By DAN VALENTI
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.”
‘COMING SOON’ FINALLY ARRIVES
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 votebianchi.com 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 petermarchetti.com. Compare similarities. Contrast differences. It may help you decide who is the bet man. Also visit nicholsjoseph.sitebuilder.completecampaigns.com. Joe Nichols is the only one with a video message, well done at that. We would welcome your reviews of the three websites.
THERE GO THE NEIGHBORHOODS
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.
OTHER CAMPAIGN ‘STUFF’
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
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.”
THE PLANET SHALL BE BACK LATER WITH MORE EXCITING STUFF, INCLUDING THE FIRE DEPARTMENT-CITY CONTRACT TANGO.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.