All I need to know about Christy Mihos

From today’s Globe’s front-page article on Christy Mihos and his campaign for Governor:

He even suggested that the authority sell commercial naming rights to the new Interstate 93 bridge over the Charles River and claimed it could bring in $100 million from a bank or corporation eager to put its name on the span.  Recounting a conversation, Mihos said then-governor Paul Cellucci, who appointed him to the [turnpike] board, told him Cardinal Bernard Law and others were urging him to name the bridge for Leonard P. Zakim, who, after many years of working for religious, racial, and cultural harmony as director of the Anti-Defamation League of New England, had died of cancer at the age of 46. 

“I said, ‘Well, the Jewish community, if they want it for Lenny, let them bid too,’” Mihos recalled telling Cellucci. “We need the money.”  Cellucci, evidently ignoring the fund-raising scheme, in 2000 announced plans to include Zakim in the bridge name.

“Yeah, if those Jews want the bridge named for their guy, let ‘em bid for it!  They can afford it, right?  They’ve got lots of money.”

Strike 1: the awful notion that the name of every public structure should be for sale to the highest bidder.  Just about everyone in the state thought that Bill Weld’s idea to name the new airport tunnel for Ted Williams was a great one – because Williams is a local hero.  And Lenny Zakim, in his too-brief 46 years, accomplished a whole lot more toward achieving racial, ethnic, and religious harmony than most of us – including Christy Mihos – will achieve in much longer lives.  Zakim was a true hero, and the fact that the state chose to name a beautiful bridge after him is a powerful statement about what our values as a society should be.  It sure says more than if the bridge was named after Fidelity or Raytheon.  Thanks heavens Gov. Cellucci had the good sense to ignore Mihos’s wretched advice.

Strike 2: the fact that Mihos completely misunderstands what Zakim stood for, and why the bridge bears his name.  It wasn’t “the Jewish community” that wanted to name the bridge after Lenny Zakim.  It was Cardinal Bernard Law.  It was Governor Cellucci.  It was a host of non-Jews who understood that what Zakim achieved went far beyond the confines of a single community.  Shame on Mihos for not getting that.

Strike 3: it may have been unintentional, but Mihos’s comment sure feeds into the “rich Jews” stereotype.  As I’ve said before, Mihos is a loose cannon who says stupid things without even realizing it.  We don’t need that kind of person running the state.

Sorry Christy, but that’s three strikes.


UPDATE: As others have noted, the Mihos campaign website appears to have crapped out again.  No telling when it will be back up.  Mihos’s now-departed campaign manager, Holly Robichaud, is quoted in today’s Globe article as follows:

“I just didn’t think he was running a serious campaign,” said Robichaud in telephone interview from Florida, where she is on vacation. “A candidate shouldn’t be devising strategy on his own. He seems to be a one-man shop … You can’t go out there like you’re running for state rep.”


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9 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. My thought exactly

    That was the most telling part of the story:  Lets stop naming our civic icons for people of great accomplishment and sell it to the highest bidder.

    I don't want to live in Christy Mihos' world, it's tough enough living in this Romney Bush world. 

    But I certainly am hoping Christy runs as an Independent!

  2. Just what we don't need.

    Where I moved from, there's a Value City Arena at the Schottenstein Center.  It brings these things to new lows.  People regularly call it "Odd Lots Arena" because that was considered for the name for a short time (exceedingly short) before the Schottenstein family realized how awful that was.  "Value City" is only marginally better.

    In Cinci, we lost Riverfront Stadium in favor of local energy moguls Cinergy; it's now "Cinergy Field."  If Fenway Park ever became Star Market Stadium, I'd hope people started rioting in the streets.

    I have a great deal of good faith for TD BankNorth for renaming the Fleet to the Garden.  Sure, their name is still on it, but it's something meaningful.  But further west, where things are "newer," everything is named for companies and rarely people.  Midwesterners don't name bridges, but here, every bridge and tunnel is named after either the surrounding geography or the local heroes.  Zakim Bridge, Ted Williams tunnel, Maurice J Tobin bridge.  In the midwest, it's just the I-71/I-75 bridge.  A bridge of such importance needs a name people can be attached to, not just the number of the interstates.

    it's these little things that often make the Northeast better.  Screw what the conservatives say, there's more heart here than there, and their claims otherwise are lies.  Mihos would turn this into another midwest.

    "Traffic on the CVS MassPike is running a little slowly this morning..."

  3. Both of the above comments would make great commercials

    AGAINST Mihos or even the Repugs as a whole

    I hope some political consultant with access to money and resources responsible for putting together commercials reads them

  4. Christy's Run

    I absolutely agree that Mihos's disdain for the work of Mr. Zakim is deplorable.  The fact that he would want "those rich Jews" to bid for the name is absurd.  On Christy's run for Governor,correct me if I'm wrong but in the aricle it stated that if Christy decided to run as a Republican and he was having difficulty getting the 15%of delegates needed at the convention to get on the September primary ballot, the Healy campaign would help him get the 15%?  Healy and Romney must be desperate for Christy to run as a Republican if that's the case.  I didn't know she was that desperate.  Shows how weak she really is in my opinion.

  5. Mihos is onto something . . .

    We should sell off naming rights to the State House and Fanueil Hall.  How about the Viagra House and Preparation H Hall? 

  6. Mihos

    has committed to Republicans that he will enter the Republican primary against the LG.  The Republican I know, who pays attention when people give speeches, opined that Mihos is the opposite of Romney in being a social liberal on gay marriage and abortion type issues.  The contrast was with Romney, not with the more liberal readers of this list.  There would be an interesting contrast if through some anomaly the Democratic Party nominated someone who was relatively socially conservative, as opposed to Mr. Patrick.

    Mihos also runs heavily against higher taxes.

    On the other hand the Republican Party's dutiful followers have lined up with Healey.

  7. Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge

    Guess who stepped in against all the heavyweights and stuck up for the promises made to his Charlestown constituents on the naming of the largest cablestay bridge in the world? O'Flaherty. My recollection is that he said he would oppose all naming legislation unless it included Bunker Hill as was promised by the Republican Yankees. Guess what? They had to capitulate to him and Charlestown had its promise fulfilled. Not only that, O'Flaherty brought the Jewish community and the Charlestown (Catholic) community in ways that still last today. It's the TRUTH; just ask Rabbi Chiel of temple emmanuel or Andy Tarsey of the anti-defamation league...just ask them...and all fools like Wayne remember is Portugal.

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