Ever so briefly, Flaherty appears announcing run

Aide denies mayoral bid

By John M. Guilfoil and Gabrielle Dunn
Globe Correspondents / January 25, 2009
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In a bungled start to what may or may not be a mayoral campaign, Boston City Councilor Michael Flaherty appeared in a video posted on YouTube late last night making a formal announcement of his desire to succeed Thomas M. Menino.

"Today, I am announcing my candidacy to become the next mayor of Boston," he said in the video, which depicts him seated at a kitchen table and speaking into the camera.

But within two hours of the video's appearance on the popular website about 11 p.m., it was promptly removed and a Flaherty spokesman was denying the announcement.

"Why would we put a video up late on a Saturday night?" the spokesman, Jon Romano, said be fore hanging up on a Globe reporter.

Flaherty did not return calls to his home seeking comment.

Flaherty has long been considering a mayoral run but has been coy about his intentions publicly, refusing to answer direct questions about a potential run.

As recently as Friday, he told a Globe reporter that he still wasn't sure. He would make up his mind "in the next couple weeks," he said.

But less than 48 hours later, he was in the video, posted by a user called Flahertyformayor09, saying his run for office "will be a different kind of campaign, built on your ideas, guided by your principles."

He continued, "This is going to be a conversation; a chance to listen."

Flaherty has nearly $600,000 in his campaign account, far more than anyone else considering a challenge of Menino.

The mayor has more than $1 million in his account. He has not said whether he will be seeking a fifth four-year term in November.

Fellow Councilor Sam Yoon has said he is considering a run but no formal announcement has been made. He has just over $100,000 in his campaign account.

Before the video was pulled, around 12:30 this morning, a spokeswoman for Menino said she had no comment on the apparently botched announcement.

"I cannot comment on campaign matters," said Dorothy Joyce, Menino's press secretary. Joyce said the mayor's office had been unaware that the video was posted at the time.

In the three-minute video, Flaherty makes direct attacks on the mayor, calling for transparent government and an end to "city government that is run behind closed doors and has shut out the public."

He said that he and residents should "craft proposals together to get Boston working for us."

"As many of you already know, I've spent the last year carefully considering a run for mayor of Boston," Flaherty said in the video. "I've heard a consistent call that our city is ready to move in a new direction, where government stars listening to their residents again, and I have heard the calls for new leadership."

Donovan Slack of the Globe staff contributed to this report. John M. Guilfoil can be reached at

Michael Flaherty has nearly $600,000 in his campaign account, more than anyone else considering a challenge of Mayor Thomas M. Menino.


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