Two sides to the casino fight
There is a familiar name attached to Suffolk Downs’ blistering criticism of the choice of Wynn Resorts to build the Boston area resort casino: Charles Baker.
Not the candidate Charlie Baker; this is Charles A. Baker III, the secretary of the corporate entity that owns Suffolk Downs. The East Boston racetrack was on the losing end of Wynn’s casino license victory last month, having lost an opportunity to host a Mohegan Sun casino on track-owned land in Revere.
Baker signed an Oct. 8 letter from Suffolk Downs to the state gambling commission that sharply questions Wynn’s ability to complete the project, and urges the commission to reconsider their choice of Wynn.
What may be surprising is that Baker’s consulting firm, Dewey Square Group, is currently working in cooperation with Wynn Resorts to defend Wynn’s project from an entirely separate threat.
Dewey Square, of which Baker is a founding partner, according to his bio on the company website, is directing the casino-backed effort to defeat ballot Question 3, the casino repeal referendum. Wynn is helping to finance that campaign.
Baker, who said he has been Suffolk Downs’ corporate secretary for 23 years, told the Globe he has no role in the defense of the casino law. “It’s a Dewey Square client, but I am not involved with that client,” he said.
Mark ArsenaultMARK ARSENAULT
Patrick aides are buffing up their resumes
Now available for hire: members of the Patrick administration. Experience handling big egos and brutal workplace politics.
With the end of Governor Deval Patrick’s term fast approaching in January 2015, members of his staff are looking for jobs in academia, law, campaigns, and the not-for-profit sector, according to recent disclosure forms filed with the State Ethics Commission.
Rosemary Powers, Patrick’s deputy chief of staff for government affairs, is among the few looking to continue her State House career: She has been in talks with the incoming Senate president, Stanley Rosenberg, to work as his chief of staff.
Glen Shor, the governor’s secretary of administration and finance and former executive director of Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector Authority, has applied for the position of chief financial officer at Harvard Medical School.
Jesse Mermell, Patrick’s communications director, has been in talks about a job at the National Partnership for Women and Families, a nonprofit in Washington that defends abortion rights, fairness in the workplace, and other issues.
Kate Cook, the governor’s chief legal counsel, doesn’t appear to be having any trouble finding work. She disclosed that she has been approached by or plans to approach no fewer than 12 white-shoe law firms in the Boston area, including Todd & Weld and Choate Hall & Stewart.
Campaign season appears to be calling Eric Kanter, Patrick’s assistant director of government affairs. He has been looking at a job working for the Seth Moulton for Congress campaign.
Michael LevensonMICHAEL LEVENSON
And speaking of new jobs . . .
No one tell Diane Patrick, but others have eyes on her husband.
“People flirt,” said Governor Deval Patrick, when asked if he’s gotten any job offers with less than three months left in his second term.
In case you’re wondering, Patrick said, the pickup lines go something like this: “ ‘Do you know what you’re going to do?’ ‘When you’re ready, come talk to me.’ ”
Patrick said he doesn’t know what he is going to do, other than go back to the private sector. He said the ethics rules make it difficult for him to conduct a job search while still in office.
After he leaves in January, he said, he plans to spend about six months looking at his options. Patrick, a Harvard Law graduate, was the former general counsel at Coca-Cola. Close associates have said he’s unlikely to just go work at a law firm and would angle to be a chief executive of a company.
Shirley LeungSHIRLEY LEUNG
Romney out of Baker’s focus
Amid the latest boomlet of “Will Mitt Run?” speculation this week, another rangy, business-oriented Republican was asked whether he thought Mitt Romney, the former governor, should jump into the 2016 presidential fray.
But Charlie Baker, who desperately needs to peel away from Martha Coakley the independents and Democrats who have kept the corner office in Democratic hands since Romney left to run for president, wasn’t biting.
“I have 20 days until the election here in Massachusetts. . . . I am 100 percent focused on continuing to promote my message . . . ,” said Baker, standing on a Melrose sidewalk after touring downtown businesses with Democratic Mayor Rob Dolan, before lapsing into talking points and reiterating that he was focused on them.
Pressed — reminded that he knows Romney well and that the two hail from roughly the same wing of the Republican Party — Baker maintained his, well, focus.
“I am really focused on my race,” Baker said, before a campaign aide brought the interview to a close.
Jim O’SullivanJIM O’SULLIVAN
Good ole whatsisname
Not too long ago — OK, more than 15 years — all six of the state’s constitutional offices were occupied by straight, white men. That won’t happen next year. On the Democratic side, the only nominee to fit that description is Secretary of State William F. Galvin, a heavy favorite next month against Republican David D’Arcangelo.
And the head of the party ticket seems willing to overlook even him.
At a campaign stop in Medford on Wednesday, Martha Coakley, the gubernatorial nominee, noted to a biotech executive, “We’ve got a ticket now of four women, and Steve Kerrigan,” her openly gay running mate. Galvin, the longest-serving current constitutional officer by more than a decade, received nary a mention.
Jim O’SullivanJIM O’SULLIVAN
GOP secret weapon: daughters
When Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker wanted to remind Massachusetts voters that he supports abortion rights, he turned to his 17-year-old daughter, Caroline, to help him make the point in a TV ad. “You’re totally prochoice and bipartisan,” she tells him — not that he was likely to have forgotten.
Up in New Hampshire, US Senate candidate Scott Brown is trying a similar tactic — but with a sharper tone.
In an opinion column published by Foster’s Daily Democrat, the newspaper in Dover, N.H., Brown’s daughter Ayla pounced on incumbent Senator Jeanne Shaheen, criticizing a recent television ad that questions Brown’s commitment to protecting women’s access to abortion and contraception.
“The attack ad she’s running against my dad, Scott Brown, is flat-out wrong, and is a desperate attempt to scare women,” Ayla Brown writes. “As a young voter, I find Shaheen’s smear campaign highly offensive.”
What have we learned? Both men have won the support of their daughters. Thank goodness.
Felice BelmanFELICE BELMAN
In Vt., gubernatorial candidates galore
For months the Massachusetts race for governor has been described as boring. Turns out, voters looking for a little more pizzazz need only travel north, to Vermont, where a seven-way (!) race for governor featuring unlikely candidates with unusual platforms (and, yes, the incumbent, Democrat Peter Shumlin) is underway. C-SPAN caught the glorious flavor of the race in a televised debate last week.
■ Liberty Union candidate Pete Diamondstone, sporting a bushy gray beard, suspenders, and what appeared to be denim shorts, introduced himself like this: “I am a revolutionary, nonviolent socialist, and I am a secessionist.”
■ Cris Ericson, an independent wearing a sequined suit and an elaborate black and white hat, spoke passionately about what she wanted to stop: “We’ve got to stop things. We’ve got to stop the 35 strike fighter jets from being based here, and we’ve got to stop the natural gas pipeline from being built under Lake Champlain.”
■ Independent Bernard Peters, sporting a gray cap, denim shirt, and long salt-and-pepper beard, showed off the finest olde New England accent of the crowd. Here’s how he described voters and taxpayers — as compared to politicians: “Them are the people who are boss, not the other way around.”
■ Independent Emily Peyton described herself as an Earth activist. Her priorities includes finding ways to “honor the Earth and to live in harmony with each other and the natural world.”
Also on stage: Libertarian Dan Feliciano, Republican Scott Milne — looking sober as an undertaker amid the colorful candidates around him — and Shumlin, the two-term incumbent.
Something for everyone.
Felice BelmanFELICE BELMAN