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Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Word Around The Ward


Another name has been added to a list of people mulling a run for Mayor here in Somerville. A former candidate for Alderman At Large has been rumored to be considering. New names coming in this week have placed races in all Wards come 2015, as well. Have you heard anything? Feel free to comment below!

Speaking of the political scene, Mayor Joe Curtatone endorsed Somerville businessman and current Treasurer Steve Grossman for Governor yesterday. Again, feel free to include your thoughts below.

Twitter was the place to be recently as local activist Keri Lorenzo took to the social media site to call Somerville-Cambridge for Change and the Progressive Democrats of Somerville to task regarding the recent candidates forum they co-sponsored and Carl Sciortino moderated. It seems that one Twitter user pointed out that there were only 2 candidates in attendance prompting KLo to explain that there are members of Somerville-Cambridge for Change and the Progressive Democrats of Somerville who are directly involved with one candidate's campaign and that moderator Carl Sciortino was photographed (and witnessed) wearing the campaign sticker of this candidate at a recent fundraiser. Stating that the forum was biased, it was decided that Medford candidate Erin DiBenedetto would not participate weeks before the event was to take place. Feel free to comment your thoughts below.

Big thanks and job well done to all involved in the City's fireworks display that drew a good-sized crowd despite being in competition with Boston's festivities. Clearly, people prefer Booty Vortex over The Beach Boys ;)

As of tomorrow, the Board of Aldermen will be on their summer hiatus. During this time, some subcommittees will be meeting, but the full Board will not gather again until the end of August.

The food-themed Somerville Movie Fest starts tonight and features a dusk broadcast of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at Seven Hills Park. 

I am starting a new feature here on Ward 5 Online, posting the best of #Somerville-themed photos from TwitterVerse. If you post (an appropriate) photo that you think is worthy, retweet with @Ward5Online for consideration.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I do like our mayor, but no way can I support Grossman for any political office. Anyone trying to run that much more to the left than the rest of the candidates cannot be good for this state.

B

Anonymous said...

PDS is a bunch of hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

PDS has a long history of having its members deeply involved in candidates' campaigns, and then calling for debates and forums with those very candidates for endorsements.

It's happening with Barber vs DiBenedetto, it happened with Ballantyne vs Capuano, Ballantyne vs Trane, McLaughlin vs Bastardi, Sciortino vs Trane and probably Neidergang vs Courtney and others.

Nobody should take them seriously with such actual conflicts of interest as these.

Anonymous said...

Heard the same thing about the AAL...he would've made a terrible alderman-glad he lost-and he'd make a terribly mayor. I hope he runs so I can make it a point not to vote for him.

Anonymous said...

Both organizations should have been public with their affiliations. Period. Why do they think they are better than that? And what an awkward position to put your candidate in. Disrespectful if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

And here is the link to PDS's endorsed candidates who won last year - and who had help from the Chair of PDS and others in the organization before the endorsements were even made. Christine Barber was even the Endorsements Chair!

http://www.pdsomerville.org/node/257

Also, did we forget that Bill White was a registered Republican as late as 2006?

Anonymous said...

Agree with B...no grossman for me either. Going with Berwick.

Anonymous said...

PDS has a history of being a decent organization that had interesting workshops on the budget.

They have shriveled to a vindictive group of people filled with hate. The fact that comments about you-Courtney-were swept under the rug last year earned them my disrespect.

They claim to be "righteous," but at the end of the day they are dirtier, scummier, and worse then what they are trying to fight against.

Anonymous said...

What really got me was Rebekah Gewirtz endorsing Mark because he would "fight for working class families." What the hell do either one of them know about working class families?!? One doesn't work and the other has a beach house in Nantucket. Working class my a$$

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to comment that not *all* pds people are bad. Some of them are nice people who want to do the right thing. If they removed the cancerous poison that has grown within the movement-they would be better off.

Anonymous said...

I'll take Booty Vortex over the Beach Boys anyday of the week

David Sloane said...

I helped organize the forum, with Cambridge-Somerville for Change. I'm supporting Christine Barber, and, perhaps I'm naive, but I don't see the conflict.

Before the forum, Carl Sciortino committed not to endorse any candidate for his former seat. All candidates were given equal time, and the same set of questions. All candidates were offered a questionnaire in advance, and the forum questions were based on the questionnaire. The event was open to the public, and Tufts would only allow us to use the space if we invited all of the candidates running (including Medford Independent Nick Lanzilli).

We continued to list all five candidates, even after hearing that Erin DiBenedetto would not attend, in part to keep our agreement with Tufts. I think we also hoped that she would change her mind, but that didn't work out.

People have certainly questioned the motivations of the forum organizers, here and elsewhere, but I'm not sure those motivations matter. The organizers included folks who support Christine Barber, and Sharon Guzik, and others who haven't picked a candidate.

Would it have been better to have more candidate-supporters organize the event? Maybe.

Given the format, and the questionnaire, there really wasn't much room for favoritism.

You can see the whole event here, on YouTube, and judge for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Carl may have committed not to endorse, but he was seen and photographed (like Courtney pointed out) wearing Christine Barber's campaign sticker. I watched a video on Davis Square Live Journal and saw Rebekah Gewirtz reference Carl and asking him for a donation.

Who created the questionnaire? Members of both organizations--who have people assisting on Ms. Barber's campaign? I see a conflict there.

The motivations do matter because people are using their inclusion in political organizations to hold a forum to shed light on a candidate. There's no way that Ms. Barber was not coached on how to answer questions or had questions customized for her. I am sorry, but I believe that.

Anonymous said...

Mr Sloane,

Thank you for your input. Let me clarify some of the concerns that I (not speaking for others) had on this event, and in general the way PDS has conducted itself in recent years:

Ms. Barber is a member of PDS and served as the Endorsements Chair of that organization last year (and possibly other years). She is running for State Rep, and PDS co-sponsored a debate with your organization and another for a debate. Mr. Sciortino, the moderator, claimed he is not endorsing in this race, but was seen wearing a Barber sticker. No one is saying he should stay neutral in this race - but if his words and actions are inconsistent, this is problematic.

In the same vein last year, PDS sponsored a city-wide debate of all candidates for Alderman and Alderman-at-Large. At the time, the president of PDS, Katie Wallace, was serving as campaign manager to candidate Katjana Ballantyne's campaign in Ward 7 and on Matt McLaughlin's campaign in Ward 1. Ms. Ballantyne was previously on the Board of PDS. Both Ballantyne and McLaughlin received PDS endorsements after their opponents declined to participate in the debates because of this conflict.

If a non-PDS candidate with ties to an organization, whose members served on their campaign staff or publicly endorsed them, held a debate, PDS would be the first to decry "backroom dealing" or "conflicts" or "business as usual."

PDS is as much the problem as the "machine" they love to denigrate.

Anonymous said...

May I also point out that both Katie Wallace and Fred Berman-both on the executive committee level of PDS-were directly involved with Mark Niedergang's campaign.