Hey, there! Log in / Register

Barbs traded, but many positions similar in mayoral debate

In one of their final debates, mayoral candidates John Connolly and Marty Walsh clashed on negative campaigning and negotiating with city unions, but otherwise continued to push similar ideas for a post-Menino world.

Both candidates, for example, said they would return vocational training to all city high schools, would make it a priority to find a qualified minority candidate for police commissioner and work to decentralize BPS and increase cooperation between BPS and charter schools. Connolly even acknowledged Walsh is qualified to be mayor - but added he's more qualified.

The two differed slightly on the Suffolk Downs casino referendum. Although both said they were troubled by the Caesars issue and both said they would leave the final decision up to East Boston residents, when pressed, Walsh said that if he were an East Boston resident, he would vote for the casino, while Connolly said he isn't an East Boston resident. He acknowledged he probably wouldn't want to see a casino in his home neighborhood of West Roxbury, but declined to say if he would vote against it, only that he would want his neighbors to have a say. He did say that the future of East Boston is the waterfront, not the casino.

Connolly said flyers sent out by independent groups backing Walsh cast aspersions on Walsh and raised doubts whether he could be truly independent of the unions he said were behind them. Walsh said he expressed his own ire and the flyers stopped, accused Connolly of paying for anti-Walsh push polling and raised the anonymous anti-Murphy flyers in 2007 that Connolly eventually admitted his campaign had sent out. Connolly denied paying for the push polling.

Other issues:

Arbitration:

Connolly said an arbitration bill pushed repeatedly by Walsh was written by the firefighters union and would cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars it can't afford by removing the ability of the city council to review arbitration decisions. "As a state rep, he's filing this legislation that would hurt the city of Boston." Walsh said it's inexcusable Boston police officers have gone more than four years without a contract and that he would never let a contract get to arbitraton in the first place. "We don't need another lawyer in City Hall right now," he said, referring to Connolly. He said that because he has trust on the other side, he could sit down and hammer out a contract fair to both sides.

Boston construction jobs policy:

Both support enforcement of the policy, which calls for 50% of jobs on large construction project to go to Boston residents. Connolly said the building-trades unions, which Walsh has served as president, has fought the policy because of its seniority rules. Walsh said he's never seen Connolly at any meetings on the policy, said one of the first things he did as union president was to create an apprenticeship program to increase the number of minorities and women in construction.

Small business:

Both candidates expressed support for small businesses.

Police:

Both said the city needs more community policing and police leadership that reflects the ethnic and racial makeup of the city. Connolly said police officers should be "knocking on doors the way politicians do" to introduce themselves to the people on their beats. He called for a police track at Madison Park High School.

School superintendent:

Both agreed the next superintendent needs to be somebody who can truly shake up the status quo at Court Street. Walsh said that would rule out hiring anybody from within BPS; Connolly said he would be willing to at least consider somebody locally.

Questions:

The debate ended with each candidate being allowed to pose questions to the other.

Walsh asked Connolly if he would commit to not run any negative ads in the final week of the campaign. Connolly never directly agreed, but said he would only run ads that reflect what he's said to Walsh's face in debates.

Connolly asked Walsh how in the world he could be an independent mayor when he's been a union president - making $175,000 last year - and introduced union bills in the legislature.

Walsh replied he is proud of his union support and said the unions were the first to help his family when he was diagnosed with cancer as a young boy - but that he has and will speak out against unions, as he did in immediately calling for rejection of the recent arbitrator's award to the police union.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

neither of these candidates inspire....couldn't we have done better?
Sox, they inspire.

up
Voting closed 0

IMAGE(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk143/nfsagan/Connolly-Boston-Herald_zpsd6337748.jpg)

John Connolly calls himself the "education mayor" and claims his "life's work" is education and education reform. Here are the facts, Connolly volunteered in a NYC school for two years and taught in a school in Boston for one year. Then he left teaching for law school and after spent twelve years in private practice.

Clearly, education and ed reform is not his "life's work," private law practice is. And clearly "education mayor" is aspirational not a genuine qualification. Some might say the claim is akin to lying at a job interview.

In tonight's debate, John Connolly was asked to identify three accomplishments in education that qualify him for mayor. He said he was able to forestall cuts to special education funding--Kudos! He said he found expired food in a school freezer. Well, that makes for a great Boston Herald headline but it's not a exactly policy issue, its more of a school cafeteria issue. And third he said "leadership" but did not provide an example. These are the thin qualifications he cited for "education mayor," from the the guy who alleges his "life's work" is education.

A journalist at WGBH wants Connolly to make the argument about how his twelve year career in private law practice folds into his argument for being elected mayor. The article is called "John Connolly and the L-word" because Connoly won't talk about the one thing he spent the most amount of time in his adult life doing, practicing law for big business.

up
Voting closed 0

God forbid we have someone who has practiced law running our city. That would be the end of the world! Moreover, heaven help us if we have someone who has been on the City Council and understands the inner workings of City government running the City. I just don't know what would happen if someone like that was the Mayor. Clearly, both of these experiences should disqualify any candidate from being Mayor. Also, lets be clear that unless you have spent 20 years teaching in a Boston Public School (not one of those devil's workshops Charter Schools!!), or preferably in a leadership position in a teachers union, you should not be allowed to say that education is your life's work. In fact, I believe union rules prohibit you from saying that unless you have seniority, but I can't be sure. Certainly, someone who would be so arrogant to say that education is their life's work simply because of two years of teaching experience, and repeated efforts on the City Council to make reforms to the City's schools, is just a liar. A bald liar. I mean Marty Walsh has way more meaningful teaching experience and experience making meaningful reforms to public school systems, right?

up
Voting closed 0

Who is arguing we can't have a lawyer mayor? Certainly not anonymous. The way I read it, anonymous is saying Connolly is misrepresenting his professional experience--he's more lawyer than educator or educational policy expert and if he wants to be mayor, he should make that argument based on the facts we know about his expertise.

Connolly has adopted a resume he does not have, and refuses to talk about the one he does.

up
Voting closed 0

We aren't talking about applying for school superintendent here - we are talking about running for Mayor. Saying (or having others say about you) that education is your life's work or that you would be the education mayor is hardly a misrepresentation about your professional experience as you would phrase it or "lying at a job interview" as Walsh's late night campaign staff suggested in their post. Also, even if we're talking about his "professional experience," that includes being a City Councilor during which time he advocated strongly for school reform, so its hardly a misrepresentation of that experience. Also, don't give me that "whose arguing we can't have a lawyer mayor" nonsense. You know who? Walsh's campaign who has turned this race for mayor into a bizarre debate about the "working man" versus "republicans, hedge fund managers, and Wall Street interests" to quote a statement given by his campaign to the Globe. The previous poster's comment that Connolly is really a lawyer (a fact that he is apparently hiding!) "practicing law for big business" is just an extension of that old saw. This is a small City. We are all going to have to live with each other after this race is over. Lets hear more from the Walsh side about why Connolly's policies are going to wreck the City (and his aren't) and less of the "he isn't one of us!" nonsense coming from the way back machine of 1970s-80s Boston that Walsh has apparently embraced.

up
Voting closed 0

Connolly's camp has been trying to conjure this image of Walsh as some kind of pinky ring wearing union boss who will bend over backwards to give the unions all sorts of generous contracts thereby either bankrupting the city a la Detroit or bankrupting or merely pricing out the middle class of Boston through higher property taxes. This is how they are reacting in kind.

You have to concede this much, Connolly did spend a lot of time during the campaign talking about how he was teaching. I believe his quote was that he taught students from every corner of the city. However, he only taught one year (plus the 2 years with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.) I only caught the end of the debate last night, and Walsh must have referred to Connolly as a lawyer 4 times in the 2 minutes I watched. He's trying to give Connolly an image of a Harvard educated corporate lawyer, which is not what Connolly wants the voters to think of him as. If it isn't a bad image (a lawyer is at least as good a profession as one who helps working people get a decent wage) then embrace it, but much like the Walsh image the Connolly camp is pushing, we know that nothing comes from it.

Two other, kind of unrelated to your post, things. First, I did think it bad that labor put out a flyer noting that Connolly was the product of private schools. From grades 1 to 12, Connolly and Walsh had similar education (parochial schools, then prep schools.) Second, although I mostly agree with "Anonymous'" posts here, they are way too over the top. That's just him being him. I don't think he is working for Walsh, though. Supporting him, or more likely opposing Connolly, yes. Working for him, probably not.

up
Voting closed 0

This is what you do at 1:30 am? You pathetic squid.

up
Voting closed 0

IMAGE(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk143/nfsagan/Connolly-Timeline2_zps6dd04001.jpg)

up
Voting closed 0

"Boston's Education Mayor: None of the Above" by Christopher Martell, Clinical Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Education:

Recently, one of my students asked me who I thought was the best mayoral candidate on the issue of education. Was it John Connolly, the candidate who proclaims himself the next "education mayor" with a desire to decentralize the school district and increase charter schools. Was it Marty Walsh, who is focusing his education policy on increasing job-training and has proposed creating vocational programs in every high school? After some thought, I answered "none of the above."

READ MORE

up
Voting closed 0

Swinging from nuts.

up
Voting closed 0

Boy--you've got a LOT of time on your hands.

up
Voting closed 0

...want the city to be more affordable
...want the city to have a shot at actually prospering and thriving
...want to avoid super-expensive union contracts, which YOU will pay dearly for
...want the next mayor to attract and retain reasonable talent for City Hall
...

up
Voting closed 0

Do you think Walsh will make the city more affordable despite your other problems with him?

up
Voting closed 0

I think he meant "don't vote for Walsh if you don't want the city to not be less affordable".

up
Voting closed 0

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

You really think the unions which are paying for his campaign are not expecting
proper payback if he gets into office? Seriously?

up
Voting closed 0

Double negatives are confusing.

up
Voting closed 0

Why does it have to specifically be a minority commissioner, why can't it just be the best person for the job regardless? Doesn't the city deserve the best person qualified for the job, instead of passing that person up in the event they happen to be a white male?

We did recently have a woman (O'Toole) as a commissioner, so it is entirely possible the system works as it is (assuming they consider women a minority group).

up
Voting closed 0

Slowman - maybe a requirement, although not an absolute one - is that the commissioner have credibility with the minority community? Maybe that requirement is best, but not absolutely, met by a minority candidate? Many important things are not easily measurable.

up
Voting closed 0

Minority communities only bestow credibility to people of their own race? By that logic, a minority commissioner wouldn't have credibility in majority communities. The color of your skin is not an "important thing." Ability to effectively get the job done (aside from PC police panty-waist hand wringing) is the only "important thing."

up
Voting closed 0

"The color of your skin is not an "important thing.""

OK, hey, have a good one.

up
Voting closed 0

I'm writing in Menino. You're all welcome to do the same.

I don't care if there isn't a write-in space either.

up
Voting closed 0