POLITICO Massachusetts Playbook: INFRASTRUCTURE bust — POT problems — MOULTON's big fundraising numbers



02/13/2018 07:17 AM EDT
By Lauren Dezenski (ldezenski@politico.com; @LaurenDezenski) with Brent D. Griffiths (bgriffiths@politico.com; @BrentGriffiths)
GOOD MORNING MASSACHUSETTS.
INFRASTRUCTURE BILL A BUST FOR SOME DEMS - President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, rolled out yesterday, was once seen by Democrats in Massachusetts as one of the few areas where common ground and compromise was thought possible with then-nascent administration.
Now, members of the state's congressional delegation are panning the proposal - zeroing in on the impact on local cities and towns of shifting costs from the federal government to municipalities, and the funding priorities overall. The plan proposes $200 million in actual federal investment, and a quarter of that $200 billion will go toward rural areas - seen as a hit to densely populated (and coincidentally blue ) urban areas already competing for badly needed infrastructure spending dollars. It also relies on local governments and the private sector to do much of the financial heavy lifting for new projects, rather than the feds.
Sen. Ed Markey has been the most vocal critic of the plan, calling it a "money mirage" and a "fiscal folly" that is "robbing Peter to pay Paul when we need both at work paving our roads."
Rep. Joe Kennedy III touched on the missed opportunity of a potentially bipartisan bill, noting that a "substantive, equitable infrastructure investment could unite a historically partisan Congress," adding that local governments "will bear the financial burden of [Trump's] halfhearted plan."
Rep. Richard Neal also expressed concern for cash-strapped municipalities. He also took issue with the funding formula prioritizing rural areas over cities. "Investing in infrastructure has always been an 80/20 federal/state model and it should remain that way so that real work can occur," Neal said.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted her dissatisfaction with the plan, including the "burden" being passed onto local governments by the plan.
Rep. Seth Moulton was more blunt. Asked if the infrastructure plan will work in a radio interview, Moulton replied "Doesn't sound like it."
Meanwhile, Gov. Charlie Baker was more noncommittal about the proposal, saying his team was still reviewing the plan, but saw more opportunity for compromise: "Obviously infrastructure is one of those issues we hope we'll have opportunity to work with Congress and with the administration on a go-forward basis to put something into place that is meaningful and can work for everybody."
Have a tip, story, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for the Playbook? Get in touch: ldezenski@politico.com.
TODAY - Rep. Michael Capuano addresses the New England Council breakfast this morning - The Office of Campaign and Political Finance holds a hearing on proposed changes to the state's campaign finance law. Mass Fiscal Alliance plans to testify against changes related to donor disclosure - A special legislative commission on public records meets for the first time at the State House.


DATELINE BEACON HILL -
- "At issue: Lawmakers' exemption from state's records law," by the Associated Press: "A special commission examining whether the Legislature should continue to enjoy an exemption from the state's open records law is about to meet publicly for the first time."
- "In final push for marijuana sales, Mass. commission feels heat from familiar foes," by Colin A. Young, State House News Service: "Two years after the the push to legalize marijuana began, many of the same groups that contested the ballot question are clashing again over the scope of the newly legal industry, setting up the state's young regulatory agency for its most crucial decisions yet later this month. The rough draft for the legal cannabis sphere has come under fire in recent days from many of the same people and groups who in 2016 campaigned to prevent adult marijuana use from becoming legal in Massachusetts, including Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, district attorneys and drug use prevention advocates. "
- "Governor's office warns pot regulator about stoned drivers, marijuana use by youths," by Dan Adams and Joshua Miller, Boston Globe: "Massachusetts is likely to experience a surge of stoned drivers and an increase in youth marijuana use, and risks 'significant' black-market pot sales if cannabis regulators carry out their plan to license a wide variety of unique marijuana sellers, such as movie theaters and delivery services, the state's top public safety official warned Monday. The comments were the third scolding dished out to the cannabis commission by Governor Charlie Baker's administration in a week - a sign of a growing tussle over the ambitions for and sweep of the recreational pot market that's set to debut in July."
- "Mass. Senators offer plan to accelerate clean energy growth," by Matt Murphy, State House News Service: "Ratepayers would be protected from having to pay for a new natural gas pipeline infrastructure and utilities would be forced to accelerate their transition to renewable energy under a comprehensive and complex energy bill released on Monday in the Senate. While a good number of the ideas contained within the bill have found traction in the Senate in prior years, the House and Governor Charlie Baker have been slow to warm to many of the major components of the plan and it remains to be seen whether the bill can find a place in a shared agenda for the Legislature over the remaining months of the session."
- "Chabot: Stanley Rosenberg opens door," by Hillary Chabot, Boston Herald: "The state Senate's small, beleaguered bloc of seven GOP senators could finally have some sway in the chamber as they are courted in the increasingly crowded race to replace former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg. Democrats within the Senate, rocked by Rosenberg's embarrassing and unexpected ouster, have discussed wooing Republicans to secure enough support in the fractured body, according to insiders with knowledge of the race."
ON THE STUMP -
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK - Newton Firefighters Endorse Setti Warren for Governor," from the Setti campaign: "The union representing Newton firefighters has endorsed former Newton Mayor Setti Warren's bid for governor of Massachusetts. ... Newton Firefighters Association President Marc Rizza praised Warren for the way he worked with the union and for his commitment to public safety."
- "Mass. Republican Party appears to violate its own neutrality rules," by Frank Phillips, Boston Globe: "The Massachusetts Republican Party is organizing nomination petition drives across the state for Governor Charlie Baker and his running mate, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, in what appears to be a violation of the party's rule that bars it from providing any resources to a candidate in a contested primary. E-mails obtained by the Globe show the party's grass-roots arm, MassVictory, has been setting up weekend outings all over the state for volunteers to gather signatures for the nomination papers for Baker and Polito - despite the fact there is another candidate in the GOP gubernatorial race."
- "Domestic violence survivor says U.S. Senate candidate John Kingston helped her flee abuse," by Shira Schoenberg, MassLive.com: "Ellen's story is one of domestic violence -- and how one woman escaped from abuse. It is also a story being told in a three-minute online video ad by Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Kingston, whom Ellen credits with helping her."
- "Former Sen. Finegold considers another bite at the apple," by Chris Lisinski, Lowell Sun: "Barry Finegold, a former state senator who left in 2015, is weighing a run for his soon-to-open former seat. Barbara L'Italien has held the 2nd Essex and Middlesex seat in the state Senate since Finegold departed, but she is running for Congress this year, meaning the seat is again open for competition."
MOULTON MATTERS -
- "Rising star Moulton boasts big fundraising numbers," by Eric Bradner, CNN: "Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton raised $1 million at a single New York City fundraiser last week - a $50,000-per-candidate boost for the 19 Democrats he has endorsed in House races. Moulton's first big-dollar event outside his home turf of Massachusetts is another indicator of Moulton's emergence as one of the most prolific fundraisers and bundlers among House Democrats outside of leadership ranks."
- "Rep. Seth Moulton on the need for new Democratic leadership," by Anthony Brooks and Jamie Bologna, WBUR: "We speak with Congressman Seth Moulton about President Trump's infrastructure proposal, immigration reform, his call for leadership change in the Democratic party, and the race for the 7th district, where City Councilor Ayanna Pressley is challenging veteran Congressman Michael Capuano."
WARREN REPORT -
"Overnight Tech: Dems turn up the heat on Equifax," by Ali Breland, the Hill: "The outrage over the massive Equifax data breach is heating up, with Democrats suspicious that Republicans are delaying efforts to crack down on the credit reporting industry and secure consumer data. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also released a report on the breach, excoriating Equifax for a lack of safeguards and calling on Congress to crack down on credit reporting agencies."
TSONGAS ARENA -
NEW THIS MORNING - "Elevator Constructors Local 4 endorses Koh for Congress," from the Koh campaign: "Emphasizing that Dan Koh will "fight for working families," the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) Local 4 today endorsed Koh in the race for the 3rd Congressional District. IUEC Local 4 represents over 1,000 members and is the fourth union endorsement for Koh: Koh's campaign has also recently been endorsed by IBEW Local 96, Building Wreckers Local 1421, and Operating Engineers Local 4."
- "Pathway to residency a common theme for 3rd District Dem candidates," by Chris Lisinski, Lowell Sun: "The Sun asked all 15 candidates in the 3rd Congressional District race about their stances on undocumented immigrants already living in the United States and the Trump administration's attempts to crack down on so-called 'sanctuary cities.' What emerged was a mostly unsurprising reflection of national political trends compressed into one local race: Almost all of the 14 Democrats explicitly mentioned supporting a path to permanent residency for the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country, excluding any convicted of crimes, and said municipalities should not assist with ramped-up federal deportation efforts."
WOOD WAR - Herald: "DREAD LETTER DAY," "THE BOYS OF SPRING!" Globe"President seeks to cut safety net programs," "From Tufts post, a hint of Bacow's skills," "Meet the criminal who infiltrated vicious gang in massive takedown," "A fabricated unity, a barbarous debate," "A girl's smile is restored, but cost is hard to swallow," "ARRAIGNED IN MURDER."
THE LOCAL ANGLE -
- "Future fare increases on the table as MBTA faces budget woes," by Adam Vaccaro, Boston Globe: "The MBTA expects its budget shortfall to increase by more than $70 million - to $111 million - in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The last MBTA fare hike came in July 2016, raising prices by 9 percent across the system despite rider protests."
- "The Boston City Council appears ready to tussle with Mayor Walsh on several key issues," by Isaiah Thompson, WGBH News: "A new thirteen-member Boston City Council with an historic six women of color among its members wants to have more impact - on everything from how schools are governed to affordable housing to police body cameras and - maybe most radical - bringing more direct democracy to city government."
- "Meet the criminal who went undercover in the country's largest MS-13 takedown," by Shelley Murphy and Maria Cramer, Boston Globe: "... The man who helped authorities build one of the nation's biggest cases against the international street gang was also getting away with crimes of his own, allegedly plotting dozens of robberies and getting involved in the brutal stabbing of a rival gang member at a Chelsea park. Now, the government has kicked him out of the witness protection program and prosecutors said they won't call him to testify at the ongoing trial of four reputed MS-13 members, a case Mako [his code name] helped make."
- "A regional rail revival," by Alex Marshall, Governing Magazine: "Rail advocates, government leaders and planners are working to revive the Housatonic line, whose tracks are now operated by a freight company with the same name. It's a complicated endeavor, mostly because three states -- Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York -- must get on board."
- "Lobster Pot restaurant offers franchises," by Sean F. Driscoll, Cape Cod Times: "Lovers of the Lobster Pot's fresh seafood who dread making the trek to the tip of the Cape each summer may not have to travel quite as far to get their bouillabaisse fix. The owners of the iconic Provincetown eatery are offering the restaurant up for franchising opportunities, meaning that the operation could be replicated at locations across New England."
MEDIA MATTERS - "Comcast among companies suspending their advertising on WEEI," by Shirley Leung, Boston Globe: "At least two organizations, including Comcast Corp., have suspended advertising on sports-talk radio station WEEI following racially insensitive comments from one of its hosts. The cable giant and the City of Boston Credit Union have pulled their campaigns, effectively immediately, after midday host Christian Fauria imitated a well-known sports agent by speaking in a stereotypical Asian accent."
THE HOME TEAMS DID NOT PLAY YESTERDAY
TUNE IN ... TO THE HORSE RACE PODCAST - Episode 16: Storming the Gates: Steve Koczela is back in the bunker just in time for caucus season! We've got answers to all the caucus questions you're afraid to ask with special guest Gus Bickford, Chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. We also check in on the first forum for the MA-3, the legal challenge to the proposed "Fair Share" ballot question and the latest development around the senate presidency. Subscribe and listen on iTunes and Sound Cloud
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