A few days ago, Boston 2024 rolled outs its new 30-member board of directors, a mix of (mostly) corporate executives, athletes, and USOC officials.
The Globe printed a handy list of all 30 members and a line or two of background information. However, in at least two cases, the Globe gave rather deceptive descriptions.
The first is Mo Cowan, who has already been a government relations adviser for Boston 2024 for some time. The Globe describes him as “the former chief of staff for Governor Patrick, who also served briefly as US senator.” This is all true. But he hasn’t been in the US Senate for almost two years now.
After leaving the Senate, Cowan went back to Mintz Levin, where he now serves as the Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer of the firm’s lobbying practice ML Strategies.
From Beacon Hill to Capitol Hill, ML Strategies delivers superior government relations and consulting services. With deep knowledge in a range of issues including energy, transportation, health care, financial services, real estate, education, and telecommunications, our senior-level professionals in Boston and Washington, DC use their extensive experience in federal, state, and city government, as well as in the private sector, to build creative, informed, and strategic solutions that meet the goals of our clients.
In other words, he’s not a public servant as the Globe implies: he’s a corporate lobbyist.
We can also see the Globe’s deceptiveness at work when they describe former Boston 2024 President Dan O’Connell as a “former state housing secretary.” Again, that is not untrue. He was Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development under Deval Patrick from January 2007 to February 2009.
However, that was over five years ago. What is Dan O’Connell up to now?
Well, he’s the President and CEO of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, a self-described “public policy group comprised of chief executive officers of some of the Commonwealth’s largest businesses.” They’re open about who they are: a bunch of rich people trying to shape government to further enrich themselves.
The MCP consists of the CEOs of Raytheon, Mass Mutual, Suffolk Construction, Partners HealthCare, State Street Corporation, Fidelity Investments, The Kraft Group, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Liberty Mutual, Everousrce Energy, Bank of America, Putnam Investments, Staples, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and EMC—and then Jack Connors, the co-founder and former chairman of Hill Holliday.
Boston 2024 board members John Fish (Suffolk Construction), Roger Crandall (Mass Mutual), and Robert Reynolds (Putnam Investments) are all members of MCP. Joseph Hooley (State Street Corporation) and Jeffrey Leiden (Vertex Pharmaceuticals), who both serve on Boston 2024 advisory committees, are also members of MCP.