Lesson learned for all Peabody Democrats? For the sake of the party, we hope so

3 Apr

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

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.”

Leah Cole, Peabody's State Rep

Leah Cole, Peabody’s State Rep

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?

82 Responses to “Lesson learned for all Peabody Democrats? For the sake of the party, we hope so”

  1. Anonymous April 3, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    The Peabody Democratic Party Chairman should resign immediately! As a life long Dem this is DISGRACEFUL!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 1:31 am #

      Why? Because you lost a race to the better opponent?

      • Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm #


  2. Independent voter April 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Some good points made, however you must understand, Peabody Democratic Party, that we do NOT have to vote for someone just to keep you in power, anymore than Dave Gravel should have stepped aside to do the same. Period. We have seen year after year of the same people run for office, have seen year after year the funding that we need here go to other communities. Is it possible that the few who did vote are just done with the talking and are wanting some action and are willing to risk throwing everyone out and starting again to get it?

    • Bob Croce April 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

      Good points and I agree for the most part. I was just speaking from the standpoint of being a Democrat, and what the party needs to do to redeem itself with the voters of Peabody. I’ve always been a Dem, but a fiscally conservative one.

      As I run for Ward 5 Councilor here, you can bet that my message will not only be about always being on the side of the residents, but also ensuring that people don’t get hammered by higher taxes.

      The other point I was trying to make was that Democratic City Committee leaders should be obligated to support Democrats. If they don’t, they should go unenrolled, or at least step down from their leadership positions. You shouldn’t be one of the people who runs the “club,” if you don’t support the candidate who is representing the “club” is my only point here. Everyone has the right to support who they want, but be honest about it so you don’t end up hurting your “club.”

      On your last point, you might have something: We’ve heard for a while that people are angry and want to “throw them all out.” But this is really the first time we’ve seen it happen, Maybe it’s the start of a trend?

      Thanks for the insightful comment.

      • Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 1:32 am #

        With all do respect there is no such thing as a fiscally conservative democrat. That would make you a libertarian and if you disagree then tell me why.

      • Bob Croce April 7, 2013 at 9:32 am #

        The label doesn’t really matter. My point is that there is a growing group of Dems, like me, who are in agreement that government spends too much and does so in a reckless way. Look, we have a moral obligation to take care of people who need programs and services to survive, but we also have a moral obligation to ensure that working class people are not taxed into oblivion just to support a bloated government.

        OK, so you don’t like the term “fiscally conservative Democrat.” Then how about “fiscally responsible Democrat?” I personally feel that the reason in the end why Republicans are many times rejected by people is the fact that moderate/conservative Dems like myself dig your anti-tax message, but that we don’t feel comfortable with your inability to care at all about society’s most-vulnerable, especially Peabody’s senior citizens, who need services.

        It can’t be ALL black and white when it comes to cutting and slashing taxes.

        Finally, I think Dr. Paul is a smart man with some good ideas. But do you think that Leah Cole would have gotten anywhere near close to the 200 votes she got at Brooksby Village had the other two candidates been able to inform the residents there that one of Cole’s political mentors feels that Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional?

      • Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

        Hopefully those seniors are intelligent enough to understand that the liberty movement has no desire to take away the promises made by the government. Our beef with these issues is that it should be stopped for the young people who should be allowed to provide for their own retirement. No libertarian republican that I know of every suggested that the promises made by the government should not be kept. They suggest that it should be changed. That doesn’t require throwing the aged under the bus. It should be phased out and the slimeballs from both parties who are sticking their greedy hands in these funds should be ousted for those who actually care about people. I have no doubt that there are just as many sleezy Republicans as their are Dems. Lindsey Graham comes to mind, but we not neocons. We are the true constitutionalists and our policies actually do reflect our compassion. Our compassion comes from following the constitution. You know, that document that guarantees the government may not take away your god given rights.

        We care about everyone. We care enough to trust people to provide for themselves. With true freedom comes responsibility. We trust the American people to practice that responsibility. Why don’t you?

      • Bob Croce April 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

        And, guess what? I agree with almost everything you’ve written here? I really believe that most people don’t want their tax money wasted, but that these very same people understand that government (and we collectively as taxpayers) have an obligation to take care of those who can’t take care of themselves. Maybe I am a “libertarian” in many ways.

        I’ll write it again: As a Democrat I’m appalled with how wasteful and reckless our state and federal governments have become with our tax dollars. And … both Harry Truman and JFK are spinning in their graves.

      • Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

        There’s nothing wrong with having a safety net for those who truly need help. There is however something inherently wrong with the overreach of government and regulations that actually causes these people to be in the positions they are in. It starts by changing the way the system works. Then we can work on getting people off of the dole.
        You know, if there is a toxic spill it is very unlikely that I as a citizen will be able to sue the culprit. No we leave it up to a corrupt agency like the EPA. I guarantee polluters would pollute less if they were able to be put out of business by billion dollar civil suits. This is just one example of how the government bureaucracy with all of it’s good intentions do not make us better off. Yes, I realize the EPA is supposed to stop them before it happens but they usually don’t, and I believe wholeheartedly in the capture theory. This is why these agencies are no good. If the average citizen were able to sue those who damage their health or property then that is an incentive in itself to not cause such things to happen. We don’t need the EPA nor half of the agencies we have. You see? This is the biggest difference between us little L libertarians and you the Dems. We think government hinders us rather than helps us. The government should do what it was designed to do. Protect our natural rights. That’s it.

    • Anonymous April 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

      Both parties tend to reward those candidates who embrace solely the extreme positions of their respective party and punish those who take a more moderate approach. In my opinion, the rubber band has been stretched as far as it can go and it is time for politics to snap back to the middle. Partisan candidates shouldn’t be expected to agree with every single position of their party. The field of candidates will be deeper and the voters will be better off. This is just my opinion, of course.

      • Mary-Ellen Manning April 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

        Actually, this comment about the rubber band is mine…somehow my name wasn’t attached. My mistake.

  3. D. Boon April 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    bottom line–65% of voters who bothered to show up (and shame on those who didn’t) didn’t vote for her. In a two person race next year, she’ll be defeated, no matter how much Ron Paul’s minions donate. And as one of 17 Republicans in the house, her impact is going to be negligible, as it is.

    • Bob Croce April 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      I don’t disagree, but Boon you have to give them some credit too. This was a HUGE upset that no one saw coming. Leah Cole’s strategy worked. A win is a win.

      • Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 1:42 am #

        Do you guys really understand how we work? We don’t care what you put in front of us, our guys are going to get a fair shot to overcome the hurdle of the establishment goons. We are all over the US and when one of our own is running for office we support, we donate, we volunteer. You can’t beat our movement because we do not stop. You won’t stop this snowball. Get over it. Times are changing… finally.

      • Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 1:44 am #

        Rand Paul will win the presidency in 2016. Bank on it.

      • Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 11:49 am #

        “Great” comments Anon 1:42 am. Sounds like Germany Circa 1932. You might want to look in the mirror when you talk about “goons.”

      • Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

        It worked in 1932 did it not? Oh you just want to compare people who are true patriots to nazis. Wow, how clever of you. No one has every used that before.

  4. anonymous April 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    First off, Leah Cole and her team ran a great campaign. Give them their due. Also she won’t be that easy to beat in a re-election bid. How the democratic candidate lost is democrats like Tom Gould endorsed an independent candidate. He siphoned enough votes away from the democrat for Cole to win. Nice job Tom. We’ll rememeber that at election time. Also if you plan to run for state rep against Cole, don’t bother. No Democrats will support you. The biggest losers in the race are Gravel, Dunne, Gould and the mayor.

    • Sean McCrea April 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      As a Peabody labor leader, let’s count the city’s organized labor units as defeated, also. I personally voiced my concern to other Locals in Peabody that we needed boots on the ground in such a tight, low turnout of a race. Apathy gave way to a big missed opportunity. Two of the city’s unions backing the Democrat in this race would have swung it. (Great peice of writing today, Bob. Self-reflection is in order for many.)

      • Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 1:33 am #

        I guess people are tired of communist rhetoric.

  5. Independent voter April 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Here’s something to ponder, if the majority of voters, say 51% actually voted, would the outcome have been different? I believe it would have. With such a small pool of voters you tend to get very involved people, friends and family and the upsetters. With a true majority a more representative candidate would have been chosen. JMO

    • Bob Croce April 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

      I think you’re right because with a much larger pool of voters, name recognition has a greater advantage, and going in both Gravel and Dunne had a huge advantage over Cole when it came to name rec. I think the Cole team did an excellent job at both targeting and getting their vote out to the polls. In a low turnout situation like this one, that’s usually a key to victory.

      • Independent voter April 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

        Something tells me that no one is going to take the next election for granted…

  6. ann April 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    I don’t think anyone was saying vote to keep the Democratic party in power, it was the Democratic values we want to advance. I agree that back in the day the Dem party was a wide open party with many views. Now it is very narrow so they need to widen their views again. I am more of a JFK Dem than a EMK Dem myself
    Also no one said that Dave Gravel should have stepped aside everyone is entitled to run, this is America! However, deciding to leave the Dem. party to run as an Independent, yet stating he would be caucusing with the Dems made it look like he was working the system to HIS benefit not ours.
    What exactly does an independent candidate stand for? What would be the reason a life long Dem or Rep would in fact decide to leave their party? History has shown us it is always for their benefit not their values – They want to get elected and did not or would not make the cut in the primary.= Arline Specter comes to mind.
    The system is based on moving the strongest candidates forward to the general election. That way the winners gain the needed votes to win with 51% or more, not the 30+% we end up with when there are 3 candidates. And that strength is what is needed for the winner to be able to effect change for their constituents- and that is us.

  7. Anonymous April 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I know I am a bit off your topic Mr. Croce. But I would like to state something very simply. Have Peabody voters gone mad? No offense to Leah who might be a very nice young woman with ambition (unusual for young people today) but her age and lack of experience will get her eaten alive on Beacon Hill. There is NO CHANCE she can be an effective rep and help bring it all home to Peabody. First she is in a huge minority being a Republican but more importantly is the fact that the Democratic leadership (and these guys are like mobsters) will destroy her. No offense, but she is not in any way qualified for this job. This is a disaster ready to unfold from Day 1.

    • anonymous April 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

      Why don’t you wait and see? For crying out loud give the woman a chance to prove whether or not she is up to it. She has surprised all you so called political experts up until now. I, for one, saw this outcome as a very real possibility because Dunne and Gravel would hurt each other. She is going to have a very difficult re-election campaign regardless of how good a job she does because the democratic machine is going to go after her full bore because she “stole” a seat that dems felt entitled to, sort of like when Brown won. And on another note Bob, please stop calling the tea party racists, it’s really beneath you. The vast majority are just regular people, and the democratic party has its share of racists as well, but the blinders don’t allow them to see it.

      • Bob Croce April 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

        On further reflection, you’re right about my Tea Party comment. I’ve decided to temper it somewhat, but wouldn’t you agree that the Tea Party has been somewhat corrupted by extreme right wing elements? I agree with the original premise of the Tea Party Movement, but there are certainly a lot of right wing zealots in their ranks these days.

      • anonymous April 3, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

        Bob, I would agree that the tea party has been corrupted by those with other agendas than the original premise upon which it was founded, which is unfortunate because they have become the focal point of those on the left trying to discredit the movement. As I said in my earlier post, there are those types in the democratic party as well, but they get a pass. The left has resorted to trying to turn people’s attention away from the bread and butter issues upon which they have failed miserably to deliver, and instead get everyone yelling and screaming about racism, homophobia, discrimination, and anything else they can think of to divert attention away from themselves. I am not a tea party member or a republican, just someone who is fed up and will gladly try just about anything that is against the status quo.

    • Anonymous April 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      1:38, Why would we want to send an other democrat to keep the leadership going on Beacon Hill. Good for the Peabody voters who are at least taking a step forward to elimiate this leadership. Also if the leaderhip are like mobsters what chance would Dunn or Gravel have other than just going along.

  8. Independent voter April 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Unfortuantely so few Peabody citizens voted that we really have no idea if they have gone mad!

  9. Anonymous April 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    First off – someone should look at the votes and see how many independents or “unenrolleds” cast votes – and then quit whining about who stole votes from who. I am so sick of reading that Gravel stole votes from Dunne – if people didn’t want to vote for Dunne they weren’t going to period! Or vice versa. Dunne’s chances were slimmed when it was revealed she was taking the city’s health insurance while so many of us are struggling to pay for our own health insurance! She stated every chance she could her husband is a military man and works for the Federal government. So why is she taking from the taxpayers??? Both Dunne and Gravel lost my vote for sure when on the stage at city hall they BOTH declared there “wasn’t much fraud or abuse within the welfare/food stamp programs” – maybe only “5%”. For Pete’s sake – even the state acknowledged how much fraud they have uncovered. They were both very uninformed. Now, with that all said and I could say plenty more…..You need to counsel your buddy Dick Jarvis that there is no need for him to go on that show and spew the venom he did after the Senate Race when his candidate lost. He lost the last 2 campaigns he ran – people rallied around the candidate of their choice whether it be Gravel or Dunne. THEY chose who they would support – not Dick Jarvis. And lastly – Joyce Spiliotis should have been left to Rest in Peace and not have her election signs being used to further Dunne’s political aspirations. It was disgraceful. No one can or will ever take Joyce’s place.

    • Anon April 3, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

      Wow, who was this Joyce comment a dig at? Her husband? This was something beautiful he did for his wife and his wife’s friend. The signs stood together just as they did. Just shows how politically uninformed YOU are. I was not a Dunne supporter but even I recognized the friendship they shared.

      • Independent voter April 4, 2013 at 9:11 am #

        I have to say that the signs were kind of a turn off for me as well, made it seem like Mrs. Dunne was running on her friend’s coat tails and not on her own merits.

        Of course Mr. Jarvis is welcome to support any candidate he chooses and to a any degree he wishes and Mrs. Dunne had a wonderful friendship with his wife. Unfortunately I think at the end of the campaign it seemed to be overstressed by the Dunne campaign to the point that it felt uncomfortable.

  10. the Outfront Guy* April 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    OG says…two final observations on this race 1) Bright City disappoints me once again with the low voter turnout….love to come on here and on prior blogs and talk local politics with many of you who give a damn but we are clearly in the minority around here….most Peabody residents are just not into it. 2) this Leah Cole victory has to go down as one of the biggest political upsets that I have witnessed here in 01960—what other surprise victory can truly rival this one? I have to tip my hat to her for actually doing what I never dreamed would be possible in this town….

  11. Fresh Face April 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    What everyone seems to be forgetting here is that every one of the career politicians we have here in Peabody (on our City Council and School Committee) started out exactly like Ms. Cole, young and inexperienced. Mr. Gravel was probably not much older than Ms. Cole when he began his political career. And I’m sure he was equally inexperienced and relied on others to mentor him. Why all the talk about her age and inexperience? Would his wife be spouting off about age and inexperience if her son decided to run for political office? Or would the tide suddenly turn to ‘a fresh face and voice for Peabody”…Everyone has to start somewhere. And obviously experience isn’t the only thing that people are looking for in their elected leaders. Experience can prove positive or negative. Obviously people have tired of the same old faces in city politics and are looking for change. It’s under the watchful eye of these career politicians that Peabody has spiraled downward to the point of being named a Gateway City. Intelligence, honesty, integrity, hard work and determination can trump experience any day. The proof is in the pudding…

    • Anonymous April 4, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      Are you talking about Beverley? She is the intelligent, honest and hardworking one…

    • Anonymous April 4, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

      You are not correct. Not many of the current group of elected officials were that young when they came to office. For example of the 11 current city councilors only Gamache was in his 20s when he originally got elected to the council. Most of the rest were at least 45.There also isn’t a single school committee person who was under the age of 35 when they got on. Being 24 and being an elected official is pretty rare in Peabody. Bob how old were you when you ran against Gamache about 10 years ago?

      • Bob Croce April 4, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

        I was 37 and I believe Dave was 39. And people were saying things like isn’t it interesting to see two young guys going at it in Ward 5. Seriously, though, the last Anon is correct. What Leah Cole pulled off is very unusual in Peabody.

        I bet if you did the research, you’d find that the average age of first-time candidates is 35-40. And the average age of those who get elected for the first time is definitely over 40.

        There have been several exceptions. I believe Tom Walsh was in his late 20s when he became State Rep, and Dave Gamache was too when he won the first time for Ward 5. But winning office in Peabody in your 20s is very unusual.

        Maybe we should make this a trivia contest. Anyone else out there know of other people who were elected in their 20s? Maybe we’ll make the prize for winning a dinner with OG. 🙂

      • Anonymous April 4, 2013 at 5:35 pm #


  12. Anonymous April 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    Almost seventy percent of the registered voters in Peabody are either unenrolled or Republican yet you entitled Democrats think every seat is yours! I hope this election has awoken the silent majority and will motivate them to elect more conservative people to our own city council as well as state and federal offices.

    • Independent voter April 4, 2013 at 9:02 am #

      My point exactly in my original post – which somehow led to a lecture on how elections work – funny since I majored in government at a top ranked University so really didn’t need a lecture :).

      The Democratic party “assumes” that all independents are actually Democrats and will or SHOULD vote that way. That is not why I became an independent after being a life long Democrat. The Democratic party has become extreme, out of touch and entitled. You are NOT the majority in Peabody, the Independents are and we vote for whomever best represents us, not the annointed Democratic replacement.

  13. the Outfront Guy* April 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    OG says…hold on now…we have heard the cry for fresh faces in many prior elections around here in Bright City…..and most of those political wannabes were swept away by entrenched, well recognized incumbents….but this Leah Cole victory is ‘different’ in that not only is she ‘new’ to the local political scene but she is also a Republican and that combination generally has not done well here in Dullsville…so why now? what makes her so special in the eyes of those who bothered to even vote yesterday? what has she tapped into that has evaded many new candidates who have come before her? this is a great story for local political success techniques…..there are those who can think she was a puppet for a larger behind the curtain Oz factor but she did it…..and no one even knows who the hell she is and we are sending her off to Beacon Hill !! God bless America….Peabody has finally made a political statement.

    • Anonymous April 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

      The political statement here is that if you spend enough money and you split the vote, you can win.

  14. Jack April 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    Live by the straw candidate, die by the straw candidate…dems are lucky Tim Cahill ran as an “independent” or we’d have a governor that truly represented the will of the Massachusetts voter!

  15. the Outfront Guy* April 3, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    OG says…one other question to ponder….is Leah Cole truly qualified for this position that the citizens of Peabody have elected her to perform? what are the necessary qualifications to be a State Rep? now OG has never been in elected office but I truly have to wonder if this is not the job for a ‘seasoned’ and experienced person? in the past we have seen several strong but low in name recognition school committee candidates cast aside by voters but in this case and for this state level rep position we gladly embrace a political newbie as the force of political change here in Bright City?? this one just defies all logic ….and that’s how OG sees it………

    • Anonymous April 4, 2013 at 8:17 am #

      As forever-long term state representative Ted Speliotis said in today’s Salem News – he was only 25 when first elected as state rep. I wouldn’t under estimate Ms. Cole’s ability to get on board very quickly. In fact, It’s great to see young people waking up and getting involved in the political process! She will bring much energy and excitement, and none of the old same-old! I wish her only the best,

  16. Anonymous April 4, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    Is anyone else bothered like I am over the behavior of Dave Gravel and his wife after the loss? I hear that Dave refuses to call Leah Cole to congratulate her, and I notice that Cathy Gravel wrote a comment in the Patch yesterday saying how the least qualified candidate won and insinuating that Ms. Cole is not up to the job. Wow. I thought the Gravels had more class than that. Seems like they are sore losers right now. It is very unbecoming.

    • anonymous April 4, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      It just reinforces my suspicions about him since his days on the school committee.

    • Anonymous April 4, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      Don’t know anything about Gravel not calling the newly elected State Rep but did read his wife’s comment – what she said was “It should have been the most qualified candidate that won” – insinuating her husband was that person, it was 1:00am her comment was posted – I’m sure it was an emotionally written comment – and being his wife – she thought her husband was the most qualified. However….What I think is WORSE is all the Dunne minions insinuating that she WOULD have won had Gravel stayed out of the race. He had every right to run as an independant or anything he wanted to. And what makes them think the 1600 votes cast for Gravel would have gone to Dunne???? A lot of independants went for Cole as another “option”. In fact, even some democrats went for Cole. The makeup of Peabody’s voter landscape seems to be changing – the young people are getting involved and they seem to be fiscally conservative. That’s GREAT! If voters couldn’t see that message after the results were in – they are blind. And what about the video the Patch did on Dunne – she was quite adamant about being back in 2014. She ran around the city selling herself as the “annointed one” and it ticked people off. Dragging out Joyce’s election signs to piggy back with hers was over the top and very disturbing – no matter whose idea it was – it was wrong!

      • Anonymous April 4, 2013 at 10:13 am #

        You do not know very much about Peabody politics. If Gravel is not in the race and there is essentially one Democrat Griffin Dunne wins this easy. If Gravel was in the race as the lone Democrat he wins this thing easily. Give Leah Cole credit for sure but she only won because Dunne and Gravel split the vote. No one with any sense could argue against that. A majority of the Gravel voters would have gone for Beverley if he was not in the race. Also there was nothing “disturbing” about Beverley honoring Joyce. Everyone knew that Beverley and Joyce were very close friends. Beverley was Joyce’s closest friend from what I have been told. So get off that bull.

      • Independent voter April 4, 2013 at 10:44 am #

        Telling someone who does not agree with you that they don’t understand Peabody politics or are talking “bull” or has “no sense” is really not necessary. We are here to express our opinions and some of us are here to warn the Democratic party. You can take it constructively and improve your candidacy for the next election, or ignore it.

        As an unenrolled voter, if Dave Gravel was not in the race I would have voted for Cole and I rarely vote for Republicans. I felt very uncomfortable with the idea of electing someone who I felt would be a virtual automatic vote for the Governor’s policies and who appeared to be running on her friend’s coat tails rather than her own merits. That is my opinion and nothing else.

        I do not think the Democrats should assume that the independents would have or will vote for Mrs. Dunne. Of course, you can, but you may not like the results.

    • Anonymous April 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

      The Gravels are not what they seem. This guy only does things to help himself while trying to make it look lijke he’s some kind of hero and people finally caught on to the act. I have to laugh because he had all of these big endorsements and spent more than anyone else and still finished dead last. Embarrassing beyond belief. Sore losers to boot. That Jackie Torigian, Mike Bonfanti and Tommy Gould endorsement really helped, huh?

    • Anonymous April 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

      Well, the least qualified candidate did win and I think its very fair to question whether or not she’s up for the task. She has no experience on any level of politics (or business for that matter).

      • Rob April 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

        Well she is entrusted with the lives of people every day. If a Doctor entrusts her with his/her patients, Literally life and death experience,, and responsibility.

      • anonymous April 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

        Because the so-called “qualified” leaders we have now are doing such a great job? Please. Question all you want. Gravel is interested primarily in what’s good for him and Dunne never saw a tax she wouldn’t vote for, so I think Cole is a refreshing change, especially since she really riled up all the self important pols in this town. Stop whining and move along.

      • Anonymous April 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

        Um, let’s not get too carried away here. Leah is a nice young woman but she is not exactly out there saving lives as a nursing “assistant.” Last time I checked there isn’t a lot of danger when it comes to having someone take your temperature.

  17. Anonymous April 4, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    Congrats to Leah Cole but you people are way over estimating this so called victory. Do you realize that only about 7 PERCENT of all of the eligible voters in the district actually voted for Cole? If she were to get less than 1,900 votes in a school committee or councilor at-large or a mayor’s race she would finish dead last by a very wide margin. She is the winner and deserved it. All I am saying is that there is no great movement to speak of here or any massive voter revolt against incumbents or usual candidates.

    • Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 1:30 am #

      But but… you guys said she didn’t stand a chance of winning at all. Now it’s just because of low voter turnout? Perhaps YOU underestimate the power of the message of liberty.

  18. the Outfront Guy* April 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    OG says…all hail Leah Cole….we can lament about the low voter turnout and that in itself could the topic of another thread of discussion….but she is the winner….and I too do not feel that her victory represents a strong statement with this kind of voter participation….time to move on with it and let’s all hope for the best from this new blood….new blood CAN be a good thing….but only time will tell.

  19. Anonymous April 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    You Dem dolts just don’t get it. The Dunne supporters really dislike Gravel and the Gravel supporters really dislike Dunne. So much so that if either one of them went up against Cole one on one they would of lost. Their supporters would of either not voted or voted for Cole so the other one would not win. That my friends is Peabody politics.

    • Independent voter April 5, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      Now this is a true statement.

    • Bob Croce April 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

      Here’s why I don’t agree: What you say might be true with many of the hardcore Dunne and the hardcore Gravel supporters. But it is not true with the larger group beyond that, which are Dems and unenrolled voters who only know Dave and Beverley from their work as elected officials, and do not know them personally. I’d bet that there were a lot of undecideds in this much larger group of voters, and I’d bet you anything that both Dave and Beverley would have high likability quotients if you did a poll with likely voters.

      Even among the Peabody political insiders there were a lot of people who had trouble deciding between Dave and Beverley. I know of a couple of cases where it even divided families. Everyone has their detractors, but there are several hardcore Gravel supporters who don’t personally “dislike” Beverley, and the same is true the other way. They just liked their candidate better.

      Case in point is a close friend of mine, who also happens to know the Gravels well. She told me that she thought Dave was a really good guy who does a lot for Peabody, and would be a great State Rep. But she voted for Beverley because Dunne helped her with a personal, constituent issue that was very important to her and her family. What you need to realize is that the average voter doesn’t view this as an “us against them” situation. If Beverley were not in the race, my friend would have — without question — voted for Dave Gravel.

      Although I definitely feel that Leah Cole earned this victory in what was a three person race. There’s no way I believe Leah could have beaten either Beverley or Dave if there were only two names on the ballot. How much they split their vote is unknown, but clearly Dave and Beverley split the vote. I am basing this not on anything related to Ms. Cole at all, but rather my experience that name recognition in Peabody elections is usually the most important factor.

  20. Anonymous April 5, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    The next step is to get rid of Ted Spiliotis. He’s another tax and spend politician. I hope the republicans are lining up to oust this guy. I read the snooze article today where Spiliotis says he’s going to help Peabody. Where, when and how? He’s done nothing for Peabody. Ask the people in Ward 5 and 6.

    • Anomymous April 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      Are you talking about Ted Speliotis (you wrote Spiliotis). Don’t you think you should research people before you attack them? A little reading might do you some good!

      • Anonymous April 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

        Wow, it’s ok to attack Leah Cole, who ran a great race, but it’s not ok to criticize SPELIOTIS. Maybe if Mr Speliotis and his brother in law Mr. Gould didn’t support the independent candidate, the democrat would have won. Very selfish people who put their personal greed and gain over the greater good of the community. By the way, Speliotis was elected at 25 and Cole at 24. You criticize Leah for being young?

  21. Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 11:19 am #


    I know this is your blog and all but I think it’s odd that you’re a candiidate for office and you continually comment on Ms. Cole’s election win. Here and on the Patch you keep trying to educate us on why she won and how her supporters are this or that.

    If I just won an election in Peabody and a current candidate for office in Peabody was constantly criticizing and commenting on me and my supporters I would be pissed.

    Bob, have some respect for all Peabody candidates and please remember you are 0 for 3 in your own elections, why would anyone want your advice anyway!

    • Bob Croce April 7, 2013 at 11:34 am #

      You answered this for me. YES! This is “my blog.” This blog has nothing to do with my run for Ward 5 Councilor. The entire idea of this blog is news and commentary. Without commentary, this might as well be a community calendar. If you would like to start your own blog, I could show you how.

      I challenge you to show me just one example of how I have been critical of Ms. Cole since election night. If you’re reading comprehension level is what it should be, you’d notice how I’ve complimented her for accomplishing something no one, including me, thought was possible. I also agree with her basic premise that our state government is bloated and needs to be more responsible with our tax dollars.

      After that, my analysis on how she won and why she won is just that: analysis. You are welcome to agree or disagree. I think that most people would agree with me.

      Make sense? By the way, I am who I am: maybe you should try a little honesty and man or woman up by using your real name. Until you can at least do that, your comments are cowardly and irrellevant. Don’t you agree?

      Thanks for reading.

  22. the Outfront Guy* April 7, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    OG says…hey Anon…don’t tell me for one minute that that Leah Cole victory is not a ‘surprise’….I truly don’t think any local political watchers really thought that Ms Cole would win when up against such two well known candidates…. we can debate all night long about the splitting of the vote or the help of outside of town resources but the bottom line is this…Cole won and now Ms Cole will need to do the job….and I think that all of us hope that she will do a good job but we all have kind of an uneasy feeling not knowing what we got here for a new State Rep…..and that’s how OG sees it…

  23. Ted April 9, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    I may be late to this discussion, however, if I can add my 2 cents….I think another, larger issue may be the fact that close to 80% of voters registered in Peabody didn’t even vote. I think that both the Peabody Democratic City Committee AND the Peabody Republican City Committee need to find out why that is. You will never reach those who haven’t bothered to registered, so that wouldn’t be the focus. Why would you bother to register and NOT vote?? There are Dem/Rep Primaries for Senate coming up soon as well as Dem/Reps running for City Council in November. Need to find why the apathy exists…..

    • Anonymous April 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

      If you look at the message boards on many many many mainstream news websites you will find that just about EVERY dem believes they won some sort of mandate because Obama got voted back in. The Dems really think they have won some sort of war after winning one battle. I’ll tell you this. The republican party is changing (for the better) but it is NOT dying. You will see the results come November 2014 and thereafter 2016.

      • anonymous April 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

        There was no mandate. Most voters, other than the ideological ones, just viewed Obama as the lesser of two evils. If Romney was a better candidate he would have won easily.

      • Anon April 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

        Could you please elaborate on why you’ve mentioned 2014 and 2016?

  24. Anonymous April 9, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Plainly and simply these twits already in office refuse to do or even hear the wishers of the voters . They refuse to hear the voters up roars in what they do in all of what they vote or decide to do and we all suffer for it . I hope the newly elected in governing will do what we ask of them. We need more females in office because it should be obvious that the traditional men in office are not doing what is and was expected of them. Even on a ratio bases how many woman have been taken to task over wrong doing as compared to men? Why is it we have so many former officials in jail or prisons . Answer: greed for ones self and for reelection purposes. Woman have very little greed and have better self respect than men do thus the very few in jail or prison who have held office.

  25. the Outfront Guy* April 9, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    OG says….hey Ted….good question that will only get you frustrated if you let it get to you….you can call it apathy or just good old fashioned too busy to give a damn but the enrolled voters here in Bright City continually sit on their thumbs for most elections….the fact of the matter is that MOST voters are simply not in tune with local politics…they are not involved in the process….they are not educated on the issues….and they simply focus on things other than local affairs most of the time….that is what I find quite astounding with this Leah Cole victory….she has defied all odds even with a low turnout…she had virtually no name recognition or political involvement/connections prior to this race yet we are sending her off to Beacon Hill to fight for us….an amazing story in my view….but keep asking the question about low turnout…..and you will age quickly my friend…this is not a politically active city….we have some folks who care but the large majority are too busy with life in general and they just don’t give a hoot….and that’s how OG sees it.

    • Ted April 11, 2013 at 11:40 am #

      Mr. Guy,
      How do we get registered voters in tune with local politics? How do we get them involved with the process? We are starting to see new faces (Leah Cole, Scott Frasca, Joel Saslaw) which should spurn new interest, I would think…Why does Lynn have an active election days? Salem? Why Not Peabody? The Days of “Dark City” are gone (methinks)…The battles between Mayor Torigian and his detractors are in the past..While Great theater back in the day, do you think that may have disenfranchised the registered electorate? How do we light a fire under the collective arses of registered voters?

      • Anonymous April 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

        Have heard of Frasca and don’t think he is anything special . Who is Joe Saslaw?

  26. Ted April 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    Running for Ward 5 Councillor…

    • Anonymous April 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      Really? I live on Jordan Road and I don’t know him at all. Is he new to Peabody? Running for the same office as Bob, right?

      • Ted April 12, 2013 at 9:37 am #

        He is not new to Peabody, but he is new to Politics I believe. And Yes, he is running for the same seat Bob is running for. Hmmm, Bob, do you think there will be a debate in the future?

      • Bob Croce April 12, 2013 at 10:05 am #

        Don’t know the answer, Ted. But you know me: I would NEVER turn down the opportunity to debate or speak to people. So sure, I’m up for that, if some group wants to sponsor it.

  27. the Outfront Guy* April 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    OG says…you know Ted…you raise some interesting questions because I often why no one gives a damn around here…frankly, i think it’s a question of priorities, economics and demographics…..from what I can see here in Bright City people are either working (both parents in two parent households) or schlepping their kids to sporting events….that does not leave much time to stay abreast of local political things….parents are more in tune and get involved when their kids are in elementary school but we lose them as their kids migrate on to a huge middle school and then on to a private high school or to our dreary high school facility…most seniors out there focus on taxes and making ends meet which is understandable so that restrains their interest and penchant for spending…I just think that not much time is spent focusing or following local affairs by the average Joe out there…if you lined up 10 Peabody citizens maybe three of them could give you the names of three current city councilors….are we different from other cities and towns in terms of political interest and passion? I think so….we always have ‘new faces’ from time to time and typically they don’t fare too well…some have to run twice to even have a chance ….so it bothers and frankly I am at a loss as to how we can light a spark under their arses….if you don’t have time to get into it then you don’t have time….taxes are just another bill to pay in the stack of monthly bills that we all have pile up…and that is sadly how OG sees it…

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