STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

PRO-CASINO GROUP FORMALLY LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN

The ballot committee opposing a campaign to repeal the state casino law is ramping up its efforts. The group, named the Committee to Protect Massachusetts Jobs, on Monday announced its official launch, saying it plans to argue that the casino industry will bring 10,000 jobs to Massachusetts and will stop tax dollars from flowing to Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine. Proponents of the November ballot question, which would repeal the 2011 law allowing casino and slot parlor gaming in Massachusetts, say casinos will lead to increased crime, substance abuse and gambling addiction issues in surrounding areas. The Committee to Protect Massachusetts Jobs has set up a website that includes a list of supporters, including businesses, state lawmakers and unions. Nineteen Beacon Hill lawmakers are listed, including Sens. Stephen Brewer (D-Barre) and Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster), and Reps. Mark Cusack (D-Braintree), Benjamin Swan (D-Springfield), Marcos Devers (D-Lawrence), and George Peterson (R-Grafton). The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, headed by former Sen. Steve Tolman, are also on the list of endorsers. The committee has retained Wooten Johnson, who managed Juliette Kayyem's unsuccessful bid for governor, as its campaign manager and Rasky Baerlein for public relations purposes. - G.


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BERWICK AD TOUTS NON-PROFIT EXPERIENCE

Set to begin airing on Tuesday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Don Berwick's first television ad of the primary casts the first-time candidate as a "pediatrician and entrepreneur" who helped save 100,000 lives by working to root out hospital medical errors. The 30-second spot does not mention Berwick's time as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but rather focuses on the non-profit he founded, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The narrator describes the organization as the world's largest non-profit for health care innovation, and credits the IHI will mobilizing "nearly every hospital in America" to reduce medical errors saving 100,000 lives. Berwick, who his mounting his first campaign for public office, also cast himself as the true outsider in the race offering himself as an alternative to "career politicians only interested in winning elections." A spokesman for the Berwick campaign Monday afternoon would not say how big the ad buy would be or on what stations it would air, but Federal Communications Commission documents showed Berwick reserved airtime on at least two network stations Monday, including WCVB and WHDH. Berwick, one of three Democrats running to succeed Gov. Deval Patrick, is the last of the three to go on television with an advertisement with 22 days remaining in the primary campaign cycle. In the latest Boston Globe poll, Berwick trailed both Attorney General Martha Coakley and Treasurer Steve Grossman with 10 percent of the vote. - M. Murphy/SHNS

CONROY WRAPS UP ENDORSEMENTS FROM TWO DAILIES

Rep. Tom Conroy, one of three Democratic candidates for treasurer, has wrapped up what his campaign is billing as the first newspaper endorsement in the race. The MetroWest Daily News and the Milford Daily News - which are both run by GateHouse Media New England - backed him in a Sunday editorial. Conroy lives in Wayland, which is in the MetroWest Daily News coverage area. The papers touted Conroy's experience as a House member, committee chairman and financial consultant, and knocked his opponents Sen. Barry Finegold, who the newspaper said is "running on his up-from-the-bootstraps biography," and Deborah Goldberg, whose family started the Stop & Shop supermarket chain and who "seems to be running on her expansive personality and her bank account," according to the paper. "While all three are capable public servants, Conroy's qualifications for treasurer stand out. He has two advanced degrees in finance and has worked as a consultant to major private financial institutions," the paper said. Goldberg lives in Brookline and Finegold lives in Andover, while Republican Michael Heffernan, who is also running for treasurer, lives in Wellesley.  - A. Metzger/SHNS