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BIANCHI ‘FOURTH’ SIGN FIRES FIRST SALVO AT MARCHETTI; CAMPAIGN 2011 UNOFFICIALLY BEGINS, and BARE-KNUCKLES BATTLE IS PROBABLE

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

BIACHI SIGN FIRST SHOT ACROSS MARCHETTI BOW

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, SATURDAY, JULY 9, 2011) —The Boring Broadsheet didn’t mention it, of course, because they didn’t know it happened (sound familiar?). THE PLANET, however, couldn’t help but notice the huge “BIANCHI FOR MAYOR” sign placed in direct view of the muster area for the 4th of July parade in Pittsfield.

Peter Marchetti, who had other things on his mind that morning, noticed. Mayor Jimmy Ruberto, who’s enjoying his lame duck status, noticed it. Ruberto claimed the sign was illegal and wanted to send officials to the Bianchi camp ordering them to remove it. Marchetti said no, and he made the right call. He followed one of the best pieces of advice ever given for those who play on the public stage: “Don’t chase criticism.” When you ignore the shots, they usually lose momentum and fall harmlessly away.

What’s it Going to Be, Then: Run to Win or Run to Govern?

Bianchi’s ploy with his Fourth of July billboard indicates he’s going to play for keeps. Actually, that’s the only way to run for public office. Candidates have two choices: They either run to win or they run to govern. The first choice will use almost any tactic to secure victory. The second choice keeps the campaign lofty, talking about “issues.” Fact is, though, the high road leads to second place. As horsehide philosopher, Leo Durocher put it, “Nice guys finish last.”

Can candidates do both? Can they run to win AND run to govern. In theory yes, but in actuality, no. Campaigns in the 21st century are simply not designed for thoughtful deliberation. The electorate lives hurried, worrisome lives. Many have barely enough time in the day to keep their frantic lives above the rising waters of challenge.

Campaigns have become exercises in bumper-sticker logic. Points must be made pithily. Sustained, intellectual engagement has gone the way of the fedora. Most people don’t pay attention. Many are disgusted with politics and politicians and have stopped participating. Those that do follow campaigns want their information in a hurry.

Interestingly, this plays into the hands of the bloggers, who will continue to become THE media kingmakers. Newspapers are dying and losing influence. TV and radio can’t bother. Cyberspace will be where it’s at, baby.

Campaign 2011’s X Factor: THE PLANET

Campaign 2011 in Pittsfield, assuming we don’t decide to retire to Austria and keep bees, will have an X Factor to contend with: this web site. We weren’t in existence in 2009.

THE PLANET will cover what the Boring Broadsheet isn’t smart enough or brave enough to cover. THE PLANET will employ a vast network of contacts that take you inside the races.

We won’t waste time on matters that won’t count. We will focus on difference makers and deal breakers. In a close election — run at a fever’s pitch between two competitive, smart, well-organized and well-financed men — our words will carve their way into enough of our audience to, perhaps, become THE factor. We don’t shy away from that responsibility.

Our demographics tell us THE PLANET’S readers are more engaged than the general public, and more importantly, THEY VOTE. Like it or not, candidates and camps of candidates, THE PLANET is on board.

How Do You Define ‘Dirty’?

Will Campaign 2011 get “dirty”? No one knows, since no one can properly define the word in a way that suits everyone. Most of us know it when we see it, but the difference between “slinging mud” and “adopting a full-court press” lies in the eyes of the perpetuator.

In 2009, Ruberto justified running his campaign out of the Greylock Federal Money Store, with the oily Angelo Stracuzzi applying butter to the skids. Oh, sure, the mayor’s “official” HQ stood on the corner of Fenn and North (nudge nudge, wink wink), but the back-filled smoke rooms (not a typo!) were at Greylock. It was the worst kept secret in town, after the one that had No Show Speranzo plotting to stab Berkshire County in the back.

Some insiders say the 2009 campaign was one of the factors in why Greylock’s “What, Me Worry?” board never let on what it knew about their sainted CEO and his encounters with teenage boys, the police, and the courts in Biddeford and York County, Maine. Not one of them — not Ruberto, Stracuzzi, Greylock’s John Bissell, or any of the board’s members — admitted to the illegal politics being carried on in the bank. They wouldn’t even admit that they were using Greylock to muscle a grieving Ruberto past a resurgent Bianchi.

The Contest Will Be Down to Bare Knuckles

Marchetti has said he will take the high road, a stance he has slightly altered since Bianchi’s sign salvo on the Fourth of July. His camp is certain Bianchi will run dirty. Marchetti has since altered his position slightly. He says he run clean, take two “unfair” shots from Bianchi, and the third time, he says, the gloves come off.

In September, the race for mayor will weed out the wannabes. Yes, we will put up with the protests from Joe Nichols and the rest. We will remind all the “others,” though, that, barring the startling unforeseen, only two will be standing: Peter Marchetti and Dan Bianchi. No, this is not an endorsement. No, this is not THE PLANET trying to influence the outcome. Yes, this is THE PLANET acknowledging the cold, neutral logic of Campaign 2011, mayoral division, Pittsfield style.

When the results are announced Tuesday evening of Preliminary Election Day, it will be Bianchi and Marchetti. THE PLANET speculates that by then, the contest will be down to bare knuckles.

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LATER, WE WILL HAVE JOSH CUTLER’s GAME STORY FROM BWP AS THE PITTSFIELD COLONIALS GO FOR THE SWEEP AGAINST NEWARK. IN THE DAYS AHEAD, WE WILL ALSO BE REVIEWING “TOMMY,” THE BERKSHIRE THEATRE FESTIVAL’S FIRST PRODUCTION AT THE COLONIAL THEATRE.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

15 Responses to “BIANCHI ‘FOURTH’ SIGN FIRES FIRST SALVO AT MARCHETTI; CAMPAIGN 2011 UNOFFICIALLY BEGINS, and BARE-KNUCKLES BATTLE IS PROBABLE”

  1. beezer
    July 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    Dan excellent observations. Tells it like it is.

  2. Dusty
    July 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    So are you saying that Bianchis sign was illegal? Or dirty politics? I thought the whole idea was to get your name out there in peoples minds. What was wrong with it? Just because he beat Marchetti to the punch?

    I assure you that if Ruberto has anything to do with Marchettis campaign (and he will have a lot to do with it) it will be as dirty as it can get even if you can’t see it. It is just how his mind works.

    (and whatever was that big announcement Rubertos was supposed to make last week?…I never heard anything about it

    • Baby Baby
      July 10, 2011 at 6:20 am #

      It broke the sign ordanance.

  3. eric v
    July 9, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    The| “Big Announcment” was that he was not resigning July 1st…

  4. Nomad
    July 9, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    Ruberto apparently couldn’t get the Gazette, the Planet, or even the BB to bite on his farce “major announcement”, that ended up being that he wasn’t resigning. He did, however, reserve the right to change his mind if a good offer comes his way.

    The only one to bite, was WBRK’s…desperate for an exclusive….“fish guy”.

  5. Kevin
    July 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    I saw the Bianchi sign. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. Hey the guy is running for mayor. He knew his opponent would be in the vicinity because of the parade and he(bianchi) made a statement. Good for him. I think it gives him momentum.

  6. arpaint
    July 10, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    Let’s be honest all Ruberto did during the last campaign was dirty politicks. It is obvious that he holds a grudge foe Dan because he almost put him out of office. It is funny that the baseball ticket guy is talking about something being illegal.

    • Dusty
      July 10, 2011 at 7:52 am #

      Right…and wasn’t Ruberto the one who illegally invited Patrick to use PHS for some campaigning…DURING SCHOOL HOURS??

      the last person in the city who should complain about anything being illegal is Ruberto….the guy personifies it

      where was Ruberto when some guy ripped off the water dept for a bundle of tax payer money? OH,, forgot….that did not threaten the GOB empire

  7. Jim Gleason
    July 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    I see nothing wrong with putting a sign up advancing your own cause. ruberto working for Marchetti will, as an earlier poster said, guarantee dirty politics. ruberto’s adds with the guy with the creepy voice on the local radio stations questioning Dan Bianchi’s character were the ultimate in slime, just as ruberto himself is.

  8. beezer
    July 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    @ Jim G… your still the man!

  9. CONCERNED
    July 10, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    I heard last election Angelo Stracuzzi was threaten people who had Bianchi signs on there businesses. One businesses being a Restaurant next to a boat business on West Housatonic St. Then the restaurant was visited by Health Dept. or building inspectors and gave owner a hard time. Has anyone else heard about this. Was told about this a day ago. Wow if this did happened someone should investigate this and if proven criminal charges should come. DAN: with this info you should find out if any truth to this. Anyway don’t think Angelo will be doing anything this election, but how about Mr. James????

    • danvalenti
      July 11, 2011 at 9:57 am #

      CONCERNED
      This story is true. Stracuzzi did visit that place of business and threaten it. The place had a Dan Bianchi for mayor sign in front. For the sake of the business, the owner pulled the Bianchi sign.

      • Dusty
        July 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

        Wow…that sounds like something the mafia might do

  10. CONCERNED
    July 10, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Jim: First of all sorry on the passing of your dad, knew him and he was a good man. Who is creepy voice guy on radio you talked about ???

  11. Concern
    July 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Dan. Isn’t that a crimal offense?????