Some members of the Peabody School Committee, citing student safety and disruption of the educational process, would like ban the city from using schools as polling locations on Election Day.
How do you feel about the issue?
This is our first new show since the election, and on our list of topics tonight will be the latest with the expansion and entertainment license of the Stonewood Tavern in South Peabody, the issue of using public schools for voting, and much more.
It’s always open lines on YMTC, so we’ll entertain and comment on whatever is on your mind.
Please tune in and give us a call. You can also follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/calldickandbob
Peabody Democrats from Lynnfield to Lake Street came to realize earlier today that the sun did indeed come up on this frosty cold, un-spring-like morning.
But while sticking with this celestial theme, what we should have been thinking about was this lesson from Bill Shakespeare:
”The fault, dear Democrats, is not in our stars … but in ourselves.”
Before I go any further, I want to congratulate Peabody’s new State Rep, Republican Leah Cole, and urge all of my Democratic colleagues to do themselves a favor today and STOP with the excuses. Cole won fairly, and if you look at the campaign she ran, you immediately come to the conclusion that both Beverley Griffin Dunne and David Gravel likely never saw this coming.
The Dunne and Gravel campaign teams were solid, and worked their tails off throughout the weeks leading up to this special election. But all of us underestimated and mis-calculated when it came to Ms. Cole.
All we saw, and I’m as guilty as anyone else, was a 24-year-old, first-time candidate with zero name recognition on Day 1, and all we thought was … “this is a kid with no chance.”
What didn’t we see?
Well, we didn’t see that she was backed by an aggressive, very experienced, and battle-tested statewide professional political organization. Ron Paul’s Liberty Movement showed once again that it can not only organize, but also infuse a candidate with the Mother’s Milk of Politics: Lots and lots of cash. They were also able to keep her focused on the populist message that government takes too much from us, wastes our money, and is now asking for even more from Peabody’s working classes.
Although I’m sure the mainstream Mass. GOP is crowing this morning about winning a seat which the Dems have held for decades, they don’t deserve the credit and still have no credible, grassroots process for building a “farm team.” This victory belongs to the sons and daughters of the Liberty Movement, who are sort of like the Tea Party, only with younger members and fewer far right zealots.
Oh sure, there is a lot of evidence that leads to the conclusion that had Mr. Gravel not been in the race as an unenrolled candidate, Ms. Dunne would have won this seat back for the Democrats. But he was in, and as Democrats shouldn’t we have all known that it would split our vote? Shouldn’t we have seen more unity and support among Dems behind our only Democratic candidate in this race, especially from some of those who call themselves Peabody Democratic Party leaders?
For weeks, all I heard was speculation on who Cole would hurt more yesterday, Dunne or Gravel. Did anyone really ever stop to consider how much Dunne and Gravel would hurt each other?
But once again, the fault, dear Democrats, is not in Dave Gravel … it’s in ourselves.
Seventy-three votes was the difference. As a party couldn’t we have united enough to find 74 more votes?
Maybe. But this should also be a moment of clarity for us. If you can learn from it, sometimes losing isn’t a bad thing.
It’s time for us to realize that we need to get back to the principles that made fiscally conservative working class people in a city like Peabody embrace Democrats like our late, great State Rep Joyce Spilliotis?
Why have Peabody people suddenly begun turning on us Democrats, and voting for the Scott Browns, Charlie Bakers, and Leah Coles?
Our party has swung too far to the fringe, and people who work for a living are tired of losing more of their paychecks to support tax increases that feed a wasteful, bloated state government. By the way, I’m not talking about Beverley Griffin Dunne or Dave Gravel here. I’m talking about Democrats such as the State Rep from western Mass., who yesterday told me she felt that Governor Deval Patrick’s bloated budget proposal and tax increase don’t go far enough.
Both Dunne and Gravel stated during the campaign that they opposed the Governor’s tax increase. But it didn’t matter, the big-spending stench surrounded them just enough to have people pass on connecting the line next to their name. Guilt simply by association, perhaps.
As Peabody Democrats, it’s time that we adopted a message that we are the party that helps people who need help, but part of that responsibility includes ensuring that struggling working class people aren’t smothered by onerous tax increases designed to fund wasteful spending.
Isn’t it possible as a Democrat to be socially moderate or progressive while at the same time be fiscally conservative? Most people, after all, want to be helped, but not hurt by government.
Aren’t those the type of principles under which Joyce Spilliotis operated?
And isn’t that what the voters of Peabody told us loud and clear yesterday?
Message sent, for sure. But what still remains is, as Democrats, what are we going to do about it?
Today is the Special Election for State Rep in the 12th Essex District (Peabody Wards 1-4, and Prec. 1 and 3 in Ward 5).
PLEASE: Do your civic duty today, and get out and vote. Polls are open until 8 p.m.
Here are the candidates:
|Leah V. Cole||369 Lynnfield Street||Republican|
|Beverley A. Griffin Dunne||10 Colfax Street||Democrat|
|David C. Gravel||20 Tara Road||Unenrolled|
Here’s a listing of all of Peabody’s polling places. If you are not sure where you vote, please call the City Clerk’s office at 978-538-5756.
|1-1||Saint Ann’s Church||140 Lynn St.|
|1-2||Woodbridge Assisted Living||240 Lynnfield St.|
|1-3||Saint Ann’s Church||140 Lynn St.|
|2-1||Welch School||50 Swampscott Ave.|
|2-2||Welch School||50 Swampscott Ave.|
|2-3||South School||16 Maple St. Ext.|
|3-1||Our Lady of Fatima Church||50 Walsh Ave.|
|3-2||Our Lady of Fatima Church||50 Walsh Ave.|
|3-3||Wilson Terrace Rec Hall||15A Wilson Ter.|
|4-1||Higgins Middle School||1 King St. Ext.|
|4-2||Higgins Middle School||1 King St. Ext.|
|4-3||Peabody Vets Memorial High School||485 Lowell St.|
|4-3A||Macintosh Clubhouse||300 Brooksby Village Dr.|
|5-1||Kiley School||21 Johnson St.|
|5-3||McCarthy School||76 Lake St.|
The biggest post-debate topic wasn’t really the scope and substance of what the three State Rep candidates had to say last night in their one-hour forum inside Wiggin Auditorium at Peabody City Hall in advance of Tuesday’s special election. What people from all sides seemed most intent on talking about was a campaign mail piece that was sent to Peabody residents this week by the Mass. State Republican Party.
In the end, that two-sided flyer (pictured right from the Peabody Patch) not only gave Democrat Beverley Griffin Dunne and unenrolled candidate Dave Gravel the opening to effectively paint Republicans as negative and mean-spirited. …
It embarrassed the Republican candidate Leah Cole.
Once Gravel brought it up, all Cole could really do was sit there, take the criticism, and defend herself by saying she had nothing to do with it. She was sorry it got sent on her behalf, she said. But it didn’t matter and it’s just another example of why we continue to be a one party state dominated by Democrats.
In the fullest of disclosures here, I am a Democrat. But I’m also a conservative Dem, who feels that one-party rule is hurting Massachusetts. I believe in the basic principles of my party, but I also feel that multiple party balance keeps everyone honest when it comes to spending my tax dollars.
It’s the reason why I feel it’s a shame that MA GOP leadership continues to rival the tactics of Larry, Moe, and Curly.
The MA GOP many times finds great candidates, people like Peabody’s Greg Bunn and Richard Tisei and Scott Brown, and even newcomers like Leah Cole to run solid campaigns in an effort to crack the Democratic stranglehold. But in the immortal words of Jim Morrison in describing himself, Republican leaders in our state might be “intelligent, sensitive humans.” But they also have “the souls of a clown, which forces them to blow it at the most important moments.”
Take the case of Mr. Tisei, who mid-way through his run for Congress had a double-digit lead in the polls over incumbent John Tierney. But then along came “help” from the national Republican Party and extreme right wing groups, who dove into the Primordial ooze and “supported” the likeable and moderate Tisei. Those mail pieces and TV ads tried to paint Tierney as the evilest politician since Genghis Khan. It backfired, of course, and as a result Tisei lost his lead, the election, and once again Republican hopes dried up like an egg cracked on the floor of a desert.
In the case of this latest ill-advised piece from the MA GOP, not only is it incredibly negative, but it’s also flat out inaccurate. If I were feeling a little angrier today I’d even tell you that they plain old lied about Gravel and Dunn in this piece.
They paint the two long-time Peabody elected officials at “peas in a pod” with Governor Deval Patrick when it comes to his bloated proposal for raising taxes, and spending taxpayer money. But … NEWSFLASH MA GOP! Both Dunne and Gravel are AGAINST the governor’s tax plan. So much for the fine details, I guess.
In general, Peabody voters hate this sort of negative campaigning. The lies only make this piece even more deplorable in the eyes of the voters.
But even worse is the fact that these stooges may have hurt their own candidate, who had seemingly been gaining some momentum. If I were Leah Cole, I might right now be thinking about a letter to MA GOP Chair Kristen Hughes that begins with:
“Dear Kristen, please, I’m begging you … don’t help me.”
You can read more about the debate here in the Peabody Patch.
(Just catching up on some things after a very busy month for work travel and the campaign.)
Starting this off today by talking about an honor for a “local hero,” and a young woman who should be a model for other Peabody teens to follow.
Peabody High senior Alexndra Romano was honored this week as a local hero by the American Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts for going above and beyond in putting together a campaign to help people who became homeless because of Hurricane Sandy. Alex called her campaign “Kill the Chill,” and it included collecting clothing and blankets, and collecting donations for storm victims, which were quickly put to use by the Red Cross.
Alex and her sister Lea are both very active in their community when it comes to public service, and it’s an awesome thing to watch in these days when many young people would rather spend their free time playing video games.
The sisters also each year organize the “Caring Carolers,” who roam our Goodale Street-area neighborhood during Christmastime singing carols door-to-door while collecting money for Haven From Hunger. Not only do they get their friends together to sing for a very good cause, but their visit to your door really makes you feel good and get into the Christmas spirit.
Angela and Mike Romano must be very proud parents!
Want to know why we are stuck with Comcast?
Mayor Ted Bettencourt says he is asked on an almost daily basis why Peabody is not home to any alternative providers of cable TV, high-speed internet and telephone service. Conspiracy theories abound but it turns out the answer is simple and straight forward, according to a press release The Eye received from City Hall this week:
“At this time, no other provider of the phone/cable/ internet trio of services has expressed an interest in coming to Peabody,” Mayor Bettencourt tells The Eye. “We would like residents to have a choice of providers and would certainly welcome other options. At this time however, none of the alternatives to Comcast has stepped up with a proposal.”
Mayor Bettencourt said he understands Peabody residents’ frustration with the lack of choice here. “I absolutely understand their frustrations,” Bettencourt said. “Having a choice helps assure we get the best value for our money. When there is no competition in the marketplace, people feel like they are at the mercy of a monopoly. In the final analysis however, we cannot force these competitors to set up shop in Peabody against their will.”
With some of the best known alternatives out of reach for now, Bettencourt says the city may turn its attention to niche providers who offer similar services on an individual or dual basis rather than the heavily marketed three-in-one portfolio.
“We recognize the benefit of having more than one provider of cable, phone and internet service,” said Mayor Bettencourt. “If another provider sees a market in Peabody, we are all ears.”
Our sign of the times: Great job by Smuz and the Mayor
Hats off to Mayor Bettencourt for holding firm and instituting the cease and desist order, and to City Solicitor Michael Smerczynski for his skillful argument in court this past week on placement of the giant billboard on Lowell Street near Route 1.
Judge Howard Whitehead agreed with city officials — the 92-foot pole is definitely not where they thought it was going to be installed when he ruled against the city last year.
As reported in the Peabody Patch, Smerczynski says the issue now for Whitehead to decide is whether that truly was because of a clerical error when the plans were submitted in court or a broken promise first made to appease local officials who didn’t want the billboard there at all off Lowell Street. The city and the owner of the billboard, Total Outdoor Corp, argued their sides in Salem Superior Court this past Monday. Definitely more work to do in court before this is resolved. Stay tuned.
Should be either Dunne or Gravel, but Cole could surprise
Going to be a very interesting Election Day on April 2 when people go to the polls to vote in the State Rep special election. Because name recognition is so important, I honestly think it’s between Democrat Beverley Griffin Dunne and unenrolled candidate David Gravel. But there is a lot of money being pumped into Republican Leah Cole’s campaign by the Republican Party and the Ron-Paul-inspirted Libery Movement. There’s also a lot of unhappiness these days with traditional candidates, so Cole might actually pull a solid number. It’s not my State Rep district, so I sort of feel cheated here. I can’t even vote! …
Great job by Councilor At-Large Tom Gould while handling the MC duties at last Saturday’s First Annual St. Patrick’s Day Roast and breakfast at City Hall. Also, a lot of surprisingly funny performances by some local politicos. I mean, who knew Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz and Mayor Bettencourt were actually funny guys? It was a really fun morning for a really great cause as all the ticket and raffle money went to Haven From Hunger. …
If you are in the 12th Essex State Rep District: GET OUT AND VOTE on April 2nd!
(If you are running for any office in Peabody in 2013, please send us your statement, and we will post it here as written by you. Scott Frasca has pulled nomination papers to run for Councilor At-Large in this fall’s City Election.)
Scott Frasca was educated in the Peabody school system from Kiley Elementary to Peabody High School. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Management from Salem State and worked hard to achieve a Master’s degree in Management from both Northeastern and Harvard University where he won the prestigious Derek Bok Public Service Prize. He also completed an executive education at the Kennedy School of Government in 2009.
Based on his strong Peabody roots, entrepreneurial background, and compassion for people, he created Making a Difference in Peabody Foundation in 2002 on the belief that there was a need to help Peabody residents with basic emergency needs such as oil, rent, electricity, clothing, housing items, and fire and flood relief. The organization has fulfilled its mission and continues to assist hundreds of people a year.
He has been a business owner with a downtown office since 1997 and is the owner of Frascati Clothiers and Frasca Strategies and is involved with numerous other business ventures. After he sold his first business in 2001 and immediately after the 9/11 attacks, he was on a waiting list to work for the FBI and worked the night shift for Homeland Security at a government base while developing a new business and charity during the day.
He then decided to work 4 years as a Budget Manager on the site integration phase of a new classified Missile Defense Agency contract while developing his business and charity part time. This defense system is currently deployed to protect the United States and its Allies from incoming missiles. Once this system was deployed, Scott decided to focus full time on developing his business and charity.
Scott serves in numerous community positions and is President and Founder of Animal Health Fund, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides funding to Peabody residents for preventative and emergency animal care. He is also a member of the Peabody Historical Society, Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce, Harvard Club of North Shore, Celiac Disease Organization, and American Labrador Rescue.
He previously served in numerous community positions including Vice President of the Peabody Chamber of Commerce, President of the Library Board of Trustees, Higgins Middle School Council Member, Chairman of the Peabody Republican City Committee, member of the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce, and American Cancer Society fundraiser.
Now, Scott wants to take his education, experience, and community service to a new challenge and serve Peabody as Councilor at Large. He wants to be a voice for open space and beautification, an advocate for increased senior housing and services, and a strong voice to demand world class public schools in Peabody. His business and management background will bring leadership and energy to help revitalize downtown, expand the economic base, and ensure that we have a strong public safety.
Please consider supporting Scott so that together we can make Peabody the best that it can be!
Please join your hosts Dick Jarvis and Bob Croce tonight, 8-9 p.m., on PAT Channel 99 when they invite the candidates from yesterday’s primaries for Peabody State Rep. on the “You Make the Call” show.
Dick and Bob have invited Democratic Primary winner Beverley Griffin Dunne, Republican Primary winner Leah Cole, and Republican Primary runner up Greg Bunn to come on and address the voters of Peabody about yesterday’s results.
On our next show, we will invite back Dunne and Cole, as well as unenrolled candidate David Gravel in advance of the final election on April 2nd.
For now, though, please tune in and ask questions of the candidates. Each will be individually given 10-15 minutes to address the voters and answer questions from our co-hosts and the callers.
By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher
On day when just 6% of Peabody voters turned out at the polls, Leah Cole topped Greg Bunn 512-460 to win the Republican nomination in today’s primary for State Rep in the 12th Essex District.
In what was a record low turnout for a Peabody election, Peabody School Committee member Beverley Griffin Dunne also advanced to the final ballot as the Democratic nomineee. Dunne did not have a primary opponent, but she also ended up with more votes than Cole.
Cole, Dunne, and unenrolled candidate David Gravel will faceoff in the final election on April 2nd.
If you haven’t yet voted in today’s Primary for the Special Election for Peabody State Rep in the 12th Essex District, and are still undecided, check out these videos in the Peabody Patch. They are from a recent appearance by each candidate at the Brooksby Village candidates forum.