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Signatures Sought for Green/Rainbow Candidate Stein
By: Election New On: 09:09AM / Tuesday July 06, 2010

Lenox residents who have not yet signed Green/Rainbow Party candidate Jill Stein's gubernatorial nomination papers can do so at the Bookstore at 11 Housatonic St., where a petition sheet is available. Statewide, Stein has until Aug. 3 to collect the 10,000 signatures she needs to get on the November ballot.

Anyone who would like to help Stein either by being a collection point in your town or by volunteering to collect signatures actively should contact Lee Scott Laugenour, Green/Rainbow Party candidate for the 4th Berkshire District, at 413-728-5157 or friends4scott@gmail.com

Laugenour will be joining supporters of Jill Stein for Governor on Monday morning, July 5, in Pittsfield for the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade.

On Thursday, July 1, Laugenour is canvassing in Ward 5B of Pittsfield, and will also stop by the Berkshire Museum for the opening reception of Joey Wheaton and Susan Rogers' exhibit, starting at 5:30 p.m.



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Mark Earns 3 More Endorsements in June
By: By Mark Campaign On: 09:06AM / Thursday June 24, 2010

Paul Mark has received the endorsement of three more local unions: Mass Nurses Association, Teamsters, and UAW. The various unions represent diverse trades including human services providers, truck drivers, and graduate students.

Teamsters Local 404 is the western Massachusetts truckers’ union, and includes many other fields, such as police officers, ambulance workers, and nurses. Workers come from both the private and public sectors at worksites including United Parcel Service, IBC bakery, Berkshire Regional Transportation Authority, and various Departments of Public Works.

“It’s time for a young energetic representative who’s come from a working class family, and who can articulate what needs to be done to help the working people of the Commonwealth,” said Local 404 President Frank A. Rossi. “Paul is up for the challenge, and we look forward to working with him.”

The Mass Nurses Association, which is the largest health care union in the state, represents 17,000 members in 80 health care facilities.

“I’m proud to stand alongside nurses and support legislation that will help stem violence in their workplace, ensure safe staffing levels, and attain universal health coverage through a single payer system,” said Paul upon receiving the MNA’s endorsement.

The state chapter of UAW, which represents a wide range of health care workers, human service providers and college staff, has also endorsed Paul in recent weeks.

Endorsements from these three organizations, which represent ambulance drivers, nurses, mental health counselors and certified nursing assistants, demonstrate that Paul Mark is the consensus candidate of health care workers.

“Paul Mark has the support of these groups because of his record of working hard for working people, and his commitment to issues that are important to people’s everyday lives,” said campaign spokesman Steve Hoeschele.

Last month, Paul received the coveted endorsement of 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.

Paul has also received the endorsement of over a dozen other labor unions including United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1459, the Pioneer Valley Building Trades, Carpenters Local 108, Sheetmetal Workers Local 63, the Heat & Frost Insulators Local 6, Ironworkers Local 7, and Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 4.

As an active member in the electrical workers union, he has the full support of the I.B.E.W. telephone and electrician locals.



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Mass Women's Political Caucus PAC Endorses Cariddi
By: Staff Reports On: 12:12PM / Friday June 18, 2010

The multi-partisan organization Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus political action committee has endorsed Gailanne Cariddi for the 1st Berkshire District seat in the state House of Representatives.
 
“Gailanne Cariddi has an extensive background in business, and will be an excellent asset to the Massachusetts House of Representatives,” said MWPC Executive Director Priti Rao. “We are confident that she will be able to use these skills to address the most pressing and critical economic needs faced by the residents of 1st Berkshire District during these challenging times.”

“It is an excellent opportunity to be endorsed by the MWPC," said Cariddi. "The MWPC is an important instrument in electing qualified women candidates into political offices, and I am thankful for their support. It is my hope that they will continue to increase the involvement of women in the political process.”

The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus works to increase the number of women elected and appointed to public office and public policy positions and to increase the involvement of women of all ages in the political process to give women the skills they need for effective political and public policy participation. For more information, visit www.mwpcpac.org.



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Szczepaniak: Bunker Hill Day Holiday Good Place to Begin Budget Cuts
By: Szczepaniak Campaign On: 10:44AM / Thursday June 17, 2010

Tom Szczepaniak is calling for the state House of Representatives to follow the state Senate and eliminate the Bunker Hill Day and Evacuation Day state holidays. “At a time when our communities are about to be hit with deep reductions in state aid, cuts to local libraries and the closing of state parks, lets end these holidays for a select few in one county and save the taxpayers $5 million per year,” Szczepaniak said.

Szczepaniak listed a number of other programs and line items that could be pruned from state spending in advance of the fiscal year 2012 appropriations process. “With the loss of the federal stimulus funds and the already depleted rainy day account, we need to get serious about making common sense cuts now because the budget for next year looks to be even bleaker,” he said.

“The Legislature can set an example by tightening its belt first. Why do we need a House Committee on Personnel & Administration to dole out office space and assign staffing levels when we have a House personnel office which does the very same thing?” Szczepaniak asked. “With the federal stimulus program sun-setting, let’s get rid of the Joint Committee on Federal Stimulus Oversight. We can also get by with fewer court officers at the State House. These reforms would allow us to whittle down the more than $39 million for legislative operations.”

Additional budget cuts suggested by Szcepaniak:

Eliminate the Governor’s Council for an annual savings of $500,000

Cut $506,704 for the Suffolk County Social Law Library, the only free public law library which is closed to the public.

Cut $145 million for outside counsel services at state agencies.

End public subsidies for the Hynes Convention Center ($7.8 million) and Boston Convention & Exhibition Center ($10 million).

“The Governor’s Council is a colonial anachronism and I would task our state Senate with voting to confirm judicial appointments as is done at the federal level,” Szczepaniak said. “Paying for outside lawyers when each agency has their own legal counsel makes no sense either. As for the convention centers, they need to operate without taxpayer bailouts.”



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Bosley, Bowler Differ on Definition of Sheriff
By: Tammy Daniels On: 12:23AM / Thursday June 17, 2010

Tom Bowler, left, Town Democratic Committee Chairman James E. Mahon Jr. and Daniel E. Bosley at Wednesday's forum.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — It became clear during Wednesday night's forum that the primary difference between the two candidates for sheriff was their definition of the job: Law enforcement or public safety.

The disparity in perception can be immediately traced to the backgrounds of the two men who hope to become Berkshire County sheriff, a seat that's open for the first time in more than 30 years.

Tom Bowler, a 24-year police officer and detective in the Pittsfield Police Department, says the job is everything to do with law enforcement; Daniel E. Bosley, a 26-year legislator representing the 1st Berkshire District, says it's public safety.

"I submit this election is going to be about whether people agree that it's law enforcement job or whether it's a public safety or administrative job," said Bosley, after a verbal tussle with an apparent Bowler supporter at the end of the 90-minute session.

It was standing room only in the Selectmen's Room as supporters from Williamstown, Adams, North Adams, Lanesborough and Pittsfield packed into the chamber to hear their candidate. More than a few were clad in blue Bowler T-shirts to declare their support for the detective.

Both candidates fielded questions from the audience, ranging from mangement style to health care costs.

The forum was hosted by the Williamstown Democratic Town Committee and moderated by its Chairman James E. Mahon Jr. It was broadcast live on WilliNet and will be available later on the WilliNet website and is expected to be broadcast on Northern Berkshire Community Television.

The two Democrats are seeking to fill the seat being left vacant by retiring Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano Jr., who has held the position since 1978. With no independent or Republican candidate, the election will essentially be decided in the Sept. 14 primary.

During the forum, the candidates took questions from the audience and, in large part, agreed on the broader needs of the job, including that the sheriff has role to play as a social service provider for inmates in terms of rehabilitation and substance-abuse services.

"I firmly believe that the individual, you have to understand their behavior," said Bowler. "Not every person is a bad individual; they've made bad decisions." 

As a police officer, he said, not only are you there to take care of the situation, you help families understand how they can get help. "What we like to do is educate families, show them they can make their lives better."

Bosley said he believed 75 percent of the state's sheriffs were social workers, pointing to Hampden County Sheriff Michael J. Ashe as an example.

On average, Houses of Correction have an inmate for nine months, inmates who have substance abuse problems, come from single-parent homes, poverty ... , he said, and facilities need to find ways to work with existing programs inside and outside the jails. "We need to find a way to be more seamless with the programs we have."

Both advocated more training programs, particularly vocational programs, to help inmates integrate back into the community and as a way to bring revenue to the jail — either by wages (for restitution) or selling items they created.

Bosley touted his ability as a representative to bring money into the county, including funding for the nearly decade-old House of Correction. His contacts in Boston and Washington, D.C., would help tap into federal and state monies, he said.

Bowler said he would look for innovative funding, such as private foundation grants as well as government monies, to aid with training programs and equipment.

For Bowler, election to sheriff would be the culmination of his career in law enforcement. "I feel everything I've done in the last 24 years has led me to that position."

He stressed his time as an investigator covering some of the most "horrific crimes" in Berkshire County, his understanding of the inmate population, the area's drug and gang problems, and his yearlong stint as assistant deputy superintendent overseeing security during the move into the new House of Correction facility.

"I want to work collaboratively," said Bowler, both as an administrator with the jail's staff and with local law enforcement. "There's the tremendous amount of information inside that jail. I've been able to extract that information and solve crimes ... I think I have a lot to offer as a public servant, not as a politician."

Bosley said he would ensure "bright lines of authority" and would assess performance and delegate authority as needed. "You have to let people do their jobs."

"I'm proud of the fact I'm a politician. A good politician is a statesman," he said, adding he accomplished nearly everything he'd set out to do, including several landmark legislative actions, and now wanted to focus on the county. He said he was familiar with the workings of the state's correctional facilities, including the Houses of Correction and stated "The sheriff has the opportunity to affect people's lives."

But where they disagreed was on the definition of the job, a point stressed by one of the audience members, who proceeded to engage with Bosley over the authorities given by the state to the deputy force and by Bowler's description of how he'd handled a potential uprising by 50 inmates some years ago. Deputies were law enforcement, insisted the man.

(Massimiano worked for the North Adams Housing Authority and in the probation office when he was elected sheriff.)

"I don't intend to run the [jail] that way," said Bosley of using the deputies to make arrests or back up local police. "It's tough enough to be a correctional officer within the House and our budget is stretched enough without giving people additional duties for jobs that other people do and do very well."

When the individual started giving "what if" scenarios, Bosley said he wasn't going to debate him and Bowler, too.

Bowler said he wanted to make clear that "I have no intention of putting roving patrols of officers patrolling Berkshire County. ... If [an inmate] escapes then we will work on a collaborative effort with every law enforcement authority in the county, as we have in the past."

The websites for both candidates can be found on the blog's siderail.



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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

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

 

 

 



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