Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It just keeps getting worse!

I just don't get Ted DeSalvatore.

Lately it seems like with every day that passes I learn some new disturbing thing about him, say to myself "Oh man that's pretty bad..." and then the next day it happens again! He's turning from a well-meaning-but-sort-of-jerky dimwit into a megalomaniacal cartoon supervillain right in front of my eyes!

Today's depressing news comes from this article in the Worcester Telegram.

It opens with this charming pseudo-quote:
City Councilor and mayoral candidate Ted E. DeSalvatore said he’s never backed down from a fight.
Oh joy, that's just what I look for in a mayor! Pigheaded stubbornness has done such great things for this country!

Who's his fight with this time? Those mysterious "local thugs" he's always blaming for ruining the city? The dreaded hungry people trying to eat at Our Father's Table? The dastardly gays and their "perverted teaching"? Or is it something even worse?!
Mr. [John] Westlake became tearful when describing the problems he said began a few weeks ago with an unauthorized entry into his business and placement of [DeSalvatore] campaign signs in his storefront windows. Mr. Westlake said he keeps the windows covered with white paper so that passers-by are not tempted to steal his valuable inventory and computer.

“When I took down those signs, I gained an enemy,” said Mr. Westlake, a disabled Air Force veteran who said he takes medication for post-traumatic stress disorder. “He says he’s for small business, but he violated my rights. He’s willing to step on anyone to become mayor.”
Holy crap, Ted! Picking a fight with a disabled veteran with PTSD? What the fuck is wrong with you? Were you tired of picking on the poor and hungry but couldn't find any orphans to kick around?

It only gets uglier from there, I'm afraid:
Mr. DeSalvatore agreed that their problems began with the signs. He said he thought he had permission to put up the signs, so he got a janitor to let him in when Mr. Westlake was not there. Since the incident, he said, Mr. Westlake has been trying to make his life miserable.

Janitor Charlene Mann said she was “hoodwinked” into letting Mr. DeSalvatore in to Mr. Westlake’s business. She also said she witnessed the tape-recorded interchange on Sunday between the pair.

“It was classic bully power moves,” Ms. Mann said of Mr. DeSalvatore’s behavior. “John tried to negotiate the peace, but (Mr. DeSalvatore) didn’t want that peace.”

Ms. Mann said at one point Mr. Westlake kneeled and begged Mr. DeSalvatore to leave him alone.

On the tape, Mr. DeSalvatore is heard saying, “It’s too late. You pushed my buttons.”
I don't know if any of you reading this are familiar with PTSD (especially if it's combat-related). I know several people who suffer from it, and while it can vary case-by-case, most of the people I know just want peace and to not have to be reminded of the stress in their past. Conflict is what caused the problems in the first place. If you're a guy with PTSD begging for peace, then you've got a really damn good reason for doing it.

On the other hand, if you're just a guy who's being a huge dick because someone "pushed your buttons" it just means you're an asshole.

So, Ted "hookwinked" a janitor into letting him put up some campaign signs in Mr. Westlake's space. Mr. Westlake took them down. They had a confrontation. End of story, right? Everyone eventually shakes hands and laughs at the misunderstanding?

Not quite:
Mr. DeSalvatore said he is working with the landlord, Gerald Martel, to get Mr. Westlake evicted. Then he added that he chose the site to make a point.

“I represent the middle ground. I don’t shy away from street trash,” he said.
No Ted. You are the trash here. You're not the middle ground, and you sure as hell should never again serve in any public office. You're an embarrassment to the city already.

Have a tiny bit of dignity, leave the man alone, and move your campaign HQ elsewhere. Like to another state.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New blogs in town, DeSalvatore not looking so good

As those of you who've read my critique of Ted DeSalvatore's website already know, Ted doesn't think much of bloggers. In fact, he warns people not to listen to them and instead to get everything straight from him. He presumably didn't consider the possibility that blogs might just quote him verbatim.

It appears one blogger has taken Ted's warning to heart, and started the Say No To DeSalvo blog. (I assume because it rhymes better than the "Say No To DeSalvatore" blog). Regardless, it's a new blog which at the time I'm writing this has just two posts, but both are doozies. It's worth noting that the blogger in question doesn't really editorialize (though I suspect the caps are his/her doing, correct me if I'm wrong please), just presents Ted's own words.

The first post was basically a transcript of DeSalvatore's Ward 4 campaign promises/propaganda/gibberish. It contains such nice nuggets as:
"In addition to compromising our safety some homeless may be involved in the frequent break-ins, cars and homes alike. By giving them a DESIGNATED AREA and remanding them to stay clear of our neighborhoods the job of our police department may get easier, break-ins may be reduced and our officers may be allowed to put more of their time on other issues."
So, he basically demonizes the homeless and then promotes a ghetto arrangement. That worked great in Warsaw!

Another peach:
Nice. I'm glad Ted felt so comfortable speaking for the homeless. This is the same guy who is opposed to having "Our Father's Table" feeding the hungry on Main St.

Some context for that from the Sentinel:
Fitchburg Ward 4 City Councilor Ted DeSalvatore, who said last week he did not support Our Father's Table's return to Main Street, said Thursday he thinks the presence of homeless people on Main Street could deter both potential businesses and customers.

"Very few people feel comfortable coming downtown when there's a lot of people just hanging around," he said. "In most cities, especially bigger cities, any one street can have a mixed-use environment where homeless people gather. But we've only got one main street. We don't have a lot of places of commerce where people can set up shop."

I'll now take a short digression to point out another recently-created blog, the Fitchburg Voice. It's been dealing extensively with the Our Father's Table issue, and the most recent post has an interesting quote from one of the cofounders of OFT:
In the beginning homelessness was the issue. The faces changed. Now they are mostly elderly, some handicapped, some families, very little homeless. People come seeking fellowship, companionship and spirtitual need fulfillment. They come to us with dignity and they leave us with dignity.
So, the opposition from Mr. DeSalvatore is based on nothing, just like almost everything else the man says! Way to live up to expectations!

But back to the "Say No To DeSalvo" blog. That first post was full of stupid statements made by Ted, but was pretty much par for the course. There are dozens and dozens of examples of Ted saying stupid things all over the place. It's just the way he talks.

The most recent post on the SNTDS blog I actually find a lot more interesting because it presents some things that Ted has somehow managed to not talk about to the local paper or put out as press releases.

The blog quotes from this post in an online discussion from August of 2003. It's from someone known as "truth_seeker" (whose profile identifies him as Ted). It's all part of a religious discussion about an openly-gay bishop. Ted got involved to answer the question "where did Jesus say homosexuality was wrong?"


Okay, most of the post is typical religious gobbledygook. Just an exercise in theological masturbation, as far as I'm concerned. Debating gibberish with more gibberish. But there are some parts that are quite interesting...

Sayeth Ted:
Long ago a group representing the Gay Liberation Association of Rochester, New York visited my social studies class while I was in high school. One of the members stated something I will never forget. At the time I was not a Christian however had a great hope that God and Jesus did exist. The statement was, “Jesus was a homosexual.” I and my other classmates, absolutely appalled by the statement, escorted the entire group out of our school and asked the school to remove the teacher who invited the group to speak to us. This was 1973 and the push to make us except that attitude continues. That teacher became a guidance counselor. Go figure! I learned later that he was at one time or another the president of the Rochester branch of Gay Liberation Association.
(In case you had any doubt that "truth_seeker" was in fact the same Ted DeSalvatore, note that Ted was in high school just outside Rochester, NY in 1973. Also, all misspellings and grammatical errors are original.)

Now, I'm a little doubtful that this group just walked in, said "Jesus was a homosexual" and got kicked out. If they did say that, I presume they had a reason behind it, otherwise they were just being needlessly confrontational. I'm also a little doubtful that high school students have the power to "escort" invited speakers out of the building. And to go to the effort to try to get the teacher fired? Well, it seems like Ted has a real big problem with Gay Jesus!

Lots of people are idiots in high school and turn things around when they get older or wiser. However, those people don't generally brag about their idiocy. Ted's not one of those people. Further supporting the concept that his old biases are alive and well, at other points during this screed he also implicitly calls homosexuality "wrong, immoral or unnatural behavior" and a "perverted teaching".

So, Ted's a homophobe in addition to all his other flaws. Great. I wonder why it is that so many people so strongly oppose his mayoral campaign...

Finally, Ted closes his 2003 screed...
People who stand outside the place of what is appropriate will always try to justify and or infect as many others as they can. There is strength in numbers. The body of Christ is being divided over every little thing as Lucifer revels in its weakening, the army of Christ is quickly becoming ineffective. We must put up our best fight however nothing will prevent scripture from being fulfilled. These things must come to pass and the end of things as they are, will be realized.
Some lessons from this paragraph.
  1. Ted thinks that homosexuality is something you can "infect" others with.
  2. Ted believes in a literal devil, named "Lucifer".
  3. Ted probably believes in the "Rapture".

While the last two put him in the company of a large number of similarly crazy people (our President included), the first one is all you really need to know the man is unfit to be mayor.

Anyway, go check out those other blogs and show them some love. Fine work all around!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Another Mayoral Website!

We suspected it was coming, and it's finally here! Ted DeSalvatore has a website! As part of my ongoing series of Mayoral candidate website critiques please follow me on a journey through!

First let me say that the only reason I found this site is that I was tipped off by a friend. Thanks friend!

Google was no help, since a simple search for "ted desalvatore" mayor brings up mostly blogs (this one included) and a couple Sentinel articles. (By comparison, the same search for Lisa Wong or Dan Mylott gives their sites as the first result.) As we'll see later, it's possible that DeSalvatore isn't happy about this lack of listing...

But on to the site. It has 5 pages, which puts it one ahead of Lisa Wong and four ahead of Dan Mylott. Also, each page is wonderfully reminiscent of the web circa-1995. An overabundance of different font colors and styles, weirdly-encoded images, images used where text could do the job, animated gifs, and so on. If only it had blinking text it would be a perfect recreation of how I remember the web in its early days (or Myspace now).

In fairness, maybe this is by design. He could in fact be trying to appeal to people who love Myspace. That would also explain why he used "" when the less stupid-looking "" is perfectly available. Gotta appeal to all those text-messagers out there!

Ted's "History" page is as good a place as any to start.

First we learn this odd tidbit:
Ted was born in Rochester New York on July 7th, 1955. He grew up in the suburb of Greece, which today has about 90,000 residents. The City of Rochester and the surrounding communities as of the 2000 census, boasts 735,343 residents in 286,512 Households.

Well, my longstanding curiosity about the population of Rochester, NY has now been satiated! I can just imagine all the other mayoral candidates now scrambling to find census figures for towns they grew up near in case DeSalvatore brings them up in a debate.

One might think that would be the last bit of weirdness on the page, but one would be horribly wrong:
Ted attended Greece Arcadia High School and majored in math but needed a sport to keep him interested.

Now, it's been awhile since I've been in high school, but I don't recall ever being given the option to "major" in anything. Is this commonplace in the Greece school system? Also, not sure how good a move it is to say you "needed" a sport to keep interested in school. I could be mistaken, but I think most people would prefer a well-educated mayor to one who's good on the parallel bars.

I'm going to assume the "business owner" bit of this page is intended to fill the mysterious gap from the time he left the Army in 1976 to his teaching job begun in 1999. Not that he gives any exposition on his businesses, but they're physically located in that gap on the page. And calling yourself a "Business Owner" sounds better than writing "1977-1998: Dilettante" on a resume.

One does have to question the statement "I have no political baggage and therefore I am the only candidate that can effectively challenge those issues that give our city its poor reputation." First off, how does alienating virtually the entire city council, the police chief, and any number of others as Ward 4 councilor equate to "no political baggage"? That sounds like an awful lot of political baggage to me.

Anyway, there's also a picture of him and his wife looking out the porthole of a submarine, which is sweet:

Enough of that. Let's move on to the "Details" page!

This is about as close as he gets to a real listing of issues. The front page has some vague language about wanting to improve things, but here we get into the meat and bones. Sort of. But first we need to get past the self-aggrandizing bits:
Ted is the challenger who will implement the changes needed. In the face of exhaustive criticism and threats, Ted has continued to fight for our rights. Help us put back the “We” in We the people!” [sic]
All right...

So, what's DeSalvatore fighting for? Umm... well, here's what he's against...
Against! The Slumlords that nurture the environment for Gangs, Crime, and the Ruin of our inner-city neighborhoods. Slumlords must be held responsible!

Against! High Utility Rates & the Dual Tax Rate, causing reduced investments in commercial and industrial properties. [and so on...]

Okay, so he's for exclamation points and against a few other things. So what is he going to do about them?
Ted will bring an end to irresponsible spending and work hard to return lost services. Ted will encourage business growth by aggressively taking on the utility company, which creates a regional imbalance, robbing us of our competitiveness. Ted will institute a new approach to crime by addressing the environment through code enforcement, which will in turn support our local law enforcement officers, assisting in getting the job done.

Oh. He'll use vague language to fix the problems! Aggressively! Also, he'll further push his belief in the largely-discredited "Fixing Broken Windows" theory of crime reduction.

That's it for the issues, but there's a beautiful nugget of insanity on the bottom of the page. Recall how earlier I mentioned that I suspect DeSalvatore is upset that when searching Google for him you get mostly blogs and the Sentinel? Well, here's why:
Don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers or on the Blogs. Reporters don’t always have the greatest sense of context and the Blogger world is filled with character assassinators, having the mentality of pyromaniacs. If you ever have a question or wish a clarification, the best thing to do is ask me directly.

Basically what DeSalvatore is saying here is to ignore any independent reporting that mentions him, because they won't spin it they way he wants them to. Never mind the facts or reality of the situation, just ask Ted what you should think. I believe this is known as the "Bush/Cheney method" of dealing with the press.

Given his stance, it's a little odd that DeSalvatore doesn't just put what he thinks (with specifics, not just vague ideas about change and fighting) on the website. That would be a great way to avoid people having to find out about him from blogs and newspapers. Or it would be if they could find his website more easily.

Okay, last page now. The "Gallery" page. It's, um, a gallery. Mostly of trash cleanup and abandoned cars and stuff.

It's also interspersed with some funny bits of text, like this:
These [abandoned] vehicles like graffiti, trash, junked white goods and other ugly or concerning conditions, aid to the control of an area by its local thugs and gangs.
There you have it, gangs and "local thugs" exist because of littering! I'm all in favor of cleaning up trash, but I think that's a bit of a reach...

So what's the verdict on DeSalvatore's website? Well, it's better than Dan Mylott's. Not as good as Lisa Wong's. Also, it exists. Which puts it ahead of Donnelly's and Dionne's.

Unfortunately, it really doesn't address the issues and focuses mostly on the vague concept of "change" and DeSalvatore's self-styled outsider/rebel image. On the plus side, it has plenty to make fun of, but on the minus side it has very little real substance to it. Which puts it closer to Mylott's site than Wong's (which is not huge on substance, but does have a decent "Issues" page).

So there you have it, three websites down and two left to appear (hopefully).

Now I'm off to go set something on fire! Cheers!