Reporter’s Notebook: Breakfast, political yuks on the side, highlight menu Sunday at convention center

Senator Jack HartSenator Jack HartFreshman U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is on a nationwide book tour and Gov. Deval Patrick, fresh off a trip to Israel and the United Kingdom, is about to embark on one. But both will be heading to South Boston this weekend for the neighborhood’s annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

The two pols will be high-profile targets for jokes at the March 20 roast, which has been hosted by state Sen. Jack Hart (D-South Boston) since 2002, when he took it over from U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch.

“I suppose the more prominent you are, the bigger the bull’s-eye is,” Hart said to the Reporter.

Brown in particular will likely get a few pokes, given his popularity in the Bay State and the fact that he will be one of the few Republicans in a room filled with Democrats. He’s scheduled to be in Orleans on the Cape late Sunday to promote and sign his book, “Against All Odds.”

Look for Suzanne Bump, the new state auditor, to get a few jabs as well. During her campaign last fall, the Globe reported that she and her husband had claimed property exemptions for their homes in Great Barrington and in South Boston. (She defended the exemptions, and her stepson took to BlueMassGroup.com, a left-leaning blog that has sometimes functioned as a bastion for aggrieved politicians and their relatives, in support of her. She ended up sending the $5,875 she owed to Boston’s coffers.)

Freshman state Rep. Nick Collins, a South Boston Democrat who succeeded Brian Wallace in the Legislature, will also be making his debut. “Nick has tried out a couple of jokes here and there and he seems to be up to the task,” Hart said. “We’re delighted.”

New England Cable News’s Jim Braude will anchor coverage of the breakfast, which starts at 10 a.m.
Expected attendees include state Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth), House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and Mayor Thomas Menino. Irish tenor Ronan Tynan will make a return appearance.

Throughout the breakfast, the jokes, of course, tend to be good-natured. And state Rep. Marty Walsh (D-Dorchester) offered this reminder for the audience that will be in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and the one that will be watching at home: “These are elected officials, not comedians.”

State reps will host Evacuation Day events

A significant Revolutionary War scene in Boston will be celebrated today, Evacuation Day. A ceremony commemorating the day in 1776 that the British soldiers left Boston will begin at St. Augustine’s Chapel with a 9 a.m. Mass, then will move on to Dorchester Heights, the location from which General George Washington’s artillery oversaw the evacuation. In addition, Secretary of State William Galvin is expected to present General Joseph Warren’s letter to Congress describing the battles of Lexington and Concord. Rep. Collins is also expected to attend. At 11 a.m., Rep. Gloria Fox (D-Roxbury) will be the host at a related ceremony at Fort Hill. And Rep. Carlos Henriquez (D-Dorchester) will host a noon-time lunch at the Shirley Eustis House.

E-mail offers insight into possible Warren Senate bid

A top adviser to Newton Mayor Setti Warren is looking for young people with campaigns under their belt to potentially staff his U.S. Senate bid. In an e-mail seeking help earlier this month, a message obtained by the Reporter, political consultant Deborah Shah wrote that she may be staffing up at the end of April for the potential Senate campaign. Pay may be “limited,” she wrote, but “top performers” will have a shot at staff jobs starting over the summer or right after Labor Day.

Warren, who was in Dorchester last week for President Obama’s visit to TechBoston Academy, has told reporters he is weighing a challenge to Sen. Brown. He is expected to make a decision sometime in the spring.

Shah told the Reporter last Saturday that a decision will be made in the next month or two. She said she was reaching out to students who are graduating to give them an opportunity to hop on board a potential campaign. “This is just the first step to make sure you’re prepared” in case Warren runs, she said.

A former aide to U.S. Sen. John Kerry and an Iraq War veteran, Warren was elected mayor of Newton in November 2009.

Gov. Deval Patrick recently told the National Journal that Warren, along with former Senate candidate Alan Khazei and former candidate for lieutenant governor Bob Massie were “in, for sure.” Congressman Michael Capuano (D-Somerville) and Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll are also reportedly weighing a run against Brown, who posted a 57 percent job approval rating, the same as Kerry, in a poll this week from Western New England College Polling Institute.

Quote of Note

Winding up for the one in Southie, House Speaker DeLeo took a trip up the road to Salem for an early St. Patrick’s Day breakfast where he uttered a few words in jest. The Salem News described the scene thusly: “The governor’s in Israel. The Senate President is going to Helsinki. And I’m in a [dump] like Salem,’ House Speaker Robert DeLeo told the crowd. Except DeLeo didn’t say ‘dump.’ He used a much more colorful, unprintable two-syllable synonym.” The newspaper reported that later in the day the speaker’s office issued a statement saying that DeLeo has “only the highest regard” for Salem.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Check out updates to Boston’s political scene at The Lit Drop, located at dotnews.com/litdrop.