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Warren: Nowhere to hide

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Last week Elizabeth Warren could at least point to a poll indicating voters didn’t care about the media’s obsession with her alleged Native American ancestry, but this week there was nowhere to hide.

She finally stopped ducking and tried to come clean about her background. It wasn’t pretty, as she was forced to admit that she probably told the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard about her Native American ancestry, although she couldn’t remember how she passed along that information. Earlier, she had said she first learned Harvard was claiming her as a minority when she read it in the Boston Herald.

How bad is the political fallout? Gov. Deval Patrick had to endorse Warren before this weekend’s Democratic state convention, Democratic rival Marisa DeFranco is getting plenty of air time, US Sen. Scott Brown is sitting pretty, and the stories keep coming.

In today’s papers, the Globe’s Brian McGrory seems puzzled after a revealing interview with Warren. Asked why she told reporters on April 27 that she first learned from reading the Herald that Harvard had claimed her as a Native American, she said she misunderstood the question. Asked why she never mentioned her Native American background to a Globe reporter who met her in Oklahoma early this year while researching a story on her upbringing, she said the reporter never asked her about it.

The Herald reports that Democrats preparing for their Springfield convention are nervous and warning that a vote for DeFranco will only help Brown. The Washington Post (via the Bangor Daily News) reports that Warren has learned the hard way an iron law of politics: bad denials make little things big. And the Herald’s Howie Carr is off on a new tack, claiming Warren bought several houses in Oklahoma at foreclosure with or for family members who later flipped the properties at a big profit.

The Herald editorial page seemed to get it right when it said elections are about more than issues. “They are about character, too,” the editorial said. “And if you lie about the little stuff, what happens when the big stuff comes along?”

                                                                                                                                                                    --BRUCE MOHL



BEACON HILL

Store owners say a move by the Lottery to expand into online gambling would hurt their business in other sales by reducing traffic. The Gloucester Times has a similar story.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

The Cohasset police chief has been placed on leave after members of the department filed complaints that he was physically abusive, forged documents, and influenced internal investigations.

A Saugus selectman calls for criminal prosecution of former town manager Andrew Bisignani for spending $450,000 without approval, the Lynn Item reports.

Boston city councilors are moving to ban installation of satellite TV dishes on the front of homes, saying they have become a blight in several neighborhoods.

One year after tornadoes blew through Western Mass., the Republican takes stock of recovery progress in Springfield, Wilbraham, Monson, West Springfield, Westfield, and Brimfield. The Republican also interviews residents who recall their experiences from that day. The MetroWest Daily News highlights ongoing volunteer efforts in the affected areas.

Newton orders the hanging tomato garden taken down.

CASINOS

The Taunton City Council voted to back the proposed Mashpee Wampanoag casino two weeks before the issue goes before the city’s voters. Meanwhile, the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has begun to solicit public comments on the proposal to place into trust the 146 acres where the casino would be sited.

The Aquinnah Wampanoag, decrying the state’s timeline for approval, is appealing to Lakeville voters not to reject their casino proposal like their Freetown neighbors did.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

In a decision that could force a ruling on the issue by the US Supreme Court, a US appeals court in Boston struck down provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that would deny federal benefits to same-sex couples legally married under state law. The National Review says the First Circuit ruling is the epitome of judicial legislating -- though the Globe reports that the judge who wrote the unanimous decision, Michael Boudin, appointed by President George H.W. Bush, is regarded as a cautious centrist. NPR’s Nina Totenberg analyzes the ruling, while the Los Angeles Times says there are 100,000 legally married gay and lesbian couples in the states that have legalized same-sex marriage.

The Daily Beast examines in detail the John Edwards decision, which found him not guilty on one count and deadlocked on five others. The Washington Post argues against retrying Edwards.

ELECTION 2012

Junior high school heckling and name-calling masqueraded yesterday on the State House steps as dueling press events by supporters of the president and his presumptive Republican opponent. The Obama camp, at an event on the State House steps, tried to zero in on Mitt Romney’s years as Massachusetts governor, while Romney’s supporters turned up the volume -- and the bubbles. NPR (via WBUR) reports the event is a shift away from a focus on Romney’s business career. NECN provides a good roundup. The Atlantic and Wall Street Journal both turn to local talking heads to answer the question: How bad a governor was Romney? Maurice Cunningham credits Romney with doing “a credible job,” but BU’s Fred Bayles, in the Journal, isn’t as charitable.

CHARITY

A new study suggests personal politics does influence charitable giving, with Republicans more likely to support appeals that stress loyalty while Democrats give more to nonprofits that promote equality.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The on-again, off-again sale of Hingham-based Talbot’s is on again after the women’s clothes maker agreed to a sale in stock and debt acquisition valued at $369 million to a private equity firm.

Washington is using new Dodd-Frank powers over commodities to widen its investigation into JPMorgan. If the bank’s traders misled superiors about trading losses, it could constitute derivatives fraud.

EDUCATION

Keller@Large says we need to focus on spelling more than once a year when the national Spelling Bee comes around, citing the Romney camp’s recent flub of “Americia.”

A Bay State Banner editorial defends Roxbury Community College President Terrence Gomes after a series of Globe articles questioned his competence.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

The discovery of a six-foot, 79-pound Atlantic sturgeon in the North River in Hanover is giving experts hope the endangered species is making a comeback.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

An investigation finds that West Newbury and Haverhill police officers decided not to give a former state trooper a field sobriety test because of his previous position, the Eagle-Tribune reports. Three Haverhill officers are suspended.

MEDIA

The New York Times signs on with Hulu to exhibit its longer videos, the Nieman Journalism Lab reports.

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