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  • January 23, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Bruce" asks:

    Are you as surprised as I was to read about Kirsten Gillibrand being picked by NY Gov. Paterson to take Hillary's senate seat?

    I was surprised that he didn't pick Caroline Kennedy, but given that he didn't, no I wasn't surprised. Paterson's a smart cookie, and Gillibrand was the smart choice for him, for at least 4.

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  • January 23, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    Today I once again invite your questions, and will do my very best to answer -- whether with fact, opinion, conjecture, analysis, hearsay or rumor. Ask about local, state or national politics, about something I've written, or whatever you'd like.

    Leave your questions in the comments to this post, and I will answer in separate posts throughout the day.

    I'm looking forward to it!

  • January 22, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    Yup, Kevin McCrea is running for mayor of Boston.

    As of today, he is the only declared candidate. That's not to say that the rest of the potential candidates are being a bunch of weak-kneed cowards. I wouldn't call them that -- yet.

    Signature petitions for mayoral candidates are due on May 19th. (Apparently that deadline is being reviewed and may be changed.

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  • January 22, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    First of all, Mayor Tom Menino wants us to be talking about "economic recovery," not "economic stimulus." I'm not 100% sure why the distinction is so important, but I know that it matters to hizzoner, because he was kind enough to chat with this morning about the federal government's "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."

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  • January 21, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I have an article issuing mid-term report cards to Governor Deval Patrick's cabinet secretaries. We're two years into Patrick's term, so this seemed like a good time to pass some judgment.

    I left out Education Secretary Paul Reville, whose position was only created last year; I also did not review the secretaries of Veterans' Services or Elder Affairs, which, while considered by some to be cabinet positions, actually report to the Health and Human Services secretary under the current org chart.

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  • January 21, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    Kevin McCrea, businessman and one-time Boston city council candidate, has been rumored to be mulling a run for mayor of our fair city, and we'll soon learn if he'll take the plunge. A source close to McCrea has confirmed to me that he will be making an announcement tomorrow.

    Don't know McCrea? Here's his blog so you can get up to speed.

    Read More



  • January 21, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    The iron, one would think, is now hot: Boston is abrim with yea-sayers, high on political Yes We Can-do spirit. As the buzz fades, they will surely seek another dose; another promising, blank-slate candidate who personifies change, whose very election provides the endorphin-rush of evidence of the triumph of our own better natures.

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  • January 20, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    --I thought the speech was an interesting mix of anachronistic, sometimes scriptural language, and topicality. (ie, "So it has been. So it must be," followed by references to Wall Street and home foreclosures.) The idea, I assume, was to help place our current challenges in the broad historical sweep of American progress.

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  • January 20, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    "We as a nation have defeated the British, beaten back fascism and communism, gone through Civil War, and faced down innumerable other daunting challenges. So, if we set our mind to it and work hard, I believe we are capable even of the seemingly impossible task of fixing everything that George W. Bush fucked up."

  • January 15, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    State senator Steven Baddour announced plans yesterday to create a MassTrans agency, which he says will save the state $6 billion in overhead. I, for one, was amazed to learn that so much money is being spent on the transgender community in the Commonwealth.

    So I gave a jingle to Gunner Scott, director of MassTrans --aka the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition -- and asked if it was true that the organization was currently wasting $6 billion.

    Read More

  • January 15, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    David Vitter, the Republican US Senator from Louisiana, is high on Democrats' list of targets for 2010, when he faces re-election. Vitter, in case you've forgotten, turned up in the phone book of the "D.C. Madam" in 2007, leading him to confess to "very serious sin."

    But before the Democrats get to him, Vitter must traverse the Republican primary, in which he is expected to be challenged from the right -- quite possibly by Christian Conservative honcho Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

    Read More



  • January 15, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    --Michael Flaherty ended the year with $590,102 cash on hand, after raising $425k on the year, which is a typical haul for him.

    --Ralph Martin's end-of-year campaign finance report shows that he paid pollster Kiley & Co. $27,500 on February 21 -- five weeks before he announced that he would not run for mayor.

    --Gerry Leone just dropped $30k of contributions into his campaign account, more than he raised all last year.

  • January 15, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    In a recent post, I hammered Dave Wedge of the Herald pretty good for a lazy and misleading Pols & Politics column -- one that he didn't write. That's normally his column, so I assumed he wrote that one, and I failed to notice that his byline was absent. Hey, I may be mean-spirited, but I generally prefer to criticize people for things they actually did; I truly regret the error.

    Read More

  • January 13, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    --I find it absolutely inexcusable that Menino gave no shout-out to Jim Rice. I'm not kidding, this really, really bothers me.

    --Menino said the word "neighborhood" 14 times in the speech. He also managed to specifically mention Allston, Bowdoin/Geneva, Brighton, Bunker Hill, Dorchester, East Boston, Grove Hall, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Mission Hill, Roxbury, and West Roxbury.

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  • January 13, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    You don't get to be mayor of a major city for a zillion years without some political skill, and Tom Menino showed us some of what he's got tonight in his State of the City address.

    The headline of the speech was Menino's call for a wage freeze for all city employees. That has to be the headline, not just because it's big news but also because Menino made sure not to include anything else remotely resembling news in the speech.

    Read More

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