Mayor Menino Feeling Feisty

The mayor gives an hour-long interview to the New York Times after giving 16 minutes to the Boston press.

The New York Times brings us a check-in this morning on Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who the docs say should be home by Christmas after nearly two months in the hospital and a rehab facility. Additional details on the mayor’s health are sparse, so although I’m not sure how he’s doing with that strange virus he picked up on vacation in Italy or his blood clot or the compression fracture in his spine or the diabetes he was recently diagnosed with, I do think it’s safe to report that his condition is feisty.

From reporter Katharine Q. Seelye’s story:

“My attitude is this,” Mr. Menino said in an interview the other day at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital after pedaling for several minutes on a stationary recumbent bicycle. “I’ve run for mayor five times now and I’ve won all five times.”

“Overwhelmingly,” interjected his press secretary, Dot Joyce.

“Overwhelmingly,” the mayor added. “How I explain this is, people have to have faith in you. That’s the key to this whole thing. That was Mitt Romney’s problem — people didn’t believe in him.”

Can Mr. Menino make voters believe in him again after his long hospitalization?

“Watch me!” he declared.


Seelye did get one thing wrong, though. “Some in the news media have suggested, gently, that he should quit while he is ahead,” she wrote. Ahem, this ain’t gentleGlobe columnist Scott Lehigh did not mince words when he called for Menino to step aside. Joan Vennochi, Lehigh’s colleague on the Globe 0p-ed page, did mince words a little bit, but even still, she wrote a whole column pointed at Menino on the virtues of graceful retirement. Pulitzer Prize winning former Globe (and Boston magazine) columnist Eileen McNamara, writing on WBUR’s website, also said Menino should not run again. “It is time for Tom Menino to retire. He and Boston will both survive,” she wrote.

On that note, here’s a tweet from Globe Metro reporter Andrew Ryan this morning:

It’s impossible to know for sure, but it certainly seems like Menino wanted to snub the local, not-so-gentle, nay-saying press. Feisty.

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  • Greg Selkoe

    Letter I sent to the New York Times Regarding Menino Article

    Katherine,

    I read your article today about Mayor Menino and while he may or may not be up to the job I believe his popularity and ability to turn out votes are a myth supported by a calcified power structure that keeps the same guy in office for 20 years because it is politically and financially expedient.

    I didn’t see any evidence in the article that convinced me Warren’s numbers were Menino’s doing other than boasting by the Mayor’s team, the reasons backing up that assumption seemed more anecdotal than data driven (see data below).

    If the Menino machine is so great how come the Mayor has never been able to turn out votes for himself that are even close to the number that voted for Warren (she received 3x the number of votes in Boston that Mayor Menino received in the last mayoral election)? In fact Scott Brown the looser got more total votes in the City of Boston than Menino did in his winning election!

    The Unions who played such a vital role as foot soldiers for Warren are not Menino’s Machine but their own massively effective political operation who have supported Menino but also many other Democratic politicians.

    I believe the Menino machine is at this point largely a myth and just as Mayor Curley (4 term mayor of Boston) and other mayors used the boogyman of their unbeatable machine to scare away challengers Menino does the same and that is why Boston has historically had mayor after mayor who stays in for 4 terms and left on their own never being defeated (Mayors Flynn and White before Menino). Sure Mayors can twist city workers arms and pressure them to take a vacation day to work the polls but is that something we should be celebrating? 20 years won by coerced campaign work, low turn out, lowered expectations and payback to anyone who crosses him all the while maintaining a jolly public image is ripe for Times expose’ in my opinion.

    The Mayor has never gotten near a majority of the 387,142 registered voters in Boston to vote for him in fact the last Mayoral election Menino only got 63, 123 votes (16% of total registered voters in Boston). Scott Brown the Republican in the senate race got more votes than Menino got in the last Mayoral election! Scott Brown received 63, 940 (16% of total registered voters in Boston) and Flaherty (the Mayors last challenger) wasn’t too far behind with 46, 768 votes (15% of total registered voters in Boston). This pales in comparison to Elizabeth Warren who got 3x the number of votes Menino received with 184,860 (47% of the total registered voters in Boston) and Obama over 3x with 197,382 (50% of the total registered voters in Boston).

    Allowing the Menino administration to continue to perpetuate their highly exaggerated narrative about their unbeatable machine particularly in the New York Times does a disservice to the Citizens of Boston. I say this because Menino has used the menace of his machine for decades now to create a chilling effect that tamps down on political discourse, scares away would be challenges and allows him to continue his autocracy for twenty years and counting.

    A paper such as the New York Times which I have read since I was able should be taking a critical approach. There are many things about Menino’s long reign that would give a paper such as the New York Times a lot to examine and bring to light.

    In Boston we desperately need articles that challenge not champion the Mayor’s propaganda especially because the local press has been largely mum.

    When a “lowly” clerk (according to Boston Mayor Curley) named John Hynes, a man that people thought didn’t have a prayer, ran against Curley it became clear that at that point the vaunted Curley machine was grossly overrated and no match for new ideas!

    Thank you for your time and attention.

    Greg

    Greg Selkoe, 400 Stuart Street
    Boston
    617-216-1013

    Data from City of Boston Election Department Presidential Data: http://www.cityofboston.gov/Images_Documents/Totals%20Report%20-%20unofficial_tcm3-34635.pdf
    Mayoral Data: http://www.cityofboston.gov/elections/results/3nov09.asp

  • http://electtomdooley.com Thomas Dooley

    The NYT PR piece was printed in order to quote here? William Darcena shall be on the ballot in 2013. Until now, Mayor Menino has been unopposed, virtually unopposed, Hennigan was not granted the dignity of a debate and was unable to differentiate herself, Flaherty lost by 3%, or equivalent of all the friends and relatives we’ve hired. Low unemployment of 5.8% reflects the number that moved away, dropped out of the workforce, or receive welfare benefits to the degree that working is tantamount to a pay-cut. Inexplicable is the Menino statement, “my No.1 thing is bringing racial harmony to the city.” The tragedy in Boston is intra-race violence and crime, which occurs primarily where City authority is tenuous. Part of our Caucasian population quit Boston, the rest rejects the Public Schools, the remaining student population (exaggerated) is 13%, primarily attending the exam schools, otherwise it would be close to zero. We need jobs and housing, not grandstanding.

  • Liars Figure

    How can 63, 940 voters (Brown) equal 16% of the Boston electorate of 387,142 while 46,768 equals “15%”? Rant all you want but get your numbers straight …

  • Michael Monahan

    Greg,

    I feel obligated to comment seing that you mention unions as foot soldiers for Menino. Make no mistake about it our involvement in the Warren campaign at that level was solely the result of Mayor Menino. We met weekly with Menino and he pushed for more every week.
    I would think you would be busy reevaluating the violent garbage you promote on your webpage rather than drilling into election data.
    Do you think AK 47 ice trays and school note books with handguns and grenades on them are appropriate at any time not to mention days after such a horrific event that took place last Friday in CT?
    You have negative credability with me and have shown you’re more interested in selling violent garbage at any expense to fill you pockets with dollars. You have no thought for some young child impressed by your webpage or the products you sell and promote.
    I pasted some links for others to see the quality products you sell and they can come to their own conclusion and measure your credibility. Leaders like Menino, Bloomberg, Rosenthal, and others see Parents bury their kids as a result of street violence and work daily to find ways to stop it -not you – you promote it and laugh all the way to the bank and want to be taken serious. But what would I expect from someone who promotes the term “Stop Snitchin” get a life. Take a look people at the links below.

    Mike Monahan
    Local 103 IBEW

    http://www.karmaloop.com/product/UZI-Gun-USB-8GB/296452

    http://www.karmaloop.com/product/178531?VendorCode=MOL&green=D6E18127-925E-56BB-B344-548B4AA7F212

    http://www.karmaloop.com/product/The-AK-Ice-Tray/317908

    http://www.karmaloop.com/product/The-Armed-NotebookRevolver/178510

    http://www.karmaloop.com/product/The-Armed-NotebookGrenade/178509

    • Greg Selkoe

      Mike,

      Let me start by saying I am big supporter of Unions, my mother is in a Union and I supported the Warren Campaign myself.

      We have NEVER ever supported the “Stop Snitching” term I am not sure where you are getting that?

      Karmaloop does many positive things for the community and will continue to do so. One example is that we registered 10’s of thousands of young people to vote in the last election nationwide with an organization called OurTime.org. I can list the many charities which I am on the board of and donate to such as YouthDesign a group that helps Boston Public School children get access to art and design training because it is currently so poor or unavailable in the Boston Public Schools, but that isnt the point of our conversation.

      Karmaloop and I are going to put a huge amount of effort behind the assault weapons ban, raise money for it and most importantly raise awareness and support for the ban to our millions of visitors. I will let our actions over the next few months speak for themselves.

      We can debate whether a key chain may be in poor taste (they products you link to are outside brands selling in our market place section which is similar to ebay regardless I am not gonna pass the buck and I am going to take a hard look at our 50,000 products re this issue and inappropriate ones will be taken down so I appreciate you pointing that out) But you and I both know it is the availability of Assault Weapons and guns not ice trays that are the problem and I believe you and I agree that needs fixing. Also we do not sell to young children the average age of our customer is 24.

      As for the substance of my letter above the facts are the facts Warren got 3x more votes than Menino has ever gotten. The numbers above are correct (other than the typo pointed out by the gentleman above re Flaherty 15% should have been 12% he is correct). I stand by everything I said in the above piece. I was in fact praising the effectiveness of the Unions.

      My guess is if we ever sat down maybe sometime in the future and talked face to face you would find I am a real person with many similar values, (and some that are different like all people) not perfect by any means and there is always room for improvement but I am not the boogeyman that the Menino administration portrays to you. I love Boston like you do. I always stay above board in my criticism of the Mayor even if it is tough, and I raise my real concerns around issues with facts and reason, and if I can good humor. I will continue to do so and look forward to meeting sometime in the future on more friendly terms.

      I appreciate the feedback.

      Merry Christmas.

      Greg Selkoe
      617-216-1013

  • Greg Selkoe

    This is a description of one of the products above sighted as promoting Violence judge for yourself wether the item promotes violence or is statement against violence:

    Owen and Cloud designed the Love Grenade Coin Bank to put a positive and peaceful spin on a device that has always been intended to create exactly the opposite effect. The Love Grenade Coin Bank was designed with a big peace symbol on the bottom. Whether you save the money for yourself, or donate it to your favorite charity, this is one coin bank with dividends: the manufacturer will donate proceeds to a good cause, A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism). Its made from 100% ceramic.
    Please note that this coin bank cannot be opened; to cash-in any treasure, the Love Grenade needs to be intentionally broken to underline the symbolic importance that peaceful action conquers war.
    Measures 6.3″ H x 4.7″ W x 4.2″ D
    By MollaSpace

  • Holland Smith

    This is a description of one of the Karmaloop products above sighted as promoting Violence judge for yourself wether the item promotes violence or is actually a statement against violence that is giving a part of proceeds to violence prevention!

    Owen and Cloud designed the Love Grenade Coin Bank to put a positive and peaceful spin on a device that has always been intended to create exactly the opposite effect. The Love Grenade Coin Bank was designed with a big peace symbol on the bottom. Whether you save the money for yourself, or donate it to your favorite charity, this is one coin bank with dividends: the manufacturer will donate proceeds to a good cause, A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism). Its made from 100% ceramic.
    Please note that this coin bank cannot be opened; to cash-in any treasure, the Love Grenade needs to be intentionally broken to underline the symbolic importance that peaceful action conquers war.
    Measures 6.3″ H x 4.7″ W x 4.2″ D
    By MollaSpace

  • Holland Smith-Head of Mechandising at Karmaloop

    Sorry bout the double post!

  • Michael Monahan

    Greg,
    You’re doing a great job trying to convince people that the duck isn’t a duck – A+ for effort – let it go – but seeing you won’t.

    http://www.karmaloop.com/search?Keywords=fuck+college

    give me the spin on this – this is supposed to inspire my daughters to study?

    http://www.karmaloop.com/search?Keywords=sex

    “Don’t do drugs smoke weed” also supposed to inspire thoughtful discussion about substance abuse and how it rips family’s apart not to mention suicides and the countless doors kicked in across our city looking for anything to grab to pawn and buy another fix.

    http://www.karmaloop.com/search?Keywords=murder

    And the Christmas favorite also 20% off “join the murder hoody” which by the way is in grey.
    You say you care about the city and somehow I believe you but please don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining. There are alot of kids out there that are extremely naive and impressed with these images. I really don’t want to keep it going but there’s about 4 more hours of material on your website.
    Mike

    • Sarah S.

      Greg, how you would explain the webcam stripper stunt as a person purporting to care about his community?

      http://bostinno.com/2012/11/26/karmaloop-hires-webcam-strippers-for-cyber-monday-sale/

      • Andrew

        Sarah, are women who choose to work as strippers not part of “the community?” Do they not vote, pay taxes, support families or contribute to the economy?

        • MaLa

          Thanks Andrew for standing up for women who choose to dance for a living. I am always disappointed by women like Sarah S who use feminism to tear down the right of women to choose their profession…Its sanctimonious… Just like Mikey, talk about not supporting communities…maybe they should be open to bring on people of color into their union. http://www.laborunionreport.com/portal/2010/09/is-the-ibew-a-good-old-white-boys-club/
          Its the 21st Century…lets turn inwards rather than always judging outwardly…

      • L.Lawrence

        Mikey, forgot to add why are you attacking one business owner especially one that seems pro Labor how often do ya find that? Because you are Kineavy and Tommy’s muscle and this guy dared to cross King Tom

      • LLawrence

        Mikey, forgot to add why are you attacking one business owner especially one that seems pro Labor how often do ya find that never? Because you are Kineavy and Tommy’s muscle and this guy dared to cross King Tom L

    • Andrew

      Mike,

      Making sure your daughters study, stay away from drugs and refrain from murdering people is the job of a parent, not a retail website. Children young enough to be influenced by material like this should be monitored online (and you know there is much worse out there than “offensive” tee shirts) – furthermore, do the First and Second Amendments sound familiar?

  • L. Lawrence

    Mikey,

    Let me see doesn’t IBEW 103 let me see….don’t you guys work very closely with the Dropkick Murphys great band actually …hypocritical ya think? Have you listened to their lyrics seen their cover art? Plenty of violence there…art music Tshirts are not the poblem. Punk Rock sex pistols all my generation listened to that in 70’s they are all stock brokers and family men now…By your standards you are as guilty as Karmaloop is? Talk about a glass house it is a slippery slope Mikey…does your 103 have money in pension funds some of which may own stock in gun makers? You should check because by your standard you are responsible for the violence on the streets if you do? This is an old cunnard can’t talk about the facts or the issues teardown the messenger!
    Make sure your own house is clean first
    L