Tag Archives: Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney

Trump clone Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney and his Resolution (or Revolution?!) of Hatred

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You see this big sign when you enter Worcester City Hall from the city parking garage. It WELCOMES ALL TO WORCESTER! photo: R. Tirella

By Rosalie Tirella

Take City Councilor Michael Gaffney (PLEASE!). Has there ever been such a dangerous Worcester City Councilor? Such a loathsome opportunist, cynic, headline-grabber and power-snatcher posing as a city “leader”? A demagogue lurking beneath a friendly, penguin-emblazoned sweat-shirt, force smiling that weird, serpentine smile of his and doing all sorts of nefarious things to my beloved city? Worcester’s  own snake in the grass!

Michael (Mike) Gaffney’s goal?

Pure raw power.

And to overthrow the Democrats who, for the most part, have run this city for decades.

Gaffney wants a Republican-lead Worcester and he, already the head of the city’s Republican committee. wants to be crowned her king.

Screw the  fairly progressive Democratic Gateway City we all live in and pretty much love. Welcome to carnage-strewn Trumpland! Welcome to Gaffney shitsville where people, especially minorities, are thrown under the bus daily.

If we aren’t smart and vigilant, Gaffney – with the help of his friend and personal public relations machine, the racist, classist Aidan Kearney of Jefferson, the evil voice of the hate-spewing Turtle Boy blog  – could become our next mayor! Think I’m kidding? Worcesterites are getting used to Gaffney’s creepy, slippery ways. And he’s smart: people often don’t realize he’s playing them, playing on their deepest prejudices when he decides to run hard with a (wedge) issue on the City Council floor and wants their support. Or when he conflates two issues and ends up scapegoating a minority group. Or when he just fucks with our heads, sowing racial intolerance and chaos.

Forget about leading a  complex, diverse, very cool Gateway City! Gaffney is all about hatred.

Gaffney, a relative newbie to the Worcester City Council, is the exact kind of morally bankrupt asshole you’d expect to be vomited up during these toxic Trump times! His ideas, his speeches, even his supporters are all taken from the Donald Trump playbook. Our insane PRESIDENT😰😫😫 has made it ok for politicians like Gaffney to behave in racist, divisive, bigoted ways. Trump has, perversely, validated their un-American-ness! Because he’s the biggest fascist!

So Gaffney throws a bomb on to the City Council floor every other week!

He traumatizes the City of Worcester with his red herrings for mere political gain and to weaken the city’s present power structure. Gaffney’ll pounce on any issue – or create one – that he thinks will hurt our mayor, Joe Petty, and make him (Gaffney) the hero. Gaffney will say anything or float any nutty, racially explosive idea to gain the upper hand. Usually it’s one that is somehow connected to vulnerable subsets of our people – for example: the minority-run Mosaic Group or City Councilor Sarai Rivera and her property. Gaffney beat those issues and people to death. He was able to be so merciless because both issues’ main players were people of color. And there are lots of bigots in this town (all Turtle Boy readers) who cheered him on!

Now we’ve got the latest Gaffney-manufactured shit-storm, another racial and ethnic hornets nest, with our weakest brothers and sisters (many children) at its heart: Next city council meeting City Councilor Michael Gaffney is ASKING THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL TO WEIGH IN ON SANCTUARY CITIES. TO, IN A VERY PUBLIC WAY, DECLARE THAT WORCESTER IS OR IS NOT A SANCTUARY CITY. Gaffney is demanding that his City Council colleagues  sign on to – or not! – the anti-Sanctuary City resolution he has so craftily crafted!

What garbage. What bull shit. What a way to make the City Council fritter away the city’s time! This has nothing to do with making Woo a better city! Gaffney has set up this situation up so he can WIN POLITICAL POINTS – and he wins either way!

He hurts Mayor Joe Petty and the Dem power structure in town no matter how the council votes. Just bringing this shit resolution on the council floor opens the floodgates to race baiting, group-hating and soul-sapping arguments between Woo residents and among Woo City council members. Rotten words and hurt feelings will rule the day as we rue the day!

Gaffney does not give a fig that he teases out all kinds of racist feelings in our community,  exploits people’s deepest prejudices and obfuscates the real issues.

He willfully chooses to make things murky! He uses people. He keeps Worcesterites from understanding each other and learning the truth about each other!

On Gaffney’s watch there is no bending that arc towards justice! Just more hatred in hate-filled times.

So, this is what the Gaffer’s true intentions are:

1. To get the mayor and city council to say: YES, we’re a SANCTUARY CITY.

2. To get the mayor and city council to say: NO, we’re not a SANCTUARY CITY.

If they go with #1 they make all their constituents happy and do the right thing, but the City, thanks to President Trump, loses millions of dollars (except for cops) in federal funding. Also: the more conservative folks in Worcester, plus all our racists and bigots, will hate them and try to vote them out of office in November.

If they go with #2, their constituents and supporters will be devastated and Worcester’s most vulnerable folks will be scapegoated, sent back to violent lands, torn apart. They will be broken-up and broken-hearted. We’ll get the federal monies, but we’ll lose a good chunk of our collective soul.

In the meantime,  a crazy, evil, confused and confusing debate swallows up our city.

Thanks to City Councilor and mayoral candidate Michael Gaffney.

For Gaffney to create this kind of civic havoc is wrong.

For him to create a scenario, under the guise of his stupid SANCTUARY CITY RESOLUTION, divides folks. It pits one group of people against another, magnifies our slight differences and attempts to erase our shared humanity.

It’s just not right!

As we say here in lower Vernon Hill: Michael Gaffney’s a PIECE OF SHIT.

Attorneys have bullied legal advocates – including this one!

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Fair play – the AMERICAN way pic:R.T.

By Gordon Davis

Many opposing attorneys have bullied legal advocates with the threat of “practicing law without a license.”

The issue has come up in several of the cases I am working on:

In my lawsuit against Turtleboy, his lawyer, Margaret Melican, threatened to have me investigated for practicing law without a license.

Melican’s threat was hollow, as the venues in which I practice do not have a requirement of being a lawyer to represent clients. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) allows non-attorneys to practice through the initial investigation. The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) and respective Housing Authorities do not require representatives of clients to be lawyers.

As a rule, all courts whether State or Federal, require representatives of clients to be lawyers. Of course, a person can represent himself as pro se. For both of my cases, Davis vs. Turtleboy, and Gaffney vs. Davis, I am a pro se party.

A lawyer’s value is found in his knowledge of court rules and legal concepts.

It is easy to confuse evidence with a charge or count. For example, in State courts denial of Federal FMLA cannot be a charge – but it can be evidence of bias. What lay person is familiar with the Courts’ rules for Interrogatories and their one year cutoff date?

Once, during an Investigative Conference at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) a lawyer for United Parcel Service (UPS) asserted to the Hearing Officer that I should not be allowed to represent my client. The Hearing Officer ignored him. The lawyer made the assertion a second time, and then the Hearing Officer said the Commission allows non-attorneys at this stage of proceedings.

It came up again today when I joined a blockade of a bank auction of a foreclosed house. The main organizer, Lori, told me of how a bank attorney shouted in court that she would face criminal charges for practicing law without a license. She was not sitting at the Defendant’s table, but in gallery.

The bank’s attorney was practicing intimidation and bullying.

For all of the cases in which the Worcester Anti Foreclosure Team (WAFT) supports homeowners, the homeowners are pro se. They represent themselves.

According to Lori, the banks’ attorneys have declared war on WAFT.

Why, I wondered, as the banks’ attorneys get paid either way. She said that with the approximately 34 cases of foreclosures being defended by pro se homeowners, the banks’ attorneys have to work harder and make relatively less money.

The law about licensed lawyers is applicable to disbarred attorneys or to someone who falsely represents themselves as an attorney.

I am not an attorney.

It has been my experience that there is a courtesy that other court officers extend to lawyers that is not extended to pro se parties. Many lawyers call each other “brother” or “sister.” If you are pro se, expect to face disrespect. I recall a case in which I shipped a box of papers to an attorney. The papers in the box were not stamped with a number, and I asked that the box be shipped back to me. My adversary refused and told me to come and get the papers. So I had to go to Boston and get a 40-pound box of papers.

I suppose all is fair in love and law.

What does the police policy of Broken Windows mean for Worcester?

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A civilian review board for the Worcester Police Department!

By Gordon Davis

What does the police policy of Broken Windows mean for Worcester?

We will certainly soon find out.

Recently the new Worcester Chief of Police, Steven Sargent, and Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus were interviewed by a local paper. During the interview, Chief Sargent revealed that he will police Worcester based on the Broken Window Theory. This was somewhat of a surprise.

The Chief had not, to my knowledge, revealed to the public his thinking on criminology, race or body cameras on police officers.

The Broken Window Theory has several parts: one component is the cleaning up of the physical environment, which lets people see that an area is cared for and surveilled. Another part of the Broken Windows Theory has been called Zero Tolerance. A third part has been the removal of “undesirables.”

The removing of “undesirables” has been in effect in Worcester for more than a decade. The so called “aggressive” panhandling ordinances of the City of Worcester are examples of this. The Supreme Court of the United States recently ruled that Worcester’s ordinances on panhandlers are unconstitutional. In some instances, this practice has been the intentional precursor of gentrification.

One can only wonder what Chief Sargent and his boss, City Manager Ed Augustus have planned for these people. Whatever it is, the public should know.

City Manager Augustus, after being ruled against by the Supreme Court, spoke from his bully pulpit demanding that the residents of Worcester give money to charity and not to panhandlers.

Zero Tolerance is the practice of arresting people for minor or non-existent violations such as “disorderly.” Many statutes regarding “disorderly” or disturbing the peace are vague and give the police arbitrary and discretionary powers. This practice eventually evolved into New York City’s infamous Stop, Question and Frisk policy.

There is evidence that the Stop, Question and Frisk practices of the New York Police Department were racial profiling and violated the Fourth Amendment. The police stopped hundreds of thousands of law abiding New Yorkers annually – the vast majority Black and Latino.

I would like Chief Sargent to say there will be no Stop, Question and Frisk policy in Worcester.

I actually agree with the first part of the Broken Windows Theory. Property owners should be made to maintain their properties. In a 2005 Harvard University Study conducted in the “hot spots” of Lowell, Mass, it was determined that improving the physical environment, such as the better enforcement of building codes, is the most effective part of the Broken Windows Theory. It was also the least unlawful.

Almost all of what the Worcester Police Department does in the city is secretive: statistics, reports and records of police misconduct are impossible to get. Police Chief Sargent and City Manager Augustus have a duty to meet with the residents of this city to explain what is in their Broken Windows Policy. A discussion of how Broken Windows will affect the Black and Latino communities and other residents of Worcester is needed.

This should be a REAL discussion: It would be helpful (but unlikely) if the gang of three Worcester City Councilors – Michael Gaffney, Konnie Lukes and Gary Rosen – were excluded.

Stop Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus’ war on the poor!

Homeles Coalition 2012
Opposing City Ordinance in 2012

By Gordon Davis

Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus’ bullying of the people of Worcester not to give donations to other people of Worcester (panhandlers) is problematic.

It was tried before by other City officials and failed. The failure led to the expensive lawsuit regarding “aggressive panhandling” which the City of Worcester will have to pay over $1,000,000 in legal fees!

First, let me say I have not noticed an increase in “panhandling” in Worcester. I have witnessed a person asking for help at the corner of Belmont and Shrewsbury streets being arrested on May 21, 2016. I suppose the police have not read the Supreme Court ruling.

This man asked me and others for donations on June 4 2016. He was polite, well groomed and thankful.

Going back to the same old failed policies as the City of Wprcester tried in the 2000s is problematic. Panhandling is a legal problem, a moral problem, an ethical problem and a social problem. It is a legal problem as the City Manager is using his governmental authority in an attempt to bully people. This issue of asking for help in public has been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. People asking for help in a public place are protected from negative governmental actions. This might include City Manager Augustus speaking as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer and telling people it is better not to donate to “panhandlers.”I suppose it would be different if he said that was his “personal” opinion and not that of the City Manager.

It is unethical for City Manager Augustus to speak from the bully pulpit of his office attacking a group protected by the First Amendment.

It also might be unlawful and actionable.

It is a moral problem, as we have been taught to be charitable.

There are some things that government should stay out of. One of them is the bedroom. Another area government should stay out of is our choice of charitable giving. The government should not tell people to stop giving money to a church collection basket nor should it tell people to stop putting money into the coffee cup of a person asking for help in public.

It is a social issue, as not all of the charities are set up to help the homeless or others asking for help in public. When City of Worcester officials tried to get people to give money to charities and not to “panhandlers” in the 2000s several of the charities indicated that they had no programs for them.

At that time I asked the charities, “How do you intend to make sure that money that people wanted to go to the homeless or others asking for help in public get the money?”  

Their responses were that they intended just to keep the money for their ongoing projects.

The situation is the same today.

City Manager Augustus’ assertion that money given to charity will help the homeless and others seeking help in public is a pretext and a joke.

The City Manager’s response is not dissimilar to his response to the BlackLives Matter protesters. The Manager’s intimidation of the protesters and then the joke of the so called DOJ Race Dialogues did more harm than good.
I am not surprised that the gang of our three Worcester City Councillors – Gary Rosen, Konnie Lukes and Michael Gaffney – seems to support the City Manager’s continuation of the War on the Poor.

I am surprised that the City Manager has ignored his Jesuit training of Men and Women for Others. A training that emphasizes personal charitable works.  There is nothing charitable about the City Manager’s work at this time.

It would be a good thing to end homelessness. It is clear that our City government is unable and unwilling to do so. This is especially true when our City Councilors who are trying to help people are confronted by the bullying tactics of Billy Breault, Ed Augustus, and the Gang of 3. Mr. Breault made intimidating utterances to District 4 City Councilor Sarai Rivera who heads up the Council Sub-committee on Homelessness.

The issues of homelessness does not seem solvable within the present economic system. So it makes sense for those seeking help in public to, on their own, seek their respective solutions without negative governmental interference. 

Worcester City Councilor Mike Gaffney – never in fashion!


By Rosalie Tirella

… But wait! YES! OF COURSE the Gaffer is in style in 2016! All the way, baby!

He is super cool! Super bad! Super in control! Just look at the big fake potted plants in his Route 9, mostly empty, law office!

One week ago I was sitting in Gaffney’s sterile law digs and he told me this:

Rosalie, I WON’T SUE YOU FOR $1 MILLION  DOLLARS IF YOU NEVER EVER WRITE ABOUT CITY COUNCILOR MICHAEL GAFFNEY in your paper – or on your website –  again. Ever.

And…IF YOU SUSPEND InCity Times WRITER GORDON DAVIS FOR 1 YEAR

Ha! What was this deluded dunghead snorting?!

I basically told Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney to go fuck himself and stormed out of his ugly law office.

Is this pretend-man not the most deluded, arrogant asshole? Especially in light of what was written about him in the daily, by a local columnist who reminded the entire city that Gaffney is racist…is a demagogue who’ll jump on an issue like a nymphomaniac on a whore’s bony butt?

City Councilor MICHAEL GAFFNEY, a scion of the mighty town of Webster …

City Councilor Mike Gaffney, a guy sporting five different shades of bleached blonde hair and riding any Worcester issue that he feels will get him votes and a chance to grandstand – never illuminate an issue, make bright …

Gaffney, a weird, dark guy – a guy who bizarrely speaks about himself in the third person as in “City Councilor Michael Gaffney” this and “Councilor Gaffney” that seems to be in fashion …

Even though he seems a bit “off” …

It’s his time!

A la whack-doodly presidential candidate Donald Trump!

A la hate-spewers Fox News!

A la Ann Coulter!

A la the Tea Party clowns!

A la the Freedom of the Press-haters!

Like those vitriolic losers, Worcester City Councilor Mike Gaffney has made himself the crooked vessel to hold  lots of Worcesterites’ crooked fears. Their fears about: immigrants, people of color, poor people, the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement, a Worcester that is a majority-minority city once you cross Park Ave and head in the direction of my neighborhood, a Worcester where minorities – shut out of city jobs/power-hubs for so long – are looking for a significant piece of the Worcester pie. A Worcester where FINALLY people are coming out to say – sometimes shout – in public how it really feels to be black or brown or poor in America, in Worcester …

Gaffney and his deniers do not want to hear the truth that is  bubbling up here, in Worcester …

So it really should have come as no surprise to anyone that Gaffney would seek to destroy me and InCity Times. We’ve been on the right side – his wrong side – for almost 15 years! We’ve been speaking truth to power since day 1. Gaffney destroyed the Mosaic complex, its director Brenda Jenkins, the building in which it was housed, its TRUE history –  one of the few WOO African American social service agencies… And now he wants to destroy one of the few TRUE WOO alternative newspapers.

Well, Gaffer, Gordon Davis ain’t going away and you’ve already been called a racist by a columnist at the city’s biggest paper. Of course, you won’t sue them for a million bucks cuz you’re a coward and a kiss-ass. But you’ll go after InCity Times.

Give it your best shot,  Donald. I mean Michael!