paulsimmons

Person #2547: 74 Posts

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  1. I was responding to jconway (0 Replies)

    I remember that race very well. Rush kicked Obama’s ass by running against Hyde Park and Harvard. The slogan on the streets was that Obama was “too bright and too white”.

  2. That's somewhat revisionist (1 Reply)

    What happened was that Obama led (not for the first time, nor the last) with his hubris. From a very good recap in the September 9, 2007 New York Times:

    Mr. Obama was a 38-year-old state senator and University of Chicago lecturer, unknown in much of Mr. Rush’s Congressional district. He lived in its most rarefied neighborhood, Hyde Park. He was taking on a local legend, a former alderman and four-term incumbent who had given voters no obvious reason to displace him.

    Mr. Rush’s name recognition started off at 90 percent, Mr. Obama’s at 11. Then Mr. Rush’s son was murdered, leading Mr. Obama to put his campaign on hold. Later, while vacationing in Hawaii with his family, he missed a high-profile vote in the Legislature and was pilloried. (One Chicago Tribune editorial began, “What a bunch of gutless sheep.”) Then President Clinton endorsed Mr. Rush.

    “Campaigns are always, ‘What’s the narrative of the race?’ ” said Eric Adelstein, a media consultant in Chicago who worked on the Rush campaign. “In a sense, it was ‘the Black Panther against the professor.’ That’s not a knock on Obama; but to run from Hyde Park, this little bastion of academia, this white community in the black South Side — it just seemed odd that he would make that choice as a kind of stepping out.”

  3. The dangers of binary thinking (0 Replies)

    Without belaboring any point about either charter schools in isolation, or the Boston Foundation’s support thereof, this is not a morality play.

    From the Globe article linked to above:

    One hopeful sign comes from the two front-runners in next month’s gubernatorial election. Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley have condemned the Board of Education vote and are calling on its members to reverse the dense decision that undermines charter schools in urban areas where they are needed most. The Race to the Top Coalition, which includes the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts and the Black Ministerial Alliance, reinforced that message yesterday, citing the “perverse effect” of the formula change.

    The broader argument is about quality education, and both sides have cogent arguments when they’re not talking past each other.

  4. All the political power on this is on the Quincy side (1 Reply)

    Neither Menino nor Walsh had (or has) the juice in the Ledge to beat Quincy on funding for the bridge. This is all Committee inside ball, and none of the Boston reps are in a position to go toe-to-toe on this.

    The reason it wasn’t fixed was that Quincy pols don’t want it fixed. The stop gap funding is because there is also a day summer camp on the island (as well as the the Boston Police firing range, a few witness protection safe houses, and other odds and ends…).

    Why is Marty Walsh talking about starting from scratch?

    Because construction contracts and jobs might, just might, trump Quincy NIMBY Triumphalism.

    Can anyone say Jay Cashman?

  5. Don't blame Boston for this (1 Reply)

    Boston owns the island, but the bridge is Quincy’s jurisdiction. Boston has been trying to get the bridge repaired for years.

    From the March 16, 2014 Patriot Ledger:

    A truce has been reached in the longstanding bridge battle between the cities of Quincy and Boston.

    Quincy’s conservation commission Wednesday approved the city of Boston’s plan to make $15 million in repairs to the Long Island Bridge, which connects Squantum and Moon Island to Boston’s Long Island. The 63-year-old bridge has long been a source of tension between the two cities. Many in Quincy say the structure is beyond repair and should come down…

    …Quincy’s conservation commission unanimously backed the repair project, albeit with conditions.

    As part of the project, Boston is required to pay $27,500 for the city of Quincy’s engineering consultant, Polaris Consultants of Plymouth. Polaris will monitor the bridge repairs to make sure the work does not impact the surrounding environment, including Quincy’s beaches and maritime uses…

    The 3,500-foot bridge, made of steel and concrete, is owned by the city of Boston. However, Quincy provides the only land access, so the city’s conservation commission must approve all bridge work…

    …The bridge underwent repairs in 2008 and 2011, and Jayasinghe said they will likely continue even after this next project.

    Local officials and state lawmakers, including state Rep. Bruce Ayers, D-Quincy, have asked for the bridge to be torn down and replaced with a ferry service. Ayers has said continued bridge repairs are a waste of taxpayer money, not only in Boston but in all of Massachusetts, because state funds contribute to bridge projects.

    Although Ayers did not attend Wednesday’s commission meeting, he submitted a letter that was read aloud by Duca. He reiterated his opposition to the bridge repairs.

  6. You have a point there. (1 Reply)

    I was at the forum, and Coakley seem to go out of her way to avoid simple declarative statements or responses.

    To the degree that I was able to parse what she said, there seemed to be no content.

    My presumption was that she erred on the side of caution, but I could be wrong…

  7. I think the candidates understood (1 Reply)

    … both the tech-internal and generic meaning of the word, but didn’t want to create a soundbite that could be used against them later.

  8. Yawkey and Racism (1 Reply)

    There is some interesting history here, here, and here.

    I believe that a quote from the article linked last is sufficient proof:

    While the Red Sox were declining in the late Forties and Fifties, Yawkey had well-documented opportunities to sign great black players like Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays, yet somehow couldn’t see past their skin color. Higgins was prone to using racist slurs, yet Yawkey not only kept him on as manager for several years, he promoted him to general manager, guaranteeing a team policy of “blacks need not apply.”

  9. Actually 2012 turnout was lower (2 Replies)

    …than in 2008 and 2004.

    From CNN on November 8, 2012:

    …the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, put 2012 voter turnout at 57.5% of all eligible voters, compared to 62.3% who voted in 2008 and 60.4% who cast ballots in 2004. In 2000, the turnout rate was 54.2%.

    I did not attempt to equate correlation with causation. My premise was that the increase in cell phone-only households, a fractured media environment, and lack of community-embedded field reinforce civic disengagement in election cycles.

    I think that the low turnout in the September 9 Primary is a useful datum to support that premise.

  10. The broader social context... (1 Reply)

    …was described by Robert Putnam in his book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, back in 2000.

    In the days prior to mass ownership of land-line phones, political parties were embedded in broad civic life, not limited to election cycles. County or precinct-based political organizations were social as well as electoral. GOTV was as a consequence literally a neighbor-to-neighbor affair and less dependent on mass media (newspapers excepted). When telephone ownership became common in the 1950′s, banking augmented, but did not replace the civic aspects of electioneering.

    The crisis in social cohesion has gotten worse since 2000, IMHO.

    Hence the “pre-radio” reference as an observation of the practical political implications of – and possible solution to – a political environment where citizens are largely organically disengaged from day-to-day political engagement.

  11. Let's (ahem) look at the literature. (1 Reply)

    From a study by Matthew Gentzkow of the University of Chicago:

    I use variation across markets in the timing of television’s introduction to identify its impact on voter turnout. The estimated effect is significantly negative, accounting for between a quarter and a half of the total decline in turnout since the 1950s.

    The author goes further speculate that:

    The improvements in media and education that are at the root of the apparent paradox have been accompanied by a proliferation of new ways to spend leisure time, from cable, to video games, to DVDs, to the Internet. While a conclusive answer will require detailed study of these broader trends, it would not be surprising to find that this expansion of choices led to further crowding out of political engagement.

    From Latino Decisions:

    Door-to-door canvassing can have the biggest impact, but raises issues of quality control, especially when taken to scale. Telephone canvassing is easily supervised and can generate double-digit increases in Latino turnout, but is becoming increasingly difficult in the era of caller ID and low cell phone response rates. Indirect methods such as radio advertisements and postcards and email messages are much less expensive, but their effects on turnout are generally much smaller.

    This dynamic is not limited to Latino voters.

    The issue is not the use of media and phone banking to augment person-to-person warm body field operations; it’s what happens when these mechanisms replace field.

    …because what really works on the ground is organic outreach and applied peer pressure. The issue is not “knocking on doors” in isolation, which can often backfire (as in the case of Howard Dean in 2004, when his “Orange Hat” volunteers alienated voters), but personal contact by people with whom voters can relate.

  12. Boston 3:00 Numbers (0 Replies)

    Total Votes: 33678
    Turnout: 8.86%

  13. The Mayor's people are active... (1 Reply)

    …on behalf of Warren Tolman, Steve Tompkins (Suffolk County Sheriff), Felix Arroyo (Probate), and Dan Cullinane (Rep-12 Suffolk). However, in the absence of any serious GOTV working for and on behalf of the Gubernatorial candidates, there’s a limit to what his people can do.

  14. 12:00 Boston Numbers (1 Reply)

    Total Votes: 22050
    Turnout: 5.80%

  15. 9:00 Boston Numbers (0 Replies)

    Total Votes: 10203
    Turnout: 2.68%

  16. The Post is accurate. (1 Reply)

    From the State House News Service (August 12, 2014):

    STATE HOUSE — Gov. Deval Patrick amended title-clearing legislation on his desk Monday, kicking back to the largely dormant Legislature a bill that people in the real estate industry say is necessary but which anti-foreclosure activists say tramples on the rights of people who lost homes in foreclosure.

    [The Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending] called the bill the “brainchild of the title insurance industry” and scheduled a “victory” press conference for Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.

    Attorney General Martha Coakley at the time called the Senate bill “an important next step in our efforts to support the housing market’s continuing recovery” and applauded the bill’s consumer protection measures.

    Anti-foreclosure advocates say the bill would substantially reduce legal avenues for people to regain homes after illegal foreclosures and prevent predominantly people of color from returning to their homes…

    …The New England Conference of the NAACP, attorney Charles Ogletree and others wrote to Patrick, urging him to veto or amend the legislation that they said would “codify, illegal racially discriminatory lending practices” that were disproportionately directed against ethnic minority communities.

  17. As I said... (0 Replies)

    …snapshot in time.

    Early polls aren’t predictions.