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Gaffney/Turtleboy bloc collapsing – Nov. final push needed

Election commission

The hard-right faction that has come to dominate the Republican Party in Worcester seems to be on the verge of collapse, symbolized most recently by its leader, Michael Gaffney, indicating hours ago that he would not stand for election as mayor this coming November. While that bloc’s defeat is not a foregone conclusion, it appears very likely that Gaffney’s standing down could represent a recognition by him and others of a failure to build a local stronghold for a hate-filled, extremist faction within the Republican Party. This grouping, of course, is represented nationally by Trump and his allies. Their failure in Worcester is a dramatic shift of events, and could strengthen the hand of the moderate-progressive alliance currently in office. As late as several months…

Recent election: Rose, Wally winners; Gaffney, Turtleboy losers

Preliminary elections on Sept. 12 in Worcester signaled what could be a resounding defeat in November for the Trump-allied faction of the Republican Party around city council member and Worcester Republican City Committee chair Michael Gaffney. Also apparently losing influence is the notorious Holden-based alt-right blog Gaffney supports, Turtleboy Sports. Gaffney, it should be remembered, is the candidate who has been busy lately telling the press that “there are consequences” for articles that don’t glorify him. By any account, Worcester’s center and progressive forces moved forward, while those Gaffney and Turtleboy Sports supported took, as George W. Bush once put it, “a thumpin’.” Two districts in Worcester, District 1 and District 5, had enough people vying for a the seat that a preliminary election was…

Worcester on record against anti-LGBTQ “conversion therapy”

Arbetter speaks

WORCESTER, Mass. – The city council voted Sept. 5 unanimously to endorse a resolution submitted by Mayor Joseph Petty both urging the state legislature to adopt a bill banning so-called “conversion therapy” on young people and stating that such a practice was not welcome within the city. “Conversion therapy” refers to a set of practices performed on LGBTQ people, almost always youth, in an attempt to “correct” their gender identity or sexual orientation. It has been widely condemned, including by the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association. A set of bills in the state legislature would ban the practice on young people across the commonwealth, and the resolution introduced by Petty urged Beacon Hill to adopt the legislation. Speaking during the meeting, Council…

Gaffney threatens press; press fails to respond

WoMag's note

wrote recently about how Michael Gaffney, a city council member and Worcester’s Republican leader, had been blackmailing the editor of Worcester Magazine into not publishing articles that cast him in a negative light. As I wrote, the evidence showed that either Gaffney was lying or that he was covering up allegations of sexual abuse, holding onto them to release only when they could benefit him politically. That was Aug. 17, and a week has gone by. Since then, the WoMag editor has been placed on suspension. Turtleboy Sports has been gloating, saying that they “broke” the news story.** That’s the blog Gaffney finances and on which he published screenshots of conversations purportedly between WoMag’s editor and an unnamed young woman* – and where Gaffney essentially…

Gaffney says “there are consequences” to reporting on him; affirms “Turtleboy” connection

consequences

In a chillingly authoritarian turn of events, Michael Gaffney, the city council member and Republican City Committee chair, responded to an article in Worcester Magazine by harassing a journalist and smearing its editor,* alleging that the the latter is a sexual predator. Gaffney wrote on social media that “there are consequences” to reporting stories critical of him, and then released screenshots of conversations purportedly between the newspaper’s editor and young women. Their veracity cannot be determined, and Turtleboy Sports has a well documented history of using fake profiles to smear opponents. Background In the “Worcesteria” column of the current issue of Worcester Magazine, journalist Bill Shaner reported on what at first seemed to be an amusing piece: Gaffney found a quote he liked and posted it…

Antifa or anti-fascism?

antia or antifascism

Since the Aug. 12 Nazi terror attack in Virginia, there has been an ongoing discussion about the role of the so-called “Antifa” (a portmanteau of “anti-fascist) grouping on the left, which has been described alternately as heroic (by many on the left) and as bad as the Nazis (by those on the extreme right, including the hopefully-soon-to-be-ex president). Unfortunately, the voices at either of these two poles seem to be the loudest, drowning out alternate perspectives, of which there are many. The question The question that keeps coming to the fore is best simplified as: Is Antifa good or bad? Many answer the question “yes” or “no,” without actually describing what “good” and “bad’ mean. Those on the right have it easier, though: there is…

Worcester rallies against alt-right terrorism

crowd shot

WORCESTER, Mass – “Over 400,000 people from the United States died fighting the Nazis, over 400,000 people sticking up for our rights,” Worcester Mayor Joe Petty said today, speaking in front of City Hall to a group of hundreds who showed up to protest the rise of the alt-right’s hatred and extremism across the U.S. The 1,000 or so people who came out in Worcester joined a national outpouring of sympathy and solidarity for those injured yesterday protesting the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, including Heather Heyer, who was killed when a car driven by a right-wing extremist plowed into a crowd of anti-extremist protesters. Two Virginia state police officers, Pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, died…

Gaffney, Turtleboy, and the politics of hate

Recently, people have questioned why there are so few candidates in the city’s upcoming municipal elections. Scott O’Connell at the Telegram and Gazette wrote about it in relation to the school committee race. Nick Kotsopoulos, writing in the same publication, asked in May, “Election time nears, but does anyone care?” There are several possible reasons so few people chose to run this year, but recent smear campaigns by city council member and Republican Party chair Michael Gaffney offer up evidence for the most compelling reason. The atmosphere has become poisonous, and anyone engaging in public life is likely to fall victim to a torrent of lies, slander, and online abuse. A happy point Worth noting is the other of the two most compelling reasons more…

Gaffney’s lies reach new low – and this time it’s personal

Michael Gaffney

Michael Gaffney, currently a city council member and chair of the Worcester Republican City Committee, must be getting desperate. That’s the only explanation for his increasingly desperate – and sleazy – attacks on his political opponents. He also wants and needs to divert attention away from the sleaze that he sponsors on the increasingly-under-fire Turtleboy Sports website. Yours truly was the most recent recipient of Gaffney’s dishonest venom. A few days ago, I was honored to be elected by the city council to the Worcester Public Library’s board of directors. Gaffney is now taking the opportunity on Facebook (in a sponsored advertisement no less) to rail against the council members who voted for me. According to Worcester’s sleaziest council member, I’m a communist who hates…

The Dante Comparetto I Know

Dante Comparetto with neighbor and child

If you read Turtleboy Sports, you’ve most likely seen a couple of hit pieces about a friend of mine, Dante Comparetto. As is usual, Turtleboy gets it wrong. This time, though, they’ve actually stumbled upon something: the reason Worcester residents should vote for Dante for school committee. In the Holden, Mass.-based blog, which operates as a propaganda outlet for Worcester Republican city committee chair Michael Gaffney, Aidan Kearney (the blog’s owner and main author) called a Dante a “junkie” and loser. After a Turleboy reader stuffed a racist note in Dante’s mailbox, Aidan posted yet another story to his Turtleboy site, this time claiming that Dante created the flier himself, just like he claimed that no one could possible use the N-word at Fenway Park….

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