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Marc Dion: Loyalty holds and hurts Fall River



OK, so, Fall River recalled Jasiel Correia, currently awaiting trial, but then a small minority of voters, deaf to everything but loyalty, elected him.

That’s because Fall River recall ballots have two parts. The first part allows you to fix your mistake. The second part allows you to make the same mistake again.

Nothing has ever been so intelligently designed as the Fall River recall ballot because it is pitched directly at people who have been making the same mistakes forever.

New York thinks this is funny. Boston thinks it’s funny. Only in Fall River do we see it as anything related to the possible business of running a city.

But we don’t believe in running a city, not really. What we believe in is politics, jab and right hand, backbite and backstab, rumor and innuendo and the kind of loyalty one can normally elect only from dogs.

Right now, Fall River’s voters look like the biggest pack of dimwitted hillbillies ever to live in a state known to outsiders as the cradle of the American Revolution and the home of Harvard University.

We’re forever complaining that Boston doesn’t “care about” or isn’t “listening to” Fall River, despite the river of state money that keeps the city from having to run its high school in an open field.

The wonder is that the state trusts us with anything more than $20.

Seriously. If you looked at the results of the recall election, would YOU send us other people’s tax money?

Is it funny? Of course, it’s funny! It gets less funny when I write a check for my property taxes, but even then I can muster a giggle.

That’s the real legacy of Fall River, the ability to laugh our way through the endlessly stupid political scenarios we give life to with our endless misplaced loyalty.

In the last few elections, two of them provoked by a recall, we’ve done our best to give our loyalty to some dog of a candidate about whom we knew nothing.

What does the guy do for a living? Where does he live? Is he married? Has anybody ever SEEN his wife? What does he believe? Does he have ANY relevant experience? How come no one ever heard of the guy until three months before the election?

That’s why Jasiel Correia, currently awaiting trial, finished first on the “make the same mistake again” portion of the recall ballot. We knew too much about the other candidates. Even last place finisher Erica Scott-Pacheco could point to a place of employment, and Paul Coogan, Kyle Riley, and Joe Camara all have houses, families, and clearly traceable careers.

We don’t like to know too much about our mayoral candidates. We’re scratch ticket people. We like to take a chance. The odds on an unknown mayor are about as good as they are on a scratch ticket, but we figure we’ll hit big if we buy just ONE more.

Sadly, we are very close to losing the rent money, or at least that portion of the rent not paid by the state.

A column in The Boston Globe asks what Fall River did to deserve this mess.

Are they kidding?

We did everything we could to facilitate this mess, to buy this mess, to give this mess our class ring and make out with it under the bleachers. We adopted a city charter that practically guaranteed we’d get in this mess sooner or later

And then, like political veteran Joe Camara resigning from the Durfee Building Committee because of “revenge politics,” we were horrified, just horrified to find out that our nasty, personality-driven politics has produced a punchline for the whole country to enjoy.

You want to know why we have these problems in Fall River? It’s because we make them in Fall River. Like the slogan says, “Make It Here,” and we do, every day.

Jasiel Correia, currently awaiting trial, isn’t a disease. He’s a symptom, a symptom of the terrible loyalty that holds and hurts Fall River, and forever leaves us waiting for the state’s next handout.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Patrick Vincent

    March 16, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Ranked-choice voting is a better representation of the voice of the people.

    If we had that system, the mayor would very likely not have been re-elected after the recall because the “other choice” wouldn’t have been split six ways to Sunday.

    I see it happen in every election where people go with the ‘wasted vote’ option, voting for their favorite (but underdog) candidate, and then making their second-favorite lose to the least favorite.

    Our democratic elections are supposed to reflect our will. Instead, it fails by splitting our values where it shouldn’t.

    I don’t think it’s fair to put too much stink on the Fall River voters since when the choice was clear to recall, they did. The majority of voters did NOT have the loyalty you’re speaking of.

    The voting system we have in place is just highly ineffective at representing our choices when it easily could.

    That should change.

    That’s what you should be more disappointed by.

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