COMMENTARIES AND EXPLANATIONS ON TWO RACES: STATE REP AND MAYOR, AS MARK MILLER AND DAN BIANCHI ANALYZE FOR THE MASSES
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, SEPT. 22, 2011) — And so the cynical but successful electoral scam continues on track. The Larkin-to-Larded-to-Sandwich Lady has worked like a charm. The TFB end of Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance around-the-horn twin killing seems poised for victory Oct. 18, the date for the special election. When all is said and done, unless the voters wake up, this $40,000 fiasco Larded stuck Pittsfield voters with will end up with another GOB marionette in the state house, and the back room at Remo’s will continue to be Pittsfield’s equivalent of The Sands. You know, the place where the Rat Pack conjugates.
GOB: KEEP THE TURNOUT LOW, BOYS, AND THE REST IS A GIVEN
The scam predicates itself on low turnout. Special elections practically guarantee few voters, and that’s all the Special Interests need. They can count on their core, mobilize them to vote, and they steal another election. We write this acknowledging that Tricia Farley-Bouvier may have the goods to be an effective representative in Boston, but under these circumstances, THE PLANET doubts we will see her full talents. She won a seat on the council through the low-turnout game and hooking up with WHEN.
You remember WHEN. That was the group of ladies, gals, and soccer moms who were going to “empower Pittsfield’s neighborhoods.” Right. The group actually became WHET: Women Helping Empower Themselves. WHET excluded minorities and kissed up, literally in some cases, to the GOBs — a marriage made in heathen.
TFB used the position to schmooze with the “right” people, and the next thing you know, she’s Mayor Jimmy Ruberto’s Gal Friday. The mayor then grants her peerage, dubs her a princess, grants a fat pay raise, and the next thing you know, old Jed’s a millionaire. She goes from being a secretary to all of a sudden, if you listen to the GOBs tell it, the greatest candidate ever to traipse down the pike since Sarah Palin.
The special election on Oct. 18 will not draw much better than the preliminary unless Pam Malumphy and TFB, who bear little love for each other, hold a mud wrestling contest instead of a debate. Would you pay five bucks to see that? Actually, the best candidate and the man who should be sent to Boston is Mark Miller. Miller has the intelligence, the grasp of issues, the knowledge of Pittsfield, and the earnestness of effort to ride head and shoulders above the others in the race.
THE PLANET also sees that Miller provided the best discussion of what happened on primary day, which he posted in his online journal. THE PLANET reprints it here. We provide this as recommended reading:
BY MARK MILLER
Special to THE PLANET
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 — Well, a four-way contest is on to determine who will represent the Third Berkshire District in the state House of Representatives for the next roughly fourteen and a half months.
Some math: In yesterday’s primary, less than 17 percent of those eligible to vote in the district actually voted for a candidate (4,034 people out of 24,588 registered to vote).
Among the three Democrats in the only primary contest yesterday, Tricia Farley-Bouvier received a plurality of 38.17 percent of the vote, Peter White received 32.94 percent, and Ryan Scago received 28.88 percent.
Mark Jester, who mounted a sticker/write-in campaign to get on the Republican ballot, received 202 votes, or about 25 percent more than the 150 he needed to be on the ballot as a Republican in the October 18 special election.
Mark Miller — that’s me — received 86 votes from people who voted on the Green-Rainbow ballot, where there was no contest, and no urgent need to qualify for this party’s nomination, as I was already guaranteed ballot status for the special election.
At this point, the Green-Rainbow Party is a minuscule party in terms of registration. Yesterday 122 GRP-enrolled voters were eligible to vote in the district.
In terms of voter awareness, the GRP is apparently minuscule as well. And judging from the way the paid clerks at the district’s 12 voting places informed, or failed to inform, many unenrolled (“independent”) voters of the choice of ballots they had yesterday, the party’s relative non-existence in voters’ minds will continue, at least for awhile. That is one of the challenges of my campaign.
I have a call in to City Clerk Linda Tyer to ask her exactly how she instructed polling place wardens and others prior to yesterday’s vote with regard to the three parties’ ballots, and whether the instructions were on printed sheets or were given orally.around 6 to closing time at 8. I quickly observed that the two clerks were mostly less than explicit in the information and instructions they gave unenrolled voters. There was some improvement after I spoke with the polling place warden, but he appeared less than overly concerned.
I conclude that if this was the case in all or most of the polling places, a considerable number of unenrolled voters who appeared at the district’s 12 polling places didn’t realize there was a Green-Rainbow ballot.
The hard reality of electoral politics, Pittsfield style, suggests that TFB won the general election on Sept. 20 in narrowly winning the primary. White, bowing to GOB wishes, has endorsed TFB, and that’s the name of that tune. There are scenarios where an independent (Malumphy), a Republican (Jester), or a third party candidate (Miller) could win, but they involve turnouts more than 50% and acts of God.
ON THE MAYORAL SIDE
On the mayoral side of the race, this one not a special election, the candidates in their paltry one debate made their cases. Only one candidate, however, thought to send an analysis, and therefore, THE PLANET shall only print one.
The Dan Bianchi campaign issued this statement following the mayoral debate that included Peter Marchetti, Joe Nichols, Donna Walto, and Steve Fillio.
FROM THE BIANCHI CAMPAIGN
September 19, 2011
Pittsfield – Mayoral candidate Dan Bianchi used tonight’s debate to argue forcefully for getting citizens involved in city government. “I want to lead Pittsfield in a new direction by creating an atmosphere where all citizens are encouraged to participate,” said Bianchi in his introductory remarks, adding: “as mayor, I will welcome public opinion – not discourage it.”
Bianchi, a former city councilor and city finance director, also spoke passionately about a range of important issues. He advocated for better management of the state and federal funds that the city receives, and strongly supported the city’s Neighborhood Watch programs.
On the topic of renovating the city’s schools, he declared “we need to make sure that our community is informed and involved as we work to find affordable, effective solutions for our children.” When moderator Larry Kratka asked the candidates about the physical condition of Crosby Elementary School, Bianchi described the neglect of it and other public elementary schools as “unconscionable,” and swore that he would address their upkeep as mayor.
“I’m asking for your support next Tuesday. Join me in moving Pittsfield forward,” Bianchi said at the close of his introductory remarks.
After the debate, Bianchi was confident about his performance, and upbeat about his prospects in next Tuesday’s primary election. “In the debate, I tried to communicate my faith in the strength and ability of our community. I believe I got that message across, and I think voters will respond well to being treated like grown-ups,” he said. “I laid out my honest views on the issues – no equivocating and no dodging. Now this election is really in the hands of the voters, and I look forward to hearing their voice on Tuesday.”
The interesting part of the statement is Bianchi’s sleight of hand reference the what he calls “the exclusionary policies of the Ruberto Administration, which Bianchi says Marchetti will continue.
FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH, HERE’S BIANCHI’S OPENING STATEMENT FROM THE DEBATE:
Prepared introductory remarks from Dan Bianchi:
My name is Dan Bianchi. I’m not looking for a job – I’m running to do a job for you. I want to be your next Mayor.
Two years ago, I ran a close race. And since that election, I’ve stayed in touch with many of you. Together, we’ve continued our conversations about the direction Pittsfield needs to go in order to expand business, create new jobs, improve our schools and reduce crime.
Those were the most critical issues of the last campaign, and they are the issues again today.
I want to lead Pittsfield in a new direction by creating an atmosphere where all citizens will be encouraged to participate. And as mayor, I will welcome public opinion, not discourage it.
I want to bring solid business practices to City Hall and set well defined, long range goals for our community and for our government.
I want to protect residents from undue governmental burdens by scrutinizing the budget and managing the budget, and working closely with state and federal agencies to make sure that all entitlement funds reach Pittsfield and are spent wisely.
Our schools need infrastructure improvements in order to meet 21st century standards. I will work with school officials, faculty and parents to ensure that all of our schools have the resources they need. We need to make sure that our community is informed and involved as we work to find affordable, effective solutions for our children.
Lastly, and most importantly, our community has been shaken recently by horrific acts of crime. Our DA, Police Department and Sheriff have done a great job in collaborating to bring those responsible to justice. We need to do more in the future to protect our citizens against crimes like this. That’s why, as your mayor, I will promote a zero tolerance policy for serious crime, and give the full support of City Hall to our neighborhood crime watches.
I’m asking for your support next Tuesday. I urge you to choose decisive, experienced leadership – support me in this effort. Join me in moving Pittsfield forward.
THE PLANET SHALL LEAVE IT TO OUR READERS TO PARSE THE STATEMENT. WITH THAT, WE SAY,
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.