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Political Happy Hour with Joshua Miller

Saturday, August 23, 2014
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Here’s your afternoon shot of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe:

TWO SUPER PACS LAUNCHING ADS AGAINST SCOTT BROWN, from me on “Incoming. Two federal super PACs are launching a barrage of ads against Republican Scott Brown in his New Hampshire US Senate bid. NextGen Climate, a super PAC backed by billionaire Tom Steyer focused on climate change, is unleashing a substantial TV, radio and online advertising blitz against Brown ... Also on the attack: Mayday PAC, a super PAC aimed at ending super PACs and reducing the influence of money in politics. It’s set to start airing a strange TV ad on Friday boosting one of Brown’s longshot GOP opponents, former state senator Jim Rubens, ahead of the Sept. 9 New Hampshire primary. ...”

The (quite unusual) Mayday PAC TV ad entitled “An Unprovoked Attack”:

The (not so unusual) NextGen Climate TV ad entitled “Tap”:

STEWARD HEALTH CARE SUES GLOBE, SERVES PAPERS ON PATIENT, via Mark Arsenault on “A Superior Court judge today is considering competing requests by the Steward Health Care System and The Boston Globe over a story the newspaper has not yet published about a man’s journey through the mental health care system. ...”

STATE DEPARTMENT BARS ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE FOR DIPLOMATS, via Matthew Lee of the Associated Press in Washington: “The charity stunt has lured athletes, celebrities, politicians and rock stars and gone viral on the Internet, but don’t look for US diplomats to get in on the fun. Lawyers at the State Department have banned American ambassadors and other high-profile foreign service officers from participating in the ice-bucket challenge to raise money and awareness for ... ALS. In a cable sent this week to all US diplomatic missions, the lawyers say it runs afoul of federal ethics rules barring officials from using public office for private gain ‘no matter how worthy the cause.’ ... ” Link via

TOP 5 FEDERAL RACES TO WATCH IN NEW ENGLAND, via Nathan L. Gonzales on “... Massachusetts’ 6th District. There are two races to watch in this district this fall. The first is the Sept. 9 Democratic primary between Rep. John Tierney and Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton, along with three others. ... In the general, Tierney would face Republican Richard Tisei in a rematch of their close 2012 contest. ...

Maine’s 2nd District. ... [which] could develop into a serious Republican opportunity. Democratic state Sen. Emily Cain and former Republican state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin won competitive primaries and are facing off in the general. ...

New Hampshire’s 1st District. ... This cycle, Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is the target. Former Rep. Frank Guinta is expected to win the Sept. 9 GOP primary ... [and] The seat is almost guaranteed to have another close general-election race. ...

New Hampshire’s 2nd District. ...

New Hampshire Senate. ...”

LOTTA SHOPPING DURING MASS. SALES TAX HOLIDAY WEEKEND, via Andy Metzger of the State House News Service: “Consumers saved an estimated $25.9 million in foregone sales tax during last weekend’s sales tax holiday, according to the Department of Revenue ... The foregone sales tax revenue was greater last weekend than the $24.6 million in 2013 or any year prior ... Some form of tax free holiday has occurred every year since 2004, except 2009. ...” Behind paywall.

GALVIN TO LAUNCH INQUIRY INTO LOBBYIST, via David Scharfenberg in today’s Globe: “Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin criticized Attorney General Martha Coakley’s handling of a case involving a prominent lobbyist Wednesday and launched his own inquiry into the lobbyist’s activities. The move added to a simmering controversy about Coakley’s settlement with lobbyist John Brennan, a former state representative and state senator, just weeks before Coakley faces Democratic primary voters in the gubernatorial election. ...”

POLLS OF THE DAY: Two political polls are being released later today.

•The latest WMUR Granite State Poll on the New Hampshire US Senate race will be unveiled on WMUR-TV this evening.

•The Globe’s newest poll will be on tonight. It includes new numbers on the Massachusetts race for governor, including the Democratic primary. It also reveals the state of play in three Democratic primary downballot races: for lieutenant governor, for attorney general, and for treasurer.

MASSACHUSETTS ‘BOTTLE BILL’ BALLOT EFFORT RAMPS UP, via press release today: “Vowing to mobilize the largest grassroots effort of the campaign season by energizing people who walk in our parks and along our city streets ... the ‘STOP Litter: YES on 2’ campaign today launched its effort to update the container deposit law, also known as the Bottle Bill. ...”

An effort against the ballot initiative is already under way. First thing you see when you go to “Question 2 is an old idea”

GET SMART FAST ON QUESTION 2, via Mass. Secretary of State: “A YES VOTE would expand the state’s beverage container deposit law to require deposits on containers for all non-alcoholic, non-carbonated drinks with certain exceptions, increase the associated handling fees, and make other changes to the law.

A NO VOTE would make no change in the laws regarding beverage container deposits.”

The Globe polled on this issue recently. Here are the results:​

GREAT LONGREAD FOR THE WEEKEND, “The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit,” via Michael Finkel in GQ: “...His name, he revealed, was Christopher Thomas Knight. Born on December 7, 1965. He said he had no address, no vehicle, did not file a tax return, and did not receive mail. He said he lived in the woods [in central Maine since 1986]. ... Knight stated that over all those years he slept only in a tent. Sometime in the 1990s, [he said], he passed a hiker while walking in the woods. ... ‘I said, ‘Hi,’’ Knight [said]. Other than that single syllable, he insisted, he had not spoken with or touched another human being, until this night, for twenty-seven years. ...”

Three days in the Maine woods sounds pretty good to me. Thirty years, not so much. Maybe you think otherwise. Tell me. And send other thoughts, notes, or feedback. I’m at Also, tweet at me — @jm_bos.

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