Letters to the Boston editor: September 22, 2006
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  September 20, 2006

In “Kicking and Screaming,” Adam Reilly did not mention the most critical piece of the party-unity puzzle: the fact that our late-September primary is almost last on the national calendar. If we moved our primary to the spring (say May or June), like Maine, we not only would have more time to heal pre-primary wounds, but for the Democratic nominee to re-stock his or her political war chest. Seven weeks is not enough time. But the Democratic majority in the legislature has no intention of passing a bill to move to a spring primary. After 16 years of GOP rule from the Corner Office, almost all state reps and senators have never served under a Democratic governor and most run unopposed or with token opposition, but don’t count on the legislature to move our primary to spring.

Matt L. Barron

Film studies
Has Peter Keough gone soft? He thinks 
the Boston Film Festival is improving. As an avid filmgoer for the past 40 years, I don’t know that I’ve ever been more disappointed in a film festival. As of their opening night, their Web site still had only the words “coming soon . . .” on their film page, and there were no descriptions or photos of the films being shown. And just compare their opening-night film, Homie Spumoni, a Whoopi Goldberg–Joey Fatone vehicle, with the (far, far superior) Independent Film Festival of Boston’s opener, in April, of Half Nelson. No comparison. The Boston Film Festival’s “improvement” is like going from being dead to being in a coma.

Derek O’Neill

Peter Keough responds: That’s still an improvement.

Change agents
Of all the articles about September 11 published over the past five years, I’ve never seen one quite like “
Rethinking 9/11." Each of us probably has an answer to the question you raise — Have you changed your mind about anything significant as a direct result of September 11? — lurking inside, waiting to jump out. Regarding E.J. Graff’s comments on totalitarianism, a lesson I’ve learned since 9/11 is just how total totalitarianism is. Like the Nazis (sorry for the verboten simile) and Communist Russia, the administration has left no stone unturned, no legal means untested, no area of policy unviolated. Come to think of it, an approach this comprehensive, as well as dedicated, is another lesson to be learned, an example for all of us!

Russ Wellen
Sleepy Hollow, NY

In his September 8 “Freedom Watch” column “
Blues and Blood,” Harvey Silverglate mistakenly asserted that the US Attorney’s office assigned Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Auerhahn to the perjury prosecution of former House Speaker Thomas Finneran. The piece correctly reported that Auerhahn — whom a federal district judge found, and the Court of Appeals confirmed, had lied under oath about having withheld exculpatory evidence at the trial of Vincent Ferrara — was recently assigned to the prosecution of allegedly corrupt Boston police officers. Silverglate had earlier criticized the US Attorney’s office for hypocrisy in prosecuting Finneran’s alleged perjury while overlooking the more serious allegations against Auerhahn (“Animal Crackers”), but it is untrue that the US Attorney’s office went even further and assigned Auerhahn to the Finneran case.

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