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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Turnout the lights

The annual South Boston St. Patrick's Day breakfast has become as stale as day-old green beer. Now, after snubbing the three Republican US Senate candidates, it's time to call it a day.

Boston City Councilor Bill Linehan, the new host of the event, admits he didn't even invite the three GOP hopefuls to what has traditionally been a bipartisan event where Republicans offered as many bad jokes as they received.

That included candidates for office outside the commonwealth's confines. But with the departure of former Sen. Jack Hart, new rules apparently apply. Only Democrats Ed Markey and Southie's own Steve Lynch has a place at the table this time around.
“I’m not barring them because they are Republicans,” said Linehan. "If they contact us we’ll get them in the room. Those that are elected have a certain place at the breakfast.”
The breakfast used to be the must-do event of the political calendar. But as it has grown to encompass the cavernous Boston Convention and Exhibition Center ballroom, it lost its charm and spontaneity.

Take last year's disaster. Please. Or the one before it. The event that once welcomed President Ronald Reagan by telephone is now as inclusive as the parade that follows it.

Republicans Michael Sullivan Dan Winslow and Gabriel Gomez, who squared off in a debate last night, are taking the high road. Says Sullivan spokeswoman Lisa Barstow:
“We weren’t invited to the party. No corned beef for Mike Sullivan."
I'm sure his digestive system will thank him.

But no thanks should be directed toward Linehan. The only blarney now being served is that this "time-honored tradition" ought to be an important stop on any politician's calendar.

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