Home About Archives RSS Feed

Independent Candidate For Governor Campaigns In North Adams

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
Evan Falchuk shaking hands with voters as he marched in the Fall Foliage Parade in North Adams on Sunday.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Evan Falchuk has been keeping his boots on the ground in his campaign for governor.

On Sunday, that took him to the Fall Foliage Parade to meet Berkshire County voters.

Falchuk is heading an independent campaign as he looks to change state politics by ending partisan fights. The party he formed, United Independent, aims to build more consensus on issues instead of political bickering.
 
"The level of interest out there for an independent movement and independent party that I've created is really, really strong," Falchuk said. "People are really eager to see there be an organized way to bring practical, rational, reasonable dialogue to the political process."
 
Falchuk marched in the parade, weaving his way from side to side shaking hands and meeting voters. He isn't spending his time worrying about primaries or gaining the support of party officials,  but he is running a statewide campaign.
 
"I'm working seven days a week. Every weekend I am out in the cities and towns across the state," he said. "They go to activist meetings, the town party committees... As an independent I am running a statewide campaign with my team, all across the state and meeting people who are not political activists."
 
What he has been hearing is that the government is not doing what the people want.
 
"You hear it over and over again. You hear 'I'm dissatisfied with the process,'" he said. "People have, unfortunately, lost a lot of confidence and faith in state government and the reason is that the priorities that the elected leaders are pursuing is not matching up with what they feel are priorities."
 
In North Adams, the adage of politics being run out of Boston without a care for Berkshire County was what Falchuk heard. But, he said that is what he hears everywhere.
 
"I met a lot of voters who were surprised that a person from the eastern part of the state would come to North Adams," he said but added that happens everywhere and, "you hear that enough times and you start to think maybe no one is listening to begin with. It's not you. It's them."
 
Falchuk believes too often politicians vote for or against something based on if it helps their party at a particular time and not by what is good for the state as a whole. He wants to lead a change in politics by addressing issues at the core level with open and honest discussion.
 
For example, Falchuk says the state officials need to get together and look through the state budget line by line and reallocate any misused funds in a way that everyone can agree will address problems. 
 
He wants to see more investment in small to medium-sized businesses by creating programs to help entrepreneurs take the next step, change policies that encourage large factory-type businesses and instead put the priorities into the small and medium sized ones. 
 
He wants to lower the corporate tax rate, energy and health care costs to spur additional economic growth. He wants more job training so that the citizens can get those higher paying jobs and he hopes to break what he sees as nearly a monopoly in the health care system to lower costs there. 
 
"With the rates where they are, we put ourselves at a competitive disadvantage," Falchuk said of the corporate rates. "But it is not about just cut taxes, it is about saying what is the right mix of things we can do to spur job growth... we need to pay for the government we say we want."
 
Falchuk outside of the iBerkshires office after an interview.
With all of those goals, Falchuk isn't setting forth particular policies. He wants those policies to come from consensus building. 
 
"As country, we get stuck. Somebody proposes something and it immediately gets politicized. 'Oh, you want that, well I don't know care if it is a good idea or not, the fact that you want it, I am against it.' That's how you get stuck," Falchuk said.
 
The state's Tax Fairness Commission, which is taking a look at state tax policy, is an example of what Falchuk wants to see on all issues. That commission is looking at the entire tax code and will present findings to overhaul the entire system.
 
He knows that isn't easy to make such fundamental changes in politics, but it starts from the top down, he said. His election would symbolize a new era, he said, because by getting 3 percent of the vote, United Independent will be recognized as an official party and those who feel the way he does has an opportunity to run in elections across the state.
 
"This is something much bigger than one candidate in one election," he said. "I think people will look back on 2013, 2014 in American history and see it as something of a turning point in our politics."
 
He is running against two political parties with long histories of connections to voters and to donors. Falchuk has hired a finance director for fundraising and is focused on meeting voters outside of those networks  in hopes to get the 53 percent of independent voters in the state on his side instead of being swing voters.
 
"We're going to have enough money to compete in the general election," Falchuk said of the fundraising efforts.
 
He later said, "if this were easy, I'm sure there would be a lot of people doing it. I'm up against the party machines who have a long history of saying this is how things are to be done. What we have is that most voters want to see our politics move in this direction."
 
He pointed to the federal government shutdown not as a matter of which party is responsible but rather a lack of leadership.
 
"I really don't understand the level of leadership being shown. It is not responsible," Falchuk said. "It is their job to make this stuff work. They have one job, to fund the government and they can't do it."
 
Falchuk has two more visits to Berkshire County scheduled in the coming month. Meanwhile, six candidates have entered the field for Democrats while one Republic is in the race.
     

Coakley Talks Education, Economy in Campaign Swing

By Tammy Daniels & Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
Attorney General Martha Coakley meets with voters in Pittsfield and North Adams during a campaign swing in the Berkshires to announce her run for governor.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The self-described "Berkshires Girl" was back in the county on Tuesday seeking support for another run at office.

This time Attorney General Martha Coakley has her eye on the governor's office next year, and she's hoping the Berkshires will once again back her as it has overwhelmingly in the past.

The North Adams native swung through the Berkshires as part of her three-day "barnstorming" across the state to announce her candidacy, focusing on the twin themes economic recovery and education. She knows that when the economy sinks, it sinks even further in Berkshire County.

"I grew up here, my father owned a business in Berkshire County," said Coakley. "I know some of the issues but I know some have changed but I want to stay involved."

Tuesday brought her to an impromptu stop in Lee before Pittsfield and eventually to her home city of North Adams. At Dottie's, there wasn't a big stump speech — it was just coffee shop chatter, chatter she hopes to hear throughout the campaign and beyond.

"Certainly as governor one of things I want to do is to make sure we are able to have this economy turn around not just for some but for everybody," Coakley said after meeting more than a dozen voters during the afternoon stop in Pittsfield that that included District Attorney David Capeless, Berkshire Brigades leader Sheila Murray, Middle Berkshire Register of Deeds Patsy Harris and Edith "Kit" Dobelle, former U.S. Chief of Protocol. "And that means for regions like Berkshire County, north and south, taking into account what our strengths and weaknesses are, working with our local businesses and our local folks here and our not-for-profits."

Those experiences include going after bank mortgage practices, lowering the cost of health care and lowering the energy costs. But there is more she feels she can do. To kick start the economy, Coakley says the education system needs to be improved for both children and adults.

"I hear a lot of the same theme, about people feel a little more optimistic about the economy but they're still struggling," she said in North Adams. "One of the reasons I'm running for governor is to make sure we continue progress in Massachusetts on the economic front but that we do it for everybody, not just for a wealthy few, and that we make sure that we modernize our education."

She wants to focus on economic development, infrastructure and education but the details will be parsed out during the campaign. But her skills and experience is what drove her into the race, calling it a "critical time" for Massachusetts.

"I'm really excited about my chance to work with and for the people of Massachusetts."

Coakley will have set herself apart from what's becoming a crowded field of Democratic candidates, which so far includes early favorite Treasurer Steven Grossman, two former Obama administration executives and at least one entrepreneur, with a couple of high-profile candidate still on the fence.

What she won't have to do is fight for recognition in a region that's heavily backed her in the past, including her unsuccessful Senate race three years ago. In North County in particular, everyone knows her name.

"In that room right now are several classmates from high school, my trigonometry high school teacher, Mr. Cove, who I haven't seen for a long time but who I just remember fondly," said the Williams College graduate. She's spent most of her life outside the Berkshires, building a legal career as Middlesex district attorney before running for state office. But she came back in 2007 to be sworn in as attorney general at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts.

I appreciate that I made some mistakes in that race and my biggest regret is that people think I didn't work hard. I certainly regret that but I went right back to work in the attorney general's office, going back to work for the people in Massachusetts.

on the 2010 U.S. Senate campaign

Coakley moved around the Freight Yard Pub introducing herself and her husband, Thomas F. O'Connor Jr., but the connections were already there in many cases — they'd gone to school with one of her sisters, they'd known her father, they'd sat beside her in class — they connected somewhere in the myriad relationships found in a small town.

The gathering wasn't large but a number of community leaders were on hand, including Mayor Richard Alcombright, City Councilors Marie Harpin, President Michael Bloom, Jennifer Breen and Lisa Blackmer; a contingent from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts including President Mary Grant; Berkshire Community College President Ellen Kennedy and attorney John DeRosa, and Adams Selectman Joseph Nowak.

Kristen Gilman and Joy DeMayo, teachers at Sullivan Elementary School, were having supper before orientation in the evening. They hadn't realized that Coakley was going to be there but they chatted with her for several minutes about the school and teaching.

If they'd had a chance to consider, what would they have said Coakley or another gubernatorial candidate?

DeMayo's was straightforward: "Our youth is the future." Gilman's more on process: "I just want her to come to Sullivan to see what's going on up there, dealing with what we have to deal with all day. The reality of it."

Coakley's looking for that input.

"I would love to have the help and support of Berkshire County voters during the campaign. I want your ideas, I want your suggestions about how we in Boston — I know that is how we think about state government — can be more engaged and involved in what you care about, what we care about," she  said. "I'll be out here not just for the campaign but more importantly as governor."

Before she headed back toward Boston for another day of campaign stops, a woman came out of the pub to shake her hand.

"I love you as attorney general and you got my vote," she said.

     

Coakley Visits Berkshire Cities for Governor's Race Kickoff

Staff Reports
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
Martha Coakley

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Attorney General Martha Coakley will announce for governor on Monday at the beginning of a three-day swing through the state that will bring her to the Berkshires on Tuesday.

The North Adams native had been among the high-profile Democrats expected to declare — one way or the other — on their interest in the state's top office.

In a statement, Coakley said, “Massachusetts is poised to take off. We can either grab this moment and move forward together, or risk falling behind.  

"I believe we must continue to rebuild our economy in a way that gives everyone the opportunity to succeed, and launch new education reforms so that every child and adult has the skills they need to compete in a global economy."

Coakley's Campaign Stops on Tuesday

2:30
Dottie's Coffee Lounge
444 North St., Pittsfield
 

4:30
Freight Yard Pub
Heritage State Park
North Adams

Coakley will officially announce her gubernatorial campaign by video at www.marthacoakley.com and start the day Monday greeting voters in Medford, Brockton, Attleboro, Fall River, New Bedford and Hyannis. On Tuesday and Wednesday she will campaign in Newton, Framingham, Worcester, Springfield, Pittsfield, North Adams, Boston, Lowell, Lawrence, Newburyport, Gloucester, and Salem among other stops.  

Democrats who have already lined up for governor include Treasurer Steven Grossman, who announced at the Democratic convention earlier this summer; Dr. Donald Berwick, former Medicare chief; Joseph Avellone of Wellesley, a biotech executive; and Juliette Kayyem, a former Homeland Security official. State Sen. Dan Wolf of Harwich has suspended his campaign pending appeal to the Ethic Commission to reconsider its ruling that his interest Cape Air impedes his ability to serve in public office.

Running as an independent is Evan Falchuk of Newton; Charlie Baker, who ran unsuccessfully in 2012, is so far the only Republican candidate.

The last time Coakley was in the region to meet with publicly with local leaders was as keynote speaker at a Berkshire Chamber breakfast last August. Coakley talked about her office's efforts to reduce the number of abandoned properties caused by the fallout of the global recession.

     

Newton Candidate Blurring Party Lines In Governor Race

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
Independent candidate Evan Falchuk meeting with voters earlier this year.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In 2012, Newton native Evan Falchuk grew tired of the bickering in politics. And instead of siding with the Democrats or the Republicans, he decided to side with the 53 percent of Massachusetts voters who are unenrolled.

Falchuk is a founding member of United Independent, a designation he hopes to turn into a recognized political party, and is running for governor. His platform is relatively simple — to take a practical, pragmatic approach at solving the state's problems.

"People want to be involved in the decision-making process," the 43-year-old said in an interview on Tuesday. "We're finding our appeal is across the political spectrum."

He uses the state's recent transportation bill as an example of how politics have not fixed a problem. Falchuk says the state's transportation infrastructure is absolutely a problem but prior to the governor pitching his plan earlier this year, residents had ranked it very low in their priorities. In just a short period of time, the governor and Legislature battled over a transportation bill, and passed one that is not enough to fix all the problems. Meanwhile, residents were, for the most part, left out of the process.

"I believe the state is not transparent enough with how we spend taxpayer money," he said. "We need to have to confidence and faith in our government ... voters feel they can only do so much."

So Falchuk's No. 1 priority is to implement fundamental change in how government works. Not just communicating with voters better — though that is an issue, he says — but leading the way so that from the governor's office down, decisions are made in a much more democratic way.

"We've got a political system that is broken," he said. "My No. 1 priority is to rebuild faith in our government."

By getting more people involved and blurring party lines, Falchuk believes he can begin solving some of the state's problems. Particularly he would like the change the tax system to become more progressive, lower the cost of living and doing business, address the economic inequalities among residents and identify barriers that slow small businesses. He calls for going through the budget line by line and analyzing if each department is spending the money correctly.

But Falchuk says to revamp the system, there needs to be a strong, innovative and smart leader at the helm. He believes he's the one for the job.

"I'll put my resume up against anybody else running for governor," he said, but added that isn't why he should "be hired" — it's the extra effort he's willing to put in that elevates him against the rest.

Falchuk was a Washington, D.C., attorney working on Securities and Exchange Commission cases before becoming an executive of Best Doctors Inc., a research company that ensures patients get the right diagnoses. Since he joined in 1999, the Best Doctors has grown from six employees to some 600 people.

But after becoming frustrated with politics, he's resigning his position to concentrate on his political campaign.

"You can either complain about it or you can get a shovel and dig. Nothing happens until people do something," Falchuk said.

Other candidates who have announced for the gubernatorial race in 2014 are Dan Wolf, Joseph Avellone and Don Berwick. Treasurer Steve Grossman is also expected to join the race.

     

Berkshire Brigades Holding Meet & Greet With Markey

Staff Reports
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.
image description
Brian Herr met with Vietnam veterans at Misty Moonlight Diner in Pittsfield on Thursday morning.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Brigades are holding a "meet and greet" with U.S. Senate candidate Edward Markey on Friday.

Markey will be joined by U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and others at the state Democratic Party headquarters on North Street. The event starts a 4:30 p.m.

Markey is running against Gabriel Gomez for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by John Kerry, who accepted appointment as secretary of state. The special election is on June 25.

     
Page 14 of 15... 9  10  11  12  13  14  15  

Support Local News

We show up at hurricanes, budget meetings, high school games, accidents, fires and community events. We show up at celebrations and tragedies and everything in between. We show up so our readers can learn about pivotal events that affect their communities and their lives.

How important is local news to you? You can support independent, unbiased journalism and help iBerkshires grow for as a little as the cost of a cup of coffee a week.

News Headlines
PopCares Cancer Charity Has Helped Nearly 900 People
North Adams Airport Commission Finalizes Restaurant RFP
Pittsfield School Committee Concerned With Teacher Retention
Williams Women's Tennis Wraps Up Fall Campaign
Berkshire County Kids' Place Gala Celebrates Courage
Maimaron, Williams Football Cruise Past Bates
MCLA Women's Cross Country Competes at Western New England
Noted 'Edu-Tainer' Brings Message of Tolerance to Mount Greylock Educators
Wahconah Unveils Banner Marking National Unified Sports Honor
Northern Berkshire Coalition Forum Envisions 'Inclusive Development'

Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Election
Tuesday, Nov. 4

Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation was Oct.15.


Candidates on the ballot in races for state office; all others on the ballot are unopposed. Links will take you to their campaign websites.

U.S. Senator
Edward J. Markey, Democrat
Brian J. Herr, Republican

Governor/Lieutenant Governor
Charlie Baker & Karyn Polito, Republican
Martha Coakley & Stephen Kerrigan, Democrat
Evan Falchuk & Angus Jennings, United Independent Party
Scott Lively & Shelly Saunders, Independent
Jeff McCormick & Tracy Post, Independent 

Attorney General
Maura Healey, Democratic
John B. Miller, Republican

Secretary of State
William Francis Galvin, Democratic
David D'Arcangelo, Republican
Daniel L. Factor, Green-Rainbow

Treasurer
Deborah B. Goldberg, Democratic
Michael James Heffernan, Republican
Ian T. Jackson, Green-Rainbow

Auditor
Suzanne M. Bump, Democratic
Patricia S. Saint Aubin, Republican
MK Merelice, Green-Rainbow

Municipal Elections

The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015

You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.

2010 Special Senate Election Results

Election 2009 Stories

Election Day 2008

 

 

 



Categories:
1st Berkshire (42)
2010 (0)
2011 (78)
2012 (59)
2013 (63)
2014 (76)
2nd Berkshire (29)
3rd Berkshire (19)
4th Berkshire (14)
attorney general (6)
auditor (5)
campaign (72)
candidate forums (49)
city council (40)
Congress (25)
election (74)
endorsements (47)
events (30)
fundraising (10)
governor (26)
letters (9)
local (18)
mayor (54)
news (8)
school committee (21)
selectmen (22)
selectmen (16)
sheriff (28)
state (24)
statements (45)
Archives:
Tags:
Debates Boucher Preliminary Primary Letters To The Editor Mark U.s. Senate Mayor Republican Party Democratic Party 1st Mass Special Election Bosley Election 2014 Selectmen Pittsfield Election 2013 Macdonald Democrat Independent Cariddi City Council Campaign Town Election North Adams Lieutenant Governor Williamstown Governor Szczepaniak Berkshire Brigades Candidates Bowler Debate Town Elections Bissaillon
Popular Entries:
Bosley Looks to Wind Up Legislative Career
There's a New Sheriff in Town
Three Make Case for 2nd District Seat
Cariddi Clear Winner in 1st District
Longtime City Councilor Cariddi Kicks Off State Rep Campaign
Candidates Forum Scheduled for Aug 17
Bissaillon Campaign Hosts Pancake Breakfast
Baker Wins Governor's Race
Suzanne Bump Seeking Re-election as Auditor
Election Day 2010
Recent Entries:
Independent Falchuk Hits Threshold To Start New Party
Baker Wins Governor's Race
AG Candidate Healey Hears Concerns on Hospital
Candidate Kerrigan Stops in Pittsfield For Get Out The Vote Push
Suzanne Bump Seeking Re-election as Auditor
U.S. Senate Candidate Brian Herr Fighting for Name Recognition
Area Democrats Making Final Push For November Election
Coakley Stresses Commitment to Berkshires
Candidates Showing Differences As Governor's Race Heats Up
Gubernatorial Candidates Spar In Springfield Debate