US Sen. Scott Brown picked up the endorsement of former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman on Tuesday at the Phillips Old Colony House on Morrissey Boulevard. Looking for a full six-year term, Brown, a Wrentham Republican, is in a close battle with Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren, who visited a construction site at South Boston’s Fan Pier several miles away around the time of Brown’s press conference.
A flood of polls confirms the tightness of the race and mailers from groups supporting each candidate litter front porches across the state. For its part, Dorchester has served as a backdrop for numerous campaign events along with television ads.
In a media advisory touting Whitman’s endorsement, Brown’s camp noted that she was a “fiscal conservative and social moderate, and an outspoken advocate of a big tent Republican Party.” Standing next to Brown, Whitman told reporters,“You vote for the person.”
Whitman, who studied at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., served as governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001, according to a biography on her consulting firm’s website. She also served as President George W. Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency chief.
Asked if she was voting for former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney for president, Whitman did not provide a direct answer, citing “the beauty of an independent” and private ballot. Last year, Whitman told POLITICO that she was urging then-Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, a Romney rival, to mount an independent bid for the White House.
Brown, who shares some advisers with the Romney camp, pointed to Republicans who are fiscally conservative and socially moderate, a shrinking caucus. He rattled off the names of Richard Lugar, Joe Lieberman, Kent Conrad, and Olympia Snowe, all considered centrist Democratic and Republican senators who will not be returning to Capitol Hill next year. “We’re a dwindling breed,” he said.
After the press conference, Whitman and Brown, along with Brown’s wife, Gail Huff, headed to the back of the Phillips House for a private luncheon.
Council to hold meetings on redistricting proposals
If there’s a Monday holiday, the City Council usually skips the scheduling of its weekly meeting. But the 13-member body finds itself in unusual circumstances: They have just a few weeks to redraw the boundaries of the nine council districts. Mayor Thomas Menino has already vetoed two maps, each of which passed by a narrow margin.
The council, which must redraw the boundaries every ten years to account for shifts in the city’s population, is expected to hold a special meeting today after the committee tasked with the job meets at 10 a.m. for a “working session.”
District 3 Councillor Frank Baker, the vice chair of the redistricting committee, has submitted a map, joined by District 5 Councillor Rob Consalvo and District 6 Councillor Matt O’Malley. Their map would have Consalvo taking on more of Mattapan and hand the southernmost parts of South Boston, including Carson Beach, to Baker, a freshman councilor who said the issue of redistricting is the “hardest thing” he has dealt with since he started the job. He added that his wife is “sick” of hearing about the topic.
At a meeting of the council last week, Consalvo pitched his plan as passing legal muster: It “unpacks” District 4, he said, bringing down the concentration of people of color in the district, which Menino cited in his vetoes.
District 4 Councillor Charles Yancey has been pursuing the opposite view, submitting his own maps and seeking to unite Mattapan. Last week he panned the Baker-Consalvo map for not doing so.
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