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October 27, 2005

Comments

Give me a break!

Give me a break. Jack Connolly has sent out some of the most ridiculous and insulting mailings attacking Rebekah for a) not being born in Somerville and b) not having a family or owning a home in Ward six. If his idea of "progressive" is saying that those are reasons someone shouldn't be able to hold public office, then I hope he has plenty of time back in the private sector to reflect and see the error of his ways.

Jack, a "real progressive" would realize that you have to represent and respect ALL of the ward...not just the ones that are like you. You say you have worked to help everyone, well maybe you should stop trying to win political points by insulting anyone who doesn't own a home or have kids. Most of the people I've talked to around Davis Square didn't know who you were a month ago. Now they think you are a jerk.

NewProgressive

I am a new resident who has only been here a couple of years and I consider myself a progressive, almost more green than dem and I will be voting for Jack on the 8th. I was pretty torn about who to support before I met Rebecca and I must say she represents that new breed of folks in the city who really dont understand how to bridge new and old Somerville. She is light on the issues and does not truly understand most of the city issues impacting my family and my home. I do not think its an issue that she has only lived her four years, does not own or has no children, but combine that with that fact she doesnt truly understand the complexity of the issues makes it impossible for me to support her. I am a natural demographic for her, under 35, recently married, a young son, but I tell you a lot of neighbors I know are sticking with Jack because of her lack of depth.

P3

To Give Me A Break:
Jack Connolly has dedicated the last 22 years of his life to Ward 6 and the Somerville he grew up in, brought up his children in, and will continue to live in. I am sorry if that offends you. Doesn't that count for some commitment to this city. I don't even know Ms Gewirtz, I live in Ward 6 and have yet to see her. My only issue with the "progressive" newcomers is that most don't stay long enough to have a real commitment to the future of this city.
Very few have families and bring up their children here. How can you not think that home ownership and having a family does not make you more invested in the future of the city. Yes, all residents deserve equal and fair representation. However, when it comes to votes and decisions which effect the long-term goals of the city I'll take the candidate that I know REALLY cares about the future of Somerville. I think the diversity of Somerville is a good thing but how diverse will Somerville be when their are "NO FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN"!

WithJackaswell

I too will be with Jack. I do not believe that it is fair for him to comment on how Gerwitz is not from Somerville or does not own a home but she is extremely light on the issues. Jack has done a fine job for our community and deseves to continue to Represent Ward 6. Jack will sit down and attack both sides of an issue before he makes a choice. I believe Gerwitz really understands the complexity of alot of issues. I too meet with her and was not really impressed. But I did recieve an e-mail from her saying that Jack Connolly is attacking her and she needs to raise $3,000 to defend our famlies from him. I believe it is the other way around.

Withjackaswell

Iment to say that Gerwitz DOESNT understand the complexity of issues. Sorry

DefenderOfFamilies???

Tell us more about these "families" that $3000 will help to "defend" from a Somerville native, resident, businessman, community activist and, let's face it, pretty regular guy who you can talk to on the street about any issue and when he doesn't agree with you he doesn't start with the lame excuse "I'm doing this to protect your family". Oh and by the way, he's also represented one of the most diverse wards in the city with dignity and effectiveness for over 2 decades.
I agree with withjackaswell that Rebecca is light on the issues. Don't get me wrong tho, I agree that she should run a good, hard campaign and is doing it, with the help of the same campaign manager who helped Carl S. beat Vinny Champa. But Jack Connolly ain't no Vinny C. He has not made a career out of pissing people off and running from office to office, but has instead helped his diverse group of constituents work through their issues with the kind of steady handedness that is needed. And most importantly, he understands Somerville. I wish Jack Connolly was my Alderman.

Tricky

Gimme a break, P3. It's not that Jack has dedicated 22 years of his life to Ward 6 and the Somerville he grew up in, brought up his children in, and will continue to live in that offends people, it's his innuendo that Rebekah Gewirtz won't be able to hack it up on the hill because she's "not from here".

THAT SAID, I'm with Jack as well as I think Gewirtz is light on the issues. She came by a month or so ago, seemed pleasant enough, but I'm wondering if she understands the old/new Somerville thing (I'm right in the middle), plus I'm wondering how someone more progressive is going to help me out if I've got trouble with my water bill. The funny thing is, she's probably more qualified for Pat Jehlen's old seat than the BOA. (Is this a warmup?)

I just wish Jack didn't manage to piss so many people off with his mailing. Say she's light on the issues, just don't say she doesn't get it because she doesn't (yet) own a home or have a family.

P.S. I think your take on "progressive" newcomers is a bit off as well. There's plenty of them (us?) with kids in Somerville schools, with houses, out and about on Somerville streets. And here to stay for the long run.

Go Jack Go

I'm am also with Jack. He hasn't attacked anybody. When you compare your record against your opponents and their record is virtually non-existent, that's not an attack, its a fact. Don't blame Jack because he's has done so much as Gewirtz so little for this city. He's just pointing out the facts. Also, what was Gewirtz thinking by bringing in Helen Corrigan aka "Lady Death." She brings as much clout as Cathy O'Dea, which is to say she is an election killer.

Tricky

Look, if your opponent's record is virtually non-existent and you point it out, that's fine. What I (and others) are taking exception to is that mailing where Jack basically said, nyah nyah, she doesn't own a house, she hasn't raised kids, nanny nanny boo boo. He should be above that. Just the facts, man.

Helen Corrigan? I think she's got more clout with the people than Cathy O'Dea does; whether or not anyone who's moved here in the last six or seven years (i.e. "yuppie" "progressive" types) knows why is another matter.

- - -

Question for all: anyone else think Rebekah would make a better alderman at-large? She's got a good sense of the big picture issues, but for my ward alderman I want Pothole Guy.

DefenderOfFamilies???

Rebecca might be doing this to get recognition to run for Pats old seat but isn't Pat already backing Denise Provos. then again, miss Gerwitz IS using a campain manager that knows how to win state reps races. I still like Jack C for Aldeman. The people in ward 6, and I mean "all" the people in the Ward will be better serviced by his experience. Jack has been a worthy successor to Gene Brune up there in 6.

Re:  Tricky

"nanny nanny boo boo" Are you an idiot? What does that mean? Where did it say that? Helen Corrigan dcouldn't get you 10 votes in Ward 6. And for the character who said that most of the people in the Square who have met Connolly in the past month don't like him I counter by saying they've never been active in Somerville politics because Jack has been well-known here for 22 years and is an eminently likeable guy. One of two possibilities exists here, either A. your lying about the people you've met or B. Okay there really isn't a B, you're lying.

YouKnowWho

Planning to raise your kids here is so more important than wether or not you lived here in the past. It is the future we are working to change, Not the past.

NewProgressive

if people in ward 6 would not want Rebecca to be there alderman why would they want her to be their state rep? Just not sure. Besides I think most progressives, like me, are ready to work our butts off for Denise when the time comes for that race. I also think there are a lot of good progressives running this year and some of them will win. I just know that I dont think Rebecca will be one of them. Maybe in two years or so she will have more experience and do more homework to actually understand the city issues we are facing. Running a state rep race (her campaign people's experience) is very different then running a ward alderman race, time will tell.

Not So New

I've voted for Jack in the past, but this time I'm voting for Rebekah. It seems to me that Jack has never met a developer he didn't like, help, or sell insurance to. I think that is his main interest, not us, the people of ward 6. I've only been here 15 years and am still considered a newcomer by many, but I'm not. I'm here to stay. I own a home here.

Tricky

To my moronic friend: Of course Jack didn't say "nanny nanny boo boo", you knucklehead.
I think it's Yuppie for "nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah". Ask your local kindergardener.

And why so grouchy? I'm voting for Jack.

- -
For New Progressive: That's hardly a good rhetorical question. I'd want Rebekah for my state rep because she was Pat Jehlen's legislative director. Given that, why would I want Denise Provost as my state rep? Besides that it's "her turn" to be elevated?

I still think Gewirtz could have better luck at winning an at-large seat; the precedent here is - Denise Provost, who IIRC got completely rooked in a Ward Five race against Stan Koty before winning her at-large post.

As far as running a state rep race vs Ward Six race, how much larger is PJ's old house district than Ward Six? Not much, and it completely includes Ward Six.

- -

Question: if Denise Provost winds up winning the House election, what would happen if she vacates her BOA seat?


milsson

I agree with "You know Who"'s statement about planning to raise your kids here and the future is more important than the past.
If we don't make our city attractive to young families who want to raise their children here and send them to our schools, this city will have a dim future. There is enough housing is this city for the elderly, minorities, progressives, gays,yuppies and anyone else who wants to live here but if families with children are not attracted to staying in Somerville this city government has failed badly. I believe Jack Connolly understands this city and has a proven record and a vested interest in keeping families here in Somerville.

PersonDavis

>Question: if Denise Provost winds up winning the House election, what would happen if she vacates her BOA seat?

Answer: There would be a new world order and the four horsemen of the apocolypse would ride, single file, up Highland Ave.
But seriously though; Why would she willingly give up a seat she won by the greatest plurality in the last election? It's obvious she has a ton of support, even though a lot of people on this blog seem to toss bombs her way all the time. Not only that; Denise's experience as assistant city solicitor will serve her (and Somerville) well on both Beacon Hill, should she attain that seat, AND on Winter, Spring, Prospect, Walnut and Clarendon Hills.
Vinny Ciampa held down both seats for a few uears. Tim Toomey holds a seat on the Cambridge City Council as well as State Rep. If Denise were to vacate the At-Large seat, there's always the possibility that a non-progressive candidate would fill it. Sorry, but I just don't see it happening. If Sean O'Donovan were to run and win, would he be expected to vacate his current Ward 5 seat?
To answer the question above concerning the 27th Middlesex District's extent: Ward 2, Precinct 3; All of Ward 3, Ward 4, Precinct 3; All of Ward 5 and all of Ward 6.
Eleven precincts in all.

Tricky

I dunno, holding two elected positions at the same time to me reeks of Old School Fatcatting. If Sean O'Donovan were to run and win (sorry, just snorted coffee out my nose) of course I wouldn't expect him to vacate the Ward 5 seat as I didn't expect Ciampa too either, nor Toomey. I don't think Provost fits into that mold.

Maybe she'll get a handshake agreement from Rebekah to stay out of the State House race if Denise can get Gewirtz into the at-large BOA slot.

So who knows - is there a special election if BOA at-large seats are vacated? Or is there an appointment if there's less than one year to go in the term (I vaguely remember something like this happening five years ago or so)?

PersonDavis

I see nothing wrong with anyone holding two elected positions if they are getting the job done on both ends.
If an At-Large seat opened up, it could be filled by appointment with less than a year left. The last time that happened was when Grace Abbruzzio left and ceded the seat to Joe Favaloro. Maybe Denise, should she be successful at winning the rep's seat, would do the same thing. It would seem logical to appoint a fellow progressive.
"Coffee snorted out my nose". ROFLMAO!!! That's a good one!

aldermanforsale

It warms the cockels of my heart to see the "progressives" in this town finally begining to show their true colours. You ARE just like the mainstream Dems!!!! Eating your young, schemeing, plotting, taking for granted the general voting population, jockeying for position. God bless you all. I knew it was only a matter of time before you would blow your own cover. Go to it boys and girls. Hang Martinez out to dry. Give all you got to Gerwhats. After all, you'll have a much better chance of getting an audience with the Queen Bee of the Progessives if Gerwhats is at the gate as State Rep. Sell out Provost while you're at it. She's yesterday's news. Besides, Queenie wants Gerwhats in the Rep. seat. She can control her much easier than she was ever able to keep the leash on Provost.

Keep going kids and Happy Dining!!!!!!


Tricky

"She can control (Gewirtz) much easier than she eas ever able to keep the leash on Provost." Jesus, you sound like Jehlen's the second coming of Tom Finneran. Besides, what the hell would she need to keep a leash on either of those two for?

I don't think I'm taking the general voting population for granted by assuming Provost would be the favorite in the race for Jehlen's seat. She'd be replacing another flaming liberal. She'd have strong support in Wards Five and Six.

I can't imagine a hack like SO'D sneaking in there unless there's like thirty rock-solid progressives running in the primary or the gang fires up those houses with the "ghost" voters again.

Ron Newman

PDS endorsed both Denise Provost and Rebekah Gewirtz for alderman. They are not competing with each other for progressive support, because they are running for different offices (one at-large, the other in ward 6).

While Denise is probably the progressive favorite for the State Rep seat, the election date for that race has not yet been announced, so nobody can even start circulating papers yet.

Ward 4 Resident

Although not a Ward 6 resident, I can confidently assert that both candidates are good, honest, and hard working people. Jack has led Ward 6 through a period of growth and prosperity. Rebekah is a part of a political movement that has sparked participation in the process which certainly is always welcome. On November 8, 2005, the real question will be which candidate the voter identifies with on a personal level. A well-informed voter (and I concede that many are not) will come to the conclusion that they are equally qualified.

aldermanforsale

Resonse to Trickey......

I've known the new Senator(choke) for awhile now and trust me, behind the Granny thing, there lurks a Finneran. She's just much better at manipulation. The only difference between Jehlen and Finneran? Jehlens balls are bigger!

tonytonytony

Don't you people realize that Tony the Phony is behind all of these new candidates. Jack Connolly has been a great member of the community for over 20 years and has done a great job for ward 6. Gerwitz was planted into the race by Tony the Phony. Martinez was also planted in the race by former republican Tony the Phony. I hope 2 years goes by fast so I can watch the Phony get his ass handed to himself again. I am a Portuguese american and I am truly embarrassed at the way this man behaves. He is vindictive and a troublemaker.

Ron Newman

Neither Rebekah Gewirtz (please spell it correctly) nor Marty Martinez were "planted into the race" by anyone other than themselves. Both are endorsed by Progressive Democrats of Somerville, which are as far away from Republicans as you can get in this city.

Somerville1

Ron,,, finally,, you are correct. Tony L and the PDS! How can anyone from Somerville make that statement? The PDS can't find their way to the store and make up their mind to buy a bottle of milk. Undecided!

Helen Corrigan?  Oh my gos, I'm gonna puke!

It bears mentioning that Helen Corrigan was bounced out of her Alderman at Large seat by the voters of this City, both new and old Somervillians. Then she slinked back 2 years later to take on Jack Connolly and again, the new and old voted against her. Why? Because she had an un-paralleled record of ineffectiveness, that's why. If she's supporting Ms. Gewirtz, I'll be the first to say it's not a good sign for either one of them. Under any circumstances, however, I'll take Jack.

aldermanforsale

I agree. Helen Corrigan was told by the voters of this city to go away. Then the voters of Ward 6 told her to go away. But politics is politics and Helen's kin, Jack Corrigan is extremely close to the Kennedy camp in Massachusetts, and pleaded to the powers of long ago to find something for the woman to do. Hence, her position as head of the city's Democratic organization. But now it seems revenge is foremost in Helen's mind and to exact revenge against all those nasty Democrats that told her to go away, she has aligned herself with the thorn in the Democrats side, the "Progressives". For any Democrat in this city who thinks it's time for her to finally be sent packing, and this time for good, vote for the Democratic candidate, Alderman Jack Connolly- Ward 6.

youKnowwhoagain

You guys can sure talk a lot. But can anyone tell us what the real issues are?
What about crime? What are these two different candidates going to do about It. you know, maybe there are the same. It doesnt matter wich one you vote for.

issuesvoter

Thank you, youKnowwhoagain! Finally, someone with a substantive comment. I've been trying to figure out which candidate to support, but there's almost no discussion of the issues whatsoever. I was especially surprised that both candidates' websites, public comments, and mailings are filled exclusively with generic statements and attacks on each other.

So if I'm one of the very few people who actually care about the candidates' stances on the issues, can someone tell me where either candidate stands, beyond the generic "I'm progressive," "I'm pro-inclusion", or "I believe in helping people"?! Or is there just no substantive difference at all between them?

thatsrighton

that's right on my man! How about some voting records of the candidates who were already in office. What are their platforms, really?. Can any of them or any of You give us any REAL examples of how they listened, then took action to change something for the better. Or, do they all just take credit for any good things that happen and then blame the bad things on their predecessors. Like, everyone knows Davis square changed for the better. Did one of them make it happen or was it a community effort. Because a lot of them are trying to take credit for it. I don't see anyone trying to lead, organize and communicate with the community. they just disappear with their new important friends once they are elected. What are these computers good for if they can't get us some good info. Can't someone post these in a database on a site somewhere where the whole world can see them? What are there platforms? How many candidates are willing to start an email discussion group and participate and respond to the votes after they are elected? Meaningful information is what we are after. Not pre election spin...

Tricky

If you think Rebekah Gewirtz's website is full of generic statements and attack, you either haven't seen her site or, as I suspect, you are completely full of shit. The issues portion is at http://www.rebekahgewirtz.org/ontheissues and seems reasonably in depth; I don't think you need 50-page position papers on the issues.

Go to Jack Connolly's site and you'll see, well, not much. There's a video primarily of Jimmy Tingle saying what a great guy Jack is for helping him out with a beer/wine license. Okay, there some other lightwight stuff there, but still...

This is par with the candidate's responses to the PDS questionnaires at their website; Gewirtz's responses are on their site, unfortunately Connolly's (and all other unendorsed candidates) responses have vanished into the ether, most of which were along the lines of "22 years experience" and "constituent" services".

Which for my Ward alderman, I (still) think I want. I'll be voting for Pothole Guy come next Tuesday.

issuesvoter

thatsrighton: I think you're talking about something like http://massscorecard.com. Unfortunately, there's nothing like that for municipal representatives.

Tricky: thanks for the personal attack on someone about whom you know absolutely nothing. It makes having an intelligent discussion about issues SO much more productive.

Let's talk specifics. You say I'm full of shit b/c you disagree that Rebekah's website is full of generic statements. The page you cite has a small paragraph on each of four issues, together constituting her primary statement on the issues. Here's one of those paragraphs:

"Smart Development: Rebekah knows we need smart, sustainable, and fair development that builds on our diversity. Smart economic development increases revenue for the city and decreases our reliance on regressive property taxes for city revenue. Rebekah will bring the community together around development issues so we can assure that development meets broader interests of the neighbors and the community rather than just the narrow interests of some developers. New growth must also take into account the high population and street density that impacts Somerville neighborhoods."

From that paragraph, it seems to me that her plan for smart development consists of "bring[ing] the community together around development issues". You really think this is "reasonably in depth" enough to allow involved voters to choose between her and Jack?

If so, I guess you're entitled to your opinion. But I know for a fact that people who bother voting in municipal elections tend to be well-informed, locally-involved activists. So even if it's for nothing other than respect for our knowledge, interest in local issues, and willingness to put in the time to do the best thing for our neighborhoods, I believe the candidates owe us detailed positions on the issues they consider most important to them, and how exactly they expect to accomplish their goals.

I'm not asking for a 50-page position paper. But I also know how much effort, time, and resources go into these campaigns (I'm involved with another progressive campaign in the area), so if the best a candidate can do with those resources is one generic paragraph, then frankly they don't deserve my vote.

Oh, and BTW, and I'm not picking on Rebekah -- just using the page you specifically cited to illustrate my point.

One more question for you: how come you keep praising/defending Rebekah over Jack, then say you're voting for Jack?

Tricky

I've got pumpkins to carve in a hurry here, we can look at Gewirtz v. Connolly on the issues more tomorrow.

- - -
But quickly, I think I could be tempted to vote for Gewirtz, but maybe I'm going with the old-school approach of having Mr. Constituent Services himself back at it again. Also, Connolly doesn't appear beholden to Curtatone and the Boys.

I'm just trying to imagine the shutout that gets tossed at Rebekah from the boys after she goes out and busts Stan Voldemort's chops over snowplowing or something like that.

- - -

Maybe we could open the floor for discussion on whether or not people think one's ward alderman ought to have different strengths/approaches than aldermen-at-large.

newtotownagain

You know, I don't care about their personal beliefs as much as a more important quality. How many of them are going to stand up with a group of their local voters to support an issue that is important to the community even if its not popular to the party or to their new seat in politics. Who is ready to fight for us?
Also, is there anyone else running in Ward 2. I think we need some help there. Or, at least another runner to kick the other one in the but a little. They are all getting lazy. And Who cares if the candidate does not know Somerville. After all, that may be a huge advantage. a fresh perspective is needed. Look at the Lone Ranger. He rode into communities he knew nothing about, excpet he was able to see clearly what was wrong and then help fix it. Being an outsider might be helpful. It certainly adds well to the diversity and balance. I think we could be much better served by neighborhood groups that meet and discuss the issues and then they can send their representive, non party, candidate in to do their bidding. The candidates, in this case, don't need to be real smart. And we won't need to pay them a lot. Also, can't we save a ton of money by putting cameras in on areas where there is crime. London dramaticlly reduced the pick pockets and crime when they did this . And Los Angelos has sensors that can determine the exact spot a gun is fired and give you the make and caliber of the gun all in real time. Police arive at the seen even before people finish dialing 911. I know we dont have drive bys, But we have more than our share of break ins. I think the police let it happen so they can ask for more money. I reported a break-in to my car. The perp left a white lighter from market basket. I bet the police could have lifted some prints and found a local thug. They did'nt bother. It is probably not their job anyway. Maybe it is not a big deal, it was just one car. Or maybe these same guys have been breaking into many houses and cars. Do you think all the break-ins are posted in the Somerville journal? Or are they posting less than half of them? What they are posting is still a lot. A lot more than this neighborhood and this town should have anyway. there is too many good people here.

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