Saturday, November 05, 2005

Lefter than Thou in JP

A festering issue in this year's Boston City Councilor races is differentiating the me-too candidates. Almost to a one, those who made the final are leftist Democrats. Like the Tide/Cheer/supermarket brand question, which detergent will clean your city best?

Exception: He's not on the ballot and sure as Satan won't win a slot, but there is a standout candidate. The Neanderthal vote would definitely go to Joe Ureneck. Do check his eponymous site. He has all the essays to show why he is unlike those pansy liberals — anti-gay, anti-sex-marriage, xenophobic, sexist, you name it and Joe has it covered.

Back to the bag of marbles. Patricia White is the most brazen in claiming first liberalism and then progressivism. She suffocated last time for lack of votes. Instead of coming to Jesus, she came to the left. Such sudden conversion is not credible, merely expedient. However, her claim of progressive politics, more so than anyone, she'll say, highlights the conundrum we face on Tuesday.

The issue of What's a progressive got nice explication in this week's Jamaica Plain Gazette. Unfortunately, they only put teasers online and you would have to head to a local liquor store or other outlet to pick one up if you aren't from JP.

Reporter John Ruch noted that suddenly the meme of the campaign is progressive. At public fora and in their speeches and literature, all candidates are, they say. He contacted five at-large and two district candidates to discover what they meant by that.

Excerpts include:
  • Felix Arroyo — "Lip service is not a progressive person. You have to be an activist. You're not a progressive if you don't seek equity for everyone in the society you're fighting for."
  • Michael Flaherty — His flak, Steve Crawford, cited three defining issues: 1) support for same-sex marriage; 2) opposition to the death penalty; and 3) support for the Community Preservation Act.
  • Matt O'Malley — "The heart of the progressive movement...being a loud, strong voice for everybody. " Examples include support for abortion rights, same-sex marriage and "fundamental equal opportunity."
  • Patricia White — Had claimed to be progressive, but did not respond to interview requests.
  • Sam Yoon — Had his list of essential current issues, rent regulation, same-sex marriage, abortion rights, and opposition to the biolab. The underlying issue is a big one, lingering inequality. "A progressive is someone who, at night, that gnaws on them."
Similarly, the two district Councilor candidates:
  • John Tobin — Used word play, shortening his position to progress. "It's about getting things done, not just talking about it."
  • Gibr├ín Rivera — Standing "solidly on the side of equity and justice"...putting the working class at the center of decision making" and prioritizing care for the vulnerable.
At-large candidates not claiming progressive are John Connolly, Ed Flynn and Steve Murphy.

Come Tuesday, if you want to pick four at-large, Arroyo, Yoon, Flaherty and O'Malley are good bets. We have no idea about White; she's a chameleon.

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