s Spotlight Team coverage of the clergy sex abuse scandal, says continued revelations show the scandal to be “a betrayal of staggering dimensions,” with legitimate questions now surfacing about Pope Francis and Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley not acting on abuse allegations brought to their attention.

A Mashpee police officer should have ended a chase last month that ended with a crash that killed three people, the department’s chief said. (Boston Herald)

Another day, another State Trooper pleads guilty in the overtime scandal that has wracked the force. (Boston Herald)

A Herald editorial pans transgender convicted murderer Michelle Kosilek’s lawsuit seeking to compel the state to pay for gender-reassignment surgery.

The Worcester County district attorney is asking the public for help in identifying a body found along the Massachusetts Turnpike in Auburn. (Telegram & Gazette)

A retired Boston firefighter has been charged with arson that caused injuries to two firefighters in Hanson and the town’s fire chief is angry a judge released the suspect on personal recognizance. (The Enterprise)


Ken Doctor says the removal of tariffs on newsprint is welcome news for newspapers, but it’s not enough to reverse the flow of negative financial news coming at the publications. (Nieman Journalism Lab)

The former producer at NBC who was working at the network with Ronan Farrow on the sexual harassment story on Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein says NBC impeded efforts to get the story aired before Farrow took it to The New Yorker, where it was published last October. (New York Times)