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BOSTON COMMON

'Billionaires' ready to crash Patrick's inaugural celebration

At Governor-elect Deval Patrick's inauguration festivities Thursday on Boston Common, be sure to say hi to the billionaires. You'll be able to spot them by their top hats, tiaras, and monocles.

"We're guardedly optimistic," said Ivana MooreEnmoore, a member of Boston Billionaires for Bush, about their fate under the Patrick administration. "He's talked a lot about the grass roots, but we'd like to say the grass roots should be taken care of by our gardeners, darling."

Plans were incomplete last week for exactly what actions group members will take Thursday, though one idea involves wearing black armbands emblazoned with the given name of outgoing Governor Mitt Romney: Willard.

Billionaires for Bush is a national street theater/political action committee that originated in Boston in 2000, before moving its national headquarters to New York.

Members of the group's 100-odd local chapters get decked out in "billionaire attire" to make a satirical point about the role of money in politics.

Earlier this month, local Billionaires set up shop during rush hour in the Park Street T station, where they handed out leaflets and "billion-dollar bills." They also get the message out through their website (bostonb4b.blogspot.com).

"Politics has become so polarized and so vicious in a way," says Jill Kolva of Waltham, whose Billionaire persona Moore-Enmoore has a way of bubbling up during conversation. "And this is a way to get people to laugh, and then to think, and to short-circuit the anger."

Not everyone gets the joke. "Most people get it, and most people are either offended by it, or are amused by it," Kolva says. "Some people believe we really are billionaires."

J.M. BERGER

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