Tom Duggan’s Notebook – August, 2016


Here are the starting and ending balances of the campaign finances reports for the Democratic candidates for Sheriff as of July 31st.
William Castro:
Starting balance, $781.27
Ending balance, $377.79
Kevin Coppinger:
Starting balance, $22,254.44
Endinga balance, $31,492.66
Michael Marks:
Starting balance, $23,571.45
Ending balance, $19,409.89
Ed O’Reilly:
Starting balance, $21,025.87
Ending balance, $12,704.69
Gerard Robito
Starting balance, $18,633.23
Ending balance, $18.168.51
Paul Russell
Starting balance, $32.04
Ending balance, $32.04

So, last month I went out of my way to invite Methuen police officer (and candidate for Sheriff) Jim Jajuga Jr. to our pro-police rally. Given that there’s a false rumor out there that I am “out to get” Jajuga, I wanted to make sure he understood that the rumor simply wasn’t true, and he was welcome to attend. I had to leave him a message because he doesn’t answer his phone, and of course, he never bothered to have the courtesy of calling me back to let me know he was coming. But he did come, and I made sure to thank him for coming, recognizing him at the microphone. A week later, I left Jajuga another message, this time to let him know we wanted to do a one on one interview for the paper to highlight his campaign, as well as invite him to participate in our Republican sheriff’s debate, and let him know what the political ad rates were. Once again, he never called me back. So, as I do with every candidate, I sent him a text that said “How are you ever going to get elected Sheriff if you can’t return people’s phone calls.” Well, within minutes he called me back. But, he wasn’t calling back to apologize for being rude for not getting back to me. He wasn’t calling back to schedule a time to be interviewed (you know, free ink for his campaign). He wasn’t calling me back to thank me for inviting him to the debate, or the rally he attended the week earlier. No, no, Jajuga was calling back in an angry rant that I would DARE… DARE to talk to him that way (text to him that way?). He was angry, offended, and clearly confused. He also took exception to texting him on his “personal cell phone”, as if he was the President of the United States or something. I get that not having ever run for office before, Jajuga might be a little thin-skinned, and may not truly understand how campaigning works, but never in my wildest dreams could I have predicted that a candidate… any candidate … would be so self-destructive, as to lash out at out at a reporter who was going out of his way to help him promote his campaign. Rest assured, I got the message loud and clear.

RACIAL, ANTI-GAY SLURS IN DNC EMAILS – If you are wondering why CNN and the rest of the media are obsessing over whether or not the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) emails were hacked by Russia, wonder no further. The media (in particular CNN) refuses to report that DNC staffers referred to gays as “HOMOS” and that they called their Latino Outreach program “THE TACO BOWL ENGAGEMENT” in private emails that were revealed to the public by Wikileaks. Democrats also attacked Jews, plotted to destroy Bernie Sanders over his religion, and used derogatory terms for women identifying them specifically by their body parts. You don’t see that on CNN because they are busy campaigning for Hillary while pretending to be objective reporters. With no evidence at all that Russia hacked the DNC emails, CNN and the rest of the news media have reported on this issue for 8 straight day (so far) in a purposeful effort to distract from what was IN those emails. I encourage my readers to do a Google search for some of the offending terms. You will be shocked to see what party leaders really think of minorities when there’s no camera to perform for.
*Here’s a little nugget that I’m going to leave right here….

A Lawrence man was sentenced last month in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with receiving fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks. Rolfi Espinal, 49, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to 18 months in prison, three years of supervised release and restitution of $13,500. In April 2016, he pleaded guilty to three counts of receipt of stolen public money. From September to December 2011, Espinal accepted fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks totaling $146,698, which he cashed through his girlfriend’s bank account. In January 2013, Espinal falsely told federal agents that he received the checks as payment for used cars that he had sold to an individual, when, in fact, the individual did not exist and Espinal knew that the checks were obtained fraudulently. Furthermore, Espinal told the agents that he paid taxes on all of the income when he had only paid taxes on $34,000 of business receipts for the 2011 tax year.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Boston; and Stephen A. Marks, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, made the announcement today. Lawrence Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police also assisted with the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit.

With Town Moderator Mark DiSalvo’s most recent appointments to the Finance Committee, for the first time since the Town’s founding in 1646, it will be made up of a majority of women. I’m not sure why that’s important, but he made sure to point that out in his press release. Reappointed to the nine member committee for a three year term is current member Jennifer Goldman. Also appointed to a three year seat is new member Sasha Weinreich and appointed to a single year term is new member Divya Bhatnagar.

CABLE NEWS MEDIA LIES ABOUT DEM CONVENTION – Last month during the Democratic Party convention, CNN and the rest of the media “reported” that “a dozen or so people walked out” of the convention after Hillary Clinton was nominated for president. But, the Valley Patriot found (and posted) live video feeds from delegates on the floor of the convention showing THOUSANDS of people walked out after the vote. (Special thanks to Josh Fox for posting his live feed). CNN and the rest of the propaganda machines at MSNBC, NBC, ABC, etc., have long been able to successfully mislead the American public with fake stories to promote their agenda. And for years, the American public has had to believe what they were told on cable TV news because we had no other way to verify or debunk what they were reporting. Social media has forever changed that. No longer can the American news media mislead with immunity as they have for the last 25 years. I say, every time you see a story on the “news” you should take to Twitter and Facebook and find people who are involved in the story for a first hand account of what is really going on. You will be shocked to learn that 80% of what you see on the news every day is downright false. I say social media is going to be the takedown of CNN and other fake news channels in the near future, and that day can’t happen soon enough.

BOOB LEBLANC – Anyone remember former Methuen Town Manager Boooooob Leblanc? I know, easy to forget, right? Leblanc, who assaulted a District Attorney a few years ago, and was once accused of stalking when he was a council candidate in Methuen, and now Bob is cyber trolling on social media. First, Leblanc attacked and slandered hero marine Chris Poublon on Twitter (his WCAP radio producer), for daring to disagree with him. He even viscously attacked Poublon personally, calling him a “pot head”. That same day, LeBlanc was so unhinged over WCAP morning host Teddy Panos for disagreeing with him about Hillary Clinton that he threatened to sue him and take away his restaurant (The Athenian Corner) … over a political disagreement. He even accused Panos of “being like Tommy Duggan” …the worst of all insults for sure. It’s so sad that LeBlanc has no friends, but seeing how he treats the people who have defended him in the past, it’s easy to understand. I only hope he runs for city council in Methuen again so we can all laugh when he comes in last… again.

Democrats For Life announced their endorsement of the following Democrats running for re-election, citing their consistent effort to defend and protect life at all stages:

Senate: Michael Rush, Thomas Kennedy, and Richard Moore, House of Representatives: Alan Silvia, Marcos Devers, Brian Michael Ashe, John Velis, Thomas Petrolati, Angelo Puppolo, James Arciero, Thomas A. Golden, David Nangle, James R. Miceli, Timothy Toomey, James Dwyer, Paul Donato, Collen Garry, Bruce Ayers, Walter F. Timilty, John H. Rogers, Thomas J. Calter, Nick Collins, Russell E. Holmes, Edward Coppinger, Angelo Scaccia, Stephen Dinatale, Dennis Rosa, and Mark Dowgiewicz.

PUERTO RICAN FLAG DAY CEREMONY – Last month the City of Lawrence had a flag raising for Puerto Rico on the anniversary of the day Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States. That didn’t sit well with some Puerto Ricans who wanted the flag raising to be on the anniversary of the day Puerto Rico was established. “We just want it to be on Puerto Rican independence day,” Domingo Melendez told me. He and other protesters setup a table across from the flag raising and handed out leaflets about Puerto Rican independence but did join in when the flag was raised. A side note, the city will raise the flag of any country if a citizen requests it, and often raises the flags of other countries. But the Puerto Ricans have everyone beat. In the years I have covered flag raisings in Lawrence I have never seen a group provide food on the common for those who attend. My suggestion to Mayor Rivera is to have two flag raisings, one on the day Puerto Rico was established and one for the day they became part of the U.S. That way I get to eat Puerto Rican food twice!

BAD WORDS VS BAD DEEDS – Here’s what we have so in this presidential race … we have one candidate who SAYS bad things, uses potty words, and hurts people’s little feelings. We have another who DOES bad things, lies about it, and blames everyone else for her misdeeds. So, I ask you, what’s worse someone who SAYS bad things? Or someone who DOES bad things? Because that’s what it comes down to in November.

COMPETING PHILOSOPHIES – The Democratic Party and the news media on terrorism; “Just because people have a fear that doesn’t mean that their fear is real.” Now, the Democratic Party and the news media on Black Lives Matter; “Black people fear they are targeted by police, so we must do something to the police to stop it.” Just saying.

Last month we held a pro police rally at Methuen High School and it was a tremendous success. But, we could not have pulled it off without the help of everyone who pitched in. Rick Bellanti of Bell Aire Entertainment who usually charges for such an event, donated his services for free. Superintendent Judy Scannell helped by allowing us to use the high school. Methuen School Committee member Jana Dinatale took money out of her pocket and paid for the helium tank and balloons. Edgar Tranncoso from the band Prospect Hill sang the national anthem. Gerry Maguire the Veteran’s services officer for Boxford and North Andover did the pledge of allegiance and explained its’ meaning. Craig Floyd from the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial in DC sent along a personal message for the crowd, as did nationally syndicated radio host and Valley Patriot columnist, Jeff Katz. The Methuen Lions Club not only helped us to promote the event but their members attended. Carina Pappalardo and her children made a bunch of signs that say “We love our police”. My assistant Maria Fiato live podcasted the event on Facebook. Jennifer Burns – LeBrasseur bought coffee for the officers and their families. Heav’nly Donuts on Pelham St. pitching in. Methuen Mayor Steve Zanni was very helpful by coordinating the location (though he wouldn’t let us have slush!). And a very special thank you to the Motorcycle Clubs, The Blue Reapers and the Enforcers for providing internal security. Our friend Dan Strange for helping to organize. 980WCAP owner and retired Army Colonel Sam Poulten played taps for the fallen officers. I also want to thank the Methuen and Lawrence Cable access for covering the event and particularly, Jim Ross, for posting the video on line. Thank you as well to speakers, Becky Duggan Kruschwitz, Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins, 980WCAP radio host John MacDonald, former state senator and 1978 police survivor Steve Panagiotakos, Methuen Police Chief Joe Solomon, North Andover Police Chief Charles Gray, Lawrence Police Chief Fitzpatrick, retired Woburn police officer Bob DiNapoli.

ANDOVER, MA (July 12, 2016) – Over 120,000 individuals are living with Alzheimer’s in Massachusetts. For decades, the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter has provided these individuals and their families with support services such as their 24/7 telephone Helpline, care consultation and education programs at no cost. In an effort to raise awareness and funding for continued local support, the MA/NH Chapter has just announced its annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s event in Andover on Sunday, September 18.
Registration for the Walk begins at 8:30 a.m., at Brickstone Square. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with local service providers and learn more about the programs and services the Alzheimer’s Association provides. The Walk will include a 1-mile and 3-mile route. Online registration is open for the event.