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2013 elections

Election roundup: Get the popcorn

WGBH will host a mayoral debate tonight, on both Channel 2 and 89.7 FM.

US Rep. Mike Capuano endorsed Walsh yesterday:

Marty is one of the few people that I have ever met that I would cross over broken glass to help. I don't do this very often because I think members of Congress should use their endorsement and their support very sparingly. [Marty Walsh] will stand up for people – he'll stand up for human rights, civil liberties. He'll stand up for education. He'll stand up for housing needs and do it with strength, with integrity, and directness.

In recent days, Walsh has picked up endorsements from most of the city's minority elected officials (although not Councilor Ayanna Pressley), but Connolly showed he has some black friends, too. Those supporters include Rev. Miniard Culpepper, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church and Rev. William E. Dickerson, Greater Love Tabernacle.

CommonWealth sets out some questions on racial and income inequality for the next mayor.

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Concerns over online gambling and the Russian mob may have killed Caesars involvement in Suffolk Downs project

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today, Caesars Entertainment said Massachusetts gaming investigators raised red flags over three issues related to its proposed involvement in the Suffolk Downs project: One executive's past "employment by public companies in the internet gaming industry," the company's overall financial health, but most important, a "business relationship related to a license agreement for branding of a hotel that was entered into in 2013 (and recently terminated)."

The Las Vegas Review-Journal translates that last statement:

Massachusetts gaming investigators, during routine background checks of Caesars’ business partners, took issue with an investor in New York-based Gansevoort [which had a deal with Caesars to market a rebuilt Nevada casino].

The investor, a German businessman, is reputed to have ties to organized crime in Russia.

The Review-Journal says the report by Massachusetts gaming investigators - due for public release on Wednesday - took issue with the Gansevoort investor even though that company has nothing to do with the Suffolk Downs project.

As it has done publicly, Caesars criticized the Massachusetts investigation, which led Suffolk Downs to drop it from its proposal on Friday:

The Registrant notes that neither it nor its affiliates have been found unsuitable by any licensing authority. This matter related to the finding of an investigation that was delivered to a licensing authority, which has not made any findings. In addition, all but one of the issues raised by the Bureau, the license agreement for branding of a hotel, relate to circumstances that are at least several years old, and, to date, have not been the subject of a finding of unsuitability.

In the same filing, Caesars notes that the US Treasury is currently investigating possible money laundering at one of its Nevada casinos.

On Nov. 5, East Boston and Revere voters decide whether to let Suffolk Downs proceed with a $1-billion plan to add a casino and two hotels to the existing racetrack. Even if they approve, the state Gaming Commission will have final say on where to site a casino in eastern Massachusetts - there are competing proposals in Everett and Milford.

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State says casino referendum remains on

The Globe reports Secretary of State William Galvin says East Boston and Revere residents will vote Nov. 5 on whether to approve a Suffolk Downs casino even if Suffolk Downs doesn't have a new manager for the facility in place by then.

On Friday, Suffolk Downs said it was booting Caesars because of concerns raised in a state report due out on Wednesday.

Over the weekend, Mayor Menino had said he would look at possible ways to postpone the vote if a new operator were not named by then; the ruling today by the state's highest elections official, however, makes that moot.

Sample East Boston ballot.

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Menino could seek delay in Suffolk Downs vote

WBUR reports the mayor might look at trying to delay the vote if Suffolk Downs doesn't have a managing company now that Caesars is out.

A no vote on Nov. 5 would kill the casino proposal, which also needs the approval of the state gaming commission.

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Walsh tells out-of-state moneybag PACs to stop picking on his friend John

Yesterday, the Connolly campaign issued a statement about flyers and tweets that say mean things about their man, the sort of thing that has no place in a Boston campaign:

Representative Walsh said that he would run a positive race. He said that negative campaigning does not have a place in politics and yet the special interests funding his campaign are distributing negative flyers filled with personal attacks," said Connolly. "The voters of Boston deserve a race about our ideas and visions for the future. They do not want personal attacks and misrepresentations."

Among other things, the flyer, which was produced by Working America PAC, attacks Connolly’s personal upbringing and background. This follows shortly after another outside group, American Working Families, which has spent almost $675,000 on behalf of Walsh, was called out by The Boston Globe for sending negative tweets about Connolly.

Not long after, Walsh issued a statement:

I condemn these kinds of personal negative attacks. This mailer, and the attacks on my opponent's family, are out of bounds. John is my friend and there is no place in this campaign for personal attacks like this. To those responsible for this mailing and anyone thinking about doing anything like it, my message is clear: stop, don't do it, don't even think about it. The people of Boston deserve better. I have always run on my record and on the issues facing our families and that is what I will continue to do in this campaign.

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We'll find out Wednesday what horrible things the state dug up about Caesars

Unless, of course, somebody at the gaming commission leaks a copy of its Caesars report to the Globe first. In a statement today, the commission has this to say about the report by its investigators that caused Suffolk Downs to decide not to have Caesars run its proposed casino:

Due to the content of recent media reports and the impending Host Community Agreement referenda on November 5th, the Commission, with the agreement of the applicant Suffolk Sterling, will release the redacted version as soon as it is completed, expected to be Wednesday, October 23d.

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Election roundup: The battle for minority votes

John Connolly is proposing a Roxbury Entrepreneurship Center to help budding small businesses in the area get off the ground - through space for them to start up their businesses, a "Made in Boston" startup capital fund and counseling and meetings with existing entrepreneurs. He says he'd immediately start looking for transit-accessible space in the neighborhood for the center.

Connolly also held a private confab with gangbangers, well, private except for the Globe reporter.

Walsh cemented his lead among minority elected officials with endorsements today from state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, state reps Carlos Henriquez, Gloria Fox and Russell Holmes and City Councilor Tito Jackson. Newly elected state Rep. Dan Cullinane, who represents a district with a large minority population, also gave his nod to Walsh.

Past and present Southie elected officials also like Walsh, well, except for the state rep who got pissed Walsh wouldn't endorse him in his senate run against Dorcena Forry, that is.

A poll by the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund found Connolly with just a 4-point lead over Walsh. The company that did the poll called 77,320 phone numbers; 626 people actually answered the questions.

BNN will hold mini-debates among at-large city-council candidates over the next couple of weeks, starting Monday with:
Steve Murpy and Jeffrey Ross, 8-8:25 p.m. and Ayanna Pressley and Jack Kelly, 8:30-8:55 p.m. On Oct. 28, the live schedule is Michael Flaherty and Annissa Essaibi George, 8:00 – 8:25 p.m. and Michelle Wu and Martin Keogh, 8:30-8:55 p.m.

Essaibi George is now driving a truck, but is still learning how to park it.

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Election roundup: Walsh would replace BRA with an even larger authority

Marty Walsh yesterday released a 14-point economic plan that, among other things, would ditch the BRA and replace it with a new Boston Economic Development Authority.

Only the BEDA would take on even more work than what the BRA now does, by smushing in all other city agencies and commissions that deal with economic development and disposition of city owned land. So how would it differ from the BRA, which critics accuse of being particularly distant from neighborhood concerns? Walsh says that by consuming departments that now receive city money, the city and the people would have a lever to ensure local concerns are really heard:

For the last 25 years, the BRA has avoided City Council oversight by not taking a City appropriation to run the planning functions as every other City in the country does. It has internally subsidized the planning function, saving the city millions of dollars by utilizing revenue derived from real estate activities undertaken on properties owned by and leased to private developers in Boston. This has impacted what should be an interactive process with neighborhood residents by being financially unable to effectively staff this critical planning function. By merging other city functions into this new agency, city dollars would flow to these functions under the BEDA and open up the agency to ongoing financial and mission review and transparency to the City Council and the taxpayers.

As Walsh notes, both the dissolution of the BRA and the creation of the BEDA would require approval by the state legislature and the governor.

Walsh released his plan as he spoke at a Chamber of Commerce forum. WBUR reports on the forum: Connolly said he would push harder for state money for the T, in particular for buses for the Seaport district, small diesel trains for commuter-rail lines - and not just the Fairmount Line - and more maintenance of existing subway lines. Walsh said he wants to get local universities involved in programs to teach English and other skills to immigrants and people just out of prison.

Candelaria Silva is having trouble telling the two apart. In fact, she finds herself reminded of the old Patty Duke Show, about a pair of cousins who could pass for twins:

Am I losing my mind or are John Connolly and Marty Walsh not two-of-a-kind candidates? Both are Democrats with similar views on many issues. Would that they were ideological opposites if, for example, we had a mayoral contest with Democrats or Republicans running or if the two Democrats had been further apart ideologically.

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Election roundup: Riding the rapids down Boylston; adding police training at Madison Park

The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund wants the two remaining candidates to pull a Walczak and do something to protect the city from rising seas.

Connolly yesterday called for a law-enforcement track at Madison Park High School that would include law-enforcement related classes and BPD internships - and the return of a post-high-school cadet program that was eliminated in 2010:

The law enforcement career pathway would be academically rigorous and also provide coursework in psychology, forensic science, law and ethics, government, and other subjects that are important to police officer success. Madison Park faculty members would work with retired Boston police officers to develop the curriculum.

Kitty O'Neil tallies up the endorsements by elected officials, including, of course, state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forrry, who endorsed Walsh yesterday:

As a friend, Marty has shown me that he understands the struggles that working families in Boston face on an everyday basis. As a neighbor, I've watched Marty step up to the plate each and every time our community calls. As a colleague, Marty has shown Beacon Hill that he is a leader by taking stands on issues that are not always popular but it's the right thing to do - like he did on marriage equality.

When we have needed a reliable partner, my colleagues and I have turned to Marty Walsh because he gets it. When confronted with an important issue, Marty doesn't just talk about it; he rolls up his sleeves and works until there's a solution. Whether it's a big ticket issue like education reform or something out of the public eye like making sure a landlord turns on a senior citizen's heat, Marty Walsh gets it. And he will deliver for every corner of this City as Mayor of Boston.

The South End News endorses Connolly:

John Connolly's driving political passion is to expand access to education. Marty Walsh's driving political passion is to protect workers' rights.

Marty Walsh has spent a decade fighting for a law that would strip city councils of their right to reject lopsided arbitration awards.When you fight for a living wage for janitors, as City Councilor Felix Arroyo has successfully done, that is progressive. Fighting to expand the power of municipal unions representing teachers, police, and firefighters is not progressive. In fact, it is regressive.

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Election roundup: New endorsement for Walsh, debate notes

Just in: The Walsh campaign has scheduled a 12:15 p.m. endorsement by state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry in Mattapan Square. Comes the day after the Bay State Banner endorsed Connolly because, basically, unions.

Mass. Live and the Globe provide the debate basics; the Globe concludes these two guys came across as pretty similar. Or as the Herald put it: Gloves stay on in punchless debate.

David Bernstein called the debate a nice dress rehersal for the rest of the debates, also poses the question of whether Walsh peaked in the preliminary, concludes, maybe, maybe not.

Planned Parenthood says it likes what it hears from both candidates:

By making an unequivocal show of support for access to comprehensive sexuality education, John Connolly and Martin Walsh have indicated to Boston voters that they are committed to protecting the health of our city’s young people.

The Herald reports the Catholic Church is gearing up to fight the proposed Suffolk Downs casino.

Suzanne Lee says she's been endorsed by United Auto Workers MA Region 9A, and Right To The City Vote Boston in her race against incumbent District 2 Councilor Bill Linehan.

It's a good thing Frank Addivinola didn't make it into the at-large finals, because now the West End resident won't have to decide between running for the council and for Congress - he won the Republican primary to run for Ed Markey's old seat - in a district he doesn't live in. He'll run against state Sen. Katherine Clark.

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Suffolk Downs outspending opponents by better than 30-1 on November casino question

Tuttle talks while cops keep order.

Suffolk Downs COO Chip Tuttle estimated tonight his company has spent about $1 million trying to convince East Boston residents to vote in favor of a casino at his racetrack. Organizers of No Eastie Casino in turns told members of the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association they have spent less than $30,000 on their campaign against the proposal.

In contrast to a pro-casino rally in Revere a few nights earlier, no noses were broken at the association forum. The moderator of the event started out by laying down ground rules for civility; anybody being uncivil would be shown the door. To drive the point home, five uniformed police officers also kept watch over the generally mild-mannered crowd.

There was only one real outburst, when one man accused an anti-casino organizer of being "a traitor" because, he said, she handed over voter rolls to an official from the Salvadoran consulate. She said she had done no such thing.

Tuttle promoted the proposed $1-billon casino as a boon to the neighborhood and the city: 4,000 jobs, lots of green space, traffic improvements and even more money for gambling addiction, which he said would not increase with a casino because addicts in Massachusetts already have plenty of avenues for feeding their addiction.

And the casino will be the greenest ever, with the largest collection of solar panels on the East Coast and a system for turning all waste food into energy. Also, the horses will continue to race. And East Boston would get $20 million out of the $32 million to $52 million the project would pay Boston each year. Compare that, he said, to the $2.4 million the Red Sox pay each year in property taxes, he said.

He warned that if the casino doesn't go through, the track could close and the site could see a far more intensive mixed-use development project than a resort casino with two hotels.

One of the opponents, Matt Cameron, dropped a copy of the 200-page agreement between Suffolk Downs and the city on the ground, where it fell with a loud thud. Residents, he said, were almost entirely left out of the negotiations between the racetrack and the city and East Boston voters will be asked on Nov. 5 to approve something for which planning and criminal background checks aren't even finished, he said, adding that one of the investors in the project is Vornado, the company responsible for "the smoking hole" where Filene's used to be downtown.

No Eastie Casino
Cameron, Curtis, Myers of No Eastie Casino.

Another No Eastie Casino organizer, Jessica Curtis, said the agreement talks a lot about "best efforts," which means there are no guarantees the city or East Boston will see all the revenue and jobs they've been promised. She said any increases in local jobs from the casino will be offset by job losses at neighborhood small businesses; traffic improvements offset by increased asthma from the exhausts of all those added cars. She added that all the decisions on how to spend East Boston's money will be made by people "on the other side of the harbor" and asked why East Boston residents should put themselves in a position to be dominated by Massport on one side and the casino on the other.

Group Co-Chair Celeste Ribeiro Myers said the money promised East Boston amounts to $400 a year per resident. She asked if that would be worth it to somebody who loses a job due to competition from the casino - or who has a child hit by a car driven by a drunk coming out of it.

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Election roundup: First mayoral debate tonight; people went to a fight and a casino rally broke out

Connolly's wife stars in his new TV ad.

Meanwhile, the Herald dishes on the Walsh homefront - he uses hair gel and likes "Grey's Anatomy." Besides his girlfriend, progressives in the legislature like Walsh (note to the Globe: Anthony Petruccelli isn't the only Bostonish state senator to make an endorsement: Sal DiDomenico is backing Connolly).

Popcorn ready? The first televised debate between Connolly and Walsh is tonight, starting at 7 p.m. on WBZ. Jon Keller will moderate; the Globe's Akilah Johnson will ask questions.

A nose-breaking fight broke out at a pro-casino rally in Revere, the Herald reports.

The Charlie Baker campaign apparently managed to keep a straight face in saying the mayoral campaign is sucking money away from them.

Francisco White, who ran for an at-large seat in the preliminaries, is moving to Charlotte.

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Election roundup: So what did Walsh promise Golar Richie?

Welcome to Dot forwards this photo of a Walsh campaign sign in the auld sod.

So Charlotte Golar Richie apparently spent some anguished hours trying to decide whom to endorse for mayor. The Herald reports:

She promised the crowd Walsh would appoint a woman police superintendent and that his City Hall cabinet will reflect “50 percent people of color and women.”

The Globe didn't go quite that far, saying only that

Walsh had committed to installing a cabinet that is at least 50 percent people of color, and ensuring that minorities and women are among the top ranks of the Boston Police Department.

Walsh and former opponents cross a street.

Scott Brown poses with a sumo wrestler in Tokyo.

Evercandidate Roy Owens accuses District 7 incumbent Tito Jackson of forcing good Christians to pay for "abortion and other satanic rituals" (the copy of his flier provided by Jamarhl Crawford, who is running a sticker campaign against both of them).

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Golar Richie goes for Walsh

The Globe cites sources.

Golar Richie sent e-mail to supporters tonight inviting them to "a Mayor of Boston endorsement event" at 10 a.m. on Saturday at First Parish Church, 10 Parish St., in Dorchester.

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Election roundup: Former critics back Connolly; casino forum coming up in Eastie

The Globe reports several black ministers endorsed John Connolly yesterday and notes how dramatic that was given that some of them were comparing him to, gasp, Louise Day Hicks just last year, after he publicly called for School Superintendent Carol Johnson to quit. The Globe says Connolly stopped saying that after meeting with one of the ministers and agreeing to try to work things out with Johnson.

The Walsh campaign, meanwhile, touted its endorsement by Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus:

The LGBT community could not ask for a better friend or ally. Had Marty simply voted for marriage equality, the LGBT community would have been deeply grateful and applauded his actions. But Marty went far beyond a simple vote. When you are in a war for something as important as your very right to marry, you want to have in the trenches with you someone you can trust, someone who understands how important the fight is and someone who is committed to do everything he can to help you. That was the role Marty Walsh played.

CommonWealth argues Future Bostony young'uns are not going to swing this election - they may not even vote much, leaving the electoral decision up to the traditionally vote-heavy older folks in places like West Roxbury and South Boston:

As with recent municipal elections, the southern part of the city showed higher levels of turnout than the rest of the Boston. In fact, out of the 50 precincts with the highest turnout, only four were outside of Boston's southern precincts. ... Furthermore, not a single precinct from the northern part of Boston had a turnout rate higher than 50 percent, while just over 20 precincts from the southern part of the city did. The 30 precincts with the lowest turnout were all from northern parts of the city.

Current Mayor Tom Menino's chief speechwriter gives some tips on writing a good mayoral speech.

East Boston residents who haven't decided how to vote in the Suffolk Downs casino referendum should attend the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association meeting on Tuesday - they'll have folks from Suffolk Downs and No Eastie Casino to give their sides. Starts at 7 p.m. at the Jeffries Point Yacht Club, 565 Sumner St.

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Election roundup: Connolly gets some endorsements, too

Councilor Matt O'Malley pets a dog named Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In JP, of course.

State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, State Sen. Sal DiDomenico and City Councilor Sal LaMattina all endorsed John Connolly yesterday. Michlewitz called him:

A progressive leader who understands the importance of keeping families in the city by transforming our schools, creating more affordable housing options, and building safe and healthy neighborhoods throughout the city.

Connolly has scheduled "an endorsement event" at his Roxbury campaign office at 5:15 p.m. today. Gosh, who could that be?

The Globe looks at labor disputes as an issue in the race. WBUR looks at Irish-American class divisions through the lens of Charletown's townie/toonie divide. And yes, they throw in "lace curtain" for good measure.

Chris Elliott lookalike Bud Jackson, meanwhile, is out with a new TV ad for Marty Walsh. The Herald explains why some guy from Virginia is posing himself with a Walsh sign at Fenway Park.

Sampan reports on a forum with District 2 candidates Bill Linehan and Suzanne Lee.

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Election roundup: Two former rivals endorse Walsh

Arroyo and Barros are on board:

"Throughout my life I have advocated and worked for an inclusive city," said Barros. "We need a Mayor who will not only work to improve our education system, but one that will work to ensure every child has a quality educational seat, one that will work to ensure every resident and neighborhood has opportunity for affordable housing, one that will work to ensure every neighborhood is benefiting from economic development, and ensure that every resident lives in a safe neighborhood. Marty is the candidate that can do that. I am proud to stand next to Marty Walsh and endorse him for Mayor of Boston."

The Herald wonders who gets Charlotte Golar Richie's endorsement. The Ward 4 (South End) Democratic Committee, which backed Golar Richie last time, backs Connolly this time.

Connolly is promising a very special endorsement of his own, 1:30 p.m. in Charlestown. Garrett Quinn reports it's City Councilor Sal LaMattina.

Connolly testified at the State House yesterday for a bill raising the graduation age to 18; he co-sponsored a similar City Council measure in 2011.

James Aloisi writes the Seaport is turning into an undistinguished collection of boring buildings that could be Anywhereville, USA and says the next mayor should do something with the BRA to keep that from continuing.

Wicked Local Roslindale talks to Tim McCarthy and Jean-Claude Sanon, who want to replace Rob Consalvo as District 5 city councilor.

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Election roundup: Candidates oppose crime

New poll shows Connolly in lead, but with large number of undecideds.

Marty Walsh issued a high-school revamp plan that would include intensive "academies" for ninth- and tenth-graders, turning Madison Park into a good school, greater voke-ed opportunities for students at other schools who don't want to go onto college and more "alternative" schools for kids who don't do well in traditional settings. More on Walsh's overall education plan.

The Globe reports both candidates came out against violent crime at a forum last night.

Phil Frattaroli, who finished out of the money in the at-large race, is backing Michelle Wu. Planned Parenthood says it is backing Jeff Ross because of his support for a new sex-ed and health program in Boston schools. The group had already endorsed Ayanna Pressley and Jack Kelly.

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Election roundup: Soggy candidates

Steve Murphy was one of the sensible candidates in yesterday's parade.

The Globe gets drenched covering the two mayoral candidates in yesterday's Roslindale parade; doesn't note that both were preceded by Rob Consalvo, staying dry in a trolley bus.

The Herald reports both Walsh and Connolly are running by running away from City Hall and that both camps are concerned voters might get distracted by a Red Sox World Series run.

The Globe takes a look at that arbitration bill Walsh has been pushing for years; not everybody's in favor.

District 5 city-council hopeful Tim McCarthy flings a mean Frisbee.

David Ertischek, who long covered West Roxbury and Roslindale for the Transcript and Patch, is now working on Matt O'Malley's re-election campaign in District 6.

Francisco White, who didn't make the final 8 in the at-large council race, is calling for a confab of minority residents to figure out how to break "wealth-serving policy and decades of sustained, quiet racist-classist ideology at City Hall."

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Walsh says he can't rule out outside spending because a pro-charter group is planning to spend $3 million to get Connolly elected

WCVB interviews Marty Walsh, who says Stand for Children, whose financial help John Connolly rejected before the preliminary, is preparing to spend $3 million to get Connolly elected.

Walsh's comment came as he defended his decision not to take the People's Pledge which would penalize a candidate if independent groups spend money to assist that same candidate.

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