Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Boston Herald Endorses Glennon, Connolly, Flaherty, and Murphy for City Council

On the same day as the Boston Globe announced its endorsements for Mark Ciommo and John Connolly for Boston City Council, the Boston Herald has come out with their own endorsements: Greg Glennon for Allston-Brighton District 9 City Councilor and John Connolly, Councilor Michael Flaherty, and Councilor Stephen Murphy for City Councilor-At-Large.

The complete Herald endorsement of Glennon reads:
For the open seat in the Brighton-Allston district (District 9), the Herald endorses Greg Glennon, an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County and former legislative counsel. Glennon is a solid supporter of public charter schools, and just as solid an opponent of rent control under whatever guise it makes its next appearance.
Glennon's support for charter schools can be heard in the audio to the October 23rd debate (audio link "public schools").

Glennon has made a very strong point in this election campaign that he will not give his personal views on subjects, like abortion (audio link "audience questions"), that are not issues before the City Council. "Public charter schools" are chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts's Board of Education, operate completely independent of the Boston Public Schools (or any other school district), and are therefore outside the purview of the Boston City Council -- that independence is the whole point of charter schools, both to their supporters and their opponents! It is ironic that the Herald would raise charter schools as one of the only two issues they identified as forming the basis for their endorsement since it's not a City Council issue and Glennon has avoided addressing some non-Council issues. Couldn't the Herald have mentioned if Glennon matched their views on affordable housing, taxes, institutional expansion, quality-of-life, etc.?

The Herald took a different tack from the Globe by endorsing three (not one) candidates for Boston City Councilor-At-Large. The Herald glowingly cites Councilor Flaherty for his "loyal opposition" to the administration of Mayor Thomas Menino. They find in Councilor Murphy a strong proponent of public safety issues, particularly favoring putting more police on the streets. The Herald also likes Connolly's position on more police officers, while also praising his support for more neighborhood watch groups.

The Herald's endorsements of Connolly and Councilors Flaherty and Murphy, but not of Councilors Arroyo and Yoon, plays right along with the contradictions I raised in the Ward 21 Democratic Committee endorsements of Connolly and Councilors Felix Arroyo and Sam Yoon. I questioned how the Ward 21 committee could endorse both Connolly and Councilor Arroyo when they differed in their positions on so many issues. The Herald endorsements underline my categorizing by effectively lumping the candidates into separate groups of Connolly-Flaherty-Murphy (endorsed) vs. Arroyo-Yoon (not endorsed). You might call it "Team Irish" vs. "Team Unity."

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