By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, OCT. 28, 2011) — The aftermath of Staffergate continues to rock, and possibly sink, the Marchetti for Mayor campaign. The voters will decide that one, definitively.
THE PLANET has heard that the key Marchetti staffer, who prompted the firestorm by a gratuitous, post-debate personal attack on a member of the audience at the BCC debate, has left from the campaign. It’s not clear whether she resigned or was told to leave. In any case, Tokyo Rose, as THE PLANET will call her to protect the innocent and spare the guilty, is no longer involved — at least on the surface — with the Marchetti campaign.
The exiting of an important staff member because of her actions marks the latest setback in what has been a near-disastrous campaign for Marchetti. Most observers agree that Marchetti has run as a lukewarm candidate. He has failed to convey to the electorate that he WANTS the job as mayor. Meet Cool Hand Lukewarm, a soon to be defeated corner-office wannabe that didn’t wanna.
Her Actions Flew in the Face of Marchetti’s Comments
Many had concern with the actions of Tokyo Rose as reported by THE PLANET yesterday, especially after Marchetti had just made the strident point during the debate how proud he was of the actions of his supporters. It was one of the few moments where you sensed Marchetti speaking from a genuine core. Her actions undercut his public claims, possibly even more than the revelation that Gerry Doyle and Angelo Stracuzzi have been working behind the scenes for Marchetti’s coronation. A coronary is more like it.
The matter brought to a head a campaign that has been plagued by disenchantment, dissension, and disillusionment. Peter’s remaining staffers, we hear, were furious at Rose’s lapse in judgment. We hear also that some are
turned off by the involvement of Doyle and Stracuzzi. The consensus from neutral and not-so-neutral observers is that the Marchetti’s campaign is reeling, that Peter is in over his head, and that he appears to be a front man for others.
Not Much Fun at Fundraiser
Last night at Spice Restaurant, Marchetti had a fundraiser. According to an attendee, the mood had a forced gaiety about it. The implosion of the campaign was a topic, in whispers and not out loud, and the mood, apparently, is one of a ship going down, beyond rescue.
Marchetti had this coming to him. He didn’t listen to the seasoned advice of Jim Ruberto and John Barrett. Say what you want about these two men, but they are seasoned campaigners, wise in the ways of politics, and — speaking from years of personal experience — “good people.”
Ruberto wanted to campaign for him and, more importantly, raise funds for him as he did so well and successfully for Tricia Farley-Bouvier. Marchetti nixed the mayor’s offer and instead ran into the arms of Doyle and Stracuzzi. Why he did this, only Peter can say.
Barrett told him he had to be more “mayoral.” That included many things, including such small but important details as attire, for example, Marchetti getting rid of the colored shirts and loud ties, which send the wrong message. Such fashion might work with Stonewall but not in blue-collared Pittsfield, where most of the voters are social conservatives and embrace traditional views on marriage as reserved for one man and one woman.
Instead of having these two political giants side-by-side with him, Marchetti went … where, exactly? THE PLANET will tell you where: Straight to defeat on Election Day. It didn’t have to be. THE PLANET told Peter that personally several times this year, including a long heart-to-heart at Beloved Wahconah Park, during a Colonials game.
One-on-One is a Different Animal Than At-Large
Remember, Marchetti has never run one-on-one before. He’s only campaigned at-large, where he had the camouflage of numbers: In the prelim, a dozen candidates, in the finals, eight. When it came down to mano-e-mano against Bianchi, though, Marchetti did what the wise guys said he would do: He coughed up the bit.
In this campaign, he’s taken no stands. He’s promised wonders and spit cucumbers. For example, check out this excerpt from his official campaign website:
As we’ve come a long way as a City, and also need to look to the future, a Mayor Marchetti seeks to engage the discussion that will bring the city of Pittsfield into the next generation. Together, all parts of Pittsfield can come together to flesh out the details in the most open and above board way possible. All can have a part, and all are encouraged to join the conversation with a Marchetti administration in City Hall.
What does this actually say? NO-THING. We “need to look to the future”? He “seeks to engage the discussion that will bring us into the next generation”? What on earth do phrases like that mean? How do they resonate with the guy who’s scratching his head about staying afloat after the latest round of tax hikes? Such gobbledygook could be inserted easily into George Orwell’s famous essay, “Politics and the English Language.” Visit Marchetti’s website (www.petermarchetti.com). See if you can find anything of substance. We’d like to hear about it if you do.
We went into this campaign as Switzerland, completely neutral. We told everyone and anyone that we would make up our minds on the campaign itself, not on the baggage each man brings into the contest at the start. We did that. We waited. We watched. Bianchi has held court. Marchetti has soiled the bed. Bianchi wants it. Marchetti doesn’t. He does not want to be mayor.
In the End, A Victory of a More Important Order
For example, why is he still working full-time at the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank? He says he can’t afford to take a leave. That is utter nonsense, no matter what the state of his personal finances. If you want to be mayor in your gut, you do what Barrett did, what Ruberto did, what Sara Hathaway did — you take out loans, quit the day job, pump your time, treasure, and talents into your campaign, and roll the dice. Why? Because you know in your heart you want it and you will win.
Instead, he pulled a Marchetti. He wanted it both ways. He wanted to win the new job while holding on to the current job. He wanted yes AND no. Such a conflicted approach may work like that in the perpetual political and personal adolescence that he apparently finds himself in, but it doesn’t work like that in the real world.
In the end, Toyko Rose did all of Pittsfield a favor. She exposed a losing effort, and she all-but-guaranteed Marchetti would not be Pittsfield’s next mayor. In the end, it’s probably the best thing that could have happened to Peter Marchetti, for it means he might escape with his soul.
For us, that is the most important element. We hope Peter believes this, but we can honestly say we have always had — still do and always will — his best interests at heart.
WE WILL JOIN YOU, GOD WILLING, AT THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WEEKEND, ALSO KNOWN AS MONDAY, AND UNTIL THEN, WITH YARDWORK IN OUR FUTURE …
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.