Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yoon and Flaherty bury the hatchet!

Yoon and Flaherty have a joint press conference today announcing they will work together to unseat the Mayor. I'm happy that Yoon got Flaherty to agree to term limits. The race is shaping up as a real choice between old and new.

I just tried to call City Hall yesterday to find out how I could help with the foreclosed property issue. I got transferred to three people and then sent to a phone that just kept ringing and ringing (remember, No voice mail at City Hall). This is the incompetence that pervades the Menino regime.

It needs to change!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More BS from the Mayor's office

In the papers over the weekend Dot Joyce said that it would cost $250,000 to get more emails found.

When I was on with Emily Rooney two weeks ago, I was on with the president of TechFusion who said that he could get the emails back in 3 weeks for $5,000.00. See his video here. As usual the Mayor is throwing away tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to a "friendly" consultant who surely can be trusted to say and not say the right things.

Why spend hundreds of thousands when you can spend $5,000? When will the citizens of Boston wake up?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Greetings from Maine!

It is my wedding anniversary, and I promised my wife when the campaign was over we would take a long weekend (at least!) We are in Maine for three days as she has never been up the beautiful coast.

I read this morning in the NY Times a wonderful written/artistic/photographic piece by Maira Kalman about her love of NY City, her appreciation of the 300,000 city workers who care for the City and the sense of optimism and competence that dealing with them brings to her. Everything from clean streets, to a diverse work force to the lighting of the sewage tanks is impressive. Of course, she also mentions how Bloomberg doesn't work behind closed doors.

I suggest that you take 2 minutes to look at it, and see if you get the same vibe that I did that one would never equate Menino's Boston with Bloomberg's NY.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thanks for the many cards, emails and calls

I've received a ton of thanks, and I thank you. I was amazed at how the communities of color came out to vote for Menino. If you went by percentages you would think that Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester were the best places in the City to live, with people that are happiest with the government. Funny, but whenever I'm in Dudley everyone is begging for a job, or a better job, and the rents on my apartments in Roxbury have gone down, sale prices have collapsed, and Menino didn't even go to the forums.

My theory: because the schools have been so bad for so long, we haven't taught our children the critical thinking skills to properly analyze the situation, nor taught them the tools needed to bring change. One friend from Roxbury writes:

You guys did make an effort to be proud of. In the end the communities of color overwhelmingly supported Menino. Sadly, though, we still have lousy schools, few jobs and no future in our communities of color. But we got a lot of housing! What are we thinking?

You know the old saying in the black community: "All I have to do is stay black and die". When did it become: "All I have to do is stay poor, black and die"?

Take care Kevin! And I'll see you around.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Letter of Congratulations from Ray Flynn!

Hi Kevin,

Congratulations on a great and spirited campaign.

You did well - and Boston is a better city because of your campaign and discussing many important city issues.

Congratulations and be proud of your effort and spirit. Well done!


Ray Flynn

Former Mayor of Boston

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

I am so pleased with our results tonight. We spent less than 1% of the money spent in this race and received over 4% of the votes!

I want to thank all the people who worked for me, donated to me, and voted for me. I feel great, not a single moment wasted and I'm glad that the city is talking about eliminating the BRA, and the transparency problems at City Hall!!!

Thanks to all!


By my rough, rough calculations in the Money spent per vote category:

Menino $25 per vote
Flaherty $26 per vote
Yoon $17 per vote
McCrea $ 4 per vote

Based on this, who would you want running your City Budget? Yoon is correct that we need campaign finance reform, too bad he wasn't talking about it for the last 4 years and introducing legislation. As usual, the candidates finished in order of money spent.

Please Vote for Kevin McCrea today

Dear Friends,

I hope that you vote for me today. I guarantee that you will feel good about the vote, that you won't feel that the vote is wasted. Every vote that I receive is a vote against the status quo. It is a vote against timid politicians who go along to get along until they want more power and then they make empty promises which can not be verified or backed up.

I have made specific promises, to work in the schools every week, to put a few more cops on the street, to stop giving property and tax breaks away to connected insiders, to eliminate the BRA and even out the balance of power at City Hall.

I once heard someone say, "promise only what you can deliver, and deliver more than you promise". That is the essence of my campaign. There are no empty promises from me and you will get more than just words from me.

I will make Boston government the most open, honest and accountable in the country. I will value education first, and cut funds from schools last. I won't raise taxes when we have a spending problem.

I will answer questions, ask questions and engage the community. I look forward to bringing Boston to its potential.


Monday, September 21, 2009

NY Times covers the Boston Mayors race

They have an article here.

A supporter from the Community writes in, thanks!

The Boston Globe writes in glowing terms of a mayor who has been resting on his laurels. At this point one can assume that he’s thinking if I retired I wouldn’t know what to do so I’m going to run again for mayor! Even though Boston is an “increasingly diverse city” looking at the Mayor’s office and the positions of leadership over the past 16 years, the Mayor has yet to have his office and city offices reflect the face of the city!

It’s no wonder that the Boston Globe’s financial situation has been dismal; their continuous biased reporting of elections makes it no surprise. One might ask of the Boston Globe’s candidate, was it “skill, experience and clarity of vision to do the backroom deals, turn a blind eye to what is now referred to as “universities buying land on the sly.” Michael Flaherty is being disingenuous to now being so verbally against the Mayor when, in fact, he knew all along about these shady deals and said NOTHING. To say Flaherty has sought to be a servant of all neighborhoods, what has he done for Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and the Hyde Park Community?

To acknowledge “effective policing has been a strength of Menino’s tenure” confirms how out of touch the Mayor, Flaherty and the Boston Globe are with what is going on in and around the Boston communities. How effective can this policing be when crime is up, there are unsolved homicides, youth violence is up in the city, every time you turn on the TV you hear about shootings and killings. It is quite suspect that now that people are getting ready to vote reporting is down on crime and street violence!

The Mayor and Flaherty speak about the finest Universities and Colleges yet people in the community have fear of children going to school, dropping out – not graduating to even apply to those said institutions! The Goble is eager to see Tom Menino and Michael Flaherty face off in November because keeping the same would give the same results! The Globe speaks about “strong-mayor system” you have businessmen, universities, developers and unions who enjoy the benevolence of the Mayor that is why they all endorse the mayor. The people who matter are the people in the communities who are suffering because they always get the short straw.

For the Globe to state that Kevin McCrea is not ready to be mayor is indicative of their bias – a message that you cannot be a newcomer in politics and make changes happen because its only people politically connected or have people with big purses are the only ones that win. What the Globe fails to realize is that the communities are crying out for new leadership. Leadership that will address their needs and concerns – not just give them the same platitudes. It is vital that homicides/crime in the communities be addressed, vital that residents in the communities get jobs, vital that residents keep their homes, and vital that the inferior schools be addressed.

The person fit to be mayor is the one who can move forward effectively with these issues without all the political dancing that has been going on for these past months. While these issues apparently are not important to the Boston Globe it is, however, critical to the communities.


We are having a fun night lined up tonight.

Cafe 47 at 47 Massachusetts Avenue is going to have an open event for us at 8 pm tonight, there will be free pizza and of course all the questions I can answer until I go to

The Seven's at 77 Charles Street at 9 pm!

Please come by, ask questions and let me convince you to vote for me tomorrow!

Menino wasn't being honest about approving tax breaks

(You can see Menino's signature on these tax giveaways here)

Menino sold tax breaks,
forfeited up to $40 million

September 20, 2009

Public records show that Mayor Thomas Menino and his
redevelopment staff approved three transfers of the 1 Beacon
Street tower’s MGL Chapter 121A tax break since 2000. The
transfers to new buyers served no public purpose, as the law

Without the transfers, the tower owners would have
paid the City an estimated $30-$40 million more in property
taxes than their negotiated 121A payments for these years.
The exact loss remains to be calculated, since it is not
established annually by Menino staffers as required by law.
No payments were officially needed to get these tax
breaks, yet the owners gave the BRA a total of $3.1 million in
“voluntary contributions.” Former BRA official Paul McCann
has admitted that while the BRA has no authority to demand
1 Beacon Street this money, it has been “BRA policy” for thirty years to collect
$1 per square foot every time the tax break is transferred to a
new owner.

The 1 Beacon Street skyscraper got the tax break in
1969 when the BRA declared that the tower would serve the public purpose of eliminating “blight” and public subsidy was essential. Developers of such projects agree to hold them for the full contract term, in this case, 40 years. The City cannot revoke such contracts unilaterally, but the 1 Beacon owners, wishing to sell, applied to the BRA to end theirs. The BRA and the Mayor approved the buyers’ requests to
transfer the tax break, even though the building is long completed, the blight is long gone and the buyers proposed no public-purpose improvements. The tax break could and should have ended with the first sale.

The 1 Beacon “contributions” are officially earmarked for affordable housing and improvements for the project, but BRA records account for only part of the $3.1 million, and show pay-outs unrelated to the tower, including checks to Clear Channel Communications, Inc. and the Downtown Crossing business association.
Menino has been betraying the people of Boston, selling tax breaks for money that is stored in the BRA, out of the city budget and out of City Council and public purview, for use by himself and the BRA as politically expedient.

How much taxpayers have lost through Menino’s tax break transfers, on this and other projects, is not known. In Boston, the City Council has no control over 121A decisions; but the Councilors have heard public testimony about 121A tax breaks, including this transfer issue, yet never investigated.

The 40-year tax break at 1 Beacon ended on September 15, but most of the “voluntary
contribution” money is still held by the BRA.

Mayoral candidate Kevin McCrea says, “Menino is cheating the people of Boston by selling years of tax discounts to amass funds that he and his development staff can spend however they wish. This money should be recovered from the BRA and put into the City budget, to serve our citizens. If elected, I will eliminate the BRA, end the 121A give-aways, renegotiate or terminate existing 121As, and ensure fair taxation citywide.”

Police watching me???

This is the Menino person taking a picture of our volunteer. Notice the camera/phone in his left hand!

A friend of mine who previously was in the security business, a veteran, was picking up signs at my house yesterday. He reports that there was a police cruiser and an unmarked car with someone watching my house. Is it a Menino intimidation move, or just something random?

Last week after the Mayoral forum in the Back Bay, a Menino guy went up to one of my volunteers handing out flyers and snapped a picture of him right in his face. My guy then took out his camera and snapped a picture back!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Campaigning like a Mad Man


I've been campaigning like crazy. Today I started off at 7 a.m. with Jean Claude Sanon on WCEA. Mayor Menino came on the station later with Marie St. Fleur, the first time he has been on the show in 16 years, despite being asked many times. He clearly is feeling worried, as well he should with the record he has.

I attended services at Morningstar Baptist Church with some supporters and got to hear Ego Ezedi preaching, he was impressive. Then it was off to separate events at Brighton and Allston. I'm about to do a TV spot for WBZ, and then off to the Ashmont Grill in Dorchester for our 9 nights in 9 days.

Please vote Tuesday and if you can help at the polls please call and lend a hand even if it is for only a couple hours. 617-267-2453!


Shirley Kressel weighs in on Sam Yoon's slips of the tongue

I was astounded, at the English High mayoral candidates’ forum, to hear Sam Yoon flatly say that your statement that he secretly voted to give Paul Walkowski a big raise and pension boost was “false.” He called you a liar, when he knows that the City Council’s official video of its June 20, 2007 meeting shows him with all the other Councilors meeting around the president’s dais -- with all microphones carefully turned off -- in the middle of the meeting to get prepared for that vote when it came up later in the meeting. Council President Feeney convened them to pre-arrange the vote, because she intended not to call out the docket number or say in public what it was about, so no one could even trace it in the minutes. He then did vote for it when it did come up, as you show in your You-tube video; we know he did, because it was an amendment voted to an Ordinance introduced for the first time (and as a late file, to hide it further!), and so it required unanimous approval to pass.

He knew very well what it was about, because he’s a member of the Rules Committee, which had decided to hire Walkowski to do that report on exempting the Council from the Open Meeting Law. When I asked him, at his recent Tubman House event, to explain why he, a champion of both transparency and frugal governemt, voted clandestinely for this give-away of public money, he said “you have to pick your battles if you want to get things done in politics.” That was after he said he was honoring a death-bed wish of a colleague, Jimmy Kelly, to take care of his staff. Instead of assigning Walkowski to staff work within the existing budget of one of the Councilors, the Rules Committee, which Yoon was on, decided to create a new statutory position, $17,000 higher than Walkowski's salary, for him to work in for a couple of years on a report to evade the Open Meeting Law and retire at a much higher pension. That would have been a worthwhile battle for him to pick. That pay slot is still there, a handy pre-retirement "transition position" for anyone who needs a temporary pay boost to get a pension boost; has Yoon (or Flaherty) filed to eliminate it? No.

This bold and wrong assertion of Sam’s reminded me of another he made on a radio forum, I think on WBZ, where he said our second Open Meeting Law suit against the Council (filed in 2006, when he was a member) – the one about Committee voting in private communications, in this instance on the Council pay raise -- was defeated BECAUSE SAM STOOD UP AND MADE A STATEMENT. I asked him at Tubman what he was talking about. He said he spoke up on the floor of the council and supported the pay raise to recruit better talent, and a video of that was shown at the trial to show the council deliberating, and that’s why we lost. Amazing. First, there was no video shown at that trial, by either side. Second, the suit wasn’t about the whole council deliberating, it was about the committee process of serial written votes without a public session (which the Council, knowing it won that suit by some fluke and might not be so lucky next time, immediately changed to have public “working sessions” for committees). Third, the Council won because they misled the court, saying that committees don’t actually vote on the substance of their reports, they just take a poll on sending it off to the floor for action – that is, that committees don’t deliberate and decide substantive matters, they just do an administrative chore of sending reports (written by …whom?) to the full council. Only Mike Ross, to his credit, admitted, on the witness stand, that when he votes on a report, he is voting on the substance of the report; the rest who testified (including Flaherty, but not Yoon) went along with committee chair Maureen Feeney’s story: just housekeeping here in committee, no positions expressed by anyone when we send up a report on a matter, with a recommendation on whether it ought to pass.

Sam said things that are seriously wrong, not just honest mistakes of facts and figures, taking advantage of the scant opportunity for rebuttal at these forums to say things that can’t quickly be explained.

Shirley Kressel

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Menino intimidating my donors

A developer/property owner in Boston who gave me a donation has been 'contacted' by the Menino people and given a bit of a hard time. Is this the the way a democracy is supposed to work?

Nothing like good old threats and intimidation to keep the populace in line.

More lies from Menino & Yoon doesn't know Papelbon?

Mayor Menino through his nameless minions at City Hall has been trying to discredit my assertions that he has signed off on 40 million dollars in tax breaks for the buyers of One Beacon Street. Well, with much thanks to the hard work and research of Shirley Kressel we have come up with the evidence. Menino personally signed off on the transfer of the tax credits to the new owners when the building was sold in 2000, 2004 and 2006. Since his signature was required, he clearly could have NOT signed off and the City would have an extra $40 million in the bank and instead of proposing cutting the budget for school books from $3 million to $2 million, we could buy new school books for everyone, and not lay off any teachers so our children can fully utilize those schoolbooks.

A funny moment from last nights radio debate with Jeff Santos on 1510 AM was when Sam Yoon was slated to go first and Jeff asked him what the Red Sox should do with Jonathon Papelbon. Sam froze for a second and then candidly said "this is one of those times I wish I was answering last, before trying to remember who Papelbon was. He did eventually say he thought the Red Sox should keep Papelbon. Is Boston ready to elect a Mayor who doesn't keep up with the Red Sox? That would be a huge shift!

Friday, September 18, 2009

See pictures and video from last night's debate

At last nights Mayoral forum in JP at English High School the Mayor did not show up again.
You can see pictures and video here.

The response has been great, after every forum people come up to me and tell me they are voting for me. The Mayor showed up in Back Bay where the rich people are, but he wouldn't show up in East Boston, Roxbury or JP.

Time for a Change

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

With Emily Rooney yesterday on Greater Boston

Mayoral candidates: Kevin McCrea

"He’s been a geophysicist, condo developer and motorcycle racer. Now he is looking to lead the city. Greater Boston’s profiles on the mayoral candidates continues with Kevin McCrea."

Live Chat Today on Boston.com

Live Chat with me today at Boston.com, please send in any and all questions!

Yoon's campaign manager threatens and swears at me and then tells the Globe that I'm not civil!

The Boston Globe did a profile piece on me this week which I thought was very fair. In the article, Sam Yoon's campaign manager Jim Spencer was quoted as saying: “If we’re trying to bring a new civility into Boston politics so that we can get things done, clearly Kevin McCrea is not a very good ambassador."

My new definition of politician is "one with no shame." Earlier this year Jim Spencer called me at home, cussed me out and threatened me. Why? Because I had the audacity as a citizen to ask Sam Yoon a question about why he voted for a certain bill. Not very civil. I've invited Sam Yoon to my house for dinner, congratulated him on his City Council victory, and called his office to work on the transparency committee he said he was going to initiate at his 'hearing on transparency' he held last December. It is nine months later and nothing has been done, no committee on transparency, but Sam uses the fact that he held a hearing last December in his stump speech as if having a meeting for an hour or two and then not doing anything is some sort of action on an issue.

I've held back on writing or talking about his because both Sam Yoon and Jim Spencer called to apologize for Spencer's actions but if they then want to tell the press that I'm not civil, well I beg to differ.


February 21, 2009

As I reported on my blog, on Wednesday night I ran into Sam Yoon at the Strand Theater for the premier “The Black List”. I asked Sam why he had voted to change City Laws to give Paul Walkowski a $15,000 raise (almost 40 percent!) to write a report on excluding the City Council from the Open Meeting Law. Sam said it was a worthy question and instructed me to call his office to set up a meeting.

The next day I called Sam’s office and asked for a meeting. They put me on hold for 15 minutes and then told me that Sam didn’t have any time to meet and couldn’t schedule anything to answer a question from a constituent. They offered a phone call, but as I explained I wanted to show Sam a video of him voting for this and get his explanation. I asked for the first 10 minutes he had available at City Hall in the next 6 months, and I offered to meet him any time, any where, but they still said he was unavailable. They said he was on a 24/7 election cycle and he couldn’t commit to anything. Sure sounds like a politician to me I mentioned, different from his public statements that he is not a politician. They answered that Sam is not a politician, he is “an elected official”. They asked me to leave my number and if anything came up they would get back to me.

Jim Spencer, who is sort of the Karl Rove to Sam, and runs his campaign called me and left two messages Thursday before he we traded voice messages and he called me Friday afternoon around 3:30.

Jim proceeded to instruct me that this is a political question, not a constituent question and that as a Mayoral candidate I would get my chance in some forum in the future to ask the question. I pointed out that I was a constituent that Sam is my city councilor and is getting paid $80,000 dollars plus to handle constituent issues and I had asked him this question before he announced he was running for Mayor.

Jim let me know that Sam is running a serious campaign, that he expects that I will be running a serious campaign, and that Sam was spending his Friday afternoon making phone calls for campaign contributions. He said they had a lot of work to do, a lot of people to talk to, and a lot of money to raise. Jim let me know he is a very busy guy, and that Sam is a busy guy and that they and I shouldn’t be wasting our time with this, and that I shouldn’t be engaging in “gotcha politics.”

He proceeded to tell me that my blog wasn’t transparent because I moderated it. He says that they tried to post something on my blog but that it wasn’t posted. I asked him what it was and he couldn’t remember it exactly but it was something to do with one of their staffers getting me information. I told him that I had to start moderating comments because people were swearing and saying disparaging things about my family, but that if comments were respectful I posted them even if they were critical of me, which some of them are. He appreciated that sentiment, and I said to him that he was obviously free to post something on Sam’s blog (which Sam hasn’t updated since 2005: http://www.wymsy.net/website.cfm?websiteid=2861&page=42&threadid=8&threadname=Same%20Sex%20Marriage&mode=publish)

He let me know that Sam is a “straightforward and honest guy” but then Jim Spencer warned me in a harsh tone of voice “but I am a political player so DON’T FUCK WITH ME BECAUSE I WILL FUCK BACK!”

He said that Sam’s staff had been working on getting my public records request done, but that it was the City that wanted to charge me money for the information. He said it shouldn’t be that way, and that Sam WANTS to be open and transparent. [what is preventing him?]

After ranting a bit more he finally asked me what I wanted to know from Sam and I told him the same thing I have been saying, that it was in an email to Sam and is on my blog: why did Sam vote to give Walkowski a $15,000 raise and a pension giveaway.

Jim proceeded to tell me that it is easy to be on the outside looking in, but that on the inside you have to get things done.

I told him that it seems like it was just a go along to get along arrangement and Jim said “Sure it was a go along to get along” thing that was “probably out of respect for Jimmy Kelly”.

He then proceeded to tell me that “Kevin McCrea is not a very rational guy”. I asked him why I was not a rational guy, and he again said I was wasting his time and mine with this phone call and we mutually agreed we both had better things to do and we signed off.

5 minutes later Sam Yoon called and left a message (I was busy with other stuff), we connected a bit later and Sam offered to set up a meeting to talk [after his staff said he didn’t have any time in the next 6 months?] about the Walkowski thing. I told him my head wasn’t clear at the moment after having his campaign manager threaten and swear at me. I did tell him that I did think he wanted to change things, as do I, but that he has one way to do it and I have another, and my way doesn’t involve threatening people. We wrapped up the phone call when he mentioned he was late to see his family and I wished him well.

February 25, 2009

Jim Spencer calls sometime after 7 pm and leaves the following message: “yeah, Kevin this is Jim Spencer calling when you get a chance if you would give me a ring maybe in my office tomorrow my number is 617-561-3296 you know I really wanted to call you up you know and apologize for our conversation the other day, I’m really sorry that you saw what I said as threatening it was certainly not my intention to threaten you and if you took it that way I definitely apologize for it, and if you would give me a call when you get a chance I would love to talk to you about it, …thanks and I hope things are going well.”

As predicted, the AG won't do anything to enforce the Law

The Boston Herald today reports that the AG has said she won't investigate the email controversy at City Hall. At the press conference with Yoon and Flaherty on Monday I talked about how I had little faith in Massachusetts Law enforcement. It is only the Feds that find out corruption, Wilkerson, Dimasi, etc.

This is why I didn't sign on to the letter that Yoon and Flaherty sent to the AG and DA. But I did send along emails to Secretary or State Galvin's office who actually has done something about it.

This is the problem of one problem rule, which is a problem, even though I'm a democrat. When the Fox guards the Henhouse don't be surprised when corruption happens.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kevin McCrea announces 9 nights in 9 days!

Kevin McCrea announces 9 nights in 9 days!

In order to answer the questions and concerns of Boston residents, candidate Kevin McCrea announces his 9 nights in 9 days tour of the neighborhoods of Boston. Each evening after the regular Mayoral forums, house parties, and community forums Kevin will stop by a local bar in every corner of the City and answer questions from anyone who would like to know where he stands on an issue, or to hear citizens ideas for making Boston a better place.

We started off last night in South Boston, watching the Patriots and talking to voters at the Boston Beer Garden and we will continue it tonight at Slades Bar and Grill on Tremont Street. So, some night this week come out to your local bar at 9 pm, support a local business and ask the candidate your tough questions and give him your good ideas.

Monday on Sept. 14
Boston Beer Garden---9 pm
734 E Broadway
South Boston, MA

Tuesday on Sept. 15
Slades Bar and Grill---9 pm
958 Tremont St
Roxbury Crossing, MA

Wednesday on Sept. 16
Warren Tavern---9 pm
2 Pleasant St
Charlestown, MA

Thursday on Sept. 17 –After the Mayoral Debate
3484 Washington St
Jamaica Plain, MA

Friday on Sept. 18 -----9 pm
Green Briar Restaurant
308 Washington Street
Brighton, MA

Saturday on Sept. 19 9 pm
The Blarney Stone
1509 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA

Sunday on Sept. 20 9 pm
Ashmont Grill
55 Talbot Ave

Monday on Sept. 21 9 pm
77 Charles St
Boston, MA

Tuesday on Sept. 22 9 pm—Election night
427 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, MA

Emily Rooney tonight!

I'll be on Emily Rooney tonight!

A computer expert talks about the emails at City Hall

The topic of email preservation and retention within city government has
been raised repeatedly for several years. Some time ago, a judgment was
entered against the BRA in a lawsuit because the BRA could not produce
electronic documents in discovery. The BRA subsequently invested a
couple hundred thousand dollars in software and infrastructure for SOX
compliance and e-discovery. That was more than a year ago.

The other dozen email administrators at city hall have been conferring
and waiting for the city Law Department to say something establishing
the city's policy for retaining and preserving electronic records. But
as is the norm, the law department drags their feet unless the city is
actively being sued. And without a letter from the law department,
nothing happened at the IT department. This left the city no data
retention-expiration policy for several years.

In the case of Michael Kineavy, the user was not simply keeping a tidy
inbox. He was actively purging the deleted item retention from the
mailserver. This extra recycle bin is a feature in Microsoft Exchange
Server few users are aware of. Users and administrators who are aware
of it do not frequently access it, except in emergencies. The retention
exposes routinely deleted items to backup. Purging it daily shows a
deliberateness in wiping data.

It should also be noted that the city CIO is not by trade a computer
professional but is a member of the bar:

In short, the user acted in bad faith, the city lawyers were negligent,
the CIO should know better, and the IT staff should have shown more
respect for their profession. We are witnessing a systematic breakdown
across city hall.

Naming everything in Boston "Menino-ville"

(I have spoken about this for 4 years, if I'm elected, these signs will say something to the effect of "Welcome from the Citizens of Boston" or "Built by the Citizens of Boston". This is an outrageous waste of money when we only spend $0.40 cents per student on nursing supplies in the City)

A citizen writes in:

Dear Kevin,

Most citizens have a pet peeve about Boston that I wish would be raised-- the stenciling of the mayor's name on every possible surface in the City of Boston.

Usually, a benefactor gives a hospital millions of dollars to have his name emblazoned on a hospital wing. Yet, Boston Medical Center has "The Menino Pavilion." If Menino had any role in getting money to the pavilion, it was taxpayer funded. It is part of a continual cycle of the taxpayers of Boston being roped in to fund the aggrandizement of the mayor.

When the venerable Boston Public Library was built in Copley Square, the inscription on the edifice read, "The Public Library of the City of Boston Built by the People and Dedicated to the Advancement of Learning / Founded Through the Munificence and Public Spirit of Citizens." All libraries built since 1993 read "Thomas M. Menino, Mayor" on the facade. If you visit libraries built between Copley and the present administration, it is difficult to ascertain who was mayor at the time of building it. As in most communities, the presence of a public library indicates the values of the citizens, not the adulation of the incumbent chief executive.

My visits to other cities and towns show libraries that give no indication of the local mayor's identity. I'm sure there must be a proper plaque inside that might have that information, but it seems to be the sense of the rest of the United States that the facades of public edifices are not canvasses for the self-aggrandizement of politicians.

Every banner hanging from every lamp-post, every Senior Shuttle, every community center, every city park, everything but (of course) the tax bills and parking tickets bear the mayor's name. Every auto in Boston with a neighborhood parking sticker is therein branded with the mayor's name.

Every blue sign marking entrance to every city neighborhood gives rise to the suspicion that the signs exist not to celebrate the neighborhood but to the chief executive's moniker emblazoned across it.

It feels like we are a far way from the "Cradle of Democracy" days. We are a far way from the spirited rejection of a monarch's rule that launched our nation-- a movement nurtured right here in Boston.

I believe that every candidate should be put on the spot as to whether they would continue this disgraceful and vain practice.

It did not start with Menino; indeed his predecessors marked the Senior Shuttle, city advertisements, and signs in public parks. However, it is Menino who grew the practice exponentially.

Most citizens have had enough.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Catch me on WBZ tonight at 10 pm

I'll be discussing all things Boston with Dan Rea tonight at 10 pm.

See Kineavy emails that City Hall has "lost"

I've posted eight emails that are either from or to Michael Kineavy that City Hall has lost or scrubbed out according to the Boston Globe.

I will be forwarding these to the Secretary of State's office for further review. Secretary Galvin's office has been very helpful to me in the past in getting public records requests fulfilled.

Unfortunately, I have little faith in the investigative bodies in Massachusetts discovering or prosecuting public corruption.

However, you can do something about it, you can elect me Mayor and as of this November we will have an administration that truly cares about transparency and open government. That is the power that we still have as citizens, we can vote in the type of government we want.

Please vote on September 22.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Flaherty, Yoon and I will hold a joint press conference at 10:15 at City Hall Plaza

Michael Flaherty, Sam Yoon and I will hold a joint press conference tomorrow morning at 10:15 at City Hall Plaza to talk about the apparently illegal erasing of emails by the Tom Menino administration.

I am pleased that more and more people are becoming aware of how important Transparency is to a well functioning government, and to keeping the public trust.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Kevin McCrea exposes Irregularities at Temple Place


Since the first televised debate our office has been flooded with calls and emails about all the waste, fraud and abuse taking place in the City of Boston. People are clearly fed up with it, and they understand that only candidate Kevin McCrea will stand up to the insiders.

One of the calls we received was about building irregularities on Temple Place. The caller told us that Suffolk University was trying to build dormitory buildings by allegedly entering into an agreement to have a developer turn buildings on Temple Place into apartments where Suffolk University could house their students.

We investigated and there were a number of irregularities. In May 2009, a permit was obtained for 29-35 Temple Place to turn the building on floors 2 through 6 from offices to a boarding house. The permit was for only $100,000 worth of work even though they were renovating 5 floors into living units.

Just as odd, just two weeks ago on August 27, 2009, a letter was sent to the building department from well known law firm McDermott, Quilty & Miller indicating that the developer had the “intention to renovate and change the legal use and occupancy of the Premises to include a Lodging House (not a dormitory)” and that they would seek to get approval for a lodging house at a future hearing before the Licensing Board. The permit has been updated to show 1.3 million dollars in cost. It seems backwards to spend 1.3 million dollars on a renovation before you have approval for the use which is proposed.

While Kevin McCrea was visiting the building on Saturday September 5, 2009 to get a first hand look he also saw work proceeding at 21-27 Temple Place. He talked to a worker who showed him the first floor which was not completed, with wires hanging from walls, and other items not finished. The worker said it was also being renovated for apartments and that people were already moving in. The worker allowed Mr. McCrea to take some pictures.

During the week we did further investigation and discovered that permits had been obtained for $325,000 to combine two buildings into one, install a new commercial elevator, sprinklers, and convert offices into multiple high end apartments. Again, permit cost was vastly undervalued but the permit had been granted.

By August 31, 2009 the building permits were signed off by the building inspectors and contractor Michael McGough subsequently filed for a certificate of occupancy for the building despite the fact that the buildings are obviously not done.

Although a Certificate of Occupancy has not been issued for the building we discovered that people are living in the building, and even took pictures of people moving in. Kevin McCrea talked to some residents that confirmed that they were living in the building. We reported this information to the FBI and to Gary Moccia at the building department. On Friday, September 11, 2009 Mr. Moccia sent an inspector to the building who actually discovered someone taking a shower in the building which was allegedly unoccupied. The inspector issued an order that the people vacate the building.

Why would a licensed contractor allow people to live in a building which does not have a Certificate of Occupancy? On a hunch we decided to check the records of the Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Sure enough, Mr. McGough had made a number of political campaign contributions over the years to local elected officials, including a number to Tom Menino and Michael Flaherty.

Kevin McCrea says “Because this City is not run by the rule of law, but rather by whatever the Mayor says, people believe they can get around the rules. Whether it is building 700-foot towers in areas zoned for 150 feet, to institutional expansion, down to housing people in unsafe buildings, people realize that if you know the right people, if you hire the right lawyers, you can get whatever you want. That will stop when I become Mayor.”

“With the recent tragedies involving loss of human life due to building deficiencies it is amazing to think that a licensed contractor would try and put people into a building that the Fire Department has not signed off on or that does not have a Certificate of Occupancy.”



Link: http://www.efs.cpf.state.ma.us/SearchItemResults.aspx

5/16/2002 McGough, Michael
741 East Fifth St. South Boston, MA 02127
Wallace, Brian P. $75.00 3/15/2002

McGough, Michael
741-743 East Fifth Street South Boston, MA 02127 Carpenter
Self-Employed Walsh, Martin J. $500.00

5/16/2002 McGough, Michael
741 East Fifth St. Boston, MA 02127
Wallace, Brian P. $75.00

12/3/2007 McGough, Michael
Boston, MA 02101 Information Requested
Information Requested Hart Jr., John A. $500.00

3/24/2004 McGough, Michael
741-743 East Fifth Street South Boston, MA 02127 Letter Sent 03/26/04
Cahill, Timothy $500.00

7/26/2005 McGough, Michael
35 Blueberry Lane Westwood, MA 02090 Carpenter
Local 33 Menino, Thomas M. $500.00

7/25/2005 McGough, Michael
741-743 East Fifth Street South Boston, MA 02127 Letter Sent 07/25/05
Cahill, Timothy $500.00

LOCAL 33 Flaherty Jr., Michael F. $500.00

12/23/2006 McGough, Michael
33 Blueberry Lane Westwood, MA 02090 Carpenter
Local 33 Murphy, Stephen $500.00

7/15/2008 McGough, Michael
35 Blueberry Lane Westwood, MA 02090 Contractor
Metropolitan Design Management Menino, Thomas M. $500.00

8/19/2008 McGough, Michael
534 East Broadway, Unit 1 South Boston, MA 02127 Letter Sent 03/26/04
Cahill, Timothy $500.00

Flaherty Jr., Michael F. $125.00

Drop out rates for Boston Schools

Here is the data as reported by the state:

1991 10.7%
1992 9.6%
1993 8.5%/7.6% (note - reports show two different numbers - possibly revised or different methodology)
1994 8.0%/7.5% (note - same as above - for all following if numbers conflict I only report latest available)
1995 8.1%
1996 7.2%
1997 8.4%
1998 8.7%
1999 9.9%
2000 9.4%
2001 8.5%
2002 7.0%
2003 7.7%
2004 8.3%
2005 7.7%
2006 9.9%
2007 8.9%
2008 7.6%
2009 not yet available

Based on the mayor's numbers of an average 12.7% from 1980 to 1983, it appears that there was a decline already underway from 1991 to 1993 and we have essentially stagnated since the time the mayor has come into office (I get 8.275 when I average these - comparable to the mayor's numbers).

Friday, September 11, 2009

See a CNN video of Kevin McCrea working with Habitat in Louisiana

Thanks to John from CNN who worked with me helping to build homes. Yes, that is me in the opening scene, you can pick me out as the guy with the Red Sox hat, the long hair and the sideburns!

Menino knew of Back Room BRA deals and did nothing

Tom Menino has a new video in which he implies that other people, namely Michael Flaherty and Sam Yoon do business behind closed doors.

This shows what a hypocrite Tom Menino is. I have posted one of the letters from the McCrea v. Flaherty lawsuit from Councilor Felix Arroyo to Mark Maloney the head of the BRA (appointed by Tom Menino and answering to Tom Menino) telling him to have his meeting in the open, not behind closed doors. In addition, if you look at the CC at the bottom of the page you see that Tom Menino was directly informed of this in 2003.

Councilor Arroyo clearly spells out that he thinks these meetings might be illegal but no one at City Hall did a thing about it, especially Menino.

Did Tom Menino do anything about this? Did he look into it? Did he tell Maloney or Flaherty to stop having these meetings? Of course not, he didn't do anything about it because he does all of his business behind closed doors.

Many, many emails from citizens with things to investigate

Here is an example of some of the things that people have emailed me to look into. There have been allegations of voter fraud, land deals, and illegal apartments. Of course, with my campaigning I haven't had time to investigate them all but some have already checked out and I have reported them to the proper authorities. Rest assured, if I become Mayor we will not tolerate this corruption.

Dear Kevin,
You have brought to light many issues concerning corruption in City Hall. One other area of corruption is the Boston Inspectional Service Division of Environment Division. This division is responsible for controlling the Rat (which only a few are licensed pest control exterminators) population in Boston neighborhoods and for overseeing and issuing site cleanliness permits. Both the rat and site cleanliness is already being enforced by either the Housing, Health Division, and Code Enforcement. Which clearly this Division is unnecessary. If you look closely into the inspectors in this division you will see that they DO NOT give a full days work. They are off doing personal business and/or at their homes. Most never return to the office to sign out in fact a few of them claim to be on the so called early shift which is untrue. Work hours are stated in their union contact as 8 AM-4 PM, You spoke of drug testing these inspectors operate city vehicles and are only required to be drug and alcohol tested if involved in an accident, over the past few years a few of them have been involved in accidents and have not been tested. In all actually majority of them have a history of drug and alcohol abuse and the city enables them to continue to abuse. I know of at least 2 who have spent time in prison.

I am hoping you will take time out of your busy schedule to investigate this and the other emails I have sent over the past week.

IT IS TIME TO END GOVERNMENT WASTE! You are right on the money!!

Regards and best wishes in your quest to become Mayor of Boston!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Building Department computers don't work

I was in to get a building permit yesterday, and all the new city building department computers were down. They all know me and when asked "How often does this happen" they reluctantly gave vague answers like "not very often".

One of the head guys at ISD told me that the computer system is 2 years behind schedule, and building inspectors have told me they think the system is terrible.

The problem with a Mayor for life is that there is no sense of urgency to get things done. Four years ago Menino, Yoon and others were promising to streamline the building permit process. Well now there are two more steps involved that we didn't have 4 years ago.

Menino has a video implying Flaherty does business behind closed doors

Tom Menino has come out with an advertising clip that implies that Flaherty does business behind closed doors. These politicians are rich. My new definition of politician is "one who has no shame".

These illegal closed door meetings happened right in City Hall, right under the Mayor's nose, which his legal department was responsible for laying out the strategy for, and the Mayor did nothing but approve $300,000 in legal fees fighting to allow these back door deals to happen.

This is an insult to the intelligence of Boston voters.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fox TV tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m.

Check me out on FOX TV tuesday morning for a debate preview at 7:30.

Then check out 1510 AM the Jeff Santos show where Sam Yoon, Michael Flaherty and I will have a Mayoral debate which, of course, the Mayor is too busy (scared?) to attend.

Letter to the Mayor about possible Campaign Finance Violation

September 7, 2009

Tom Menino
1 City Hall Plaza
Boston, MA

Dear Tom,

I appreciate the fact that you said on television the other night that you liked me, but that I don’t understand finance. I also appreciate your new interest in transparency, which as you know is one of my primary concerns. I appreciate the fact that you have assigned my own City Hall attorney to make all my Freedom of Information Act requests through.
I have a couple of suggestions and a question for you.

1) Someone emailed me an alert that you had not reimbursed the City for the political use of your City owned SUV. As you are probably aware, the office of Campaign and Political Finance has outlined that elected officials like you are allowed to use City owned vehicles to go to campaign events as long as you keep track of the usage and reimburse the taxpayers for that usage. We could be wrong, but it appears that you have never made such reimbursements. I’d rather not make a complaint to the OCPF over this minor issue, so please check your records and act accordingly. We could be wrong, we just couldn’t find any record of payments.

2) As you know I have been requesting the end of month cash balances from you so we can see how the City finances are coming along. At first you refused, but after the Secretary of State’s office intervened your attorney has been very forthcoming with the numbers, other than the delay during the last few months of the budget period when no figures were available showing how the City had $120 million more in the bank in June 2009 than in January 2009. A suggestion: put these figures on the City website so the citizens can see how much money we have. It would be transparent and it would free up the time of your valuable attorney.

3) Could you explain to me why we have $97 million dollars more in the bank from June 2008 until June 2009 but you proposed cutting the school book budget from $3 million dollars to $2 million. Maybe you can explain it in layman terms to me since I don’t understand finance as well as you.

Thank you for your time. Maybe you can answer when I see you on Thursday.


Kevin McCrea

Monday, September 07, 2009

How the Mayor uses the City Councilors close to him to "scale back" legislation

Here is an email from Molly Dunford, the Mayor's Liaison to the City Council, to the BRA letting them know that they got Mark Ciommo to "scale back" some language that Sam Yoon was calling for about Boston College's Institutional Master Plan.

Keep in mind that Ciommo filed a disclosure form in the prior January stating that he would recuse himself from any City Council business involving BC because his son was awarded a scholarship from BC.

I post this just to shed some light on how things work at City Hall. When the Mayor tries to claim that the BRA is independent of City government, emails like this show how things really work. The Mayor has his pulse on everything. Note the CC: to Michael Kineavy.

Michael Colby

Deputy Director for Strategic Policy Initiatives

Boston Redevelopment Authority

One City Hall Square

Boston, MA 02201-1007


From: Dunford, Molly
Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 5:13 PM
To: Colby, Michael
Cc: Kineavy, Michael
Subject: late file

Hey Mike

Ciommo just gave me a heads up that Yoon is late filing an order on the BRA's process re: BC. Ciommo signed on and got him to scale back the language on it, but he said it is most likely coming from the Brighton Neighbors United group. It is critical of the board vote in January and the issue with the Zoning Commission in March. They didn't have the language yet, but they will get it to me as soon as they do. I'll keep you posted.

Mayor's Liaison to the City Council

Intergovernmental Relations, Room 968

617-635-4493 (phone)

617-635-3289 (fax)

Jamaica Plain land giveaway details (Mayor loses hundreds of thousands)

Mayor’s Yard Giveaway Program Defrauds Taxpayer’s of Money

At last week’s televised Mayoral Debate Candidate for Mayor Kevin McCrea exposed how the Mayor gave a $100,000 property to BRA/City Hall insider James Rourke for $5,000. The Mayor has claimed that the property is part of a green space program that has Deed restrictions. Today the Boston Globe exposed how those Deed restrictions can be removed and people can end up building on these lots making tremendous profit, while the taxpayers don’t get fair value for their land.

One such example is 26 Dalrymple Street in Jamaica Plain. The Mayor signed off on a deed to Amada Felix on April 9, 1996 which had the restriction that “no structures are to be erected, constructed or installed upon the premises, whether permanent or temporary”.
Ms. Felix sold the property to Domingo Morales. On July 3, 2001 Mr. Morales applied for a permit from the City of Boston to build a three family house for $327,871. He received the permit from the City, after permission by the ZBA and BRA. Mr. Morales built the house and converted it to condominiums, they were sold for:

4/28/2005 unit 1 $299,000
4/28/2005 unit 2 $305,000
10/22/2008 unit 3 $290,000

On May 3, 2005 a fax was sent from Jim McDonough, legal counsel for the Department of Neighborhood Development, to Gary Moccia head of Inspectional Services with the handwritten note “Hold Deed Restrictions”. The taxpayers got $750, the developer made a profit of over $500,000.

Candidate McCrea says: “This shows that in Tom Menino’s Boston there are no rules. Deed restrictions mean nothing, because they can be undone with a wave of the pen. Boston is run like a banana republic. As I have been saying for four years, we need to advertise and sell all vacant pieces of land that the City owns that we are not holding for a specific reason such as for a library, school, or other public use. These properties should all be available online for everyone to see. The City should not be in the business of land banking. We need to maximize the money for our assets, construct on buildable lots, and get rid of our pay to play system.”

Keep the calls coming!!!

I have been getting phone calls, anonymous emails, etc. from people telling me about corrupt land deals all over the City. People want me to bring these up more and more, they are really ticked off.

I was at the Labor day breakfast this morning and say Michael Flaherty and one of his supporters and they commented on what a great story it was and that I was getting good press for exposing this stuff. Then Michael's supporter says "I think there was a land deal like that over on East Third Street. Sure enough when I got home today after holding a press conference on the Land giveaway at 26 Dalrymple on site, there was a phone call from a person who told me all about the East Third Street giveaway.

Everyone wants to remain anonymous (which I do) because they are all afraid of the wrath of the Mayor. Remember, I was talking about this stuff 4 years ago and he raised my property assessment by $700,000. People aren't stupid, they know he retaliates.

The point with Flaherty is, if you know something is happening, especially in your neighborhood why doesn't anyone say or do anything about it?

"All that is required for evil to flourish if for good people to do nothing" is the famous line attributed to Burke. It is time to do something about it!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Great day with school parents at City Hall

I spent yesterday afternoon at City Hall talking to the parents and their kids about the upcoming school year and especially the election.

People on the street and in the Plaza were coming up to me and thanking me for running, and for bringing up the real issues facing the city.

One City Hall employee working on the Plaza came up to me and said "Kevin, I've been working here at City Hall for 30 years and I want to thank you for talking about the corruption here. We all see it and live with it every day. I want to let you know that we have a big family and we all vote."

These words of encouragement are what keeps me going, thanks to everyone who takes the time!

I need a P.A. system!

To the gentleman who called me earlier this year and can provide a p.a. system and speakers could you please get in touch with me, I've lost your number, or if someone else could provide this please email me and let me know costs.

I'm planning to have a press conference this week.


Saturday, September 05, 2009

Flooded with emails about other waste and corruption at City Hall

I am getting bombarded with people telling me more examples of the waste, fraud and abuse going on at City Hall and in other City Departments. It feels like people finally believe there is someone who, like them, cares about having an honest, well run city not just one that takes care of Menino's buddies.

Here is an example:


I absolutely agree with Kevin McCrea. I worked at XXXX office in City Hall. A lot of backoffice deals go around there.

By the way, there must be an independent group to oversee the abuse of power with regards to spending unrealistic money... For example, the CIO of Boston has his best friend working part-time and being paid $200 per hour....he also has his former assistant who flies into Boston to work a day or two. He's also hiring Gardner Consulting when there are budget problems....why all of these people and what's there purpose when the City has a budget crisis?

Be sure to go to the 7th floor...you must meet the archaic, unfunctioning, and rude very old receptionist...she sleeps on the job! This position could be wiped out or hiring someone younger who could be awake on the job.

Kindly keep me anonymous.

Of course, I'm busy campaigning and meeting people so I don't have the time to follow up on everything. But the big point is that I will put an end to all of this. While we all know what has been happening, Yoon and Flaherty have stood idly by while Menino has done his patronage deals.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Boston Globe verifies that Menino selling the City property for pennies on dollar!

Nice article by Donovan Slack.

Debate in Roxbury tonight

A good debate in Roxbury tonight, the Mayor and the 3 challengers were there. A lot of talk about eliminating the BRA, clearly the audience wants that, a lot of talk about enforcing the Boston Jobs policy.

Surprisingly, Sam Yoon and the Mayor got into a heated exchange about the CDC's. I gave Sam credit for saying exactly what I wanted to say last night when the Mayor brought up how all the heads of the CDC's endorsed him.

They have to endorse him because he controls their funding. This is exactly what Sam said, and the Mayor angrily denied it. The Mayor insisted that no one is forced to do anything by him.

I was going to tell the story of a campaign volunteer who was recently trying to get a job with a CDC who stopped working on my campaign because they were afraid that the CDC wouldn't hire them if it was found out they supported me. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time.

I just wish Sam had spoken up about this for the last 4 years that he has been councilor, my same issue with Michael. NOW they tell us how corrupt and intimidating City Hall can be.

Definitely, picked up more voters as I talked about my experience hiring Boston residents and minorities, and how I would enforce PILOT payments: by not giving permits to institutions that refuse to pay their fair share.

Fact checking sources

The Globe has an article saying that I wasn't correct about the the politicians kids being in their first choice of schools.

I was first tipped off to this intriguing story when Michael Flaherty came to our neighborhood last summer for a kitchen table talk and talked about how families were leaving the city if they didn't get their first choice of schools. He then told our neighborhood group about how he was lucky to win the lottery and get his kid into his preferred school.

Earlier this year, we called Sam Yoon's office and they confirmed that Sam had also gotten lucky and received his first choice of schools. The Mayor would not answer questions, but has spoken about his grandkids being in one of the better Boston public schools not one of the failing schools that he wants to turn into "in district charters". The Globe article just takes the Menino spokesman's word for it without evidence.

I probably would have been more accurate in saying what a coincidence it is that all three candidates have their kids in good public schools, not the 55 Menino wants to turn to Charters. I watched the debate tonight, and you can see that Keller cut me off right when I was about to say "why don't we expand the cap on the public schools that these politicians send their kids to."

Drop out rate in Cambridge: Here is the link to the State statistics on dropouts: Boston is 21 % Cambridge is 4%.

Here is information on the 121A tax break for the One Beacon Tower:

Ch. 121A is an urban renewal statute that provided for 40-year tax-exemption for new construction of affordable housing in blighted areas. The developer pays a lower negotiated state excise tax which is given back to the City as a Payment in Lieu of Taxes. Developments qualify for 121A tax agreements if the BRA declares the area "blighted" and then declares the project a “public purpose.” There are many of these agreements around the city.

Ch. 121A projects save one-third to one-half on their property taxes. In Boston, there are about two dozen 121As that are not affordable housing. The BRA has a practice of selling these tax breaks to each subsequent buyer of One Beacon Street. As if One Beacon Street is somehow a “Blighted” property. They sell or extort these tax breaks for $1 per square foot from each new buyer of the property, who is happy to give the BRA $1.1 million dollars because they save many millions more in property taxes, taxes the citizens of Boston do not receive.

For example:

One Beacon Street is a 1.1 million square foot tower. It was sold in 2000, 2004 and 2006. Each time, the BRA wrote up a Cooperation Agreement for $1.1 million to be paid to the BRA as a “voluntary contribution” by the owners for "affordable housing" and other purposes. Since 2000, One Beacon has been spared an average of $5 million a year in property taxes via the 121A. In short, the BRA, to rake in $3.3 million in kickbacks, has cost the City of Boston about $40 million in property taxes since 2000.

Tax rates:
City of Boston: $10.63

City of Cambridge: $7.56 per thousand

Link to how much money the City has on hand: City with $100 million plus more money

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Details to Menino's giveaway of $95,000 to his BRA "friend"

***Menino Gives Away $95,000 to BRA Insider***

Kevin McCrea says, “Tom Menino is constantly telling the citizens of Boston that we don’t have enough money for schools and police. This is an example of why: because he is giving away our valuable assets for pennies on the dollar to connected insiders.” On June 19, 2009 BRA insider James Rourke (who is orchestrating the BRA and Harvard led zoning changes for Allston) gave Tom Menino a $200 campaign contribution. Ten days later, Menino sold a parcel of land, two buildable lots, that the City Assesses at $99,400 but is likely worth much more, to James Rourke and associates for $5,000. Menino’s signature is on the Deed. This land was surplussed by the Boston City Council which included Sam Yoon and Michael Flaherty. McCrea finishes: “This sort of giveaway which all three of my opponents were involved in, will not happen under my watch.”

Information and Evidence

Owner’s Name: James J. Rourke

Occupation: Senior Project Manager, Boston Redevelopment Authority

Purchase Date: 6/29/2009

Parcel Address: Prescott Street, Hyde Park

Parcel Number: 09528

Parcel Size: 10,000 square feet

Assessed at: $99,400.00

Sold for: $5,000.00

Contribution Amount to Thomas Menino: $200.00

Contribution Date: 6/19/2009

Deed (approved & signed by Thomas Menino): See Attached

Link to Parcel Map:


Link to Value Assessment:


Link to Contribution:


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Former City Councilor Tom Keane lays out the corruption of Tom Menino ...in 2003

Boston Herald
All Editions
(Copyright 2003)

A devastating report on who gets what from Boston City Hall paints a shocking picture of private gain too often trumping the public good.

Herald reporters Scott Van Voorhis and Paul Restuccia described, in a three-part series that concluded yesterday, how City Hall hands out economic goodies to mayoral favorites. On Sunday, they described the abuses of a property tax break, called Chapter 121A, that is supposed to be used to encourage real estate developments that otherwise might not occur. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, when Boston was an economic backwater and desperate for investment, tax breaks like that sometimes made sense.

But today, Boston is no longer blighted. With rare exceptions, projects should be able to stand on their own merits, able to pay property taxes at the same rate as buildings around them. Yet the city recently granted breaks to a number of significant developments.

Why? As the next two parts of the series detailed, who gets what appears to depend on who knows whom. In meticulous detail the reporters went through the examples of big-shot local developers and lawyers like Anthony Pangaro, John Drew, James Greene (whose wife is a fund-raiser for Mayor Thomas Menino), Joseph Fallon and a host of others. All are friends of Menino and all, seemingly, get what they want from City Hall.

It was strong reporting that made the case for something that has been long rumored: Menino calls the shots in Boston, on virtually every decision of consequence, at virtually any level. Sad to say, both Boston papers have carried major exposes that have described similar abuses. If the mayor likes you - and the politics plays favorably - then you'll get what you want. If not, then forget it.

It's important to note that what's at issue here is not corruption - at least not corruption as it is commonly understood.

When that charge is leveled, one normally thinks of a politician taking a bribe in exchange for some favor. Yet virtually no one believes that such is the case with Menino. Money may drive many, but clearly not Boston's mayor. He lives frugally, occupying a modest Hyde Park home valued at just $218,300, likes to shop in Filene's Basement and works long hours.

How about a different form of corruption: Trading favors for campaign contributions.

To be sure, Menino has never applied a tight screen to his campaign contributors. Friend or foe, doing business with the city or just passing through, it seems every check is welcome.

When accused of favoring those who are campaign contributors, Menino gets riled. As he likes to point out, there are many who give him money that never get anything. Moreover, he says, the amount of any contribution is simply too small to credibly sway a decision. That's particularly the case with Menino, who has no problem raising money. Giving up $500 (the maximum permitted) is no big deal; there's bound to be another check like it close behind.

So if it's not about lining one's pockets or building up an even bigger campaign account, what's really at stake?


The common perception within City Hall is that it is a relationship with the mayor that fundamentally makes or breaks any deal. Menino immerses himself in the details of the city's bureaucracy. He knows the ins and outs of every office where city workers might hang their hats. Even quasi-independent departments like the Boston Redevelopment Authority make sure that every decision of consequence gets his approval.

The purpose of all this, critics say, is the acquisition and preservation of power. Ten years into his mayoralty, Menino has no opponents on the horizon. Only the foolish dare challenge him. You are either with the mayor - and thus potentially profit from his largesse - or you may as well move to some other city. Chapter 121A tax breaks - like lots of other benefits, including jobs, zoning, licenses and permits - are all devices to be used to keep the mayor in power.

The result, critics say, is that City Hall has become a virtual cult of personality.

All of this, if true, is terribly wrong. Boston, like any city, should run itself as a government of laws, where all comers are treated neutrally and fairly, where politics has a purpose beyond simply maintaining someone's position.

Moreover, Menino is undermining himself.

He believes he is a man of the people, an advocate of the ordinary citizen.

Yet for all the good the mayor has accomplished - and Boston today is clearly better off than it was a decade ago - he risks leaving a very different legacy: That of a second-rate, stereotypical pol who is little more than

Boston Municipal Research Bureau lays out the financial mess our politicians have put us in.

Note how the warnings of disaster get louder and louder over the years with our politicians doing nothing about them:

April 2003 - Boston halts workforce growth

December 2003 - Boston's Shrinking Workforce
highlights employee count of 15,809 - has anybody noticed any service improvements since he hired 1500 extra people? All with health and pensions that aren't even close to funded?

July 2005 - Boston's $2 billion budget - Employee spending causes tight operations

March 2006 - Boston's Personnel Spending Surges Despite Employee Cuts

July 2006 - Boston's FY 2007 budget is set, concerns loom
highlights rapidly growing health insurance costs for workers and retirees

April 2007 - Caution Ahead - Boston's rising personnel costs

June 2007 - Boston's employee earnings in 2006 - higher earnings put more focus on the affordability of generous benefits

July 2008 - Rising personnel costs are cause for concern

March 2009 - Personnel level unsustainable among fiscal stress