Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty (R) plans to run for the state House rather than challenge Gov. Charlie Baker (R). (State House News Service)
CLOSING OUT THE YEAR. Baker raised $176,000 between Dec. 16-31 and reported $7.3 million on hand at the end of 2017, his campaign reported Tuesday. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (R) reported an additional $3.3 million on hand.
Former state budget chief Jay Gonzalez (D) raised $27,000 in the latter half of December and reported $88,000 on hand.
Former Newton Mayor Setti Warren (D) raised $37,000 in the same time and reported $57,000 on hand.
Environmental activist Bob Massie (D) raised $6,000 and had $18,000 on hand. (Hotline reporting)
MORE MONEY, MORE PROBLEMS. “State campaign finance regulators have cracked down on a second political group aligned with … Baker, forcing the committee to divulge the donors behind the $1.168 million it spent supporting the governor’s 2016 ballot question campaigns. On Tuesday, the Office of Campaign and Political Finance announced it had levied a $31,000 fine on Strong Economy for Growth (SEFG), charging the group violated finance laws in 2016 by not making public its contributors. Also under the ruling, SEFG is barred from participating in Massachusetts politics in 2018. … [T]he group’s fund-raising and campaign activities involved close Baker political finance aides,” including fundraisers John Cook and Steve Roche as well as consultants Jim Conroy and Will Keyser. (Boston Globe)
TO THE LEFT, TO THE LEFT. “The Massachusetts wing of the Bernie Sanders-aligned group Our Revolution … is currently polling its members on the choice in a non-binding statewide advisory poll underway until Friday” on endorsing either “environmental activist Bob Massie (D) or stay out of the race completely.” (Politico)
“All three Democrats challenging … Baker said they generally oppose the construction of new natural gas pipelines.” (MassLive) “All three of the Democrats … support repealing some mandatory minimum sentences, but they differ on exactly which ones to repeal.” (MassLive)
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"Garrett Ventry, a communications adviser for the Senate Judiciary Committee's GOP majority who was leading the committee's response to allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, has stepped down."
"The Senate Judiciary Committee tentatively agreed to a hearing on Thursday with Christine Blasey Ford regarding her allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while in high school, according to a person briefed on a call between the panel and her lawyers on Saturday night." Details are still being worked out, but "on Friday, the two parties agreed to limit the number of cameras in the hearing room, ensure Ford and Kavanaugh are not in the same room together, offer Ford breaks in her testimony and security from the U.S. Capitol Police."
"Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault in the 1980s, is reportedly willing to publicly testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee next Thursday. Lawyers for Ford told committee staffers during a call Thursday evening to negotiate details of a potential hearing that she wanted Kavanaugh to testify before her and she does not want to be in the same room as him, according to multiple reports."