Democracy in action: More than half of state legislators don’t have opponents this fall

This is discouraging, but not surprising or unusual in this bluest of blue states: More than half of Beacon Hill’s senators and representatives will be running unopposed this year, reports the Globe’s Joshua Miller. Some can, and will, say that it’s all about the advantages of incumbency. But that’s only partly true. It’s also about a a minority party that never seems to get its act together on the legislative level.
Walsh rubs salt in Galvin’s wound, says he likes Zakim’s ideas on voting process
Mayor Marty Walsh yesterday acknowledged he put out the word for delegates at this past weekend’s Democratic convention to support progressive upstart Josh Zakim over long-time Secretary of State Bill Galvin, reports Michael Jonas at CommonWealth magazine. But Walsh says his Zakim support had nothing to do with the grudge he has with Galvin over the proposed Winthrop Square development.

The Globe’s Adrian Walker writes that Zakim “benefitted mightily” from Walsh’s last-minute endorsement and wonders if we’re witnessing the last hurrah of the “Prince of Darkness.”

Meanwhile, Norfolk DA Morrissey invades Walsh’s turf to complain about Long Island Bridge project
Bill Galvin must be loving this. From Dan Atkinson at the Herald: “Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey’s appearance before the Boston City Council to slam plans to rebuild the Long Island Bridge drew fire from Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who said the prosecutor ‘coming here and taking shots like that is uncalled for.’”

Fyi: Boston officials will be invading Quincy’s turf tonight – by invitation – to ask for a permit that would allow them to rebuild the Long Island Bridge, the Patriot Ledger’s Erin Tiernan reports. The meeting is being billed as Quincy’s first faceoff against Boston on the bridge issue.

Restaurant group seeks to block late-night booze sales at casinos
The Mass. Restaurant Association is pressing state gambling regulators to reject a request by MGM Resorts to allow alcohol sales until 4 a.m. at its soon-to-open Springfield casino, Jon Chesto reports in the Globe. MGM has proposed allowing wee-hour alcohol only on the casino floor, saying its in-house bars and restaurants will stop serving at the usual 2 a.m. time.

Dems appear to have averted nightmare scenario in California but …
For all you political animals out there, we start off with the news out of California, via the L.A. Times: “Democrats in California appeared poised Tuesday night to avoid getting shut out of key congressional races for the November election, the most pressing risk they faced as they seek to retake control of the House. With most precincts reporting, Democrats seemed to have captured second place in the contests where the threat was most acute.”

Meanwhile, the NYT reports that Democrats, and Democratic women in particular, appear to have had a pretty good primary night across the country, including in New Jersey. But the big question is: What type of Democrats? Moderate Hillary Clinton-like liberals or further-left Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders-like progressives? It’s not clear but it looks like moderates.

So, if these results hold true (it could take a few more days to sort out matters, according to media reports), can Democrats discreetly start ordering the champagne for next fall? No so fast, writes the Globe’s Evan Horowitz, who says control of the House is still up in the air.

Sargent hits back at Globe … Globe hits back at Sargent
Hilary Sargent, the former Boston Globe reporter and employee who has accused editor Brian McGrory of sending her sexually suggestive messages, is hitting back, filing court papers seeking to block the Globe’s attempt to force her to hand over electronic documents and saying she previously warned Globe officials how “inappropriate behavior is a long-standing and pervasive problem at the Globe,” Jack Sullivan at CommonWealth magazine reports.

But the Globe’s story this morning on Sargent’s court filing emphasizes how “she (Sargent) conceded she does not have the original exchange in question and cannot recall if it was sent while she was working at the Globe-owned news website.”

Surplus territory: State revenues continued to improve in May, far surpassing projections for the month and year
The state has experienced a remarkable turnaround in its revenue fortunes, that’s for sure. From SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the BBJ: “State tax collections in May were up 1.2 percent over the same month last year, bringing the total amount of tax dollars collected by Massachusetts in fiscal 2018 to more than $24.6 billion. That’s a 7.6 percent uptick over revenues from the first 11 months of fiscal 2017. With one month left in the fiscal year, the Department of Revenue reported that the state has collected $1.7 billion more than last year and has eclipsed the revenue estimates used by lawmakers and Gov. Charlie Baker to build this year’s budget by $879 million.”
Are calls for judge’s impeachment over the top? Former SJC justice thinks so
House Speaker Robert DeLeo said yesterday that he’s ‘deeply troubled’ by Judge Timothy’s Feeley’s recent probation sentence for a drug dealer and expects the Supreme Judicial Court to review the case, the Herald’s Brian Dowling reports.

But Robert Cordy, a Boston attorney and former Supreme Judicial Court justice, writes at the Herald that, while criticism of Feeley is fine, “efforts by responsible public officials to transform that criticism into a crusade for impeachment is as misguided as it can be.” Fyi: Reps. Jim Lyons and Geoff Diehl, also a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, and other lawmakers plan to hold a press conference today at the State House to discuss ‘new information’ on the Feeley controversy.


Bankrupt Bertucci’s sold to owner of Planet Hollywood
This just in: Bertucci’s famous dinner rolls have been saved. From WCVB TV: “Massachusetts-based pizza chain Bertucci’s has a new owner, according to court documnets. Earl Enterprises, which owns restaurant brands including Planet Hollywood, is listed as the buyer of the pizza chain. The Orlando-based also operates the Buca di Beppo, and Earl of Sandwich restaurant chains.” The deal is for a reported $20 million. The BBJ’s Max Stendahl has more on the bankruptcy sale.
Embattled Rockland selectwoman returns to board, asks for privacy
Rockland Selectman Deirdre Hall, who dropped her bid for state representative amid charges swirling around town hall of possible inappropriate behavior, made her first public appearance at the board’s meeting Tuesday and asked for privacy, Turtleboy Sports reports. “This is a situation where I was treated improperly,” Hall said about an hour into the meeting. “I ask that you respect the privacy of all people involved.”  There seems to be a lot more going on here

than meets the eye. The suspended town administrator the other day was flatly denying any inappropriate behavior, as Wicked Local reports.

Worcester County is king of pot license applications – so far
The Cannabis Control Commission won’t be issuing new marijuana licenses for a few more weeks. But it looks like, right now, that Worcester County will initially have the most licensed pot retailers and growers in the state, Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ. Worcester County has 16 of the 51 applications submitted statewide so far, more than any other county.
Swampscott’s summer White House cleared for demolition
So long, White Court. The Swampscott Historical Commission voted Tuesday to lift a nine-month demolition delay on the mansion that once served as the summer White House for President Calvin Coolidge, clearing the way for developers to raze and repurpose the property as high-end condos, Gayla Cawley reports at the Lynn Item. In exchange for having the delay reduced to just 90 days, the developers agreed to reuse key parts of the mansion in its rebuild and pay to have the demolition of White Court chronicled for history’s sake.