Blog Archives

Politics as Unusual: A look in the mayoral mailbag

August 6, 2013
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Just a few weeks ago, it seemed like not too many people gave a damn about the Boston mayoral race. Even media experts on the local PBS show “Beat the Press” addressed the severe lack of coverage in our slog of a contest. Following the marathon bombing, the Senate rumble and a flood of...

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Politics as Unusual: Is there an echo in here, or is that a stump speech?

August 2, 2013
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About 10 years ago, I visited my old college friend Sam in New Hampshire, where he was tailing presidential candidate Wesley Clark to union halls and cafeterias, diners and barbershops. Sam was working for Democratic contender Joe Lieberman, whose team had stuck my friend with the sickly boring task of memorizing Clark’s cookie-cutter monologues,...

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Politics as Unusual: Is there an echo in here, or is that a stump speech?

July 30, 2013
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About 10 years ago, I visited my old college friend Sam in New Hampshire, where he was tailing presidential candidate Wesley Clark to union halls and cafeterias, diners and barbershops. Sam was working for Democratic contender Joe Lieberman, whose team had stuck my friend with the sickly boring task of memorizing Clark’s cookie-cutter monologues,...

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Politics as Unusual: This ship needs a PILOT

July 24, 2013
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In a number of mayoral forums thus far, there’s been roundabout acknowledgment of the simultaneous benefit and burden that tax-exempt players bring to Boston. Aside from the Catholic Church—which, in case you’ve forgotten, covered up an Old Testament-worthy epidemic of pedophilia—our hospitals, houses of worship and other nonprofit cohabitants typically provide more good than...

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Politics as Unusual: Conley’s troubling record of clearing cops who kill minorities

July 19, 2013
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Word on the street is that the acquittal of George Zimmerman might catalyze a meaningful dialogue about race and power. In cities coast to coast, a conversation has already manifested, with the biggest protest crowds since Occupy uniting to express outrage and to honor the memory of Trayvon Martin. Around the Hub, it’s anybody’s...

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Politics as Unusual: Conley’s troubling record of clearing cops who kill minorities

July 16, 2013
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Word on the street is that the acquittal of George Zimmerman might catalyze a meaningful dialogue about race and power. In cities coast to coast, a conversation has already manifested, with the biggest protest crowds since Occupy uniting to express outrage and to honor the memory of Trayvon Martin. Around the Hub, it’s anybody’s...

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Politics as Unusual: From ‘Con Cubed’ to ‘Walross’: Could this race have its ‘Floon’?

July 9, 2013
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When historians are emphasizing just how strong a grip Mayor Tom Menino had on Boston politics, they’ll likely dote over his final scrap in the mud. By the time he reached his last election, the Urban Mechanic had already mauled opponents in the kind of fashion most pols dream about. In 2001, he soared...

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Politics as Unusual: This race needs a lightning rod—or nametags

July 5, 2013
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I think that I finally understand what’s wrong with this mayoral race—or at least why so few people know there is a heated contest underway. It’s not a lack of good or even great candidates; as I’ve noted endlessly, the stable of contenders is a fine one, with any number of hopefuls who I’d...

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Politics as Unusual: This race needs a lightning rod—or nametags

July 2, 2013
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I think that I finally understand what’s wrong with this mayoral race—or at least why so few people know there is a heated contest underway. It’s not a lack of good or even great candidates; as I’ve noted endlessly, the stable of contenders is a fine one, with any number of hopefuls who I’d...

Read more »

Politics as Unusual: Candidates’ futures get Palm readings at real estate mogul forums

June 26, 2013
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I recently attended the press opening of the newly relocated Palm restaurant for two reasons—the free gourmet grub, and to corner Don Chiofaro. I was certain he’d appear, as the impeccably coiffed Hub real estate mogul owns One International Place, where the elite Palm steakhouse overlooks the Greenway from the ground floor. Sure enough,...

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Best of JP 2014