MAGOV14 : IT’S GAME ON NOW, TO WIN BOSTON

Baker and Local 26

^ going to the flash point of a Boston election ; Charlie Baker meets with officers of Local 26 Hospitality and Hotel Workers

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The fight is on now. To win Boston, and thereby, probably, the entire election.

You may think my assessment wildly crazy. How can Charlie Baker, the Republican, win a city that has of late voted three to one Democratic, and more than three to one ?

Maybe Baker cannot win the city outright. But even if he comes close, he wins the election. And he is definitely staking his claim to doing just that.

Baker’s move on Boston didn’t begin last week. He has been working the city steadily for many months now, on e community at a time. But last week he made two moves that up the intensity of his Boston effort by a lot : first, he door knocked the heaviest-voting precinct in the city, Dorchester’s ward 16 precinct 12 — a precinct that Marty Walsh won, for mayor, by more than four to one. Second, Baker met with officers of Local 26 Hotel and Hospitality Workers. Local 26 last year made the move — endorsing Marty Walsh over their personal favorite, Felix G. arroyo — that started Walsh’s momentum rolling. Their endorsement of Baker, were it to happen, would surely do the same for him.

Baker hasn’t won the voters of that Dorchester precinct yet, nor has he gained local 26’s endorsement so far. But the fight for both is now on, and beyond it lies much ground : many Boston -based unions of great significance — SEIU Local 1199 in particular — and about 150 voting precincts, low and moderate income, in which the Democratic Governor candidates have yet to make much impact, their campaign having concentrated on the high income suburbs and on Downtown boston’s upper income areas.

Baker has much to offer the voters of these precincts and the members of the city’s major private industry unions. To the voters in communities of color, he offers support for additional charter schools — something that prompted State Rep. Russell Holmes to sponsor a charter cap lift bill that the Senate amended and killed. (Nor will Baker’s support for charter schools put him at odds with Mayor Walsh, who sat on a charter school board and is backing John McDonough’s efforts to transform how Boston public schools are managed). To voters in Dorchester (and beyond), Baker offers a continuation of Boston’s building boom — his proposal to dispose of much State-owned land for development — and thus continued work for everyone in the Building Trades. Continuation of the building boom also offers the workers of Local 26 a prosperous future, just as the recently enacted minimum wage hike — which Baker supported — offers the members of SEIU Local 1199 a chance to earn a decent living.

If all of this reminds you very much of last year’s Boston Mayor campaign, it’s no coincidence. Baker appears to be campaigning Boston very much on Mayor campaign issues, to constituencies (including Mayor Walsh’s core supporters in the Building trades, service workers, and Dorchester) ; and it is shrewd of Baker to do so, because this is what last year’s intense Mayor campaign ingrained into Boston voters’ political expectations generally.

Baker now has the pole position in the race to win boston. Of course the ultimate Democratic nominee can catch up; Boston is Democratic enough that a campaign to catch up to Baker in the city has plenty to work with. But if the Democratic nominee — probably Martha Coakley — has to spend time winning back Boston, that is time that she will not be able to spend winning votes in parts of the state far less favorable to her but where most Massachusetts elections are decided. And Coakley is hardly the candidate to win a game of catch-up. Her vague, surfacey campaign is geared for front running. A catch up candidate has to hit and hit hard and to be specific on the issues, sure of itself, pointed, forensic. I have yet, in five years of watching, to see Martha Coakley be any of these things.

I cannot say enough about the boldness of baker’s 2014 campaign, about its shrewdness, its instinct for how campaigns are run and won, its tone, its currency. We have become accustomed to seeing Republican campaigns run on spin-doctored talking points, delivered to robo-voters, or campaigns of virulent, petty negativity — who can forget Scott Brown making a fetish of Elizabeth Warren’s supposed Cherokee ancestry ? — that alienate everybody not of “the base.” Baker’s campaign — and that of his charismatic running mate, Karyn Polito — look, sound & feel entirely different from all that. theirs is not a campaign of think-tank manifestos but of outreach to actual voters and to what actual voters — of all kinds and in all neighborhoods — want and expect.

This is campaign in the classic manner, as big an effort as i have seen a Republican do in Massachusetts since 1990, maybe even since the days of John Volpe almost 50 years ago.

Little wonder that Baker and Polito continue to raise tons more money than any of their five rivals — and raised it from Massachusetts, not out of state PACs. Great campaigns give great confidence to those with smallish donations to give, from budgets that can spare only smallish funds. Baker will have all the money he needs to bring his city campaign to every urban precinct. The campaign to win them is now “game on.” Big time.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

MAGOV14 : STRENGTHS OF THE CHARLIE BAKER ARGUMENT

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It doesn’t show in the polls, but Charlie Baker’s argument for why he should be the governor is a very strong one. He made that quite clear when he spoke last night to 200 people gathered at a fundraiser in his home town of Swampscott.

He spoke about great schools : “a school in which the principal has autonomy to direct the school is a great school. I saw just such a school in New Bedford. A standard school but with an excellent principal. It’s a level one school — top 20 percent performing. Why can’t we do this everywhere ? We need to leverage the strengths that are already have.”

Giving managerial autonomy to school principals is the core reform that Boston “interim’ superintendent John McDonough has put in place. It’s a reform that almost everybody supports. Baker is the first governor candidate who I have heard address this issue.

He spoke about state owned land. “There’s so much unused state-owned land in boston. Why can’t we develop it ? There are three high cost barriers to development in Boston : permitting, labor, and the land. Mayor Walsh is fixing the permitting. Labor will always be expensive. But why must the state have to make a profit on the land ? Let’s sell it low cost and develop affordable housing. It helps the City’s tax rolls and brings life to land where there was none.”

He spoke about local aid. “We cheat the cities and towns when we withhold local aid. 500 million dollars has been cut. As governor I’ll make sure that all the local aid fund goes to communities, because that’s how you build great communities. And so far I’m the only governor candidate who has made this pledge.”

You will notice what Baker did not say. Nothing about too high taxes, nothing about small government, nothing but cities, city issues, city problems.

Baker also laid down this challenge : “Both Karyn (Polito, his running mate) and I have long experience of local and state government; she in the legislature, me in the executive; and both of us have long experience in private business. No one running can match us. No one brings to this job what we do !”

He’s right. The Democratic candidates for Lieutenant Goverbor, especially, albeit well-meaning citizens, fall way short of Polito’s ten years in the legislature and service as a town selectman. Nor have any of Democratic candidates for governor, not even Don Berwick, anything like the wide-ranging experience that Baker can claim.

The Swampscott audience — all kinds and ages of people, too — loved Baker’s speech.

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^ Baker’s running mate, former Shrewsbury State Rep Karyn Polito

So what does Baker’s Swampscott pronouncement say about his chances of election ? It says a lot.

Right now he polls 30 to 32 percent of the vote; his chief potential November opponents poll an average of 37 and 49 per cent. These are daunting numbers; baker will be campaigning uphill all the way to election day. yet if he can stick to his current message, addressing city problems to city voters in a city way — and adding his quite forward ideas on technology transformation of state administration — he has a path to victory.

It may be his only path to victory. It is also exactly what the next governor needs to make his priority, his commitment, his work to accomplish. Because it is in the cities of our state that the future is being talked out, decided, and made.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

OUR 5 YEAR OLD’s GETTING MANDATORY SEX-ED?

Passed in Chicago Mandated Sexual Education for Kindergartners is like a cold case file. It was a heated debate at the start of the school year, only to make NO headlines since. Outraged as a parent vs my abstract — usually unbiased journalism side, I decided to ask around our area — the south coast, for input on the matter. Here is the result of the things combined above……..

Background 150 people were polled at random, 125 men 125 women from all social, financial, sexual, and political — as well as age brackets. With such diversity in our surveyed pool — for sure there would be a fairly decent ratio of No vs Pro Sex-Ed for 5 yr old’s, RIGHT? WRONG, instead we found that actually only 2% agreed with the idea. When it was revealed that this law had already been passed — AND — became effective in Chicago IL. Public School Systems THIS YEAR……Our polled parties were beside themselves, some angry, others terrified — but ALL posing the question –“But HOW could parents ANYWHERE allow schools to take over like that?” THE QUESTION and ANSWERS posed later in this article  seemed to silence all. If only for a few minutes of self-reflection, and deep thought. As the school year approached, and parents began to hustle for last-minute needs and supplies — parents of kindergartners were preparing in a whole different way. For many,this would be your first year with your baby/ babies in the “trusted hands” of the public school system. This year would begin your journey into uncharted territory — full of unknowns, unthinkable’s,proud moments, and those Kodak Captured milestones — as parents you knew were going to come eventually. Yet the moment that matters is the moments you were living. The moments where you as a parent were in complete control of the outcome. Then you find yourself at that pivotal moment in time — where it stands still — and you realize THIS IS WHAT ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT… Letting go……Handing the reigns, even if only for 6 hours a day –over to someone else. This was the time you loosen your tight grasp, slowly disengaging your entangled hands — and allowing your child to go into the world and BEGIN to learn……Begin to grow into their own….Begin the next chapter of their life’s storybook. BUT DID YOU CONSIDER FOR ONE MOMENT — THAT YOUR BARELY SELF-SUFFICIENT, AUTONOMOUS, FREEWHEELING  5 YR OLD  WOULD BE ((MANDATED)) TO HAVE SEXUAL EDUCATION TAUGHT TO HIM OR HER??  Didn’t think so….. Well parent’s of Chicago IL. kindergartners got just that. A reworked, updated curriculum — with a mandated sex-ed course starting in kindergarten. Chicago Public School or CPS officials say that the “sex ed curriculum will use age-appropriate language to teach children the correct names of body parts” ———-Are they serious? ” Okay yes CPS, that’s just a brilliant idea — I mean screw the part where what “we as a family unit and PARENTS of said children think or feel — HELL, as long as they are not calling their “thingy” a D**k, and she doesn’t really think the name of her “bubbles” are boobs BY ALL MEANS GO AHEAD…….” In the same statement CPS says it’s curriculum will teach the kids about “bullying, and the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching.” — ????????????????????? (Okay maybe were way off base here but I’m pretty sure any GOOD PARENT, has had the basic what is okay and what’s not conversation as soon as possible with their child/children. The one’s who haven’t either felt no need “yet” or — at the other end of the spectrum should not be parent’s at all, perhaps more focus on that end would be better than telling “OUR” children things that cross lines. Lines put in place to separate what the public see’s and feels is RIGHT or OKAY — versus how ANY other household may view these  subjects. After looking through comments and quotes made to the press, and even general statements and press releases — made by everyone from the CPS to (SIECUS) better known as Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States — a reoccurring barely noticeable trend was emerging. In EVERY statement about the curriculum — there always seemed to be loosely used terms poignant enough as to redirect the reader’s attention. We will demonstrate as we move on. Right now we will redirect you ourselves back to our polled people. After confronting them with the question — and the rebuttal they gave (see top for refreshing.) The question was then posed…… Who did you vote for in the last 2 elections? obama its the right thing to do Our polled  group  made up of 47%  republican(only 23% of which conservative republicans) — 45% Democrat (30% of which considering themselves liberal democrats) — and the other 8% being an undisclosed or chose not to identify with either party.  When revealed that they had ALL except 11% voted for President Obama — it was actually quite startling. Ages 18-65 — married, single, divorced, separated — poverty-stricken to wealthy — childless to hands full, and /or expecting — ONE COMMON DENOMINATOR — ALL VOTED OBAMA! Now what does Obama have to do with any of this you may wonder? Well our participant’s did too. The answer is not at all black and white, cut and dry, with very little grey area — actually the more we researched the more we discovered how very deeply into “the grey” this subject is.  Yet Obama does factor in and here is how, In 2003 Barack Obama supported even “pushed” for the proposal of mandated sex-ed for kindergartners — he went on to continue defending his stand on this matter, when running for president in 2008’s election cycle. In 2003 Obama who was the then chairperson for the SIECUS committee, voted in favor of a bill (SB99) or Senate Bill 99 — that suggested making changes to the existing Illinois sex-ed law which at the time required instruction for grades 6-12 that included topics like AIDS how it is transmitted, spread, and how to prevent it. Illinois law also said “schools must teach honor and respect for monogamous heterosexual marriage.” SB99 would have eliminated all mention of marriage in the Illinois sex-ed code. It would have REQUIRED that all material used in classrooms be “age and developmentally appropriate, and medically accurate”. AND PAUSE — here is one example of A.) SPIN, and B.) Redirection from the main point. The main point here is that because heterosexual monogamous marriage is not the only kind of relationship it was discarded and no longer worthy of respect and honor. Also the fact that  “age and developmentally appropriate, and medically accurate.”materials be REQUIRED well (sigh of relief) for a second we thought by trying to veer away from the point of teaching our 5 year old’s sex-ed — AND, taking away ALL mention of marriage, and attempting to redirect our focus — whereby putting us at ease with words like age-appropriate, and medically correct — just might have been the goal. (PHEW glad we cleared that up)……. Age-appropriate….Developmentally-appropriate….Medically-Correct — Here is where it gets sticky…. Who decides what age is appropriate? Is it the same age for everyone? (Especially since males supposedly mature slower than females.) What about the special education students? Or how the term medically correct actually means anatomically correct and human body accuracy. Who is the deciding voice? Who has come into OUR homes and asked OUR “opinion” on what our children are taught? Who asked the parents of these little ones what their beliefs — religious, or otherwise are? class of kids ((CRICKETS))??? Thought so. The SB99 bill — even with Obama’s support and push as he called it, DID NOT PASS in 2003. However here are some highlights to keep in mind. Here is a video from a Planned Parenthood convention on July 17th, 2007 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in D.C. A “peer educator” in the D.C. public school system asked the then U.S. Senator Obama what his intentions where regarding the continued pushing forth with the teaching of “medically accurate, age-appropriate, and responsible sex-ed”? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zQryISazAc Obama proclaims with much conviction that “SEX-ED FOR KINDERGARTNERS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!” Obama is seen in this video joking about Alan Keys a running mate using the truth that “Obama had worked with Planned Parenthood to pass a bill on the topic mentioned above about sex-ed for our 5 year old’s — during the time he served in the Illinois state legislature. Again the terms “science-based, fact-based, age-appropriate etc, are tossed around so freely. But as our polls indicate in (Many if not the majority of households here in the south coast and across the U.S. — sex-ed is NOT something that is taken so lightly. Not every household whether by dynamic or religion, or other variable sees this as a topic to be discussed or even touched upon at such a young and possibly detriment causing age. In many households sex-ed is a “FAMILY MATTER”and should not be left in the hands of teachers unfamiliar with each family the curriculum may affect. Key wording would be Family Matter.” Sex-ed at ANY level at this age is usually discussed at an age and time frame a family / parent’s have deemed appropriate” says one Chicago mother of three. Megan Morrow: ” I am pissed the hell off she tells Here and Sphere. I am a mother happily married — my husband of 9 years is in the military, active duty at the moment. Our youngest child is adopted, he is 5. We adopted him when my sister passed away when he was 1 month old. We have not told him ALL of his story yet! ((she sobs)) ……. The new curriculum teaches them all about the different family dynamics and “types of families” including adoption…… “Why some kids look nothing like their “parents”etc. Our son adopted or not has bright red hair — his fathers genes were clearly dominant — the rest of our family are dark-haired, olive complected, dark-eyed….((more sobs)) — he is a very bright child he will know.” she exclaimed…. “I don’t want to play beat the clock to tell him first, unprepared with my husband lands away — ITS JUST NOT FAIR…… There are so many similar stories it is heart breaking. Delving deeper into the curriculum we dug up a “teacher’s memo” showing things no media outlet has even touched on. Such as our 5 year old’s spongy little brains  may be just test subjects in a 7 year implementation of curriculum — developed to assess if it has low-mid-high or no impact on  Chicago’s nationally higher documented STD and underage, unwed pregnancy rate among K-12 graders. The “teacher’s memo” consists of these sentences:

  • Part of the National multi-year Evaluation of Adolescent pregnancy prevention approaches funded by the office of Adolescent Health U.S. Department of Health and Human services.
  • Conducted by Mathematica Policy RESEARCH.

Here is the link you be the judge — http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/oah-initiatives/assets/ppa_chicago_implementation_report.pdf When researching for a broader opinion and/ or more facts regarding the curriculum — we also happened upon Thinkprogress.org — they seemed to have a very non-surprising, conservative bashing, liberal take on the matter. A quote from the article found on their site reads: “So what’s at the root of all this concern? What kind of salacious details will Chicago’s youngest student’s be receiving, thanks to the new sex-ed guidelines? What does Obama want to force kindergartners to sit through?” Well for starters now that the bill has passed this year, it reads much like the SIECUS curriculum. Mandating instruction to our Kindergarten classes on things such as same-sex relationships, appropriate touching, correct terminology for anatomy. “Students will take a look at the different types of family structures that exist in today’s society” and  “When discussing same-sex relationships — we will use non-graphic terms” —— AGAIN let me point out the sugar-coating “non-graphic terms” (OH I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER)……Not remotely….. Using these what may be age-appropriate or non-graphic terminology to some — may be a whole other overwhelming, mind-blowing, and startling thing to a 5-year-old who has already had to endure the harsh truth of war, drug overdoses by parents, or family members and the list goes on………BUT WHERE DOES THIS ALL STOP? ENOUGH with the diversion tactics the smoke and mirrors, street magician bullshit –(bring your attention HERE……….and if we are lucky enough you won’t see what we are up to over…………..HERE, HELL we might even get you on board the very train you wanted to derail…..Right? After all is said and done the fact remains that it is only a matter of time before Massachusetts and Rhode Island legislature attempt this in our homes , Cities, Towns, States, are you in the know? Where do you stand we want to hear from you? Comment, share, ask around these ARE OUR CHILDREN AFTER ALL………. sexed Written by: Heather Cornell of Here and Sphere hereandsphereprofileshot

BPPA AWARD TO THE COUNCIL ? STEPHEN MURPHY LAYS INTO MENINO

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^ Council President Stephen Murphy

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Boston, October 2, 2013 at 2.45 PM —- Stephen Murphy, Boston City Council president, is not at all happy with having the City’s arbitration with the Patrolmen’s Union bounced back to the Council for a yes or no.

“I’m angriest at the Mayor,” Murphy told me. “We’ve been good to him on all his projects, and now that he’s out the door he hands this to us. No, I’m not happy.” In fact, Murphy is angrier than that quote. He shares with me some not-so-choice words about Mayor Menino.

Murphy doesn’t know when there’ll be a Council hearing on whether to accept the award, which gives the Patrolmen a 25,4% raise over several years. “First the award has to get to us,” he said. “it hasn’t. I need to see what’s in it before I know how to vote.”

Will it come before the election five weeks from now ? Murphy isn’t even sure of that. One hears the frustration in his voice.

Murphy also doesn’t know if he will have the Council as a whole do the hearing or give it to District 9 Councillor mark Ciommo’s committee.

His beef isn’t with the award itself, which he hasn’t seen the details of. “There hasn’t been a lot of public outcry about the award, though the media want to make it one,” he tells me. But when questioned about the Walsh legislation — House Bill 2467 — that Connolly has cited, Murphy agrees that “it is a mistake” to take away the Council’s authority to approve or turn down arbitration awards.

The issue thus continues. It will definitely be raised by Connolly time and again. And parried by Walsh again and again. Meanwhile, Tom Menino walks out the political door with a “who, me ?” shrug.

—- Michael Freedberg

BOSTON MAYOR FINAL : WHAT THE TWO NEED TO DO, AND WHY

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^ John Connolly — Marty Walsh : two irish names but men who could hardly be more different

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Who will win on November 5th and become Boston’s next mayor ? The punditry has already begun. Most of what we’ve read talks about “communities color” and how on Tuesday Boston voted once again for two Irish white guys who now need to find a way to win said communities’ votes. True; but very simplistic. There are a lot more votes that Walsh or Connolly need to win. 64 % of those who voted on Tuesday voted for somebody else. Many November voters did not vote at all. Probably as much as 80 % of those who will vote on November 5th did not vote for the two white irish guys.

What must Walsh and Connolly do about it ? And how do I assess the obstacles they face ? Here goes:

1.Marty Walsh on Tuesday was pretty much a locally dominant winner; John Connolly on Tuesday was fairly much a broadly based vote-getter. Walsh’s vote was passionate, Connolly’s cool. Cool votes count as much as hot ones.

Despite his first place finish, Walsh’s challenge is immense. Though he swept cleanly the precincts of his seaside base — from South Boston to Savin Hill to Florian hall — he turned out 45 % to as much as 71 % of the voters in those precincts, by dint of a vast field organization of door knockers. That card is now played. He can increase his base vote by some, but not by a lot. Yes, he won as much as 77 % of the vote in his “base.” But 77 % of 80% of all voters in his base, say, isn’t that much more than 77 % of 71%.

As for outside his base, Walsh barely registered in some very key places. Take a look :

( a ) Ward 5 (Back bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway ) ——— Walsh 224 Connolly 1426
South End & Downtown (Ward 3 Pcts 6,7,8
and ward 4 Pcts 1-6, Wd 8 Pcts 1-3, ward 9 Pcts 1-2)………………………………………………………                               Walsh 545 Connolly 1909

TOTAL DOWNTOWN AREA ………….          Walsh 769 Connolly 3335

In the Primary, these precincts turned out an average of about 22 % to 25 % of their registered vote. In November these precincts always turn out in much bigger numbers. Even an increase from 25 % to just 40% — there will likely be more — would raise Connolly’s advantage over Walsh from 2564 votes to over 4000 votes. at 50% turnout the margin would increase to 5128 votes.

( b ) Ward 20 (West Roxbury and much of Roslindale)
………………………………………………………………… Walsh 1763 Connolly 4074

This doesn’t on the face of it look so bad for Walsh in Connolly’s home neighborhood. But looks deceive. Connolly faced a strong other candidate, Dan Conley, living in Ward 20 too and taking about 2500 votes (I am estimating, the City of Boston Ward and Precinct unofficial results for some reason leave Conley out). In addition, Ward 20 turned out 49% of its huge number of voters. In November, Ward 20 can turn out at least 70% — 17,000 to 18,000 voters — and Dan Conley will not be on the ballot. At 17,000 votes, a Walsh 3500 Connolly 13,500 result is entirely feasible. Even a more likely Walsh 5000 Connolly 12,000 result would give Connolly a larger margin than the entire vote turnout in Walsh’s home Ward 16.

Add a conservative Connolly margin of 5000 in the downtown areas, and he now has a bigger margin — 12,000 — over Walsh than the likely entire turnout from Wards 16 and 7, Walsh’s two strongest Wards.

( c ) East Boston, Brighton, Ward 19 (Centre Street, Jamaica Plain; plus a small part of Roslindale)

Even with the support of State Rep. Liz Malia, Walsh fared not so hot in Jamaica Plain. In East Boston, Connolly had the endorsement of State Rep. Carlo Basile. Basile delivered. In Brighton, to which neither he nor Connolly had any local claim, Connolly was the clear winner :

Ward 1 ………………………………………………….. Walsh 762 Connolly 1214

Curiously, in this once banner “Italian” Ward, Rob Consalvo did not dominate Tuesday. His vote total barely matched Connolly’s. Turnout, too, was shockingly small : about 28 % . In November, all this will change. Historically, East Boston has consciously “delivered” the bigger part of 6000 to 7000 votes to a preferred, usually Irish, contender. It was famously so in 1959, when Ward 1’s vote made the difference in John Collins’s upset win over the much favored John E. Powers. In 2013 it is unlikely that Ward 1’s top politicals can “deliver” the Ward to anybody; yet with a much higher turnout — that much the ward’s politicals can do — and Rob Consalvo out, plus a clear preference for Connolly, as it stands today he will carry “Eastie” by about 1400 votes : say 4200 to 2800.

Ward 21 …………………………………………………………. Walsh 362 Connolly 631
Ward 22 …………………………………………………………. Walsh 818 Connolly 832
TOTAL ………………………………………………………………..      . 1180                  1463

Brighton’s turnout was tiny. In Primaries it always is. In November, the turnout might double and still be small. Connolly’s advantage isn’t much, but it is an advantage and takes away from Walsh a possible chance to cut Connolly’s huge vote margins in the Wards I have already assessed.

Ward 19 ………………………………………………………. Walsh 542 Connolly 1007

Many Ward 19 votes went to other candidates on Tuesday. Still, unless they break decisively to Walsh, and adding a modestly higher turnout — to maybe 55 % — than Tuesday’s estimable 42 %, Connolly still stands to win the Ward by a good 1500 votes. Not a lot, but at this point Connolly doesn’t need a lot more.

All of the above leaves it — with one exception; see below — up to Boston’s “communities of color,” concentrated in Wards 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, part of 13 and 15, 17, and much of 18. It’s a lot of the City’s voters, maybe 25 % — greater, taken together, than Ward 20. On Tuesday, Walsh and Connolly won almost an equal share of what little vote in these communities did not go to Charlotte Golar Richie, John Barros, and Felix Arroyo. If on November 5th communities color divide their vote equally, Connolly almost certainly wins. What are the chances that Walsh can turn a palpable majority of voters of color in his direction ? As of today, I cannot tell. My friends think that a decision here will not be made until after one or two of the upcoming three debates. I think they are right.

But let us say that even after the debates, Boston’s voters of color poll equally for Walsh and Connolly. Does Walsh still have a chance ? Yes he does.

I’ve left one big region out of the discussion : the part of Ward 18 that Mayor Menino lives in. it is said that Menino cannot stand John Connolly, and Connolly’s loss to Walsh in Hyde Park and Readville bears out what is said :

Ward 18 Pcts 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23)
————————————————————————– Walsh 647 Connolly 542

In Menino’s home precinct (20), Walsh beat Connolly 97 to 34. Of course the overwhelming majority of votes in the precinct went to local hero Rob Consalvo. He won about 2500 votes in the whole region. It is assumed, probably correctly, that Consalvo will support Marty Walsh. If I assign Consalvo’s 2500 local votes three to one to Walsh, and increase the turnout from 45 % to 60 %, Walsh wins Menino’s home area by about 1800 votes.

With this 1800 vote victory, a 10 point margin among communities of color, some increase of vote in his home area (South Boston especially), and a strong debate showing leading to a decent majority among voters who did not vote at all on Tuesday, Marty Walsh can win the day. But it will not be easy.

Marty is respected by all who know him, has a civil rights record second to no one, and has the utter loyalty of labor (other than the Teachers Union). He needs to run an almost perfect campaign. He needs to tell us about his 16-year record at the state House. He needs to show that he speaks the language of business, and its plans, as authoritatively as he talks that of labor.

Walsh needs badly to expand his reach at least into areas where he wasn’t blown out : Tom Menino’s half of Ward 18; Jamaica Plain; Brighton (Ward 22); the North End; and Ward 10 (Mission Hill precincts). He would be well advised to borrow from Dan Conley’s excellent, neighborhood-oriented recommendations list of administrative reforms. He needs to get Felix Arroyo and Rob Consalvo aboard.

John Connolly’s strategy should be “steady as you go.” Continue to do exactly what he has been doing, but also present a convincing plan for administrative reform — Dan Conley’s neighborhood by neighborhood list, but also reform of the Police and Fire Departments. Connolly needs to get some sleep before the debates and come out passionate and and in command as he already has shown he can do.

Can Walsh do it ? Yes he can. But John Connolly is no punching bag. He can do it too. He speaks as eloquently as Walsh does, seems to understand the culture better, and draws voters of all ages and both genders much more readily than Marty Walsh has so far shown.

It is going to be a terrific six weeks, isn’t it ?

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere

BOSTON PRIMARY DAY : WHAT IT MEANS

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^ And now the political theater begins : Marty Walsh

112,804 Boston people cast ballots in yesterday’s Preliminary Election. That’s way less than the 157,041 who voted in 1967’s equally intense mayor primary, but it IS more than voted in 2009’s FINAL. It’s a good number, and not far short of the 119,000 we predicted would vote.

You all know by now the result. Marty Walsh, with 20,838 votes, made good on his election-eve claim that he would “top the ticket.” John Connolly finished with 19,420 votes — in second place. Charlotte Golar-Richie finished third — 3900 votes back of Connolly; Dan Conley finished 2800 votes behind her, and Felix Arroyo took the fifth spot some 1900 votes behind Conley. John Barros finished a close sixth, 750 votes short of Arroyo. Consalvo and Ross finished seventh and eighth.

For the 12 primary hopefuls, it was a polite campaign. No one wanted to go negative and this excite the others’ supporters to come out in larger numbers. Indeed, that 112,804 people turned out to vote in a love fest is a credit to the civic-mindedness of some 30 % of Boston’s registered voters. It was far different in 1967, when there was passion and drama all over the campaign, anger between candidates, riots at times in the city, and unrest the rest of the time.

We can do without the riots, but everything else that made 1967 such a Shakespearean campaign we need plenty of. We need debate, we need anger; we need the two remaining candidates and their supporters to go at it hammer and tong. Because Walsh and Connolly really are very different men with very different agendas and support bases. None of it should be glossed over with pretty talk and grins. If the huge differences between these men do not collide with the sound of shoulder pads and helmets clanging, so to speak, it will man hiding these differences in the closet, to taint the administration of whomever wins, and to make the winner’s agenda distrusted from the start.

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^ thespians all : john Connolly

As for analysis, here’s how we see yesterday :

1. The “base” vote. Walsh did much better in his South Boston/Dorchester “base” than Connolly did in his West Roxbury/Roslindale homeland. But Walsh did not have to compete with a seriously strong candidate in his base, as Connolly did with Dan Conley. Had Walsh had to give up 30 % of his home vote to a competitor, as did Connolly, Charlotte Golar-Richie would be in the Final today, not Walsh.

2. East Boston, Charlestown, North End, Downtown. These areas were to be John Connolly’s trump, his claim to city-wide strength, and so they were. He beat Marty Walsh convincingly in the region. But the turnout here was small. Connolly’s field organization did not do the job here that it should have. Had turnout in this region come even close to that in Ward 20, Connolly would have finished convincingly in first place.

3. Communities of Color. Despite valiant efforts, neither Walsh nor Connolly broke 75 votes in any precinct of Wards 8,11, 12, or 14. Nor in most precincts of wards 9, 10, 17, and 18. This entire region — maybe 25% of the City — now stands up for grabs, with no obvious inclination in either man’s direction.

That said, John Barros should be on John Connolly’s first-call list right now, and Felix Arroyo on Marty Walsh’s. The supporters of each have a natural place in these respective campaigns. Charlotte Golar-Richie’s support, however, is the prize — and the mystery. Her agenda fits, more or less, with both Walsh’s and Connolly’s.

4. School Transformation. It was Connolly’s mantra, and it carried a lot of weight. But not enough. As Walsh well said on election night, “I am not the one-issue candidate in this election !” Connolly should immediately, if not sooner, grab the administrative reform issue that made Dan Conley a serious contender. Connolly should in particular pick up Conley’s brilliant series of neighborhood brochures listing specific administrative reforms, most of which hit the bulls-eye. Conley and Connolly are natural allies. If Connolly hasn’t called Dan already, he should do so NOW.

5. Unions. Huge, football fan-like support from union activists gave Marty Walsh a big Primary day field force. They got their vote to the polls. Nonetheless, Union support is not a strength for Walsh going forward. Labor activists can get 20,000 voters to the polls. They cannot get the 80,000 or so which will likely be needed to win in November. Unions generate strong opposition even in progressive Boston. No one liked the pressure the Firemen brought to bear on the City budget at their contract time; and the Big Dig, albeit an economic boon, is not forgotten for huge cost overruns in part generated by Union wages. Personally, I have no problem at all with union wages; hard working people deserve great pay. But the Unions that negotiate such pay often use tactics that alienate large swaths of people — who do not forget. Walsh needs badly to convince those who did not vote for him that he is not Walter Reuther.

That said, the construction workers and the Firemen at least have strong ties to Boston people, ties that remain, at least in part, because these Unions are led by shrewd political leaders (of whom Walsh himself was one). The same cannot be said of the Boston Teachers Union (BTU). It endorsed two losing candidates — Felix Arroyo, justifiably; Rob Consalvo much less so — and now stands out in the cold. Neither Connolly nor Walsh are likely to enact the BTU’s agenda, especially its opposition to charter schools — schools backed by a huge majority of Boston voters — a meaningful longer school day, giving principals power to choose their teachers, or the seniority rules that caused 2012’s “teacher of the year’ to be laid off because he was junior in time on the job. Had the BTU acted shrewdly — by endorsing Connolly, for making the schools a prime issue, saying something like “we differ with Connolly on how, but we agree with him on the need for reform” — it would now be in a strong position to see some of its agenda included in the Connolly package. Didn’t happen.

6. A majority of the November winner’s vote will come from people who DID NOT vote for him yesterday. How does a candidate win the votes of those who did not choose him first ? One principle cries out : these voters will now vote for the candidate they DIS-like less. Thus the need that I presented earlier, to run a negative campaign; to DIFFER with the opponent, passionately. And there is plenty to differ with, for both Connolly and Walsh. Plenty on many fronts.

—- —- —-

A Final word from me : the campaign trend that I most reject is already developing : both campaigns are becoming institutionalized. Television theater. Connolly’s already had done so. Now Walsh’s too. This I hate. It makes the campaigns look phony and sound plastic. We have enough Plastic Men in our politics. I do not want to see Walsh or Connolly standing on a stage with an American flag behind them, like a President — which they aren’t — and what looks like a diversity audience at an Oprah show. Diversity is wonderful, but in such calculated displays it looks like window dressing. Let’s see Connolly or Walsh on stage by themselves, with no flags or fooforaw, just them, speaking to us all out in the crowd, on the street like a jury of 175,000.

— Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere

BOSTON MAYOR RACE : TIME TO CHOOSE

The Primary takes place Tuesday. The deciding time is now.

To help you decide, we now present what in our view is the strongest argument for each of the nine candidates who have impressed us. Some carry more authority than others; this is inevitable, for people do differ. Still, all nine hopefuls deserve support. How MUCH support is for YOU to decide.

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1. John Connolly.

He owns the campaign’s number one issue — public school reform — and articulates an encompassing plan with passion and detail; a plan which he connects convincingly to two other issues that really matter, with solutions that he articulates persuasively : better jobs and public safety in the neighborhoods. He has broad support all across the city. He has a hip understanding of the new, burgeoning Downtown. If school transformation, cultural awareness, and support from every corner of Boston are your idea of what the next Mayor should be, John Connolly is your man.

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2. Marty Walsh

If John Connolly is a cool dude, Walsh is a hot button, a candidate of urgency. No candidate in the race matches Walsh’s civil rights record. His supporters embrace him with a passion no other candidate approaches. Walsh owns the campaign’s second biggest issue : the Downtown Building boom — which he wants extended by school construction, the potential East Boston casino, and an entirely redeveloped City Hall Plaza. He has the most forward plan for recruiting business es to locate in Boston.

Curiously, for a man so committed to a booming Downtown, Walsh seems culturally very unhip, even unaware. And his education plan seems limited compared to Connolly’s, though it has its strong points, especially on emotional and social education — very cutting edge curriculum items. Walsh has the backing of most Boston labor unions — but not the Teachers — and this has hurt him as much as helped.

Still, if extending Boston’s construction boom, bringing in new business, and having a Mayor who doesn’t view union workers as the opposition are your agenda, Marty Walsh gets your vote.

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3. Dan Conley.

He’s received almost no endorsements — Connolly has almost all of them — but he doesn’t really need endorsements. Conley is known well already and, as Suffolk County District Attorney, he represents and has been elected by the entire City. He’s even less hip than Walsh — is exactly whom you’d expect to find at a VFW Post or an Elks lodge — but makes up for it by having as progressive a record on staff diversity as anyone seeking to be our Mayor. No candidate would be tougher on reform of the City’s Police and Fire departments — both much needed; Conley displays a better knowledge of City administration, and its failures, than any of his rivals in this race. He doesn’t like casinos much but isn’t obsessed with stopping them. If thorough reform of the City’s various administrative departments is your top priority, Conley gets your vote.

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4. Charlotte Golar-Richie.

She is of course the only woman in the race and has become the top choice of Boston’s African-american political community. (Note, however, that the Caribbean Political action Committee endorsed John Connolly.) Golar-Richie has authoritative experience in Boston government, as Tom Menino’s Director of Neighborhood Development, represented Dorchester’s least politically active ward (15) in the Legislature, and worked in Governor Patrick’s administration. She has gained the support of State Representatives Moran and Michlewitz; they are actively campaigning on her behalf. Golar-Richie’s advocacy of issues often lacks depth or detail, and it’s not clear what her top priorities are — other than advancing women to top positions in the Police and Fire departments — but her broad base of support, ability to command Boston’s African-American politics, and advocacy for women moves you, Golar-Richie is your vote on Tuesday.

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5. Felix G. Arroyo.

We have known Arroyo since he was a small child growing up as the namesake son of Felix D. Arroyo, Massachusetts’ s most successful politician of Latino heritage. Arroyo has his Dad’s passion for raising the disadvantaged and the poor up into the economic mainstream; they — and the City’s children who find themselves set back in school because at home they speak languages first other than English — are his top priority for attention. He also advocates assuring disadvabtaged kids a sure connection to better jobs, and he seeks the formation of new businesses (his “invest in Boston” program, whereby banks in which Boston deposits its billion dollars are required to lend to and invest in local businesses first, has just been voted favorably by the City Council).  He speaks of securing crime plagued neighborhoods from youth violence, which he rightly sees as the result of lacking opportunity. If attention to raising people usefully out of poverty is your first priority for Boston’s next mayor, Arroyo is your man.

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6. John Barros and Mike Ross.

They’re a matched pair, really. The campaign’s two smartest and most visionary candidates forsee a very different Boston than the City we live in today, a City radically evolved in transportation, working wages, environmental green, effective housing plans for every income level, and smart entrepreneurs — all of which both men articulate eloquently and in very practical detail. The mayoralty of either would be an adventure. Hardly any City department is deployed to anything like the City they want to bring about. Voting for Barros or Ross, rather than Connolly — who would likely be the more cautious choice for voters considering these two men — depends upon how successful you think Barros or Ross would be in making their visionary Boston happen. Many voters will decide that adventure into tomorrow is needed right now. They will want to vote for Barros or Ross.

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7. Rob Consalvo and Bill Walczak.

I’ve paired these two very different candidates because both have made a single issue their campaign gravatar, and those for whom either man’s single issue is the vital necessity for Boston may want to give that issue greater attention by so voting. For Walczak the issue is stopping casinos– in particular both the East Boston casino AND the casino project planned for Everett, right next door to Charlestown — and building an East Boston “innovation district” instead. (why we can’t have both, Walczak does not say.). If you agree that a casino in Boston or Everett needs be stopped so badly that all other issues come second, Bill Walczak is your man. For Consalvo the issue is advocating the Boston Teachers’ Union (BTU) plan for Boston school reform : first principle of which is to curb, if not end, charter schools. There is much in the BTU reform plan — a ten page manifesto well worth reading from top to bottom — that commands support, especially its commitment to give all students, including the difficult kids, equal access to core curriculum attention well beyond the MCAS requirements. No one should plan a school reform that does not command the enthusiasm of school teachers, whose job is so exhausting, exciting, demanding. Those who want Boston school teachers to be heard at school reform time may think the surest way of getting there is to vote for Consalvo.

8.There are three other candidates on the ballot, good men all — Charles Yancey, Charles Clemons, and David Wyatt — but none has drawn significant voter support, mostly because each has run a limited campaign often lacking in depth beyond a demonstrable passion for issues that the major campaigns have not focused upon. You may decide to vote for one of these men. They all deserve attention to their issues : Yancey, his long experience and knowledge; Clemons, making the City administration “look like the City”; Wyatt, his skepticism about the ability of City government to do much better than it has. For us, the significance of their candidacies lies in their infusing their issues into the campaign discussion. A vote, though, seems one infusion too far in such a deep field of strong candidates.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere