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CrazyKhazei like a fox?

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CrazyKhazei has been outed and he’s none other than Eric Fehrnstrom, one of the architects of Sen. Scott Brown’s stunning victory last year and a key adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

And it raises a very interesting question or 40: What the heck is Fehrnstrom thinking? It started about a month ago when someone began tweeting under the name @CrazyKhazei, mocking City Year and Be the Change founder Alan Khazei, a Democratic candidate for Brown’s Senate seat. It was very much an inside joke, with tweets such as “Just got back from sunny California. Thanks to all the elitists there for donating to my campaign.” There was also “Just read Scott Brown’s book. He isn’t the only one who had it tough growing up. I once got a splinter” and “That earthquake you just felt was Cindy Creem endorsing my campaign for US Senate.”

But Fehrnstrom, whose consulting group works in a virtual world, apparently messed up and sent a CrazyKhazei tweet from his own personal account. Blue Mass Group bagged him and Fehrnstrom admitted to the Globe he was, indeed, the evil genius behind the curtain.

“It was my Twitter account,” Fehrnstrom said in an email to the Globe. “Sometimes we take our politics too seriously and this was my way of lightening things up. As they say in politics, if you can’t stand the tweet, get out of the kitchen.”

Alan Khazei went on NECN’s Broadside, calling  Fehrnstrom’s Twitter attacks “juvenile, dirty politics.” Which brings us back to point A: Why raise the profile of someone who most see as one of the lower tier threats to Brown? And why take the risk to embarrass yourself and your clients as your presidential candidate himself tries to sidestep opinions that he is weird?

There’s a lot of sublplots to this. First and foremost is the tittering you may have heard coming from Glen Johnson, who wrote the Globe’s story about the CrazyKhazei tweets. Johnson and Fehrnstrom had a very public and nasty encounter during the 2008 campaign when Fehrnstrom accused Johnson of being “disrespectful” to Romney.

Fehrnstrom, a one-time Herald State House reporter, also sent under his own account tweaks to the Globe and specifically editor Marty Baron over what he perceives as anti-Brown coverage. Which raises yet another question, why prod the region’s most influential media outlet just for the sake of a chuckle?

Fehrnstrom, who became a hot commodity after the Brown victory, is no novice in politics, starting as former Treasurer Joe Malone’s spokesman, moving up to near-Cabinet status when Romney was governor, and then taking Brown from back bench state Senator to the darling of the national right.The next few days will be interesting to see what, if anything, Brown and Romney do to the man who has been their messenger.
                                                                                                                                                      --JACK SULLIVAN


BEACON HILL

To paraphrase Harvey Keitel in the movie National Treasure, “SOME-body’s got to go to jail, Sal.” Federal prosecutors are seeking a 12-1/2-year sentence for former Speaker Sal DiMasi for his conviction on taking kickbacks. They also want him to forfeit $65,000, the amount they say was the payoff for getting the Cognos contract.

Keller@Large asks a simple question: What if casinos fail? The Springfield Republican explores what the casino bill means for points west. Developers are already vying for the potential casino licenses. The Globe reports heavy spending on lobbyists by national gaming companies the first half of this year.

The Globe reports the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination found the hiring actions of Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert Mulligan discriminatory when he passed over a woman for a promotion she was recommended for by a trial court hiring panel.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Two appeals have been filed with the state against a $12 million plan to relocate Town River in Quincy, a key component of the $1.6 billion redevelopment project for the downtown area, by a dozen residents who say the relocation could trigger increased flooding and eliminate a smelt spawning area.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino is ticketing oil truckers for driving through his city, although no such legal prohibition exists.

The Lawrence Licensing Board orders all bars and clubs to close at 1 a.m. instead of 2 a.m. and revokes the license of a bar where a man was shot last month, the Eagle-Tribune reports. Mayor William Lantigua comes up with $300,000 to rehire five laid-off police officers.

“Snowgate” is heating up in East Bridgewater as a selectman accused the town administrator of withholding damning emails from an independent investigator looking into why a contract for removing snow from a school roof last winter was awarded with no bidding.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Jack Kimball is being asked to step down. The Republican Governors Association has even offered $100,000 to the party if Kimball goes. But he says he won’t stop down, NECN reports.

US Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a rising GOP star, says Medicare and Social Security have “weakened us as a people.”

Harvard Law professor Randall Kennedy explains why race continues to matter.

Boston Properties CEO Mort Zuckerman pans President Barack Obama in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

ELECTION 2012

A new Gallup poll shows Rick Perry leading Mitt Romney 29 percent to 17 percent among likely GOP voters and GOP-leaning independents nationwide. Romney plans to skip a campaign forum hosted by Tea Party kingmaker Sen. Jim DeMint, in a sign that he’s tacking toward the GOP mainstream in the face of Perry’s uprising. The New York Times skewers Perry’s small-government mantra, saying the Texas governor has maintained a bloated state infrastructure as a way of filling his campaign coffers and rewarding political supporters.

The Weekly Standard analyzes the federalism debate within the GOP’s Tea Party contingent with the main focus on Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care reform and its similarities and differences with the actions of President Obama and Congress.

The Atlantic looks at the role of science and evolution in the GOP primary.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

E Ink Corp. is moving its headquarters from Cambridge to Billerica. Billerica offered a 15-year, $2 million tax-increment financing deal and the state is providing $1.8 million in investment tax credits, reports the Lowell Sun.

The Daily Beast lists the 20 bests states for job growth, and Massachusetts ranks third, behind Michigan and Indiana.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs resigns; his letter to the company’s Board of Directors is here. Time reports that Apple will do just fine without him.

Two Lynn taxi companies with close ties are fighting a court order that they return 24 of their medallions to the city. Currently, 12 of the medallions aren’t being used, the Item reports.

Colman Herman reprises his CommonWealth story on sweet public leases in a Boston Herald op-ed.

The battling Demoulas clan is at it again. This time, they’re locked in a legal battle over a soured $46 million investment in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

EDUCATION

A study by the federal National Center for Education Statistics found nearly a quarter of the country’s high school students have been victims of bullying and about 7 percent were bullied online. One of the most alarming statistics is more than 4 percent of those bullied brought a weapon to school to defend themselves. Via US News & World Report.

A substitute teacher is being held on $20,000 cash bail for allegedly sending inappropriate messages to a female student at Pelham Memorial School, the Lowell Sun reports.

The Dorchester Reporter reports on the negative outcry at a pubic meeting regarding the potential move of Boston Latin Academy from Dorchester to Hyde Park.

HEALTH CARE

Brookline psychologist Mary O’Neill is withdrawing her court appeal seeking the return of her license, which was permanently revoked after she had sex with former patient Eric MacLeish. CommonWealth has the story.

TRANSPORTATION

Michael Barone says in the National Review we don’t need high-speed rail because of the proliferation of those cheap buses that run from city to city to gambling casino. Seriously.

The former administrator of the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority, who was removed last fall allegedly for job performance issues, has refiled a suit over his termination claiming he was wrongfully discharged and his civil rights were violated.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

It’s been a while since a hurricane hit our little corner of the world but some people aren’t taking any chances. Residents in coastal regions are pulling boats and boarding windows while officials ponder when -- and whether -- to pull the trigger on evacuations in weather emergencies. Storm prep is well underway on the Cape.  Universal Hub has dusted off the French Toast Alert and set it at Elevated.

The Christian Science Monitor explores whether three earthquakes in three days in the US was more than a coincidence.

The Securities and Exchange Commission wants oil and gas companies to provide it with detailed information on natural gas fracking.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

A Lowell Sun editorial slams President Obama and particularly Gov. Deval Patrick for their immigration policies. “We don’t know why the governor of Massachusetts persists in giving free access to the American Dream to people who break the law at the expense of real Americans whose dreams are being shattered every day by high unemployment, rising health-care bills, and retirement uncertainty,” the paper says.

Joseph P. Kennedy III is moving to the Middlesex District Attorney’s office from the Cape and Islands DA’s office, the Lowell Sun reports under the headline,  “A taste of Camelot in DA’s office.”

Peter Gelzinis writes about the latest link between FBI informants Whitey Bulger and Mark Rossetti:Trooper William Johnson. Johnson had the audacity to detain a cash-carrying Whitey Bulger at Logan Airport in 1987 and was nearly beaten to death in 1979 by a bat-wielding Rossetti. Twelve years later, when one of Johnson’s statie colleagues offered Rossetti to the FBI on a platter, the agency took a pass.

MEDIA

For years, the Patriot Ledger and Brockton Enterprise published an annual supplement called “The Answer Book” that was a compilation of demographic, historic, voting, pictoral and contact information as well as a who’s who in town government for the communities they cover. But, like telephone directories, the supplement was tossed aside for the computer. Now, the effort’s gone virtual, as well as saved thousand of dollars in newsprint, by putting the “Answer Book” online with more than 50 websites and a promise to keep it updated rather than a once-a-year effort.

 

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