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Political Happy Hour: November 2, 2016

Here’s your bottom-shelf vodka and tap water glass of politics, from Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe at the Massachusetts State House.

THORNTON DRIP, DRIP, via the Center for Responsive Politics’ Viveca Novak and the Globe’s Andrea Estes: “Federal campaign finance regulators have received a formal complaint against Boston-based Thornton Law Firm, calling for an immediate investigation into whether attorneys violated the law by acting as ‘straw donors’ for their law firm.

The Campaign Legal Center, a Washington D.C.-based election watchdog organization, filed the complaint against the firm and three of its lawyers with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, arguing that Thornton Law Firm may have used the attorneys to exceed limits on campaign contributions. Under FEC rules, the agency must ask the named defendants for a response within five days, and they have 15 days to respond.

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The complaint was based on a story published [in Sunday’s paper] by the Boston Globe and the Center for Responsive Politics describing a system used by the Boston firm to pay offsetting ‘bonuses’ to partners for campaign donations.

Since the story, at least 20 politicians, including US Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Hillary Clinton and Boston Mayor Walsh, have said they are returning more than $400,000 in donations from lawyers at the firm, or contributing an equivalent amount to charity or the US Treasury. ...” http://bit.ly/2fFcU6S

OBAMA ASSAILS COMEY LETTER, via the New York Times: “President Obama sharply criticized the decision by his F.B.I. director to alert Congress on Friday about the discovery of new emails related to the Hillary Clinton server case, implying that it violated investigative guidelines and trafficked in innuendo. ...” http://nyti.ms/2eeEQJq

VIDEO, via NowThisNews: http://bit.ly/2fdyOeo

SOME OF THE LATEST POLLS, via Teddy Davis of CNN: “NEW CNN POLLS Oct. 27-Nov. 1 NEVADA: Trump +6, ARIZONA: Trump +5, FLORIDA: Clinton +2, PENNSYLVANIA: Clinton +4 ...” http://bit.ly/2fiIHWR

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COULD TRUMP WIN? Here’s the headline on Nate Silver’s latest on FiveThirtyEight from late last night: “Election Update: Yes, Donald Trump Has A Path To Victory | If the race tightens any further, Clinton’s electoral edge is fragile” http://53eig.ht/2eeqvwY

LOL — TUESDAY’S TRUMP PARTY IN BRAINTREE, HRC SUPPORTERS AT WELLESLEY via Jim O’Sullivan on BostonGlobe.com: “In a final, pyrotechnic display of celebratory identity politics, the Trump and Clinton camps are repairing to their separate corners on Election Night, about as far apart symbolically as they are ideologically.

Donald Trump’s ‘victory party’ will take place at F1 Boston, the indoor Braintree racetrack. Hillary Clinton’s team, as of Wednesday afternoon, professed a focus on swing-state New Hampshire that night, and intel on an official Massachusetts party was not forthcoming.

But some of those who are ‘with her’ still have a place to go. Wellesley College, Clinton’s alma mater, makes no mention of a specific candidate to celebrate, only of the chance to ‘mark a historic moment with the entire Wellesley community.’ A follow-up email for those who register requests, ‘We simply ask that you consider carefully before registering a non-Wellesley guest.’ Hint.

Meanwhile, on offer in Braintree: ‘free raffles of official Trump items and Howie Carr books!’ On hand: the Trump-Pence state campaign chair, attorney Vincent DeVito, and a slew of co-hosts including Amy Carnevale, Charles Grillo, Jeane Kangas, and Lou Murray.

Also promised: ‘political, media and sports personalities.’

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‘All Boston and state-wide media will be in attendance,’ the invitation promises. ‘Live interviews!’

Admission is free.” http://bit.ly/2eesP6W

TRUMP, OBAMA TO N.H. MONDAY, via Dan Tuohy of the New Hampshire Union Leader: “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and President Barack Obama will each hold election eve rallies Monday in New Hampshire as party leaders urge people to get out and vote. Trump returns to the Granite State on Friday as he seeks to woo independents and any undecided voters left. ...” http://bit.ly/2eewstM

PRO-CHARTER FORCES OUT WITH NEW TV AD IN MASS. It emphasizes newspaper editorials that back Question 2. https://youtu.be/l4zSyGysGLA

Do you read newspaper editorials? Do you care about them? joshua.miller@globe.com

ACLU SUES MASS. SEC’Y OF STATE OVER REGISTRATION DEADLINE, via Akilah Johnson on BostonGlobe.com: “The ACLU of Massachusetts has filed suit against the Secretary of State’s office, saying the state’s voter registration deadline disenfranchises eligible voters from casting ballots on Nov. 8. Massachusetts residents had to register to vote by Oct. 19, nearly three weeks before Election Day. The civil rights organization called the deadline ‘arbitrary,’ and pointed to the state’s new early-voting period as proof. Anyone who registered by the deadline was allowed to vote five days later when early voting began. ...” http://bit.ly/2eev1eB

AN ONLINE MASS. LOTTERY — WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? via Dan Adams on BostonGlobe.com: “Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg is advancing her plan to create a so-called ‘iLottery,’ filing a bill with the state Legislature on Wednesday that would authorize the Massachusetts State Lottery to offer games over the internet and through smartphone apps.

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Goldberg has repeatedly argued that the lottery, despite posting record profits last fiscal year, must modernize to attract new gamblers and keep revenue flowing in. The money is ultimately distributed to cities and towns, which use it to fund a variety of municipal services and projects. ...” http://bit.ly/2fbnYIb

POT LEGALIZATION FACT CHECKING, via WBUR’s Martha Bebinger: “Testing The Claim That Marijuana Is Safer Than Alcohol Or Tobacco” Five-and-half-minute listen: http://wbur.fm/2eewX6Z

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED WHEN COLORADO LEGALIZED WEED? Good conversation, worth your listen, between WGBH hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan and Colorado marijuana’s super-smart marijuana czar, Andrew Freedman. http://bit.ly/2eez0rG

ANTI-POT FORCES RUNNING THROUGH THE FINISH LINE, via press release: “[Attorney General Maura] Healey, Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, Massachusetts Medical Society, American Nurses Association of Massachusetts, and the No On 4 Campaign will hold a press conference tomorrow to discuss the impact of legalizing the commercial marijuana industry, including edible products on the health and wellbeing of Massachusetts families and kids. ...”

BOSTON PIPELINE WATCH, via Michael Norton of the State House News Service: “Federal regulators should halt permitting and construction of Spectra Energy pipelines in West Roxbury and Weymouth, according to Congressman Stephen Lynch of Boston, who cited safety concerns stemming from a fatal pipeline explosion in Alabama. Lynch on Wednesday wrote a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Norman Bay asking for the agency to delay permitting on the projects until an investigation of the Colonial Pipeline explosion is concluded and safety measures are put in place. ...” Behind paywall: http://bit.ly/2ff8Nfh

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MASS. HOUSE BUDGET CHIEF PULLS IN BIG $$$, via Matt Stout in today’s Boston Herald: “House budget chief Brian S. Dempsey — considered a potential heir to the speaker’s throne — has already earned a different crown as the chamber’s cash king, with a whopping $550,000 campaign war chest that tops that of every other state rep, including Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. ...” http://bit.ly/2eeCYAA

SAYS HE’S FOCUSED ON HIS GIG, via Andy Metzger of the State House News Service: “... Dempsey is seen by many as a likely heir to DeLeo in the speakership, though he has not outlined such an ambition, if it exists. A Winthrop Democrat, DeLeo has had control of the House since 2009, and last year House lawmakers re-wrote their own rules to allow DeLeo to seek a fifth two-year term, as is his intention. ‘We have a great speaker. He’s a very dear friend of mine, and I continue to stay focused on my job as chair of Ways and Means. Very, very busy year coming up, and I look forward to it, so that’s my focus, as always,’ Dempsey said, when asked if the speakership was down the road for him.” Behind paywall: http://bit.ly/2e3bRNA

WHAT’S NEXT FOR DiMASI? via Milton J. Valencia on the front page of today’s Globe: “A federal judge appeared open Tuesday to releasing former House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi from prison two years early under a compassionate release program, saying he would have considered the former speaker’s ailing health when he sentenced him in 2011, had he known he would battle two cancers while incarcerated. ...” http://bit.ly/2eevMo2

PEOPLE YOU ARE REALLY GLAD ARE NOT YOUR STATE REP (ALLEGEDLY), via the AP in Rochester, N.H.: “A former New Hampshire state lawmaker charged with trying to lure a 14-year-old girl into a sexual encounter has been accused of drunken driving following a three-car accident. Former state Rep. Kyle Tasker, a 31-year-old Republican, resigned in March after his arrest on drug charges and a charge of trying to lure a minor for sex. ...” Link via NECN: http://bit.ly/2fFo8se

FOR YOUR RADAR, via Dylan McGuinness on BostonGlobe.com: “Two men were killed Tuesday night when their car crashed through a perimeter fence at the Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, hit a cement barrier, and caught fire, officials said. ...

A spokesperson for the base said the car was driving very fast, but there was no indication the crash was intentional. ‘The preliminary investigation has found no evidence that the crash was an attack on the base or terror-related, but the investigation is ongoing,’ State Police said in a statement.” http://bit.ly/2edZIke

I CHALLENGE ELIZABETH WARREN, CHARLIE BAKER, MARTY WALSH OR ANY POLITICIAN LOOKING TO ESCAPE A TV INTERVIEW TO EVACUATE THEMSELVES AS SMOOTHLY AS THIS GUY DID. Via Reddit: https://i.redd.it/56v0cxtqz6vx.gif

DAILY DRONE. Just because. There are some stunningly pretty spots in this video of California and Oregon. https://youtu.be/n0P3cOBUvOc

Tomorrow. Bad news: We’ll all be one day older. Good news: We’ll be one day closer to the election and I’ll be back in your inbox.


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