EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 13, 2013

Campaign Notebook


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Attack flier fallout

METHUEN — Mayor Stephen Zanni has returned a $500 campaign donation from Laborers International Local 175, after the union distributed attack fliers targeting mayoral challenger Jennifer Kannan at a recent high-profile political event.

Local 175 represents about 75 Public Works employees and 10 School IT workers in Methuen. Union members handed the fliers out to a sellout crowd Oct. 5 at the Methuen Senior Center for the annual pancake breakfast hosted by the Methuen Democratic City Committee.

One flier suggested Kannan was “voted most likely to succeed in Methuen politics” without a high school diploma. Another highlighted her family ties to the city payroll, and a third suggested she was influenced by Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua while voting on the city solicitor issue earlier this year.

Zanni sent Local 175 Business Manager Michael Gagliardi the following letter on Tuesday:

“I was greatly disturbed to find that your organization has been distributing flyers and placing advertisements which levy personal attacks on mayoral candidate Jennifer Kannan. These attacks are unwarranted, and I find them reprehensible. While national politics has taken on a tone of unproductive name-calling, I know that here in Methuen our residents expect — and deserve — more.

I understand that you and my opponent have had differences in the past. However, Jennifer Kannan is a good person who has long been involved in our community. The attacks on Ms. Kannan are shameful, made all the more so as they discourage countless other residents from getting involved in our local government.

I have always taken great pride in the positive campaigns I have run as a public official. Smearing my opponent has never been my style, and I expect my supporters to conduct themselves with the same level of respect and decency. That your organization has resorted to such tactics is beyond disappointing. In light of these circumstances, I cannot in good conscious keep the financial contributions you made to my campaign. Enclosed are said funds.”

Mas anos?

LAWRENCE — The campaign slogan for Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua’s re-election campaign is “Cuatro mas anos” (Four more years), but he may want another ocho (eight) or even doce (twelve).

Two years ago, Lantigua proposed repealing a local law that limits mayors to two four-year terms. The proposal has gone nowhere on the City Council and Lantigua no longer appears to be pushing for it. But a city councilor last week raised the specter of an unending Lantigua administration with the hope of giving pause to voters as they head to the polls on Nov. 5.

“I was never a big proponent of term limits,” City Councilor Marc Laplante said in a press release. “But after witnessing the Lantigua train wreck for the last four years, my fear is that a victorious November election for Mayor Lantigua will grease the skids for an imperial municipal executive that will further divide our city and make city successes that more elusive.”

Lantigua did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Voter deadline looms

METHUEN — The last day to register to vote for the local elections is Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Voters in the Nov. 5 municipal elections in Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill will elect a mayor, City Council, School Committee and other offices. Polls on election day will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

No more support

LAWRENCE — Timothy Murray endorsed William Lantigua for mayor in Lawrence four years ago, when Murray was Gov. Deval Patrick’s lieutenant governor and Lantigua was a state representative.

Lantigua won the 2009 election and is running for a second term as mayor, but Murray has since resigned the state post and won’t be making another endorsement this time around. He now serves as president of the Worcester Chamber of Commerce.

“In his new job in the chamber, he’s focused on that and he’s not focused on politics,” said a man who returned a call to Murray last week and identified himself only as a friend to the state’s former second-in-command. “He’s not likely to want to talk to this.”

Atkinson endorsed

METHUEN — Central district councilor Jamie Atkinson has been endorsed by the Methuen patrolman’s union.

“I’m honored to be endorsed by the patrolman’s union,” said Atkinson. “They put their lives on the line every day in order to keep Methuen safe. They are top notch and I have the utmost respect for every Methuen police officer.”

And so is Rivera

LAWRENCE — Former City Councilor Julia Silverio last week endorsed Councilor Daniel Rivera for Lawrence mayor.

“I see a lot of my own children in Dan, a kid from our community that has a good education and solid professional credentials,” said Silverio, an insurance broker who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2009. “He has a plan for the City and the experience to make that plan a reality.”

Coakley on ‘On the Record’

Attorney General Martha Coakley appears on WCVB’s On the Record today at 11 a.m. on WVCB with hosts Janet Wu and Ed Harding. Coakley is mounting a run for governor next year and speaks about her record and experience. According to WCVB’s website, Coakley repeatedly states “I’ve been doing it,” and “I just don’t talk about it,” when asked to compare her experience to GOP challenger Charles Baker.

North End Parade

Treasurer Steven Grossman, Attorney General Martha Coakley and independent gubernatorial candidate Evan Falchuk will march in the North End Columbus Day Parade today starting at 12:30 p.m..Starts at City Hall, Boston)

Lobster Day

He’s not running for re-election and this has nothing to do with political campaigns, but we thought we would include this anyway: Near the end of his trip to Canada last week, Gov. Deval Patrick issued a proclamation establishing Lobster Day yesterday. The bottom-dweller caught in traps on the sea floor is a New England staple, appearing on fine dining menus and at ice cream stands. Large hauls in recent years have driven down prices. The lobster fishery is the most valuable conducted in state waters, and in 2012 Massachusetts commercial lobstermen landed more than $14.4 million pounds, grossing $53.4 million. In 2013, the state issued more than 1,400 commercial lobster permits and more than 9,000 recreational lobster permits. “Fishing for lobster is a traditional and economically valuable commercial activity in cities and towns all along the Massachusetts coast,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin in a statement. “This is a great time of year to get an excellent quality lobster at a good price and we encourage people to enjoy Massachusetts-caught lobster now and throughout the year.”

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Compiled from staff reports.