12/06/2017 06:55 AM EDT

By Lauren Dezenski (ldezenski@politico.com; @LaurenDezenski) with Rebecca Morin (rmorin@politico.com; @RebeccaMorin_)

GOOD MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS.

REPUBLICAN FLIP IN THE FLANAGAN SEAT SPECIAL - Last night's results in the Worcester and Middlesex special election to replace state Sen. Jen Flanagan spelled good news for the MassGOP, who flipped a seat long-held by a Democrat to red with now Senator-elect Dean Tran. It's a historic win - Tran is the first Vietnamese-American ever elected to the Massachusetts legislature.

Washington D.C.-based Republican State Leadership Committee touted the win in an email blast last night. By their count, Tran's win is the fourth flip of a Democratic state legislative district by a Republican this year.

Tran triumphed over a four-person field, narrowly edging Democrat Sue Chalifoux Zephir by 607 votes cast out of 15,627 votes cast, according to unofficial totals reported by the Sentinel and Enterprise. Unenrolled candidate Claire Freda secured 1,554 votes while Green-Rainbow's Charlene DiCalogero earned 200 votes.

Despite this seat being held by a Democrat since the '70s, this race was seen as a toss-up. Last week, the Zephir campaign took the unprecedented step of airing a cable TV advertisement in the district, as first reported in Playbook. The campaign did not disclose the amount of the ad buy at the time.

WHAT'S THIS MEAN - Not a whole lot will change. In the State House, Democrats still hold a super majority in both chambers, and even in the 40-member Senate, one more Republican in the now seven-member conservative crescent won't exactly alter the chamber's course. But it's a much-needed morale boost for MassGOP, which had lost two of three special elections it had identified as winnable this fall.

Have a tip, story, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for the Playbook? Get in touch: ldezenski@politico.com.

TODAY - House and Senate Ways and Means officials convene a consensus revenue hearing to begin to determine a consensus revenue forecast ahead of coming year's budget - Rep. Joe Kennedy III and Google co-host a "get your business online" seminar in Fall River - It's the deadline for ballot question committees to file 65,000 signatures to get onto the November 2018 ballot. Nurse staffing ballot question proponents plan to deliver their signatures in an ambulance to a press conference outside of the State House, and will then wheel the completed signatures in gurneys up to Secretary of State Bill Galvin's office.

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DATELINE BEACON HILL -

- "State Senate opens ethics inquiry into Stan Rosenberg," by Joshua Miller, Boston Globe: "Over the next two weeks, the ethics committee is poised to hire an outside investigator, who will conduct the inquiry and deliver a report to the committee. The committee said it intends to release that report while protecting the confidentiality of those who provide information."

- "Sen. Stan Rosenberg stripped of Senate president's stipend while on leave," by Shira Schoenberg, Masslive.com: "Sen. Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, will be stripped of his $80,000-a-year Senate president's stipend while he is on leave from the post. Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler, D-Worcester, is entitled to the stipend but does not plan to accept the extra money. The treasurer's office confirmed that as of Tuesday, Rosenberg's salary will be dropped to $82,548, which is the base pay plus office expense stipend for a rank-and-file lawmaker. He will lose the additional $80,000 stipend given to the Senate president."

- "At time of crisis, Sen. Chandler reflects on taking the reins," by Brad Petrishen, Worcester Telegram: "Five days ago, the longtime Democrat would have thought nothing of referring to friend and colleague Stanley C. Rosenberg as Senate president. Now, when she says it she has to correct herself, her mind still struggling to adjust to a new reality: She is the acting Senate president, presiding over a suddenly scandal-ridden Statehouse rocked by allegations stemming from the intersection of sex and power."

- "Gov. Baker: Rosenberg was right to step aside," by WCVB: "Governor Baker says the joint effort by Attorney General Maura Healey and Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley asking alleged victims of Bryon Hefner to talk with them is a good thing. 'For me the big issue here is these people did not feel they could be heard, and I'm glad people are moving aggressively to give them the opportunity to be heard,' Governor Baker said."

- "McGovern: Bay State casinos eye ruling on sports books," by Bob McGovern, Boston Herald: "The Supreme Court is expected to clear the way for sports gambling across the country, and the Bay State casino industry is keeping an eye on what could be a game-changing decision. 'We at Wynn Boston Harbor are watching the court case with interest,' Robert DeSalvio, president of Wynn's upcoming Everett casino, said in a statement. 'Our industry supports legalized and regulated sports betting but the ultimate decision rests with the courts, state and federal lawmakers and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission .'"

TRUMPACHUSETTS -

INBOX - "Neal Named Conferee to GOP Tax Bill Conference," from Rep. Richard Neal's office: "Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee Richard Neal was named yesterday by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on a conference committee of the House and Senate versions of the GOP Tax Bill."

- "Bannon tells Roy Moore's supporters: 'They want to take your voice away,'" by Annie Linskey, Boston Globe: "Tuesday evening, Bannon also tore into former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a Republican who is a sharp Moore critic and a possible candidate for Senate in Utah if incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch opts to retire."

THE WARREN REPORT -

- "Sen. Warren 'very concerned' about proposed CVS/Aetna deal," by Associated Press: "U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she's "very concerned" about drugstore operator CVS's $69 billion offer for insurer Aetna, saying the proposal would create another industry behemoth. The Massachusetts Democrat said Monday the country has already seen great concentration in the pharmaceutical industry, drugstores and health insurers."

MOULTON MATTERS -

- "Moulton urges Franken to resign, says Pelosi 'didn't respect the women' who came forward against Conyers," by Jaclyn Reiss, Boston Globe: "US Representative Seth Moulton on Tuesday called on Senator Al Franken to resign and urged House minority leader Nancy Pelosi to step down from her leadership position, saying she 'didn't respect the women' who came forward with allegations against US Representative John Conyers."

- "Rep. Seth Moulton: Pelosi's Response To Conyers Allegations Shows Why Democrats Need New Leadership," by Lissandra Villa, BuzzFeed: "Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democrat, accused his party of failing to show "leadership" in response to sexual harassment allegations made against their own members. Moulton's comments come as two of his House Democratic colleagues, Reps. John Conyers and Ruben Kihuen, face allegations of harassing female staffers and calls for their resignations. Both cases were first reported by BuzzFeed News."

ON THE STUMP -

NEW THIS MORNING - "Auditor Bump launches re-election campaign," by Suzanne Bump's campaign press office: "State Auditor Suzanne Bump today launches her re-election campaign for a third term as State Auditor of Massachusetts."

- "Signatures submitted to put $15 minimum wage, paid leave on Mass. ballot," by Katie Johnston, Boston Globe: "Raise Up Massachusetts rallied with supporters across the street from the State House Tuesday as it prepared to submit signatures to put a $15 minimum wage and paid family and medical leave on the 2018 ballot. The coalition of labor, religious, and community organizations collected 274,652 signatures for the two petitions - 139,055 for a $15 minimum wage and 135,597 for paid leave - far more than the 64,750 required for each one."

TSONGAS ARENA -

- "Former Washington Director for Congresswoman Niki Tsongas Endorses Alexandra Chandler for Congress," from the Chandler campaign: "Sarah Christopherson ran Rep. Tsongas's Washington office for five years, says Chandler's healthcare and national security experience makes her the leader to carry on Tsongas's legacy and chart a historic path forward for women in Congress."

WOOD WAR - Herald: "LOST IN MISTY BLUE," "A NIGHT OF GRIEF, SUPPORT" - Globe: "Trump's change alarms Mideast," "Bannon all-in as Moore vote nears," "US firms face more security on foreign workers' visas," "For wife of missing fisherman, a fearful vigil," "THEY'RE ALL READY FOR PRIMAL TIME."

FEAT. A FAMILIAR #MAPOLI FACE - THE PLAYBOOK POWER LIST: 18 TO WATCH IN 2018: The final Playbook Power List of the year highlights 18 politicians, activists and operatives across the country who are poised to make waves in 2018. From the anti-Trump "Resistance" on the left to the far right Bannonite wing trying to remake the GOP, keep an eye on these people over the next 12 months. Click HERE to find out who made the list.

THE LOCAL ANGLE -

- "Weymouth compressor review could take a year, state says," by Jessica Trufant, Patriot Ledger: "The head of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affair says the review of the proposed 7,700-horsepower natural-gas compressor station for a clean air permit could take as long as a year. Gov. Charlie Baker notified Weymouth officials in July that he had directed state agencies to investigate issues opponents have raised about the controversial project, including air pollution and public safety. Baker said the state would not issue any permits for the project until the assessment is completed ."

- "Director of Madison Park high school in Boston is placed on leave," by James Vaznis, Boston Globe: "Boston public school officials placed the executive director of Madison Park Technical Vocational High School on paid leave Monday, making him the latest leader of the troubled Roxbury school to fall under scrutiny. Word that Kevin McCaskill had been placed on leave began circulating around the school shortly after dismissal. A few hours later, Superintendent Tommy Chang sent a letter notifying staff, parents, and students that McCaskill was under investigation, although he did not say why."

- "Cambridge Builds For Bikes, But Not Without Bumps In The Road," by Adam Reilly, WGBH: "At first glance, the stretch of Cambridge Street west of Inman Square might seem like a case study in how bikes, cars and pedestrians can peacefully coexist. In quieter, more orderly moments, cyclists head toward and away from Harvard in dedicated bike lanes, flanked by parked cars on one side and the sidewalk on the other, as drivers and walkers patiently await their passage. At other times, though, pedestrians walk directly in front of bikes, seemingly unaware of their approach - and delivery trucks edge into spaces designated for parked cars and cyclists, forcing vehicles approaching behind them to swing out toward oncoming traffic."

- "With Amazon in mind, Suffolk Downs developer seeks environmental review waiver," by Tim Logan, Boston Globe: "The developer of the Suffolk Downs site wants to move at Amazon speed, even if that means skipping some environmental reviews. HYM Investment Group, which owns the East Boston horsetrack that city officials are pitching to Amazon for its "second headquarters," is asking the Baker administration to waive lengthy state environmental reviews on the part of the city so they can start construction by next spring on two office buildings near the Suffolk Downs Blue Line stop."

- "Massachusetts astronaut readies for launch to International Space Station," by Ray Kelly, Masslive.com: "In less than two weeks, Massachusetts native Scott D. Tingle will be launched into orbit to rendezvous with the International Space Station some 250 miles above the Earth. Tingle will be strapped into the Russian Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft with his Expedition 54-55 crew mates, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on Dec. 17 at 2:20 ET."

- "Michael Dukakis's Last Stand," by Robert Huber, Boston Magazines: "There's never been a whisper of scandal about Michael Dukakis; he's followed the beacon of JFK in his own way, helping progressive strivers long after his own political career was over: Deval Patrick went to see Dukakis a year and half before he ran for governor in '06. Patrick says Dukakis asked questions no other politico did, including not only how he would win, but also why he was running in the first place. 'I appreciated that,' Patrick says. 'It's a critical question.' And then on to the how: 'He was so different and resonant' on that level, too, Patrick says. 'He was all about the importance of grassroots campaigning.' Shoe leather, precinct-to-precinct, town-to-town-very old school. Once Patrick won, both Michael and Kitty were often in his ear: 'They supported me and were pains in the ass,' Patrick says, laughing. 'They're both really, really interested in policy.'"

SPOTTED - On Tuesday, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton accepted the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston "Believe in Girls" award along with Camp Harbor View's Sharon McNally. Clinton was joined by Huma Abedin.

- Gala guests included: Lisa Hughes, who served as emcee, Big in Boston co-chairs Jack Connors and Bryan Rafanelli, Mayor Marty Walsh, BPD Commissioner Bill Evans, Big Sister CEO Deborah Re, Elaine and Jerry Schuster, Angela Menino, Rick Musiol Jr. of Citizens Bank, Dan and Amy Koh, Jeff Bellows of Blue Cross Blue Shield, Fr. John Uni, Shannon Felton Spence, and Nikki White.

ALSO SPOTTED - On Monday, per an attendee of the Joe Biden book event: Vicky Kennedy handled the introduction and event attendees included Rep. Joe Kennedy III and Mayor Marty Walsh w/ partner Lori Higgins, as well as longtime Biden friends John Marttila and Larry Rasky.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY - to Spencer Rep. Peter Durant and Hanna Switlekowski, legislative aide for state Rep. Lou Kafka.

THE HOME TEAMS DID NOT PLAY.

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** A message from Atlantic Link: The Atlantic Link advantage: delivering a new, reliable source of clean energy directly to Massachusetts for a delivered price that remains fixed for 20 years. It's a reliable, cost-effective solution to help the Commonwealth meet its energy diversity and greenhouse gas reduction goals. Atlantic Link is a proposed 1,000 megawatt subsea cable, securely and reliably delivering onshore wind energy, supplemented by hydropower, directly to Plymouth, MA from Atlantic Canada. The subsea cable will connect to the grid using existing infrastructure that is currently tied to the Pilgrim Nuclear Station, which will close in 2019. Atlantic Link is the only clean energy project delivering to Massachusetts more than 200 jobs during construction. The only clean energy project delivering $2.5 million a year in tax revenue to the Town of Plymouth. Projected in-state capital investment of $260 million. And a commitment of $15 million to support low-income energy programs in the Commonwealth. http://politi.co/2hsN050 **

To view online:
https://www.politico.com/newsletters/massachusetts-playbook/2017/12/06/gop-flips-seat-in-flanagan-special-rosenberg-inquiry-begins-neal-conferring-on-gop-tax-bill-229035

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