Trump tweet stalls Wampanoag bill

A tweet by President Trump uprooted the strategy of legislators who aim to save Mashpee Wampanoag plans for a $1 billion casino in Taunton.

“Republicans shouldn’t vote for H.R. 312, a special interest casino Bill, backed by Elizabeth (Pocahontas) Warren. It is unfair and doesn’t treat Native Americans equally!” said Trump in a tweet.

Democrats responded by pulling back the bill, which was scheduled for a full House vote. The bipartisan bill, which required a two-thirds majority to pass, would have granted reservation status to land controlled by the tribe, and paved the way for the opening of a casino on the property.

Rep. William Keating, a lead sponsor of the legislation, tweeted that Trump had signed a similar bill for another tribe last year. “So why tweet against a bill recognizing the tribe of the first Thanksgiving? Because of his well-documented alliance with the RI casino lobbyist. A weak attempt to hide corrupt influence in a racist tweet.”

The lobbyist Keating was referring to is Matt Schlapp, a Trump adviser and husband of Trump’s director of strategic communications. One of Schlapp’s lobbying clients is Twin River Management Group, which owns the Twin River and Tiverton casinos in Rhode Island, which would be in direct competition with the Wampanoag casino. Keating called the move by Trump “disgusting.”

Warren, who cosponsored a Senate version of the legislation, could not be reached for comment.

The tribe has faced a long struggle in getting its casino project to move forward. The Interior Department granted reservation status to the tribe’s land in 2015, but that decision was overturned in 2016 by a lawsuit brought by local property owners.

With Trump’s tweet foiling the plan to push through the bill quickly via a suspension of House rules, lawmakers say they will now attempt to pass the bill through the regular legislative process. “This delay won’t be long,” Keating said.

SARAH BETANCOURT


BEACON HILL

Officials from Brockton, New Bedford, and Worcester hold a press briefing in Boston where they pressure the Legislature to provide more funding for schools or face a lawsuit. (CommonWealth)

Trying to decide what the cutoff age should be for juvenile criminal offenders, a state task force visits a Department of Youth Services facility in Roslindale and learns about the extensive educational offerings and a dramatic drop in recidivism. (CommonWealth)

Local entrepreneurs sound-off against “Big Cannabis” at a State House protest. (Boston Globe) Maybe the state could have taken a licensing lesson from Maine. (Boston Globe)

The Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, DigBoston, and Emerson College students have published a collaborative investigation looking into gun laws, money ties, and licensure in Massachusetts.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

A Globe editorial says Mayor Marty Walsh’s record on contracting with minority- and female-owned firms is “embarrassing” after a report showed such companies only won awards for 1 percent of the city’s business last year.

Everett is the most stressed out municipality in Massachusetts, followed by Malden and Revere, according a recruiting firm called Zippia. (MassLive)

Thomas Smith, the former president of the Beverly Little League felt blindsided by the statement put out after his resignation, and now he wants an investigation to clear his name. (Salem News)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Iqbal Quadir and Ira Jackson explain the importance of Rabindranath Tagore and Bangladesh. (CommonWealth)

The US House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt. The next step is a vote by the full House. (Associated Press)

Of the latest school shootings — outside Denver and in North Carolina — Joan Vennochi says, “It is cliché to say this is the new norm, but it is.” (Boston Globe) Columnist Yvonne Abraham sounds a similar lament. (Boston Globe)

ELECTIONS

Anthony Brooks at WBUR looks at the lavish circuit of fundraisers that allow Congressman Richard Neal to bring in so much money, and the concerns raised about how that might influence his decision-making.

Among the three candidates from diverse backgrounds who have announced bids for the Allston-Brighton city council seat, a new requirement to support more affordable housing is a shared goal. (WGBH)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The site of a former iron foundry in Easton could soon make way for more than 60 single-family houses, as the town seeks to bring about the latest transformation of a former industrial village that once manufactured cannon balls for George Washington’s Continental Army. (Brockton Enterprise)

EDUCATION

The number of Massachusetts students with complex or challenging special needs has dramatically increased from 62,660 in 2004 to 118,867 in 2019. (MassLive)

Troubled Hampshire College says its fall class will consist of 15 students. (Daily Hampshire Gazette)

State Sens. Jason Lewis, Julian Cyr, and Vinny deMacedo continue to discuss the state’s chapter 70 school funding formula with educators on the Cape. (Cape Cod Times)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Partners HealthCare is closing two urgent care walk-in clinics, in Burlington and Medford, due to low patient demand and staffing difficulties. (Boston Globe)

TRANSPORTATION

The impact of the strike by drivers working for Uber and Lyft seems minimal but is unclear. (CommonWealth)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

It has been a deadly year so far for humpback whales, as 10 have been reported dead along the East Coast. The annual average humpback deaths in recent years was just under 13. (Gloucester Daily Times)

The Patriot Ledger reports a group of about 50 scientists, engineers, government officials and private businesses met Wednesday to take a look at what they stand to lose to sea level rise and storm surges. Last year, researchers at UMass-Boston estimated that laying 3.8 miles of flood walls from Winthrop to Hull could cost up to $8.7 billion. But local engineers and Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch have criticized that study, calling its vision too large in scope and are envisioning a different barrier system.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins quietly dropped witness intimidation charges against powerful developer Arthur Winn in connection with a fight he had with a nurse caring for him, but Rollins did so without ever interviewing the nurse, whose lawyer said the move is at odds with the new DA’s professed support for victims and criticism she’s leveled against special treatment for the privileged. (Boston Globe)

Four young men who testified for the prosecution in Mathew Borges murder trial will not be charged for their roles burglarizing the home of the man Borges allegedly killed and beheaded. A fifth man who was allegedly involved has asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. (Eagle-Tribune)

A 21-year-old Worcester man is sentenced to four years of probation after driving into and killing a pedestrian while texting on his phone. The family of the victim is outraged. (Telegram & Gazette)

MEDIA

Media critic Dan Kennedy says the controversy over the Red Sox visiting the White House has spilled over into the comments on the Boston Globe’s website, where comments critical of Globe publisher John Henry, who is also the principal owner of the team, have been blocked.