Phil Thibault Needs New Hobby in Dracut ~ EYE ON DRACUT

By: Brian Genest – 3-23

Dracut’s most-rejected perennial candidate—nine-time loser Phil Thibault—has a new hobby: giving voters electoral advice. Jack of all trades, and master of none, Phil Thibault’s latest desperate attempt to try to be relevant in town is to trash Dracut, the Board of Selectmen and yours truly in print. As part of his new writing hobby, Phil Thibault is penning the kind of prose that instantly cures insomnia: wicked dull and hilariously sad, just like him.

If you’d take your car to a mechanic who doesn’t own any tools or hire a landscaper who killed your tomatoes, Phil Thibault is your go-to guy for local election advice. In addition to losing a race for Housing Authority, Phil Thibault has come up short in eight elections for selectman, so far, in 2005, 2007, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022. He’s lost electoral contests against all five current selectmen, including three head-to-head matchups against Selectman Joe DiRocco.

Let’s put Phil Thibault’s electoral history in historical perspective: He’s lost as many elections as Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams and Beto O’Rourke combined, plus two more. In his own mind, however, that makes Phil Thibault a political guru and fully qualified to tell Dracut voters what to do, apparently.

Meanwhile, one of the main reasons Phil Thibault can’t win anything is that he’s surrounded himself with some of the most nasty and negative voices in our town, those who constantly try to tear down Dracut.

Here’s what the Lowell Sun said when Phil Thibault lost his selectman’s race in 2020.
“It just might be that in Thibault’s case, familiarity breeds more contempt than content.
Buoyed by the backing of several town influencers – including former selectmen – one would have thought it was his election to lose, which he did.

It could also be payback for the decision by that screening panel he ran not to put interim – now permanent – Town Manager Ann Vandal on the list of finalists for that position.”

It wasn’t Phil Thibault’s job to fire the interim town manager and that’s exactly what he tried to do by not including Vandal on the short list. Thankfully, Phil Thibault wasn’t ultimately involved in the final hiring decision back in 2020 because selectmen scrapped the tarnished search process, got rid of him and kept Vandal.

You have to wonder how much political capital, time, money and effort Phil Thibault’s friends are going to keep wasting on a guy who continues to lose and lose and lose and lose and lose and lose and lose and lose and lose. Will they support him again if he runs for a 10th time? At this point, Phil Thibault’s not just the likely loser in every contest, he’s the proven loser and proven to be Dracut’s biggest loser.

One of the other reasons Phil Thibault continues to lose is he spews toxicity about our town, elected officials, private citizens, and business owners on his bestie John Zimini’s unwatchable cable TV show, a local version of Wayne’s World with a similar level of maturity and cast of characters. During the 2022 town election, Phil Thibault was calling Dracut sleepy. In 2021, Phil Thibault said our town was starting to rot.

He’s not an inspiring candidate, to say the least, and Phil Thibault has little to offer to the voters. Plus, why would voters want to elect a guy who hates our town so much? Thankfully, Dracut isn’t buying what Phil Thibault has been selling. In fact, voters keep sending him the same message—”thanks, but no thanks”—but Phil Thibault doesn’t want to hear it, apparently.

Regardless, Phil Thibault thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room, no matter who’s in the room. Just ask him. Speaking of which, Phil Thibault always wants to be in the room, apparently. He’s been lurking around town government for decades, keeping the seats warm on a bunch of town boards. If you’ve gotten Phil Thibault’s self-centered political mailings throughout the years, you’ve seen the extensive list, but not a single accomplishment or new idea to benefit Dracut listed. Like George Costanza, Phil Thibault can’t wait to tell anyone who will listen that he’s an architect. It’s all about him. You’d be hard pressed to meet a more self-absorbed politician; the thing Phil Thibault likes to talk about the most is himself.

When there’s an opening on any town board these days, Phil Thibault rushes his application over to town hall right away. In a town of 34,000 people, Phil Thibault always thinks he’s the most qualified person for the job. The reality is that Dracut doesn’t need Phil Thibault to sit on another board, we need someone—anyone—other than him! He’s stale, his lack of ideas is stale, and so are his not-ready-for-primetime pals.

The problem is that Phil Thibault is more angry and bitter than ever since he was rejected by the Board of Selectmen for the newly created at-large seat on the Zoning Bylaw Review Committee last December. Meanwhile, the board majority cited conflict of interest, as Thibault is an architect who conducts business in town.

Instead of reflecting inward, Phil Thibault is lashing out. But the truth hurts: In 2016, Thibault resigned from the Planning Board and then he went on his buddy Warren Shaw’s AM radio program to talk about it. Shaw’s sidekick Shawn Ashe posted the audio recording on his Dracut Forum blog.


Now, Phil Thibault thinks he’s the best person to fill an opening on the economic development committee. Can he get the votes? Time will tell. In the meantime, what Phil Thibault should do is look in the mirror, especially if he wants to talk about ethics and conflicts of interest. Or read the Lowell Sun. In October of 2020, the Lowell Sun exposed some of Phil Thibault’s completely unethical and self-serving behavior at DATV.

“Imagine if Phil Thibault had been elected to the Dracut Board of Selectmen.
Even though the Dracut Access Cable Television board of directors, on which Thibault serves, is technically not a government body, Thibault apparently thought there was nothing improper with landing a $10,000 contract to help design DATV’s new studio, as Thibault is an architect.”

Phil Thibault can’t win an election, but he wants to give you electoral advice. Phil Thibault refuses to acknowledge his own conflicts of interest but questions the ethics of others. Phil Thibault wants to win a Pulitzer Prize but the tool most appropriate for his writing skills is a crayon. At least Phil Thibault is always good for one thing: a laugh!
Btw, Phil Thibault would probably run for U.S. Congress or President of the Universe next, but he thinks Dracut couldn’t survive without him. So, he’s likely to play it safe instead. Perhaps Phil Thibault will ask to be appointed town dog catcher, if he can get the votes.

— Brian Genest is the producer and host of Eye On Dracut, winner of the Hometown Media Award for News, sponsored by Lucky Oil. ◊