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STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

GUV: NORTH-SOUTH HIGHWAY STOPS ARE “NASTY”

While Gov. Deval Patrick on Wednesday planned to tout public-private partnerships with state transportation officials, the governor recently acknowledged one area where the public-private approach has come up short. Patrick during an appearance Thursday on “Ask the Governor” finished the sentence of a caller from Ipswich who said the welcome centers on north-south highways in Massachusetts, including I-95, are substandard. “They’re nasty,” the governor interjected. Patrick explained that the state put a bid out a few years ago to attract private entities to take over the centers, spruce them up, and use the space for retail shops to generate revenues from travelers stopping to gas up or take a break. “It was meant to be a public-private partnership,” Patrick said. “This was at a time when the economy was less robust than it is right now. But the bids came back so low it didn’t seem prudent to go ahead. But I do think that may be a strategy going forward.” That work may be left to the next governor. – M. Norton/SHNS

BAKER, COAKLEY NORTH OF BOSTON ON WEDNESDAY

Democrat Martha Coakley begins her campaign for governor Wednesday with an event in her hometown and then plans to travel to Devens to attend a 2 p.m. workforce summit. Coakley and Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn plan to meet at the Rivers Edge Development to discuss economic development at 10 a.m. Coakley’s running mate, Steve Kerrigan, plans stops Wednesday in Salem, Lynn, and Framingham, with early education the focus of the latter two events. Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker on Wednesday starts his campaign in Boston, before heading north. Baker plans at 10:30 a.m. to make an urban policy announcement during a stop on Blue Hill Avenue in Boston. After touring downtown Lowell at 2 p.m. with Mayor Rodney Elliott and Democrat City Councilor Corey Belanger, Baker also plans to attend the workforce summit before visiting Chelmsford where the New England Police Benevolent Association plans to endorse him at 4:30 p.m. With the election three weeks away, Baker and Coakley are running well ahead of three independent candidates in the polls. – M. Norton/SHNS

PATRICK “HATES” POLITICAL FUNDRAISING

Gov. Deval Patrick last week delved deeper into the thinking behind his plans to disassemble the national political action committee he formed and which has bankrolled his national political travels. “One of the things I most hate to do is raise money, raise political money and ask people for it and that’s necessary to keep the PAC going,” Patrick said during an appearance on “Ask the Governor” on WGBH. “That’s not how I want to spend my time.” Patrick reiterated his own plans to return to the private sector after he leaves office in January and, when prompted by host Jim Braude, said he still believes in advancing like-minded politicians, a goal of his Together PAC. “I still believe that’s worthy,” the two-term governor said. “I’m going to make myself available. I’m going to be a has-been in a few months but if a has-been can be useful to others who believe in governing for the long term, for the next generation, and bringing a set of convictions to their work and a willingness to pay the political price associated with that then I hope I can be helpful.” – M. Norton/SHNS

SPRINGFIELD MAYOR TO ENDORSE GOLDBERG

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno on Thursday afternoon plans to endorse Deb Goldberg, the Democratic nominee for state treasurer. According to the Goldberg campaign she will be “escorted on a business walk through Tower Square” after the endorsement, while accompanied by Councilor Bud Williams and former City Council President Bill Foley. Goldberg plans to vote for the ballot question repealing the state casino law. Springfield officials and residents have secured a resort casino license under the 2011 law and are counting on the law’s preservation and plans to make the casino a centerpiece of economic development in the city. – M. Norton/SHNS

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