Busy lives make for poor blogging. I keep seeing things I want to write about, but keep not being able to find the time to do it properly. So this conglomeration will have to do. Here goes…
- Did you see Jeff Jacoby’s column a few days ago on campaign finance? Of course the suggestion that Massachusetts change its laws to allow campaign contributions directly from corporations to candidates is ridiculous. But he is correct about one thing: the peculiar loophole in our campaign finance laws that permits labor unions, but no other artificial entity, to contribute $15,000 to a campaign, should be eliminated. That’s just a staggering sum of money that, especially in relatively low-level races like state rep, could be outcome-determinative. It makes no sense, and it should stop.
- The Globe’s Dante Ramos hopped on board the “ditch the taxi medallions” bandwagon. I’ve been saying for years that the medallion system is bad for drivers and bad for riders, and should be eliminated. Ramos is correct that Uber isn’t taxi drivers’ biggest problem; the medallion system is.
- I’m starting to wonder whether someone from No Boston Olympics managed to infiltrate the PR team working on behalf of Boston 2024. Because Boston 2024 is close to losing the Globe’s Shirley Leung, and if they manage that, they can probably kiss the whole thing goodbye. Her last column: “The public — and now public officials — are tired of Boston 2024 acting like a private club, being exclusive and secretive about everything from venue details to staff salaries…. [I]t feels like Boston 2024 has become a shadow government, working the system to put on a multibillion-dollar event that could transform the city and the region for decades to come…. If patronage was an Olympic sport, Boston 2024 would get the gold.” Oof.
- Yvonne Abraham is exactly right: if anything is to change at the MBTA, T riders have to stay as angry as they were when the system was literally shutting down around them. As the snow melts, and as Keolis slowly (very slowly) gets the commuter rail back to normal, it will be oh so tempting to think of February 2015 as a bad dream from which we are finally waking up. And if that happens, look for Bob “T structure and whatnot” DeLeo and Ron “a little crazy to be spending money” Mariano to fall back on the strategy that has served their narrow interests well but the commuting public’s interests exceptionally poorly: obfuscate, delay, and insist on “reform before revenue” with the unspoken rule that no reform is ever good enough. There is more momentum now than there’s been in years to fix the T. Don’t waste it.
- Elizabeth Warren is not a natural comedian. That’s OK with me – I didn’t vote for her based on her comic timing. But for all that, she did pretty well at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. The line about Scott Brown was especially good.