From our Walt Whitman desk
Today’s Boston Herald features the latest in its series of told-you-so front pages.
The story inside focuses on the $300,000 ad campaign the MBTA’s Boston Carmen’s Union has been running for several months.
ON THE CAMPAIGN RAIL
Carmen spent $300G on ads to battle Baker’s MBTA reform
The powerful Boston Carmen’s Union, in a bid to derail Gov. Charlie Baker’s MBTA reforms, has spent $300,000 on radio ads, organized campaign-style phone banks and poured thousands into the political coffers of key lawmakers and politicians overseeing T policy, a Herald review found.
The review shows the 6,000-member-strong labor group’s mounting resistance as a top legislative committee has rebuffed Baker’s key reforms . . .
The Herald’s Erin Smith and Matt Stout write, “[t]he carmen have put out three radio spots, at a cost of $300,000, so far, with a fourth expected by the end of the week and the campaign isn’t over yet, according to longtime Democratic campaign operative Michael Goldman, who is coordinating the media strategy for Local 589.” (Listen to one here.)
There’s also a radio blitz on local airwaves from the Amalgamated Transit Union, which Goldman says he’s not associated with. Of the union’s “we’re here to help” ads Goldman says, “[our] thing has been positive commercials.”
Positive, maybe, but not all that reliable, as CommonWealth magazine pointed out last month.
One ad says, “Given the advanced age of current equipment and tracks, it’s a miracle that fully 95 percent of the million-plus trips made each year have been completed on time. But the T transit workers won’t be satisfied until that number reaches 100 percent.”
Yeah. Except the Carmen’s Union definition of “completed on time” is . . . “actually happened.” If you define completed on time as “arrived at destination on schedule,” that 95% drops to around 72% (67% this year so far) according to CommonWealth’s Steve Koczlea and Bruce Mohl.
So, once again we see that MBTA=Might Be Totally Accurate.
Or might not.