City Hall a Koh-Conspirator in HuffPost Ortiz Hit?

July 8, 2016

A smashmouth piece in the Huffington Post this week about U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz and her pattern of political prosecutions has drawn attention in both local dailies, but, as usual, from different angles.

Yesterday’s Boston Globe featured a Joan Vennochi column with this lede:

POLITICAL CORRUPTION cases generate big headlines — and big push back.

Just ask US Attorney Carmen Ortiz. She made a big splash when she indicted two aides to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on charges they forced organizers of a music festival to hire union workers. But now, with Walsh presumed to be her ultimate prize, a posse of critics is throwing cold water on the prosecution.

 

Vennochi proceeded to cite criticism of Ortiz by former AG Martha Coakley, attorney Harvey Silverglate, and retired federal judge Nancy Gertner – all of whom were quoted in the HuffPost takedown.

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, though, the focus was more on the question of Marty Walsh’s possible involvement in the Ortiz hit, given that she has already indicted two Walsh administration officials on charges of extortion.

Yesterday’s front page (Inexplicable Little Green Number sold separately):

 

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The story inside has Walsh denying he’s “waging a PR counteroffensive” against Ortiz, but points out that “Walsh’s chief of staff, Daniel A. Koh, formerly served as chief of staff to Huffington Post Editor Arianna Huffington and as general manager of Huffington Post Live before joining the mayor’s inner circle.”

Today there’s no follow-up in the Globe, but the Herald has this piece by Dan Atkinson.

Call for answers on Huffington Post piece

PAC wants ‘public scrutiny’ re Walsh role

A national conservative group wants to see any communications between City Hall and the authors of a Huffington Post piece blasting U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, saying that if Mayor Martin J. Walsh or his staff engaged in a political hit job, they should be “held up to public scrutiny.”Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 1.53.24 PM

A Herald front-page story yesterday quoted Walsh saying he and his aides had no involvement in the article, titled “This Federal Prosecutor Is Building A Career Indicting The Good Guys.” But the mayor admitted that he and his chief of staff, Daniel A. Koh — who used to work at The Huffington Post — knew the piece was in the works.

“Both the timeline and the mayor’s answer raised red flags for us,” said Amelia Chasse, a spokeswoman for America Rising PAC, which filed a public records request with the city for any emails and texts between the Walsh administration and The Huffington Post.

 

Just what Walsh needs right now, eh? One more group emauling him.

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Boston Herald: Suffolk U Schooled in Regan-omics

February 11, 2016

After Suffolk University tore the sheets with local PR poobah George (Orange You Glad to See Me?) Regan, you just knew he would not go gentle into that “good night.”

Exhibit A: Joe Battenfeld’s column in today’s Boston Herald.

More PR Woes for Suffolk

Regan firm mulls fight over termination

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A powerful public relations firm fired by Suffolk University President Margaret McKenna claims it has a contract with the school and may fight the decision, triggering another potentially nasty public war.

Suffolk fired Regan Communications on Tuesday in a curt, unsigned memorandum, saying the school “no longer requires the ongoing services” of the well-known PR firm headed by longtime Boston power broker George Regan, according to a copy of the memo obtained by the Herald.

The memorandum, from “Suffolk University” but not signed by McKenna or the school’s board of trustees, came with a check for $31,623.90 for services through Feb. 9.

 

That, presumably, is on top of the roughly $300,000 the PR firm made from Suffolk in the past year.

Our favorite part: The pillow fight between Suffolk spokesman Greg Gatlin, who says Regan’s contract expired a year and a half ago, and Regan spokesman Scott MacKenzie, who says Regan Communications has a contract with Suffolk through the end of this year.  MacKenzie added, “Greg Gatlin forgets a lot of things like where he got his start in public relations” – namely, Regan Communications.

Meow.

Postscript

Once again, the Herald is out front on the Suffolk rumpus. From today’s piece:

Suffolk’s board of trustees, which had been planning to oust McKenna and replace her with former Attorney General Martha Coakley until the Herald reported on the power struggle, plans to meet tomorrow; Regan’s firing is expected to be discussed.

 

The firsty local tabloid had the original story January 28. The Boston Globe had it January 29.

Check the lately local broadsheet tomorrow for further developments.


Martha Coakley: Redemption in Boston Globe, Rejection in Boston Herald

November 7, 2014

From our Late to the Party Pooper desk

Is it just us, or did the Boston Globe bend over backwards yesterday to sponsor the Martha Coakley Victory in Defeat Tour?

For your Page One consideration:

 

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Then, Yvonne Abraham’s Metro column:

Redemption, even in loss

Martha Coakley did not lose the election on Tuesday. Charlie Baker won it.

Both candidates — haunted by four-year-old criticisms of their failed bids for US senator and governor, respectively — put the ghosts of 2010 to rest for good this week.

In fact, they’d left them behind months ago, but some critics hadn’t noticed. Tuesday showed them. There was undeniable redemption in Baker’s victory, and, however painful it had to be, in Coakley’s narrow defeat.

 

Cut to Joan Vennoch’si op-ed:

Martha Coakley gets political redemption

THIS TIME, no one could say Martha Coakley gave up the fight.

In fact, she didn’t formally concede the governor’s race to Republican Charlie Baker until Wednesday morning.

Forgive her if she hung on a little too long.

 

Sorry, Joan – Boston Herald editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen doesn’t forgive her.

Coakley takes cowardly way out

Fails to bow off political stage gracefully to Baker

In politics as in life there are right ways and wrong ways to do things. How unfortunate that Martha Coakley had to end her political career on such a sour note — choosing the wrong way.

With hundreds of her supporters still in the Fairmont Copley Plaza ballroom as election eve turned into morning, Coakley slipped out and headed home. The job of telling the crowd to go home fell to her running mate, Steve Kerrigan, who told supporters, “It’s going to be a long night or rather a long morning” and urged folks to head on out.

 

Cohen’s conclusion: “It was simply wrong [for Coakley] to skulk away without a word — even if that word fell short of a concession speech.”

Hmmm. You tell us.


Boston Dailies: Charlie Baker Has Sex Change!

October 30, 2014

When Cryin’ Charlie Baker turned on the waterworks during Tuesday night’s gubernatorial debate with Martha Coakley, he gave the local media all kinds of grist for their mills. Both Boston’s dailies,for instance, had the same basic thought: What if Charlie were Charlene?

Boston Globe Metro columnist Yvonne Abraham framed it this way:

Turning the tables

Watching Charlie Baker dissolve in tears in Tuesday night’s debate — a moment that defied Democrats’ attempts to cast him as a heartless technocrat — I couldn’t help wondering: What if he were treated the way women candidates so often are? What would it be like if we focused on his fragility under pressure, his manner, his appearance, as we do on theirs? What if we pinned the same labels on him as we do on them?

The reaction to that debate might look like this:

Do we really want a weepy governor?

Republican Charlie Baker was going along nicely in Tuesday night’s debate, exuding competence, speaking with authority about taxes and paid sick leave.

Then the gubernatorial hopeful came apart, telling of meeting a fisherman ruined by federal catch rules. “I may not make it through this story,” he began, promptly succumbing to tears.

This is why it can be so hard to imagine men as leaders.

 

Hah!

Crosstown, the Boston Herald recruited local business consultant Judith Bowman to put the pump on the other foot.

No crying not a choice for Martha Coakley

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What if it were Martha Coakley who cried?

Charlie Baker broke down 
in tears on the gubernatorial 
debate stage as he told the story of a fisherman’s family plight.

It was received by most, including me, as a genuine, justified show of human emotion. A real moment in the artificial world of politics.

But what if it were Martha?

No such luck. Professional women don’t cry. Not if they want to be leaders.

 

Well, one thing we’re sure of: That Herald headline should make any writer cry.

Sorry – sniff – we have to go now.


Boston Herald Tears Up Over Charlie Baker

October 29, 2014

Republican gubernatorial wannabe (Two-Time) Charlie Baker may have turned on the waterworks in last night’s debate with Democratic gubernatorial wannabe Martha Coakley, but today’s Boston Herald turned the firehose on.

Start, as usual, with Page One.

 

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That’s just an appetizer. Here’s Joe Battenfeld’s piece:

Fluffy debate finale was a crying shame

Martha Coakley, Charlie Baker

Forget about Charlie Baker crying. The ones who should be crying are the voters.

Would you rather win the Lottery or the election?

What’s your signature dish in the kitchen?

What’s the best Halloween costume for your opponent?

Those were actual questions in a debate that will be the last time most voters see Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley in a televised, face-to-face confrontation.

Baker’s cry will get the most attention in this bizarre debate showdown. And that’s not a bad thing for a Republican accused of being a heartless budget cutter. Baker’s cry did not look contrived — he looked like a dad watching the last scene of “Field of Dreams.” And it certainly won’t hurt him among the most important voters in this race — women.

 

Former Boston mayor and current chinstroker Ray Flynn went even further.

Candidates show heart, give hope

The real winners of last night’s final gubernatorial debate were … the voters.

Both Charlie Baker and Martha Coakley gave real insight into their character and heart. It was the best political moment I ever saw.102814debateTA003

They proved that politics is not about hate and division, but about decency and love. Call it naive on my part, but last night’s showdown was the best example of what government should be about. When a teary-eyed Charlie Baker told the story of a beleaguered New Bedford fisherman and his two sons trying to keep the family business from going under because of the burden of federal fishing regulations, I could identify with that hard-working father, and it reminded me of why elections are so important.

 

Yeah, except if the family business couldn’t support the old man, how was it gonna support the three of them? We were confused.

But we did mist up a bit.


Boston Globe Has Come-to-Jesus Moment with Bernard Baran, Louise Woodward

October 20, 2014

Something interesting is happening in the Boston Globe’s editorial pages. The paper is doing a sort of media culpa regarding some high-profile – and highly debated – criminal convictions in the ’80s and ’90s. And it’s been uncharacteristically emphatic in its positions.

Begin with the redoubtable Harvey Silverglate’s Globe op-ed a week ago.

Justice system failed Bernard Baran

There should be consequences

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BERNARD BARAN of Pittsfield died a free man on Sept. 1 at age 49. But for an act of God, he would likely have died in prison, forever deemed guilty of raping children at a day care center where he’d worked.

Convicted amid the national panic over supposed sexual abuse of preschool children, Baran fell victim to homophobia, hysteria, and arguable prosecutorial misconduct. While many now recognize these prosecutions as modern-day witch hunts, those responsible for his incarceration remain unapologetic and unpunished.

 

That was followed by this editorial in yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe.

When miscarriages of justice occur, prosecutors must answer for actions

TWENTY-NINE YEARS ago, a Berkshire County prosecutor named Daniel A. Ford made at least one awful decision: On the skimpiest baranB-1797249evidence he charged a 19-year-old man with multiple counts of child rape. That may not be the worst of it; there are indications he may have played fast and loose with trial rules in order to get a conviction. Although Ford denies he did anything wrong, trial records suggest the defense attorney was unaware of significant exculpatory evidence held by the prosecution. In an atmosphere of homophobia and hysteria, the defendant, an openly gay teenager named Bernard F. Baran Jr., didn’t stand a chance. Convicted, he spent 21 years in prison for crimes he didn’t commit.

 

In his op-ed, Silverglate “raised the possibility of removing Ford from his current job as a Superior Court judge, a position he has held since 1989.” The Globe editorial calls that “premature,” but says “Silverglate and Baran’s other supporters are right to seek a full, public inquiry into both the prosecution’s conduct and its decision to try the case in the first place.”

Further down Memory Lane, yesterday’s Globe also featured this op-ed by Lee Scheier, an investigative reporter working on a book about shaken-baby syndrome.

Martha Coakley, stop lauding bad science for self-promotion

11Coakley01

AFTER COMING under attack in an political ad for not doing enough to protect children, Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate for governor, defended her record. In a large above-the-fold photograph published in the Globe Oct. 3, Coakley is seen standing next to Deborah Eappen, mother of Matthew Eappen, the baby whom Louise Woodward was charged with shaking to death in 1997.

Coakley, the prosecutor in that infamous trial, set up the photo op ostensibly to remind the public of her commitment to protecting children. If so, Coakley must think Massachusetts voters have short memories.

 

Because, Scheier asserts, “[t]he truth is that Martha Coakley’s deft misuse of science actually came very close to sending an innocent caretaker to prison for life.”

Who’s right here? Roll your own.

But one thing’s clear: Ellen Clegg, the Globe’s interim editorial page editor, has certainly added some juice to those pages.


Ads ‘n’ Ends From the Boston Dailies (Remembering Michael Ryan Kennedy Edition)

October 10, 2014

There’s lots of interesting advertising material in today’s local dailies, starting with the Boston Globe’s Capital section. Usually the papers’s weekly political playground capitalizes on its cherce readership with a bundle of full-page ads, but in today’s edition what’s more interesting are the pieces about advertising.

First up: Noah Guiney’s scorecard on some of the latest New England campaign ads. Representative sample:

 

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Charlie Baker, Martha Coakley, Seth Moulton, and Jeanne Shaheen also get the red-pen treatment.

Getting the graphic treatment are Political ads that aired most often (in two parts for legibility – sorry, no link).

 

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Fun for the whole family.

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, it’s today’s ads themselves that are most noteworthy, starting with this one for heavy Lyfters.

 

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That’s appeared before in the Herald, but not (to our knowledge) in the Globe.

Here’s another one that we haven’t seen in the stately local broadsheet.

 

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Actually, we haven’t seen this ad in the Herald either before today. Anyway, here’s the Steppingstone website, and here’s their media page. Roll your own.

By far the most noteworthy ad in today’s Herald is this:

 

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Rest in peace, Firefighter Michael Ryan Kennedy.