The campaign began “its first full test-run this weekend as parties [kicked] off local caucuses. … At the caucuses, which begin for both parties Saturday at elementary schools, libraries and town halls throughout the state, tens of thousands of activists will hear from the campaigns officially for the first time. It’s the initial step in selecting delegates who will endorse the party’s preferred candidate or, in some cases, determine who will be on the primary ballot later this year.
For “Democrats, in particular, the gatherings of town and ward committees … serve as the initial organizational shake-down for the three candidates for governor.”
Gov. Charlie Baker (R) “is expected to easily sweep much of the Republican caucuses, despite pockets of conservative resistance to his candidacy. The only question is whether he can so heavily dominate the delegate selection that he can avoid a primary race” against minister Scott Lively (R). “But that goal could be a challenge for Baker, as the makeup of the convention delegates has over the years become increasingly conservative, with many of them upset over what they see are his moderate and liberal policies and his close ties to some Democratic political figures.” (Boston Globe)
THANKS FOR NOTHING, SUNUNU. Baker’s “pick for a project to increase the amount of renewable energy used in the state — announced just last week — was dealt what could be a dire setback Thursday, when New Hampshire officials denied a key permit to build 192 miles of transmission lines. Also Thursday, the state agency that oversees health benefits for hundreds of thousands of public employees, retirees, and their families—over which Baker has considerable control—reversed course. … Democratic opponents of Baker, who is seeking a second term this year, piled on.” (Boston Globe)
A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS. State Sen. Cindy Friedman (D) endorsed former state budget director Jay Gonzalez (D). (release) Brockton City Councilor Jean Bradley Derenoncourt endorsed former Newton Mayor Setti Warren (D). (release)
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE. Gonzalez called for state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg (D), who until recently was the state Senate president, “to step down from the Legislature. Rosenberg has been laid low by allegations of sexual assault against his husband, Bryon Hefner, and damaged politically by a report that Hefner involved himself in Senate affairs after Rosenberg had promised a ‘firewall’ between his personal life and legislative business.” (Boston Globe)
What We're Following See More »
"President Trump issued a series of executive orders Friday that could gut federal employee unions’ ability to negotiate with agency leaders and represent workers, as well as reduce the time it takes for an agency to fire people for poor performance or misconduct. Billed as the first step toward broad civil service reform, senior administration officials announced in a call with reporters on Friday afternoon three executive orders aimed at making it easier to fire poor performers and ordering harsher treatment of union representatives."
Eleven days before the presidential inauguration last year, a billionaire Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to meet with Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, according to video footage and another person who attended the meeting. In Mr. Cohen’s office on the 26th floor, he and the oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, discussed a mutual desire to strengthen Russia’s relations with the United States under President Trump, according to Andrew Intrater, an American businessman who attended the meeting and invests money for Mr. Vekselberg."