PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, AUG. 26, 2011) — “It’s moving! It’s alive!! Ohhhhh, it’s alive it’s alive!!!”

No. That isn’t Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein watching his Grand Experiment come to life on the Universal laboratory table. It’s Campaign ’11 flicking its little finger in Pittsfield.

Several items have come over the transom, which THE PLANET shares here, exclusively. That means if you don’t read this site, you don’t find out about this information.


THE PLANET has heard from mayoral candidate Dan Bianchi regarding his position on random drug testing. We had a lengthy, informal, off-the-record phone chat about “this and that.” Bianchi took the initiative by calling us. So much for the ridiculous theory that Bianchi was deliberately shutting out THE PLANET as part of his strategy, something we tried to patiently explain to the few who prefer their fantasies to The School of What IS.

THE PLANET finds these types of informal exchanges with candidates invaluable in trying to wade through the “stuff” that they and their campaigns inevitably produce for public consumption. Publicly, all candidates “do wonders and spit cucumbers.” The private dimension, however, is where the guard comes down and helps fill in the blanks, so to speak. And as ANY — A-N-Y — public or private figure can attest who has confided in THE PLANET in our 37-year career as a journalist, we have NEVER — N-E-V-E-R — betrayed a confidence.

The Question on Drug Testing Was Worth Asking, After All, as THE PLANET Tried to Explain

THE PLANET has been criticized for asking this question (random drug testing) on rhetorical grounds on the unwarranted assumption that ALL candidates would favor random testing. Peter Marchetti, Joe Nichols, and school committee hopeful Terry Kinnas have endorsed such testing. For that matter, so has Mayor Jimmy Ruberto. Bianchi has taken another route. You see, one can never assume the obvious or the hidden. We make this statement for the benefit of those who irrationally insisted such a question was soft-balling the candidates.

We publish Bianchi’s statement in full and  unedited:

DAN BIANCHI: I understand your feelings on the drug testing issue. Public safety officers and other city employees shouldn’t be considered “above the law.” I don’t believe they are, and I disagree with the proposal to mandate random drug testing. Of course, any city employee who is caught in the act of using illegal drugs should be disciplined, both by the law and by their department. However, I would not support the policy of random drug testing of public servants who have done nothing wrong. Firefighters in particular have dedicated their careers to risking their lives for us, and treating them like suspects isn’t something I condone. I disagree that that’s the same as holding them to a lower standard than the general public, since after all, there are no city-mandated random drug tests for private citizens.

THE PLANET shall reserve comment on Bianchi’s position so that our readers make take it in and make their own assessments. It will be interesting to hear what Bianchi’s rivals, mainly Nichols and Marchetti, make of this position.


Our analysis of the respective websites of Dan Bianchi and Peter Marchetti gave the latter the edge on content (he had a platform versus Bianchi’s “Coming soon”) and timeliness. We reported that we couldn’t find Joe Nichols’ website. Our Google search didn’t spit it out, and deadlines being what they are, we had to go to press.

A couple of commentators, BABY and ITALIAN VOTER, brought Nichols’ website to our attention. We thank them.

Consequently, last night we went to We were impressed, mainly by the video message from the candidate that welcomes visitors to the site. Nichols delivers a statement to the camera that paints the broad outline of his approach to this race. THE PLANET won’t characterize the content of the speech or rate the candidate’s performance, but we do admire the initiative behind the website.

We can thus declare Joe Nichols as winner of the websites. … for what it’s worth. THE PLANET agrees with our commentators who said they don’t vote for candidates on the basis of the sophistication of their websites.

That, we thought, went without saying, but it evidently needed to be said. We will say, though, that websites are an increasingly important part of campaigning in 2011. It baffles us to go to a “www” site and find it’s up for window dressing and not meant to be a useful tool for visitors.

More and more people are looking to the web for information. A website that’s updated, packed with information, and conveys freshness and life makes a different kind of statement than one that is dated, void of meaningful information, and looks dead in the water. FREE ADVICE TO CANDIDATES: Get on your webmasters (usually young guys in or just out of college). Beat into them the importance of what you’re doing and the need to take advantage of the web’s greatest attribute, which is its timeliness.


As you know, as part of the Secret Squadron employed by THE PLANET from the Fortress of Solitude, we have many spies, operatives, secret agents, and informants that help us in our fight for Truth, Justice, and The American Way.

You would be surprised and in some cases shocked to know who they are and in which offices and departments they reside. We receive much intelligence from these sources, much of it back-grounder. Occasionally, we share some of this with the public. When we do, we publish them under the collective byline of “The Stooley.”

“The Stooley” might be a fireman on the line or a cop patrolling the city. The Stooley might be a secretary in the DPW or an engineer in the IT department of city hall. The Stooley might be a bartender or a restaurant owner. THE PLANET couldn’t operate the way we do and end up knowing as much as we know without the brave efforts of these dedicated public servants and private citizens.

With that, we bring you these two articles by “The Stooley”:


I agree Ruberto has every right to endorse whoever he wants. I just thought it was sort of a slap in Peter White’s face. I’d have to think long and hard to think of something Peter voted against Ruberto on, including the chief cook and bottle washer job she [TFB] had. Not too sure I’d want Hiz Honor’s endorsement myself, but the feedback I’ve been getting with my ear to the tracks is TFB wins the primary and if that happens should go on through the final election with little problem. I guess Pam would have to caucus with the Dems anyway, so why not just elect a Democrat? I can’t see the Boring Broadsheet printing anything against TFB or Ruberto, even if he did steal a campaign sign or two.

TFB was subject to a BB Topix discussion, for what THAT’s worth, for fudging on her website. She was saying she was the administrative top dog instead of saying she was the “acting” top dog. With the magic of the Internet, though, she was able to change that around quickly (if that is accurate; I tried to check it out but only saw her air-brushed Photoshopped picture that made her look 10 years younger and 20 pounds lighter, but what the hell. I think I’d try that myself.)

When the Verizon workers were walking around in circles on Federal Street, the three Democratic candidates for the 3rd got pretty kissy-face with the picketers trying to win over some votes. But yesterday when listening to the national news on the radio. I heard that the numbers of unemployed would be down even more if we didn’t have the Verizon strikers in the figures. Are we giving them (Verizon strikers ) unemployment benefits for striking?

Well, endorsements are interesting to say the least. Sometimes they help and sometimes they hurt. With Mayor Ruberto going full throttle for TFB, will this rally any support for the others from the anti-Ruberto crowd?

Mark C. Miller, Green Rainbow candidate who ran against Speranzo in November and narrowly lost, wins a surprise endorsement.

Green-Rainbow state representative candidate Mark Miller has stolen a traditional Democratic endorsement.

The United Auto Workers is supporting Miller’s candidacy in the special election for the Third Berkshire District seat. The UAW did not release information about its endorsement procedure, but Willie Desnoyer, president of the UAW Massachusetts State CAP Council, is quoted in a release stating:It is important us that Labor endorses candidates that will respect collective bargaining rights and job creation in Massachusetts. We feel Mark is the best choice for Labor.”

The union support comes days after the three Democrats in the race unsuccessfully wooed support from the Central Berkshire Labor Council, which opted not to endorse a candidate for the Democratic primary.

THE PLANET thanks “The Stooley” for these reports.






  1. Joe Blow
    August 26, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Green-Rainbow are anti-capitalist commies!

  2. Richard
    August 26, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Dan Bianchi mother is still in the hospital let’s say a prayer for her fast recovery.

    • Nomad
      August 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm #


      I spoke with Dan’s wife earlier tonight, Dan’s mother is doing fine. She was released from the hospital today.

      • Richard
        August 27, 2011 at 6:43 am #


  3. Real Deal 2
    August 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Please, don’t vote for Dan Bianchi. He’s a nice guy, I’ll give him that, but he has been in Pittsfield politics and never really did anything to remarkable to get Pittsfield in the right direction. he is part of the GOB, although maybe not to the extent of Mayor Rob-u-too, Gerry “thank god the city council mike is not a blood alcohol tester” Lee, or Angeblow. But with Sheriff Bolwer at his campaign launch, is there any doubt? Remember who backed Bowler during his campaign: all the GOBs of Pittsfield and Berkshire County. As they say in sports about an older team, “his window of opportunity has closed.”

    Also, Bianchi’s statement about drug testing is a 100% “elect me” stance. In other words: on the fence, save my ass from making a stance and not piss off any voter. Pittsfield needs a man/woman who takes a stance on this and other issues and is not affraid to back it up. Bianchi’s stance tells me he will be run by the unions in Pittsfield.

    So when it comes time to pull the lever, you can pick: Ruberto-lite (Marchetti), No Stance Bianchi, or Nichols. I think the choice is clear: Joe Nichols.

    • Steve Wade
      August 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

      Lets elect a pizza maker to run our city! NOT

      • Jim Domina
        August 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

        To each his own, but tell me Steve, what’s wrong with making pizzas ? Are you opposed to honest, blue collar, work ? One would imagine that the CEOs of Dominos and Pizza Hut are thrilled to be making pizzas. Besides Joe Nichols owns and manages a bakery, deli, and cafe that employs five. All jobs here in Pittsfield. Nichols also has been a VP and managing partner of an international real estate company that had worldwide holdings. He has a record of entrepreneurship that has created jobs and generated revenue. Joe’s family are long time Pittsfield businessmen and own two of the city’s most popular supermarkets. He is bilingual and has served his country. Suggest you visit his web site at: to further review his qualifications. By the way, he is also a current city councilor and serves on several municipal committees. His pizzas are great, you should try one !

        • danvalenti
          August 26, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

          Agreed. Well put. The Nichols family has a long history of citizenship and entrepreneurship.

      • Real Deal 2
        August 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

        But a failed CEO who bankrupted his Texas firm/business will be a better choice? NOT!!

      • rick
        August 27, 2011 at 2:22 am #

        steve,look back at past mayors and then you will change your tune.

    • Nomad
      August 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm #


      Apparently you have a short, or selective memory. In 2001, Dan, along with Joe Guzzo & Rick Scapin, were the minority votes against the establishment of a Civic Authority, on the appropriately named “8 to 3” council. The CA was to have been a 9 member appointed board, with the power of eminent domain. You can bet that the interests of the CA would have been controlled by members of the GOB network.

      I don’t think Dan’s name is on Gerry Doyle’s, Jim Ruberto’s, Gerry Lee’s…or many, if any, of the GOB”s Christmas card lists.
      During his time on the council, he constantly fought for the homeowner. To name a couple of others…he fought for the residents over the taking of property for the airport expansion project, and for the residents on Partridge Road who were being affected by Petricca’s Unistress expansion.

      Lastly, I don’t consider Sheriff Bowler a GOB. I seem to remember that he announced he would be running for sheriff before the GOB of all GOB’s (Carmen) announced he wouldn’t be.

    • Jim Gleason
      August 27, 2011 at 5:37 am #

      You have no idea of what you’re talking about. Dan

    • Jim Gleason
      August 27, 2011 at 5:41 am #

      You have no idea of what you’re talking about. Dan is in no way a GOB.If you were at his campaign kickoff you’d have heard him speak and realize that. You say Dan has never taken a stance on issues. You must not have been in Pittsfield for his ten years on the city council. Please educate yourself before you write garbage.

      • Real Deal 2
        August 27, 2011 at 11:49 am #

        I have been in Pittsfield for well over ten years G-Spot. Tell us what issues Dan has stood for or even what issues he does stand for? His BS about the drug testing tells me he is playing it safe and sitting on the fence and letting the other guys test the water first. Sorry Pittsfield doesn’t need a soft leader like that.

    • O. Davis
      August 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

      RD2, you should scroll up and read the statement again. Dan is definitely not on the fence on this issue – he came down firmly against mandatory drug testing of city employees, and his logic is tough to refute. You may not agree with the position, but at least recognize that he’s taken one.

      – Owen Davis, Campaign Coordinator

  4. rick
    August 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    i look back at joes voting record and see he voted mostly for the tax payer, he voted as if his ward were sitting in his chair with him, i like that and maybe now is the time to elect someone for mayor who isnt connected and looks down on those who are……as for tfb…shes speranzo with boobs……..

    • Real Deal 2
      August 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

      Spurs with boobs? I’m not sure. I think Spurs might have TFB beat by a cup size….just my opinion.

  5. Robocop Steroidcop
    August 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    I have to agree with rick and RD2. i have watched threse three men closely, bianchi, marchetti, and nichols. Joe is the only one who isn’t part of a machine. Marchetti is owned by the Ruberto crowd. Bianchi is owned by the Wotjkowski crowd. My vote goes to Joe. VOTE JOE! Send a message by electing the only outsider in this race.

    • Steve Wade
      August 26, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

      So because Joe voted NO on over 90% of the time this makes him better? Hey Joe I want mushrooms on my pizza! Joe should have stayed as a ward councilor, Mayor is out of his league!

      • Joe Pinhead
        August 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

        Mr Wade would you please tell us what’s wrong with running a pizza business? Would you rather he ran a company that has built say electric busses? Or batteries for those buses?
        Both of the other candidates voted to give millions to the man who had an impressive resume, most of it exaggerated but that doesn’t matter. And need I remind you when Armitage was charged neither of the other candidates who were duped requested the City persue options to get a penny back when his assets were liquidated.
        What’s wrong with making pizza? Isn’t Marchetti a banker? Wow now there’s a profession we can all praise and huddle around using your thinking.
        Hey I just had a thought lets base our discussion on who the candidates are and what they stand for. Not on degrading what they do to put food on the table.
        Mr Wade issue, issues, issues.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    Vote for who ever you wish Steve Wade, however what difference does it make what he does for a living. What is wrong with a busnessness person who sells food. Steve your way off base on this

  7. Leona
    August 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    Didn’t one of you dorks call Bianchi’s stance political suicide?

    • Real Deal 2
      August 28, 2011 at 12:50 am #

      It appears you have come out from under the rock with issues about the last campaign, Leona, may I welcome you to 2011. We currently havea poor economy, many people collecting some form of unemployment, wars. Oh. and tomorrow you are suppose to get rain and high winds from Hurricane Irene. You might might to head back under your rocks for a few ddays.

      I was going to call you a dork for not having your facts straight. but after some thought, I thought here is a lady (I assume) living under a rock rent free, utilities free, and she sprouts up like a mushroom during election time, Here I am paying mortgage, utilities, and every other tax increase the Devil and Obummer passes.

  8. Shakes His Head
    August 26, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    There isn’t anything wrong with the careers of the men running for mayor.

    The reason Pete White is running is to dilute votes away from TFB’s other competitors. I’m guessing Marchetti has promised him something for playing ball. I’m excited to read of Miller’s endorsements.

    • danvalenti
      August 26, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

      I agree. The career of a baker, a banker, and a gas salesman are not the issue here. Any criticism of Joe Nichols because he runs a bakery and restaurant is WAY off base.

  9. rick
    August 27, 2011 at 2:18 am #

    pay attention to the issues in the debates, pcbs… big 3…school etc, thats whats eating up our taxes, because an educated vote is going to help us in the years to come. we cant have the same council up there…independent thinkers are dangerous people. once their in they stop listening to the people who voted them to speak for them..excluding mazzeo and nichols from this equasion,the rest of the council seemed to go it alone and now have to live with their voting record. its always a good thing to clean house every 2 years in elections. and i think its time to send a message to the good ole boys that were taking our city back…. you guys didnt do a very good job!!!

  10. Dusty
    August 27, 2011 at 3:00 am #

    I heard a ward four candidate on the radio talking about how he wanted to “give back to the community”. That is a bona-fide bullshit catch phrase used by candidates that just have nothing really constructive to say to the voters. His name had Connell in it.

    comes across to me as a GOB insert

    • Joetaxpayer
      August 27, 2011 at 5:42 am #

      Ward 4 vote Chuck V he is for the people!

  11. Jeffrey Turner
    August 27, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    You couldn’t search up Good grief. And you tout your skills as an investigative reporter? And an expert on the web?

    Your reports from the “stooleys” seem long on opinion and not too meaty, but that’s par for your course. You didn’t need “insiders” to tell you that stuff off the record.

    Keep trying, Dan, you may be a useful reporter some day.

    • Steve Wade
      August 27, 2011 at 7:08 am #

      Jeff Tell it like it is! I just think that aperson who runs a small pizza shop is not qualified to run a 120 million budget. Thats all. Im sure his pizza is good.

  12. Jim Gleason
    August 27, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    Joe has done much more in his life than run “a small pizza shop”. That, much like most of the comments on here, has nothing to do with issues in this campaign. Dan Bianchi has a long record of voting for taxpayers. He voted against most of the ruberto budgets in his time on the council, unlike Joe this year. He voted for the taxpayer, joe that is, most of the time also, but doesn’t have a ten year voting record like Dan does.My choicw for this election is Dan. Make your own choice based on issues, not on what a person does for a living, though any honest job is good enough for me.

  13. ZZ Bottom
    August 27, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Im voting for Nichols because he’s the most down to earth.He himself at least I have that sense. My feeling about Dan is, good guy, but he looks like he’s tryiying to sell something. Peter M. seems like he’s troubled by something, seems too serious and tight. In state rep, i don’t know except ANYBody but TFB. Shes the worthy successor or larkin and spuranzo who both quit on us.