Article

LAST PITCH: D.A. CANDIDATES IN THEIR OWN WORDS … ELECTION DAY IS TODAY

BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY-TUESDAY NOV. 5-6, 2018) — OK, here’s the deal. You vote or don’t vote today. The latter option, unfortunately, may apply to most of the electorate. Either way, you have a choice for district attorney, one that Berkshire County must live with for six years. You can vote (or not vote) for incumbent D.A.  or Paul Caccaviello challenger Andre Harrington, who won the Democratic Party nomination against Cacc and attorney Judith Knight in September.

A Cacc win means history, since he is running a write in effort. To vote for him, you will physically have to write in his name on the space provided for by the ballot. A Harrington means history as well. She would be the first woman to win the local position. He has campaigned on his vast experience in the D.A.’s office and criticized her lack of judicial experience. She has pitched a new approach to the office whose goal is to, in her words, “transform the community.” She has criticized him s part of a criminal justice system that has not prevented an upsurge in county crime.

For our final piece before tomorrow’s vote, THE PLANET gives you the candidates in their own words, taken from their web pages.

PAUL CACCAVIELLO

I must answer the overwhelming call I am hearing from hundreds of Berkshire County citizens to stay in this race for District Attorney. Many people, un-enrolled voters, Independent, Republican and other others who could not take out a Democratic ballot with my name on it in the September Primary want and should have their vote count. This larger group includes all the eligible voters of Berkshire County. These voters want and deserve a say in who will represent and protect them and their families as their District Attorney.

The groundswell of support I have received in these past few weeks is truly humbling. It is a grassroots movement that neither my campaign nor I encouraged. Principally, the morning after the Primary, I went back to work doing the job I love with our office’s
dedicated staff.

I am not a politician. I have believed that this office must be above party politics because our District Attorney’s responsibility is public safety, not the pursuit of a political agenda. And if I were a politician, I and my supporters are realizing now that we would have run a
very different campaign. I’m proud of our campaign, the issue-oriented high-road we took and that we spent significantly less money than my opponent who achieved such a narrow margin of victory.

The District Attorney is the top law enforcement officer in Berkshire County and cannot be beholden to any political group, movement, or individual donor. Citizens must have the utmost confidence that their District Attorney will represent and protect them without regard to their party affiliation or political ideology. They must know that their DA is an experienced criminal attorney with a vast depth of knowledge, not a product manufactured by a powerful political machine.

For thirty years, my commitment has been to the citizens of Berkshire County. Many of the voters who have reached out to me over the last two weeks have expressed two common concerns: the importance of a candidate’s experience and demonstrated accomplishments, and what they view as money, support, and political influence on the race from outside of Berkshire County. I share those concerns and vow to redouble my efforts to keep the office of the District Attorney accountable to the people we serve and in the hands of competence, experience, and judgment informed by the prosecution of 5000-,plus cases

Public service has always been my calling. I am not a politician; I am a professional career prosecutor for the public that I have honorably served for thirty years. To this end, I am answering the call from these grassroots efforts urging me to utilize the Democratic process that allows us to continue to run for District Attorney as a write-in candidate on the November ballot.

———- ooo ———-

ANDREA HARRINGTON

The United States has about 5 percent of the world’s population, but a staggering 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. It is clear that the old “tough on crime” model, which sought to maximize convictions and sentence lengths for non-violent offenders, has failed––especially when research shows that locking up people who are not a danger does nothing to prevent crime.

Instead, as Berkshire District Attorney, I will focus my efforts and resources toward justice through context-appropriate and trauma-informed prosecutorial practices. To keep people safe while ensuring fair and equitable treatment for victims, I will: End incarceration for non-violent offenses. Sending people to prison should be the last resort, not the first. End the school-to-prison pipeline that funnels youth, particularly youth of color, into the criminal justice system. Implement bail reform by ending cash bail for low-level and low-risk offenders, ending practices that disproportionately penalize low-income individuals. End the war on drugs by de-prioritizing cases related to minor drug possession and use, which drains our resources and disproportionately hurt communities of color.

Fight the Opioid Epidemic with Smart Policy and Compassion
The current opioid crisis is one of the biggest issues facing our country today, and Berkshire County has seen far too many deaths in just the past few years. The solution is not to keep locking people up. Addiction is a disease, not a crime, and should be treated as such. Instead, the community ought to come together to come up with data-informed, compassionate solutions to these problems. To help deal with the crisis, I propose that we: Seek help for addicts instead of locking them up. The Drug Court was a great first step, and as DA I plan to build on that progress. Prosecute those truly responsible for the crisis––drug companies. Where possible, I will assist in law suits targeting the companies behind the epidemic.

Protect the Vulnerable
As a criminal defense lawyer, I have seen firsthand how the criminal justice system can affect women, children, people of color, and vulnerable immigrant communities. The “tough on crime” approach too often strong arms these communities into compliance and over-prosecutes people without the resources to defend themselves. Victims deserve a voice, and my office will help speak up for these communities. To help protect victims and their families, I will implement trauma-informed prosecutorial reforms that: Aggressively prosecute violent crime. Violent offenders, particularly domestic abuser cannot expect a friendly plea bargain when I am District Attorney. Under my watch, domestic abusers see long jail sentences, not probation. We need to commit the same time and resources toward domestic violence that the current DA has put toward the war on drugs and end the cycle of violence which often starts in our homes.

Prioritize cases of sex and race-based discrimination.
Specifically reviewing convictions to ensure that they are just and don’t unfairly target women, children, people of color, or those in the LGBTQ+ community. Protect immigrant communities by ensuring that the Berkshire County justice system does not threaten their well-being or ability to live here without interference.
Dismiss cases more readily where and when it appears that the defendant may be innocent.

Transparency and Accountability
It is one of my highest priorities that the Berkshire County District Attorney and her office conduct themselves with the utmost integrity. But a commitment to pursuing justice means nothing without transparency and accountability. The public thus has a right to know what the District Attorney does and why. In order to be transparent and accountable as your District Attorney, I will:
Create and release detailed protocols for dealing with high-profile cases like police misconduct, sexual assault, and other serious matters. Establish a Citizen’s Advisory Board to advise me and my staff in the areas of community outreach and education, crime prevention, community prosecution, civic engagement, social justice and civil rights issues. Hire only those prosecutors that promote public safety AND seek justice with empathy, compassion, integrity, and a strong desire to reduce racial and gender disparities in policing. Maintain and release detailed statistics on rates of incarceration by race, gender, and other demographic factors, as well as detailed comparisons with state and national rates.

Diversion and Prevention
The District Attorney has tremendous power when it comes to prosecuting individuals. But she also has the power to divert certain people––especially veterans, children, and those suffering from addiction––toward programs designed to help them, rather than simply locking them up. For all but the worst violent offenses, our focus should be on rehabilitation, not incarceration. As the Berkshire DA, I would support these efforts and work hard to implement smart prevention policies to make sure many of these crimes aren’t committed in the first place. For example, I would support: Social service interventions where necessary to help victims and their families navigate the criminal justice system. Additional resources for the Berkshire County Drug Court and work to establish a Veterans Treatment Court in Berkshire County. Before- and after-school programs that provide mentoring, counseling, and other support services for young people. Sexual assault and domestic violence counseling that guide victims through the difficult periods they often face, even after legal intervention. Targeted employment opportunities, quality healthcare, and better housing opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals hoping to rejoin society.

———- ooo ———-

The vote will be taken on Nov. 6. The choice is your: Caccaviello, Harrington, blank, or do not vote.

——————————————————————————————-

More gold has been mined through the thoughts of men than has been taken from the earth” — Napoleon Hill

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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176 Responses to “LAST PITCH: D.A. CANDIDATES IN THEIR OWN WORDS … ELECTION DAY IS TODAY”

  1. Johnny
    November 6, 2018 at 5:34 am #

    By the way, I think the situation at Williams is far more complicated than anyone, even Pucci, understands.

    The campus security office, with its officers as duly authorized state actors, should have separate files from the College due to its desire to bury them. But it doesn’t. Regardless if this is an issue for accusers or the accused, the real issue is that the college suppresses the records as protected under FERPA etc and hides them from those on both sides. This is not just an issue for the accused but it is critical for shedding a light on the secrecy that colleges have tightly guarded.

    Then there is the other aspect that Lee Flournoy wrote about. What about the privacy interests of the accusers? What if none of them want the light to be shed? I honestly don’t think that Harrington, Pucci, Cicero, and the like have really thought this all through.

    • AgentSmith
      November 6, 2018 at 9:03 am #

      Pucci knows exactly what he’s doing and how that will violate federal law, state law, and worst of all, victims rights.
      He knows it will do all of this but doesn’t care because he’s looking at a large civil suit.
      Harrington, she has no clue, that’s why she somehow thinks this is a good idea.

    • Cicero
      November 6, 2018 at 10:56 am #

      Pucci commented on the Williams stats and the fact that the DA’s office should be responding to them proactively rather than shrugging, doing nothing, and claiming their tactics are driven by a concern for victims. Past victims have claimed the College steered them away from filing a criminal complaint. A competent DA would have noticed that and taken action by, for example, informing Williams that given the high number of allegations, it is the DA’s duty to look into them since these are crimes against the Commonwealth. Inform them that it is not acceptable that they receive more than a dozen rape complaints per year and none result in criminal complaints. And yes, that should include the threat of using subpoena power if Williams continues to stonewall.

      None of this appears directly relevant to the case Pucci has mentioned anyway. He represents someone who DID file a complaint but was then subjected to a “faux” investigation, as he called it.

      We don’t know much more than that at this point, except for one very small item: While attacking Pucci’s motives and questioning his integrity, Caccaviello blatantly lied about the only aspect of this case we know anything about – his office’s refusal to maintain custody of the physical evidence as requested by Pucci multiple times.

      Broke the law and lied about it. Meet your (outgoing) DA.

  2. Edward R. Murrow
    November 6, 2018 at 6:46 am #

    Um, can we trust our local Dem party pols to count the write-in votes properly?

    Just asking.

    • AgentSmith
      November 6, 2018 at 9:55 am #

      I’m more worried about the clerks. When your cousin is a clerk you probably get a leg up on those pesky write-in ballots.

  3. AgentSmith
    November 6, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    Harrington violating state campaign laws. She’s placed lawn signs inside the 150 foot standoff envelope at polling places. Great Barrington, Pittsfield, Richmond, West Stockbridge.

    • Johnny Absurd
      November 6, 2018 at 7:21 am #

      Neither side has any rules for this election. Trump says it is Ok to do pretty much whatever you want and looks like these fine candidates are taking his advice. And I don’t expect the winner to follow any rules going forward. Not that that was the case before.

    • AgentSmith
      November 6, 2018 at 7:23 am #

      Lee and Stockbridge as well.

      In Richmond she has signs right at the driveway and ramp to the town hall.
      Lee she has signs right at the door to a polling location.

      Anything to win when you have no experience.

  4. Edward R. Murrow
    November 6, 2018 at 7:43 am #

    Numbers as of today:

    US Senate: 51 R to 49 D (actually 2 Ind.)

    US House: 235 R to 193 D (7 vacant)

    • Edward R. Murrow
      November 6, 2018 at 9:28 am #

      Governors:

      33 R to 16 D to 1 Ind

      State legislatures:

      31 R to 14 D to 4 split

      26 R to 8 D (control of gov and both houses)

  5. The school committee
    November 6, 2018 at 8:20 am #

    Blue wont let you steal more from SS.Blue wants capitalism to work so we lower taxes.Blue wants higher wages.Blue want clean enviroment.Blue wants education not ignorance.Blue wants zero crime .Blue wants healthcare for all.Red wants wealth for a few,Power all of it and most of all Red needs ignorance

  6. AgentSmith
    November 6, 2018 at 9:44 am #

    Dan a real side story is how the clerk in Great Barrington is Andrea Harrington’s cousin and she’s refusing to make Harrington supporters remove signs that are within the 150 feet of polling stations.
    It looks like she’s also the clerk in Richmond and is doing the same thing.

    • Chuck Vincelette
      November 6, 2018 at 10:32 am #

      No problem with sign location as long as PC is allowed to do the same. If not call the police officer inside the polling place and request all candidates move their signs out of the restricted area. Had a standout at Williams school nothing bad happening there. Had a great chat with Chris Connell and a lady from AH’s campaign. Heavy voting and heavy rains at time. Off to morning side for another 2 hours.
      Have the signs been removed?

      • AgentSmith
        November 6, 2018 at 2:06 pm #

        Not true, all material must be 150 feet away.
        Caccaviello supporters and signs were away. Harrington was right up at the building.
        The clerk, her cousin, would not remove them.

  7. Truthsayer
    November 6, 2018 at 11:20 am #

    Prediction – Whichever party wins DA race, other will challenge outcome and request a recount. Recount will hinge upon interpretation of voter intent on some to many ballots. Neither side will capitulate. Campaign violation claims against Harrington over signs. Clerks related to or supporting either candidate will be challenged. Election will go to court.

    Berkshire County’s hanging chads scenario with a court deciding the final outcome.

    Let’s see how close I am come Thursday or Friday.

    • AgentSmith
      November 6, 2018 at 2:40 pm #

      If it’s close, for sure a recount. If it’s 5% or more one way or the other, I’m not even sure if you are allowed a recount.

  8. The school committee
    November 6, 2018 at 11:25 am #

    Must take The house and Senate before the wealthy are killing each other over GREED and yes its the root of all evil.They will turn on themselves.

  9. Silent Cal
    November 6, 2018 at 12:00 pm #

    I am not any of those people the marqui de Sade thinks I am

  10. Ron Kitterman
    November 6, 2018 at 1:48 pm #

    Not to split hairs at this point, however the term for District Attorney is 4 years. Could be a blessing in disguise for the one who doesn’t win. The dreaded private sector treated Tim Shagrue pretty nice and maybe this could be a silver cloud to a better future.

    • danvalenti
      November 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm #

      Thanks, RK. Yes, four years. Appreciate the correction.

  11. Truthsayer
    November 6, 2018 at 2:34 pm #

    MARK OF A PROFESSIONAL VS PETTY AMATEUR

    Cacc walked up to AH to shake her hand and wish her luck.

    What did her highness do?

    Refused. Turned and walked away. A page right out of the Barrett Enemy Book. Petty little woman. Sad and pathetic.

    This is the woman who would be DA? Justice for all? Or justice for her friends only?

    • He can’t win
      November 7, 2018 at 5:28 am #

      Why should she shake his hand when he encouraged vile, vulgar character assassinations and personal vilification. I guess I can understand it given his record of unprosecuted rapes and over turned murders.

  12. Halo
    November 6, 2018 at 2:49 pm #

    Did you ever think that they are in it together? To many gobsigs involved supporting either candidate who have been tied together for years. Unless there has been a complete budget reduction where the only thing that does count is the D A salary.

    Harrington wins, very close though.

  13. Nota
    November 6, 2018 at 2:56 pm #

    I told you before Paul will win he he has done what Sister Golden Hair stated, if he moved on it and got out there. Then, he should win, Sister? Did he Move fast enough? Personally, my take on it is that he has earned it.

    • SisterGoldenHair
      November 6, 2018 at 6:42 pm #

      Too late to DA dance I fear. Start prayin’

  14. Pat
    November 6, 2018 at 3:28 pm #

    Mob scene at my voting place. Hope that means good news for Paul Caccaviello.

    • Joe Blow
      November 6, 2018 at 5:29 pm #

      I saw a lot of people with Cacc’s blue business cards he sent out.

      • Pat
        November 6, 2018 at 5:32 pm #

        I had mine so I would spell the name right. That was a great idea by the Caccaviello team.

  15. Mr. Fritz
    November 6, 2018 at 4:13 pm #

    pic.twitter.com/1aV58NzYdd

  16. H
    November 6, 2018 at 5:49 pm #

    Trump losing big time tonight. The message is delivered. So far.

  17. AgentSmith
    November 6, 2018 at 6:49 pm #

    Sadly I predict a solid win for Andrea Harrington. Harrington by at least by 5%….if not more.
    God help us all.

  18. SisterGoldenHair
    November 6, 2018 at 6:52 pm #

    Well Cicero and He can’t Win,

    she did it.

    Congrats. He could have won, but didn’t.

    Let’s hope she has a come to Jesus moment before your kid is a victim who gets no justice because of her non-sense.

    I wish her the best but fear the worst

  19. h
    November 6, 2018 at 7:14 pm #

    Congratulations Mrs. Harrington. Some advice, You are now,the most powerful person in Berkshire County,you need not listen to anyone. Your efforts and ability to prosecute will take care of any political repercussions.

    • Wondrous
      November 6, 2018 at 7:35 pm #

      Any thoughts who gets the publicity job?

    • Wilson
      November 6, 2018 at 7:45 pm #

      if she doesn’t listen all she hears in her empty head is silence

  20. CosbiesLadies
    November 6, 2018 at 7:30 pm #

    Rep us are losing in Texas. Cruz~Beto. Projection Beto wins.

  21. Hondurans for Trump
    November 6, 2018 at 7:40 pm #

    C. L Only one person on here stated Harrington would win,but a bigger margin……..CosbiesLadies

    • Art Seller
      November 6, 2018 at 8:02 pm #

      As I stated several times before that whoever wins an elected
      Position is the choice of the voters and we should all get behind the winner and give them a chance to be successful. This goes for the winners of tonights federal elections. If these winners don’t pan out they can be ousted in the next election cycle. Good luck to all of tonights winners. Cosbies ladies__can you give me a few tips on the breeders cup classics this Saturday at santa anita race course in calif?????

  22. U
    November 6, 2018 at 7:52 pm #

    I don’t know,Cruz is leading. But if you are a D you have to be pleased With the House thus far.

  23. SisterGoldenHair
    November 6, 2018 at 8:06 pm #

    14,310 HARRINGTON to 8,117 CACC, 10pm. wbec webstie. Unofficial but tells ya all ya need to know.

    Congrats Andrea. Although you campaigned very hard early on, You didn’t exactly come out swingin’ after the primary, but Cacc failed to come after you, until it was too late, and that, and Cacc’s initial mistake registering as a democrat, and the me too movement, all combined to give you the win.

    I wish you the best and sincerely hope you listen to the experienced prosecutors in the office, and the experienced victim/witness advocates, before you decide to clean house.

    You’re going to be a prosectuor whether you want to be or not.

    best wishes,

    Sister

  24. H
    November 6, 2018 at 8:17 pm #

    She said she will stop crime. Gotta see how she does it.

  25. He can’t win
    November 6, 2018 at 10:02 pm #

    Uh, anyone, anyone?

    Hehe.

    I don’t hate to tell you so, but I told you so.

    Suck it up, losers.