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Paul Mark Endorsed by SEIU 509
By: Mark Campaign On: 01:38PM / Thursday July 15, 2010

DALTON, Mass. — Paul Mark, Democratic candidate for state representative in the 2nd Berkshire District, has received the endorsement of Service Employees International Union 509.

SEIU 509 represents 11,000 human-service workers in Massachusetts who provide social services to elders, at-risk children, and people with mental illness and developmental disabilities. It is the largest and fastest-growing union in nation, with tremendous organizing capacity.

"SEIU Local 509 is proud to endorse a candidate with the labor credentials of Paul Mark," said union member Brian Morrison. "With Paul in the Legislature, we are confident that the issues affecting working families and the middle class will get the attention and support they deserve."

"SEIU 509 organizes in line with my campaign message, that our state government has a serious responsibility to truly accountable and responsive to people's needs," said Mark, upon receiving the endorsement. "That means caring for the elderly and people who are most at-risk in our society. I have sincerely vowed to take on this crucial task."

"Given SEIU’s enthusiasm for organizing its members and standing up for the people they assist, we're excited to have this campaign boost," added Mark's campaign manager Steve Hoeschele.

The endorsement comes on the heels of Mark receiving the support of the Berkshire Central Labor Council, a coalition of Berkshire County unions with 45 representatives from more than 25 trade groups.

Paul Mark

Mark has also received endorsements from diverse trade groups including nurses, police officers, ambulance workers, truck drivers, and a variety of building trades. He also got a boost from MassAlliance, a coalition composed of 22 progressive groups including state chapters of Sierra Club, MassEquality, and Progressive Democrats, among others.

A full list of Mark's endorsements is at

Mark has earned several college degrees, including a doctorate and a law degree, while working full time for the phone company. He commuted from the Berkshires to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Northeastern and Suffolk universities. Now he is running for the seat being vacated by current Democratic Rep. Denis E. Guyer.

The 2nd Berkshire District includes part of Pittsfield and 21 towns in Berkshire, Franklin and Hampshire counties.

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Cariddi Calls for Greater Transparency in State Government
By: Cariddi Campaign On: 08:06PM / Wednesday July 14, 2010

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A March 2010 poll conducted by the nonpartisan Clarus Research Group found that 92 percent of voters believe that "government agencies should make better use of new technologies to cut costs and improve efficiency."

With the goal of using technology to open up the legislative process to voters, 1st Berkshire District candidate Gailanne Cariddi has proposed a number of reforms aimed at providing more transparency and increased accountability in state government.

"It was President Thomas Jefferson who said 'an informed populace makes wise decisions,' but today, all too often, people have a hard time finding out exactly what is happening on Beacon Hill. That has to change. We need to do a much better job of providing online tools to give citizens access to state government data with ease, speed and at no cost," she said.

Cariddi's proposals for greater oversight include:

• Creation of a searchable website detailing costs, recipients and purposes for all appropriations, providing the public with access to a checkbook-level of detail regarding state spending, investments, tax reductions, tax credits, subsidies and direct grants;

• Upgrading the Legislature's website to provide more information in a timely manner;

• Requiring committee votes cast by legislators to be posted online;

• Banning committee votes by e-mail, telephone or wireless devices such as Blackberry;

• Opening the Legislature's budget accounts to annual review by the state auditor and repealing the Legislature's exemption from the state Freedom of Information Act, allowing citizens to inspect government records; and

• Improving television coverage of House floor sessions and committee hearings to Western Massachusetts local access cable stations.

"It is unacceptable that it can take days for House journals to be posted online so the public can view the roll-call votes of their elected representatives," Cariddi said, adding that she would push for a system by which residents can view each legislator's votes by bill number or subject matter. "Judge Louis Brandeis' famous statement that 'sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants' certainly applies more than ever today."

As a leader in the effort to create Northern Berkshire Community Television Corp., Cariddi pledged to continue to push for the airing of legislative committee hearings and House floor debates on "Gavel to Gavel" in order to reach the far northwest corner of the commonwealth.“

"Given that we are located in the Albany (N.Y.) media market, North County folks often know more about what is going on with the elected officials in the Empire State than in our own capital in Boston. I want to shorten the disconnect between the State House and the 11 communities of the 1st Berkshire District," Cariddi said.

Cariddi's views on technology and access to government are available on her website.

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Sheriff's Office Not Involved in Campaign
By: By Tammy Daniels On: 12:23PM / Wednesday July 14, 2010

The sheriff's office isn't campaigning — for anyone. That's the word from Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano Jr., who felt compelled to issue a statement on Monday clarifying the issue after more than a few calls from county residents who thought his office is stumping for candidate Thomas N. Bowler.

Massimiano, who is stepping down at the end of his current term after 32 years in office, said he's also reminded his staff that while they are free to participate in campaigns, they do so as individuals and must not represent themselves as campaigning in any official capacity.

Robert McDonough, spokesman for the sheriff's office, said several recent calls brought the matter to the sheriff's attention. In the statement released by the sheriff's office, those callers "said they have been approached by workers for the Thomas Bowler campaign who claimed to be representing the sheriff's office. At least one resident reported feeling she was being intimidated into posting a Bowler campaign sign on her property."

Bowler's sister and campaign manager Donna Mattoon said on Tuesday she was baffled by the complaints.

"We can't keep lawn signs in stock," she said. "We don't have to force anyone to host a lawn sign - we're running out."

Mattoon said the campaign ordered 5,000 signs and only has about 500 left; so many people have contacted the campaign by phone, website and Facebook, "we're running around like crazy people lately" delivering signs. Plus, she added, Massimianio was still a candidate whem Bowler threw his hat in the ring, so why would he be stumping for her brother? "I don't think anybody is confused by that issue."

Massimiano has not endorsed either Bowler or his opponent Daniel E. Bosley at this time. The two Democrats will meet in a Sept. 14 primary that is expected to decide the winner of the office.

"I want people to understand that no one is out putting up signs on behalf of the sheriff's office," Massimiano said in the statement. "If you have been told that this office wants you to post a sign — for either candidate — please call and let me know. The situation will be taken care of."

Bowler, a Pittsfield Police detective, received the overwhelming backing of Local 297 of the International Brotherhood of Correctional Officers in late February; the local represents officers working in the Berkshire County House of Correction. He also was endorsed by the local police chiefs association and Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless.

His supporters are passionate — one got into a debate with Bosley at a forum for the candidates last month. Mattoon described the campaign as "joyful."

"People aren't being discouraged from campaigning zealously," said McDonough. But, he said, it's a violation of ethics for backers who misrepresent themselves.

Mattoon said she heard the sheriff's statement on the radio Tuesday morning. "I was stunned to see that someone felt intimidated into hosting a lawn sign.

"We would never want anyone to feel intimidated," she continued. "But if somebody's lines got crossed I'd love to know about it so we can fix it."

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Mark Endorsed by Berkshire Central Labor Council
By: By Mark Campaign On: 09:54AM / Monday July 12, 2010

Paul Mark,  candidate for state representative in the Second Berkshire district, has received the endorsement of the Berkshire Central Labor Council.

The Council is a coalition of Berkshire County unions with 45 representatives from more than 25 trade groups. The organization recently hosted a forum, and voted to endorse Mark after brief speeches and a question period from each of the candidates who were present.

“We need somebody in the legislature who will be tough and honest, and Paul has those qualities,” said Herb Scholtz, a council delegate from Ironworkers Local 12.

“It is a great honor to receive the endorsement of the Berkshire Central Labor Council,” stated Mark. “The delegates recognized that nobody in this race will fight harder to improve the quality of life for working families in our district and throughout Massachusetts.”

“The unanimous endorsement of Paul, based on his experience and personal convictions, means that he’s the candidate of choice for organized labor,” Jerome F. Moran, a delegate from the UFCW Local 1459.

The endorsement comes on the heels of Mark receiving the support of Mass Nurses Association, Teamsters, and UAW, which represent diverse trades including ambulance workers, truck drivers, and graduate students.

Mark has also received an endorsement from MassAlliance, a coalition composed of 22 progressive groups. The organization’s member groups include state chapters of Sierra Club, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Organization for Women, and the Massachusetts Teachers Association, among others.

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Bosley Calls For Regional Lockup
By: Bosley Campaign On: 10:22AM / Thursday July 08, 2010

Daniel E. Bosley  of North Adams, a candidate for Berkshire County sheriff has renewed his call for a regional lockup facility to assist state and local police. A regional detention facility would give local communities a place to detain people arrested in their local communities, he said. 

Bosley said many smaller Berkshire County communities don’t have facilities to detain people when they are arrested. "In smaller communities, this hampers our public safety efforts. In larger communities, it is cost effective to use a regional facility."

Weekend arrests are particularly troublesome and costly for local departments, he said. "Imagine having to pay a local employee to watch over someone arrested for an entire weekend. Now multiply that by several communities, add the savings for cities and towns if the sheriff’s department transports their prisoners and you can see that a regional facility makes sense."

Currently, the configuration of the Berkshire County House of Corrections doesn’t allow the sheriff to accept arrests from the local police in all circumstances. Women are particularly difficult to provide for because they need to be housed in separate areas, according to the candidate.

"Currently, we don’t have the room or flexibility to take people from the police on a consistent basis. We need to work with local communities to have a facility that provides services for state and local police, save money for taxpayers, and makes us safer," said Bosley.

The current state representative added that we have ample land on the present site that houses the BCHOC and noted that his experience on the Bonding and Capital Assets Committee in the Legislature gives him the experience to work with government officials and Department of Correction personnel to build a facility.

"There are people in government looking at consolidation of Department of Corrections programs and that gives us an opportunity to work with them to develop capital plans and funding for a regional facility. With my expertise in this area, now is the time to add a regional lock up to the sheriff’s services," he said.

"This is just one of the new ideas that I have been talking about as I travel around Berkshire County talking about my candidacy. People deserve to hear our ideas and plans as well as our experience in this campaign."

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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

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

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.

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