Correia declares victory in retreat
It rings like an echo of the solution to the Vietnam War quagmire proposed by Vermont Sen. George Aiken — “declare victory and get out.”
Fall River’s embattled mayor, Jasiel Correia, says he’s been a godsend to the once-struggling former mill city, completely reversing its fortunes during his four-year tenure. But he will nonetheless be abandoning his flagging reelection campaign and stepping back from day-to-day duties of mayor’s office itself.
Yet he’s doing all of it with his chin held high, as the 27-year-old mayor offered up remarks yesterday to a press gathering that sounded more like a recitation of his greatest hits than the somber reflections of a flame-out politician facing two separate federal indictments.
It was an odd spectacle, but par for the course for the brash young mayor, who was once seen as a boy wonder answer to Fall River’s woes but has instead turned municipal leadership there into a laughingstock.
In between the two indictments came the bizarre recall election in which a majority of voters said he should be bounced from office but, on the same ballot, gave him a plurality in the five-way contest to “replace” him in which Correia himself ran as a candidate.
Undeterred by his latest indictment, Correia was seeking another term, but finished a distant second in last month’s preliminary election, a prelude to what looks like certain defeat in next month’s two-candidate final election. That prompted a recent meeting with supporters where Correia unveiled a secret plan to have at least one write-in candidate enter the race to help divide up votes. The problem with the secret strategy was that someone handed Fall River Herald News scribe Jo Goode — whose dogged reporting has been very bad for Correia — an audio recording of the mayor’s pitch.
“When you are in a battle that you have a disadvantage, you have a couple of options,” he said on the recording. “You can give up. You can change the circumstances and try to figure out the alternative outcomes. Right now there is only one outcome if we go ‘mano a mano,’ one on one: We don’t win. And everything that we’ve done, all the things we have done, will be for nothing. So I need your help to still win in an un-traditional way.”
Paul Coogan, the school committee member who placed first in preliminary, said he hopes yesterday’s announcement that Correia is suspending his campaign isn’t just another ploy in his effort to win in an “un-traditional” way.
Also raising more than a few eyebrows is Correia’s declaration that, despite relinquishing most duties of the office, he plans to continue collecting his $119,000 a year salary until his term expires at the end of the year.
The Globe’s Michael Levenson said a beaming Correia seemed to be delivering a “State of the City” speech.
“We were a city in rapid decline. But now Fall River stands as a symbol of revitalization and hope,” Correia declared in a speech that he said is “not goodbye,” teasing the possibility of a future comeback run.
“The people of Fall River have shown their continuous support for the work that I have done by electing me three times.” he said, counting an election in which a majority of voters said he should be thrown out of office as another star on his political resume. “I pledge that I will see that work through.”
Rep. William Straus raises alarms about the Legislature’s investigation into the Registry of Motor Vehicles, saying the Baker administration has failed to provide all the documents requested. Straus obtained three emails through other channels that he thinks show Gov. Charlie Baker’s office knew about the problems earlier than the governor has said, but the significance of the documents is hard to decipher. (CommonWealth)
Vinny deMacedo, the Republican state senator for the First Plymouth and Barnstable District for the last five years, will resign his seat to become the director of regional partnerships for Bridgewater State University. (Patriot Ledger)
State lawmakers are urged to give congestion pricing a try. (State House News)
E-vehicle rebate program gets a potential lifeline in a supplementary spending bill. (Gloucester Times)
A House bill sets a pre-Labor Day primary on September 1. (State House News)
Residents in the Columbia Point section of Dorchester are given a chance to weigh in on the proposed Martin Richard Field House. (Dorchester Reporter)
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A state judge in Michigan grants a temporary injunction blocking the governor’s bid to ban flavored vaping products. (Telegram & Gazette)
“Another black life ends because another police officer decided it didn’t matter,” writes Renee Graham about the fatal shooting of a Texas woman through her bedroom window.
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Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar will endorse Bernie Sanders. (WBUR)
Estele Borges, who is running against Rep. Shaunna O’Connell for mayor of Taunton, accuses the Baker administration of slow-walking the swearing-in of current mayor Thomas Hoye Jr. as register of probate to help O’Connell. (Taunton Daily Gazette) The charge first surfaced in a CommonWealth story that traced the many ways Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito is helping her fellow Republican
A debate between incumbent Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer and challenger Melissa Mazzeo of the City Council focuses on the city’s schools. (Berkshire Eagle)
The Legislature allocated $2 million to promote the state’s restaurant industry, but leaders in the field aren’t sure exactly how to spend it. (Boston Globe)
The Cape’s first Target store opened for business in Hyannis Tuesday night. (Cape Cod Times)
The US Department of Education has ruled that the Massachusetts school districts may owe private religious schools millions of dollars for special education services that should have been paid for by districts. (Boston Globe)
In Brockton, door locks and security cameras are being added to schools with money from a grant. (Brockton Enterprise)
A new survey finds that more one in four undergraduate women nationwide have been the victim of sexual assault or were too incapacited by drugs or alcohol to consent to a sexual advance. (Boston Globe)
As part of a $7.2 million safety initiative at the state’s schools, Framingham High School receives $60,000 for a gunshot detection system. (MetroWest Daily News)
The MGH health center in Charlestown plans to launch a three-day mockup of a safe injection site so people can see what it would look like. (MassLive)
The Robert Gould Shaw and 54th Regiment Memorial, one of the Boston’s most important pieces combining history and public art, will undergo a major restoration effort. (Boston Globe)
Melrose City Councilor Michael Zwirko says the new Chinese-made Red and Orange Line cars compromise our values. (CommonWealth)
A Worcester Regional Transit Authority bus carrying no passengers went off the road Wednesday morning. The driver was unharmed. (Telegram & Gazette)
The moratorium on new natural gas customers in Easthampton and Northampton is extended indefinitely. (Daily Hampshire Gazette)
September casino revenues were lackluster across the board, with Encore Boston Harbor on pace to bring in $600 million over the course of a year. (CommonWealth) On the heels of the new reports, Wynn Resorts announced Encore president Robert DeSalvio is out. (CommonWealth)
MEDIAMediaNews begins outsourcing its newspaper design work to the Philippines. (The Intercept) The Boston Herald, one of its papers, has eliminated its sports copy desk. (Media Nation)