Archive for July, 2009

Crowded Boston City Council Fight

While there are a few contested district Boston City Council seats, the real action is for at-large councilor. The mayoral race has gotten lots of attention, but the real battles seem to be for council.

Because two councilors are running for mayor, their seats are open, for a total of four this time. This tempted 15 to qualify for the primary ballot. The September 22nd vote will winnow the field to eight for the November 3rd general. Because of the contested mayoral slot, turnout for that should be solid.

We mused on and analyzed who’s running, who’s raising money, and what should make for winners in both primary and general. We don’t believe that a strong internet presence in websites or social networking will determine this election. That may be good for some candidates, as many don’t have fleshed out positions yet.

Mike figures that the race will change considerably after the primary, with candidates having to speak out by risking specific proposals. Ryan notes that feet on the ground, paid or volunteer to sway voters will be a huge factor.

For education and amusement, click around to the existing websites. By last name, the 15’s sites are:

There are additional rants on the race at Marry in Massachusetts, part 1 and part 2.

Also, in today’s show, Lynne gave us the overview of Gov. Deval Patrick’s visit to her fair city of Lowell.

icon for podpress  Flying Elbows [60:19m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


MA(ss) Transit Podcast

A sudden confluence of money and project put Massachusetts in a river of transportation issues, problems and promises. We kicked around:

  • A New England-wide announcement by the region’s governors to make high-speed rail happen
  • The sorry crisis of the MBTA with its pressing need to relieve it of legislatively imposed crushing debt
  • The long-overdue need for mass transit from where people live to where they work (or would work)
  • How the economic pressures make this a perfect time and place to affect these improvements
  • Likewise, how a foot-dragging U.S. Congress seems forced into huge transportation advances

Our own governor and lieutenant governor campaigned on such goals long before the great recession and before the stimulus money that may jump start these efforts. We’re now looking for a new golden age of rail and much more.

icon for podpress  MAss Transit [63:49m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


LeftAhead’s Casino Podcasts

We have about 60 days until the pro-slot legislators in the State House start ramping up their efforts to legalize slot machines in Massachusetts. Nothing is inevitable, but certainly this fight will be harder than it was just a year ago. Some good news — the Speaker and Governor are at a stand-off, a fact not likely to change anytime soon.

So, I’ll be spending some time in the next few days trying to get some of the information out there. Expect a few great guests to come on LeftAhead over the coming two months, as well as plenty of news to be posted on this site, Blue Mass Group and our personal blogs. We may even see the MSM getting in the action.

For now, I encourage readers to take a look at some of our previous shows and guests on LeftAhead. This is by no means completely exhaustive, but a great start.

  • November 27, 2007: Laura Everett, spokesperson of Mass Council of Churches and CasinoFreeMass, was the featured guest.
  • December 18, 2007: Reporting live from a casino hearing at the state house (starting 30 mins in).
  • February 26th, 2008: Mike, Lynne and Ryan reporting on casino news at the time, including Spectrum Report, unions as it applies to casinos and what makes for good revenue.
  • March 18, 2008: Ryan’s Take live from the State House at the biggest (circus) hearing of the year, when Rep. Flynn invited everyone from all the state’s race track owners to casino owners across the country.
  • March 25th, 2008: Lynne and Ryan reporting after we won last year’s vote.
  • June 3, 2008: Briefly covering the Common Cause Report that talks about the deep pockets of the casino lobby in Massachusetts (starting 27 minutes in).
  • July 22, 2008: Middleboro Blogger extraordinaire Mary Tufts/Gladys Kravitz.
  • April 7, 2009: Les Bernal, Executive Director of Stop Predatory Gambling and former Chief of Staff of Senator Susan Tucker’s office.

(Cross-posted at Ryan’s Take)


GOP and Beyond Podcast

Sarah smileThe three hosts uncorked some of our bile. Palin and Sanford got it first. Then the general shabby state of national Republicans.

Ryan brought up Mike’s rant on limerence in Harrumph! and Marry in Massachusetts. Mike held forth briefly on Sanford’s condition.

We kicked around the mess in Lowell government too. For background on the overreaching on the assistant city manager, click on takes from Lynne, Ryan and Richard Howe.

Finally, we piled on Treasurer Tim Cahill. We certainly question his record, as well as his viability in a governor’s race.

On the positive side, we concluded with some cautious praise for Gov. Deval Patrick.

icon for podpress  GOP and Beyond [64:39m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Kicking a Staggering Elephant

sleeping elephantSarah Palin’s no Teddy Roosevelt and Mark Sanford’s not even a Mitt Romney. The 2012 aspirants of the GOP (gormless old party) have been doing their crooked  best to self-destruct.

In this week’s podcast, the three usual suspects — Ryan, Lynne and Mike — will muse on the candidates and issues we see falling out and coming up for the 2012 elections.  We’ve been concentrating on Boston and Massachusetts pols and politics for quite a bit now. The Republicans have made this just too much fun to ignore.

Come 2:30 p.m. Eastern, click in here to listen a bit. To have your say, punch in 718-664-6966 and when the robotic voice greets you, press 1 on your phone to let us know you want to talk.