By Ron O’Clair
The good guys won yesterday!
Of note: The voting people of Worcester spoke yesterday with a resounding defeat of the Gaffney duo, which I had correctly predicted long before Michael Gaffney abruptly announced his intention of pulling out of the Worcester City Council race.
Though Gaffney had come in second in the last election when he ran against Mayor Joseph Petty and, as a consequence, many people thought he would do well in this election, I had come to believe his association with the Turtle Boy “hate blog,” his vitriolic political rhetoric on and off the council floor, his feeding into and fanning people’s fears and racial and ethnic prejudices would have alienated a significant proportion of the voting public.
The Turtle Boy blog defamed and ridiculed many of Councilor At-Large Gaffney’s very own constituents and, for some reason, instead of distancing himself from that vitriol, Councilor Gaffney stoked the flames of hatred and racism, as well as continued to be one of the Turtle Boy blog’s major financial supporters. This sent a message to many people in Worcester as to the true character of the man himself. How anyone could claim to be the “People’s Councilor” while at the same time trashing half the populace and supporting a blog that ridicules the downtrodden of Worcester alienated many voters.
I tried to interview Michael’s wife, Coreen Gaffney, for a story for CECELIA in her campaign for the District 4 seat, held by Councilor Sarai Rivera, only to be refused an audience with Mrs. Gaffney. I truly wanted to know what Coreen Gaffney would do differently, if she won the D 4 seat. I intended to be fair and impartial, even though I have long supported Sarai Rivera. But I was turned down by Coreen. The boycott of all media during election time became the policy of the Gaffney duo. Husband and wife turned down any and all press interviews about their plans if elected to the Worcester City Council. How bizarre!
Most candidates welcome the chance to get their views expressed in print and other media, but not the Gaffney duo. I wish them well in future doing, whatever it is they do. On reflection, I am not sad to see them out of Worcester city politics, given their toxic political rhetoric and stylings, their exploitation of cultural differences and their reluctance to be honest with the media. I am sure all of this had a lot to do with their defeat.
Of course, we will never know their chances of winning for sure because they decreased their own chances with their announcement that they were withdrawing from the election just weeks before it took place. Someone was going to be bumped off the at-Large Council seat, with the addition to the mix of the ever popular Gary Rosen, who decided not to run for re-election to the District 5 seat. Yesterday that seat was won by Matt Wally. I had predicted that the loser would have been Michael Gaffney. Perhaps, Gaffney saw the handwriting on the wall and made the decision to abruptly announce his and his wife’s withdrawal from their respective races. To spare themselves from the embarrassment of a humiliating defeat.
I truly believe had the Gaffneys not pulled out, there would have been little difference in the results.
The backlash from supporting the Turtle Boy “hate blog” all these years, pulling political stunts on and off the council floor that traumatized so many people in our community, caused so much hurt to so many people – especially the most vulnerable in our community, opened up so many racial wounds – all this would have negatively impacted their vote totals.
Congratulations to the incumbents who won: Mayor Joe Petty, Councilor Kate Toomey, Councilor Gary Rosen, Councilor Khrystian King, Councilor Moe Bergman and Councilor Konnie Lukes.
Congratulations to all who won re-election to the Worcester School Committee and to challenger Dante Comparetto who certainly worked very hard to secure his win on the school committee.
I would remind all the winners that they serve at the will of the people and that they need to be careful not to spew hatred at their own constituency! It is unbecoming a City Council member to sow hatred. Mike Gaffney is a good case in point.