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Moulton now has Tierney’s attention; did the incumbent get caught flat-footed?

26 Aug

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

As the race to become the Democratic nominee for Congress in the 6th District gets more interesting by the day, North Shore political pundits start to wonder if maybe incumbent John Tierney and his team got more than a little complement following some rosy polling data last spring.

Suddenly, incumbent John Tierney (right) can't simply ignore challenger Seth Moulton

Suddenly, incumbent John Tierney (right) can’t simply ignore Democratic challenger Seth Moulton

At the time, an internal campaign poll showed the incumbent leading challenger Seth Moulton by 47 percentage points, with just 20 percent undecided. It looked like the Tierney campaign could start spending its dry powder on “evil Republican” fundraising emails aimed at a November re-match against Richard Tisei, who lost to the incumbent by just one point two years ago.

Fast forward to today. Moulton, a Salem businessman with three degrees from Harvard and a resume that includes four combat tours in Iraq as a Marine captain, is hard-charging toward the Sept. 9th primary. He’s spending more than a million dollars on mail pieces and TV commercials, and at this point has all of the momentum.

The Moulton TV ads are clearly working, and this morning the Tierney camp was hit with some further “shock and awe” when the Boston Herald endorsed Moulton, writing “Tierney continues to run his stealth campaign, and we continue to be amazed that anyone would vote for him when there exists in Seth Moulton a smart, fresh-faced alternative.”

So what happened here? Did Team Tierney get caught flat-footed and all giddy following that April poll? Or, was it simply some of that legendary Tierney arrogance that allowed Moulton to make it a race.  Certainly, Tierney himself didn’t take Moulton seriously following that poll, and now watches in horror as Captain Seth races up from behind.

Whether Tierney will end up the Democrats’ version of Eric Cantor, still remains to be seen.

Moulton’s message is clearly resonating with Democrats, who are looking for new, bright leadership, and are fed up with the Pelosi Gang in Washington. But the question is whether there are enough of these type of pragmatic, centrist (and progressive) Democrats to overcome Tierney forces that are made up of the Tierney toadies who infest the Democratic city and town committees across the 6th District.

We shall see if Mr. Clean Marine can come all of the way back here, but at this point one thing is definitely clear:

Seth Moulton now has John Tierney’s attention.

‘Team Tierney’ proud of association with Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank

26 Aug

TierneyBy Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

At first, I thought this must be a joke. Perhaps, even, another one of those usually funny parodies by the fake news site The Onion.

But it wasn’t, and now I wonder if it’s about time that “Team Tierney” fired the person who writes these utterly laughable fundraising emails. Is the Committee to Re-Elect John Tierney to Congress serious here?

Do they really think that attaching their guy to two or the most-notorious and unpopular members of Congress in the history of our Republic is good strategy?

Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank?  Are they saying Tierney is cut from the same cloth of politicians who are so far left partisan, so divisive that each could be poster children for our highly dysfunctional government? (Click on the photo to check it out for yourself).

Who’s going to endorse Tierney next?

Al Sharpton?

How about Bill Ayers?

Although I do realize that these emails are mainly meant to squeeze money out of lefty loons and those with plenty of cash left on their EBT cards, to those of us in the mainstream (e.g., the real working classes), this sort of thing makes us wish we had more aggressive SPAM filters.

It also makes many mainstream Democrats wonder where they can donate to Tierney’s Democratic challenger Seth Moulton, or even Republican challenger Richard Tisei.

Speaking of Tisei, he too was the subject of another laughable Tierney campaign email that begged for money. Earlier this year, many of us received a Tierney message claiming that Richard Tisei was in cahoots and total agreement with some right wing members of Congress, who are vehemently anti-gay and anti-same-sex marriage.

Only problem with that particular garbage email was that  Tisei is gay and  married.

You just can’t make this stuff up!

Things getting interesting (and close) in race between Moulton and Tierney in the 6th Congressional District

20 Aug

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

We’re suddenly getting an answer to when  the Seth Moulton for Congress campaign will begin it’s frontal assault. After pacing incumbent John Tierney for more than a year when it comes to fundraising, the Moulton campaign is suddenly using a barrage to get its message of change out to those who will vote in the Sept. 9th Democratic Primary.

I’ve received no fewer than four, glossy  mail pieces from the Moulton campaign in the past week, and lawn signs are popping up all over Peabody and elsewhere in the 6th District. And now,  Moulton TV ads are starting to inundate the local airwaves.

The full-court press is on, and no doubt the polls are tightening up. Back in the spring, Tierney’s internal polling gave him a large lead over Moulton, but we suspect any day now we’ll be hearing about an independent  poll showing that the embattled Congressman might actually be “on the ropes” in his battle against Moulton.

Either way, it’s shaping up to be a difficult campaign season for Tierney, who — if he survives Sept. 9th’s primary —  will need to deal with Republican Richard Tisei. And Tisei came within a hair of defeating Tierney two years ago. It’s no wonder that many national pundits have deemed Tierney as being one of the most-vulnerable incumbents this Congressional election cycle.

For those who really love the game of politics … this is getting very interesting! Here’s one of Seth Moulton’s latest TV ads:

Best wishes on a fast recovery for Councilor At-Large Anne Manning-Martin

18 Aug

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Councilor Anne Manning-Martin

Councilor At-Large Anne Manning-Martin

Over the years, we’ve been friends and foes, agreed on some issues, disagreed on many others. But one thing I will always say or write is that Anne Manning-Martin always votes in the best interests of those residents she serves as a councilor at-large.

So, with that, I just wanted to wish Anne a speedy recovery from major back surgery, and hope that she’s back doing the business of the people of Peabody soon as possible.

After all, let’s face it, there are only two current Peabody City Councilors who are always on the side of the people they represent: Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz, and Anne.

By the way, the back surgery Manning-Martin underwent, was no minor matter.

“I really wasn’t supposed to walk again. It was kind of a Hail Mary operation,” Manning-Martin told the Salem News this week. “I just consider myself lucky and blessed.”

And Peabody residents will be lucky to have her back in there fighting for them again real soon.

FYI: 6th District Congressional candidates square off in debate

15 Aug

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Because of the format and poor production value, you might find this footage from this debate between the 6th District Congressional candidates at Middlesex Community College in Burlington about as exciting as watching a 5-hour game between the Red Sox and the Houston Astros.

But I present it here today anyhow as a public service. It’s just a shame that the format is terrible, and that they also included the two irrelevant lunatic fringe candidates. Let’s face it folks, the Sept. 9th Democratic primary is really only a contest between Marblehead war hero and businessman Seth Moulton, and incumbent Congressman John Tierney.

Also, why are they holding debates in podunk parts of the district?  I mean, who goes to Burlington for anything other than to visit a mall?

You can click on this link, or the image below to watch and read about the full debate:

debate (2)

State Rep Democratic candidates invited to debate on ‘You Make The Call’

14 Aug

By Eye on Peabody

Dunne

Beverley Dunne

Jim Moutsoulas

Jim Moutsoulas

“You Make The Call,” Peabody’s longest-running public access cable show on local politics, is inviting the two Democratic candidates for State Rep in the 12th Essex District to debate the issues live on Wednesday, Aug. 27th, 8-9 p.m. on PAT Ch. 99.

YMTC co-host Bob Croce will moderate the forum between School Committee member Beverley Dunne, and Ward 3 Councilor James “Demo” Moutsoulas, who will square off in the Sept. 9th Democratic primary, with the winner facing Republican incumbent Leah Cole in November’s final election.

The format for the forum will include calls from the viewing audience.

We’re also soliciting questions from our Eye on Peabody audience, so please use the comments section to let us know what’s on your mind.

We’ll have more details here as they become available.

Just wondering why so many Peabody elected officials snubbed an American hero

5 Aug

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

When a person of American historical significance visits Peabody for any event, it’s the obligation of our elected officials to do what they can to make an appearance, and represent our community.

Mayor Ted Bettencourt welcomes retired Gen. Stanley McCrystal (right) to Peabody yesterday. Democratic Congressional candidate Seth Moulton (left)

Mayor Ted Bettencourt welcomes Gen. Stanley McChrystal (right) to Peabody yesterday. Democratic Congressional candidate Seth Moulton (left)

Mayor Ted Bettencourt got this yesterday. So too did Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz, and Ward 3 Councilor Demo Moutsoulas.

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the Norman Schwarzkopf or even the Dwight Eisenhower of his generation of American military leadership, yesterday spoke to veterans at the Peabody Elks, and it was definitely noticeable how many Peabody politicos were missing in action.

After all, Peabody politicians have a reputation for being invasive creatures, who would show up at yard sale, if they knew there would be lots of potential voters to preen before.

So, why was it that the Mayor and just two city councilors were in attendance for McChrystal, whose last assignment was as commander of US forces in Afghanistan?

Well, for some of our elected officials it might have been a conflict, such as work or a summer vacation.

But I also wonder if political cowardice had anything to do with it.

After all, McChrystal, an American war hero, who could someday be presidential timber, was not only there to speak with veterans about his experiences.

He was at the Elks to endorse a fellow American hero and former Marine, Democratic Congressional candidate Seth Moulton.

Gen. Stanley McCrystal (left) with Ann Mitsopoulos, chair of the Peabody Ward 6 Democratic Committee, and Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz

Gen. Stanley McChrystal (left) with Ann Mitsopoulos, Chair of the Peabody Ward 6 Democratic City Committee, and Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz

Moulton is boldly launching a credible challenge to long-time Congressman John Tierney in the Sept. 9th primary, and the last thing the “fearless”  men and woman who serve us in Peabody want to do is tick off the powerful sitting MOC.

Mayor Bettencourt had no such problem. Ted’s not endorsing  Moulton, but he recognized that it was proper, as Peabody’s chief executive, to greet McChrystal,  the man who led the truly brave American men and women keeping us safe by fighting the War on Terror.

Moutsoulous, who is running for State Rep, was there as a candidate, and that was smart, considering how many Peabody veterans were in the room. But he also gets credit for representing as a Peabody City Councilor.

Sinewitz, meanwhile, showed the most political courage. He not only introduced Moulton to the crowd yesterday, but he is also endorsing the candidate, who would represent a new, independent generation of pragmatic Democrats should he upset the famously, far left, highly partisan Tierney in five weeks.

But politics aside, Bettencourt, Moutsoulas, and Sinewitz all did the right thing yesterday. They represented the City of Peabody when a man of American historical significance came to town.

I wonder where the rest of Peabody’s politicos were hiding out.  Maybe they were out bar-tending, or eating some ice cream?

Or, perhaps … they just went fishing?

Update: All-Pro given yet another chance to clean up its messy situation

24 Jul

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

The saga continues in the case of All-Pro Landscaping, which — courtesy of Peabody’s good ole boy political network — got  treated with kid gloves again last night.

tank

A large chemical storage tank on the All-Pro Landscaping property.

The Conservation Commission says it will give All-Pro Landscaping, which is polluting wetlands with asphalt and other debris, another 45 days to clean up its mess. While All-Pro has been ignoring  calls to clean up its mess, the city has allowed them to continue operating behind Latitude Sports Club.

For those keeping score, the Con Com issued the same exact edict on All-Pro at its June 11th meeting. But move along … there’s nothing to see here.

There was also a further smoke screen laid down last night by some Con Com members, who tried to deflect responsibility from All-Pro by asking  if they should instead fine the actual property owner. All-Pro is just a tenant on the property.

So why is the city dragging it’s feet, and  sitting on it hands here with what seems like a fairly straight forward set of violations?

A lot of people are wondering if it has anything to with the fact that the ALL-Pro owner and his family are as politically connected as it gets in Ward 5, where this situation exists. For months, the ward councilor has been working behind the scenes to ensure that certain city departments take it easy on All-Pro, and last night the same councilor was at the Con Com meeting trying to smooth things over again.

I guess that’s the type of personal constituent service you get for putting up hundreds of his campaign signs, and working behind the scenes to ensure that developers get on board and help elect a guy who will keep the good times rolling up on Route 1.  With this councilor, it seems like the rights of developers come first, and your quality of life isn’t really all that important. But we Ward 5 residents are used to it. After all, that kind of approach has been going on here for more than 25 years.

If you are a developer or a  buddy of the ward councilor, you get what you want. If not, it’s like a scene from Oliver Twist. “Please sir … I want some more.”

Last night, they even brought in another one of the ward councilor’s buds, a Pine Street neighbor, who told  the Con Com that the owner of All-Pro was a wonderful neighbor. Yeah, we hear he rescues cute little stray dogs in between spraying lawns with chemicals.

By now, feel free to say that my rant here is also politically motivated. You may be partly right, and that’s OK to say.

But then there are those pesky little things called the facts:

DelNegro  isn’t involved with Peabody politics, and is just trying to do her job, which is to protect our environmental health and welfare. She says that All-Pro is NOT in compliance with the law, and hasn’t been for several months. She seems frustrated over the situation, and who could blame her at this point? The woman is just trying to do what we pay her to do.

So now, All-Pro gets one more chance.

Who knows? Maybe in 45 days the Con Com will give them another chance, and another 45 days. And when they do, maybe they’ll tell the All-Pro guys this time we REALLY mean it!

I guess there really are two sets of rules in Peabody. One special set for those who are politically connected, and another set for the rest of us.

Sighting a local hero and some curious political creatures at re-scheduled Ward 6 party

21 Jul

 

Sgt. Steve O'Hara, wife Jessica, and their children accept the Ward 6 "Heroes Among Us" award, flanked by Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz (left) and Mayor Ted Bettencourt

Sgt. Steve O’Hara, wife Jessica, and their children accept the Ward 6 “Heroes Among Us” award, flanked by Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz (left) and Mayor Ted Bettencourt. (Photo submitted courtesy of Doug Finnegan).

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

The re-scheduled Ward 6 Fourth of July party at Symphony Park this past Saturday featured a huge crowd, the traditional patriotic bike parade, the honoring of a local hero, and much more.

But it was also a day of some interesting sightings of local elected officials, and other political wanaabes.

Please read on, and we’ll get to the political stuff, but first it was wonderful to see a local hero honored for the work he’s done as a police officer.

West Peabody resident, and MBTA Transit Police Sgt. Steve O’Hara was acknowledged for his work in the areas of hostage negotiation/crisis intervention.

O’Hara, who received praise and a certificate from Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz and Mayor Ted Bettencourt, was recognized for talking a suicidal man out of jumping  from the top floor of an MBTA parking garage, and his work helping the family of a fellow officer, who was seriously wounded during the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombers.

When Officer Richard Donohue was shot, it was O’Hara who was charged with informing the fallen officer’s wife, Kim. Kim later, in an emotional Facebook post, talked about how O’Hara’s wonderful approach to informing her, brought great comfort to the family.

Honoring O’Hara was part of an annual tradition of honoring a local hero at this ward party. It’s an awesome moment at what is always a terrific, well-organized event hosted by the Ward 6 Councilor.

But as I wrote off the top, it wasn’t only about bike parades and ceremonies for heroes.

***

As local politicos know, Ward 6 these days has one of the largest voter turnouts in the entire city, and showing up at Symphony on July 4th (or in this case, July 19th), is a must.

Here were some of my observations and sightings …

  • The biggest battle for the hearts and minds of Ward 6 voters will come in the race for State Rep in the 13th Essex District, and it wasn’t surprising to see both Democratic incumbent Ted Speliotis and his challenger, Republican Tom Lyons, in attendance. Both men thoroughly worked the crowd. Speliotis, who didn’t make an appearance at this ward party last year, seems to suddenly be shifting into campaign mode. Lyons may have held a slight home park advantage on Saturday, since he lives in the ward.
  • Good to see Congressman John Tierney in attendance. I say “see,” since he wasn’t doing a lot of mingling, and it was definitely noticeable when he didn’t say hello to party host Sinewitz. Wonder if that has something to do with the Ward 6 Councilor endorsing Tierney’s opponent in September’s Democratic primary, war hero and Marblehead businessman Seth Moulton? Moulton, who had planned to be at the party on July 4th, couldn’t attend the makeup date because of a family wedding.
  • Even though it’s not an election year for city councilors, it was nice to see Councilor At-Large Tom Walsh come to the party.
  • State Rep candidate Beverley Dunne shows off her basketball skills

    State Rep candidate Beverley Dunne shows off her basketball skills

    It was also nice to see candidate for State Rep Beverley Dunne show up, especially when you consider she’s running in the 12th Essex District, which doesn’t include Ward 6. The long-time school committee member clearly thinks community first, but it’s a good thing that she’s running for state rep and not hoping for a career in the WNBA. Her performance in the women’s free throw shooting contest was, well … let’s just say that at least she didn’t do any worse than fellow school committee member Brandi Carpenter. They both tried their hardest, even if they didn’t win the prize.

  • Showing off some nice basketball skills in the free throw contest was a Bettencourt. No, not the Mayor himself, who once starred for the Holy Cross basketball team. Peabody’s First Lady, Andrea Bettencourt, used a smooth follow through to take second place in the women’s free throw shootout.
  •  Finally, for those who care, I did have a “reunion” with an old political foe. Ward 5 Councilor Joel Saslaw chased me down across the basketball court to say hello, and give me an indication that he’s a big fan of this blog. “Bobby, Bobby, just wanted to say hello, even though you keep taking pot shots at me (in The Eye),” said Mr. Saslaw.

…  Oh, did I also mention that Curious Creatures brought some snakes to show the kids?

 

Until company addresses environmental concerns, Mayor needs to request cease and desist order

11 Jul

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

At this point, if I were conservation agent Lucia DelNegro, whose job it is to protect Peabody’s environment from intrusive and excessive development, I’d be marching up to Mayor Ted Bettencourt’s office to ask him to explain again what my role with the city is supposed to be.

Time for Mayor Bettencourt to step in here

Time for Mayor Bettencourt to step in here

After all, obviously most city officials don’t seem to care about what she continues to, over and over again, say about a property known as 190 Rear Newbury Street. The small work yard, behind the Latitude Sports Club, is where a company called All Pro Landscaping stores equipment and other materials associated with its business.

But there’s an environmental issue, and Ms. DelNegro has been pointing this out for several months, her words falling mostly on deaf ears at City Hall. All she’s just trying to do is the job that we the taxpayers are paying her for.

First off, there are questions over All Pro not having all the proper permits to operate on the site it leases from an oftentimes slipshod, but politically connected developer.

But as Ms. DelNegro continues to point out, there are also concerns over the company potentially infringing upon the wetlands adjacent to the property, something that could pose a danger to Peabody’s drinking water supply, and something over which she has  issued an Enforcement Order (EO)

A few weeks ago, after her EO continued to be pretty much ignored, Ms. DelNegro presented her evidence before the Conservation Commission. Here’s some of what this city official — whose job it is to look out for Peabody’s environmental well-being — said on the record:

  • “I was just out there a couple weeks ago with Bill Manuell the wetland scientist. None of the punch list items on my Enforcement Order (EO), except for the fact that they filed an RDA, pretty much nothing has been done.”
  • “The asphalt is still in the wetlands. The guardrails are still broken and they are still in the wetlands. This is on both lots back and front. The front is the guardrails. There is still asphalt and all sorts of debris everywhere. It looks like the piles just keep getting bigger and closer to the wetlands.”
  • “I do not believe this is meeting stormwater standards. I also think there is debris buried under the parking lot. Looking at the edge where the pavement meets the earth you can see objects (car parts) protruding out. “
  • “I have a really big issue with what is possibly under the asphalt. I really hope I am wrong. I do not think it is meeting stormwater standards. They really have not been cleaning up nor doing anything with regards to the EO. There is one part that really bothers me on the front lot; the asphalt piles that were pushed into the wetlands. It looks like the asphalt that was used for this back parking lot.
  • “I am assuming what happened was in the winter the plows came and pushed it into the wetlands. Now that they never got the asphalt bits out it is going to be a Pandora’s Box. We have growth coming out of it. If you try to scoop all that up you are going to have an unstable bank. It is a pretty big mess.”

If nothing is done under the Enforcement Order, the Conservation Commission discussed fining All Pro at the next meeting on July 23 “

And we REALLY mean it this time,” should have been the next line in the public record.

The site leased by the landscaping company in question

Google Earth image of the site leased by the landscaping company in question

If we really meant it, Mayor Bettencourt right this second (or maybe months ago) would be asking the building department for a cease and desist order, just like he once did with a notorious developer further along Route 1 near Winona Street.

All I know is that the owner of All Pro is the son of a guy who worked night and day on the campaign of the current freshman Ward 5 Councilor. Remember the hundreds of blue campaign signs on the properties along Route 1 during the last election? How do you think they all got there?

The family of the owner of All Pro was also a huge supporter of the former Ward 5 Councilor. The owner of the property All Pro pays its rent to is also a very active supporter of the last two ward councilors.

You think nothing being done here might be related to Peabody’s good ole boy political network, where there’s a “wink, wink,” and developers are allowed to run amok? Per usual, many of our elected officials could care less about your quality of life.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions in the comments section.

 

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