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Steve Murphy has a warning for his enemies

They better not come crawling to him for jobs, because he only hires his friends - even if they've been fired by the state's highest court for conduct unbecoming a court official.

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Typical MA politician. Hiring his friends and donors, regardless of past history..

Pretty clear that this is all a connected move, and has zero to do with ability to do the job, because when Powers was at his old job, he didn't do it, and when he did, it wasn't a very good job at it. Considering this guys track record, this guy has no business working in government at all.

What a scam.. what a scam on the tax payers for pensions. Typical MA politics.. very typical.

I really hate this state and its corrupt politicians sometimes..

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Over $200k a year for staff (not including health insurance), on top of pulling in $75k a year (and wanting a raise). What an absolute joke.

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I'm not talking about staff budget, but between this and the BPL threads, I've seen a lot of disgust recently at the salaries of public employees. To be honest, I'm not really sure why. Whether or not Murphy is essentially an oxygen thief (and I have no doubt that he is), $75k seems a fairly appropriate sum for a middle/senior public servant in a major city, particularly since the median income for MA sits at about $67k.

What sort of salary range wouldn't make you froth with rage?

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There's a lot of navel gazing in this job.

A) I would cut the number of councilors to 5 district and 2 at large. Quite honestly, the pool gets pretty thin after that anyway - which is how we end up with the Murphys of the world.

B) Even then - with a few staffers, this is not a full time job (many councilors run side businesses - law, real estate etc. but keep a low profile) - $75k just to attract some capable people - not that big a deal - but keep in mind - the hardest part of this job is getting in (note how few people ever get voted out - especially district councilors).

My one interaction with Murphy - I noted a revenue column for parking meters that had millions the prior year and millions in the budget - but no revenue recorded more than half way into the fiscal year. I asked him why. He said he'd get back. I'm still waiting - that was like 6 years ago.

(Have since found out that this is one of several "balancing slush funds". The money goes in a trust and they take out enough to make the budget balance at the end of the year - which is part of how we manage to balance a multi-billion dollar budget to within a few million dollars every year. They add up the shortfall at the end - and there are different accounts you can pull from to make it look like we balanced the budget - when in fact we go over the original budget almost every year)

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For me, the issue isn't paying pubic employees but the existence of all these crony level jobs which probably don't require anything like 40 hours of work per week and serve to bump up the long time public employees pensions and benefits. It'd be great to have fewer public employees who earn good money for good work, but that's probably a pipe dream. Really it's the same in corporate America - there are tons of middle level managers out there pulling down great salaries undeservedly but the key difference is that the public employee's pensions are underfunded and a tax payer liability. So we're on the hook to over pay this guy until he shuffles off this mortal coil.

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if we switched to defined contribution plans rather than defined benefit plans.

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...would be the response to that I suspect, but you are correct.

Getting rid of deadwood patronage jobs would seem to be an easier first step though as that impacts friends and relations of politicians, not the politicians themselves.

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I'd be fine with making it a rich, generous defined contribution plan.

Just get rid of the current abuse-prone morass, and make it simple.... you earn pension credits steadily as you work, and when you retire you get all of them, and it doesn't matter if you work 6 months or 40 years; it doesn't matter what your salary was in the last year you worked, or what your job title was, or any other crap.

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It is a disgusting story of cronyism, true. But I'm a bit confused over your repeated assertion that it's a particularly MA kind of thing. Exactly which states do you think are less corrupt?

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My dad worked for the State of Oregon, which was set up by people fed up with 1850s corruption in the northeast. Some of the anti-patronage stuff was built into the structure of the state basic legal system!

The rules were quite extreme by MA standards. In one very low-population area, he had to completely remix two road crews because you weren't allowed to supervise even your second cousins! Nevermind that most of the people in the area were at least distantly related (area 2x the size of MA with 20,000 people).

Other things that went on were transfers away from spouses (weren't allowed to be in the same department or in "promotional" conflict within a chain of supervision). You couldn't get your kid hired to flag traffic - the application had to be independent and outside chain of command, etc. There were a lot of rules to stamp out nepotism.

Not sure that it is so clean on the political appointment side, but I do know that there are far fewer appointed jobs for politicians to fill (cabinet yes, statehouse janitor, no!), and far more civil service career jobs in city and state government. What would be considered acceptable here in terms of using office budgets to promote your "self"brand would land you in serious trouble for campaigning on the state's dime, too.

I'm not sure if other states were set up by those fed up with this same shit, but at least one was.

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Are you aware Oregon's governor just resigned due to a criminal corruption case?

The problem with local (and national) authorities abusing their power isn't limited to one state or another. Anytime you have an official who has little media oversight coupled with an apathetic voting populace you are going to find this sort of shenanigans. Most voters couldn't name a single elected official besides the state governor and US president -- How many people in this state still think Ed Kennedy is a senator? The politicians feed off this apathy.

The only real solution is for good media coverage and people to vote out people who do slimy things.

What annoys me more is the pension games. There should be no pensions -- Social Security coupled with automatic investments (401b, 403b, etc) should be all anyone should get. I don't mind public servants being paid reasonably well provided that there are powerful and well funded anti-corruption investigators. If they are convicted of abusing their power they should pay back their salary as well.

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You mean Ted?

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My point exactly

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It wouldn't even be considered to be close to an issue in MA, let alone cause for resignation.

Just like the sorts of patronage bullshit that landed a former OR governor in hot water twenty years ago had people scratching their heads out here. The national press couldn't figure out what the big deal was.

Some states have "low corruption" because they simply accept these things as "business as usual" and don't call anyone to account on it. That isn't the same as not having corruption. Read the news articles on the subject, not just the headlines. What Kitzhaber and his GF did wouldn't even make the papers out here.

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Murphy should be able to hire whomever he wants for his support staff.

Having said that, Murphy's choices say volumes about him.

And following so closely on his bloviation about Amy Ryan, his tetchy reaction and noxious hypocrisy gall more than usual.

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Ugn, no he shouldn't, not when taxpayer dollars are paying for this bullshit.

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This is different from appointing the head of the Boston parks department or the chief of police. In theory, Murphy's staff should be assisting and serving Murphy, and only Murphy, so that he can do his job efficiently.

That Murphy has chosen staffers who are are either not competent to fulfill their mission, or are ethically compromised, shows that Murphy does not care about his own job enough to find staff who will help him do it well.

A good staffer is a boon, often doing the research or helping with outreach that a pol does not have the time or the skill to do. Frankly, whenever you see a politician so boneheaded that you cannot imagine how he has risen to become, say, senator from Pennsylvania, look at his staff.

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I met this man once and he was very unimpressive. I think he must only get reelected because his name is Murphy.

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Just saying. Eddie Murphy would be a reverse Reggie Cleveland All Star here, but anon, I perceive your second sentence to be charged with racial language.

Did the good people of Baltimore keep voting of Kweisi Mfume because he was black or because, warts and all, he was a good politician? Say what you will about Murphy. Terrible public servant, really, really good politician.

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People never vote for someone because they have name recognition like Flaherty, Walsh, O'Malley, Murphy, Mctavish, O'McDonald.....

Keep telling yourself that.

The wonderful world of the idealist.

Reality is so so so different.

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You know, the son of hard working immigrants from Durris in County Cork, just south of Bantry.

While we are at it, please go on about State Senator Nick Collins and his accomplishments over the past two years.

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You are right. Not every pol has an Irish name. You win.

Geez, glad I waited for it.

PS. You throw that racist word around a little too easily. Oh sorry "Borderline Racist"

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Of people not knowing what the word "racist" means.

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Of people not understanding that certain words or phrases can mean different things to different people.

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about what stupid people might think when I realized that stupid people might think almost anything could be offensive.

Vote Eddie Murphy for Mayor of Boston!

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"Irish" isn't a race.

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If somehow you could build a time machine and go back to Boston in 1850, a lot of people would disagree with you. Go to 1900 Boston instead and find out about the Italian and Jewish races.

Of course, there would be much better things to do with a time machine, but none of them would apply to your comment.

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I said Irish isn't a race, not Irish wasn't a race.

Do try to keep up.

P.S. You will find "race" is often a lazy way of referring to "ethnicity", particularly by governments.

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I mean, according to the Census Bureau "Hispanic" is not a race. Arabs are considered an ethnicity instead of a race, although they are from an area spanning Asia and Africa.

Since people mention "Irish" in the same vein as "Blacks" or "Asians," couldn't it be construed that in that situation either all three are races or none are?

The reality is that "race" is more of a social construction than people would like to believe.

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Race is indeed a social construction - in fact, race is entirely a social construction - but just because people call many things "races" does not mean they treat everything they call "race" the same way.

To answer your question, see here.

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...'race' is whatever MostlyHarmless decides it is.

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I think that is the universal definition.

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That's kind of exactly the opposite of what I said.

But, if you insist, it's me and, you know, the overwhelming majority of sociologists, anthropologists, and ethnographers. It's kind of one of those important things to our society, so there's a few smart people thinking about it.

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You may not acknowledge that race can be more than skin tone, but that doesn't mean you are correct.

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Race is way more than skin tone. At its most fundamental level, it's the one drop rule and the inescapability of the categorization.

If one side of your family is Italian and the other Irish, you whichever of those things you want to be. If your grandmother five generations back was Irish and the rest of your family is Polish-American, then you're Polish-American, or probably just "American".

If one side of your family is black and the other is white, you're black. If your grandmother five generations back was black and the rest of your family is white, you're black.

That's race.

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There are some people who have successfully switched race after that many generations. It usually involved moving, and getting away from areas that looked so closely at racial family history. It's a complex thing. The one drop rule isn't totally monolithic and unsurmountable.

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That's not changing, that's successfully hiding it.

The one drop rule isn't universal, but if you want to get away from it you're going to have to move to Brazil.

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... is no longer a part of any US law (and did not actually become part of any state's law until the early 20th century). Until then, even the deep south resisted legislatively defining racial identity.

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We've been talking about social practice, not legal definition.

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... who thought that having even the slightest trace of African ancestry made someone "black" -- have you?.

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You must be fun at parties.

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I am all the fun at parties. Or, I'm certain I would be, if I ever went to any :(

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I remember back in the 1990s reading about a woman who "discovered" she was "black." I mean, how can someone wake up one race and go to sleep another? That shit don't make no sense.

However, it does show the arbitrary concept of race which, going back to Costello's comment, means that someone can consider the Irish a distinct race just as well as someone can consider Hispanics or Blacks a distinct race.

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Yes it's arbitrary. No, that doesn't mean it's a free-for-all.

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isn't it a free for all?

I mean, since it is a social construct, one can decide what is or isn't a race based on whatever criteria they want.

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If you get to decide whether you are or aren't, it isn't race.

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If others decide what is or isn't a race, doesn't that cancel the race out by the nature of "someone" deciding it is a race or not.

I'm still trying to figure out how Aryans and Jews are no longer races, and to which race Arabs, who are found in Asia and Africa, are.

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... the opposite of red kangaroos are gray kangaroos.

I _think_ this has some bearing on the manner in which our culture (and others) defines "races".

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Race is socially constructed, but that doesn't mean each person gets to make it up for himself. Society constructs it, not the individual; society makes it matter. Race isn't something you get to choose to be, it's something you can't help being.

If _you_ get to decide about it, put it on or take it off like a hat when you go out the door, it's not race. It's affiliation.

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... you are someone who has mixed ancestry -- and your physical appearance (and circumstances) allow, you CAN pick your race.

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Yes, an individual cannot decide what society marks as a race, but a group can self-identify. Hence, if enough claim that "Irish" is a race, they would be, even if all who claim it are Irish.

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If enough claim - and at one point, as you mention elsewhere, they once did - that Irish are a race, they could be a race. But it takes more than people choosing to portray themselves as a race, it requires other people to insist they are a race.

I agree with you that the Irish were constructed as a race once upon a time, and treated, mistreated, and indeed oppressed as a race, in Britain and in America. I agree with you that this qualifies as racism. I hope I won't offend you if I say one of the most misconstrued events in history was the so-called potato famine: there was no potato famine, there was instead a calculated, generations-long attempt at genocide of the Irish on the part of the English, and the potato blight was just its most successful chapter. The creation of the Irish as a race was associated with - indeed, required for - this genocide.

http://www.irishholocaust.org/officialbritishintent

When we say that race is socially constructed, we also say that inequality and oppression is an inherent part of this construction: race is always and in every case constructed for one group to oppress another, which is of another "race." This is the situation in which the Irish were a race. Just as a group can be constructed as a race, given the right social conditions, that construction can also fall apart in the lack of those conditions. There is no longer, and hasn't for a long time been, such a situation regarding the Irish, and voilá they are no longer a race. Irish is now just one of dozens or hundreds of white ethnicities, with which people may choose to affiliate themselves or not. To the extent that you have a race, it's just white.

You can't make the Irish a race again through self-identification. A hundred willing volunteers, a thousand, ten thousand, a million couldn't make the Irish a race again, no matter how many step-dancing lessons, black puddings, shamrocks, or other signifiers of Irish ethnicity were selectively applied. What would be required to make the Irish a race would be other people abusing you and discriminating against you because you're Irish, no matter how you wer dressed or how you chose to act. You can walk out the door today in a scally cap and a green shirt and nobody knows or cares if you're Irish, Polish, English, or Mexican. The day you walk out the door and people look at you and say "damn Irish," then you're a race again. Which shows no sign of happening soon.

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Race - The Power of an Illusion
http://pbs.org/race

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But when I saw this Washington Post article today (and no, I wasn't searching for it) I chuckled a bit.

For the life of me I cannot figure out how Chinese, Japanese, and Korean are races, Slav, Italian, and yes Irish aren't, and, according to the Census Bureau, Hispanic is definitely not a race.

But it is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

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And it's nothing to do with the eye of the beholder, racist childhood rhymes notwithstanding.

I suggest that the history of race definition is the history of oppression. Observing its evolution is observing the evolution of oppression. Japanese, Korean, and Chinese remain separate races for ongoing political reasons far from our shores.

I suspect most Japanese would be utterly horrified if you suggested they were the same race as Koreans. Look up "zainichi;" there are Koreans living in Japan since 1910 who still aren't treated as citizens. Han Chinese also need to be a race, because how else could the Han continue genocide against non-Han peoples living in Greater China? Every time you hear "race," somebody's getting shafted.

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That's what most Census reports will list them as, regardless of what they were thinking when they answered the form.

You gotta reply. It will be comment #100. You gotta do it.

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never wake a sleepwalker. keep your facts to yourself!

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I got all tripped up yesterday.

Say I made the statement that all Puerto Ricans should be deported from the United States. Of course, it would be an ignorant statement, as all Puerto Ricans are United States citizens, but how would the statement not be racist? Since there is no concept of "ethnicism" in the English language, racism is the concept that comes closest. When the Irish were facing discrimination in Boston in the 1850s or in England in the 1970s, how was it not racism akin to what the Asians faced in California in the 1850s or in England in the 1980s?

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"invidious ethic prejudice" would be a more accurate description of what you are talking about -- but it is more wordy -- and the acronym IEP has already been assigned to something entirely different.

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waste your time with the haters. We've assimilated and there are groups that refuse to do so and hate you for it.

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to vote for Annissa Essaibi George for City Council at Large this fall. Time for a change!

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Doug is a good guy, and I am sure Annissa is a great person, but do you want a person who has the primary mission on developing real estate in one of the fastest changing areas of Boston having their wife on the Boston City Council?

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Ok, Bryan Fuller then, maybe. Military vet, MBA, and CPA. He can't be worse than Murphy. Thanks for the link, the Szak!

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I don't see any conflict between Annissa Essaibi George on City Council if her husband is a developer. Maybe if she was at the BRA.

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So his job is to develop real estate? Last time I looked that was more respectable than drug dealer...or perhaps politician.

Do we question why so many lawyers become politicians? Perhaps that should be the career we should watch out for. Oh, Bob is a lawyer, don't trust him to be a politician, he will change all the laws to be in favor of his clients and he probably just wants a hack job as a lawyer or some sort of legal clerk.

We should just elect poets I guess or yoga instructors.

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what her husband does, John. It's what Annissa does -- she is a teacher, a mother, a small business owner, she is active in her community. I'm voting for her because of her accomplishments and skills, not for what her husband may or may not do.

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Really?

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C'mon.

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I'm telling you

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Vote!... Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Challengers for the current City Council Member's Seat
http://bostondocuments.blogspot.com/2015/05/qualified-list-of-candidates...

Bryan D Fuller, South Boston Veteran
bryandfuller at gmail.com
http://www.bryandfuller.com/

Annissa Essaibi George, Dorchester
annissaeg at hotmail.com
http://annissaforboston.com/

2015-2016 Committee Assignments. Boston City Council
http://bostondocuments.blogspot.com/

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Last election I left the city council options blank. I had an option of voting for Linehan or Lee. I almost wrote in Fred Flintstone.

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If not, try asking that question while looking in the mirror.

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Who's around who would be great Candidates to look for if there would be a better Ballot for Boston City Council? Examples?....

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1. A tossup between racing stripes and horsies on the ballot.

2. Screw the federal government and the Secretary of the Commonwealth- ditch ballots altogether and bring back the levers. I always felt more civic when I pulled that thing at the end.

3. Don Saklad runs for Boston City Council. If he takes out papers, I will run.

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by Marty "the bagman" Walsh, it's starting to look like the old days are new again!

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The various unions are slammed with work. The old line professions are generally busy. Tech and biomedical are economic engines.

It's almost as if the only people who really need these sinecures are those who would otherwise be unemployable.

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You actually think that a healthy economy somehow means politically connected morons won't get jobs that basically fleece the taxpayers.

I still leave milk and cookies out on Christmas Eve too!

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Psst. Look at the second paragraph.

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n/t

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A Boston2024 connection is the only thing missing from this one.

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The clear majority of voting age citizens of Boston, a wide margin, DO NOT BOTHER TO VOTE in municipal elections. The disproportionate number of people who do vote and do things like hold signs for politicians, contribute to campaigns,etc., are people looking for something in return, like a good, secure, job with the city, excellent benefits, etc. These people are called 'hacks'. Every neighborhood, all of them, including 'persons of color' dominant neighborhoods, have their special, elite class of city worker hacks, who got their job by political connections. And this all really has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, etc. A guy or woman from, say for the sake of argument, South Boston or West Roxbury, whose last name is, say for the sake of argument, Murphy, can not just contact a politician named Murphy, who may gave superficial physical resemblance, and get a municipal or state job because of their race, ethnicity, gender, whatever. Not how it works. And if you persist in living in a fantasy world and thinking otherwise, explain to me why there are MANY people named, say for the sake of argument Murphy, who are white, in neighborhoods all over this city, who don't have a plush city or state job, and can't get one, even if they're qualified.

What I wrote above applies to most if not all cities, towns, counties, states across America, dare I say, the world. The ethnic last names may change around, even the race, but the game is the same.

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People don't vote because they have no one to vote for. The local drive by media doesn't cover campaigns well if at all anymore either. Moldy incumbent candidates have a huge advantage because of this even if they are criminals, incompetent, or criminally incompetent as demonstrated by many of esteemed electeds.

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Makes it even harder for anyone interested in running. I wish we had more than two political parties so we might have a chance of some options.

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Again?

I swear that 1985 has held a tap takeover.

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at least the guy (Murphy) told it like (he thinks) it is (or should be).

Other than that, well, I'm happy that I live in a town where much of the town government is overseen by unpaid elected officials or volunteers.

As for the comment about Justice Gants, watch yourself there, Stevie. Justice Gants has a stellar reputation, and he sits on the court of last resort for people who are charged under state law for corruption. You might have also noticed that we've got a new Attorney General who is significantly less worried about breaking eggs than the last one.

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"bigoted,” “combative,” and “abusive.

Sounds like a perfect person to represent Murphs agenda.

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... to (be) retire(d). Possibly the most outrageous hiring decision I've ever seen.

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Remember when we elected Patricia Campatelli Register of Probate. That's right, she was voted into office. Even in an elected office, she got put on paid administrative leave for assaulting an employee.

I don't like Murphy, but he picked someone he's known essentially his whole life, so he knows what he is getting. After reading the article, I see a guy who got put into a job too far from home (hence the poor attendance) that he wasn't cut out for. However, there is no evidence that he was like that in previous jobs.

If I'm going to fault Murphy on this hiring, my gripe would be that it shows a lack of diversity in his staff. I can't comment on his constituent service (I go district when I have issues), but my gut is the guy will do okay.

Again, in aggregate the Waquiot family has cast ballots with Murphy's name on it without voting for him more than the Kerpans have, and even though you've got us outnumbered 5 to 4, you'll only gain 1 on us this year. But of course in 2 year's time you will be able to get another 1 or 2 more in the list, since that's politics in Boston.

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But I did usually do so in the past. Not going to do it again, I'm afraid.

No extra Kerpan voters any time soon...

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All you complainers: Can you direct me to your campaign website so I can vote for you this fall in the Boston city councilor elections?

Right.

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Boston City Council Staff
http://www.cityofboston.gov/images_documents/Non-Mayoral%20Cabinet_tcm3-...

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82) Sutherland,James Secretary
83) Taubner,Jessica Secretary
84) Toscano,Lori Secretary
85) Ulrich,John Administrative Assistant (Cc)

86) Valdez,Yuleidy Business Manager
87) Vittorini Jr.,David F. Secretary
88) Walsh,Corinne Senior Legislative Assistant and Budget Analyst (CC)
89) Walsh,Joseph Secretary
90) Wang,Sophia F Secretary

91) Webster,Gary J Secretary
92) White,Eric Administrative Assistant (Cc)
93) Wilkinson,Vernee Secretary
94) Wu,Michelle City Councilor
95) Yancey,Charles C City Councilor

96) Yarbrough,Kenneth W. Secretary
97) Zakim,Josh City Councilor

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Been accomplished by so many.

Now that's a ZOMG list!

Who has secretaries any more? The council has dozens.

Plus -

Lenaghan,Ellen M. Fritch City Stenographer!

And you can't even get the city's stenographic records

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Boston City Council didn't release the full Stenographic Record with the needed Additional File of acronyms, abbreviations, shortcut tokens, etc.
http://citystenographboston.blogspot.com
http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1263415-stenographer-contract-fy1...

Legislative Committee. Massachusetts Court Reporters Association
http://www.mcraonline.com/#!committees/c1a7z

Anti-Contracting
http://www.mcraonline.com/#!anti-contracting-law/c523

Chapter 146 of the Acts of 2002

AN ACT RELATIVE TO CONTRACTS BETWEEN COURT REPORTERS AND AN ATTORNEY, PARTY OR PARTY HAVING A FINANCIAL INTEREST IN AN ACTION.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Chapter 221 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after Section 91C the following section:

Section 91D. (a) As used in this section, the following words and phrases unless the context otherwise requires, shall have the following meanings:

"Court reporter," a shorthand reporter or voice reporter engaged in the practice of court reporting.

"Practice of court reporting," the making of a verbatim record of any Massachusetts trial, legislative public hearing, state agency public hearing, deposition, examination before trial, hearing or proceeding before any grand jury, referee, board, commission, master or arbitrator, or other testimony given under oath.

(b) Contracts entered into pursuant to the practice of court reporting, not related to a particular case or reporting incident, between a court reporter or any person with whom a court reporter has a principal and agency relationship and an attorney at law, party to an action, or party having a financial interest in an action shall be prohibited. An attorney shall not be prohibited from negotiating or bidding reasonable court reporting fees, equal to all parties, on a case by case basis. This section shall not apply to a contract entered into pursuant to the practice of court reporting for the courts or to other contracts with governmental entities.

A person aggrieved by a violation of this section shall be entitled to review in the superior court and shall be entitled to all legal and equitable relief within the jurisdiction of the court.

Approved June 25, 2002.

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70% non Irish names for the haters noted above.

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... what if one's _mother_ is Irish (of Irish descent)? (Mine was, she even learned step dancing).

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My sister-in-law has 3 very Irish sounding names. And she's Jewish. I don't think she knows step dancing, but she can swing a mean hava nagila! Then there's my wife who is half Italian and half German - but I thought she was Irish for the first 6 months we dated because her paternal grandfather changed his name to sound more Anglo for business reasons.

Names are pretty meaningless after a couple of generations. We are a nation of mutts and damned proud of it too!

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..."hybrid vigor". ;-)

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Many Boston City Council Staff are temporary appointments. Get better qualified folks on the staffs of Boston City Council...
a) Suggest yourself to a favorite City Councilor.

b) Suggest someone even better qualified than yourself to a City Councilor
http://boston.gov/citycouncil

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