As most of you know, The Planet smoked out a plot involving Chris Speranzo’s deal to be named clerk magistrate at $110,000 per year (almost $150K with benefits). Part of the deal would be to get a compliant stooge to take Spurs’ 3rd Berkshire District seat in the ensuing special election. The election would be considered a sure thing by the Dem bosses for any person they anointed. That would be Jonathan Lothrop, according to sources. Naturally, they are feeding The Planet off the record.
If this information is incorrect, as some establishment types claim, then why hasn’t Lothrop denied the story or commented publicly in any fashion? Wouldn’t he be rushing to say we were wrong? The Planet would be as eager as anyone to have the record corrected, but Lothrop’s “speak no evil” policy tacitly confirms our information. It will stand until we hear from him otherwise.
So J-Lo, last call, buddy. Reply to The Planet. Did we get the story right or not?
Lothrop’s selection, if true, would fit the scenario. He started out as a breath of fresh air in Ward 5. For some reason, however, that breath became halitosis and hard to be around. He turned from a free and independent voice to a water boy for the special interests, notably on the airport project.
His eagerness to “win” a state rep’s seat would also fit, since he’s looking vulnerable in Ward 5 in 2011. Plus, he’s already a state employee.
We say “stooge.” That’s an insult to Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curley and Shemp Howard, Joe DeRita, and Joe Besser. Throw Emil Sitka in there, too. We mean it in the sense that Lothrop’s a willing player in a cliche-ridden one-act poorly scripted by the bosses. He’s earned their trust, which means he’s lost that of The People’s. The irony in the Speranzo Mess is that J-Lo would be “inheriting” a seat Spurs himself “inherited” after Peter Larkin pulled the old in-out in the 3rd Berkshire district.
This tired drama is the result of practially a generation of political apathy in Pittsfield that began in the 1980s, as GE pulled out of town. The resulting economic hit created a last-gasp leadership crisis and a political vacuum. Small, little, selfish people with self-created tin badges rushed in to carve out mini empires and have been reluctant to let go since. So what if an entire city get flushed down the economic kermode? That’s Pittsfield’s tough luck, and it was, as many companies — some large (Spalding, for one; Bose, for another), some medium, and some small — were driven away after expressing interest in relocating to Shire City.
The economic problems since 2008 combined with new media have created a crack in the hegemonic Death Star of the “Pittsfield 100.” This website is but one example of how sunshine is penetrating into areas long kept in the dark. The rats are beginning to flee the sinking ship. Some of them are principled people. One of them, who has been a key source for The Planet in this story, lives close to the heart of darkess. This person no longer likes what he sees. This person is beginning to talk, almost as an unburdening. We are learning much.
So when a dude like Lothrop betrays his fiduciary role as a representative of the people in his ward by falling in love with the temptations of cheap power, his credibility hangs in the balance, in serious jeopardy.
Jonathan Lothrop: The Planet puts it to you point blank. Tell me that we’ve got the story wrong. On the record. Naming names. You’ve got 24 hours. If we don’t hear from you by them with a denial and a correction, which we shall dutifully print, then we shall take that as confirmation. If we DO have the story correct, at least have the guts to let We the People know. Let them know what you are by naming your masters. Let The People know you’re just another political skunk. We can all respect that.
Some say The Planet is giving you a rough ride into the boards. We would answer by pointing to your great unrealized leadership potential. You have the smarts, you’re articulate, and possess other admirable skills. You should have been one of the ones to lead Pittsfield out of the dumps. We had a right to expect much from you. To get less than zero? That deserves howling at the moon, in the same way that I’m toughest on my students who have the ability but choose not to use it.