^ Marty Walsh ; big money raised, big voter support

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A candidate can begin his fund-raising by asking friends and colleagues. But in the Boston Mayor campaign, once the August 15th to August 30th reporting period arrives, that go-to reserve has long been tapped, and the money raised comes almost all from people and entities making a hard assessment of the candidate’s chances of winning.

Donors’ assessments of a candidate’s chances aren’t votes, but they’re a pretty good indication of what people who know a thing or two about the campaign think is happening. So let’s look at the money as reported to the State’s Office of campaign Finance  (not including David Wyatt, who has raised less than 100.00.) :

From the beginning of 2013 through August 15th —

Arroyo — raised 219,578.09

Barros — raised 137,977.48

Clemons — raised 8,673.65

Conley —- raised 736,057.35

Connolly —- raised 925,985.96

Consalvo — raised 496,340.72

Golar-Richie —- raised 217,625.14

Ross —- raised 649,014.94

Walczak — raised 260,122.95

Walsh — raised 961,748.51

Yancey — raised 28,092.16

From August 16th through August 30th, this is what has been so far reported (caution : there may be more reports filed next week) —-

Arroyo — raised 13,962.63

Barros — raised 19,523.28

Conley — raised 71,425.80

Connolly — raided 65,674.00

Consalvo — raised  31,089.59

Golar-Richie — raised 32,979.54

Ross —- raised 79,533.12

Walczak — raised 17,053.00

Walsh — raised 213,287.04

(Yancey and Clemons filed no reports for this period that we could find.)

The message in the money is fairly clear:

First, Marty Walsh has dramatically increased his money intake, while Felix Arroyo’s fundraising shows a significant fall-off.

These two seem connected and no coincidence. The endorsement of Marty Walsh by the Hotel and hospitality Workers’ Union was given during this two-week period. It was an endorsement that Arroyo was counting on; a Union most of whose members are people of color, many of these Hispanic.


^ Felix Arroyo ; an inspiring message, delivered with empathy and command; but a Union endorsement lost has taken its toll.

Second, as Arroyo’s money tree has shed leaves, that of Golar-Richie has blossomed quite a bit. Only Walsh, Connolly, Conley, and Ross raised more than her 32,979.94 intake. Perhaps this is why her headquarters are always open, people actively working in them, and why at Forums her discussion of the issues has become much more authoritative and convincing.


^ Charlotte Golar-Richie : benefitting big-time from fall-offs by several rival candidates and by her own stronger performance on the stump

Third, Rob Consalvo, who during the first summer months of the campaign looked strong both in his Hyde park base and across much of the city, has lost both his money mojo and his persuasiveness at Forums.


^ Rob Consalvo ; what has gone wrong here ? And why ?

Fourth, Dan Conley, despite rumors of being difficult to get along with or work for, remains a strong contender who understands the details of City administration and how to correct its deficiencies. he polls a strong third place, and his 71,425.80 raised says that his supporters feel that he can make up the gap between where he polls and the top two. He might indeed do that.

Fifth, Mike Ross continues to draw big money, much bigger than his standing — tied for 4th place — would seem to justify. His performance at Forums is almost always dominant; but his range of interests seems limited to the lifestyle of Downtown. Perhaps his donations increased because of the impact — however brief — of the Stand Up For Children (SFC) “outside money” flap upon John Connolly’s campaign; because Ross, although no friend of the SFC agenda, stands even more pointedly for the apple-store, zipcar, bicycles world envisioned by Connolly than Connolly does. Indeed, Ross personifies it. Interesting to note that Connolly reported only 65,674.00 in donations for this period. Could it have been that some Connolly supporters were looking for a fall-back candidate just in case ?


^ Mike Ross : big money and a chance now to be taken very seriously


^ John Connolly : none of the other candidates has been as buffeted as he. that’s what happens when you poll in first place.

Meanwhile, Marty Walsh, with the Hotel and Hospitality Workers endorsement in hand, and no missteps on the issues, and with strong performances at his “Mondays With Marty” rallies, saw his fundraising increase beyond all expectations.

Walsh and Golar-Richie look well positioned to gain the votes of the one-third of likely voters who, in recent polls, remain undecided whom to back. But Connolly has recovered strongly from the SFC affair, and Felix Arroyo has a message of hope and friendship that he is delivering in person — and at Forums — to the City’s citizens stuck in low income lives.

Our conclusion ? Walsh first; Connolly second, but perhaps shaky. Conley third, but with the chance that Golar-Richie will overtake him and maybe Connolly too. then Arroyo and Ross, with Consalvo fading to 5th and maybe farther down than that.

There’s not much time left to alter these trajectories once the voters — and most of the candidates — return from a well-deserved weekend on the Cape.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere

UPDATE 09.01.13 at 10.30 AM : this morning’s Boston Globe reports that Felix G. Arroyo raised 101,324.00 in August. (The report appears on a back page, easy to miss.) The impression the brief article wants to create is that Arroyo increased his fundraising. Indeed, for all of August, that is true, OUR article, however, focuses on what was raised in the period August 15 to 30. It tells a much different story — and not only for Arroyo.

In the first weeks of August, Arroyo looked like the rising star of the campaign; union endorsements from unions heavy with people of color looked likely. Then came the Hotel and hospitality Workers’ decision to go with Marty Walsh despite, a Union spokesman Brian Lang put it, the union’s admiration for Arroyo.

THIS is the sort of movement that our focus on August’s last two weeks was meant to catch. Using the total August figures would, we thought, miss “the action.” — MF / HnS

An Early Taste of Victory: Here and Sphere chats with Councillor Frank Baker


^ Frank Baker at the Bowdoin/Geneva seafood Throwdown and looking pleased. (photo by Dave Morrison for Here and Sphere)

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You’ve seen them all around the streets of Boston. Urban Farms and the subsequent Neighborhood Farmers Markets have brought healthy food back to certain areas that have normally seen historically high levels of both poverty and obesity. 

At the Bowdoin/Geneva Farmers Market this past Thursday afternoon, Boston City Councilor Frank Baker was on hand,  not only to judge the best fish cuisine at the Market’s Seafood Throwdown, but also to celebrate the healthy actions that the Geneva/Four Corners Neighborhood has taken to assure its food arises locally, and fresh.

Baker was in a festive mood, as well he might. He’s currently running opposed. That’s quite a change from 2011, when he came out the winner of a hard battle against an opponent from the “fat” end of the District. Baker, on the other hand, comes from the 3rd Council District’s “thin” end : precincts of Ward 13 converging on both sides of “Dot Ave” between the Little House and Savin Hill Avenue. His roots there go deep politically; he’s one of many children of Little House activists Jack and Eileen Baker – the elder Baker weighed in on his own surfeit of political contact sport back in the day.

But gtoday it’s not Jack baker but frank baker who gets the spotlight. Here and Sphere caught up with him at the Throwdown and chatted with him about the goals he is looking to accomplish as the City prepares to usher in a new Mayor and, probably, a new play of Boston politics.

As the big issue this campaign has been the state of Boston Public Schools, we could not pass on asking Baker about it all: are the schools doing OK ?  Are the lunches in Boston  public schools (BPS) healthy ?  And what does he, as a Councilor, plan for making the BPS a first class school system in the Commonwealth ? Thus we spoke – briefly, yes; but there will be more as the campaign climaxes.

HnS: How has the Throwdown gone so far?

Baker :  “So, when we have the Throwdown, we’re going to have a pan sear for the two cuisines. They’re both dogfish, and the cooks are showing people how to cook dogfish. We’re out promoting it, as opposed to just cod and haddock.”

HnS: About the state of the BPS. What do you feel is the best long-term solution for the BPS?

Baker :  “There has to be some way to first, look at the schools that are working and then there are those who will just beat up on PBS and go for the Charter Schools. I do think that Charter Schools have a useful place in the whole discussion, but I don’t think that they’re the end all be all.

“With that being said, I think that we have to go into the schools that are working, like the Murphy in Dorchester (Popes Hill) or the Roosevelt in Hyde Park (Fairmount). We have to see what’s happening in those schools. The long of it comes down to Parent Councils and Site Councils. Every school should have a Parent Council and Site Council.”

HnS: Do you support lifting the Charter Cap? And you also mentioned the idea of a “Hybrid” School Committee a while back. What do you mean by “Hybrid” School Committee?

Baker: “I’m not in favor of lifting the cap because what makes the Charter system special is that there aren’t so many of them. 

“With the Hybrid School Committee, my thought was that the majority of the Mayor’s Office (who is ultimately responsible for the decisions in the School Committee), but as a City Councilor, when it comes to constituent service cases where you have someone who might want to transfer, we felt that people in the City should know who the School Committee is.”

HnS: We’re here at the Bowdoin/Geneva Farmers Market tasting all of this healthy food. Recently Mayor candidate John Connolly ran an ad touting how he uncovered rotten food that was being served in the BPS. If that is true, what will you do to help make sure that something like that doesn’t happen again?

Baker: “That’s something that you have to deal with the contractor about. I just toured a rooftop garden in Montreal. It’s a business that wants to come to Boston, and they’re looking for rooftops. We should be looking at our schools, and putting that on top of our schools. We’re serving frozen products to our kids when they could be getting a salad !”

— Dave Morrison / Here and Sphere correspondent.

 Michael Freedberg contributed some Frank Baker background information to this article.