In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I take some whacks at the Massachusetts pols who are supposed to be reforming state government.
Read it here:
Roast Pork: As our state's bumbling, craven, and inept elected officials stumble toward summer, we get a few good laughs out of their promises for reform
I just got a press release from the Mass. GOP, announcing that communications director Barney Keller is leaving to work for another lost cause: the gubernatorial campaign of New York Republican Rick Lazio.
Keller's a nice guy, who is sadly doomed to toil as a mouthpiece for unpopular products -- ie, northeastern Republicans.
As I was working on my recent article about the potential political impact of green legislation on the Millennial Generation, I was particularly struck by descriptions of how globally this generation views issues. Experts kept stressing that young adults now reject American exceptionalism, and expect diplomacy and international co-operation.
In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I have a column with two parts, both about local Boston campaigning.
First, I note that mayoral candidates Michael Flaherty and Sam Yoon have exhibited some ambulance-chasing tendencies lately, and wonder whether Boston's tragedies might be the challengers' only opportunities to unseat the "Mayor for Life."
"President Barack Obama began interviewing potential Supreme Court candidates
--Wall Street Journal
Today: Tuesday, May 19, 2009
--Deval Patrick Daily Update
Yesterday was the deadline to turn in nominating signatures for Boston's city elections. They'll still be verifying and counting for some time, so we won't know for sure who made the 1500 minimum required for the at-large field. But, I can give you an update on how things look, according to a source in the elections office.
Aaron Michlewitz (whose name I have been misspelling more often than not -- and, I'm pretty sure, mispronouncing) has won the special election primary, 50%-46% over Susan Passoni. The unofficial margin of victory is 171 votes.
Congratulations to Michlewitz, who ran a good race and got it done. And kudos to Passoni as well, for a strong campaign.
The state senate is trying to agree on revenue-enhancement amendments to its version of the state budget tonight. Looks like they intend to follow the House in hiking the sales tax from 5.0 to 6.25 percent -- in the face of Deval Patrick's threat to veto.
This afternoon, the senate voted against raising the income tax, and against raising the gas tax either 19 cents or 11 cents.
The mid-day turnout numbers for today's special election show 1852 voters through noon. There aren't a lot of good turnout comparisons for the district, it looks like it's on track for more than the 2007 city council election, and less than the 2006 governor's election. For what that's worth.
Turnout looks stronger in the North End so far, which figures to be good for Aaron Michelwitz.
I've been writing for some time about the decline in elected Republican women -- a trend that started around 2004 and shows no signs of ending. It's happening up and down the ballots, but is perhaps most acute, and obvious, in the US Senate.
The GOP is down to four female Senators, after the 2008 loss of Elizabeth Dole in NC. After Kay Bailey Hutchison of TX resigns -- likely this fall -- to concentrate on her gubernatorial campaign, it'll just be the three women from sparsely populated frozen tundras off in the corners of the map: Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
--Whose bright idea was it to schedule the Suffolk 3 special election on the same day as the big American Idol finale? You can't ask people to make that many big voting decisions in one day.
--A sure sign of spring: the blooming of the Michael Flaherty signs on firefighters' lawns throughout the city.
--Am I the only one who's noticed that Menino's campaign signage this year has a color scheme -- white lettering on green background -- that matches, and blends in with, official road signage?
Here are a few items of interest about some of the folks on my latest Top 25 ranking of GOP 2012 Presidential Nominees. (Also, please note that my latest rankings cleverly included two #18s, but no #23. Oops. Please mentally renumber to compensate.)
--USN&WR's Washington Whispers informally surveyed Republican leaders for long-shot 2012 nominees, and gave a top four of my #1 Tim Pawlenty; #3 Mark Sanford; #7 Jon Huntsman, and #13 Eric Cantor.
You might want to check out...
--Tonight (5/14), a Community Budget Forum at the Roxbury YMCA, 7:00, hosted by state sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, with Gov. Deval Patrick in the house.
--Sunday (5/17), Man-Up March against gang violence, from Grove Hall to City Hall, 3:00.
Yesterday -- a week before the special-election primary -- the South End News ran a story alleging that state rep. Marty Walz "may have shared questions prepared for a 3rd Suffolk District candidate debate
with candidate Aaron Michlewitz in advance of" a recent candidates debate. So, is this a scandal? Should it be?
Here's what happened, as best as I can tell from people I spoke with, including Robert Whitney, who chairs the Ward 5 Democratic Commitee that co-hosted the debate -- and who moderated the debate.
One of the most interesting things in politics these days, to me, is the 2010 gubernatorial election cycle; I've written some about this before, but will be following it closely for you all along the way.
With Charlie Crist's announcement that he will run for the open US Senate race in Florida, rather than what would have been an easy re-election, things have gotten even more interesting.