BOSTON MAYOR RACE : CONNOLLY RECOVERS NICELY; WALSH FOCUSES; THE FIELD GETS SOME MOJO

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^ John Connolly : what schools flap ?  — here he is in East Boston

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We will admit it : we didn’t think that John Connolly would be able to surmount the huge flap over a $ 500,000 “outside” money dump that that smothered his campaign. But he has.

We thought sure that his schools agenda would look less reformist, — as a result of his being gifted by Stand for Children, an Oregon-based advocacy group debunked by some for relying hugely on corporate money of a seriously regressive sort — than insidious. For about three quarters of a day, it looked like we had it right.

But then, in less than an evening, Connolly struck back, fully. Supporters rallied to his side — publicly and unreservedly. He touted his “green-ist” credentials as the campaign voice of Boston’s “park people.” Big-name Democrats like Ian Bowles stepped up.  And he rejected the $ 500,000 for once and all, in a statement that left little doubt that he was quite angry at being ambushed by a group purporting to support his candidacy.

How effective was Connolly’s response ? Rival Dan Conley congratulated him on rejecting the money. THAT good.

Connolly also benefitted by an over-reaction by Felix G. Arroyo, who not only touted his support for Boston Teachers (and their Union, the BTU),which was OK, but then proceeded to assert that as Mayor he would work to eradicate poverty in Boston. Oh really ?

So here we are, on August 22nd, with a Mayoral Forum, taking place tonight at the newly re-steepled white church on Dorchester Center Hill, and 32 days left before Primary Day, and all is back on course. What WERE we thinking ?

Yes, a few doubts linger about Connolly’s commitment to school reform that isn’t a corporate take-over. You can see the doubts in his Twitter feed. But he is confronting the doubters, indeed, allowing their doubting tweets to stand in his Twitter list for all to read. this is a smart move.

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^ Marty Walsh on L Street : pressing some Wards 6 and 7 flesh and moving on up

Meanwhile, in South Boston, Marty Walsh is taking care of some unattended business. Last night former Senator Jack hart co[-hosted a huge party for him; during the day, Walsh greeted voters along L Street. Jon Connolly has cozied big-time up to South Boston’s State Representative, Nick Collins. Bringing Jack Hart into play allowed Walsh to send Connolly a message — and one to Coll;ins as well. It has always seemed sure that the strongly labor-backed Walsh would dominate in South Boston, but lately that primacy has come into doubt. Today there seems less doubt in play.

The Walsh campaign moves ahead to another neighborhood where support from his fellow State Representative has eluded him : East Boston. In this case, the legislator (Carlo Basile) has actually endorsed a rival. So, on Monday Walsh will host a “Mondays with Marty” in East Boston. It will be interesting to see who and how many come to hear him speak.

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^ Rob Consalvo : neighborhood schools. In Kenmore Square ?

The rest of the Mayor race’s bigger hopefuls seem finally to have found their stride. was it the Connolly flap that tweaked them ? It seems so. Many of his rivals suddenly became advocates for neighborhood schools (Consalvo), or opponents of charter school increases (Ross), or voices for public school teachers and the under-performing schools (Arroyo). Golar-Richie pushed a women’s safety agenda — significant certainly,l in light of the murder of Amy Lord, not to mention the killing, in nearby Waltham, allegedly by Jared Remy — Jerry Remy’s son — of his girlfriend.

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^ Charlotte Golar Richie in the North End,. with St. Rep. Aaron Michlewitz.

Connolly also launched his first television ads. So has Consalvo. Marty Walsh probably has them running also, though we haven’t yet seen any.

Every night now, Boston voters have a vast choice of campaign events to drop in on, or events of their own for candidates to appear at (for us at Here and Sphere too). Every day there’s a meet-and-greet — or three, or five — going on somewhere in the City. It’s all out sprint time, indeed a typhoon of sprints, as the campaign approaches the first week of September and all that that portends for political weather.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere

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Author: hereandsphere

Here and Sphere is an online journal of news, opinion, reviews, advice, & bits n' pieces of everything else - from HERE to SPHERE...... Co-founded by Michael Freedberg, a long-time Boston Phoenix journalist, and Heather Cornell, a South Coast Massachusetts columnist and editor.

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