Thursday, September 29, 2005

Letter to Joan Vennochi

Interesting article Joan, thanks for writing it. However, I believe the Globe and the other major news sources need to look in the mirror. I just ran a campaign for city council at large filled with passion and honesty about what the problems of the city truly are, and who the people responsible are. Ask your City Hall reporters during this time: Madison Park, Andrea Estes, Lisa Wangsness. We had many good conversations about what the real news in the city was and is.

What has the Globe written about? The Globe took a page and half on a Sunday to write about me and never once mentioned my three issues of education, housing and equal access to government. The Globe twice wrote articles about the money I put into my campaign, but didn't cover the Open Meeting Lawsuit hearing at Suffolk Superior Court where the City Council's lawyer argued that the City Council was irrelevant in regards to the BRA and planning and development in the City. The Globe didn't write anything about the $4million dollar land giveaway in the Fenway to the Forsyth Institute, and how they will be allowed to circumvent the zoning laws.

Everyone on the Inside in the city reads my blog, from the Mayor to the councilors, to State Reps, and State Senators. Every political reporter in the city reads my blog to find out what is going on. Lisa told me they were "thinking about" writing a story about it. Don't you think the citizens might be interested in knowing about what every politician in the City has in common? People from State Rep Wallace to Senator Tolman thanked me for what I was doing. It is a sad state of affairs when telling the truth and doing investigative journalism is not seen as a viable option in politics.

BUT, you did run two pictures of me with my baton and wrote two articles about my baton twirling prowess. I'm sure the voters are much more informed now. 15 years ago I used to spend 3 or 4 hours on a Sunday morning reading the Globe cover to cover. Now I read it and am done in less than an hour. I haven't learned to read faster. I believe that people do want information, and intelligent information. We live in an information society and those who can use and process that information will be the winners. I think the reason for newspapers loss of readership, revenue, etc. is because they are dumbing themselves down.

We look to the fourth estate to be an opinion leader, to give us the real news. At least the Herald had a column about the candidates with their pro's and cons and then endorsed four. The Globe didn't even mention any by name on their editorial page, and just lamely told people to vote. Why would people vote if you haven't told them who the candidates are and where they stand??? Where are the people supposed to get the information to know how to vote.

Finally, about the debates. Are the news sources in this city so afraid of the Mayor that they won't sponsor a debate on their own? Sign up for the auditorium at the Boston Public Library (it's free) and have a debate on housing and education and invite the two candidates. If one doesn't show then report about it and give the other all the time. It is easy to sit on the sidelines and comment about stuff, please consider being a leader and sponsoring the debate. An open discourse about the visions for the future is good for us all. You will truly be doing a service to the community then.

Thank you,
Kevin McCrea
Former candidate for city council at large

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Adding Insult to Injury....

A reporter called my cell phone today and said "...Michael Flaherty.(?)....",
somehow she had my cellphone number down next to his.

Many people today have asked me to continue the blog, any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

My next verbage which I hope to be an essay but what will probably be a diatribe, will be on Racism in Boston, which is a topic that I believe is dividing this city, much more any discourse we are having about it would let on I am even more convinced of that after traveling to the far corners of the 02 zip code zone. I was very gratified and thankful that Chuck Turner voted for me, my work in Roxbury has not gone on deaf ears.

Thanks very much for all the kind calls and emails today, especially from Ed Flynn and Matt O'Malley. Don't cry for me Argentina, though, I'm the one that is married to Clara (watch out for her tri-lingual candidacy) and I had 4 buildings offered to me today, and I was hired for another consulting job as an expert witness.

Interestingly I got a call Monday from Christine Colley from the BRA who told me that my request for the Boston Jobs Policy numbers on a recent south end project would be treated as a Freedom of Information Request. Nice to know that they don't just answer questions when you ask them. You would think they would be proud of the "great" work they are doing, and would send our press releases of their strong commitment to Boston workers.



I'd like to thank my supporters and the people that voted for me. I feel disappointed that your hard work didn't yield better results.

I congratulate the 8 finalists who are moving on. They all have been working extremely hard to earn the votes.

Best of luck to the voters who will choose their officials. Please make sure and vote so your voices will be heard!


Monday, September 26, 2005

Kevin's Top Ten list of Candidate Predictions...

1) Kevin McCrea-Bostonians stand up for truth, honesty, transparency and the American Way!
2) Flaherty-Plenty of money and machine, and he has kept the council in line.
3) Arroyo-near unanimous minority support and widely respected.
4) Murphy-in low turnout, he gets his supporters out.
5) O'Malley-Union support in low turnout pumps him up.
6) Connolly-Money and organization bring him up with a bullet.
7) White-Will the Globe article hurt? Could be as high as #2 if women want one of their own.
8) Flynn-How far will the name carry him?
9) Yoon-Can he attach his name to Arroyo's star?
10) Althea-Could surprise with her core voters.

Live, from Boston, the campaign coverage on BNN tomorrow night!

Kevin -

I was reading back in your campaign blog, and thought I should drop you a line. For the record, I'm the Cablecast Manager here at BNN.

First, it's great to see you keeping a blog of the campaign trail.

We do often suggest people have planted callers when they go on BNNLive programs. Many times, people are afraid to be the first caller on a call-in show, and it breaks the ice a bit to hear another caller or two go first. It also helps the guests, who often have never done live TV or anything like it before, get comfortable with the format and how the exchange works.

In my own personal opinion, sure, it is a little fishy when a caller throws someone a meatball over the plate, but I think most people can tell the difference anyways. Its not a lot different then someone packing in supporters at a public meeting. And if that gets someone who is really riled up about an issue to call in and get some real answers from someone, all the better. If someone calls in and wants to comment or ask a question, we'll put them on. You don't get a lot of forums like that.

It does seems like you overall enjoyed your experiences here on BNN, and I'm glad to hear that. I hope you were able to get a little exposure and your presence out tot he community, or at least enjoy 15 minutes of fame in hearing "hey, didn't I see you on TV last night?"

As an FYI for you as well, we'll be doing live results coverage on BNN tomorrow night from 9pm to 10pm on Comcast Channel 9 (Channel 15 for those with RCN).

Anyhow, good luck with the campaign, and good luck tomorrow!


Sunday, September 25, 2005

She wore white, and she said yes! The Wedding was a BIG success...

Father John Connolly presided over a beautiful mass/wedding at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. My bride was incredibly gorgeous, and we got a big laugh out of the Father's prayer that other candidates for city council would get to spend more time with their families....very soon!

Tears welled up in her eyes when she saw the surprise awaiting her at the end of the aisle....I had secretly conspired to buy her a new red convertible (thanks to her mom for helping me pick it out!) None of the local papers covered it, but the New York Times did.

Of course, on the day we were married the Red Sox won and the Yankees lost--a good Omen!

Finally, when we got home from the New England Aquarium Reception we had been locked out, and I had to take off my kilt and skinny up the back deck naked to get in through the deck door which was luckily left unlocked! Glad the Herald wasn't there for that!

Thanks to all my family and guests and friends for sharing the wonderful event.

I love you all!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Who is Sam Yoon?

He wears a Menino Button on his lapel, then tells an audience he didn't know he had it on his suit, even though his well paid media consultant was with him at the time. Then he says it was a mistake to have it on. (You don't know what political buttons you are wearing? begs credibility!)
He tells me that he won't reintroduce the community stabilization act, then announces before an audience that he will reintroduce the community stabilization act.
Today he sent out a flyer that would seem to indicate that he and Felix Arroyo are running together. But a call to councilor arroyo's office indicated that Felix is endorsing no one, and that they have been getting a bevy of phone calls about it and they say they have nothing to do with Yoon. In the Banner Yoon says that he will be effective where Felix hasn't been.

Jim Spencer is Yoon's paid consultant, he does not work for Arroyo. However that doesn't stop Spencer from sending out cards with Yoon and Arroyo's face on them as if he represents them both. Politics is dirty business!!!

Yoon said the other night he would like to see paid community organizers. Would that be just another arm of Menino's in the city. Another paid guy to keep an eye on the people by BIG BROTHER like the police guy that channel 4 just nabbed yesterday.

Then he said he would institute a progressive tax rate. So I asked him if he had any details of the plan, did it mean taxing million dollar houses more than 200,000 dollar houses? He said "yeah, maybe something like that". I said do you have any details on your website or your literature? He said "no, you know I run my campaign differently from yours" then something about not putting out any details and not wanting to answer questions.

We need independent people who have their own thoughts and ideas, not people who hang onto coattails.

I liked how he took the Sam Ellis article that said he was a nerfball and needed to learn the issues and spliced the opening bit and the closing bit to make it sound good, very clever. Karl Rove would be proud!

Finally, I do give him credit for being a gentleman, we've actually had a couple good laughs about things, he is a funny guy. As I've said to him a few times, just be yourself!

More Corruption with City Government

Where are our fearless city councilors speaking out about this? I'll bet not one peep from the menino 9 about this waste of our taxpayer dollars. This was on CBS 4 last night.
I'm currently working with one of the major news sources in this city about an ongoing giveaway to some businesses in the city. As soon as we (hopefully) break it, they will change their ways. It shouldn't be like this.

Joe Bergantino, Reporting(CBS4) BOSTON An exclusive I-Team investigation. Your hard earned taxdollars going to waste. Our hidden cameras catch one of Mayor Menino’spolitical operatives tucked away in a high paying job in the BostonPolice Department. I-Team reporter Joe Bergantino has the disturbingresults of a two month investigation.Until recently, Jim Sullivan was one very lucky guy. He’s Mayor TomMenino’s top political operative in Brighton. And he’s been head ofthe Boston Police Department’s Central Supply Division, a city jobthat has paid him $97,000 a year. His responsibilities: to keep track ofall of the Boston Police supplies, as well as seized property andevidence stored at this warehouse in Hyde Park.A demanding job? Well on one particular day Sullivan shows up for workat 11:56 a.m..At 3:09 p.m., our cameras watch Sullivan leaving for the day.Total time on the job: 3 hours, 13 minutes.So what else did Sullivan do that day?At 3:20 p.m. our hidden cameras caught him grocery shopping at RocheBrothers in West Roxbury.By 4:24 p.m., he was back to his apartment in Brighton for the rest ofthe afternoon.An unusual day for Jim Sullivan?No.The I-Team watched Sullivan for several days over several weeks.His routine: Get to work in the afternoon and leave after only a fewhours.Average number of hours worked: about 3 hours a day.On two of the days we trailed Sullivan, he didn’t go to work at all.His time sheet? It says he was at work for eight hours every one ofthose days.Joe Bergantino: “We’d like to talk to you about your work habitssir. We’ve watched you over several days over several weeks, some daysyou worked about three hours, some days you didn’t go to work at all.You indicated on your time sheets that you were there, why did you lieon your time sheets? (No response)“You’re the Mayor’s neighborhood coordinator here, did you getpermission to not go to work? C’mon, answer our questions sir.”Jim Sullivan: “I appreciate the opportunity but any questions have tobe answered through the department.”Joe Bergantino: “Well, you’re the one who didn’t go to work,you’re the one who was working three hours a day.”Jim Sullivan: “Excuse me.”Joe Bergantino: “Does the Mayor know about what you were doing? Didhe? Why won’t you answer that?”Jim Sullivan: “Thanks for the opportunity but I won’t be making anycomment.”Neither is this woman, Sullivan’s secretary, Ann Bisceglia. Shehappens to be the wife of one of Mayor Menino’s closest friends.According to the police department, Bisceglia fills out the time sheetsfor all employees at Central Supply, including Sullivan.She knew when her boss was or wasn’t at work.So how did the Mayor and Police top brass handle this political hotpotato? Classic damage control. After learning we were watching someoneat Central Supply, they quickly figured out who it was. Before we wereable to ask a single question about Jim Sullivan, they suspendedSullivan without pay for five days, demoted him, and took away his citycar. Boston Police claim they just happened to be doing their owninvestigation into Sullivan’s work habits.Joe Bergantino: “So the timing of all that is very, very curious?”Kathleen O’Toole, Boston Police Commissioner: “Well, I assume thatwe have some of the same sources that you have.”We know that’s not true.As for the Mayor.Mayor Tom Menino, City of Boston: “We took action right away because Iexpect everyone to do a full day’s work for a full day’s pay.”The reality is Jim Sullivan had a sweet deal. He is politicallyconnected and collecting a huge salary for showing up part time.How does that happen?Mayor Tom Menino: “I know him, I don’t know him well, but I knowhim.”Joe Bergantino: “Did you have any role in placing him there?”Mayor Tom Menino: “No. I had no role in placing him there.”Joe Bergantino: “Even though he’s your campaign coordinator fromBrighton?”Mayor Tom Menino: “A lot of people work for me and my campaign.”Keep in mind, Jim Sullivan wasn’t fired for what amounts to stealingfrom taxpayers.He’s still on the police payroll, now making $83,000 a year. As forSullivan’s secretary, the wife of one of the Mayor’s best friends, apolice source tells us she won’t be punished for filling outSullivan’s falsified time sheets because she wasn’t the boss. Onebig question here-how many other political operatives are tucked away inno-show jobs in Boston city government and how much are they costing allof us?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Last Blog before the wedding....???

Got our first newspaper "endorsement" which is nice to feel. West Roxbury and Roslindale paper said---

Kevin R. McCrea - There is no question about the fact that this candidate is very different from any running in this race. He is a well-accomplished man and his candor is certainly refreshing.

Interesting group the herald endorsed Flaherty, Yoon, Connolly, White. What thread do they all have? All of them refuse to say that meeting in closed door meetings excluding the press and public are bad.

A lot of politicians have been coming up to me and saying great things, an idiosyncratic list to be sure..... Rep. Brian Wallace, Sen. Tolman, Councilor Kelly.

Too bad Patricia White declined my offer for one dance tonight at the Allston-Brighton CDC black tie affair.

I was trying to cause the field to thin out by giving them a collective heart attack. How? By showing up tonight in my tuxedo, complete with McCrea Tartan cumberbund and bowtie. No such luck.

East Boston candidates night by chamber of commerce was good, excellent questions, especially how will "you" compromise to get things done. I mentioned that I'm getting married Saturday I know all about compromise....

Interesting that Michael Flaherty has left every candidates forum early before I get a chance to ask him whether he will stand up and defend his record on the open meeting law. But, he is a very busy man and I'm sure has more important things to do then take public questions. Sort of like the mayor.

Someone from councilor Turner's office thanked me for writing the blog today.

People who read the blog! we know you are out there.....
Shout out to Mayor Menino, Maura Hennigan, councilors arroyo, tobin, consalvo, murphy, the herald, the globe, the reporter, south end news, senator tobin, teachers union patricia armstrong, etc. An open, honest, discussion of the important points of the day are good for all of us. I look forward to discussing these items with the council.

Ok, I've got to go and pick the music for the wedding. I'm leaving the city up to the other candidates for the next couple days.

I'm calling out the Globe, the Herald and the Christian Science Monitor. You can't make fun of the mayor for not debating, and write editorials about how it is wrong. STEP UP TO THE PLATE! Sponsor two debates, one on housing and one on education. Invite the Mayor and invite Maura. If one doesn't show, let the other talk for an hour. We are in a sad state of affairs when our press is afraid of the Mayor as well. You can get the auditorium at the Boston Public Library and have a debate. Do your job to promote the public discourse of ideas.

Sam Adams, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Payne are not impressed with us, after what they went through to get us the right to discuss ideas in public. Look what greatness came from their open debates about the direction the country should go, from federalism vs. states rights, a standing army vs. militias, the power of the courts, etc.

All we debate now, is the lighting and the podiums at the non-debates. Pitiful. Notice how none of the city councilors or candidates will openly call for debates. We need true independent voices on the council. Disagreeing with the Mayor is not cause for treason, it is a beginning point of a discussion to come up with the best plan.


The Police know the Truth....

This is an email I received this morning!

Big thanks,


A lot of people love what you're doing with the campaign, exposing Menino and Flaherty (and Connolly and White) as the frauds they are. The Globe placed the ball on the tee for you today with its fundraising through developers and lawyers story.

The only other candidate I can see out there challenging the developer fundraising connection is Flynn's kid.

It would be good for both of you to keep hammering away at Flaherty to try to dash his future mayoral hopes for the good of us all.

I would appreciate it if you would not publish my name or identity since I am a BPD officer.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

McCrea Intern Rap

This is the PG version suitable for all, because we know the sucker MC's on the other campaigns can't take the heat, and aren't fire....

The McCrea Intern Rap
By: Amanda Barros, Jaime Bezek, and Kate Dormeus

Summer at McCrea’s
Ain’t no boring days
We’re knocking on doors
No shoes on McCrea’s floors
Jaime and the girls,
Watch Kevin’s baton twirl.
This job ain’t no game
We’re pushing Kevin’s name
No more backroom deals
More meals on wheels.
Tryin a make a better Boston
No matter what its costin’.
Ask specific questions
Or you’ll quickly get rejected.
Take excellent notes
‘Cause were tryin to get votes
Be polite on the phone,
Or you’ll be sent home
Show people the name
So Kevin grows in fame
In this campaign you can’t buy luck,
So your stance on the issues can’t suck
Kevin doesn’t need to worry about that
His promises are down in white and black
Were going around the city
To places great or gritty,
To tell the citizens hello
And about a candidate they should know
15 candidates…….Who would you choose?
Don’t know? We know a dude
What else on the campaign?
We need to finish this rap game!
What else did we do?
We went to nursing homes too!
We went down to Wingate
And had some three year old cake
It was nice and chewy
And even a little gooey.
Jeff had some real fun
His day ended with a gun!
The BRA is whack
But Mayor Menino got their back
Hey voters pick up the phone
Cause you know you’re home
We’re tryin to make a difference
Won’t you people ever listen?
That’s why you got no house
And an uneducated spouse.
Shout out to Bruneli and Shiloh the dog
Check us out on Kevin’s blog
Kevin likes to play James Brown
Look for him in your town.
So on election day,
Vote Kevin McCrea!

Monday, September 19, 2005

how THE MAN keeps it up

All summer I've made sure my interns do more than just answer phones and hand out leaflets. I've had them probe city hall for information so they can discover how their government works, and we can expose the workings of the machine, and how THE MAN keeps us down, to the gain of the rich and the suburban workers.

Today's episode brings us to the BRA project at 422-424 Massachusetts Avenue. First of all, I try to be as conservative as possible in my numbers, always giving the city, the developer and the BRA the benefit of the doubt. For example, I believe 10 units were built but I only have sales figures for 9 units so I just use those 9. So, the profits were probably greater than I state.

The BRA was not forthcoming in giving out information about the compliance with the Boston Jobs Policy so I taught 16 year old Jamie from the O'Bryant school how to do a FOIA request (Freedom of Information Act) and we finally received the information last week. My summer intern Jeff obtained much of the other information from the building department and the BRA and from real estate services.


422-424 Sales $ 5,680,000

BRA payments 216,000
Construction Costs 3,200,000
broker 260,000
Estimated soft costs 1,000,000

Net profit 1,004,000

This is an annual return on money of about 50% based on the 1,000,000 of equity they indicated they were putting in the project. This is an excellent rate of return. Usually anything above 10% is considered good. Also, take into consideration that in the soft costs are usually a "developers fee" where they get paid for their effort to manage the project. So, they basically double their money in two years and draw a salary for their effort.


The Boston Jobs Policy indicates that 50% of jobs should go to Boston residents. 25% of the jobs should go to minorities, and 10% should go to women. We obtained the job breakdown through our freedom of information request, since the BRA wouldn't give it to us from a phone request.

Boston Residents 16.4%
Minorities 13.1 %
Women .8%

This means that on a Boston Redevelopment Authority Job, more than 4 out of 5 jobs went to people who do not live in the City of Boston, and only 1 in 7 jobs in this 50% minority city went to minorities.

In addition, all the building permits were obtained by contractors outside the city. Sprinkler work from Hopedale, MA, Plumbing from Hingham, MA, Electrical work from Salem, NH, and security from Norwood, MA. General Contractor from Wakefield. This means that the owners of the companies, who usually make the most money, were all from outside the city.

When one looks at the numbers in more detail, there are further irregularities. A general rule of thumb in construction is that half of the costs are materials, and half the cost is labor. For the purpose of analysis, we will give the benefit of the doubt and say that in this case, only 25% of the hours are labor and 75% materials. This leaves $800,000 in labor costs. The BRA compliance sheets indicate that there were 11,462 hours worked on the job. This would come out to an average hourly wage of around $69 dollars an hour which is clearly out of line with what the typical construction worker makes.

Reasons for this could be that the BRA paperwork is not accurate, that somehow the developer built the builiding without much labor, or that the builder overpaid his building permit. The latter two reasons do not make physical or economic sense. Reasons for the BRA paperwork to be not accurate is that the contractor may not want to indicate all the workers hours to the BRA because the compliance figures would be even lower, or the contractor was sloppy in his paperwork, or the BRA was not vigilant or knowledgeable about collecting data. It is typical on city jobs to make sure you log all minority, women, and resident jobs in order to maximize your percentages. Therefore it is likely that the percentages on the project were even lower than reported.

For example, on this approximately 10,000 square foot brick building only 461 man hours of time are reported for masonry work. It is hard to believe that three men built all that masonry in less than 3 weeks time.

Community Benefit

The developer promised $50,000 to the abutters for the upgrade of the back alley. This was never done. I have an email into the BRA's Christine Colley who is supposed to check up on compliance by developers. I have no answer yet, but it was sent recently. The project was finished earlier this year.


The original building permit was for $3,200,000. After two years of work (where the price of building materials increased dramatically, in part due to the Iraq war), and switching general contractors the project only went $8,810 over budget less than 1% of costs. This is very, very impressive or they are shortchanging the money owed the building department.

Conversations with the BRA

What brought this analysis on is that the City is about to put out an RFP for Parcel 3 in Roxbury and I and many residents are very concerned that the jobs and economic benefit from this Parcel will benefit the community. The BRA has said the jobs policy is always in effect, but I and others have questioned whether it will be enforced.

I spoke to Kairos Shen to what if anything was done about the lack of compliance on the project. He asked me to check with Christine Colley who passed me to complaince officer John Redd. John called me today and admitted that they had some problems on that project. He admitted that no fines were levied against the developer. He tried to explain some arcane process about how it was decided to fine people that wasn't put in place on this project. The summation is that the jobs went predominantly to white male suburban workers while the BRA was in full knowledge of it, and didn't find the inequities important enough to do anything about it.


Last week at a Mission Hill Ward meeting, I spoke about this project and the lack of resident, minority and women hiring in the city, and the lack of compliance with the rules in the City. I do not think I was very articulate, in fact, one reporter was nice enough to tell me that I was rambling. I apologize.

But, after my speech a John LaCroix an attorney for the city in the Boston Employment Commission came up to me and handed me his card. He told me that the job I was talking about was a BRA job, not a city job. (I knew this, but didn't say it in my speech) He then told me that the Boston Jobs Policy was "JUST A GOAL, NOT A POLICY" and that if I had any questions I could call him.

I am flabbergasted. I wish they would tell contractors that this is just a goal, we wouldn't work so hard to try and comply by it (those of us who do try, anyway). When the general counsel who represents the Mayor says that it is just a goal, you can begin to understand why the Mayor has 7 of his 8 paid campaign staffers being white and they clearly only give lip service to making sure Boston Jobs and our tax dollars go to Boston workers.

Statistical Analysis while listening to Pink Floyd while the in-laws are away...

When I got out of college, having come from nothing, I told myself that as long as I had three things (Remember #3 on your ballot!) that I would always be happy. These three things were a place of my own, a motorcycle and a killer stereo. I'm happy to report that I've always remained true to myself, and everything else is just gravy.

So, yes, I do have a killer stereo and I love to play it loud, if it's too loud, you're too old!

So, while I'm here listening to Money off of Dark Side of the Moon and doing some statistical analysis of a BRA project done for the benefit of the rich, white and suburban, while I have the house to myself which is extremely rarely these days, I'll switch over to the music genre.

The three songs which I have etched in marble calligraphy in my house, and which are my driving forces in this campaign are:

Imagine: John Lennon
Get Up, Stand Up: Bob Marley
Justice Tonight: The Clash

In particular, when I am feeling down, and the forces of oppression are wearing me down, I crank up Justice Tonight. The single staccato drumstick 2/3 of the way through the song represents to me the powerful single voice shouting out against injustice. Alone but unfailing in its message about standing up and saying what needs to be said, no matter what is swirling around the edges.

I also want to get the new Green Day album, it is clearly the most political and rocking album around right now.

I've dreamed of getting elected and having a concert of unity on the hatch shell. Get Rage Against the Machine, 50 Cent, Peter Paul and Mary, Tim O'Riordan & Natural Gas, Gypsy Kings, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, DropKick Murphy's and get all of our citizen's together to celebrate!!!! That would be a party!

What does it say about our society and our city when we have the democratic national convention and the big party of the week was at Louis Boston, only the most exclusive clothing store in Boston. I thought we were democrats, you know, lunch pail, working class, inclusive, etc., etc, blah, blah, blah. Another example of how the rich control everything to the exclusion of the workers. A real democratic celebration should have happened on the hatch shell, or even better at Franklin Park.

Finally, when we drive the Big campaign vehicle around we play different music to bring some smiles to the faces of the people. The clear favorite album is the Blues Brothers, in particular Peter Gunn theme, and Rawhide. But, clearly the number one favorite song with the people of Boston is James Brown, "I Feel Good" people just spontaneously start to dance, groove, get down, and generally smile!

I'm just here to bring some happiness to the people. Glad to oblige!

Television Ad is up today, can be seen on my website.

Our first TV ad explaining why taxes are going up, and about the property giveaways at City Hall started airing today. Look for them on stations like TNT, CNN, Lifetime, etc. from 6 am to 10 am and from 8 pm until midnight.

You can see the ad on my website at

Sunday, September 18, 2005

How Clueless is Kevin? A conversation with Ned Johnson, Fidelity

So I was campaigning in Beacon Hill today at a community event. I went up to a man in a red shirt and introduced myself. He started off by saying "all politicians want to do is suck your blood" as he pantomimed protecting his neck from a vampire. I agreed with him and told him that is one of the reasons why I'm running. We went on to have a good conversation about my work as a contractor and he complemented me on actually doing something, not living off of others. He clearly was not impressed with politicians, not an honest profession he thought.
Then he talked about charities and about how they had wanted to give money to the Red Cross but before they gave money they wanted to look at the percentage of money that actually went to victims, but the Red Cross refused to open their books. He asked if I knew what their overhead was and I answered that it was about 20% (he clearly was impressed that I was in the ballpark) he answered that it was actually 24%. He said that if he charged those types of fees they would put him in jail.
So, I asked him what "honest" line of work he was in. He said that he owned a few businesses but that Fidelity was his main line of work. I mentioned my mother used to work there. (I was still clueless about who he was). He said he thought Menino would be good at working at the Red Cross because he was very good at squeezing blood out of the businesses. He was genuine in saying that he did think Menino would be good at it.
He also agreed with me that we didn't really have any choice in the political system, one of his european friends had told him there are no real differences between democrats and republicans. As I said, "what were the choices last year, one rich, privileged guy from a connected family who went to Yale versus another rich, white, privileged guy from a connected family who went to Yale". He said "what is up with these yale guys anyway?"
As our conversation wound down, I thanked him for his time and asked his name. He said "Ned Johnson" , I said "THE Ned Johnson" and he said well one of many Ned Johnson's with a twinkle in his eye.
As I introduced myself to a couple standing next to us, they said hi to Ned and Ned said "hey listen to this guy, he's got some interesting stuff to say" Thanks for the introduction sir!

As I confirmed later, that was THE Ned Johnson who runs Fidelity. Quite a lively, down to earth guy, thanks for the time, Ned it was interesting. I don't get to rub elbows with the rich and famous too often, it is interesting how outspoken he is about the low esteem he holds politicians in.

The juxtaposition with the black man who was an evacuee from New Orleans I met yesterday morning outside a shooting site in Dorchester who said that as far as he could see, Boston was no better than New Orleans couldn't have been bigger. I offered him a job working on my campaign so he could make enough money to get back to his family. We'll see if he shows up at work tomorrow at 9.

Postscript: he didn't show, but another gentleman I met there did show up.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Building Department, Corruption, and not enforcing the rules

I was at the building department recently to get a permit. It was my first time in awhile (I've been kind of busy campaigning, getting married, etc.). Anyway, there was yet another form we had to fill out now additional from the last time I obtained a permit. So, it took even longer to get a permit than usual. Didn't the Mayor have some big announcement in the spring about how he was going to speed up the permitting process???

Anyway, it was great to hear many of the people giving me words of encouragement, that they had seen my signs or read about me. The people who work for the city usually are very nice, and want to do a good job. However, they are uninspired or thwarted by a lack of leadership. The new "temporary" building department head is supposedly a pretty nice guy, he has been friendly to me, although I don't believe he has any training or experience in the construction field. Just like his predecessor, Kevin Joyce who was universally not liked, also had no experience in construction and would have staff meetings where he would liken himself to an Army General or Dictator. He was finally gotten rid of after trying to force a subordinate to pay too much money to an outside contractor I believe in a no-bid contract situation. She said no and reported him. That only cost the city $500,000 in legal and settlement fees. Allegedly he was having an affair with her as well, but that is quite another story. Another excellent department head choice by the Mayor.

One of the former guys at the zoning review counter once said to me, "kevin, you know so much about the corruption on your side of the should see how much goes on behind the counter!" I believe him.

But I digress. While I was at the building department I went on one of my usual rants about how the rules aren't enforced in the city, unless you get the ear of city hall. I was reading about the whale on newbury or boylston street that the Back Bay Architectural Commission was trying to remove (it is for charity i think) after just a month at an outdoor restaurant. I started to tell everyone out loud in the permitting department about an illegal roof deck in the south end. The person building it actually asked me how to build it. I told him that he needed a permit and he said he was just going to do it on his own without a permit. So, I let the building department and the historical department know about the deck:

Before he built it, that he was going to build an illegal deck
While he was building it, that he was building an illegal deck
After he was done, that he had built an illegal deck

Neither the building department nor the historical department has moved to force anything to be done.

The people at the permit department asked "did you make a formal complaint?" I said let's look it up in the computer and they looked it up and sure enough they had the complaint lodged in the computer. The complaint was 4 years old and they still haven't done anything about it. This is yet another reason I'm running for city council. We shouldn't just enforce the rules if you live next to the mayor or some other city official. Equal enforcement for everyone in the city, not just the rich and connected. This is yet another example of the incompetence of city government. Why should people play by the rules, when the rules are ignored or selectively enforced? This breeds disregard for the law.

Not good!

Comedy Show Thursday--putting the Fun in Fundraising!!!

BIG FUN!!!!!!!

This Thursday September 22, 2005 from 7 pm to 8pm we are holding a comedy fundraiser at Wally's Cafe, the oldest Jazz Club in Boston and my favorite bar in the City. They are located at 427 Mass Ave near Columbus, near my place. Check out always book a Wally's Band!

Comedian Paul Nardizzi, who has been a frequent visitor to Late Night TV graciously offered his services to help me get
elected to City Council and bring some truth, honesty and professionalism to that body. Wally's never has a cover, as no righteous bar should!, but we are asking for a suggested donation of $20.

We look forward to seeing you there for fun and fundamentally changing the way government treats the people.

Help us fund my new TV adds which question why our taxes are going up in Boston about 10 percent this year, and answers it by showing the giveaways orchestrated down at City Hall.

BIG THANKS TO PAUL NARDIZZI whom I look forward to meeting. He just read about me and wanted to help out.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Herald Slams BRA & Maloney

Nice article in the Boston Herald today about BRA chief Maloney and the fiasco's that he is behind at the BRA. The agency is dishonest, unprofessional, non-transparent and Menino should be held accountable for his appointments. Hope he doesn't skip town before I subpeona him for the Open Meeting Lawsuit. As Chuck Turner said today at City Hall, people need to start jumping up and down and saying the negotiating is over, we need to take back citizen control of our government.

They don't respond to councilor's concerns, let alone the citizens.

They are stonewalling Jerry McDermott about why the Mosque was sold for less than fair market value.

I wonder if Mike Ross has received his answer about why the BRA lied to him about Red Sox proceeds going to the city instead of the BRA as they allegedly promised him.

Speaking at Harvard Law School

I've been invited to give a talk at Harvard Law School about "the process of open, transparent democratic government and the role of attorneys and the courts in that process."

Should be interesting, hope we can find a time to put it together. Maybe the solons in Cambridge will have some good ideas!

Which Candidates will participate in Flaherty's Closed Door Meetings

At the Ward 10 Meeting tonight (at which I rambled and was not very eloquent) I asked all the candidates if they are elected would they participate in Flaherty's closed door meetings of 6 at a time councilors rotating in and out (which the City Council pleaded guilty to 15 years ago) which violate the open meeting law, or would they stand with Felix Arroyo, Maura Hennigan, Charles Yancey and Chuck Turner in boycotting those meetings and calling for open transparent government.

These are the responses:

Felix's Camp:

Joe Ready
Matt O'Malley

Flaherty's Camp:

Flaherty has said he abides by the Open Meeting Law (why don't the others agree?)
Murphy (who has attended these meetings)
Ed Flynn "I will not participate in an unlawful meeting"
John Connolly -also says he won't do anything unlawful
Patricia White-says she doesn't want to get involved in my lawsuit, but wouldn't do anything
(Hey you said at the Ward 11 Meeting that you were the heir apparent to the long line of progressive women on the council. None of the progressive's participate in the meetings)

Sam Yoon has refused to answer the question.

Felix & Sam

Felix and Sam are having a BBQ at Jim spencer's near the orient heights T Stop of the Blue Line.

(Will Sam be wearing his Labor for Menino pin?)

When I decided to run for office in January, I called up Felix Arroyo's office because he was the councilor I most admired and whom I had met when he first ran 4 years ago at the nearby intersection of Mass Ave and Columbus. I wanted to ask for his advice, as a constituent who had voted for him twice about how to run a campaign, etc. and how I could go about running without taking anything away from his progressive agenda. His staff said he was very busy and couldn't meet anytime soon, and I said fine whenever you can get me 15 minutes or 1/2 an hour. They scheduled me for about 6 weeks later. Then on the friday before the monday meeting, they called me and said that the councilor had decided not to meet with any candidates so as not to show favoritism.

Fair enough. Although I am a constituent wanting to get involved in the government process, you'd think that would warrant at least a few minutes. Even Paul Scappiccio and Mike Ross took time out to meet me and offer their advice.

The other chink in the armor is that it has subsequently been said by Sam that he met with Felix to get his advice, etc.

Perhaps it is as Sam said at the Ward 9 committee: "and you know, we minorities tend to stick together" to the almost all black group. Frankly, I'm offended by this playing of the race card. How is this any different from all Italians or all Hispanics or being lumped together as if people have no individual differences? I remember the first time I read about Sam last year, the Globe quoted a chinese man as saying something the effect of "well, we're glad he's asian but we wish he was chinese." A true progressive would speak out that this is just stereotyping and typecasting. We need to get away from judging someone by the color of their skin or the clothes they wear, that is what I'm about.

A question for Sam: I know that I am white so I don't make the cut for sticking together. But my fiance is hispanic. If we have kids and my child is half hispanic will they be minority enough for you?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Failure--thy name is Bush

go to Google and type in "failure" (without the quotations) then press "I'm Feeling Lucky"


27 Worst Deals for the City

As Ross Perot said, "do you hear that sucking sound?" It is all of our money being sucked from City Hall by the rich and connected that the establishment kowtow's to.


The Dirty Dozen(s)

Hayward Place
Almost an acre of City-owned land across the street from the new Millennium Ritz Tower complex.
The BRA, on Mayor Menino’s orders, took it by eminent domain without paying compensation to the City.
The BRA held a rigged competition in which the honest high bidder offered $23 million but did not get the land.
Millennium Partners was designated the developer with at sweetheart deal: 10-year lease, no rent to City after first two years, keep all parking lot profits, first right of refusal to buy after the 10 years, with 121A tax break and zoning relief indicated. Loss: $23 million in cash to the City treasury; over 340 mid-range housing units with an affordable set-aside; the credibility of City’s bidding process.

Kensington Place
To carry out Mayor Menino’s deal with Kensington, BRA and Boston Zoning Commission designated Kensington’s half-acre a PDA (Planned Development Area), and let him count nearby streets and neighboring property as the rest of the required acre. BRA, knowing it was unlawful to do so and even telling Kensington so, proceeded to use the PDA to get ISD to issue a demolition permit on the Gaiety Theatre, which was protected by zoning. The BRA ignored the Asian Community Development Corporation proposal to restore the theatre and build housing above, all with private money, no public subsidy. The historic Gaiety Theatre, one of only two Boston theatres racially integrated during the Jazz Age, boasting acoustics rivaling Jordan and Symphony Halls, and designated for preservation by the City Midtown Cultural District Plan, was torn down in spring of 2005.

City Hall Plaza
On Mayor Menino’s orders, BRA took the Plaza by eminent domain in 1996 (yes, took it back – it had been given to the City after the original urban renewal takings), paying no compensation to the taxpayers. It’s about 10 acres; at the going rate of $30M per acre of development land downtown, it’s a $300m loss. However, the City still is responsible for maintenance. BRA entered a Joint Venture agreement with Trust for City Hall Plaza, a group of developers, to build a hotel and garage on the Plaza. After many blue ribbon panels, charrettes, etc., the scheme was blocked by public protest, as well as the General Services Administration on the Plaza. The Trust still exists but is dormant until Green Line station is rebuilt; then it plans to resume the take-over for development.

Columbus Center
This oversized tower project was long protested by the communities of South End, Bay Village and Back Bay. The project didn’t conform to the Turnpike Air Rights Plan, the “Civic Vision.” None of the public benefits promised in return for “excess height” were ever provided. To eliminate public legal recourse after approval, the BRA and the Zoning Commission voted the whole project a PDA (Planned Development Area), although not one square foot of it was eligible for PDA zoning, and most of it (the Air Rights) was not subject to City of Boston zoning at all.

Liberty Place
On Mayor Menino’s orders, ISD permitted demolition of Pilgrim Theatre, protected from demolition by Chinatown zoning (like the Gaiety above). The Zoning Board of Appeal approved a variance for a 300’ tower in 150’ zone despite lack of hardship. Community protest, based on fears of gentrification, was ignored.

Corey St parking lot, West Roxbury
BRA was going to take part of a City parking lot by eminent domain as a “demonstration project” and hand it over to a developer to build for lease by USPS. After public exposure, BRA backed off and got the Department of Neighborhood to dispose of the land via lease with USPS. There was no process for surplusing of the land.

BRA was going to take part of a City park by eminent domain as a “demonstration project” and give it to Forsyth Institute for its expansion. After pubic protest against the “demonstration project” mechanism, BRA told Parks to give the land to DND for a land swap with Forsyth. How can DND do a land swap if it has to publish RFPs per Chapter 30B? Still investigating. No appraisal of the land value was done before swap approved; City loss is several million dollars in turning our parkland into Forsyth real estate.

Chapter 121As
Two dozen commercial and luxury housing projects have 40-year tax breaks, paying one-half to one-third of their fair taxes. I estimate loss to City of about $70 million a year, based on 2003 Boston Herald study finding five such project cost the City $14M a year. Examples: FleetCenter, One Beacon St., Landmark Center, Prudential Center, Mercantile Wharf, Marriot Custom House Time-Share, Lafayette Place Mall, World Trade Center Hotel and two office tower, Genzyme Allston Plant, Post Office Square garage, 10 Saint James, Harvard’s Medical Area Total Energy Plant, Macy’s, Marriott Long Wharf, Exeter Towers, 175 Federal St.

BU bioterrorism lab
The State surplused some highway land near BU Medical Center to the City. Without any City Council process to see if the City needed the land for municipal purposes as the law requires, the BRA took it by eminent domain and handed it over to BUMC’s development consortium with Bob Walsh, Mayoral friend, developer and ex-BRA Director. According to Walsh’s own memo to the State, the City lost $4.5 million in land value and the The project plan for the area lost 300,00 square feet of development due to buffers required for a Level 4 BioLab. BRA and City agencies approved the BioLab project before a public safety plan was created by Fire Dept. and Public Health Commission, which began making such a plan only when Gloria Fox proposed State regulation. City Councilors held at least one meeting on the BU Lab that was closed to the public in violation of Open Meeting Law.

Fan Pier DIF
Pritzkers sat speculating on their 15 acres of waterfront land after it was permitted for 3 million sf of development, collecting parking fees and paying little in taxes while waiting for a buyer to pay their top price in a flip. Menino, in this election year, got his friend Joe Fallon, major waterfront developer (and tax-break beneficiary) to buy the land. That Menino promised to make it worth Fallon’s while and protect him from risk soon became evident when Fallon started talking about a DIF (District Improvement Financing), which would let him direct his project’s property taxes for construction of “public works” (garages, roads, landscaping, etc.) for his project.

100-Acre Plan, Fort Point Channel
After five years of process and 45 public meetings, the BRA ignored all community wishes and signed privately negotiated PDA agreements with big land-owners, which will eliminate all zoning controls. They may also get DIFs. In fact, all big developers will ask for DIFs; who wouldn’t want their taxes devoted to improving their own properties? This will divert new-growth taxes from schools and other basic City services.

Urban Renewal extension
An 8-member majority of City Council signed away, as part of a so-called 10-year Urban Renewal Plan extension proposal, all its (and therefore ours) oversight powers over the BRA’s Urban Renewal Plan major modifications -- including future term extension. Therefore, City Council now has absolutely no power over any planning or development decisions in Boston. The agreement between Council and BRA was the product of 18 months of secret, closed-door meetings that violate the Open Meeting Laws. (Four Councilors opposed the extension proposal, and also boycotted the secret meetings: Felix Arroyo, Maura Hennigan, Chuck Turner, Charles Yancey.)

Mission Church, Mission Hill neighborhood
The City is allowing several of the buildings in this landmarked historic complex to be destroyed by a developer.

Islamic Mosque, Roxbury
The BRA sold the 1.9-acre lot to a religious group for $175,000. The Islamic Society of Boston's own newsletter said the land is worth $2 million. The BRA valued the parcel at $401,187, took a cash payment of $175,000 from the center's developers, then made up the rest of the price tag by valuing at $272,663 a series of benefits the developers are granting Roxbury Community College. For example, the BRA assessed the value of a lecture series the Islamic Society of Boston plans to conduct at the college at $115,598. It assessed the value of an Islamic library of 5,000 volumes slated for the community college at $80,000. A lawsuit has been filed, so public money is being spent defending it.

Joseph LaRosa
The neighborhoods of Hyde Park, Roslindale, Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, South Boston and West Roxbury have all complained of La Rosa's substandard housing construction. City building agencies are also implicated because of their lack of response to complaints and negligence in upholding the State Building Code. Zoning Board of Appeal Chair Joseph Feaster was La Rosa’s attorney, and although an Ethics Commission found no conflict, Mayor Menino finally forced him to resign from the Board. Feaster was also not a Boston resident --thus not eligible for appointment on the Board; he had been claiming the residential tax exemption on a house in the city.

99 Melville, Dorchester
To rescue a politically connected Dorchester property owner from a court decision requiring him to tear down an unlawfully built house, the Mayor and BRA are trying to retroactively change the zoning in Dorchester and five other neighborhoods to allow development of house lots with inadequate road frontage. This deprives the abutters, who have fought and won a lawsuit, of their due zoning variance legal process. Density in all the affected neighborhoods would be increased and the purposes of minimum frontage requirements would be defeated.

Red Sox
A huge area of the Fenway neighborhood was condemned for BRA eminent domain taking to give to the Red Sox for a new stadium. The Sox would have been able to develop their current ballpark site with commercial or luxury housing towers. The legislation included $100 million in “infrastructure” improvements as community mitigation. The land has remained under condemnation, creating uncertainty for leasing, so the Sox can hold on to all their options, including the $100M they still want, for garage subsidy (even though they are not redeveloping the stadium as planned).

Convention Center
A billion-dollar white elephant with few bookings. They destroyed many businesses when they cleared the land for it. The hotel developer bid on “no tax break” condition, and then got a tax break.

Jurys Hotel and Manulife TIFs
Two high-end projects that needed absolutely no help (four-star Irish boutique hotel in Back Bay and the biggest insurance company in the world – it bought out the Hancock) got City and State tax breaks of unpublicized amounts.

HUD $40 million to luxury hotels
Forty million dollars of HUD loans, intended for economic development of distressed areas, was offered to developers of luxury hotels. Once it became public, one of the developers (of the Mandarin Oriental) declined his loan, presumably ashamed. The Mayor and BRA gave it to other luxury hotel developers (they have no shame) instead of supporting enterprise in poor neighborhoods.

Yawkey Way taking
BRA took an “easement” on Yawkey Way by eminent domain from the City, to “license” the vendors on the privatized street during game days and collect the lease fees, while the City taxpayers were left with the street maintenance. In response to public outrage, Councilor Michael Ross demanded that the City get the lease fees; at this June 6 Ways and Means hearing Ross asked the BRA how much the City is getting: Nothing. Where is the money going? To the BRA’s “urban renewal” fund, i.e., to their own private budget.

Ames building (One School St, near City Hall, historic building)
BRA was going to take the whole building by eminent domain just to void the tenants’ leases, and then give it back to the owner, so he wouldn’t have to negotiate a lease buy-out. When the press learned of it, the BRA decided not to do the taking. But later, the BRA took the “air rights” under the cornice overhang – “property” that doesn’t even exist, but if it did, it would be the City’s to sell – and sold it to the Ames developer for over $80,000, money that should have gone to the City treasury. City Council asked BRA for list of all such takings; the BRA said they had no listing and couldn’t provide the information.

Roxbury Master Plan – Parcel P-3
The BRA spent years in a planning process with the community. When the zoning was written, the BRA allowed PDAs in new development areas. Now Requests for Proposals are being written with sham community process; community resistance, which arose when they found out that PDAs eliminate all zoning and all community control, has been ignored by the BRA.

Longwood Medical Center Guidelines
Longwood Medical Area is already a self-zoning district through Institutional Master Plans; the Guidelines further reward institutions with bonus density for dumping parking and back-office space “elsewhere” – in particular, Roxbury. Poor, black neighborhood to become a colony of the educational and health care institutions. Residents of “elsewhere” are fighting the BRA to keep these uses out of a big Request for Proposal currently being drafted, but so far without success.

Loews Hotel project, Park Plaza Urban Renewal Area
BRA took a tiny sliver of land by eminent domain adjacent to a site zoned for 150’ height instead of letting the developer of the site buy it. This way, by conveying the bit of land, the BRA could turn the whole site into a U-District, totally exempt from zoning (similar to a PDA).

Two Financial Center, Leather District
To help Rose Associates build a tower on their half-acre parking lot that would exceed the zoning of this historic district , BRA first encouraged Rose to create a PDA by including their pre-existing One Financial Center across the street, or some properties not even adjacent to the parking lot. When this drew community fire, the BRA declared the site blighted (a half-acre site the developer himself valued at $15 million) and gave Rose a 121A, which eliminated zoning and granted a huge tax break in addition. The community sued and lost; the courts won’t contradict a local blight determination. Rose proposed the same height tower without PDA or 121A but wrote in their proposal that if anyone exercised the right to challenge them at the Zoning Board of Appeal, they’d go back and get a 121A, and so get both the zoning relief and the tax break. No one challenged at the ZBA.

BRA Compliance Monitor
In October 2004, the BRA created the position of Compliance Monitor to track all promises made by developers and the BRA since 1957 when the BRA began, so they could be enforced. BRA Director Mark Maloney said, “An unkept promise is a lie.” A year later, no one can find out what the Compliance Monitor has been doing; she and Maloney refuse to provide a progress report or meet with community. Maloney responded to June 6, 2005 City Council inquiry on her work thus: She was hired simply to coordinate the compliance work being done by others. He promised to send her job description and progress update to Council; nothing sent to date.

Flaherty Opposes BioLab! (After the labor council meeting of course)

Michael Flaherty came out against the biolab today. I applaud him on his decision. I called his office to offer my thanks as a constituent. The Mayor called him "misinformed....he doesn't understand the issue". Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black. Maybe the Mayor can explain why the city is kicking in 4.5 million dollars of our assets when we don't have enough money for cops and teachers. I don't think BU needs the money that bad.

Maybe now Flaherty will bury the hatchet with me, we can sit down and help give the city council power back over the BRA and work out a plan to not exclude councilors, the press and the public from the decision making process. That is what a true leader and uniter would do. How can Flaherty hold meetings that excludes democrats and even someone he endorsed, Felix Arroyo?

It is interesting to note that he waited until after the Labor Council Endorsement meeting to oppose the Biolab. I wonder if people will start portraying Flaherty as a Flip-Flopper like John Kerry. Let's see how actively he campaigns against it.

Further I think this is a good sign for the city. Michael Flaherty is a very smart, politically cunning person. He would not oppose the Mayor unless it was politically wise to do so. I think he is feeling the same political winds of change that I am. People think it is time for a change, and having a city council that just does exactly what the Mayor wants is not appealing to the masses.

With Felix, Sam and I in the race the voters clearly have an alternative to the typical old boys network that Flaherty has been leading on behalf of the mayor for the last few years.

This chink in the armor could be a good sign for Maura Hennigan, and for those of us who speak out for democracy, and open, transparent government, not the closed door, exclusive meetings that Flaherty has been running.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Am I skeptical or cynical?

I got a lecture from Shirley Kressel on the difference between skeptical and cynical and how my usage is incorrect.

In her words "Michael Flaherty is cynical, the voters are skeptical"

Report from a reader on a Patricia White Campaign Event


Very interesting evening. I would estimate there were over 75 attendees, allwomen, except for Mike Ross. Also, it was an all white crowd (no pun intended),not even an Asian face in the group.

There was a reporter from the Globe ( Ithink she said her name was Leslie Gittes (??)).Patricia gave a short speech on her major campaign issues, which she said areschools and housing and ended by saying that she supports the biolab and thatshe feels strongly that we all must support our universities and institutionsbecause of their contribution to the city. That sentence proved to be herundoing with this crowd. One woman shot back with a comment about getting theBRA under control and acting in the interests of the residents andneighborhoods. There was a lot of support for that position with this group,which frankly surprised me. When she was questioned about the affects of unbridledinstitutional expansion on our tax base and housing, she said that "NewburyStreet merchants need those students to support their businesses." Another badresponse, since there was a woman who owned a retail shop on Newbury Street whowas pushed out to the South End by the NikeTown/Armani/Gap move down Newbury.She said there were very few small, local retailers left so who were wesupporting exactly?

Kevin's Commentary-

Wow, so Patricia White believes we have to support institutional expansion which erodes our tax base since none of these universities are required to pay property tax so that the retailers on Newbury Street can be supported by the rich kids who go there?

I'm a millionaire and I still don't shop on Newbury Street. I prefer Salvation Army myself, or signing up for the free Red Sox T-Shirts at Fenway. When I was in college I was lucky to have $5 bucks for a case of Weidemann beer on a Friday. Kids who can afford to shop on Newbury Street are also kids who can afford to pay for their cost to the city while they are our "guests for four years" as Steve Murphy puts it. The rich just don't get it. Patricia was the only front running candidate who didn't bother to come to the Roxbury Ward meeting last night. At least I give her credit for knowing that she isn't going to get many votes in the minority community and she doesn't waste her time there. But then why is she running city wide? 50% of the city is minorities. As someone at one of my get togethers recently said, where are they going to go?

"Is BU going to become Somerville University?" I don't think so.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

i just wrote for 20 minutes and my computer crashed

The most important thing I wrote was my condolences to Michael Flaherty and his family on the loss of his mother in law. 53 is too young to die.

We are all in this together, and the sooner we try and work together, the sooner we can solve the problems in the world of hunger, disease, poverty, inequality, racism, etc.

I don't know why, but everytime I go to a Baptist Church I cry. There is so much positive energy at 12th Baptist, Ebeneezer Baptist, etc. so much forgiveness, so much passion, and compassion.

Have a blessed night


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Patricia White Preying on the Dorchester Elderly?

As I was driving to the Simon of Cyrene Society breakfast this morning, I decided to call much loved Dorchester stalwart Maria Rosetti Polvere Tuffo. Maria is in her 80's and is a delight and inspiration to all, she has received many awards for being a concert pianist, has been her Parish's Person of the Year, used to play the piano in City Hall where the mayor would send a car to pick her up, etc., etc.
I met her for the first time earlier this year at a senior's event with her charming but straight talking second husband Joe. They invited my fiance Clara and I over for dinner, an invitation we accepted, saying to ourselves "we'll only stay for an hour". Well, we ended up cancelling all our other events that night, talked for hours and were the recepients of a lovely recital.

I hadn't talked to them in quite some time so I just thought it a friendly gesture to say hi while I was going to the breakfast. Joe answered, we exchanged pleasantries, and he said:

Joe "Do you know that woman running for city council, what's her name?

Kevin "you mean patricia white?"

Joe "yeah, that's her. Well we only met her one time down at the parish and I woke up and she had a sign in our yard. We never gave her permission, I don't even know the lady.....what do you think I should do?"

Kevin "hey, its your yard. No one has the right to put a sign in your yard. If you don't want it take it down."

Joe " yeah, I think I'll take it down"

Again, (read my previous blog about flaherty and o'malley sticking signs in people's yards) I'm amazed that these people do this. The tone Joe used in talking to me was one of fear of being in trouble from the politicians if he took it down. This is really messed up. When the people are afraid of politicians who aren't even elected, our system is out of whack.

This is especially despicable with the elderly. Many of them are tired, poor, afraid and amazingly I often hear that they don't want to get in trouble or upset anyone. Joe is not tired, poor or afraid and he still is hesitant.

I had heard that politicians do things like ask for people's names and addresses and then take that as acceptance for putting a sign in their yard. The lattice of coincidence is that last night I was at the Marion Manor and Patricia was there with her staff and she spoke to an elderly woman at my table, they exchanged pleasantries, and then Patricia had her staff write down that person's name and address. I didn't think anything of it, we are all taking down people's information to send them stuff and get them on our phone lists. But after what I heard this morning, I'm wondering if they will get an unwanted sign in their garden as well?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Respect for others cultures

I studied french and spanish in school, and while I don't consider myself fluent, I have been around France and Spain on my own without trouble. I also speak enough Japanese to get to the train on time, and I used to speak enough mandarin to ask for a glass of water and negotiate for trinkets.

The point is that when I travel I try to learn a bit about the language to show respect and try to understand the culture a bit. I find that the structure of a language often can be an insight into a society.

My spanish has improved dramatically with my fiance, Dr. Clara Lora. We try and speak "solamente en espagnol en jueves". I notice it on the campaign trail, where I can speak to many of our hispanic residents, give a brochure in spanish, talk about what I'm running for, and a bit about myself. It is a great ice breaker.

The same for many Haitians. Just being able to ask how they are, their names, etc. in french often makes their faces light up that someone would respond to them in such a manner. I know I have many signs up around the city just because I took the time to show some respect.

I hope we can all reap the rewards of being more understanding and tolerant of each other.

Diversity on the Campaign Trail

The Banner had a good article this week about campaign staff diversity. They ran a picture of myself and Brunelli and Amanda two of my minority campaign staff. They rightly identified that I have had the most diverse staff of any of the mayoral or city council candidates. I believe in walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Mayor Menino has 7 of his 8 campaign staff white. The article can be seen at

Candidates Connolly, White, Flynn, Ready, etc. couldn't be reached for comment. As someone who sees them out on the campaign I offer the following observations:

Connolly usually travels with his white campaign manager. To his credit, I've never heard him pretend to be anyone other than who he is, and he doesn't pretend to have some special connection to the "new Boston".

Patricia White, I've never seen with anyone who wasn't white. This is particularly interesting since she once commented something to the effect that she was the face of the new boston. Also interesting to me is that she has 119 names listed on her fundraiser flyers as supporters and only one of which is clearly a male supporter. Unless Boston has become some sort of Amazon paradise while I wasn't looking, I'm not sure this is representative of Boston.

Ed Flynn is working hard on his own. I've seen him everywhere, but only by himself unless accompanied by his charming wife, beautiful daughter and cute baby. Always a crowd pleaser!

Felix Arroyo is usually with one of his three (talented) white guys Jamie, Patrick, or Kyle. Felix is allegedly trying to poach one of the hispanic staffers from one of the other councilors.

Michael Flaherty (who shook my hand again today in East Boston!) has hired William Dorcena, who is the brother of the new state rep from Dorchester. Mr. Flaherty has quoted Mr. Dorcena on his campaign brochure saying that "....we are all fortunate to have a city council president like Mike Flaherty." I wonder how hard it is to get your paid staff to write good comments about you?

I remember going to a wedding of someone very close to me who absolutely considers herself a very progressive, liberal, democratic lawyer who lived in Cambridge. 120 or so people at the wedding, only one asian woman, the date of a guest.

I am very proud of the fact that my wedding has invited guests who are white, black, asian, gay, straight, muslim, jewish, protestant, lesbian and of course hispanic people. People from all over the world; japan, columbia, england, france, vietnam, antigua, italy, ireland, etc. Wherever I've traveled in the world, I've found friendly people who want to share a drink, a story, a common bond, and I'm happy to say many have become friends.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Who stole my turtle?

Someone stole my turtle Barnabus from my front yard about a week ago. And then 5 days later, he magically reappeared in my fountain.

Ahhh, life in the city. Is this some sort of political message that I don't understand, like the sleeping with the fish of the Godfather??? "Stop talking about what goes on, or your turtle gets it!"

Anyway, my fish and my turtles are there for the public to enjoy, please respect my soupcon oasis in the city.

Mayor's Signs of Arrogance

I (and all the other candidates) will be incredibly busy for the next few weeks, so forgive me if I can't blog as often. Plus I'm getting married two weeks from saturday, put an offer in on another building monday, and am still dealing with the turnover of some apartments in the Sept. 1 rental onslaught.

-Driving down hyde park ave yesterday, not entirely sure where the event I was going to was when I saw the Mayor's expedition in my rear view mirror. I stuck out my hand and waved, they pulled alongside and the mayor rolled down his window, I said "are you going to the kindergarten event," he said yes they were, I told him I would follow them. Thank you very much Mr. Mayor. He definitely understands the importance of treating all people with dignity, and even though I am probably the most outspoken against some of his policies he is always gracious enough to be nice to me, and to mention my name when we are events together. Again, thanks for being a gentleman.

However, at that kindergarten event he unveiled some new yellow caution signs that will go outside all the schools, warning people that there are children nearby. Good idea. But, all of these signs have "Mayor Tom Menino" printed on them. BAD IDEA. There is a chance, however slight, that he might lose the election in two months. Plus, someday he won't be mayor and we will have to change all of those signs. This is pure arrogance, self-love (self loathing???), and a waste of taxpayers money. You can't say we don't have money for schools, police, etc. when you show that you are willing to waste taxpayer money on yourself. Where are the city councilors who are supposed to be watching the budget on this.

The labor council endorsed Menino, Flaherty, Murphy and O'Malley.

-Report in the Globe today that Boston is the most expensive City in America to live. We need a housing policy, not a coyote policy.

-I have been thanked by a number of elderly people when I go to talk to them for not "dumbing down" my speech, and for not trying to buy their vote with trinkets, candy and pastries. Many candidates such as Connolly, Yoon, Hennigan, etc. bring these things with them when speaking to the elderly to try and "buy" their vote. I refuse to pander (even though many, many political people have told me to do this) I believe it is not respectful of their intelligence and their care for democracy to do it. Of course, as a guest it is always nice to bring a gift but I think most of the electorate understand that it is a huge expense to buy a present for 600,000 people that you hope to speak to.

-I was watching the Mayor, Paul Grogan and others speak the other night on TV. The crowd had many Menino payroll people, some not involved in education at all. This is one of the political tricks, to pack a hall with your paid employees/supporters while they should be working for the people. Menino has been very effective at getting neighborhood people on his side, often by giving them jobs in the administration. The Main Streets program is an excellent example of what is supposed to be a type of partnership with business but it is filled with people he's appointed. That is why business owners such as the west roxbury business association often form their own groups to lobby for their needs because they sometimes are different from the city's position. For example, last night I spoke in West Roxbury about a proposed development at the old parking lot. They are trying to exceed the density and parking required and put in predominately residential housing in a mixed/use area. Approximately 90 percent of the residents are against it including most of the business owners, mostly because there is a parking problem and the businesses (who just lost 63 parking spaces the city gave away in a backroom deal) need easy costumer access to survive. The local business association does not agree completely with what main streets says.
Many people came up to me after the meeting and thanked me for speaking and explaining a bit about the real estate development process and why allowing zoning variances like this raises everyone's taxes in the area. John Tobin was kind enough to explain a bit of the background of the building to me, which I appreciate. I give councilor Tobin credit for being honest with the residents by letting them know that their taxes will be going up next year (probably 10%) However, I disagree with him that the answer is to take convert commercial space and build more residential. We need to encourage higher paying commercial tenants. The issue (as he understands) is more complicated. A bigger problem than this development is giving away city land such as the 63 parking spaces on centre street without a transparent accounting of where the money goes, a deal he was in favor of. Gibran Rivera thanked me for explaining the economics of the development and said that I had earned his vote.

Oh yeah, back to that Mayor's speech. One of his aids was speaking about how great the schools were and she recognized a number of faces in the crowd, but she forgot the principal of her own kids school. Give her a pass on that, I often forget names of people I met 20 minutes earlier. However, she talked about how she wanted to send her kids to public schools. (white, attractive blond woman, quite articulate) And her friends said to try charter schools, or pilot schools but no, she wanted her kids to get the full public school experience so she went looking around for a school that she liked. And she found one and now her kids are at that school.

WHOA!!!!! Since when did we have a school system where you can choose which school your kids go to???? We have busing in this city, and I hear from parents all the time that they can't send their kids where they want to go. I met a woman with twins at the welcome to kindergarten program at the Boston Children's museum whose twins were assigned to different schools and she couldn't get an answer of how to change it for the last two months from BPS. She went there to ask the mayor or the superintendent for help.
Maybe there are different rules if you work for the Mayor????

By the way, high school was supposed to start today, but I just got a call last night from one of my high school students working on my campaign saying that school opening was now delayed until monday because of some problem. Can't wait to hear about that (he better not be skipping school!)

Had a friendly debate with councilor Murphy on Joe Heisler's show the other day about the new keg rule. I spoke about how the city council was spending time on tiny issues and not seeing the BIG picture. I said we need more cops to keep streets quiet and deal with late night incidents but Mr. Murphy talked about staffing levels being ok. I disagree, and the Herald just had an article about how there is a law on the books that there should be 2500 cops, (there are about 2000).

Matt O'Malley was slammed in the Herald Sunday "Door Matt" (which I thought a bit unfair) talked of how Matt is using 2003 stationary (penny pinching--my kind of guy! and good for the environment) and is touting that the Herald has him winning a seat. The Herald exposed that they were just reporting on a poll taken by Matt's polling person whom had collected I believe $8,700 from Matt's campaign. I am amazed by the consultants and spinmeister's that these candidates hire and the money spent on them. For a city council seat that has hardly any power since the existing council has voted away almost all power.

I am working on a TV ad, and a mailer to go out to the voters.

I am exhausted and the next 3 weeks will be killer. I am asking anyone willing to help to give us a call at 617-267-2453. We especially need people to stand at the polls on September 27th.


Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day Breakfast

I just came back from the Labor Day Breakfast filled with politicians and labor unions. The usual suspects were there, the M & M team of Menino and Maura, Connolly, Flynn, Yoon, White, Murphy, Flaherty, O'Malley, Arroyo, and me. The audience was 90 percent or so white, and the 12 speakers at the head table were made up of 11 whites and one black woman. They were being served, however, by a black waiter.

One union group we talked to who had reserved two tables at the event (all white) were nice enough to share with us some of their thoughts and advice. One gentleman told us how he didn't want to buy any oil from any of the "diaper heads".

It was also nice to see Sam Yoon and Matt O'Malley proudly preening with their "Labor for Menino" buttons. I am sure that that they will be strong, independent voices on the council, not afraid to disagree with the Mayor. I'm wondering if they've told the mayor that they think it is wrong of him to refuse to even sit down with police and fire unions for two years while they tried to get a contract worked out. I'm wondering if O'Malley is going to keep that button to wear it when he meets with the Police Union that endorsed him??? If you do believe they will be independent voices, please email me at because I've got some ocean front property in Arizona I want to sell you.

Matt was particularly interesting to watch as the breakfast let out. He was in a receiving line that the Mayor was walking down. When Matt saw the Mayor was coming he looked down, checked that his Mayor's button was properly arranged, puffed out his chest, pulled in his stomach and waited patiently. (it reminded me of the scene from Animal House...."Is that a pledge pin on your uniform????!!!!) Sure enough, the Mayor stopped to shake Matt's hand, and his eyes went straight down to Mayor Menino pin. So, the Mayor knows he has Matt's support.

Congressman Capuano gave an excellent speech about the labor movement. Especially about how many democrats talk the talk, but only throw scraps here and there to the unions.
One union organizer from the electrical workers in Lynn told me it was very difficult to organize right now. He was particularly unhappy with Congressman Lynch. Apparently Marion Manor's workers were trying to organize. But Congressman Lynch's wife was on the board of directors and Conressman Lynch came out against the union and the union vote was quashed.
Senator Tolman was very nice with some words of advice.

Attorney General Reilly spoke his usual speech about getting back the governor's office. He said that he was just like the people in the room, living paycheck to paycheck. I introduced myself in the hall and asked him if he really lived paycheck to paycheck and he said that "yes, he did, putting 3 kids through college will do that to you."

Overall the tone was a bit gloomy, especially with the recent disasters facing the nation. The labor movement has been hard hit and they need to right the ship. It is good for america, and especially for building a middle class.

Another thing I learned: I need to get over my occasional shyness that I have in speaking to people in groups. Sometimes I have a hard time going up to a group sitting and eating, even though I know they expect it. It seems a bit impolite to me. But, it is something that successful politicians do. Felix Arroyo thanked me for blogging about how the Mayor failed to invite him to announcement about bio-diesel, which was Felix's idea.

I am philosophically pro-union. But I find it difficult to interact with groups which do not reflect the society in which they live. Boston is 50 percent or so minority and I don't see the unions doing a strong job trying to bring these people under their wings and teach them about the power of collective bargaining. If elected I hope to work with all the unions, to treat them with respect, meet with them, and address how we can work together to strengthen the middle class for all Bostonians.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


As many of you know, one of the reasons I'm running is because I'm tired of seeing City Hall give away our property and our taxes to connected insiders in backroom deals. This is costing the taxpayers millions of dollars, and is eroding our quality of life in the city. Having a zoning code for sale, as I call it, hurts all of us.

So, to highlight how City Hall is not properly taking care of our assets and is costing us money, I'm going to be putting out the "10 Most Unwanted" list of developments in the City, and how they have hurt us financially and/or as a society.

Feel free to email or post your nominations for this list, at We will announce the list on September 15, 2005.


Boston 400 !!!!!

Are you all revved up and excited for the 375th anniversary of Boston? At least there is a balloon ride in the Park!!!

If I'm elected (and if not, I hope other counselors and/or the mayor will take the ball and run with it) I will try and start a movement to put together a coalition of business and civic leaders to get ready for Boston 400! We need to put a plan into place now, give our citizens a goal to work towards to make Boston the best city in the world in that time.

We need to have a master plan for where the city is going and how it will get there. Successful groups and corporations are always looking ahead. We need to set goals, and enact a plan to get it done. This plan should include:

Public Transportation
Boston's leadership role in the World Economy

Let us work toward a vision of an educated and involved populace of all races, connected by a world class transportation system, with housing, amenities, and communications to retain and attract intelligent, open minded people, with a nod to our history and a smile for the greater future ahead of us.

It's a less Big World out there

Ah, the lattice of coincidence:

-I was at Donovan Walker's end of the year picnic at Ramsey Park the other day. Where many politicians got awards for being so great from Donovan. Earlier in the week he had been essentially pleading with me and others for money because the Mayor and others hadn't come through with the promised funding for his summer league, he was not pleased with the mayor on the phone. But then he introduced the person from the Mayor's office "here representing our GREAT MAYOR TOM MENINO....."
Just a suggestion, but maybe one of the reasons Donovan doesn't have enough money for the kids t-shirts and stuff is because he is spending money on plaques for politicians which will just collect dust somewhere. As my fiance cynically said: "so let me get this straight, he begged you for money, didn't announce that you were there or that you helped out, and then your donated money went to buy plaques for politicians? Not too smart"

-Also at the park was Amy McNamee. This attractive, professionally dressed blond woman came up to me on the basketball court took off her sunglasses and said "kevin, do you remember me?" It was the former Amy Dray, a wonderful woman whom I dated 16 years ago!!! She said she was still crazy after all these years. She had two boys when I dated her who are now in college, she has remarried, has two more kids, and went to law school and is now a prosecuter in DA Conley's office. It was great to see her and nice of her to say hi. Back then I remember driving my 67 cadillac with the flames down the sides and the roof blowtorched off to her parents house in Milton. They were a bit aghast at first, but then quite nice. Her two boys who were about 4 and 6 of course loved it. She looked stunning, was always very smart, and extremely hip. Wonderful to see her so successful!

BULLETIN: While I was writing this, a phone call just came in and I got my first bullet vote! An elderly woman whom I had talked with at one of the nursing homes Patricia Katava called to make sure she could bullet vote for me, she had the absentee ballot in her hand and my brochure, had asked me a number of questions when I visited her elderly care center and wanted to make sure she could vote for just me. Thank you Patricia! I remember her as someone asking a lot of specific questions. It does pay (I hope) to not ignore the tired and poor, and I also believe it is correct to include all facets of society. (although I appreciate the bullet vote, I still think you should vote for 4)

Also at Ramsey Park was Councilor Murphy and one of his female staff members. Brunelli and Amanda were with me. Later, Amanda told me she knew this woman. Amanda said she was a substitute teacher at the O'Bryant School and that she had substituted in one of her pre-calculus or calculus classes. She said the woman had just come into class, turned on her DVD player and started watching the movie about Ray Charles. She didn't assign any work or tell the kids to study. I asked "what did you do?" and she said she just left the class. She had that look of helpless exasperation on her face which said, 'what can I do, I'm just a young kid in an inner city school, no one is going to listen to me, even though I know all the wrong that is going on right in front of me'. I confirmed with Murphy later that this staff woman had indeed recently been a substitute teacher.
Stories like this make me so Angry. Who is monitoring these schools???? Another question I've asked all the kids is if they have ever seen a politician in their schools. None of them have yet. That is another reason I want to visit the schools, to let the kids in Boston know that we, the city, believe in our kids and we will provide opportunities if they are responsible and study hard. Hiring these Boston Public School students has been a learning experience for me as well.

-Later that day we were at the Children's Museum for the Welcome to Kindergarten kickoff. An older black woman who was part of the kindergarten team came out and recognized Amanda. The woman was part of the team at city hall who selects the City of Boston Scholarships. We agreed on how great Amanda was, as she blushed. I then asked her why it is that in a city where 90 percent of the public school students are minorities, that half of the scholarships went to whites, and very few to blacks. To her credit, she agreed that is was a problem and that they had to do a better job of letting the kids know about the scholarships available. I told her of my proposal to have a place on the City Website where all available scholarships are listed. She thought it was a great idea, and also agreed with me that the city website is terrible. How difficult is it to let the schoolkids know that there are scholarships available??????? This is another example of lack of equal access to government.

As we tearfully say goodbye to Brunelli and Amanda, we welcome Amanda's next door neighbor Dominic who will be a junior this fall at Madison Park, and to Philip Lee who is a recent graduate of Suffolk University. Philip will be running my office for the rest of the campaign. He has experience working previously on Rappaport's campaign.

Amanda and Brunelli finally got an answer out of City Hall on how much the blue signs cost. I am not pleased with how they did it, and I chastised them for it, but I do give them credit for ingenuity. Brunelli had received no answer or response for over a month. So, Amanda called up and pretended she was Brunelli's mother and told the person at city hall something like "my daughter has been trying for over a month to get an answer out of you guys, she is trying to write a paper, and you need to be more responsive to our children and students" Amazingly, she got a return phone call almost immediately with the information she was seeking. So, if you want information from city hall, apparently you need approval or maybe a permission slip from your mother.

I will be debating/discussing the new Keg Rule for the City of Boston with Councilor Murphy on Joe Heisler's show Tuesday at 7:30.

Press Corrections:

Frank in the Bulletin: I never said that I had the benefit of going to suburban schools. The only suburban school I went to was Acton-Boxboro for about 6 weeks my freshman year in high school. He is correct that I am philosophically opposed to programs that are exclusive to people because of race.

Phoenix: I was there at the forum opposed to the Biolab, and voiced my opposition along with Garza, Rivera, Ready, Turner, and Yoon. O'Malley was there but didn't speak. Feel free to check my blog to verify the story anytime.

Your Taxes are Going UP!!!!

Just thought I'd let you have this piece of news ahead of time. According to the numbers crunchers at the ABN ( by 2009 residential taxes will go up 60%. Next year taxes will go up probably 10%.

This is a result of poor tax planning and tax and property giveaways to rich connected interests in back room deals with City Hall.

I don't think this is part of the Mayor or City Councilor's stump speech. Don't you think they should let the people know so they can plan in advance????

Just thought I'd share this piece of happy news with you.

Mayor taking ideas from McCrea & Arroyo

While the North End looked like a war zone with no elected city officials onsite to take the heat and try and make things better, the Mayor was announcing that he had read Kevin McCrea's website and it had so many good ideas he was going to start using some of them. (well....maybe not exactly...)

Yesterday a 14" water main blew up in the north end about 1 am. 50 or so businesses were flooded and were without water. Maura Hennigan was there around 7 am to talk to the business owners cutting short her vacation day at the beach in Maine. BW & S was there working in what looked like a huge bomb crater. I went by in the afternoon to talk to some of the shop owners. Most were actually quite resilient, with a comme ci, comme ca attitude even though they could not open for business without water. Many were not pleased with the Mayor however. I spoke with one older Italian woman who owns a store on Hanover Street and she started cursing the Mayor in Italian. I have been amazed at how many of the Italians in the North End are not happy with the mayor even before the electric and water problems.

No sign of at-large councilors Flaherty, Arroyo or Murphy. It is interesting to see the hurricane katrina stories and how people want some leadership from their politicians. We have a tiny disaster in an area of the city and our politicians aren't there. (District Councilor Scappiccio is in Vietnam on a leadership junket, which I applaud him for doing. However, I still haven't received an answer from Mintz, Levin on what he is doing for them. As one councilor told me, he treats the city council as a part time job)

Meanwhile, the Mayor was on city hall plaza announcing he's trading in his SUV for a hybrid vehicle and that city diesel vehicles will start using bio-diesel. Of course he didn't invite Felix Arroyo who had introduced the bio-diesel proposal months ago. And he especially didn't invite Kevin McCrea who wrote about changing the city vehicles over to hybrids last spring time. I believe I blogged about how Las Vegas has 90 percent of its non-essential vehicles as hybrids. Once again we have a reactive Mayor and City Hall not a proactive one.

Hey, why be in the North End where people needed help and comfort when you can steal someone's ideas and have a press conference on city hall plaza.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Citizens Corner and a citizen's answer

After my appearance on Michael Dare's Citizen's Corner show on BNN, I received a number of phone calls and comments. I didn't know that Michael is a close friend of Michael Flaherty and works on his campaign. I have so much to learn about the city. Even so, I think Mr. Dare was extremely objective and professional in how he treated me and I thank him for having me on his show. He did show a bit of favoritism towards Eddie Flynn, but hey, they are both from Southie and Ed is a really nice guy. So, no complaints at all. I also appreciate him echoing my comments about the importance of voting, I've seen him say it before, and I applaud him for making it an issue. Even Jimmy Kelly said he saw me on the show and said I did a good job.

Following is one of the phone calls we received from an anonymous source:

I saw you on the citizens corner, you do know that the program is controlled by Flaherty. That man is one of the campaign workers for Flaherty, councilor Flaherty. Also, uh, don't forget to comeover to South Boston for our sidewalk day when they close the street off, we have close to 5,000 people that day and i hope and wish you the best of luck because WE NEED NEW LEADERSHIP in the city of Boston. I'm tired of the same old, same old and so are alot of people, so make sure you come over and we'll be on the street looking for you and I wish the best of luck and the Boston schools system is a complete total failure. MCAS tests the same level as New Bedford, the capital city, an absolute disgrace."

I thank this person for his comment and encouragement, it really is what keeps me going. When I meet people I've never met and they tell me how much they appreciate what I'm doing. I don't think of myself as some great leader. I can think of many more accomplished people in the city that should be on the council: Head of DND, Head of Boston Foundation, Head of Boston Community Capital. We do need new leadership, not a group of sycophants who kowtow to the mayor.

One more thing about the TV appearance. I think one of the callers who called in was a friend of mine, Paul, who coaches south end baseball with me. This was not planned, and I do not "plant" callers to call in. The first time I was on BNN people advised me to have people call in with questions, but I said no to that. I will answer the questions that come, from whomever would like to ask them. So, it was interesting to see John Connolly on Joe Heisler's show before me had a caller who asked "John, I see that you are a lawyer. Do you do any Pro Bono work?" Of course I can't tell for sure, but it sounded pretty canned. I do know John has done pro bono work so it was an opportunity for him to talk about it. Just thought you 'd like to know some of the 'tricks of the trade'.