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.

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