Dirty political tricks continue to prevail in Peabody

2 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP publisher

How can you tell when a hack incumbent politician is nervous he’s losing the week before an election? He comes up with a sleazy dirty trick, and then enlists help from his powerful establishment pals to smear a citizen who had the “nerve” to want and serve her community.

Thus is the case in Peabody’s Ward 4, just six days before another biennial city election.


Vote for Bukia Chalvire on Tuesday

A newcomer to Peabody elections, a woman named Bukia Chalvire, has for the past several months been working hard to unseat first-term incumbent Ward 4 Councilor Ed Charest. You may also know Ed from his days on the school committee, where he and the rest of the gang helped bring our public education system to the brink of state receivership.

But today Chalvire, an immensely likable candidate, who has for months run an immensely positive campaign — powered by door-knocking and lots of shoe leather — learned why new people, with great ideas for our city and a desire to serve, don’t even bother getting involved.

If you go to the online version of the Salem News this evening, you’ll see an article that would make you think that Robert Mueller was about to expand his investigation to include a Peabody mom, who just wanted to be your Ward 4 Councilor.

While likely coercing an inexperienced Snooze reporter into thinking that this was actually some sort of scandal, Charest’s buddies planted a story that questioned Chalvire’s character, integrity and ethics.

So what did Chalvire do to get that kind of negative press in the dying days of the campaign? Well, she had the “nerve” to post a photo on a campaign piece of her, her lovely family and a smiling Mayor Ted Bettencourt, taken at a recent campaign fundraiser.

Now, please keep in mind that Teflon Ted was in no way forced to pose for this photo with the Ward 4 challenger. From what we can tell, he wasn’t held at gunpoint or tied up and gagged. He wasn’t ambushed. Candidates do this with each other all the time. Sometimes these photos end up on Facebook pages, sometimes in campaign flyers.

And BTW, candidates – including this former one — post pictures of themselves and this mayor all the time on their campaign Facebook pages following fundraisers. Yet, I’ve never heard Teflon Ted, who wants to be everyone’s “friend” and says he never endorses anyone, decry candidates – including Charest – for doing this on social media.

But now Charest has tried to turn it into a major scandal, claiming that his challenger lacks integrity because the flier photo makes it look like Teflon Ted is endorsing Chalvire. As a part of Peabody’s hack political establishment (if ever there was a swamp that needed draining, this is it), he even got Teflon Ted to jump on board in the smear campaign.

“I certainly have not endorsed Bukia Chalvire for councilor,” Bettencourt told the reporter he probably helped dupe too. “Nor did I give her permission to use my picture on her campaign literature piece.”

Then the mayor, who never endorses anyone added: “I have worked with councilor Ed Charest in city government for the past 10 years. He has always impressed me as a hard-working, dedicated person who cares deeply for the residents of Peabody. I think he is doing a great job for Ward 4.”

First off, Chalvire has never said that Bettencourt is endorsing her. But if this mayor – who continues to build his kingdom by fleecing the taxpayers with never-ending series of unnecessary patronage jobs – is really upset about this, maybe he should not purposely pose with the candidates he doesn’t want to see get elected.

Besides, why is this mayor commenting at all on foolish articles like this one? I mean, with traffic gridlock, no real plan to revitalize a decaying downtown, a school system in crisis, and another resident tax increase coming next month, you would think that Teflon Ted had plenty of other things to keep him occupied.

But I digress, since the real culprit for the smear of this truly good woman is Mr. Charest himself, who after planting the article whined: “My integrity is very, very important to me and I’ve worked with the mayor for 10 years.”

Integrity is important to him? Oh, is that why he also smeared his last opponent when he first ran for Ward 4 Councilor two years ago?

So, I’m sitting here this evening, having not written in this space for months, and thinking again what a truly sick political culture we have in the City of Peabody.

I mean, isn’t Bukia Chalvire the type of candidate we’ve been clamoring for in days when people are disturbed and disgusted by establishment politicians? For those who don’t know, she is an epitome of the American Dream, having immigrated from Haiti in her 20s, working hard and becoming an American citizen, and then settling to raise her family in what she figured was the friendly community of Peabody, MA.

But what she gets instead is victimized.

And we wonder why.

Is it because she is a woman and not one of the mayor’s good ole boys? 

Or, is it because she is an immigrant and a minority? Peabody politics, after all, is fairly devoid of both female and minority elected officials. Despite our great diversity as a community, there is just one woman on the city council, and not a single person of color.

And the one woman on the Council, a fighter for the people named Anne Manning Martin is treated like the proverbial skunk at a picnic. In other words – along with outgoing Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz – she’s the only one who’s not a rubber stamp for Teflon Ted, and because of that she’s considered by all the Mayor’s Men as a troublemaker who refuses to go along to get along. That’s right, Manning Martin instead tries to always and only represent the interests of the people who elected her. How dare she!

You know, I had planned not to have this space endorse anyone this campaign season. But if you’re reading this and live in Ward 4, please do the right thing on Tuesday and vote for Bukia Chalvire.

It’s time to push back once and for all on the political goon tactics that always seem to go on in our fair berg.


59 Responses to “Dirty political tricks continue to prevail in Peabody”

  1. Mike Scarlata November 2, 2017 at 10:52 pm #

    The Final Weekend of the 2017 Campaign. What amazing experience. What a great team we have. What an amazing Ward 4 Candidate – Bukia Chalvire
    Bukia has walked Ward 4 five times. She’s has knocked on 4000 doors. She has engaged and listened to the voters concerns. She’s taken notes. She’s taken action on behalf of the residents to have potholes on a few streets streets fixed. She’s called the Electric Light Commission to have tree limbs cut so that they wouldn’t interfere with the electrical wires. She’s attended various meetings one of which was the Dog Park. She’s so dedicated at keeping our taxes stable, fighting for the Seniors and our youth. She is dedicated and very supportive of our Small Businesses. Small Business is the backbone of our local economy and they EMPLOY our YOUTH. What happened to Chandlers Ice Cream was a travesty. As result of Chandlers going out of business they had to layoff 13 teenagers. Bukia our next Ward 4 Councilor has the ability to bring people together and to solve problem not create problems. She’s has put her heart and soul in this campaign. Let’s put her over the top on November 7. Call your friends. Love you all.
    – Michael Scarlata

  2. Anonymous November 2, 2017 at 10:57 pm #

    I only vote for Americans. I am voting for Ed.

    • Mike Scarlata November 2, 2017 at 11:02 pm #

      Intellectual Comment

    • Anonymous November 3, 2017 at 1:30 am #

      What a shithead comment.

    • anon November 3, 2017 at 7:59 am #

      Wow anonymous, your name wouldn’t happen to be Ed, would it? What a truly obnoxious thing to say.

    • Anon & liking it November 3, 2017 at 8:45 am #

      She is an American. Maybe you should look at the debate on PATV and see the difference between her & Ed. He’s a bufoon.

    • Leo Rizzotti November 3, 2017 at 9:25 am #

      She is an american you moron.

    • Anonymous November 3, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

      She is an American genius.

    • Shan November 4, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

      If you vote only for Americans then you can’t vote for Ed! He’s a Canadian. Maybe he’s obtained citizenship since I last checked…who knows.

      • Bob November 4, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

        Just to intervene here and end this silliness. BOTH Bukia and Ed are American citizens.

      • Shan November 4, 2017 at 8:05 pm #

        Silliness indeed! Brought on by Ed’s campaign.

        Just to clarify both candidates are Americans.
        Immigrants yet Americans.

      • Barbara Guillette November 5, 2017 at 5:41 pm #


  3. James Street Gang November 2, 2017 at 11:25 pm #

    Bob this shouldn’t surprise you or anyone else. The mayor used to be a good guy for power changes and corrupts. Charest is weak. This is why he is doing shit like this. He barely beat Hochman and he has spent two years doing nothing for our ward. He is scared. This Bukia woman is the talk of the neighborhood.

    • Diane November 5, 2017 at 10:04 am #

      Nothing for our Ward? He stopped the development of more apartment housing complexes in the Brooksby Farm area. This would’ve added to the overpopulation in our schools amongst other problems.

      • Shan November 5, 2017 at 10:49 am #

        He didn’t stop it on his own! He got involved with the family that owned the land (as a member of the city council) and instead it was sold to become a car dealership. In addition some of the land was set aside for a park to honor a deceased teen. This was done by the new owners of the land.

      • Diane November 5, 2017 at 11:13 am #

        Of course he didn’t do it on his own, but from the second he was in office, he held a town hall and immediately began work on it with the parties involved. The city asked that that piece of land be donated to the family of that deceased teen. I’m not sure how you can say that Ed didn’t play a huge role in that?

      • Shan November 5, 2017 at 11:45 am #

        That’s his job. That is what he was elected to do. Good for him.
        At least it was in his purview as an elected official. However, Ed tends to get himself involved in issues that aren’t his business. Did it on the school committee and now the council. How about the incident were he went directly to a house on Lowell St.for a parking complaint and next thing you know the homeowner gets arrested.
        Ed acts as if he owns Columbus road. Yells st vehicles as they drive by. He is arrogant, self serving, a kiss — . You name it. I know Ed going way back to when he was my neighbor at the Tannery condos. Nothing has changed.
        Run a fair election. Remember though he didn’t do it the last time and looks like he isn’t doing it this time.

  4. Nevah Mind November 2, 2017 at 11:38 pm #

    this campaign aside, if you’re always complaining about “Teflon Ted,” why don’t you try running against him next time?

    • Anonymous November 3, 2017 at 12:09 am #

      LMAO! Bob could not get elected dog catcher.

      • Anonymous November 3, 2017 at 1:36 am #

        Thanks for weighing in here, Trumpkin. Enjoy your weekend on the golf course.

    • anon November 3, 2017 at 8:01 am #

      Nobody is going to knock Ted off his perch unless he commits a crime…even then it may not happen. Mayor for life, unfortunately.

    • Bob Croce November 4, 2017 at 6:56 pm #

      @Nevah mind:
      Why would I do that when I can have a much greater impact — and way more fun — here? I were any city politico, I’d behave myself 🙂 In the last 24 hours, we’ve received almost 5,000 views for this blog. When I write, people read. And the moles continue to send me some very interesting info. Thanks for reading, and also posting links for me. Much appreciated.

  5. Anonymous November 3, 2017 at 12:08 am #

    You should have thought about what a dirt bag Ed was before you turned the election over to him by screwing over Jarrod the last election.

  6. Happy again November 3, 2017 at 12:15 am #

    Best thing you have ever written Bob. So happy you are back!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Charest for Ward 4 November 3, 2017 at 12:17 am #

    VOTE CHAREST! Americans only on our councilors. I support him 1000000%

    • Go to hell haters November 3, 2017 at 12:21 am #

      Another classy comment from a Charest supporter. Give me a break

      • Charest for Ward 4 November 4, 2017 at 11:29 am #

        Hey I do not work for Charest campaign and I do not really know him. I just like him.. And he’s an American. She came from Haitian or somewhere. What did I say thats wrong? I do not care what color she is. You people want open borders. I want America. I bet Ed agrees with me.

      • You disgust me November 4, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

        You really are an idiot aren’t you. What country did your ancestors, as well as Ed’s, emigrate from? I guess you aren’t Americans either. This has nothing to do with open borders, but I wouldn’t expect you to know that based on your other comments. People like you are part of the problem in this country. I have no horse in this race because I don’t live in ward 4. I don’t know anything about Ms. Chalvire except what I’ve read here. I don’t know Ed, although I know who he is. If people like you are supporting him though, that tells me a lot. If Ed feels the same way you do about who is “American” and who isn’t he should be run out of town on a rail. However, I doubt he actually feels the same way as you.

      • Mike Scarlata November 4, 2017 at 5:31 pm #

        She’s is an American who came here legally from Haiti. The racist and uneducated comments from some are appalling.

    • Anonymous November 3, 2017 at 12:25 am #

      Bob are you going to call these racist pigs out like you call out Trump every day as a racist?

    • Mike Scarlata November 3, 2017 at 4:25 am #

      Sad comment – pathetic

    • Ryan Morrison November 3, 2017 at 2:37 pm #

      Americans only? Thats his qualifier? Peabody should be proud. Vote for me, I’m American! Yay.

    • Anon November 3, 2017 at 7:08 pm #

      You’re an idiot. She is an American. She’s also kind, compassionate, honest and intelligent. Everything Charest is not. Someone else posted that she’s the talk of the ward. I hope in a good way and I hope she knocks Ed out of the park – permanently.

      • Peabody no place for hate November 4, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

        Take a look at the last sentence of this post on the Charest facebook page and draw your own conclusions. Not saying nuthin, but what does “She has no place here” mean exactly?

        Someone named Debbie Ryan wrote:
        I’m very sorry that Ed has to deal with this …& the Mayor, both honest & trusting men. When Ed’s opponent has to devise the means to deceive Ward 4 residents into believing that the Mayor supports her…. or blatantly lies about Ed and his outstanding record of service to Ward 4… it perfectly describes the person who is trying to use us to advance her own political ambition. Well, we’re not that stupid. She has no place here.

    • Shan November 4, 2017 at 7:29 pm #

      Again. Check into Ed.
      Why didn’t he appear the other night at open mike?

      Just saying!

  8. Anonymous November 3, 2017 at 12:25 am #

    Great night. Hope you are back for good Bob. There is so much corruption in this city that it’s disgusting. WE need you to tell us the truth always. Tell Dick to keep up the good work to.

    • You kidding me? November 4, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

      Wow. Just wow. I just checked for myself and that ‘she has no place’ here quote by the Charest supporter is 100% accurate. BTW I think this woman is the former chair of the Democratic committtee or something. That makes it even more shameful. Is she attacking Bukia because she is a Republiccan or because she is a woman of color from Haiti? Either way it’s a pretty awful comment to make. I also notice that Charest family memebers liked the comment.

  9. Barbara Guillette November 3, 2017 at 3:45 am #

    good for her i hope she wins get rid of the old bad blood, new hope new ideas. great this town needs a good sweep has for 23 years.

  10. Anonymous November 3, 2017 at 7:58 am #

    The classy thing would have been for Mr. Charest and the mayor to simply say nothing in this situation. They look small and petty. You are right this is why people are afraid to run for office in Peabody. I thought the mayor was better than this.

    • anon November 3, 2017 at 8:11 am #

      Bob, I don’t think it’s racism or because she is a woman. I do believe though that it’s because she isn’t part of the good ole boy network, which is about to get bigger after this election. Anne and Barry are the only ones on that council capable of independent thought. With Barry leaving that leaves just her depending on what happens in ward 4. Barry will be replaced by a new Ted flunky I’m afraid. Just look at who the self styled power players around the city are supporting and it becomes pretty clear that the teflon man is going to have a council that does exactly what he wants. Sound familiar?

  11. Anonymous November 3, 2017 at 9:34 am #

    This does not surprise me with Charest. Watching how he would grandstand and act when he was called out for his dirty plays was quite…comical. He is not meant to serve the people. He like many others in this city have sold their sole to our current Mayor bc it makes it easier for them to get elected. That Arnotis candidate someone got on one of the boards? why? bc he is a friend of Ted and he will do what Ted needs him to do. I mean that last time he ran all he said is that he worked in the Mayors office…Again, he will get a seat this time but he lacks the experience and wisdom compared to an other candidate…

    Ted wants no opposition because he honestly does not know how to handle it except to get red faced and have a tantrum. He has lost his cool every time he has had to go before the city council meetings and has been questions about his decisions. I found it interesting he sent out a 4 page flyer praising himself about how wonderful he is when he is not running against anyone…Why did he do that? He knows things are not going as well as he expected. Most of the over done laundry list of items are things he is expected to do as the city leader…This city is self serving and it will be its demise.

    What I find odd is that the Mayor never thought to partner with Simon and propose to bring Amazon to Peabody. They could have created a whole new environment in that area and create a whole new tax revenue for the city. What a great thing that could have been with a company that would be here for decades…

  12. A man of integrity..... November 3, 2017 at 10:37 am #

    Ed Charest talks about integrity after he put out a vicious attack piece in the middle of the night against Jared Hochman in the election 2 years ago!!!!! Knowing the track record of Mr. Charest, I’d bet the house he’s already plotting to drop an attack piece on Bukia on Sunday or Monday night. You heard it here first. Just wait, it’s coming soon.

  13. JSW November 3, 2017 at 10:46 am #

    I swear to god that I was undecided on who to vote for here and do not know either candidate but now I know for sure that Bukia will get my vote, the vote of my husband, my mother in law and our two sons. They are doing a terrible thing here to this very nice woman. Shame on the mayor, who I have always supported

    • Mike Scarlata November 3, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

      Thank You JSW. She will be a great Ward 4 Councilor

  14. anonymous November 3, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

    By the way I just looked at the re-election mailer the mayor sent to my house. It has elected officials on it. Did he get their permission?

  15. Ryan Morrison November 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    I met Bukia Chalvire at the International Festival. I liked her very much. She is a very charming person. Authentic. I found myself wanting to know more about her. She engaged everyone, listening and really seemed to connect with people. Peabody would be lucky to have her on our counsel. I hope she wins. Not my Ward unfortunately.

    • Mike Scarlata November 3, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

      Spread the word. She’s a rising star in Peabody

  16. Maureen Croce November 3, 2017 at 7:35 pm #

    I had the pleasure of meeting Bukia when I helped out on open mike night at PATV. She is an intelligent, professional and engaging person who would be an asset to the people of Ward 4. It’s a shame that the ‘old boys club’ is so myopic to not envision the benefit that newcomers could bring to our city. Best wishes to her – and shame on you Ted and Ed. I thought you would be above this.

  17. Casey A November 4, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

    BTW just wondering does it seem like a certain former elected official and his always angry, nasty wife are abandoning another Ward candidate after realizing he can’t win and jumping on anotehr ward candidate’s bandwagon? All I can say is thank god that trash didnt become mayor. Would have become a disaster for Peabody! BTW definitely NOT talking about John Slattery, who I wish became mayor!!!!!

    • Song bird November 4, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

      Who is the world could you ever be talking about, Casey? By the way, how are things in Orlando?

  18. Charest for Ward 4 November 4, 2017 at 4:38 pm #

    Like I said I don’t really know Ed really but I say GO CHAREST. America is for Americans. Go to hell if you don’t like it. Ed is our guy! God bless him.

    • Shan November 4, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

      What has Ed done for ward 4?
      Cause trouble. Just like when he was on the school committee.
      Oh wait, he got the state to remove the port o potty from the area of rt 128 ramp near the shopping center access road.
      Peabody has more to be concerned about than how we are perceived for those entering the city than this!

      Get a grip Ed!!!

  19. Anonymous November 4, 2017 at 4:46 pm #

    This is why I love this blog. Please don’t go away again. Between this and the TV show with Dick it is the only way regular people know what’s going on with this dirtbals who call themselves elected officials. Good luck Bukia. I cannot vote for you but I am praying for you!

    • Bob November 4, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

      Thank you for your comment. Life is really good lately, and with my real job, it’s hard to keep up with this. But I’ll try, since a lot of people are saying the same thing and how the blog, and the “You Make the Call” show are a public service. That makes it all seem well worth the extra time and effort. I was very excited, too, to see more than 3,000 people read the blog over the past 24 hours.

  20. Greg Bunn November 5, 2017 at 6:32 am #

    A challenge with this forum is that people can post with annonimty.

    I think you have someone, or some people making some charged comments here that that they wouldn’t make other wise or quite possibly, making comments simply to troll…and I think a lot of people reading have taken the bait.

    • Bob November 5, 2017 at 10:24 am #

      That’s all true, Greg. But unfortuantely, you have to take the bad in order to get some good comments.

      Most people are really bothered by some of the things that are going on in Peabody right now yet, and unlike you and me, they’d rather not put up with the grief of signing their name.
      So, if we required people register with real names, we’d miss out on shedding light on some really important issues.

      All that being said, the comments section here also is NOT like the wild west. I moderate and approve every comment, and there are many times when I reject comments. Typically, I let people post what they want, but with the following exceptions:

      – I won’t allow someone to be libeled. (people have tried to defame and slip things in and since I know the rules here, it’s never going to get approved).

      – Unless they do something horrible, I don’t allow attacks on family members of politicians or private residents.
      – And obviously, I would never approve comments riddled with obscenities or any other inappropriate content.

      As for the “only voting for Americans” comment, I don’t know whether that person is a legit bigot or if he/she is simply a troll. But the comment doesn’t violate the TOS I just outlined, so I approved those comments and “let the buyer beware,” so to speak.

      Hope everything is good in your world these days.

    • Anon123 November 5, 2017 at 10:33 am #

      While I understand that, yes, anonymity breeds trolls….I think the positives outweigh the negatives. I believe we do see far more honest insight and opinions from residents when the fear of retribution is mitigated by remaining anonymous. It’s sad that people feel that way but, unfortunately, our city administration can be very vindictive (just ask Chalvire).

  21. Someone who was there November 5, 2017 at 11:25 am #

    What makes me laugh is how Bettencourt is endorsing a guy who used to talk shit about the mayor outside in the parking lot after school committee meetings. Don’t deny it, Ed, I heard it with my own ears. Ted you are being a sap. This guy Charest turns on you on a dime. If you don’t believe me ask your good friend Rossignoll who was also there, and didn’t defend you while Charest was ripping you.

  22. Kristina November 7, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

    I received the flyer and my first thought within 15 seconds was “wow, she used a picture of her with Mayor Bettencourt, makes it look like he endorsed her”. I even said this out loud to my husband. I didn’t read anything about Ed slandering her name (I’m not denying it may have happened, but just stating this came across my mind without hearing about this political drama).

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