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2013 elections

Mayoral results: Washington Street as the dividing line

WBUR has posted precinct-by-precinct results on a map. The first thing that stands out is how overwhelmingly Walsh took Hyde Park - it proved his margin of victory.

But also interesting is how Washington Street - the one that runs through Roxbury, JP, Roslindale and West Roxbury - served as a boundary line between Walshville and Connolly Town. East of Washington Street, Walsh won big. West of Washington, it was mostly Connolly.

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Mayor calls mayor elect

The mayor's office released this photo of Mayor Menino calling Marty Walsh to congratulate him tonight.

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It's Mayor Walsh

At 9:17 p.m., Stephanie Ebbert of the Globe tweeted:

John Connolly has conceded. It's Mayor Marty Walsh.

The Suffolk Downs casino proposal lost big in East Boston. Revere's mayor is vowing to try to have the entire project moved 500 feet so that it's all in Revere and Boston can suck it when it comes to community benefits, since Revere voters said yes to the casino.

Walsh came on the stage at the Park Plaza around 10:45 p.m., later than scheduled; he said that's because he was talking to President Obama, who called to congratulate him.

"My parents had dreams for their kid, but I'm not sure they were this big," he told a cheering crowd.

"Together we're going to make Boston a place where dreams come true for every child, for every person, in every corner of this city," he said.

Walsh pointed to the way the city got through the Marathon bombings and the Red Sox won the world series. "This is Boston Strong. And together we're going to make Boston even stronger. ... Stand with me, because I'm ready to stand and work with you."

Walsh vowed to bring universal pre-K to every neighborhood, reform high schools and help small businesses that he said are the backbone of city neighborhoods.

He praised both Mayor Menino and former Mayor Flynn for their work.

In other races:

The anti-casino vote didn't help anti-casino District 1 candidate Brian Gannon, who lost handily to incumbent Sal LaMattina.

Josh Zakim won in District 8 (Mike Ross's old seat); Tim McCarthy declared victory in District 5 (Rob Consalvo's old seat). Bill Linehan retained his District 2 seat. Yancey won in District 4, O'Malley cruised in District 6 and Jackson in District 7.

For at-large seats, it's Flaherty, Wu, Pressley and Murphy.

Latest results from the city elections department.

To our south, New York City has elected another Bay Stater as mayor, this time Cambridge native and Red Sox fan Bill De Blasio.

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And now, the only polls that really matter

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (but if you're interested in telephone-type polls, here's a blending of them).

As you vote, what are you seeing at the polling places? Check in below.

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Where to vote in Boston

Go to My Neighborhood, type in your address and find out.

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Election roundup: What will Wu women do?

David Paleologos, head of polling at Suffolk University, tells the Herald Asian women coming out to vote for Wu could be the deciding factor in the mayoral race, but nobody knows how they'll vote. If only somebody could poll them.

The New York Times tries to sum up our mayoral race, concludes many voters see it as a choice between the education guy and the union guy.

The Globe reports on the thousands of canvassers out there canvassing.

Oh, ouch: Joe Battenfeld says Connolly is looking a lot like Martha Coakley in her loss to Scott Brown.

Mike Ball objects to the Walsh campaign's "ham-fisted, buy-the-election mode," says it inspires no confidence in an independent Marty Walsh. Parent Imperfect wants to lean towards Walsh, but writes he has yet to show he will "really address the challenges facing public education in the city."

The Boston Bastard examines John Connolly's record on the city council this year and last.

The Globe talks to District 5 candidates Tim McCarthy and Jean-Claude Sanon and interviews District 8 candidates Mike Nichols and Joshua Zakim.

WFXT interviews people still voting even though they've moved out of Boston. Most just seem clueless, but they find one guy now living in Brockton who basically dares the coppers to try and stop him:

My identity is as a Bostonian. I spend more waking hours in the city of Boston than I do elsewhere. To tell me I can't vote, to me seems a little bit ridiculous.

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Election roundup: Another infusion of mystery-meat money for pro-Walsh ads; endorsements in District 5

Following David Bernstein's lead, the Globe today reports on the mystery Roslindale woman who set up a PAC to run ads supporting Marty Walsh. Turns out the woman couldn't find a voting booth if her life depended on it, yet she's raised lots of money from people she refuses to identify for these "independent" ads. The Globe also touches base with Bud "I want Chris Elliott to Play Me in My Biopic" Jackson, who says he'll be more than pleased to identify who's paying him to run pro-Marty ads - in January.

The Globe also reports that John Connolly gets angry sometimes.

The race isn't over just yet, but already has its first book, by the Dorchester Reporter's Gintautas Dumcius.

WBUR reports a new poll shows Walsh in the lead.

People against greyhound racing are now people against casinos. Speaking of casinos, a WBUR poll finds the CasiNO people have a narrow lead over Suffolk Downs in the East Boston referendum, but with 12% of voters there still undecided a few days before the election.

In District 5 (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan), Jean-Claude Sanon holds a press conference this morning to announce endorsements by State Sen.Linda Dorcena Forry, Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins, City councilors Felix Arroyo and Charles Yancey and state reps Russell Holmes and Dan Culinane in his race against Tim McCarthy for Rob Consalvo's seat.

Bay Windows surveys the at-large council candidates, including Jeff Ross, who provides a statement about an anti-Ross Web site. The Dorchester Reporter also looks at the at-large race.

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Election roundup: Final-week endorsements

The Globe endorses Connolly; Mel King endorses Walsh. Yvonne Abraham counters with Connolly.

Walsh isn't the only person involved in the mayor's race who survived cancer.

You think this campaign has turned negative? Feh, this is amateur hour.

The Herald reports Walsh, who has vowed to dismantle the current BRA, " has assembled an inner circle of key advisers who are benefiting from and beholden to the controversial development agency."

Boston Magazine interviews Walsh and Connolly - be sure to read all the way to the very last question.

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State: Suffolk Downs fit enough to own a casino

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission says the folks behind Suffolk Downs are fine, upstanding people and can proceed with their application for a billion-dollar casino project on the East Boston/Revere line.

In a ruling released today, the commission did say Suffolk Downs will have to propose a new operator to replace Caesars Entertainment and do a better job of vetting that company first.

The company also needs to convince a majority of East Boston and Revere voters to approve the project in a referendum on Tuesday. If that happens, then it will be up to the commission to select among three proposals for the one casino license for eastern Massachusetts. The others are in Everett and Milford.

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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.

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Election roundup: Signs are getting ripped down; education examined

At Matt O'Malley's annual Halloween party, one kid came as the tri-level water fountain O'Malley got for Jamaica Pond.

You always know an election's getting nasty when campaign signs start getting torn down.

The final televised debate is tonight, 7-8 p.m.

The Globe gets to sit in on a Connolly-campaign finance meeting and learns Connolly's internal polling shows the race is now tied. Connolly jabbed Walsh on arbitration.

Eye on Early Education reports on a forum with the two candidates on, well, early education - and the achievement gap. The Globe examines their proposals for overhauling BPS.

In the least surprising editorial ever, the Herald, which earlier had advised voters to pick a sea cucumber before voting for Marty Walsh, today endorsed Connolly. Almost as unsurprisingly, the Globe endorsed Suzanne Lee in the District 2 council race.

Farah Stockman likes proposals by Ayanna Pressley and Michelle Wu to make it easier to open a restaurant in this provincial town.

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Biolab, cars, ships separate Linehan and Lee in District 2 forum

In a genial, low-key forum tonight, District 2 (South Boston, South End Chinatown) Councilor Bill Linehan and second-time challenger Suzanne Lee seemed to agree on many issues. Both said South Boston needs help to avoid choking on traffic and having longtime families driven out because of neighborhood yuppification, both said they're not endorsing either candidate for mayor but could work with whoever's elected, both said they would seek to repeal a requirement that small landlords pay fees to have their apartments inspected.

But in their last public forum before the election, at the Lithuanian Social Club, the two differed on a number of issues as well:

BU Biolab: Linehan said he supports it, said its work "could save lives for generations to come." He added that city, state and federal regulators have so far given their nod to the facility, which will work on the most dangerous pathogens known, and "who am I to question" regulators, he asked.

Lee, however, said all the regulations in the world won't mean a think if somebody goofs and a dangerous pathogen is released in one of the most densely populated and trafficked parts of the city, which she said would be impossible to evacuate. "Accidents do happen, and it's usually human error," she said, adding "just think of the gridlock" that already grips the area just on a normal day.

Cars: Both agreed South Boston is beginning to suffer too much from the success of the Innovation District and the waterfront. Linehan said he had been fighting for months for the sort of traffic study announced earlier this month. Lee agreed the study is needed, but said it should have been done years ago.

However, the two differed more substantively on the issue of cars. Lee said South Boston in particular and the city as a whole needs more developments that encourage fewer cars and a bigger push for public transportation - and not just buses. "We cannot afford to have everybody have a car, because there's just enough space on the streets," she said. Linehan, however, said that while people want to live near the T and use the T, "they are not going to give up their automobiles" and that the city needs to do more to help South Boston residents find places to park.

Ships: Linehan is all in favor of a Massport plan to dredge Boston Harbor to allow larger ships to dock at the Conley Terminal. He said that would mean more jobs for local workers and help the regional economy. But he added that along with that, he wants a haul road to keep trucks off First Street. And he said he worked to get parkland along First as a buffer between the residential side of the street and the terminal.

Lee said she doesn't want Massport to do anything until environmental concerns are addressed: Larger ships mean more diesel fumes, which can be "smelled from miles away," she said.

Education: Lee, former principal of the Quincy Elementary School, said she opposes lifting the cap on charter schools. The money that would go to them could be used just as well to bolster traditional public schools, she said. She added that in addition to money, she would work, as she did at the Quincy, to get more people from the community involved in schools.

Linehan did not say how he felt about the charter cap, but said BPS needs to give more attention to individual schools, rather than attempting only "systemic" changes. He pointed to the Clapp School in Dorchester, which BPS wanted to close, but whose parents he said he helped organize to fight the move - and turn it into an "innovation" school. He said he wants to see more K-8 schools in the district.

Boston residents' job policy: Linehan said the overall policy is working, even if some development projects fail to meet the guidelines of 50% of jobs for Bostonians. Lee said it isn't really working - too many projects come nowhere near the guidelines, and said it was time for the city to stop awarding projects to developers who keep missing the mark. She added she would look to extend the quotas beyond construction jobs.

Artists' co-ops in Fort Point: Lee said these can help artists stay in the neighborhood as it becomes more expensive and doesn't see a need for a city ordinance banning discrimination by co-op board members because, by their nature, artist co-ops are self selecting. Linehan, co-sponsor of a measure to ban discrimination in co-op housing, however, said he co-ops should be subject to the same anti-discrimination measures as all other forms of housing. He said co-op boards would be free to draw up criteria on which to judge applicants.

General approach: Lee said that in 35 years as an educator, she learned to fight for what her students needed and that she would do the same as a city councilor. Linehan said that as somebody who has spent more than 25 years in city government, he knows that the way to get things done is not fighting, but in sitting down and talking with people.

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Election roundup: Let's not forget the city-council candidates

The eight at-large council candidates will debate at 5:30 p.m. today in Northeastern's Blackman Auditorium.

Looks like Bill Linehan and Suzanne Lee will debate after all, 6 p.m. at the Lithuanian Club, 368 W. Broadway in South Boston. The South End News reports on a forum featuring Lee and Linehan last week.

Wicked Local Roslindale has answers from District 5 candidates Jean-Claude Sanon and Tim McCarthy on housing and schools and District 6 candidates Matt O'Malley and Luis Valerio on schools.

The Globe walks around Humboldt Avenue with John Connolly and Egleston Square with Marty Walsh.

The Herald surveys the all-out war for votes in the East Boston casino referendum.

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Election roundup: Republicans love Connolly

And not just the two or three who actually live in Boston. The Globe reports everybody from Ernie Boch Jr to "members of the board of the conservative Pioneer Institute" are tossing money Connolly's way.

Michael Freedberg doesn't say if he saw that article before he wrote Why John Connolly is the progressive and Marty Walsh isn't:

It may well be that entrusting the leadership of Boston to a radical transformer like Connolly is too risky for a vote base that seeks immediate security first; that dares not chance tomorrow's job for next year's career; that sees admission to a union as the ultimate accomplishment. Understood. But to call the urgency of Walsh voters progressive is a mistake. It is a politics of safety and security, of resistance to change because it sees — has learned to know — economic change as a grave threat.

Walsh picked up endorsements from the Massachusetts chapter of NOW and DotOut.

At a parks forum today, both candidates declared themselves in strong support of parks.

And now for something completely different: A kid dressed up as Marty Walsh for Halloween. A chick magnet endorses O'Malley. The chick magnet also like Wu.

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Election roundup: South Shore pol, 'dark' money from away line up behind Walsh, who becomes victim of push polling

The Walsh campaign has announced an 11;45 a.m. endorsement at the Moakley Courthouse by state Sen. Therese Murray.

CommonWealth reports that the vast majority of outside money pouring into Boston is pouring into Walsh's coffers:

Super PACs and labor unions have upended Boston’s mayoral race, turning what was a relatively even spending contest between Rep. Marty Walsh and City Councilor John Connolly into a tremendously lopsided affair: An unprecedented amount of outside money has saturated Boston’s mayoral race, and more than $4 out of every $5 is lining up behind Walsh.

The Globe reports somebody is making negative push-poll calls to voters about Marty Walsh and that while the calls don't identify who's behind them, following the money suggests it's the Connolly campaign, which, of course, would never stoop so low, at least, not more than once every few years or so.

Both candidates would rather unite against the world with neighboring communities on economic development rather than engaging in internecine bickering, the Boston Business Journal reports.

Foes of the state plan to replace the Casey Overpass in Forest Hills shouldn't count on support from Connolly, the Jamaica Plain Gazette reports.

The Gazette also reports Walsh won't stand in the way of the project, but the Walsh campaign says that's just wrong, that in fact their candidate wants the state to reexamine the whole thing.

Walsh opposes domestic violence and released a plan that's focuses on prevention and more services for victims. He has a similiar multi-disiplinary plan for combatting gang violence.

In District 2, Suzanne Lee announced endorsements by State Senator Sonya Chang-Diaz, State repsJay Livingstone, Byron Rushing, Liz Malia and Gloria Fox, city councilors Mike Ross, Ayanna Pressley, and Tito Jackson and former state reps and mayoral candidates Charlotte Golar Richie and Mel King. Her opponent, Bill Linehan, released a video by Regan Communications:

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Election roundup: Racial divides, newspaper endorsements

The Globe reports on a debate focused on issues of particular concern to the city's communities of color. CommonWealth has more:

The two candidates for mayor of Boston told a large crowd in Roxbury Wednesday night that the city in many ways remains as racially divided today as it did in the years after busing.

The Herald reports the flyer war is heating up, with Connolly complaining again about those union-PAC things and Walsh bringing up those 2007 anti-Murphy flyers.

Oh, is there a negative anti-Walsh push poll being pushed?

Speaking of unions, Maurice Cunningham wonders why Walsh has gotten more grief for union support than Connolly has for lawyer/developer support:

It does seem curious to me that labor should receive so much negative attention and media scrutiny while other moneyed interests seeking to influence the election get off so lightly.

Bay Windows endorsed Connolly yesterday, says that while Walsh has an excellent record on LGBT issues, Connolly is even better:

It's probably why Connolly is one of the few politicians today (actually, Mayor Menino comes to mind) who still talks about the need for HIV education, prevention, and outreach. And it's probably why Connolly understands that it is offensive to march in South Boston's annual St. Patrick's Day parade.

Connolly used to march in the parade until he asked his staff about it and was told that it was the one day of the year that they were embarrassed to work for him. Walsh marches in the parade every year but says that if he is elected mayor he will stop marching.

Yes, it's a parade. No, it's not the critical issue of the day. But leadership matters.

The South End News, which has the same publishers, also endorsed Connolly, because of his education policies. You may recall how, before the preliminary, Bay Windows endorsed Ross and the South End News Connolly.

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Looks like John Connolly can't control his supporters, either

During their debate last night, John Connolly said the proof Marty Walsh wouldn't be able to get unions to do anything they didn't want to came in those flyers union PACs are sending out besmirching Connolly as a, gasp, lawyer, even though Walsh doesn't want them to do that.

But remember when Connolly said he didn't want any outside groups spending money on ads for his campaign, how he wanted to win this race the right way, by communicating with voters himself? Yeah, well, so much for that, David Bernstein reports.

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Caesars background check: Financial stability, the Russian mob, online gambling and a guy who ran up millions in gambling debts

The state Gaming Commission today released a redacted copy of the 558-page investigative report that led Suffolk Downs to drop Caesars Entertainment as manager of its proposed casino last week.

In addition to concerns about possible Russian-mob ties to an investor in a company with which Caesars was doing business on a Nevada project and one Caesars executives past in Internet gambling, gaming inspectors said they were concerned that Caesars was too heavily leveraged with debt to survive another economic downtown.

And then there was the Watanabe matter:

The third significant issue involves Caesars’ conduct with respect to Terrance Watanabe, a high roller patron at Caesars Las Vegas properties who accrued millions of dollars in unpaid markers in 2006-2007. Watanabe was charged criminally for the unpaid debt, and he sued Caesars civilly, claiming Caesars encouraged him to gamble while intoxicated. The civil suit ultimately settled, and the criminal case was dismissed. The episode touches on numerous concerns, including the lengths to which casino operators will go to cater to high rollers and problem gaming."

East Boston voters decide Nov. 5 whether to let Suffolk Downs proceed with its application to the gaming commission for the $1-billion project.

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Election roundup: Debate summation, Linehan pulls out of debate

The Globe does the blow by blow. The Herald focuses on schools and unions.

David Bernstein explains why Walsh's sudden demand that Connolly release a list of every law client he ever had was kind of stupid.

To just suddenly toss out this demand two weeks from the election, with no reason, is just a stunt — and not a good one.

Connolly has scheduled an 11 a.m. press conference to kvetch about negative campaigning.

A WBUR poll shows Connolly with the slightest of leads.

District 2 Councilor Bill Linehan and challenger Suzanne Lee were scheduled to debate Thursday at the Lithuanian Club in South Boston, but seems Linehan sensed pro-Lee bias and pulled out yesterday:

The event organizer refused to cooperate with the Linehan campaign requests of having a South Boston moderator and a 6pm to 7:15pm time restriction due to a prior commitment for the Gavin Foundation's Annual Awards Dinner. Event organizer, Joanne McDevitt who is a known Lee supporter was handed this responsibility by fellow group members but could not keep her politics and bias under control.

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Candidates differ on post-storm space saving

In their second televised debate, on WGBH, mayoral hopefuls John Connolly and Marty Walsh staked out different positions on the question of how long people should be allowed to save curbside parking spaces after major snowstorms.

Connolly said he would limit residents to just 24 hours - compared to the 48 hours allowed by Tom Menino. Walsh, however, said he would be more flexible - the amount of time would depend on how severe the storm was.

On most other issues, the two expressed similar views. Both called for later T hours, stronger gun laws and more support for the arts. Both said they would have opposed a land-swap deal with the Red Sox - unless the Sox ponied up more money - and said that if school-bus drivers go on strike again, that would be a good reason to fire them. Both said the city needs to do more to address income and social inequities, both opposed the idea of levying taxes on suburbanites who work in the city, both said reducing parking requirements for new development would make sense in parts of the city, such as downtown. Both said there's no way they would close firehouses without a strong recommendation from an independent consultant and that they'll trust East Boston to make the right decision on the casino, whatever it is.

Where they did differ were things we mostly already knew: Connolly accused Walsh of being a union coddler who couldn't look out for the best interests of taxpayers; Walsh retorted Connolly was more of a lawyer than he was a teacher and that he was so inflexible he'd force the city into even more rounds of expensive arbitration than it already goes through.

They also differed on whether Menino has done a good job with schools. Walsh said yes. Connolly said the fact that Menino hasn't done a good job with schools is what got him in the race - back when it looked like he would be running against the mayor.

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