PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, SEPT. 23, 2011) — Pride does not come before the fall, which we can attest to on this first day of the autumnal equinox. The earth has begun to tilt away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere. Does that mean the lefty politicians in Pittsfield will be more or less radical or moderate? Tis a question for Bertrand Russell, methinks. If Gerry Lee comes out of his Legion stool stupor, we might even ask him. Years hence, historians will look back and wonder how he could remain as council president for so long.

DEBATE WATCHER CHECKS IN — THE PLANET received this eminently qualified analysis from an observer of the mayoral debate, such as it was. We present for your edification, herewith:

Agree with what you heard on the debate. I caught part of it on web stream. It was clearly Dan Bianchi who was mayoral material. I cast my ballot for him last week. Marchetti looked incredibly uncomfortable where he was and essentially wouldn’t take a strong stand on anything. Nichols looked a little better than I expected. The other two had no business being there. Walto thinks people will think she’s smart by dropping historical dates, but no dice. Fillio? No comment.

I watched part of Ward 4 as well, and I felt Bronson did the best job of the three. I voted for him to push him through to November. He may not make it past next Tuesday because the other two are more popular, but I think he performed very well for a newcomer last night. Connell performed very poorly in my opinion for someone who has been hanging around for a few years. Chuck was Chuck.


Comments along these lines have  been repeated over and over … from everyone who is not a Marchetti fan, that is. Those who are with Peter, the GOB bunch and the Preservationists of the Status Quo, think he did great. Those who are against Peter or who have no dog in the hunt (that is, they are neutral) say that Peter came off as tenuous and too much tweedle dee and dum.

THE PLANET has waited, in vain, for Marchetti to step out from whatever shadow of fear has him constricted and become his own man. If it doesn’t happen in this campaign, it will never happen. If you look at photos of Marchetti, you can see it in the eyes, the “tortured soul” look. We will not speculate on its origins, but we see it. What might be a watershed moment for the liberation of this man may instead be the confirmation of his worst fears. THE PLANET hopes this is not the case.

In fact, the best thing that could happen to Peter Marchetti now is for him to be the odd man out on Tuesday. That way, he can “retire” to his true career with the Pittsfield Coop Bank. He’s not cut out as a front man in politics. He’s a second banana, a kind of Ed McMahon to the Gerry Lees and Jimmy Rubertos of the political scene. He has done nothing in this campaign to shake the criticisms that he is and will be a stooge for the special interests. There is still time for him to do this, and perhaps “the new Marchetti” will come out fighting in the general election — should he survive the next round.



One of our southern correspondents, Agent 5546 who monitors the town of Lee, has this interesting tidbit in a report filed a couple days ago:

“Here’s one for you that shows exactly what is wrong with government. The town hall in Lee and the fire station went up for bid for painting. Three painting contractors responded with bids. The lowest bid was $25,000. The town went for a bid, however, that was $45,000. Why didn’t they go for the lowest bid, especially when it was submitted by a local contractor with experienced. The company has even painted a town hall and other commercial jobs around the Berkshires. Government spending is out of control. You can’t tell me that the extra $20,000 couldn’t have gone to better use elsewhere. I think the taxpayers in Lee are getting worked over big time. This is just one example. It’s happening all the time, all over the country.”

This reminds me of something my father —a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge and at 90 years old, still doing gardening, doing his own snow removal, and running his woodworking shop — used to say: “What this country needs is a goddamn good revolution.”



— In our time on the radio, in print, and in the blogosphere, THE PLANET has taken more shots than most any other public figure. We dish then out. We expect to take them.

Our two favorites, from cyberspace critics, are worth noting here for special honors.

Our favorite was from a critic who likened us to the singer Johnny Fontaine, who goes crying to the Godfather because the HOllywood producer has bypassed him for a film job. Brando slaps Fontaine and tells him, “Be a man, Johnny.” We would gladly be Johnny Fontaine as long as the deal stipulated that we could sing like Al Martino. Martino, in THE PLANET’s humble opinion, was better than Sinatra, Dean Martin, Pat Boone, Johnny Mathis, Frankie Lane, or any other male singer you can mention.

— Our second favorite are the aphorisms of the collective entity known as Pittsfield Believer. The Believer has us eating every day at Blantyre or Wheatleigh with the governor or James Taylor. You have to lvoe an imagination that robust.



THE PLANET doesn’t own a TV, but we were on the road last night and from our hotel room and room service, we got to watch the GOP debate on Fox News, cosponsored by Google. Former Massachusetts guv Mitt Romney “won” the contest over a shaky Texas guv Rick Perry. Mister Mitt, who used to do radio shows with THE PLANET, jabbed with effectiveness and landed several heavy rights. THE PLANET taught him everything he knows.

Perry seemed like a TV evangelist who just got outed by his mistress. We gave second place to Jon Huntsman. As for Newt, we have one question: Why? Michelle Bachmann finished each rehearsed answer looking like Lily Tomlin. Ron Paul looked like a crabby old man. The owner of Godfather’s pizza has a clue but not a chance.

Of the long grey line offered by the GOP, Mr. Mitt has the best chance of taking down President Obama in 2012.






  1. Hilly Billy
    September 23, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    I know something about the sitaution in Lee. It’s as agent 5546 has written. Don’t know why the town idiots (aka slectboard) awarded the extra $20,ooo but it’s probably politics and possibly kickbacks.

    • scott
      September 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

      What do you have? Lets hear it???

  2. Concern
    September 23, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    Would like to hear from Select members and answer WHY!!!!! Any chance Dan you can ask them ?????

    • scott
      September 24, 2011 at 4:15 am #

      I was the low bidder on the job. They wanted me to have Workman compensation even though it’s not required for me to do so as a single entity when I did the town hall in Lanesborough I picked up the policy I also would have needed an HIC license which is no problem it can be obtained very quickly they also would not give me 1/3 down which is not unreasonable. I told them I would get everything in order but they would have to work with me which I think would have been worth it considering the money that would be saved by tax payers.
      I have done a lot of jobs around the Berkshires and beyond. I agree with agent 5546 this IS exactly what is wrong with government out of control spending.

      • scott
        September 24, 2011 at 4:18 am #

        I would also like to say I really don’t need the work it would have been nice but working for big contractors and towns are a hassle I wanted to split the project up as well and do one this year and the other in the spring. I am a small local company just me so maybe that’s why.

    • Steve Wade
      September 24, 2011 at 8:22 am #

      If I was a selectman and a bid came in almost half of what others bid, I would have to think twice before I accept it. I believe in You get what you pay for. I go with quality not quantity.. The city of Pittsfield took the low bid on painting cross walks and we all know how great they came out!

      • scott
        September 24, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

        Steve, I have a long list of satisfied customers. Quality comes first in our name and our service.

  3. Tony Dinsmore
    September 23, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    First of all, it was “ACT LIKE A MAN!!!” not “be a man”.
    And Al Martino? Really? He wasn’t even up to the same caliber as Perry Como.

    As for the debate, Huntsman did poorly. And the Godfather’s pizza owner has no clue. Imagine trying to buy a car if his 999 dream came through. 15.25% tax on a car? Only your buddy JT could swing that! Cain’s ideas might help businesses, but they will hurt working joes.

    Santorum did well and may sneak past Bachmann/Paul, but the nominee will be Mitt.

  4. Dusty
    September 24, 2011 at 1:38 am #

    Totally agree on Marchetti. Definitely not material for a leading position….not everyone has what it takes and that is not a knock on him. I do knock on him for letting himself be forced into the uncomfortable position. I wonder if he is being bullied into it.

    But in the Gazette he says , “My department heads will be instructed to give the truth and facts.”

    What the hell does that mean? Are the current department heads instructed to NOT give the truth and facts? Why would he say that unless he felt it was not the case now? And if not, why did he never seem to be pressing for “truth and facts” at any council meeting over the last umpteen council meetings? He may be a nice guy but if he has any leadership qualities he hides them well.

  5. Richard
    September 24, 2011 at 6:47 am #

    Marchetti is another one the Mayor has converted to his way of running a city a vote for him is businesses as usual. Part of the good old boys club.

  6. Ed
    September 24, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    I read an interesting thought regarding Peter Marchetti that was posted on another discusssion forum. It purported something that hasn’t been previously been mentioned.
    It contends that if Marchetti is elected mayor, Pittsfield will gain a reputation as Gay Friendly, and that this will aid the city’s economy by encouraging gays to relocate here and many will open businesses, thereby increasing both the population and tax base. It makes a comparison to Provincetown on the Cape.

    • Steve Wade
      September 24, 2011 at 8:50 am #

      Are you serious? What do you live under a rock? That has to be the most assnine post Ive ever seen.

      • rick
        September 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

        not as assinine as you think… gays love parades and marchetti runs the fourth of july parade.. put the two together and the fourth will turn into gay pride parade..

        • Steve Wade
          September 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

          Rick Are you the boy who played dueling banjos on Deliverance?

          • rick
            September 24, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

            steve,its a little humor at marchettis expense…. how about gays love to shop and decorate so the first thing marchetti does is redecorate the mayors office in a hot pink

      • Concern
        September 24, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

        Agree Ed post is stupid and makes no sense.

  7. Ray Ovac
    September 24, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    DV, where do Bianchi and Nichols stand on reopening the Consent Decree to get GE finally to clean up Silver Lake? And on the not insignificant matter of mandatory drug testing for all of Pittsfield’s public employees, has either candidate taken a firm stand? Has anyone heard any of the lead candidates seriously address these critical issues?

  8. beezer
    September 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Dan, subterfuge is the new word. Rick Perry is making Romney look good, remember the conservative label he was bypassed on by his own party last election? Notice how Romney is for Social Security, the biggest factor in the next election will be who supports it, regardless of party affiliation. Why would Perry be so stupid as to say what he has about certain issues, coming off as a lunatic. Romney is the only candidate who can defeat Obama, Perry is being used as subterfuge. Newt needs to just go.

    • Concern
      September 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

      I think Mickey Mouse could defeat Obama. I sure would vote for MM before Obama

  9. rick
    September 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    then vote for bachman she sure is goofy.

    September 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    goofy is far better than what we have now

    • danvalenti
      September 24, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

      Say what you will about the way he governs, but Obama is a tough campaigner. Best campaigners in my lifetime? JFK, Clinton, and Reagan.

  11. just saying
    September 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    A Fox News online poll had Ron Paul as the winner in the debate, with about 39% of respondents votes going to him. The poll has since been removed from the site. (I can’t find it).

    • danvalenti
      September 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

      Paul had a strong showing, but he comes off as churlish and irascible. He’s probably the best person for the job, that question aside.

      • Jeffrey Turner
        September 24, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

        If you think the economy is bad now, just wait til any of the Republicans get elected. Faith-based economics doesn’t work. Tax cuts don’t work. Unemployment could easily top 20%. And poverty will certainly rise faster than it has been.

        • danvalenti
          September 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

          Thanks for your views.

          • Jeffrey Turner
            September 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

            It’s not an opinion. Unlike most of the bozos on this bus, I know something about economics.

        • scott
          September 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

          It’s gonna happen anyways people are two lazy I mean look at the recent triple murder three guys can’t even put in enough effort to dig a hole…

  12. Joeblow
    September 24, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Gov. Christie is about to throw his hat in the ring and will win the nomination.

      September 24, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

      you might be right Joeblow

    • danvalenti
      September 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

      Now Christie would make one fascinating candidate. I love the way he stood up to the teachers’ unions in NJ.

  13. Tony Truran
    September 24, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Ron Paul is the only Non-RINO honest man/woman in the bunch

    MSM only pines to RINOS ands the far left