Warren Tolman and Maura Healey, the two Democrats running for attorney general, had their own tangle in a joint appearance on Greater Boston Thursday that pitted Healey's "experience" in the office against Tolman's "leadership."
Martha Coakley, the Democratic frontrunner, will need to get by Steve Grossman and Don Berwick - an honorary knight commander of the order of the British Empire, as the Globe pointed out on Friday - in the Sept. 9 primary.
Coakley, the state's chief law enforcement officer, made a little news at a gubernatorial confab hosted by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.
Coakley has opposed the idea of providing drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants, but this week said, "One thought that would make much of this, I think more effective and quicker would be for if I am elected governor to have a director of immigration and safety in our communities. In other words, someone directly who would work inter-agency and directly with me and directly with advocacy groups, particularly on how do we pave the way for safe driving, making sure that people can have licenses, have the proper registration. And what is the best way to do it?" A spokeswoman later said Coakley would appoint the official to look at immigration issues including "potential" access to driver's licenses.
Sir Don - which isn't actually the honorific for the former pediatrician and Medicaid and Medicare chief - botched by a few percentage points when quizzed on the sales tax rate on On The Record Sunday, saying "I'm not sure. Three percent?" It is 6.25 percent and he's not the only pol who might want to bone up on facts and figures of the state they aim to run. Independent gubernatorial candidate Jeff McCormick has been talking up his plan to "reduce the income tax rate to 5% from its current 5.25%," though economic triggers did some of that work already, shrinking that tax rate from 5.25 percent to its current 5.2 percent in January. Coakley had her own slip-up earlier this year on On The Record, guessing the gas tax was 10 cents per gallon, less than half the 24-cent-per gallon price, which doesn't include a 2.5-cent surcharge.
Grossman, who has an atlas of the state's ice cream stands within his head, ascribed an additional motivation for his campaign Monday on a visit to Handy & Person, a Dorchester hot dog shop that features the Mayor Martin Walsh "All American dog," with the toppings on the bottom.
"With all the stuff on the bottom? . . . Well, if you put it on the bottom it doesn't fall off the top," Grossman said while in line getting ready to order and perhaps contemplating his own status as an underdog in the race.
With a News Service reporter on hand, Grossman took out his cell phone and called the mayor of Boston, leaving him a voicemail that said, "You know, I've been asked a lot of questions about why I want to be governor, and I've given some answers about jobs and education, but I decided that one of the reasons I want to become governor is so that I can have my own personal hot dog over at Handy & Person just like you, because you are my hero, having your own hot dog here, right at the top of the list."
[To hear Grossman's message to Walsh regarding the mayor's signature hotdog, go to:https://soundcloud.com/mike-deehan/steve-grossman-on-marty-walshs-signature-hotdog