Walsh issues subpoenas

Trying to drum up publicity for his legal fight against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh leaked subpoenas to the Boston Globe and Boston Herald on Tuesday.

The subpoenas, seeking records and depositions, were sent to several current and former state troopers, the Hard Rock Cafe, and former state transportation secretary (and current Boston 2024 CEO) Richard Davey. The city’s lawsuit claims the Gaming Commission bent its rules to favor Wynn and asks the court to cancel the license awarded to the Las Vegas company to build a $1.7 billion casino/hotel in Everett.

The Hard Rock Cafe looked at the toxic Everett site before Wynn and, according to theGlobe, the city wants to know if Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby steered the company there. The city wants to ask Davey questions about his approval of a T land sale to Wynn that is now on hold pending a state environmental review of the casino project. And the city wants to question two private investigators on whether they were working for Wynn and given unauthorized access to an ongoing criminal investigation of the previous owners of the Everett property. A Wynn spokesman says the company doesn’t know the private investigators and never hired them.

The subpoena stories appear designed to signal that Walsh is serious about his lawsuit, even as he negotiates privately with Wynn officials on mitigation packages for Boston.CommonWealth reported last week that Walsh met privately with the president of Wynn Resorts and took a pass on a $150 million plan to fix Sullivan Square in Charlestown. Walsh says the plan is bogus because it relies on funds under control of the state, but Wynn officials say a case can be made for the state using casino tax revenues to address underlying traffic issues at Sullivan Square.

All of the casino maneuverings beg the real question: What does Walsh want? Aides say the mayor no longer wants a casino in eastern Massachusetts because the economy is doing fine without it and because of the addictive nature of gaming. The mayor’s private negotiations with Wynn officials, however, suggest he’s open to a casino as long as Wynn gives the city the money the mayor thinks it deserves. The mayor’s lawsuit against Wynn serves both ends. It’s a way to block the casino from ever opening and also a way to leverage greater concessions from Wynn.

Bruce Mohl

 

BEACON HILL

The Baker administration says the state’s Medicaid program will pay to screen all new mothers for postpartum depression. (CommonWealth)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a lower court to reconsider its decision in support of Worcester‘s tough ordinance restricting panhandling, a bylaw that New Bedford had been considering using as a model of its own. (Standard-Times)

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse and challenger City Councilor Anthony Soto clash over the city’s creative economy coordinator position. (MassLive)

OLYMPICS

Boston 2024 promises jobs, housing, tax revenue, and two new neighborhoods at“minimal risk.” (CommonWealth) Beacon Hill leaders react cautiously to Boston 2024‘s new “Bid 2.0,” saying it leaves lots of unanswered questions about possible state costs. (CommonWealth)

Joan Vennochi says the Olympic ball is in Gov. Charlie Baker‘s court. (Boston Globe)

Boston 2024 chairman Steve Pagliuca says the biggest risk to the region would be to take a pass on the benefits the Olympics could bring. (Boston Globe)

Boston 2024 is proposing a massive tax break for the master developer of the Widett Circle area on a scale perhaps never before seen in the city. (Boston Globe)

The Item grumbles that no proposed venues for the Games are on the North Shore.

A Boston College finance professor is skeptical of Boston 2024’s ability to secureinsurance coverage against cost overruns. (Boston Herald)

CASINOS

Representatives for the proposed casino in Brockton say the proximity to Boston would generate more traffic and more tax revenue for the state than a New Bedford waterfront casino. (Standard-Times)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Retired chief justice Margaret Marshall, who authored the landmark decision that legalized gay marriage in Massachusetts, and Senate President Stan Rosenberg, the first openly gay leader of the chamber, discuss the Supreme Court’s decision on same sex marriage. (Greater Boston)

The Supreme Court allows abortion clinics in Texas to remain open while it considers an appeal challenging the state’s new restrictive abortion regulations that would essentially close most of the facilities. (New York Times)

Phoenix is trying to turn itself into a center for innovation when it comes to curbing the production of trash. (Governing) Massachusetts, meanwhile, can’t seem to move beyond infighting over the bottle deposit law. (CommonWealth)

A new study by Stanford researchers finds that racial segregation exists in neighborhoods regardless of what the income levels are. (U.S. News & World Report)

Why rappers often sport Confederate flags on their clothing. (The Daily Beast)

Three New England states, including Massachusetts at No. 5, rank the highest in a survey on alcohol consumption habits. (The Daily Beast)

ELECTIONS

Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi launches his bid for re-election. (Berkshire Eagle)

Martin O’Malley will be in Boston today where he is set to raise some money at big-dollar fundraisers with Democratic donors not on the Hillary bandwagon. (Boston Globe)

Ted Cruz says states not parties to the lawsuit over same-sex marriage can simply ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling. (Politico)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Uber is telling prospective investors that it generates operating losses of $470 million on revenues of $415 million. (Bloomberg)

President Obama raised the threshold at which American workers qualify for overtime, lifting the bar to 1975 purchasing power level. The move will make millions more people eligible. He announced the regulation in an op-ed in the Huffington Post.

The US Chamber of Commerce is the tip of the tobacco industry’s spear in worldwide efforts to fight anti-smoking laws. (New York Times)

EDUCATION

California lawmakers approve legislation requiring all public school children to be vaccinated. (Time)

Salem schools superintendent Joe Mastracola is leaving his post and taking with him a $100,000 departure package as long as he says nothing about the reason for his exit. (Salem News)

TRANSPORTATION

A MBTA commuter garage is badly in need of repairs. (The Item)

Get on the bus: MBTA signs $222 million contract for replacement buses. (Boston Business Journal)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

The Supreme Court sends the EPA back to the drawing board, telling the agency it has to first do a cost analysis of its plan for curtailing emissions from the nation’s power plants. (USA Today)

Andover is negotiating a deal with a Palmer-based solar farm that is expected to yield $6 million in savings for the town over 20 years. (Eagle-Tribune)

Residents in Shirley raise concerns about a revolutionary type of solar farm proposed by National Grid. (The Sun)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

State Police flip a woman shot during an armed robbery in New Hampshire and her information leads to a major heroin bust in Lawrence. (Eagle-Tribune)

Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins wants to build a detox ward for prisoners awaiting trial at the Middleton House of Corrections. (Gloucester Times)

A Raynham man has been sentenced to prison and ordered to pay back more than $5,000 he embezzled from the Rhode Island state lottery. (Associated Press)

MEDIA

Lowell Sun columnist  Peter Lucas writes a rambling column suggesting John Henry’sBoston Globe is in the bag to Boston 2024.

NBC Universal cuts its ties with Donald Trump over the presidential candidate’s comments about immigrants. Trump, who jointly owns the Miss Universe and Miss USA beauty pageants with NBC, is threatening to sue. (CNNMoney)

The MBTA has been ordered by the secretary of state’s office to revise its cost estimate for records requested by the Patriot Ledger about the authority’s Red Line performance during the winter’s storms.