!PLANET EXCLUSIVE! WE PRINT THE AT-LARGE SLATE CARD THE GOBs SAID DIDN’T EXIST … ODD DOINGS IN BB’s MAYORAL STORY … TWO SETS OF RULES … plus … THE PLANET’S ENDORSEMENTS
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, NOV. 7, 2011) — The day of reckoning, Election Day, looms over Pittsfield like a Leviathan cut down to size by the fractions of a Lilliputian campaign. Before THE PLANET gives our endorsements, we share this news we broke yesterday on Facebook.
We have a copy of “The Slate.”
A few days ago, we reported the suspected existence of a “Slate” voter card, meant to give lazy or undecided voters “direction” on how to vote. When we triangulate information from various sources with a high degree of reliability and the information tallies from each, we usually know the information is good. We suspected that such a card existed. Granted, it’s not illegal, but when a card like this is cheaply printed anonymously, paid for in secret, and distributed as if it was hooch during Prohibition, you can be sure the intentions aren’t good.
The intentions are to steer the election in a certain direction, so that it might be hijacked on a side way. The Vested Interests and their apologists stimulated our interest by insisting such a card didn’t exist.
On the assumption there was such a card, THE PLANET worked to track it downdown. Lo and behold:
The card is printed on cheap stock, meant to be a throwaway. Be on the lookout for these on Election Day, and especially be suspicious of anyone handing them out.
Investigating further, we have reason to believe these were printed at the Boring Broadsheet, though we can all but guarantee that nowhere will this show up as a bill on a campaign expenditure sheet.
The”unity card” or slate touts Sherman, Clairmont, Caccamo,and Cotton. These are the name first revealed by THE PLANET when we told you about the card’s existence.
In and of itself, it’s not a big deal, but given the way the anti-Bianchi gang hotly denied its existence made it big, for it shows them as disingenuous.
If you recall, we had many doubters and GOB apologists who accused us of inventing a campaign issue or looking to drive ratings through the floating of a “conspiracy theory.” We remained steadfast in our intelligence and sure of ourselves. The palm card proves that we had the story correct. There IS a GOB at-large slate, and this is it.
Clairmont is a CPA who served in a fiduciary role for Mayor Ruberto’s campaign.
Caccamo received a $40,000 a year school job having something to do with MCAS scores (we thought teachers and layers of administration were capable handling that task without adding another school job at taxpayers’ expense). Speculation is that this is Caccamo’s reward for carrying out certain tasks from his masters. He denies it.
Sherman is a steady and steadying hand well liked by most all. Should he and Jonathan Lothrop win re-election, look for the two to jockey for council president. Sherman, in short, is a known quantity.
Cotton, a refugee of the hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, speak-no-evil school board, can be counted on to vote one way: The way they tell him.
BB’s Endorsement of Marchetti: A Split Decision?
Speaking of endorsements, we heard it told twice from newsroom sources at the BB that Marchetti’s endorsement came against the arguments of managing editor Kevin Moran and editorial page editor Bill Everhardt. Our source claim that Moran and Everhardt, Moran especially, wanted to endorse Bianchi. Executive editor Tim Farkas overruled and, taking his orders from above, let it be known: “We’re going for the short-end money on Marchetti.”
This would make sense. Everhardt, Moran, and Farkas were on the editorial panel that interviewed Bianchi last week. Bianchi told THE PLANET he felt he got a fair hearing, overall, but wasn’t sure about Farkas. We were, though. One newsroom source says it was a set-up. Bianchi could have come in to the meeting announcing a cure for the heartbreak of psoriasis and it wouldn’t have mattered. Fortunately, the BB’s reputation has sunk so low that their endorsement of Marchetti all but drive the final nail into the coffin.
Who can trust the BB? Yesterday, for example, in Sunday’s page one story on the wrap up of the mayoral campaign, copies of the paper were delivered with Alf Barbalunga ad stickers — each planted squarely over Bianchi’s mug. Also, Dick Lindsey‘s story made reference to Bianchi’s wife, listing her as “Linda Bianchi.”
His wife’s name is Theresa Bianchi, the former Theresa Harrison. According to sources, Linda Bianchi was a controversial school principal in Ward 4. How can this be anything other than an honest mistake? How could a reporter make that type of egregious error then have it get through the copy desk. Question: Did Lindsey have the correct name only to have it later changed by someone else?
What is the GOB? It’s a What made up of the Whos
The GOB refers largely to the political element in the city of Pittsfield that hands out favors to special interests (in both public and private sectors). Payouts come in many forms, not the least of which is cash. For example, projects are farmed out to sainted vendors, who have paid the proper political tribute. Vendors, contractors, and business people who don’t show the proper political loyalty somehow lose their licenses, face numerous obstacles for expansion, and NEVER win the contracts, even when they are the lowest bidder.
How does the GOB operate? With their own set of rules. They don’t expect to follow the rules that Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski obey, forthey are above the law. Literally.
Here’s a small example provided by THE STOOLEY, who attended the recent appearance of congressional candidate (and Democrat) Elizabeth Warren at the ITAM.
THE STOOLEY reports:
As I was leaving the Itam on Thursday night at 8:00PM the silver lining began to form a cloud around the previous hour. When I got to the door I asked the two policemen who were standing at the door if they were on overtime or were they being compensated by the Warren campaign. One of the officers replied that they were there on a different matter altogether. He said that they were concerned that the cars from the five hundred attendees which were parked on all the streets around the Itam posed a threat to public safety as a fire truck or other emergency vehicles would be able to have access to the parked car narrowed streets. I replied that they were indeed right and it would be difficult to even land a helicopter there.
As I made my way to my car I concluded that a neighborhood resident must have called the police department or the fire department with concerns for the safety of the area.
I began wondering if this call was made when it was made. The neighborhood was already packed with cars when I arrived at 6:50 PM. So the call probably came in around 7:00 PM and a patrol would have been dispatched.
If the police were concerned that a legitimate threat to public safety exited why did they allow cars to remain parked until the conclusion of the meeting at 8:00PM?
Did the officers talk with the patrol supervisor? Did the patrol supervisor make or receive any phone calls from any elected official telling him to let the meeting go?
Did any of the high holy democrats at the meeting (and they were all there) influence the actions or inactions of the police department?
What is the safe legal capacity of the upstairs room of the Itam? Is 500 legal?
If a fire truck couldn’t reach neighborhood homes or the Itam was the safety of neighborhood residents threatened? Was the safety of the 500 people inside the Itam Threatened?
THE STOOLEY’s rhetorical questions answered themselves: All the Dem big shots were there, and so, magically, the overflow was deemed not to be a public safety hazard. If it was anybody else, particularly a person or group without the proper papal dispensations, though, and down comes the boom.
THE PLANET’S ENDORSEMENTS: Bianchi … Morandi … Ferrin … Vincellete … Lothrop … Sherman, Mazzeo, Scapin, Nichols.
And now for our endorsements. First, let THE PLANET say that on Tuesday, there will be 12,992 voters on Tuesday. In the race for mayor, where we have already endorsed Dan Bianchi, we shall see a double-digit win for Dan’l.
Dan Bianchi 7,245… Peter Marchetti 5,747. Thus reads THE PLANET’s crystal ball.
Bianchi has run a smart, engaged, issues-oriented campaign with an attitude and tone that can best be described as “mayoral.” Marchetti has run a scared, tone-deaf, defensive with an attitude that can best be described as shrill.
Let’s put this sartorially. If Marchetti is a green shirt and a flowered tie, Bianchi is a crisp, white Oxford and a blue-and-red striped rep. Marchetti is a madras sport jacket. Bianchi is a classic blue blazer. Marchetti is a pair of saddle shoes. Bianchi is a set of black Bass loafers.
Say hello to Dan Bianchi, Pittsfield’s next mayor.
The Rest of the Races
Ward 1: Chris Yon, unopposed. Fair-minded and still learning.
Ward 2: Kevin Morandi over Peter White. White’s sticker campaign comes off as sloppy second.
Ward 3: Jeff Ferrin over Paul Capitanio. Ferrin has earned his shot at leadership as the hardest working man in Campaign 2011.
Ward 4 Ozias “Chuck” Vincelette over Chris Connell. The Man from Mensa has the smarts.
Ward 5: Jonathan Lothrop over Joe Breault. Lothrop is a good kind of policy wonk. The city is better off getting him back.
Ward 6: John Krol, unopposed. Good values, can analyze issues, will offer counterpoint.
Ward 7: Tony Simonelli, unopposed. THE PLANET robbed Tony of HR when he was a 3rd-yr. Babe Ruth player for GEAA and I was a rookie lf for Union Federal. One of Deming’s Greatest Moments.
At-Large: Kevin Sherman, Melissa Mazzeo, Rick Scapin, Joe Nichols: Sherman will battle Lothrop for council president; Mazzeo has proven an aggressive, able citywide representative; Scapin has blue-collar appeal; Nichols will pursue the popular and, especially, the unpopular but necessary.
School Committee: Terry Kinnas and pick five. No one has exceeded Terry Kinnas in taking the role of citizen-governor seriously. He has attended more school committee meetings than some committee members.
AND WITH THAT, WE COUNT DOWN TO TOMORROW WHILE BE BLAST OFF INTO TODAY …
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.