Episode 153: Bach in the Saddle

37 minutes

10/14/20-- While Stephanie Murray could not make it on The Horse Race this week, she did not fail to bring us the content that really matters. By this of course we mean her Bachelorette recap complete with a #MApoli connection. The bachelor Stephanie had her eye on was, "Certified Harvard Guy" Bennet Jordan. She ran his name through the FEC database and nothing came up, but because he’s 36 - 37 years old, it means he likely crossed paths with a number of familiar #MApoli faces who were at Harvard University the same time as him. Can you figure out who they were?

And in *actual* #MApoli news, state budget season is a few months late this year due to COVID-19. Governor Charlie Baker submitted his annual budget in which he pulled from the emergency fund to cover the anticipated loss of revenue for this year. Jenn Smith notes, “There might be some interesting implications / kind of agonizing, frustrating implications if you start thinking a year out. What do you do if we have another year of this kind of loss in revenue?” Of course, Baker's proposal has yet to undergo a probably lengthy process of workshopping by the legislature before it is finalized.

Also happening this week are Senate hearings of Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett. So far, Jenn says, the process has been "interesting but predictable." Senate Democrats are pushing Barrett for answers on how she might rule on Roe v. Wade, the Affordable Care Act, and whether she'll recuse herself in the event of an election result dispute. Barrett has mostly refused to come down one way or another on any of these topics, taking the conventional route of vowing not to enter the Supreme Court with an agenda, and rather stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.

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A new Suffolk University / Boston Globe poll shows Joe Biden with a 10-point lead on Donald Trump in New Hampshire. This is notable for a couple reasons, one of which brings us back to 2016. During that election season, a conspiracy theory claiming hordes of Massachusetts voters illegally cast votes in New Hampshire for Hillary Clinton gained an outsize amount of attention. The theory was perpetuated by the president who claimed he would've secured the popular vote if not for the "voter fraud" in New Hampshire. The theory was unsurprisingly debunked, but, as Steve points out, with a much wider margin being shown so far in 2020, such conspiracy theories likely won't be given as much weight. Instead, Steve says, they'll be called out for what they are -- "quackery."

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GBH News Reporter Paul Singer stops by The Horse Race to discuss his recent coverage of Boston's failure to comply with ordinances on hiring diversity. As of 2017, most large public and private construction projects in the city are mandated to employ 51% Boston residents, 40% people of color and 12% women. Time and again, however, builders have not met these standards.

Singer explains that some subcontractors have shown "terrible performance" on hiring residents, people of color, and women. But, he says, "None of them ever get punished for it, and they still get rehired for the next job, so there’s no real consequence for blowing it off.”

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New measures to improve police accountability and transparency are in the works in Boston. Mayor Marty Walsh and Police Commissioner William Gross said Tuesday they plan to implement all recommendations from the city’s police reform task force that includes replacing the city’s community oversight panel with an independent office with expanded powers.

Sarah Betancourt of CommonWealth Magazine reported on this and joins The Horse Race hosts to talk about it. Along with the new independent oversight office, Walsh and Gross committed to adopting an expansion of the body cam program, greater enforcement of use of force policies, improving data collection, a new diversity unit, and better access for anyone who wants to get body cam footage.

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