Steve Grossman, call your mother.

Wait, no, better not. It could be legally risky if the conversation veers toward a certain random topic, like, say, the fact that you are maniacally devoting every waking hour and every shred of your being to your dream of being elected Massachusetts governor.


It’s actually just as well that things have turned out this way. The charade that involves super PACs spending money on behalf of — but without any coordination with — candidates’ campaigns has now reached the level of full-blown farce. That comes with the news that one of the principal funders of the super PAC that began running ads on behalf of Grossman attacking his Democratic rival Martha Coakley is none other than Grossman’s 92-year-old mother.

Shirley, you jest?

No, she does not, Shirley Grossman tells the Globe, declining to go into specifics about how much she has dumped into the super PAC other than to say it is “a lot of money.”

A new state campaign finance law took effect last Friday that requires super PACs to disclose all donors and donation amounts within seven days and to list the PAC’s top five donors in any television ads. Mass Forward, the super PAC backing Grossman complied by disclosing that Shirley Grossman is one of its top funders. The group has spent at least $250,000 on an ad buy to show a 30-second spot on Boston television stations that criticizes Coakley for not supporting a proposal to limit gun purchases to one per month.

The whole super PAC debate has become a giant game, with candidates selectively trying to seize the high ground and oppose the influence of dark money in campaigns, while then finding ways to benefit from it just the same. Grossman called the Citizens United decision that unleashed the unlimited spending of super PACs “maybe one of the worst decisions the Supreme Court . . . has ever made.” But he has defended the Mass Forward ads as “entirely factual and accurate.”

On Sunday, the day before the Mass Forward disclosure, Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham wrote that Grossman claims to have had no conversations about Mass Forward with Barry and Eleanor White, close friends of his who co-chair the super PAC and who held a campaign event for him in their home last year. Abraham says how absurd the non-coordination rule is because the PAC “is made up of, and almost certainly funded by, people very close to the candidate.”

You can say that again.



The heads of state authorities have very different views about what’s an acceptable expense for reimbursement, CommonWealth reports.

The Pioneer Institute’s Charles Chieppo and Mary Connaughton compare state convention center officials to former Probation Department commissioner John O’Brien’s patronage machine.


The local option meal tax has generated more than $357 million in added revenue for the cities and towns that have adopted it since going into effect five years ago, according to an analysis by the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

Greater Boston takes a look at Franklin as an example of how even small communities are using “smart growth” to revitalize downtowns.


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sees the high court taking contradictory paths on gay and women’s issues.


A PAC supporting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Grossman releases the names of its top donors, the Associated Press reports. Grossman tells the Herald he’s hoping a low-turnout primary tilts the race in his favor, but Herald pollster David Paleologos cautions that there are relatively few undecided voters still up for grabs.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker gives a speech in Peabody and seems to take a harder line on immigrant children, the Salem News reports.

The Globe reports that the three Democratic candidates for governor are getting ready to unleash TV ads with just over a month until the September 9 primary that will determine which one of them advances to the November general election. The three Democrats running for state treasurer are all hoping for a “Tim for Treasurer” moment.

Chris McDaniel , the Mississippi politician whose upstart Senate campaign forced Sen.Thad Cochran into a primary runoff, claims he really beat Cochran by 25,000 votes, because crossover voting is technically illegal in Mississippi.

The Atlantic spotlights the “new” Rick Perry.

Nate Silver ’s Senate forecast gives Republicans better than even odds of retaking the Senate, although Silver’s model only puts the odds of a Scott Brown win in New Hampshire at 10 percent. Nate Cohn argues that House Republicans can feel safe taking a hard line on immigration because Hispanic voters form a tiny slice of the electorate in competitive Senate races this year; there’s no word, from either the House or Cohn, on what it means for 2016, and beyond.


A Market Basket job fair draws more picketers than applicants, the Lowell Sun reports. The company’s CEOs say workers were concerned about their safety, the Associated Press reports. Meanwhile, workers plan another rally.

Quincy officials say a Squantum couple, despite being fined once already, is continuing to run an illegal bed and breakfast out of their two-family waterfront home that they book through the Internet app Airbnb.


A survey of college and university advancement officers finds schools are targeting an increase of 10 percent or more in fundraising because of flat or declining revenues last year. In a related note, CommonWealth took a look at the investment strategies of the University of Massachusetts endowment in the recent Summer issue.

Derrick Jackson decries steadily rising tuition costs as Massachusetts state universities.


The US is ill-prepared to handle an Ebola virus outbreak, but public health officials says the country is unlikely to experience one.

Fairhaven officials are trying to deal with proposals by two nonprofits seeking to open a marijuana dispensary in the town, one group that is appealing its application rejection by the state and another that was urged by officials to seek a site around New Bedford.

A new national study finds the quality of care for mothers giving birth varies dramatically depending on the hospital, the Associated Press reports.


Amid a war for road rights, Somerville resident Ed Meek, writing in CommonWealth, calls for separating bikes and cars.


A Groton panel set up to block a natural gas pipeline from running through the community has relatively few options, the Lowell Sun reports.

A Housing Court judge has ordered a Hull woman to quit feeding birds from her beachside home because she was creating a public health hazard by drawing hundreds of birds every day waiting to be fed.


The daughter of Bristol Sheriff Thomas Hodgson was arrested and charged with witness intimidation after a shooting that injured seven people outside a New Bedford club over the weekend.

Jury deliberations ended in a mistrial in the federal district court case of a Needham doctor and a nurse practitioner charged with recklessly prescribing opioids. One juror held out for acquittal, while 11 were ready to convict. US Attorney Carmen Ortiz says her office will retry the case.