Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Howie Carr, Calling it like it is.

I was pleasantly surprised to see this accurate depiction of the life and times of Joan Menard in the Boston Herald today. Click Here

Bristol Community College had made great progress over the past years, but recent decisions make me question its path for the future. With all the political hirings lately, and pandering to special interests (offering blackjack dealing courses) it seems as though it could be the new 'probation department'.

Speaking of political hacks...there is an opening at UMass Dartmouth Center for Policy where Ed Lambert used to rake in the big bucks for doing something or other (that I think involved counting Massachusetts license plates in Connecticut casinos for $100k+ annually)....Any guesses on which former lackluster politician will begin taking that paycheck?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Over the Limit

Mayor Will Flanagan finally filed his campaign finance report and it looks like he may have to return thousands of dollars. Massachusetts law limits the amount of money an individual can donate to a campaign. That limit is $500 per calendar year.

Despite the $500 maximum, the following campaign contributions were reported by Flanagan in the 2010 calendar year:

James P. Antonio $600
Todd Benevides $725
Brian Bishop $650
Anthony Cordeiro $550
Laurenio Couto $1000
Emilio Estacio $850
Carl Garcia $650
Fernando Garcia $650
Loretta George $1425
Alan S. Johnson $1000
James Karam $650
Robert Karam $700
Deborah Kenney $950
Mark Levin $850
Gilbert Lopes, Jr. $800
Mario Lucciola $600
Wayne Rego $1000
Kenneth R. Rezendes $1100
Daniel Silvia $600
Dennis D. Silvia $600
Robert Smith $550

Is this a case of careless accounting by the Flanagan campaign, ignorance of the law, or perhaps just intentional disregard?

Full Report can be Seen HERE

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Stupidest Bet Ever

So City Councilors Pat Casey and Ray Mitchell triumphantly turn in over 1,000 signatures to the Mayor because a local activist Stefani Koorey dared her to.

Obviously the thought of Casey, who bears a striking resemblance to Sophia Petrillo from the Golden Girls, shuffling around town trying to collect 1,000 signatures in one day, was too humorous for Koorey to pass up. This stupid bet had the virtue of being amusing until a couple of councilors took it a bit too seriously and made the goal 1,000 signatures at all cost! It wasn’t Pat alone anymore; nope Ray manned his post at Stop and Shop collecting signatures from patrons who were probably relieved all he wanted was a signature and not some money or a ride somewhere. The two of them collected 900 signatures, so Team Pat also had a handful of other volunteers collecting signatures so they could reach the goal! So it was no longer just Pat and it doesn’t even seem like was just one day. She told the Herald she did it all on Monday but apparently was going around getting signatures the day before!

What did this prove?

Um.. that at least 1,000 people in a city of 90,000 want a casino. Big shock! Did anybody doubt that you could get 1,000 signatures? THE CHALLENGE was to do it herself in ONE day.
Um... that Pat didn’t understand the terms of her own bet because she is the one who boasted that SHE (alone) could get 1,000 signatures in one day. What other things does Pat say that really doesn’t understand?

That Ray Mitchell is the smarter of the two. While Pat went around for hours going door to door Ray went to where a bunch of people were. Maybe if Pat had simply gone to Wal Mart on Black Friday she could have gotten these signatures all by her lonesome?
That if you’re a City Councilor and you’re going to stand in front of a store for a few hours maybe you should get a red kettle and collect some money and really do something that will benefit all these people you say need help. I now DARE both these councilors to do just that. I’m sure the Salvation Army would be grateful for their time and assistance.

That you can totally waste the time of TWO elected officials simply by DARING THEM to do something! THIS is fantastic and I am going to make it a point to DARE Will Flanagan to lick a flagpole on a freezing cold day. I might even see if I can get Joe Camara to lick his own elbow or Brian Bigelow to run around downtown in his undershorts. Oh, skip that last one.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Down with the propaganda machine!

On Tuesday, Fall River City Corporate Counselor, Steve Torres, opted to send a last minute letter to the City Council rather than appearing before the Council, as planned, to discuss the formation of a non-profit cable board. Not a politically smart move on his part because I am sure it caused added friction to the already tense relationship between the Council and the Mayor's office. But it gets worse.....

Torres' letter to the Council quickly said that he researched the issue and that there is no legal authority to form such a board. Thereby, completely dismissing the Council's desires to form such a board and more importantly, the demands of the citizens to form such a board.

Then on WSAR, Torres defended his decision not make his scheduled appearance by again saying that he had researched the formation of a non-profit board for cable television, it can't be done, there was really nothing to discuss, and that the letter was sufficient.

My question to Torres is: How well did you research this subject Steve Torres, Attorney, bound by ethical cannons, subject to sanctions for malpractice? Did you willfully withhold relevant information from the Council? Did you give bad legal counsel?

I ask because on June 28, 2006, as the Corporation Counsel for Taunton, you formed a non-profit corporation for Taunton, nearly identical to the one being requested by the City Council and the people of Fall River. You even cited the laws that support such a non-profit cable board.

I know you will attempt to rebut by trying to say that Fall River's "FRG" channel is government only so it is different than Taunton - but the money all comes from the same Comcast money - the money that the non-profit cable board of Taunton controls.
Our operating budget is made possible through an agreement between the City of Taunton and Comcast, providing us with 2% of their net cable revenues. This corporation is overseen by a five member Board of Directors, which is responsible for setting studio policy, and the overall finances of T.C.A.M.

Our Executive Director is in charge of the day to day operation of our studio, and determines our programming schedule, the use of our studio and equipment, and all other issues relating to the programs you view on T.C.A.M.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Casino is not on the Governor's agenda

I wish Will Flanagan had played some Sim City before, without having any relevant experience to his name, he opted to run for mayor of Fall River. Sim City would have allowed him to act out his city building fantasies without actually harming real people.

Flanagan's current fantasy plans for a casino in Fall River were knocked down, yet another peg*, today when Governor Deval Patrick, in an interview with the Boston Globe, stated that he has no intention to put casinos on his agenda this term.

*Hurdles to casino-topia
1) Casino Gaming in MA is illegal
2) Taxpayer 10 lawsuit
3) Open bidding law violations
4) Referendum vote of Fall River residents
5) Legislature needs to select Fall River as the region's location for a casino,
over Taunton, New Bedford, etc.
6) Funding for a casino needs to come through despite the horrible gaming economy
7) Governor has no plans to work on legalizing casino gambling this term

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


In February of this year, Attorney Steven A. Torres, sat before the Fall River City Council and defended his recently signed contract, for his position as the city's corporate counsel. The city councilors questioned the fact that Torres was making more money than any previous corporate counsel for Fall River. Torres and Mayor Flanagan justified the $115,000 salary by asserting that the pay reflected the fact Torres would be eliminating his private practice to focus on Fall River full time. (note: At that time, I couldn't find any information supporting the claim that Atty Torres even had a private practice and the MA board of bar overseers website indicated Torres did not carry any attorney malpractice insurance because he was a government employee.)

Consider the fact that Torres justified his increased salary with the notion that he was losing money by giving up his private practice. Then imagine my surprise when I read an article out of Wareham recently which evidenced the fact that, 10 months into his contract with Fall River, Torres was still working side jobs:

"A report on the forensic audit of town computers, which has been in progress for nearly a year and a half, is once again delayed. Town Administrator Mark Andrews and the Board of Selectmen had been told that special counsel, the Law Offices of Steven A. Torres, would be prepared to present the results of the audit on Sept. 28 or October 5."

Pretty sneaky of Torres and Flanagan considering the fact that the City Council approved Torres' increased salary based on the premise that Torres was eliminating his private practice to, presumably, focus all of his efforts on the matters of Fall River. This is clearly not the case.

I think Torres is already overextended in his capacities as co-mayor of Fall River. I kid, I kid........... However, there have been many occasions where I have read in the Herald News, or heard at city council meetings that Corporation Counsel hadn't completed some task requested of them. Also, Torres went before the city council to get approval for another $45,000 budgeted so he could hire another attorney for the office - I certainly hope the addition of a new attorney wasn't to free up time for Torres to moonlight