SHNS Campaign Notebook — Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Absentee ballots are now available for the Sept. 9 primary elections, Secretary of State William Galvin announced Tuesday, highlighting contested Republican and Democratic primaries for governor and competitive fields among Democrats in races for lieutenant governor, attorney general and treasurer. Registered voters may apply by mail, or with a written request, and applications must be received by noon on Monday, Sept. 8. Voters may also apply in person to the city or town clerk or election commission in the community where they are registered to vote. Voters applying for an absentee ballot can have it mailed to them to fill out and mail back, according to Galvin’s office, and mailed ballots must arrive at the local election office before 8 p.m. on primary day. Absentee voters may also vote at city or town hall in person when they apply for the ballot or schedule an appointment to fill out the ballot. “With the absentee ballots now in the city and town halls, college students who will be heading back to classes soon can obtain their absentee ballots, and even cast them, before they leave for school,” Galvin said in a statement. “And anyone who expects to be away or otherwise unable to get to their precinct on September 9 should apply for an absentee ballot as soon as possible so their vote will count.” – M. Norton/SHNS

Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker plans to join opponents of the law indexing the gas tax to inflation at a press conference on Thursday. According to the Committee to Tank the Automatic Gas Tax Increases, the presser will also focus on the sales tax holiday, which is scheduled for this weekend under economic development legislation pending on Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk. The presser is set for 3:15 p.m. Thursday at Robinson’s Hardware in Framingham. – M. Norton/SHNS

Gubernatorial candidate Steve Grossman said he hasn’t seen the economic plan his opponent Martha Coakley touts in her first television ad released Tuesday, though her plan is readily available online. “She mentions an economic plan. I don’t know what that means. I haven’t seen a comprehensive economic plan from the attorney general, and it seems to me the number one issue facing the people of this Commonwealth over the next four years is who will be the right person to be the chief executive of the state,” Grossman told the News Service Tuesday. In Coakley’s first television ad, which is starting with a $60,000 targeted ad-buy, the narrator says she has a “plan to build an economy that works for everyone.” and said, “The political insiders, the big money super PACs, the old boys club, they’re all against her.” A press release about Coakley’s ad included a link to her plan, which calls for “universal” access to early education, more local road funding, the exploration of “innovative strategies to promote entrepreneurship and business ownership among traditionally underrepresented groups,” and other bullet-pointed initiatives. Coakley is consistently far outpacing Grossman and Don Berwick in the polls while Grossman has led a continuous critique of positions she has taken. “She is a career prosecutor,” Grossman said. “To me it’s about jobs . . . I’m a proven progressive jobs creator.” Grossman said he had “checked,” and said he found no record of Coakley having an economic platform when she first ran for attorney general. Coakley ran unopposed in the 2006 Democratic primary for attorney general, and beat her Republican opponent Larry Frisoli 73 percent to 27 percent in the general. – A. Metzger/SHNS

Candidate for attorney general Warren Tolman is on a three-day tour of Boston where he plans to meet up with state legislators and promote his plans to address opiate abuse and to use regulations to implement “smart gun” technology in Massachusetts. Tolman’s schedule includes meet-ups and appearances with former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, and Reps. Ed Coppinger, Dan Hunt, Dan Cullinane, Kevin Honan and Jay Livingstone. Tolman’s campaign on Tuesday also announced endorsements from Rep. Ellen Story of Amherst and former Rep. Paul Demakis, co-authors of the 1997 law establishing a 25-foot buffer zone outside reproductive health clinics, as well as former Sen. Lois Pines, who supported the bill in the Senate. The campaign of Tolman’s primary opponent, Maura Healey, on Tuesday touted the endorsement of the former assistant attorney general and former pro basketball player by Boston Celtics legend Bob Cousy, who met up with Healey on Monday at his Worcester home. “At 86, I appreciate young people who have a set of morals and principles. I think Maura is a breath of fresh air,” Cousy said, according to a Worcester Telegram & Gazette article circulated by Healey aides. – M. Norton/SHNS

Copyright 2014 State House News Service

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