Worcester power couple unplugged

Michael and Coreen Gaffney, the aspiring power couple of Worcester politics, pulled out of their races for City Council to pursue an “opportunity” they declined to talk about because “the local hate groups and media make it unwise to reveal our plans.”

Michael Gaffney, the second-highest vote getter in the last municipal election, was running for an at-large council seat. Coreen Gaffney was making her first run for office — against incumbent district councilor Sarai Rivera.

The Gaffneys made their announcement in a press release entitled “The Gaffney’s [sic] have left the building,” which was posted on the Worcester Independent Leader website, which is worth checking out. The announcement said the opportunity would require the couple to spend a lot of time away from Worcester, but there are indications the couple may also be moving. Their home, a condo owned by Coreen, is reportedly up for sale.

In the press release, Gaffney acknowledged he and his wife were withdrawing at such a late date that their names would remain on the Nov. 7 ballot. “But as we cannot fulfill the obligations of the office it would not be prudent to cast a vote for us,” he said.

Rivera, who accused Michael Gaffney of “preaching hate,” told the Telegram & Gazette she was happy to see the couple go. “They are irrelevant,” she said. Rivera told Worcester Magazine. “The Judases eventually hang themselves. Our people deserve better.”

Telegram & Gazette columnist Dianne Williamson, who frequently feuds with Gaffney, was pleased but puzzled by the announcement. “This is Gaffney we’re talking about, a man of malevolence and mystery who’s made some baffling moves as his political prospects have waned over the past year,” she wrote. “First it was assumed he’d be running for mayor; then he withdrew an hour before the deadline. He doesn’t speak to the media and even decided he’d take no part in any campaign forums.”

Gaffney gave no hint in his press release that political problems prompted his exit from the City Council. “Every campaign that we have helped manage has been successful,” he wrote. “In just four years, we have really shaped the politics in Worcester and Worcester County.”

BRUCE MOHL


BEACON HILL

The head of state crime lab responsible for alcohol testing was fired because the office withheld potentially exculpatory evidence in thousands of drunken-driving cases. (Boston Globe)

Joan Vennochi says Attorney General Maura Healey’s string of lawsuits against the Trump administration are both in the state’s interest — as well as in Healey’s political interest. (Boston Globe)

An Eagle-Tribune editorial said the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, which is mounting a hard-hitting campaign against Democrats who voted for a pay raise, should come clean about its funding sources.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

A former trucker won a $95,000 jury award in a federal suit against a Randolph police officer who he said cited him twice for driving without a valid license even though he was licensed in Georgia. (Patriot Ledger)

Voters at a Mashpee special Town Meeting approved a moratorium on recreational marijuana at least until the end of next year but there was some controversy when the acting moderator limited the scope of debate and the number of people who could speak. (Cape Cod Times)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

President Trump, in a Rose Garden appearance with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, says he has a good relationship with congressional Republicans even though it’s everyone else’s fault but his that his agenda isn’t being passed. (U.S. News & World Report)

Trump was fact-checked on the spot when he falsely claimed former President Barack Obama never contacted the families of fallen soldiers. (New York Times)

The #metoo hashtag goes viral with millions of women declaring they have been the subject of sexual harassment. “It is a moment for change,” says Brandeis professor Anita Hill, who made a much lonelier declaration 26 years ago. (Boston Globe)

Sen. John McCain slams isolationist/nationalist policies cooked up by people “who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.” (Time)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in a Globe op-ed, says a rule change on contesting credit card charges being pushed by banking lobbyists would be a boon to banks and bad for consumers.

ELECTIONS

Virtually all (95 percent) of the $800,000 Dan Koh raised in his first month in the race for the Third Congressional District seat came from donors outside the Merrimack Valley district he wants to represent. (Boston Globe)

Rufus Faulk, one of two finalists for the open Roxbury-based district city council seat, has made his way from the streets to a doctoral program at Northeastern University. (Boston Herald)

A Herald editorial says a Trial Court report shows that workers in the Suffolk County probate office are racists and the register Felix D. Arroyo is not competent to run the place, reasons to end the practice of electing officials to oversee deeds and probate offices.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Billerica plans to make a pitch to Amazon to locate its second headquarters in the northern part of the town near a commuter rail stop. (Lowell Sun)

A Globe editorial makes a pitch for Amazon, saying Boston doesn’t need gimmicks or need to brag. Which it then does.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals plans to pledge $500 million in charitable donations to the Boston area over the coming decade. (Boston Globe)

Dave Ratner, the owner of a Western Massachusetts pet supply chain is facing a customer revolt after posing in a photograph at the White House with President Trump announcing his executive order rolling back provisions of the Affordable Care Act. (Boston Globe)  Globe columnist Kevin Cullen feels badly for him, but wonders what he was thinking. Herald columnist Michael Graham says Ratner is being subjected the usual stridency of the political left.

The US Public Interest Research Group releases a study showing which US companies have parked $2.6 million overseas in tax havens. (MassLive)

EDUCATION

Middlesex Superior Court Judge Garry Inge rules that the Lowell School Committee does not have authority to block construction of a new high school near Cawley Stadium. (Lowell Sun)

Mayor Marty Walsh concedes that Boston’s high schools are not doing well — two years after he launched an effort to revitalize them. (Boston Globe)

Massachusetts Teachers Association president Barbara Madeloni says Gov. Charlie Baker should fire state education board chairman Paul Sagan because of his $500,000 donation to last fall’s pro-charter school ballot campaign, which only came to light recently. (Boston Globe)

TRANSPORTATION

Only one company has bid on the MBTA’s controversial proposal to privatize bus maintenance work at as many as three garages, said the union representing existing T garage employees. (CommonWealth)

Transportation notes: Registry of Motor Vehicles admits rocky rollout of new car inspection equipment; MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board prepares to go live; and drivers for the RIDE facing long shifts. (CommonWealth)

MassDOT and MBTA officials say they are upping their recruitment game to bring in top talent. (Boston Herald)

Sen. Eric Lesser launches a website to push for east-west rail. (MassLive)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

An historic dam in East Bridgewater will be removed in a collaborative effort by state, local, and environmental groups for safety reasons and to allow herring to swim upstream to spawn. (The Enterprise)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

Lawyers for the estate of convicted killer Aaron Hernandez have refiled their suit in state court charging the NFL and Riddell, the football helmet maker, were negligent in not advising the former tight end about the dangers of developing CTE from playing. (Associated Press)

A couple is arraigned on animal cruelty charges after leaving a French bulldog in their car while touring Salem for five hours. The dog was found dead in a puddle of his own vomit. (Salem News)

MEDIA