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 »
"Under cover of darkness, U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG-71) slipped through the Bosporus Strait and into the Black Sea on Friday. The next day USS Carney (DDG-64) joined Ross. The ships are operating are part of an unspecified regional “proactive” presence mission in the sea bordered by Russia, according to the Navy."
"Special counsel Robert Mueller's interest in Jared Kushner has expanded beyond his contacts with Russia and now includes his efforts to secure financing for his company from foreign investors during the presidential transition, according to people familiar with the inquiry. This is the first indication that Mueller is exploring Kushner's discussions with potential non-Russian foreign investors, including in China." At issue specifically is his quest for financing help on the beleaguered 666 Fifth Avenue building.