Friday, September 14, 2007

Courting the Wallingford Road Conservative Russian Jewish Vote Redivivus

Every election, mainstream media reporters** keep harking back to Naakh Visoky's ability to deliver a large bloc of conservative votes to swing elections to the right in Allston-Brighton, and this year is no different.  A recent Bay Windows story includes a great bit of reporting on a recent event over at the Wallingford Road's Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly. People argue about how many votes are available over there (300 to 500), but it's hard to argue that he has no influence:
It was a more promising change of pace from a candidate forum earlier that afternoon in the auditorium of the Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly (JCHE), where candidates and audience members alike sipped on their choice of two beverages: ginger ale and diet ginger ale. The Wallingford Road complex is home to a bloc of 400-500 Russian voters that has reached legendary status for its purported ability to swing Allston-Brighton races. The complex also houses a large Asian population; in fact, the entire forum was translated into Russian, Mandarin and Cantonese by two translators standing at microphones alongside the stage on which the candidates sat. Schofield clearly had ceded the Russian voters in the audience, perhaps because among his opponents are Mark Ciommo, the executive director of the Veronica B. Smith Senior Center who was backed by the Russians when he made an unsuccessful bid for the seat in 2002, and Greg Glennon, an aide to former state Rep. Brian Golden, who had their support when he ran against Schofield in a special election for Golden’s seat after the pol stepped down in 2005. (Mike Moran defeated both of them.)

Never mind the fact that a Boston Phoenix article that hit the streets that morning quoted an unnamed observer saying that Schofield “will never get the Russian vote” in part because he’s gay and too progressive. So while Glennon name-checked his old boss, a social conservative who was beloved by the Russians, Schofield played to the Asian crowd by emphasizing several times his endorsement by At-large City Councilor Sam Yoon, the Council’s only Asian-American member. “I promise that I will work hard at City Hall with my friend Sam Yoon and with the mayor and the other city councilors to insure that our community is well-represented,” he said in response to a question from the floor about whether the candidates would keep all of their campaign promises if elected.
Clever work by Schofield to turn the topic away from conservative Jewish votes and towards the Asian elderly vote; it shows how he thinks the demographics have changed in this neighborhood. We'll see if he's right and how he fares.

OK, I'm done with Wallingford Road.  Really.

Yeah, in effect I just referred to a Bay Windows reporter as being part of the MSM. Go figure.

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