1st Suffolk & Middlesex endorsements : Livingstone, Rizzo, Edwards


^ our number two endorsee, Dan Rizzo of Revere, has been the object of all manner of ambush campaigning. Why him ?

—- —- —-

With strong emphasis, we repeat our endorsements, for tomorrows’ vote in East Boston, Revere, Winthrop, North End, Chinatown, Beacon Hill, and Cambridgeport : because this contest has turned ugly in a big way, on many fronts, nasty and manipulative; a backsliding to the ways of local Boston elections 50 years ago.

We at Here and Sphere decry this development.

I personally have been accused of decrying it because the candidate recipient of most if it is one that Here and Sphere has endorsed. Some folks might believe that — and in fact one person, well known in political circles, thus accused me. In fact, we object to it whedrever it occurs:

( 1 ) last minute anonymous smears, usually from PACs,. often in language of insult and ferocity typically found in literature sent out by old line unions (but also common in right-wing screeds). Vested interests do not like the prospect of becoming un-vested, and they are fighting back without scruple. Unfortunately, old line unions are often terrible at reform and resort to vilification and lies where a readiness to embrace reform would be far wiser.

Rizzo has been targeted for smear — and for lawn sign vandalism and late night phone call dirty tricks — because he supports charter cap lift : an increase in the allowed number of charter schools, earmarked to districts designated as “underperforming”; the Boston Teachers Union, which has endorsed a major Rizzo opponent, doggedly rejects charter schools very existence. It has much to protect : a $ 1.03 billion Boston schools  budget bloated with almost 4 100 million in duplication costs, under utilization, feather bedding, and administrative wobble, not to mention a school day shorter than that of any other major school district in our state. Boston’s Schools Budget needs a Fiscal Control board, similar to the one enacted by the legislature to discipline the MBTA’s fat splatter spending; the last thing Boston’s Schools Budget needs is to continue growing as it has. This is of crucial significance right now because a new BTU contract is up for negotiation.

Thus the smear, the vandalism, the late night phone call caper. For the major union opposing Rizzo, the stakes are seven figures long.

It is possible that the instigator of ambushing Rizzo is not a union. But the fact is that he alone has made support for charter schools cap lift a major issue, as other candidates in the race have not.

We at Here and Sphere object– as vigorously as we can — to the last minute PAC smear, which in the name of unreforming, stubborn unions, accuse their target of some sort of class treason. That was the punch in the face given to John Connolly by the AFL CIO in the 2013 Mayor race, and it is the message of the present smear of Dan Rizzo: that someone who runs for office has done something damnable if he or she voted for, or endorsed, people from both parties.

In Massachusetts we vote the person. And endorse the person. Never the party. Given what partisan stubbornness has done to this nation, we in Massachusetts are right to do as we do.

I applaud candidate Rizzo — whom we have endorsed — for endorsing some Republicans. The ones he endorsed are damn good people. I voted for all three. I also voted for Obama in 2012, and for Maura Healey and Deb Goldberg in 2014, along with Governor Baker.  As did at least 400,000 of our voters who elected a superb diverse team of reformers.

That is how democracy delivers. PACs should be abolished, and their bigoted zealotry dispersed to harmless corners of hell.

One way that our District’s voters can do that is to vote for jay Livingstone, our top endorsee; or for Dan Rizzo, our second; or for Lydia Edwards, our third endorsee. Please vote wisely tomorrow. Good citizenship asks it of us all.


—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

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