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THE CLASP, or, JIM & DAN’s NEXT DANCE, plus WHITE’s in NIGHT SATIN and K-9 Korps: the Nose Knows

Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini, left, and New England Patriots commander Bill Belichick shake hands following the Browns' thumping of the Patriots Sunday, 11/7/10. The two men, once friends, no longer send Christmas cards to each other. Could this be Dan Bianchi and Jim Ruberto in Campaign 2011? No love love, forced shakes, but no acceptance.

The two men exchanged in the clasp, below, appear amiable enough — at least the guy on the left. That’s Eric Mangini, whose Cleveland Browns have just unglued the heavily-favored New England Patriots. Mangini is by far the happier of the two.

When The Planet looks at this photo, why do we see Dan Bianchi where Mangini is and Ruberto as Belichick? Could it presage an election-year confrontation in 2011? Is Ruberto-Bianchi II in the works? The last time we had a ROman numeral election was Hathway-Ruberto II, which the latter won. Sara Hathaway, by the by, has returned to Michigan to seek her fortune there.

So far, both men are keeping it close to the vest. Aides, however, have looser tongues. A source who in 2009 occupied a inner post in Bianchi’s narrow loss says Dan is in for 2011.

“I haven’t spoken to him directly about this,” the source, call him F, says. “But I talk to those who have. Dan’s in. I mean, I’d put it this way. I’d be awfully surprised to see him not run. That [loss] last time was just too close. Plus, I think the mayor’s, I don’t know how to put this, but he doesn’t seem ‘into’ the job anymore. That came out [in '09] probably because of the death of his wife, but I don’t see that spark back.”

Others, more casually involved in the race last year from the Bianchi perch, echo G’s views. They see Bianchi up and running. Of course, at this stage of a campaign, the foundations are being built. There was an informal Bianchi organizational meeting, for example, at a political watering hole on Newell Street this week. The attendees didn’t call it that. They were “out for pizza.” Right: a thin-crust dish topped with maps of 14 wards and names/addresses of “captains” who might be approached “when the time is right.”

As for Ruberto, G’s statement about “the spark” has a ring of truth in it. A person close to the mayor says he “just doesn’t know.” Wavering is no way to go into anything, least of all a Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots Race. Each year, it seems, all politics — from the national level down to dog catcher in Podunk — requires more time, energy, soul, and money from those who would take up the cause and run. You can easily see why family and loved ones often discourage good people from running. They don’t want their beloved turned into what the Aging Greek God Peter Arlos used to call “a public pissing post.”

In Jim Ruberto’s case, the question may in fact come down to this: “Do I want to head off to Florida for a well-deserved rest (even retirement), without the pressures that come from the job, where my only task will be to relax and have fun, or do I want to face a bruising campaign without my dear wife by my side?” It’s an agonizing question for the mayor.

We will be hearing from both men afore too long.

Peter White, C’mon Down!

Why is PETER WHITE close to smiling? Photo Credit: iBerkshires

Often, bi-angulating information amounts to the closest thing to confirmation. Getting independent intelligence from two competing often indicates the veracity of the info. (The aside here is the ridiculous nature of secrecy in Pittsfield politics; next to nothing outside of self-serving statements and vanilla pabulum is issued on the record. This indicates how city politics “bite mean and bite hot.” Fear, baby, is what holds together much of what passes for law and order in this neck of the woods.)

The Planet scooped the story of how Jonathan Lothrop was to be the hand-picked selection of Democratic bosses to step in and save the day when Chris “No Show” Speranzo miraculously wins promotion to a lifetime sinecure at $150K per as the vitally necessary next clerk magistrate in the local courts (a job so crucial to the vital function of democracy as we know it that it’s gone unfilled for well over a year without anyone noticing). The sunshine we directed to this “bait and switch” story foiled the plot. J-Lo quickly withdrew.

Now we have two independent, cross-counter pieces of “intelligence” from two people who bear little love for each other that may — we only say may — indicate the next potential would-be prince.

Is is Peter White, councilor in Ward 2? Preliminary indications are “yes.” We will soon get word into Pete for his comments.

This would explain one puzzling aspect of the recently concluded elections: White’s gung-ho support for No Show to return to the statehouse as 3rd Berkshire Rep over the much-more qualified and capable Mark Miller.

On his Facebook pages a few days before the election, White posted a lengthy missive, 99 44/100 percent fiction, of Spurs’ Great Wall of China accomplishments since the bosses tapped him to succeed state rep Peter Larkin after that Peter pulled what’s now known in these parts as “a larkin.” White’s over-the-top didn’t make sense, and when we and others asked Pete to amplify, he couldn’t properly articulate his sudden championing of No Show the Great.

We will share White’s answer, or at least response, to this later. Stay tuned.

Dogs Sniffin’ Glue

And why did a source, holding court at the Home Plate saloon (shirts and shoes required), share the word that a canine trained to sniff out illicit substances — that, we believe, is the term they use — made the rounds in the locker room of the Pittsfield Police Department?

Not the evidence room, by the way, the locker room. The Planet had to double check on that, since drugs seized in raids are often stored at Police HQ. Let’s see, I learned from playing Clue that motive + opportunity + means = Col. Mustard, in the library, with the rope.

The source, by the way, carries a badge. We would love to give you the number, but for once, we can say no more. We will share this: we have thus far not been able to confirm the info. Nonetheless, true to our motto to bring sunshine into the musty corners, we felt we should share with that proviso.

On the job, sniffing out bad apples, for taxpayers. He's also the most honest city employee to boot.

The Planet contacted the pooch who carried out the search, and he was cautious in his remarks. His bark was worse than his bite, which was nowhere on display.

3 Responses to “THE CLASP, or, JIM & DAN’s NEXT DANCE, plus WHITE’s in NIGHT SATIN and K-9 Korps: the Nose Knows”

  1. danvalenti
    November 9, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Chief Wynn responded to a request for comment late yesterday, which we will share tomorrow. THE PLANET has enormous respect for the K9 units for all law enforcement agencies. We had the pleasure of watching a K9 and his officer-handler working out at the field adjacent to the Wahconah Park parking lot. This happened before a Colonials game. The scene was so fascinating and heart-warming (the bonding) that we stopped for about 10 minutes to watch.

  2. Do-be-do-be-dont
    November 9, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    That great dog in the photo should run for mayor. The city’s most honest employee.

  3. Jim Gleason
    November 10, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    I have a feeling that Dan Bianchi would want nothing to do with any “clasp” involving Squiggy ruberto. After the dirty campaign ruberto ran last time I wouldn’t blame Dan a bit.