Sunday, August 24, 2008


The other day I caught just a few minutes of the Barry Richard's show. Barry was asking if people would vote for Mayor Correia when he comes up for re-election here in Fall River. I didn't listen long enough to hear the consensus, but it made me wonder, could Bob be beat in 2009? I think the simple answer is no. Because of some recent unpopular actions Bob may appear vulnerable but I don't think there is a candidate out there who could mount a successful challenge. Certainly, if we have a repeat of 2007 with multiple candidates running, no single candidate will be able to build the support needed to unseat Mayor Correia.

Still, it's entertaining to think about who a likely challenger would be or who could possibly beat Bob. Let's look at a few prominent candidates.

Representative David Sullivan
It's only natural to think of a possible rematch between Bob Correia and Dave Sullivan. Still, Sullivan is unlikely to win any such rematch and I think it would be inadvisable to try. Bob now has the benefit of being the incumbent, usually always an advantage. Sullivan is not a strong enough public speaker or effective enough in debates to really hurt Bob. Also another run for mayor could erode his support for his state rep seat. I think Sullivan would be wise to sit this one out.

Eric Poulin
I think it was tough not to be impressed by Eric Poulin in his bid for mayor. Eric is likable, smart, and has experience in the Mayor's office. He offered up a detailed campaign platform and demonstrated his abilities to understand Fall River issues and research and formulate actions during the few campaign forums before the primary. Could Eric make a challenge of it, if he was the only candidate facing Bob? I think Eric would do very well against Bob in a series of debates but Poulin's problem would be trying to get the financial backing and experienced campaign support to mount a serious campaign. If Poulin does decide to run for office in 2009 I think the city council is where he would have the best success.

Ed Lambert
After 12 years as Fall River's mayor Ed Lambert decided to ride into the sunset. The problem is the new sheriff in town is blaming Ol' Ed for all the troubles around Dodge. With his ego bruised and his legacy tarnished, could Lambert be convinced to try to reclaim his old turf? Certainly, Lambert's popularity has suffered some. His political organization now had 'property of Bob' written all over. Still, I have to think if Lambert decided to make a run of it, his core supporters would return. He could probably assemble much of his old campaign machine and no local politician is a better campaigner, a more gifted speaker, or more effective debater. If anyone could beat Bob Correia my money would be on Lambert, that said I don't think beating Bob would be enough incentive for Lambert to run again. Would it?

Bottom line look for token opposition for Bob in 2009. My hunch is he wins easily and steps down in 2011. If that happens I imagine that Councilor Cathy Ann Viveros will make a run, as well as Councilor Joe Camara and State Representative Kevin Aguiar.

Some challengers that the Mayor has been facing are members of the '6-3 Council'. Isn't it something that it's the same 6 councilors who always agree with him and the same 3 who disagree? Personally I think the '3 amigos' (Steve Camara, Ray Hague and Leo Pelletier) have done a better job of explaining their no votes then the 'lockstep 6' has even attempted for their support. Still, I'm sure Mayor Correia respects the views of Steve Camara, Hague and Pelletier. I'm sure he understands the need to keep a good working relationship with these 3 councilors even if they haven't supported him in the early goings. Right? Well, the Herald News reports that these 3 councilors were not invited to a recent fundraiser for the Mayor. The other six were all given invitations. The Mayor justified this by saying it was an event for his supporters and that he never invited every Rep to functions he held while in that office. But, the office of mayor is a lot different. He is the head of the city and must work with all 9 councilors. Instead his actions seem designed to alienate and make clear that he does not need their support.

Mayor Correia should be working to build relationships with all 9 councilors. While there is little chance that the Mayor himself will be seriously challenged for re-election, those opposed to him will realize this and likely focus their efforts on challenging his 'council majority'.


Fear and Loathing in Fall River said...

Mr. Bob, who is supposedly so religious, seems to have forgotten one of Jesus' sayings about loving one's enemies...

Anyhow, if he doesn't STFU about how he did everything in his Rep seat all the time, people might start thinking he is longing for his days as stat Rep.

Bob, no one cares how you did it in Boston. You are in Fall River now, act like it.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you lefty, the voter turnout is so low in Fall River and Correia's political machine so powerful that it seems unlikely that anyone would be able to beat him. Of the 3 City Councilors who actually have the guts to question Bob on occasion, Ray Hague, Steve Camara and Leo Pelletier, I find it most likely that of the 3 that Steve Camara might make a run of it but I see him putting up the same numbers as Dave Sullivan or possibly worse because he doesn't have the likeability factor that Dave has.

Anonymous said...

In a perfect world, Eric Poulin would be elected. I doubt many have noticed, but Bob Correia has ripped off numerous ideas from the Poulin campaign -- and started back during his run-off with Dave Sullivan. No one took him seriously because he was viewed as being too young. But this is one young man who really shook up the process -- and was right on point with the majority of what he had to say during his campaign.

Virtually unknown before the campaign -- and beat Bill Whitty? That's nothing to scoff at.

But as one of the last intellectuals left in Fall River, I'm sure we'll drive him away and instead watch Bob serve at least half of another term. After all, he needs THREE years before that top-tier pension kicks in.

Anonymous said...

The new fees which are unpopular with the business community could be his undoing. How many of those in the business community who supported him finacially will continue to do so when they get their new bills? He may be able to outspend any candidate head to head, but if the business community decides to find their own candidate what happens then?

Anonymous said...

I sure hope that the buisness community doesn't forget that they were put upon to take all the burden in one fell swoop. It may not have been fair ? that they did not pay their fair share but all at once ?
I for one did not vote for Bob and never will. King George in the White House and now King Bob on the sixth floor. Too many kings for my liking. Just change the names of the schools unilaterally, raise fees ( but it is not taxes ) LOL, support a superintendent of schools that hires candidates that need waivers. Same old politics in the schools just that the candidates come from out of town and are less qualified. Try to find the agandas on line !! They do not exist.

Anonymous said...

What of the three former councilors who ran for mayor (Alves, Kilby, Whitty)? Perhaps not another run for mayor, but does anyone see them attempting to return to the council ? Or is it a case of once you've run for Mayor it's hard to go back to the council ? Although I believe that Whitty has run for Mayor and then returned to the council a couple of times.

Anonymous said...

I am aware of a conversation that took place between bob and one of his strong supporters... He told the supporter he plans to stay mayor for the next ten years and that he is not going anywhere..

Hopefully we can find a way out of this situation, i think it is not good policy to isolate city counselors when you are the mayor...

Truth be told i hope someone knocks him off hs feet next election....

Lefty said...

Bob has made several moves that have been unpopular with segments of the city and I agree that this makes him look vulnerable. BUT, he just raised 65,000. with one fundraiser. Correia is going to be very tough if not impossible to beat.

Really, if people don't like the direction the Mayor is taking the city, they are going to need to look at challenging him at the city council level.

Alves, Whitty, Kilby? I know that at least one of them said that the last race was their last race, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them return. And, I think that the voters usually remember former councilors warmly.

The trick is would any of those 3 add to Bob's majority? If you're against Bob I think the guy you have to get to run for council is Eric Poulin. He now has name recognition and plenty of credibilty for a council run. He is also naturally aligning himself with groups that are anti-Bob and he was critical of Bob during the mayoral campaign.

Anonymous said...

Having had some experience in this area I think it is an overestimate to say that the mayor raised $65,000. with one fundraiser. I assume you are using the 1300 figure that was in the paper and multiplying it by 50 which was the price of the ticket. Assuming that the 1300 attendance figure is true, and that's an assumption, you have to understand that McGovern's didn't do this for free. The food and drinks (if it was an open bar, perhaps it was a cash bar, I don't know) come off of the price of the ticket. Plus any free tickets (elected officials) etc.. You might want to cut that figure in half, still a large amount of money for one fundraiser, but I doubt he raised anywhere close to $65,000. If you look at any elected official's campaign finance reports you will see large expenditures to places like McGovern's, White's, Venus, etc.. these are the costs of putting on fundraisers.

I don't know which former councilor said it would be their last race, but given their past record's I believe that the council might be moving in a different direction today then it currently is. Hard to imagne for example, Whitty and Kilby going along with removing the fire chief from civil service.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be worth to have an event of 1000+ even if it earns minimal profit, breaks even, or even if is a loss.

Having 1000+ people at the event should be enough to threaten any potential challengers.

The real question is how many of the 1000 were out-of-towners in Fall River for the Holy Ghost feast and were guided to the fund raiser.

Anonymous said...

I thought both Alves and Whitty said that if they lost that they would retire from politics. I certainly haven't read anything about either in recent memory. Same goes for Kilby, haven't read too much about him staying involved.

Have read a few articles about Dave Sullivan within the context of him being a State Rep and thankfully getting the LNG bill passed but nothing about his State Rep race in the North End which is odd, maybe what I heard from people is correct and he isn't a good campaigner which would mean that he probably couldn't beat Bob.

As far as Poulin, I don't think he would win either for Mayor or a Council spot. Don't get me wrong, he would be an asset in either position, better than what we've had, but I think people that have said that he couldn't raise enough money to compete are correct. Of all the mayoral candidates though I have been reading his name semi-regular in the paper so it seems like he is staying involved. In Fall River though that may work against him. Remember how Jacome practically disappeared after 2003 and that was used against him by Lambert in 2005? If Poulin had disappeared totally that would've been used against him but the fact that he is staying involved may also be used against him, Bob's people who would probably fear him even if he ran for Council because he might ask too many questions would say he was only staying involved because he wanted to run for office and for no other reason such as caring about the community. Sounds stupid but I think many people would buy into it. He is pretty much damned if he does and if he doesn't.

Anonymous said...

I think he should run, we need candidates like poulin in there.

Anonymous said...

Poulin please ,he is a Judas he may get 20% if that from the wacko lefties,tell him to get a job instead of blogging all day,he is such good friends with keri rodriques maybe he can have her old job with sutter

Anonymous said...

sorry your boys are ripe for a takeover.

Anonymous said...

Yeah like last year when your crowd said "change, change, change" and the voters said "no, no, no".

Anonymous said...

Now the voters that said no, no, no are saying no, no, no, to re-electingthe 1/2 dozen 1/2 wit 6 city councilors and mayor/karam.
Don't underestimate the power of
the voters.

Anonymous said...

Poulin doesn't have a job? Is that a fact? Poulin is a Judas, lol? I'm not sure what that means but it looks like another blog may get shut down for name calling and too bad because I think I agree with the points that were lost in all the name calling. I agree with the point that was made that Mayor Correia and the 6 City Councilors aren't going anywhere, every election we hear people complaining about how change is needed but it never happens. I don't think this election is going to be any different.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:32

Are you saying that if we THINK they are going to be re-elected we should just not bother voting?

It is very simple to change that
perception- excercise your right to vote for you whomever you want
without fear of retaliation or

It can be done!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:48 - Correia has a machine in place to turn out votes for him and for his 6 Councilors. Are you able to turn out the vote the way that he can? I don't think so.

What is Fall River's voter turnout rate anyway? I've heard when it gets near 40% there is some kind of celebration by the Elections Office, that's pathetic. Nope you get 30% or a little more that turn out to vote, when voter turnout is that low the advantage always goes to whomever has a machine, you need to get your people to the polls and get them to tell everyone they know good things about your candidate or candidates and to vote for them.

No one is going to be able to put together an organization to beat Bob Correia or his friends. Don't forget Bob Correia not only has his campaign organization but all of Ed Lambert's old campaign organization are now his so he probably has the most powerful organization assembled since maybe Carlton was Mayor and guess what Bob has all of Carlton's old old organization too and Carlton's backing. So how is he going to lose? I repeat Bob has his campaign organization, Ed Lambert and Bob have been fighting but Bob still has all Ed's old people supporting him and Bob has all the throwbacks from Carlton plus Carlton himself.

I'm not saying that your vote isn't worth anything or that you shouldn't go out to vote but don't expect that you will win and get change. As one blogger put it everyone was saying change last election and the voters all said no. The anti-change forces will beat the pro-change forces once again in the next election, that's my prediction.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for you comments but
Ouch, that is sad for Fall River!

Anonymous said...

It is sad for Fall River, we can either cry about it and be paralyzed or at least try something. Live on your knees or die on your feet! There has to be someone out there that the people can get behind, maybe a strong enough candidate could get 50% or more voters to turn out.

Anonymous said...

when the city's weekly gives you what the daily hasn't!

Sullivan versus Pereira

Aguare vs Rodrigues

$110,000 register of probate job

governor's council race

Lefty said...

Anon 2:48 - thanks for providing the links! Great stuff and so far the best coverage on the various races.

Anonymous said...

czar bob will be history, he has angered the fire department, now the school department with its base of employees, their families and the families of all the kids in the schools who see the chaos and no end in sight. what will czar bob do when he finally eliminates the superintendent, the leadership team, etc and there's no one left to blame ?