Senator Scott Brown has taken a lot of guff during his reelection campaign for boasts about his secret meetings with kings and queens and frequent calls from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, both of which turned out to be exaggerations of the truth.
But the Republican has no corner on the braggadocio market, as his Democratic rival showed again this past week.
Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren, a proud champion of the middle class, nonetheless claimed support from the very same Wall Street crowd she so frequently targets for criticism.
“Every now and again, I meet with someone who’s been very successful on Wall Street, who says, ‘I want to support your campaign because I believe you will save capitalism,’ ” Warren said during an interview with the National Journal’s Jim O’Sullivan published July 29.
By Monday, the comment was pinging around the Internet and Twittersphere, accompanied by a fairly snarky reaction. That prompted Warren to backpedal Tuesday as she made a campaign stop in Somerville.
“I passed along a comment that was over the top, and it was silly for me to do so,” she told reporters. Warren repeated the statement to each question on the topic.
Brown’s staff pounced, linking the comment to another boast last fall, when Warren said that “I created much of the intellectual foundation” for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
“Even Professor Warren recognizes how silly it is for the intellectual founder of the Occupy protest movement to suggest that she is going to save our free enterprise system,” said Brown spokesman Colin Reed.
Concerns arise with building
In a Big Dig that has already had a falling ceiling panel and falling ceiling lights, you can forgive the motoring public some angst as the steel skeleton for an 11-story apartment building takes rise directly over the southbound entrance to the Tip O’Neill tunnel.
Could the $140 million complex on Causeway Street trigger a collapse in a critical part of the $15 billion project?
Nope, say Transportation Secretary Richard Davey and his staff.
“The building is founded in three different ways,” Cyndi Roy, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, wrote in reference to how the building will be supported. “Directly on the [Central Artery/Tunnel] and Orange Line slurry walls; on spread footings over structured fill over the CA/T tunnel roof; and on mini piles that go down between the CA/T and Orange Line tunnels to — and into — the same bedrock that the tunnel slurry walls are founded on.”
“The Victor,” as the building will be known, will have 286 apartments, high-end restaurants, and 138 parking spaces, planners have said.
Roy added that the structural design was prepared by an experienced engineering firm, with full knowledge of the Central Artery/Tunnel and Orange Line design, and after extensive site investigations.
It also was reviewed by an outside engineering firm and by the Federal Highway Administration, “all of which approved the design and construction,” Roy added.
Noting that work, Davey said in his own e-mail: “The short answer is no, I am not concerned.”
Patrick staffer departing
Another member of the Patrick administration, Deputy Chief of Staff Sydney Asbury, has deciding against returning to the State House when she finishes the maternity leave she started in May after the birth of her son, Dylan.
Instead, Asbury will take a part-time position at what is rapidly becoming an administration expatriate community, Northwind Strategies. The political consulting and lobbying firm is headed by former chief of staff Doug Rubin, and already includes former communications director Kyle Sullivan and former campaign advance man David O’Brien.
Asbury has a long history with Patrick, spanning her start as a volunteer on his 2006 campaign to manager of his 2010 reelection effort.
“Sydney is a wise counsel, effective and thoughtful leader, and dear friend. I’ll miss her,” the governor said.
Frank’s first choice of judge
During a forum for Globe subscribers this past week, US Representative Barney Frank admitted that Governor Deval Patrick wasn’t his first choice for the person to preside over his July 7 wedding to partner Jim Ready.
It was Margaret Marshall, who headed the Supreme Judicial Court when it issued its landmark 2003 ruling making Massachusetts the first state to legalize marriage between gays and lesbians.
“I said, ‘Margie, will you marry me?’” Frank said, using Marshall’s nickname, as he recalled a conversation between the two.
“She said, ‘I would love to,’ but, unfortunately, she and her husband were scheduled then to be out of town,” the congressman added.