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Political Happy Hour: May 12, 2015

Here’s your afternoon BPA-free Nalgene bottle of politics, via Michael Levenson of the Boston Globe, filling in for Joshua Miller, who is hiking in the wilds near St. George, Utah.

SENATE LEADERS UNVEIL $38 BILLION BUDGET: The Senate proposal would hold the line on taxes while spending a bit more on early education, worker training, and efforts to maintain the state’s edge in the innovation economy. The Senate plan largely replicates the budgets proposed by Governor Charlie Baker and the state House. But it has a few features that senators are promoting: It would set aside $1.2 million to provide training and internships for the long-term unemployed and $1.5 million to boost the nascent big-data industry, which aims to crunch huge reams of data. Debate on the plan is set for next week. http://goo.gl/vxLgJ2

DEVAL PATRICK BASHES MEDIA, DEFENDS CONNECTOR: The former governor, in a talk at MIT, lambasted the media and defended his response to the state Health Connector website, which failed on his watch, frustrating consumers and costing hundreds of millions of dollars. His comments came a day after it was publicly disclosed that federal prosecutors have subpoenaed records related to the Connector dating back to 2010. “You try things, and people celebrate when you make the announcement, and then it goes sideways and they freak,” Patrick said. “And they’re encouraged to do so by a media which sensationalizes everything.” Read his full comments here: http://goo.gl/53Ruox


NO CRIMINAL CHARGES FOR FORMER FALL RIVER MAYOR: A special prosecutor has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to charge former Fall River mayor Will Flanagan with any crime in connection with a bizzare incident last August, in which Flanagan allegedly used a handgun to intimidate a city councilor. The special prosecutor’s report includes some text messages obtained during the investigation, including this one from Flanagan upon learning that the city councilor, Jasiel Correia, had signed a petition to initiate a recall election against him: “Now I know how Jesus Christ felt... I’m surrounded by Judas.” Read the special prosecutor’s report here, via The Fall River Herald News: https://goo.gl/VO1fgE

HEALEY BLASTS NFL: Attorney General Maura Healey sharply criticized the NFL on Tuesday, saying it takes deflated footballs more seriously than domestic violence. The attorney general contrasted the four-game suspension given to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for his alleged role in improperly inflated footballs with the two-game suspension that Ray Rice, a running back for the Baltimore Ravens, received after he was shown on video punching his fianceé and knocking her unconscious. “The NFL has its priorities out of line,” Healey said. “What we’ve seen for far too long is that league has an arrogance and an indifference to the very real issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.” http://goo.gl/g3Ddu2


BAKER FILLS FINAL SEAT ON MASSDOT BOARD: The governor filled the remaining open slot on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation board Tuesday, naming Robert Moylan Jr., a former Worcester public works commissioner, to the panel. Baker also designated Ruth Bonsignore, who recently worked as senior vice president and transportation practice area leader at the consulting firm VHB/Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc., as the new chair of the MassDOT board. Via State House News (story behind paywall) http://goo.gl/8Tn5K0

SCOURGE OF WALL STREET TAKES ON LORD VOLDEMORT: Is there a Wall Street slayer lurking in the halls of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? British author JK Rowling said on Twitter on Monday that a minor character in her forest-clearing Harry Potter series known to readers as “Moaning Myrtle” is actually named “Myrtle Elizabeth Warren.” But when the bombshell revelation set government dorks abuzz, Rowling rejected the notion that Massachusetts’ senior senator inspired the name. “Nothing to do with the United States Elizabeth Warren I hasten to add!” Rowling tweeted. “‘Elizabeth’ is just one of those classic British middle names.” http://goo.gl/vduLgd

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Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson.