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  • September 09, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I have an article looking at what's at stake for Tom Menino in the upcoming preliminary election. Sure, he's going to cruise to victory, and a spot on the final ballot. But what will it take for the city to decide that Menino is unbeatable, and let him coast to November; and what will it take for the city to decide that he's beatable, and give him a real fight? The answer may be a simple number: 50%.

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  • September 09, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    Last week, in a "Who might run" Senate overview post, I suggested that we might see:

    A Chris Gabrieli type. Massachusetts has got civic-minded, policy-minded people outside the elected-office circuit, loaded with money. I don't see Gabrieli as a candidate for this one (although who knows?), but I've got a couple of other possible names in mind.

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  • September 08, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    The at-large candidates for Boston City Council are heading into the final stretch to the preliminary election -- time to spend some of what little they've got. In past years, challengers have sometimes erred in spending too heavily on the prelim their first time out (Pat White and John Connolly, to name names), only to find that prelim positioning didn't mean all that much in the end.

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  • September 03, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    Martha Coakley announced her candidacy for US Senate today, to nobody's surprise. Which, for political junkies like us, begs the question of what happens with the Attorney General office if she wins.

    First off, if Coakley wins the election, then her first assistant becomes acting AG. That's David Friedman, who is generally well-thought-of but is an unknown quantity as far as a potential statewide political figure.

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  • September 03, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    My impressions of last night's mayoral debate:

    --I thought Yoon had the best showing. He was on-message, respectfully aggressive in criticizing the mayor, and was the only one on stage showing any personality at all. That said, I thought he was frequently unclear about what he was specifically talking about (he tends to slip into bureaucratese shorthand, which we forget most people don't know).

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  • September 02, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    Tonight is the first mayoral debate, on WBZ at 7:00. (Postponed from last week, due to the death of Ted Kennedy.) But the Phoenix has learned that all four candidates also intend to participate in tomorrow's MassVote mayoral forum at the Reggie Lewis Center.

    Mayor Tom Menino had not originally agreed to participate in any of the three MassVote forums.

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  • September 02, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I write about a few interesting angles relating to the race for the vacant US Senate seat in Massachusetts.

    First, I suggest that the biggest emphasis during the Ted Kennedy memorials was on his stellar constituent-services work (that's a pretty dry way of saying he helped a lot of Massachusetts residents solve their biggest problems), and that perhaps those testimonials will make constituent services a big part of what voters will be looking for in his replacement.

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  • September 01, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    Everybody and his brother is pontificating about who is or isn't going to run for the US Senate seat. (See The Fix's version, for example.) The problem: they know nothing, and I know everything. Plus, I make the snarkiest comments. So, here's my take as of this moment, with much backtracking and revisionist updating to come.

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  • August 31, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    Governor Deval Patrick is holding a 3:00 press conference today to discuss the US Senate vacancy. I expect him to announce the dates for the general and primary elections, and to discuss his desire for a law that lets him appoint a temporary Senator. I don't expect him to say who he would appoint if given the opportunity.

    But just in case he does, here is my Top Ten List of people who Deval Patrick will NOT appoint to the US Senate::

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  • August 26, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    According to current state law, the special election for the vacant Senate seat will be held in 145-160 days, which would mean either January 19, January 26, or February 2.

    The party primaries for that election must be held six weeks earlier, which would be either December 8, 15, or 22.

    I am getting informed speculation, however, that there may be a proposal to change the law -- aside from any change concerning a temporary appointment.

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  • August 25, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Baker-Cahill 2010?" asks:

    Do you think Tim Cahill might join the GOP, and Charlie Baker's ticket as the running mate? Do you think efforts have been made to that effect by either the Baker or Cahill camps?

    No. and No.

    Cahill is not what Baker needs as a running mate. Lieutenant Governor is not a job Cahill would want.

  • August 25, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    I'm combining a couple of questions about "bullet voting" -- using just one of the four available votes for at-large city council, to maximize the effect, instead of voting for four candidates. "Boston Guy" asks: "which method do you find more effective for voters?" "Vote Or Be Silent" asks: "Have you heard of any camps pushing for bullet votes which will be very important in this years election?"

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  • August 25, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Josh D." asks:

    Do you believe any of the City Councilor At-Large Candidates have used race to promote their candidacy? Do you think that is an acceptable campaign strategy?

    Yes they have. I know that Ayanna Pressley, for example, frequently cites the fact that she would be the first minority woman on the council. Tomas Gonzalez notes in his bio that he was one of the highest-ranking Latinos in the Menino administration.

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  • August 25, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Ernie" asks:

    Is Susan Passoni done with politics or will she resurface again some day?

    I think she comes back. Conventional wisdom says that after three losses you get labeled and can't find backers. (She's run twice for city council and once for state rep.) But I think in her case she's proven herself a very strong candidate in tough races. I suspect she'll run again, if the right opportunity comes.

  • August 25, 2009
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Malign Neglect" asks:

    Is there a media blackout on the District 7 race again this year?

    Clearly, there has not been a flood of attention paid to the race, which pits (indicted) incumbent Chuck Turner against second-time challenger Carlos "Tony" Henriquez and two others. But it hasn't been a total blackout. The Banner has written about it, as have the JP Gazette and others.

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