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  • June 22, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Last night I was honored to moderate a Ward 5 Democrats forum for the candidates for the four at-large city council seats -- the first such forum of the year. Incumbents Felix Arroyo, John Connolly, and Stephen Murphy were there, joined by challengers William Dorcena, Michael Flaherty, and Sean Ryan. The only candidate not in attendance was incumbent Ayanna Pressley, who had to cancel to tend to her ill mother.

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  • June 08, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I look at the 2011 Boston City Council election, now that the field is pretty much set. What happens if they hold an election, and nobody notices?

    Four years ago, when Boston last voted for City Council but not mayor, less than 14% of the Boston electorate bothered to show up.

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  • May 08, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Local political reporters rejoice: what could have been the sleepiest election season in ages will instead be a fun-filled bloodbath. That's right, Michael Flaherty has just announced that he is running for Boston City Council at-large.

    I have been saying all year and longer that he was serious about it, but I was never really sure he would pull the trigger.

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  • April 20, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Maureen Feeney makes it official: she won't run for re-election to Boston City Council. This has been much-rumored, and a decision one way or another was expected by -- well, by today, when signature papers first become available for those seeking to run. So there it is.

    Feeney, 63, has remained popular in her Dorchester district, even as it went through dramatic changes during her 17 years in office.

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  • March 31, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    --Several friends of Talking Politics said recently that they were phone-polled about Scott Brown and potential 2012 Senate match-ups. Looks like that was the work of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which, according to Salon, learned that Scotto is as popular as white chowder in the Bay State. His approval rate is at a stunning 73%, and he tops 50% in head-to-heads with top Democrats.

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  • March 18, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    OK, back to the Ask Me Anything Day questions, after that little outburst. The great Tony Schinella of politizine asks:

    What are you thoughts on the upcoming Boston city council races? With it be yet another sleepy affair? With all that is going on with the budget, school cuts, will it be competitive? Will ward councilor like Mike Ross escape challenge once again? What, if anything, can be done to increase voter turnout and participation?

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  • March 18, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Michael" seems to think it's Ask Me Everything Day (just kidding!):

    Which district city councilors will have legitimate challenges this year? Why did you get Mike Pence so totally wrong? Why are all the Republican candidates for president waiting, waiting, waiting to announce? Regarding legislation last year to keep govt offices open on the two hack holidays: Why don't our legislators know how to write legislation anymore?

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  • March 16, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Congratulations to Tito Jackson, who scored a convincing win over Cornell Mills yesterday and will be the new Boston City Councilor from District 7. Topping the 80% mark should make him safe in the rapid-turnaround defense of his seat this fall; Mills is likely to try again, but that's a big mountain to climb, and others will probably stay out.

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  • February 15, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    District 7 (Roxbury) goes to the polls today, in the preliminary election to determine the two finalists to succeed Chuck Turner on the Boston City Council. More on that as the day progresses.

    But meanwhile, here's a question for my Boston political nerds to chew on!

    As you surely know, this is a redistricting year. I am told that this process might very well ultimately involve the redrawing of not only the nine council districts, but the city's wards and precincts -- which, as I understand it, haven't been redrawn since oh, I don't know, since they were marking the cow paths with street signs or something.

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  • January 21, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Johnny" hits me with three questions that I'm not going to be very helpful with:

    Which people at the Probation Department will be indicted? Any legal basis to the argument that the city council had no authority to expel Turner prior to sentencing? Who's the sitting city councilor with the worst reputation as a lech?

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  • January 21, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Ask Me Anything Day is gaining momentum!!! "Joe Belino" asks:

    Because of Sal LaMattina being named Boston City Council Vice President do you think that the Mayor will run for re-election and at that time LaMattina will be President of the council?

    Joe, clearly a devious fellow, calculates that Menino will set it up to run and win re-election in 2013, and then resign soon after -- making the council president acting mayor, hence the notion of setting fellow Italian-American LaMattina up for that position.

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  • January 21, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Jim C" asks:

    Will Michael Flaherty jump back in and run for Councilor at Large? If he does will he win? Who would lose assuming all incumbents run? Political implications?

    The conventional wisdom around town is that Flaherty -- former Boston City Councilor, and 2009 mayoral candidate -- is not going to run for his old seat back.

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  • January 05, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Oh, what an exciting week this is for those who enjoy the arcane rituals and traditions of the peaceful transfer of power in the world's greatest democracy!

    For starters, congratulations to Stephen Murphy, who got voted in as the new president of the Boston City Council. He (and his staff!) finally get the big office, and all the trappings and attention that come with it -- and, one imagines, a fundraising boost toward his re-election later this year.

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  • November 10, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I look at the notoriously irrelevant Boston City Council, and note that it has been acting surprisingly relevant in the past year.

    The Council is in an interesting period of transition. New at-large councilors Felix Arroyo and Ayanna Pressley got elected a year ago, a new member will be elected next week to replace John Tobin, and it's likely that Chuck Turner will be removed next month, triggering another special election.

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  • July 08, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    We don't even officially have an open seat or an election date yet, but things have to move fast in a special election. I've told you that Matt O'Malley and Jim Hennigan are both all-in for the race to replace John Tobin as Boston City Councilor for District 6 (West Roxbury/Jamaica Plain), and that Tobin chief-of-staff David Isberg is a maybe.

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