Tax quandary | Budget balk | Early vote, early success

Happening Today
School report

The Boston Public Schools this morning releases "Investing in Student Success: 10 Big Ideas to Unlock Resources in Boston Public Schools," City Year Inc., 287 Columbus Ave., Boston.

Walsh press conference

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh participates in a press conference with representatives from Northeastern University and LISC Boston, Bolling Building, 2300 Washington St., Roxbury, 9:30 a.m.

Kennedy at New England Council

Congressman Joseph Kennedy III discusses economic issues and the state of mental health reform in Congress at a breakfast hosted by the New England Council, Seaport Hotel, Lighthouse Room, One Seaport Ln., 9:30 a.m.

Baker talks education reform in NY

Gov. Charlie Baker delivers a breakfast lecture at the Manhattan Institute on "Education Reform in the Bay State," 52 Vanderbilt Ave., New York, NY, 9:35 a.m.

Lottery Commission

Treasurer Deb Goldberg will chair a meeting of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor, East Conference Room, 10:30 a.m.

Environmental report

Environment Massachusetts announces recommendations from its new report by Frontier Group on "50 Steps Towards Carbon-Free Transportation," Government Center Plaza, in front of Government Center Station, 11 a.m.

Baker canvasses for Question 2

Gov. Baker joins Boston parents and charter school advocates for door-to-door outreach in support of Question 2, 120 Woodrow Ave., Dorchester, 4 p.m.

Anti-Question 2 rally

Boston city councilors Ayanna Pressley and Tito Jackson along with others plan to rally against Question 2, Prince Hall Lodge, 24 Washington St., Dorchester, 6:30 p.m.

Today's Stories
Baker’s quandary: Wouldn’t raising the pot tax constitute a tax increase?

The Globe’s Joshua Miller nails the dilemma: “Creating a potential quandary for the no-new-taxes administration of Governor Charlie Baker, Massachusetts’ top two Democratic lawmakers said Monday they are open to raising taxes on marijuana, should voters pass a ballot question to legalize the drug next month. And Republican Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito — standing in for Baker, who was out of state — criticized the 3.75 percent tax on marijuana embedded in the referendum as likely inadequate to cover oversight costs of the new industry.”

As Miller notes, Question 4 is clear about creating a 3.75 percent tax and giving cities and towns the option to add an additional 2 percent tax on sales of marijuana. So if Baker decides it should be higher than what taxpayers approved, isn’t that a tax increase? He can dance around the issue all he wants by saying marijuana sales are a “new service” that fall outside his no-new-taxes pledge. But, again, the Question 4 measure is quite clear about tax rates. It’s not only a quandary. It’s a fascinating quandary.

Boston Globe
Widow of state trooper cuts anti-Question 4 video

The tragic death of State Trooper Thomas Clardy, who was killed earlier this year by a driver who had just picked up medical marijuana at a dispensary, was destined to become part of the debate over the Question 4 initiative that calls for legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts – and now it has, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout. In a new video released by an anti-Question 4 group, Clardy’s widow, Reisa Clardy, makes an emotional plea for people to vote against the measure, Stout reports.

Boston Herald
Legislative leaders balk at Baker’s budget cuts

This is definitely a new wrinkle in the ongoing budget debate on Beacon Hill: Both House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg, who often don’t agree on budget matters, are basically telling Gov. Charlie Baker to slow down on his proposed budget reductions, saying the revenue picture is not clear enough to justify deep cuts this early in the fiscal year, reports State House News Service’s Matt Murphy. "My feeling is until we have a better feel in terms of the budget ahead that 9c cuts probably should be held off, and I'm not saying for an exceptionally long period of time," DeLeo told reporters. Rosenberg, standing next to DeLeo, quickly added: "I concur with the speaker's view on this that we're moving too fast and cutting too deep at this point if we're basing this on being eleven million dollars under revenue year-to-date, and so I think we should slow this down a little bit because it's going to cause a lot of dislocation.” 

Interesting development. Democrats are starting to sound like Democrats.

SHNS (pay wall)
WBZ-UMass poll gives Ayotte narrow lead

N.H. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican, holds a slim lead over Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, in the race that could help decide which party controls the U.S. Senate, according to a new WBZ/UMass poll. The poll gives the Republican a lead of 46-43 percent, Jon Keller of WBZ reports. The numbers show that Ayotte has not been badly damaged by her awkward embrace-then-rejection of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

CBS Boston
Voters come out early and often

Reports from around the commonwealth seem to show an impressive turnout in early voting as town and city clerks opened the doors for people to cast early ballots for the first time, Chris Villani of the Herald reports. There were few reports of problems with the new system. Clerks on the North and South shores reported steady crowds all day. In Springfield, more than 400 turned out for early voting, according to a report from Peter Goonan at MassLive.  In Cambridge, the first-day crowds were so large that some voters walked away rather than wait in line to vote.

All in all: Impressive.

Curt? Curt who?

The Herald’s Peter Gelzinis yesterday tried to get a quote from Elizabeth Warren about the far-fetched possibility that Curt Schilling might run against her in 2018. Warren didn’t go much beyond “Are you kidding?” in her responses. Peter reads into this that she really doesn’t give a hoot about Curt. Which is probably true. But Warren has also perfected the art of dodging pesky reporters’ questions about various topics, usually local topics, so read into it what you want.

The Globe's Kevin Cullen asks a great question: Why are so many people helping Curt drum up publicity for his budding career as a talk-show blowhard? “Just because he’s throwing something doesn’t mean we have to catch it. He is not running for office. He’s running for the circus.” And the Globe's Joan Vennochi has reached a Bill James-like conclusion about the ex-Red Sox star: Politically, he’s most definitely minor league.

Harvard and food-service workers reach tentative deal to end strike

From the Harvard Crimson: “Harvard and its dining workers reached a ‘tentative agreement’ around 1:05 a.m. Tuesday morning—the closest the two parties have come to a contract settlement during months of tense negotiations. Brian Lang, president of UNITE HERE Local 26—the Boston-based union that represents Harvard’s dining workers—said the accord ‘accomplished all of our goals.’”

The Crimson
Airbnb launches ‘charm offensive’

From SHNS’s Colin Young at CommonWealth magazine: “With a policy battle on the Beacon Hill horizon, the short-term rental company Airbnb has launched a TV advocacy campaign framing itself as a boon to local small business, a check against inequality and a reliable source of income for hosts. The charm offensive comes as legislative leaders appear to be positioning themselves to regulate the short-term rental market, including Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO.”

Capuano wants federal review of commuter rail

U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano wants federal agencies to investigate whether the MBTA’s commuter rail provider violated civil rights by shifting resources away from inner city neighborhoods and toward suburban markets, Nicole Dungca of the Globe reports. The move comes in the wake of a Globe story that said 17 trains had been canceled on the Fairmont line in September, more than any other commuter rail line. 

Boston Globe
Mystery developers make quiet inquiries about reviving Columbus Center project

MassDOT is confirming that it has had “informal conversations with a couple of developers” about reviving the once controversial but now dormant Columbus Center development over the Massachusetts Turnpike in Boston, reports the Globe’s Tim Logan, who identifies Trinity Financial as one of the probable interested parties. The proposed $800 million Columbus Center went down in flames last decade amidst intense local opposition.

Boston Globe
Warren: Nasty women of the world, unite!

Appearing at a New Hampshire rally with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren had a rip-roaring time ripping into Donald Trump, zeroing in on Trump’s “nasty woman” remark during the recent debate. “Nasty women have really had it with Donald Trump," Warren pronounced, as reported by Shannon Young at MassLive. "Get this, Donald: Nasty women are tough, nasty women are smart, and nasty women vote.” 

Amateur presidential prognosticator awaits national fame if Trump wins

The polls may say Donald Trump is going to get swamped next month. But Don Khoury, a Bedford business development professional and political prognosticator on the side, said his body-language algorithm predicts a Trump victory on Nov. 8, reports Henry Schwan at Wicked Local. “If Trump wins, I’ll look good,” Khoury said. “If he doesn’t, I don’t. But if he wins, I’ll get a lot more traction at the national level.” You heard it here first.

Wicked Local
The 25 towns that have donated the most money to Trump’s campaign

Hillary Clinton may be crushing Donald Trump in the polls and in fundraising in Massachusetts. But Trump does have his share of supporters across the state, particularly in Norwood, it seems, in terms of political donations, reports the BBJ’s David Harris, who has put together a slide show of the 25 towns that have given the most to Trump’s campaign.

High noon in Hudson, as anti- and pro-Trump forces converge

Hudson isn’t on the BBJ’s list of the 25 towns that have donated the most money to Donald Trump’s campaign, but it does have (or at least attracts) Trump supporters, as was evident over the weekend during competing anti- and pro-Trump rallies in Hudson’s downtown, reports Dakota Antelman at the Community Advocate:

“A set of cars adorned with American flags, confederate flags, and at least one car with several Trump signs in its windows paraded down Main Street for much of the protest, with drivers honking and, at times, shouting insults at protesters as they passed. In another meeting in which most of the protesters came together in front of Town Hall, anti-Trump protesters walked along the sidewalk while Trump supporters positioned themselves on the lawn of the Town Hall and chanted their candidate’s name. Later, as the protests were winding down, an anti-Trump protester holding a sign was hit with an egg thrown from a car moving down Main Street.”

Community Advocate
So long, Lord Jeffrey

Lord Jeffrey Amherst is out at the Massachusetts college that bears his nam, as the liberal arts institution starts the search for a new mascot, Scott Merzbach of the Hampshire Gazette reports. Lord Jeff is being replaced because he had a hand in spreading smallpox among native Americans. The college plans to solicit ideas for a new mascot through November, then task a 23-member committee with culling the best of those before the big reveal next fall. 

Hampshire Gazette
Today's Headlines

Capuano asks DOJ to review whether Keolis violated civil rights - Boston Globe

Boston school closings are back on the table - Boston Globe

BLS backs off legwear dress code after kids protest - Boston Herald

Marty Walsh denies project favoritism toward former aide - Boston Herald

Boston’s Seaport neighborhood has its very first pharmacy - Boston Business Journal

Boston early voting kicks off with smooth start - WGBH


Surprise! Early voting doesn’t boost turnout - Boston Globe

More than 400 Springfield residents cast ballots on first day of early voting - Boston Globe

State’s big move to all-electronic tolling begins Friday as toll booths come down - MassLive

Yes on 4 campaign response to Reisa Clardy video urging Mass. voters not to legalize marijuana - MassLive

Residents rally to defeat monopole project in Framingham - MetroWest Daily News

Early voting gets a thumbs up on North Shore - Salem News

South Shore’s first day of early voting is ‘busy, busy’ - Patriot Ledger

Accusations keep flying in sheriff’s race - Cape Cod Times

New library director lacks needed degree, experience - Eagle-Tribune

Amherst College starts process to find new mascot - Hampshire Gazette

Local school officials rally against ballot charter cap push - WGBH

Easton town employee arrested on theft charges - Brockton Enterprise

Super Town Meeting approves Devens zoning change - Lowell Sun


Some health plan costs will rise sharply, administration says - New York Times

Kellyanne Conway’s and Donald Trump’s relationship is becoming bizarre - Washington Post

Clinton and Warren: Friends now, trouble ahead - Politico


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