Mayor Thomas Meninoâ€™s desk gets around. At least, thatâ€™s according to a spot his re-election campaign has put on YouTube.com and plans to have up on television through the September 22 preliminary election.
â€œThis is the desk of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, a man who doesnâ€™t conduct business behind closed doors, but out in the neighborhoods of Boston,â€ the 34-second spot starts, in an apparent reference to the criticism he and the Boston Redevelopment Authority have received from his opponents, who say the administration isnâ€™t transparent in how it conducts business.
City Councillors-at-Large Michael Flaherty and Sam Yoon, and South End contractor Kevin McCrea have all called for the abolishment of the agency, which they say is too secretive.
The spot, which does not feature Menino aside from a banner at the end with his face on it, has the desk, along with an empty chair, sitting outside an affordable housing project in Roslindale, â€œstunning parklandsâ€ in West Roxbury, a tree-lined street in Dorchester, a South Boston school yard, and the Boston waterfront.
David Passafaro, the Menino campaignâ€™s treasurer, said the ad will be in rotation, along with a â€œcouple of others,â€ including some 15-second spots, until Sept. 22. He declined to get into details on strategy and to say how much they were spending in the expensive Boston television advertising market.
The campaign has about $1 million in the bank heading into the preliminary, which Menino is widely expected to survive, leaving Flaherty, McCrea and Yoon to duke it out for second place. The final election, between Menino and the runner-up, is scheduled for Nov. 3.
Campaign narratives form in debates
The conventional wisdom was that City Councillors at-Large Michael Flaherty and Sam Yoon would abandon their informal truce as they fight for the chance to face Mayor Thomas Menino in the final election. But the truce has held in between hits aimed at incumbent Menino, who has struggled in the debates and forums, and itâ€™s Yoon and South Ender Kevin McCrea who have been having increasingly sharp public exchanges.
On a Tuesday radio show, Yoon reportedly accused McCrea of putting voters off from heading to the polls with his negativity. McCrea has repeatedly criticized Yoon and Flaherty for their time on the City Council, saying they could have done something about the issues theyâ€™re now raising in the mayoral issues.
â€œI knew that the system was broken,â€ McCrea said in reference to the embattled Boston Redevelopment Authority at a Roxbury forum. â€œI talked about eliminating the BRA four years ago.â€
The exchanges come after Yoon at a recent forum said McCrea didnâ€™t have the temperament to be mayor, while McCrea told a Boston Globe columnist that Yoon was â€œfull ofâ€â€™ an expletive. The battle between the two, who both tout transparency as a top priority if theyâ€™re elected, has largely left Flaherty on the sidelines.
The four candidates are due to gather on FOX25 at 5 p.m. today for a debate that is being co-sponsored by the Boston Herald.
A mayoral forum sponsored by MassVOTE, a nonpartisan voting rights organization, and dozens of other local groups, is planned for nex Thursday, Sept. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at English High School in Jamaica Plain.
Yoon touts August fundraising haul
Hoping to gain some momentum heading into a preliminary that is largely viewed as a showdown between him and Flaherty, Yoon was last week promoting a record $95,000 haul in August. The figure came from 700 donors. In a press release, the Yoon campaign said it had out-raised Flahertyâ€™s camp, which raised $61,000 last month.
But a Flaherty aide said their campaign had planned for a fundraising slowdown in August, saving energy for later, with the expectation that fundraising will pick up in late September.
Endorsement Corner: Arroyo says he leads in union endorsements
He says he has the most union endorsements, and his name isnâ€™t Connolly, Murphy, or Kenneally. City Council at-Large candidate Felix Arroyo, son of the former city councillor, is touting his 24 endorsements from various unions around Boston, including the Boston Teachers Union, healthcare workers union SEIU 1199, firefightersâ€™ union Local 718, and the Greater Boston Labor Council.
Arroyo served for four years as political director for SEIU Local 615 and is currently a member of United Auto Workers Local 376.
â€œLabor is with Felix because he is one of us. He has been a labor organizer, is a union member, and grew up in a union home,â€ Chris Stockbridge, a member of AFSCME Council 93 and Dorchester resident, said in a statement.
In terms of union endorsements, incumbent Stephen Murphy is next, with 17 unions supporting his candidacy for another term. From the lengthy name department, they include the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, Local 7, and International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Union, Local 6.
Candidate Andrew Kenneally, a former aide in City Hall and to the late Congressman Joseph Moakley, has about 15 endorsements. The Greater Boston Labor Council has also endorsed him, as has Local 718.
Incumbent John Connolly has ten union endorsements, while former Kerry aide Ayanna Pressley has nine.
Last week, a hotel workersâ€™ union endorsed Robert Fortes, one of the few Republicans in the 15-person race for City Council at-Large. UNITE HERE Local 26 has 5,000 members.
The Sept. 22 preliminary will narrow the field to eight candidates.
EDITORâ€™S NOTE: Check out daily updates on Boston elections at The Lit Drop, located at dotnews.com/litdrop.