Globe: No Problem with Walsh’s Koh Dependency

January 5, 2014

According to today’s Boston Globe, Mayor-elect Marty Walsh has named a “relative political outsider” who is “relatively young” as his City Hall wingman – and that’s all good.

Walsh announces his chief of staff

Andover native, 29, has worked in politics, at Huffington Post

Boston Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh on Saturday named Daniel Arrigg Koh, currently the general manager of Huffington Post Live, handout_koh_metas his chief of staff — the first major appointment in the administration that takes over control of the city on Monday.

“I’m excited to have Daniel joining our administration and bring a fresh, new energy to the mayor’s office,” Walsh said in a statement issued Saturday afternoon. “He has broad experience about City Hall and a deep understanding of managing a large, fast-paced organization. We have great talent joining us, and I know Daniel will help me transform the way we do things in Boston.”

 

And nary a discouraging word after that.

Not so fast, says crosstown rival Boston Herald on today’s front page.

 

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Inside, the feisty local tabloid elaborates.

Walsh names neophyte to key position

Some say mayor-elect taking a risk

Picking a 29-year-old political unknown as chief of staff is a bold, unexpected move and a sign that Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh’s 010414Walshjm03administration is shaping up to take a new direction in City Hall — although the hire also is not without risks, experts said.

Daniel Arrigg Koh — an Andover native who last worked as general manager of HuffPost Live and a former adviser through Harvard’s Leadership Fellow Program for Mayor Thomas M. Menino — represents a young, intelligent hire with an impeccable resume, said John Nucci, Suffolk University vice president for government affairs.

 

Or maybe this . . .

Daniel Koh might be too young and too green to navigate the pitfalls of City Hall politics effectively, said Thomas J. Whalen, a Boston University social science professor. Walsh should have compensated for his own inexperience in City Hall by hiring someone well-versed in the political landscape, he said.

“This is a huge job. You think you would have someone who is older, more experienced and more connected,” Whalen said, adding that Koh will have to tangle with the city’s union leaders. “You’ll need a tough guy who can knock heads together. Will they respect someone 29 years old?”

 

Well, we know at least one person who doesn’t.

Leave it, as usual, to Herald graybeard Peter Gelzinis to provide some historical perspective in a piece headlined Koh may be right-hand man, but not clear he’ll be a heavyweight.

In his fifth and final go-round as mayor, Tom Menino looked across the river to Harvard and installed whiz-kid Mitch Weiss as his chief of staff. A beloved old pol craved new blood. And yet the man he trusted to handle the day-to-day life blood of politics was an up-from-the-streets-Southie native, Michael Kineavy.

It was a kind of schizophrenia that just about everyone in City Hall came to understand. “Kineavy was the get-it-done on the ground guy,” one longtime veteran said. “He was the guy that made government work in a way everyone understood.

 

The Herald covered a lot of bases on this story. Presumably, the Globe will play some catch-up tomorrow.

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Buried in the Globe, Headlined in the Herald

December 28, 2013

Deep inside a piece in today’s Boston Globe about a surprise birthday party for outgoing mayor Tom Menino is this:

“It is a little emotional,” Menino said. “I’ve been mayor for 20 years. I’ve done a lot of things in the last 20 years. I’m handing over the city to Marty Walsh to bring it to the next level.”

 

Except, according to the feisty local tabloid, he’s sort of not.

 

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The story inside:

Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday he will not attend Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh’s Jan. 6 swearing-in ceremony — a perceived snub some political observers say signifies a deepening rift between the two pols.Mayor birthday

“It’s usually considered a sign of good faith that you are having a proper transition of power from one administration to another. It’s a common courtesy. The fact that Menino is not going to be there suggests there is some sort of hostility there with his successor,” said Thomas J. Whalen, a Boston University social science professor.

“It’s kind of mean and small-minded. The idea of a democracy such as ours … we put aside our political differences and at least put forth the front that we are one and we are united,” Whalen added.

 

Along similar lines, the Globe’s front-page story Teachers union revealed as funder behind pro-Walsh PAC has this buried in the 15th and 16th grafs:

“Transparency was a centerpiece of the campaign, and Mayor-elect Walsh was very clear in public from the beginning that all independent expenditures should voluntarily disclose their donors,” Kate Norton, Walsh’s spokeswoman, said in a statement provided to the Globe Friday evening.

“The law prohibits any coordination between the campaign and any independent expenditure,” she said in the statement. “We don’t have any control over or awareness of their plans. Mayor-elect Walsh urged disclosure through statements to the press and sought to lead by example in providing complete transparency of his record, background, and contributions.”

 

Sort of a non-disclosure disclosure, eh?

Crosstown, the Herald played it this way on page 2:

Marty Walsh denies knowing AFT funded PAC ads

Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh is claiming he had no idea the Boston teachers’ powerful national union was behind the last-minute, W1ST9604.JPGhalf-million-dollar ad drop by a mysterious PAC dubbed One Boston, whose pro-Walsh TV spot helped sweep him to victory in the campaign’s final weeks . . .

Walsh spokeswoman Kate Norton restated what the campaign said during the race, that they were prohibited by law from coordinating with outside groups, let alone knowing who was behind them.

 

One town, two different places.

UPDATE: The hard reading staff missed this Globe New England in brief item:

Mayor Thomas M. Menino will not attend the inauguration of his successor, Martin J. Walsh, on Jan. 6. Dot Joyce, Menino’s spokeswoman, said he had already made plans to go on vacation by the time inaugural details were finalized. She said Menino believes the inauguration is “Marty Walsh’s day,” and the mayor will meet with him that morning to hand over the reins. Joyce said Menino does not wish to slight Walsh, but rather wants to honor the fact that he will be the new mayor. Menino’s decision was first reported by the Boston Herald.

 

The rare local-on-local disclosure.

Yes!

Still, what we said.