Trouble viewing this email? Click here.

Political Happy Hour with Joshua Miller

Monday, April 27, 2015
Follow Joshua on Twitter

Here’s your afternoon repurposed-collegiate water bottle of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe.

T REPORT, GRILLED MEDIUM-WELL, via Nicole Dungca on “State lawmakers on Monday grilled the state transportation secretary and an expert panel appointed by Governor Charlie Baker about the governor’s proposals to fix the embattled Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. ...”

NEW ENGLAND LAWYER LEADS ON GAY MARRIAGE FIGHT, a great read from Michael Levenson that just popped on “... Mary Bonauto ... persuaded Massachusetts’ highest court to make the state the first in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed. ... On Tuesday, Bonauto will lead what could be the final fight in the battle she began in Massachusetts 12 years ago, when she delivers oral arguments before the US Supreme Court in a highly charged case that could make gay marriage legal in all 50 states. She will tackle the core issue before the court: whether state bans on same-sex marriage violate the US Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. ...”

GET SMART FAST ON TOMORROW’S GAY MARRIAGE CASE BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT, via Chris Geidner of BuzzFeed News: “On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear two-and-a-half hours of arguments about two questions. They’re simple and direct: 1. Does the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment require states to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2. Does the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment require states to recognize the marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed elsewhere? ...”

MASS. HOUSE DEBATING HOW TO SPEND YOUR MONEY, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, a process that could last for days, via Michael Norton of the State House News Service: “... the House on Monday instructed members with proposals in five major budget categories to attend meetings where the fate of those amendments will be discussed. Amendments placed in the categories of transportation, constitutional officers, state administration, education and local aid were being put up for debate in the members’ lounge. The House conducts much of the debate over spending priorities outside of public view, culminating in the presentation of so-called consolidated amendments that reflect the work product of talks in the lounge. ...” Behind paywall:

2016 — BIG NEW YORKER PIECE ON US SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN, via Ryan Lizza: “... Last week, Warren’s advisers privately circulated a picture showing the two women sitting beside each other, a quote bubble emanating from [Hillary] Clinton: ‘What she said.’ When I asked Warren last week if she believed that Clinton was co-opting her message, she hesitated and replied, ‘Eh.’ She added, ‘She’s laying out her vision for the country and she deserves an opportunity to do that.’ ... When I questioned her decision to skip the Presidential campaign, she snapped, ‘You think I’m not forcing a debate? Call me back in a year, and ask me what type of debate we’re having.’

[Camden Fine, the head of the Independent Community Bankers of America] offered another explanation for her hesitation. ‘I’m not sure she thinks that she, personally, is ready to be the President of the United States,’ he told me. I asked Warren if Fine was right. She was rushing to a meeting at the end of a busy day in the Senate. For the first time since I began speaking to her, four months ago, she seemed tongue-tied.

‘Um,’ she said, and then paused. ‘I’m doing the work I should be doing.’ ”


GOV FORMS COUNCIL ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, via Akilah Johnson on “Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order on Monday reestablishing a council that brings together sexual assault and domestic violence advocates, law enforcement and government officials. The council’s aim is to improve prevention, enhance existing support services, and hold perpetrators accountable. ...”

INTERESTING EMAIL THAT SHOWED UP IN MY INBOX TODAY, from Uber: “MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD | Last Friday, Governor Baker introduced legislation that will keep Uber in Massachusetts for the long term. Now, we need your help to make sure this bill gets passed in the state legislature. Tell your leaders to vote YES on Governor Baker’s bill!”

Background from Dan Adams in the Globe last week:

GOOD READ ON THE BEACON HILL POWER TRIO, from David Scharfenberg in today’s Globe: “... Just over 100 days into his first term, the Harvard-educated governor from Swampscott [Charlie Baker] has developed a good rapport with Winthrop’s [Speaker Robert] DeLeo and the other member of Beacon Hill’s oddly matched triumvirate: Stanley C. Rosenberg, the openly gay, Jewish Senate president from Amherst. But if the new Big Three are trumpeting an auspicious start, there have been fissures, already, that could foretell significant breaks. ...”

YOUR MBTA-DELAY LONG READ, a look at the first woman to lead the NBA players union, via Max Chafkin in the new issue of the Atlantic: “... Michele A. Roberts, the Players Association’s new firebrand boss ... has signaled that war is coming. Some sports commentators have gone so far as to speculate that she is laying the groundwork for an exodus from the NBA and the launch of a new, player-sponsored league. Whatever happens, the battle could reverberate well beyond basketball. By casting the owners as replaceable cogs who have merely been smart enough to buy into a monopoly, Roberts is challenging the underpinnings of all the major pro sports leagues. ...” Fun read all the way through:

STORY AND VIDEO THAT MADE ME SMILE, via Rustin Dodd on “At age 89, former KU football player Bryan Sperry scores touchdown in alumni scrimmage” Story: Video:

May we all make it 89 with enough eye-hand coordination and pep in our step to catch a football and run it down the field. I’ll toast to that.

Send me your feel-good stories, and also internal State House budget machinations: @jm_bos and

And sign up for Political Happy Hour, which will return tomorrow.