Tran’s concession statement reflects his isolation

Sen. Dean Tran of Fitchburg posted a concession statement of sorts on Facebook over the weekend that seemed to capture the isolation he felt on Beacon Hill.

Tran lost a close race to Democratic political newcomer John Cronin, who had relentlessly attacked the Republican incumbent for the disciplinary action the full Senate took against him in March. The Senate unanimously voted to strip Tran of his leadership position, barred him from using his office, and required him to communicate with his aides by email only.

The embarrassing disciplinary action, which Tran attributed to inaccurate charges he was never given a chance to rebut, left him wounded politically.

The Massachusetts Republican Party doesn’t show up in Tran’s campaign finance filings as supporting him in any fashion. A super PAC with close ties to Gov. Charlie Baker didn’t back him.

And six of Tran’s Democratic colleagues in the Senate – Sens. Michael Barrett of Lexington, Harriette Chandler of Worcester, Cynthia Creem of Newton, Julian Cyr of Truro, Cindy Friedman of Arlington, and William Brownsberger of Belmont—all contributed money to his opponent. Cronin outspent Tran in September and October by more than $12,000.

In his Facebook statement, Tran didn’t mention Cronin or congratulate him on his victory. Instead, he thanked his family and his supporters, and summed up his go-it-alone political philosophy.

“I have always made the people in my district a priority through my work and votes regardless of how my colleagues on both sides of the aisle felt about me,” Tran said in the statement. “My accomplishments for the district reflect the non-partisan manner in which I have discharged my responsibilities as a legislator and leader. This is how a district should be served and that is how I have served the district.”

“I have shown throughout my political career, that when I listen and serve the people, it will take every obstacle my opponents and their supporters can conceive of in order to defeat me. I have encountered it time and again, but nothing compares to the planned attacks and negativity from the last 11 months.”

Tran’s defeat leaves the Republican Party with just three senators in the 40-member Senate.

BRUCE MOHL

 

FROM COMMONWEALTH

The MBTA proposes $128 million in service cuts to help close a budget shortfall. The cuts include elimination of all ferry service, the shutdown of commuter rail on weekends and at 9 p.m. weekdays, and midnight closures of subways and buses.

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, in an unusual briefing, warns the T’s Fiscal and Management Control Board that capital funding sources will fall off a cliff in fiscal 2025.

After saying the state budget shouldn’t be a vehicle for major policy reforms, House Speaker Robert DeLeo greenlights a debate over a budget amendment dealing with abortion access.

Hotel workers are hoping to win pandemic job protections during the budget debate this week.

FROM AROUND THE WEB             

 

BEACON HILL

As the House begins its budget debate Tuesday, the Senate plans to file its own budget proposal on Thursday. (MassLive)

Joan Vennochi questions Gov. Charlie Baker’s middle-of-the-road handling of pandemic K-12 schooling in the state. (Boston Globe)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Gun violence is on a major upswing in Boston, with 12 people shot, one fatally, in multiple incidents last weekend. (Boston Globe)

Easthampton gets a $374,000 state grant to build Mt. Tom North Trailhead Park. (Daily Hampshire Gazette)

A Fall River World War II veteran recalls being saved during the deadliest US military maritime disaster. (Herald News) 

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Pfizer says its coronavirus vaccine is more than 90 percent effective, but experts caution that the results have yet to be scrutinized and, even if they hold up, it will be months before a vaccine would be widely available. (New York Times) A UMass Medical School doctor, whose hospital is one of the testing sites for the Pfizer vaccine, call the preliminary data “very encouraging.” (Telegram & Gazette)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

The Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, is back before the US Supreme Court for the third time. (NPR)

ELECTIONS

President Trump and allies are pursuing a scattershot effort to challenge vote counts in multiple states, despite there being no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Trump has been told privately there is little chance of overturning the election outcome. (Washington Post) Meanwhile, the White House ordered federal agencies not to cooperate with the Biden transition team in preparing for a handoff of power. (Washington Post)

Attorney General William Barr authorized federal prosecutors to investigate “specific allegations” of voter fraud, prompting the top Department of Justice official overseeing voter fraud issues to step down. (New York Times)

Boston Properties Venture, a Quincy real estate development company, was hit with a $250,000 fine from state regulators for funnelling money to employees who then made $57,000 in illegal campaign contributions, including $15,500 to Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and the same amount to Quincy Mayor Tom Koch. (Boston Herald)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

MassLive looks at what a Biden presidency could mean for the Springfield-based Smith & Wesson and the gun industry generally.

The Cloverleaf affordable housing project in Truro is nearing the regulatory finish line after the town permitting authority last week discussed approval of waivers for several regulations. (Cape Cod Times)

EDUCATION

Two Boston area Catholic schools are offering weekly COVID testing, and so far no tests have come back positive. (MassLive) CommonWealth recently looked at the very different approach taken by Boston area Catholic schools, which largely reopened in September to in-person instruction.

College students of color have been facing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety as a result of the pandemic. (GBH)

ARTS/CULTURE

A new research paper says the idea of Alexander Hamilton as the “abolitionist Founding Father” is wishful thinking among his admirers and claims the subject of the eponymous musical sensation owned slaves. Ron Chernow, who called Hamilton an “uncompromising abolitionist” in his 2004 biography that was the basis for the Broadway play, said the paper gives a lopsided view of the issue. (New York Times)

Though no city on the SouthCoast is ever mentioned by name, the area has a starring role in the film “Jungleland.” (Standard-Times)

TRANSPORTATION

Worcester area officials are unhappy with proposed cuts to commuter rail service. (Telegram & Gazette)

Hundreds of drivers erroneously had their licenses suspended due to out-of-state driving violations that had already been resolved. Sen. Eric Lesser, vice chair of the Transportation Committee, is seeking answers from the RMV. (MassLive)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

The chief justice of the Housing Court says it will be weeks before the impact of the lifted eviction moratorium becomes apparent, and the court system is taking steps to prepare. (The Salem News)

A construction project at the Cudworth Cemetery in Scituate, to add more burial plots for veterans and their spouses, is now the center of a lawsuit between a Rockland construction company and the town. (Patriot Ledger)