Boston 2024: The Grift That Keeps on Giving

June 11, 2015

As you splendid readers well know, the Boston news media – from the Boston Business Journal to WGBH to Boston Magazine to WBUR to the Boston Globe – are on Store 2024 like Brown on Williamson.

But not the Boston Herald.

Sure, the feisty local tabloid has provided some basic coverage of the five-ring monte Olympic bid, but it’s not breaking news the way other local outlets have. The Herald these days is more about Deval Patrick’s financial shenanigans.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Exhibit A: Yesterday’s Joe Battenfeld column.

Patrick Secretly Diverted Junket Cash

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Former Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration secretly diverted nearly $27 million in public money to off-budget accounts that paid for a $1.35 million trade junket tab, bloated advertising contracts, and a deal with a federally subsidized tourism venture backed by U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, a Herald investigation has found.

The maneuver to fatten the hidden “trust” 

accounts with millions from state quasi-public agencies allowed Patrick to skirt the state Legislature and evade state budget cutbacks during the recession, the Herald found.

 

Elsewhere in the piece, the number seems to be over $37 million. Helpful chart:

 

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Whatever.

Exhibit B: Today’s Herald page 5 (with bonus Inexplicable Green 1).

 

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See? Even the paper’s Olympic coverage is part of its Devalue Pak.

Meanwhile, the latest Boston NOlympics revelations include this in the BBJ, which suggests that those expecting the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority to “save the Boston Olympics” Must Be Taking Acid. The Boston Globe contributes this front-page piece about Boston 2024 relocating the Widett Circle food wholesalers to the Seaport (one really smart person we know thinks the entire Boston 2024 effort is just a land grab to develop the New Boston Food Market site). The Globe also features this Metro piece about the full-court press on the Boston 2024 organizers to finally get down to specifics.

WBUR also has a couple of new reports today about bigger Olympic footprints, and WGBH tosses in this piece about new venues and public relations.

But the Boston Herald? Call it the shelfie local tabloid.


Five-Ring Monte: Boston Herald Is on the Money in Olympic Salary Flap

March 10, 2015

The local dailies are currently on Boston 2024, the high-rolling Olympic wannabe outfit, like Brown on Williamson – especially in the matter of who’s getting paid what.

Today Boston hits the Dailies Double, with both papers front-paging the buckraking at the Olympic trough.

Boston Globe:

Olympic bid panel offers salary data

Patrick to earn $7,500 per day during travels

Former governor Deval Patrick will earn $7,500 a day for occasional travel as a global ambassador for Boston’s Olympic bid, selling the city and its vision for the Games to the International Olympic Committee, according to salary data released Monday by local 0109patrickOlympic planners, who say they do not know how often Patrick would be on the job.

The local Olympic bid committee, Boston 2024, which is funded by private donations, is also paying $1,390,500 in annual staff salary, with six of 10 salaried employees making more than $100,000 a year. Chief executive Rich Davey topped the list at $300,000.

 

Mark Arsenault’s piece features other hauls as well: “Boston 2024 is paying $44,000 a month to communications consultants, including $15,000 each to Northwind Strategies — overseen by former Patrick aide Doug Rubin — and Keyser Public Strategies, whose president, Will Keyser, was a key strategist in Governor Charlie Baker’s winning campaign.”

And: “The committee also has monthly contracts, for $10,000 each, with William Coyne Jr. and Jack Hart — well-connected lobbyists with South Boston ties.”

And: “Nikko Mendoza, who was Patrick’s director of operations, is vice president for engagement and external affairs, making $120,000 a year, according to Boston 2024.”

That’s a lotta dough-re-mi, eh?

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, it gets even worse.

 

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Inside, the fiscally local tabloid features this handy clip ‘n’ save pay sheet:

 

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Do we see a pattern emerging here? Boston 2024 operates clandestinely, local media force the issue on some issue, Boston 2024 forks over some information. Time to stock up on crowbars.


Five-Ring Monte: Boston Dailies on Olympic Cronies

March 8, 2015

Both Boston dailies take on the machers piling up at Boston 2024, the bulldozing bunch trying to bring the Olympic Games to town nine years hence. But the papers have different bigwigs to target.

The Boston Sunday Globe gives the cudgel to Metro columnist Yvonne Abraham, who drops the hammer on Mistah Mayah.

Too close for comfort

You can’t be both cheerleader and watchdog.

Mayor Marty Walsh was initially skeptical about a Boston Olympics, promising to protect the city’s interests as assorted bigs pursued a 2024 Games. Now he’s the Games’ booster in chief.

“Make no mistake, we are in this to win it: to bring the Olympic Games to Boston, along with the immense global investment and community benefits that come with it,” he said at Wednesday’s annual meeting of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau.

Walsh and Boston 2024 are now one. He has fully melded his operation with the one run by John Fish and other titans pushing the Games.

 

Abraham’s conclusion: “[Marty Walsh] now owns the bid, and all that comes with it, good or bad . . . The mayor has leapt from the Olympic high board. No turning back now.”

Of course, there’s no water in the pool – just a bunch of double-talk – so that doesn’t bode well for anyone.

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, it’s former Gov. Patrick who’s Devalued.

Page One:

 

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Inside, Patrick gets the expensive two-page spread (with special bonus Inexplicable Little Green Numbers!).

 

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This Olympic bid has all the earmarks of classic crony capitalism: The high-priced array of usual suspects, the sleight-of-hand secrecy, the see-no-evil stonewalling – the whole megillah.

The biggest Olympic event of all would be if any of these characters dealt straight with the people of Boston for two minutes at a time.

So far, the prospects don’t look good.


The Two Faces of Deval

January 5, 2015

The Boston Sunday Globe featured Michael Levenson’s swan song for two-term Gov. Deval Patrick.

The Patrick legacy: history and headwinds

Governor made good on much he’d promised, but fractious ties with legislators, and economy’s plunge, held him back

deval 14-5654569

Deval Patrick looked out on Boston Common, presiding not only as the incoming governor but as the leader of a movement that had upended politics. Thousands from across the state cheered and held up cellphone cameras — people of every kind and color, young and old, jubilant multitudes never before seen at the State House.

At his first inauguration under uncommonly fair skies in January 2007, the man who a year earlier had been dismissed as a hopeless romantic with no chance of victory carried with him limitless hope for the future — for better schools, fairer housing, racial healing.

 

And etc.

Nice sendoff, except . . .

 

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Exhibit Umpteen, from Saturday’s Boston Herald report about Patrick “denying [chairwoman of the Sex Offender Registry Board Saundra Edwards’] claims he had a personal ax to grind in firing her after he said she ‘inappropriately’ tried pressuring an official to classify the governor’s brother-in-law as a sex offender.”

“Your paper has done a whole lot to make a mess of his life,” he said, turning to a Herald reporter yesterday. “That’s certainly been on my mind. I didn’t want to stir all that up again. But we cannot have officials inappropriately interfering with the independence of hearing officers.”

 

But he doesn’t want to stir all that up again.

Ave atque vale, Deval.

Ye harldy knew us.


Boston Herald, As Usual, Deval-ues Gov. Patrick

November 26, 2014

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

Not surprisingly, both Boston dailies today covered the local reaction to the Ferguson grand jury (non)decision.

Boston Globe Page One:

 

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For the trifocal set:

 

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Just for the record, the early edition that arrived at the Global Worldwide Headquarters featured a harder-edged take.

Raucous crowds take to the streets in Boston

In the pews and on the streets Tuesday night, full-throated cries of frustration and grief echoed from Roxbury throughout Boston and beyond over a grand jury’s decision to not charge a Missouri police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager.

An estimated 1,400 protestors marched from Dudley Square to the South Bay House of Correction facility, then shout down the Massachusetts Avenue Connector near Interstate 93 before being blocked by a police line. Protestors pushed in unison against police, some of whom were clad in helmets and protective gear.

 

The web version of the story is even softer than the late edition pictured above, especially the photo/caption.

 

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But all the versions have much the same information on the presence of high-ranking local politicians.

At the forum, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Governor-elect Charlie Baker delivered brief addresses before ceding the microphone to others in the crowd . . .

As dozens watched on a video feed downstairs, Walsh and Baker said they came to the meeting to listen, learn, and comfort those still raging.

“One thing missing from Ferguson is the opportunity for people to grieve,’’ Walsh said. “I want to ensure the people of Boston feel safe and secure, and that we are respectful in addressing our feelings.”

 

And etc. (Baker wound up getting more play in the print edition than on the web.)

Notice anyone who’s missing? So did the Boston Herald.

 

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Inside, Joe Battenfeld drops the hammer on the Bay State’s absentee governor.

Another of many missed chances for Deval

They all showed up, from 
incoming Gov. Charlie 
Baker to Mayor Marty Walsh to an expelled state rep, but the one pol who probably had the most to say to a packed crowd at the Twelfth Baptist Church was strangely absent.

Deval Patrick got elected because of his ability to connect and communicate with voters. But when the AN3V9879.JPGnation’s only black governor had a chance to talk directly to frustrated and angry Boston residents in the aftermath of the St. Louis County grand jury decision, he skipped out of town.

The lame-duck governor was on a plane to Atlanta for an early Thanksgiving with the in-laws last night while a packed crowd vented at community meeting and protesters closed down streets last night over the non-indictment of a Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

 

Final tally: The feisty local tabloid tougher on protestors and Patrick. So what else is news?


Hark! The Herald! (Charlie Baker’s House! Edition)

November 7, 2014

The Boston Herald has its promo mojo working overtime today.

From Joe Battenfeld’s piece:

National office for Charlie Baker? Nope, and you can believe it

Sick of governors with a flair for fancy speeches and a nose for the national
stage?

Massachusetts, here comes your man.

“Not to worry,” Gov.-elect Charlie Baker said in a Boston Herald interview. “I will not be a governor who gets involved in national politics.”

Sure, you’ve heard that one before. Michael Dukakis. Bill Weld. Mitt Romney. Deval Patrick. They all said they just wanted to be a great governor — right before they booked flights to Iowa.

But with Baker, he probably means it.

 

Accent on “probably.”

And accent on “Boston Herald interview,” as if the flirty local tabloid was the only girl Baker danced with yesterday. (His spotlight dance with the Boston Globe is here. In that interview – in his home – he also “expressed little desire to get involved in national Republican politics.”)

Just so you don’t forget, the Herald photo captions also tell the tale.

 

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And, even better than the Heraldniks going to Charlie’s house, he went to their house this morning.

 

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Isn’t that special?


It’s Good to Live in a Twin-Daily Town

November 6, 2014

It’s not just business as usual in the local dailies today.

To wit:

 

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To half-wit:

 

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Sorry – couldn’t resist.