The Codcast: Tito Jackson makes his case

Tito Jackson is preparing to wage a campaign for mayor of Boston focused on the divide between the haves and have-nots, sounding an echo of many previous mayoral aspirants who pledged to make Boston a city that works for its most marginalized, struggling residents and not only for the well-heeled.

But the Roxbury district city councilor is taking on a first-term incumbent who pushed many of those same themes in 2013, when he rode his story as the union-friendly son of immigrants in  working-class Dorchester to victory in the city’s first open race for mayor in two decades.

Jackson, in fact, endorsed Marty Walsh in that race. But he now says “we have lost our way” under the first-term mayor.

In this week’s Codcast, Jackson rips Walsh for his focus on a financially reckless Olympic bid, the ill-fated IndyCar race, and for squandering nearly $3 million in an unsuccessful legal fight against the Wynn casino in Everett. All of that has happened, says Jackson, while the city’s schools have struggled to maintain programs for students and a yawning income and housing affordability gap threatens to displace long-time residents from their neighborhoods.

He pointed to a Brookings Institution report saying Boston has a greater degree of inequality than any city in the country, moving up from No. 3 when Walsh took office. It’s “an unenviable” No. 1 ranking, he said.

As in his kickoff speech last week, Jackson hammered at what he calls “corporate giveaways” to firms like General Electric, which received a $25 million property tax break as part of a city and state incentive package that helped convince the corporate giant to move its headquarters to Boston.

Jackson’s focus on the haves and have-nots could as easily describe the long odds he would appear to face in his effort to oust Walsh. Recent finance reports showed Jackson with $65,000 while Walsh sits on a $3.5 million mountain of campaign cash. The other relevant number here is 1949, which is the last year in which a sitting Boston mayor was voted out of office.

Jackson says he’s not daunted by all that, saying the mayor has been stockpiling money for three years “and I’ve barely been doing this thing for three days.”

What’s more, he says, money doesn’t always win out, pointing out that we’re about to inaugurate a president who was vastly outspent in the recent campaign, and that the Boston 2024 Olympics effort spent some $15 million while the opponents spent less than $10,000 in their successful campaign to kill the plan.

Turning the money talk on its head, Jackson said, only half tongue-in-cheek, “So I guess the question that we should be asking is, does the current mayor have too much money to win, not whether I have enough.”

Still, Jackson seems well aware of his underdog status. “When there is a Goliath in front of you,” he said, “there’s a David inside you.”



Lawmakers conduct a quick and quiet hearing on the 2-year-old report recommending the pay raises. (CommonWealth) A Globe editorial says lawmakers should slow down their rush to approve a whopping 70 percent pay raise for legislative leaders, which the paper says is being driven by House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

An official at the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency recommended a $73 million project to the agency’s board without disclosing that the nonprofit developer of the project was headed by her father and employed her live-in girlfriend. (CommonWealth)

The search for a new chair of the State Ethics Commission narrows to two candidates. (State House News)

Jay Ash, the Baker administration’s secretary of housing and economic development, promised a decision soon on state funding for a Berkshire Innovation Center in Pittsfield. (Berkshire Eagle)


Fliers seeking recruits for the Ku Klux Klan and denigrating Martin Luther King Jr. were anonymously distributed in a Framingham neighborhood earlier in the week. (MetroWest Daily News)

Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter said he will use campaign funds to pay back the city $7,850 for purchases that should have been made with private funds. (The Enterprise)

A former Fairhaven police officer has sued the town for civil rights violations over his firing, claiming he was denied due process rights. (Standard-Times)

The Barnstable police chief took responsibility for the town being listed as one of the 100 most dangerous places to live, saying a coding error resulted in incorrect reporting data. (Cape Cod Times)


Even as President Trump is being sworn into office, the chaotic transition has left a number of key administration positions unfilled, with only 29 of 660 executive department appointments announced so far. (New York Times)

Trump named New York Jets owner and shampoo heir Woody Johnson, a man whose battles with the English language are legendary in NFL circles, as ambassador to Great Britain, only the fourth ambassador the new president has appointed. (New York Times)

Treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin said at his confirmation hearing he agrees with Trump that jobless statistics are politicized and the “unemployment rate is not real.” (U.S. News & World Report)

Speaking of economic statistics, the Globe‘s Evan Horowitz rolls out a “dashboard” he’ll use to track the Trump era on everything from trade to employment and health coverage rates.

Protesters are gearing up for a mass demonstration in Washington against Trump on Saturday. Parallel protests will take place in other US cities, with the Boston demonstration expected to be among the largest. (Boston Globe)


Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight explains what journalists and data geeks got wrong about the election of 2016 and what they’re still getting wrong.


The Massachusetts unemployment rate falls to a 16-year low. (State House News)

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft makes clear in a New York Times interview, which is also a profile of the billionaire business owner, that he is still smarting from the beat down by the NFL hierarchy and is relishing the chance to raise the Lombardi Trophy in two weeks.

Swedish officials are not giving up on a plan to ban American and Canadian lobsters, saying they will present a new proposal after the European Union denied the country’s request to stop importing the crustaceans. (Associated Press)


State education commissioner Mitchell Chester is recommending an additional three-year probation period for Boston Green Academy, an in-district charter school that has struggled to gain traction with the middle school program it added to its high school. (Boston Globe)


Massport strikes a deal with Lyft to allow the ride-hailing service to pick-up passengers at Logan Airport beginning February 1, and similar approval for Uber is not far behind. (CommonWealth)

Two Beacon Hill lawmakers plan to file legislation today to regulate the use of autonomous vehicles, including adding a per-mile tax on their use. (Boston Globe)


Mashpee officials are looking at beefing up fines and penalties for illegal vehicle use on conservation land, including impounding a vehicle after a first offense. (Cape Cod Times)


A study commissioned by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission found that the opening of a slots parlor in Plainville didn’t have a major impact on lottery sales in the area and gave a big boost to sales at the casino itself. (CommonWealth)

A decision by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management that a proposed casino at the Massachusetts border in Tiverton will have an “insignificant” impact on wetlands puts the project on a fast track for construction and opening. (Herald News)


Private security guards will no longer be able to kick homeless people out of North Station after a guard was charged with beating a disabled homeless man with his own cane. (Boston Globe)

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said he is considering proposing a three-to-six month extension of the department’s planned six-month pilot study of body-worn cameras in order to gather more data to inform a long-term decision on their use. (Boston Herald)

Joaquin Guzman Loera, the Mexican drug lord known as “El Chapo” who has twice escaped prison in his country, is being expedited to the United States for trial. (New York Times)