Archive for June, 2011

No to Illegal Handguns

The founder and coordinator of a coalition fighting illegal handguns joins us this week. The head of the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center pointed us the Nancy Robinson of Citizens for Safety (a.k.a. Where Did the Gun Come From?), saying the coalition’s effort could offer the best ROI right here, right now.

Robinson’s will discuss efforts to get illegal handguns out of the hands of youth and criminals. They work to identify where the guns original, who the straw purchasers are and how the weapons get here. They aim to hold dealers accountable as well as tweaking related laws.

If you can catch the show live, listen in here at 2:30 PM Eastern Tuesday, July 5th. After the show, you can get it on demand at that URL, here at Left Ahead or on iTunes.


DeFranco Path from Grassroots to Senate

A competent, confident candidate with a wide and deep platform joined us today to talk about her replacing U.S. Sen. Scott Brown next year. Marisa DeFranco explains how she’s the real thing and he a flash in the pan and abject survival-of-the-fittest pol.

She is an immigration attorney and best known the related circles. Listen in though as she explains her economic policies and plans for job creation. She also describes her accomplishments and goals in women’s rights including equal pay. Also, for a living, she has long fought the federal government and details how she understands its workings.

DeFranco is proud of being a progressive, a union supporter, a Democrat, and more. She figures to resonate with such voters in a grassroots campaign. Listen in as she describes how she’ll go after the seat.

Be sure to catch the end where she says she’ll put up her debating skills against the incumbent’s. She’s looking forward to the campaign.

icon for podpress  Marisa DeFranco [31:41m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Meet the At-Larges

We have about an 84% capture rate. Six of the seven at-large Boston City Council candidates have been on Left Ahead. Click the entries in the following table to hear each of them.

Only Sean Ryan did not come through with an acceptable time and date.

We’ll certainly revisit this race. It skips the September preliminary that would have winnowed the field to eight for the November vote on the top four. Only seven qualified.

This seems to be the best race in town, with District 3 being second.The at-large contest promises to have lots of public forums and debates. Catch ’em while you can.

Candidate Podcast URL
Flaherty 5/17 – online
Connolly 5/24 – online
Arroyo 6/7 – online
Murphy 6/9 – online
Pressley 6/14 – onilne
Dorcena 6/17 – online


Senator Hopeful Defranco Joins Us

Usual day, an hour earlier, Marisa Defranco comes on to discuss her candidacy for U.S. Senate. She has announced for Scott Brown’s seat in next year’s election.

She has a federal law practice. She advocates particularly for immigrants in jobs, justice, security and citizenship.

If you can join us live, go here at 1:30 PM Eastern, Tuesday, June 28th. If you can’t catch the live stream, return to that URL or to Left Ahead to listen on demand or download the podcast. As usual, we’ll have the show on iTunes as well.


DiMasi Verdict Podcast

We ask. We answer.

Ryan and Mike mused, mulled and extrapolated starting with the recent conviction of former MA House Speaker Sal DiMasi. We covered:

  • Is this proof of substance to the announced and legislated ethics reform?
  • Will the African-American voters see some justice in a white pol following black ones to prison for corruption?
  • Why does it take the FBI and federal courts to take down state-level corrupt officials, instead of our AG’s office doing it?
  • Will this help deter such corruption?
  • What would inspire such high-profile officials to risk so much?
icon for podpress  DiMasi Verdict [30:43m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


At-Large Candidate Dorcena Podcast

William Dorcena, candidate for at-large Boston City Council, is likely good at his marketing and PR business. He turns a great phrase. Listen in as he describes how, “The streets will always be there and they’re waiting for you.”

He says he’ll campaign first on breaking the vicious cycle of poor education leading to poverty leading to crime and violence. He grew up on the streets around Dudley and says he understands what that does to youth. He wants to change that.

As well as upbringing and breaking the cycle himself, he was involved in a Summer of Opportunity effort with John Hancock that was part of the Boston Miracle. He explained today why he thinks we can duplicate that here and now. He says get those players together and make it plain, “We’ve done this. Let’s do it again.”

Little known to many of us (his website is almost ready, as is campaign literature), he spoke of his co-founding of the Boston Haitian Reporter, his role running outreach for the Democratic National Convention here and his own entrepreneurship with his company.

For the Council itself, he thinks there’s considerable power there and he wants to use it. He cites approving the budget, calling hearings and most of all being an advocate for the constituents, particularly true for at-large Councilors. As he put it,”you have a big microphone and a big stage.”

He predicts that without a preliminary election this year and with the likely low turnout without national and MA offices on the ballot, this will be a sprint to November. He figures it will not be won by media advertising and war chests. Instead, it will be shoe leather and voters will pick the candidates they have met and seen face to face.

icon for podpress  William Dorcena [30:35m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Dorcena in Friday Podcast

William Dorcena, candidate for at-large Boston City Council slot, joins us Friday, June 17th at 4 PM Eastern. We’ll talk what he brings to the mix and how he’ll approach his campaign.

He’s not been a politician per se, but is well known in the city. He co-founded the Boston Haitian Reporter newspaper and directed outreach for the 2004 Democratic National Convention here. He has an MBA and runs a marketing and sales firm. We’ll get to know him better Friday.

If you can join us live, click here then. After the show, you can listen or download live at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on iTunes.


Outspoken Councilor Pressley Podcast

apressley.jpgAyanna Pressley still does not mince words. On today’s podcast, she opened by saying she was in a hospital with her mother nearby in an ICU. She is likewise plain about her goals, motivations and role as Boston City Councilor.

Those who want background on the first woman of color to sit on Council can start with her profile on the city site. As useful may be a profile by Bianca Vasquez Toness that aired on WBUR. Note that Mike was a minor source for the latter.

This first-term Councilor arrived with an aggressive agenda, which she has only expanded as she tackles issues close to her heart and mind. Listen in as she speaks of advancing youth and women, protecting them from violence, and seeing that all have access to meaningful sex information. She even chairs her new standing Committee on Women & Healthy Communities to address a number of those related concerns.

We spoke of how she’ll approach this year’s suddenly exciting at-large Councilor race, what she sees as the role and duty of Council, and where she is seeking funds in these tight times for her goals. She described how she doesn’t mind making people feel uncomfortable, so long as that leads to good results.

icon for podpress  Ayanna Pressley [30:54m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


1, 2 or 3 More At-Large Candidates

At least one more Boston At-Large Council candidate will speak with us. Tuesday, June 14th at noon Eastern, Ayanna Pressley is the guest. Note the unusual for us time. Of course, if you can’t listen live, come back to Left Ahead to get her show on demand.

Candidate Podcast URL
Flaherty 5/17 – online
Connolly 5/24 – online
Arroyo 6/7 – online
Murphy 6/9 – online
Pressley 6/14 at noon

The other two candidates who have qualified are not yet scheduled. Sean Ryan is trying to find a day and time for us. Will Dorcena has not responded to multiple requests. We’ll sit tight and let you know if either or both lines up.


Council President Murphy Podcast

The Boston City Council President, Steve Murphy, joined us to talk money, city and state politics, accomplishments and re-election campaigning. The seven-term Council has been one of the top two vote getters and has a well acknowledged role — money guru and financial hawk.

Even so, he was quick to say that there are at least five viable candidates among the seven or eight who will qualify for the four at-large seats. The recent entry of former Councilor and body President Michael Flaherty changes the pace for the four incumbents from leisurely to pretty frenetic.

Murphy was candid about the race to date, as he is with everything. He holds that the four at-large incumbents work together better than any set he has seen since he joined Council in 1997. He addressed Ryan’s question about whether there was an agreement tacit or otherwise to close ranks for the election. In his view all four speak well of each other and no one is trying to knock anyone to get an edge.

Likewise, when Flaherty spoke with us, he was careful to say he wasn’t targeting any particular incumbent in his race. Today, Murphy said we’d all have to wait to see how his dynamic of collegiality plays out. There won’t be a September preliminary, so it will be the single balloting in November that determines the at-large winners.

Listen in to hear the financial problems the city has and will face, and how Council and City Hall have addressed them. Murphy describes what Boston has lost with sudden cutoff of federal funds and difficulties in getting money from the commonwealth today. Moreover, he shares our frustration here with the MA home-rule process that turns the state’s biggest source of revenue into mendicants.

As for his advantage as the money man, Murphy seems pragmatic. His fellow Councilors turn to him for fiscal advice, but that does not mean that the voters see him as indispensable. He describe how he has to pitch his accomplishments, skills and goals to the voters every time.

icon for podpress  Steve Murphy [33:19m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download