Friday, June 07, 2002

More news from Boston:

Mitt Romney, the sole remaining Republican candidate for governor, is facing an unexpected challenge --- to his residency. Candidates for governor here must have seven years of continuous prior residency in Massachusetts, by state law. Which leads to a certain amount of awkwardness when it comes out that one of the tax returns he filed while running the Utah Olympics was filed as a non-resident.

He filed an amended return two days after declaring his candidacy, which now claimed that he was a Massachusetts resident that year, on the strength of his empty house in Belmont. Still, some of the five Democratic candidates are expected to file a challenge with Ballot Law Commission (which has historically taken a... well, relaxed attitude towards the residency requirement, but may make Romney sweat a bit).

In completely unrelated news, if you're holding a convention in the next few years, and want to do it cheap, consider the new South Boston convention center. Yes, it's a massive white elephant which is taking shape a mile from anything, and has lousy road access to most hotels in town, which are farther off than that; yes, the hotels which were supposed to go up right near it are tied up in the mysterious layers of red tape and confusion which surround just about any major real estate project here --- but hey, they're offering free rent!

The convention center is Boston government at its worst --- a project pushed by the mayor, ostensibly as an economic driver for a new neighborhood that may one day exist on acres of near-vacant land, but more likely because all the other cities had a bright shiny new convention center, and he wanted one too. It's not working out...


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