Monday, November 3, 2003

Boston election problems

Like every big city, there have been problems in the Boston Election Dept. and how it runs elections in the city. There are so many incidents that could be mentioned I would need a book and not a page! But it is nice to see some reporting about these problems. Here is a column this morning from Adrian Walker about some of the problems: ["Pull lever for integrity"].
In fairness, I've never had a problem with some of the insiders in the department. They were always friendly, honest, and open to me. So who knows. But what happened in Chinatown is a problem. One big step forward has been the removal of those rickety old lever machines which were replaced by optical scanning machines with paper ballots. For the first time in a long time there will be a paper trail for recounts in Boston. That is, unless the machines are stuffed which is still a possibility since the department hasn't done anything about the city's voter registration problems.
I went to the Secretary of State's Web site looking for the report online but couldn't find it. I will call them later on today and see if it is online so I can post the link.
One misstatement by Walker, however, is this line:
"...the at-large race holds real suspense; the ascent of a new generation of politicians, underway for several years now, has continued to gain momentum."
Yeah, it's a new generation of "politicians" alright, but it is the same old money people holding the puppet strings over the new generation. Don't take my word for it, read from the Globe again this morning: ["In council race, money is making a huge impact"]. The same developers, the same real estate attorneys, the same moneyed interests only now they are lining different pockets. So, nothing will change.
Also, look at Felix Arroyo's numbers: $83,000 with $22,000 in the bank. Wow, that's pretty good.

Lots of white in White's ad
As an aside, I know that Boston City Council candidate Patricia White is a popular gal. She has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for her race and has the support of a lot powerful people. But has anyone seen her TV ads, broadcast non-stop on Boston television stations in the last days of the campaign? There isn't a single person of color in her ads. It's all smiling white faces. This is what happens when you shoot your ads in the beautiful sections of town, where the beautiful people are. This is what happens when you are campaigning outside Newbury Street and Beacon Hill cafes - campaigning to people who don't vote - and not in the other, more working class neighborhoods of Boston where you might find a more diverse mix of voters for your ad. It's almost as if City Councilor Mike Ross shot the ads for her! As the Boston Globe's Brian McGrory said a few weeks ago, don't get between Ross and a Nikon. You'll get trampled by the beautiful people!
But seriously, Boston is almost 40 percent minority. Those minorities are black, Hispanic, and Asian. But if you saw White's ads, you wouldn't even know that there were minorities in the city. Couldn't she find one token black, Hispanic, or Asian to throw into the ad and make it more legit? And how about daddy pimping for her? A new city? Come on. It is a newer city but it is also the same old town too.