PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, OCT. 18, 2011) — Election Day traffic seems light, with reports from a couple of precincts summing up business as “slow.” City Clerk Linda Tyer predicted a turnout of low 20s for the special election designed to name the new rep in the 3rd Berkshire District.

THE PLANET, a tad more optimistic, thinks maybe 10 percent higher, around 30%. Under that scenario, we can’t see a way that Tricia Farley-Bouvier loses today.  We see the order of finish as TFB, Mark Miller, Pam Malumphy, Mark Jester. It would not surprise, though, to see Jester finish third or second.

Malumphy lost what little credibility she has as a viable candidate for public office when she attacked TFB for Tricia’s pro-life stance. Pummelin’ Pam made three goofs:

(1) The issue won’t be relevant until the federal government stops funding abortions as a woman’s right to choose and send the matters back to the states.

(2) The truculant tone she struck, in which she came across as the sterotypical emotional, shrill woman politician. This is unfair to other women. On the other hand, in her campaign appearances, Tricia has been pleasant, non-controversial, and solicitous. Many will respond positively.

(3) She cemented her fate as a Democrat without a party. She calls herself independent, but that’s only because the local Dems kicked her out. That might be a calling card for some, but in local politics, it’s not the traditional path top success. Let’s put it that way.

Miller simplydidn’t get enough exposure or opportunity to show off his talents in this quiet campaign, chief among them is a studious approach to issues, a characteristic left over from his days as a journalist. He asks the right questions and gives the right answers: “I don’t know, but let me try to find out” when he’s unfamiliar with the topic or direct answers when he is in the know, which is often. Miller has a political innocence about him that THE PLANET finds as his most compelling trait. He doesn’t comes off all slick and overly polished. He’s not overweight. Don’t laugh. Someone who takes good care of his body tends to be a good steward in most other respects as well.

Jester, if anyone bothered to check, proved much more than the “one issue candidate” that opponents tried to portray. If you go to his website, you find cogent answers to more than the gun lobby. He has outlined his positions on jobs creation, protecting small businesses, casino gambling, the elderly and disabled, and many more. He tends to respond to questions more directly than the typical politician.

For example, here’s Jester’s answer on casino gambling:

Casino Gambling: I’m asked a lot about the Casino Gambling Legislation.  The legislature has been talking about casinos for over 2 years. Why? Because the Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, who represents East Boston, wants to have a casino in East Boston. I say if that’s what they want in Boston then let them have it. I’m in favor of one casino for the state of Massachusetts at this time.  I propose that a portion of the revenues coming to the state from the casino gambling be designated to go towards the state’s community colleges.  Berkshire Community College is very important to the city of Pittsfield, and to the Berkshires, and it should not always be the last in line for state education funds.

Anyone who’s done their due diligence can’t complain about a lack of information. It’s not ideal and takes some hunting, but, yes, there was enough time and opportunity, even in this rush-rush, hurry-hurry special election, for voters to make an informed choice. If Tricia wins, then she gets the responsibility of office. THE PLANET will give her all due honors and expects from her all due results.

Turnouts continue to be a shame and an embarrassment to the democratic process. If only 20% turn out for an election, how can that in any way be considered a representative vote? The 80% who choose for whatever reason to stay away far better represent the political state of America, Massachusetts, Berkshire County, and Pittsfield than the 20% who do vote. Politics is dead.

Is that why guys got shot and killed on Omaha Beach on D-Day?



One of the Pittsfield mayoral candidates, Peter Marchetti, is openly gay and married to a man. That is a fact. Does that in any way sully his ability to serve as mayor? THE PLANET thinks not. Of course, neither is that a recommendation for the office. There are some, at least, for whom this is a deal breaker. In a democracy, we can’t deny ANY opinion or belief, something that kept the Founding Fathers up many a night.

A candidate’s sexuality crosses a personal line, but, then again, the office in question isn’t to run a private company. It’s to lead the citizens of Pittsfield. Public office makes a person and the person’s life fair game when voters consider their choices in any given election. The closed pages of one’s personal life become an open book.

What matters to you, as a voter, in a candidate? For THE PLANET, sexuality and gender matter not in the least, unless there’s a reason to believe that they would affect a person’s ability to do a good job. We haven’t seen that in Peter’s case.

For THE PLANET, the most important trait of a political leader is intelligence, good will, and independence. We see these as three related aspects of the same trait. One litmus test: Can the man (or woman) take a stand he believes in, even though it goes against popular widsom?

Traits of a Good Leader

Other important traits for a political leader, in our view:

* A genuine care for the job, a passion, if you will. That can’t be faked, though you can fool most of the people most of the time.

* A kindness in meeting and dealing with ordinary people. You can see it in the eyes.

* A commitment to excellence in everything the person does, from tying his shoes to negotiating contracts. Results speak for themselves.

* The ability to use reason and logic in the analysis of social problems. “What are your premises,” as Ann Rand would ask upon meeting someone for the first time.

* The ability to keep his head in a crisis, to react calmly and in a measured way. A leader is a “go to guy” in a crisis.

* The ability to take criticism. If the criticism is just, accept it and learn from it. If the criticism is unjust, don’t chase it. Let it fly away. In short, needed: A thick skin.

* Being able to entertain contradictions. Few things are black and white. Only yin and yang make a circle. The AND is important. OR doesn’t work.

* Having inner confidence. That can’t be faked, and one can usually tell.

* Good character.Is the person exemplary? Trustworthy? Honest? Do they lead by example?

Those are the criteria by which voters should make their choice between Dan Bianchi and Peter Marchetti. Realistically, it doesn’t work that way. There are political tensions that have carried over from 2009, when Jimmy Ruberto narrowly defeated Dan Bianchi. Many see this battle as the continuance of the feud between two political machines (simplistically, the Wotjkowski Machine (Bianchi) vs. the Del Gallo Machine (Marchetti). Most people will go into this election with their minds made up … two years ago.

If the race is narrow, the undecideds might become kingmakers, but that’s what elections are for, as we shall find out by the end of the day today.






  1. beezer
    October 18, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Who’s to say Marchetti doesn’t care whether he gets elected, he has been defeated before, is young, and could run for office in the future. Bianchi wins this rather easily, as does Dans pick of Tricia.

    • GEE Whiz
      October 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

      Its not that he doesn’t care whether he gets elected hes jsut coming off as a man whos uncomfortable in the spotlight. Only Pm knows for sure if he really wants this. I for sure couldn’t say or tell on the other hand, I get a diff. sense from Bianchi, that hes enthused and commitment.

  2. Still wondering
    October 18, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    Slow news day for sure (until tonight). Dan could fill any print space or air time with quality B.S.
    Hire the man, Mike!

    • Mr. Bossman
      October 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

      What makes you think THE PLANET’s for hire? His rates are $200/hour or $1500 a day plus expenses … and he gets it!! I know because our company has hired him in the past.

      • danvalenti
        October 18, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

        I had my agent issues the following statement on the listing of our rates: “No comment. If you have to ask, you can’t afford him.”

  3. Just Saying
    October 18, 2011 at 10:33 am #


    The Founding Fathers repeatedly warned against democracy.
    They established a Republic.
    The founders wished for a nation of laws. They saw democracy as mob rule.
    I’m not trying to be petty. This distinction is extremely important. More so with all the turmoil being created by the “occupy” people. This nation has survived because it has adhered to the Constitution, and remained a nation governed by laws.

    • scott
      October 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

      Thank you I respect Dan’s intelligence but I too was annoyed by this, and to the republic for which it stands…

      • Just Saying
        October 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

        @ scott-

        Thanks for the thanks!
        The people of America have been brainwashed into believing they live in a democracy. If this nation had been formed as democracy, it would not have lasted more than 100 years.

        • scott
          October 18, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

          I guess I wont lose any sleep when the police break out their clubs and high pressure hoses.

        • danvalenti
          October 18, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

          JS and SCOTT
          Yes, it’s a republican democracy. The Founders feared direct rule by We The People. It worked as long as people and their representatives were sympatico. It ended when politics came to roost and the great dumbing down began.

    • danvalenti
      October 18, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

      Having made this point many times in print, on the air, and in cyberspace, I decided not to here. It’s a point that if people don’t know by now, then “oy vey!”

      • scott
        October 19, 2011 at 4:11 am #

        It may be why people don’t vote because they are relying on the majority that do to vote in their favor in mass it’s always democrat. I’m still jaded but at least you guys convinced me to vote so thats one person you got involved I guess.

  4. Baby Baby
    October 18, 2011 at 11:36 am #


    I hope when the Presidential election comes around, you keep writing about President Obama being black and whether that effects his chance at being president. Or, bringing up Mr. Romney’s being a Morman and how his faith could effect his ability to govern.

    I say this because you keep bringing up Mr. Marchetti as being gay, loke it should be an issue.

    In fact, if you don’t point out all the personal traits, beliefs, sexual orientation, etc…you will have shown yourself to be bias on this one candidate and will have painted yourself as a bigot.

    And please don’t try to squirm out of this by saying everyone knows Obama is black and Romney is a morman. You now have an obligation to point out all the personal information on all candiate races you cover.

    What is Mr. Bianchi’s religous beliefs? Same for Mr. Marchetti. Do either of them believe in woman’s choice? I got a million similar questions.

      October 18, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      Baby Baby My gosh you kept bringing this up more than anyone. As far as Obama, care less his color, I care he is ruining this country in more ways than I could have imagined.

      • Baby Baby
        October 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

        I only bring it up when Dan brings it up.

        I too care less about Obama’s color. But since being gay needs to be discussed, don’t you think color and religion should be discussed as well? If not, you make my case that there is bias going on here.

        • CONCERNED
          October 18, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

          I don’t make your case on anything Baby Baby Again all I know is Obama is ruining this nation in more ways than one

        • danvalenti
          October 18, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

          Color and religion ARE discussed, Baby. Where have you been, buddy?

    • Mr. Bossman
      October 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

      While I’m here, I can’t resist pointing out that ‘Mayor Marchetti’ with a husband tagging along as First Man would be a horrible message for the city to send. No one will admit corporate bias against sexual preference, but I have seen it ripe and (sometimes) rancid in corporate America. You can see why I choose to post this anonymously.

  5. Dave Bubriski
    October 18, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Exit poll data predicts that apathy will win with 75 -80% of the non-vote:(

  6. beezer
    October 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Look at your candidates,voter apathy is justified! Miller just said (uh) thirty times in one answer. Jester looks bored,Malumphy is talking through her hat as is Bouvie….Bouvie wins though!

    • pjmh
      October 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

      While some may think you’re trying to be funny – you nailed it. Overall, I liked Mark’s message… but I really struggled when listening to him during a Q&A on the radio and I stopped listening.

      • danvalenti
        October 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

        Mark Miller wasn’t broadcast savvy. He’s got the smarts, the integrity, the most everything else.

        • pjmh
          October 19, 2011 at 11:25 am #

          DV – I agree 100% and wish he would have come out on top. IMO, being “savvy’ would have helped grab a few more votes – it’s important.

  7. scott
    October 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Dan, your comments on Miller came off a little gay ha, ha sorry I know a lot of people in shape and some don’t brush and floss it means nothing.

  8. scott
    October 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    DV also sounds like Jester is a better choice for you too! But I guess since Miller is in better shape he gets your vote?

  9. JahnDoh
    October 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Dan, you quoted Ayn Rand – awesome. Good to see some good old logic and reason for a change. And along that line of thinking I’ll be voting for Dan Bianchi. Why? Because logic and reason tells me Marchetti will be nothing but another tax and waste (not spend) Ruberto clone. He was nothing but a yes man while on the council. All yes men (or women) do not apply an ounce of logic or reason to their decisions.

    • danvalenti
      October 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

      “What are your premises,” Rand would question someone when she first was introduced. Reason and logic unite thought and emotion. They can be (and should be but aren’t) the bases for the casting of a vote. Like Rand, I believe in the sacredness of the individual. I also know that intellect, thought, and creativity have economic value. Yes men and women cannot grasp these concepts.

  10. Just Saying
    October 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    Pittsfield has done it again!!! TFB will bring more of robberto’s BS. TFB will make a great yes woman for the GOB!

  11. Joetaxpayer
    October 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Closer than I thought,if only Miller was not in contest Pam would have won.Oh well really doesnt matter state house votes in blocks huge blocks

  12. Ron Kitterman
    October 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    TFB 1940— 33 %
    MILLER 1748– 30 %
    PAM 1333— 23%
    JESTER 899— 15%
    5920 VOTES

    • Real Deal 2
      October 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

      Pittsfield elects Fudgie-Bovine, as Adam Sandler would say, “Way to go” Pittsfield.

      • A Cheshire Cat
        October 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

        If the numbers quoted above are correct, it means TFB wins with 67% of the votes cast against her. Looks like Pam threw a wrench into what could have been a win for Miller or Jester. They seemed to have some good ideas. But I don’t have a pony in the race, just a neighbor observing from next door.

        • danvalenti
          October 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

          Your analysis is correct. We shall break it down a bit more tomorrow, but TFB “won” with almost 93% of the possible vote NOT voting for her!

    • Ray Ovac
      October 18, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

      Farley-Bouvier elected with only 33% of the vote. Isn’t this how it always works with one-party rule in Berkshire County? Isn’t this the very reason ‘No-Show’ Speranza crapped-out in the first place — to guarantee that his seat stayed in One-Party hands? ‘No-Show’ even gets rewarded for his role in this sham office transfer by the Governor who claims to honor Berkshire County. Low population guarantees special elections will have low turnout therefore special elections are used to guarantee a seat stays in ruling party hands. And recall that this is how ‘No-Show’ got his job in the first place! What more proof of a rigged system does anyone need? So here we now got Speranza as lifetime magistrate in line no doubt eventually to become lifetime judge; Farley-Bouvier to be ensconced in the State House and following orders until such time as she too needs her own lifetime appointment (at which point the sham office transfers occur again to protect ruling party rule). Is anyone feeling sick yet?

        October 18, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

        yep I feel sick overtime a demo gets elected

        • danvalenti
          October 18, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

          You and a lot of other folks, in fact, the 92% of the electorate in the 3rd Berkshire District who thought so much of the Democratic candidate that they voted for someone else or didn’t vote at all.

      • danvalenti
        October 18, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

        That’s essentially how this whole racket called government works in the forlorn city, as THE PLANET spelled out with verse and chapter in the case you mention, with No Show.

    • scott
      October 18, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

      Shit Dan called it.

      • danvalenti
        October 18, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

        On the nose. My critics hate it when I right as often as I am!! That’s what keep them coming back for more.

    • Dave Bubriski
      October 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

      22,855 decided not to vote

      • Hearse Driver
        October 19, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

        how many of the 22,855 are either dead or no longer live in town?

        • danvalenti
          October 20, 2011 at 6:40 am #

          All of the are dead. Some no longer live here. The dead ones were killed long ago by the massive corruption of city and state politics. They were murdered into apathy.

  13. Just Saying
    October 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    Ok, so on to the next important election, PM represents the do nothing GOB, DB not so much. Based on the voting record of Pittsfield, that makes PM the next mayor.
    The apathy is rampant in the Pitts.

    • danvalenti
      October 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

      The “not so” part of your premise will, unless the course of the campaign changes, be enough for Dan to take this, rather convincingly. Peter has not recovered from the March statement he made to the Boring Broadsheet that he would make no changes in the present direction of the city under my good friend, Jimmy Ruberto. Peter still appears to be tone deaf to this lethal combo of apathy and anger. Until he breaks out of his sleepwalk, it’s aloha on the steel guitar.

      • Silence Dogood
        October 19, 2011 at 4:24 am #

        did ruberto speak at tfb’s victory party? how many nasal outstandings did he use?

  14. Ron Kitterman
    October 18, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Maybe Pete Seeger was right ” Newspaper men meet such interesting people”

  15. Tony Truran
    October 18, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    You called it DAN.

    Good Ole Boys 1 fatty, Citisens 0

    Big fat BLT going to support the Beacon Hill MOB too

    • Ray Ovac
      October 19, 2011 at 12:19 am #

      Yes, but even with ‘No-Show’ Speranza as Magistrate and future judge, we can still rest easy in Berkshire County knowing our local judicial system is in good hands with Judge Daniel Ford protecting citizens’ civil rights and vigilant DA David Capeless on guard protecting witnesses. It’s not as if Western Massachusetts means Wild West.

      • danvalenti
        October 19, 2011 at 6:48 am #

        We are all Saved, by Our heroes.

  16. rick
    October 19, 2011 at 2:11 am #

    now that tricis in as the voice of the families of pittsfield one of the first things she should do is leed the fight against adult obesity in pittsfield…. theres alot of fast food stops on the way to beacon hill……. i hope if marchetti wins and gets sworn in that theres e.m.ts around to help resesitate the old folks when he turns around to his hubby and gives him a big wet one (with tounge), shock and awe…….

  17. Dave Bubriski
    October 19, 2011 at 4:19 am #

    Dan above you wrote “Someone who takes good care of his body tends to be a good steward in most other respects as well.”

    President Obama and Anthony Weiner are known to be among those who take are of their bodies. Would the quote apply to them as well? Where would Chris Christy fit in?

    • scott
      October 19, 2011 at 5:42 am #

      ha, ha good one!

    • danvalenti
      October 19, 2011 at 6:47 am #

      Notice the key word, “tends.” That means exceptions, of course. Obama? Sure, why not. He’s no better or worse than either his hagiographers or his demonizers want to make him? Weiner? “Tends.” Christy? Not sure he could “fit in” to this small space you’ve created!

  18. beezer
    October 19, 2011 at 5:17 am #

    W H E N scores! That’s what it was all about, babeee!