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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, October 02, 2009

On the defensive

From the start, the Menino camp's reaction of the Yoon gambit was been over the top. After last night, it's clear the out-of-left-field move by Michael Flaherty to name the third man in the preliminary field as a "deputy mayor" has truly rattled the campaign.

Following up on the allegation the running mate decision was an "illegal gimmick" Hizzoner proclaimed:
I think it’s jobs for votes - telling Sam Yoon you have a job in my administration if I win. You don’t make appointments and deals during a political campaign.”
If that's the case, so is negotiating lucrative public employee contracts (lucrative for the union that is) during an election year.

It's called politics, and in an election year, both are fair game. Problem is, Menino's campaign was clearly caught flat-footed by what is truly a gimmick, but far from illegal.

The Mayor for Life also struck me as off his game, complaining the state's public records law is "questionable" and disingenuous by insisting an "angry tirade" with an environmental activist was par for the course.
Ask any CEO out there: Who, once in a while, doesn’t have a little conversation with some of these people who work with them?’’ Menino said. “I think that’s healthy, because there are issues that are there. . . . I have no problem with that.’’
The focus on these sidelights are good politics on Flaherty's part, scoring some points and getting under Menino's notoriously thin skin. But they should not be the focal point of the race. Education and public safety should.

The schools issue is simple: what percentage of people with young children think about or actually flee the city before the child is of school age? It's a common thought and reflects the problems after all the years of Menino control.

And what has his kid-gloves approach to the municipal unions gotten us in terms of public safety?

I won't even get into the deplorable condition of some streets in neighborhoods like Allston-Brighton.

There's still a month to go and Flaherty has been adept at generating headlines. The questions is can he translate them into enough votes. It may be fun finding out.

And there is certainly no one being "cautious" about it.

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