MASSGOP FISSURES ON DISPLAY — Jim Lyons walked out of last night’s contentious Massachusetts GOP state committee meeting with a smile.

“It was a great night for Republicans in Massachusetts,” the party chairman told me. “We came out united tonight.”

Not everyone felt that way. “It went horribly,” Vice Chairman Tom Mountain told me. “Right now we’re facing our biggest crisis in probably two decades on the state committee, because of the actions of one rogue committeewoman.”

Mountain was talking about Deborah Martell, the Ludlow committeewoman who recently wrote in an email she was “sickened” that GOP congressional candidate Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette and his husband had adopted children.

Lyons, who faced calls from nearly every House Republican to make Martell resign or step down himself, did neither last night, telling me “life is about forgiveness.” There was also no movement to oust him.

Martell was instead given the floor early in last night’s meeting. Martell said she wasn’t trying to “cancel” Sossa-Paquette’s campaign, but made clear she didn’t apologize for standing up for a traditional family and wouldn’t be “bullied” into resigning, according to multiple sources inside the meeting.

Sossa-Paquette said via text that Martell “has the right to believe as she does, however she should never weaponize her beliefs to seek harm against another individual.” Prior to the meeting, Sossa-Paquette slammed Lyons as “a feckless leader” and said the party needed a new one to “actually win” in deep blue Massachusetts.

Emotions were high and conflicts grew both heated and personal inside of the closed-press, security-guarded meeting at Apex Entertainment in Marlborough, according to sources in the room. When Mountain asked for others to be allowed into the below-capacity room, Lyons declared him “out of order.” The party’s fissures were also on display among the handful of demonstrators from across the Republican spectrum that gathered outside the building, some to call for “inclusion” and others to air more personal grievances.

Yet the embattled Lyons, whom sources say was very much a part of last night’s clashes and even vented about being “called a racist,” seemingly walked away in good spirits. State committee members agreed on a bylaw change championed by Lyons that would give endorsement power in primaries to the full state committee instead of the executive committee — a plan put forward only after one Lyons initially backed to kick Gov. Charlie Baker and other elected Republican officials off the executive committee fell apart. The new plan needs two more approvals and is slated to come up again in September.

Committee members also approved a watered-down version of a resolution from committeeman state Rep. Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) that aimed to condemn bigotry, but ditched language that would have given it teeth. “I still feel it is important that we create consequences for people who violate these basic tenets of decency,” Dooley said. But given that Lyons wanted to “table it,” Dooley said he took what he could get.

GOOD MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS. Here’s a FIRST IN PLAYBOOK SCOOPLET:

UNION RAMPS UP ATTACKS ON BAKER — The National Association of Government Employees is launching the second ad in its $250,000 campaign to hold Baker accountable for issues at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, where a coronavirus outbreak killed at least 76 veterans last year.

The 15-second digital spot, titled “He Forgot,” hits Baker for saying he “forgot” he interviewed the facility’s former superintendent, Bennett Walsh, before appointing him to lead the soldiers’ home. Baker initially said in a press conference last year that he hadn’t met Walsh before swearing him in. Walsh now faces charges of criminal neglect.

“Baker knew, and it’s time he took responsibility,” the narrator of the political-style ad says.

The union previously unveiled a 30-second “Baker Knew” video and launched a website with the same name. NAGE is planning to take its campaign up on the airwaves and on streaming services, said a person familiar with the plans but not authorized to speak publicly on them.

NAGE represents a small portion of nonclinical workers at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. The union remains in collective bargaining talks with the Baker administration, though its president recently told the Boston Globe the critiques of Baker are unrelated.

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TODAY — Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey delivers remarks at the Boston Police Department graduation ceremony at 11 a.m. Janey hosts a press conference on measures to boost wages and homeownership at 3:30 p.m. Sen. Edward Markey speaks at a webinar to help non-traditional tax filers better access tax benefits and launch of the FindYourFunds.org website at noon. Rep. Ayanna Pressley hosts a virtual press conference to announce the STRONG Support for Children Act at 1 p.m. Auditor Suzanne Bump presents at the National State Auditors Association at 3:25 p.m. Former Rep. Joseph Kennedy III and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz speak at the Latino Stem Alliance 2021 Showcase and Celebration at 4 p.m. Boston’s public-safety unions hold a virtual mayoral forum at 4 p.m. moderated by Boston Herald reporter Sean Philip Cotter. Rep. Katherine Clark joins the NAACP Mystic Valley Area Branch for a discussion on the history of the Black reparations movement at 6 p.m. Clark is also a guest on GBH’s Greater Boston. Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Ben Downing and possible contender Danielle Allen join the Bridgewater Democratic Town Committee’s virtual meeting at 6 p.m.

– “Active COVID cases decline to 3,480 statewide as 55% of Massachusetts is now fully vaccinated,” by Tanner Stening, MassLive.com: “The number of active COVID-19 infections in Massachusetts continued to decrease on Wednesday, now down to 3,480 from the 3,805 reported the day before. … Massachusetts health officials reported 116 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. Officials also reported another 5 COVID-related fatalities, bringing the death toll from the pandemic up to 17,559.”

– “Massachusetts Legislature overwhelmingly advances proposed tax on top earners to 2022 ballot,” by Matt Stout, Boston Globe: “Massachusetts lawmakers overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to advance a sweeping change to the state tax code to the 2022 ballot, kickstarting what’s expected to be a bruising political debate over whether the wealthiest residents should pay more in taxes. In a 159-41 vote, the House and Senate gave its approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would impose a 4 percent surtax on annual personal income above $1 million.More from CommonWealth Magazine’s Shira Schoenberg.

– “Public Health Council Rescinds State Emergency Mask Order,” by Diane Adame, GBH News: “The Massachusetts Public Health Council has voted to rescind the state’s emergency mask order. … Although the state’s emergency mask order will be lifted, the governor’s most recent set of mask regulations are still in effect.

– “‘They already had the air mattress’: Facing fewer options, DCF has planned for kids to sleep in the office,” by Matt Stout, Boston Globe: “As Massachusetts’ strained child welfare system emerges from the pandemic, attorneys and staff say the long-standing challenge of finding beds for at-risk children is reaching new levels of desperation, stressing DCF in ways they say they have rarely, if ever, seen. Staff in at least three offices in Eastern Massachusetts have been forced at times to draw up plans to house children on site, going as far as to schedule staff or solicit volunteers in case a foster home can’t be found, according to social workers and e-mails reviewed by the Globe.

– “Healey writes rules for egg, meat producers,” by Christian M. Wade, CNHI/Salem News: “The attorney general’s office has issued regulations banning eggs and meat from cage-confined animals to comply with a 2016 referendum, as the food industry warns of shortages and higher prices on the horizon. … Egg producers say the law, which mandates cages of 1½ square feet per bird, is unworkable because most cage-free systems use a 1-foot standard. When the law goes into effect next year, producers supplying the state won’t be able to meet its tougher requirement, they say, which will mean empty shelves and price spikes.

– ICYMI: “Mental health patient died in 2018 after discharge to Boston streets,” by Shira Schoenberg, CommonWealth Magazine: “Three weeks after CaSonya King entered High Point Hospital in Middleborough for mental health treatment in 2018, she remained severely ill – disoriented, delusional, and talking to herself. But instead of continuing to care for her or discharging her to another facility, the hospital dropped her off in Boston near a homeless shelter, against her will and without the consent of her mother and legal guardian Angela King, according to the Disability Law Center, a private, nonprofit agency that has a mandate under state and federal law to investigate abuse and neglect of people with mental illness. … Thirty hours after her discharge, the 44-year-old was dead.

– “Boston City Council gives itself ability to strip Kim Janey’s power,” by Sean Philip Cotter, Boston Herald: “The Boston City Council is flexing its political muscle, giving itself the authority to strip Acting Mayor Kim Janey of her power — though not actually moving to do so. The council by a 10-1 vote Wednesday approved a change in its own rules that would enable the body to remove its president by a two-thirds vote.”

“After Dennis White, Boston could launch its first external search for a new police commissioner in 15 years. It won’t be easy,” by Danny McDonald and Ivy Scott, Boston Globe: “It has been 15 years since the city launched an external search for a new commissioner, and after the ill-fated [Dennis] White appointment, the stakes are high. But with police departments across the country under intense scrutiny and the proper role of law enforcement in sharp debate, finding the right candidates will be no easy task.

– “Boston School Committee member to temporarily lead board after previous chair’s abrupt resignation,” by James Vaznis, Boston Globe: “Boston School Committee member Michael O’Neill temporarily will take over the leadership of the board, following a text messaging scandal that caused the abrupt resignations of the chair and another member. O’Neill, who was serving as vice chair, previously led the seven-member board from 2013 to 2017.

– “West Roxbury residents press Boston mayoral candidates on recent school committee resignations,” by Alexi Cohan, Boston Herald: “Upset West Roxbury residents let mayoral candidates know racism of any kind has no home in Boston.

– “Amid turmoil at Boston Pride, embattled president will resign as boycott brings change,” by Stephanie Ebbert, Boston Globe: “The embattled president of Boston Pride plans to resign this summer to make way for new leadership in response to activists who have boycotted the group to protest its lack of inclusion. Pride board president Linda DeMarco had previously been reluctant to step aside, instead saying the board would fill vacancies and expand its number to boost diversity.

– “Two city councilors want Boston to consider issuing reparations for slavery to Black residents,” by Christopher Gavin, Boston.com: “City Councilor Julia Mejia wants Boston to talk about ‘the how.’ The ‘why,’ she says, is already clear: The average net worth of a Black family in Boston is $8, while white families hold an average of $247,500. Black homeownership in the city is nearly half of that for white residents.”

– FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: City Councilor Michelle Wu has nabbed the endorsement of the Massachusetts chapter of the Sierra Club in the Boston mayoral race. “We strongly support Councilor Wu’s goal of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 and city-wide carbon neutrality by 2040. Her Green New Deal for Boston is an astonishingly thorough and strategic plan that provides solutions specific to the city and its diverse neighborhoods…” Massachusetts Sierra Club Director Deb Pasternak said in a statement through Wu’s campaign. Wu will hold a press conference to announce the endorsement at 11:30 a.m. at 66 Long Wharf, Boston.

– NEW OVERNIGHT: The AFSCME Council 93 Boston Presidents’ Committee has endorsed City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George for mayor of Boston. AFSCME Council 93 is the largest non-public-safety union representing city workers, per the Essaibi George campaign. More from the Boston Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter.

– “New MBTA board picks up some momentum,” by Bruce Mohl, CommonWealth Magazine: “The move to replace the expiring MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board with a new oversight agency appears to be picking up steam, as a House spending plan released on Wednesday follows the governor’s lead in creating a new seven-member, permanent oversight board. The proposed Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Board would include the secretary of transportation, five members appointed by the governor, and one named by the MBTA Advisory Board, which represents all of the cities and towns that support the T with funding.

– “Former Correia chief of staff Gen Andrade asks judge for no prison time,” by Jo C. Goode, Herald News: “Jasiel Correia’s former chief of staff Gen Andrade, who is set for sentencing in a Boston federal courtroom on Thursday is asking Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to follow a plea deal she made with prosecutors and not order that she spend any time in prison. But a pre-sentencing report by the federal Probation Department submitted to the court is recommending that Andrade be sentenced from more than six to seven years in federal prison.

– “‘Our Republican Party Is in Shambles’: Growing Rift on Display at Mass. GOP Meeting,” by Alison King, NBC 10 Boston: “The scene that unfolded outside Apex Entertainment in Marlboro was a picture of anger and division. ‘Our Republican Party is in shambles right now,’ said longtime Republican Arete Pascucci. ‘It’s beyond talking about.’

– The Boston police commissioner controversy appears to be following former Mayor Marty Walsh to Washington after all. The Labor secretary was grilled about now ex-commissioner Dennis White by GOP Rep. Bob Good of Virginia during a hearing yesterday.

“Given the fact that you seemed to ignore the critical information and appointed a person with a documented violent history to the highest rank of the PD in Boston, do you feel like you should resign?” Good asked.

“I didn’t ignore anything,” Walsh replied. “I wasn’t aware of the situation quite honestly after I appointed him.” More from the Boston Globe’s Christina Prignano.

– NEW THIS MORNING: State Rep. Tami Gouveia (D-Acton) is rolling out endorsements from some of her legislative colleagues in her bid for lieutenant governor. Gouveia is endorsed by state Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), and state Reps. Nika Elugardo (D-Boston), Natalie Higgins (D-Leominster), Jim Hawkins (D-Attleboro) and Dan Sena (D-Acton).

– “Healey mum on gov run during Chamber address,” by Amy Sokolow, Boston Herald: “With yet another clue into a possible run for governor, Attorney General Maura Healey asked attendees at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce event to steer their donations away from candidates seeking to limit voting rights.

– “Mayoral races taking shape in Northampton, Holyoke,” by Dusty Christensen, Daily Hampshire Gazette: “A preliminary election is now a certainty in Holyoke, where three candidates have already submitted nomination papers: at-large city councilors Michael Sullivan and Rebecca Lisi, and the academic and educator Gloria Caballero-Roca, according to the city clerk’s website.

– “Long lines of officers pay respects to Enmanuel Familia, fallen Worcester officer,” by Craig S. Semon, Worcester Telegram & Gazette: “A seemingly endless sea of blue sparkling with silver badges shrouded in black poured into St. John Church Wednesday to pay their respects to a local hero who died in the line of duty while trying to save a young boy from drowning.

TRANSITIONS – Brandeis Dean David Weil is poised to join Labor secretary Marty Walsh in Washington as President Joe Biden’s nominee for wage and hour administrator in the Department of Labor. Lucy Byrd is now marketing and communications manager at private equity firm Spectrum Equity. She previously did comms for the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative and is a U.S. News and World Report and Atlantic alum. Boston-based Tremont Strategies Group has added Khushbu Webber as vice and general counsel and Alexandra Eby as government affairs associate, and promoted Tristan Thomas to senior government affairs associate.

SPOTTED – at a Zoom party Tuesday night celebrating Peter Canellos’ new book, “The Great Dissenter: The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America’s Judicial Hero”: Sasha Issenberg, Adam Willis, John Harris, Joe Schatz, Teresa Wiltz, Ken Vogel, Alex Thompson, Ann Carrns, Alan Khazei, Farah Stockman, Alec Ward, Brakkton Booker, Kevin Baron, Luiza Savage, Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, Priscilla Painton, Thanassis Cambanis, David Halbfinger, Marty Kady, Mike Zapler, Michael Crowley, Michael Schaffer, Adam Cancryn, Elizabeth Ralph, Katie Fossett, Josh Green, Juliette Kayyem, Joanne Kenen, Clea Benson, Chris Suellentrop, Ben Schreckinger and Aaron Zitner.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY – to state Sen. Adam Hinds and David Ball, president and founder of Ball Consulting Group.

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