Tom Duggan’s Notebook ~ HEROES and BOZOS OF 2019


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Newly elected state senator Diana DiZoglio had two major wins this year. First, DiZoglio wrote and passed a law forcing the legislature to stop concealing sexual harassment claims against lawmakers, by putting a stop to “non-disclosure agreements”. These agreements are imposed on victims of sexual assault and harassment who settle claims against the state. The non-disclosure agreements mean once the woman settles the case she is never allowed to ever disclose what happened when they were sexually harassed or assaulted by a lawmaker. DiZoglio put one over on the big boys on Beacon Hill and she got away with it. BRAVO!

Secondly, DiZoglio wrote and passed a law making it harder for elected officials to conceal their campaign finance donations and spending. DiZoglio’s new law requires banks to report (to the state) deposits and expenditures of all campaign finance accounts. It is very rare to find an elected official who is concerned with making sure other elected officials have a check on their power. DiZoglio really is an aberration at the state house and for her efforts she gets HERO of 2019.

He was really impressive during the Methuen mayoral race. But when the dust settled on the 2019 Methuen elections, it turns out Dan Shabilia was nothing more than an aspiring political hack who thinks nothing of blackmailing people who dare to criticize him IN public. Earlier this month a criminal complaint was lodged against Shabilia for blackmailing a Methuen voter into silence after that citizen criticized his campaign on Facebook. As I spelled out last month, I saw the message that Shabilia sent to this Methuen voter and was shocked at how blatant his intimidation was. Thank heavens this BOZO didn’t get elected mayor and also lost his write-in campaign for school committee. Can you imagine what Dan Shabilia would do if he ever achieved real political power?

So, let me see if I have this right. The geniuses in the Massachusetts legislature have given the OK for heroin injection cites in the state. They made Marijuana legal. They fund free needles for heroin addicts. But, Menthol cigarettes? That’s where they draw the line! That’s right, the same legislature which is decriminalizing new drugs every day, has voted to make Newport and other menthol cigarettes illegal. This is bizarre on so many levels I don’t know where to start. None the least of which, is the fact that the democrats who run this state constantly put forth the narrative that anything which disproportionately affects “people of color” is de-facto “racist”.

Government statistics show that the majority of menthol cigarette users are “people of color”. This begs the question: why is the legislature engaging in such racism? And why do they see menthol cigarettes as more dangerous than pot and heroin? How about these elitists stop taking away people’s freedom to smoke what they want? I mean don’t we have a privacy right to do what we want with our own body? That is what these same democrats say when it comes to other issues like abortion. It really seems like every single thing the Democrat Party says they believe in, is in direct contradiction to everything else they say they believe in. Their actions on menthol cigarettes proves that.

With civic engagement on the decline in every community you have to give credit to those who continue to keep local civic organizations alive and well. So, is the case for Chris Palermo of Blue Dog in North Andover who is the president of the North Andover Merchant’s Association. NAMA puts together the yearly Santa parade, the weekly farmer’s market in the summer, and sponsors dozens of other great events in North Andover. Palermo took over as the head of NAMA from Dawn Pease, who also continues to go above and beyond to help small businesses and organize local events. It is people like Chris and Dawn who are the backbone of any community and as such they have earned the distinction of HEROES of 2019!

Local blogger and former publisher of the now-defunct Loop Weekly newspaper tried to regain legitimacy during this year’s Methuen elections. But, from the very first propaganda piece he published on-line it became clear Wood was only pretending to be a journalist so that he could promote Steve Saba and Saba’s preferred candidates. What he produced was campaign material disguised as news. Now, Wood has started a non-profit with another BOZO Sid Harris, in an effort to rehab his reputation as a propagandist. He has now rebranded himself as “Methuen Today” on-line. With two BOZOS now working together trying to repair their ruined reputations, we are looking forward to naming them both BOZOS of the year for 2020 as well.

He was so close to getting on the hero list, but Methuen City Councilor Jim McCarty blew it at the last minute and ended up here. You see, McCarty has long held the belief that The Valley Patriot publishes one sided news (accusing us of being what Tim Wood actually IS). And you have to give him credit, he doesn’t say it behind my back like others, he says it right to my face (which I admire). So, last month I challenged McCarty to put his money where his mouth is. I offered him an opportunity to do a monthly column in The Valley Patriot so he could get “his side” out to the public. My goal is to try and represent all sides in political battles, so I was happy to make the offer. And, you would think that if McCarty really believed I was unfair and only published one side of things, he would be eager to be the one to present the other side. RIGHT? Alas, for all his complaining, McCarty said that he was declining to do a column because his political advisors were against it. Mind you, this is the same councilor who said during the campaign that he was independent and wasn’t beholden to anyone. I was really looking forward to naming McCarty as one of our Heroes of 2019 for walking the walk, despite our political differences. Sadly, he makes the BOZO list. Here’s hoping he can turn that around for 2020.

During the mayoral election this year candidate Neil Perry was asked to help the homeless but declined, saying he didn’t want people to think he was just grandstanding during the election to get votes. But, the day after he won the Methuen mayor’s race, Perry showed up at the TMF Family Dinner for the Homeless in Lawrence with a case of sterno-cans, and multiple bags of donated clothing. Perry said he was committed to helping those less fortunate and will be working to help the homeless as mayor of Methuen over the next two years.

With officials in Methuen coming into Lawrence every week to help feed the homeless as part of the TMF Family Dinner program, it started to become really obvious that while Methuen officials are out there feeding homeless people in Lawrence, not one elected official from Lawrence had ever … EVER done so in the two years this program has existed. A year ago when TMF went before the city council asking for permission to hold the family dinners at the Buckley Parking Garage they were assured by a majority of the city council that they would come help out on their own. That is, after they denied TMF’s request to feed the homeless at the Buckley Garage. So, just think about this for a minute. The officials in Methuen come into Lawrence to help feed the homeless, while elected officials in Lawrence do absolutely nothing. That kind of says it all when you think about it. It’s why Lawrence is in the shape that it is in. NINE BOZOS for the Lawrence City Council for failing to step up to the plate and help their own people, while people from other communities come into Lawrence to help. Now that I think of it, this seems to be a pattern here. Lawrence’s city budget is paid for by state taxpayers. Their schools are paid for by state and federal taxpayers, and Lawrence officials are perfectly OK with doing nothing while everyone outside Lawrence struggles to fix Lawrence’s problems. But, just let someone outside of Lawrence criticize the city for anything and you hear officials in Lawrence call you an “outsider” who has no say because you don’t live there. BOZOS ALL!

I wonder what would happen if I decided to take Facebook posts from – say – Tim Wood or Sid Harris and tried to pass them out at a public meeting of the Methuen City Council? I wonder if she would allow me to talk about RUMORS that Wood was at Forest Lake last summer making comments about children on Facebook? I suspect she would not allow it, nor should she. Yet, last week Kannan allowed one of her supporters (and a lapdog for Steve Saba) Bill Heffernan to pass out Facebook posts by a citizen of Methuen at a public meeting – and then went on and on about “rumors” that this person might take a job with the Perry Administration. Kannan allowed it, mostly because it was orchestrated by her political ally Steve Saba and his brother John, who also got up at public participation to complain about the “rumor” that this person might take a job with Neil Perry in January. I’m not sure why Jen thinks rumors are official city business worth the time of the council at a public meeting, or why she thinks the council has any say over who Perry hires or “is rumored to be hiring” sometime in the future. But, the debacle that ensued by way of an orchestrated discussion on the topic showed exactly why voters rejected the politics of personal destruction in the November election.

The propaganda surrounding the 2016 election is so blatantly dishonest, and obviously one sided, that anyone who believes Russia “hacked the election” in 2016 can only be labeled an idiot… or a BOZO. To this very second, not one shred of physical evidence has ever been presented to the American public showing that RUSSIA! hacked an election. Or that Russia hacked John Podesta’s emails for Wikileaks. Sure, those who promote this Russia propaganda story say that “the intelligence community” agrees it was RUSSIA!

But without any real evidence why would anyone believe such a claim from the “intelligence community”? This is the same “intelligence community” that swore there were Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, missed the Boston Marathon Bombers, said overthrowing Lybia’s Kadaffi would bring peace in the region, and claimed Syria’s Assad used chemical weapons on his own civilian population. All of these declarations by our “intelligence community” have been proven false with catastrophic consequences. They were also unable to identify and prevent the shootings of US service men at Fort Hood, US Marines at a recruiting station in Baltimore and how 6 members of the Afghanistan military disappeared off a US Military base. This is also the same “intelligence community” that swore under oath that the NSA was NOT spying on emails, phone calls, websites, and text messages of American civilians. Now, suddenly, because the media says so, we are all supposed to take at face value claims by the “intelligence community” that RUSSIA hacked an election? With ZERO physical evidence to back it up? PUHLEASE!

If you are dumb enough to believe any of that you are clearly a BOZO!

While the Republican Party has their own internal problems these days, they are far eclipsed by the problems plaguing the Democrat Party at the national level. First, the party that preaches hatred for men, rich people, and white people, now has a rich, white, man (Joe Biden) in the lead among their presidential candidates. Secondly, during the Obama Administration the Democratic Party fought very hard to expand the powers of the presidency (and the federal government) never once giving thought to what might happen to that power in the hands of someone with the opposite of their world view (like Donald Trump). Now, democrats want to impeach the president because they can’t get past the fact that he “wasn’t supposed to win” in 2016 and now has all the power Democrats created for the presidency when Obama held that office. The Democrat Party at the national level is in total shambles and the leaders of the party are total BOZOS.

All year I have been publicly challenging Senator Elizabeth Warren to walk the walk when it comes to helping poor people “of color”. Warren has refused that challenge. Sure she talks a good game about being the champion of the poor, but she has never once picked up the phone to see what Carina Pappalardo needs at the Daybreak Homeless Shelter in Lawrence. She has never once contacted Carrie Weiland at House of Mercy to see what she could do to help their efforts of servicing the homeless in Lawrence. Yet, when she decided to run for president, Warren came to Lawrence – drove past at least half a dozen homeless people on her way to Union Street – where she made her announcement for the White House. While she stood there in Lawrence lecturing us on how she cares about “poor people of color”, she was just a few blocks away from those who are ACTUALLY helping the poor in this city but didn’t bother to go take a tour of Daybreak, or House of Mercy. So, my challenge all year has been for Warren to pick up the damn phone and find out what she can do for the homeless in Lawrence. I even promised to give her a front-page story if she chose to do so, with no mention of how we had to badger her into doing it. All I want is help for Daybreak and HOM. Yet, to no avail. Warren and her handlers have no interest in helping real “poor people of color” in Lawrence, Massachusetts. And why would she? She has the undying love and support of her new lapdog Mayor Dan Rivera. So, I guess there really is no need to actually help real poor people of color in Lawrence. For this and SO many other reasons we name Senator Elizabeth Warren a BOZO of the year.

For all her faults, and they are many, Senator Warren has taken on the big tech industry, specifically Google and Facebook saying these multimillion dollar corporations are too big and too powerful and need to be “broken up”. Facebook CEO Zuckerberg wasted no time responding, basically laughing at her telling his employees that Facebook would defeat Warren’s efforts. After all, these multi-billion dollar corporations are far more powerful than a Senator or even the President of the United States. So, why worry? For her part, Warren didn’t have to poke such a powerful bear and take on this fight, but she did. Her efforts to do so were heroic, and if she really means it, follows up on it, and continues the fight against big tech corporations she will have me as a strong ally in that fight.

You have to hand it to Kamela Harris. She ran for president on a platform of hating white people, hating men, and promoting anti-American “identity politics”. She clutched her pearls whining throughout the entire campaign about how Republicans (and in particular President Trump) were racist and sexist. She often spoke of how America is a country of white supremacists who must be stopped, and of course only Kamela Harris can stop them.

But, a funny thing happened when Harris dropped out of the democrat primary. Harris and her supporters in the news media went from accusing republicans of sexism and racism, to accusing democrat primary voters of being sexist and racist. Harris said she had to drop out because she believes “America” was not ready for a “woman of color” to be elected president. That’s what she said – out loud.

Considering the fact that only democrats can vote for her in a democrat primary, that means she outright called democrat voters racist and sexist.

This obsession by democrat politicians with blaming racism and sexism for their personal flaws and failures has now resulted in them turning on their own. Maybe this is the real reason Harris had to drop out and never had a shot of being president of the United States. When everyone is a racist nobody is a racist. Farewell BOZO. America is better for the failure of your own racist political campaign.

HERO – CONGRESSMAN SETH MOULTON – Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton may be a partisan robot who spews the party line into every microphone he can find, but he deserves a HERO this year for attempting to take on Big Tech. Moulton introduced a bill called the Automatic Listening Exploitation Act, which would create recourse for consumers when smart speakers and doorbells make recordings in violation of the technology’s user agreements. Of course, because the Democratic Party is so obsessed with overthrowing the last election by impeaching President Trump, this bill went nowhere. Still, Moulton had the courage to take on big tech and for that he deserves to be praised.

For the five minutes that Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton was a candidate for president he said that America was “a racist country” and that America was “built on white supremacy”. This begs a very important question: since Mouton is a veteran who fought for this country, why did he fight for such an evil racist country? You would think if he really believed America was “racist” he would not be putting his life on the line to support a nation “built on white supremacy”. So, one of two things must be true. Either Moulton really does not believe America is a “racist country” and only said that to appease the base of his party (who hates this country) …. OR he really DOES believe it and actively went off to war to defend this evil racist country built on white supremacy. It can’t be both. Given all this we have no choice to name Moulton one of our BOZOS of the year.

Hi, I’m Tom Steyer. I’m a rich, white Billionaire who made my blood money investing in private prisons that disproportionately incarcerated young black men and stole their futures. I also made a boatload of cash on the coal industry which is solely responsible for the catastrophic global warming that will destroy the planet in 12 years. I am running for the democrat nomination for president because nothing says the Democratic Party more than a rich, white man of privilege who wrongly imprisoned black men and destroyed the entire planet. I’m Tom Steyer and I approve this message. What a BOZO.

HERO – Linda Soucy
If there’s one person in the Merrimack Valley who deserves to be called a hero it’s Methuen’s Linda Soucy. Linda has been dedicated to helping children in the Arlington Neighborhood for decades and is rarely thanked in a proper way for all she has done. She is Methuen’s unsung HERO.

A big thank you to Harrows Pies in Methuen for donating 50 chicken pies to the homeless during the TMF Family dinners in Lawrence last month.

The old Luckys Pizza on Haverhill St. in Lawrence is now called Blessings to Go and is run by Javy Colon who donates 4 pizzas each week to the TMF Family Dinner for the homeless.

While local and state politicians are all pretending to try and solve the homeless and opioid crisis, a small group of Lawrence kids are actually doing it. Each Wednesday night Mike Gorman and the TMF kids serve a family style dinner for the homeless in Lawrence. They received a Valley Patriot BASH Award for community service in March for their efforts and are truly community HEROES.