Opera singer, blogger, lawyer. You can reach me by email at david [at] bluemassgroup [dot] com.

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  1. This makes no sense to me. (0 Replies)

    It’s much better to withdraw now than later. There will have to be a ballot question at some point; far better for all concerned to deliver the message that the people don’t want the Games before they are awarded than after. True story:

    The [1976 Winter] games were originally awarded to Denver on May 12, 1970, but a 300% rise in costs and worries about environmental impact led to Colorado voters’ rejection on November 7, 1972, by a 3 to 2 margin, of a $5 million bond issue to finance the games with public funds.

    Denver officially withdrew on November 15, and the IOC then offered the games to Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, but they too declined owing to a change of government following elections. Whistler would go on to be associated with neighbouring Vancouver’s successful bid for the 2010 games.

    Salt Lake City, Utah, a 1972 Winter Olympics final candidate who would eventually host in 2002 Winter Olympics, offered itself as a potential host after the withdrawal of Denver. The IOC, still reeling from the Denver rejection, declined and selected Innsbruck, which had hosted the 1964 Winter Olympics games twelve years earlier, on February 5, 1973.

  2. Nonsense. (1 Reply)

    “We,” meaning the people of (greater) Boston, have no responsibility whatsoever to the USOC. After all, we had nothing to do with what was submitted to them and persuaded them to go with Boston. If Boston 2024 overstated public support for hosting the Olympics (probably) or failed to do sufficient grassroots work before submitting their bid to the USOC (certainly), that’s on them, not on us.

  3. And another thing: (1 Reply)

    the ballot question folks need to think very carefully about whether they want their preferred answer to be “yes” or “no.” We saw a lot of confusion over the casino question, where a “yes” meant “no casinos,” and vice versa. If a “yes” means “no Olympics,” as is the case with Falchuk’s question, that will be a PR nightmare. It would be nice if someone could figure out how “yes” could mean “yay Olympics” and “no” meant “boo Olympics.”

  4. Yeah, (1 Reply)

    this is a good example of why Falchuk’s wording is IMHO too broad. This needs to be thought through carefully.

  5. Heh well, (0 Replies)

    I’m not sure Godwin’s Law actually applies to situations where the one who starts the conversation mentions an actual Nazi in doing so…

  6. Ask the authors! (0 Replies)

    Their email addresses are readily available on their university pages.

  7. Don't think so. (1 Reply)

    I think all it takes into account is the assessments the authors received from the reporters who responded.

  8. Apparently the value of medallions (0 Replies)

    is already in freefall, presumably because of Uber and similar services. Per the Ramos op-ed linked in my post, their value has declined 50% in just a year, from $700,000 to $350,000. If the city wants to call a license to operate a taxi a “medallion,” that’s OK with me. I just don’t understand the logic behind issuing only a set number of them, especially when (as you say) pretty much everyone who doesn’t already own one seems to agree that the current number is way too low.

  9. Yes, I agree (1 Reply)

    I really don’t understand this notion that the city should artificially limit the number of cabs on the road. Econ 101 dictates that doing so inflates prices and pretty much guarantees inadequate supply – and, indeed, that’s what we have in Boston. Just lay down reasonable licensure requirements, and let the market handle the rest. It will quickly become apparent how many cabs can operate profitably in Boston.

  10. Did you watch the video? (2 Replies)

    There were only two Scott Brown jokes out of about 15 total. And they were funny, especially the first one.

    Re takings, certainly, that is the argument that the medallion owners have already raised. But I think it’s weak. A medallion is essentially a license to operate a taxi. And the state’s authority over licenses is pretty sweeping, as we recently learned in the casino case.

  11. While it's a great question, (4 Replies)

    my sense is that answering it isn’t so easy. It’s simple enough to measure jobs “created” by the tax credit – and by that measure, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that the credit makes economic sense. But once you get into “economic activity,” it gets much harder, because then it’s hard to figure out how many cups of coffee sold by local vendors were due specifically to a film being made, and how many would have been sold anyway.

  12. At the end of the day, (1 Reply)

    the question seems to me to be to whom the leadership of the agency is accountable. If the leadership serves at the pleasure of the Governor, then clearly the answer is the Governor, and by extension the people who elected the Gov. But if the answer is “nobody,” then we have a problem. I’m really not sure how a halfway measure (“insulate an agency from political whims, but not also legitimate oversight”) would work – that, I’d say, was the intention behind creating independent authorities, but it hasn’t gone well.

  13. That is the whole point (1 Reply)

    of “independent authorities” – to remove them from day-to-day control of elected leaders. It was an idea very much in fashion for a while, but it’s fallen increasingly out of favor as the results have tended not to be very good. As I wrote back in 2007:

    It seems to me fair to say that the “independent authority” experiment has been a colossal failure. The Turnpike Authority and Massport (and others as well, no doubt) have well-deserved reputations for being hack dumping grounds. The Turnpike Authority in particular, of course, also appears to be remarkably inept at doing its job. And when stories emerge about independent authorities wasting taxpayer money or screwing up in some other way, as they not infrequently do, elected officials’ only option is to fulminate — there’s nothing they can do. As Scalia said, there is “no one accountable to the public to whom the blame could be assigned.” Small wonder that an outfit that is neither controlled by someone accountable to the people (as is a normal government agency) nor dependent on the operation of the marketplace (as is a private corporation) ends up being very good at wasting money, as well as being a haven for make-work jobs and incompetence.

  14. Video (0 Replies)

    I added the video by pasting the iframe code into the post. Don’t know why it didn’t work for you.

  15. I agree. (0 Replies)

    I recall lots of dispute on Baker/Coakley. I recall very little on DeLeo.

  16. Meh (0 Replies)

    It will never work for a race like SoS, especially where nobody had any idea who David D’Whatshisname was. Has to be something much higher profile.

  17. "the rest of BMG" (1 Reply)

    Honestly, Tom, has anyone around here ever confused Bob DeLeo with a “liberal Democrat”?

  18. LOL (0 Replies)

    If Netanyahu can’t understand the difference between what he did today and what Romney, Obama, etc. did during the 2012 campaign, he has no business running down the street, much less running a country.