BIANCHI ANNOUNCES FOR MAYOR … in EARLY ACTION, MARCHETTI WINS BATTLE OF THE WEBSITES … INTEREST IN ‘SIGNGATE’ REVEALS MUCH ABOUT THE MOOD OF VOTERS; TWO COMPETING EMOTIONS WILL DECIDE CAMPAIGN 2011: ANGER vs. APATHY … plus … C’S BATTER WORCESTER AGAIN TO SOLIDIFY PLAYOFF POSITION
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
ADD 1, 8/25/11 FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE
BIANCHI DECLARES AT PACKED ITALIAN-AMERICAN CLUB
In answer to numerous questions THE PLANET has received about Dan Bianchi’s “Did he or didn’t he?” formally announcing for mayor last night, the answer is yes. Apparently, The Boring Broadsheet made the editorial decision not to notify the people of Pittsfield. Curious. Gee, do you think that might reveal a certain bias in the upcoming election?
Bianchi announced last night, delivering his speech to an over-flowing crowd at the Italian-American Club on Newell Street. The candidate cut his speech short when his mother fainted. Sheriff Tom Bowler, who was next to Mrs. Bianchi, called for an ambulance. Bianchi’s mom, we are pleased to report, was treated and released. A spokeswoman at Bianchi headquarters on Elm Street said that she’s “doing fine now.”
What Does Cyberspace Say? Not Much, but at This Point, for What It’s Worth: ADVANTAGE, MARCHETTI
A trip to Bianchi’s website doesn’t reveal much. Click the “Platform” link, and you get: “Coming soon.” THE PLANET assumes this refers to content that will be posted at some future date and that the words do not constitute Bianchi’s actual platform. That being said, when you think about it, “Coming soon” would be a sufficiently vague-yet-optimistic-sounding position on which to run. It even has a bit of futurism in it. Plus, it would give Bianchi free publicity every time the Beacon or the Little Cinema showed previews of coming attractions.
Incidentally, a trip to Peter Marchetti’s website also reveals a “platform” link. The difference is that when you click Marchetti’s, you actually get a platform. “Marchetti’s Vision” doesn’t have a lot of substance but at least it has topics (neighborhoods, expanding the tax base, education, and balancing community needs) with a handful of bullet points under each. ADVANTAGE: MARCHETTI
In terms of timeliness, Bianchi’s latest post as of today was dated Aug. 18. Marchetti’s wasn’t much better, but he’s more current by a day — Aug. 19. When will candidates realize that websites should be maintained and kept current? … or are they maintained simply as window dressing? FREE ADVICE: The candidate who makes the best use of technology such as the Internet will build substantially to his or her cause. ADVANTAGE: MARCHETTI.
Long Shots Only Reinforce Their Irrelevancy
Joe Nichols doesn’t appear to have a dedicated website, at least, none that THE PLANET could locate. He does have his electronic headquarters on Facebook, which might give him the edge in cyberspace, depending on how he uses it. We tried to access FB today but, because of computer problems, could not.
The long shots in the Pittsfield mayor’s race, Donna Walto and Steve Fillio, do not appear to have either a dedicated campaign website or FB headquarters. This only adds to their deserved perception as irrelevant. THE PLANET understands the arguments behind “philosophical campaigns,” but when you come down to it, gadfly candidates can’t be taken seriously and only clog up the campaign, which is too brief as it is.
Want to ID an irrelevant candidate at first sight? You look for two things: (1) Do they have an organization? and (2) Are they raising enough money to be competitive? For the office of mayor, that’s about $20,000.
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, AUG. 25, 2011) — One of our faithful commentators mocked THE PLANET for solving “Signgate,” wondering when the Great Investigative NewsHound Dan Valenti was going to solve the burning question of Ryan Scago’s missing sign.
Oooooooooooooooo. Ryan Scago’s missing sign. Stop the Presses!!
We don’t object, because, in an unintended way, my critic makes a valid point.
‘Signgate’ Begone; Voters Want Candidates Doing Something They Almost NEVER DO: Like, You Know, Actually Address Issues
Yes, my good friends, “Signgate” no doubt IS insignificant in the vast scheme of things. In fact, if you go back and read THE PLANET’s opening to our “Signgate” coverage, you will see that we raised that same point. We found it interesting that the conversation around Pittsfield’s rhetorical and political water cooler since the story broke centered not on the vital issues that should be addressed in Campaign 2011 but on Mayor Jimmy Ruberto’s activities regarding put-up and take-down of lawn signs. We judge this by phone calls, e-mails, and tweets.
Trivial? Not If People Want to Gawk, Like at a Fender Bender
That people should express curiosity about such trivia is a statement in itself, a story in its own regard. This interest in such a “veneered” or surface matter suggests that the electorate isn’t ready for another campaign. The elections cycles seem endless, probably as a consequence of the 24/7/365 news and information cycle of The Digital Age. People are fatigued, yet many can’t slow down or stay away from their infernal, glowing screens.
And what do campaigns bring to these folks? They deliver people spouting the same hot air and rhetoric, making the same promises. Under this reality, two elections scenarios are the most likely (with the added footnote that anything can happen).
SCENARIO ONE — The first is that after Labor Day, when the feeling of fall finally permeates the Berkshire air on a more consistent basis, the crispness will ignite the electorate’s predominant emotion: Anger. Voters are angry at ALL politicians, and they paint with a wide brush. Angry voters are motivated voters. Under Scenario One, dark horses and outsiders will do well. Voters could put Mark Miller in the Statehouse and Joe Nichols in the Corner Office.
SCENARIO TWO — This scenario has been operating like a well-greased machine for many elections in electorally woebegone Pittsfield. It taps into the electorate’s competing dominant emotion: Apathy. In Scenario Two, the candidates will say nothing of substance, talk about about “jobs, improving public education,” avoid controversial but vital issues, play up to the vested interests, and kiss a lot of babies. Apathy will win, turning off large numbers of the electorate. Under this circumstance, Establishment candidates, with built-in organizations and political allegiances, win. That’s how the GOBs hijack elections, by the way: By doing their best to discourage political activism among We The People. Not meaning any aspersions on the candidates, but this sends Tricia Farley-Bouvier to Boston and puts either Peter Marchetti or Dan Bianchi — the two Establishment candidates — in the mayor’s hot seat.
Anger or Apathy? That Will Decide Campaign 2011
What shall it be, then? Anger or Apathy? The voters will once again get the government to did or did not want.
* And yes, we know what happened to Scago’s sign.
* And yes, we know the other details of Signgate.
And no, we won’t be sharing them, because as another poster, “Concerned,” aptly pointed out, we solved the case to everyone’s satisfaction. Time to move on.
Colonials Again Batter Worcester, Solidifying their Playoff Chances
Last night, the Pittsfield Colonials won another important game, defeating the Worcester Tornadoes at Beloved Wahconah Park, 10-5 before just under 1,000 spectators. Here’s the game story:
Special to PLANET VALENTI Courtesy of the Can-Am League
After allowing Worcester to come within a run of tying the game, the Pittsfield Colonials plated five runs in the bottom of the eighth to put the game to bed and take a 10-5 win.
Colonials’ 1B Angel Molina led Pittsfield with three RBIs in the game. Molina went 2-for-5 at the plate with a double. Molina took over the league lead in RBI. He now has 72. Also for Pittsfield, catcher Chris Torres went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, and CF Jerod Edmondson went a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs scored, a double and an RBI.
Pittsfield amassed a 5-2 lead through four innings, but Worcester plated a run each in the seventh and eighth to cut the lead to a run. The Colonials responded with a five-run bottom of the eighth. Colonials starting pitcher Chad Paronto earned the win, allowing two earned runs on eight hits in seven innings. For Worcester, 3B Mark Minicozzi had two RBIs in the loss.
The victory solidifies the C’s playoff position, moving them into a 3.5-game lead over Worcester for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Can-Am League.
Can-Am League Playoff Situation
The first-place finishers in each half of the season qualify for the playoffs. The next two top finishers by percentage earn the final two spots. Going into tonight’s action, Pittsfield is in fourth place in the league’s overall standings with a 46-36 record (.561). They trail third-place Brocton by one game. They lead fifth place Worcester by 3.5 games, that edge coming on the strength of the Colonials having pounded Worcester the last two nights at BWP.
The Quebec Capitales, winners of the Can-Am’s first half, are in the post-season. The second half has seen a tight pennant race develop. That’s where the Can-Am League is going to get interesting in the regular season’s final days. Going into tonight’s action, the top five teams were separated by 1.5 games. New Jersey leads the second half, followed by Worcester (-.5 games), with Pittsfield, Quebec, and Brocton each 1.5 games out.
Suffice it to say that there will no no inconsequential games in the near future.
The Colonials — just as they did last year — are showing a knack of playing Big in big games. By the way, for those interested in the crucial attendance figures, the team has drawn 33,494 fans in 39 home openings for an average of 859 per game. That marks a 22.5% increase in last year’s average of 701.
WE’LL POST THIS NOW, AND CHECK IN LATER WITH MORE. UNTIL THEN …
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE!”
LOVE TO ALL