Marty Walsh's Bad Habits

Sigh. - promoted by david

If you haven’t already read David Bernstein’s new article on Marty Walsh and the Grand Prix in Boston Magazine (“Is the Grand Prix Taking Boston for a Ride?“), I highly recommend that you do.

If you’ve been following the drama around Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, many things in this article will sound familiar.

A complete disregard for public consent and engagement:

In mid-May, without public hearings, Walsh signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Grand Prix of Boston, clearing the way for the city to host five annual IndyCar road races on the South Boston waterfront, each Labor Day weekend from 2016 to 2020…..

Grand Prix representatives held an informational meeting with South Boston elected officials on May 14, I have learned—a day after Walsh signed the contract. A meeting with Fort Point neighborhood residents wasn’t held until nearly a week later: May 19, the night before the news went public.

(emphasis added)

A disregard for the risk of spiraling costs and inconveniences:

Surprisingly, Walsh’s memo with the Grand Prix provides no payments, subsidies, or other “linkage” in exchange for the use of Boston’s streets—while leaving City Hall on the hook for a fair amount of ancillary costs and inconveniences, which have the potential to balloon as the Waterfront finally blossoms and fills in with people and businesses.


Before Norton was spokesperson for the Grand Prix, of course, she was Walsh’s press secretary. And the connections between Walsh and the Grand Prix don’t end there. Consulting work for Grand Prix Boston is being done by CK Strategies, which is also consulting for Boston 2024; Chris Keohan of CK Strategies was Walsh’s 2013 campaign strategist. Also consulting for the Grand Prix are Dino Difonzio, Dan Passacantilli, and Kenny Ryan – all with close connections to Walsh, mostly through his 2013 campaign.

Unrealistic economic promises that completely belie available data:

In its community outreach, the Grand Prix has suggested that the event can be expected to draw at least 250,000 total spectators over the course of three days….That talking-points memo, which I’ve obtained, claims that “similar urban events in the IndyCar Series traditionally produce… 250,000+ spectators over three days.”…From what I can tell, that statement appears to be an unadulterated lie: The only IndyCar event that purports to draw 250,000-plus spectators is the iconic Indianapolis 500, which is not at all similar to anything like the event being planned in Boston…Conveniently, the national IndyCar Series sanctioning corporation, Indy Racing League, does not allow  attendance figures to be released—how’s that for a transparency issue?—but I have been shown marketing materials, intended for sponsors, that indicate the average attendance has been under 100,000 in recent years….If the Grand Prix’s claim of 250,000 total spectators doesn’t hold water, then it’s unlikely the economic benefit claims will, either…

In that same one-page fact sheet I obtained, Grand Prix organizers claim that similar IndyCar events produce upwards of $40 million in direct spending, and $75-$80 million total, including indirect impact….One of the very few independent, post-Grand Prix economic impact studies available—in 2012, for Baltimore, the race Grand Prix of Boston is ostensibly replacing—found a direct impact of $24 million in 2012, with a total impact of $42 million…..That’s barely half of what the Grand Prix of Boston info sheet claims is typical…

Joke Revue: Republican Presidential Candidate Profiles


Onion Candidate Profiles:

Rick Perry:

Former Texas governor Rick Perry announced Thursday his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election, hoping to fare better than he did in his unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination in 2012. Here’s what you need to know about Perry:

Campaign Slogan: “I Studied This Time”
Experience: Effectively and efficiently led bungling of 2012 presidential campaign
Policies: Tough on crime, specifically homosexuality
Death Penalty Record: Undefeated, 234-0
Political Base: Unsettling white guys in wraparound Oakleys
Biggest Political Asset: Looks pretty presidential on muted TV at airport
Biggest Liability: Public forums
Greatest Political Accomplishment: Provided underserved minorities and mentally retarded individuals with access to quality executions
Oh, And: Was recently issued felony indictment for abuse of power as Texas governor

Lindsey Graham:

South Carolina senator and retired Air Force colonel Lindsey Graham officially announced Monday that he will run in the 2016 presidential race, adding his name to the increasingly crowded Republican field. Here are some key facts to know about Graham:

Marital Status: Single, but on the prowl
Distinction Among Other GOP Candidates: Most recent
Voter Appeal: Popular with voters who believe America not currently in enough wars
Appearance: Excited boy getting his first tricycle
Family: Has relatable 50-year-old sister just like you and me
Name Recognition Among Sen. John McCain: 100 percent
Percent Of Body Mass That Is Sweet Tea: 17
What He’s Wearing Under That Little Three-Button Navy Blue Number: Absolutely nothing
Biggest Obstacle To Winning Presidency: (Tie) Personality, voting record, stances on various issues, physical appearance, funding

Rick Santorum:

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election on Wednesday, bringing the runner-up from the 2012 Republican primaries officially into the race. Here’s what you need to know about Santorum:

Age: 23 years younger than average supporter
Birthplace: America he barely recognizes anymore
Campaign Goals: Keep the rampant liberalism in the Republican party in check
Economic Platform: More of a social issues guy
Trademark Look: Suit, tie
Debate Strategy: Hoping to be permitted to watch from green room
Hobbies: Searching for intelligently designed life on other planets
Views On Hardcore Pornography: Included in presidential platform
Motivation For Running: Kill some time before going to Heaven
Biggest Controversy: Is presidential candidate

One step forward, big step back; Warren and Markey vote for surveillance

Listen in ... - promoted by Bob_Neer

Congress helped privacy activists to a great achievement last week by doing nothing. The brief sunset of the USA PATRIOT ACT on June 1 was the first step in the right direction on government surveillance since before 9/11.

Of course, the ending provisions were quickly reenacted in the fake-reform USA FREEDOM Act passed the next day.

There may be some confusion because many organizations supported an early version of this bill that had real reforms, but changed position on it weeks or months ago after it was watered down. Even if previously one was to celebrate the mild and misguided reforms in the USA FREEDOM Act, consider that after the sunset of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT ACT, this is in fact a huge expansion of the legal allowance for surveillance.

I was dismayed to find that Senators Warren and Markey voted for the bill, and surprised, given their positive track record on the issue. I don’t quite believe Markey and Reich and other Democratic favorites are fooled, though perhaps jaded; I find their statements disingenuous. Note the lack of even a throwaway “there is more to be done.”

For what it’s worth, Sanders gets it right every time.

Still, even with the small net gain, it is heartening to see Congress take any step to roll back surveillance. We can make progress.

Organizations cover what happened, whether it’s a good thing, and what’s next:


“The civil liberties community was split on this bill. Some civil liberties groups, most of them based in Washington, D.C., along with tech industry groups and pundits in the mainstream media were quick to call the passage of the USA FREEDOM Act a major victory. CREDO supported the 2013 USA FREEDOM Act. But after its first introduction it was watered down and contorted beyond recognition. We not only pulled our support from subsequent versions of the bill, but fought vigorously to stop it from passing. …”

“But sadly, most Democrats in both the House and Senate failed to show the same commitment to our civil liberties as Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul, and Reps. Massie, Amash and Poe and Democratic Reps. Mark Pocan and Barbara Lee. The overwhelming majority of Democrats ultimately voted in favor of more mass surveillance. Even more disappointing, President Obama is competing with George W. Bush in using fear mongering to champion making PATRIOT Act powers permanent.”


“[W]e withdrew our support from the bill in an effort to spur Congress to strengthen some of its privacy protections and out of concern about language added to the bill at the behest of the intelligence community.

Even so, we’re celebrating. We’re celebrating because, however small, this bill marks a day that some said could never happen—a day when the NSA saw its surveillance power reduced by Congress.”

Free Press

Restore the Fourth

Fight for the Future

“Each member of the Senate who voted for the USA Freedom Act will now be on record for re-instating—with full knowledge of its illegal usage—a piece of the largest scale violation of the US Constitution in America’s history. They will carry that failure into the next elections, and through the rest of their political careers.”

Experts Need Not Apply: Economists Excluded From Olympic Study Committee

Unbelievable. Actually at this point, all too believable. - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

Perhaps you can’t fool all the people all the time, but many politicians certainly seemed to be trying.

–Andrew Zimbalist

As chair of our school building committee, I’m in the midst of developing school building project. It’s a long, sometimes tedious, sometimes grueling, chore. It’s my town’s version of a mega-project, and certainly the largest project I’ll ever be involved in. Fortunately, we are guided through the process by a project manager and an architectural firm. These folks are our representatives in our dealings with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), which will fund about 60% of our project. It would be nice if we could eschew some of the bureaucracy and the experts, but quite frankly, a lot of money would wasted without them. The MSBA and our hired experts make sure our decisions are fiscally sound and educationally feasible, and because schools are their business, they know what they’re doing.

What’s good for building schools, however, evidently isn’t good for the Olympics. The Special Commission Relative to the Feasibility of Hosting the Summer Olympics in the Commonwealth passed over three different economists in favor of politicians and business people. This was the committee appointed to examine the feasibility of Boston hosting the Olympics.

The Commission was guided by “two core principles to be used in determining feasibility”:

(1) any potential investment in an effort to host the Olympic Games could only occur if it was aligned with the long-term economic development and infrastructure needs of the Commonwealth

(2) any potential investment would offer clear, long-lasting, and significant legacy benefits to the Commonwealth after the Games had come and gone.

One might think an economist or two specializing in sports and building stadiums might be helpful in determining the effects of the Olympics on long-term economic development, but the powers that be decided that the commission should be filled with event boosters.

Andrew Zimabalist should know. Stan Rosenberg solicited his resume for the Commission. Yet Zimbalist was not appointed. He tells the following story in Circus Maximus, his book about the economics of the Olympics:

Mitt Romney suggested to Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick that Boston bid to be the host city. Patrick took the matter to the state legislature which in turn appropriated funds for a study to be performed by a ten-member commission to be appointed by the governor.

After passing the appropriation, Massachusetts state senator and majority leader Stan Rosenberg e-mailed me to ask if I would be interested in serving on the commission. I responded affirmatively, depending on the timing and volume of the work involved. Senator Rosenberg [who represents Northampton where Zimbalist, an occasional guest on public radio, teaches at Smith College] thanked me and asked me to send him a résumé. He then sent my résumé with a cover letter to Deval Patrick, urging my appointment to the commission. Apparently, a similar interaction occurred between Victor Matheson, an economist at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and an expert on mega-event economics, and another state legislator. I also pointed out to Senator Rosenberg that Judith Grant Long, a well-respected expert on the effect of the Olympics and other sports mega-events on urban economies, taught at Harvard University.

As it turned out, Governor Patrick did not appoint any of us to the commission. Instead, eleven executives were appointed, all from the tourism industry and construction, the industry that had the most to gain if Boston were to host the games. After several months the commission concluded that the matter warranted further study. As of mid-July 2014, no decision had been made, although the USOC had selected Boston as a finalist among possible U.S. host cities.

With Governor Patrick’s maneuver, my cynicism about our political process and what interests it serves reached an all-time high. Perhaps you can’t fool all the people all the time, but many politicians certainly seemed to be trying.

On the eventual makeup of the Commission, Zimbalist should be corrected. Six of the eleven commissioners represented state or city government. The remaining five–the private citizens–were all business people. Zimbalist blames Patrick, but the report of the commission clearly suggests that the senate and legislature’s leadership were equally responsible.

Here’s a list of the members:

The Governor named Mr. John F. Fish (Chair), Chairman and CEO, Suffolk Construction, Mr. Stephen Freyer, President, Freyer Management Associates, and Steven Tompkins, Sheriff, Suffolk County to serve on the committee.

Former Senate President Therese Murray appointed Eileen Donoghue, State Senator and Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business, Mr. Ralph Cox, Principal, Redgate Real Estate Advisors

Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo appointed  Cory Atkins, State Representative and House Chair, Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development and Mr. Daniel O’Connell, President and CEO, Massachusetts Competitive Partnership.

The Senate Minority Leader’s appointee was Mr. Jonah Beckley, General Counsel.

The House Minority Leader’s choice was Ms. Andrea Crupi, Legislative Aide.

The Mayor of the City of Boston appointed Ms. Cindy Brown, President & CEO, Boston Duck Tours and Frost Ice Bar, and Mr. Christopher Cook, Director of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events, Office of Mayor Martin J. Walsh

I don’t know any of these folks, but I’m sure none of them has written a book on the economics of the Olympics. And I’m willing to bet none of them has advised New York City on hosting the Olympics. And although one or two could have a degree in economics, I don’t think any of them is an economist or a tenured professor at a prestigious Massachusetts college or university. In fact, I don’t know of any reason why any of these people should have been excluded from the Commission. For all I know, their experience is and was valuable. But was there a skeptic among them? Was there someone with an extensive research background in the Olympics or similar mega-events? The answer seems to be no. Instead of an economist, an actual expert, the Special Commission Relative to the Feasibility of Hosting the Summer Olympics in the Commonwealth got the CEO of a duck boat tour company.

If my fellow citizens decide to build a new school, it is very unlikely that it will greatly exceed its budget. Large projects rarely come in under budget, but the MSBA, our project manager, and our architect, almost guarantee that we will be very close to our estimate. The reason for such precision is simple: building schools is their business. They’re experts. Our government’s decision to leave Olympic experts out of the feasibility process doesn’t bode well for the their cost containment.

Unofficial June BMG Democratic Presidential Primary Strawpoll Time!

promoted by charley-on-the-mta

Now that the Democratic Presidential Primary field is starting to really take shape, I figure it’s time to get a real sense of what BMGers think about the presidential primary at this early date.

So, let’s have a straw-poll!

The rules:

Pick one candidate who’s in the race or is considering entering the race, and reply with their names in a comment.

The candidates who are currently declared in the race, in alphabetical order, are Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders. Others who have been pretty open about considering the race would include Lincoln Chaffee and Jim Webb, and Joe Biden hasn’t definitively ruled out a campaign. I’m sure there are others I’m missing (my apologies!).

Feel free to provide a few sentences on why you’re supporting a particular candidate, but let’s leave any heated debates for other threads.

If people don’t feel comfortable openly declaring their choices at this point, but would still like to contribute anonymously, email me your selection at Ryepower12ATaolDOTcom, along with your BMG handle, and I’ll record them for the tally.

I won’t share which BMGers email me answers anonymously with anyone, but I want to make sure there’s a BMG handle tied to the vote so we can be sure that this is representative of the BMG community.

I also won’t count any votes from handles created after the submission of this post towards the official count, to avoid any shenanigans.

I’m going to set a deadline for this Friday, June 5th, at 11:59PM for votes. Any votes made after, whether by reply or email, won’t count toward the “official” count to this very unofficial straw poll.

I don't know how it can be, but I am liking her more and more.

The reality-based wing of the Democratic Party. - promoted by Bob_Neer

I admire her intellect and her wit, simple as that:

What are the Job Creators doing with their money?

Remarkable statistics. - promoted by david

I unfortunately do not have time to put a lot into this post, but I feel that a lot of folks here would be interested in this front page story from the Sunday Globe.

I often read and hear from conservative sources how all we need to do is lower taxes on the “job creators” and the economy will prosper for all. So since there are quite a few companies prospering right now, how is that going?

Since the early 1980s, the nation’s top publicly traded companies have gone from having 70 percent of their profits available to reinvest in their business to just 2 percent in 2014.

The rest is being plowed into dividends and stock buybacks that mostly enrich a select group of investors and executives, according to William Lazonick, a University of Massachusetts Lowell professor whose research was published last fall by Harvard Business Review.

So, does this mean that we’re getting some “trickle down”?

Buybacks are booming because US companies have earned record profits and are hoarding a vast amount of cash. The companies use buybacks to share some of that wealth with their executives and shareholders. Many CEOs were given record compensation, and shareholders may have benefited from higher stock prices.

But most stock is owned by the nation’s wealthiest 10 percent; about half of Americans don’t own a single share, directly or indirectly. And buybacks can squeeze the economy in another way: Dollars not reinvested by a company in expanding their business can also mean fewer jobs in construction and other fields.

I see. Not so much. But they must be creating some new jobs, right?

The Boxborough workers learned that at the same time they were being laid off the company was continuing to spend billions of dollars to buy back its own stock, a move designed to reduce the number of shares on the open market and perhaps boost its relatively stagnant share price.

So if we just provide more tax cuts to these corporations, how exactly does this translate to a better situation for those not in the top 10%?

Reading of the entire article is recommended.

Joke Revue: McCain Urges Military Strikes Against FIFA


McCain Urges Military Strikes Against FIFA

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – Calling the Obama Administration’s actions against the soccer organization “weak and ineffective,” Senator John McCain on Thursday proposed military action to “dismantle and destroy FIFA once and for all.”

“These are people who only understand one thing: force,” McCain said on the floor of the United States Senate. “We must make FIFA taste the vengeful might and fury of the United States military.”

McCain said that he was “completely unimpressed” by the Department of Justice’s arrests of several top FIFA lieutenants this week, calling the action “the kind of Band-Aid solution that this Administration, sadly, has become famous for.” …

N.S.A. Compensates for Loss of Surveillance Powers by Logging on to Facebook

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The National Security Agency is compensating for the expiration of its power to collect the American people’s personal information by logging on to Facebook, the agency confirmed on Monday.

The director of the N.S.A., Admiral Michael S. Rogers, said that when parts of the Patriot Act expired at midnight on Sunday, intelligence analysts immediately stopped collecting mountains of phone metadata and started reading billions of Facebook updates instead.

“From a surveillance point of view, the transition has been seamless,” Rogers said.

While the N.S.A. has monitored Facebook in the past, it is now spending twenty-four hours a day sifting through billions of baby pictures, pet videos, and photographs of recently enjoyed food to detect possible threats to the United States.

“Those status updates contain everything we want to know,” Rogers said. “In many cases, a good deal more than we want to know.”

Citing one possible downside of the new surveillance regime, Rogers said that some N.S.A. analysts who now do nothing but monitor Facebook all day report feelings of worthlessness and despair. “I remind them that they’re doing this for America,” he said. …



Ex-FIFA Official Cites Satirical Article From The Onion in His Self-Defense

Jack Warner, a former vice president of world soccer’s governing body, FIFA, defended himself against corruption charges on Sunday by citing an article from The Onion, apparently unaware that it was satire.

Mr. Warner, 72, who was arrested last week in connection with a wide-ranging criminal investigation by the United States Justice Department, held up the faux news report, calling it evidence of an American conspiracy, in a video statement that was uploaded to the web and then removed later in the day. …

RIP Beau Biden

This is terribly sad. I saw Beau's introduction of his father at the 2008 Democratic convention -- it really was very touching. RIP Beau, and our condolences to our VP, a very decent guy who has suffered too much loss.

Beau's speech starts at about 4:20:
- promoted by charley-on-the-mta

The Vice President has announced the passing of his son Beau (aka Joseph R. III) due to brain cancer.  The former Delaware AG was planning to run for Governor in 2016.  This is unfortunately not the VP’s first child to predecease him.  He lost his infant daughter along with his first wife in a car crash shortly after his first election to the US Senate in 1972, which also injured Beau and brother Hunter.  Thoughts and prayers with the Biden family.

Risky Business: The Olympics Have a 100% Chance of Going Over Budget

Your Sunday wonk post. - promoted by david

in the Games the budget is more like a fictitious minimum that is consistently overspent.

–Flyvbjerg & Stewart

There’s one question to ask when it comes to hosting the Olympics in 2024:  are they worth it? To address this question, we need to consider three factors: costs, benefits, and risks. The benefits don’t have to be monetary. There is nothing wrong with saying the Olympics at such-and- such-a-cost are worth it, even if some or all of the benefits are intangible. The costs, however, are almost all related to money. The risks, though necessarily hypothetical, have been what we’ve been talking about in other threads. As an opponent of the hosting the Olympics, I’ll let someone else make an argument for them. Instead, I’ll focus on the costs and risks, and some empirical research that suggests the Olympics are not worth hosting.

Bent Flyvbjerg and Allison Stewart of the Saïd Business School at Oxford University published a working paper called Olympic Proportions: Cost and Cost Overrun at the Olympics 1960-2012. Flyvbjerg and Stewart characterize the Olympics fall as a megaproject, a huge, complex, costly project such as the Big Dig. And due to the cost and complexity of the Olympics, it’s often difficult to account for the costs of the project. Data isn’t always collected or accurately reported. The authors have developed what they consider an improved method for counting the costs. They also confirm that the IOC requires bid documents to contain a guarantee that cost overruns will be backed by the city and government that hosts the games. Ironically, these documents ALWAYS UNDERSTATE THE COSTS.

As the authors state, “The Games overrun with 100 per cent consistency.” One reason for this seems to be the practice of ignoring the budgeting in the bid book (formally known as the Candidature File):

The Candidature File is a legally binding agreement, and as such represents the baseline from which future costs and cost overruns should be measured. However, this is rarely done; new budgets are developed after the bid has been awarded to the city, which are often substantially different to those presented at the bidding stages (Jennings, 2012). These new budgets are often used as new baselines, rendering measurement of cost overrun inconsistent and misleading.

In short, bid documents ALWAYS UNDERSTATE the costs of hosting the Olympics. Flyverg and Stewart omit indirect costs of hosting the Olympics such as infrastructure improvements, making their cost estimates conservative. Still the percentages of cost overruns are startling: “an average cost overrun in real terms of 179 per cent–and 324 per cent in nominal terms.” (It’s worth looking at the actual percentages for overruns since they vary quite a bit). An average cost overrun of 179%.

Boston 2024 sets the cost of hosting the Olympics at $4.7 billion. Thus the average (179%) overrun would be $8.4 billion. A 100% overrun would be $4.7 billion, hardly a radical estimate. A conservative 50% overrun would be $2.3 billion. The authors estimated a !00% overrun for the London Olympics.

We know the cost of the Olympics is high. We don’t know just how high they will be. No one knows. They will cost significantly more than the bid documents state. Because we don’t know the exact costs, we are in the area of risk. For how much would the Commonwealth be on the hook? We don’t know. We have $1.248 billion in our rainy day fund. Should we risk incurring this much debt? How much debt should we be willing to incur? We shouldn’t have a problem coming up with a number. Should we be willing to pay $1 billion for the Olympics? $2 billion? As far as I’m concerned, the risks outweigh the benefits. We have a $38 billion state budget, but as big as that sounds, it isn’t keeping up with our costs.

All megaprojects are risky. Most come in overbudget. The Olympics is a megaproject that always come in overbudget. As Flyverg and Stewart state, “The data thus show that for a city and nation to decide to host the Olympic Games is to take on one of the most financially risky type of megaproject that exists, something that many cities and nations have learned to their peril.”

... and no, TIF bonds are not magical free money

As you no doubt have heard by now, Boston 2024′s proposal to use a financing device known as “tax increment financing” or TIF bonds to help build an Olympic stadium has generated a good deal of controversy.  For the most part, the controversy is because the use of TIF bonds appears to contradict Boston 2024′s oft-repeated pledge that public funds would not be used to build Olympic facilities but only to finance infrastructure like improving the MBTA.

Is that true?  A number of BMGers have been arguing about this (mostly in the comments to this post).  TIF bonds are (apparently) issued on the assumption that, following the improvements that the bonds are financing, increased tax revenues from the improved property will suffice to repay the obligations owed to the bondholders.  But, of course, that assumes that tax revenues will indeed increase sufficiently to cover the principal and interest payments.  And if they don’t…?

Happily, alert reader paulsimmons points to an explainer in the Boston Business Journal that sheds some much-needed light on the subject.

There are several ways to issue a TIF bond in Massachusetts, and Boston 2024 did not specify in the bid document which method would be used. One possibility would be to issue the bond in connection with the state’s District Improvement Financing program, which allows cities to fund public infrastructure by allocating future, incremental tax revenues from a particular area of the city.

However, if a city like Boston issues such bonds through the DIF program, it may have to stipulate that it will pay back the securities with other public funds should the forecasted tax revenue from that designated area of the city fail to materialize.

“In some cases, depending on the certainty or uncertainty around the new development occurring and the new tax growth happening, a city may have to backstop [the bond] with its own general obligation guarantee,” said Laura Canter, an executive vice president at MassDevelopment.

To date, no TIF bond has been issued in connection with a DIF program in Massachusetts, according to Canter, adding another layer of uncertainty to financing the Olympics stadium through the instruments, should the city chose to go that route.

The city or state could also issue TIF bonds through the so-called Chapter 23L local infrastructure development program or through a mechanism known as the Infrastructure Investment Incentive Program, or I-Cubed. In the case of an Olympics-related TIF bond, special legislation may also be required, said Harold Davis, of counsel at Davis Malm & D’Agostine PC.

Put otherwise, taxpayers could indeed be on the hook for TIF bonds.  But we’re not really sure, because Boston 2024 hasn’t explained what they are planning to do, nor have they gotten the required buy-in from whichever public agency they were planning to have issue the bonds.  So, what exactly is their plan?

Boston 2024 declined to comment about which method would be used to issue a bond, stressing that “many elements contained in those preliminary documents have already changed and some will continue to change as the bid evolves.” The group has said it will unveil another formal proposal to host the Games by June 30.


Dear Boston 2024: You don't have until June 30

The increasingly-beleaguered folks at Boston 2024, unable to comment on today’s Globe story on the latest revelations because, hilariously, they were traveling from Switzerland, have previously explained that, not to worry, they will explain everything – on their own timetable.

The bid committee has promised to release a new venue plan by June 30, which the organization has said will include more detail on how the committee intends to deliver the stadium and Olympic village.

In case you hadn’t noticed, June 30 is a month and a day from today.  Meanwhile, the state’s top elected officials – Governor Baker, Senator Warren, and Mayor Walsh, among others – are rapidly losing patience with the pattern of being blindsided by revelations in the press that don’t jibe with what Boston 2024 has told them.

Does anyone seriously think that repairing the damage can wait until June 30?  I sure don’t.  When the Boston 2024 gang lands at Terminal E, their jet-lagged selves will likely face a barrage of unfriendly reporters demanding answers to the questions raised over the last couple of days – and when they get back to their offices, there will likely be unhappy messages waiting from the aforementioned officials.

If Boston 2024 waits until June 30 to answer these questions, it will almost surely be too late.  Whatever support the bid had from electeds and the community will have evaporated in the summer heat, and the USOC will move on to LA.  These questions need to be answered now.