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Saturday , July 26 , 2014
Political Happy Hour
With Joshua Miller

Here’s your afternoon dose of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe:

BIG POLITICAL NEWS — EX-PROBATION CHIEF, TOP AIDE GUILTY OF MAIL FRAUD, RACKETEERING, via Milton J. Valencia and John R. Ellement on “John J. O’Brien, the disgraced former Probation commissioner accused of corruption, and his top aide, Elizabeth Tavares, today were convicted of mail fraud, racketeering, and racketeering conspiracy by a US District Court jury, which found that they ran the state agency like a criminal enterprise. ... The jury found that O’Brien and Tavares committed fraud and racketeering by hijacking their department’s hiring process to favor candidates who were sponsored by state legislators. As a clerk read the verdicts in US District Court Judge William G. Young’s courtroom, someone shouted ‘the government is corrupt’ and a nurse had to be summoned apparently after a member of the public passed out. ...”


2016 WATCH — DEVAL PATRICK AGAIN WEIGHS IN ON POTENTIAL HILLARY CLINTON BID, from me on “Governor Deval Patrick, who said this spring that Hillary Clinton’s perceived front-runner status might hamper a potential White House bid, reiterated those concerns today and said he and the former secretary of state were not friends. ‘It’s not like we’re pals ...’ he said, speaking in his monthly appearance on WGBH-FM. ... [He said] there is an air of inevitability around her potential 2016 candidacy for president. ‘The worry about that is that can be interpreted by people as entitlement — and that’s off-putting to folks! I mean I think voters want you to sweat for it, you know? They want you to be hungry for it, they want you to persuade them why you’re the right person,’ he [said] ...”

SUNDAY BOOZE BUYING — NOW EARLIER!, via the State House News Service: “Gov. Deval Patrick on Wednesday signed a bill allowing retail liquor stores to start selling alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sunday instead of noon. ... Rep. Elizabeth Poirier (R-North Attleborough), one of the bill’s supporters, said in March that the earlier start time will provide an economic boost, helping game-day tailgaters and Massachusetts retailers who are near the borders of Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Liquor sales were allowed statewide on Sundays starting in November 2003. A Patrick spokeswoman said the bill did not include an emergency preamble and will therefore take effect in 90 days.”

GOOD READ ON BARNEY FRANK, from Matt Viser in today’s Globe: “It was hardly just a nostalgia tour when Barney Frank ambled into the Capitol on Wednesday. More like a return to the land of old grudges. ... ‘Barney, do you miss us?’ Representative Michael Capuano, the Somerville Democrat, asked halfway through the four-hour hearing. ‘Uh,’ Frank said, ‘no.’ ... ”

STATE LOTTERY BRINGS IN BIG $$$, via the Associated Press: “Officials say Massachusetts State Lottery tickets were sold at yet another record-setting pace over the last 12 months. State Treasurer Steven Grossman, whose office oversees the lottery, said the estimated $971 million in profits for the fiscal year that ended June 30 exceeded expectations by $34 million. ...” Link via the Boston Herald:

FUN FACT: Massachusetts gubernatorial hopeful Don Berwick is probably going to have knots in his stomach on his birthday — and not just because he’s turning 68. The big day: Sept. 9, which also happens to be the state primary.

FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF BOOKS: You’re running for governor of Massachusetts. You barnstorm the state from Chicopee to Charlestown. What do you read for pleasure in the tiny amount of downtime you have?

I asked Martha Coakley yesterday. Today word from Treasurer Steven Grossman, who said he is trying hard to start two books but has been unsuccessful so far because of the campaign. The books are: “The Heist: A Novel” by Daniel Silva ( and “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel James Brown (

DESSERT — PATRICK TALKS POT, via his appearance on WGBH-FM today with hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan. Eagan asked the governor how he would vote if a question legalizing marijuana for recreational use makes the ballot in 2016.


BRAUDE: “Did you say ‘oy’?”

PATRICK: “I did say ‘oy.’

BRAUDE: “Okay.”

PATRICK: “I’d probably vote against it. ...”

EAGAN: “Did you ever smoke pot when you were a scholar at Harvard?”

PATRICK: “Never.”

EAGAN: “Never?”

PATRICK: “I know.”

EAGAN: “Never?!”

PATRICK: “I know.”

EAGAN: “Were you kind of a nerdy guy at Harvard?”

PATRICK: “I was.”

Full interview here:

Tips, epistles and feedback from all — nerds and potheads alike — are welcome and appreciated at:

Alternatively tweet jokes and musings at me — @jm_bos.

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