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Political Happy Hour with Joshua Miller

Wednesday, July 27, 2016
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Here’s your lil-bit-of-cola-lil-bit-of-Jack water bottle of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe at the Massachusetts State House.

GOTTA LOVE SOME CHARLIE BAKER-MAURA HEALEY TENSION, from me on “Governor Charlie Baker’s administration said Tuesday that Attorney General Maura Healey’s new crackdown on the sale of so-called ‘copycat’ assault weapons is so unclear that it might inadvertently prohibit many more guns, including pistols, that have long been legal in Massachusetts. ...

Healey, in an announcement last week, said she was acting to seal a gap in Massachusetts’ assault weapons ban. The Democrat said that ‘loophole,’ for years, has allowed gun manufacturers and stores to produce and sell guns that are functionally identical to assault weapons, but with small tweaks that allowed them to be marketed as legal in the state. The top spokeswoman for the attorney general said the letters were unexpected.

‘Given the previous discussions and briefings we had with the administration, it was surprising to receive this letter,’ said communications director Cyndi Roy Gonzalez. ‘Many of the questions raised in the letter mirror statements by the gun lobby. Dealers across the state seem to understand the notice perfectly well and have come into compliance,’ she said in an email. ...”

HEALEY SPEAKS AT GUN PANEL IN PHILLY, via Andy Metzger of the State House News Service: “Seizing upon a wedge issue some believe could throw Republicans off balance, Attorney General Maura Healey said Tuesday her announcement last week that she would enforce a ban on copycat assault weapons has already borne fruit. ‘I think the American public is at a point where they have seen enough,’ Healey said at a Philadelphia panel held in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention. She said, ‘This is about respect for human life and this is about fundamentally changing the culture in this country.’ ...” Link via the Milford Daily News:

HRC, NOMINEE, via “Hillary Clinton is set to become the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party on a night that her campaign is hoping will reintroduce her to voters still deeply skeptical of her candidacy. Shortly before 5 p.m., the party began its nominating process, with the name of Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) put forward by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). She affectionately called Sanders a ‘somewhat frumpy, and maybe even sometimes grumpy, 74-year-old guy’ who created a progressive movement.

A beaming Sanders was sitting in the convention hall next to his wife as a pair of seconding speeches followed. Clinton was ... formally nominated by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), the dean of women senators; Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the revered civil rights leader; and Na’ilah Amaru, a Clinton supporter who won an online contest to nominate the candidate. ...”

MR. CLINTON, TROUBLE? via the New York Times’ Patrick Healy with a fantastic lede: “If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, Bill Clinton will not become a regular at cabinet meetings, his wife’s advisers say. He will not be invited into the Situation Room. He will step away from his family’s foundation work and may not even have an office in the West Wing, given the undesirable optics of a former president and husband looking over the shoulder of the first female commander in chief. But the steps Clinton aides are planning to shape his new life do little to address a potentially thornier problem: Historically, when Mr. Clinton does not have a job to do, he gets into trouble. ...”

CALL HIM JOE “DICTIONARY” KENNEDY III. Kennedy’s speech last night:

Tweet from Merriam-Webster: “OK, we just ran the numbers on this. Lookups for assumpsit are up 92,000%.”

SPOTTED AT THE CONVENTION, via the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan: “Monday was Massachusetts day at the Democratic National Convention in Philly, with Elizabeth Warren, Marty Walsh, and Joe Kennedy III all addressing the delegates. But Tuesday saw the Commonwealth take a star turn, too. Paul Feeney, legislative director of the Dorchester-based International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2222, offered the seconding speech Tuesday afternoon for Bernie Sanders. Feeney, who was Sanders’ state director, has deep roots in state Democratic politics, having worked for Steve Lynch’s 2013 US Senate campaign and in the state Senate.”

THE DUKE ON THE DNC, via WBUR’s Bob Oakes: “One of the few people who can really understand what Hillary Clinton is experiencing as she’s about to become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee is a former governor of Massachusetts: Michael Dukakis. He was the party’s unsuccessful nominee in 1988. Dukakis travels to Philadelphia later this week for the end of the convention. We caught up with him in his office at Northeastern University and asked him about the leaked emails that show party leaders tried to undermine the campaign of Bernie Sanders.” Four-minute 30-second listen:

T TROUBLE, via Nicole Dungca on “Three advocacy organizations allege that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority violated civil rights guidelines when it axed late-night bus and subway service, incorrectly analyzed how the cancellation would affect minority and low-income riders, and failed to implement an alternative to mitigate the impact, according to a federal complaint. ...”

REAL ID TIME, via Steve Brown of WBUR: “Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation Tuesday that will put Massachusetts drivers’ licenses in compliance with the federal Real ID Act. The federal law, an anti-terrorism initiative, sets standards for states to develop forms of ID that ensure accuracy and integrity. ...” Link with photo of our glamorous new licenses:

BAKER ON VACAY, BUT ONLY MILES AWAY, via Colin A. Young of the State House News Service: “Gov. Charlie Baker and his family are taking a staycation this week, decamping from their seaside Swampscott home and spending a few days in Gloucester, his office said. ...” Behind paywall:

WALSH, MORAN IN BOSTON BOOZE TANGLE, via Jim O’Sullivan on today’s front page: “Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s effort to wrest authority to grant additional liquor licenses in Boston away from the Legislature has divided the city’s State House delegation and reignited old tensions between Walsh and his former Beacon Hill colleagues. Walsh and state Representative Michael J. Moran of Brighton dueled over the weekend for the support of Boston lawmakers and asked them to pick sides on Senate legislation that would include the capital in a broader proposal to unshackle cities and towns from having to petition lawmakers for additional liquor licenses. After Moran circulated a letter asking colleagues to oppose the measure, Walsh lobbied legislators not to sign, through aides and in person on a train to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. ...”

NEW YORK MAN IN POKEMAN GO TANGLE, via the AP: “Authorities say a 62-year-old man playing ‘Pokemon Go’ at night in the woods behind his New York home became stuck in waist-deep mud and had to be rescued. Police say the man was playing the game on his cellphone at around 2 a.m. Sunday when he wandered into thick woods behind his home in Coeymans (KWEE’-mihnz), just south of Albany.

Officials say he became trapped in a mud pit up to his waist and couldn’t get out. He used his phone to call 911 emergency dispatchers, who guided an officer to his location by pinging the man’s phone and the officer’s ...”

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