Archive for September, 2013

Boston Preliminary Recap

Boston City HallWe’re anticipating a fine final for Boston municipal elections. We discussed yesterday’s outcome as well. We can’t wait for actual debates instead of those dreadful forum thingummies, and much deeper and broader media coverage of issues for the final.

We differed on how various mayoral candidates did, among an overwhelming field of 12. We also see the two for the final — Marty Walsh and John Connolly — differently. Listen in below as we debate what each brings and has to do to differentiate himself for the final.

Mike buys into Rob Consalvo‘s earlier judgment that Boston voters did not want big changes. He figured his little-better-everywhere strategy would work, but it really didn’t this time. While Ryan disagrees, Mike sees Bill Walczak and Mike Ross as the most visionary in their platforms, therefore harder sells.

A strong area of agreement though was in development, particularly housing. We both figure that creating affordable (and taxable) housing in the tens of thousands of units will be a great challenge, opportunity and necessity for the new mayor.

Listen in to two varying takes on the election.

icon for podpress  Boston Preliminary Recap [30:28m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Mike’s Endorsements

I didn’t drag Ryan into this. As I immodestly put it, I took the IK out of Mike and left the Me. The Boston municipal preliminary is the most complex in my memory and a consternation to even high-information voters.

So in a fit of omphaloskepsis, I decided live what I’d do for the preliminary on Tuesday. I’d been to the fora. I’d pored over the sites of mayoral and councilor candidates and hit as many stump speeches as I could. Plus, quite a few of the would-be mayors have been on this show, both as pols and as pols running for mayor. I know many of these folk.

Even with all that background, I was undecided only five days before the preliminary. At least now, I have answers for the many I know who have been asking me to set their minds at ease in this confusing set of races.

I went through the decision process live and found my best candidate for mayor, district councilor and at-large councilor. There’s yet the November final to decide, which may or may not include my candidates. Meanwhile though, I went through, for mayor, whether to choose on trivialities, such as looks and personality, on likelihood of winning (electabillity), and what I ended up deeming as vital — who would make the best mayor to push Boston up to the next level.

If you’d like to hear the reasoning and conclusions, listen by clicking below.


icon for podpress  Mike's Endorsements [29:58m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


DiCara on Boston Mayoral

In a great 15 minutes, Larry DiCara provided keen insights and analysis about the Boston mayoral preliminary. He is superbly qualified both with BLS, Harvard, Suffolk Law and Kennedy School degrees, but more so from being the youngest City Councilor ever at 22 for a decade and running for mayor in 1983. That year also had a scrum, of nine candidates.

Timing note: DiCara is on for the first 15 mnutes. Our service had apparently defaulted again to its 15 minute show and I did not notice and reset that. So, our guest got cut off. Fortunately, he covered a lot. Ryan and I went on for another 10 minutes before shutting down. We’re hoping he’ll agree to return for a full show, starting with his new book, Turmoil and Transition in Boston: A Political Memoir from the Busing Era.

Listen in as he talks trends, anomalies and specifics from the current race. He is not only uniquely qualified from his experiences, he also knows nearly all the dozen candidates well. He wouldn’t endorse or tell anyone how to vote. Otherwise, yet he did not shy away from preliminary vote predictions. To start, he figures this pent-up-demand election will see 125,000 or more voting. He was quick to laugh though and drew on his memory that there had been a hurricane on a September 24, noting that weather can be a factor here.

However, if we see the turnout he predicts, he notes that quite a few candidates are within the polling margin of error. He thinks that six, seven or even eight of the dozen could get 10,000 or more votes and that 20,000 votes could well determine second place for the final in November.

He discussed the memorable ads he’s seen. He figures they won’t necessarily be the deciding factor but will still be important. In particular, he cited Rob Consalvo and Dan Conley’s ads so far. He thinks we’ll see a lot more before election day.

We discussed the big and small surprises, such as who got money, who got union support, and who didn’t. DiCara thinks in a race this tight, the candidates who say shoe leather will be a huge deciding factor are likely right. This election “will be won on street corners, as they usually are.”

DiCara also noted several differences from when he ran for Mayor. For a big one, outgoing Mayor Kevin White was unpopular, in contrast to today’s Tom Menino. This time, people won’t be voting against anyone, against City Hall.

Finally, we did get to talk a bit about how odd it is in a minority majority city that the current top-polling candidates are the old Boston style Irish American men.


icon for podpress  Larry DiCara [26:38m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


DiCara Previews the Boston Race

Larry DiCaraIn preparation for the Boston mayoral preliminary, an expert joins us. Lawrence S. (Larry) DiCara is a long-time observer on the city’s politics. He ran for mayor in 1983 (Ray Flynn beat Mel King in the final), has a massive list of educational and professional credentials and accomplishments, is a political columnist for Commonwealth Magazine, and just published a book, Turmoil and Transition in Boston: A Political Memoir from the Busing Era.

We’ll preview the massive field of 12 His run was the last such gang, with nine announced candidates.

If you can join us live, do that tomorrow. It’s the usual time, 2:30 PM Eastern, but a Friday instead of Tuesday. To hear him live, go here Friday, Sept. 13th at 2:30. If you’re tied up, you can listen later at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.


Boston Dozen Podcast

Literally and figuratively, we went to Worcester as well as Boston. Ryan was in the former doing GOTV for Dems. Today is the special election in three different MA House districts — 6th Bristol, 12th Suffolk and 16th Worcester.

Neither of us is an expert on the Worcester race to replace John Fresolo (D) who quit under an ethics cloud. Ryan has met the Dem who run the primary, Dan Donahue. On the GOP side is Carol Clares.

For most of the show, we discussed the 12 running to replace Tom Menino as mayor. Listen in as we talk it up, including comments on last evening’s mass forum.

icon for podpress  Boston Dozen [38:39m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Obama and Syria Podcast

cruise missleWe didn’t compare notes before today’s show. Surprisingly both Ryan and Mike do not see the sense in missile strikes against Syria following pretty convincing evidence the government used chemical weapons on its people. Ryan is looking to a diplomatic solution, while Mike bemoans the lack of statesmen to bring meaningful change.

Meanwhile US pols and citizens are sick of American corpses in distant wars, with all the financial and other costs. Yet, we agreed that both Houses in DC are certain to OK military action in this case.

We got into the players in and out of Syria, the links and overlap among Syrian rebels and Al-Qaeda, the eagerness of the French (whom we hung on the line with the Congressional-approval ploy), the recalcitrant Brits, the apparently helpful Iranians, the anxious Israelis, and the self-interested vetoing Russians. If you haven’t had your fill, listen in for our take.

icon for podpress  Syria Throwdown [29:39m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download