Local Politics Thread

statler

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A place to discuss everything from the Governor down to your local city councilor.
 

Beton Brut

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This thread should be exponentially more active than the National Politics thread.

The fact that it isn't represents much of what ails our sociopolitical landscape.
 
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statler

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Aye.

To be fair, a lot of local politics that people on this board would care about (zoning, affordable housing, etc) more or less falls within the 'on-topic' scope of the main boards so most of that is covered there. Whereas there is very little reason to discuss foreign policy, etc there.

But there is still plenty left that could be discussed here that doesn't belong up above. Fingers crossed.
 

dwash59

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Extremely disappointed in the Suffolk Registry of Deeds election.

The winner claimed that Norfolk's web site was "more modern" and "mobile friendly" than Suffolk's, but Norfolk relies on Java plugins while Suffolk at least eventually gives you a pdf. And I doubt that Stephen Murphy has any idea what RSS feeds or a RESTful API are. I don't mind if the web site stays the same, but I just hope the future isn't full of claims of Chrome incompatibilities and Java requirements



 

dwash59

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Lots of speculation out there about the Gubernatorial race in 2 years, a lot can change by then, but here's how I see things currently:

(1) Setti Warren leaving the mayoral office, hiring John Walsh, seems likely to be running.

(2) Seth Moulton's been more vocal about issues in parts of the state other than his own district, leading to speculation, chances unclear

(3) Someone is trying to convince Kerry to run, very unlikely. Especially if Setti Warren runs.

Baker's chances at reelection seem extremely high. He hasn't made any major blunders, which is what is most important to keep the incumbency edge. The Globe has had some nonsense about him being Pro on 2 helping him in cities, but I think that is clearly repudiated by the results of the vote. That said, I don't think his positions on questions 2 and 4 will actually hurt him much, if at all. He didn't really stick his neck out much on either of them and instead spent the 2016 election grinding at his job trying to avoid questions about the Presidential race. Grinding at the job will help come 2018.
 

dwash59

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Boston Mayoral Election:

I've heard lots of people express support for Michelle Wu running. I would love for her to be mayor, but I don't think she would win and I would miss the sanity she brings to the city council. I fear that the reason we agree so much is that we are the same age (within a couple months) and that does not translate into city-wide support for mayor, despite receiving the second most votes in the last at-large city council election.

Ayanna Pressley's name gets thrown around a lot as well. She's received the most votes for at-large Councillor in 2011, 2013, and 2015, so clearly a lot of support out there. She's pushed on reforming liquor licensing. She's pushed on improving the safety and health of Boston's low-income neighborhoods. Walsh's major blunder has been in pursuing high-flying events that have blown up in his face. A candidate with a track record of pushing for the day-to-day life in the community may have a real chance against Walsh. She may not be interested though as she hasn't even seemed that interested in the City Council presidency.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Even though Walsh, like any pol, is at his most vulnerable for defeat during very first reelection campaign as an incumbent...this is still Boston where the Mayor's office is basically a lifetime position. It's not enough for the incumbent to tread water; he has to be roundly unpopular to have a chance of getting knocked off. Turnout in muni elections is so abysmal that it just doesn't drive up the vote count enough to toss top-of-ticket bum out unless the person has hit lightning rod status well beforehand. And I doubt Walsh's biggest detractors can point to dissatisfaction anywhere near that visceral a level.

For the councilors who have mounted a suicide run against an incumbent Mayor in the past, it's usually been for reasons of "tactical failure". e.g. Run for Mayor to raise their name recognition and fundraising ability for a run for Legislature, some other state office, or even grease their pockets for the private sector. And if that doesn't work out, they can always use their name rec to get back on the Council whenever they want. That was how Flaherty played it when he ran against Menino. With Flaherty that just happened to be the high point of a political career that's now receded into banal Steven Murphy hackdom and NIMBY pot-stirring. So if there isn't a desirable career trajectory you can pin on Wu from one of those "tactical loss"-type runs, I can't see what motivation she has to give it a go.


Personally I think things would be much improved if we could just rid ourselves of Flaherty and Linehan to complete the housecleaning that started with Murphy's and Yancey's ouster last year. That's some stale, stale bread we got dragging up the rear there. If the Council's ever going to stop being a punchless joke we've got to purge the last of the laziest old guard.
 

Lrfox

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Lots of speculation out there about the Gubernatorial race in 2 years, a lot can change by then, but here's how I see things currently:

(1) Setti Warren leaving the mayoral office, hiring John Walsh, seems likely to be running.

(2) Seth Moulton's been more vocal about issues in parts of the state other than his own district, leading to speculation, chances unclear

(3) Someone is trying to convince Kerry to run, very unlikely. Especially if Setti Warren runs.

Baker's chances at reelection seem extremely high. He hasn't made any major blunders, which is what is most important to keep the incumbency edge. The Globe has had some nonsense about him being Pro on 2 helping him in cities, but I think that is clearly repudiated by the results of the vote. That said, I don't think his positions on questions 2 and 4 will actually hurt him much, if at all. He didn't really stick his neck out much on either of them and instead spent the 2016 election grinding at his job trying to avoid questions about the Presidential race. Grinding at the job will help come 2018.
2018 is a long ways away (in terms of politics), but I don't think Baker has a chance of being defeated barring a major blunder in the coming months.

I've seen and heard a few "Baker's first REAL test..." pieces in the past few months, but they were more smoke than fire. He's still very popular.

His weakest trait may be that he doesn't really stick his neck out for anything. He's very calculated and he takes extreme measures not to come out too strong on one side of most controversial topics. Really, Question 2 was the only one. He seems to be taking great care to do just enough to keep his conservative base happy while not ignoring things that are important to dems. He has no choice in crossing the aisle in MA, but he doesn't seem to have too much trouble doing it. Most Dems who work with him actually like him.

South Coast Rail is a good example of his approach. A republican Governor can't come out and just stamp a seal of approval on a basic 50 mile commuter rail project that has ballooned to over $2 Billion dollars and expect republicans to support him. At the same time, the South Coast has cried foul over not having rail for decades and one of the biggest conservative strongholds in Eastern MA is within that region, outside of the cities. He needs the support from the region. So Middleborough makes sense from a political standpoint because it can be presented as progress (it'll take less time to build) and- as presented- it's less expensive. Win/Win. Obviously the reality is that it doesn't make much sense and it probably won't be much less expensive, but it buys him time and that's the goal. He's not rocking the boat and he's appearing to play nicely with both sides.

He's also done a good job of backing some typically liberal causes. Especially Mental Illness and Opioid-related investment. He's made some pretty big commitments in Human Services fields that you don't typically see from a Republican.

For those reasons, I see it as a tall task for a Dem to beat him barring a scandal or major screw up. Moulton or Warren may try to paint him as a fence-sitter, or indecisive, but he's done enough that he should easily be able to overcome that. I like Setti Warren. He's popular and a lot of people have him pegged as Gov. material. But I don't think he can beat an incumbent who is so popular. Even a Republican.

Seth Moulton is very popular, but I think it would be a mistake for him to run for Governor. His selling point is the fact that he's a Dem who happens to be an ex-marine with combat experience. He needs more than that to play well against baker in Massachusetts. Honestly, I think his veteran status and experience would serve him better nationally. Maybe not for president in 2020, but possibly on the ticket as VP. Maybe a cabinet position. Dems had a terrible job winning veterans and military folks in 2016 (as they historically do). That's Moulton's strength and he doesn't need that in MA.

Kerry? Meh.
 

tysmith95

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Just a heads up, a large portion of Boston area TV viewers without cable will lose NBC coverage when NBC moves WHDH to a new OTA station. This is exactly why we have antitrust regulations, Comcast which owns NBC is trying to force viewers to buy their service in order to get NBC coverage. Fortunately Ed Markey and Liz Warren are putting pressure on Comcast but I worry that it is too late for the switch-over January 1st of this year.



https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/12/05/will-nbc-boston-reach-over-air-viewers-markey-wants-know/8umRtVT7811Z8JFtuZhi7H/story.html
 

datadyne007

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Just a heads up, a large portion of Boston area TV viewers without cable will lose NBC coverage when NBC moves WHDH to a new OTA station. This is exactly why we have antitrust regulations, Comcast which owns NBC is trying to force viewers to buy their service in order to get NBC coverage. Fortunately Ed Markey and Liz Warren are putting pressure on Comcast but I worry that it is too late for the switch-over January 1st of this year.



https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/12/05/will-nbc-boston-reach-over-air-viewers-markey-wants-know/8umRtVT7811Z8JFtuZhi7H/story.html
NBC just put this to bed. NBC Boston will now serve about 275,000 more OTA viewers than WHDH does, as they will simulcast on 3 stations: WTMU (now WBTS), WNEU and now WMFP (channel 60.5).

http://www.adweek.com/tvspy/nbc-boston-answers-questions-says-signal-to-be-better-than-whdh/182828
 

tysmith95

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https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/01/06/new-south-boston-zoning-could-mean-more-parking-and-slow-down-development/UWzabAhR6alz626lDjQe9N/story.html

NIMBYS SUCK. Why is Boston stuck in the 1960s?

By slowing development, the new zoning bylaws could also create more affordable housing, supporters say.
Under the new zoning rules, each new unit must come with 1.5 parking spots, up from 0.9 spaces. Since parking requirements are always rounded up, a new building with three two-bedroom apartments must include five parking spots. (Studio and one-bedroom units need only one space.)
 

stefal

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1.5 parking spots?!?!?

It's usually the NIMBY side that complains about more and more traffic. Adding more cars to the mix certainly won't help. Not only that, but you're in a gd city. You shouldn't absolutely need a car!
 

George_Apley

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1.5 parking spots?!?!?

It's usually the NIMBY side that complains about more and more traffic. Adding more cars to the mix certainly won't help. Not only that, but you're in a gd city. You shouldn't absolutely need a car!
NIMBY logic says that traffic is caused by people circling blocks looking for a place to park. This logic holds that off-street parking mitigates traffic issues.
 

curcuas

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The NIMBYs finally formalized their alliance with the "affordable housing but never through more housing" types. I'm not sure this will work though - they could always build many more 1 BRs/Studios or switch to large apartments expected to be subdivided among roommates. In both cases, the parking requirements will either be unchanged or bite less.
 

cden4

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Basically, the neighbors are convinced that building more (paid) off-street parking will make the overused (free) on-street parking less full. Too bad economics disproves that. Until the City tackles the resident parking permit program, this will continue to be an issue.
 

bigpicture7

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Basically, the neighbors are convinced that building more (paid) off-street parking will make the overused (free) on-street parking less full. Too bad economics disproves that. Until the City tackles the resident parking permit program, this will continue to be an issue.
Exactly, that's like complaining that Market Basket shouldn't be crazy crowded because there's a Shaws next door.
 

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