Political Circuit

Cahill buys Super Bowl air time for campaign

City Councilor At Large Ayanna Pressley talked about a recent upswing in teenage pregnancies in Boston. City Councilor At Large Ayanna Pressley talked about a recent upswing in teenage pregnancies in Boston.
February 7, 2010

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

  • E-mail|
  • Print|
  • Reprints|
  • |
Text size +

There are the Budweiser Clydesdales and Coke’s Mean Joe Greene; the E-Trade Monkey, and the Xerox monks. Now you can add Tim Cahill to the pantheon of characters appearing in Super Bowl ads during today’s game.

The state treasurer has bought air time - 15 seconds’ worth - during the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, kicking off the 2010 gubernatorial campaign ad wars months earlier than expected. Cahill, who is running as an independent, did not release the details, such as the script or how much he was paying.

The Globe reported this week that WBZ was charging $200,000 for a 30-second local spot during the game, which draws millions of viewers, many of whom admit they watch only for the commercials.

Cahill campaign spokeswoman Amy Birmingham said the treasurer, who has some $3 million in campaign funds, believes this is a good time to run his first ad, even though the general election is still months away.

“With the momentum of Scott Brown’s race,’’ she said, “we thought it would be a good idea to try to capture some of that.’’

-- Andrea Estes

Baker ducks climate query
GOP gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker has a reputation as a smart guy, but he said last week he wasn’t smart enough to form an opinion on the hottest environmental topic of the day. Climate change: Does he believe in it, or doesn’t he?

“I’m not saying I believe in it. I’m not saying I don’t,’’ he told the Globe on Friday, a day after dodging the question at a public forum on Thursday. “You’re asking me to take a position on something I don’t know enough about.’’

He added, “I absolutely am not smart enough to believe I know the answer to that question.’’

Asked during a speech at Suffolk Law School on Thursday whether he agrees with the “scientific majority’’ that climate change is caused by human activities, Baker ducked.

“I don’t think whether I believe that or not matters in this conversation,’’ Baker said. “What I do believe is that our overreliance on foreign oil is a big problem for national security and an economic point of view.’’

The answer caused jitters among some environmental activists, who point to Governor Deval Patrick’s efforts to encourage renewable energy and promote energy efficiency.

“We are unlikely to see such continued progress in renewable energy - or the associated creation of jobs that we have seen here in Massachusetts - from any candidate who can’t openly acknowledge climate change is even happening,’’ said James McCaffrey, director of the Massachusetts Sierra Club.

-- Stephanie Ebbert

Councilor’s big surprise
A surprise awaited newly elected City Councilor Ayanna Pressley on Wednesday as she entered the council chamber before the weekly meeting, her nerves jittery in anticipation of her first speech.

Pressley’s mother was in the second row of the public gallery, fresh off a train from New York City. When her daughter entered the chamber, Sandra Pressley stood up.

“Mom!’’ Ayanna Pressley said in an exasperated tone more fitting for a daughter than an at-large city councilor. “What are you doing here?’’

Sandra Pressley responded in song: “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you . . .’’

It was Ayanna Pressley’s 36th birthday, and she used the milestone as a jumping-off point for her first speech.

Pressley, the first black woman to serve on the council, addressed a recent upswing in teenage pregnancies in Boston, with “alarming disparities by race and ethnicity.’’

Pressley’s own upbringing was not easy, she explained in the speech. Her father battled addiction the first 16 years of her life, she said, drifting in and out of jail.

“My life growing up was still at times a real struggle,’’ Pressley said as she turned to look up at her mother. “I think it’s safe to say now that I turned out pretty well, and that she did pretty well on her own.’’

Sandra Pressley smiled proudly.

-- Andrew Ryan

Council marks centennial
Here’s a milestone that might have gone unnoticed: The Boston City Council celebrates its centennial today.

No, not its 380th birthday. (Boston was first incorporated as a town in 1630.) Or its 188th. (It became a city in 1822.) But number 100, an age that makes the City Council a few years younger than the state of Oklahoma.

The city once had a bicameral Legislature with scores of elected officials serving on a Board of Aldermen and on a Common Council. A century ago, Boston combined the two houses into a much smaller City Council.

“It was a radically different form of government,’’ said City Council president Michael P. Ross, noting that the occasion should be marked because “Boston is a city that respects its past and looks to the future.’’

To celebrate, organizers have invited all past and current council members to a reception at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Ruth’s Chris Steak House at Old City Hall.

-- Andrew Ryan

Tweet of the week
Appropriately, this week’s entry reflects the send-off Thursday morning from Governor Deval Patrick to newly elected Senator Scott Brown: “Just certified the results of the Senate special election. Best wishes to Sen Scott Brown as he heads to DC as our representative -D’’