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Political Happy Hour: September 6, 2016

Here’s your Mt. Greylock travel mug of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe at the Massachusetts State House, back from a Labor Day hike of our great state’s highest peak.


SEC’Y OF STATE PREDICTS LOW TURNOUT, via Matt Murphy of the State House News Service: “Ahead of primary elections across Massachusetts on Thursday, Secretary of State William Galvin on Tuesday predicted turnout could fall below 10 percent, calling that ‘reasonably good’ compared to similar years with no statewide contests driving voters to the polls.


‘Turnout will vary largely depending upon where there are local contests,’ Galvin said ... highlighting areas like Cape Cod and Hampden and Essex counties where overlapping races for House and Senate seats, sheriffs’ offices and even Governor’s Council will help increase voter awareness of Thursday’s election. ...” Behind paywall: http://bit.ly/2c4CM6i

WHEN WIND POWERS POLITICAL VICTORY, via the Globe’s Jon Chesto: “Three offshore wind developers signed an agreement on Tuesday to use the state’s $113 million New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, providing a key victory for the Baker administration after failing to generate much income from the port so far. ...” http://bit.ly/2cE75X2

GOVERNOR’S AIDE SAVES MOUSE, via a tweet from Charlie Baker senior adviser Tim Buckley with photos of Byron Lynn, special assistant to the guv: “Mouse spotted behind @MassGovernor’s desk. Mouse captured. Mouse released.” http://bit.ly/2bV6OPt

A top-secret source says Mr. Lynn flushed out the mouse and KABOOOM Mr. Buckley got the bucket on the little guy.

Compassionate conservatism!

ELIZABETH WARREN HITTING THE TRAIL FOR CLINTON FRIDAY, via Abby Phillip on WashingtonPost.com: “A slew of big-name Democratic surrogates are preparing to hit the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton beginning this week, launching the campaign’s final sprint before Election Day. First lady Michelle Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts will return to the campaign trail for Clinton for the first time since the Democratic National Convention ... Warren will hold her first event Friday in Philadelphia ...” http://wapo.st/2clVfgL


FOR WARREN AND HER ALLIES, A FIGHT OVER CLINTON’S HIRES, via Patrick Temple-West on Politico: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her allies aren’t waiting for Election Day: Months before the votes have been counted, they’re already exerting pressure on Hillary Clinton’s transition team over key hiring decisions. Warren’s coalition is developing a hit list of the types of people they’ll oppose — what one source called ‘hell no’ appointments — in a Clinton administration. They’re vowing to fight nominees with ties to big banks, and warn against corporate executives assuming government roles in regulating the industries that made them rich. ...” http://politi.co/2cyx8e7

CONGRESS TO FOCUS ON BIG THINGS LIKE, SAY, FUNDING THE GOV’T, via David S. Bernstein on WGBH.org: “Today Congress gavels into session for the first time since mid-July, for a four-week meeting that represents the last chance for law-making before the November elections. Last week, I told you what members were up to during the break. Now, what lies ahead for them back in Washington? The answer depends a bit on which party’s members you ask, but there’s no getting around the top priority, regardless: funding the government. ...

‘The next four weeks is going to be all about getting the budget done, and passing a continuing resolution,’ said Rep. Katherine Clark of Melrose ...” http://bit.ly/2cE925F


WALSH THROWS LATEST MBTA PRIVATIZATION IDEA UNDER BUS, was the page 11 headline on this item by Matt Stout in today’s Boston Herald: “Mayor Martin J. Walsh yesterday came out swinging against the MBTA for weighing the privatization of core functions such as bus routes and maintenance, calling it a ‘mistake’ that could pave the way to widespread outsourcing at the cash-strapped agency. ...” http://bit.ly/2cE7kBr

MORE, from Matt Stout in the Herald over the long weekend: “The MBTA is taking a hard look at privatizing its high-cost bus drivers and mechanics as the cash-starved transit agency considers the most dramatic moves yet to cut a crippling deficit, the Herald has learned. The T’s Fiscal Management and Control Board announced it is targeting overall ‘operations and maintenance’ that make up 85 percent of all annual costs, according to a 17-page report sent to lawmakers Thursday that was obtained by the Herald ...” http://bit.ly/2cE6qVy

BREAKING NEWS from CNN: “Bill Cosby is scheduled to go on trial for three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault on June 5, Judge Steven O’Neill said Tuesday.” http://cnn.it/2cEhQc1

RANDOM MASSACHUSETTS STATISTIC, AN OCCASIONAL FEATURE. Because numbers can be telling. The number of registered voters as of Aug. 19: 4,366,712.

34.6 percent Democrats. 10.8 percent Republicans. 53.6 percent unenrolled in any party. More data than you could ever want from the Secretary of State’s office: http://bit.ly/2cEe6Hn


SUBJECT LINE OF EMAIL I DIDN’T OPEN: “Coverage Request: College Students Get Fashion Opportunity of Life Time”

SUBJECT LINE OF EMAILS YOU SHOULD OPEN: POLITICAL HAPPY HOUR. You can sign up your friends for this free weekday newsletter on politics right here.

TOP N.H. POL RUNNING FOR OFFICE SHE SAYS SHOULD BE ABOLISHED, via Boston Globe politics editor Felice Belman: “Donna Sytek has long been among the most important politicians in New Hampshire. She served 23 years in the Legislature, including a stint as speaker of the 400-member New Hampshire House — a body larger than some communities in the state. She’s a former chairwoman of the state Republican Party and has been a key player in numerous presidential primaries. She literally wrote the book on political protocol in New Hampshire. These days, however, Sytek finds herself running for an office so small, so obscure, so utterly meaningless, she’d be the first to tell you it shouldn’t exist at all. ...” http://bit.ly/2cE8MDX

LATEST LePAGE, via the AP: “Maine GOP Gov. Paul LePage has ruled out talking to the media — except ‘respectful and fair’ talk radio hosts. ...” Link via BostonGlobe.com: http://bit.ly/2cE6dSt

OPIOID CRISIS WATCH — MAINE EDITION, via Joe Lawlor of the Portland Press Herald over the long weekend: While the heroin crisis has fueled a spike in Maine overdose deaths, addicts sharing needles has likely contributed to another public health problem — a rise in hepatitis B cases. ...” http://bit.ly/2cE19xb


NICE-JOB-IF-YOU-CAN-GET-IT WATCH — CONN. EDITION, via Jon Lender of the Hartford Courant over the long weekend: “Connecticut Innovations, the self-described ‘leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies,’ has given a $75,000 consulting contract to a 69-year-old former state legislator who spent his life as a public school teacher/administrator — and never worked in business. The contract for former state Sen. Gary LeBeau of East Hartford was awarded last October with no competitive bidding or public ‘request for proposals’ — after LeBeau says he was referred to the ... quasi-public business development agency by the office of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, his fellow Democrat. ...” http://cour.at/2cE4jRP

CURT SCHILLING WATCH — R.I. EDITION, via the AP: “A Rhode Island Superior Court judge on Tuesday approved a partial $25.6 million settlement in the lawsuit over the state’s disastrous deal with 38 Studios, the video game company started by former Red Sox pitcher [and might-be future US Senate candidate] Curt Schilling. Wells Fargo Securities and Barclays Capital Inc. agreed to settle in order to get out of the lawsuit brought against them and others when 38 Studios failed after receiving a $75 million state loan guarantee. The settlement, approved by Judge Michael Silverstein, brings the amount the state has recovered in the lawsuit to $42 million. ...” Link from WPRI: http://bit.ly/2cE4n3J

IN RURAL COLORADO, SOME RESIDENTS RETHINKING LEGAL POT, from me in Pueblo West, Colo.: “... [I]n this unincorporated community of 30,000, there are miles of barren scrub-brush dotted with wild sunflowers. Low-slung houses ... on East Gun Powder Lane and North Cougar Drive. ... [A] Walmart Supercenter, a Little Caesars, a Safeway with a small Starbucks tucked inside.

And, throughout the area, a revolt against retail marijuana sales smolders in a state awash in $1 billion of legal pot.

Four years ago, Coloradans voted to legalize marijuana for adults, and gave individual localities the opportunity to decide if they would allow retail marijuana shops. But after local officials here welcomed the new industry, anti-marijuana activists in Pueblo County gathered enough signatures to force an unprecedented question on the November ballot: whether to terminate recreational marijuana sales and operations. ...” http://bit.ly/2cE4Kvn

FAVORITE ANONYMOUS CALL I GOT AT MY DESK TODAY, presumably in reference to my Pueblo pot story: “Who are you, Richard Nixon?! Get that [expletive] off the front page!”

FOR THE RECORD: I am not Richard Nixon, though I do sometimes enjoy the parody @dick_nixon Twitter account.

Send feedback to joshua.miller@globe.com and @jm_bos

CUTE ANIMAL PHOTO DU JOUR, via the AP: Lun Lun, a giant panda, tends to one of her twin panda cubs in Atlanta http://apne.ws/2caMTd7

FUNDRAISING EMAIL FROM THE DEMOCRATIC SENATORIAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE THIS AFTERNOON: “Friend, We’ve asked a lot of you lately ... So we’ve cooked up a truly delicious way to thank our most dedicated supporters: A chance for you to have lunch with Senator Elizabeth Warren! ... Pitch in ASAP to be automatically entered for a chance to join Elizabeth Warren for lunch in Washington, D.C. Pitch in $1 IMMEDIATELY >> ...”

Maybe they’ll serve McDonald’s fries https://youtu.be/Kv9ivkbpU8s?t=3m37s

I had a salad for lunch today and all I can think about now is fresh, steamy, salty french fries.

Gotta go.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com.