Daily Dose of Bass & Han - Friday, July 24th, 2020
By Adam Bass and Jessy Han
GOOD MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS!
Welcome back to the fourth and final edition (for now) of Daily Dose of Bass & Han. It was a lot of fun to make this a reality and we hope that all of you fellow Bay Staters enjoyed these four issues of daily news in Massachusetts politics. Next week, we return you to your regular programming.
— FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CANDIDATE and Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss is in hot water with the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge as he is expected to be removed from it this morning for not returning a $2,800 donation from Andrew Slifka, executive vice president of the Waltham-based energy supply company Global Partners LP. This story was broken last night by Daily Dose and can be found here.
— WAYS AND MEANS CHAIRMAN AND FIRST DISTRICT CANDIDATE RICHARD NEAL hosts a roundtable discussion on child care in the COVID-19 era at 10:00 AM est. Joining Neal will be Representative Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, Deb Perelman, the creator of Smitten Kitchen, along with Julie Groce and Diana Limongi, two working mothers who are part of the MomsRising organization. Watch here.
— PLAY BALL!: Governor Charlie Baker throws out the first pitch for the Red Sox as they open the delayed fanless season against the Baltimore Orioles at 7:30 PM. (UPDATE: A Sox spokesperson tells WCVB's Matt Reed the governor will be at the game but will not be throwing out the first pitch.)
— Governor Charlie Baker meets with Vice President Mike Pence on Nantucket Saturday as the vice president is in town for a reelection fundraiser. Although Baker will not attend the fundraiser, a spokeswoman said the governor plans “to discuss the pandemic and how the federal government can support Massachusetts’ response efforts.” (Matt Stout, The Boston Globe)
— Students of MA-04 host a debate between all nine Democratic candidates on the ballot in the fourth district from 5 to 7 PM on Sunday. RSVP here.
— NBC10 Boston, Telemundo, and NECN host an hour-long debate between Senator Ed Markey and challenger Representative Joe Kennedy III at 7 PM on Sunday.
— KENNEDY-MARKEY SPAT: Representative Joe Kennedy III, joined by colleagues Representatives Juan Vargas and Linda Sanchez of California, slammed Senator Ed Markey for "[standing] with the GOP and ICE to increase detention beds in the U.S" back in 2013. The Markey camp then fired back, noting that while Kennedy voted against the bill with detention bed language in 2013, he voted for it in early 2014. The rhetoric on both campaigns is getting hot as voters begin to receive their ballots in the mail.
— NEXT WEEK FOR MA-04 is shaping up to be a busy one, as not only are the candidates participating in 2 debates, but seven of the candidates will be participating in a forum hosted by the Jewish Democrats Council of America on July 27th from 4:30 to 6:30 PM. The only two candidates not expected to participate in this event are Ihssane Leckey and Chris Zannetos.
COVID IN THE COMMONWEALTH
— "Massachusetts reports 16 new coronavirus deaths, 270 COVID-19 cases Thursday as state releases new guidance for school districts," by Tanner Stening, MassLive.com: "Massachusetts health officials announced another 16 coronavirus deaths on Thursday, bringing the statewide death count to 8,265. Officials also confirmed another 270 cases of the virus, bringing the statewide total to at least 107,683. That’s based on 16,133 new molecular tests reported on Thursday."
— "Officials warn of an uptick in coronavirus cases on Cape Cod; new infections back at May levels," by Chris Lisinski, State House News Service: "Lawmakers and local officials from Cape Cod reminded the public to cooperate with contact tracing efforts and to maintain commitment to public health precautions after a slight uptick in new COVID-19 cases over the past week.
A growing total number of infections alone does not indicate a reversal of substantial progress that both the Cape and Massachusetts as a whole have made, Sen. Julian Cyr said during a Thursday conference call, but the growth in cases in Barnstable County has been more substantial in the past week than in prior weeks."
— "‘We can’t afford to see any more house parties'; Boston Mayor Marty Walsh discouraging parties after Cape Cod party fueled virus outbreak," by Tanner Stening, MassLive.com: "Walsh said there are numerous instances of COVID-19 outbreaks across the country tied to house parties, noting that Boston “can’t afford” to lose ground in the fight to contain the virus. Walsh said that this week the seven-day average of new cases and positive tests, as well as new coronavirus hospital admissions, all showed declines in the virus."
— IN HIS THURSDAY ADDRESS, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says the city is working with CVS to provide drive-through testing to those who need it with no out-of-pocket expense. The first testing site should be available today in West Roxbury.
— ON TRUMP'S MOVE TO NOT COUNT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN THE CENSUS: "We need to stand up right now and say it's wrong. I would say to any immigrant, don't be intimated. Make sure you fill out the census."
— A CLEAN SWEEP: Mayor Walsh also noted that August 10th is when the sweepers return to the streets of Boston so make sure your car is not caught up in the clean sweep!
AROUND CHARLIE'S CORNER
— "Attorney for ousted Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Superintendent Bennett Walsh decries ‘poison’ spread by Gov. Charlie Baker administration over COVID-19 response," by Stephanie Barry, MassLive.com: "Over nearly 90 minutes in the ballroom of the Springfield Sheraton, Bennett took aim at Gov. Charlie Baker, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, and the so-called Pearlstein report issued in late June that heaped blame on Walsh and his top staff for their response to the outbreak."
THE STATE OF EDUCATION
— "Private schools, charters moved forward with remote curriculum," by Shira Schoenberg, CommonWealth Magazine: "But another divide emerged as well, this one between district public schools and charter and private schools. While performance varied greatly among all types of schools, many private schools and charter schools worked hard to stay on course with their curriculum during the frantic switch to online learning. That was not the norm in most public schools, even in wealthier districts.
Many private and charter schools were committed to teaching new material from the start, while state education officials instructed public school districts for weeks to focus on review. Many private schools continued grading and testing, while many public school districts, following state recommendations, shifted to a pass/fail model. As the shutdown wore on, some private schools, like the one Abbie Paley sought out for her daughter, even began attracting public school students looking for another option."
WHAT WE'RE READING
— "Markey-Kennedy Senate Race May Be Decided This Week," by David Bernstein, WGBH News: "That’s because applications for mail-in ballots are now arriving in the mailboxes of some 4.6 million registered voters across the Commonwealth.
Nobody really knows how that’s going to affect the primary election, to be held—or, more accurately, completed—on September 1. Voting by mail is new to Massachusetts, just signed into law this month out of concerns for in-person voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But most people close to the campaigns agree on two things. The first is that people who quickly fill out and return the ballot application when it arrives, will likely do the same when their ballot arrives—while people who set the ballot aside, out of disinterest, misunderstanding, or procrastination, will probably end up missing out on mail-in voting, and skipping the election altogether."
— DISTRESSING POLLING: On Thursday, MassINC Polling released a poll showing most small businesses in Massachusetts have lost at least a quarter of their revenue this year. Steve Koczela, the head of the firm told WBUR, "Right now, the businesses that need to bring people in — that need to have customers on their premises to really be successful and do what they normally would be doing — those are the ones that are hurting the most."
— YOU COULD'VE HAD HIM!: "Red Sox president Sam Kennedy disappointed Mookie Betts signed contract extension with Dodgers," by Peter Abraham, The Boston Globe: "Red Sox president Sam Kennedy acknowledged Thursday he was disappointed and surprised when Mookie Betts agreed to a contract extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
'I’d be less than honest if I didn’t say a sense of disappointment and maybe closure and finality to it,' Kennedy said. 'Look, we have a plan. We are very confident in the direction of our baseball operation.'"
Did the home team play yesterday? No, although today is a big day in Boston sports. The Celtics return to the court for the first time since March as they face the Oklahoma City Thunder in a televised scrimmage. The Red Sox, as mentioned before, will open the season against the Baltimore Orioles at 7:30 PM with Nathan Eovaldi at the mound.
Once again, thanks for reading and have a terrific weekend!