1. The turnout seemed low–about 70-80 people, I’d guess, with almost as many media members as campaign supporters/operatives.
Wow. They’re going to need to do a lot better than that.
2. When Flaherty was asked about his pledge to serve only two terms, his reply went something like this: “The people of Boston have my word–the same way they had the current mayor’s word that he would only serve two terms.” Yoon, for his part, observed that “There are no guarantees in life,” or words to that effect. Michael and Sam: you might want to work on this part of the sales pitch.
That is much, much more worrisome. Here’s what Sam Yoon’s email about this “ticket” said:
This will include enacting term limits for Mayor – putting an end to the ‘Mayor for Life’ culture in Boston that has held us back.
Now, whether you like term limits or hate them, if you’re going to talk about “enacting” them, you’re talking about a legal rule that says that a Mayor cannot serve more than x terms. But if all we’re really talking about is a Meehan-esque promise to the effect that, “hey, I’m only serving x terms — trust me,” then that particular plank in the Flaherty/Yoon platform is nothing more than a splinter.
3. Flaherty did considerably better when asked about Menino aide Nick Martin’s contention that the Flaherty/Yoon ticket is illegal. “The mayor,” Flaherty said, “is the last person to be dispensing legal advice right now”–a pointed and (to my mind) effective jibe at Email-gate.
The jibe is fine, as campaign tit-for-tattery goes. But the issue is, to my mind, a serious one. If Flaherty and Yoon are going to campaign as a “ticket,” what does that mean? Are they going to print up signs saying “Flaherty/Yoon,” even though of course only Flaherty’s name will be on the ballot? More importantly, are the voters of Boston going to be led to believe that, even if Mike and Sam don’t get along after the first six months, Sam can’t be fired? Because, of course, he can be fired. The arrangement seems to be that Flaherty says he’ll create a new job, called “Deputy Mayor,” and that he will hire Yoon to fill it. But since Yoon hasn’t actually been elected to anything, he can be fired by the Mayor, like any other city employee.
Look for the campaign finance crowd to get involved in this pronto.