Thursday, October 13, 2005

What's goin' on

Here is some interesting stuff that has been going on lately:

Sometimes, you can take the boy out of Boston but you can't take Boston out of the boy: I have been attempting to get at as much Boston municipal race coverage as I can and, as usual, the coverage has been pretty spotty.

 As always though, the Boston Phoenix has some pretty good coverage, led by Adam Reilly. He is really coming into his own over there not only as the city beat writer but also a blogger: ["Talking Politics"]. For example, recent posts reveal the latest on Boston's pseudo mayoral race, at-Large Council candidate Matt O'Malley, and his bud, Sheriff Andrea Cabral, who it appears has escaped a photo-finish with some nasty investigations.
Reilly also did a pretty good piece on Patricia White, a candidate from the better side of the tracks pretending to be someone she isn't: ["Gender and race"]. He really took the silver-spooned White to task.
There was also some other stuff in the Boston Globe, including this pretty good column by Joan Vennochi ["A victory for 'no one cares'"] and this sleepwalking pedestrian piece by Michael Jonas ["Does vote spell trouble for Murphy reelection?"].
Now a good freelancer, Wayne Woodlief posted this recently, also predicting Councilor Stephen Murphy's downfall: ["Woddlief: Council race heads for the finals"]
In the mayoral race, Councilor Maura Hennigan seems to be really taking it to Mayor Tom Menino but he will probably win. Voters are zombies and Tommy has a lot of friends. The preliminary results for the council races are posted here in PDF format: [Preliminary].
There are some interesting conclusions one can get out of these results. First, the lack of district races didn't seem to affect the outcome of the at-large races. Across the board, the numbers aren't that disappointing, considering the large field. Even the absence of an Italian candidate didn't keep more than 10,000 folks in Eastie and the North End from voting. Even in relatively low turnout places like Ward 10/Mission Hill/Jamaica Plain, more than 3,500 people voted.
Not surprisingly, Council President Michael Flaherty topped the ticket, with Felix Arroyo nipping at his heels. Expect Arroyo to top the ticket in the final election, when more minorities, liberals and progressives tend to come out and vote.
The real story of this race is the famous sons and daughters of Boston politics who are in this race. The aforementioned White is the daughter of former Mayor Kevin White. She came in a disappointing sixth in the prelims. This is her third campaign in the last few years and it is amazing that she hasn't been tagged as being "perennial." I guess that doesn't happen to children of famous Boston pols no matter how many times they run and lose.
Eddie Flynn is the son of former Mayor Ray Flynn. Eddie isn't a bad kid from what I have heard but even his father doesn't seem to want him involved in the political fight. Eddie was going to run a few years back and he was taken to the woodshed by dad. I guess there can only be one Flynn hogging the media spotlight.
Then, there is John Connolly, the son of former state rep. and Secretary of State Michael Connolly, who placed a "surprising" third place in the race in the prelim. Surprising? Not really. While he is a "newcomer" at running for political office, he isn't a stranger to politics, having been around it his whole life. I love the way the media just comes up with these perceptions about people which are completely untrue.
Then there is Stephen Murphy. One of the hardest working councilors who has always wanted to move up but been kept down each and every time. Ambition isn't always a bad thing. And Murphy really deserves to move up. Unlike some councilors, like Mike Ross, who has used his seat to fund his master's degree in business and now, law school at Suffolk, Murphy actually does nothing but work as a councilor - full-time - exactly how it should be. In any other position, he would work just as hard. But this year, he probably is in trouble. Or is he?
The bottom four in the field - Korean immigrant Sam Yoon, White, O'Malley, and Flynn - have a lot of work ahead of them catching Connolly. With the latter three perceived as relatively progressive, they will be fighting over the same added votes which come in the higher final turnout - meaning none of them will probably be able to muster up enough votes to surpass Murphy if he can make a big push. Most liberals don't use all four votes. They target their votes. This means Arroyo will probably top the ticket. Unless Yoon, White, or O'Malley manages to come out with a big score from historically unorganized progressives in Boston, they will all squander the vote together.
While the large at-Large field is good to see - it has been waning in recent years - the lack of competitive district races is pretty pathetic. The at-large race did have an impressive 15 candidates, including two write-ins. But there was only one district race, 9, which had a preliminary race [Where my old acquaintance and friendly radical Dan "The Bagelman" Kontoff challenged incumbent conservative Democrat Jerry McDermott, someone I once considered a close friend, having volunteered and donated money to his first two unsuccessful races for the District 9 seat].
One last thing on Reilly: He posted this about a film we are all dying to see: ["Requiem for a candidate"]. There are a couple of clips on of the film. Reilly is a very colorful writer and it shows in his work.

Is there a Cindy Sheehan blackout? There seems to be. She was the media darling of the summer and has now all but vanished from the television screen. I wonder if it has to do with her recent attacks on Democrats: ["Cindy Sheehan Takes on the Democrats, Hillary Clinton"]. She also laid into Sen. John McCain, a media darling himself, which could be another reason why she has been silenced. Personally, I don't think she gives a damn about whether or not the media covers her; she is on a mission to end this fraudulent occupation of Iraq. And good for her. But it is clear that she is now being kept out of the media.

Why the NYT sucks sometimes: For printing a column by scandal sheet rag writer Kitty Kelley lecturing Bush about wanting to keep his and his daddy's records sealed: ["Bush's Veil Over History"]. I agree with her column. But she has no credibility at all.

Standing head: ["Gore: I Don't Plan to Run for President"]. Enough already. Leave the guy alone. He isn't going to run.

A cool 2008 site: ["P2008"].

More tomorrow ...

No comments: