Political Happy Hour: April 22, 2015

By Globe Staff 

Here’s your afternoon spiked venti coconut milk cinnamon dolce latte cup of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe.

CHARLIE BAKER WINS THE DAY, via Matt Murphy of the State House News Service: “After spending the winter managing state budget shortfalls and snow emergencies, Gov. Charlie Baker weathered his first 100 days in office remarkably well, according to new public polling that shows the governor riding sky-high approval ratings that make him the most popular politician in the state. ... Baker’s favorability rating of 74 percent put him ahead of both Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and 70 percent of voters polled by Suffolk University’s Political Research Center approved of his job performance compared to just 6 percent who disapproved. ...” Link via



WHAT A CHART, WHAT A TWEET, via @skoczela, pollster Steve Koczela: “Those @CharlieBakerMA favs put him in some auspicious company. Just ahead of Santa Claus, trailing Mother Teresa.” Worth your click:

WASHINGTON PRESS TAKES NOTE, say, this tweet from @HotlineScott, editor-in-chief of National Journal Hotline: “MA Gov @CharlieBakerMA might be the most popular politician in the US. 74% favorable, 70% approve in Suffolk poll”

LARRY BIRD, ER, BOSTON 2024 NEWS, via Mark Arsenault on “Boston sports legends Larry Bird, David Ortiz and Jo Jo White have joined a new 30-member board of directors that will oversee the development of Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, broadening the voices supporting the bid and bringing a dash of star power to an Olympic effort looking to rebound from a rocky start. ...”

FULL DISCLOSURE, I totally enjoyed wasting some time today watching old clips of Larry Bird’s game-winning shots, especially this one:


FIRST-TERM STORYLINE WATCH — CHARLIE OWNING THE T, via Nicole Dungca on “Taking steps to overhaul the embattled Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Governor Charlie Baker has filed legislation to establish a five-member, governor-appointed board to take control of the finances and operations of the agency for three to five years. ...”

SAY TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP FIVE TIMES FAST, via Jessica Meyers on “The Capitol loomed behind Senator Elizabeth Warren last week as she raised her fist to the crowd of union workers and promised to fight against one of the world’s most expansive trade deals. The cheers by labor and environmental groups in Washington were met with silence by companies back in Massachusetts, where the state’s thriving life science and tech sectors consider the trade pact critical to the region’s economic prosperity. This disconnect pits Warren and some other Democrats in the delegation against the state’s key business groups as lawmakers consider legislation that would propel the deal forward. ...”

YOUR MBTA-DELAY READ, “Boston’s Last Brush with Capital Punishment,” via Douglas Starr and just posted on “Last Monday, a few days after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted of helping his late brother, Tamerlan, plant and set off two bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon, a local cable station invited a man named Bob Curley on air to discuss whether Tsarnaev should be put to death. Curley was once a vocal proponent of capital punishment. In 1997, his ten-year-old son, Jeffrey, was kidnapped, murdered, and then raped. ... And yet, when he appeared on television last week, Curley argued against Tsarnaev’s execution, a position that, according to recent polls, his fellow-Bostonians share by a factor of more than two to one. What made Bob Curley and the citizens of Massachusetts change their minds? ...”

POLITICS OF FOOTBALL, via Ken Belson of the New York Times: “A federal district court judge on Wednesday gave her final approval to the settlement brought by more than 5,000 former players who accused the N.F.L. of hiding from them the dangers of concussions, a major hurdle in ending one of the most contentious legal battles in league history. ...”​

MAINE WATCH — COOPERATION, RESCINDED, via Colin Woodard of the Portland Press Herald: “In a further escalation of tensions between the state of Maine and its four federally recognized Indian tribes, Gov. Paul LePage has revoked his own 2011 executive order aiming to promote cooperation between the parties. ...”

G’DAY MATE — OH, WAIT, via Susan Spencer of the Telegram and Gazette with a Northbridge, Mass. dateline: “It’s the Crocodile Dundee accent that gives them away. ... Local dispatchers are perplexed by the calls they’ve been receiving for police assistance in the town of Northbridge, a suburb of Perth in Western Australia. ... The calls come in on the business line. ... A few Australian callers have hung up. One upset caller first muttered, “Oh (expletive), this phone call is going to cost me a fortune,” according to [a dispatcher with the Northbridge, Mass. Police Department] ...”


FENWAY FARM, on Modern Farmer’s website last week: “Boston’s Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, is known for a high left field wall, nicknamed ‘The Green Monster.’ Now, America’s oldest Major League Baseball field still in use will be known for something else that’s green: the largest organic rooftop garden in the Majors. ... The 5,000-square-foot roof space ... will generate an estimated 4,000 pounds of produce annually ... Linda Pizzuti Henry, the wife of Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry, came up with the idea for the garden ...”

And here’s the spot for some disclosure: I work for the Globe, John Henry owns the Globe, Linda Pizzuti Henry is the managing director, I ate some organic kale (though not from Fenway) this week, and I can do a very excellent Australian accent, if I do say so myself.

Crikey! The power of sunshine.

What’s your standard disclosure?

Send word of whose payroll you’re on: and @jm_bos. And encourage me to take more and prettier photos at the State House by following me on Instagram @jm__bos (note the double underscore).

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Joshua Miller can be reached at
Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.