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Mayoral Candidates Stay On Safe Ground During Breakfast With Chamber

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420x316-grad-keller2 Jon Keller
Veteran Boston political commentator Jon Keller is heard every weekday...
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BOSTON (CBS) — It was hard to tell from Thursday’s mayoral breakfast because both candidates have a habit of changing the subject from the tax and red-tape issues that preoccupy the private sector onto more populist turf.

Politically predictable perhaps, but it left the breakfast crowd at the Chamber event hungry for more detail.

When the candidates met with chamber members this morning, the crowd was eager to hear more from the next mayor on how he plans to improve the city’s business climate.

“I start at a very simple place – jobs,” Connolly said.

But Connolly prefers to talk jobs in the context of education and income inequality, important issues that bypass subjects atop the business agenda like tax rates and regulatory reform.

“That’s where I’m focused; how do we create jobs for the people of Boston,” he said.

Walsh is also somewhat vague on business issues, claiming his close ties with organized labor will be a plus for the private sector.

“Some of you, I am sure have heard that I have the support of some unions,” Walsh said. “People understand the challenges facing the City of Boston, they understand that when it comes to contracts, I am the right person to deal with the contracts.”

As both Connolly and Walsh noted, few of the attendees actually live and vote in the city, so it’s understandable if the candidates’ focus is elsewhere for the balance of the race.

Come next January, when the new mayor takes office, that is almost sure to change.

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