Archive | Elections RSS feed for this section

Competitive field already shaping up in race for Peabody School Committee seats

20 Jun

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Since giving voters multiple candidates to choose from is always a good thing, it was both distressing and disappointing two years ago when all three Peabody School Committee incumbents ran for re-election unopposed.

Incumbent Brandi Carpenter

Incumbent Brandi Carpenter

But now, with two of the three seats open on the November ballot, suddenly a large field of contenders is emerging. Long-time school committee member David McGeney is retiring, and Ed Charest’s decision to run for Ward 4 Councilor opens the two seats. Brandi Carpenter, meanwhile, is the only incumbent running for re-election.

Eight candidates have so far picked up their nomination papers to get the required 50 signatures to run. If all bring back their signed papers by August, there will be a primary in September to narrow the field to six.

The challenger field so far includes all men, many of whom have kids in the Peabody Public Schools, and have never run for office before. This could give Carpenter an edge when it comes to retaining her seat, not only because she is the lone incumbent, but because lone women candidates on a ballot traditionally do very well in Peabody elections where voters can make multiple choices.

The rest of the field, though, is fascinating for political junkies like myself to handicap. I’ve participated — either as a candidate, campaign worker or wiseass pundit – in dozens of Peabody campaigns the past 20 years, and this is the first time I don’t see any clear favorites beyond the one incumbent.

Right now, I see several challengers with legit shots to get one of the two remaining seats, and I can’t ever recall that being the case at this stage in any Peabody School Committee election. Although there are a number of candidates in this race with the “right stuff” to do the job well, none of them right now have much in the way of all-important name recognition.

All of that will change in the coming months, and whomever manages to run the best campaign is going to prevail. For now, you can’t tell the candidates without a scorecard, so maybe my take here will help:

Joe Amico has been out there working longer than anyone else in the field, having been one of the first to pull papers. He’s even already held a successful fundraiser, and has lawn signs out. He’s personable, a good family man, and has experience in the Revere Public Schools as an educator.

School committee Brian Addesa and family

School committee Brian Addesa and family

Brian Addesa is the newest candidate in the race. For the sake of full disclosure, I’m already helping Brian with his campaign, since I feel he has some great, commonsense ideas for improving Peabody’s schools, while also being mindful of the tax concerns of young families, empty-nesters and seniors. Brian decided to run after being a leader of the parents group that fought and won to preserve the For Kids Only (FKO) afterschool program. He’s not only a noteworthy family man and father, he’s also an educator.

john

John Olimpio

John Olimpio, is an attorney, CPA and family man from West Peabody, who has run before for school committee. I don’t know John well, but I hear positive things about his character, and will attempt to learn more about his ideas as the campaign unfolds.

Andrew Arnotis and Travis Wojcik are both college kids running for the first time. Neither has the professional or life experience of the previous three candidates, but I’m always encouraged and happy to see young people get involved.

The other two candidates who have pulled papers are Michael Bonbon and Neil Papamechail. Michael has been active in the Peabody Democratic City Committee. Other than the fact that he pulled papers last time to run and then didn’t bring them back, I don’t know much about Neil’s background.

More to come, but this should definitely be an interesting year when it comes to the school committee ballot.

Congrats to Moulton on his win, and Tisei for being a class candidate until the end

4 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Richard Tisei

Richard Tisei

Seth Moulton

Seth Moulton

Not a lot of free time to write tonight, but I have to say that I have even more respect for Richard Tisei after just watching his concession speech on NECN.

No doubt it was a tough result to swallow for Richard, but his concession speech was as gracious as it gets.

Congrats to Seth Moulton on his victory.

But like I’ve written in this space before: We would have been well served in Congress no matter which man won this election.

I’ll have a full recap and more commentary on the results both locally and across the state tomorrow.

In the local State House races, Ted Speliotis won by a comfortable margin over hard-working challenger Tom Lyons, and Republican Leah Cole upset Peabody School Committee member Beverley Dunne for the second time in the 12th Essex District.

Official results from City Clerk Tim Spanos on the 12th Essex race:

Cole 7,264

Dunne 6,829

 

Observations early on this Election Day; Please let us know what you’re seeing

4 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Some observations so far on this Election Day . . .

VoteConstant Companion and I voted at the Kiley School at 8:15 this morning, and once again it was nice to see a professional and courteous poll worker crew on duty. Hats off to the city and Clerk Tim Spanos for cleaning up what had previously, in the case of some workers, been a bad scene in Ward 5 …

Just got a robo call from some women who said she used to live in Michigan, and if we don’t vote against casinos by voting “Yes” on Question 3, there’s a chance that Massachusetts could become as bad as Detroit. After hearing this silliest robo call ever, it made me question my voting Yes this morning. I voted to roll back the casino law for more common sense reasons.

We won’t become Detroit because of casinos, but Peabody will lose a big chunk of change when MA lottery sales dwindle because of big-time gambling alternatives . Right now, Peabody gets about $6 million from lottery sales at stores and restaurants within our borders.

For the record, I voted: YES-NO-YES-NO on the ballot questions. I left that ridiculous “moonbat” Question 5 blank. . . .

Quiet morning for sign holders at the Kiley. All I saw were two sign holders for State Rep Ted Speliotis, and one lonely sign holder for his opponent Tom Lyons.  . . .

Secretary of State Bill Galvin is predicting a healthy 53% voter turnout across MA today. When we voted this morning, we were No. 87 and 88 in Ward 5, Prec. 2. Not bad, considering the polls had only been open for a little more than an hour. . . .

Let me know in the comments section what you’re observing as you vote today.

If you haven’t gotten out yet, or are confused as to where you should go to vote, you can use this handy tool from the Secretary of State’s office to find out where you should vote.

Question 1: The Road you should take is to vote yes

29 Oct

(This is the second in a series of posts bringing you the The Eye’s view when it comes to the state ballot questions in Nov. 4th’s election. Today, we look at Question 1, which if passed would keep the state’s gas tax from rising with inflation.)

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Opponents of Question 1 try to make the argument that inflation means less buying power, and in a few years — if this question passes — we might need to rename the Tobin … London Bridge.

Tobin Bridge is no London Bridge

Tobin Bridge is no London Bridge

Settle down there Question 1 opponents. If this thing passes, which it’s likely to do in Tuesday’s State election, Tobin Bridge is not falling down.

For those still unaware, a yes vote on Question 1 will over-turn a vote taken by our solons to tie or index the state gas tax to inflation. In other words, if inflation rises, the gas tax automatically does too.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the scary TV ads put out by AAA about how a yes vote will create some sort of roadway apocalypse from Stockbridge to Boston. It’s ridiculous, since if Question 1 passes, 24 cents of every gallon of gas you purchase will still go toward exclusively paying for roadway construction, repair and maintenance in Massachusetts.

Look, I don’t think many people are arguing against a much-needed gas tax to pay for these repairs. What we object to, though, is allowing our elected officials off the hook when it comes to raising our taxes.

If Question 1 fails, our representatives on Beacon Hill will be free to wring their hands and say how it wasn’t they who raised your taxes. If was that nasty ole inflation!

Let’s keep holding those who consider raising our taxes accountable. If they need more money for roads and bridges, let them stand before we the people and justify that while voting on the record.

Let’s not keep this index, which is essentially a form of “taxation without representation.”

Vote YES on Question 1.

Who will benefit from recent negative campaigning, Moulton or Tisei?

21 Oct

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Is it the case of a candidate just “playing defense” in the wake of his opponent’s recent negative TV ads? Or, has the race for Congress in the Massachusetts 6th Congressional District simply turned nasty on both sides?

Well, I will say that — if Democrat Seth Moulton is just playing “D”  — he appears to have chosen a rugged style that would make Zdeno Chara smile.

Just days after Republican Richard Tisei’s campaign released an attack trying to portray Moulton as being in the pockets of Wall Street bankers — in other words, making him look more like a Republican than Tisei himself — the Democrat’s campaign released the ad below.

But both candidates are definitely guilty at this point of taking one of the nasty pages out of John Tierney’s playbook. As you might recall, Tierney two years ago tried to paint the moderate Tisei as an agent of the “evil” Tea Party, and it almost cost the incumbent Congressman the election.

By the way, with two weeks to go, polls are pretty much showing that this race is a dead heat, so negative campaigning at this point is most-definitely a risky venture.  The tactic sometimes isn’t bad for catching up, but most people deplore crazy attacks, and the strategy has a tendency to backfire with polls showing the final outcome within the margin of error.

You’ll recall that Moulton had an 8-point lead a few days after the primary, so maybe the negative tactics by Tisei are working. But for Moulton, I feel that going negative is a much riskier proposition. Tisei is a likable guy, and isn’t seen as a crazy right winger by most of those voters who live their lives in the sensible center.

Here’s the negative Moulton ad to which I refer. Let me know what you think in the comments section.

Which candidate for Congress has the better strategy in his latest ads? Let me know

20 Oct

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Interesting approach here by both campaigns as we close in on Nov. 4th, and  the final election for Congress in the Massachusetts 6th Congressional District.

Looks like Seth Moulton’s campaign is going with the more positive approach, while Richard Tisei — who this space has always seen as more of a nice guy than a pitbull — is going in the opposite direction after two pretty negative ads.

Take at look at the latest ads from each of the campaigns, and let me know what you think. I’m going to hold my fire for now, and then weigh in based on your comments.

Here’s the latest Moulton ad:

Here’s the latest Tisei ad:

Welcome to the ‘Bizarro World’ of Tisei the ‘Democrat’

17 Oct

Follow Bob on Twitter @eyeonpeabody

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Up is down. Down is up. We say goodbye when we arrive, and hello when we leave.

Welcome to the Bizarro World of North Shore politics, where a “Republican” is trying to make himself look like a Democrat, while portraying the real Democrat as evil, shady, and out of touch with the little guy. Superman, where are you now that we need you?

Confused yet?

Will the real Richard Tisei (right) and the real Seth Moulton, please stand up? (Photo from CBS. Channel 4, Boston)

Will the real Richard Tisei (right), real Seth Moulton, please stand up?
(CBS. Channel 4, Boston photo)

Well, I definitely am after viewing a new video put out by “Republican” Richard Tisei’s campaign. (see below).

In it, Tisei’s camp paints Democrat Seth Moulton, who he opposes in the MA 6th Congressional District election on Nov. 4th, as some shadowy character right out of a vampire movie.

Not only that, but Tisei the “Republican” tries to confuse us further in the ad by insinuating that Moulton is aligned with Wall Street instead of Main Street.

Hey Richard, I know that it’s tough here in Blue Mass. to win as a Republican, so maybe I understand this tactic. A little anyhow. But this truly is the Bizarro World moment of your campaign.

I mean, what are you saying? That, if elected, you won’t be voting with the same  Republican dudes who are famous for putting billions of dollars in the pockets of Wall Street bankers, but that Moulton the Democrat would? Great. Speaker Boehner is going to really enjoy introducing you to his buddies in the Cloakroom.

Just when Mr. Speaker was wondering how he was going to explain to these intolerant Neanderthals that Tisei was gay and married, now he has to tell them that the freshman Congressman from Massachusetts is against corporate welfare?

Steve Chabot will really be thrilled, especially after he also learns that Tisei  won’t join in on a coup to impeach the President.

By the way, in the ad, one of those scary announcer voices also asks  who is Seth Moulton and who is “behind his campaign?”

I’m not sure that Tisei knows that answer himself.

A couple of weeks ago, after I wrote a positive piece here about Moulton, I got a call from one of the leaders of Tisei’s campaign. During our conversation, he told me that I was all wrong about Moulton being pragmatic, and that the former Marine Capitan and Harvard-educated businessman was actually some sort of stealth extreme left winger.

I wasn’t buying it, but now I’m really confused after this ad. Does the Tisei camp now feel that Moulton is a stealth Republican? Or, is it simply a case that they had Marissa DeFranco write the video script as part of her endorsement?

Maybe what we should be asking at this point is: “Who is the real Richard Tisei?”

Time for a little ‘Kumbaya’ between fellow Democrats Tierney and Moulton

16 Oct

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Has John Tierney turned his back on a fellow Democrat?

Has John Tierney turned his back on a fellow Democrat?

It has Democrats, even reformed ones like me, wondering when we should file the missing persons report, and use his official MC head shot on the side of the milk carton.

Where have you gone John Tierney?

And, more importantly, why haven’t you endorsed Democrat Seth Moulton for the seat you’ll vacate come January?

Me thinks our current, long-term Congressman — the Liberal Lion of Lynn, the Sage of Salem, the Peabody Professor, the Baron of Beverly — is more than a little reluctant to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with his fair-haired successor.

After a brutal primary season, during which each campaign participated in a lot of nasty “nah, nah, boo, boo” antics in mail pieces and television commercials, the iciness continues as Moulton battles an old Tierney nemesis, Republican Richard Tisei, just 20 days before Nov. 4th’s final bout in the MA 6th Congressional District.

As is tradition, when Moulton upset Tierney in the primary, the victor and vanquished called each other to congratulate and console. But we’re hearing that the Congressman wasn’t too pleased with the level of sincerity when Moulton called him to try and smooth things over after the two spent so much time tossing haymakers and upper cuts.

The story goes that, during a call, Tierney perceived that Moulton was trying to distance himself from the nasty attacks made on the Congressman during the campaign. Those weren’t Moulton’s true feelings, Congressman.  That was strategy!

Not having been on the call myself, I’m not sure if Tierney has a good case for interpreting Moulton’s message that way, but I do know one thing:

Gentlemen, there was enough nastiness to go around on both sides. You both did what you could to win, and at times it just wasn’t pretty. But Moulton won fairly, and it’s time for some “Kumbaya.”

A while back, one of my Irish-American relatives asked me if I ever heard of a condition known as “Irish Alzheimer’s.”

“Irish Alzheimer’s?” I responded in quizzical fashion.

“Yeah,” said my relative. “You forget about everything except your grudges.”

Unless John Tierney wants to go the Marissa DeFranco renegade route and endorse Tisei, it’s time for him to forget his grudges and do the right thing as a Democrat.

It’s time for Tierney to tell his still very large base of supporters to unite behind Democrat Seth Moulton.

Follow Bob on Twitter @eyeonpeabody

A nice ‘problem’ to have for the voters of the 6th District

16 Oct

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

When the primary was over, and Seth Moulton’s raiders had stormed the castle, those of us for whom politics is like an intoxicating drug, went to bed that night all giddy. We had what we figured was a “dream” candidate for Congress in the MA 6th District.

John Tierney, the anachronistic liberal, was history, and Moulton, the Clean Marine with the multiple Harvard business degrees was a new type of Democrat, headed off to save the day in our dysfunctional capital. We political junkies with the “D” next to our names rejoiced, and looked forward to a victory on Nov. 4th.

Seth Moulton

Seth Moulton

Richard Tisei

Richard Tisei

Overall, I still feel that way. After all, for quite some time. I’ve  been a Democrat in exile. As pragmatic leaders of my party were replaced by far left ideologues, who cared more about the rights of polar bears and illegal immigrants than the needs of America’s middle class, I drifted away from my party.

But Moulton’s upset of Tierney brought me back into what suddenly again felt like a “big tent” of ideas for we wayward Dems. Oh sure, Moulton campaigned against Tierney while leaning on the dreaded “progressive” label. But as a conservative Democrat, I’ve been OK with that, since I also see a huge level of pragmatism with this candidate. I truly believe, after all, that Seth Moulton feels it’s better to focus on getting our struggling economy going and protecting the homeland,  than it is for us to all hold hands and hug a tree.

Now, though, as we creep within 20 days of the election, there’s a problem, Peabody, for those of us who were looking forward to a Moulton coronation:

Republican Richard Tisei is not only an impressive candidate, he’s a really good guy. Like Seth Moulton, I feel he’d be an excellent and effective Congressman.

Last night, Tisei made an impromptu appearance on my “You Make The Call” television show on Peabody Access Telecommunications. I gave up my chair and my co-host Dick Jarvis interviewed Mr. Tisei for a little more than 30 minutes. By the end, we were all impressed with Tisei’s answers, and his genuine likability. We were close or in full agreement on several important issues. We spoke after the show too, and both Dick and I left the studios with a favorable view of Tisei as a person.

Immediately after the show, I received a text from a friend, who’s a big Tisei supporter. It read: “How can you not vote for him? He’s awesome.”

I couldn’t disagree, although there are so many things that also make me still feel that Seth Moulton will be an outstanding Congressman for the 6th District.

This is why now, as the giddiness of primary night fades, I feel that many voters will have a tough time choosing a candidate on Nov. 4.

In the end, though, it’s one of those proverbial nice problems to have.

After all, this is one of those rare times in life where you can’t go wrong.

Follow Bob on Twitter @eyeonpeabody

As endorsements go, this one is peculiar, but we’ve come to expect that from DeFranco

15 Oct

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Pardon me for using this old cliché, but politics do indeed make strange bedfellows.

Actually, maybe strange is the wrong word here.

How about bizarre? Or, oddly peculiar?

defranco

Marissa DeFranco changes teams

Perennial fringe candidate Marisa DeFranco, who many would argue makes Bernie Sanders look like a Tea Partier, is endorsing Republican Richard Tisei for Congress instead of Democrat Seth Moulton.

Fresh off not being even a minor player in the Democratic State Primary in the 6th District Congressional race, during which Moulton ousted incumbent John Tierney, DeFranco’s latest cry for attention seems, well …

I like “oddly peculiar, since it fits DeFranco perfectly.

So far, she’s tilted at windmills while running for Peabody councilor at-large, US Senate and Congress, all while taking stances on issues that make her more akin to Khrushchev than Kennedy.

And now, she’s endorsing a … gasp!  … Republican?!

Oh Marissa, you’re making your buds in the SEIU cry!

But, he’s a “commonsense Republican,” DeFranco says of Tisei.

Good grief! Lenin must be spinning in his Red Square crypt now that Comrade Marissa has sold her soul to the Party of Lincoln, Reagan and two Bushes.

Could a pundit job on Fox News be far off for fair Marissa?

Of course, leave it to the Moulton campaign to come up with the perfect response to this “shocking” turn of events.

“In the primary, Seth was accused of being a Republican — turns out it was actually Marisa DeFranco,” Moulton campaign spokeswoman Carrie Rankin told the Salem News.

By the way, just a tip for the Tisei campaign: Whatever you do, don’t bring Marissa campaigning with you at the Peabody Portuguese War Veterans Post.

Back in 2001, most female candidates, including former Democratic State Rep Joyce Spilliotis, weren’t bothered by the tradition of a men’s dinner at the Post. It wasn’t that big of a deal, and out of respect for these men who bravely served their country, most female politicians used commonsense and met voters at the bar.

But not looney Marissa. She brought suit and took these veterans’ money when it came to damages, and legal fees. As women’s rights victories go, it wasn’t exactly Roe v. Wade, but it was Marissa’s “Rosa Parks Moment.”

Who knows?

Now that Marissa DeFranco is a Republican fellow traveler, maybe she’ll look the other way next time when some old dudes try to leave their wives for a night to have dinner with their war buddies.

If anyone knows when Marissa will be co-hosting with Megyn Kelly on Fox, can you please let me know?

Follow Bob on Twitter @eyeonpeabody

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 54 other followers