Michael Flaherty interview
The Hiller Instinct: Michael Flaherty interview
"He's your friend," Hiller asked. "That's correct," Flaherty said.
"You respect him," Hiller asked. "Yup," Flaherty said.
"It's just time for him to go. What kind of friend are you," Hiller asked. "That's correct and it's not about him it's about the future of our city," Flaherty said.
But he can sure make it sound like a grudge match.
"When you're running against a 16 year incumbent that rules this city with an iron fist, it's almost suffocating," Flaherty said.
Flaherty woke up what was a tired race when he teamed with Sam Yoon, the third place finisher in the mayoral preliminary. It was a gimmick, but clever enough to generate news coverage and nicknames.
"...it became Floon, there's been some talk about Yoonerty, we've heard Floonbats," Flaherty said.
"How about for you Menino-lite," Hiller asked. "I haven't heard that one," Flaherty said.
"What's your reaction to it," Hiller asked. "You're the same as Menino just younger," Hiller asked.
"I would disagree that. We're completely different in personality, in style, in character and commitment...," Flaherty said.
More evidence of how personal this race has become is Flaherty's endorsement by the Boston Firefighters Union. The Firefighters are at war with Menino. They haven't had a new contract in years and now they're in arbitration.
"I envision setting a contract probably a 5 year deal at around 14% with mandatory random drug and alcohol testing," Flaherty said.
But, according to the city, the firefighters have already turned down 14% over four years. Flaherty's response is weak.
"I don't know what the city's been offering cause I'm not at the beneficiary of being at the negotiation table," Flaherty said.
Similarly, given a chance to puncture the mayor, his response is puny.
"What's the stupidest thing Mayor Menino has ever done it term of governing the city," Hiller asked.
"I think the biggest one is his idea to move city hall to the South Boston waterfront. It's not his building it belongs to the public," Flaherty said.
Flaherty knows this may not be the best time for him to challenge Menino.
"I have never subscribed to wait your turn politics. It doesn't work," Flaherty said.
"It's a daunting task. But I can win," he said.
If he doesn't, pull out your calendars.
"What are you going to do if you lose," Hiller asked. "I'm going to ask for a re-match," Flaherty said
"So if you lose right now you're already announcing 2014 you're in," Flaherty said. "You heard it," Flaherty said.
And here's what else I heard: Flaherty is putting down his marker, letting everyone know he intends to be a player in Boston politics--if not now, then later. So at worst--for him--this campaign is an investment in his future.
Andy Hiller, 7News.
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