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Election roundup: We got ourselves a Boston super PAC

Mayor Janey on WGBH billboard in Brighton

GBH alerts turnpike motorists today there's a new mayor in town. Photo via GBH.

The Boston Business Journal reports a supporter of Andrea Campbell is setting up one of the fundraising organizations to boost her chances of becoming mayor this fall.

Acting Mayo Kim Janey hasn't said whether she'll be running to try to remove the "acting" from her title yet, but CommonWealth Magazines writes she's already acting like she won't just be a placeholder for the next few months.

The Dig looks back at the now former mayor now in Washington.

What could be our first mayoral forum is coming up on April 20, sponsored by the Ward 4 and 5 Democratic committees and moderated by Callie Crossley.

In case you need an interview with mayoral candidate Dana Depelteau, here's one to watch.

The Scope interviews Stephen McBride, who will run against Frank Baker in District 3 (Dorchester), if Baker runs again.


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The city is advertising a swearing in ceremony for Janey today, which is a total stunt. Acting mayors do not get sworn in.

Voting closed 3

Can you cite the section of the city charter that bans that? Or is it just precedent, because Tom Menino, the last acting mayor, didn't have an official swearing in?

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It's not that it's banned as much as it's unnecessary.

When JFK died, LBJ was sworn in because he actually switched jobs from VP to P. The way the city charter is written, there's no such transition. The city council president is acting mayor whether the mayor resigns, or the mayor is just away on vacation.

The only legit swearing in for Janey is as councilor or council president.

You can control-F the city charter for 'acting Mayor' and see that.

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Ok, City Councilor-At-Large

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Menino did throw himself an unofficial swearing in.

It's a big deal that Boston will be run by someone other than a white man but Janey's team is clearly trying to make a bigger deal out of it than that for political advantage, which is fine, but the press doesn't have to play along. There is no way of counting mayors that makes her 55th but I keep seeing that uncritically repeated (if you include acting mayors, the number would be higher) in the media.

Voting closed 4

This has extensive coverage nationwide and in "Black Media" just about everywhere... Local media is just keeping up.

As you said-Menino did this. It only feels bigger now because there much much more media and visibility in life today. And recency bias.

Also, she can kinda do what she wants now, and this is important for the black community, period. Probably hard to understand that fully if you're white. It would be hard to overdo this.

Voting closed 16

From Chapter II, Section II, Article III of the Massachusetts Constitution:

Whenever the chair of the governor shall be vacant, by reason of his death, or absence from the commonwealth, or otherwise, the lieutenant governor, for the time being, shall, during such vacancy, perform all the duties incumbent upon the governor, and shall have and exercise all the powers and authorities, which by this constitution the governor is vested with, when personally present.

It's clear that when a governor leaves office in Massachusetts, the lieutenant governor takes over, but does not assume the title or style, and assumes the office of governor in practice, but remains lieutenant governor and acts in the governor's place (and if the lieutenant governor acting as governor leaves, the Secretary of the Commonwealth acts as governor, but remains SoC, and so on). They can be called "acting governor", but that is more a title of convenience, they do not become governor. But if they want to re-swear them in, they can knock themselves out, as was done when former Lieutenant Governor Jane Swift took the reins and took the oath again.

From the Boston City Charter:

The person upon whom such duties shall devolve shall be called “acting mayor” and he shall possess the powers of mayor only in matters not admitting of delay, but shall have no power to make permanent appointments.

Boston's City Charter is a little more expansive as to the name of the role, but a little less so as to the duties. It's a little ambivalent as to whether an acting mayor must take an oath, but a quick search indicates that people taking on a new office must take an oath or affirmation. It certainly does not prohibit it.

Voting closed 29

The city charter reads as though it is designed for the powers of an acting mayor when the actual mayor leaves town, as opposed to a vacancy. While it does cover all contingencies, it seems to fit the out of town scenario better. The state makes it clear that the acting governor can do anything a governor can.

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I hope she stays.

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I get why it didn't happen that way but it would have been great to have a wide open mayoral race with no incumbent again. She's played this perfectly but it's a bummer than Janey is now a favorite to win even without declaring. Too bad someone who didn't want the job long term wasn't able to be appointed interim mayor.

Nothing against Janey, just a better outcome for the city to have a real contest. At least it wasn't Baker or Flynn getting a leg up.

Voting closed 40

I agree, I never quite liked how appointments of any type get a leg up just by virtue of being in the right place at the right time or knowing the right people. She is doing nothing wrong and as you said has handled this masterfully. She is taking ownership and letting it be known she is acting Mayor without being too in your face or boastful about it. Even waiting to announce her intention to run until we get past this point was just wonderfully done. I'd say she pretty much has until towards the end of April to announce, giving her a grace period where nobody has a reason to go after her. Once she declares it will get messy.

For elected positions I believe the public is best served when seats are allowed to be open. These shotgun state rep races are a travesty for instance. Although to get to that point would require extensive statewide rule setting because every office is different. For Boston City Council it would require a total change to their organizing structure and then a process would need to be put into place about who would select the acting mayor and if it would even be legal to coerce them into not running for the actual seat after being appointed.

In the mean time this just goes to show that who Council President is matters.

Voting closed 26

Another more specific complaint I have is that given the nature of incumbency, the mayoral race is being heavily impacted by the vote of just 13 people on the council vs. all 700k residents of the city.

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Such an odd hill to die on.

Almost as odd as the NOT REALLY MAYOR hill that some incel staked out in the Janey thread.

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Someone is not an "incel" just because they express concern for accurate record keeping and reporting. How is this a so called "hill to die on"? Why should anyone suffer for being a fact checker? People want accurate reporting and numbering. Just because the acting mayor is from a historically disadvantaged demographic does not mean that raising quesitons about the raising of questions regarding accurate reporting should be disallowed or shamed. How do people go about their lives assuming bad faith at every corner?

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Interesting, given the media reports of her as a regular person.

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