PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26, 2011) — First, the debates, such as they were. We won’t again go into our critique of the format itself, but THE PLANET maintains that the traditional-style debate elicits little of actual help to voters, save for seeing how candidates react to a spotlight. As a test of nerves, this might be of minimal use in casting a vote.


THE PLANET gives the Ward 3 debate in a slam-dunk to Jeff Ferrin, who has opened more eyes in this strangely quiet campaign season than any other candidate. No one has attended more public meetings, done more homework, and participated in citizen-rule than Ferrin. His sharpness showed against Paul Capitanio, whose lone qualification at this point is that he owns the East Side Cafe. In the Lakewood section, that may be enough for him, but THE PLANET sense an upset in the making.


In the Ward 4 contest, Chris Connell withstood nicely against the august presence of for Ward 4 councilor Ozias “Chuck” Vincelette. Connell, who failed last cycle to unseat Mike Ward, won at a draw in the views of some judges and lost on points according to others with whom THE PLANET spoke. Connell inflicted a lot of self-damage, though, in his five-minute PCTV spot, when he launched into attack mode, going after CV with fangs bared. It may have cost him the election.


For mayor, Dan Bianchi and Peter Marchetti could have rented out the space between them on the podium as a defrost zone for the chill. The coldness wasn’t absolute zero, but absolutely, there’s zero love lost between the two men.

One hour is never long enough for an alleged marquee showdown, and the moderator didn’t help by asking too many predictable and yawning questions (two on the city website to start the debate). That the hour went by fast at least supports to value of the forum.

THE PLANET gives the debate to Bianchi on the basis of his more complete answers, his more focused responses, and a more measured and statesmanlike composure. At one point, Marchetti got emotional, his voice rising and his fist pounding the table. “Rattled” is not a quality one looks for in a CEO. Bianchi refused to take such bait, remaining calm and above the fray.

The questions and answers, while they matter, have little relevance in a “debate” such as this one. Bianchi and Marchetti made statements, taken out of their campaign talking points. They sometimes offered evidence to support their assertions. Again, if PROF. PLANET (who is a faculty member at BCC, where the debate was staged) were grading the two job applicants as we would students in a “Scope of Logic” class, we give Bianchi a “B” and Marchetti a gentleman’s “C” — not disastrous performances as these things go and certainly serviceable, but nothing to share in a postcard for the folks back home. Assertions supported by evidence form conclusions to arguments, and if we apply to tools of logic to analyze the arguments made at Monday night’s debate, Bianchi did what he had to do: He held serve and probably added to his lead.

Rumor, Innuendo, and Stories They Made Up

One interesting question had to do with rumor and innuendo, the twin siblings that visit every campaign. Bianchi v. Marchetti — which in many minds is the sequel of Bianchi-Ruberto ’09 — has had its share of these two sisters.

Each man went at the other for people behind the scenes who are throwing mud. Marchetti didn’t name names (out of politeness or because he didn’t have any?). Bianchi landed a huge haymaker when he named a name, that of ex-mayor Gerry Doyle, who is involved, some say heavily, in Marchetti’s campaign.

Bianchi revealed that Doyle had put on a fundraiser for Marchetti, and Peter didn’t deny it. The name of “Gerry Doyle” brought booses and hisses from the crowd.  Bianchi would have scored the knockout punch if he had named the other person helping Marchetti behind the scenes, but he couldn’t bring himself to utter “Angelo Stracuzzi.” The best Marchetti could do was say how proud he was of the people who support his campaign. In that moment, Marchetti may have lost his last chance at reversing the dive of a sinking ship.

Fittingly, when The Boring Broadsheet ran its vanilla story about the debate and came to this exchange, it left out the name “Gerry Doyle.” Gosh, we wonder why?



THE PLANET passes this interesting commentary along under the label, “Worth Reading.” It was sent to us by one of our correspondents, and it provides an interesting solution to a problem that has crippled this country. It was one of those “Pass on to 20 people you know” type messages. We normally delete those on sight. Not this one. Read on …

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling: “I could  end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of  GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for  re-election.

The 26th amendment (granting the  right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days  to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971…before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of  the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land…all because of public pressure.


1. No  Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in  office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2.  Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social

Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the

Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, as all Americans do.

4. Congressmen and women will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of the CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen and women are void effective 1/1/12. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.







  1. Ray Ovac
    October 26, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    Bianchi-Marchetti: Nothing about Silver Lake, Hill 78, and Reopening the Consent Decree?

    • danvalenti
      October 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

      Yes. That’s what you get when you have carpetbagger moderating an intensely local event such as this. He either didn’t realize the importance of this issue, or he did and decided to (or was told to) avoid the inside fastballs.

      • Dave Bubriski
        October 27, 2011 at 3:11 am #

        That’s why I think town hall type debates are the way to go. Best moderated debate last year was the Bump/Connaughton/Fortune state auditor debate…..

        The best state rep debate was in the 2nd Berk in Colrain. Ths was the “Pizza Gate Debate” although Paul Mark skipped out after making a few remarks it was a great event. A packed room. Citizens were asking questions and the whole thing was very civil.

        The poltical debates at BCC just tend to be bland with most of the moderators being more concerned wth not offending candidates.

      • steve wade
        October 27, 2011 at 4:47 am #

        Dan A bit jealous are we?

  2. Jim Gleason
    October 26, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    In a debate yesterday at Channel 22 from Springfield, Bianchi asked Marchetti, since Marchetti and his supporters have been stressing the fact that Bianchi voted against the Civic Authority how had Marchetti voted on the matter? Marchetti replied that he had voted for it, that it was on tape from two 2001 city council meetings. Is this who you want as your next mayor? Can you imagine ruberto with eminent domain? Half of our houses would belong to the city by now.

  3. Still wondering
    October 26, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    I dunno guys. After the blatant corruption of the State Rep election, I just can’t get excited about the mayors race. I know that Dan B. is the better choice and I will vote, but I can’t help wondering if this election is rigged too.

    • Steve Wade
      October 26, 2011 at 10:19 am #

      Please prove how its rigged? Thats the problem with this blog They claim things they can’t prove. The average citizen knows how irrationial you people are

      • danvalenti
        October 26, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

        Yeah, like you haven’t claimed things you haven’t proven, such as your claim here. You have a good head on your shoulders. Can’t you do anything else to advance the discussions, which includes reasonable disagreement? Do you have nothing else in your arsenal except babbling?

  4. scott
    October 26, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    How did we get from the idea of a citizen run society to a super power that thinks it knows what is best for everyone? Keep an eye on homeland security over the next few years.

    • danvalenti
      October 26, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

      Great question. The answer depends on your read of history. I would say if began with the McKinley Administration, when America started its hegemony. McKinley started out as an isolationist but was talked into empire building, economic and military, by others including Teddy Roosevelt. Once Teddy succeeded the president after the assassination, we got on the path of foreign meddling in the name of economics and markets. Since, we have been unable to separate our economic well being from honest military (i.e., defensive not offensive) means.

      • scott
        October 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

        The military industrial complex. Why were we in Iraq again?

        • danvalenti
          October 26, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

          Bush went into Iraq to save his presidency. No one opposes a president in war time. His bold declaration of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the other lies that got us into Iraq and Afghanistan came at a great time. The World Trade Center terrorist attacks were the best thing that ever happened to W’s administration. It gave him carte blanch to start a pre-ventive war (not a pre-emptive one, which is bad enough).

          • scott
            October 27, 2011 at 3:28 am #

            All through history we’ve used the blood shed of Americans to invade and occupy other countries.

      • Dave Bubriski
        October 27, 2011 at 3:14 am #

        an excellent book on this very subject but certainly not the last word.

  5. Nomad
    October 26, 2011 at 11:20 am #


    I agree with your assessment of the ward 3 debate. Paul may be a nice guy who does a lot of charitable work, but I’ll be voting for the person who can reason issues out without being directed by Gerry Lee. I’ll be voting for Jeff Ferrin.

    I can’t wait to see who the BB endorses for ward 3. My money is on it being Capitanio, because of his connection to the GOB’s.

    • danvalenti
      October 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

      BB will F-O-R C-E-R-T-A-I-N endorse Paul C. Yes, he is a good guy. Yes he does charity work. But “good guy” and “charitable” are not sufficient (though they are necessary) qualification for office. Jeff Ferrin is likely every bit a “good guy” and “charitable.” Give me someone who will work hard, represent We The People over the suits, and not be intimidated. Of these two, Jeff seems to be better qualified.

      • steve wade
        October 27, 2011 at 4:40 am #

        Has anyone looked into Ferrins back ground? Past job history? You will be suprised..

        • Nomad
          October 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

          I looked into Ferrin’s job history when Jeff himself made people aware of it. Do you know about the skeletons in Capitanio’s closet? Be careful Steve what door you open!

          • route66
            October 29, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

            Just exactly when was it that Jeff made this full disclosure? I mean,did you read it? I’d like that info if you’d share it.

    • route66
      October 29, 2011 at 7:00 am #

      Nomad, Who exactly is the GOB network?A group of former city pols who know how to get things done? Someone, who knows the city issues and offers advice? Anyone with a different opinion than you do? Since when is experience a bad thing>

      I think it’s someone with more influence and experience than those supporting your candidate and you’re jealous.

  6. beezer
    October 26, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    The Berkshire Eagle we can all agree is down for the count. The topix website is ridiculous with the silouettes of a baseball-farmer as the picture. Change the hat on the picutre Flo Baker Mick, do something!

  7. Shakes His Head
    October 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    They only need one person to rig the vote

  8. Nomad
    October 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Peter Marchetti shouldn’t be criticizing Dan Bianchi for voting against the Civic Authority…while boasting that he did…

    The record shows that 7,745 people voted against the Civic Authority. It also shows that after its defeat, then mayor Gerry Doyle, and one of the smartest and most influential businessman in the country…Pittsfield native Larry Bossidy…couldn’t raise the finances needed to build the stadium, without the protection of an ill-conceived authority with powers that would have put Pittsfield property owners at great risk. Larry Bossidy walked away from the effort when he realized that the money to build a stadium wasn’t there. He had been badly deceived by the GOB’s.

  9. danvalenti
    October 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    As Bianchi pointed out in the debate, the vote was for the establishment of a Civic Authority, not a new stadium. That Civic Authority would consist of a majority APPOINTED BY THE MAYOR (DOYLE AT THE TIME) and not ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE. The authority had power that extended far beyond the stadium. THAT’s what killed the stadium in Pittsfield: The cynical power grab of Doyle and Company.

  10. Ron Kitterman
    October 26, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    can you just imagine if the Kelo v City of New London decision was prior to that time. Half of West Houstonic St would be wiped out and Dan Bianchi would have been running for congress instead of Mayor.

  11. rick
    October 26, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    doyle hates bianchi for the civic athority and will back anyone who runs against dan….. i get a kick out of doyle, hes not very suttle about using marchetti to get back at bianchi. and i feel sorry for marchetti for letting himself get used.. he looks kind of like a chump. kind of ironic isnt it that marchetti is the last person the gobs would ever back , and now their going full out for him……………. i love pittsfield politics!!!!!

  12. Ron Kitterman
    October 26, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    @ Rich seems like they used a lot of amunition on TFB though don’t you think ? And now with John Olver bowing out who will they turn too ? A break for Andy for sure…

  13. Dave G
    October 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    why do people say we are against a stadium when we were against the civic authority . I told a businessman to build a stadium as a business he said it would’nt work it would lose money and that they needed public money, this was when I was going in to vote against it

  14. Ray Ovac
    October 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    Sobriety-challenged Gerry Doyle wanted to use the Civic Authority to reward his GOB masters and buddies. The baseball stadium parking concession would have gone to one GOB; the beer and wine concession to another; the hot foods concession to another; the ticket concession to yet another; and on and on. Construction of the structure itself would most certainly have been a sweetheart contract with the same favored construction firm that historically has been Pittsfield’s sweetheart contractor. The entire civic authority deal was a scam throughout to benefit Pittsfield’s GOBs. It’s failure to pass cost Doyle and all the GOBs big bucks.

    • Dusty
      October 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

      And if I remember correctly the stadium was to be named after the Berkshire Eagle. And was it not to be built on contaminated land the Eagle wanted to unload on the unsuspecting public? That was the scuttlebutt at the time. To this day the Eagle takes every opportunity to skewer anyone who had anything to with defeating the Civic Authority. I would guess they are saving their best salvo for Dan Bianchi just before the election. They will do anything to bring him down. And there was also a big bank involved that might be discreetly tossing in some money to help the cause.

      For those truly interested in the whole Civic Authority scam read Jim Boutons book…Foul Ball. A great and easy read exposing the putrid underbelly of Pittsfield politics, Jerry Doyle and no, it has not changed since those days. Same shit different day.

      • Curious
        October 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

        And now instead of a downtown stadium, we’ve got another CVS…attracting cardboard cut out molesting bums. Genius logic on these message boards, especially RO. Basically you don’t want a draw to the downtown (stadium) that could potentially generate $ for the city, create jobs, and was basically fully funded because of who would have potentially got the work? Is that right? Gotta love the little people with all the answers yet chose to waste their brilliance here. Typical.

        • danvalenti
          October 26, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

          The stadium was a money loser as drawn up. That’s why they couldn’t raise the private capital. The discussion of building a new ballpark or not got derailed. Backers of the Civic Authority used the stadium as a Trojan Horse for the most cynical attempt at a political coup in the history of the city. The voters were smart enough to see through the ruse, and — despite the huge bucks put in by the GOBs versus the nickels and dimes of the anti-Civic Authority (NOT ANTI-STADIUM) people — they gave it a thrashing. Also, Curious, the stadium was nowhere near to being “basically funded,” as you claim. Where is your evidence. Actually, we have on record the most prominent authority on sports economics who said the stadium would cost at least $30 million, not the $18 million to GOB threw around. They had nowhere near $18 mill, let alone $30MM. Also, if the stadium was such a money maker, why didn’t private capital want to fund the entire thing. Why ask We The People to bankroll an economic loser?

          • ambrose bearse
            October 27, 2011 at 4:55 am #

            personally i voted for the authority and i think a stadium of some sort would be great for the city – however, what has not been mentioned here or by anyone else is what the state of the city was at that time – we were in receivership, state authorities were collecting our tax $’s and we had a treasurer who had bungled everything he touched and a mayor who was a hell of a guy but had no clue – the city’s voters at that time were in no mood to trust anybody who had anything to do with spending $ or taking property

          • Curious
            October 27, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

            You’re splitting hairs here. 99% of those against the civic authority didn’t want the stadium either. 18M is what Bouton threw around, the actual number for the taxpayers was 6M. I’d say that’s basically fully funded and a heck of a deal (land, stadium, and team) for the city.

        • Ray Ovac
          October 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

          Not so, Curious. Pittsfield has never needed a new stadium, it’s already got the choicest piece of baseball real estate in the country. It’s not Wahconah Park that’s failed Pittsfield.

  15. rick
    October 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    ron, they used alot of ammo on tfb, i would have liked to have seen just tfb against miller.miller would have sent her home in a big loss, and miller would be on his way to beantown. and dont forget who would have benifited the greatest with the stadium and that is the berkshire eagle,,,,,,,,,, do we see all the connections in politics and the fluff the eagle pushes out as news.

    • ambrose bearse
      October 27, 2011 at 4:57 am #

      duh – i wonder who the BB is going to endorse for mayor after reading it this morning

  16. Shakes His Head
    October 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    Kelo upheld precedent, not establish it.

  17. Hearse Driver
    October 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    How about the fact that DB voted against the creation of the Cultural Development office and he voted against the appointment of Meg Whilden and now he is running all over town saying how great she is. Check the minutes from the meetings. they are in the city clerks office. He also wants to waste time and money if he becomes mayor.. he wants to create a marketing plan for the peda site wich we already have, maybe just needs to be updated or modified. he also wants to open the Sr center on sundays when u would have to pay the staff double time…this is not the tyoe of mayor we need in this city thats for sure..I wish Bianchi would just tell the truth for once.

  18. Concern
    October 26, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    Our do nothing Congressman is retiring. GREAT. But who is next, you know some idiot demo will be voted in just because he/she is a demo. Oliver did nothing, I think he was the worst Congressman in Congress.

  19. rick
    October 27, 2011 at 2:57 am #

    dan, as the stadium question grew, i do remember the gob back peddling when asked to do it with their own money. its funny when we break the stadium idea down just how corrupt it was…… every one was going to make out except the tax payer.and it was the anti civic authority that db was backing not anti stadium,,,, the people did not want it , all dan did was stand up for the voters….. isnt that what we want in a mayor people? bianchi went against the political machine for the people, he will get my vote, hes proved to me he has our best interest at heart…a vote for dan will kick the gobs in the can.

  20. rick
    October 27, 2011 at 3:10 am #

    i went on the citys web site and it is a navigational mess, if i remember correctly wasnt a donor to re elect roberto given that bid even though they weret the low bidder? box car out of n.adams……