Monday, October 31, 2005

Why John Connolly will win....

A couple weeks ago I was heading out the Mass Pike for a job, and I was passed by a white lexus, with a guy dressed like a lawyer in it, he turned off on the way to Weston. He had a "Connolly for Council" bumper sticker on the back of his car.

I thought, this is why he is going to win. Because he has the money and contacts. Ed Flynn and Matt O'Malley and Felix Arroyo, etc. do not have people from Weston writing $500 checks to help the cause. It is so difficult to overcome the money and connections. Felix should be applauded for doing as well as he has, but it has certainly taken him years to put it together.

And credit to John Connolly for using the resources he has available to him.

"We need to do better"

"We need to do better" is the mantra of polical candidates who have nothing to say, as I've been saying for the last 6 months or so. Of course we can do better, nobody is perfect, so it is like saying you love your mother when you say "we need to do better about ___________"(fill in the blank: housing, education, transparency...)

So, I was talking to Dan from the Courant today who said he had been at a bunch of candidates debates and I asked him if anything interesting had come up, and he said "nothing memorable, but I kept hearing 'we need to do better' and thought of you....

Made me laugh.

Yes we need to do better, the question is HOW are you going to make it better. Haven't heard much about that.

HOW are you going to hire more teachers
HOW are you going to increase PILOT programs (when the mayor hasn't done it)
HOW are you going to pay for more cops

Of course the biggest way is to stop giving the tax and property giveaways to the corporate insiders and friends of the politicians but they won't speak out about that, will they?

Anyone asking if the Forsythe Institute is going to pay rent on the piece of land the city owns but they are using until the legal stuff gets done? That's probably going to be a years worth of free parking in the fenway for 40 cars. Not too shabby....

Friday, October 28, 2005

Funny article about the city council, and their lack of relavance

I saw the Boston Magazine list of 100 most important Bostonians 
and saw that none
of the city council members were on it.
Sad state of affairs when people spend 100's of thousand of dollars
to get elected to
an office that has no power. It shows how important
getting real estate deals done
and legal problems solved
for the developers and lawyers of the city.

Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa more important than all the city
Unfortuneately, probably true.

interesting essay on race...

found this on craigslist, along with my wife!:

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I'm still out of town, but wanted to comment

I see Kevin Rothstein and Adam Reilly have started blogs, that's good news. I couldn't have said it better when Kevin talked about the "dance" these candidates do, trying to seem different and independent, while making sure not to disagree with or piss off the mayor. Don't hold your breath for any change or shows of independence with the new person or two on the council.

As the saying goes, if I wasn't laughing I'd be crying.

What I've taken from the headlines of interest:

Menino might run again after this term, for a fifth time...that's a race I would certainly think about getting in on unless someone legitimate and serious ran against him. Would Arroyo take him on? Certainly Tobin, Flaherty, Scappiccio would wait in the wings, I could potentially see John Connolly taking a bold step in that direction, again only if there was a dirth of contestants. Diane Wilkerson is out of the running for good it seems. As the Globe has in their article today, Where is the leadership for this Region? Their just isn't a strong sense of looking towards the future. I don't claim to be some great visionary, there are many, many better people than me to lead this city, unfortuneately they just don't want to get involved.
Maybe if the Red Sox and Theo can't get things worked out he should run for Mayor. He understands money, negotiating, bad deals and Boston. Maybe he'd clean up the BRA.

Speaking of which-$240,000 in severance pay to two employees at the BRA...glad my tax money is going to a good cause. What a this called hush money?

With all the talk about Arroyo for Mayor I can't help but think of the night we spent together in Codman Square in Dorchester, talking until about 1 am before sleeping on the linoleum floor. I told him that he was a shoo in, that there was great love and respect for him throughout the city and that we needed him to be even more of a leader, and that he should think about running for mayor. He told me in no uncertain terms, "I will absolutely never run for Mayor, I'm too old, and don't have the interest".

I received phone calls or letters from almost all the other candidates, even Michael Flaherty. No surprise that Sam and Patricia left me off their list, the two least likely to take a strong stand on anything. Although I do applaud Sam's stand on the Biolab. I wonder if he'll take off his labor for menino pin and confront the mayor on that if he get's elected. Someone should also be asking why the City contributed millions of dollars in land through Walsh to get this project done. I can't find mention of it in the press or records anywhere, but I have documents showing it and Flaherty knows about it. Also interesting that Yoon lists one of his supporters as the guy that ran against Yancey last time and is now getting 6 figures from BU to promote the Biolab.

As I predicted, the minorities have now come out of the closet (especially Felix) to support Yoon.

Saw the Globe article about Arroyo where he talks about 25 years ago people just judged people by their color. The same is still true, except now both sides have power so the minorities are playing an "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" and only supporting minorities whenever possible. I had a woman in training to be a minister at the black ministerial alliance refuse to shake my hand solely because I was white. (long writeup about racism in boston coming) How is that any better. We truly need people to rise above it and really treat people not based on the color of their skin but on the content of their character. Clarence Thomas is the beacon of why this type of thinking is needed. (although I applaud his eminent domain ruling!) There is good in everyone!

Funny to see everyone running to the left now that the primary is over. Kudos to Flynn for being himself and taking a stand (that i disagree with) on marriage.

I was talking with Connolly about how I was trying to decide who to vote for, and I told him I was trying to do the "foxhole test". Which one of these eight would I want to be in a foxhole with...he quickly replied "is the answer none?" John is a pretty smart guy, one person said to me "he is like our own young Bill Clinton" and I think there are a lot of similarities. I told him during the campaign that I thought he was going to win, and that I think he will be Mayor some day. I also asked him not to forget the little people when he gets there.

That was one of the disappointments of the campaign. I saw myself as a citizen politician, not doing this as a career. I went into this hoping to have a robust discussion about the issues and to have a debate to try and make the city better. I hoped to be impressed with and want to work with other members of the body politic. But, John is probably right that the answer is 0, and I'd be worried about being in that foxhole with any of them. Althought Ed Flynn does have that loyalty and honor thing which is real in that irish american tradition, as well as the military code of not letting a buddy down.

I was speaking with Ed one day about a barowner in town, "Mr. X is a good guy", Ed said. I told him I didn't know him, but that he did get a piece of land from the BRA years ago that was supposed to be developed but is still lying vacant not paying any taxes, in another of those great back room deals. Ed said he didn't know anything about it. (Which I'm sure is true, it was given while Ed was working in Washington) Nobody ever knows anything about these things.

I was honored that Steve Murphy asked me for my endorsement. I'm not sure it is worth very much. I told Steve that one of my dilemma's during the campaign was getting to know him. He is a very nice guy, funny, knows what is going on in City, offered me helpful unsolicited advice, and was a gentleman throughout. I told him that I had to keep reminding myself that he is part of the problem not the solution. I asked him to please tell the truth about all the back room deals and cronyism that he (much more than I) knows go on. I told him, that all of those wastes of money were my taxes going down the drain, and I couldn't endorse him unless he would stand against the cronyism, corruption and collusion, my 3 c's.

Unfortuneately, I don't see any of the others except Felix to a degree (who is getting one of my votes, just as in the primary) doing it either which is why Steve is still in the running for one of my votes.

Big thank you to Chuck Turner who told me he voted for me. I really appreciate that, and his hard work on Parcel 3, trying to make sure the community of Roxbury gets some of the benefits of that project.

Althea and I had a great talk. I figured she was oblivious to the rest of us, but she really was attuned to what was going on, noting that she, I, and "the flynn kid" were the only ones talking about the corruption going on down at city hall. We talked about the Senate seat held by Dianne Wilkerson.

Speaking of Dianne. My experience with campaign finance commission is one of very competent, professional people who are there to help and assist in any way possible. For this to go on so long, and be so obvious leaves me with very, very, very little room to believe that she has used the funds properly. Even if it does turn out she used the funds properly, why would she ignore the law for so long, it (again!) sends a very bad message. How can an elected official be so blatant about disregarding the law. Oh, excuse me please see: Cheney, Dick. The silence out there about this is deafening. No white politician will dare to say anything about this for fear of ticking off the "new" Boston. Why don't we forget about skin color and just say that we need answers about this, and that as Democrats (which we all are except Romney) that this makes us all look bad. Race really is the third rail of politics here. Kudos to Steve Murphy for "not apologizing for being white" at a forum in Roxbury. No one can change the color of their skin, it is how one lives their life that counts.

Last summer when I was thinking about running against Menino I tried to meet with all the potential contestants. A mutual friend introduced me to Dianne and we had a good talk at a fundraiser for about 10 minutes. She apologized for having to go but gave me her card, told me I had a bunch of good ideas and asked me to contact her. Over the next year or so, I called, emailed, etc. all with no response. I was speaking to one of her office aids about this during the campaign and he said, "don't worry about it, that's what all politicians do." I corrected him, and said "that's not what I do, and that's why I have promised to have open office hours so if someone does want to talk to me they can get in touch with me." As one city councilor said to me "Diane is all about Diane".

Thanks to the many people who have asked me to keep writing. I feel as if I have one foot in and one foot out. The voters have spoken and the focus should be on the remaining candidates, but if I can offer some insight I'll try and do it. And thanks to John Connolly who told me that the first thing he did on preliminary day was wake up and check my predictions for the race. You made my day, and thanks for appreciating the integrity of my blog.

P.S. If you really are going to take on the police union do something about the paid details. It is contributing to the high cost of living in the city (ironically the reason cops want to end the residency requirement) and according to many people who hire them they frequently don't show up (but you still have to pay them) or they sit and read the paper. Most of the time they do the work, but that just makes the others worse by taking advantage of their brothers. Perhaps use cadets as details, that way they get on the job training, plus costs are lower and the cost of housing won't be so high and police will be more able to live in the city.


Mess in New Orleans

Never seen anything like it. What a total lack of leadership....

how elections are won...

The day before the primary there was a meeting called at the jewish elderly center in Brighton. Flaherty, White and Connolly were called there where Naak (yiddish for Noah) and block voters of russian jews voted en mass for them, about 350 votes.

We (and everyone else) had contacted Naak, in yiddish, but he said he was old and didn't get involved in politics anymore. I knew a blow off when I heard it!

This is what makes politics so fascinating. I'd love to know what goes on in those meetings, what is promised or what deals are made. I spoke to one of the participants of the meeting and they couldn't tell me how they were even invited to the meeting it was a mystery to that person, but they were happy with the 350 votes! (not sure i quite believe that)

Nobody invited me to any meetings to get 350 votes without me even knowing why. I wonder what I was doing wrong???!!!! Maybe I didn't hire the right family members.

At least I hope that participant said "thanks dad!" that night.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

random notes...

mayor menino " government is cold and callous" BC HIGH breakfast

Patricia Armstrong "teachers need to get more recognition"...
(don't keep supporting all the incumbents, if your friend jumped off the brooklyn bridge would you do it too?)

Billy Bulger ...."altruism"...
( on the morning it is reported he is suing the state for more pension money, as if 160,000 isn't enough already)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Where did Patricia White go to school???

I received this email from a constituent about where Patricia White went to school:

There is an article in the Globe today about Ptricia White and what elementary school she went to.

She said she went to the Josiah Quincy Elementary School, it was 1975. she was bused. the students knew who she was and bothered her all the time, because of who her parents were.

I e-mailed the Globe that Patricia White was in the Prince Elementary School in 1975, I was a student there at the same time, I find it interesting that she does not mention the fact that she went to the Prince, as it was the oldest school in Boston, was also required and had all Masters Degree teachers, this was also the year it celebrated its 100th birthday before it was turned into condos, then there was never another elementary school in that area ever again.

Plus, as far as bothering Patricia White, everyone knew who she was, she was in fact popular, no one ever bothered her at the Prince School in 1975.

It will be interesting to see if the Globe responds to me.