Episode 105: The Headless Horse Race

32 minutes

10/30/19-- Happy Halloween, #mapoli, and welcome to the Headless Horse Race. Steve and Stephanie are donning their witch hats and digging into the latest news in the Commonwealth. We begin with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley's endorsement of the former head of the Massachusetts Alliance for Business Leadership Jesse Mermell in the District 4 House race. Pressley’s endorsements have been the subject of national headlines, Stephanie points out. It wasn’t so long ago that Pressley was the recipient of a mere fraction of the high-profile endorsements that went to her competitor Mike Capuano, whom she beat handily. Does Pressley herself, then, illustrate that endorsements aren’t all that powerful?

Legislators today heard from the business community on how they think transportation should be funded. CommonWealth reports, before a legislative debate on transportation commences tomorrow, Jim Rooney, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, presented support for additional revenues. That included increasing ride-share fees, launching a transportation climate initiative, and even raising the gas tax. Couple that with Transportation for Massachusetts’ discussion today on what they believe are the right funding methods, and it’s clear that movement on transportation funding is coming. We’ll be talking about it as it takes shape, so stay tuned.

And in local news, Stephanie’s been following an attempted progressive takeover of Boston’s Ward 18. The Progressive West Roxbury/Roslindale group is recruiting progressive candidates to run together as a slate, with the goal of making Ward members more representative demographically. Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu is voicing support for this, and if progressives were to take over Ward 18, it’d be a significant boon for a potential Wu mayoral campaign.

The first guest on the pod today is Newton City Councilor and District 4 congressional candidate Jake Auchincloss. His platform includes a focus on transportation, insisting that, "the next Congressman from the Massachusetts 4th needs to bring back federal funding for Massachusetts transportation," and build more collaboration between state and local agencies with the help of those dollars.

Friend of the pod and CommonWealth Magazine reporter Andy Metzger drops by the bunker next to dispel wisdom alongside horse puns. House Speaker Robert DeLeo is seeking another term, he announced this week. In the past, he led the way to end term limits, but later pushed to get them abolished so that he could continue his position. He's already the longest continually serving Speaker, but according to Andy, not all House members take issue with his long-held leadership. "I think that members who are kind of backbenchers have been tired of Speaker DeLeo's style of leadership for quite some time, but members who chair committees or hold leadership posts, at least, they say they're not."

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