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Blue streak continues – POLITICO – POLITICO

Lisa Kashinsky's must-read rundown of what's up on Beacon Hill and beyond.
Lisa Kashinsky's must-read rundown of what's up on Beacon Hill and beyond.
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By LISA KASHINSKY 
10/28/2022 07:26 AM EDT
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NEW POLL, SIMILAR RESULTS — Democrats are continuing on their glidepath to winning the state’s constitutional offices, a new poll shows.
Attorney General Maura Healey leads former state Rep. Geoff Diehl, 59 percent to 32 percent, in a UMass Amherst/WCVB poll of 700 registered voters. The survey, conducted Oct. 20-26, has a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.
Majorities of voters trust Healey more on every issue surveyed — including the economy and crime, two issues Republicans tend to outperform Democrats on — compared to Diehl. They also think she more closely resembles Gov. Charlie Baker in ideology, policy priorities and leadership style, which shows that her constant references to and associations with the popular Republican on the campaign trail appear to be resonating.
Down the ballot, Secretary of State Bill Galvin leads Republican Rayla Campbell, 55 percent to 29 percent; Democratic attorney general nominee Andrea Campbell leads Republican Jay McMahon 57 percent to 32 percent; and state Sen. Diana DiZoglio leads Republican auditor nominee Anthony Amore, 49 percent to 32 percent.
The auditor’s race remains the most contentious contest in what’s shaping up to be a Democratic sweep in November. And that’s why it’s also the most fraught. Democrats have dug into the turmoil surrounding Amore’s more-than-decade-old divorce. Republicans have slung their own mud over DiZoglio’s pre-politics work as a youth counselor at The Ramp, an evangelical church in Alabama that had hosted a preacher a decade ago who espoused homophobic views.
Now the Baker-aligned Massachusetts Majority PAC is running a pair of digital ads linking DiZoglio to the church as part of the $100,000 it’s spending to back Amore. As a reminder, super PACs and candidates can’t coordinate.
DiZoglio has the backing of the state’s two leading LGBTQ groups, MassEquality and Bay State Stonewall Democrats, though both initially endorsed her Democratic primary rival, CommonWealth Magazine reports.
Tanya Neslusan, the MassEquality executive director, said in a statement provided to Playbook by DiZoglio’s campaign that the state lawmaker “has a decade-long record of voting in support of LGBTQ and reproductive rights.” She also said Amore was trying to avoid answering questions about the court records surrounding his divorce that were first reported by NBC10 Boston. Amore’s campaign sent a statement saying DiZoglio hasn’t sufficiently explained her association with the church. Expect these accusations to continue from both sides through Election Day.
GOOD FRIDAY MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS. Looks like Zappe fever hasn’t broken just yet. The UMass Amherst/WCVB poll shows voters want Bailey Zappe over Mac Jones as the Patriots’ starting QB — but it’s within the margin of error.
TODAY — Baker, Healey, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and legislative leaders attend the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony at 1:30 p.m. at the State House. Rep. Jim McGovern attends a ceremony honoring the late Peter Kocot at 4:30 p.m. at the Northampton train station.
THIS WEEKEND — Diehl is on WBZ’s “Keller @ Large” at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Rep. Richard Neal is on WCVB’s “On the Record” at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Tips? Scoops? Email me: [email protected].

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— GOTV EFFORT: Local developer and Stop Handgun Violence co-founder John Rosenthal believes the nation is facing “an existential threat to democracy” and that younger voters could make the difference in combating it.
Rosenthal spent eight months working with other activists, including March for Our Lives founder David Hogg and environmental activist Bill McKibben, to fine-tune a message that would appeal to voters ages 18-34: “America is calling. Vote.”
Now it’s the tagline on digital ads running in New Hampshire and North Carolina, backed by about $2 million raised through the nonprofit Future Majority. Rosenthal and his collaborators tried to pick states with competitive contests but that were less saturated with outside cash. So far they’ve seen about 3 million impressions on those ads, and are expecting that to grow upwards of 5 million by Election Day.
Rosenthal, an independent voter, views his effort as a nonpartisan way to combat voter suppression. “I don’t care who votes and how they vote,” he told Playbook. “Just vote.” If his experiment works, he wants to expand the effort for the 2024 presidential election and beyond. BTW, the latest Harvard IOP youth poll shows voter turnout among 18-to-29-year-olds is expected to match or surpass that of previous high mark among that demographic from the 2018 midterms.

“Massachusetts reports 7,318 new COVID cases, virus hospitalizations drop,” by Rick Sobey, Boston Herald: “The state’s daily average of 1,045 COVID cases from the last week is a bit down from the daily rate of 1,058 virus infections during the previous week.”
“Town-by-town COVID-19 data in Massachusetts,” by Ryan Huddle and Peter Bailey-Wells, Boston Globe.

— NEW DEVELOPMENT: After Playbook reported yesterday that House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz is “confident” a version of the $4 billion economic development bill lawmakers shelved at the end of formal sessions would make it Gov. Charlie Baker‘s desk, Baker said on GBH’s “Boston Public Radio” that a bill could come “in the next couple of weeks.” Neither is saying what’s in the bill — though there’s pressure on lawmakers to not include Baker’s suite of tax reforms given economic uncertainties and the $3 billion heading out the door to taxpayers under Chapter 62F.
“Gaming regulators lay aside DraftKings’ request to revisit sports betting timeline,” by Chris Van Buskirk, MassLive: “Massachusetts gaming regulators acknowledged Thursday afternoon, but pushed aside, a request from one of the largest online wagering companies to revisit the timeline for the launch of sports betting in the state. In a letter dated Oct. 13, the company asked the Gaming Commission to reconsider the timeline it approved for launching sports betting, where in-person wagering would start in January and online in March.”

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“200 sign petition urging Northampton School Committee to ditch its own masking policy,” by Emily Thurlow, Daily Hampshire Gazette: “A member of the city’s Ad Hoc COVID Advisory Committee is urging the School Committee to ditch its masking policy in favor of the state’s guidelines, so members can focus on other educational challenges in the district.”

“Baker fires back at Wu over approach to Mass. and Cass crisis,” by Emma Platoff and Travis Andersen, Boston Globe: “An unusually public spat between Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Michelle Wu over the intractable problems in Boston’s Mass. and Cass area escalated Thursday, underscoring their differing approaches to the crises of homelessness and addiction there, and the urgency of the situation as winter nears. A week after Wu said the state must ‘step up as a partner’ to improve conditions for the roughly 200 people who congregate in the area daily, an audibly frustrated Baker pushed back, saying: ‘I thought we had a partnership.’ … In an interview after Baker spoke, Wu was diplomatic but firm. She said she is grateful for the state’s efforts, particularly funding for hundreds of specialized housing units, but then added, ‘It would not have happened if the city had not insisted and pushed for that.’”
“Maura Healey weighs in on Mass and Cass as Charlie Baker sets the record straight,” by Matthew Medgser, Boston Herald: “Attorney General Maura Healey has joined the conversation over the humanitarian crisis plaguing Boston’s Mass and Cass amid recent friction between the Mayor and the Baker administration. ‘Obviously it’s something that requires partnership between the city and the state. So I would be interested in hearing from the mayor what exactly is needed in terms of additional resources,’ Healey said Thursday [on GBH].”

“MBTA has a new bus map based on your feedback. Here’s what it looks like,” by Taylor Dolven, Boston Globe: “The latest version, published Thursday, reflects more than 20,000 public comments the agency received since releasing its initial plans for a redesigned bus network in May. … [T]he MBTA changed 85 of 133 initially proposed bus routes, in some cases adding or altering routes to provide more service to medical facilities and senior housing. … To meet the service requirements of the new bus network, the MBTA needs an additional 750 drivers.”
“T notes: Low-income fares back on agenda,” by Bruce Mohl, CommonWealth Magazine: “MBTA officials presented new, lower cost estimates for introducing low-income fares on Thursday, but it was unclear when or if the T board will move ahead with the proposal. At a meeting of the MBTA board, T staff estimated the cost of cutting fares in half on all transportation modes for riders earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level would fall somewhere between $46 million and $58 million a year.”

A message from Delta Dental of Massachusetts:
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— WHERE THEY STAND: Gov. Charlie Baker and those seeking to replace him, Attorney General Maura Healey and former state Rep. Geoff Diehl, are weighing in on this year’s ballot questions.
Baker plans to vote “no” on Question 2, which would regulate dental insurance, and “yes” on Question 3 for alcohol license reform, he told “Boston Public Radio” yesterday. He didn’t object when GBH’s Jim Braude said the governor was voting “no” on Question 1, the so-called millionaires tax, and Question 4, which asks voters if they want to keep the new law Baker vetoed that grants undocumented immigrants access to driver’s licenses. Baker, unsurprisingly, still won’t say who he’s voting for as his successor.
Healey and Diehl have long argued their stances on Questions 1 and 4: Healey is a “yes” on both, Diehl is a “no” on both. Healey’s campaign told WBUR’s Nik DeCosta-Klipa that she’s yet to make up her mind on Questions 2 and 3. Diehl’s campaign said he would vote “no” on Question 2 due to concerns it could increase dental insurance premium costs for consumers. And he plans to vote “yes” on 3.
The UMass Amherst/WCVB poll out today shows majorities of voters would vote “yes” on Questions 1, 2 and 4. A plurality, 39 percent, support Question 3, while 38 percent would vote no on it and 23 percent are undecided.
“Healey pledges to veto attempts to divert millionaires tax revenue,” by Gia Orsino, GBH News: “Attorney General Maura Healey said Thursday on Boston Public Radio that, if elected governor, she would veto any effort by the Legislature to divert funds raised by the so-called millionaires tax away from their intended purpose of bolstering state education and transportation spending.”

“Diehl takes a shot at Baker, Healey over immigration crisis,” by Mike Damiano, Boston Globe: “Republican gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl took shots at the Baker administration and his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Maura Healey, a day after the Globe reported that more than 100 migrants and homeless people had been relocated to the Plymouth area in recent days. ‘There is no plan to care for these people, meaning it’s up to local officials to process these individuals and provide them with food, shelter, education, and medical care,’ Diehl said in a statement. He criticized the Baker administration’s handling of the migrants, blamed President Joe Biden’s ‘open border policies,’ and laid some of the responsibility at the feet of local politicians, including Healey, for supporting ‘sanctuary policies.’”
— Related: “Massachusetts towns blindsided as migrants housed at hotels: ‘A heads up would have been nice’,” by Rick Sobey, Boston Herald: “In Kingston, 107 individuals have been sent to an area hotel in the last week, and Plymouth officials are expecting 27 migrant families to be housed at local hotels in the coming weeks. … Massachusetts — like many other states — is seeing an influx of new arrivals, many from the southern border, according to Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. ‘As Massachusetts is a right-to-shelter state, the Commonwealth must provide shelter to all eligible families who do not have a place to sleep,’ he added in a statement. ‘Some families have recently been placed in hotels and motels due to capacity constraints on the state’s Emergency Assistance shelter system.’”
— Also related: “Leader of Haitian nonprofit conveys desperate situation at Days Inn,” by Christopher Roberson, Eagle-Tribune: “Two months after celebrating the establishment of his nonprofit organization, Haitians Overseas, Hugson Jean-Francois faces a significant challenge in providing assistance to a group of Haitian immigrants stranded at the Days Inn. From Oct. 12-14, families were taken from Boston Medical Center and dropped off in Methuen. … As of Oct. 25, the state Department of Housing and Community Development had not released a long-term plan on how to move forward.”

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“Healey Win Would Require Interim AG,” by Chris Lisinski, State House News Service (paywall): “If she can succeed where several of her predecessors have fallen short and top Republican Geoff Diehl in the race for governor, Attorney General Maura Healey would get sworn into her new role around noon on Jan. 5. And under the timelines laid out in the state Constitution, the next attorney general will take office on Jan. 18, nearly two weeks later when the secretary of state, treasurer, and auditor will also be sworn in. … If that hypothetical scenario becomes a reality, most stakeholders agree that the top law enforcement responsibilities would fall for a brief period to one of Healey’s current top deputies: First Assistant Attorney General Kate Cook.”
“Is this election likely to exacerbate Massachusetts’ regional inequities?” by Jazmyn Gray, Boston University Statehouse Program/Berkshire Eagle: “If this year’s ballot is any indication, Massachusetts’ ongoing battle with regional inequity has only become more serious as western and central parts of the state struggle to overcome a declining population and a lack of representation in statewide offices.”
— READ: Eagle-Tribune reporter Christian M. Wade’s profiles of lieutenant governor hopefuls Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, the Democrat, and former state Rep. Leah Cole Allen, the Republican.

“Political notes: Dooley says Rausch is making him look bad — literally,” by Tom Reilly, The Sun Chronicle: “State Rep. Shawn Dooley, a Norfolk Republican who is trying to unseat state Sen. Becca Rausch, D-Needham, says she is making him look bad, literally. In a recent post on his Instagram account, Dooley says Rausch ‘has manipulated my picture to make me look fat and sinister — just as I predicted she would.’ To be fair, it looks like the image Rausch is allegedly using is a Sun Chronicle file photo of Dooley that is at least a few years old.”
— COURT CHRONICLES: Republican Tracy Post, who’s running for First Barnstable state representative, has appealed a superior court judge’s denial of her request to stop counting mislabeled mail-in ballots in Dennis that erroneously identified her Democratic opponent, Chris Flanagan, as an incumbent, according to her campaign.

“Scoop: John Kerry preparing to leave Biden administration,” by Hans Nichols, Axios: “Special climate envoy John Kerry is actively considering leaving the Biden administration after next month’s COP27 summit, soliciting advice from friends and colleagues on how to stay involved in climate efforts from the private sector, according to people familiar with the matter.”

— TICK TOCK: Reps. Lori Trahan and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) are waiting for a response from TikTok’s CEO on the company’s strategy for curbing misinformation, disinformation and the potential incitement of violence on its platform ahead of the midterms and the 2024 elections.
“With the perceived lack of strong enforcement, bad actors have already begun to use TikTok to spread distrust and doubt in our upcoming midterm elections, including preemptive claims of voter fraud. We believe that TikTok needs to be more transparent about how the platform’s automated and human systems flag and remove content, and the effectiveness of their systems,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter asking for a briefing from the company.

A message from Delta Dental of Massachusetts:
When it comes to oral health, Delta Dental of Massachusetts can help you achieve lifelong optimal health. Maintaining a healthy mouth now will have a positive impact as you age. That’s why you should visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and oral cancer screenings. And, don’t forget to keep practicing good oral hygiene habits at home. A healthy mouth now will set the stage for a healthy future. Discover the connection between oral and overall health at ExpressYourHealthMA.org.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY — to Alex Harris and the Washington Post’s Taylor Telford.
HAPPY BIRTHWEEKEND — to POLITICO’s Steve Heuser, Joanne Goldstein, Paolo Martins, Leora Eisenberg and Daisy Letendre, who celebrate Saturday, and to Sunday birthday-ers Jackie Tempera, Sandy Flint, Lydia Chernicoff and Glenda Izaguirre.
NEW HORSE RACE ALERT: THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE REDISTRICTING — State House News Service’s Chris Lisinski tells hosts Jennifer Smith, Steve Koczela and Lisa Kashinsky about the legislative races to watch and what’s waiting for lawmakers next session. The Dorchester Reporter’s Gintautas Dumcius breaks down Boston’s contentious redistricting process. Subscribe and listen on iTunes and SoundCloud.
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