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Matt's refund | Political pageantry | Sweet home Alabama

New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association
Happening Today
Ruggles station groundbreaking, Housing Committee, ‘Yankee Division’ commemoration

Gov. Charlie Baker joins U.S. Rep. Mike Capuano, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, MBTA Interim General Manager Steve Poftak, Rep. Chynah Tyler, Keolis CEO and general manager David Scorey and Northeastern University senior vice president Ralph Martin for the Ruggles Station Transportation Project groundbreaking, Ruggles Station, Ruggles St and Tremont St, Boston, 9 a.m. … Housing Committee solicits testimony on bills dealing with the Department of Housing and Community Development and manufactured housing, including legislation by Rep. Marjorie Decker that would require the state to provide shelter for families, Room B-2, 10 a.m. … House Speaker Robert DeLeo and others will honor the 26th Maneuver Enhancement ‘Yankee Division’ on the centennial of its activation on Aug. 22, 1917, following the United States entry into World War I, Mural on Third Floor, State House, 10 a.m. … Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux sits on a judging panel and announces the winners of the 33rd annual Massachusetts Tomato Contest, Kitchen at Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St., Boston, 11 a.m. … Attorney General Maura Healey takes part in her monthly ‘Ask the AG’ segment on Boston Public Radio at Boston Public Library, WGBH FM, 12:30 p.m. … Fisheries and Wildlife Board meets with MassWildlife biologist Susan McCarthy discussing ‘deer-hunting expectations in suburbia,’ Stationery Factory, 63 Flansburg Ave., Dalton, 1 p.m.

Today's Stories
Beaton quietly, very quietly, reimburses state for personal flight

Remember last year’s brief furor over political operatives at the Department of Conservation and Recreation and other agencies using state property for non-state purposes and engaging in other questionable antics? Turns out Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton used taxpayer funds to pay for a round-trip plane ticket during a Florida vacation – and he’s since quietly, very quietly, refunded the state, reports the Globe’s Frank Phillips.

Boston Globe
Miss Massachusetts looks to unseat Cape Republican

Now for a completely different kind of pageant: The reigning Miss Massachusetts has launched a campaign to unseat Republican Rep. David Viera of Falmouth in the 3rd Barnstable District, Geoff Spillane of the Cape Cod Times reports. Elizabeth Barlow, a Democrat, is a manager at the American Red Cross and the wife of an active Coast Guard cadet. 

Cape Cod Times
Kafker sworn in as newest SJC justice, following retirement of Hines

With little fanfare, Supreme Judicial Court Justice Geraldine Hines quietly retired last Friday, a few months before her mandatory retirement at the age of 70, ending her distinguished tenure as the first African-American woman to serve on the SJC, as reported at MassLive.

Yesterday, Scott Kafker, the former Appeals Court chief justice, was sworn in as her replacement in a private State House ceremony, according to the governor’s office, as reported by SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the Salem News. The appointment of Kafker, a Swampscott native who was nominated by Gov. Charlie Baker and who once served with Baker in the Weld administration, was previously approved for the SJC post by the Governor’s Council. Kafker is now the fifth justice Baker has placed on the high court bench, Lannan notes.

Salem News
Armed militia member among those arrested on Saturday

How close was Boston to becoming the next Charlottesville? Closer than many skeptics seem to appreciate. Besides the arrests of a slew of left-wing extremists at Saturday’s Boston Common right-wing rally and counter-rallies, an out-of-state member of the Liberty State Militia was arrested for bringing body armor and a gun to the event, reports the Herald’s Marie Szaniszlo. Can’t stress this enough: Boston dodged a bullet on Saturday, figuratively, if not literally. There’s a long, ugly history of extremists on both sides violently going at it at such events.

Boston Herald
Job Board (do not remove)
Sweet home Alabama: Right-wing BU student packs his bags for more hospitable political environment

From the Globe’s Dugan Arnett: “Nicholas Fuentes, the budding right-wing provocateur who said last week that he was leaving Boston University amid purported death threats, plans to enroll at Auburn University in Alabama next spring.” There’s only one problem with the plan: It’s not clear whether Auburn will accept his application. Doh!

Boston Globe
Artists, historians and Alex Beam: Maybe slow down a bit on the post-Charlottesville cultural revolution?

Though they have no sympathy for far right-wing causes, many artists, museum curators and historic preservationist are getting increasingly nervous about the speed with which some Confederate statues and memorials are being taken down across the country in the wake of the Charlottesville tragedy, reports the New York Times. Ditto for many historians, reports the Boston Globe’s Michael Levenson. The Globe’s Alex Beam hates to admit it, but he says maybe Donald Trump was right when he suggested that after the Robert E. Lee statues are toppled, next to fall might be the statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. It's already going beyond ex-Conderates and slave owners. Some are now going after Teddy Roosevelt.

‘Then compassion replaced resentment’

The Globe’s Steve Annear has a nice follow-up piece on Imani Williams, who helped save a Donald Trump supporter from a rough and ugly crowd at Saturday’s Boston Common rally, even though she was there as a counter demonstrator to the right-wingers. Among her new admirers: author JK Rowling.

Boston Globe
Holyoke school district, state hit with suit alleging discrimination against Latinos

A federal lawsuit alleges human rights violations and discrimination by the Holyoke Public Schools for failing to provide parents who speak limited English adequate translation services for a wide range of documents related to their children, including notices of meetings, evaluations, disciplinary notices and other materials, reports Michelle Williams at MassLive. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the state education board and Holyoke public bchools receiver Stephen Zrike are among those named in the suit.

T officer gets six months for beating Roxbury woman

From Bob McGovern at the Herald: “The former MBTA police officer convicted of beating a Roxbury woman at Dudley Square Station and then filing false reports will spend at least six months behind bars after a judge said he wanted his sentence to send a message. ‘These crimes go to the heart of the honest public service that we have the right to demand from the police officers who exercise very substantial powers,’ Suffolk Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins said.”

Boston Herald
RFK’s son, Max Kennedy, arrested for disorderly conduct

They were apparently partying it up in Hyannisport over the weekend, so much so that Matthew “Max” Kennedy, 52, and his daughter, Caroline R. Kennedy, 22, were arrested after complaints of a loud party and fireworks brought police knocking on their door, reports the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. Max Kennedy is the youngest child of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy.

Kennedy Compound, meet Shriver Compound

Speaking of the Kennedys: The Kennedy family empire on Cape Cod has geographically expanded. Timothy P. Shriver, the son of the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and his wife, lawyer Linda S. Potter, have bought a $3.3 million, six-bedroom abode in Hyannisport, a half mile away from the famous Kennedy Compound, reports David Harris at the BBJ.

Lindstrom officially declares Senate candidacy, bemoans D.C. ‘finger-pointing’

As expected, Beth Lindstrom, a former executive director of the state Lottery and former head of the state GOP, yesterday officially declared she was a candidate for the U.S. Senate, positioning herself as an “independent-minded Republican” and calling for the end to “trading insults” and “finger-pointing” in Washington, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan at the MetroWest Daily News. Lindstrom joins state Rep. Geoff Diehl, entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai and, possibly, businessman John Kingston in seeking the GOP nomination to take on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat.

MetroWest Daily News
Berkshire Eagle story on decades-old abuse opens victim floodgates

Over the weekend, Berkshire Eagle reporter Bob Dunn published a disturbing and deeply reported story detailing allegations of sexual abuse in the 1970s by a former school custodian in Adams—some of which were confirmed by the now 94-year-old former custodian himself. Dunn now reports that five more men have stepped forward in the days since the story ran, saying they too were victimized. 

Berkshire Eagle
Lawmakers: Put ‘Codfather’ cash toward fish monitoring

A group of state lawmakers wants Gov. Charlie Baker to put any cash forfeited by Carlos Rafael—who earned the nickname ‘the Codfather’ for his dominance of the New Bedford fishing port—toward increased electronic monitoring of fish catches, Michael Bonner of the Standard-Times reports. 

SouthCoast Today
Police chiefs endorse Baker’s immigrant detention bill

Police chiefs are pushing back against liberal criticism of Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed immigrant detention bill, endorsing the legislation as “a commonsense, policy prudent, and safety-orientated approach” towards handling illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive.

Widmer: Ramirez’s success at the T would be the outsider exception to the insider rule

Michael Widmer, the former president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, knows that government insiders don’t always succeed at public-sector governing – and that outsiders don’t always fail at public-sector governing. But he still thinks the T’s new general manager, Luis Ramirez, who has no public sector experience, faces daunting odds at the MBTA.

Gloucester ready and eager to launch police audit but …

Officials in Gloucester are laying the groundwork for a full audit of the city’s police department, but still plan to wait for state and federal authorities to complete reviews begun 10 months ago, Ray Lamont of the Gloucester Times reports. It’s been nearly a year since the controversy that led to the ouster of former Police Chief Leonard Campanello -- and the city’s push to audit the entire department and make staffing adjustments have been on hold since. 

Gloucester Times
Brockton mayoral hopeful took star turn at rally

It may not help him in the six-way race to become Brockton mayor, but 20-year-old candidate Bradley Souffant enjoyed a moment in the spotlight as he led a group of counter-protestors among the tens of thousands who converged on the Boston Common on Saturday, Marc Larocque of the Enterprise reports. 

Today's Headlines

Boston free speech rally organizer criticizes rally setup and plans future events - WGBH

Far-right student leaving BU for Alabama to be with ‘more like-minded people’ - Boston Globe

City funds sought for artistic space - Boston Herald


Dudley highway chief apologizes for racist remark - Telegram & Gazette

5 more come forward claiming sexual abuse from former Adams school custodian - Berkshire Eagle

Lowell schools close $610G budget gap with no staff cuts - Lowell Sun


Dems prep for Trump primary challengers in 2020 - Politico

Secret Service says it will run out of money to protect Trump and his family Sept. 30 - Washington Post

Coal mining health study is halted by Interior Department - New York Times

Beacon Hill Town Square

To view more events or post an event listing on Beacon Hill Town Square, please visit

August 23rd, 6:30 p.m.
USS Constitution and Her Crew: At Home in Boston & At Sea in Boston
Hosted by: Old North Church & Historic Site
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August 24th, 5:30 p.m.
Malden Democratic City Committee Annual Summer BBQ
Hosted by: Malden Democratic City Committee
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  • Wide ranging summary of the latest news on Massachusetts politics, public policy, and government
  • Rich array of sources, both conventional and niche
  • Beacon Hill's most comprehensive Calendar of upcoming political, policy and advocacy events
  • Check our Job Board identifying Beacon Hill's best new positions available in government, politics and public policy