Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Topic: Berkshire County's Politicians - - - - Local, State, and Federal.

Who's good? Who's not? Who's hardworking? Who's smart?
Who's responsive to constituents? Who's a hack?
Who's way too Liberal? Who's way too Conservative?
Who's phony? Who's boring? Who's inept? Who's lackluster?
Who should go on to higher office? Who should be voted out?
Your Feedback:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Omigod, where does one start!?!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 8:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can understand that it is busy right now down in Washington, but every so often I wouldn't mind reading a quote or two in The Eagle or the Transcript commenting on some national news event from Congressman John Olver. I have been away at college for the past few years and have not paid very much attention to where the congressman is and what he has been doing, but with the recent Social Security news and daily antics of our president and Tom DeLay, I think that seeing the congressman's name in the paper either opposing or agreeing with anything would be nice.

Maybe some of the fault of not seeing Olver's name in the paper lies on the shoulders of the local newspapers, but if the congressman was speaking out more then maybe his name and comments would be in the paper more. It seems as though every day I see Rep. Ed Markey of the 7th District on CNN or MSNBC speaking his mind and making his views heard.

Maybe it is asking to much, but could you speak up more, congressman, and bring the attention that the 7th District and its representative receives to the 1st District?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 3:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the real world, people are given raises for production, improving the company, hard work, and, most of all, results. The raises tend to follow the cost of living, with bonuses given in extreme cases, and in some of those like Enron, the price was too high for some big-time executives. However locally most small businesses have realistic goals, with practical rewards given, and a 9.2 percent raise would be an extreme case.

The town of Great Barrington has not done well under the present board of selectmen or the present town manager, Burke LaClair. Many projects are over budget, incomplete, or not even started and there are no long-range or realistic short-range goals, negotiations with unions have not gone well, and there are problems in the police department. Yet despite his shortcomings, the town manager is due to collect a 9.2 percent raise.

Most people in the private sector don't get 9.2 percent in three years, let alone one, and those are the people asked to dig into their pockets yet again, for mediocre production. Why pay $85,000 for a mediocre town manager?

Great Barrington can find a replacement for Mr. LaClair at less money, there is always someone starting out who wants to make his or her mark, someone right out of college. Small towns don't have the same needs as large cities or for that matter big towns, especially when department heads are so generously compensated.

Since Great Barrington has not improved after two town managers, perhaps it is time to go back to three selectmen, and no town manager. At least things got done back then, with fewer excuses.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 4:21:00 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

"Nuciforo’s perjury, fraud and conflicts of interest"

This message is for the People of Berkshire County, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the News Media, Concerned Citizens, and State Senate Republican Candidate Dawn Taylor Thompson to understand the illegal and unethical business activities of State Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo II, who is seeking a fifth-term as State Senator this year.

Allegation # One: State Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo II committed perjury in a personal financial disclosure to the Ethics Commission (see Addenda: Appendix B).

Fact # One: Nuciforo stated that he earned all of his “extra income” from his Pittsfield Law Practice during the calendar year of 2003 (see Addenda: Appendix B).

Fact # Two: Nuciforo is one of five corporate Attorneys for a Boston Law Firm (see Addenda: Appendix A).

Fact # Three: Nuciforo never explained his private law practice activities for Berman and Dowell in Boston to the Ethics Commission and the People of Berkshire County.

Conclusion # One: Nuciforo’s perjury to the Ethics Commission is evidenced by the three aforementioned facts. Nuciforo is corrupt (and misleading) by not disclosing all of the sources of his “extra income” to the Ethics Commission. Nuciforo must explain to the People his position as a corporate Attorney for “Berman and Dowell” in Boston. Nuciforo must report and/or be reported for his perjury to the Ethics Commission; and he should explain his corrupt actions to the People of Berkshire County. Nuciforo should be prosecuted for his perjury to the Ethics Commission.

Allegation #2: Nuciforo committed fraud by not reporting his full income to the Ethics Commission.

Fact #1: Nuciforo, as with all Massachusetts and American citizens, are income taxpayers to the state and national governments. Nuciforo’s “extra income” is also subjected to taxation.

Fact #2: Nuciforo is one of five Attorneys with “Berman and Dowell” in Boston.

Fact #3: Nuciforo reported no “extra income” from his position with “Berman and Dowell.”

Conclusion #2: Nuciforo’s “extra income” statements to the Ethics Commission are fraudulent. Nuciforo’s fraud is evidenced by the three aforementioned facts. Nuciforo’s “extra income” is subject to taxation laws of both Massachusetts and U.S. laws. Nuciforo must be investigated for his income reporting to the state of Massachusetts’ Dept. of Revenue and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Nuciforo should be prosecuted for any and all fraudulent income reporting to the DOR and/or IRS.

Allegation #3: Nuciforo committed conflict of interest violations by both sitting as the Chairman of the Committee on Banks and Banking in the Massachusetts State Senate and serving as a Banking Law Attorney for “Berman and Dowell” in Boston.

Fact: See Addenda: Appendix A.

Conclusion #3A: Nuciforo is BOUGHT AND PAID FOR by the Boston special interests!

Conclusion #3B: None of these news items have been reported to the People of Berkshire County. The news media is not effectively reporting the facts and issues to the People. The news media is showing a similar corruption to the disingenuous actions of the politicians. It seems like almost everyone has a price, but only some people and entities are a little more obvious than others.

Note: The three branches of government are (1) the Legislative, (2) the Executive, and (3) the Judicial. The fourth branch –or the fourth estate- is the Press, which is now called the news media.

Author’s Note: I, Jonathan A. Melle, am an American Citizen with U.S. Constitutional Rights and Civil Liberties. I will always speak my good conscience as long as I live!


Appendix A

Berman & Dowell

210 Commercial Street,

Boston, Massachusetts 02109-1305

Telephone: 617-723-9911

Facsimile: 617-723-6688

Joseph S. Berman

Elizabeth S. Bostwick

John S. Day

Rodney S. Dowell


Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.

Of Counsel, Email:

Practice Areas: Professional Liability Defense; Commercial Litigation; Banking Law; Insurance Coverage; Insurance Defense.

Biography: Law Clerk to Chief Judge Frank H. Freedman, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, 1989-1991. Member, 1997— and Chairman, Committee on Banks and Banking, Massachusetts State Senate, Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin District.

Appendix B

"Lawmakers report extra income" published in The Berkshire Eagle on Wednesday, 6/2/04

BOSTON -- Practicing law was a bit more prosperous in 2003 for state Sen. Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., D-Pittsfield, though it's unclear whether it was the result of the senator working more as a lawyer.

According to a personal financial disclosure to the Ethics Commission, Nuciforo earned $20,897 from his Pittsfield law practice last year, a sharp increase from the $8,400 he earned as an attorney in 2002. In 2000, Nuciforo earned less than $5,000 as an attorney.

One of Nuciforo's areas of expertise is in estate planning.

Compared to many other members of the Legislature, Nuciforo's outside earnings are not significant. Many legislators are also powerful attorneys earning upward of $100,000, while others own lucrative businesses.

Though Nuciforo's lawyer earnings were more than double the previous year, attorneys often explain that there is not always a direct correlation between what they are paid and the number of hours they worked.

Nuciforo did not want to comment, only saying that he stands by his disclosure as fact.

He represents the largest district in the state geographically, with 48 cities and towns. He is also Senate chairman of the Banks and Banking Committee.

Lawmakers and state officials are required to file statements with the Ethics Commission that detail their earnings and personal holdings. They were only required to state dollar ranges when reporting a value of a home or earnings, though some were more specific.

NOTE: The State "Ethics" Commission let Nuciforo off the hook with a CONFIDENTIAL decision. Hmmm.

Monday, May 16, 2005 8:15:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

February 02, 2005

Re: Open Letter to the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
State Ethics Commission
John W. McCormack Office Building
One Ashburton Place
Room 619
Boston, Massachusetts 02108-1501

Attention: Stephen P. Fauteux, Enforcement Division Chief (mgm)

Dear Mr. Fauteux:

Enclosed, please find several news articles, editorials and letters published by “The Berkshire Eagle” entitled: "Challengers face funding obstacles”, “Nuciforo to head panel overseeing auto insurance”, “Nuciforo must show independence in post”, and “Nuciforo’s challenge”. Also, please find a photocopied letter that you sent to me at my previous mailing address in Amherst, NH.

As a former lifelong citizen of the Berkshire region of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until April 6, 2004, I am disturbed by Berkshire State Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo II’s public record of special interest politics. Specifically, Nuciforo has been promoted last month to the position of Senate Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, which will bring in both “intense lobbying and cash donations from the insurance industry” and the banking industry. The problem with this situation continues to be that Nuciforo provides private banking and insurance legal services through the law firm “Berman & Dowell” on 210 Commercial Street in Boston. Please direct yourself to the following web link: This web page even states that Nuciforo’s practice areas include Banking Law, Insurance Coverage and Insurance Defense. This entire situation continues to be evidentially in clear violation of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A. Please take appropriate legal action.


Jonathan A. Melle

NOTE: The State "Ethics" Commission let Nuciforo off the hook with a CONFIDENTIAL decision. Hmmm.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 8:51:00 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...


June 04, 2005

Re: Open Letter to the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
State Ethics Commission
John W. McCormack Office Building
One Ashburton Place
Room 619
Boston, Massachusetts 02108-1501

Attention: Stephen P. Fauteux, Enforcement Division Chief (mgm)

Dear Mr. Fauteux:

Below, please take the time to review the following herein news article published today, June 04, 2005, “Lawmakers disclose finances” (The Berkshire Eagle). ONCE AGAIN, State Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo (D-Pittsfield) is in BLATANT violation of the state’s CONFLICT OF INTEREST LAWS!

It is truly amazing to me that I can still go to the following web pages: , , and see first-hand that Nuciforo is a corporate banking and insurance lawyer. WHAT KIND OF AGENCY ARE YOU RUNNING, ANYWAY? This is a BLATANT and CONTINUAL and RECURRING VIOLATION OF MANY OF THE LAWS THAT YOUR STATE AGENCY ENFORCES.

By the way, I have been posting these matters on the following web blog: , “Topic: Berkshire County’s Politicians - - - - Local, State, and Federal”: . Also, I am emailing this letter I am sending to you today to many of the state’s major and regional newspapers, Berkshire Politicians, and the People for their review.



Jonathan A. Melle ( )
30 Hanover St., Apt. 209
Manchester, NH 03101-2227


Lawmakers disclose finances

THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Web Link to the news article:

By Erik Arvidson, Eagle Boston Bureau

BOSTON — State Rep. Daniel E. Bosley appears to have curtailed his out-of-state travels over the past year and a half, though he still travels more than most of his colleagues.

The North Adams Democrat, who in years past would rack up tens of thousands of dollars in traveling expenses from trips all over North America, can no longer claim to be one of the most well-traveled members of the House.

In a disclosure filed with the state Ethics Commission this week that details personal financial information, Bosley reported that he received no travel reimbursements in 2004 from the Council of State Governments, a nonprofit organization made up of political leaders from across the country.

A year ago, Bosley disclosed on his report that he had received between $20,000 and $40,000 from the CSG to reimburse him for travel expenses to attend various conferences and meetings.

Bosley was national chairman of the CSG in 2003, and the position required him to attend virtually every significant meeting.

Bosley's campaign finance reports filed with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance show a sharp reduction in travel-related costs.

Between 2002 and 2003, Bosley compiled a total of $37,230 in traveling expenses, including air fare, lodging, taxi fare, conference fees and meals, according to his campaign finance report.

Most of those expenses he paid out of his own pocket, then reimbursed himself with campaign funds.

But in the report filed in January detailing his campaign finance activity for 2004, Bosley charged just $3,606 in traveling expenses to his campaign account. He still owed himself $5,706 in liabilities, which he did not have to describe in detail but presumably included travel costs.
Bosley could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Both of the Berkshires' new House lawmakers were required to file disclosure reports with the Ethics Commission, even though they were not legislators in 2004.

Rep. Denis Guyer, D-Dalton, reported that he earned between $40,000 and $60,000 as a purchasing specialist for Crane & Co. in Dalton, and between $1,000 and $5,000 as a Dalton selectman. His real estate holdings included his primary family residence on Haworth Street.

Rep. Christopher Speranzo, D-Pittsfield, reported that he earned $57,926 between his position as assistant attorney general and Pittsfield's city solicitor. He also listed only his primary residence, on Thomson Place, for real estate.

The base wage for all members of the Legislature is $55,567.


Sen. Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., D-Pittsfield, disclosed that he earned $9,460 from his law practice in Pittsfield in 2004. He earned $20,897 from practicing law in 2003.


State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, did not report any secondary income.


Saturday, June 04, 2005 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

North Adams Transcript

Attorney wants mayor to drop Robare appeals
By Ben Rubin
North Adams Transcript

Wednesday, June 15, 2005 -

NORTH ADAMS -- City firefighter Peter J. Robare's lawyer said he expects the city's court appeal against his client to be "dead on arrival."

Robare, a 17-year firefighter with the North Adams Fire Department and former local union president, was reinstated by the state Civil Service Commission in January after being fired in 2003 for alleged insubordinate behavior.

Barrett responds

After being denied an appeal through the commission, Mayor John Barrett III said the city would appeal to Superior Court because the ruling, he said Tuesday, "was one of the worst decisions I've ever seen."

Robare is currently on unpaid administrative leave after he refused to take a full physical examination at the city's request.

Paul Hynes, Robare's attorney, said about the city's plan to appeal, "We wait and see. I think that it will be dead on arrival, although I think it will be further proof of the mayor's mean-spirited, retaliatory tactics.

"The mayor is the one that needs to get over this thing," he continued. "They won't let him [go back to work]. He's ready, able and willing to return, and has been since the decision came down."

"I am tired of Mr. Hynes making these outlandish statements," Barrett responded. "I know he's paid to make them, even though he knows better. ... Nothing could be further from the truth. We're ready, willing and able to put him back to work. Take a physical.

"I've been here for 22 years with numerous unions and been in 10 times worse with other union presidents. What Mr. Hynes doesn't understand is I have to do my job as mayor and it wasn't an easy decision," Barrett said.

Hynes said Robare sought a court arbitration a few months ago to get him back on the payroll. The hearing is scheduled for July 19. Hynes said no other legal actions or court injunctions will be taken for now.

"Our efforts should be directed at the arbitration," he said.

Robare was paid $56,700 by the city earlier this year, to comply with the commission's January ruling.

Hynes said it was "an absolute lie" if anyone claimed, as Barrett did Friday, that Robare threatened a doctor's staff when being examined.

Robare refused to take a full examination four times, which was required to allow him back to work, said Barrett.

Hynes said his client agreed to have his elbow examined, which was injured at another job. Robare also provided previous medical information on the injury and went to a specialist, he said. Hynes contended that Robare was not required to take a full physical, and so did not have one.

"He's a good firefighter, a good family man and it's been hell on his family," said Hynes. "We think it's been retaliation by the mayor and his staff people because of his union activity."

Barrett said, "How I get drawn into it, I don't know, but this is union tactics. ... Mr. Robare had an encounter with two lieutenants who have nothing to do with me and they involved incidents of insubordination."

Barrett said, "If he took the physical exam, he'd be back to work. There were no other caveats." The mayor said the physical was part of standard procedure to ensure Robare would be fit for duty and the city had no up-to-date medical information from Robare about his current physical health.

Robare was fired by Barrett on a recommendation from Public Safety Commissioner E. John Morocco for making inflammatory and profane comments at his superior during a double-alarm fire in 2003. Hynes said the situation was overblown and Barrett fired Robare unfairly because he was president of Local 1781, Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts.

The Civil Service Commission agreed with that assessment and changed Robare's dismissal to a 30-day suspension.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005 3:21:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Peter J. Larkin was, is and always will be a sell out!
-Jonathan A. Melle

Larkin to join biotech council

By Erik Arvidson, Eagle Boston Bureau
Berkshire Eagle

BOSTON -- Former state Rep. Peter J. Larkin, D-Pittsfield, said yesterday that he has accepted the job of senior vice president and chief operating officer at the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, just five months after taking a job with a Boston lobbying firm.

Larkin, 51, who is now senior vice president of government relations with ML Strategies, will join his close political ally Thomas Finneran, the former House speaker who is now president of the biotechnology council, and who helped recruit Larkin to the post.

Larkin said in a telephone interview that he was excited about the new job, describing the position as "mission driven," and that it was a good fit for his experience as a legislator and business owner.

"It's the mission that excites me. I need to be part of something larger than myself," Larkin said. "It's an exciting frontier in front of me, to be part of this new economy. We're on the cutting edge of a new economic paradigm, and this is clearly promoting the life-sciences agenda. Hopefully, we can move this forward in a positive way."

"Peter brings to the MBC an outstanding track record of accomplishment and a deep understanding of how the private and public sectors can work in partnership," said Dr. Una Ryan, chairwoman of the biotech council board of directors. "Most important, he shares our vision for sustaining Massachusetts' leadership in the life-sciences commitment to fostering science education and for growing the MBC."

Larkin said that, although Finneran's job is to help set the policy agenda for the council, his own task will be overseeing the day-to-day operations at the Cambridge-based council and working with a team of 14 people.

Larkin, the former third-ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee, resigned as a legislator in January to accept the position at ML Strategies just months after winning re-election, citing the financial needs of his family as one of the major reasons. He will still work as a consultant with ML Strategies on a short-term basis, noting that there are still projects "midstream" that he would like to bring to fruition.

He had disclosed to the state Ethics Commission in June 2004 that he had interviewed for the presidency of the biotechnology council, but later backed away from consideration for the post.

"Frankly, (the council) asked me to step back a little because they were looking for a scientist with a profile. Little did I know they would pick a political scientist," he said, referring to Finneran. "I told Tommy that the job had his name written all over it. Another opportunity came thereafter with ML, and I had to take the opportunity as presented."

Larkin said Finneran approached him recently to discuss the senior vice president job.

"He needed somebody to work with him to move the agenda forward in a very positive way. Most people don't realize that Tommy and I fought well, we had differences of opinion, but at the end of the day, we worked to create a compromise. Our conclusions were far better because of the discussions we had surrounding the issues," Larkin said.

The decision to change jobs came after Larkin evaluated his strengths and weaknesses.

"I see this as a better fit for my skills. I needed something more fulfilling than being a lobbyist. A lobbyist, in many ways, takes that which comes through the door," Larkin said.

Although Larkin's new salary with the biotechnology council was not available, he described it as "competitive" with ML Strategies, but he added that there probably would be a "better upside" financially as a lobbyist.

With Finneran facing an indictment on federal perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges stemming from his testimony in a civil case, Larkin said Finneran "intends to stay" as president of the council and "regain his good name."

"The issues (Finneran) faces are at least a year ahead of him. The case will not be resolved in the next few months. His personal challenges will be in front of him, and to the extent that I can help, I will," Larkin said.

He doesn't believe Finneran will step down under pressure because of the indictment.

"I've seen him focused under very trying conditions in the past. I know the (biotech council board of directors) is very supportive of Tom and very excited for where he's taken them in a short period of time. We're all hopeful the legal matters will be resolved soon," Larkin said.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

July 06, 2005

Re: My response to the Massachusetts Ethics Commission’s enclosed letter

Dear People, News Media, Politicians:

I dissent against the Massachusetts Ethics Commissions decision to not take any further action on my second complaint against Berkshire State Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo II’s blatant conflict of interest violation of not only being a corporate banking attorney for a private Boston law firm, but also his continual refusal to report his additional income to the State Ethics Commission.

My feeling concerning the State Ethics Commission is that they are a Gestapo-like state agency that will go after the average citizen while allowing the powerful politician to lie, cheat and steal. I have seen the worse of the State Ethics Commission’s authoritarian practices against well-intentioned average citizens and politicians. I have seen how the powerful state politicians have used this state agency to instill fear against Mayors, County Commissioners, City Councilors, and the like. I have seen the State Ethics Commission come down very tough on average citizens, BUT I have yet to see EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW!

I request that this horrible bureaucracy be eliminated and a fairer one be put in her place. I request that all of the state bureaucrats working for this terrible state agency be fired at once and replaced with conscientious people who will enforce all laws equally among all of the people. This is an injustice!


Jonathan A. Melle


Commonwealth of Massachusetts
John W. McCormack Office Building
One Ashburton Place, Room 619
Boston, Massachusetts 02108-1501

June 28, 2005

Jonathan A. Melle
30 Hanover Street # 209
Manchester, NH 03101-2227

Dear Mr. Melle:

We have conducted a careful review of the allegations you made to this Commission by letter dated June 04, 2005. Based on that review, we have decided not to take any further action.

While we understand you may be dissatisfied with this result, please be assured that we take all matters presented to us seriously. We appreciate your concern and we thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

Very truly yours,

Brett Wingard
Senior Investigator

Phone 617/727-0060 or 888/485-4766
Fax 617/723-5851

Wednesday, July 06, 2005 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Swift settles lawsuit over turnpike firing

By Theo Emery, Associated Press
Berkshire Eagle

BOSTON -- Former acting Gov. Jane Swift reached a settlement yesterday with Christy Mihos, a former member of the Turnpike Authority board who sued her for unsuccessfully trying to oust him from the authority's board. Mihos will be paid nearly $200,000 by the state under the settlement.
The settlement between Mihos and Gov. Mitt Romney's predecessor ends the bitter court battle that has simmered since Swift tried to dismiss Mihos and another board member, Jordan Levy, in 2001.

Swift fired Mihos and Levy for their votes to postpone a planned toll hike, saying that the votes were "fiscally irresponsible" and damaged the turnpike's financial stability.

The two men were both reinstated by the Supreme Judicial Court, which ruled that Swift did not have the authority to fire the men. Mihos sued Swift in U.S. District Court, claiming she violated his free speech rights.

Cheryl Cronin, Swift's attorney, said that the state would pay Mihos $197,500 under the terms of the settlement, and that neither party admitted any wrongdoing. Swift was protected from damages because she was a former state official.

Swift, in a statement, said she "always believed that this suit was without merit."

"The decision to terminate Christy Mihos was based on my desire to protect the commonwealth's finances. This settlement is also based on my desire to spare the commonwealth any additional legal or other costs related to this case," Swift said.

Mihos' term on the board expired last year. Jordan Levy remains on the board as vice chairman.

Mihos said he settled to put the episode in the past.

"It was time to be done with it and go on to other things in life," said Mihos, who is now in the real estate business on Cape Cod.

The settlement money doesn't come close to making up for his legal fees, he said, but the real victors are the state's taxpayers.

"All of (Swift's) legal fees were paid for by the taxpayers of the state," he said. "A long protracted legal battle would have just been more taxpayer funds and tollpayer funds, and the taxpayers have paid enough."

Shortly before Swift left office in December 2003, she signed legislation that shielded public officials -- known as indemnification -- from personal liability resulting from intentional violations of civil rights, which Mihos alleged in his lawsuit.

Cronin said Swift, as a former state employee, would have been indemnified under state law that existed prior to Swift signing that legislation, which was attached to unrelated legislation and approved during an informal session.

Cronin said that the terms of the settlement had been agreed upon and discussed in court, and that the agreement still needed to be finalized and filed with the judge.

Corey Welford, a spokesman for Attorney General Tom Reilly, confirmed that a settlement had been reached, but declined to discuss details.

The Swift-Mihos saga overshadowed the current administration as well. After Romney asked for the resignation of Turnpike Chairman Matthew Amorello over Big Dig leaks and Amorello refused to step down, Romney asked for an opinion from the SJC about whether he had the power to remove Amorello.

The court declined to weigh in last month, and Romney dropped his efforts to fire Amorello outright, saying in a veiled reference to the Swift-Mihos court battle that he wanted to avoid "protracted litigation."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Re: Lobbyist Larkin Pimps Pittsfield Politics

Dear Berkshire Bloggers:

On Friday evening, July 22, 2005, from 5:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M., former-State Representative and current Lobbyist Peter J. Larkin will hold a fundraiser for State Representative Christopher N. Speranzo at his Pittsfield residence on Onota Lake. Larkin is holding a gathering for the Pittsfield City Democratic Committee at his private residence.

Yet, Several prominent North Adams politicians are listed on the dais, including Mayor John Barrett III and State Representative Daniel E. Bosley. Larkin’s event also lists the entire Berkshire Legislative Delegation, including State Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., State Representatives William “Slimy” Pignatelli and Denis E. Guyer, as well as the ultimate machine politician with no moral principles, none other than the ever intimidating and powerful Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr.

Some questions citizens of Pittsfield and elsewhere should be asking include, but are not limited to:

Should a lobbyist representing big business interests be pimping Pittsfield politics?

Should State Representative Chris Speranzo be in the pocket of such a lobbyist?

Should Mayor Ruberto not only be holding his own high-ticket fundraisers that no average Pittsfield citizen could possibly afford to attend, but also be stumping for Larkin’s lobbying influence? What is Mayor Ruberto’s intent by excluding so many of his constituents? Who are Mayor Ruberto’s real constituents? (The rich and elite).

Does Mayor Ruberto care about Pittsfield, or does he really care about the high-powered political machine and influence peddlers? (Ruberto denies machine politics, but all evidence is to the contrary).

What business does Mayor Barrett have in Pittsfield politics? Why is Mayor Barrett so involved in Pittsfield politics?

Is there a blacklist for people like me? (I know I could not find a job for the life of me in the Pittsfield and North Adams region when I lived there).

Is there a cherry list for those like Speranzo who will put themselves in the pocket of special interests?

Why don’t these events occur at the Library, City Hall, a Public Park, BCC, etc.? Is the intent not to include the people?

Why is Larkin such a big wheel in Pittsfield Politics after he left his elected office for the private sector?


Jonathan A. Melle
~Former lifelong resident of Berkshire County~

Cc: Massachusetts State “Ethics” Commission

July 23, 2005 – Dem State Committee Meeting. When: 2:00 pm. Where: Bousquet Ski Resort Meeting Room, 101 Dan Fox Drive, Pittsfield, MA 01201 Note from DSC member Sara Hathaway: We are excited that the Berkshires will be hosting the quarterly meeting of the Democratic State Committee on Saturday, July 23 at Bousquet Ski Area in Pittsfield This is the first time in recent memory that the Democratic Party has chosen the Berkshires for a meeting, and we are turning on the hospitality and fun! The day will begin with a barbecue at noon, to which we are inviting Democrats from throughout western Massachusetts and the Commonwealth. You are welcome to stay and observe the DSC meeting itself, which will take place at 2 p.m. We anticipate that candidates for office and representatives of statewide campaigns will be present, and that the event will generate some good media attention and momentum for Democratic activities as we gear up for the 2006 elections.

Monday, July 18, 2005 9:17:00 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Berkshire Bloggers:

Denis Guyer continues to bad mouth me to people. I am very upset with this mean-spirited state Representative from Dalton, Massachusetts -- married to the Crane family and feeling the Crane & Co.'s entrenched power in the Pittsfield area.

Rep. Denis Guyer is falsely accusing me of serious crimes. He is telling people that I stalked a Jewish woman from Otis. This is a lie! I have never hurt anyone in my life. I have no arrest record and I have never once been arrested for any criminal transgression. Whatever Denis Guyer is possibly referring to, it is very hurtful to me that he would place his hate and abuse of power against me and hurt people for his own personal gain.

I love my fellow neighbors, communities and all of humankind. I would not harm anyone. I respect women, and I want to see every person live a happy and healthy life. I also believe in turning the other cheek, and I forgive Denis Guyer for spreading this unfair and untrue rumor about me. I do not, however, forgive Denis Guyer for his anti-semitic insinuations. I respect all life, and I believe Jewish people have just as many human rights as any other group of peoples. I love all of God's beautiful children!

I do not appreciate Denis Guyer telling people that I belong in a psychiatric institution. Denis Guyer is a slanderous and mean-spirited man. My message for Denis Guyer and people who go to his lowly depths is that there is a due process of law. If I belong behind bars or in a psychiatric institution, please use the law to put me there. Instead, Denis Guyer chooses to violate the law and slander me. Denis Guyer should be very ashamed of himself right now!


Jonathan A. Melle

Friday, July 29, 2005 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear People, News Media, Politicians,

It is my conclusion after reading Attorney General Tom Reilly's Op-Ed piece, below, that he is allowing this petition to ban future same sex marriages so that he will gain Independent and Swing votes in the 2006 Massachusetts gubernatorial election. Reilly relies on bureaucratic and technical interpretations of the law to gain political ground for his run for Governor. What a sham!

-Jonathan A. Melle
~Former lifelong resident of Berkshire County, Massachusetts~


The law was clear

By Thomas F. Reilly

Saturday, September 10

AS ATTORNEY General, one of my most important duties is my role in the initiative petition process. Every two years, citizens propose binding laws and constitutional amendments for approval by the voters on the statewide ballot. My job is to review all petitions filed to determine whether they meet certain constitutional requirements — in particular, whether a petition addresses any subjects that the Constitution excludes from the initiative process. If a petition meets the constitutional requirements, I certify it to move forward and prepare a summary of the question to appear on the actual petitions proponents will use to gather signatures and, later, on the ballot. This is a purely legal process. My own personal beliefs on the issues raised by the proposed questions play no role in my decisions.
Certification of a petition does not mean I endorse the policy it proposes.
It simply means that the question meets the standards set forth in Article 48 of the Constitution. That's what the Constitution calls on me to do. And for seven years now as attorney general, that's what I've done.
With each new set of petitions controversy is inevitable. The certification process serves as a preview of sorts of how the questions will play out before the voters. Strong opinions are voiced from proponents and opponents alike.
We do make it a practice to reach out to interested parties to provide us any legal reasons why I, as attorney general, should or should not certify the measure. But political arguments have no place in the process.
This year, there was an extraordinary amount of attention concerning what I would do with the proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage. In the end, after weighing legal arguments from all sides — and despite my personal opposition to any amendment banning gay marriage — I certified the measure to move on toward the ballot. Here's why.
Advocates of same-sex marriage raised two main objections. First, they argued that the petition is the same as a previous initiative petition filed in 2001 for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and thus barred by the part of Article 48 that prohibits petitions "substantially the same as any measure which has been qualified for submission or submitted to the people at either of the two preceding biennial state elections." But the 2001 petition never went before the people, nor did it ever meet the legal requirements (approval by 25 percent of two successive Legislatures), to go on the ballot. Therefore, that argument is not sufficient to bar certification.
Amendment opponents also argued the proposed amendment reverses the Supreme Judicial Court's Goodridge decision and therefore is barred by Article 48's provision excluding petitions relating to the "reversal of a judicial decision." But the SJC has clearly ruled that the phrase "reversal of a judicial decision" was used in a very special and limited sense, to refer to proposals relating to the "recall of judicial decisions." That notion of "recall of judicial decisions," first proposed in 1912 by Theodore Roosevelt but widely rejected by 1918, would have allowed voters to directly reject a court's ruling that a state law was unconstitutional and to put that law back into effect.
That is very different from amending the Constitution. Amending the Constitution does not require the people to say that a court's decision was wrong and should be ignored. Instead, it changes the rules to be applied by the court in future cases.
 During the Constitutional Convention of 1917-18, the drafters of Article 48 clearly meant to prohibit the "recall of judicial decisions." But the Convention debates from that time show that they just as clearly meant to allow initiative petitions to amend the Constitution in response to a court decision finding a law unconstitutional. John W. Cummings, the chairman of the 1917-18 Convention's Committee on initiatives who actually proposed the language on the "recall of judicial decisions," himself made it clear that he favored giving the people the power to use the initiative process to change the Constitution or law underlying a court decision. The SJC has agreed with this reading of the debates and the Constitution in similar cases my office has defended as recently as 2000 and 2002.
My attorneys' thorough review of constitutional law and this legislative history provide an unquestionable legal basis to certify this question for the ballot. In this instance, the law is very clear. The right of the people to amend the Constitution going forward is preserved. In the end, it wasn't a close call. To do anything else would have been a violation of my responsibilities as attorney general, my oath of office, and the Constitution.

Saturday, September 10, 2005 9:35:00 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Re: Denis Guyer married into wealth!

Dear Berkshire Bloggers:

Re: “Guyer throws support to Patrick for governor” (The Berkshire Eagle, Thursday, November 17, 2005): Democratic State Representative Denis Guyer (Dalton, Mass.) attributes Deval Patrick’s achievements and merit for high political office to his strong work ethic from a humble background. It is ironic that Guyer would cite Patrick’s social mobility from poverty to wealth when Guyer’s meal ticket to success was marrying into the Crane family of Crane & Company. Let’s face it, without marrying up, Guyer would not be where he is today, making a comfortable salary as a procurement manager for Crane & Company while also serving in the state Legislature with a majority of his campaign money coming from members of the Crane family.

Denis Guyer has taken cheap shot after cheap shot against me. I thought he would like a taste of his own bullying medicine! Denis Guyer has no decency. When I watched the recent movie about Joe McCarthy’s evils in the early 1950’s with my dad and brother, I thought of two men with no decency: State Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr. (D-Pittsfield, Mass.) and Denis E. Guyer! After the great movie, I told my dad how Nuciforo’s persecution of us in the Autumn of 1997 through the Spring of 1998 reminded me of Joe McCarthy’s indecent persecution of so many good people. My dad told me to put it all behind me. My dad told me that we are now safe from Nuciforo’s insidious underhandedness now that we live in southern New Hampshire. Then, I also thought to myself about the summer day I sat at a Guyer campaign event at a good person’s home in 2004, and how Denis Guyer started to explicitly sexually harass me in front of women and children. I thought of Guyer as having absolutely no decency to talk the way he did to me, especially in front of women and children.

In conclusion, Denis Guyer married into wealth and that is the sole reason why he is where he is today. Without marrying into the Crane family of Crane & Company, Denis Guyer would probably be sitting in a blue-collar bar room disgruntled about all of the disadvantages in his life. Moreover, Denis Guyer is a mean-spirited power broker much like Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., and he very much wants people to fear him, to submit to his harassment, and to be seen as something he is certainly not, an achieved individual. Denis Guyer is an opportunist with no decency!

I will never fear anyone. I will always speak my good conscience as long as I live. Denis Guyer and Andrea Nuciforo can be as terrible as Joe McCarthy was, but they will always hear from at least one good man: JONATHAN A. MELLE!


Jonathan A. Melle

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Re: End the Legacy of Denis Guyer's political career now!

Dear Berkshire Bloggers,

I am writing to ask that we reflect on just who Denis E. Guyer is and what he has done in his tenure in municipal and state government politics. DENIS GUYER is a VICIOUS and MEAN-SPIRITED MAN!

Who is Denis Guyer? The answer is simply that he is a GOLD DIGGER! Why? Because Denis Guyer sought out ALLISON CRANE for her money, status and connections. I don't believe for one minute that a VICIOUS and MEAN-SPIRITED man like Denis Guyer married for love. I do believe that he married for wealth, power and political gain.

2-years-ago, Denis Guyer initially challenged Shaun Kelly for State Representative. On what grounds did Guyer criticize Kelly? For one was the issue of the many pay raises that Legislature voted themselves at the same time of declining state financial resources to town governments such as his hometown of Dalton. Even before taking the oath of office in December of 2004, Denis Guyer then stated that he would accept a large pay raise upon assuming political office the following month. WHAT A HYPOCRITE!

Denis Guyer SEXUALLY HARASSED me in front of women and children in the Summer of 2004. The language, including the word "Pussy", and accusations he used against me in front of women and children showed me that DENIS GUYER has no decency!

Look at the man: (1) GOLD-DIGGER!, (2) HYPOCRITE!, (3) POLITICAL OPPORTUNIST!... Moreover, Denis Guyer has slandered me to the whole Pittsfield area and did not back up his incriminating allegations against me with the police, courts and/or psychiatric institutions. I have addressed Denis Guyer's VICIOUS and MEAN-SPIRITED behaviors against me in many past email letters, but Denis Guyer only sits in silence after his outspoken desecration of my character to the many good people of my native hometown and surrounding area.

DENIS GUYER is like another JOHN ASHCROFT, JOSEPH McCARTHY, CARMEN MASSIMIANO, Jr., ANDREA F. NUCIFORO, Jr., and the like. DENIS GUYER HAS NO DECENCY. The LEGACY of DENIS GUYER is one of FASCISM, VICIOUSNESS, MEAN-SPIRTED-ness, MACHINE POLITICS, the Inciting of Violence, the Slandering of good people's Character, Gold-Digging, HYPOCRISY, and Political Opportunism!


Jonathan A. Melle

Thursday, March 09, 2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Denis E. Guyer & Berkshire Bloggers:

Re: "Guyer slams Romney on law" (The Berkshire Eagle Online, 4/13/06): All I can say is that Denis Guyer is a mean-spirited and vicious man for spreading such hurtful, violent, sexually harassing, discriminating, and malicious rumors against so many different people/victims, including Guyer's numerous slanderous remarks in front of women and children against myself whereby Denis E. Guyer used sexually explicit language to humiliate me on several different occassions both in and not in my presence, all which took place in front of women and children. Anyone who behaves in such an abusive manner with such complete disregard for decency in front of minors and women as Denis Guyer evidentially did should be asked to resign from public office and prosecuted for his harassment and bullying against the victims of his slander to the fullest extent of the law!

For Denis Guyer to slam Governor Romney on the newly signed healthcare insurance law for his fiscally conservative vetoes, but then to have also gotten away with going around the Pittsfield area and breaking the law with his SLANDER and harassment, shows me that Denis E. Guyer has NO character whatsoever. If Denis Guyer wants a fair and just system of healthcare laws for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' disadvantaged citizens then I suggest that Denis Guyer STOP his abuse against people he doesn't like, including myself. Moreover, Denis Guyer never once owned up to his vicious and mean-spirited behavior against me or any other person he has bullied. I ask that Denis Guyer stop playing hardball politics and become a human being by owning up to his disgraceful behavior and issue an apology to all of the people he has victimized.

STOP BEING SUCH A TORMENTER, DENIS GUYER!!!! YOU HAVE VICTIMIZED THE WRONG MAN and people. I will always speak my good conscience as long as I live, and I will stop bullies like you until the day I die. I have one perspective against INTIMIDATING people like you, Denis Guyer, and that is I, like those great Americans who have founded our great American Republic in 1776, will be given LIBERTY or be given death. I WILL STOP YOU, Denis Guyer, with every legal and legitimate way I am able to use, and with every day that goes by, every year that you continue to vicitimize people, and with every breath that passes through my lungs, so long as there is a free country called the USA that opposes such oppressors such as yourself: Denis Guyer! VOTE OUT DENIS GUYER!

Jonathan A. Melle

P.S. Let us not forget about opportunism, Smitty Pignatelli. After all, your first vote as a State Representative in January of 2003 was to vote for the now infamous Tom Finneran for Speaker!

--Berkshire County needs to both vote for new State House Delegates with humanity, integrity and fairness and oppose the current group of deficient state Representatives in Boston!--

Guyer slams Romney on law

By Rebecca Fater, Eagle Boston Bureau

Thursday, April 13, 2006

BOSTON — For all the fanfare that accompanied Gov. Mitt Romney's signing of the state's health care reform bill at Faneuil Hall yesterday, one may have thought the governor was single-handedly responsible for the new law.

Democrats, however, were quick to remind him the so-called landmark reform was a bipartisan effort, promising yesterday to override his late-breaking veto of the bill's $295 employer assessment.

"I'm extremely annoyed," said Rep. Denis Guyer, D-Dalton. "(After touting the bill's passage, Romney) turns around and makes vetoes that would gut a majority of the bill. I think he's way off base."

Romney, whose eyes are set on the presidential nomination in 2008, has been touting Massachusetts as the first state to attempt universal health care since the Legislature passed the bill last week.

Romney launched the reform effort last spring, when he filed a bill calling for universal health care. But his plan proposed draining the uncompensated care pool to pay for the reform — a detail discarded by the Senate and House in the final bill.

Last week, Romney said he planned to study the approved bill for areas he may veto, but he did not outright object to the assessment: $295 per employee to be paid by employers who do not offer health insurance to their workers. Lawmakers have estimated the provision would raise about $45 million in revenue to pay for the plan.

The governor did not propose a plan yesterday to make up that revenue loss.

"He's playing the party game," said Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, adding that he was not personally offended by yesterday's drama.

Pignatelli said dental coverage for Medicaid recipients is crucial. He also supports the employer assessment, because "we all have to participate in the solving of the health care issue."

"He's going to run for president. To draw the battle lines now after the fact is unfortunate, but he's an opportunist," he added.

Romney, who has lost many legislative battles in a mostly-Democratic Legislature since becoming governor in 2002, would never have been able to include health care reform on his resume if the Legislature wasn't behind him.

"Unfortunately, when we do the unsexy overriding of the veto, it's not going to be national news," Guyer said.

Thursday, April 13, 2006 1:27:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Berkshire Eagle & Berkshire Bloggers,

Denis Guyer's maiden speech for 100% reimbursement funding for regional school district's transportation costs is a good point of equity by the state for the benefit of the municipalities and their regional districts. HOWEVER, Denis Guyer has been very mean-spirited and vicious as a politician by slandering and discriminating against people, and I believe he is championing this issue for the primary reason of him being re-elected to a second term as State Representative this year.

I can say with 100% certainty that Denis E. Guyer is the meanest and most vicious man whom I have ever met in my entire life!


Tuesday, April 18, 2006 4:15:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Berkshire Bloggers,

RE: "Berkshire Discussion on Spying: Olver, ACLU Host Forum" (The Berkshire Eagle, June 2nd, 2006): I am in 100% agreement with United States Congressman John W. Olver and the ACLU that the Bush II Administration has discarded the central tenets of the U.S. Constitution by violating the double jeopardy clause in the Bill of Rights by re-opening adjudicated cases against American Citizens involved with suspected Muslim enemies. The Bush II Administration has also fully supported the Patriot Act, including the government secretly spying on "suspicious" American Citizens, thereby tapping into their telephone conversations, emails, library logs, among other personal information without any sort of notification.

The Eagle's news article states that there is "...growing public concern of unwarranted government wiretapping, as well as alleged federal practices involving kidnapping, rendition and the maintenance of secret prison and torture tactics...". And that, "It has only been a few weeks since Congress voted to extend and reauthorize many controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act."

The problem I have with the Eagles' news article is not with Congressman John Olver or the ACLU, but with the hypocrisy of state Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo II's support for civil liberties after what he did to both my father and I, respectively, in the Spring of 1998. As I have stated many times before, and will state many times again: Nuciforo standing for civil liberties is a JOKE!

Once again, this is the true story of how Nuciforo has tried to take away my civil liberties! In the Spring of 1998, state Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo II made secret plans with the Pittsfield Police Department to have me arrested if I stopped by his district office. Nuciforo did so without either the Pittsfield Police Department or himself informing myself and/or my family. Nuciforo illegally told the Pittsfield Police Department that I was threatening him, which was a lie. Moreover, Nuciforo failed to apprise the Pittsfield Police Department that he was the one who threatened me on two occassions prior to his false allegations to the Pittsfield Police Department; with a mean look and long stare in the Summer of 1997 at Judge Spina's promotion ceremony reception; and again in the Fall of 1997 at the North Adams Fall Foliage Parade when Nuciforo broke his parade route to get in my face to intimidate me with his then-Aide Sara Hathaway at his side. Nuciforo's real goal was to have had me put in the Berkshire County Jail whereby Sheriff Carmen Massimiano II would have seen to it that his Jailer staff would have tortured me! The City of Pittsfield & the Berkshire County Jail should thank their lucky stars that they did not go through with Nuciforo & Sheriff Massimiano's insidious plans to have me arrested, jailed & tortured. Furthermore, during the Spring of 1998, Nuciforo, again unsuccessfully, tried to get my father fired from his long-standing state job in the Courts through a Kafkaesque Ethics Commission Complaint in Boston.

Now, the Eagle reports that "On May 5th, 2006, the Massachusetts Senate adopted a resolution reaffirming the civil rights and liberties of its constituents. Sen. Andrea Nuciforo, D-Pittsfield, was listed as the lead sponsor of the resolution." The Eagle continues by quoting Nuciforo, who said the state Senate resolution, "puts Massachusetts on record as questioning some of the most offensive provisions of the Patriot Act."

In conclusion, I am pleased with the good work that Congressman John Olver & the ACLU are doing by addressing the aforementioned ILLEGAL policies of the Bush II Administration. However, I am appalled that, after I have apprised The Berkshire Eagle many times before about Nuciforo's attempt to Jail me after he threatened me on two previous occassions, this third-rate newspaper that gives news journalism a bad name would state in print that Nuciforo is a sincere coordinator and leader for civil liberties. My true story proves both the Eagle and Nuciforo to be WRONG! AND I will always speak my good conscience as long as I live!


Jonathan A. Melle

Friday, June 02, 2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Pittsfield, Massachusetts

College adds 3 trustees
Possible conflict for Senate hopeful

By Tony Dobrowolski, Berkshire Eagle Staff

The Berkshire Eagle

Friday, June 02, 2006

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Community College has added three members to its board of trustees over the past year, but one of the newcomers may have to resign depending on the outcome of the November elections.

Matthew W. Kinnaman of Lee, the Republican Party candidate for the state Senate seat being vacated by Pittsfield Democrat Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., said recently that he might have to leave the board if he is elected in November.

"There's nothing that I know of that says I have to do one or the other," Kinnaman said, when asked if he would have to resign if elected. "I will submit it to the (state) ethics committee if there's any question at all.

"I'm excited to be running, and I'm excited to be a trustee," said Kinnaman, whom Gov. Mitt Romney appointed to BCC's 11-member board for a five-year term in May 2005. "So at the end of the day, I'll do what is best to keep the college moving forward and make sure the district is well represented in Boston."

'I'll do what is best'

The 45-year-old Kinnaman, the chairman of the Berkshire County Republican Association, announced his candidacy April 18. The headmaster of Berkshire Christian School in Lenox, Kinnaman has never held elective office. He ran against incumbent U.S. Rep. John W. Olver in 2002 and received 32 percent of the vote.

BCC's two other newest board members, both appointed in October 2005, also have political connections. Peter J. Larkin, a Democrat, represented Pittsfield in the Statehouse for several years, while Peter Abair headed the state Department of Economic Development under both Romney and acting Gov. Jane M. Swift.

Larkin, who replaced Ruth Blodgett, and Abair, who succeeded Diana Brooks, also were appointed to serve five-year terms. Kinnaman replaced Doris Orellana.

The 40-year-old Abair is a Pittsfield native and Pittsfield High School graduate who lives in the Boston area. A 1982 graduate of Boston University, he was director of the Western Massachusetts governor's office in Springfield under former Govs. William Weld and A. Paul Cellucci between 1997 and 1999. He also served as the state's associate director of Housing and Community Development between 1999 and 2002. He is the principal partner in a private consulting start-up firm, the Berkshire Atlantic Group, which is based in Boston.

'More of the statewide pie'

Abair said he was interested in becoming a trustee because he understands the role of the state's community college system in preparing the state's work force to become competitive in the global economy.

With several of BCC's facilities in need of repair, he said he would like to see the college receive a greater share of state money slated for capital expenditures.

"I know some community colleges do receive more capital expenditures than BCC does, and I wonder why BCC can't get more of the statewide pie," Abair said. "North Shore Community College in Danvers has the Taj Mahal of student centers. We need those types of investments at BCC.

"Because I've seen the system more than some folks, I think I can lend credence to BCC's argument that we need more of a slice of the pie," he said.

Kinnaman, a native of Connecticut who moved to California as a youngster, graduated from the University of Rhode Island, where he received both bachelor and master's degrees in political science.

He moved to Berkshire County from Rhode Island and has lived in Lee since 1991.

Source of higher education

As a member of BCC's board of trustees, Kinnaman said he is interested in having the school serve as a source of higher education for all of the adults in the Berkshires.

"We want students leaving high school to see BCC as one of the entry points as workers and as the doorway to a four-year college," Kinnaman said. "We want higher education to be available to as many people as possible."

Larkin, who resigned from the state Legislature in early 2005, is director of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council in Cambridge and a member of the Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative's steering committee.

He took out nomination papers for Nuciforo's Senate seat but later withdrew.

Larkin did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Friday, June 02, 2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Del Gallo accused of hitting dad

By Nicole Sequino, Berkshire Eagle Staff

The Berkshire Eagle

Friday, July 14, 2006

PITTSFIELD — Rinaldo Del Gallo III, an attorney, fathers' rights advocate and candidate for Governor's Council 8th District, was arrested yesterday for allegedly shoving his 76-year-old father during an argument about mail.

Del Gallo, 43, also is accused of threatening his 70-year-old mother after she called Pittsfield Police for help, and of threatening his father for talking with police.

Del Gallo was arraigned yesterday in Central Berkshire District Court. Judge Alfred A. Barbalunga entered not-guilty pleas for the defendant on one count of assault and battery and two counts of intimidation of a witness.

Assistant District Attorney Kelly Mulcahy Kemp asked the judge to release Del Gallo on personal recognizance on the condition that he refrain from abusing his parents. Barbalunga also ordered Del Gallo to abide by his mother's restraining order and stay away from his parents' home in Pittsfield, where he has lived for six years.

In her statement to police, Del Gallo's mother said that she sought the restraining order because her son's outbursts were getting worse and that she feared for the safety of her and her husband, who has the beginning signs of Alzheimer's disease.

"My son gets very angry and physical," she stated. "He gets very controlling, and last week he even pushed me with his hands. ... I am afraid of my son. I know that now the police have been involved that he will be furious, and he has been physically violent and verbally abusive to my husband and I in the past."

Yesterday, police arrived at the family's house in Pittsfield shortly after noon after Del Gallo's mother reported that her son was pushing her husband around.

In his one-page report, Sgt. Matthew Hill described Del Gallo as being "very irate and cursing repeatedly" when police entered the house.

Del Gallo's mother explained what happened to police. She said that her husband had asked her son to stop using their kitchen table as a "filing cabinet" for his mail. She said this escalated into an argument, and that her son shoved her husband on the floor.

Officer Jennifer Jayko took Del Gallo's mother into a separate room, while Hill and Officer Robert Najimy spoke with Del Gallo and his father in the kitchen.

Hill reported that Del Gallo said he had "nothing to say" and then allegedly warned his father not to speak with the officers. Hill and Najimy escorted Del Gallo's father outside into the garage and left Del Gallo in the kitchen.

Del Gallo's father attempted to demonstrate on Najimy how his son had pushed him in the chest and shoulder, but he pulled back. He explained that "he didn't want his son to get into trouble and that he was very upset with his wife for calling the police," according to Hill's report. He also insisted that he wasn't injured during the altercation.

Police explained abuse-prevention laws and the restraining order process to Del Gallo's father. They then arrested Del Gallo and escorted him out the house; he reportedly yelled at and taunted his father.

Witness intimidation carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison, or 2 1/2 years in jail or a $5,000 fine. Assault and battery carries a maximum sentence of 2 1/2 years in jail or a $1,000 fine.

Del Gallo will appear in court for a pretrial hearing on Sept. 12 at 1 p.m., and for a restraining order hearing on Oct. 13 at 10 a.m.

Del Gallo, a self-employed attorney, told the judge that he had limited financial resources and could not afford a private attorney. Barbalunga appointed Pittsfield attorney John A. Bernardo as his counsel. Bernardo later declined to comment on the case.

Del Gallo is running for the Governor's Council, which oversees judicial nominations, and a spokesman for the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition, a fathers' rights group dedicated to pursuing changes in state divorce and custody laws.

Friday, July 14, 2006 1:25:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Honorable State Representative Daniel E. Bosley:

Re: "Session closes; laws left behind: Higher education bill, others are unresolved" (The Berkshire Eagle, August 01st, 2006): You, Bosley, are a HYPOCRITE for your stances both in support of public gambling and against private gambling!
The news article states:

Gambling proponents were once again disappointed by Bosley's opposition to any bill that would legalize Las Vegas-style gambling in Massachusetts. The Senate approved a measure allowing 2,000 slot machines at each of the state's four racetracks, but it didn't get that far in the House.

Asked whether he thought slot machines would ever come to Massachusetts, Bosley said, "Not as long as I'm here, or as long as the speaker is here. It's just not going to happen."
Well, Bosley, these are the following reasons why you are a HYPOCRITE on gambling public policies:

# 1- The Massachusetts State Lottery Commission has had its most profitable fiscal year last fiscal year. Where did these profits come from? The ANSWER is that the Commonwealth's public gambling profits came from the poorest of her citizens! Bosley, you know as well as I know that public Lotteries are nothing more than regressive taxation or a poor tax! From your corrupt and corporate elite leadership, Bosley, Massachusetts is in the business of making its money off of the poor.

# 2- Gambling is either good public policy or it is not. Which one is it, Bosley? If gambling is no good to the Commonwealth then why do you only oppose private gambling? If you are only supporting the public lottery then you are supporting a MONOPOLY! What is the number one market condition that a monopoly creates: INEFFICIENCIES! Ergo, you, Bosley, are supporting inefficient state controlled gambling markets. How can you defend your position on this issue? The sorry answer is that you will pull out a Massachusetts State Lottery Commission propaganda report!

# 3- From reading all of your public policy statements on gambling, I have concluded that you are a bought and paid for, special interest Boston Pol! The Massachusetts State Lottery Commission has given you enough special interest campaign donations that you will support their inequitable system of regressive taxation against free market competition. Bosley, when you are, as in your sorry case, a corrupt Pol, you are no longer serving the people. Bosley, as a bureaucrat impostering as a Legislator, you should resign your Legislative seat and allow the government to be placed back into the hands of the people.

Lastly, Bosley, I AM AN AMERICAN CITIZEN with U.S. Constitutional Rights and Civil Liberties, and I WILL ALWAYS SPEAK MY GOOD CONSCIENCE FOR AS LONG AS I SHALL LIVE! Give me Liberty or Give me Death!

In truth,
Jonathan A. Melle
~Former resident of North Adams, Massachusetts~

Tuesday, August 01, 2006 2:53:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear BERKSHIRE BLOGGERS, Berkshire Eagle, Bill Everhart, Stan "the Traveling man" Rosenberg, Bob Trav., Mayor Ruberto, Mike O'Brien, Ken Ramsdell, Judi Loeb, Lew Markham, Joan Kaiser, Matt Kerwood, Mike Franco, Matt Barron, Alan Chartock, Dan Bosley, Matt Kinnaman, Richard Delmasto, North Adams Transcript, Jonathan Levine & the Pittsfield Gazette, Mary Carey, Joan Vennochi, Hiawatha Bray, Big Dave Vallette, Larry Kratka, "Smitty" Pignatelli, Jack Dew, Ned McGlynn, The Boston Globe, The Berkshire Record, The Springfield Republican, The Women's Times, The Advocate & Glenn Drohan, Jaime Cooney, Wanda Boeke, Astrid Hagenguth, Eddie Spence, Mike Castronova, Common Cause & Pam Wilmot, Glenn Heller, Pat Fennell, Bob F., Chuck Garivaltis, Lou Costi, Rinaldo Del Gallo III, Prez. Bush II, and Denis E. Guyer:

When my dad was the last Chair of the Berkshire County Commission, he and his local government colleagues explained to the local taxpayers that under the state of Massachusetts' plan, all assets and monies would be assumed by the state while all liabilities and debts would be assumed by the Towns. The state government, under the legislation passed by state Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo II and state Representative Dan Bosley in the Summer of 1998, placed everything under the operations of the state government expect for the Berkshire Regional Retirement System. Why did Nuciforo and Bosley exempt this system from state operations? The answer is that these types of institutions have UNFUNDED LIABILITIES! Following form to function, Nuciforo and Bosley have ultimately left the public debts of the Berkshire Regional Retirement System on the Towns or local taxpayers of Berkshire County.

From 1996 through this point in 2006, which is a good decade or 10-years, my dad and his local colleagues spoke out against the state operated "Big Dig." Even 10-years-ago, the state operated "Big Dig" was the most expensive, corrupt, pork barrel, and wasteful publics works project in the history of the U.S.A. While Nuciforo and Bosley were quick to point out the weaknesses of local governments, including County Governments, they did not do one goddamned thing in over a decade to reform the "Big Dig"! IN CONCLUSION, Nuciforo and Bosley are HYPOCRITES and IDIOTS for not only screwing the Towns of Berkshire County out of millions of dollars of local assets and public monies, but also they overlooked the real problem(s) in the Massachusetts state government -- most notably, the "Big Dig"!

So why was Berkshire County Government abolished? The answer is two-fold.

First, Middlesex County went bankrupt and the state Legislative leaders did not want to bail them out of their insolvency. Under the almighty Golden Dome, the Legislature found that it would be much more "efficient" to abolish Middlesex County Government and assume its operations under the apparatus of the state government. But, there are 14 Counties throughout Massachusetts, so what about the other 13. Because the Father of the Massachusetts Constitution, John Adams, never mentioned County Governments in this historic document, any law could be passed to change the existing laws pertaining to these regional entities from Colonial Times. So, through Parliamentary procedures, the state Legislature was able to pass a law to abolish entire systems of governments throughout the state. Now, I have to note that I have a problem with the Legislature seeing EFFICIENCY in taking over county governments because (a) the state assumed the assets and public monies while leaving the liabilities and debts to the municipalities, and (b) the state should have been much more concerned with the "Big Dig" and other more important state government operations, policies and programs before focusing on local and county governments.

The second reason why the state government abolished Berkshire County Government and many of the other Massachusetts County Governments was due to a patrician $80 Million Trust Fund deficient former-Governor by the name of William Floyd Weld, who now resides in multiple wealthy estates in the great state of New York. Bill Weld tried to radicalize the Republican Party, but his ambitious plans fell to the very politically different current U.S. President, George Walker Bush, who was then another Trust Fund Governor of the great state of Texas. Bill Weld stood for the economic values of the Republican Party, which are the Corporate Elite's Supply Side theories on redistributing wealth to the fortunate Trust Fund families so that their prosperity will trickle down to the have nots. However, Bill Weld stood for the social values of the Democratic Party. While Bill Weld viewed government as an agent of Corporate Power and Trust Fund Wealth, he espoused that government should take a hands off approach to social issues such as abortion, birth control, and homosexuality. In short, Bill Weld believed in a strong Wall between Church and State where the State protects the individuals rights to choose how to live their lives under their own personal discretion.

So how does this all go back to County Government? The answer is that it was Governor Weld's firm Corporate beliefs that guided him to the state taking over the diminished County Governments. The ultimate big business and big government argument for Corporate or Centralized Government takeovers of small business or local governments is: BUILD the ECONOMY of SCALE, Centralize resources, goods and services, wipe out economic waste or inefficiencies, downsize administrative and other non-essential personnel and associated operational costs, and thus create new efficiencies through the now larger economic scale of business or government. From this argument, GE's Jack Welch produced record earnings while wrecking the economies of old industrial mill cities like Pittsfield or Schenectady, Bank of America is now the largest financial institution in American History, but does not operate in rural areas such as Berkshire County, and our American Government is currently more Centralized in Power and Authority in Washington, D.C. and, to a much lesser extent, state capitals such as Boston than ever before in our the history of our great Nation-State. So Bill Weld used his Corporate prowess to put in to practice an economic theory to assume the operations of Middlesex County Government and then eventually Berkshire County Government -- as if all regions are going to be impacted the same way regardless of their differences.

To Dan Bosley's dismay, I have put a lot of thought in to the Governor and Legislature's abolition and takeover of Berkshire County Government. And to my delight, I say to Dan Bosley and the rest of the aristocracy on Beacon Hill: The state government is deficient in its public policy record, especially with the state operated "Big Dig", which is the most expensive, FATAL, and wasteful public works project in the history of the United States of America!

Lastly, I want the aristocracy under the almighty Golden Dome known as Beacon Hill's State House to know that I, Jonathan A. Melle, am an American Citizen with U.S. Constitutional Rights and Civil Liberties, and I, Jonathan A. Melle, will always speak my good conscience for as long as I, Jonathan A. Melle, shall live. GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!


Jonathan A. Melle

Friday, September 01, 2006 2:15:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear BERKSHIRE BLOGGERS, News Media, Politicians, & the People:

Chris Hodgkins is a big fat baby who is whining about machine politics instead of offering any real REFORMS to the corrupt political system of government on Beacon Hill's State House. "Wa wa wa, cry cry cry, whine, whine whine..." That is all that comes out of the Hodgkins campaign for Berkshire State Senator!

What is Hodgkins' political hack Ray Warner thinking by slamming Margie Ware? If we (the Hodgkins campaign) counter-attack the corrupt political machine that is supporting Margie Ware then the voters will be misled to think that we (the Hodgkins campaign) are attacking the corrupt political system. WRONG!

As a former-lifelong resident of Berkshire County, I have witnessed the moaning and groanings of Chris Hodgkins on a first-hand basis. Hodgkins never once stood for reforming the corrupt political machine and/or system. Hodgkins was a whiner as State Representative and he is a big complainer once again as a current candidate for Berkshire State Senator. Hodgkins was a do-nothing political gadfly who relished in the dirt and gossip that the current Dalton state Representative, Denis E. Guyer, has done so awfully well over the past several years. Like Guyer, Hodgkins is falsely telling voters that he stands for reform, but he actually only stands for putting himself above and beyond the reach of common citizens by offering real reforms to give the corrupt political system back the people as intended by the democratic ideals of our Founding Fathers.

The real problem Hodgkins faces is that the establishment has put the political machine behind Margie Ware. Nuciforo's former campaign henchman, Joe Engwer, and the all-powerful retiring Berkshire Registrar of Deeds, Mary O'Brien, have put themselves in full gears for a Ware primary victory. So now Hodgkins is in a bind. As Hodgkins lives in South County he won't get the Pittsfield majority vote. As the political machine is oiling the cogs of the Ware campaign, Hodgkins won't get the political support he needs. As Hodgkins lost ground in the State House of Representatives as a big baby whiner, he cannot run on a real public record of economic development and other noteworthy projects that could have made a difference for his former House district.

I see through the lies of Chris Hodgkins and I declare him the most perfidiously misleading candidate out of all of the Berkshire State Senate candidates in this year's race to replace the deficient and insidiously politically persecuting Berkshire State Senator, Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., who is the worst politician in the history of Berkshire County!

Please keep Chris Hodgkins from whining his way back into politics! See through his propaganda and LIES!


Jonathan A. Melle

The obvious pick is Hodgkins


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

To the Editor of THE EAGLE:

I can tell you this much about two of the five candidates who will vie in the Sept. 19 Democratic primary for state senator:

Chris Hodgkins: When he was a state representative he supported the Clean Elections Law, which the voters had approved but the state Democrats killed, and he opposed the repeal.

He regularly opposed the dictatorial actions of the House Speaker, Tom Finneran. He lost a committee chairmanship as a result while other state Democrats were being rewarded for sucking up to Finneran's rule.

He supported Robert Reich for governor while the state Democrats were backing another loser.

He voted in ways that any member of such organizations as Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, MassPirg, Greenpeace, the Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International would support.

He regularly topped the list on votes compiled by and supported by Citizens for Participation in Community Action (CPPAX).

He has been endorsed by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the United Educators of Pittsfield, the National Organization of Women, the Central Berkshire Labor Council, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Marge Ware: As chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen she set Williamstown off on a governmental pattern that rivaled the Bush administration for secrecy. Covered up were a three-year struggle with employees of the Department of Public Works, the firing of the union president and the onset of the health insurance scandal that sent David Leja to prison. Many selectmen meetings were held in executive session, most issues were settled on 3-2 votes, and curbs were placed on citizen comments in the allegedly open pre-meeting period.

Things got so bad that the League of Women Voters passed a resolution of concern over the secrecy, asking for more openness; league representatives and other persons appeared at a selectmen meeting to complain about the situation, and The North Adams Transcript used the Freedom of Information Act to pry out information it could not get from Town Hall.

Ware was nowhere on the Clean Elections Law and, along with the state Democratic organization, she did not support Reich, so, as usual, we have a Republican governor.

Take your choice. Is there any comparison?


Williamstown, Sept. 4, 2006

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 2:45:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Re: Denis GUYER: I know of your devious methods of your collective attacks against my good name in the Pittsfield area!
Re: Peter Marchetti's bad-mouthing of me at the September 8th, 2006 Berkshire Brigades Democratic Party Dinner hosting United States Senator John Forbes Kerry at the Crowne Plaza Hotel

Dear Denis E. GUYER, BERKSHIRE BLOGGERS, the News Media, Politicians, & the People:

Will Denis E. GUYER ever STOP?! The newest attack on me to the people of the Pittsfield area has come from one of his campaign workers: Peter Marchetti, who is related to me on my maternal side of my family through one of my 97-year-old grandmother's siblings. Like Tim Kiely, who was and continues to be GUYER's campaign manager, and who harbors very stong ill-will towards me, Peter Marchetti is doing GUYER's dirty work.

What did Peter Marchetti do? On September 8th, 2006, the Berkshire Brigades Democratic Party hosted a countywide community dinner hosting John Kerry. Peter Marchetti, who now serves as a Pittsfield City Councilor by ousting Pam Malumphy in the 2005 municipal elections, went around to the most prominent of community leaders, including the distinguished former Mayor, Remo Del Gallo, and told everyone (in the tradition of Denis E. Guyer and Tim Kiely) that I wanted to live with my grandmother at her Pittsfield area, but that she did not want me to live with her so I had to leave.

In of itself, one would ask, What is the big deal? My answer is that this is one of many, many, many attacks on me from the Denis E. GUYER political campaign, office and machine. Tim Kiely has harassed me at a 2004 GUYER campaign dinner by walking by me at my dinner table and tapping his hand twice against my chair. This was after Tim Kiely discriminated against me as my boss at a job I worked in Pittsfield from 2001 - 2002. Tim Kiely did not like me because I have an Italian last name and would use the racist word "Wop" against me. When I complained that he was discriminating and harassing me and others at my job, he retaliated against me through lies and blacklistings so my employment would get terminated and I would have difficulty finding employment. Tim Kiely told me that he married his then wife in Dalton because her parent's left her a trust fund and home where even the property taxes were paid through his then wife's trust fund. Tim Kiely told me that if his wife ever stops being his "Sugar Mommy" then all he is going to do is find another wealthy woman to marry. Tim Kiely fits into the mold of Denis E. GUYER's politics because he is nothing more than a GOLD-DIGGER like Denis E. GUYER, who married Allison Crane for her wealth, power and trust fund accounts!

Denis E. GUYER has a long history of attacking me, especially in front of women and children. Denis E. GUYER uses sexually inappropriate language and slandering incriminating accusations against me all in the presence of women and children. Denis E. GUYER has used the word "Pussy" in front of women and children to sexually harass me and make me feel uncomfortable in the presence of women and children, whom I respect and honor, unlike Denis E. GUYER. Moreover, Denis E. GUYER, at the July 23, 2005 Bousquet Berkshire Brigades Democratic Party event hosting statewide Democrat candidates told many people there that I belong in a psychiatric institution because the U.S. President, George W. Bush, ordered me a hearing one block from the White House the previous summer of 2004 for my Veterans Benefits based on my mental health Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army. Denis E. GUYER went on to slander me by saying that I "stalked" a Jewish woman from Otis and I don't deserve to be entitled to my Veterans Benefits. I am bothered by Denis E. GUYER's slander of me because I have never been arrested, charged, or convicted of any crime, including the false accusations he made against me, once again, in front of women and children, and, lastly, not in my personal presence.

So, I conclude that Peter Marchetti's bad-mouthing of me at the September 8th, 2006 Crowne Plaze Berkshire Bridade Democratic Party dinner hosting U.S. Senator John Forbes Kerry is a big deal because it is yet another attack against my good name by Denis E. GUYER & company in the Pittsfield area.

For the record, I lived with my grandmother from August 25, 2003 to April 6, 2004. My parent's moved to New Hampshire, where I soon followed to live with my family from April 7, 2004 to the current time and beyond, and I stayed behind because I liked living in the Berkshires and I wanted to help my elderly grandmother. About 2-months before I left my elderly grandmother's home, she had a diabetic blood sugar count of over 600. Normal blood sugar counts should be between 60 - 120. If a blood sugar count rises above 1,000 then a diabetic patient is endangered and the likelihood of death is imminent. My grandmother's doctor called and I answered the phone. They told me that my grandmother needed to go to Berkshire Medical Center for immediate treatment. My grandmother resisted my request that she get into my car so I can save her health and possibly her life. I called my maternal Aunt, whom I have been bitterly estranged from since 1996, who was visiting my other maternal Aunt in Lanesboro to come over my grandmother's home so I would have her help in getting her to cooperate with me to get her to the hospital. My estranged Aunt and I worked together to get my grandmother ready and I helped to put her in my Aunt's car so she could get the help she needed in lowering her rising blood sugar diabetic count. Needless to say that my then 94-year-old grandmother recovered from her diabetic illness and over 2-years later she is now a healthy 97-year-old happy and healthy senior citizen. Earlier this year, my grandmother sold her home in Pittsfield because she was too old to live alone there. My grandmother now lives with her son (and my Uncle) George Tremblay in the beautiful Ocean State of Rhode Island. God Bless her for living so long! I am proud to say that I helped my grandmother in her old age! I love my grandmother and want the best for her. I hope she makes it to 100 years and beyond!

Denis E. GUYER: You and your pack of henchmen can tell powerful Pittsfield politicians and community leaders that I am a bad man all the live long day. You and Tim Kiely and any of your other GOLD-DIGGER country club guy friends can kick me around and spit on my face, but there is one thing you will never be able to do to me, and that is to bring me down to your level of childish and immature behavior.

I, JONATHAN A. MELLE, AM A GOOD MAN! With the woman you referred to in your slandering of me, I went to the Massachusetts State Police to resolve the negative situation of domestic dispute and possible relationship violence. Needless to say that the woman you are referring to was married and living a productive life the last I have heard of her from her mother back in 2002. With the psychiatric institution remarks that you say I belong in, I disobeyed illegal orders as a Soldier in the U.S. Army in order to prevent tragedy and to save lives. When the current President of the United States of America sends me his regards and orders me a hearing so I may have my Veterans Benefits, I have far and above risen above your petty level of attacks. When my grandmother was ill with a 600 blood sugar diabetes count, I was there to help her to get medical care and she is still alive and well today.

I believe that democracy and the American tradition of living a good life means being a good man or a good woman! I believe that Denis E. GUYER is a GOLD-DIGGER and his country club guy friends are real political hacks who are following an agenda set forth my state Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., in May of 1996 and carried on my Denis E. GUYER since the Fall of 2003. I may not be married to a trust fund "Sugar Mommy" wife like you are, Denis E. GUYER, and I may be struggling to even survive. I may be considered a "loser" by your opportunistic standards, but there is one thing that I am not: and what I am not is someone like you, Denis E. GUYER. I believe in loving God and Country so much that I stand by my principles and take the time to write a response to you and your country club political cohorts so that the American People can know who was, is and always will be on their side: A good man by my good name: JONATHAN ALAN MELLE!

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle

Thursday, September 14, 2006 2:11:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Del Gallo drops out of WMass council race

Saturday, September 16, 2006

hangelo at repub dot com

NORTHAMPTON - Democratic Governor's Council District 8 candidate Rinaldo Del Gallo III announced yesterday he is dropping out of the race and endorsing Thomas T. Merrigan.

"The reason I'm dropping out is I know I can't win," Del Gallo said yesterday during a press conference outside the Hampshire County Probate and Family Court.

"I fully expect to be the difference between Tom Merrigan winning and losing."

Del Gallo said his arrest in July on charges of domestic assault and battery and intimidation of a witness following an altercation with his parents had "almost nothing to do" with his decision to drop out of the race. His case is scheduled for jury trial on Feb. 28, 2007, in Pittsfield District Court.

Del Gallo said he ran for the office primarily to call attention to the issue of shared parenting. He is a member of the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition.

His name will remain on Tuesday's ballot.

The race now pits incumbent Peter Vickery, a lawyer from Amherst, against Merrigan, a lawyer and former judge from Greenfield.

The district, one of eight, covers Berkshire County and all but small eastern portions of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties. Towns located in the seventh district rather than the eighth include Palmer, Ware, Monson, Belchertown and Orange.

Del Gallo said he always was an issues candidate. He said he initially ran because Vickery announced in January he was not running for a second term, but then Vickery changed his mind in April.

Both Vickery and Merrigan said they were sorry Del Gallo dropped and said he had brought up some important issues during the campaign.

Merrigan said he was both surprised Del Gallo dropped out and that Del Gallo endorsed him.

Saturday, September 16, 2006 1:09:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Re: In DISSENT against Frank Jakubowicz’s endorsement of Chris Hodgkins!

Dear BERKSHIRE BLOGGERS, News Media, Politicians, & the People:

Re: “Hodgkins is clear choice for Senate” (Letters to the Editor of The Berkshire Eagle, published on 9/17/2006): I am very, very, very disappointed in Frank Jakubowicz, whom I still fondly admire for his brilliant political columns and reform-minded platforms. The reason I am so disappointed in Jakubowicz is his letter, below, endorsing former-State Representative Chris Hodgkins for Berkshire State Senator.

Jakubowicz states that, “Chris has an outstanding legislative record…” that will give him the best advantages to representing the Berkshire County state Senate legislative district. The reasons for my strong dissent against Jakubowicz are as follows:

Reason # 1: In Hodgkins last term as state Representative, his voting record was at about 50%. Hodgkins was so immature about being marginalized by the terribly corrupt Speaker Finneran that he did not bother to even show up to Committee meetings or Roll Call votes!

My thoughts: Is this an “Outstanding Legislative Record”? The Answer is “No.”!

Reason # 2: Hodgkins is a WHINER! All the people hear from Chris Hodgkins is what new parents hear from their babies: “Wa wa wa, cry cry cry, whine, whine, whine”, but without receiving the satisfaction of providing comfort to the infant’s only method of calling for help in their times of distress. Instead of being constructive and providing results for the people, his district and the commonwealth, Chris Hodgkins only moans and groans about his saga and sorry legacy under the Golden Dome on Beacon Hill’s beautiful State House building.

My thoughts: Shouldn’t politics be about providing results, legislative achievements and notable projects one can point to with the pride of working with their communities in collaboration with state and national governmental and business leaders? The answer is “Yes.”! BUT, with Chris Hodgkins, all he has done is COMPLAIN instead of provide solutions to problems, results to communities, and legislation or note and reform!

Reason # 3: Hodgkins is scary! That is right: SCARY! When one participates in politics, you don’t want to cross paths with the bullying Hodgkins. In the Spring of 1997, my dad, who was a Berkshire County Commissioner, and I attended a meeting with Hodgkins and Nuciforo about the future of County or Regional Government for Berkshire County. I stood up in our free country and asked a question to the two power brokers (Hodgkins and Nuciforo) and Hodgkins did not like my assertiveness, participation and question so he looked at Nuciforo and said, “I’ll handle this.” Nuciforo replied to Hodgkins that he could handle me. With pride to this day, NO ONE CAN “HANDLE” ME when it comes to politics. I will always speak my good conscience for as long as I shall live! Anyway, Hodgkins loves to play dirty. He relishes in the dirt. Most people are averse to gossip and hurting others with rumors, but Chris Hodgkins gets a rise out of it. Hodgkins does not care whom he hurts as long as it gets him ahead.

My thoughts: We live in a free country. Everyone has the God given and Constitutionally protected RIGHT to participate in American government. People should NOT be retaliated against for speaking out. All of the news media plays dumb and says that they cannot understand why less than 20% of the people vote in a primary election, about 30% vote in a local or state election, and about 45% of the people vote in a Presidential or high profile and often contentious Presidential Election. The answer, my friends, is because of Pols like CHRIS HODGKINS, among many others of his negative ilk. I have made it my cause in life to ALWAYS SPEAK OUT in government. That is what I do! That is what I will do as long as air flows in and out of my lungs. Anyway, politics should be warm and inviting, not scary and intimidating.

IN CONCLUSION, I must dissent against Frank Jakubowicz’s letter of Endorsement of Chris Hodgkins because Hodgkins is (a) neglectful in his DEFICIENT legislative record, (b) all about himself and whines like an infant in distress when he is not the object of deference and praise, and (c) downright scary and intimidating when one participates in government and crosses his path on a public policy issue. Once again, I believe Chris Hodgkins is the worst choice for Berkshire State Senator out of any and all of his opposing candidates. Hodgkins is in politics for Hodgkins. Don’t be fooled by his self-interest, whining, and self-righteous negativity.


Jonathan A. Melle


Hodgkins is clear choice for Senate


Sunday, September 17, 2006

To the Editor of THE EAGLE:-

I have known Chris Hodgkins since he was a BCC student and helped me in my early political campaigns. Our friendship and mutual respect continued through our time together in the House of Representatives. Our joint service in the House allowed me to work closely with him to represent our legislative districts which comprised about two-thirds of Berkshire County.

Based on what I know about Chris, I am certain he will bring his indomitable spirit and sense of public service, honesty, intellect, as well as his political and legislative savvy to buck legislative leadership when necessary and to do everything possible in the Senate for the benefit and well being of Berkshire County.

Unlike the other candidates in the race, Chris has an outstanding legislative record and experience that will place him well ahead of any of the other candidates in this race in the 2007 Senate session when it comes to representing this senatorial district.

He is the best and clear choice for Pittsfield and Berkshire County voters.


Pittsfield, Sept. 12, 2006

The writer is a former Pittsfield city councilman, Berkshire County commissioner, and Pittsfield state representative.

Monday, September 18, 2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Thursday, 26 October, 2006

Re: I am very upset with Denis E. GUYER!

Dear Denis E. Guyer:

I am very upset with you. Some of the things you have said against me have caused me great distress and I am thinking about acquiring a criminal attorney and prosecuting you for your reprehensible slanderous rumors that you and your trivial political machine cohorts have spread against me in the Pittsfield area. I grew up in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and I hope that I may be seen by the Pittsfield residents as a good man, not what you have falsely portrayed me as. Denis E. GUYER: You have done the following to me: (a) you asked. in late July of 2004, me in front of women and children if I got some "Pussy" at the "Pussy Cat Parlor" when I was in the U.S. Army - Europe. CHILDREN, Denis E. Guyer! How could you ask me that question in front of children? Moreover, I view your question as sexual harassment and harassment; (b) at the July 23rd, 2005 Berkshire Brigades Bousquet Democratic Party gathering you went around telling women and children that I belong in a psychiatric institution and I should not receive my VA Benefits because I "stalked" a Jewish woman from Otis, Massachusetts, and that you hope I am denied my VA Benefits; (c) You had your political machine pawn named Peter Marchetti go around the Crowne Plaza gathering hosting U.S. Senator John F. Kerry telling all of the political establishment that my elderly grandmother did not want me to live with her anymore in her then Pittsfield home. DENIS: You have a demonstrable pattern of harassment against me. I ask that you stop harassing me while you are still ahead. If your harassment continues and/or escalate, I will make it my personal mission in life to expose your devious behavior against me and also place you where you belong in life: BEHIND BARS! Moreover, DENIS E. GUYER, please consider being a man and admit to the people, politicians and news media that you are harassing me and that you will try to stop your criminal behavior and maybe even have the courage enough to issue me and all of the people you have spread these slanderous rumors to about me an apology.

Denis E. Guyer, you are a mean-spirited son of a bitch and I hate you! You are an asshole and I hope that Karma gives you that which you have given me and possilby other victims of your criminal behavior and past!

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle

Thursday, November 02, 2006 4:36:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Kinnaman seeks to bridge divide

By Jack Dew, Berkshire Eagle Staff

Article Launched:11/01/2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Matthew W. Kinnaman has campaigned under the slogan "Do something different, or nothing will change."
As a candidate for the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin state Senate seat, Kinnaman is asking Berkshire County voters to do something they haven't done since 1994: elect a Republican.

As he has traveled the sprawling, 48-community district, Kinnaman said he has met voters who seem hung up on the "R-word."

"The partisan divide has become such a trademark of the whole political arena that we miss the solutions that we can get to together," Kinnaman said. "I hope that we can get beyond some of the labels and divisions that have fractured our politics nationally and fractured our politics locally."

Kinnaman, 46, of Lee is running against Democrat Benjamin Downing of Pittsfield and Green-Rainbow candidate Dion Robbins-Zust of Richmond for the seat being vacated by state Sen. Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., who is stepping down after 10 years in office.

Kinnaman has built his campaign around economic growth, with a stress on open markets. He supports rolling back the income tax from 5.3 percent to 5 percent, cutting unemployment insurance rates and ending state control of the auto insurance market.

A former chairman of the Berkshire County Republican Association, he has been open about his Republican pedigree. In 2003, he lost a congressional race to U.S. Rep. John W. Olver, D-Amherst, garnering 32 percent of the vote.

He is opposed to same-sex marriage and argues the question belongs on the ballot. In general, he has a high regard for ballot initiatives, he said, and believes "the will of the people" must be respected on Beacon Hill.

'Balance of power'

"The Legislature has to look at the balance of power and discipline itself accordingly. If the ballot doesn't have any meaning to the Legislature, then the Legislature has put itself in an untenable position," he said.

Kinnaman describes economic growth as the linchpin of the state's progress and suggests the state can help businesses large and small by easing their financial burdens and improving education to generate a more capable workforce.

"A growing economy is the only means to do what we need to do on a human level in the future," Kinnaman said. "Because otherwise, there just is not going to be enough money."

To that end, rolling back the income tax would pump $500 million into the economy, he said, and lead to long-term growth: "I favor more capital in the hands of workers, more disposable income in the hands of workers, as a means of economic growth."

He acknowledges that a lower income tax would lead to reduced state revenues, but says that would be a short-term problem; as the tax cut helps the economy grow, he reasons, the state's revenues will increase within two or three years.

In the meantime, he said, the state could use some of its $1 billion budget surplus and could cut unnecessary spending to weather the short-term shortfall.

Reducing unemployment insurance rates on small businesses would have a similar impact to that of the tax cut, Kinnaman argues. Right now, he said, Massachusetts pays the highest rates per employee in the country.
And if the state eliminates control of the auto insurance industry so large companies like Progressive and Geico return, it will create competition and drive premiums down, Kinnaman said, giving people more disposable income and reviving the economy.

If Kinnaman wins, he would be one of a half-dozen Republicans in the 34-member state Senate. Though in the minority, he said, he would represent diversity in the Democrat-dominated government and would still work with the Berkshire delegation to the House of Representatives on projects important to the region.

"The biggest key to influence in this situation is being able to build relationships and create the partnerships that lead to success," he said.

"This is about constituent services, advocating for the district, being accessible," he added. "Balance in the delegation is ultimately more healthy for our political activity locally."

Kinnaman describes himself as a "pro-life libertarian," but says revising abortion law is not "on my agenda."

"I have a pro-life conscience, and I am interested in dialog; I am interested in coming around to mutual understanding," he said. "I know there are not a lot of people who share that conscience with me, but I think we all have a regard for the dignity of human life, and we work these questions out in our own conscience."

In a series of debates, Kinnaman and Downing have focused mostly on policy, though Kinnaman has often pointed out that their personal lives are different. While Downing, 25, has been a congressional staffer and graduate student, Kinnaman has run a small business, been headmaster of the Berkshire Christian School in Lenox, and is on the board of trustees at Berkshire Community College.

"I think experience has relevance," Kinnaman said. "I've been married 21 years, I'm the father of two kids, and I've been making my way economically as a family the best I can."

Kinnaman said he has no interest in negative campaigning, and is pleased neither candidate has taken the low road. "It has no appeal, and I don't think the public has an appetite for it," he said.

"I have confidence that the economic ideas that I have will make the difference, and if they do, then everybody wins. That is where my focus is," he added.

» Matthew W. Kinnaman
Age: 46.
Residence: Mandalay Road, Lee, Massachusetts.

Political experience: Chairman, Berkshire County Republican Association, 2003 to 2006. Congressional candidate in 2002 against U.S. Rep. John W. Olver.

Education: University of Rhode Island, 1984, bachelor's in philosophy and political science; University of Rhode Island, 1990, master's in political science.

Last book read: "The Killer Angels," by Michael Shaara.

Monday, November 06, 2006 8:21:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Guyer wants to connect communities

By Jenn Smith, Berkshire Eagle Staff

Article Launched:11/01/2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

DALTON — Though he's had a rather brief political career, an election with Denis E. Guyer always seems to stand out.
His first run for public office was for the Dalton Select Board, which he won by only 43 votes.

Two years ago, in his first bid to be a state representative, Guyer, D-Dalton, won his seat by a wide margin of defeat over his Republican opponent, Richard S. Stockwell, allowing Democrats to reclaim the 2nd Berkshire District after a 14-year reign by former Republican Rep. Shaun P. Kelly.

This time around, the incumbent Guyer faces off with challenger Stefan G. Racz, I-Buckland, in the lone contested House race in the county.

"I've been doing pretty good," said Guyer. "I've been out there working hard, going to community events and working with people. I'm just letting people know I'd really like to be re-elected."

But to rally the residents of the district is to reach diverse populations and cover extensive ground.

Covering three counties — Berkshire, Franklin and Hampshire — and including 21 towns and Ward 1B of Pittsfield, the district has more communities than any other district in the state.

This district also has a particularly large number of unenrolled voters. According to current figures from the Office of the Secretary of State and the Pittsfield Registrar's Office, there are 26,828 registered voters in the district, 59.2 percent of whom are unenrolled.

"The thing about this district is that it's very (economically) diverse," said Guyer. He noted that each community has different needs, from agricultural development in Hancock to community preservation in Dalton to cultural support in Becket.

But, he added, the common need of all the communities is connectivity. He hopes to work toward developing funding strategies which would bring broadband Internet to the district's rural areas.

"It's not an easy venture, but if we can bring more connectivity to these smaller towns I think they will spur smaller businesses," he said.

Guyer said that while he's focused on the issues of economic stimulus, health care, which includes supporting a single-payer system, and the environment, it is education that takes priority.

"I'm talking education funding, education finance reform, coming up with more equitable funding formula. Regional transportation funding is a big thing for my small towns. I'm going to push what needs to happen," he said.

Guyer, a founding member of the Berkshire Compact for Higher Education, is not only a supporter but an example of supporting and funding lifelong learning.

Growing up in a single-parent home on April Lane in Pittsfield, he witnessed how that, even with free and reduced tuition programs, impoverished students still have to worry about things like living expenses and textbook fees. He felt then college wasn't an option.

After graduating from Pittsfield High School in 1984, he entered the Air Force with which he served for six years, including a two-year tour of duty in Europe. He was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant with a number of awards.

In 1992, he began working as a production worker at the Pioneer paper mill for Crane & Co. in Dalton. While there, he saw a flyer for Berkshire Community College and began taking courses. Eventually, he became a purchasing agent for Crane & Co.

He is currently five classes away from receiving a bachelor of arts degree from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams.

If re-elected, Guyer said he will continue to live in Dalton with his wife, Allison Crane-Guyer, and their 3-year-old son, Charlie, and maintain his office on Depot Street.

Between now and Nov. 7, he said his strategy is simple, "Work hard, stay true to your values and keep smiling."


Racz outlines ideas for state spending
Buckland Selectman runs for representative
By Kevin Moran, Berkshire Eagle Staff
Article Launched:11/02/2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

PITTSFIELD — Though not a household name in the Berkshires, Buckland Selectman Stefan G. Racz says the 21 towns in the 2nd Berkshire District are under the pressure of a common concern: State money.

In a bid to unseat state Rep. Denis Guyer, D-Dalton, to represent the sprawling district on Beacon Hill, the 56-year-old Racz (pronounced RAWKS) draws on his experiences on the Buckland Board of Selectmen, which, like boards elsewhere, struggles to fund school and municipal budgets.

The root problem? State spending priorities, he said.

At the local level, "You have to cut corners when it comes to road maintenance, school assessments and (school) busing, because you're not getting the state aid," he said in an interview at The Eagle. "It makes it hard to fund services in your community to make ends meet. And after seeing that for the last 4 or 4 1/2 years (as a selectman), you're like, 'Why (is the state) spending all this extra money ... for projects that we don't really need to do at this time that we could do later?' As a Legislature, we need to prioritize where we spend the money and why we spend the money."

While he said differs with Guyer on how to spend state money, Racz said he believes his opponent — whom he said has been "very respectful, very professional" in the campaign — and him "want the same things for Berkshire County."
Racz is critical of major state spending projects when it comes at the expense of state aid to cities and towns.

"I never would have voted yes for the $31 million Rose Kennedy Greenway, when that $31 million could be used for school assessments," he said, referencing the park project in Boston's Central Artery Project. "We could use that money somewhere else. Let's face facts: We need to have accountability from our people on Beacon Hill."

The money, he said, could be better used to fund schools, such as Mohawk Trail Regional School District, the largest geographical system in the state, especially regional school district transportation.

"We shouldn't have to seek a Proposition 2 1/2 override. As a selectman, I should be able to say, 'Do we have enough money to ensure that we meet that assessment without charging the taxpayers greater property taxes?' We need to ensure we can reduce property taxes."

Supports 2004's Question 4
On taxes, Racz supports the income tax rollback Massachusetts voters supported in Question 4 in the 2004 election. However, he maintains an annual graduated rollback from 5.3 percent to 5 percent is the way to do it. "My question to the Legislature is 'Why isn't the rule of the majority honored?' ... We need to honor what the voters put forth," he said.

Asked if the rollback would end up raising property taxes, Racz said, "My property taxes have gone up in the last four years without the rollback going into effect. We can roll back the state income tax on a gradual basis, if we keep our fingers out of the free cash pocket in order to balance the budget."

By now, if you're wondering whether Racz is a Republican or Democrat, he's neither. He's an unenrolled independent.

"Been that way for years and years," he said. "The advantage is I don't have to vote the party line. I could vote for the best interests of voters in my district, and I'm not going to be pressured by party line."

If elected, he would likely be the only non-party affiliated legislator in the House. Whether that's a disadvantage, Racz said all first-term legislators face uphill battles and that he'd have no problem agreeing with the majority party, the Democrats.

On other issues, Racz said state government should not be involved in funding brownfields redevelopment, but the federal government ought to be. "Right now, I think the state needs to devote their energy and efforts to schools, health insurance and also ... the revamping of auto insurance."

On auto insurance, he is a proponent of increasing competition to drive down premiums. "Competition is a good thing. And I think once you have competition from other auto insurance companies here, you'll see auto (insurance) rates competitive again."

Opposes gay marriage ban

Were he now a lawmaker, he would oppose the Nov. 9 constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. "Gays have the same rights and privileges as every citizen in Massachusetts," Racz said.

On health care, Racz favors a single-payer system — "immensely" — and is optimistic the new Massachusetts health care reform law is an improvement, but expects it will take several years to make it seamless.

» Stefan G. Racz
Age: 56.

Residence: State Street, Buckland.

Political experience: Two-term selectman in Buckland, currently chairman.

Education: University of Rhode Island, 1984, bachelor's in philosophy and political science; University of Rhode Island, 1990, master's in political science.

Last book read: "Flags of Our Fathers," by James Bradley.

Monday, November 06, 2006 8:26:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Salaries, perks make life easy for reps.


Article Launched: 01/02/2007

Tuesday, January 02, 2006

To the Editor of THE EAGLE:

Our elected representatives not only get good salaries and benefits, but let us not forget the perks, like the paid vacations and holidays. And who can forget former UMass president and president of the state Senate William Bulger's huge pension for "public service." Try to get a job at Massport or with the Turnpike Authority on you own. Good luck unless your are in the right gene pool.

It is hard to think poor when you are not poor. When you have health coverage you simply go to the doctor, not wait until the pain is unbearable. You don't have to worry about being pulled over for not wearing a seat belt because you have special license plates on your vehicle. Instead of paying for an exotic vacation, call it a fact-finding "junket."

Our elected officials will have a four day over a million dollar-plus party in January to celebrate the election of a new governor, another way to rub it into the faces of the working poor.


Great Barrington, Dec. 24, 2006

Tuesday, January 02, 2007 4:13:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

MoCA just part of Bosley's legacy

By Christopher Marcisz, Berkshire Eagle Staff

The Berkshire Eagle

Article Launched:01/04/2007

Thursday, January 04, 2007

NORTH ADAMS — When news broke last month that Daniel E. Bosley would step down as a state representative, many constituents were saddened they'd be losing a gregarious, affable public servant with a sharp mind and sense of humor.

After 20 years as North County's voice Beacon Hill, Bosley spent his political career helping to get his 1st Berkshire District back on its feet.

"Pretty much my whole career has been in economic development in one form or another," the 53-year old lawmaker said.

This week, Bosley is preparing to become Gov.-elect Deval L. Patrick's top economic development adviser.

It is a logical career step for Bosley: His long fight for state support of Mass MoCA led to one of the earliest examples of how arts and culture can revitalize an economy. He led the deregulation of the state's electricity industry and fended off casino gambling. And he had a hand in nearly every unemployment and jobs creation bill of the last 15 years.

Business beginnings

Through it all, he has relied on the lessons he learned before he arrived in Boston, such as responding to constituents' needs when he was a North Adams city councilor and sharing empathy with the business community, which he learned as a young businessman at a company fighting for its life.

A special election, possibly this April, will be set to choose a successor to the popular legislator, who is known for his accessibility, sense of humor, and willingness "to do his homework."

"The great thing about Dan was he worked hard, studied the issues, and was never a grandstander," said Sherwood Guernsey, who served with Bosley from 1986 to 1990 in the Legislature. "His character was such that he brought humor and good fellowship to all our work together."

Many will miss him as he departs his local post for one in the Patrick administration, yet they are happy for Bosley, who grew up in North Adams and Florida. He graduated from Drury High School and the former North Adams State College.

After graduating college in 1976, Bosley sold cars and worked as an office manager before taking a sales job in 1979 with Mohawk Industries Inc., where he eventually became vice president for sales.

The metal fabrication company, which had plants in Adams and North Adams, had gone through a boom in the 1970s with a popular line of woodstoves. But by the time Bosley joined the company, that market had collapsed and part of his job was to win contracts for new business.

But the company struggled: A subcontractor supplied faulty zippers that scuttled a multimillion dollar contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to make tent and backpack frames, and a July 1983 fire at the Adams plant caused major damage. Finally, in September 1984, the company shut its doors.

"From my time at Mohawk Industries, I learned what it is like to deal with the government," Bosley said. "And I know what it is like to be in a business in trouble. I know what it is to be unemployed."

From bus stop to Boston

Bosley made his first run for public office in 1983. One Friday on his way to meet friends at the American Legion for drinks, he noticed several people waiting in the rain for a bus on Main Street. At the bar, he insisted that a bus shelter was needed, and his friends encouraged him to stop talking and take out papers to run for City Council.

In that campaign, he said he would stress road repair and maintenance, cajole utilities to open customer offices downtown and look after the city's elderly. He came in fifth in a 16-way race, earning 3,206 votes. The City Council approved the additional bus shelter in July 1984.

In July 1985, he was hired as executive director of the North Adams Community Development Corporation, a municipal agency that helped organize development efforts in the city. The state Ethics Commission ruled that he couldn't work for the CDC and serve on the City Council at the same time, so he did not seek another term.

In early 1986, state Rep. Frank N. Costa announced that he would step down after serving two terms on Beacon Hill. Bosley campaigned for the seat and, after a bruising three-way primary, won it by a wide margin.

Focused on Mass MoCA

Bosley was thrown into the maelstrom of state politics fast, and quickly joined the fight for what would become one of the most important economic development projects in state history.

Shortly after Sprague Electric closed shop in North Adams in 1984, the city was left with not only huge unemployment figures but a vast, cavernous factory complex in the heart of a city that was in danger of falling into disrepair. Williams College Museum of Art Director Thomas Krens had come up with an idea to turn the space into a vast art museum to be called the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, which could be the spark to get the region back on its feet.

Despite the idea's skeptics and naysayers, Bosley said it did not take him long to buy into the idea. He recalled discussing it with Mayor John Barrett III, and the two agreed the city's future was not in luring another a single 3,000-employee company, which could cave in another single, devastating blow. The future would be "to create 300 jobs 10 times," for a more recession-proof economy.

To get the idea off the ground, the Berkshire delegation needed state funds, and got $35 million for the project attached to a massive, $100 million convention center bill working its way through the Statehouse.

As the legislative session waned in December 1987 and went into the new year, the MoCA supporters faced an intense lobbying effort to get it passed before the session ended.

"The good news for the Berkshires was that Dan, (then-state Sen. Peter Webber, R-Pittsfield), and I worked very closely together," Guernsey said. "That made a huge difference."

Not only did the delegation need to win the support of the Legislature's leadership, but they also needed to keep people back home on board.

"The proposal was exciting, but Mass MoCA was no Sprague Electric," Guernsey said. "We knew locally there would be a lot skepticism, and indeed there was."

As the legislative session ended in the first few days of 1988, Bosley recalled sitting in his office. It was the last night of the session. The hours ticked by. It appeared certain there would be no MoCA deal.

Bosley was thinking over what he would tell everyone back home when the phone rang. It was then-Gov. Michael Dukakis, a supporter of the MoCA plan, who said he'd personally introduce a funding bill in the new session.

The Dukakis bond bill came a few days later, and the Berkshire delegation set about lobbying colleagues to support it. Sixteen other communities and 20 projects had been lost when the original bill failed, and it took much convincing their colleagues to set aside their laments about losing their pet projects and get them on board. The bill passed and was signed in March 1988.

'Incredibly effective'

That would just be the first hurdle the project would face. Bosley would have to convince a skeptical Gov. William Weld not to strangle the idea in the face of a recession, and eventually got the museum opened in 1999.

"He was incredibly effective at shepherding the project through a challenging legislative environment," said Joseph Thompson, who was on the project team at the time and is now the museum's executive director. "There were a lot of shoals, and he navigated through them very well for a young legislator."

Bosley easily won re-election in 1988, and faced his closest challenge in 1990 against Clarksburg Republican Robert Norcross. Democrats took substantial losses in the Legislature and lost the governor's office that year due to a recession and an ill-timed tax hike, but Bosley won that race 7,484 to 5,650, and would not face another challenge until 2004.

Although MoCA was perhaps his first and most obvious success, Bosley spent the remainder of his career fighting for projects.

"Dan has had his hand every economic development project in the Northern Berkshires," said John B. DeRosa, North Adams city solicitor and longtime political observer who has known Bosley since before his time on the Council. "Often in ways that didn't get noticed."

DeRosa said Bosley always carried himself with a sense of humor, was easy to speak with, and always "did his homework."

Among the development projects that Bosley has kept an eye on through his years is the effort to develop Greylock Glen, the contested 1,063-acre parcel of land at the eastern foot of the state's highest peak.

Bosley said that his first trip to Beacon Hill was in 1984, when as a city councilor he went to testify in favor of the legislation that would guide development of the parcel.

After several failed efforts, due to either faulty funding or opposition from environmentalists, the state named the town of Adams as the project developer last month. The town will begin work to develop the $44 million Greylock Glen Recreation and Environmental Education Center early this year.

"That's going to be one of the projects I'll be working on," Bosley said. "We have to drag this thing across the finish line."

Barrett said Bosley did more than just the big things, and listed off a long list of other projects he has had a hand in: his constant support for his alma mater, now the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts; his effort to find funds to renovate the Mohawk Theater; and his support for North Adams Regional Hospital.

"And there are many small, little things he did for people that never hit the front page of the newspaper," he said.


Bosley through the years

1972: Graduates from Drury High School
1976: Graduates from North Adams State College
1982: Marries Laura Melillo in June
1983: Wins election to North Adams City Council
1986: Wins election to represent the 1st Berkshire District
1988: Helps engineer the initial $35 million in state funding to launch Mass MoCA
1997: Authors influential study questioning the economic benefits of casino gambling
1997: Plays a leading role in electricity restructuring legislation to bring competition and consumer choice to utility markets
2006: Named top economic development advisor in Gov.-elect Deval L. Patrick's administration

Thursday, January 04, 2007 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Berkshire Bloggers, News Media, Politicians, & the People:

Dan Bosley is a very intelligent but also inequitable (due to the very nature of his political position as State Rep.) politician for Berkshire County. Although I have had many disagreements with Rep. Bosley over the years, I believe he is my superior on public policy issues as well as the most intelligent politician in all of Western Massachusetts -- with State Senator Stan Rosenberg being a close second. I wish I did not have so many disagreements with Bosley and Rosenberg, et al, over the years because I concur with most of their public policy public record.

If I was in Bosley's shoes, I would stand up to Gov. Deval Patrick for already turning on his campaign promises to spend more state money on middle class and poor communities such as North Adams and Williamstown. Once again, with Gov. Patrick, the rich communities are going to prosper while the middle class and poor ones will struggle to pass their budgets with recurring property tax increases. What ashame!

At least Berkshire County, et al, still has one good guy on their side: Dan Bosley. I just wish that along with his economic development skills, he would find some room for economic equity for poor and middle class families struggling in the struggling communities he will continue to represent on Beacon Hill.


Jonathan A. Melle

In surprise, Bosley will stay

By Christopher Marcisz, Berkshire Eagle Staff

The Berkshire Eagle

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

NORTH ADAMS — State Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams, has decided to stay put after all.

In surprising announcement yesterday afternoon, the 20-year legislator said he had changed his mind about serving as Gov. Deval L. Patrick's special economic development adviser, and would continue to represent the 1st Berkshire District.

"As we spoke further we realized that, in terms of public policy development, the most effective role I could fulfill was to remain as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives," said Bosley, who read from a statement during a press conference at his Main Street office yesterday afternoon.

The move came as a relief to many local leaders who had lamented the loss of his experience and skill in the Legislature, and threw a bucket of cold water on local political hopefuls who hoped to run for his seat.

Bosley said the nature of the Cabinet position had "evolved" since he had accepted it in the middle of last month. He said he told the governor about his decision about 4 p.m. Monday.

"I have enormous respect and admiration for Dan," Patrick said in a statement yesterday. "I look forward to continuing to work closely with him on a range of economic issues."

Bosley was sworn in for his 11th term last week and was joined in his office yesterday several member of the Berkshire delegation, who said they were glad he would remain in the Legislature.

"Everything is right in the Berkshires again," state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, D-Pittsfield, said. "It's snowing, and Dan is still the dean of the Berkshire delegation."

State Rep. Denis Guyer, D-Dalton, described Bosley's leadership and advice as "invaluable," and state Rep. Christopher N. Speranzo, D-Pittsfield, described him as a "great colleague, mentor, and most of all, friend."

North Adams Mayor John Barrett III was also on hand yesterday, and said he was "ecstatic" with Bosley's decision. "It's a loss for the Patrick administration, but not a loss for the people of the Commonwealth," he said.

Bosley had accepted the position on Dec. 18, but said that over the past few weeks it became clear the position had "evolved" to the point that it would be better for him to remain in his post in Legislature, where he remains chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

He did not offer details on the specific ways that the position had changed, only noting that in conversation with the governor over the past two weeks that it would be a "much better opportunity" to stay in the House.

The sudden announcement puts the brakes on the special election to fill the seat, which had been expected to be held in the spring. Four Democrats and one Republican had already announced they would run for the post, and several more had said they were considering their options.

"I know some people are going to be disappointed," Bosley said, adding it was a decision he did not take lightly.

Among the hopefuls was former Williamstown Selectwoman Margaret J. Ware, who had also run unsuccessfully for state Senate last year. She joked yesterday on her blog that she is "considering having a stiff upper lip surgically implanted so that it won't even have to become second nature."

But she added that "this is truly great news for North Berkshire because literally his shoes would have been impossible to fill."

Adams Selectman Joseph C. Solomon had also announced he would seek the office. "I'm definitely upset I won't have the opportunity to run this time," he said. "But I'm excited Dan is staying. His seniority and experience serves our district well, and I look forward to continuing to work with him as a selectman."

Other hopefuls with a stated interest were Adams Selectmen Chairman Edward MacDonald, Adams resident John T. Zelazo, and Adams Republican Jay Lukkarila. North Adams city councilors Gailanne M. Cariddi and Richard J. Alcombright were also seriously considering making a run as well, but had delayed making a final decision until Bosley had officially stepped down.

Bosley said yesterday he looked forward to being able to continue to work on important projects for his constituents. "There are lots of things cooking in the Berkshires," he said.

Among the things he looked forward to are continuing to work on the Berkshire Compact for Higher Education, expanding the Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative, getting a new science and technology building for the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and seeing through the first phases of the town of Adams' plan to develop the Greylock Glen.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 9:12:00 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Berkshire Bloggers, News Media, Politicians, & the People:

There is more to the story about Dan Bosley's decision to stay as a state Representative instead of assuming a presumptively key role in the new but phony and incompentent Deval Patrick administration. Read on...


Patrick appointee backs out of post

Dispute reported over pay, duties

By Frank Phillips and Andrea Estes, Globe Staff

January 10, 2007

State Representative Daniel E. Bosley, appointed a few weeks ago to be Deval Patrick's new economic development adviser, has backed out in a dispute over the scope of his duties and his pay, according to two close colleagues.

Bosley, a Democrat from North Adams elected this fall to his 11th term in the House, had been promised a position overseeing all state agencies involved in economic development, but 10 days ago learned from Patrick that his role would be limited and his power diminished, the colleagues said.

"The original offer was not the same as the final offer, and it would not have given him the opportunity to impact economic development policy," said Mayor John Barrett III of North Adams, a political ally and close friend. "It was better for him to remain in the Legislature. As he said to me, he didn't need the job just to fatten his pension."

Bosley's quick exit, the first stumble in Patrick's efforts to launch his administration, offers a glimpse into how the new governor plans to operate. Patrick said he will take over the role of overseeing economic development agencies himself, revealing a hands-on style of governing that is a sharp departure from the way his Republican predecessors operated.

And while the two men insisted they are still friends, Patrick may have alienated a key legislator. Bosley serves as chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, a powerful panel that can decide the fate of policy initiatives in areas such as job creation and casino gambling. Bosley strongly opposes legalized gambling.

The economic development position was a new post that was largely undefined. But when Patrick announced the appointment Dec. 17, he said Bosley would run the governor's Development Cabinet -- coordinating the activities of several agencies and overseeing the secretariats of housing and economic development, labor and workforce development, energy and environmental affairs, and transportation and construction.

According to two sources close to Bosley, he was told he would occupy space in the governor's suite of offices, a coveted spot close to the power center, and be paid $150,000 a year.

While Patrick was vacationing last month in South Africa, Bosley met with chief of staff Joan Wallace Benjamin, who told Bosley his duties would be more limited than originally billed; his office would be in the state office building at Ashburton Place, his salary would be $130,000, and he would have only one or two staff members reporting to him, according to the sources.

When Patrick returned from vacation, Patrick told him that he, not Bosley, would run the Development Cabinet, according to one of the sources close to Bosley.

Patrick, with Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray mediating the discussions, tried to work out a deal with Bosley by offering to raise the salary to $145,000 and allow Bosley to hire some staff, but not his own legal counsel, according to one of the sources. His office would be located in the State House, but not in the governor's office. Patrick would not relinquish his role running the Development Cabinet.

In fact, just before Bosley was to hold a press conference yesterday in North Adams announcing that he was not taking the job, Patrick issued a news release announcing the creation of the Development Cabinet and his role as chairman.

In a statement released through Bosley's office, Patrick said, "After further discussion with Representative Dan Bosley, he and I have agreed that the most effective role he can play in fostering economic growth and advancing our agenda for business development is in the Legislature."

Bosley would not comment on his change of plans, except to say he left on good terms with Patrick. "We remain friends, and I'm sure we will work together on economic development issues. I have tremendous respect for him, but the governor gets to do with the cabinet what he wants to," he told the Globe.

Bosley's appointment would have added a dimension to the Patrick administration that so far is lacking, someone with experience dealing with the legislature and the media. Only one lawmaker so far has joined the administration, Worcester Representative James Leary , who is now Murray's chief of staff.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 9:38:00 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Honorable State Rep. "Smitty" Pignatelli:

I have told you before many times, and I will say it again to you today:


In admiration of your good nature and our forever friendship,

Jonathan A. Melle


Re: "Smitty" Pignatelli is a good man!

Pignatelli lends a hand

Helps rebuild New Orleans home

By Hillary Chabot, Eagle Boston Bureau

The Berkshire Eagle

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

BOSTON — It took only three days for state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, along with 15 other volunteers, to completely gut the home of a New Orleans flood victim last month.

But the work left Pignatelli a changed man, he told his fellow legislators at the Statehouse Monday.

"This was the greatest thing I've ever done in my life," Pignatelli said. He was joined by civil-rights and race-equality activist Richard Lapchick, who organized the volunteer trip.

Both hoped to remind legislators that work in the devastated city of New Orleans is far from done. More than a year after Hurricane Katrina, many people can't move back into their homes.

"They are afraid people are forgetting about their story. They feel abandoned. We want to let people know there is so much more to be done there," Lapchick said.

Pignatelli went to New Orleans the week before Christmas and met up with Stanley Stewart, a resident of the Lower 9th Ward, the poorest district in New Orleans. Stewart's home had been flooded with 14 feet of water within 10 minutes after the levee broke, and Stewart had been trying to figure out what to do with his soggy home every since.

Insurance not enough

Although the house had been appraised at $400,000, insurance had only given him $10,000, Pignatelli said. Stewart just moved in to a Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer two weeks before Pignatelli arrived.

Lapchick said Stewart's story, and the story of several other African-Americans who feel abandoned by the government, shows that America still has a serious racial divide.

"I think the whole New Orleans story is reflective of race relations in America," he said.

"There never would have been 100,000 white people at the Superdome or the Convention Center waiting for as long as they waited."

Pignatelli said he feels embarrassed that the government has given aid to repair only 79 homes in the Lower 9th Ward more than a year after the disaster. The group also helped plant a garden and mow Stewart's lawn.

Lapchick, who met with new Gov. Deval Patrick briefly later Monday, said the state took a big step forward in terms of race relations when it elected the second African-American governor in American history.

"It's a great sign," Lapchick said.

For Pignatelli, the half-hour that the new governor carved out to meet with them was also a great sign.

"I think it's another indication of his open door policy that on such short notice he was able to accommodate us," Pignatelli said.

'Big sense of empowerment'

Pignatelli hopes the stories he brought home made others realize they can make a difference.

"Just a little thing like this gave this man a big sense of empowerment," Pignatelli said.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 9:54:00 AM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Capeless focuses on gangs

DA takes oath for first full term

By Nicole Sequino, Berkshire Eagle Staff

Friday, January 12, 2007

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire County District Attorney David F. Capeless vowed to address the "disturbing trend" of gang and firearm violence in the region and touted other initiatives as he was sworn in to his first full term by Berkshire Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ford yesterday evening.

"I can tell you that I take my responsibility with all seriousness, and that I will do all that I can to ensure the trust of the people of Berkshire County," Capeless told an audience of dignitaries, judges, attorneys, family, friends and his entire staff.

In November, Capeless secured his first full four-year term as the county's chief prosecutor when he defeated Great Barrington attorney Judith C. Knight.

Yesterday, he relayed the initiatives and programs he intends to address during the next four years. Notably, Capeless said his office also has been coordinating anti-gang initiatives through the Berkshire County drug task force, supported by $150,000 in state funds secured by state Rep. Christopher N. Speranzo and former state Sen. Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr.

Capeless said that the funding provides overtime pay for local and state police who are conducting gang investigations. So far, police have made 75 felony arrests and seized 25 firearms and $30,000 in drug money related to this cause, he said. He also said police are focusing on high schools, where gangs are attempting to recruit new members.

"We will work hand in hand with police to make it known to gang members and others considering gang membership that we know who they are, that we don't want them here, and that we know what they're doing," he said.

Capeless also called on Berkshire residents to join local substance-abuse-prevention groups in stopping drug and alcohol use among young adults. "It's less a criminal justice issue than it's a public health and societal issue," he said. "It affects families and communities, and we as adults need to set an example ... and set expectations of our youth of what they should and shouldn't do."

He said his office also is working to establish anti-bullying programs in local schools.

In addition, Capeless said his office will provide training for police to learn Spanish to address the county's growing Hispanic population. He also intends to connect his office and police computers — a system already in place with the Pittsfield, North Adams and Dalton police departments — to improve communications.

Won special election

Capeless defeated Pittsfield attorney Timothy J. Shugrue in a special election in November 2004 to serve the remaining two years of the four-year term of District Attorney Gerard D. Downing, who died in December 2003. Former Gov. Mitt Romney appointed Capeless to fill Downing's seat in January 2004.

Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano Jr. led the ceremonies, praising Capeless as a lifelong, devoted prosecutor. He served as the county's first assistant district attorney from the time Downing was elected in 1991. Capeless also served as an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County from 1982 to 1990.

"He's spent his entire career as a prosecutor, and he's tried some very hard and serious cases in his time," Massimiano said. "He follows in the footsteps of men who were very committed to the oath of office and to serving the community."

Position began in 1978

Before he swore Capeless into office, Judge Ford recounted the history of the district attorney's office, which was established under a law signed by former Gov. Michael S. Dukakis in 1978. Before that, Ford said that Berkshire County often was represented by a district attorney who was responsible for other counties in Western Massachusetts.

The late Anthony J. Ruberto Jr., the brother of Pittsfield Mayor James M. Ruberto, served as the county's first district attorney from 1979 to 1990, when he was appointed presiding justice of Northern Berkshire District Court in North Adams. Robert J. Carnes was appointed to the post in 1990 and remained in office until Downing was elected in 1991.

Ford, also a former prosecutor, added that Capeless has prosecuted some of the "most serious and difficult cases" in the county's history. "He has devoted his life to a noble cause — the prosecution of criminals. He has tasted both victory and defeat ... and has passed up great financial remuneration to practice prosecutorial law. For that, he deserves the respect and thanks of the people of Berkshire County."

District Attorney David F. Capeless takes the oath of office from Judge Daniel A. Ford yesterday in Berkshire Superior Court. Capeless is embarking on his first full term in office.

Photo by Ben Garver / Berkshire Eagle Staff

Friday, January 12, 2007 1:57:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Downing announces offices, staff

The Berkshire Eagle

Friday, January 19, 2007

BOSTON — State Sen. Benjamin B. Downing has announced contact information for his district and Boston offices — which are fully operational — and the members of his staff.

Downing's Boston office is the Statehouse, Room 413-F, Boston, MA 02133. The phone number there is (617) 722-1625. Fax: (617) 722-1523.

Downing's district office is 20 Bank Row, Pittsfield. The phone is (413) 442-4008. Fax: (413) 442-4077.

Normal business hours for both the Pittsfield and Boston offices are Monday through Friday from 9 to 5.

His staff includes the following people:

Allison Johnson, a Pittsfield native. She will be the district coordinator. A graduate of Bentley College, Johnson was Downing's campaign coordinator.
She manages his local office and serves as district liaison — working with constituents, overseeing public affairs and coordinating with local officials and other agencies. She is also the contact person for making an appointment with Downing.

Bethann S. Steiner, Dalton native. She will serve as his chief of staff. She has worked in state government since 2000. She graduated from St. Joseph's High School, Marist College and the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Steiner began her public service in the office of state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley as his budget and legislative research analyst.
For the past three years, she has worked for the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs in the public affairs office as external relations coordinator, then as director of legislative affairs and, finally, as the secretary's director of the public affairs office. In the latter post, she oversaw the secretary's legislative relations, media outreach, special events planning and constituent outreach functions.

Elizabeth Mahony. She will serve as Downing's legislative and budget director. She grew up in Delmar, N.Y., graduated from Marist College and Suffolk University Law School and is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts.
Her experience in government includes serving as an aide to Assemblyman Sam Colman, D-N.Y., and as communications director for Massachusetts state Sen. Susan Fargo, D-Lincoln. Before joining Downing's staff, Mahony entered into private practice at Spillane Law Offices in Quincy.

Jonathan Butler. Downing's legislative aide, he grew up in Cheshire. He worked in the Executive Office of Economic Development, where he was a staff assistant with the Department of Business and Technology.
He graduated from Hoosac Valley High School and Franklin Pierce College and is working toward a dual master's degree in political science and public administration at Suffolk University.

Heather Viola, native of Great Barrington. She will serve as communications director. She graduated from Monument Mountain Regional High School, Westfield State College and the University of Hartford. She served nearly three years with former state Sen. Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr.
"My staff is talented, well-rounded and attuned to issues of the Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin Senate District," Downing said. "I encourage all my constituents to call, write or stop by either of my offices with any concerns I may address on their behalf."

Friday, January 19, 2007 3:14:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Honorable Representative Daniel E. Bosley, (D-North Adams, Massachusetts):

How can someone -- you -- be at the same time so intelligent but also so hypocritical on such public policy issues as gambling? I am not trying to persuade you -- or anyone else -- by my many writings to the "News Media, Pols, & the People", but rather, I am trying to point out my beliefs as a common man in the context of the perverse economic incentives used and negative societal outcomes imposed by corporate and government elites, such as yourself.

My belief on gambling is that it should be allowed to operate in a regulated free market. Historically, General George Washington despised lotteries, but used them to fund "The Revolutionary War". Right now, 48 state governments -- except Utah and Hawaii -- run public state lotteries, and many of them are monopolies, including in Massachusetts. Every year, Massachusetts collects more and more regressively imposed public gambling revenues from the poor, uneducated and/or addicted people that the state exploits. Moreover, when that state is in its recurring 21st Century fiscal crises, the Legislature has the temerity to mandate a cap on the amount of this "poor tax" revenue that the municipalities get to receive. Last year was most likely another banner year for the growth and profitability of "the system of regressive gambling taxation" a.k.a. "The Massachusetts State Lottery" for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As a matter of fact, 2005 broke all of the prior state records for public lotteries' growth and profits off of the backs of the poor, uneducated and addicted, especially in Massachusetts.

This case in point, Bosley, shows me two things: (a) That a big government Pol like yourself knows full well about the economically perverse incentives of inequitably raising revenues by negatively impacting the poor and uneducated, but would rather see the state profit nonetheless, and (b) competition by casinos and/or slots would cut into the state lottery's fiscal coffers and you therefore then use the false pretenses of citing pseudo-economically rational incentive studies about the costs exceeding the benefits for the legalization of private gaming in the commonwealth.

My conclusion, Bosley, is that you are a typical big government Pol. Every goddamned one of your kind -- INEQUITBABLE Big Government Politicians -- points to some rational economic incentive pseudo-study to allow you to continue on the path of perversely profitting off of the negative outcomes your public policies have on negatively impacting society. The reality of your conclusions and positions on public policies in big government is that if there is a profit to be made through perversities in the system, then let us continue forward with the negative societal outcomes of our public policies by pointing to a select few of many biased social scientific pseudo-studies to support our cause of "robbing poor Peter to pay the corporate and government elite Paul."

In closing and by the way:


Did you and your legislative cohorts make the second pay raise deal with the new Governor yet?


Are you going to point to a cost/benefit pseudo-study that legislative committee leadership pay raises will help create more jobs in the commonwealth?


Are you looking forward to your second possible legislative pay raise in 2007?

Please answer these three questions, Bosley: "The hypocritical Bureaucrat impostering as a Legislator!"

Forever Friendship, In Truth, and Happy Groundhog's Day!

Jonathan A. Melle



"Residents support slots at racetracks", By Matt Murphy (The Berkshire Eagle: Boston Bureau, Wednesday, January 31, 2007):

"This is not a popularity poll. It's public policy. Once you start to introduce facts, the poll numbers go down because it doesn't create jobs," said state Rep. Daniel Bosley, D-North Adams.

Bosley, chairman of the Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee, strongly opposes casinos and slots and would oversee the committee debate on both issues.

Bosley has studied the issue thoroughly and said expanded gambling would not create new revenue, just reorganize existing revenue and hurt local business.

"Once we do a cost-benefit analysis, poll numbers go down dramatically. It won't create revenue and there's no other reason for people to be in favor, so I don't place much credence in (the survey)," Bosley said.


Friday, February 02, 2007 2:58:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Dear Honorable Dan Bosley:

I believe Governor Deval-uator Patrick is much more off base on his proposal to give you and your fellow legislative cronies a second of two legislative pay raises this year in exchange for your rubber stamping of his legislative agenda than shifting a paltry $5 million public tourism dollars from one state agency to another!

You never fail to interest me, Bosley, because you have the most skewed vision of what state government politics should be all about. To me, state governments should be using all of the billions of federal dollars for public education, subsidized medicaid healthcare, transportation, housing, and the like, to lift the common man out of poverty and make life more livable and affordable for the middle class families. BUT NO! That would be to good to be true. Instead, Pols like you, Bosley, treat state citizens perversely instead of rationally by complementing federal funds with state taxpayer revenues to vote yourselfs more and more legislative pay raises, while the common man goes deeper and deeper into debt and middle class families are economically forced to leave the commonwealth.

Mark my words, Dan Bosley, you are my friend, but I will always render my dissent to your skewed priorities on Beacon Hill for the people you and your fellow legislative cohorts are serving: The People of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In my humble opinion, Dan Bosley, et al, you should have been outspoken about being Deval-ued by the Massachusetts Governor's pay raise proposal to bribe you guys into submitting to his legislative demands. That, Dan Bosley, is much more reprehensible than the Deval-uator shifting $5 million in state public tourism dollars from agency A to agency B.

What the hell is wrong with you, Dan Bosley? When you should speak, you are silent. When the issues are perverse instead of rational, you are outspoken. In conclusion, I believe that you, Dan Bosley, along with your hack legislative cohorts under the almighty Golden Dome on Beacon Hill, have a skewed vision for the purpose and functions of state government and Massachusetts Politics. I am just glad I don't have to look at you anymore when I write my "missives" against you and your fellow hack attacks in the State House. You, Dan Bosley, make me so angry, I just want to scream out loud at the top of my lungs to get my frustrations out. While the average Joe doesn't get it, boy, I sure do. TERRIBLE! Just terrible! You make me happy I don't live in Massachusetts anymore. But, the irony is, Dan, that NH lawmakers are even worse than you guys. I just wished everyone had a livable home, good public schools, nice roads, healthcare, and like. Is that so difficult? I think not if the Pols really put a sincere effort into serving the needs of their constituents.

Forever Friendship, In truth,

Jonathan A. Melle


Re: Bosley's silence on Patrick's proposed pay raise bribe v. his outspokenness on tourism funding


Bosley criticizes tourism funding

By Hillary Chabot, Eagle Boston Bureau

The Berkshire Eagle

Saturday, February 10, 2007

BOSTON — A move by Gov. Deval L. Patrick to reallocate state tourism funding threatens to stall the booming international tourism business in the Berkshires and across the state, according to state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley.

Patrick has asked the Legislature to take away $5 million from Tourism Massachusetts, a private company created through the Legislature in 2003 and charged with attracting more international tourists.

The governor wants to fold the company's funding back into the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, but Bosley, D-North Adams, believes that the already burdened MOTT might not be as effective.

"I'm nervous about it. The new head of MOTT already has a steep learning curve, and they're asking her to do more with international tourism. I'm afraid if we go ahead with this that all the money we've spent so far will be wasted," Bosley said.

Much of the industry in the Berkshires feeds off the 2.25 million tourists who visit and spend roughly $283 million annually. The state sees 31.2 million travelers, who spend $12.4 billion, according to MOTT.

How much of that funding is from international tourists is unknown, but Berkshire County is often visited by travelers from England, Germany and Japan, said William R. Wilson Jr., executive director of Berkshire Visitors Bureau.

The move was to cut down on duplicate offices, and new MOTT head Betsy Wall will be able to continue the company's work, said Patrick spokesman Cyndi Roy.

The Legislature has allocated $11 million to Tourism Massachusetts over the past three years, but some are concerned about how contractor Bill McDougall has used the money. McDougall can't prove where he spent $6 million of the company's state funding, according to a recent article in the Boston Phoenix.

McDougall fiercely denies the charge.

"We have provided over 25 pounds of documentation and quarterly reports for three independent audits," McDougall said. "We have accounted for every single penny."

The number of international arrivals also has slowed dramatically over the past three years, and even dropped slightly last year, according to the Commerce Department.

Bosley, who is also the chairman of the Economic Development committee, believes that Tourism Massachusetts is the victim of posturing by a new administration eager to wash its hands of a political hot potato.

"I think the new administration looked at the controversy surrounding this, and they decided to cut their losses. I don't know if that was the best decision," Bosley said.

Roy said the decision was simply to be efficient.

"This was done to get the biggest bang for our buck," Roy said.

State Rep. Denis E. Guyer, D-Dalton, said Patrick made the right move.

"If we have to consolidate things, I'm supportive of that," Guyer said. "We have a new governor who is invested in increasing tourism in the area."

Guyer said the separate company made more sense when Mitt Romney was governor and the office of travel and tourism didn't receive as much funding.


» At a glance ...

The Berkshires accommodates 2.25 million tourists, who spend about $283 million per year.

The state attracts 31.2 million tourists, who spend $12.4 billion per year.

Gov. Deval L. Patrick will move $5 million slated to attract international tourism into the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, which will now focus on all aspects of tourism.

Saturday, February 10, 2007 1:13:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

The Changing Face of the Workforce in the Berkshires
- March 01, 2007

The Changing Face of the Workforce in the Berkshires, an educational forum, was held on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. Over 130 CEOs and human resource professionals attended this collaborative effort to educate Berkshire businesses on the state of immigrant workforce both in Massachusetts and here in the County.

Pam Malumphy, regional director for the Massachusetts Office of Business Development and the coordinator for the forum stated, “"I had been in this new role with MOBD for a few months and one of the outstanding challenges I kept hearing when visiting CEOs in the County was the lack of workforce. I attended a Berkshire Business and Professional Women dinner one night and their guest speaker was Brooke Mead, co-director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center, talking about the increasing numbers of immigrants coming to Berkshire County. The numbers were compelling and I thought about how we could better bridge this community with the business community of the Berkshires.” She continued, “By complete coincidence, Peter Lafayette, president of Berkshire Bank Foundation called the next day to ask if I knew anything about the Immigrant Center because Mike Daly, the Bank, and the Foundation had become increasingly interested in how to better serve the immigrant community. A few days later, Brooke, Peter, myself and Jesus Jimenez from Berkshire Bank gathered for lunch to strategize and came up with the idea of this forum. Within a few weeks, we were fortunate to enlist the Berkshire Chamber, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Berkshire Economic Development Center, Berkshire Community College, the Berkshire Compact, Berkshire Regional Employment Board, Berkshire Community Action Council, and Berkshire Health Systems to join a working group to plan the forum. The group has contributed so much time and effort to what we think is an educational and enlightening discussion."

Michael P. Daly, president & CEO of Berkshire Bank and host of the forum noted, “Berkshire Bank and its foundation are pleased to be one of the original organizers of this event and one of its sponsors. We became involved because we are a major business and employer in the region and as such, need to keep up with changes that are occurring that affect our business.” He continued, “We have recognized that Berkshire County is undergoing many changes and one of the significant ones is the growing diversity of our population. While some people might wonder what this will mean, I feel that it strengthens the Berkshires…”

John Schneider, acting president of Mass, Inc. and Brooke Mead of the Berkshire Immigrant Center presented attendees with immigrant statistics and trending data from both a state and regional perspective. New immigrants accounted for well over 100% of the growth in the state’s labor force between 2000 and 2005. Nearly 3,000 immigrants came into the Berkshires between 2000 and 2006. Given the population decline in the County, these new immigrants tremendously help to bolster numbers. Statistics indicate that Massachusetts will continue to be overwhelmingly dependent on immigrants as an important workforce population.

A panel discussion took place following the presentation. Liliana Gomez, training director of Berkshire Meadows, provided perspective as an immigrant to Berkshire County and the obstacles her and her family overcame to become successful. Hilary Greene, co-director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center, spoke about the barriers that her clients often face when entering the Berkshire workforce as well as the educational challenges that immigrants encounter. Colleen Simo, human resource director of Kripalu, and Thom Swift, president of County Curtains Company, provided employer testimonials on their successes with recruiting and retaining foreign-born workers.

The forum’s objective was to provide a solution to the workforce shortage here in the Berkshires. Michael Supranowicz, president & CEO of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce was pleased to offer support to the cause. “The Chamber was eager to contribute to the planning and collaboration of this forum,” stated Supranowicz. “For businesses in the County, the immigrant worker is a critical thread in the workforce shortage solution. It is important to the community and our 1,200 member organizations that we consistently provide support and access to resources while keeping our finger on the pulse of hot topic issues.”

Following the forum, several agencies and organizations setup tables to display information on resources and services designed to assist businesses in the recruitment of the immigrant workforce as well as programs geared toward bridging the gap between the immigrant worker and employer.

The forum was sponsored by Berkshire Bank Foundation, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Berkshire Compact for Higher Education, Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Berkshire Economic Development Corporation, Berkshire Health Systems, Berkshire Immigrant Center, Mass, Inc., and Massachusetts Office of Business Development.

Friday, March 16, 2007 2:05:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

NOTE: Glenn Drohan, North Adams Transcript, please publish this letter; Thank You!

Dear News Media, Politicians, & the People:

I go to news dot google dot com and click to "advanced news search" to search politicians names to see what they are up to. My favorite Pol to check up on is Daniel Bosley because he always proves my economic theory of perverse instead of rational incentives for government's overall negative impacts on society.

After reading the headlines and some of the stories about Bosley's newest public policies, I found the following conclusions:

(a) Berkshire County is the #1 region in the commonwealth for job losses, but Bosley puts the burden not on the state and local politicians, but on the students will to pursue higher education. Being a high school student in Pittsfield and North Adams, it is not their fault that there are no good jobs in their locality. Being a long-standing state rep. like Bosley, the negative outcomes are due to his public policies and use of perverse incentives serving special interests instead of the common people!

(b) Gambling! Bosley defends the negative societal impacts of the state lottery, but then denounces those of private gambling enterprises in other states. What is the difference? Bosley, again, uses perverse incentives for the state to benefit from a monopoly on gambling at the expense of the poor and uneducated people who play the lottery (or poor tax).

(c) Governor Patrick's proposals to reduce regressive property taxes by assisting all poor people meets Dan Bosley's dissent and ire. Bosley wants state aid only for the poor people who are on welfare, not for the general working poor people. Bosley dissents against Gov. Patrick wanting to help all working poor people instead of focusing only on those on welfare. Bosley, again, uses perverse incentives for only those who qualify for welfare, such as teen mothers, to receive state assistance.

In conclusion, I am always so confused by Dan Bosley's hypocrisies in public policies. Instead of taking the blame for being part of the problem, he puts the onus on young adults finishing high school and inheriting a region that has become the #1 area for job losses in the entire commonwealth. Instead of having a rational debate on gambling, Bosley only cites deficiencies in other states where privatized gaming has taken place. Moreover, Bosley tolerates negative societal impacts from the state lottery, but has no tolerenance from private gambling. Lastly, Bosley wants to reward people on welfare while excluding the assistance of all working poor citizens with state aid programs. The only logical explanation for "Bosley's Hypocrisies" in public policies is his irrational reliance on perverse incentives to suit his own special interests over the overall rational interests or common good.


Jonathan A. Melle

Saturday, March 17, 2007 5:56:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

Sen. Benjamin Downing: Carrying Himself With Integrity

By Susan Bush - March 23, 2007

State Sen. Benjamin Downing
State Sen. Ben Downing D-Pittsfield has hit the state Senate chambers with sleeves rolled up and his head in the world of legislation.

"It was all I thought it would be and 10 times more," Downing said during a March 22 telephone interview from the Senate chambers in Boston.

"The only thing I would change is adding about six more hours to the day or one day to the week."

Voters of Berkshire, Hampshire, and Franklin District - the largest Senate district in the state, with 48 towns and cities - elected Downing to office in November. He was worn into office in January and has been transitioning from candidate Downing to Senator Downing with apparent ease.

Community Forum Set For April 20

Former state Senate President Robert E. Travaglini was helpful with Downing's transition, Downing said. Just prior to stepping away from that post, Travaglini appointed Downing to the National Conference of State Legislatures Policy Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and Energy.

"I felt that it was a real honor, for him to appoint me to the committee," Downing said. "This offers a great venue to talk about our agriculture, our environment and energy issues."

Travaglini also appointed Downing to the Governor's Advisory Commission on Local Government, which means Downing meets on a monthly basis with Gov. Deval Patrick.

He is committed to contact with the constituency that sent him to Boston, he said. He's participated with two previous community forms held in the Southern Berkshires and plans to attend an April 20 forum at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley D-North Adams.

Issues And Common Ground

His goals are heavily weighted toward serving the people who elected him state Senator, Downing said.

"It's about matching the priorities with the folks at home," he said. "I get e-mails and phone calls from people all the time, and I want that. There are so many things to work on and the important thing is to stick to the priorities. Right now, the number one things are sustainable economic development, public transportation, broadband...there are needs and interests. And you hear people talk about the broadband, the public transportation and it's your job to find the common ground [among other legislators]and work towards these things."

Downing is the chairman of the Committee of Public Service,vice-chairman of the Committee on Bills In The Third Reading, and a member of the Committee on Post Audit and Oversight, Financial Services, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, Veteran and Federal Affairs, and the Regional Schools Legislative Caucus.

Downing is also the co-chairmen of a Pittsfield-based Leadership Council to End Chronic Homelessness in Berkshire County.

Behind The Scenes No More

After spending almost three years as a senior advisor to U.S. Congressman John W.Olver D-Amherst, and several prior posts working for U.S. Congressmen William Delahunt D-Quincy and Richard E. Neal D-Springfield, Downing is not unfamiliar with the intricacies of politics and legislatures.

But his election shifted his presence from the background to front and center of a district located in the western-most part of the state, a place that often finds its elected leaders fighting harder and longer to be heard.

As the person elected to follow in the footsteps of former state Sen. Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., who opted against seeking re-election in 2006 after serving five state Senate terms and is now Register of Deeds for Central Berkshire, Downing may be under a bit more public scrutiny than usual.

Downing said he believes in an honest, forthright approach to his constituents and his fellow legislators.

"If you treat people right, if you work hard, if you carry yourself with integrity, people will want to help you do what you need to do for your district," he said.

Information about state Sen. Benjamin Downing is available at a www dot bendowning dot org Internet web site.

Monday, March 26, 2007 4:43:00 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...


Dear Honorable Daniel E. Bosley:

Re: "House lawmakers toss Patrick's plans" (The North Adams Transcript Online, 4/12/2007): I guess Governor Deval Patrick's real failure on his proposed public policies for the FY2008 Massachusetts State Budget really boiled down to him not bribing you and your fellow Golden Dome legislative hacks with a big enough 2nd of 2 proposed legislative pay raise in 2007 in order for you to rubber stamp his legislative agenda. If Governor Patrick made a sweet enough bribe for your allegiance, you would not be tossing aside his plans.

So, for the record:

(a) Bureaucrat Bosley rejects adding 250 new police officers because it would primarily benefit urban areas of the commonwealth;

(b) Bureaucrat Bosley rejects a new $24.8 million immunization program that would primarily benefit poor and middle class children throughout the commonwealth;

(c) Bureaucrat Bosley rejects spending $25 million to take in an additional $295 million in state revenues by closing corporate tax loopholes because that would disadvantage the special interests and lobbyist who really run the government;

(d) Bureaucrat Bosley rejects finding long-term revenue sources to instead rely on one-time sources of state funding to pass a state budget that serves special interests;

(e) Bureaucrat Bosley affirms using $500 million from the Health Care Security Trust to make up the difference on the disputed figure for the budget deficit. Moreover, Bureaucrat Bosley affirms the fiscally irresponsible decision to not make any interest payments and a $100 million contribution to this fund;

(f) Bureaucrat Bosley affirms level funding the line item for community police;

(g) Bureaucrat Bosley affirms spending less money than the Governor on Extended Learning Time Grants, extended day kindergarten, and low-income child care;

(h) Bureaucrat Bosley affirms increasing the cuts from the Governor's budget proposal in funds for tourism and regional transportation.

In conclusion, I dissent against Bureaucrat Bosley's very poor leadership on Beacon Hill! Time and time again, Dan Bosley proves himself to be a bureaucrat impostering a legislator. If the House Leadership told Bureaucrat Bosley to jump off of a bridge, he would execute his order without conscience. The real reason why Bureaucrat Bosley tossed aside the new Governor's budget proposals is because he did not get a sweet enough bribe on the Governor's plan to give him and his fellow legislative hacks a big enough 2nd of 2 pay raises in 2007. Had the Governor sweetened his pay raise bribe, all of the hack legislative bureaucrats on Beacon Hill would have listened to what the Executive had to say to the Legislative Branch. For the record, Bureaucrat Bosley does not want to assist urban areas with public safety funding, rejects starting a new program to immunize poor and middle class children from preventable diseases, supports special interests, lobbyists and corporate executives by defending their tax loopholes during a fiscal crisis, rejects finding long-term revenue sources in favor of robbing poor Peter to pay rich Paul, supports closing the budget deficit by robbing the Health Care Security Trust to the tune of a half-billion dollars, supports level funding of community police while opposing putting new police officers in the aforementioned urban areas of the commonwealth, supports deeper cuts than the Governor would make to low-income child care and other important socially just programs that help the poor, among many other important political, social and economic public policy issues.

Bureaucrat Bosley: You are what is wrong with the poor public policy record on Beacon Hill!

In Truth and for the record,

Jonathan A. Melle


House lawmakers toss Patrick's plans

By Hillary Chabot, Transcript Statehouse Bureau

The North Adams Transcript
Thursday, April 12, 2007

BOSTON — House lawmakers snubbed many of Gov. Deval Patrick's initiatives while focusing on money for municipalities and additional higher education funding in their $26.7 budget, released Wednesday.

House members tossed out Patrick's plan to add 250 police officers, introduce a $24.8 million immunization program, add $25 million in emergency funds and to close corporate tax loopholes to rake in an additional $295 million. They relied more heavily on one-time funding instead.

"This year was a particularly difficult budget because of the shortfall," said Rep. Robert DeLeo, D-Winthrop, House budget author. "But we did not include any tax increases. We feel it's important to give the economy time to grow before we talk about any increases in taxes."

The renovated budget was nothing personal against the new governor, it just highlights different priorities, said Rep. Christopher N. Speranzo, D-Pittsfield, a House Ways and Means committee member.

Patrick's budget was released two months ago, and the budget penned by the Senate is due next month. Lawmakers are expected to hammer out a final version by July 1.

Patrick's much referenced $1.2 billion deficit had come under fire. The House budget maintains the state is only $800 million in the hole, saying the difference was due to estimates in spending and revenues. House leaders used $300 million from the stabilization fund and the Health Care Security Trust to make up the deficit. They also delayed making interest payments and a $100 million mandatory contribution to the funds, resulting in $500 million toward the budget.

Administration and Finance Director Leslie Kirwan called the heavy use of one-time funds and the level-funded line item for community police a real concern.

Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams, said the 250 additional officers would likely be put in urban areas and therefore would hurt suburban areas. Patrick had drained funding from the community police officers' account to pay for the new officers' salaries.

"We shouldn't suffer because of what's happening in urban areas," Bosley said.

Michael Widmer, executive director of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, backed the decision by House leaders to use the one-time revenues instead of hiking corporate taxes, saying that increasing jobs is the only way to improve the economy.

The budget boosted higher education by $16.1 million over Patrick's budget. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts received $13.93 million, while Berkshire Community College got $9.16 million. The budget also included funding for an office devoted to bring wireless and broadband to all communities and $10 million for the Cultural Facilities Fund.

Education funding will increase by 6.4 percent, which exceeds Patrick's estimate by $20 million. North Adams will receive $367,449 more in this budget, but Pittsfield will get $532,843 less than anticipated in the governor's budget.

"I think you can see it's a difficult revenue year," Speranzo said, maintaining that the Chapter 70 funding was distributed appropriately. "We're meeting our responsibilities to cities and towns. This was something we had set in last year's budget."

Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, and other lawmakers will work for the next two days to include earmarks for their districts. Pignatelli is working on appropriations for the Berkshire Youth Initiative. Bosley said he hopes to work on funding for tourism and regional transportation.

Patrick cut $86 million in earmarks in his budget. The House budget spends less than Patrick on Extended Learning Time grants, extended day kindergarten and low-income child care. Tourism was cut by $15 million, which is about $2 million less than Patrick's budget, and regional transportation was cut by $500,000.

Thursday, April 12, 2007 6:28:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

Dear Berkshire Bloggers, News Media, Politicians, & the People:

My mom, dad, and I spent the day together yesterday. When we went out to eat, my mom, who is an artist, and I drew political cartoons of all of the Berkshire Pols on the disposable paper table covering. It was fun! We drew pictures of Dan Bosley with a file folder, Smitty Pignatelli with a big nose and skinny body, Luciforo with a devil's pitchfork, another picture of Nuciforo saying "insurance", George Bush with a sign in each hand stating "tax cuts" and "war", Deval Patrick with a sign saying "Legislative pay raises for sale", Peter Larkin saying "C'mon", and the like. My mom's drawings were far superior than my own. It was a good way to laugh at our frustrations with the Pols.

When we got home, Cliff Nilan left a voice message on my parent's answering machine. He sounded very sincere and nice. At one time, I liked Cliff Nilan, too. My dad reminded me that while Dan Bosley, Smitty Pignatelli, Peter Larkin, Carmen Massimiano, and the like would not have the decency to sign my nomination papers in the early part of 2004 when I wanted to run for Berkshire State Senator, Cliff Nilan bucked the political machine's will and put his signature on my nomination papers. I said to my dad that he is right that Cliff is part of the Good Old Boys Network, he is also not afraid to go against their group think mentality. My dad was right to tell me that Cliff Nilan has always been a friend to me and our family. My dad told me to give him a chance again, unlike some of the other lousy Pols who persecuted both my dad and I when my dad was a Berkshire County Commissioner from 1997 - 2000. I don't like Cliff Nilan anymore, but I am glad he is still friends with my dad. I just hope that Cliff Nilan is sincere in his friendship to my dad.

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 1:22:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

Dear Berkshire Bloggers, Politicians, News Media, & the People:

Re: "Return Nilan to parks board" (Editorial, The Berkshire Eagle, 5/8/2007): I feel that while Cliff Nilan is a good person, he would do the bidding (or dirty business) of Pittsfield's good old boy network if push came to shove. What I mean is that Cliff Nilan is a good person with the caveat of having a M.O. He does love Pittsfield and her parks, but he is NOT a leader and I do not believe he should be put in any position of authority because when pressured, he will follow the perversely incentivized agenda of Pittsfield's good old boy network.

This last piece of analysis of Cliff Nilan's flawed political style leads me to the reason why Cliff Nilan was nominated in the first place. Pittsfield's Mayor Jimmy Ruberto has demonstrably proven himself to be a good old boy politician and play the role that makes Pittsfield into a "SMALL" city. It is more important for Mayor Ruberto to have loyalty and be part of the good old boy network and win old grudges against past and current political opponents than it is for him to have a free and open government, a constituency that does not live in fear of political persecutions, and a diverse, fresh and new make up to the community's government. To illustrate, in Nazi Germany, it was more important for the fascist government to expel Jewish People and other minorities. The Allied nations, such as the USA, took in scientist like Albert Einstein, who gave us new technologies and scientific tools to win World War II and better our way of civilian life after we won the war.

I had long talks about Cliff Nilan and his good old boy network Pittsfield Insider buddies with my dad. My dad disagrees with my negative feelings against Cliff Nilan. I explained to my dad that while Cliff Nilan never did anything to me, it is his M.O. that I fear. If this makes any sense, I told my dad that some people think differently than my dad and I. To illustrate, before the media fixated on Monica Lewinsky to hurt Bill Clinton, the media went after a then young Chelsea Clinton, who was born in 1980 and was all of 14 years old at the time. The M.O. of the media was always to hurt Bill Clinton by going after the women he loved in his life, including his then teenage daughter.

By Cliff Nilan's many past and most recent phone calls to my dad, I am at once happy that my dad has a good friend in Cliff, but again I wonder if Cliff Nilan is also doing the bidding of the Pittsfield Insiders who tried to (a) ruin my dad's then career at the Pittsfield Courthouse and put his son (me) in the Pittsfield Jail in the Spring of 1998, and (b) relished in the hurtful and slanderous rumors that Denis E. Guyer spread about me to the good people of the Pittsfield area from the Summer of 2004 to the present day. I wonder what Cliff Nilan really wants out of his friendship with my dad?

Maybe I am paranoid, but I have been through a lot of unnecessary bad stuff at the hands of Cliff Nilan's best friend: Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. over the years. Cliff's buddy Carmen was in on many, if not all, of the negative Pittsfield Political entrapments laid at my feet. In the Spring of 1998, when Luciforo made secret plans with the Pittsfield Police Department to have me jailed without apprising even my father, the ultimate outcome was for me to be in the hands of Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., who would have saw to it that his Jailer Staff and Inmate Population had abused me.

Just think of the perverse incentives against the good of society? My dad fired from his long-term state job and the loss of his state pension, his son (me) rotting behind bars for practicing my Constitutionally protected rights to FREE SPEECH, and the rise of the Hitlerian, Jew-bashing Denis E. Guyer, without anyone knowing that a gold-digging, neo-Nazi, fascist now represents the people of Massachusetts in the State Legislature -- just as Adolf Hitler came to power through democracy, so may not Hitler's second-coming of hate and racism: Denis Guyer! BUT NOW, I am free and living in southern N.H., and with the Internet and a few good friends from the Pittsfield area, I will stop Denis Guyer's path to political power, hate and racism at every turn before Denis Guyer is able to hurt people(s) on a large scale basis!

That last point is the very trouble that I have with Cliff Nilan! Cliff Nilan is in the know. Cliff Nilan is well aware of all of the bad things that have happened to me and others like me in Pittsfield. While the Eagle is right to say that he does not rise to the bait of indecency even to retaliate against those who don't get their way, the Eagle omits or overlooks the fact that Cliff Nilan does not do anything to stop the indecency either. Cliff Nilan holds onto his power in the Pittsfield area by being a "behind the scenes" player. Cliff Nilan knows what is going on in Pittsfield, and if called on, he will do the bidding (or dirty business) of the good old boy network. Now that Mayor Ruberto is placing him in the position of Chair of the Pittsfield Parks Commission, Cliff Nilan will do his part to stay in the good graces of the good old boy network that he, Luciforo, Massimiano and Ruberto are all a part of.

In the end, Cliff Nilan is a good person, but what good is a good person who always caves to the demands of the insiders at the expense of the social and economic benefits of a community and society? I am glad for my dad that Cliff Nilan is his friend and they talk on the telephone on a regular basis. I just hope that Cliff Nilan doesn't corrupt his good will to my dad by meeting the unethical demand of Luciforo, Massimiano and Ruberto that I become cut off from my dad's care, become homeless, or even worse, put in Jail. While I realize that Cliff Nilan is a good person and would never want to see harm come to me, I know all too well that Luciforo, Massimiano and Ruberto all want to see me suffering in inhumane, base condition where abuse and neglect are my only ways of life. I also know that if push came to shove, Cliff Nilan would line me up in the line of sitting ducks for the Pittsfield insiders, good old boy network, guys to politically, socially and economically persecute until I was either homeless, jailed or totally controlled by their perversely incentived view of community and society.

My feelings on Cliff Nilan are long and complex, indeed. I write about them to you all so that if the day comes when you see me -- a good person -- suffering at the hands of a few lowlife political persecutors, you all will know the backstory. BUT, I stood by my dad when Luciforo tried to ruin him and Jail his son in the Spring of 1998. My dad knows full well that if I go down, it is only an insidious method by the good old boy network in Pittsfield, Massachusetts to then have the advantage and excuse to take him down with me.

My dad's only intent was to serve the people of Berkshire County as one of the last truly elected Berkshire County Commissioners from 1997 - mid-2000. Unlike the career Pols like Luciforo, Massimiano, Guyer and Ruberto, et al, my dad only wanted to help people with a short-term participation in state and local politics. But in the perversely incentived world of Pittsfield (and elsewhere) Politics, the good old boy network frowned upon my dad's outspokenness against corruption, fraud, waste, abuse and top-down, closed door governance that served only the special interests at the all too great expense of the common people.

In closing, I hope all of my writings and Berkshire Blog postings will be enough to hold the Pittsfield, Massachusetts good old boy network in check. I do not want to hurt anyone, including Luciforo, Massimiano, Guyer and/or Ruberto, but I will continue to stand up for myself and my dad if they try to hurt one or both of us, and that stand includes standing up against Cliff Nilan and his good old boy network M.O.!

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle



Return Nilan to parks board


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Clifford J. Nilan's 26 years of experience on the Pittsfield Parks Commission and his obvious love for the city and its parks make him an ideal candidate to replace Michael P. Filpi, who resigned from the commission for health reasons with six months left on his five-year term. The manner in which Mr. Nilan comported himself as commission chairman during the contentious debate about bringing an independent league baseball team to the city in 2003 speaks well of his candidacy. When Mr. Nilan asked tough but fair questions of suitor Jim Bouton, Mr. Bouton responded with personal attacks that Mr. Nilan did not lower himself to respond to in kind. His professional demeanor and institutional knowledge will benefit the commission, and we hope the City Council tonight will support Mayor Ruberto's nomination of him to rejoin the board after a four-year absence.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

RE: "Bureaucrat" Bosley's HYPOCRISIES! Open letter to the "Bureaucrat" impostering as a Legislator!


Re: "House lawmakers toss Patrick's plans" (The North Adams Transcript Online, 4/12/2007): State Representative a.k.a. “Bureaucrat” Bosley rejected adding 250 new police officers because it would primarily benefit urban areas of the commonwealth. Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams, said the 250 additional officers would likely be put in urban areas and therefore would hurt suburban areas. Patrick had drained funding from the community police officers' account to pay for the new officers' salaries. "We shouldn't suffer because of what's happening in urban areas," ["Bureaucrat"] Bosley said.


Re: “$11 million plan focuses on gangs” (The Springfield Republican Online, 5/11/2007): Gov. Deval L. Patrick and top state legislators yesterday unveiled a plan that will provide $11 million in anti-gang grants. Governor Deval-“uator” Patrick yesterday filed the $88.9 million spending bill that includes the money for grants to fight gang problems and for hiring police officers and helping dairy farmers. State House Speaker DiMasi said the bill would be approved as quickly as possible.


Dear "Bureaucrat" Bosley:

Last month, you rejected Governor Deval-“uator” Patrick’s call for new police officers because it would have benefited urban areas of the commonwealth at the expense of the suburban areas. Moreover, you then called on the “Devaluator” for several million state dollars to bail out the financially constrained and hurting dairy farmers in the rural areas of the commonwealth. Now, the “Devaluator” proposed spending triple the amount of money on urban police officers than on the rural dairy farmers in the same nearly $90 million state spending bill.

So, I ask you this question, “Bureaucrat” Bosley: Are you going to continue to stand by your convictions that state money for urban police officers is wrong because it would likely hurt suburban areas of the commonwealth, OR, are you going to cave into supporting more state funding for urban police officers at the expense of suburban areas in order to get the several millions of state dollars to the needy rural dairy farmers?

I believe that you are a clever bureaucrat, and because your superior, Speaker DiMasi, endorses the “Devaluator’s” spending proposal bill so will you in order for you to stay in the Speaker’s good favor!


In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle


$11 million plan focuses on gangs
Friday, May 11, 2007
By DAN RING dring at repub dot com

BOSTON - Gov. Deval L. Patrick and top state legislators yesterday unveiled a plan that will provide $11 million in anti-gang grants.

During a Statehouse press conference, Patrick said the money for the grants and the police officers should help keep streets safe. "The combination ... is the right approach to help communities with gun and gang violence that may occur this summer," Patrick said yesterday in announcing the plan with House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, D-Boston, Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

The grant money goes to programs for prevention and intervention of street gangs.

Last year, Springfield received $1.4 million and Holyoke and Chicopee shared $890,000 in "Shannon" grants to tackle gang problems. The grants are named after the late state Sen. Charles E. Shannon, of Winchester, a former police officer.

The cities in Western Massachusetts and other recipients would need to apply again for grants from the $11 million, which would be awarded in a competition.

Holyoke Police Chief Anthony R. Scott said last night that he supports the $11 million in grants, but he is skeptical of Patrick.

"He's said a lot of things," Scott said. "I'm going to wait until I actually see it."

Scott said that if Holyoke receives another grant, he would use the money to pay for overtime for up to six police officers in a gang-suppression unit.

Separately, Patrick called for approval of $3.6 million to help bail out struggling dairy farmers in the state. The farmers are suffering losses as they compete with giant dairy farms in Texas, California and other western states.

The money, which needs legislative approval, would be divided among 167 dairy farmers via a formula. The formula would pay each according to the amount of milk they brought to market from April to December of last year.

"It's going to help a great deal," said John F. Wholey, of Conway, a dairy farmer for 29 years. "It isn't going to make us whole ... but it's a nice thing for the commonwealth to do to preserve a business that means a lot economically to the state."

Patrick yesterday filed a $88.9 million spending bill that includes the money for grants to fight gang problems and for hiring police officers and helping dairy farmers. DiMasi said the bill would be approved as quickly as possible.

The $4 million for police officers will mostly go to Boston, which plans to use a share of the money to put 70 new officers on the streets by July 1.

Friday, May 11, 2007 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

Coakley to fight for gay marriage
Vows challenge if amendment OK'd
By Megan Woolhouse, [The Boston] Globe Staff

May 12, 2007

CAMBRIDGE -- Attorney General Martha Coakley said last night that if Massachusetts voters were to approve a ban on same-sex marriages, she would back any efforts to challenge the measure on constitutional grounds.

A constitutional ban could go on the ballot in November 2008 if it receives a second vote of approval from the Legislature.

"I think we can easily anticipate that if the proposed amendment was successful, there would be protracted, hard-fought litigation about the constitutionality of such a provision," she said in a speech at the annual dinner of the Massachusetts Lesbian & Gay Bar Association. "If that battle is necessary, you have my support."

She said she has asked lawyers in her office's civil rights division to be ready to respond, if necessary.

The remarks, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, were the strongest Coakley has made on same-sex marriage since becoming attorney general in January.

Massachusetts lawmakers are weighing whether to put the proposed ban on the ballot. On Wednesday, the House and Senate met in a Constitutional Convention but recessed until next month without taking a vote on the amendment.

After a 2003 decision by the state's highest court, Massachusetts became the only state in the nation to sanction same-sex marriage. In May 2004, those marriages became legal.

In her speech, Coakley said that despite warnings by opponents of the decision, "the sky has not fallen, life goes on."

"The institution of marriage is alive and well in the Commonwealth," she said, adding that more than 8,500 same-sex couples have married in the state. "It has been made more inclusive. I think a seamless integration of an ancient institution with the modern but welcome recognition of the reality of the diversity of sexual orientation has made our state stronger."

Lisa Barstow, an opponent of same-sex marriage and spokeswoman for the group, which is advocating for the ban, disagreed with Coakley and asserted that same-sex marriage has set the state back.

She cited the decision by Catholic Charities in Boston to close its adoption service last year because the church does not condone same-sex adoption of children. "That is one clear example," Barstow said. "And who pays the price? Children."

Those who believe marriage should be legally restricted to a man and a woman have demonstrated broad support for their position. For example, the Massa chusetts Family Institute has collected tens of thousands of signatures in support of the amend ment to ban same-sex marriage. Barstow said yesterday that number is up to 170,000. "These are the citizens of Massachusetts that she has been elected to serve," she said, referring to Coakley.

Throughout her speech, Coakley received several standing ovations from the hundreds of lawyers in attendance.

Alan Minuskin, a professor at Boston College Law School, called her remarks "wonderful."

Coakley's support of same-sex marriage remains important even if the amendment fails, he said. "There's always a threat of backlash," creating new challenges to same-sex marriage.

He noted that the college's law school -- rooted in Catholic Jesuit tradition -- has had a policy forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation since 1982. There is no similar policy in the undergraduate school, he said.

Coakley said supporters of same-sex marriage must rally to fend off the challenge. "We must do everything we can to avoid this. . . . We want our future to progress, not regress. And it is why we want to try and ensure that when the Legislature reconvenes, it rejects this antigay, antimarriage amendment. It can and should do it on the merits and end this debate once and for all."

She spoke of the state's "proud tradition of championing and expand ing civil rights," calling it a travesty for the state constitution to be used to erode rights.

"We cannot allow hate to occupy any legal space in Massachusetts. We cannot legislate hate away, but we can hold those accountable who act upon it, and that's why it is important to develop and implement effective civil rights programs in our schools."

Saturday, May 12, 2007 5:20:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

Dear Berkshire Bloggers, Bureaucrat Bosley, Pols, News Media, & the People:

Does anyone understand the perverse merits of Dan "Bureaucrat" Bosley's hypocritical public policy argument for and against gambling? I do:

(a) The Massachusetts State Lottery is a monopoly and inequitably raises revenues on the backs of the poor, uneducated and addicted gamblers and others in great financial needs for a variety of different and sometimes interconnected reasons. In short, the public lottery system is a tax on the poor, marketed to the poor, and sold as a charity to the municipalities in the form of increased state aid to local governments. The public lottery is gambling and is a regressive form of taxation! The public lottery is a perverse incentive because it makes the SPECIAL INTERESTS wealthy under the false pretenses or in the phony name of public education and local aid while making society worse off.

(b) Dan "Bureaucrat" Bosley's boss, Speaker Sal DiMasi is not in favor of opening private gambling casinos and like private gambling ventures because it would cut into the state's cut of inequitable and regressive revenue sources. Bureaucrat Bosley follows orders to stay in political power and the good graces of his superior -- Naziesque! By remaining in power, Bureaucrat Bosley gets to Chair big government committees, wield influence, and collect many thousands of dollars in SPECIAL INTEREST campaign donations from wealthy corporate executives and lobbying firms.

In conclusion, Dan "Bureaucrat" Bosley uses perverse incentives in his public policy position on gambling. He is following the orders of his political superiors to stay in political power and collect "blood money" or SPECIAL INTEREST campaign donations. What ashame!

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle


Cahill Suggests Legalizing Gambling

By Martha Bebinger, WBUR Newsroom

BOSTON - May 25, 2007 - TEXT OF STORY (In Part):

MARTHA BEBINGER: Treasurer Cahill says Massachusetts has to find a new source of revenue. Lottery sales are down and the state is losing jobs while spending commitments for the new health care law and biotech research are growing. Cahill says he doesn't want to just sit back and watch the Mashpee Wampanoag push for a casino.

...BEBINGER: ...House Speaker Sal DiMasi says on balance, Cahill's plan may not make sense.

...BEBINGER: DiMasi says he believes that the majority of house members remain opposed to casino gambling. DiMasi's point person on gambling, Representative Dan Bosley says that's one reason why a casino is not a "fais de complet" for Massachusetts.

BOSLEY: We fall in the trap of saying this is an inevitability, so let's get in front of it and make the best deal we possibly can, but I don't believe it's an inevitability. If people look at this, they'll understand that while some people from Massachusetts do go to Connecticut to game, most of the gamblers that would come to a new casino would be from Massachusetts, and we wouldn't make as much money as people think we would on casinos.

...BEBINGER: While much of the attention about a tribal casino has been focused on the Mashpees, a related but separate tribe, the Wampanoag's of Gay Head Aquinnah, also plans to renew a casino bid.

Both tribes have considered the possibility that they could open casinos now, based on a state law that allows nonprofit groups to run so-called "Las Vegas Nights." Gary Garrison, a spokesman for the federal Office of Indian Affairs says similar laws have been the basis for casinos in other states.

...The legislature, hearings on gambling bills, and possibly Cahill's plan, are scheduled for mid June.



Don't bet on it

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Now comes our illustrious state treasurer, Tim Cahill, with a proposal for the state to roll the dice and build a casino somewhere in Massachusetts before the Wampanoags do. It's a foolish proposition and one likely to shoot snake eyes with the Legislature upon arrival, thank goodness.

Some in Berkshire County are slavering over the idea, though, in Web blogs or in grocery-market conversations, feeling it would somehow be a panacea to employment woes around hereabouts — or perhaps a closer gambling mecca where they could feed their habit. Somehow they are under the delusion that state leaders would actually consider the idea of building a casino in the Berkshires, if indeed they pursue the idea at all.

Right. It would be way up there on the list of projects we are likely to see in our lifetimes, directly after the Pittsfield bypass and the tramway to Mount Greylock. We do bear in mind, of course, that Adams voters wholeheartedly backed the idea of a casino on Greylock a few years back — and we know what sway Adams has in Boston.

State Rep. Daniel Bosley, our stalwart North Adams Democrat, is already staunchly against the idea of the casino, rightly pointing out that the Wampanoags will build one soon anyway — perhaps in 2010, and the state would have a hard time competing — or, more importantly, getting any revenue at all from the tribe for the privilege of its building in Massachusetts.

Gov. Deval Patrick should tell Mr. Cahill to devote his energy to coming up with ways to shore up sagging state lottery revenues instead of playing long shots. The proper place for a casino in Massachusetts, if we must have one, is on Cape Cod, where tourists have already spoiled a once fabled vacation spot.


House leader resists casino

DiMasi says the treasurer's plan for gambling does not have the support it needs in the Legislature.

By Matt Murphy, Eagle Boston Bureau

Friday, May 25, 2007

BOSTON — State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill believes it is time for the state to roll the dice on a full-scale casino resort in Massachusetts.
Stagnant lottery revenue and a forthcoming push from the Mashpee Wampanoags to build a casino have led Cahill to conclude that the state should not wait any longer to expand its gaming laws to allow for a full casino resort, with restaurants, hotels, golf courses and shopping.

"If Connecticut had been ahead of the curve, they would have been generating significantly more revenue than they're giving the taxpayers now," Cahill said.

But the treasurer's plan to partner with a private developer on the project could be headed for the recycling bin with key legislative leaders already dismissing Cahill's proposal.

State Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams, chairman of the House Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee, said Cahill was "naive" to think an Indian casino in Massachusetts is an inevitability.

The tribe still needs legislative approval to offer expanded gaming not currently allowed by law in Massachusetts.

And if Massachusetts did pre-empt the American Indian tribe with a private casino, Bosley said it would serve only to further erode the struggling state lottery.

"I think it's ill conceived, what he's doing," Bosley said. "He's not going to stop the Wampanoags from putting up their casino. That would cut into business we couldn't negotiate with them (for a share of gambling revenue)," Bosley said.

Cahill announced his support for a casino at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast yesterday, saying one or more resorts could generate up to $1 billion in new revenue that could be returned to cities and towns in local aid.

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has said it hopes to build a casino by 2010 and is considering New Bedford or land recently purchased by the tribe in Middleborough. The Wampanoags recently received federal recognition as a tribe but have found it unfeasible to build on tribal land in Mashpee.

Tribes in other states, such as Connecticut, that have built casinos off tribal land have negotiated deals with their states to share portions of the gaming revenue. But unlike a private luxury casino, the resorts are still tax-exempt.

New Bedford city leaders are clamoring for a waterfront casino to revive the city's economy. A majority of the 57 percent of residents who favor casino gambling in the state prefer Western Massachusetts as a location, according to a recent study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Policy Analysis.

Other observers have floated the idea that Devens could be an ideal location for a state-sanctioned casino with easy highway access, available land and a speedy permitting process.

"At this early stage, it's impossible to say whether we could or would accommodate a large-scale casino operation at Devens," said Adam Bickelman, spokesman for MassDevelopment, the quasi-public agency in charge of overseeing the former Army base's redevelopment.

"I can say that we treat all development proposals equally. We're happy to work with our colleagues in state government to understand the project's needs and determine whether Devens is a good fit." Cahill said he had no preference on where the casino is located, but would want it to have local support.

"I think this project needs to be private sector driven," he said.

House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, D-Boston, said Cahill's plan changed nothing in terms of legislative support of a casino.

"I don't think there's been any shift in the Legislature, and certainly the attitude hasn't changed in the House," said DiMasi, who has been one of the leading opponents of expanded gambling.

DiMasi also believes that beating the Wampanoags to the punch could be harmful to the state because they would no longer have to share their profits with the state.

"It doesn't appear to be a fiscally sound proposal at first blush, but I'll certainly hear what the treasurer has to say," DiMasi said.

Gov. Deval L. Patrick said he is still reviewing whether casino gambling would be a boon to the state.

He put together a team to look into expanded gambling, and it is expected to report back this summer.

"Treasurer Cahill has made a reasoned and serious argument — particularly relative to the economic and social aspects of his proposal — and it will be taken into consideration as part of the administration's review," said Patrick spokesman Kyle Sullivan.


Menino, others back Cahill's casino plan

By Andrea Estes and Maria Cramer, Globe Staff

May 25, 2007

State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill's proposal to have the state auction rights to build luxury gambling resorts won some key allies yesterday, with Mayor Thomas M. Menino, several state senators, business leaders, and a financial watchdog group praising the plan.

"I've seen it work in other places," said Menino, who has been aggressively lobbying Beacon Hill for new revenue sources. "It should be able to work in Boston."

Senator Michael Morrissey and Senate President Therese Murray also backed Cahill, who yesterday unveiled details of his proposal to have the state beat the Mashpee Wampanoags into the casino business and launch a search for developers for one or more casinos.

The plan would face stiff resistance in the Legislature, with opponents including House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi still against it.

But some say that Cahill's newfound support for casino gambling could change some minds on Beacon Hill, where expanded gambling has long met with disapproval.

"When somebody in the treasurer's position takes the lead, it changes the political dynamic substantially," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-financed advocacy group.

"This was not an impulsive act," he said. "I was struck that he had previously opposed gambling as a threat to the lottery, but now is openly acknowledging that this approach can supplement the lottery. We have a shortfall of revenue at both the state and local level. Barring some kind of dramatic improvement in the economy, there are very few options to raise several hundred million new dollars without raising broad-based taxes."

Cahill, who outlined the plan yesterday before the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, argued that casinos make sense now because lottery revenues are flat.

Massachusetts residents are spending more than a billion dollars a year at two Connecticut casinos, and the Cape Cod-based Mashpee Wampanoags are eventually going to build a casino that will provide only limited revenue to the state.

Governor Deval Patrick had praise for elements of the plan.

"Treasurer Cahill has made a reasoned and serious argument, particularly relative to the economic and social aspects of his proposal," said Patrick spokesman Kyle Sullivan.

Sullivan said the administration will consider the proposal as it reviews the benefits and detriments of statewide legalized gaming. Patrick is expected to take a position when the review is completed later this summer.

Morrissey, who has supported gambling in the past, yesterday joined Senate President Therese Murray in backing Cahill's plan. Morrissey said developers should vie for the right to build on land the state owns near the Massachusetts Turnpike in Warren, a community of about 5,000 70 miles west of Boston.

"The real possibility exists that the Indians will have some kind of a casino soon," Morrissey said. "Timmy [Cahill] has seen the light. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. There are a number of people -- and I'm one of them -- who think that you need to exhaust every revenue option before you consider raising taxes. We're running out of other options."

But other lawmakers, including DiMasi, of Boston, continue to vehemently oppose state-sanctioned casinos.

"At first blush, I don't think the treasurer has put forward a particularly new, unique, or financially sound proposal," said DiMasi, who has been a consistent opponent of expanding gambling.

The Wampanoags, who yesterday celebrated their official recognition by the federal government, have announced plans to open a casino by 2010.

But since gambling is not allowed in the state, they must first go through a time-consuming process of putting land into a federal trust and negotiating with the state for permission to operate a casino.

Such deals in other states have often included agreements that tribes pay a certain percentage of revenue in lieu of taxes.

Cahill contends that a privately owned destination casino could be built sooner and with greater financial benefits for the state, generating up to $1 billion in annual gaming taxes and other revenue.

Cahill said that is far more than what the state would receive in a deal with the tribe. But DiMasi said the state should explore a deal with the tribe before making that decision.

"If we were to consider expanded gaming, one would think it would be a good idea to negotiate with the Indian tribes before we entertain private proposals," he said.

"Granting a private expansion of this kind would merely allow the Indian tribes to open similar facilities with absolutely no benefit to the Commonwealth."

The House's most vocal gambling foe, Representative Daniel Bosley, chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, called the plan "ill conceived."

"It's not a moral issue for me," he said. "It's an economic issue. We can do better for our economy than just creating jobs in a casino. To me, if that's the best we do, it's just throwing up our hands and quitting."

Cahill's plan was welcomed by the Wampanoags, who would benefit if it were approved; legalized gambling statewide would allow the Wampanoags to proceed without negotiating with the state for permission to run a casino.

"His speech reflects a recognition of a reality we've long espoused: This train has left the station, and it's a reality that Massachusetts should embrace, " said Wampanoag spokesman Scott Ferson.


Casino debate heats up; DiMasi cool to proposal

By Ken Maguire, Associated Press Writer

May 24, 2007

BOSTON --The casino gambling debate heated up Thursday when Gov. Deval Patrick made a surprise appearance at a Mashpee Wampanoag celebration on Cape Cod, hours after Treasurer Tim Cahill proposed the state enlist private developers to build one or more resort casinos.

But House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi -- the only one of the three who controls votes needed to expand gambling in Massachusetts -- dampened casino talk with a blunt evaluation of Cahill's plan.

"At first blush, I don't think the treasurer has put forward a particularly new, unique or financially sound proposal," DiMasi said in a statement.

Cahill argued the Legislature should vote to expand gambling because Lottery revenues have peaked and Massachusetts residents are spending millions of dollars at the two casinos in Connecticut and slot parlors in Rhode Island.

Cahill said the Cape Cod-based Mashpee Wampanoags will gobble up what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue for Massachusetts.

"The Wampanoag issue has changed the dynamic," Cahill said. "They're going to be allowed to do this somewhere, somehow, someday, so I think we need to get out in front of it."

The maneuvering came the same day the Mashpee Wampanoags celebrated their official federal recognition as a tribe. Patrick made a surprise appearance.

"The governor was in the area and wanted to stop by and personally congratulate the tribe on recognition," said spokesman Kyle Sullivan, adding he did not immediately know if the casino issue was discussed.

Patrick has appointed a task force to examine whether to support an expansion of gaming. He expects a report from the panel this summer.

The tribe has already purchased options on land in Middleborough to possibly open a casino by 2010. The tribe is also considering New Bedford as a site for a casino.

Cahill's plan would involve an auction to seek the most lucrative bids. The proposed casino or casinos would be privately owned and operated, but regulated by the state.

The treasurer said state-sanctioned resort casinos could generate up to $1 billion in annual revenue, far more than what the state would get in a pact with the tribe.

But DiMasi said Cahill's plan would hurt the state's negotiating position.

"If we were to consider expanded gaming, one would think it would be a good idea to negotiate with the Indian tribes before we entertain private proposals," he said. "Granting a private expansion of this kind would merely allow the Indian tribes to open similar facilities with absolutely no benefit to the commonwealth."

DiMasi has opposed an expansion of gambling beyond the state lottery and the state's horse and dog tracks. House lawmakers in 2006 rejected a bill designed to allow each of the tracks to install up to 2,000 slot machines.

"The overall question we face as a commonwealth is whether or not we should have expanded gambling in Massachusetts and I don't think there is any change in the House position at this time," DiMasi said.

Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, has been supportive of expanded gambling. Cahill said DiMasi would be the hardest sell, but Patrick would be receptive because "the governor is looking for more revenue."

Doug Rubin, Patrick's chief of staff and former top lieutenant in Cahill's office, attended Cahill's speech Thursday morning but declined comment.

Tribe spokesman Scott Ferson predicted a "photo finish" on who would be first to build a casino should the Legislature approve expanded gambling.

"To have a constitutional officer endorse the concept that we've been putting forth is encouraging," he said.

Casino gambling opponent Rep. Dan Bosley, D-North Adams, said Cahill's proposal was an "ill-conceived" overreaction to flat Lottery revenues. The Wampanoags would soon build a competing casino, he said, and the state's revenues could be eroded further by future projects by other tribes.

Cahill said he knows problems come with casino gambling, such as traffic congestion and more problem gamblers. But he said the benefits -- including increased revenue and jobs -- outweigh the negatives.

"If we truly wish to compete with our surrounding states for the disposable income of our citizens, and provide relief for property tax owners in every city and town in Massachusetts, we have to remove the constraints around gaming," he said.


Saturday, May 26, 2007 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

Tuesday, 29 May, 2007

RE: Cliff Nilan drove in the wedge -- I may become HOMELESS!

Dear Berkshire Bloggers, Politicians, News Media, & the People:

Pittsfield, Massachusetts' "Good Old Boy" Cliff Nilan drove in the wedge between my parents and myself. His many phone calls to my dad have paid off. Cliff Nilan is best friends with Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. and is part of the "Good Old Boy Network" that tried to ruin my dad and put me in jail in the Spring of 1998. Moreover, Cliff Nilan has listened as Denis E. Guyer has spread the most vicious, false and slanderous rumors against me, making me appear as criminal, disturbed and predatory. As Cliff Nilan has said on many occasions, I will say his bullyish quote now, "I KNOW!" Indeed, I know that if I am homeless because of the power play on my dad's insecurities -- another political persecution by the Pittsfield Political Machine against my father -- that the Pittsfield Good Old Boy Network will be wringing their hands with abuse and schadenfreude. I know that if I become homeless, this is another way for ASSHOLES like Cliff Nilan to get at my father with teeth. Cliff Nilan has once again done the dirty work for the Pittsfield Political Machine ran by the Good Old Boys' Network. Congratulations to all of my enemies for the miserable life of Cliff Nilan and his corrupted inner circle of lousy Pols. The only difference between the powerful and the powerless -- Cliff Nilan and Jonathan Melle -- is the ultimate judgment we will all receive. While I go down now, and Cliff Nilan is rewarded for his dirty work now, my soul will be saved by God, while Cliff Nilan's soul will be punished by the lesser powers that gives him his political power on Earth. I will always speak my good conscience as long as I live!

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 6:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

RE: Governor Deval Patrick is a GOOD MAN!


[Deval] Patrick on parade
Governor drops in to honor local heroes
By Derek Gentile, Berkshire Eagle Staff
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
The black SUV pulled up to the intersection of Main and Cottage streets in Great Barrington about 10:55 yesterday morning, a few minutes before the town's annual Memorial Day Parade. The passenger door opened, and out popped Gov. Deval L. Patrick, wearing a dark blue shirt, tan slacks, red tie and a green cap with "Richmond" proudly emblazoned above the bill.
With no entourage, except for a driver and a somber-looking security aide, Patrick walked up Cottage Street, shaking hands and greeting town officials and supporters.
"Hey, it's Deval Patrick," said resident Barbara Beach, standing on the Cottage Street bridge. "How cool is that?"
"Well, I live in Richmond," Patrick said by way of explanation, "so I'm a neighbor, so to speak. And I think it's important that people in the Berkshires know they have a governor that knows where they are. Sometimes I think people out here believe the governor is (New York Governor) Eliot Spitzer."
Patrick emphasized that his plan was just to march in the parade, stressing that he did not want to siphon interest from the spirit of the day, which was to honor veterans.
And, indeed, although he did march, he did not speak, content to stand on the sidelines during the Memorial Day program at Town Hall. Regardless, the reception he got from spectators was uniformly enthusiastic.
"We're honored to have the governor here," said Robert Guidi, a World War II veteran and the master of ceremonies in Great Barrington yesterday. Guidi said Suzanne Bump, the state secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, contacted him and asked if Patrick could participate in the parade. Bump confirmed that Patrick had asked to march.
"It was his idea, but he didn't want to detract from the spirit of the day," she said.
Local officials march
Also marching in yesterday's Great Barrington parade were state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, D-Pittsfield, state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, and the Great Barrington Selectmen, Fire and Police departments, and representatives from branches of the service.
Guidi was master of ceremonies for the Great Barrington event. Col. John Bubriski was the main speaker, and Michael Murphy was officer of the day.
Bubriski told an audience of about 200 on the Town Hall lawn that "We should not accept the feelings of grief or affliction, without accepting feelings of honor, courage and pride. We commend you, our fallen comrades. We thank you, we love you, we will never forget you."
Great Barrington's was one of about 20 Memorial Day parades throughout Berkshire County. In Pittsfield, about an hour earlier, Mayor James M. Ruberto led a contingent of marchers that included members of the Pittsfield City Council.
"It's not as big a parade as our Fourth of July Parade, but this parade is more solemn and more meaningful to our veterans," Ruberto said.
Lt. Margaret H. Haggerty was grand marshal of the Pittsfield parade, while the master of ceremonies was James Callahan. Gary Wilk was guest speaker, and Eagle Publisher Andrew H. Mick read "The Gettysburg Address." The Taconic and Pittsfield high school bands marched, and the PHS band played taps.
Downing scored a Memorial Day double, marching in Pittsfield and Great Barrington.
In the Stockbridge parade, veteran Raymond Whalen of Stockbridge, accompanied by his grandchildren Brady Whalen, 7, and Isabelle Whalen, 4, carried the service flags of Raymond's two brothers, who died in separate wars.
In 1943, 21-year-old Donald Whalen, a sergeant in the Army Air Force, was declared MIA. Twenty-six years later, another brother, Michael Whalen, 25, a medic, was killed in Vietnam. Michael was buried with the Distinguished Service cross.
The Whalens are originally from Lee, Raymond Whalen said. Yesterday, he said, was a very emotional day for him and his surviving siblings and their families.
"We miss them," he said of his brothers, "a good deal."
Berkshire Parades
5/28/2007 -- Governor Deval Patrick waves to the crowds that gathered along Great Barrington's Main Street for the Memorial Day parade. Photo: Darren Vanden Berge

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 4:09:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...


PITTSFIELD — Gov. Deval L. Patrick brought his campaign for municipal relief to the steps of City Hall yesterday, and more than 200 people were there to hear his message.

Noting that some of the provisions of his proposal face opposition on Beacon Hill, Patrick asked the public to contact their state representatives and express support for his plan.

The legislation — dubbed the "Municipal Partnership Act" — seeks to reduce increases in health care insurance payments and pension plans for cities and towns, while increasing municipal revenue by repealing a property tax exemption for phone companies and imposing a 2 percent meals tax.

The result, Patrick said, would be a reduction in communities' dependence on property taxes.

"This proposal will create new revenue, address increasing costs and reduce reliance on property tax," he said.

The phone company property tax exemption was implemented in the early 1900s to encourage universal access to telephones, according to Patrick.

"It was a good idea at the time, but it's time to declare victory now that we do have universal telephone coverage," he said.

The tax exemption allows phone companies to avoid paying property taxes to cities and towns for telephone poles and switching stations, the same kind of property for which power companies and cable companies have to pay taxes.

Patrick predicted that telephone companies will dispatch lobbyists to block the proposal.

"You can be sure that phone company lobbyists on Beacon Hill will make their voices heard," he said. "So you, too, have to make your voices heard on Beacon Hill. Let us know this matters to you by phone, letter and e-mail."

If the exemption is repealed, Pittsfield would receive about $584,000 in new revenue, according to an estimate provided by the governor's staff.

The estimates also show what the following cities and towns would receive:

Lee, $164,000;

North Adams, $101,000;

Adams, $44,000;

Becket, $103,000;

Dalton, $42,000;

Great Barrington, $50,000;

Hinsdale, $23,000;

Lenox, $50,000;

Stockbridge, $58,000;

Sheffield, $19,000; and

Williamstown, $49,000.

Under the 2 percent meals tax plan, 75 percent of that revenue would be channeled back to the municipalities and the other 25 percent would be used for property tax relief. Patrick noted that with the 2 percent tax, the meal tax would still be lower than many states on the East Coast.
By allowing cities and towns to join the health insurance coverage and pension plan for state employees, the rate of increase would be slowed, saving future dollars and reducing the need to raise the property tax or reduce services, he said.

Patrick's plan won support from Pittsfield Mayor James M. Ruberto and North Adams Mayor John Barrett III, both of whom took the podium prior to the governor's remarks.

"It is important that we recognize what this means to communities like Pittsfield," Ruberto said. "These are real dollars that, when taken together, would allow us to ask for 2 percent less in property taxes."

Said Barrett: "The previous governor has said that he balanced the budget. Well, he balanced it on the backs of the cities and towns of this state. Governor, I support 99.9 percent of this legislation, and the other (tenth of) 1 percent we'll have to talk about."

Barrett said the proposal brings more revenue into the municipalities while allowing them to work on improving local programs.

Standing under a sunny sky, speaking into a raft of microphones and looking out over a healthy crowd made up of local citizens, influential business people, local politicians, five fourth-grade classes from Morningside Elementary School and members of the press, Patrick spoke smoothly, with familiarity, and command of the material. He elicited several rounds of spontaneous applause.

"We need to put aside arguments that are based on fear," he said. "And we need to concentrate on facts about what we need for today."

» At a glance

Highlights of Gov. Deval L. Patrick's Municipal Partnership Act:

Property tax relief: Allows cities and towns to impose a meals tax of up to 2 percent of gross receipts to help generate revenue for property tax relief for seniors. Twenty-five percent of the revenue would be deposited into a state reserve fund to be used to reimburse cities and towns for property taxes abated for qualifying senior citizens.

Elimination of property tax exemption for telecommunication companies: Making telephone companies pay property taxes for poles and switching stations would shift the tax burden from profitable businesses to residential and other business taxpayers. Overall, the telecommunications industry is avoiding $78 million in annual property taxes statewide, according to the Patrick administration.

Group Insurance Commission: The legislation would allow cities and towns, by local option, to participate in the Group Insurance Commission, which carries the health insurance of state workers. A recent report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation showed that the cost of health coverage for municipal employees increased an average of 63 percent from 2001 to 2005, about twice the rate of increase for state employees.

Pension reform: By requiring under-performing municipal, county and authority pension funds to be taken over by the state retirement board, the proposal will save these cities and towns money by connecting them with one of the best-performing pension funds in the country.

Source: Office of the Governor

Thursday, May 31, 2007 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

Dear North Adams Transcript:

I liked reading the's editorial "Beyond Promises" today. You are right about pointing out the differences between what your local area and state Pols say, and the harsh reality that cities and towns are facing, especially in rural areas like Berkshire County.

The pending Massachusetts state budget faces a $1.3 Billion deficit, which is estimated to increase to an even larger number next year. Now, the Berkshire and state politicians are promising social and economic programs that will increase state spending by over a billion dollars.

The North Adams Transcript is right on when they ask, "Where's the beef?"

Yours Truly,

Jonathan A. Melle

Beyond promises
North Adams Transcript
Article Launched:06/04/2007
Monday, June 4, 2007

Two stories of hope and promise were nearly juxtaposed on Page 1 of Saturday's Transcript, above the fold. One proclaimed Gov. Deval Patrick's comprehensive plan to improve public education in Massachusetts; the other related thoughts from three Berkshire County politicians and a Chamber of Commerce leader on how to bring business to this region.

All five men — the governor, state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams, state Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, North Adams Mayor John Barrett III and Michael J. Supranowicz, executive director of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce — undoubtedly are sincere in their aspirations for Berkshire County and for the state. Some can already point to significant accomplishments. But beyond the headlines, the specifics once again were lacking.

Gov. Patrick's call for a universal prekindergarten, a longer school day and free community college for all residents, among other measures, sounds terrific. Who could possibly be against it? But more to the point, who is going to pay for it — to the tune of an estimated $1 billion — when many communities have already been forced to cut teachers, programs and staffs to meet existing costs?

The governor fired what was meant to be a pre-emptive shot at critics by saying they never would have believed the colonies could break free from Britain, the United States would prevail in World War II or America would put a man on the moon. Nice rhetoric. Where's the beef? Interesting, too, that he committed his administration to spending "the next 10 years" to changing the way we think about public education and how it is delivered. Guess he plans to be governor a long time.

His strategy of creating a "readiness project" sounds like yet another consultant study to us. We wish the plan well but will wait to see the proposed funding mechanisms before getting too excited.

Just as we still wait in North Berkshire to get beyond strategies we "could" pursue or steps we "might" take. For, despite the sincerity and talent of our leaders, we still talk too much about need and too little about action.

Monday, June 04, 2007 7:57:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

RE: Bureaucrat Bosley--for the public record

Dear Bureaucrat Bosley, Berkshire Bloggers, News Media, Pols, & the People:

Re: "Pols Pump Up Our Taxes", "Howie Carr: Do Us A Favor: Stay Home!", & "Gas Prices Don't Bother Me! I Drive a Hybrid and I gotta tell ya...This thing is practically paying me! ...A Berkshire/Western Massachusetts State Legislator piggybacking the taxpayers" (BOSTON HERALD, 6/4 & 6/5/07): DANIEL E. BOSLEY tops the per diem pay list so far this year, collecting $6,930 from the taxpayers for commuting to work. I wonder why Bosley takes home $90 per round trip when it is common knowledge that he owns a Boston apartment! The same goes for Stan Rosenberg, the State Senator from Amherst, Massachusetts, who was #2 behind State Senator Ben Downing, collecting $3,120 so far this year for his commute to work. It is also common knowledge that John Olver and Stan Rosenberg own a Boston apartment, but collect the higher per diem rate. Also on the top of the per diem list is Denis E. Guyer, who married one of the richest woman in the World--Golddigger, and "Smitty" Pignatelli, whose first act of legislative "leadership" was to vote for the felon, Tom Finneran for Speaker of the House in early 2003.

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle


Pols pump up our taxes: Get paid for drive to work
By Dave Wedge
Boston Herald Chief Enterprise Reporter

Monday, June 4, 2007

As gas prices soar, taking a toll on many Bay State families, taxpayers have shelled out nearly $200,000 to pay Beacon Hill lawmakers to drive themselves to work, a Herald review has found.

With prices at the pump topping $3 statewide, 68 members of the House and 14 senators have already received more than $1,000 in travel pay this year, with some hauling in nearly $7,000.

The 68 House members who have put in for the daily travel reimbursements have scored an average $1,524 so far this year, while the 20 members of the Senate have fetched an average $1,616.

Western Massachusetts lawmakers top the list, with some making $90 a day to drive to the Golden Dome. The taxpayer-funded payments are based on mileage and are not adjusted to rising and falling gas prices.

The top earner was Rep. Daniel Bosley (D-North Adams), who has been paid $6,930 for commuting 77 days at $90 per day. Other top earners include:

Rep. Denis Guyer (D-Dalton) - $6,396;

Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D-Lenox) - $4,860;

Sen. Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield) - $4,320;


Rep. Sarah K. Peake (D-Provincetown) - $3,922

But it’s not only faraway lawmakers cashing in. Many Hub legislators have made extra dough by putting in for hundreds in daily $10 travel payments, including Rep. Martin Walsh (D-Dorchester), Rep. Kevin Honan (D-Allston), Rep. Denise Provost (D-Somerville) and former Rep. Brian Wallace (D-South Boston), among others.

The lawmakers are collecting the per diem pay as gas prices remain a sore spot for commuters and as the Legislature considers a 9-cent gas tax that would further hit motorists in the wallet. The proposed hike was floated to help reduce toll increases.

Barbara Anderson, who heads the taxpayer watchdog group Citizens for Limited Taxation, said per diem payments are a “silly,” outdated concept created when the Legislature was part-time.

“I’d rather it be like New Hampshire, where they get paid (a yearly stipend) plus mileage,” she said. “But in Massachusetts they get everything.”

She added that the payments are even more questionable considering modern technology would allow lawmakers to work from home more often.

“The real story is there a need for them to drive to Boston?” Anderson said.

One lawmaker who didn’t want his name used said some lawmakers show up at the State House briefly and then go work at local law firms and are still able to collect a per diem.

Per diem travel pay for state employees became an issue earlier this year when the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority cut off a program that resulted in troopers without take-home cruisers being paid $40 a day to drive to work. The taxpayer-funded perk ended up costing $1.4 million a year, with some troopers making an extra $9,000 annually.



Beacon Hill Lawmakers have raked in nearly $200,000 in daily per diem travel pay since January (2007).

Here are some of the top earners:

Massachusetts State Senate:

1. Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield) $4,320

2. Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst) $3,120 (Also #5 for most paid days--52 paid days at $60 per day)

Massachusetts State House:

1. Rep. DANIEL E. BOSLEY (D-North Adams) $6,930

2. Rep. Denis E. Guyer (D-Dalton) $6,396 (Also #5 for most paid days--78 at $82 per day)

3. Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli (D-Lenox) $4,860


Do us a favor: Stay home!
By Howie Carr
Boston Herald Columnist

Monday, June 4, 2007

Wouldn’t it be cheaper if we paid the Legislature not to come to work?

There are so many things wrong with the idea of per diems. For starters, how about with the fact that you are basically bribing them to show up? Talk about the wrong incentive. They wouldn’t have become solons if they weren’t inclined toward stealing.

Am I right, Chris Asselin, formerly of the general court, now inmate 90812-038 at Schuylkill Federal Correctional Institute.

By the way, per diems operate on the “honor system.” Legislators are taken at their word that they are actually due their traveling allowance for commuting to the State House. I ask you, does that seem wise, sanctioning a practice that requires the use of the phrases “honor system” and “state reps” in the same sentence?

How addictive is it to get paid to drive to work? Yesterday I am perusing the printout of sticky-fingered solons and up pops the name of Susan Pope. Talk about forgotten but not gone. She’s the Wayland Republican who last year retired due to ill health - the voters got sick of her. Since then she has futilely tried to jack up her pension on the grounds that her parking space should have been counted as part of her income.

Anyway, Pope was a lame-duck rep for one day this year, but she still managed to put in for her final 18 bucks. One for the road, you might say.

This per-diem issue is a perennial embarrassment at the State House, kind of like House speakers being convicted of felonies. Years ago, when the stipend for the Boston reps was a mere $5 (now it’s doubled to a sawbuck), a rep from East Boston was caught red-handed. He’d filed for a finn on a day when he was in Rome.

The reporter for this newspaper called the statesman and told him he was busted. There was a silence on the other end and then the solon spoke: “For five bucks, you’re gonna croak me?”

Per diems are the crack cocaine of legislative perks. The hacks are addicted almost instantaneously. Consider the case of Sarah Peake. A year ago she was just another moonbat selectman from Provincetown, best known for demanding that a famous old painting at P-town Town Hall of the Mayflower Compact be removed. See, Sarah objected to the fact that no women were casting ballots in the Max Bohm oil painting. Hey, Sarah, it was 1620, remember?

Peake was elected state rep last November. And it wasn’t long before somebody gave her the great news: P-town is so far away that they give you $74 a day just for showing up!

Sarah Peake has already collected $3,922 this year. She’s gone from moonbat to greedy moonbat.

How about Rep. Marie St. Fleur, the Haitian-born state rep from Dorchester who is one of the biggest tax deadbeats in the Legislature? Marie considers paying taxes strictly optional, but by God she keeps bellying up at the treasurer’s window. Even though she gets only $10 a day, she’s already pocketed $530 this year.

After an almost yearly string of low-grade per-diem scandals, the treasurer now says his staff keeps tabs on the process. My suggestion is that for each day a rep files for the expense of traveling to Boston, he should be required to produce a photo of himself, holding up that day’s newspaper, the way kidnappers force their victims to do to prove that they’re still alive. Pose them one after another in front of, what else, the Hooker statue. You want the ransom, reps, prove it!

There’s another, more up-to-date way to keep tabs on the solons, of course. Ankle bracelets.

We already pay them way too much money for far too little in return. This is why they keep getting themselves arrested - idle hands are the devil’s workshop. My God, Paul Kujawski has already collected $2,592 this year, at $36 a day. He must have almost gone bankrupt when he lost his license for OUI.

What a racket. Being a rep sure beats working for a living, and if you don’t believe me, just ask Tommy Taxes.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007 4:31:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

RE: The lottery is a form of regressive taxation!

Dear Joan Vennochi:

Your political column was very interesting to read. Gambling is a socioeconomic cost borne mostly by those who are least able to pay for it. Rep. Dan Bosley would rather market gambling to the poor in order for the state to collect a monopoly of revenues through this inequitable enterprise that redistributes money from the have nots to the haves instead of market gambling in the competitive business of Casinos that offer nice restaurants and 5 star hotel rooms. The problem for an inequitable politician like Dan Bosley is that he knows it is easier to steal candy from a baby than to from a middle class and wealthy adult. Deval Patrick's policies want to redistribute money from the haves to the have nots, and that runs counter to the inequitable principles of Beacon Hill power brokers like North Adams, Massachusetts State Representative Daniel E. Bosley, the BUREAUCRAT impostoring as a Legislator!

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle
Gambling fever's tight grip
By Joan Vennochi, [The Boston]Globe Columnist
June 7, 2007
AFTER MY son turned 18 recently, I started finding scratched-out lottery tickets on his nightstand. He is now old enough to indulge his fantasy of easy money.
When it comes to gambling fever, he is not alone. The Bay State's top politicians are betting on quick, easy cash for the Commonwealth, beyond what the state lottery brings in.
State Treasurer Timothy Cahill recently endorsed a casino or two. He argues that the maxing out of lottery revenues is good reason to search for alternative revenue and predicts casinos could bring the state as much as $1 billion a year.
State Auditor Joseph DeNucci recently declared casino gambling "inevitable." In an interview with State House News Service, DeNucci suggested that House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, a longtime opponent of gambling, is "warming up to it."
DeNucci also predicted that Governor Deval Patrick, who set up a casino gambling study group, will decide in favor of casinos.
It sounds plausible. How else is Patrick going to pay for the more than $3 billion in new programs that he is proposing?
When skeptics ask the governor about the affordability of his dreams, he talks about President Kennedy's mission to land a man on the moon.
For more circumstantial evidence of the direction this state could be headed in, consider the career path of Doug Rubin, Patrick's chief of staff. He worked for Cahill, then took a job as adviser to the Patrick campaign.
After Patrick's election, Rubin was already talking to assorted gambling interests about representing them as a consultant. Now that that he is chief political adviser to a sitting governor, it is hard to imagine that he's arguing against those interests.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Indians are currently pressuring Patrick to negotiate a binding agreement, called a compact, without any affirmative vote by the Legislature. An Indian-run casino became a possibility when the tribe won federal recognition after a 30-year battle.
The Wampanoags' quest could pave the way for slot machines at race tracks, as well as more casinos. Under Cahill's plan, which would have to be approved and implemented by Patrick and the Legislature, the state would look to develop gambling meccas, which would offer luxury hotels, gourmet restaurants, shopping, and event pavilions. The state would regulate them and get a piece of the action.
Less than robust state revenue forecasts give gambling proponents leverage. And Patrick's dreamy agenda provides another kind of pressure.
The governor is proposing free community colleges, universal preschool, full-day kindergarten, 1,000 new police officers, an extended commuter rail line, a $1 billion biotechnology investment, and property tax breaks.
That's like pulling a new BMW into my driveway, putting Red Sox season tickets in the glove compartment, leaving the hottest cellphone on the driver's seat, filling the trunk with video games and DVDs -- and then asking my son if this dazzling array interests him. Of course it does. But just like the taxpayers of Massachusetts, he has no way to pay for it.
It's painful for an 18-year-old to think of all the time and hard work it would take to earn enough money to buy that whole package. So, it's off to buy a lottery ticket and dream about hitting the jackpot.
It's painful for Massachusetts taxpayers to face the prospect of more taxes to pay for expanded state services. So, it's time to throw the state wide open to gambling and dream about a jackpot of new state revenue.
The key question: Will expanded gambling really bring in new money? Or, "Does it just rearrange the deck chairs?" asks state Representative Daniel E. Bosley, chairman of the House Committee on Economic Development and a longtime opponent of casino gambling in Massachusetts.
There are also potential social costs, from crime to gambling addiction.
There is an alternative to raising revenue through more taxation or expanded gambling. That would be not buying more than you can afford.
The merits of that approach apply to teenagers and governors alike. Such restraint isn't popular in this age of instant gratification, but it is a wiser fiscal path than the one some Bay State politicians may be plotting.
Eighteen-year-olds are still entitled to their fantasies. The older and wiser have an obligation to recognize the truth.
Betting on easy money can be risky business.

Thursday, June 07, 2007 1:14:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...


Officials 'shouldn't be leaving midterm'

By Hillary Chabot, Eagle Boston Bureau

The Berkshire Eagle

Monday, June 11, 2007

BOSTON — They say bad news comes in threes.

First, state Sen. Robert Travaglini, D-Boston, left midterm to start his own consulting firm after being offered $300,000 from another private practice. Then Sen. Jarrett Barrios, D-Cambridge, announced that he will leave July 5 to take a job at Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Who is next? Barbara Anderson, executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation, believes it should not be anyone.

"As a general rule, they shouldn't be leaving midterm. They ran for office, and their absence causes an expense when you hold another election. It's also a violation of the trust people put into their elected officials. They elected you to serve your term," she said.

The last three special elections in the state have cost $188,000 for all three, and the special election to replace Meehan will cost $627,000 just in state expenses.

Barrios, who said he will not be earning much more than the roughly $165,000 he currently makes, said he did not plan on leaving midterm.

"I wasn't looking. I was approached with the offer, and I really feel that I can do more in (the BCBS) position for my constituents than continuing as a rank-and-file senator," Barrios told The Berkshire Eagle.

Many senators, including Barrios, ask their staffers to continue running the office even after they leave to ensure that constituents' needs are met. The Senate president also takes over the district by default as they wait for a new senator.

Leaving public office midterm for a much better paying position in the private sector is not unheard of, but it is also not the rule, said University of Massachusetts Lowell professor Frank Talty.

"I think it's unusual. Generally, when people go into public service, they aren't using it as a steppingstone to the private sector.

"Usually, people try to go higher in public service. A lot of times, people opt for the private sector because they are having trouble advancing in the public arena," Talty said, pointing to former Speaker Thomas M. Finneran's departure in 2005 as he was being investigated for perjury.

Called to a higher office

Some legislators also leave because they get called to a higher office, such as Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams, who almost took a job with Gov. Deval L. Patrick's administration. Anderson had fewer issues with that sort of departure.

Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, said Bosley has stayed very true to his district.

"He has had more opportunities (to leave) than anybody else, and he still has a passion for this job and makes $58,000 a year, when he could be making so much more. He represents what's best about public servants," Pignatelli said.

The new chairman of Senate Ways and Means, Sen. Steven C. Panagiotakos, D-Lowell, also promised that he will not leave, even though rumors have been swirling that he might accept a job at the University of Massachusetts Lowell once U.S. Rep. Martin T. Meehan takes over in July.

"I've got a new job, and it's a very challenging one, but I'm really enjoying it," Panagiotakis said.

Two-year terms

Lawmakers serve only two-year terms, so Anderson argues that they should avoid running for re-election if they are looking for another position or that they should hold off until their term is up.

Beacon Hill watchdogs speculated that Travaglini was leaving for at least a year before his exit, and he departed only five months after he won re-election.

Pignatelli said that sometimes situations change unexpectedly for lawmakers. "You have to put yourself in their shoes. If someone offers you a job and offers to triple your salary, sometimes that's hard to pass up," he said, adding that he's not going anywhere. "I signed up for two years at a time."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...


Dear Dan Bosley:

It is a little embarrassing that you are a bureaucrat impostering as a legislator. Let us review the real methodologies on gambling in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts thus far. Every year for about 3 consecutive decades, the state lottery has expanded its monopoly controlled system of regressive taxation in the false name of increasing state aid to the cities and towns. For over 30 years, the state has profitted more and more off of the backs of the working poor by growing the lottery.

Dan, I remember the 3 straight years of state cuts to local governments and the cap placed on lottery local aid. The state took a large portion of the state lottery's regressive tax revenue and deposited it into the state's general fund. Moreover, during those three consecutive years of state aid cuts to cities and townsm, you and your fellow legislative cronies voted yourself's three straight pay raises, with one being vetoed by then Gov. Willard Mitt Romney in the summer of 2003. The three straight fiscal years of drastic cuts to the cities and towns, along with the cap on lottery aid to cities and towns, took place between the Thanksgiving Budget in the Fall of 2001 (FY2002) through the July 1, 2003 state budget (FY2004).

Dan, let us look at your pathetic tenure as a phony legislator representing North Adams and the surrounding region on Beacon Hill:

1- You were a long-term supporter of Speaker Tom Finneran, who closed the doors to the public on state government, was terrible to Western Massachusetts and other remote areas not near Boston, and ultimately plead guilty to felony charges after he racially discriminated against minority voters in his own and an adjacent legislative district.

2- North Adams's public school system is among the worst performing districts in both the state and nation. Moreover, North Adams has seen a deep drop in population over the past 25 years. On top of that, North Adams' drinking water is polluted with the same problems that were documented in the movie, "A Civil Action": TCE Pollution. On top of that poverty and welfare caseloads and teen pregnancies and crime and the like are all higher than the statewide averages. In North Adams, one is fortunate not to be homeless or hungry, but the city reaps the perversly incentivized rewards from all of the social problems there. Dan, you have been in office for long enough that some of North Adams' and the surrounding area's problems should have been resolved with social justice, compassion and political activism.

3- Dan, you support the lottery, but oppose privatized gambling. That parallels the president's support of increased War and defense spending, while at the same time supporting 3 consecutive tax cuts that really only benefit the corporate elite. It is ORWELLIAN, Dan Bosley!

4- Dan, you were a flip flopper on Clean Elections. From 1998 - 2003, you voted for Clean Elections before you voted to terminate the voluntary campaign finance reform program under the decree of the dictator, former-Speaker Tom Finneran.

5- Dan, you raise many, many, many thousands of dollars in special interest campaign dollars that have absolutely nothing to do with North Adams and the surrounding area. You have used these funds to finance trips to the Caribbean, Dollywood, and the like. Moreover, you are at or near the top of the per diem commuting list every year, too. You claim that you travel from North Adams to Boston each commuting day, but you have said that you own your own apartment in Boston. That is fraudulent, of course, but you are number one so far this year -- 2007 -- in collecting the highest amount of money on per diem travel/commuting pay.

6- You are a Beacon Hill insider that serves the corporate elite for your own benefit and political power! Berkshire County and the people there are a joke to you. Dan, you are really, really, really intelligent on public policy matters, but you sport an M.O. around North Adams that gives a false public image to show otherwise. You don't fool me.

In conclusion, while Dan Bosley slams U Mass professors and others, I am proud to slam Dan Bosley--the bureaucrat impostering as a legislator!

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle


Mass. casino backers playing numbers game
By Sean P. Murphy, Globe Staff | June 11, 2007

One powerful Massachusetts legislator, Representative Daniel E. Bosley , an adamant casino opponent, says Barrow's studies are speculative, that they rely on a sample of casino patronage that is too small, and they assume values for calculating total spending that cannot be verified.

Bosley complained about him to Jean F. MacCormack, the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where Barrow is a tenured professor.

Bosley said in an interview that he has no problem with Barrow's subject matter, just his methodology.

"Given Dr. Barrow's flawed research, it's a little embarrassing that he is a tenured professor at a public university," Bosley said.


Town near deal to back casino
Middleborough offered $7m per year for decade

By Sean P. Murphy, Globe Staff June 12, 2007

The Middleborough Board of Selectmen has agreed to support an Indian-owned casino in exchange for a promise from developers to pay the town $7 million a year in compensation for accommodating the millions of expected visitors, according to town officials.

The agreement, if formally approved at a public board meeting tomorrow evening, would significantly advance the proposal of the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe and its equity partners, Sol Kerzner and Len Wolman, the billionaire developers of Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

As part of the deal, the tribe would be precluded from considering offers from other municipalities interested in having the casino, including New Bedford, where city officials had aggressively courted the Wampanoags.

Town Manager Jack Healey called the agreement "a great deal."

"This could cement the financial future of this town for years to come," he said yesterday. "It could take care of the town's needs."

The five-member town board will hear public debate on the issue at 7 p.m. tomorrow.

Under the terms of the Middleborough deal, the selectmen, in exchange for the cash contribution, would be required to support the casino proposal in upcoming federal and state negotiations.

On the federal level, the selectmen would join forces with the developers in urging the US Department of the Interior to accept into a federal trust nearly 350 acres that the Wampanoags control in the Southeastern Massachusetts town, a necessary step under federal law for a tribe to open a casino. The department, in weighing whether to grant trust status, must consider whether it is locally supported, according to federal law.

On the state level, the deal would require selectmen to act in concert with the casino developers in seeking an agreement with the Commonwealth. Such an agreement, known as a compact, would exempt the developers from the current state prohibition against slot machines in exchange for the developers agreeing to pay the state a certain share of revenues in lieu of taxes.

In addition to the $7 million annual payment, the deal before the Middleborough selectmen calls for the developers to meet the cost of necessary improvements in the town's water, sewer, and roadway infrastructure, and to pay for any increases in police, fire, and other emergency services attendant to a casino.

The Wampanoags have moved quickly to make the state's first casino a reality after the 1,460- member tribe officially received federal recognition last month following a 30-year quest. That designation gives tribes the conditional right to operate a casino in the state.

On May 23, tribal leaders signed a deal with Kerzner and Wolman, instantly giving the Wampanoags access to billions of dollars in capital and the kind of business know-how that has made Mohegan Sun one of the world's largest casinos.

Last Friday, the development team, known as Trading Cove Mashpee, completed the purchase of about 125 acres of land from the town for $1.8 million, after having successfully bid on it at an auction in March. The developers also own an option to buy a contiguous 200-acre tract of private land off Route 44 in Middleborough .

"The tribe has been clear that it wanted to settle the question of where a casino would go sooner, rather than later, and the negotiations with Middleborough have been cordial and fruitful," Scott Ferson, the tribe's spokesman, said yesterday.

Middleborough, with about 20,000 residents, is about 40 miles from Boston and 30 miles from Providence. Town officials have said the tribe has outlined a concept that, in addition to hundreds of slot machines and gambling tables, would include a hotel, restaurants, entertainment venues, and a golf course. The town bills itself as the "cranberry capital of the world."

Meanwhile, the developers are pressing their legal interpretation that they can negotiate a compact directly with Governor Deval Patrick, without a vote from the Legislature. A legal opinion to that effect has been circulated by the developers within the governor's office and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

While the state Senate has previously supported expanded gambling in Massachusetts, the House has opposed it. House Speaker Salvatore F . DiMasi recently questioned the right of the Wampanoags to open a casino, saying that more study was required.

Patrick has said he is awaiting results of a gambling study he commissioned before making any determination about a casino.

In Middleborough, attention focused yesterday on the financial impact the $7 million infusion would have on the town.

Healey said the amount represents 11 percent of the town's $65 million annual budget, almost $40 million of which goes to schools. He said the town currently collects about $3.5 million in commercial and industrial taxes.

The deal calls for renegotiation of the terms after 10 years, but with the provision that the payment to the town can be no less than $7 million. New pacts would be renegotiated every five years after that.

The deal also calls for the tribe to support the town's effort to receive a portion of whatever revenue the state receives from the casino under any eventual compact. In Connecticut, the tribal operators of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun contribute to the state 25 percent of gross slot revenues, or about $433 million last year.

The Mohegan tribe pays the town where it is located, Montville, Conn., $500,000 annually. Foxwoods has no deal with Ledyard, according to press reports.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

Downing speech garners praise

By Hillary Chabot, Eagle Statehouse Bureau

The Berkshire Eagle

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

BOSTON — Sen. Benjamin B. Downing chose a popular topic for his "maiden speech" yesterday.

A bill allowing municipalities to sign on to the state's health insurance provider moved Downing to stand up for the first time in support of the measure, which he argues will cut costs for municipalities across the state.

It passed unanimously and could be on Gov. Deval L. Patrick's desk by next week.

"It was the first major piece of legislation to come out of the public service committee to the Senate floor, and I thought it was a great example of something we can agree on that can help a lot of communities save money," Downing said.

"Madame President, it's an opportunity we cannot afford to miss. We cannot afford to miss it because municipal costs are soaring, and there is a better way," Downing implored Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, during his speech.

He drew loud applause from the crowd and praise from Murray.

"While we applaud his eloquence, it's not necessarily indicative of what will happen with the bill," she joked.

Senate Ways and Means Chairman Sen. Steven Panagiotakos, D-Lowell, said Downing is quickly becoming a very popular member of the Senate.

"It was articulate, poised and, by the reception, you can tell he's already made a lot of friends in the body," Panagiotakos said.

Once the members of the House and Senate agree on one version of the bill, it will be sent to Patrick's desk, which could happen by next week.

The bill allows cities and towns to join the Group Insurance Commission, but all decisions about the percentage employees would pay would still be made at the local level. Proponents of the proposal say it is better because many communities have seen their health-insurance rates climb twice as fast as the state's.

Communities also must have the support of at least 70 percent of their municipal unions to join the Group Insurance Commission.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 1:33:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

Dear Rinaldo Del Gallo III:

You are one of my favorite politicians/activists because you are passionate about your causes of social and economic justice for estranged and marginalized fathers who are exploited by the system, which is ran by the Corporate Elite, among other causes impacting the working poor people and geographical location throughout our very wealthy nation.

My response to your recent essay, "Why America's Child Support Laws Violate Basic Biblical Principles; PART 1: Bribing the Judiciary -- WHY AMERICA'S CHILD SUPPORT LAWS VIOLATE BASIC BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES; PART 1; Bribing the judiciary with regards to both child support enforcement awards and child support enforcement" (, 6/3/07): The federal political class, which only serves the demands of the Corporate Elite (or no more than 10% of our nation's population), does not give a damn about either your own or my own political concerns because we are citizens serving our political elites, and we are NOT supposed to see above their level of power. Ergo, the political elite uses corporate elite economics terms such as "EFFICIENCY", "PRODUCTIVITY", "UNIFORMITY", and the like, to justify laws that disadvantage the working poor bloke who does not know the difference between the doublespeak meanings of the business and government bureaucratic jargon. To illustrate, the Corporate Elite only represents no more than 10% of our nation's population, and they only employ no more than 20% of our nation's workforce, and the other 90% of our nation's population is regulated by these very wealthy and powerful for-profit business institutions and leaders by having the political elite's on Capitol Hill speak their language to the masses.

That is why, my good friend: Rinaldo Del Gallo III, your essays are misguided when you focus on biblical philosophies, legal arguments, and financial well being. None of it is REALITY because the political elites are ONLY serving the Corporate Elite. Everything else other than stratify wealth and high incomes to 10% to 20% of the nation's population is just peripheral propaganda to keep guys like you and me powerless (and clueless) in the real world of American Politics: RULE BY OLIGARCH's that serve their Corporate Elite master's with EFFICIENCY, PRODUCTIVITY, and UNIFORMITY!

God Bless You, Rinaldo! I am with you on equality for marginalized and estranged Father's who are being exploited by the system. It all fits the design of perverse incentives to bribe the state and local politically connected Pols to serve their political elite counterparts on Capitol Hill, who serve their Corporate Elite masters on Wall Street, NY, NY (but we are not supposed to see the last part of the insidious political process). Please keep up your good work!

Yours Very Truly,

Jonathan A. Melle

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 2:22:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

Fwd: Google Alert - "dan bosley"

Dear Dan Bosley, BERKSHIRE BLOGGERS, News Media, Pols, and the People:

In my ongoing essays citing "Bureaucrat Bosley on the public record", this is yet another demonstrable example of "the bureaucrat impostoring a legislator": Dan Bosley--not allowing free market competition into public policy. The prime example is, of course, Bosley's Orwellian support of the state lottery (a tax on the poor) coupled with his strong opposition to casino gambling. In this newest example, Bureaucrat Bosley will NOT allow telecommunications companies to break into the LOCALLY CONTROLLED cable TV and broadband Internet markets, thereby keeping a perverse form of a MONOPOLY (similar to the state lottery's absolute control of the gambling "market" in the commonwealth of Massachusetts) on how cable and Internet access is provided.

Moreover, Bureaucrat Bosley has proven himself to by a HYPOCRITE, once again, on his multiple and contradicting stances for and now against broadband access to rural areas in Western Massachusetts. By keeping local cable TV and broadband Internet markets under local instead of local or state control, Bureaucrat Bosley is stifling investments, innovations and new products. Just like Bureaucrat Bosley's initial support for Clean Elections before he terminated this voluntary campaign finance reform program (in the FY2004 / July 1, 2003 state budget), he has now been proven to flip flop on his past solid stance for universal broadband access.

State Representative DANIEL E. BOSLEY, D-North Adams, Massachusetts, IS: (a) A Bureaucrat Impostering a Legislator, (b) A Hypocrite on his stances for and against public policy issues, and (c) An Insider, Corrupt, Do Nothing Boston / Beacon Hill Pol! Well Bureaucrat Bosley, I will always speak my good conscience as long as I live. I don't understand how someone with your high level of intelligence on public policies is so stupid!

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle


House is hanging it up
By Boston Herald editorial staff

Monday, July 2, 2007 -

The year isn’t even half over. And yet some House lawmakers can say with near-certainty that they won’t be able to complete work on a bill that would make it easier for telecommunications companies to break into the local cable TV and broadband Internet markets.

And just to be clear, that’s “won’t” . . . not “can’t.”

“I don’t think it’s going to be worked out this year,” Rep. Dan Bosley, House chair of the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, told the State House News Service on Thursday . . . June 28.

The bill, drafted and filed at the behest of Verizon, had a public hearing last month. It would allow companies like Verizon to bypass the town-by-town franchise approval process (which can take more than a year) in favor of a single state permit to provide cable and Internet access.

But the pressure being brought to bear by incumbent cable providers and local access advocates (brainwashed into thinking cities and towns would lose money, local access channels and control) has been enormous.

If, as Bosley and Rep. Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill) have suggested, the bill will get no action this year, then prepare to continue paying what the incumbent providers demand.

Because no choice means no competition - and no price breaks. Consumers should be storming the State House to demand support for that concept.

If the bill is scuttled, they’ll have those dreadfully busy House lawmakers to thank. But hey, at least these guys know their own limitations!


Monday, July 02, 2007 8:00:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

OPEN LETTER TO Massachusetts State Representative DANIEL E. BOSLEY:

Derrick Jackson's op-ed essay, posted below, points out the following troubling facts about the political support of the system of regressive taxation known as "The Massachusetts State Lottery" I will refer to as "the poor tax":

Fact # 1. Addiction to gambling with the state holding a monopoly.

Fact # 2. The recent failure of the "Star Spangled Sweepstakes" lottery game to raise additional revenues from poor taxpayers.

Fact # 3. State Treasurer Timothy Cahill was under pressure to swing for the fences "from lawmakers to increase revenue before the fiscal year ends June 30" [by ever expanding the poor tax].

Fact # 4. Last year, the lottery had its best year ever, with sales of $4.52 billion. State legislators set a target of a 2 percent increase this year...

Fact # 5. The poor tax is a "social crime"...lotteries try to make up for their stinginess on the backs of the poor and working class.

Fact # 6. The average American spent $177 playing the lottery, more than the average spent on reading materials. Massachusetts is fifth in the nation in per-capital lottery spending at $700.

Fact # 7. Study after study shows that low-income households spend a larger proportion of their earnings on lotteries than wealthier households. A study released last month by the National Center for Policy Analysis said that the lowest-earning households spend 10.8 percent of their income on gambling, compared with 0.7 percent of the highest-earning households.

Fact # 8. Citing research in Texas, the report said the lottery "is more regressive than virtually any other tax, including the sales tax, payroll taxes, or personal property taxes."

Fact # 9. Killing the lottery and asking wealthier state residents and corporations to pay a more fair share in taxes is of course akin to asking politicians to walk up to the guillotine.

Fact # 10. The Tax Foundation report says that if the states found a way out of the lottery, "they would improve their tax systems by increasing accountability, transparency, and economic neutrality, as well as decreasing regressivity.


Bureaucrat Bosley: You should be ASHAMED of yourself for going on the public record in support of the poor tax (lottery), but in opposition to casino's because it would cut into the state's reliance on poor tax (lottery) revenues. This letter and the essay below are prime examples that illustrate Dan BOSLEY'S INEQUITY!

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle

P.S. I will always speak my good conscience as long as I live!


Scratching the lottery
By Derrick Z. Jackson | July 7, 2007
LET THE Mashpee Wampanoags have their casino.
Then the state should kill the lottery.
This Indian tribe is reportedly trying to make a deal with Middleborough, which would rather consider killing trees for barren asphalt and a palace of booze and bamboozlement than approve a tax override to pay for public services. I say let the two parties marry, let the gamblers be their children, and let the casino pay whatever in income and sales taxes to the town and state.
This beats the abject addiction of the state to the lottery.
This addiction reached ridiculous depths when state treasurer Timothy Cahill claimed that this week's $40 million Star Spangled Sweepstakes was "far from a failure," as it was indeed failing. It needed sales of 2 million $20 tickets to break even, but only 1.35 million tickets were sold. The state promised a full payout anyway.
"We were really trying to hit a home run," Cahill told the Globe's Bruce Mohl, who reported that Cahill was under pressure to swing for the fences "from lawmakers to increase revenue before the fiscal year ends June 30." In an earlier story, Mohl wrote, "Lottery officials have struggled this year to keep sales growing and keep revenues flowing to cities and towns. Last year, the lottery had its best year ever, with sales of $4.52 billion. State legislators set a target of a 2 percent increase this year, but as of yesterday sales were off 1.66 percent, or about $73 million, from last year's pace."
The reason given by lottery officials was "high gas prices, a dearth of large Mega Millions jackpots, and competition from casino and Internet gambling."
This is simply nuts. It is also a social crime. As Massachusetts towns, many of them middle class or wealthy, vote down overrides across the state total ing $60 million this year, lotteries try to make up for their stinginess on the backs of the poor and working class.
The latest evidence of this comes from a Tax Foundation report released this week that warned of the growing reliance by the states on lottery revenues. In 2005, Americans spent $52 billion on lotteries, of which $15 billion went to the states. The average American spent $177 playing the lottery, more than the average spent on reading materials. Massachusetts is fifth in the nation in per-capital lottery spending at $700.
But instead of just raising taxes and closing tax loopholes by $4.5 billion, Massachusetts is a sad national model of people in high places scratching their heads to get the lowest of income to scratch tickets to pay for vital services for everyone. Study after study shows that low-income households spend a larger proportion of their earnings on lotteries than wealthier households. A study released last month by the National Center for Policy Analysis said that the lowest-earning households spend 10.8 percent of their income on gambling, compared with 0.7 percent of the highest-earning households.
States often justify lotteries by saying that it's OK, since many of the services come back to the poor and working poor. But the National Center for Policy Analysis report cited research that found that the Georgia lottery was a $161 net loss for the lowest-income households while wealthier families experienced a net gain of $114. Citing research in Texas, the report said the lottery "is more regressive than virtually any other tax, including the sales tax, payroll taxes, or personal property taxes."
The Tax Foundation report seconded that by saying that the lottery, "when subjected to the tests of sound tax policy, it fails."
I'm not all that thrilled about casinos either, but since people do like to gamble, the best middle ground is to make it more of a choice to travel to than the state-sponsored sickness to addict people, especially the poor, on false dreams. Killing the lottery and asking wealthier state residents and corporations to pay a more fair share in taxes is of course akin to asking politicians to walk up to the guillotine. Governor Deval Patrick got into office promising to find ways to cut property taxes.
The Tax Foundation report says that if the states found a way out of the lottery, "they would improve their tax systems by increasing accountability, transparency, and economic neutrality, as well as decreasing regressivity. Legislators would find that they truly do not need the revenue raised by lotteries; they would either get by without it or raise it through explicit taxation enacted legislatively -- and honestly."
Derrick Z. Jackson's e-mail address is

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 4:51:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

July 30, 2007

RE: Rep. Smitty Pignatelli is a mixed bag

Dear Alan, Smitty, et al,

I disagree with your opinion, Alan, that Smitty Pignatelli is the best State Representative. My choice would be Dan Bosley with the rest of the State House delegates except for Stan Rosenberg not in contention.

Smitty Pignatelli's first vote as a State Rep to Beacon Hill was a vote for Tom Finneran for Speaker. Moreover, Rep. Pignatelli supports closed door, unaccountable governance. He was quoted as being for this kind of governance as a state Rep. during a period of time when the North Adams Transcript did a case study of "Sunshine Laws" in Massachusetts state and local government. Rep. Pignatelli also goes along with the system or the political machines. He is not a man of the people, but a minion of the special interests. If you want government as usual, a thinker as banal as a robot, and unaccountable governance, then Pignatelli is your man. However, I do give Smitty Pignatelli credit for being a good man, but a mixed bag as a Pol.

At least Dan Bosley is really intelligent and could be an effective Speaker of the House of Representatives on Beacon Hill someday. Furthermore, Stan Rosenberg represents a lot of progressive ideals and may just be the future Congressman after John Olver retires.

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle

Monday, July 30, 2007 7:57:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The Franklin County Republican Clbu Blog has just added Guyer Watch which links you to a record of Rep Denis Guyer's at

Sunday, August 19, 2007 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

August 23, 2007

Dear Denis E. Guyer, et al:

I have one word to describe your (Denis E. Guyer's) character: ASSHOLE!

Here is my profile of you:

Denis E. Guyer grew up as a poor child in Pittsfield, Massachusetts who then went into the U.S. Military right after high school to escape poverty. Guyer made Sergeant in the Air Force by learning how to "kiss ass", not doing the right thing. After 6 years in the Air Force, Guyer had enough of "kissing ass" or serving his country, and then he decided to move back to his native hometown. After working for low wages at Crane & Company, Denis E. Guyer met Allison Crane, who has a lot of money (Millions of Dollars). Denis E. Guyer knew that if he married a wealthy woman, then he would not have to worry about being poor anymore. In the late 1990's, Denis E. Guyer married the aforementioned wealthy Dalton woman for her money, not for love.

With an ASSHOLE like Denis E. Guyer, he doesn't understand what love is. After marrying Allison Crane, Denis E. Guyer decided to start a trivial political career. After all, the true banality of Pittsfield politics was always and still is that the Crane Family has always been the "Corporate Elite Masters" of this working class community for over 200 years and counting. Denis E. Guyer started out by being elected to the Selectmen Board in Allison's Dalton. In 2003, Denis E. Guyer started a "grassroots" campaign for 2nd Berkshire State Representative. The contradiction of this campaign was that while he was for state governmental reforms, Denis Guyer would not rule out voting for Tom Finneran for Speaker of the State House of Representatives -- like his 3 other Berkshire State House counterparts had done in the past: Smitty Pignatelli, Peter J. Larkin, & Dan Bosley! Earlier in 2003, via the FY04 Massachusetts State Budget, Speaker Finneran killed Clean Elections--a voluntary campaign finance reform program that had been approved by 2/3 Berkshire County Voters in a Fall of 1998 referendum.

Denis E. Guyer's politics started to smell like the ASSHOLE that Denis E. Guyer has now proven himself to be in both his personal and political life. In late November of 2003, I spoke out against Guyer's contradictions, and he took my freedom of dissent personally. We made up in the early winter of 2004, and through his convictions for change, Denis Guyer inspired me to run for Berkshire State Senator against the corrupted incumbent Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr. (aka Luciforo). I took out nomination papers, introduced Denis Guyer at local political events, and shared his message for change. Unfortunately, Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., et al (The Pittsfield Political Machine), intimidated me from seeking the Berkshire State Senate seat, and so I decided to drop out of the race, get out of "Dodge", and move to NH to live with my family (where the Carpenters rule Manchester, NH like the Cranes rule Pittsfield, MA. Interestingly, Tim Carpenter of Northampton, Massachusetts then rejected my political email letters after my falling out with Guyer in the Summer of 2004).

Denis Guyer and I kept up email correspondences, but parted ways as Denis Guyer's message changed for the worse after Shaun Kelly dropped out of the election. I was duped (again) by Denis E. Guyer's deceptive campaign messages. I became upset with Denis Guyer, and so I wrote an angry email letter against Matt Barron for his support of "Finneran Democrats" like Pignatelli, Larkin & Bosley, et al. Denis Guyer went onto win the State Representative election and has served in this seat since January of 2005.

Denis E. Guyer has personally attacked me many times since the Summer of 2004, including when he used the word "Pussy" against me in front of women and children at the now late-Judi Loeb's home in Becket, Massachusetts during a Denis Guyer rural campaign event in late-July of 2004; then, Denis Guyer spread untrue, one-sided rumors against me to the Pittsfield area, by telling many local people at the Bosquet Ski area on July 23, 2005, that, "Jonathan Melle belongs in a psychiatric institutions, and that I (Denis Guyer) hope that he (Jonathan Melle) does not receive his Veterans Benefits because all that he did was stalk a Jewish woman from Otis [Massachusetts]." Then, in September of 2006, during a visit from U.S. Senator John Forbes Kerry, Denis E. Guyer's campaign worker, Peter Marchetti (the great nephew of my maternal grandmother), spread the one-sided rumor against me to the political people of the Pittsfield area that I dropped out of the Berkshire State Senate race against Luciforo because my grandmother asked me to leave her then-Pittsfield home. For the past 3+ years, Denis E. Guyer has proven himself to be an ASSHOLE by sexually harassing me in front of women and children, discriminating against me for my mental health disability, spreading untrue, one-sided, anti-semetic rumors against me to try to incite violence against my family and myself in particular, and, lastly, slandering me again about my relationship with my elderly, maternal grandmother through one of his campaign workers, who bears familial relations with me.

Well, Denis E. Guyer, you messed with the wrong man! I will always speak my good conscience against you for as long as I live. You are a DEMONSTRABLE: (a) racist against Jewish People, (b) you are sexually harassing towards women, (c) you are inappropriate around children, (d) you are sleazy, (e) you are a Golddigger, (f) you are a Bully, and (g) YOU DON'T SCARE ME FROM SPEAKING OUT ABOUT THE REAL ASSHOLE THAT YOU HAVE PROVEN YOURSELF TO BE BOTH IN YOUR OWN LIFE & IN POLITICS!

I HATE YOU (Denis E. Guyer) MORE THAN I DISLIKE LUCIFORO! While at least Nuciforo has some class, despite his corrupted quest for political power, you, DENIS E. GUYER, are an ASSHOLE! DENIS E. GUYER IS MY ENEMY #1. DENIS E. GUYER IS A NAZI POLITICIAN -- THE SECOND COMING OF ADOLF HITLER -- WHO USES RACISM AND VIOLENCE (like terrorists) TO ACHIEVE HIS VISION FOR A SCARY, VIOLENT, EXTREMIST, HATE-FILLED WORLD. I hope that I, Jonathan A. Melle, am able to stop Denis E. Guyer now rather than later when many will suffer his classless indignities rather than just a few.

I AM A GOOD MAN! I, Jonathan A. Melle, am the opposite of Denis E. Guyer in both my personal and political life! I am like F.D.R. or Winston Churchill, while Denis E. Guyer is like Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin! I am happy that I live on my own level, not at the indecent low level that Denis Guyer really lives on, despite his many false pretenses. I am happy that the people know the truth about you, DENIS E. GUYER: YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE!

In Dissent,

Jonathan A. Melle


Legislator Profiles: Denis Guyer

By Jen Thomas - August 22, 2007

(Rep. Denis Guyer discussed his future plans at his office on Tuesday afternoon.)

This is the first in a series profiling the unique individuals who compose the Berkshire delegation. Keep checking to see your representatives profiled.

DALTON - Responsible for the largest district in the state, Rep. Denis E. Guyer has his work cut out for him.

“One of my biggest challenges is the actual number of communities. Trying to be everywhere at once is a challenge in itself,” said the Dalton Democrat, who represents 21 towns in Berkshire, Franklin and Hampshire counties, in addition to Precinct B of Ward 1 in Pittsfield.

“Some weeks I wish it were smaller, but I have a very diverse district. I get to tackle issues relative to a city like Pittsfield and then issues relative to a town like Peru - it’s these vastly different problems that keep me very interested in the job,” he said.

Just A Normal Guy

Born and raised in Pittsfield, Guyer’s political career started with a simple desire to make a difference.

“I started as a person who was always interested in municipal government and when I moved to Dalton in 2000, I was told to put my money where my mouth is, so I ran for a spot on the Board of Selectmen,” said Guyer. “I wanted to and still want to change things for the better in my community.”

After serving as chairman of the five-member board, Guyer thought he could help facilitate bigger change.

“When I first ran for state representative, I thought I’d never win,” said Guyer, who decided to challenge 14-year Republican incumbent Shaun P. Kelly in 2004 for the 2nd Berkshire seat. “I just thought I’d run and put on a good show.”

Guyer ended up defeating opponent Richard S. Stockwell, who joined the race as the Republican candidate after Kelly dropped out. With 70 percent of the vote, Guyer easily declared victory. He was re-elected to a second two-year term last November by an even larger margin - garnering 88 percent of the vote.

But it wasn’t always so easy. Guyer, 41, and his two younger brothers were raised by a single mother, who was barely able to make ends meet. He joined the Air Force immediately after graduating from Pittsfield High School in 1985.

After six years in the military, Guyer took a job at Crane & Co. as a production worker, eventually becoming a purchasing agent. Until his election to the Legislature, Guyer continued to work at Crane.

He currently attends Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and is five classes shy of receiving a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Now, Guyer has little free time between his legislative duties and caring for his 4-year-old son, Charlie. When he does get a day off, he spends his time enjoying the outdoors or sitting at home watching the Red Sox.

“I’m just a normal guy and I was unhappy with the way things were going. I wanted to make changes,” he said.

Berkshire County Changes

With mostly rural communities in his district, Guyer, along with the rest of the Berkshire delegation, faces unique challenges, including the lack of broadband access in the western part of the state and dairy farm relief, two key issues in the Statehouse this year.

With legislative measures in place addressing these concerns, Guyer’s next biggest challenge is working on the development of environmentally-friendly and green technologies in Western Mass.

“I’m really focusing on the local growers, farmers, foresters and private landowners who live out here. I want to work to strengthen the relationship between local growers and alternative technology initiatives,” said Guyer.

With the impending construction of the Berkshire Biodiesel plant at the Ashuelot Park industrial area in Dalton and Pittsfield, Guyer believes the Berkshires will have the perfect opportunity to provide incentives and programs to allow the use of local harvested materials for biomass facilities.

“The environment is the makeup of my district. With the rivers and streams, the forested areas, the mountain ranges - I want to keep it in the forefront,” said Guyer, who serves on the House’s Joint Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Agriculture.

As part of the cultural renaissance of the Berkshires, Guyer is proud that towns in his district are able to benefit from the new emphasis on a “creative economy.”

“I think people have recognized that these cultural and tourism-related organizations are economic engines in communities. Some of the smallest towns are part of this creative economy,” he said, using Ashfield’s Double Edge Theatre as an example of a thriving cultural attraction in Western Massachusetts.

The Berkshires, Boston and Beyond

With at least one more year to serve, Guyer is excited to continue working for the people in his large and spread out district.

“I love my job,” he said. “I’ll do it as long as they have me.”

Jen Thomas can be reached at jthomas at iberkshires dot com or at (413) 663-3384, Ext. 23.

Thursday, August 23, 2007 3:30:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...


Dear Denis E. "Gold-Digger" Guyer, News Media, Politicians, & the People:

On Saturday evening, I went over my parents house for dinner. My mom apprised me that she received another anonymous letter disclosing a recent anti-Denis "Gold-Digger" Guyer email I sent out in response to an news article profiling the bullying Dalton, Massachusetts State Representative.

My mom is a cancer survivor twice over! On 9/18/2006 (last year), she had a breast removed. Next week, on 9/17/2007, I am going to drive my mother to Dana Farber in Boston, Massachusetts for two medical appointments that day. By me keeping my mother company, letting her relax while I drive through Boston traffic, and reaffirm to her that she will be O.K. despite the odds against her, I will be HELPING my mother through a recurring difficult situation. I hope she will be O.K. At least I will try my best to help my mother in her recovery.

THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BULLIES LIKE DENIS E. GUYER, and a GOOD MAN like Jonathan Melle! I help people, I care, I choose love over hate, I try my best...!

I could go on about my negative feelings against Denis E. Guyer and Pols like him right now, but I am going to leave at that. I am GOOD, Denis E. Guyer is not! You make the choice in whom to believe when Denis E. Guyer spreads racist, violent, vicious, mean-spirited, and the like, rumors against me, and hurts other people in the process.

In Truth,

Jonathan A. Melle

Monday, September 10, 2007 9:33:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

September 19, 2007

Re: Open Letter to the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
State Ethics Commission
John W. McCormack Office Building
One Ashburton Place
Room 619
Boston, Massachusetts 02108-1501

Attention: Stephen P. Fauteux, Enforcement Division Chief (mgm)

Dear Mr. Fauteux:

Enclosed, please find a news article disclosing State Representative Daniel E. Bosley's position as Chairman of the Board of MountainOne Financial Partners, Inc. I believe that Dan Bosley's position is in clear violation of the conflict of interest law, G.L. c. 268A. I formally request that you please lease take appropriate legal action against Dan Bosley's violation of the commonwealth's conflict of interest laws.

The news article explains that Dan Bosley is currently serving in his 11th term as state representative of the 1st Berkshire District. Dan Bosley has served as a committee chairman for the past 14 years and is a member of the speaker's House Leadership Team and House chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

The news article further explains that MountainOne offers an extensive range of personal and business banking services, customized insurance products, and comprehensive investment management for individuals and businesses.

I strongly believe that Dan Bosley should NOT be influencing state government public policies dealing with finance and economic while also chairing a financial company doing business with the state or her political subdivisions. This arrangement creates an undue influence against MountainOne's competitors and a conflict of interest by Dan Bosley's dual roles in the public and private sectors.


Jonathan A. Melle


Dan Bosley Elected Chairman of Mountainone Board

September 18, 2007

NORTH ADAMS - State Rep. Daniel E. Bosley has been elected chairman of the MountainOne Financial Partners board of directors, according to an announcement by Stephen Crowe, president and chief executive officer. MountainOne Financial Partners is an affiliation between Hoosac Bank; Williamstown Savings Bank; South Coastal Bank; Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan and Collins Insurance Agency; and True North Financial Services.

Bosley was first elected to the board in 2006. As chairman, he will replace outgoing Chairman Dr. John "Jack" Merselis, who is retiring in compliance with the corporation's retirement policy guidelines after 27 years of service to MountainOne and its affiliates.

Said Crowe, "We were pleased when Dan agreed to join our board of trustees. And, we're doubly pleased to have him serve in the role of chairman. Since early 2006, he's been fortunate to serve with Jack, who helped develop and guide the MountainOne organization to where it is today. Dan will continue this legacy of exceptional service, and he brings a wealth of experience, expertise, and community affiliations to the table."

Regarding his new role, Bosley said, "I look forward to serving as chairman for a great local company. The trustees, corporators and employees of MountainOne have a sincere interest in the success and growth of our local communities. I'm proud to be counted among such good people."

The North Adams Democrat is currently serving in his 11th term as state representative of the 1st Berkshire District. Bosley has served as a committee chairman for the past 14 years and is a member of the speaker's House Leadership Team and House chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

Bosley has led numerous legislative initiatives on Beacon Hill. He was author of the Electricity Restructuring Act of 1997, which has since saved ratepayers throughout the state $3 billion. In addition, the he has been responsible for economic development initiatives, among them the "Economic Opportunity Area" legislation, which created innovative tax structures and emerging technology investment. In the last legislative session, the representative was author and spearheaded passage of a comprehensive economic stimulus bill that developed new structures and initiatives in work-force development, education, and diversifying the state's economic development perspective.

A graduate of Drury High School, Bosley also holds a bachelor of arts degree, cum laude, from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, formerly North Adams State College, and a master of science degree in public affairs from the University of Massachusetts. He also holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from MCLA. He lives in North Adams with his wife, Laura, and their daughter.

By working in partnership, the companies of MountainOne offer an extensive range of personal and business banking services, customized insurance products, and comprehensive investment management for individuals and businesses. Hoosac Bank, established in 1848, has offices in North Adams and Williamstown; Williamstown Savings Bank, founded in 1892, has an office in Williamstown; South Coastal Bank, established in 1868, has offices in Rockland, Scituate, Quincy, and Braintree; Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance Agency, founded in 1927, serves personal and business customers through offices in North Adams, Williamstown, and Adams. True North Financial Services, established in 1997, is a registered broker dealer, providing investment, life insurance, retirement planning, and employee benefit services to personal and business customers through offices in North Adams, Williamstown, and Pittsfield.


iBerkshires • 106 Main Street • P.O. Box 1787
North Adams, MA 01247 • tel: 413.663.3384 • fax: 413.663.3615 • info at iberkshires dot com


Wednesday, September 19, 2007 5:14:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

Downing Sets Priorities for Fall Session

By Tammy Daniels

October 03, 2007

Pittsfield, Massachusetts' State Senator Benjamin B. Downing

PITTSFIELD - Berkshire County's freshman senator doesn't let the grass grow under his feet - when he's not attending hearings and sessions on Beacon Hill, he's tramping over the many hills and dales of his supersized district to meet constituents or working on his master's degree in public policy.

Two weeks ago, Sen. Benjamin B. Downing started off the fall session filing a bill to prohibit idling vehicles at schools, one of the environmental priorities on his list. Also in his sights are broadband availability in rural Western Massachusetts, a new science building for Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and homeless county residents.

While Downing easily won election in the heavily Democratic district last fall, some saw his age as a disadvantage. But being the state's youngest lawmaker (at 26) may well be an asset, allowing him to bridge his district's rural character and high-tech dreams. Poised and articulate, Downing seems to mix as easily with his seniors as he does with college students.

In a recent interview at his Pittsfield office on Bank Row, it took Downing only a few seconds to come up with the most difficult thing he's had to deal with so far: Time management.

"There's just so many issues you want to work on," he said. "You have to prioritize. I could get more done if there were two or three more days in the week and more hours in the day."

Downing represents the largest geographical Senate district. It includes all of Berkshire County and 16 towns in Franklin and Hampshire counties. Combined with those frequent 2-plus-hour trips along the Massachusetts Turnpike and back, that's a lot of ground to cover. This past weekend, he was at an event at Hancock Shaker Village, a benefit walk in Dalton and the Fall Foliage Festival Parade in North Adams.

"You have to be pragmatic," Downing said. "I'd like to be at every pancake breakfast, every select board meeting. I try to spend time with different sections of the district to get a flavor of Berkshire County. And I've got good staff who keep me updated."

He also credits Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-South Deerfield, for being "incredibly helpful" in making sure he knows what's going on in his non-Berkshire towns.

Needs Similar

He finds that his efforts for rural Berkshire County are in sync with the needs of his Hampshire and Franklin towns. They, too, are rural and are concerned with broadband, telephone and cable service, public transportation, dairy and agricultural issues, family farms and regional schools.

"I kind of realized pretty quickly there are a set of issues for the very rural parts of the district and a set of issues for the greater Pittsfield area and for the greater North Adams area," said Downing.

Broadband Internet access is one of those issues that affects both rural and urban areas, and one issue Downing says must be addressed. He's solidly behind Gov. Deval Patrick's $25 million incentive fund to bring broadband to rural Western Mass. and, along with state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams, has vigorously defended the plan on various blogs and message boards.

"I know we have an administration that understands the importance of the issue, the severity of the issue, and realizes that if we don't do something, the negative impact will be gigantic," he said. "The access to broadband Internet service is actually more tied to income than population density. In some of the more urban areas, because of the cost, people can't access it. Eighty percent of Boston Public School students don't have access - it's an economic decision."

High-tech Infrastructure

Downing sees broadband access as the 21st century infrastructure - just as important as fixing the state's bridges, roads and utilities. The market has failed to provide that access because the cost has outweighed potential profits in this area, leaving the region's small towns cut off from an increasingly Web-based world.

"Dial-up completely ignores not only where our economy is going and but where our is economy is now," he said. He talked of a biotech consultant in Tyringham who can't teleconference with clients, and of how more and more state services are being provided over the Internet.

"Communities, especially rural communities, will wither on the vine if they don't have the bundle of services that we consider essential services for infrastructure."

The push for broadband ties into another of Downing's priorities - economic development.

The region has to look at broadband access, education and transportation issues as part of its economic package, he said. That means not just looking at Massachusetts, but looking across state borders, as the governor has suggested, in a shared perspective of how to grow the region. "That type of thinking leads to a lot more creativity."

Part of that growth means creating a skilled work force, which would be served by a new science building at MCLA. "That science building would show how higher education is responsive to what is happening in the work force," said Downing. "It would be an important message across the border to the [New York] Capital District - if you're looking for a highly educated work force, MCLA is where we're going to be producing it."

We should be telling high-tech industry, he said, to "bring in hundreds of people and grow the jobs here [like Sabic]. We have a quality of life we're willing to compete against anywhere in terms of recreation, housing, schools and higher public education. We have all these resources."

Along with the bond bills for higher education and broadband, Downing said lawmakers will have the Green Communities Act of 2007, an energy bill submitted by Bosley and House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, D-Boston, and Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, D-Haverhill, on their plates. Described by DiMasi as a blueprint for the future, the $1.4 million initiative is designed to promote energy efficiency, conservation and the use of renewable energy sources.

Anti-idling Bill

Also on the legislative front, Downing, with Rep. Stephen R. Canessa, D-New Bedford, has filed a bill to prevent vehicles from idling on school grounds. A quarter of the state's lawmakers have already signed on to the legislation.

"The carcinogens that come out of the tailpipe of a bus are very similar to a massive amount of cigarette smoke and that gets pumped right into the school," he said.

The measure is based on the anti-idling efforts of Lenox resident Rick Gregg; some 36 communities across the state, including Lenox and Williamstown, are taking action to reduce emissions on school grounds.

"I think it's something you're going to see a lot of support for," said Downing. "It's a small, simple, pragmatic first step we can take to make schools better ... and to start reducing our carbon footprint."

The senator is also pumping new life into a moribund panel established to look at homelessness back in 2005. He's co-chairman of the Leadership Council to End Chronic Homelessness in Berkshire County, which has been meeting in subcommittees over the last nine months to come up with recommendations for a 10-year plan to end homelessness in the region.

Too many people think homelessness is a big-city issue, he said, because here, it's hidden in statistics, like schoolchildren who change addresses five or six times a year or families who are in and out of shelters.

"The truth of the matter is there's homeless issues in every one of our communities," Downing said, adding that Brad Gordon of Berkshire County Regional Housing and co-Chairman Daniel Dillon, former president of Berkshire United Way, deserved credit for their work on homeless issues.

Downing said he's gotten a lot of support navigating the ins and outs of the Statehouse in his first year from his colleagues in the Legislature and from next door - where his predecessor Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr. now reigns as register of Central Berkshire deeds.

"A get lot of help from Andy. His office is right next door and I have all his numbers," laughed Downing. "I think if you're willing to listen and learn, people are going to respect the work you have to do and want you to succeed.

Common Goals

"One of the things learned in the last nine months is we have many of the same issues but they're expressed in different ways," he said. "The stresses are different, emphasized differently, but the goal is the same. When you start with a common shared value you can get through the regional bickering and get a lot more done."

Downing said he and other members of the Berkshire delegation do their jobs better when they hear from their constituents. If people pay attention to what's going on, they stay more engaged and are more likely to have a delegation that truly represents them, he said.

The senator describes his job as an incredible experience and an honor.

"Every time that I get to walk into the Statehouse and I see 'Senator Downing' on the door, I still get goosebumps," he said.

Tammy Daniels can be reached at

Thursday, October 04, 2007 3:30:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Melle said...

22nd Annual Labor-Legislative Breakfast

Labor-Legislative breakfast mixes discussion, humor

By Derek Gentile, Berkshire Eagle Staff

The Berkshire Eagle

Monday, October 15, 2007

PITTSFIELD — A serious discussion of jobs, unions and the conflict in Iraq shared time with some spot-on impersonations of Mayor James M. Ruberto and U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy at yesterday's 22nd annual Labor-Legislative Breakfast at the Italian-American Lodge.

The event, which attracted more than 300 breakfasters, was hosted by the Central Berkshire Labor Council.

Brian P. Morrison, a member of the Service Employees International Union, Local 509, and a case manager for the state Department of Mental Health, accepted a host of awards and citations as the 2007 Labor Person of the Year.

Genetic activism

Morrison recounted that his union activism is at least partly genetic: His great-grandfather was a member of the International Workers of the World, and, he said, was run out of Vermont because of his union activities.

His mother, Mary B. O'Brien Morrison, was a union worker for the United Electrical Workers, Local 254, and his wife, Elizabeth, is a testing coordinator at Berkshire Community College and a member of the teachers union.

Morrison, a Pittsfield native, is a graduate of St. Joseph's. He graduated from Bridgewater State College in 1980 and began working in human services. In 1991, he began working in the Berkshire Case Management Office.

A lifelong Democrat, Morrison has been a steward in his workplace and is also the secretary/treasurer of the Berkshire Labor Council.

'Even more outstanding'

"When you work with the Department of Mental Health, it is very hard work," said state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams, the master of ceremonies. "The burnout level is high, there are a lot of hard days. To do this job for 20 years is outstanding. To be a steward for all those years is even more outstanding."

Morrison, in his speech, thanked the Berkshire Central Labor Council and praised the work of the various unions throughout the county for the advocacy of working families.

A pro-labor governor

He was one of several union advocates to praise Gov. Deval L. Patrick for being "a pro-labor governor. In this administration, state employees' contracts do not sit in a desk," he said. "Labor initiatives are supported. If this is what can happen with a labor-friendly governor, imagine what could happen with a labor-friendly president."

U.S. John Olver, D-Amherst, was the keynote speaker. Olver, usually a reserved orator, was uncharacteristically emotional in his speech, denouncing President Bush as a liar in his dealings with the American people.

"Not telling the truth doesn't seem to bother this administration," said Olver, who denounced what he called the Bush administration's specious reasons for invading Iraq, "which has cost a lot of U.S. lives and a hell of a lot more lives of innocent Iraqi citizens."

A hope for unity

"At this point," Olver said, "success for the president seems to be to pass on his failures to his successor."

Olver said he has taken no position of support for any of the Democratic candidates, adding that he hopes the Democratic party can unite behind whomever is nominated.

The event is annually earmarked to honor the Labor Person of the Year, but the breakfast, generally pretty light-hearted, also honors other local labor activists and local dignitaries. As master of ceremonies, Bosley kept the event moving and was self-deprecating when he inadvertently called Morrison's wife "Christine" instead of Elizabeth.

"Have you ever in your life, by chance, been referred to as 'Christine?' " Bosley asked Elizabeth Morrison.

"No," she said.

Bosley, at the urging of the crowd, did his Ted Kennedy impression, a good-natured representation of the Kennedy Boston twang. It was admittedly topped a little later in the program by state Rep. Denis Guyer's imitation of Ruberto, complete with Ruberto's catch-phrase, "It's a great day for Pittsfield!"

Ruberto, who was at the head table, laughed as hard as anyone.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 1:48:00 PM  
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