Window Into The State House

Is there a nurse in the house? Question 1 in big trouble
A new Suffolk/Globe polls shows that 59 percent of surveyed voters now oppose the nurse-staffing Question 1, in a major turnaround from only a few months ago when the ballot question received majority support from voters, reports the Globe’s Matt Stout. The change in sentiment apparently isn’t due to the big bucks being thrown around in the contest. Instead, it’s more personal, with most saying they were swayed by the “input from a nurse they personally know,” Stout writes.

Btw: The same poll shows Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, continuing to hold commanding leads in their respective re-election bids, though Warren’s support seems to be slipping a bit and a majority of voters don’t want her running for president in 2020. See post immediately below for more details on the latter. Btw, II: The Globe’s Liz Kowalczyk takes a look at the debate over what “unsafe staffing’’ means in the Question 1 battle.

Deval Patrick must be smiling this morning …
This is interesting: The new Suffolk/Globe poll released yesterday shows that a whopping 68 percent of surveyed voters don’t want U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for president, though a solid majority support her bid for re-election. Here’s the fascinating part in the story by the Globe’s Matt Stout: “Many said if they had to choose, they would prefer it be former governor Deval Patrick — not (Warren) — seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination in 2020. Fifty-one percent said they would opt for Patrick, compared to just 21 percent for Warren.”

Patrick’s gets a further boost at Atlantic magazine: ‘The former Massachusetts governor hopes the 2020 presidential race comes down to character—the candidates’ and the country’s.’

As for Warren, the Globe’s Victoria McGrane reports that she continues to push ahead with a potential presidential run, regularly using Republican challenger Geoff Diehl as a Trump stand-in. WGBH’s Mike Deehan reports on the fine line Diehl himself is walking these days. The two candidates debate tonight on WCVB-TV at 6:30 p.m.

Poll: Voters are concerned about traffic congestion – but most don’t want to pay to fix the problem
In the same Suffolk/Globe poll, Massachusetts voters did agree on one thing: Traffic congestion in the state is growing worse. But Kristin LaFratta at MassLive notes that 48.4 percent of survey respondents say they don’t want to pay higher taxes or fees to address the problem, while 44.6 percent said they would support such revenue measures. File under: ‘Go figure.’

Meanwhile, Chris Dempsey of Transportation for Massachusetts and Phineas Baxandall of Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center write at the MetroWest Daily News that they welcome much-needed investments to repair the state’s transportation network. But they think there’s a problem with the state’s new capital investment plan: It’s inadequate to the needs.

State leaders: Armed guards at synagogues and churches are not the answer
In the wake of this past weekend’s mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Robert DeLeo disagreed with President Trump’s assertion that armed guards are the solution to such incidents, reports Shira Schoenberg at MassLive and SHNS’s Matt Murphy (pay wall).

But Amy Saltzman and Eli Sherman at Wicked Local report that congregations across Massachusetts are indeed mulling changes to security measures after the weekend massacre. In Boston yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions denounced the attacks, even as some protesters outside the event “blamed the Trump administration for creating a climate where hate can flourish,” reports Schoenberg in a separate piece at MassLive. The Globe’s Joan Vennochi wonders why it took Sessions ten minutes into his speech at a Federalist Society event to finally address the Pittsburgh tragedy.


Globe slams Bump, endorses libertarian candidate for auditor
In an editorial, the Globe takes the rare step of endorsing a candidate outside the two major parties, announcing it is backing Libertarian candidate Daniel Fishman over Democratic incumbent Suzanne Bump for state auditor. The Globe minces no words in its criticism of Bump, saying she’s politicized the office and completely missed the “rampant payroll abuse at the State Police.”
Oh, wait, Bump says she now wants to launch OT audits of other state agencies …
As the Globe slams Auditor Suzanne Bump for missing the overtime-abuse scandal at State Police, Bump tells the Springfield Republican that she now wants to look into overtime trends at state agencies other than State Police. Shannon Young at MassLive has the details.
Surprise, surprise: Lone bidder for T’s ferry service jacks up prices
Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine reports on the potential skyrocketing cost of the T’s ferry service after the agency received only one bid to provide waterway transportation for commuters.


Lawmakers send civics-education bill back to Baker
From SHNS’s Katie Lannan: “Participation in student-led civics projects would become part of high school and eighth grade curriculum and new efforts would be made to register teenagers to vote under a bill that’s now back on Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk.”
Spotlight team: State investigators concealed degree of Hernandez’s drug use in prison
Here’s a follow-up to the Globe Spotlight team’s recent look at the life and death of former Pats star Aaron Hernandez. From Beth Healy: “State investigators had more evidence than previously disclosed that former New England Patriot star Aaron Hernandez was using a dangerous drug in prison prior to his death — information that was concealed in public records and from his family and lawyers. … (The disclosure) raises questions about whether state officials sought to hide the extensive use of contraband drugs by inmates — including by one of their most well-known prisoners — and its potential influence on his death.”
The Fall River recall clock starts ticking …
Jo C. Goode at the Herald News has your daily fix of SnoOwl news: “The effort to recall Mayor Jasiel Correia II, facing federal wire and fraud charges, begins today after 10 petitioners successfully had their affidavit for a recall election certified by City Clerk Alison Bouchard Monday morning. The group has 20 days with the clock immediately clicking to sign-up 5 percent of the city’s 50,207 registered voters or 2,510 certified signatures. Day 20 is Nov. 17, a Saturday, so the recallers have a few extra days to gather signatures with a deadline on Nov. 19.”