(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY OCT. 22, 2018) — Who knows what difference endorsements make? THE PLANET says it depends on the particular circumstances. Who is endorsing whom? Why? When? Under what conditions? They therefore can help or hurt, marginally most likely either way. All things being equal, endorsements are like chicken soup when you have a cold of flu: It can’t hurt, and there’s reason to believe it helps. At worst, they cause a rebound the other way of the intent. Usually, they are a wash, a way to stroke the ego of the endorser with a cheap press release and the means to provide false security to the endorsee.

Over the past few days, district attorney Paul Caccaviello won two endorsements, the first from attorney and two-time D.A. candidate Judith Knight, the second from Pittsfield’s Ward 4 councilor, Chris Connell. Knight’s endorsement is major. In the September Democratic primary, she finished third in a three-person race to Cacc (2nd) and winner Andrea Harrington. She did so, though, with more than 5,000 votes in a race with a close finish. Meanwhile, just ahead of her Wednesday fundraiser, Harrington sent out a press release announcing the endorsement of senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey.

What do, what will, these endorsements mean on Election Day?

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The September vote totals read Harrington 8,511; Caccaviello 7,867; Knight 5,182; blank 75 for a total of 13,645 out of 88,500 eligible county voters (a 16% turnout). Cacc won Pittsfield, the county seat and the election’s crown jewel, beating Harrington by double digits, 3,163 to 2,534. Overall countywide, he lost by 644 votes, or 4.7% among those who voted and 7/10s of 1 percent — 50.3 to 49.7 — of the total electorate. Given that turnout for the general election will be greater, and perhaps by a lot, and that with her endorsement of Caccaviello Knight in effect releases 5,182 voters his way, a difference of less than one percent hardly seems safe for Harrington, notwithstanding that Cacc’s campaign is of the write-in variety. And we mean write-in as opposed to a sticker campaign.

THE PLANET has learned that Camp Cacc has won’t print or distribute stickers. They have been advised by election officials that stickers tend to clog the vote scanning machines. We have no doubt that is true, but we wonder why Pittsfield as county seat can’t provide candidates with reliable machines. That seems little to ask … ah, but this is Pittsfield.

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 It’s no secret that Knight bears little love for Harrington. The rift became unreconcilable after Pittsfield state rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier attempted to strong-arm Knight into quitting the September primary to send more votes Harrington’s way. Knight said the “final straw” came with Harrington’s alleged threatening phone call to councilor-at-large Melissa Mazzeo, a call reported exclusively by THE PLANET.

Knight endorsed Caccaviello in front of the courthouse steps along Bank Row in Pittsfield, making sure to land some haymakers on Harrington: “She is a great politician. She ran a great campaign. But she told us that she was going to run the district attorney’s office like she ran her campaign. I found that very alarming because the district attorney is a public servant, not a politician. … Andrea can be divisive. She is not always forthcoming with the truth when asked directly. And her inexperience really renders her so inadequate for this job that she will have to rely only on her political skills. I think we will all be in trouble.”

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Connell’s endorsement came in the form of a letter-to-the-editor, sent to local media including THE PLANET. As part of “The Loyal Opposition” on the Pittsfield city council that includes Mazzeo, Ward 2′ Kevin Morandi, and sometimes Ward 7’s Tony Simonelli, Connell’s backing takes on an added gravitas.  Connell, a man with vast experience in the Dreaded Private Sector, is a sensible, flexible, voice of reason on a board that often descends into bickering and partisanship. His judgment is well respected, and, while no one can measure what effect his endorsement will make, nonetheless stands as a mark mover in the “applause meter” hovering over Cacc’s head.

Here’s the text of Connell’s letter:

During the last 3 months I had decided to remain neutral during the DA race facing Pittsfield and Berkshire county. I had met Andrea Harrington during my campaign for state representative two years ago. I thought then that she had heart for not only the Berkshires but for the residents as well. I did not ever meet Paul Caccaviello until August of this year when he called me and asked to meet.

During this campaign I have observed and studied the two candidates very carefully. This position in my opinion should not even be a political option but should be appointed based on experience. The campaign has been in my opinion very nasty. The public has seen our current state representative get involved trying to influence a candidate to drop out of the race to give her candidate an edge. I find this deplorable.

Mr. Caccaviello has worked in the district attorney’s office for over 20 years. He has been involved with many cases that certainly give him the experience to help keep our county safe. I personally don’t feel that Andrea has the experience the county needs to help maintain law and order.

I was initially reluctant to express my support for any candidate for the election due to my fear of possible political fallout for myself. That is my shortcoming because I have always believed that you have to do what is right for the people and not for yourself. Now I want to do the right thing regardless of how it may affect me politically.

Therefore, I would encourage all of the 6,000 residents that voted for me two years ago for state representative as well as everyone else, to vote for experience and not make this race a popularity contest. Pittsfield and Berkshire county need Paul Caccaviello to continue as District Attorney. Please write in Paul Caccaviello. — CHRIS CONNELL, WARD 4, PITTSFIELD CITY COUNCIL

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Harrington’s senatorial backers may help and may hurt. It strains credulity that Warren and Markey have any intimate knowledge of the party nominee and are acting out of anything other than party hegemony. Here’s Harrington’s press release:

Exciting news! I am honored to earn endorsements from Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey for Berkshire County District Attorney.

Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “Andrea Harrington has the experience, the vision, and the passion to lead Berkshire County forward – keeping residents safe, expanding treatment to fight the opioid epidemic, and supporting our communities.”

She continued, “I am standing with Andrea Harrington for Berkshire County District Attorney on November 6th and hope you will do the same.”

Senator Ed Markey remarked, “I am proud to support Andrea Harrington for Berkshire County District Attorney. As the Democratic nominee for District Attorney, Andrea has the right priorities for Massachusetts, and I look forward to working to get her elected in November.”

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This race does not hinge on endorsements but on turnout. More than 13,645 will vote, including county Republicans and more independents than turned out in September. These people will decide the election.


The public interest depends on private virtue” — James Q. Wilson.



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  1. CosbiesLadies
    October 23, 2018 at 10:15 am #

    I have three on here that I think would deserve the Orbit more than myself or Pat. Not Pat, two one sided and zero sense of humor. My candidate would be Art Seller,Chuck Garivaltas,Charlie Trzci ka.

    • Mr. Fritz
      October 23, 2018 at 3:24 pm #

      You are Art. You are a blog hog….and quantity does not mean quality. I’m sticking with Pat. She has common sense and isn’t negative like you.

  2. CosbiesLadies
    October 23, 2018 at 10:26 am #

    I don’t need no stinking award anyway…..or a badge…..

  3. U
    October 23, 2018 at 10:44 am #

    Hey Scump,Forest Gump ran across country,go hondos go,we got jobs for you. Oh…DOW Waaaay DOWn again.

  4. Johnny Absurd
    October 23, 2018 at 11:17 am #

    Seems like we should have a DA debate to discuss the city drug and crime problem. Possibly add in someone from the city side that has not already given up. If there is such a person.

    • Art Seller
      October 23, 2018 at 11:35 am #

      The republicans are in total control. Health care wore taxes worse.Any questions.Dinosaur McConnell wants to cut SsMedicare And Medicaid. Any further questions????

      • Johnny Absurd
        October 23, 2018 at 1:09 pm #

        McConnells face would look nice on Mt Rushmore. I mean his real face.

      • John Duns Scotus
        October 23, 2018 at 7:32 pm #

        Hey Pol Pot Belly, I have a question. How do you breath with your head up your a$$?

  5. Art Seller
    October 23, 2018 at 1:08 pm #

    In the past if a politician told a lie they would be embarrassed and seek cover. With scump he addresses a lie with another lie. Is there anyone who can honestly say that we want a person like this runing our country. To me the truth is everything. Please scumpsters try to justify why you support this buffoon. I guess if your a liar you don’t mind having a liar for president. Me I hate liars

  6. The school committee
    October 23, 2018 at 2:07 pm #

    Trump is going to give me a10% tax cut next week, ok who believes him?

    • Johnny Absurd
      October 23, 2018 at 2:09 pm #

      Pat believes him. Probably already planning a shopping trip.

  7. Shelly Li Eric
    October 23, 2018 at 2:09 pm #

    I’m winning mega mil tonight,kiss my ass Pittsfield. You to Barry.

  8. U
    October 23, 2018 at 2:39 pm #

    I’m hitting the mega millions tonIght, get the hell out of my way. Car jacking near silva lake and fourth today? U can’t make it up. Dan will tell you all day long, where’s there’s blight there’s crime. Kentucky Fried on sight and blight.

  9. mi
    October 23, 2018 at 2:41 pm #

    The Mega Ball bonus ball will be 17…….thank me tommorrow.

  10. Bill Q
    October 23, 2018 at 2:43 pm #

    r u sure?

  11. Johnny Absurd
    October 23, 2018 at 3:15 pm #

    Just in!! President Trump is not going to cancel the World Series after all. He will instead get his rocks off doing some online bullying all the while his wife is trying to stop it. Effing hilarious stuff right there.

  12. CosbiesLadies
    October 23, 2018 at 3:38 pm #

    This might eliminate me from the Orbit Award, for the dumbest question,but, how the hell is the Caravan going to walk a thousand miles? They will never make it.

  13. H
    October 23, 2018 at 4:08 pm #

    Well, if Dalton mass is four miles from dunkin donuts on first street,it would be walking to Dalton from there 250 Times,impossible.

  14. The school committee
    October 23, 2018 at 4:17 pm #

    Trump is using a paid for caravan to march to the border before election day.republicans are funding this.Trump said we have middle eastern people positioned next to ms13….Trump is a moron

  15. Pat
    October 23, 2018 at 4:49 pm #

    Barack Obama says we cannot allow illegal immigrants to just pour into the country undocumented and unchecked since it’s not fair to the people who come here legally.

  16. H
    October 23, 2018 at 5:51 pm #

    Hey,the G Man got a victory at the C V meeting tonight fo his presentation. It as 6- five.

  17. The school committee
    October 23, 2018 at 6:27 pm #

    Republicans will get rid of coverage for pre existing conditions…Pat does not support sick people getting this insurance coverage……hard to believe anyone supports this republican idea

    • Mary Wood
      October 23, 2018 at 6:43 pm #

      If you like your Dr. You can keep your Dr. Stop with simply posting insistently DNC talking points

      Did MSNBC tell you to post that?

      • William Munny
        October 23, 2018 at 7:34 pm #

        Nobody had to tell him. He’s just naturally stupid.