Monday, June 22, 2009


I think this thinking (from Mary Baker Eaton), in some measure of logic, is behind the rumor I referenced earlier, about James Shanley's run for mayor:

Why is James Shanley running for mayor of Newburyport, MA when Donna Holaday, a very capable candidate with almost an exact platform, with a lot of name recognition, is also running, and has always made it known that this is something that she would always do. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have James Shanley with his experience and institutional memory to be a major part of the Newburyport City Council next year and work constructively with Donna Holaday?

Mind you, I'm not saying that I agree with Mary's assessment of Donna Holaday, or even her rationale for questioning why Shanley is running.

Mary also questions why there are so many people (potentially) running in Ward 3 ... Maybe they heard the rumor, believe it - and want to make sure Shanley has no "out?" Or maybe they all want to block/promote the senior center!

I don't know, but from what I'm learning, both of those sort of make sense to me ... not to mention that maybe Shanley thinks he'd be a great mayor. And all those Ward 3 people think they'd be great city councillors.

The latter is the only thing, aside from some hidden agenda that Shanley assured me he doesn't have, that I can think of to explain it.

That's a pretty good reason, right? That you think you'd be great at it, no matter who you have to beat to get there?

Or maybe I've gone from grouch to naivete.


Thomas F. Ryan said...

Gosh it's good to have Mary's voice back!

I like her questions.

Why is James Shanley running for mayor? To make it easier for Steve Karp to build whatever he'd like.

Tom Salemi said...

I don't get the whole Holaday-Shanley link.

Generally if two like-minded candidates run at the same time, they draw from the same base and lessen each other's chance to be elected.

So how does that help Donna?

And if James fails to return papers because he's secured Donna's spot then he looks a bit silly, no?

I suppose he could return papers and lose on purpose, so that goes back to looking a bit silly.

Sometimes the most obvious reason is the reason. Maybe they both want to be mayor?

Gillian Swart said...

Well, yeah, Tom R, there is that ...

And Tom S, I get it in some ways but not others. But I agree that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

I really don't think he would lose on purpose, but I do also agree with Mary that he as council president and she as mayor would be a powerful combo.

In that respect, it could make one wonder. But I am taking him at his word.

Thomas F. Ryan said...

Think about poor Jim Stiles, not that I'm a fan. But last time around when neither of these two would take on Moak, he did and he's from that same camp. Now he's an afterthought.

I agree, two like minded candidates don't typically run against each other. When Mead left to work for Kerry, Mary Carrier took out papers and both C. Bruce Brown and Jack Bradshaw wanted to run for mayor, but because they agreed on everything, Bradshaw took out papers and Brown stayed on the council.

It just goes to show you that while they might be like minded, they aren't friends.

Tom Salemi said...

A powerful combo to do....what?

On one hand folks chastised Shanley and Holaday for not running until Moak cleared out. You and Tom both said they should be confident enough in their own abilities to run regardless of the competition.

Well, now it sounds as if some would be happier if Shanley had just bowed out and let Holaday run for the mayor's seat, even if he thinks he'd win and do a better job. (I assume he does think that.)

I think we just like to criticize.

I'm glad they're both running.

And I'm also glad the GOP doesn't corner the market on using scare buzzwords to influence voters. I suspect we'll be hearing Tom's comments from other quarters as well.

It's going to be a good campaign.

Gillian Swart said...

Holaday and Shanley are friends. Last election night, Shanley practically flew into the BluWater Cafe, ran down the stairs to Holaday and they jumped up and down in unison. I saw it.

Tom S, I did criticize them when they wouldn't declare without finding out what Moak was doing. It makes it seem as if they feel they aren't both a 'better' choice than he is. If that's the case, it's a pretty weak one. But perhaps they were merely being respectful.

And I didn't mean powerful as in evil. I meant as in getting things accomplished.

Gillian Swart said...

Hey, maybe who doesn't win will hire the other as his/her own version of Julia Godtfredsen. I think that position pays more than being mayor.

That person would have to be good at mouthing things to whoever becomes the council president.

People really should attend the meetings in person. You see all kinds of interesting stuff that doesn't show up on any video.

Thomas F. Ryan said...

Tom S, sounds like the White side of the moon to me...;-)

"I think we just like to criticize.
I'm glad they're both running."

Bubba said...

Wow, I wasn't aware that Ms Eaton had been appointed democratic party boss.

Thomas F. Ryan said...

Bubba, she hasn't, but isn't it great to have her voice back out there again? The more voices the better when it comes to local politics. Most of what stimulates thought and discussion is good.

Just check out today's post where she refuses to go along to get along. Love it.

And for those wondering just who that politician she writes of's a clue, he's mentioned in these comments.

You go, Mary!

Gillian Swart said...

Wait - I meant the one who DOES win will hire ... etc. Brother.

Anyway ... yes, some people think it's always good to cozy up to at least one of the bloggers. Unfortunately none of them thinks of offering me sushi.

Maybe they realize that I would gobble it down and still say whatever.

Billionaire developers don't have friends - only people they can use to get what they want. Find the person who realizes that and you've got our next mayor.

Bubba said...

oh Gillian, so you're one of those single-issue voters I read about.

Gillian Swart said...

oh Bubba - no. I meant that if the person can detect that fact, they can detect other smelly stuff, too.

I've got a lot of issues - the landfill, the waterfront development, development in general, to name just 3 - all of which boil down to city officials being too gullible and letting it happen. Or having stars in their eyes from promises dangled in front of them. Either way.

Look at a certain former business owner on the waterfront. He sold out to Karp for "concessions" and now he's not so happy.

Can no one put 2 and 2 together??

Bubba said...

Gillian, the world is a smelly place...

Developers (billionaire or otherwise) versus cities (and their officials) is mismatch governed by power and money rather than "gullibility" - the only differentation is which shiny trinkets they find appealing.

Remember, it's not personal, it's business.

Tom Salemi said...

Boy, where did this thread go.

So, the root of the conspiracy seems to be centered around the fact that Donna and James share some ideologies and once celebrated together.

Do they agree on everything? I suspect we'll find out they don't once the election starts running.

And Tom, I need to thank you. No one has ever suggested I have a light personality or has been a practicer of the pollyanna-ish arts.

This gives my personality previously unexplored depths. I may need to engage a therapist to explore a little more deeply.

C'mon, Hug it out with me Tom.

Gillian Swart said...

I never said there was a conspiracy! I was saying they are friends because Tom R said they aren't (at least I think that's what he meant). Goofy Pollyanna-ish blogger person. Wasn't it you who was talking about the white/dark side of the moon? I don't get it.

Thomas F. Ryan said...

I was hoping to see you last Friday when I was in town, Tom. I was looking for a hug.

Tom Salemi said...

Tom twisted a beatiful pastry--the half moon--into an awkward metaphor.

And you're free to vote on that Ryan-inspired metaphor @

And no, you didn't say conspiracy, but you are tossing around language like skunk and hidden agenda, sorts of leads the readers in that direction.

In any case, we've got ourselves an interesting campaign.

I'm grabbing me some popcorn...

Gillian Swart said...

Yeah but I said no one has a hidden agenda ... and I wasn't calling any elected official a skunk ... I merely questioned people's ability to detect one.

Gee whiz.

Bubba said...

Even skunks have friends...

Gillian Swart said...

Yes, Bubba ... and although they have a really bad reputation, a skunk can be quite a beneficial creature. I'm happy you picked up on that.