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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"The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee says Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is poised to subpoena the Justice Department for former FBI Director James Comey’s memos, which the agency so far has failed to produce. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., warned such a move puts Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in jeopardy of being placed in contempt of Congress and the special counsel investigation of being shut down prematurely."
Referring to the AUMF introduced by Sens. Tim Kaine and Bob Corker Monday evening, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday "he won’t allow any bill to come to the House floor that he thinks would restrict military commanders’ ability to fight." Ryan "defended the legality of U.S. military strikes last week against chemical weapons-related sites in Syria, saying President Trump had the authority to order them under the Constitution’s Article II commander-in-chief powers."
Attorneys for both President Trump and his attorney Michael Cohen lost a court challenge today, as they sought to suppress evidence gathered in a raid of Cohen's office and hotel room. "U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood denied the requests and ruled that prosecutors will get first access to the information, followed by Cohen’s defense team ten days later. Wood noted that she has not yet decided whether she will appoint a special master in the case at all."