I didn’t think I had that much political power – but everyone seems to be sweating bullets to appear ‘above board’ and not being found to be playing dirty politics. All I did was send out a simple blog that set the rules for this season – it wasn’t a threat or anything as it was more a promise.
And sure enough – most candidates and their supporters are trying to set a positive tempo.
But we have a real problem out there. The Mayor and her supporters know that if a group of candidates get on the council who can’t be ‘bought’ and can’t be a ‘team player’; that the agenda set out by the corner office will be slowed and unpleasant scrutiny will be shown on the less smoother operations in the city (like pesky cost-overruns). So to resolve this, a coalition has been assembled to band together. The basic story line is, “All is well. The party is continuing, and there are no real issues to be concerned with in Newburyport. It is all under control!” (There are no problems, there is nothing to see here.)
That is why it is important to support two, highly qualified, independent candidates for city council at large:
The Mayor and this coalition don’t mind Mr. Earls because he was ‘controlled’ once before. This administration has threatened Greg before but this time he isn’t going to take it. We all know the threat. If you put a sign on your yard or support a candidate or go against the goals of this administration, we’ll remember what you did and it won’t go well with you or any relatives related to you for a very long time.
So, as subtle as they can, they have been bad-mouthing Sheila on the campaign trail. (Which is hard to do considering her close to 30 years of upstanding community work.) But they are trying. They are even trying to bring in partisan politics so they can label their opponents. It’s not protocol but it’s because they are very nervous.
So why are they so desperate? Because if you drive through the neighborhoods in Wards 3 and 4, 5 and 6 – you’ll find hardly a political sign. Get off the main roads and the feeling is, “What election?” Other than Ward One, where there is a very close race developing, you wouldn’t know that November 3rd was any special day. No signs, no fervor – no energy. Plus, the candidates who ally closely with the “Bulldozer” know there is palpable anger against the corner-office. Her thirst to gut historic homes for enhanced free cash earnings is beginning to have an affect on the property values and the fee and tax burdens of the average citizen. Her and her allies would rather concentrate on large rental developments where the poor and the working class can be herded (and controlled). We all know that the eventual goal is a city that average people can’t afford to live in; and tax revenues are raked in from a reliable, wealthy elite.
Either a low-turn out will result, or; the citizens are holding their cards very close and will make some surprising decisions.
To avoid this the Daily News has been called upon to endorse her candidates. We all know the paper of record has been in the pocket of developers and the Mayor for years. The “paper” that has this strange fascination with the concerns of a tiny handful of fisherman, Gloucester and Salem events and highlights Amesbury every chance they get. Speaking of Amesbury, you can tell who’s been ‘bought’ when John Macone makes an editorial one day condemning the large-scale rentals in Amesbury and then as hastily, the next edition follows up with a support for the 40R in Newburyport. (He must have gotten a lot of heat after the former was published!) This is the paper that years ago was headed by Bill Plante who famously said when restoration was sought for the downtown instead of demolishing, “If we don’t tear them down, they will fall down.” Fortunately, the citizens rose up and Newburyport has been enjoying the fruits of historic preservation ever since. This was also the paper that when the NRA was advocating buildings on the waterfront, the paper declared to COW, “Sit down and shut up”. Again, the citizens had to show the Daily News what their real concerns were.
They are so desperate they are endorsing a fake-Sheila who is so far-right, the Merrimack Valley Tea Party and her had to part ways! This candidate is right up their alley as she is vociferously anti-historic preservation. A person so desperate to be in power, she’s been seen walking out of the Mayor’s house.
They are also endorsing a dark horse who is coming out of no-where who is clearly a Mayor’s hack.
That is why I am deeply honored that Sheila Mullins was not endorsed by the paper. She is an independent voice who will stand apart and be separate from the assembled “yes-men” on council.* She, unlike the smooth talkers on the campaign trail, has a solid record of achievement. (See my full disclosure below) There are problems in our city, and we need councilors who are not unofficial members of the corner-office who can objectively examine and attempt to resolve long-standing issues in the city. They will be able to support Cronin, Giunta and O’Brien in doing the best for the citizens.
PS. My Full Disclosure.