AG race heads to the airwaves- POLITICO

TOP TALKER — Shannon Liss-Riordan is taking her argument that she’s the most experienced candidate in the attorney general race to the airwaves.

Liss-Riordan is out with her first television ad today, a 30-second spot that highlights the labor attorney’s history of representing drivers, waiters and other low-paid workers in lawsuits against corporations ranging from Uber to Starbucks.

“When corporations and special interests steal wages and raise prices, Shannon fights back and wins,” a male narrator intones. “She’s recovered more than half a billion dollars for working people. No one can match Shannon’s winning record and experience.”

Liss-Riordan has reserved at least $238,790 in ads across the Boston, Springfield and Providence markets this week, according to ad tracker AdImpact, and her campaign said more could come. She’s the first attorney general candidate to launch a TV ad this cycle.

Liss-Riordan has so far amassed significant support from organized labor, poured $500,000 of her own money into her campaign and set an eye-popping $12 million primary spending cap. But Quentin Palfrey won the state party’s endorsement at last month’s convention. And now, two months before the Sept. 6 primary, Liss-Riordan and Palfrey still trail former Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell in public polling and fundraising.

That could change if Liss-Riordan’s TV ad resonates with some of the 65 percent of likely Democratic primary voters who said in a June UMass Amherst/WCVB poll that they didn’t know who they would pick for attorney general.

But she won’t be alone on the airwaves forever: Campbell, who already has name recognition from her Boston mayoral run last year, has reserved about $350,000 worth of pre-primary airtime beginning Aug. 23.

GOOD WEDNESDAY MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS. The MassGOP’s challenge to the state’s new voting law will get its day in court at 10 a.m.

Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Scott L. Kafker fast-tracked the Republicans’ lawsuit — which claims the law making expanded mail-in voting permanent is unconstitutional — to the full court given “the significant time constraints in this matter” and the “wide-ranging and novel constitutional challenges to the new election law” that their complaint raises. Secretary of State Bill Galvin also wanted a speedy hearing because he’s readying to send out mail-in ballot applications later this month. The Boston Globe’s Samantha J. Gross has your preview of today’s proceedings.

TODAY — Rep. Jim McGovern visits the Grafton Food Bank at 8 a.m. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu makes an early education announcement at 9:30 a.m. in Chinatown and joins SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman for a small business roundtable at Nubian Markets, with a press conference to follow at 2:45 p.m. Rep. Jake Auchincloss tours MIKEL in Fall River at 3 p.m.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Massachusetts Playbook will not publish Friday, July 8. I’ll be back in your inbox on Monday, July 11.

Tips? Scoops? Birthdays? Email me: (email protected).

— “Law enforcement officials say they had no advance knowledge of white nationalist march in Boston,” by Mike Damiano and Danny McDonald, Boston Globe: “Law enforcement officials said Tuesday that they did not have any advance knowledge of a march over the July Fourth weekend by a white nationalist group that disrupted downtown Boston and led to an alleged assault of a Black activist. And, given civil liberties protections, police had few options in responding to the event, Mayor Michelle Wu said Tuesday. But Acting Police Commissioner Gregory Long said the perpetrators of the alleged assault will be charged, if police can identify them. … The march was organized by the Patriot Front, an extremist group with ties to neo-Nazis.”

In a press conference following a closed-door briefing on white supremacist activity in the region, Wu blasted hate groups that she says are “using the full boundaries within the First Amendment to create a sense of fear and unease and intimidation in our communities.”

Authorities are still investigating Patriot Front’s actions here. But Joseph Bonavolonta, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, told reporters certain thresholds have to be met for “domestic terrorism investigations” including “the existence of a potential federal crime, the threat or use of force or violence in conjunction with some sort of a social or political agenda.”

The lack of advance knowledge of Patriot Front’s plans is prompting renewed scrutiny of the Boston Police Department’s Boston Regional Intelligence Center, including from Boston City Councilors Ruthzee Louijeune and Ricardo Arroyo. Arroyo, who’s running for Suffolk district attorney, is now calling for a council hearing on the BRIC and the BPD’s “response to the growing presence of white supremacist hate groups” in Boston.

U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins cautioned that not all information authorities have on the incident can be made public. But she noted that during the private briefing “we had a lot of pointed questions — and we should — as to if this were a Black Lives Matter protest, would the response have been different than this white supremacist group?”

While authorities arrested 31 Patriot Front members who allegedly planned to riot near an Idaho Pride event in June, Robert Trestan of the Anti-Defamation League told reporters Tuesday that the white supremacist group’s ability to evade early detection in Boston speaks to its members’ “ability to organize” and their “discipline of how they want to come to a particular place and project a message of hatred.”

— “Boston looks to add voting precincts as it rejiggers polls,” by Sean Philip Cotter, Boston Herald: “Bostonians should double-check their polling places before the next election because the city appears en route to a rare rejiggering of where residents vote, including adding 20 new spots. … Boston normally doesn’t touch polling changes with a 10-foot pole, but the city last year embarked on the first reprecincting since 1924, when there were, among other differences, somewhat fewer brand-new luxury developments.”

— “BA.5 variant spikes to predominant COVID strain across region, Massachusetts reports 4,090 cases over holiday weekend,” by Rick Sobey, Boston Herald: “The BA.5 variant now represents 41.6% of new cases in the region, up from 29.6% in last week’s variant report from the CDC. The BA.2.12.1 variant now represents 38.1% of new cases, down from 50.7% in last week’s report. Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported a daily rate of 1,023 COVID cases over the Fourth of July weekend, similar to the daily average of 1,017 infections during the holiday weekend two weeks ago.”

— “Mass. among last states to approve budget, again,” by Christian M. Wade, Eagle-Tribune: “The state started a new fiscal year without a formal budget, for the fifth year in a row, as lawmakers continued to wrangle behind closed doors over a final spending package. … Massachusetts is one of only two states — Pennsylvania is the other — without an approved fiscal 2023 budget, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Michigan’s state lawmakers passed a final budget package on Friday, sending it to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for review.”

— “House, Senate to move quickly on abortion, environmental and mental health protections,” by Matthew Medsger, Boston Herald: “‘I am hopeful that we will meet many of the goals I have outlined throughout the year, including transformative reforms to our mental health and health care systems, a commitment to build up our early education ecosystem, providing tax relief to help working families, reaching our net-zero 2050 goals and advancing equity and inclusion in the cannabis industry,’ (Senate President Karen) Spilka told the Herald. (House Speaker Ron) Mariano, through a spokesperson, espoused similar priorities ahead of the July 31 end of the session.”

— “Senate Approves Pandemic Policy Extensions Bill,” by Colin A. Young and Sam Doran, State House News Service (paywall): “Several policies dealing with remote or virtual participation would be kept alive until Dec. 15, 2023 under the bill, including the ability for towns to hold representative town meetings through remote participation, public bodies’ ability to meet entirely by remote participation without a physical quorum, the ability of select boards to set the quorum number for representative or open town meetings, and the authorization for remote participation in non-profit corporate meetings. … The House did not take up the COVID-era extensions bill Tuesday, meaning that the earliest it could reach the governor’s desk is Thursday.”

— “She recorded her abuser, then she faced charges,” by Shira Schoenberg, CommonWealth Magazine: “As the Legislature considers whether to update the state’s wiretapping statute, (one) woman, who is not being named because she is a victim of domestic violence, wants legislators to consider a carveout that would protect victims of domestic violence from being prosecuted for recording their abuser. She has been talking to Sen. Patrick O’Connor, a Weymouth Republican, who said he hopes a carveout from prosecution for domestic violence victims can be added to one of the public safety bills lawmakers are currently considering. … Gov. Charlie Baker proposed expanding the wiretapping statute to other serious crimes, like murder, rape, and possession of explosive devices. The Judiciary Committee recently sent Baker’s bill to study, effectively killing it for this legislative session.”

— “Mass. politicians call for end to long waits at anti-discrimination agency,” by Simón Rios and Todd Wallack, WBUR: “A half-dozen prominent Massachusetts politicians said the state needs to find ways to speed up cases at the agency that investigates discrimination complaints, following a report by WBUR that found some cases take well over a decade to complete.”

— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Former Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell has been endorsed for state attorney general by the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus Political Action Committee.

— Sandy Zamor Calixte has been endorsed for Suffolk County sheriff by the MWPC PAC and Elect Black Women PAC.

— Simon Cataldo has been endorsed for 14th Middlesex state representative by the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts.

— “As labor secretary, Walsh hits the road for the Biden administration,” by Jim Puzzanghera, Boston Globe: “Former Boston mayor Martin J. Walsh did not travel all that much before joining President Biden’s Cabinet as labor secretary in early 2021. But since then, he’s been a road warrior for the White House. A straight-talking (and r-dropping) emissary to blue and red states alike, Walsh has carried a message of the administration’s labor successes — a strong job market and the promise of more work to come from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law — as Democrats try to counter the pervasive economic gloom many Americans feel from rapidly growing inflation.”

— “Is a solar energy project a farm? That’s the question, as Lenox faces a legal challenge from a major developer,” by Clarence Fanto, Berkshire Eagle: “A major developer is threatening to escalate a legal confrontation with Lenox, as it lays groundwork for a bid to install solar panels on land mostly in a residential area. … Several Lenox officials want an end to ‘bombastic’ statements by the developer and suggest they are not getting the whole truth about whether land adjacent to Lenox Dale will be used for farming or a large photovoltaic solar array. The developer says the town is blocking a property owner’s use of its land for agricultural purposes — and the company will do what it takes to prevail.”

— “A former Fall River mayor is opening Fall River’s newest cannabis shop this week,” by Jo C. Goode, Herald News: “Will Flanagan has worked as a prosecutor, assistant corporation counsel, mayor of the city of Fall River and a defense attorney. Now add another profession to Flanagan’s resume: marijuana entrepreneur.”

— “How a Berkshires-born candidate got in the middle of Virginia’s abortion access fight,” by Aina de Lapparent Alvarez, Berkshire Eagle: “Ben Litchfield, who was born in Berkshire County 35 years ago, announced in February he was going to run for Virginia’s state Senate as a Democratic candidate. At the time, he highlighted issues like jobs, transportation and education. That has changed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. ‘Instead of being a local race focused on local issues, it has become a national race and a referendum on the movement of the far right to restrict abortion access,’ said Litchfield.”

— “‘We’re all on high alert’: Supreme Court decision means Mass. police chiefs have less of a say in who shouldn’t get a gun,” by Matt Stout, Boston Globe: “In the first fallout from a Supreme Court ruling on gun permits, the top law enforcement officials in Massachusetts are advising police chiefs to abandon a plank of the state’s gun laws that allows them to deny or put limits on a license if a person fails to cite a ‘good reason’ for carrying a weapon. The impact of the guidance — issued jointly Friday by Attorney General Maura Healey’s office and the Baker administration — could vary widely among towns and larger cities, including in Boston, which has long carried a reputation among attorneys and advocates for using that provision to put restrictions on approved licenses. But gun rights advocates pushed back against the new guidance Tuesday, arguing the state’s three-page advisory wrongly interpreted the June Supreme Court ruling and should go further to scale back enforcement of the state’s laws.”

— “Antisemitic flyers distributed in Chatham Tuesday, police department says; similar flyers thrown in other states,” by Heather Morrison, MassLive: “The flyers in Chatham were found alongside the road on Stage Harbor Road and Bridge Street, police said. They were inside plastic baggies with rocks for weight. They also appear to be randomly dropped or thrown from a vehicle, the police department stated, meaning there was no specific target.”

— “Four-day workweek becomes reality in Swampscott; BC professor researches long-term impact,” by Paula Ebben, WBZ: “Following the pandemic, the four-day workweek is starting to become more of an office reality. A Boston College professor is now studying its effectiveness, while at the same time, the north shore community of Swampscott is testing it out. ‘I think this is right for Swampscott,’ said Swampscott Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald.”

— “McKee signs order to protect abortion providers, patients,” by Adriana Rozas Rivera, WPRI: “The executive order safeguards patients traveling to Rhode Island for receive reproductive health services from prosecution. It also shields reproductive health care providers who perform abortions on out-of-state patients from legal liability. … (Gov. Dan) McKee joins Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who signed a similar executive order a few hours after the Supreme Court’s decision.”

SPOTTED — Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan meeting with Francisco Carvalho, the mayor of Cape Verde capital Praia, at Brockton City Hall. Pic.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY — to former state Sen. Richard Ross, state Rep. Jake Oliveira, Dave Eisenstadter and WBUR’s Cloe Axelson. Happy belated to state Rep. Tami Gouveia, who celebrated Saturday; and to Lanhee Chen, Will Ritter of Poolhouse and Rachel Wells of the British Consulate General-Boston, who celebrated Monday.

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