FRANCOIS ARNEAU RESPONDS TO CRITICS, plus !!PLANET EXCLUSIVE!!: “THE HIT” LETTER LOCAL DEM BOSSES SENT TO ANDREA NUCIFORO
BY DAN VALENTI
Francois Arneau is an investigator and researcher employed by The Planet, though not exclusively. He leads our data and statistics efforts. He sent this reply, c/o the editor, to a couple of critics, who questioned sources in Part 2 of our series on economic development:
FROM: Francois Arneau
TO: Mr. Turner and Mr. Curious
As part of my job, I read through numerous websites in an attempt to learn about redevelopment bonding, TIFS, etc. I did not bookmark every link, article, and study that I read. That was “my bad,” as the Americans say, and I will look for it once I have some time.
Here is my challenge to you two gentlemen. Please do as you are asking me to do. Please provide hard data that “downtown redevelopment” has been a success. I limit it to strictly Pittsfield’s downtown, not the puff pieces done by the local daily. Please do show me the return on investment vs. other city’s of the same size both with and without public dollars spent on redevelopment.
Spice, while still open, has changed hands. It did close its doors and reopened. Is Hudpuckers still open on North Street? No. I ask: How long did it thrive on East street?
Every time someone asks a question about the status of anything, you gentlemen try to slam the questioner. Yes GE poured millions into Pittsfield as part of the Military Industrial complex. It poured much more in services to its private sector plastics and transformer businesses.
But to lump Google, Apple, and Facebook into that category of employer is far fetched. What do you know about the satisfaction level of both the employees and the communities that house those corporations here in the US? Where is your data to back the claim “…and set up shop in states with ‘right to work’ laws to exploit cheap labor…” Where is your study? What do you offer in the form of HARD data to support those claims? Or does railing against those who care enough to question and to read beyond the Eagle automatically become the enemy in your eyes?
If we do not go to The Planet to discuss such things, where do we go? Mr. Turner, please post your blog — the one you post to. Is open for discussion?
If you want to discuss methodology of data collected, OK, lesson learned. I will post a link to every article read. However, please read them and be MAN enough to have a study listed at the time of your post that we can check for every statement you have made as well.
Redevelopment links in addition to those posted
Each of these sites has mountains of data, and I should have linked in the data. I will look for the data about the store, restaurant, and shop closings again when I get back in the pocket. But please do tell me how that study will increase the tax revenues from downtown in your city of Pittsfield?
And I will be awaiting your published data on the success or failure of our current downtown redevelopment, or at least a progress report?
AND NOW, THE LETTER!
Here is the letter sent by Sherwood Guernsey, L. Lee Harris, and 21 other signatories from the local Democratic Party. We initially had e-gremlins fooling around backstage at the website, but they have been addressed.
Make of this letter what you will. It sure looks like a “hit” letter to us. Oh, it’s all nice and formal and forcibly polite, but this is a shakedown letter, plain and simple. It’s the local Democrats speaking in tongues to Andrea Nuciforo, telling him he would be wise not to run against Congressman John Olver in 2012. The letter is interesting, to say the least. It is published here, in its entirely, for the first time anywhere.
The Planet covered some aspects of what the letter means in the current issue of the Pittsfield Gazette. Here are additional points:
* Who are “The Concerned Democrats of Berkshire County? Are they a PAC, you know, a “529” organization that the Eagle rails against? Do they contribute money to candidates? From this letter, they are trying to influence an election. So are they registered as a 529 PAC, a voter education group, or anything else? If not, are The Concerned Democrats of Berkshire County one of those behind-the-scenes smoke-filled-room gangs ala Boss Tweed that McCain-Feingold tried to address?
* Do you think the Federal Election Commission would be interested in a letter of this type? It’s certainly food for thought. Anyway, without further delay, glitches and all, here’s THE LETTER THEY DIDN’T WANT YOU TO SEE. They are published as PDF files, one for each page of the letter. A simple click will open them for viewing.