PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, SEPT. 2, 2011) — In what can be considered the first true salvo of Campaign ’11, Mayoral Division, Dan Bianchi’s campaign manager slammed the platitudinous nature of Peter Marchetti’s website “Platform,” labeling it vague and self-evident.

“[Marchetti’s platform]says nothing,” said Owen Davis, Bianchi’s right-hand man. “He comes out with platitudes like, ‘I’m in favor of safe and drug-free neighborhoods.’ Like, who isn’t? We will stay from that type of ‘say-nothing’ stuff. We have tried to get down to brass tacks.”

Marchetti responded this morning: “I am not sure what the issue is with the website. My website is a working document and serves as an outline of the concepts that I will be talking to the residents about. As the campaign progresses, I will add more definitive information to it. I have suggested in the close to 20 coffees that I have already attended that my website will be updated with additional information as the campaign moves forward and people should continue to check back.”


Davis make his remarks in an interview yesterday. He had announced that Bianchi had a “Platform” up on his website. Readers and viewers may recall that THE PLANET had chided Bianchi for having a great looking website, but when we went to click on his “Platform” link, we got only: “Coming Soon.”

Now, visitors to will hit the “Platform” link and see the following categories, in this order:

* City Hall — “Best practices at City Hall will benefit everyone. In particular, Dan will work with departments to establish clear, written, long-term goals that inform everything they do.”

* Jobs, Business and Our Economy — “We need a Business Development Officer, a salesman for the city who can devote his or her energy to bringing new and expanding businesses to Pittsfield.”

* Education, Arts and Culture — “We must renovate and modernize Taconic High School in order to give this generation and future ones the education they deserve.”

* Law Enforcement and Public Safety — “Pittsfield Police should have the authority to pursue criminals with all available resources. Police should be focusing their energies on stopping real and substantive threats to our community.”

The quoets give you a taste of what’s in each category. THE PLANET will reserve comment on the contents of the site and will leave that to viewers. Is the Bianchi site any more or less vague and platitudinous than Marchetti’s? We invite readers to make that determination for themselves by visiting Bianchi’s and Compare similarities. Contrast differences. It may help you decide who is the bet man. Also visit Joe Nichols is the only one with a video message, well done at that. We would welcome your reviews of the three websites.


We find it notable, almost shocking given Bianchi’s emphasis in neighborhoods in Campaign ’09 against Jimmy Ruberto, that he says little to nothing about this crucial component of municipal life in his platform. Bianchi came within 200+ votes of victory against a more-financed incumbent mayor by pounding away at neighborhoods, neighborhoods, neighborhoods, and how Ruberto had neglected them. To see now how he says little about them in his platform suggests one of two possibilities:

(1) This is deliberate, indicating a shift in strategies given Marchetti and not Ruberto is the opponent.

(2) This is inadvertent, which would be an major oversight, though easily corrected.

In fairness to all three men, their websites are evolving — or at least we hope they are. THE PLANET hopes the campaign websites are regularly updated and not being used for window dressing. The candidate who stays sharpest on the web will score major points that will translate into votes.



Davis said this weekend will mark the Bianchi effort kicking into high gear. He says the campaign will unfold in stages: first, beginning this weekend, much higher attention and effort will be paid to and invested in getting up lawn signs and canvassing door-to-door. The latter will involve person-to-person contact with Bianchi or a staffer, as well as ‘lit drops’ — leaving campaign materials.

THE PLANET asked how much of Bianchi’s platform is his, that is, conceptualized and written by the candidate: “All of it,” Davis said. He described the Bianchi campaign as “grassroots.” He said the campaign will not be importing any high-priced talent from out of town to do polling or provide other such slick methods. He said Bianchi developed the platform after numerous “communications with people in city hall, the police and firemen, teachers, business people” and ordinary citizens.

Davis is from Northhampton. He graduated from college this year (don’t know where) with a degree in political communication.


MA Nurses Association Endorses Mark Miller

Second union to endorse a Green-Rainbow Party candidate in a high-profile partisan special election

Three weeks in advance of a contested Sep 20 Democratic Party primary, a second major union has already made up its mind to endorse Green-Rainbow Party candidate Mark Miller in the Oct 18 special election.

The Mark Miller campaign issued the following press release today:

Mark Miller, who is running for state representative in the Third Berkshire District, has received the endorsement of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. The news comes soon after another union, the Massachusetts UAW, announced its decision to endorse Miller.

“The Massachusetts Nurses Association has endorsed Mark because he will be a strong advocate for nurses and will work for the continued improvement of health care services. Once elected, Mark will do all he can to support the passage of legislation which will ensure safe nurse staffing in our hospitals and advocate for access to safe and quality healthcare”, said Donna Kelly-Williams, RN, President of the Massachusetts Nurses Association.  Adds Kelly-Williams, “Mark also shares one of MNA’s main goals—the desire to restore a basic standard of living for working people by creating financial remedies that hold Wall Street accountable while protecting those who live and work on Main Street USA.”

Miller, who won 45% of the votes in his 2010 bid for the seat, is running under the banner of the Massachusetts affiliate of the Green Party of the United States, called the Green-Rainbow Party.

THE PLANET has endorsed Miller in the race. Thus far, this is our favorite quote from the candidate:

“I was a lifelong Democrat, but as with many Democrats there was a point when I had to say enough is enough. For me, that point came when the party caved in on health care. So although I’m not running as a Democrat I’m the candidate who is fighting for core Democratic policies like Medicare for All.”






  1. Aclu
    September 2, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    Bianchi says we need a business development officer. Look at the cloud of dust coming from the the north, could it be yes it’s Barrett the 100 thousand dollar super consultant. Or does he have a loyal campaign contributor in mind?

  2. Senator
    September 2, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    I’m looking forward to that ‘brass tax’.

    • Jim Domina
      September 2, 2011 at 10:00 am #

      ” Brass Tax”. Marchetti calls for another Tax ! Why not an aluminum tax or a zinc tax ? (jocundly). He most likely meant brass tacks.

      • danvalenti
        September 2, 2011 at 11:01 am #

        I did indeed. I corrected the quote. Now both campaigns can say I did something deliberately to sink then: leaving out a “t” in Marchetti’s website and turning “tacks” into “tax.” It’s just that when I’m talking to anyone connected with politics and I hear the word “tacks,” it comes out as “tax.”

  3. Shakes His Head
    September 2, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    There is an industry standard accreditation, just like city managers, human resource professionals, not-for profit executives, etc. that economic development professionals can apply for with a combination of education and verified experience. Let’s hope that the City doesn’t get a local ‘loyalist’ without the background to market the community and match the available workforce to potential employers while retaining and expanding local enterprises.

  4. Baby Baby
    September 2, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    You need to correct that, Dan.

  5. Joe Blow
    September 2, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    I will vote for none of the above!

    • danvalenti
      September 2, 2011 at 10:59 am #

      I’ve long argues that “none of the above” should be a choice on every state and national ballot. Problem is, “None of the above” would win many elections.

      • JoeBlow
        September 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

        We might be better off…lol

  6. Aclu
    September 2, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Here’s the problem Joe N. Is a nice guy but I don’t believe he’s qualified or electable. So that that gives us Dan the Wojokowski hatchet man or Peter Marchetti. We’ve seen the Dan and Ann show and cancelled it once. So I guess it’s time to give Marchetti try. If you diagree I look forward to hearing views. How that for a kinder gentler approach Dan and the Dan fans?

    • Dave
      September 2, 2011 at 11:20 am #

      Peter Marchetti is a Jimmy Roberto want-a-bee. He has indicated that if he is elected, he will continue Squiggy’s programs and path.

      We have definately had enough of that program and the unethical actions associated with it. Electing Peter Marchetti would be a huge mistake for Pittsfield.

      • danvalenti
        September 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

        DAVE raises the one moment in the campaign Peter Marchetti likely regrets, when he said he intended to continue with Mayor Ruberto’s policies. He did that in a BB article early on in the process, maybe in May when he took out papers. If I’m Nichols and Bianchi, I’m raising that issue again and again. I get a blow up made of the article, with the relevant quote highlighted. I pound away at it. If I’m Marchetti, I’m plotting a response to the statement. THE PLANET and others have noted that Ruberto has not been doing much campaigning for Marchetti. For Tricia Farley-Bouvier, the mayor is campaigning all stops out.

    • danvalenti
      September 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

      Love it, although you are way more than welcome to deliver tough shots above the belt. That includes at me, if you feel it’s warranted. Yeah, though: You contributions to the site are welcome.

    • Abcd
      September 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

      American Civil Liberties Union. (Aclu) I respectfully disagree with your assessment of Joe Nichols. He is more qualified than many past mayors. Do you know he and his resume’ well ? The ACLU has always been the voice of liberalism. Is your prejudice against Joe Nichols simply because he served in the U. S. armed forces ?

      • Aclu
        September 4, 2011 at 5:38 am #

        I respect every member of the armed forces. We’ve elected less qualified people? That’s a ringing endorsement, I’ve read Joes bio and running several small businesses (only one that is still in business) in my opinion does not qualify you to be mayor. As for the ACLU is not the voice of liberalism it is an association dedicated to the defense of the U.S. Constitution .

    • Joetaxpayer
      September 2, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

      Ill vote for Dan an hope and pray he can put a end to the tax and spend(thats how we always do it)way that Pittsfield been doing for way too long.Shrinking population still 9 elementary schools still 5 fire stations still 3 high schools

  7. Aclu
    September 2, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    So we have Fillio or Walto I’d rather keep Roberto

    • danvalenti
      September 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

      Fillio and Walto are running protest campaigns. usually, candidates do that either because they want to provide symbolic objection to mainstream choices or its one’s 15 minutes of fame. When I ran such a campaign in 1991, I did it to learn the process of running from the inside. This was right before I started my radio show and newspaper columns. I see Steve and Donna as a version of “none of the above” though not as appealing, since a vote for “none” says there wasn’t one of the usual suspects worth electing.

  8. Ray Ovac
    September 2, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    What’s stopping candidate Mark Miller from “telling the full story” (DV’s words) of Miller’s inept stewardship of The Berkshire Eagle? DV said the other day that dumb business decisions running the BB are “not indicative of Mark’s legislative abilities”. That goes against common sense. If Mitt Romney had been known to run businesses into the ground, would anyone seriously claim he’d nonetheless make a great president? Would anyone consider him a candidate for anything? So why doesn’t Mark Miller tell the “full story of what happened” (DV’s words) at the BB? After all, it’s been almost two decades since Miller and his brother drove the BB empire into bankruptcy. It’s certainly a long overdue story and given candidate Miller’s decision to seek public office, the green fellow should now be forthcoming about his role in destroying what once was a thriving community-minded Berkshire institution. It not only goes to the guy’s credibility but more importantly, to his basic competence.

    • danvalenti
      September 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

      That’s for Miller to answer or not. Is the question even relevant to the 3rd Berkshire District Race?

      • Ray Ovac
        September 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

        DV, are you serious asking whether Credibility and Competence are relevant to running for a seat in the Mass. State House? On 2nd thought, maybe not considering all the tax & spend jerks in the Mass. legislature.

        • danvalenti
          September 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

          You got “considering all the tax and spend jerks” correct!! My question wasn’t rhetorical. Voters, the other candidates, and Miller will decide if it’s important enough to address. It was 20 years ago. Thanks, though. Fair question.

  9. Payroll Patriot
    September 2, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    Just a note, EVERY organizational endorsement is a sell out to a SPECIAL INTEREST by the candidate! The “little guys and gals” mean nothing. In the interest of being “fair and balanced,” Pete White has the MTA money behind him, according the official MTA postcard. Unfortunately for Pete White, the other person on the card looks like a more creditable candidate.

    • Joetaxpayer
      September 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

      Does it really matter who wins mass.state house the fools all vote the same.If anything we should cut the crew in half,result would still be the same but we would save a few bucks

  10. Hilly Billy
    September 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    First time in. I think Joe Nichols will be the sleeper winner in September ousting Marchetti. I see joe going on in edging Bianchi. Joe Nichols is the only outside in the race. Go Joe.

  11. Just Saying
    September 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm #


    You say you are libertarian. Then you endorse a candidate that believes in socialized medical care. A candidate that has received an endorsement from a union.

    As you say though, you are a small ‘L’ libertarian.

    Well I’m not. I believe that unions are a form of communism. (I DID NOT say the members are communist, most are just hard workers trying to earn a living). The point is that collective bargaining is against the best interest of the individual. It supports the lazy and does not reward the best and brightest.

    Miller says he supports medicare for all. Who the hell pays for this??? The 50% of us that pay taxes, that’s who.
    The other half gets it for free.

    Come on DV, what gives? You are either for individual freedom or you are not. Miller’s positions are clearly far from libertarian.

    • danvalenti
      September 2, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

      As you yourself point out, I have said I’m a libertarian, small “l”. That means I am not a party member. I belong to NO political party. I therefore cannot be held to the rigidness of a “party” view. That fact alone obviously makes me a great advocate of individual freedom.

      You may also recall my own personal principles of government, which I listed a few days ago here. My first principle was that “You own yourself.” Clearly, that means freedom with responsibility. One of my other principles is that “Utopia is never an option.” So when you say, “Come on, DV, what gives? You are either for individual freedom or you are not.” You are, JS, in effect suggesting utopia here. That’s not an option. That Miller’s position are or are not libertarian does not preclude my support for him as the best candidate.

      When you apply reason and logic to my endorsement of Miller factoring in my previous statements on political philosophy, there’s no mystery at all. My positions are not contradictory but the opposite.

  12. rick
    September 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    marchettis voting record is enough for me to vote for anyone else then him. he voted for all the tax increases roberto put forth.if you want higher taxes then petes your guy. with the economy the way it is we cant afford marchetti… the times are changing and we need someone in tune with the changes…they call themselves progressive,i call them spenders, that makes them dangerous to the tax payer.

    • Dusty
      September 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

      For that matter did Marchetti even question anything Ruberto pushed forward at the last minute? No. He was happy with everything Ruberto wanted to do.

      Someone should ask all the candidates, but Pete in particular, if they agree with Rubertos policy of submitting petitions and information at the 11th hour, so that no one had a chance to review it before voting on it. Will each of them do things differently or was that way just fine with them?

      (Get these answers on record)

    • Hilly Billy
      September 2, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

      I agree marchetti’s support of everything ruberto did is going to kill him in thsi campaign. And he’s still talking about the Ruberto years as if Pittsfield makes great shakes. It didn’t, Pete!!!!! You listening? And here’s a fair question since he brought it up earlier when he announced, Does the fact that he’s married TO A MAN matter? To this voter it sure as heck does.

  13. rick
    September 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    dusty, they were informed by roberto before the 11th hr, or roberto wouldnt have submitted it… its called back room politics, so all those 8 to 3 and 9 to 2 votes were all ready in the can before the cameras began to roll. its how the game is played in politics.

  14. rick
    September 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    p.s. to even think that those votes would be cast blindly by those councilors is a reason not to vote the bobble heads back in. the mosquito fiasco is proof positive that they would throw hundred of thousands of dollars around without a sound discussion.

  15. Real Deal 2
    September 2, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    I believe it’s time to send a message and get rid of every current city council member in Pittsfield, except Melissa Mazzeo. It’s to bad that the two biggest ass kissing idiots (Christine Yon and John Krol) are running unopposed.

    Pull the lever for the man who will work for the tax payer: Joe Nichols.

  16. Hilly Billy
    September 2, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Nichols is going to know Marchetti for two loops in Sept vote.

  17. Just Saying
    September 2, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    Yes, Nichols is the only choice.
    Dr. Ron Paul is also the only choice.

  18. danvalenti
    September 2, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    THE PLANET, with all impartiality, has noted what seems to be a groundswell for the candidacy of Nichols. The most repeated statement we hear is along the lines of: “He’s the only outsider” among the Big 3 (Nichols-Bianchi-Marchetti). Of the other two, it would appear at this point that Marchetti is the most vulnerable to Nichols’ candidacy.

    • Steve Wade
      September 3, 2011 at 5:30 am #

      The groundswell for Nichols are the 5 or 6 bloggers from your site!

  19. rick
    September 3, 2011 at 2:56 am #

    as long as people go back to candidates voting record, and dont get caught up in their sound bytes and media hype we cant go wrong at the polls. if we remember all the money roberto spent to buy votes and all the hollow promises he made to the people of pittsfield and if we should see this pattern arise from any of these people running for mayor, we should shut them down at the polls.

    • Dusty
      September 3, 2011 at 3:40 am #

      I always felt this in the past. that if people do a modicum of homework, that common sense would dictate they vote out the obvious self serving GOB candidates. But shockingly, you would have a councilor who had bent over backwards for the voters now getting beat by someone I had never heard of. i.e. the finance guy from ward 4 or the professor at BCC.

      It almost seems like gob candidates start off with a few thousand votes in their cue before the polls open up. There are many ignorant voters in Pittsfield but there cannot be that many stupid ones. The really stupid ones don’t vote at all.

  20. Senator
    September 3, 2011 at 5:43 am #

    Oh I get it now.

    stupid = disagree with Dusty

  21. JahnDoh
    September 3, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    I am still undecided between Nichols and Bianchi (no way am I voting for Marchetti) but the problem I have with Nichols is he voted for Ruberto’s bloated, sprending-spree, keep-raising taxes-budget the last time around. He would have been much better served to vote against that budget. His website (with video) is much better done than Bianchi’s.
    But please let it be either one; if Pittsfield votes in Marchetti we are all doomed to repeat the Ruberto fiasco all over again.
    As far as TFB goes, I’d vote for my cat first.

    • Allen
      September 3, 2011 at 7:07 am #

      Nichols shit the bed on the budget. He retired his boxing gloves the day he became a candidate for mayor. Big bad Joe is Sweet Joseph now.

  22. Hilly Billy
    September 3, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    That’s my only reservation about Joe. Voting for Robertos budget was like he was doing it so he could appease some of the gobs in the campaign. Joe it won’t happen, run like the otsider you are. Get tough.

  23. Just Saying
    September 3, 2011 at 10:16 am #


    For the record, I am not enrolled in any party. Never have been, never will be.

    • danvalenti
      September 3, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      Thanks. I knew you were/are a wise man.

  24. Just Saying
    September 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm #


    Thank you. You are quite wise yourself.
    We can agree to disagree on your endorsement of Mr. Miller.
    After reading the self promotional pieces in the Gazette, I personally like none of em.
    Scago looks to be the best in my opinion.