With help from Anne Brandes
SETTING THE PACE — State Attorney General Maura Healey raised $207,000 in the first 24 hours of her campaign for governor, continuing her early fundraising dominance by raking in half her December take in a day and eclipsing her rivals’ largest monthly hauls to date.
She’s also setting herself on a different path out of the gate.
In a race where other candidates are running more to their party’s flanks — GOP former state Rep. Geoff Diehl is a former President Donald Trump-backed conservative; state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz and Harvard political theorist Danielle Allen are progressives — Healey is striking a more moderate tone. She’s focusing less on her liberal-prosecutor past and more on pocketbook issues like the high cost of living. She eschewed being labeled an “uber-progressive” and said she’d leave it to “others to characterize my record.” And, unlike her rivals, she declined opportunities to hit moderate GOP Gov. Charlie Baker over his pandemic policies.
Healey’s playing the long game here. Her less ideological, more jobs-and-recovery-focused pitch plays more toward the middle and, critically, to independent voters who’ve helped propel candidates from both parties into the governor’s office for decades.
It’s already resonating with unions. Teamsters Local 25 endorsed Healey hours after her launch. Her face was soon plastered across the iconic IBEW Local 103 billboard on I-93, though union business manager Lou Antonellis said it’s not yet a formal endorsement. Healey also picked up endorsements yesterday from the Democratic Attorneys General Association and Barbara Lee of the Barbara Lee Political Office.
Yet Healey will likely run into some friction from progressive activists who’ve already started poking holes in her record as attorney general and her stances on criminal justice issues. She’ll face her first big progressive policy test this weekend, when she and other candidates for governor and lieutenant governor are interviewed at Progressive Massachusetts’ virtual annual meeting.
Despite her advantages, Healey brushed off the notion she’s the frontrunner. She told reporters “this is going to be a hard race” and that she intends to “work my tail off.” And she’s backing that up with her recent campaign hires, including organizing advisor Anthony Davis Jr., an alum of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s campaigns, and organizing strategist Steve McKenna, who got his start on Steve Grossman’s gubernatorial bid. They led a 350-person volunteer organizing Zoom last night.
GOOD FRIDAY MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh says he’s “not running for governor.”
The former Boston mayor told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “it was an honor to be mentioned as a governor. I love Massachusetts. I love my city of Boston. But I’m serving the people of the United States of America right now.”
Add Andrea Campbell to the list of those eyeing the attorney general’s seat. The former Boston city councilor and mayoral hopeful is “seriously considering” a bid, people familiar with her thinking tell Playbook. Campbell was a former deputy legal counsel to Gov. Deval Patrick.
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell has also had “discussions” about running for the seat and is “not ruling anything out,” per a statement.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan is building out her team ahead of her expected run for attorney general, adding Jane Rayburn of EMC Research as pollster and adviser; Aran Hamilton-Grenham as organizing director; and Meredith Lerner Moghimi, principal of MLM Strategies, as finance consultant.
TODAY — Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito virtually addresses the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting at 10:30 a.m. Sen. Ed Markey joins “Mask Nerd” Aaron Collins for a 10:30 a.m. livestream and holds more local virtual LIHEAP roundtables. Wu hosts an Instagram Live with meteorologist Dave Epstein at 11 a.m. and attends the USS Constitution Change of Command ceremony at noon.
THIS WEEKEND — Markey, Warren and Baker speak at the MMA’s annual business meeting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Allen discusses the governor’s race on WBZ’s “Keller @ Large” at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. UMass President Marty Meehan is on WCVB’s “On the Record” at 11 a.m. Sunday.
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— “Massachusetts COVID cases: 51% hospitalized because of virus, 49% test positive while getting other treatment,” by Rick Sobey, Boston Herald: “The Department of Public Health reported that 51 percent of statewide COVID hospitalizations — 1,624 patients — are currently being hospitalized because of COVID, and 49 percent — 1,563 — test positive for COVID while hospitalized for other reasons. … Thursday’s daily count of 14,384 new virus cases was significantly down from last Thursday’s report of 18,721 infections.”
— “32,909 new coronavirus cases reported in Massachusetts schools in past week,” by Rick Sobey, Boston Herald: “The total of 32,909 staff and students testing positive is a 32 percent drop from 48,414 positive K-12 tests in the previous week.”
— “Town-by-town COVID-19 data in Massachusetts,” by Ryan Huddle and Peter Bailey-Wells, Boston Globe.
— DEPARTURES: State Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead) is leaving the House after President Joe Biden appointed her as FEMA’s regional administrator in New England. She wrote in a blog post that she “could not be more thrilled to get started” on Jan. 31.
— ARRIVALS: “Now a state senator, Edwards’ plans to leave Boston City Council are unclear,” by Mike Deehan, GBH News: “East Boston Sen. Lydia Edwards has bucked Beacon Hill tradition by not immediately resigning her municipal post after joining the Legislature. A spokesperson for the now-senator said Edwards has ‘no comment’ on whether she will resign from the City Council ‘but is happy to talk about it in the future.’”
— “Marijuana regulators support updates to drugged driving laws,” by Shira Schoenberg, CommonWealth Magazine: “Overall, all five members of the Cannabis Control Commission voiced support for urging the Legislature to update state laws on operating under the influence to better account for drug-impaired driving. But they shied away from supporting specific legislative provisions, noting the lack of available technology to detect marijuana impairment and the dangers of racially biased enforcement of driving laws. Lawmakers will likely insist on resolving those issues before they move forward with a bill.”
— “COVID-19 cases have peaked in Massachusetts,” by Felice J. Freyer, Kay Lazar and Martin Finucane, Boston Globe: “The latest wave of COVID-19 in Massachusetts has crested, with the number of new cases dropping precipitously since last week, prompting even the most wary prognosticators to see a flicker at the end of the tunnel. … Hospitalizations seem to be leveling off, but Steve Walsh, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association, said hospitals remain ‘very much in the midst of a COVID-19 peak.’”
— “Massachusetts Nurses Association calls on Gov. Charlie Baker to declare state of emergency, take steps to address COVID surge,” by Michael Bonner, MassLive: “In a letter sent to Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday, the Massachusetts Nurses Association called for another state of emergency to be issued along with 14 other recommendations to better help healthcare workers during the latest COVID-19 surge. In the four-page letter addressed to Baker, the MNA calls for the state of emergency that was declared in March of 2020 to be reactivated through March of 2022.”
— “Long COVID study: Boston researchers recruiting long haulers who are having trouble concentrating, experiencing strong fatigue,” by Rick Sobey, Boston Herald: “Hub scientists are recruiting adults who had acute COVID-19 more than two months ago and are still experiencing symptoms, such as trouble concentrating and abnormally strong fatigue.”
— “Arlington mother creates website to help track down at-home COVID test kits,” by Julianne Lima, Boston 25 News: “Her face is likely familiar — Boston 25 News first introduced you to software developer Olivia Adams last year when she launched a website to help people find COVID-19 vaccine appointments back in the early days when they were filling up fast. Now, the Arlington mother-of-two has launched another website to help people find over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 tests: CovidTestCollab.com.”
— “Vaccine mandate in Somerville is defeated, 2-1,” by Shira Laucharoen, Cambridge Day: “A vaccine mandate for certain indoor businesses was defeated 2-1 by Somerville’s Board of Health on Thursday, after an earlier meeting was ‘bombed’ by a group led by an Internet personality from Peabody and her supporters.”
— “‘It’s been a desperate call’: Substitute teachers in high demand as districts grapple with teaching shortages,” by Dana Gerber, Boston Globe: “As incentives, districts like Woburn and Brockton recently announced pay hikes to recruit more substitutes. Since the onset of the pandemic, both Boston and Cambridge have waived the requirement for substitute teachers to have a bachelor’s degree; Cambridge now requires at least one year of professional experience working with students, said spokesperson Sujata Wycoff, and Boston requires unlicensed candidates to pass an online course, according to the current job listing.”
— “Tufts Medical Center will close its pediatric hospital after more than a century of treating sick kids,” by Priyanka Dayal McCluskey, Boston Globe: “After more than a century of treating sick children, Tufts Medical Center will close its 41-bed pediatric hospital in July and convert those beds to treat more adult patients. Tufts will refer children who need hospitalization to Boston Children’s Hospital, its longtime competitor and the dominant pediatric hospital in the state.”
— “More cowbell: Protests outside of Michelle Wu’s house continue, but sound a bit different,” by Sean Philip Cotter, Boston Herald: “The anti-vaccine-mandate protesters outside Mayor Michelle Wu’s house have swapped out bullhorns for cowbells after the cops reportedly made it clear they’d start confiscating noise amplifiers.”
— “Kim Janey starts a new chapter in academia,” by Danny McDonald, Boston Globe: “This spring, [former Boston acting mayor Kim] Janey, who lost a mayoral bid for a full term in the City Hall fifth-floor corner office in September’s municipal preliminary contest, will serve as a fellow at the Frederick E. Berry Institute of Politics and Civic Engagement at Salem State University, according to a Thursday announcement. She will also serve as a resident fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.”
— “Boston Police commissioner search committee hears input,” by Sean Philip Cotter, Boston Herald: “The search committee for the next Boston Police commissioner hasn’t settled on any candidates yet, Mayor Michelle Wu said at the start of a meeting geared toward getting locals’ opinions about what they want in the city’s next top cop.”
— “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass. CEO Andrew Dreyfus to step down,” by Priyanka Dayal McCluskey and Kay Lazar, Boston Globe: “Andrew Dreyfus, the chief executive of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, who used his high-profile role to push for health care reform in the state and beyond, is stepping down after nearly 12 years leading the state’s biggest health insurer.”
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Methuen Mayor Neil Perry and City Council Chair D.J. Beauregard have endorsed Councilor James McCarty in his bid for 4th Essex District state representative.
— “Five key things to know about Maura Healey as she starts her campaign for governor,” by Adam Reilly, GBH News: “Democrats eager to retake the Massachusetts governor’s office have been fantasizing about Maura Healey seeking the job for years. … But a few years ago, when Healey first ran for attorney general, she had to overcome widespread opposition from the state’s Democratic political establishment to get the job.”
— “U.S. drops case against MIT professor accused of ties to China,” by Eric Tucker, The Associated Press: “The Justice Department dropped charges Thursday against a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor accused of concealing ties to the Chinese government, a further setback to a federal initiative that was set up to prevent economic espionage and theft by Beijing of trade secrets and academic research.”
— “The Senate failed to pass voting rights legislation. Where does that leave Democrats?” by Jazmine Ulloa, Boston Globe: “[Assistant House Speaker Katherine] Clark and her Democratic colleagues are trying to regroup and regain momentum following an emotional debate in the Senate that touched on racism and past civil rights struggles.”
— “Sen. Edward Markey meets with Western Massachusetts officials to tout legislation to bolster LIHEAP heating assistance program,” by Patrick Johnson, Springfield Republican: “The program’s budget would increase from $3.75 billion to $40 billion annually, eligibility requirements would be expanded to any household spending more than 3 percent of income on utility costs, and its scope would widen from just heating costs in the winter to cooling costs in the summer.”
— LISTEN: “Elizabeth Warren Claps Back at Elon Musk,” by Kara Swisher, The New York Times.
— NEW OVERNIGHT: The entire delegation stands “in solidarity” with the Jewish community after the Texas synagogue hostage situation, according to joint statement released last night.
“Americans everywhere have the right to worship in peace,” the members said. “Yet the rising tide of antisemitism has forced Jewish organizations across the country to confront violence as a clear and present threat. We cannot allow this to be the new normal. We must all work towards a future free from antisemitism and faith-based violence.”
— “UMass Amherst clarifies mask rules: high quality masks, such as N95s, are ‘urged,’ but not required,” by Will Katcher, MassLive: “Students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will not be required to wear high-grade face coverings, such as N95 masks, while in campus buildings this spring, the school said Thursday as it clarified a previous statement on health and safety guidelines for the upcoming semester.”
— “Feds: Regulators ‘should never have approved’ Weymouth compressor, too late to shut it down,” by Jessica Trufant, Patriot Ledger: “While several members said regulators shouldn’t have approved the project to begin with, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says it won’t revoke authorization for the natural gas compressor station in Weymouth.”
— “Trash is a burning question with mixed answers in some Mass. towns,” by Hannah Chanatry, WBUR: “The Haverhill incinerator is one of seven operating in Massachusetts. The state has a limited amount of landfill space, so most of our trash is either burned locally or shipped to landfills out of state. State-level activists want that to stop; they argue incinerators are major sources of pollution and should be closed. But in communities hosting the incinerators, opinions are more mixed.”
— “Here’s why fatal overdoses in Plymouth County were down in 2021 after a brutal 2020,” by Susannah Sudborough, Brockton Enterprise: “In a surprising but hopeful finding, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz has announced that fatal overdoses in the county were down significantly in 2021 compared to 2020 and 2019.”
— “Man arrested after allegedly tossing hot coffee on unmasked Dunkin’ customer in Brookline,” by Arianna MacNeill, Boston.com: “A man was arrested in Brookline for allegedly tossing hot coffee on another man in a Dunkin’, apparently because the victim was not wearing a mask.”
— “Into the Red: How the Globe will cover climate change,” by Steven Wilmsen, Boston Globe: “To report on the most pressing issue of our time, the Globe’s climate team is expanding and rethinking its coverage.”
TRANSITIONS — Vanessa Snow joins MassVOTE as policy and organizing director. Boston law firm Sherin and Lodgen LLP has appointed Matthew C. Moschella as chair of the firm’s litigation department.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY — to Molly Trowbridge of Sen. Eric Lesser’s office, Jeremy Jacobs and Diego Sanchez, a Massachusetts Democratic State Committee member and Barney Frank alum.
HAPPY BIRTHWEEKEND — to Lauren DeFilippo, state Rep. Josh Cutler, Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner and former state Rep. Brad Hill, Sarah Mattero, Carson McGrath, Stephen Glick and Gail Shalan, who celebrate Saturday; and to Sunday birthday-ers Kristen Lepore, chief of staff to Gov. Charlie Baker, and Harvard Institute of Politics’ Amy Howell.
NEW HORSE RACE ALERT: TEST STRESSING — MassLive’s Alison Kuznitz joins hosts Jennifer Smith and Steve Koczela to talk about the state’s new Covid rapid-test program for schools. Smith, Koczela and host Lisa Kashinsky break down the latest on vaccine passports and vaccination mandates. Subscribe and listen on iTunes and Sound Cloud.
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