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Brown-Warren in dollar duel

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This year’s US Senate campaign is going to be big. Just follow the money. On Tuesday Scott Brown revealed that he raised $3.2 million during the fourth quarter of 2011 for his reelection campaign, giving him more cash on hand than any previous candidate at this stage of a statewide race. All eyes then looked for news of Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren’s totals, and on Wednesday we learned that she had again outpaced Brown to raise a total of $5.7 million in the same period. A Democratic fundraiser told the Globe he’d never had such an easy time raising money. Despite Warren’s numbers, Brown retains a larger war chest overall -- $12.8 million to Warren’s $6 million.

Warren said her campaign is a grassroots effort with lots of local contributors and a low average donation amount. But let’s face it; it’s going to be a national campaign fought locally. Warren’s previous campaign finance report showed a large majority of her money coming from out of state. In mid-2010, as Congress was tackling the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, Scott Brown was dubbed one of “Wall Street’s Favorite Congressmen” by Forbes. In fact, a Mother Jones reporter wonders whether Warren can beat Brown now that Wall Street is out to get her.

Warren still has two other challengers for the Democratic nomination -- immigration attorney Marisa DeFranco and corporate attorney James Coyne King. The Globe notes that both are having difficulty raising money and support.

                                                                                                                                                        --CHRISTINA PRIGNANO

BEACON HILL

The Fall River Herald News calls on the Legislature to hold hearings to shed some light on how the Massachusetts Historical Commission operates in the wake of a recent CommonWealth article on the agency and its involvement in a planned project by a local medical software company.

The Wall Street Journal reports that there’s some serious palace intrigue brewing inside Wynn Resorts, the firm that wants to build a casino in Foxborough. The paper says the battle between Steve Wynn and his partner raises questions about who’s really running the company; Wynn lost half his company shares in a divorce, and now has half the voting power of the partner he’s battling in court.

The Patrick administration reaffirmed its support for the state’s film tax credit.

Opponents of the Legislature’s “three strikes” bill rallied in the Dudley Square Branch Library on Saturday, reports the Dorchester Reporter.

Howie Carr wonders who let Lt. Gov. Tim Murray stand next to these signs when there was a Herald photographer around.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

New Bedford officials are warning the rising cost of retiree health care could trigger tax hikes or service cuts.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

A nonpartisan group wants Americans to be able to vote online.

Sen. Scott Brown called on President Obama to release additional fuel assistance for low-income residents that was set aside by Congress. He also bashes the gridlock in Washington at an appearance before the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cuts library hours in the city in the midst of a standoff with library workers and their union.

The debt ceiling makes a comeback.

Grover Norquist comes clean on his drug-fueled affairs with numerous kinds of taxes.

ELECTION 2012

Jim Braude on NECN analyzes the ads attacking Mitt Romney in South Carolina. One guest calls them “brutal.” Politico takes a look at a Newt Gingrich ad that focuses on a “French connection” between Romney and US Sen. John Kerry. But are the attacks on Bain just making Romney stronger?

Mitt Romney goes on the offensive after withering attacks from his rivals over his Bain Capital record. Andrew Sullivan speculates on why Romney might just lose South Carolina.

Stephen Colbert for President? The comedian transfers his super PAC to fellow comedian Jon Stewart and is going  to run for the “United States of South Carolina.” But he won’t be on state’s primary slate next week and the Palmetto State does not allow write-in votes.

Rick Perry stares at a brick wall.

Scot Lehigh explains the latest iteration of Mitt Romney to South Carolina.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

MGM Resorts International unveils its plan for a 3000-job casino in a remote area of Brimfield, WBUR reports. An MGM executive tells NECN that the location is the most isolated and remote of any casino sites proposed so far.

Gary Hirshberg, the CEO of Stonyfield Farm in New Hampshire, is stepping down. The Democrat says he doesn’t plan to run for governor – at least not yet, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

Tim Geithner, who now helps run the economy, didn’t seem to know a whole lot about it back in 2006.

If things get worse for Bank of America, it could retreat and become Bank of Only Some of America.

EDUCATION

The new Lawrence schools receiver calls urban education the civil rights issue of our time, WBUR reports.

The Globe reports on a Roxbury school’s experiment with single-sex classes.

Michael Bloomberg takes on his teacher’s union with a merit pay proposal.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Nearly two years after Boston proposed building a wind turbine on Moon Island off Quincy a feasibility study was presented to Quincy’s planning board last night.

ISO New England has not included Cape Wind in its three-year estimates for future power supplies, indicating that it does not believe the turbines will be up and running by 2015.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

The New England Conservatory is tipped off that it was using a Level 2 sex offender to videotape student performances over the last 10 years, NECN reports. The conservatory says there were no complaints about the individual, who served time in jail in the early 1990s, but he will “no longer have access to our premises.” The Globe reports the sex offender had the backing of conductor Benjamin Zander, who was fired.

The Framingham police officer who arrested Onyango Obama has a history of on-duty traffic accidents.

The Mashpee Wampanoag are trying to recover $400,000 and perhaps more that former tribal leaders embezzled.

An SJC ruling will allow judges to shorten sentence-lengths of plea bargains, the Globe reports.

MEDIA

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette is the latest area paper to outsource its printing operations.

Ken Doctor, writing for the Nieman Journalism Lab, says newspapers may be in store for the same problems as Sears and Kodak.

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