By choosing Trump-backed legislator Geoff Diehl over Wrentham businessman Chris Doughty for governor, Republican primary voters likely made Maura Healey’s path to the corner office easier than it was already going to be.
They also likely eliminated any opportunity to have a substantive debate about economic issues, sustainability and other matters.
Instead, expect eight weeks of awful red vs. blue divisiveness, followed by a landslide victory for the attorney general.
“We could have had a real race this fall. One that revolved around the high cost of everything in Massachusetts,” writes Scott Van Voorhis for Contrarian Boston. “Instead, we got Geoff Diehl.”
Doughty would probably have still lost. “Yet the more pragmatic businessman built his campaign around a potentially winning theme, taking aim at the high cost of housing, electricity, and taxes that have made Massachusetts increasingly unaffordable to the middle class,” he adds.
Diehl’s take on many issues aren’t just different from Healey’s. They’re different from fellow Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.
That includes a wide range of real estate issues, most notably housing production, where Baker has been “the state’s biggest cheerleader" often battling hesitant Democratic lawmakers, writes James Sanna at Banker & Tradesman.
Diehl says he would scrap the Baker-championed MBTA Communities Law and “let locals dictate development.” His lieutenant governor running mate, Leah Cole Allen, has said allowing accessory dwelling units statewide may be “excessive regulations” and opposes low-carbon construction requirements, which she called "greenlining."
Healey has said her administration would tackle “local zoning barriers” to build more housing. And her running mate, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll has been a staunch housing champion.
Healey's also on the record supporting giving communities the ability to ban fossil fuels in new developments and renovations, even though as AG she rejected an effort in Brookline on technical grounds that have since been addressed by the Legislature.
Healey and Diehl dish on restaurants
Wondering what our gubernatorial candidates say they would do to help the hospitality industry?
Mass Restaurants United recently interviewed Healey, Diehl (and Doughty). Watch here.
Devaney survives to win yet another term
It was the closest she came to losing in 23 years.
But Devaney lost in 14 municipalities that voted for her the last time she had an opponent.
That included losing in her hometown, where Devaney was an often-controversial town councilor before she became the often-controversial governor’s councilor she is today. (Devaney won in both Newton and Wellesley. Needham is not in the district.)
With no Republican running in the general election, Devaney retains her seat and, inevitably, will be the focus of more stories like this.
Dolan tells Schoenberg she will run again in two years.
Another supply chain issue to worry about
Just when you might have thought the worst of our supply chain problems are behind us, a potential nationwide freight rail strike is looming, "threatening to cripple the U.S. economy ahead of the holiday shopping season and November’s midterm elections," according to the Hill.
Roughly 115,000 rail workers could walk off the job as soon as Sept. 16.
Other Need to Knows
Federal law allows Congress to block or delay a walkout. But it’s not clear how lawmakers would approach the issue, which they haven’t tackled in 30 years.
Why are electricity prices rising unevenly across New England? WBUR explains.
Two-long anticipated restaurant opening are finally here: Taffer's Tavern opened at Arsenal Yards yesterday. Fuji Newton opens at Trio in Newtonville today.
Newton, Watertown and Arlington have entered into an agreement with MassDOT to purchase, install, and operate 8 or 9 additional Bluebike bike-share stations in the three communities. (Fig City News).
Needham-based organization can now post events onto the town’s newly redesigned website. The calendar can be used to promote educational, social, cultural or recreational events in Needham open to the general public. Details
Thanks to Gloria Polizzotti Greis of the Needham History Center & Museum, for sharing a really interesting tool that allows us to monitor water levels at the Charles River, just as it heads into our four chamber communities.
It’s a stream-flow gauge on the Dover/Needham line maintained by the US Geological Survey.
Normally the gauge height reads somewhere between 2 and 3.5 feet. 4.5 feet is high, 5 feet and above is the flood-stage. It reached as high as 8 feet in 2010, Greis wrote this week in her excellent newsletter (sign up here).
The river's lowest point, this past Aug. 22, was 0.4 feet, possibly the lowest reading since recording began in 1937.
Look at the gauge this morning and you'll see on this view that this week's rain was helpful: That part of the river was 1.24 feet as of 6 a.m..
Finally, this morning, my thanks to the Newton Rotary Club for honoring me, and the chamber this week with its Paul Harris Award, "recognizing outstanding contributions to the community."
Given the remarkable community service Rotary provides for our community (and even abroad) each and every year, it was a true honor.
Our local Rotarians especially rose to the occasion in so many ways during the pandemic, including delivering 9,000 local restaurant meals in Newton to those in need as part of our Nourishing Newton collaboration.
If you've looking for a platform to give back to your community while working alongside some amazing individuals, there are Rotary clubs in all four of our communities.
I also deeply appreciated Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, Rep. Kay and Richard Powell, Sen. Cindy Creem's chief of staff, for their participation at this week's ceremony. Fig City News has more.