Archive for April, 2012

Uncorking Elections

The boys get loud next Tuesday. We’ve done numerous guests, but it’s time for some raw, raw commentary.

Next Tuesday, May First, at 2:30 PM Eastern, Ryan and Mike recap the Congressional and Presidential races. Listen at your peril.

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Tobin on Boston and Northeastern Podcast

John Tobin says he can’t really miss being a Boston City Councilor. In his new role, he deals constantly with the same officials, including Councilors, the Mayor and legislators that he did in City Hall. As Northeastern University’s VP for Community and City Affairs, he jokes that his office is still on the fifth floor, but across town.

He joined us to say what that entails and to talk about the challenges big and small. Listen in as he discusses PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) that NEU recently increased. He also stresses the many community volunteer projects his students and staff participate. Less visible but at least as important is support of public schools, particularly the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers right on the NEU campus, but also in numerous other Boston public schools. “I think the best payment-in-lieu-of-taxes we can make is to help those kids,” he said.

Many of the interactions the larger community has with colleges and universities are less pleasant, such as rowdy parties. Click below to hear how his and other universities address those, including ride-arounds every weekend.

Tobin also discusses NEU’s master plan that it will file with the city by the end of December. That will start a large and long set of community meetings, beginning tomorrow night.

icon for podpress  John Tobin [35:59m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Tobin Talks Town and Gown

John Tobin joins us to discuss the interplay of universities and cities. A self-defined political junkie, he has acted and observed, both as a Boston City Councilor and more recently as Northeastern University’s VP for City & Community Affairs. He’s represented the city and the school. He brings a unique perspective to how both sides can work well or poorly with the other.

To catch him live, go here Tuesday, April 24th at 2:30 PM Eastern. Afterward the show will be available on demand to hear or download at that URL, back here at Left Ahead and on our iTunes page.

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Mike Barrett Podcast

The technology-and-business oriented candidate for 3rd Middlesex MA Senate puts himself out there. Lexington’s Mike Barrett has strong ideas and is as plain spoken as it comes.

He is one of the four Dems running for that nomination to go in November against one of the two Republicans who also want Sen. Susan Fargo’s seat. He was the candidate who announced even before she decided not to run for reelection.

Listen is as Barrett describes his visions for a revitalized Massachusetts, particularly from Worcester East. He had been a state legislator from his Cambridge years (6 in the House and 8 in the Senate). Since, he has run a high-tech related consultancy, with a particular emphasis on health care. He dovetails his sundry experiences into a future that supports our local innovators.

He speaks to how he sees our companies replicating a modern form of boom from the mini-computer era. This would turn our focus from business-to-business (B2B) to more business-to-consumers (B2C), with advances in health care related to IT, computers and even robots. He explains what he sees as growth paths and what the role of government should be.

Barrett is plain also about money. He says he is the candidate not afraid to say where taxes need to go up, and where fees for public services do. He said that waffling on taxes are not good positions for progressives to take.

Listen in as he describes how he thinks he can accomplish is myriad goals. He reminded me several times that he’s an optimist and that he accomplished his goals the last time he was in the General Court.

icon for podpress  Mike Barrett [34:31m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Thy Willard Be Done Podcast

Ah, coincidences amuse and fulfill us all. As we started today’s show, Rick Santorum was literally announcing the suspension of his campaign for the GOP nomination for POTUS. While edgewise Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are still in the now misnamed race, Willard Mitt Romney will run against President Obama in November. Punditry has it that Santorum hopes Romney does not have an outright majority of delegates for the Tampa convention and that he’ll somehow magically get the slot. Dream on.

Ryan and Mike started reveling in the turns and dips. We mused on whether the candidates had done so much damage to Romney and pushed him soooooooooooo far to the right that he had zero appeal to left, moderate and even ordinary right-wing voters. Then there have been Romney’s colossally arrogant and insensitive gaffes, indicating how divorced he is from reality, at least the lives of 90% or more of us.

In a pleasant surprise, former Boston City Councilor John Tobin joined us. This self-described political junkie is now VP at Northeastern University charged with community relations. We spoke a bit about the recent increase in PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) to the city from his school, but mostly it was politics.

Listen in as he describes how he still believes it will be a tight race, still dependent on the state of the economy come fall. Mike and Ryan are in the camp that the GOP, from POTUS candidate level to state legislatures and governors, has so hosed itself, it has even bigger repairs needed before it has the slightest shot in November.

icon for podpress  Thy Willard Be Done [31:50m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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3rd Middlesex, Version 2, Barrett

Former MA state senator Mike Barrett wants back in. With Sen. Susan Fargo not running for reelection in the 3rd Middlesex, he is one of four Dems running for the seat. He used to live and work in Cambridge but has been in Lexington for 16 years. He is decidedly the high-tech candidate, specializing in computer-related technologies and health care. He’ll join us to talk platform and strategy.

He joins us onTuesday, April 17th, at 2:30 PM Eastern. Go here then if you can listen live. Afterward you can hear the show on demand at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.

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