2.1 min readBy Published On: October 14th, 2013Categories: News8 Comments on South Boston Forum


Update: The original blog stated that the organizers did not change the time of the debate to accommodate Linehan.  That was false.  An email was circulated on Tuesday night stating that the time was changed to 6pm-7:30pm.  Caught in Southie was not on that email list.  The following is an updated version. 

Due to a scheduling conflict and accusations of dirty politics, the neighborhood forum for District 2 City Council featuring candidates Councilor Bill Linehan and challenger Suzanne Lee slated for Thursday, October 24th has been canceled. 

According to the Linehan campaign, Councilor Linehan had an event – The Gavin House Foundation’s Annual Awards Dinner – he was already committed to.  Linehan requested the forum time be changed with a 6pm start.  Linehan was also unhappy with the choice of the forum’s moderator, WGBH’s Peter Kadzis.

The local neighborhood associations who organized Thursday night’s forum changed the time to 6pm but kept the formum’s moderator.   Linehan then withdrew from the debate because he believed he was not being treated fairly and accused City Point Neighborhood Association’s Joanne McDevitt of being biased towards Lee.  In a statement release Tuesday night, Linehan stated:

The event organizer refused to cooperate with the Linehan campaign requests of having a South Boston moderator and a 6pm to 7:15pm time restriction due to a prior commitment for the Gavin Foundation’s Annual Awards Dinner.  Event organizer, Joanne McDevitt who is a known Lee supporter was handed this responsibility by fellow group members but could not keep her politics and bias under control.  The Linehan campaign will work with other neighborhood association members to reschedule something.  “I’m appalled that a South Boston civic association leader would use this forum for her own political purposes and ignore not only my campaign, but the South Boston community” added Councilor Linehan.

Suzanne Lee’s campaign released a statement yesterday:
The Lee campaign was disappointed to learn that Councillor Linehan has withdrawn from participating in the debate scheduled for Thursday. Suzanne was looking forward to the opportunity to discuss her positions on the issues that are important to the residents of South Boston, and believes that residents are best served by an impartial moderator. The campaign looks forward to working with members of the host committee to find a time that will allow all parties involved to participate.

Another debate has not been scheduled.  The election will be held on Tuesday, November 5th.


  1. Anonymous October 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Good for you for re-writing this announcement.  It’s now more appropriately factual, less partial.

  2. south boston resident October 24, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Who is writing this colunm and where are you getting your information? Please check with the Linehan campaign AND the debate organizers. A notice went out on Tuesday, October 22, saying that due to a scheduling conflict the start time of the debate would be changed to 6:00pm. Hundreds of people received this notice. Please stop trying to act as a legitimate newspaper when you can’t even get a simple story straight. 

  3. Anonymous October 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    there was no such notice.


  4. south boston resident October 25, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Hundreds of South Boston residents who received the notice would beg to differ with you. 

  5. south boston resident October 25, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Why are you not posting comments from people who received notices that the debate time was rescheduled at the request of Councillor Linehan? If you can’t be truthful with the people of South Boston then stay out of the reporting business and stick to the fluff pieces you’re so good at. You are ‘Caught in a lie’. This is outrageous, 

  6. Anonymous October 25, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    i don’t know what’s fact, fiction, calculated or coincidence.   all i know is with kids, work, etc. i squeezed this evening into my busy schedule so i could here both candidates because i’m still unsure who the better person would be to represent my town as my councillor. linehan and lee do not need any help looking bad by people trying to undermine either/or candidate. they are quiet capable of doing that all by themselves. but now we are not given the opportunity to see for ourselves in person.  bad politics continue.  i don’t think this helped either campagn.  both sides lost votes now with this controversy.

  7. Maureen Dahill October 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I am posting comments.  I am a one woman operation and I manually have to post the comments myself.  I do it a every few days.  I apologize for the delay. 

  8. south boston resident October 26, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Suzanne Lee had no part in this controversy. In fact, she has been very accomodating.

Comments are closed.