Retro rewind for state leaders – Romney’s tale of two health plans – Former DiMasi associate takes stand – Tom Birmingham finally gets a portrait

RETRO REWIND: Who knew the mid-oughts would be so in style in 2011? A former governor, speaker and senate president all made headlines yesterday. We’ll get back to the current owners of those positions next week, but for now enjoy five year old scandals and controversies:

MITT MONITOR: Former Gov. Mitt Romney had his big moment yesterday (AP) to explain, with the help of powerpoint slides, how the red-blooded, freedom-loving Massachusetts health care reform plan he supported in 2006 differs from the commie death-scheme that is Obamacare ( Globe). Boston.com opens a time capsule to see how Romney felt way back when and plots out his policy plans.

CHECK, PLEASE: Former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi’s public corruption trial gets down to the nitty-gritty (PI) of how the alleged buy-offs went down between Cognos and Mr. Speaker ( Herald). The Herald looks ahead to DiMasi’s "nuclear" next week. MORE: T &G, AP

PAINTINGS: Former Senate President Thomas Birmingham appearently kept a secret office down the street from the State House containing only a picture of Horace Mann and a desk without a chair. Who knew?

TWITS: What else went on in 2004-2007 we didn’t know about? #maOughtsScandal

So go forth this weekend and celebrate mid-oughts-style. (That means listening to Kelly Clarkson and using T9 to text flip phones.)

MITT MONITOR:
Romney: No apology for state health plan: – Boston.com:
FLASHBACK: Romney, WSJ talk health care, circa 2006: – Boston.com:
Romney: Mass. Health Law Differs From Obamas | AP: feeds.wbur.org
Brown on Romney speech – Less Is More blog – Boston.com:
What Romney’s proposals would do – The Boston Globe:

DiMASI:
Sal DiMasi pal says they fought over $25,000 check – BostonHerald.com
Nuclear week ahead for Sal DiMasi – BostonHerald.com
Witness: I funneled DiMasi $65,000 over two years – Political Intelligence :
Steven Topazio, former Salvatore DiMasi associate, details $25,000 check, other payments from software company | AP: www.masslive.com
Worcester Telegram & Gazette – telegram.com – DiMasi partner tells of checks: www.telegram.com

STATE NEWS:
Worcester Telegram & Gazette – telegram.com – Hearing on off-road vehicles draws anti-regulation crowd: www.telegram.com
State auditor vows to continue reform efforts » Merrimack Valley » EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA : www.eagletribune.com
Mass. unveils portrait of former Senate President – AP:
Worcester Telegram & Gazette – telegram.com – State’s Asian population up 47%: www.telegram.com
UML, MCC students honored at Statehouse – Lowell Sun Online: www.lowellsun.com
Patrick announces road and bridge jobs – AP: www.lowellsun.com

THE FEDS:
Kerry bill would let Libyan opposition access to Khadafy funds – Political Intelligence :
Lawmakers push for fishery law report » Local News » GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA : www.gloucestertimes.com

TRANSPORTATION:
Mass-DOT manager gives 17 raises – Fox 25: www.myfoxboston.com
Mass. transportation secretary gives executives raises despite budget challenges – The Boston Globe:

LAWRENCE:
GLCAC braces for federal audit » Merrimack Valley » EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA : www.eagletribune.com

LOCAL HEADLINES:
Ask Mayor Sarno: Blowing through city’s reserve funds is ‘what gets us into fiscal trouble’ | masslive.com: www.masslive.com
Vigeant clear frontrunner in Marlborough Mayoral race – Framingham, MA – The MetroWest Daily News: www.metrowestdailynews.com

BEST OF THE BLOGS:
Did that speech help Romney? Probably not. – Less Is More blog – Boston.com:
Red Mass Group:: In DiMasi trial, a quiet indictment of how the state spends our money : www.redmassgroup.com
Red Mass Group:: Romney’s Angincourt? : www.redmassgroup.com

AROUND NEW ENGLAND:
VT Entergy opposes coalition’s intervention – Brattleboro Reformer: www.reformer.com
ME Renewable energy bill would end goal targets | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram : www.pressherald.com

KITTY NEWS:
Kitten trapped in car frame manages to get out – The Sun Chronicle Online – News: www.thesunchronicle.com

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