Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I turned 39 (2014)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Joseph Kelly Levasseur & Joe Briggs

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www.2joes.org
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Joe Kelly Levasseur & Joe Briggs
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www.manchesteryr.com
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Joe Kelly's
866 Elm St.
Manchester, NH 03101
Phone: 603-622-6400
Fax: 603-641-3433
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10:30am-8pm; Sat. 11am-4pm
Downtown Manchester
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www.intownmanchester.com
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MANCHESTER NH MAYOR FRANK GUINTA
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MANCHESTER NH STATE SENATOR & ALDERMAN TED GATSAS
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New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester Edition, Monday, January 14, 2008, Vol. 145, No. 247, Page A9, OPINION, Letters

“Did anyone notice congressional pay raise?”

To the Editors:

Did anyone notice? Congress recently benefited from an automatic pay raise, a little less than $342 a month! That is a 25 percent raise! Not bad for a group that in a December poll received only a 25 percent approval rating.

We common folks should be grateful that the approval rating wasn’t 75 percent, shouldn’t we? Most members of Congress are now making $169,300 a year, while some of their leaders are raking in over $200,000! My Social Security increase was barely $70 a month, and for that I should be happy?

What has Washington done for us? Oh, yeah! It increased the minimum wage by peanuts, has yet to reform Social Security, address meaningful healthcare, stop our dependence on foreign oil and seems to care more about endangered animal species than the human species. The list goes on and on. And to think that there are voters out there who yearn for the “change” Democrats are calling for.

As one of the editorial page cartoons so admirably depicted, that is all the rest of us will have in our pockets if they retake the White House come November. And their automatic not-voted-against pay raises will continue.

GUY G. PLANTE
251 Morey St., Manchester, NH

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February 20, 2008

Manchester Daily Express
49 Hollis Street
Manchester, NH 03101

Re: Guinta’s campaign omission

To the Editor:

As a resident of Ward 3, I agree with Joe Kelly Levasseur’s letter requesting an investigation of the Ward 3 race for School Committee. I believe Jennifer Peabody’s alleged Ward 12 primary residence may disqualify her from serving as a downtown elected official even if she pours drinks for a living in Ward 3.

However, he fell silent on the bigger issue concerning his fellow Republican Mayor’s upcoming run for Governor of New Hampshire. This frustrates me for several reasons. The first being whether or not our city government will be properly managed while our Mayor campaigns around the state; the second being whether or not Mayor Frank Guinta should have disclosed his ambitions during last year’s election cycle; and the third being whether or not Joe Kelly Levasseur would have endorsed Mayor Guinta for re-election if he knew Mayor Guinta was going to be using the post of Mayor as a stepping stone to higher elected office.

I feel like Joe Kelly Levasseur’s past support for Mayor Guinta and now his silence on Mayor Guinta’s campaign for Governor is due to his loyalty to the Republican Party instead of to the people and our community. Whereas Jennifer Peabody is a just little fish swimming in the wrong direction, Frank Guinta is a very big fish who may lead our entire city government downstream.

Sincerely,
Jonathan A. Melle

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The Manchester Daily Express, Tuesday, February 19, 2008, Page 12, Opinion page

“Investigate Ward 3 race”

To the Editor:

I found Chris Pappas’ letter to the Express very interesting, not for what he said, but for what he did not say or do. Unquestionably Mr. Pappas is correct in his request that a member of the school board should, at the very minimum, live in his or her own ward. I mean, heck, we all believe that right?

What Pappas did not say in the Jennifer Peabody case is that there should be an investigation. Chris Pappas has full knowledge that Ms. Peabody does not live in Ward 3, and never did. What Mr. Pappas is afraid of is a law requiring a driver’s license or non-drivers identification card to vote.

Ms. Peabody never would have been allowed to defraud the voters of Ward 3 if she had been required to show her license when she went to the polls and voted. She also would not be able to continue defrauding the voters of Ward 3 with her false affidavits and stories in the press that she first lived at 4 Dow Street and now lives at 96 North River Road if all she did was show her valid driver’s identification, which at the time of this writing still says 121 English Village Road.

This is a perfect example of why there should be a state law requiring identification. Anyone can make up an address label, place it on a postcard, walk into a polling location anywhere in this state and vote, illegally. What makes the Peabody case so awful is that she never lived in Ward 3 for even one single minute. People around her, with pure malice for the Buckley Democrats, put her up to the school board race, thinking she never would have won. A member of the press caught her at her home in Ward 12 and three weeks later she is hauled out of the same location by a sheriff’s department on a civil warrant.

If Chris Pappas is serious about representing the voters of Manchester, and serious about his future political career, he should demand a full, open investigation into what transpired in the Ward 3 school board race.

Joseph Kelly Levasseur
Manchester, N.H.

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Re: "Marijuana vote draws fire", By JOHN WHITSON & SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader, Thursday, Mar. 20, 2008

So Frank Guinta, for a couple of cheap political points, decides to go after a state representative, that happens to work for the Manchester School District, but not the other City employees who voted for the same law? Before this vote, Dave Scannell was an ordinary guy doing his job representing his liberal democratic leanings without much fanfare. Now, Mayor Guinta just made Dave Scannell, Manchester's local Jim Morisson. The law states that the possession of marijuana is a felony. Scannell, and others, decided that a small amount of this illegal substance should be dropped to a violation. As an attorney myself, I have seen what prosecutors have to deal with when very small amounts of marijuana are involved in criminal case before them. Almost always, prosecutors, who have much so many important crimes to deal with, lower the crime to a violation, especially for very young persons caught with the illegal substance, especially for a first time offender about to attend college. A felony or a misdemeanor usually means that the young person caught with the illegal substance cannot get a scholarship or financial support from the college they are about to attend. Many prosecutors drop the felony to a violation to make sure these young adults get into college and get the financial help they need to attend. I have personally thanked prosecutors for thier kindness and their obvious desire to make sure that first time offenders who are young adults are not forever burdened by a criminal record for this very young mistake; and for understanding that these young adults need to get into college to make a better life for themselves. (not to say the prosecutors, to teach these young adults a lesson, did not make these young adults perform many many hours of public service by the way) I applaud the vote by Dave Scannell but with a caveat. Dave Scannell should never have allowed himself to be placed in this position in the first place. Because of his position as a representative of the school district and his duty to his constituents and his obvious duty to himself, he should have known that he would have to make tough and somethimes controversial votes. Votes that could affect his position as a representative of children,and the posibility that his votes would have been the subject of much public fodder or politcal retribution. Mr. Scannell should never have allowed himself to become a lightening rod for pot and the obvious message this sends to the very same children he represents in the school district. Mr. Scannell voted his concious, and knowing Mr. Scannell the way I do, he often does. Mr. Scannell is a sincere and dedicated public official. He sincerely cares about his job and what he does as a public servant. He did, without question put his personal convictions above his job at the school district. Guinta saw a political reason to go after Scannell for nothing more or less than political reasons. Guinta, if he wants to be taken serious and thought of as a man of true conviction looks very bad when he attacks a member of the school district but not the firemen or republicans who voted the same way. Will Mayor Guinta ask for republicans and firemen to step down also? Such is the man who asks so much of one but so little of many.
- joe kelly, manchester

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Re: "Crime colors Manchester mayor's race", By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader, Monday, Oct. 8, 2007

Guinta cannot have it both ways. He drove the crime issue hard in his last campaign against Baines by letting everyone know that crime was up 55% over six years. Now he proudly states that violent crime is down by 17% but that number is not acurate and it is unfair for Guinta to say so. The crime stats are based on arests. One murder that happened this summer has not been included in the violent crime stats, and would pull down the 17% substantially. Many people don't even want to call the police any more because they feel that the police department doesn't do its job. There is no question that the detectives in the police department are overwhelmed and need more asistance. Cheif Jaskolka is the wrong guy for the job and Guinta knows this but refuses to do anything about the lack of leadership in this instance. Donovan has every right to make crime an issue because Guinta did so in his election against Baines, for Guinta to say that Donovan doesn't know enough about crime because he has only met with the Chief once in 30 days is preposterous. Guinta did nothing about crime as an alderman and never would have brought it up in the last election if Baines had not made a huge mistake by politicizing it during a late night drive with police. Guinta does deserve credit for shutting down three very nasty bars, downtown feels safer but Manchester is far from out of the woods at this juncture. To get rid of crime one must lead on the issue very agressively. Guinta has not been agressive enough because he is unwilling to make tough decisions or at least make decisions publicly that let people know he is at least making an attempt. Stating publicly that he needs a new team is not enough. He should have, at the very least, brought a few department heads in front of the alderman to be fired. If the aldermen did not want to change departments heads that most insiders know do not do a good job, then Guinta could have shown he is a tough leader by at least forcing the issue and allowing the blame to be placed on the eleven democrats on the Board. He refused to do so the last two years and has not done so yet. He publicly blamed Superintendant of Schools Mike Ludwell of not doing a good job, only when Ludwell gave his six month resignation. Ludwell is the perfect example of mediocrity and Guinta did nothing about it, which is a big reason our schools keep falling behind. It takes a tough election and a tough oponent to take leaders to task. Donovan needs to continue to make this a major issue in this race. It will make Manchester a better and more safer place to live because politicians only seem to get moving when they are faced with public adversity or an election.
- Joseph Kelly Levasseur, Manchester

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I find it rather intriguing that Mr. Martineua has repeatedly stated (proudly I might add) that he has returned money from his annual budget back to City Hall every year he has been in office. So it makes sense that Guinta would level fund the welfare Department since Martineau is so "frugal" with our money. Interestingly, it seems that since Martineau has taken over the Welfare Department, there appears to be more homeless people living under bridges than being taken care of by his department.
- joekelly, manchester

Source: "City Hall: Proposed budget as lean as shelter's food pantry"
By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, Sunday, Apr. 20, 2008

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The New Hampshire Union Leader - Letters - Page A11, Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Vol. 146, No. 26, 44 Pages, 50 Cents - State Edition

"A foolish budget"

To the Editors:

Mayor Frank Guinta's budget is foolish, for too many reasons to go into here. Every year Bob Baines gave the district too much money, and once you give it, it is almost impossible to get it back.

The question on my mind is why the Democratic-controlled state Legislature, with a Democratic governor, has yet to do anything about the education budget issues throughout the state. The Democrats won big in a landslide, yet no one in Manchester is lobbying Gov. John Lynch for more money or a way to "adequately" fund the education that the Democrats have been screaming for the past 10 Republican-controlled years. The opportunity for an increase in funding for Manchester's school budget woes is only 20 miles up I-93. Why is it that when Republicans control the Legislature, the liberals go nuts about the funding of important issues like schools, but when the Legislature is completely controlled by the Democrats, they are getting a free ride by the people most interested in getting more funding for schools?

Going after Guinta is a waste of time; the right place is Concord. Get there quick because the Democratic-controlled Legislature won't last much longer.

JOSEPH KELLY LEVASSEUR
866 Elm Street
Manchester, NH

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Source: "Board: No pink slips for teachers", By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, May 8, 2008

Funny thing about revenue. Guinta ran a ten million dollar project out of town last Spring when he was running for mayor (next to the baseball stadium) so he could help out the baseball team owner who did not like the idea of condo owners being above to see baseball games for free from thier decks. (and then they (Solomon) had a wonderful fundraiser for him) I'll bet that he wishes he had that project going on right now. Manchester could really use the revenue, jobs and tax money. Nice move carpetbagger.
- joekelly, manchester

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May 13, 2008

I am partial to Joe Kelly Levasseur’s political activism and policy platforms for reforms despite me having different positions and political leanings. The reason why I like Joe’s letters to the editors, local TV shows, and campaigns for local elected office is because he mostly cuts through the insider chaos of partisan political gamesmanship and clearly explains to the people the principled way it is & should be in government. By doing this, Joe is doing a great service to the public.

For the following reason: Fiscal Budgeting in New Hampshire’s State & Local Governments, I wish all politicians would be as honest and straightforward as Joe Kelly Levasseur. Both the new and politically charged anti-tax group wanting imposed spending limits on local governments, such as Manchester, versus the fair tax group wanting to diversify the revenue tax base through new broad based taxes are both doing the people a great disservice. Unlike Joe, they are presenting their respective points of view by framing these very important financial issues facing taxpayers without speaking to economic efficiencies, equities and development opportunities through real reforms.

Conservative Activist Mike Biundo stated that under his proposal, Mayor Frank Guinta would be proposing a school budget nearly 14% lower than last year’s number of $144 million. While Guinta arbitrarily inverted inflation by proposing a 5% decrease in school spending, and the school board went well above the inflation rate by proposing a 6.25% increase, the aforementioned New Hampshire Advantage Coalition (NHAC) contradicts itself by saying spending should increase by inflation (CPI). That message makes absolutely no sense to me.

On the other hand, Liberal Activist Paul Henle’s—of the Granite State Fair Tax Coalition—focus on the breakdown of tax revenues, which is what he believes is important to state & local budgeting, makes no sense to me either. If we broaden the tax base with new and diverse progressive revenue funds then we will be able to fund all of the government programs regardless of inflationary fiscal constraints. That message defies all fiscal reality!

The answer for Manchester & the state alike is to grow its tax base through economic development, efficiencies and equitable reforms, not reckless gimmicks either based on cutting spending or increasing revenues. The more the economic activity increases, along with efficiencies, innovations and equitable reforms, the more ways Manchester will be able to fund its city government. That is the real answer! That is also what Joe Kelly Levasseur has been saying all along, but sadly for the taxpayers almost no one has listened.

Sincerely,
Jonathan Melle

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New Hampshire Sunday News (Union Leader), May 4, 2008, Vol. 62, No. 31, 166 Pages, 13 Sections, $1.75

“Anti-tax group: Cap is a good fit”, By John DiStaso, Senior Political Reporter
~In Part~; Front Page & Page 11-

Re: An already implemented & also proposed Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based cap to limit the local government’s ability to increase their property tax levy on an annual basis.

Subject: Politics via Referenda to affirm by check or undo NH’s “Pledge” that began with Governor Meldrim Thomson Jr.

CONSERVATIVE/REPUBLICAN ARGUMENT

* Issue framed from a SPENDING perspective: Property tax & spending controls will solve the state & local budget problems.

New Hampshire Advantage Coalition (NHAC) chairman Michael Biundo, a veteran conservative activist & a former state representative said that if Manchester had a spending cap in place this year, the proposed school budget now being debated at City Hall would have been no more than $124 million, rather than the $140 million proposed by Mayor Frank Guinta & the $153 million proposed by the school board.

Also supporting this “reform” is Charles Arlinghaus, president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a non-profit conservative research organization.

V.

LIBERAL/DEMOCRATIC ARGUMENT

* Issue framed from a REVENUE perspective: Diversifying the tax base by increasing the revenue sources with “fair” or progressive or broad based taxes will solve the state & local budget problems.

Paul Henle, executive director of the Granite State Fair Tax Coalition, noted that 60 cents of every dollar should not come from the property tax, as it does now.

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From this republican I know first hand that no one in public office gets a free ride from the UL. It doesn't matter if your republican or democrat, juicy news makes for bigger sales and more blogging. Who says the Union leader does not have a sense of humor? Front page story about late water bills and tax payments, why not...it has the whole City talking. Wonder why no one gave Guinta a heads up at City Hall though? I mean he is the Mayor. Oh, I know, we all figured out that he is using Manchester to get to Washington by pretending to be a republican, no one at City Hall likes the carpet bagger from Jersey, and they shouldn't. P.S. where is that fake best buddy Derek Myers (Biundo) kissing Guinta's butt on this blog all the time? Oh, that's right he was called out and has since dissapeared. Bunch of phonies in the Guinta camp, no wonder people can't stand politcians.
- joekelly, manchester

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Joe Kelly-Why do you constantly find the need to call me out? The Union Leader refuses to block your comments where you accuse me of being other people ect to try and make my comments less valid and I'm sick of it. I haven't commented in a while because I'm tired of dealing with people like you and the editor of this blog allowing your comments, while blocking mine. So grow up Joe. If your going to comment on an article, fine, but how juvenile do you have to be to constantly pick at people on the blogs.

If the Union Leader is going to sensor blogs, then they should do so equally or not at all. They make these blogs seem like a fair outpost for opinions, while they realistically are much more biased in their choosing of who's blogs get posted. So Joe, THATS why I haven't blogged lately.
- Derek Myers, Manchester, NH

Source: "Guinta pays past due taxes, bill"
By JOHN DISTASO, Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader
Wednesday, May. 21, 2008

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PETER SULLIVAN
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www.ndol.org/ndol_ci.cfm?contentid=251676&kaid=104&subid=210
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Readers' COMMENTS:

Peter the know-it-all new alderman on the Board is quick to criticize Gatsas, Lopez and the other nine alderman who voted for this budget, but does not offer any alternatives of his own. Sullivan, unfortunately, for ward three voters is nothing more than a windbag for a representative. This is the same guy who stated he could approve a 5% increase in the tax rate, while living in a cheap apartment and living of his five thousand dollar a year alderman salary. He does not ride the bus, but wants more money for the MTA. He does not live in the real world where real people have to work and pay real bills. He has been too quick to criticize aldermen who make proposals but never says anything positive or constructive. His personal, public attacks on both Lopez and Gatsas are unnecessary and irrelevant and makes him sound like a typical school board member. Hey Pete, how about coming up with ideas to solve problems, and by the way, instead of going after experienced alderman for political cheap shot points, how about fixing the pot-holes in ward three, getting the graffiti off the buildings, and finding solutions to everyday problems? Oh ya, that's right your too busy watching the Internet (at the meetings) on your taxpayer paid for computer while Gatsas and Lopez try to solve the mysterious Guinta budget.
- joekelly, manchester

Lets be realistic, for one this isn’t Lopez budget, this has Gatsas written all over it. The mayor kicked his antagonistic butt off the Finance committee this year, yet he prevails. Now lets be realistic, zero percent increase?.. nice thought, but how do you fund all of our services?.. everything cost more.. and budgets need to be modified to keep those services alive.
Mike Lopez is a nice guy, but like many they are all intimidated by that pompous ass Gatsas, and I hope this budget slams him back...
- Frank, Manchester

This is a badly flawed budget. It makes far too many leaps of faith when it comes to revenue projections, assumes that the salary adjustment account and contingency fund will be a cure-all for all potential problems, and underfunds the transit authority. The MTA will receive the same amount as proposed in the Guinta budget, but the Lopez-Gatsas plan anticipates draining the MTA's cash reserves. Such a move is a dangerous one-time move that will create an even bigger headache for the transit system and its customers next year.
- Alderman Peter M. Sullivan, Manchester

Source: "Aldermen abandon mayor's budget", By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, Thursday, May. 15, 2008

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MANCHESTER's Gravy Trains:

www.unionleader.com/uploads/media-items/2008/May/52608citysalaries.pdf

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www.unionleader.com/uploads/media-items/2008/May/52708schoolsalaries.pdf

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CPI: *3.9%* -&- /4.2%/3.5%/4.1%/...

5/31/2008

To: Joseph Kelly Levasseur, Community Activist

Hi, Joe!

You are doing such a good job; I am very impressed with your work in politics on behalf of Manchester, NH!

Please go to:

www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm

...in order to read about the rate of inflation according to the CPI.

The first point I was trying to make on your most recent Wednesday night call-in TV-show was that Mayor Frank Guinta was on Sunday morning's Channel 9, WMUR-TV, show "Close Up" where he argued for a proposed spending cap that was measured by the CPI + new population growth in the city (& state) government(s).

If Mayor Guinta went by his beliefs, then his budget would increase by around +4% over last year's city budget.

Thank you for all of the good work you are doing on behalf of the people!

Best regards!
Jonathan Melle
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cc: Joe Briggs, Community Activist
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My Blog pages:
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/05/manchester-nhs-gravy-trains-also-we.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2007/09/we-need-better-than-frank-guinta.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/01/joseph-kelly-levasseur.html
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Mike Porter wrote a very good piece on this Blog, and he should know what is going on over there because he is a former employee, and while I applaud Mike's passionate defense of the Welfare Department I disagree with Martineau that they need two security officers at 26,000.00. That is without question a complete waste of money; the money should be going to the Horizon. It is Martineau himself that brags to anyone that will listen how wonderful an administrator he has been, how much money he has given back to the City over the years. Well, now is the time to sharpen the pencil and make sure that PEOPLE are FED. Give me break about security officers at the welfare department. That is a bunch of baloney. Time for a change at the welfare department. How about this for a suggestion? Martineau, who is an elected commisssioner and has nothing to do with the real heavy lifting at the Welfare department (all the work is done by his deputy and staff) should give up his salary. That is the right thing to do, get rid of the useless position, save the money and feed the homeless. Another good idea that won't happen.
- joekelly, manchester

Source: "New Horizons asks aldermen to reverse cuts", By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, Tuesday, June 3, 2008.

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Kruse-in general makes- me want to throw up. By the way, where is that Derek Myers guys who was going nuts on these UL blogs about no more tax increases? Guinta signed on to the 3.6% tax increase, where is tax-fighter Derek Myers now?
- joekelly, manchester

Source: "School board balks at 'contract'", By JOHN WHITSON, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, June 5, 2008

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July 8, 2008

Dear Peter Sullivan:

Thank you for emailing me. I respect your many valuable years of public service; and like you, I, too, am a Veteran of the U.S. Army, and the sitting U.S. President ordered me a hearing at the central VA Building one city block from the White House 4 years ago (7/19/2004) after I protected innocent human lives serving our great nation in the line of duty in mid-January, 2001.

To read about my VA case, please visit my Blog pages:

http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&client=news&ie=UTF-8&scoring=d&q=%22VA%22+blogurl%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fjonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com%2F

I am NOT a normal person when it comes to politics. In my native Berkshire County, Massachusetts, I have seen the WORSE in politics: Then Berkshire County State Senator Andrea F. Nuciforo II tried to jail me while at the same time have my dad fired from his State Government job of over 3 decades by filing a baseless, vindictive Massachusetts State "Ethics" Complaints against him. Fortunately, "Luciforo" never succeeded in ruining my family's lives, but he has put us through the ringer.

To read more about "Luciforo", please visit my Blog pages:

http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&client=news&ie=UTF-8&scoring=d&q=nuciforo+blogurl:http://jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/&sa=N&start=10

I guess, like you, I am NOT the only one who has been the subject of abuse & torment, legal bullying, political witch-hunts, and the like. I believe we have a lot in common: You, my Ward 3 Alderman, and myself, a political Blogger. I am sorry for you that Joe Kelly Levasseur chose to be mean to you and that you don't like him for it. I understand and respect your point of view.

However, I do like Joe Kelly Levasseur because he is just about the only one who will stand up to the political ruling elites in Manchester, NH, and he does so without self-interest for the good of the people the government is supposed to be serving. Like you, Peter Sullivan, I am upset with him for your respective backing of the worse Mayor in the history of local governments in 2007; as it is very obvious that Tom Donovan would have been a much better Mayor than Frank Guinta! Despite our differences, I respect you and your feelings, and I ask the same from you to me in return.

God Bless America!
Jonathan A. Melle

--- On Mon, 7/7/08, Peter M. Sullivan wrote:

From: Peter M. Sullivan
Subject: Joe Kelly Levasseur
To: jonathan_a_melle@yahoo.com
Date: Monday, July 7, 2008, 10:34 PM

Mr. Melle:

I noticed on your blog that you consider Joe Kelly Levasseur "one of (your) favorite politicians".

Perhaps you need to know the facts about Mr. Levasseur. Joe has a long history of behavior that shows a distinct lack of tact, judgement, and maturity. If you wish to be associated with him and his behavior, that is your choice, but you should, at a minimum, know the facts.

When Joe was an alderman, then-mayor Bob Baines almost had the police remove then-alderman Levasseur from the chamber due to his disruptive behavior.

Levasseur has been removed from the Verizon Wireless Arena for disruptive behavior.

Mr. Levasseur was denounced by most mainstream Republican leaders after he had a friend dress in a pig costume on his cable show and called him "Kathy Sullivan, the fat pig".

More recently, Levasseur has been investigated by the Hillsborough County Attorney's Office for sending me a series of bizarre and rambling emails, including one where he hinted that he would disrupt an aldermanic meeting.

Here are a few of his other recent musings:

"You and your wife are an embarrassment to Ward Three."

My wife works for a local homeless shelter and is not involved in local politics, except for a little bit of volunteer work for Barack Obama's campaign.

"your an idiot."

Just a random comment from Joe.

"The new guy for school board seems smart, but even smarter when he is in the same room as you, saying things that make very good sense, then you open your mouth and look so dumb that I thought I was actually seeing Peter Leonard. Try not to be seen with that guy in public he makes you look really stupid. And, please, wear a tie when you are in that seat, you look like a slob. And, stay off the Internet on your TAXPAYER paid for computer."

Joe's comment bears a striking resemblance to the one made by "Maurice" in the Union Leader comments section.

"I saw you on channel 22 today in a tee-shirt, you really need to lose some weight, starting to look like Mark Roy, how old are you anyway? 55? Go to a gym. You look
like a slob."

Not sure why Joe is so concerned about another guy's appearance.

"I am going to have to agree with Buckley that you really are an idiot?"

Another unsolicited comment from Joe.

"peter "big flop" sullivan; you are clueless, maybe because you have never had a real job in your life."

I served as an enlisted soldier and an officer in the Army National Guard for ten years while Joe was grilling cheese-steaks. I worked my way through college with a number of jobs.

As I mentioned, it's your choice.

Peter M. Sullivan

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July 17, 2008

Dear Joe Briggs:

Thank you for your responses to my questions about "the CIA" on your local TV show last night:

www.2joes.org

As well as your excellent foreign policy local TV show "Policy Watch"!

http://www.mcam23.com/policywatch/

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http://www.policywatch.us/contacts.html

Please watch & listen to the following online video:

www.bushflash.com/swf/thanks.swf

Thank you,

Jonathan A. Melle
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Re: CIA: (NO!) "Thanks for the Memories"!
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http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22Saddam+Hussein%22+%22Thanks+for+the+memories%22
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http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22Policy+Watch%22+%22Joe+Briggs%22
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Jonathan A. Melle
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2007/09/jonathan-melle-on-politics-who-i-am.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/01/joseph-kelly-levasseur.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com
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July 31, 2008

Hi Joe & Joe,

I agree with your thoughts, Joe Briggs, on national politics. Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, et al, have not lived up to even one campaign promise. The Iraq War boondoggle, the tanking economy, special interest money, and the like, are all WORSE than they were 2 years ago.

Even if Iraq is doing better than 2 years ago, it could soon slide south in no time at all. Iraq may become one of the biggest genocides of all time. The Shiites will murder the Sunni's in Iraq, but then the Sunni's of other Muslim nations will murder the Shiites in Iraq and then Iraq. The Muslim World will start by killing each other and finish by attacking other parts of the World, especially Israel, the U.K., and the USA--at which point we will enter World War III! NUCLEAR WAR!

Iran wants nuclear weapons to save the Shiites from the Sunnis after the USA leaves Iraq and all of the above will go down.

I wish Joe Briggs would run for U.S. Senator! To hell with John Sununu & Jeanne Shaheen. Joe Briggs has it right on national politics and may just SAVE OUR WORLD!

Best regards,
Jonathan A. Melle

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The New Hampshire Union Leader, Opinion: Letters, Friday, August 8, 2008, Page A7

"Find target other than Carol Johnson"

To the Editors:

Leave Carol Johnson alone. It is a trivial problem being blown completely out of proportion by an incompetent media and aldermanic board starving for something to do. The lady is one of the most impressive people in government, and we're lucky to have her. Stop putting her through the wringer.

Go after the rapists and drug dealers in the city and the politicians who make endless promises about how much they are going to help you.

JEFF KASSEL
22 Appleton Street
Manchester, New Hampshire

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8/8/08

Dear Joe Kelly Levasseur, Joe Briggs, Letters: The respective Editors of the Manchester Express, & the NH Union Leader:

I am in full agreement with Jeff Kassel's letter concerning the city of Manchester's myopic focus on Carol Johnson. The reason for my agreement is due to the ineffective leadership and insider politics at City Hall. I agree with Mr. Kassel's letter about Carol Johnson's situation because I believe Mayor Frank Guinta is diverting the focus on his ineffective leadership in city government by making the troubled city clerk's office and its director out to be more than it really is.

The Mayor and Aldermen should be focusing on the city's +$14 million FY09 budget deficit, the nominal 3.7% increase in taxes, dramatic increases in fees, and the greatly diminishing emergency or "rainy day fund" account that had served to protect our city government's bond rating, the public school system's increasing substandard test scores and recurring problems in meeting state and federal educational standards, and the city's struggling downtown with increasing vacant businesses and the ongoing parking fiasco.

Mayor Frank Guinta's M.O. is to find scapegoats to divert our attention from the myriad of growing political, financial, economic development, public safety and educational problems that our city is facing during his tenure. That is not only ineffective leadership, but also it is poor leadership because our city's problems are going unresolved!

Sincerely,
Jonathan A. Melle

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Anyone who thinks Guinta did this because he thinks Bradley went too far doesn't have a clue about how Guinta works or how Guinta will play the game of politics to his own advantage. The amazing thing about this endorsement? Guinta worked for Bradley. Bradley gave Guinta a job and put him on his payroll for four years and this is how Guinta pays him back? Guinta better hope Stephen wins the primary because anyone can see the commmercial Carol Shea-Porter would run on Bradley. "Even Jeb Bradley's former employee (Mayor Frank Guinta) doesn't want Jeb Bradley in Washington! I can't imagine any company or politician wanting to hire Frank Guinta after this sell-out. Ouch!
- joekelly, manchester

Source: "Guinta backing Stephen in congressional primary", The NH Union Leader (Online), Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008

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September 5, 2008

Joe Briggs asked me to respond to his two articles:

http://www.2joes.org/georgia.html

http://www.2joes.org/articles/sununu-090508.html

I believe U.S. Foreign Policy is problematic. Our nation has a history of supporting ruthless dictators if Washington, D.C. deems it in our national interest. Yet, our national government turns around and states that we must militarily take over regions of the World for the sake of democracy. Moreover, our CIA was Iraq's shadow government during Saddam Hussein's 1980's war against Iran and his "Crimes Against Humanity".

On Israel, the country wants peace, but a reactionary or neo-conservative ruling class makes bold military decisions that most of the Jewish citizenry protests. To blame Israel for the Middle East conflicts is MYOPIC. To illustrate, that would be like France blaming America for illegally invading Iraq without legal precedent and based on lies or false pretenses. The decision to invade Iraq was by the Bush Administration, not the American people.

I don't have much more time to write today...

I think Joe Briggs is very intelligent when it comes to U.S. Foreign Policy, and he is very brave to speak out against the Bush Administration, the CIA, U.S. Senator John Sununu, et al, when the U.S. Government is make mistakes when it comes to our foreign policy decisions.

The major flaw in American Foreign Policy is we try to buy other countries off financially, and then we open markets where only the corporate elite makes big profits through its new growth. The USA should stand for something more than MONEY to the rest of the World! We should stand for HUMAN RIGHTS for ALL PEOPLES! Until that day comes, we will be screwing the "Average Joe" or robbing Peter to pay Paul!

Sincerely,
Jonathan A. Melle

Other items:

http://www.mcam23.com/cgi-bin/cutter.cgi?c_function=STREAM?c_feature=EDIT?dir_catagory=10MorningRadio?dir_folder=2JoesClips?dir_file=JonathanMelle-090308?

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Mike from manchester, you are wrong. Olson and Biundo are right. The law says SHALL be placed on the ballot within 60 days, meaning that if the aldermen had the opportunity to put on the Nov. 4 election (which they did) then they shall. If they did not have the opportunity the next phrase of the statute says: "Otherwise, the municipal officers shall order a special election to be held not less than 60 days from the date of the order for the purpose of voting on the proposed amendments ." Otherwise, means what it means. Since the meeting was well before the 60 day window, the alderman SHALL place it in on the Nov. 4 ballot. The aldermen were not allowed to put it to a special election because the meeting was 60 days prior to Nov. 4. Personally? I would love to see it in Nov of 2009, but it will be on in Nov. 2008. Either way, I'm not too sure it passes, especially if the Unions do their jobs, there will be more democrats voting on Nov. 4.
- joekelly, manchester

Source: "Tax cap suit looms; vote delayed until Nov. '09", By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, Tuesday, Sep. 9, 2008

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www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/topic/43.html
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Ms. Stanley stated: "She has previously said the parking plan, including a rate hike on some blocks, would add about $465,000 to the city's coffers each year." Sure, its not about revenue, its about helping businesses on Elm street. Okay Brandy, sure, this will be a big boost for saturday business, real big boost. Jeesh.
- joekelly, manchester

SOURCE: "City Hall: A deal for downtown parkers -- but at a cost", The NH Union Leader, Sunday, Sep. 28, 2008.

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After carefully reading the Courts opinion I must publicly concur that the judge got it right. There is no question that politics played a part in seven of the eight aldermen who voted not to place the spending cap issue on the Nov. 4th ballot, morally they may be personally and politically corrupt, but legally they did nothing wrong. Tom Clark, the City Solicitor and his office deserve kudo's for their defense of the lawsuit. They won fair and square. The question that remains now, is what effect this will have on the 2009 election. This will be a serius battle between republicans and democrats. Both parties have equally valid arguments for and against this proposal. Guinta v. O'niel just got a lot better and a heck of a lot more interesting. In my opinion, if the aldermen had put it on this Novembers ballot, it would not have passed, now that it going on next years ballot, it most likely will. The republicans now have the message they need to take at least eight seats at City Hall next year, the question now, is whether they can put aside their differences, work together and get the spending cap message out, to take back City Hall. Time will tell and it will be very interesting to watch.
- joekelly, manchester

Source: "No vote on city spending cap until 2009", By GARRY RAYNO, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, October 2, 2008

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Re: Disappointed by Joe Kelly Levasseur's support of Frank Guinta!

Please Publish!

1/8/2009

I am disappointed by Joe Kelly Levasseur's support of Frank Guinta for Mayor of Manchester. Once again, Joe affirmed Mayor Frank Guinta in his weekly political column in the Manchester Express weekly free newspaper.

In this week's edition, Joe predicted or stated that:

"Mayor Frank Guinta will run. He just raised $10,000 for the Guinta for Mayor Political Action Committee. If it’s him and O’Neil, Guinta wins. O’Neil is a popular lifelong resident of Manchester, but his voting record in these financial times, along with a Spending Cap initiative on the ballot, makes Guinta the favorite."

Moreover, two years ago, Joe ran against incumbent Frank Guinta for Mayor in the primary, finished in third place, and then public endorsed Frank Guinta against challenger Tom Donovan in the general election.

Sadly, I was most recently told that after Joe predicted Guinta's re-election to a third term as Manchester's Mayor, Mayor Frank Guinta and his cronies all ate lunch at "Joe Kelly's" restaurant yesterday, 1/7/2009. On a bright note, I was also told that Joe was too busy to visit them during their visit at his downtown restaurant.

I am disappointed in Joe's support of Mayor Frank Guinta because (a) he ran against Mayor Frank Guinta and his dismal public record prior to publicly endorsing him, (b) the city government is in terrible financial shape with local taxes & fees raised higher than the rate of inflation plus a $2 million FY2009 city budget deficit, all of the public schools are now labelled deficient or "DINI" or district in need of improvement, among a myriad of other troubling issues facing the public during these depressed economic times.

So, Joe, you stated that O'Neil's voting record and tax cap vote makes Mayor Frank Guinta the favorite. That was totally MYOPIC! What about Mayor Frank Guinta's voting record and his FLAWED tax cap proposal? I state with 100% certainty that if Guinta's tax cap is passed into law then the public safety (police, fire) budgets will be dramatically cut! That would lead to massive staff layoffs and increased crime. Moreover, Mayor Frank Guinta's tax cap proposal defies his own public record of raising taxes above the rate of inflation, borrowing millions in bond debt notes, and raiding emergency and one-time accounts!

What about the fact that Mayor Frank Guinta is going to run for higher political office in 2010? If he is elected Congressman or Governor in 2010, he will resign his position as Mayor halfway through his 2-year term, leaving all of his (broken) campaign promises unfulfilled! Mayor Guinta wants a $100 million transportation center in his next term, but if he wins higher elected office, he will abandon his commitment, which will lead to mismanagement and cost overruns!

I like you, Joe, and you are my friend. I admire your convictions and commitment to the City of Manchester. I respect all of the advocacy you have done on my behalf. I also respect that despite our differences, we remain friends. However, I cannot and will not ever agree with you for supporting Frank Guinta in politics. I will always speak out against your support of Frank Guinta, and I will always be your friend, too.

Sincerely,
Jonathan A. Melle
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"Politics this week", (1/5/09 - 1/11/09), Page 3.
By JOSEPH KELLY LEVASSEUR, [Manchester] Express Columnist
Some New Year predictions:
The Spending Cap issue will be the major issue in the city races and what Republicans need for a majority.
Look for School Committeeman At Large Debra Gagnon Langton to run again. People close to Langton say she may not run, but she intrinsically loves the job.
Tom Donovan is quietly looking at another run for mayor but says he is still undecided. In his first race, Donovan got in late, raised a good deal of money and ran a decent race against incumbent Frank Guinta, losing by 1,400 votes. If Alderman At Large Dan O’Neil gets in (I predict he will), Donovan stays out, but may run for O’Neil’s vacant seat. When O’Neil gets in, Alderman At Large Mike Lopez, who is chomping at the bit, will not. Lopez knows he can do well on the West Side, but citywide it would be too hard to beat O’Neil, the Democratic Party favorite. O’Neil has the allegiance of political insiders and too many municipal pals who will help him win the primary.
Mayor Frank Guinta will run. He just raised $10,000 for the Guinta for Mayor
Political Action Committee. If it’s him and O’Neil, Guinta wins. O’Neil is a popular
lifelong resident of Manchester, but his voting record in these financial times,
along with a Spending Cap initiative on the ballot, makes Guinta the favorite.
Jean Esslinger, who ran unsuccessfully against Joyce Craig for school board, is
well respected. She will run for and win Ward 1 incumbent Mark Roy’s seat. Roy
will run for O’Neil’s At-Large seat.
Ward 3 Alderman Peter Sullivan will face former Alderman Pat Long, who lost
to Sullivan by 15 votes. Long will win.
If Real Pinard retires his Ward 6 alderman seat, John Gatsas will run for
alderman and win.
Ward 10 Alderman George Smith will retire and Jane Beaulieu will run and win easily.
Kevin Verville will again run for Betsi DeVries’ Ward 8 alderman
seat. DeVries will give way to State Representative Tom Katsiantonis.
Katsiantonis is a former client, so I will not predict a winner.
Ward 12 Alderman Kelleigh Murphy has ticked off the Buckley
Democrats, which makes for an interesting race if Keith Hirschmann, a three-time
former alderman from that ward decides to run. They stayed friends after her upset
win, but Murphy does not support the spending cap. Hirschmann will use that as
his battle cry. It’s too close to call.
The remaining candidates should win reelection, including Ward 5 School Board
member Katherine Labanaris, Ward 7 Alderman Bill Shea, Ward 7 School Board
member Dave Gelinas, Ward 8 School Board member Doug Kruse, Ward 9 Alderman
Mike Garrity, Ward 9 School Board member Art Beaudry, Ward 2 Alderman
Ted Gatsas, Ward 10 School Board member John Avard, Ward 11 Alderman Russ
Ouellette, Ward 11 School Board member Steve Dolman, Ward 12 School Board
member Eric Fischer, Ward 6 School Board member Donna Soucy, Ward 4 School
Board member Chris Herbert, Ward 3 School Board member Mike DeBlasi, Ward
2 School Board member Bob O’Sullivan, Ward 1 School Board member Joyce Craig,
Ward 5 Alderman Ed Osbourne, Ward 4 Alderman Jim Roy, Alderman-at-Large
Mike Lopez and Welfare Commissioner Paul Martineau.
Mayoral Gadfly candidate Glenn Ouellette will get more votes than people predict.
Happy New Year!
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2007/09/we-need-better-than-frank-guinta.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/05/manchester-nhs-gravy-trains-also-we.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/09/frank-guinta-for-governor-or-congress.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/09/mayor-frank-guintas-fraudulent.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/09/frank-guintas-vindictive-day-in-court.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/09/frank-guinta-is-not-god-nor-is-frank.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/10/mayor-frank-guinta-my-list-of-his.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/10/frank-guinta-i-really-see-sarah-palin.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/10/frank-guinta-peter-sullivan-both-voted.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/10/mayor-frank-guinta-his-dirty-vindictive.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/11/mayor-frank-guinta-aldermen-raise-local.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/12/i-am-anti-frank-guinta-jonathan-melles.html
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http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=%22Frank+Guinta%22+%22Jonathan+Melle%22&gbv=2
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"Guinta will run for Congress, and will beat Porter and Buckley and his pink militia are already worried about it. Guinta shouldn't turn over anything to those democrat slugs in D.C. This is incredible, what a bunch of slugs."
- joekelly, manchester

SOURCE: "Guinta 'humbled' by Democrats' interest" (By JOHN DISTASO, Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader, April 10, 2009)

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"Welcome back John Distasio. I sincerely hope all is well. You're a terrific writer and person; and your political column was missed."
- joe kelly, manchester

SOURCE: "John DiStaso's Granite Status: National Democrats take a shot at Ayotte" (By JOHN DISTASO, Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader, Friday, July 17, 2009)

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"This is a joke right? Please tell me this is a joke. This has to be a joke. Your joking right? An elected official held a conference on a subject as serious as health care on the phone. Are you serious? ARE YOU SERIOUS SHEA_PORTER? What in the world are these democrats becoming? A bunch of mindless idiots led by Ray Buckley who doesn't want Shea-Porter rallied against by people who are sick of these democrats ruining this country and state? Where is the outrage over this? If ANY republican pulled this stunt there would be outrage on the part of Buckley and his stooges screaming about transparency and out of touch out of site republicans. This is the worst move by a democrat I have ever seen. Shea-Porter-Buckley you have no shame!"
- joekelly, manchester

Source: "Shea-Porter holds health care forum by phone" (By MARK HAYWARD, New Hampshire Union Leader, August 20, 2009)

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Brunelle wants to shine a light huh? How about this creepy guy as the spokesman for the democrats in Manchester and NH? Aggravated DUI by Brunelle and he gets a promotion over Dave Scannel for Executuve Director of NH democrats. I would like Brunelle to point that flashlight and see if he can find out what happened to those computers that were stolen one week apart from the democrat headquarters in concord and manchester during the Ray Buckley pedophile investigation (alleged pedophile investigation of course). Brunelle was in charge back then too, and my goodness no outrage by Brunelle that anyone would rob the democrat headquarters of those computers, he didn't even blame republicans or the tea party for that weird coincidence. Brunelle shining a light, that is so funny that I burst out laughing at that headline. Good job UL on the sarcasm. If I were you Brunelle I would start looking for another job, yours ends in November.
- joekellly, manchester

Source: Scott Brooks' City Hall: "Democrats already shining a light on Gatsas" (By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, April 11, 2010)

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How does she get to bring a lawsuit? Did she apply for the new position over the three stations when its comes under the control of the City instead of the school district? If she loved this job so much then why didn't she at last apply for it? She could have collected a pension (31 year career) and then got the job on the city side. She didn't want to become an Arts teacher? Then she has no case, but more importantly, where was the school districts attorney when the vote was being taken? That should have been part of this story, or at least the next one. These nitwits on the school board came to a legal conclusion on whose advice? Someone like Gelinas or Kathy Kelley told Board members Sullivan could sue so that means she would?
Mayor Gatsas, I am personally requesting that you do not allow this deal to go through. Grace Sullivan probably recieved over one and a half million dollars in pay and benefits over the past 31 years. She will collect a pension until she dies. She cost the taxpayers another 130,000.00 for renovations that were not warranted or approved by the aldermen. She also cost the school district over 40,000.00 in legal fees for 3 lawsuits brought against her while she was the Director of both MCTV and public access and all 3 stations were under her control for deprivation of first amendment rights. She also [layed a role costing taxpayers at least another million when she caused the public access station to be removed from the government access stations; forcing a duplication of services like management costs, lease and improvement costs, legal fees, etc. If the stations were left alone and she would have been let go five years ago, a lot of money could have been saved. The mayor should have called in the AG office and a criminal investigation should have been performed over the fraudulant renovation project. Over that issue alone Sullivan could have, at the very minimum, been fired. I still believe Mayor Gatsas should order an independent investigation over this matter before someone files a civil action against the school district and Grace Sullivan, which would really cost the city money. Grace Sullivan has recieved and wasted enough taxpayer money, she does not deserve any more!
- joekellylevasseur, manchester

After reading the letter, it just occurred to me. It's not 253,000.00 it's over 300,000.00 because Sullivan gets two years of free health benefits too. I wonder what else is included in the benefit package?
- joe kelly, manchester

Source: "$253,000 severance package called 'cheap way out'" (By BETH LAMONTAGNE HALL, New Hampshire Union Leader, June 10, 2010)

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Levasseur

D'Allesandro

"Levasseur believes 3rd time he will charm in Senate race"
By MARK HAYWARD, New Hampshire Union Leader, October 11, 2010

MANCHESTER – Although he has twice run for the state Senate seat that represents Goffstown and inner city areas of Manchester, former city Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur said there's a different man on the ballot this time around.

Levasseur is engaged to be married. He has fathered an 8-month-old son. And he said he no longer needs to be out in front on every issue and is willing to work behind the scenes to get the job done.

"I've matured quite a bit," said the Republican, who has tussled with Democrats and former Mayor Robert Baines for the first decade of the millennium. "The little bit of an edge I once had has smoothed over."

Levasseur, 49, is taking on Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, 72. D'Allesandro is a seven-term Democrat running in a year that is predicted to fare poorly for Democrats and incumbents.

"I don't believe people should throw people out without looking at what that person has done," D'Allesandro said. He said he has 30 years in elected office, serving in the House, on the Executive Council and on the Manchester School Board.

Senate District 20 comprises Goffstown and four inner-city wards: Ward 3 and 4 in the center city and Wards 10 and 11 on the West Side. Levasseur tried to upend D'Allesandro in 2002 and 2004; he lost his first try by 900 votes, the second by 1,700.

In listing his accomplishments, D'Allesandro emphasizes tax-cutting measures to reduce taxes and business, investment and trusts.

But D'Allesandro is best known for trying to expand gambling in the state. Earlier this year, his plan passed the Senate but fell short in the House.

"We'll keep working this and make it, hopefully, more acceptable," D'Allesandro said. This year he pitched it as a jobs and economic development program, and a recent flyer didn't even mention the word gambling. D'Allesandro said the word wasn't needed because voters know what he's been advocating for the last 10 years.

Levasseur said he would favor, at most, two Foxwoods-like resort casinos in New Hamsphire, as opposed to the slot machines that D'Allesandro proposed for race tracks. And, he said, all casino revenues would have to be distributed to local government.

"I'm not interested in feeding the state government with more revenue," Levasseur said. D'Allesandro said revenues should go to the host community, as well as local and state governments. "It should be shared by everyone in the state," he said.

D'Allesandro said he opposes gay marriage, and Levasseur said he would vote against it. D'Allesandro said he voted for medicinal marijuana;, Levasseur said he would consider it.

Referring to the Manchester mayor, Levasseur said he would use the "Ted Gatsas model" to attack state budget problems. He would consolidate departments to trim bureaucracy, make employees contribute more toward their health care and align public and private sector compensation.

D'Allesandro said licensing fees from expanded gambling could generate funds to address budget shortfalls. He also said new software will provide up-to-date information that will allow decision-makers to better manage the budget.

As for Levasseur's professed change in attitude?

"If he's done that, that's a credit to him," D'Allesandro said. "I'm very happy for him."
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READERS' COMMENTS:

- Ed Smith, Manchester,
Isn't there something inherently weird about coming back to an article you have already read just to see if anyone has responded to your post? Don't you have anything better to do with your time?

Of all the things you could possibly mention either pro or con for either cantidate. You waste our time with that one. Weird.
- Steve, Lee

Spike and Ron Remillard and all the others, I say go for it, fire all you got at me, I can handle it, just remember I can respond in kind if I choose to. Being called a Warren Rudman type is fine with me. I have a record of 30 years of active service to the Republican party and have held several positions so I have paid my dues, now I am retired and can do what I choose. So fire all shots at me you want but, be careful of the ricochet and response you might have to duck. As for JKL. What and how he lives his private life is nobody's business as long as he is a law abiding citizen. So you holier than though God freaks take your rosaries and holy pictures and stuff em. So what are you religious hypocrites going to do now imitate the stupid Democrats and boycott his restaurant. Joe will survive and choose when and where he wants to be married. Break-a-Leg Joe.
- Richard L. Fortin, Manchester

Cluck Cluck, me thinketh that the UL is suffering from a large dose of lack of courage. As much as they dislike Liberal Lou, they can't bring themselves to give an outright endorsment to his opponent Joe Kelly Levasseur, Maybe it's because they can't control him. The editors are so transparent. Break a leg Joe with or without a back door endorsment from the former king makers.
- Richard L. Fortin, Manchester

This is the year for new representation in Senate 20. Vote for Joe on November 2nd.
- Fred Wilson, Manchester

Obviously the democrats who read this online paper are worried about Levasseur. Calling him names, going after him for having a son, making things up to make him look bad. It's all a game to you people. Joe Levasseur is the one guy Manchester can count on time after time to make sure the people know what is going on in politics. Talk about transparency in government? This guy does it all and he does it with style and dignity. he has more heart and soul than anyone I have ever known. I have never met anyone who gives so much time to his community. Good luck Joe you have our votes.
- Robert Perrault, Manchester

I'm glad to see the Union Leader give some fair coverage to this important race. Joe Kelly Levasseur has given so much time and so much energy to Manchester by volunteering to go up against someone who has been in politics as long as that D'Allesandro character. I give JKL a lot of credit for standing up, getting involved, and doing something when nobody else had the guts to.
- Michael Oliver, Manchester

Joe is a lot of things. Let there be no doubt.
He has the nerve to run.
He is and advocate for the people.
He has not and will never be a professional politician. 30 years is a long time out of touch.
Vote for Joe.
I am just because Lou has done well, but he is over staying his welcome.
Joe will do better.
- Howard Shaftman, Manchester, NH

Once a kook, always a kook. The republican party could have done better.
- Evan Davis, Manchester

Joe Levasseur is unfit to hold office. He is an angry and unhinged malcontent wo thinks that attacking his opponent;s family members is fair. If Lou is too liberal for you, do the right thing and write in an honorable Republican like Sean Thomas or Ovide Lamontagne.
- Ken McCormick, Manchester

He's matured.....at 49. Way to go!!
- Jim Wilson, Manchester

Joke-kelly has been a constant source of embarrassment and shame for the Manchester GOP over the years. He's got a 'scorched earth' policy towards Lou and anyone else he opposes which in war is admirable, but in personal human relations and even politics is despicable, not to mention out of date. He will go down to defeat once again.
- James Tabor, Manchester

Isn't there something inherently weird about a candidate monitoring the comment section of an article about himself?

Doesn't he have anything better to do with his time? Creepy, but not surprising given who the topic is.
- Ed Smith, Manchester

"Is there no longer shame in having children out of wedlock?"

No, there isn't. Perhaps a few vestiges of shame remain amongst dinosaurs like yourself. The real shame is that anyone would ask permission from the state to be married in the first place.
- William, Manchester

How utterly sad it is that the best a politician can say about himself is that at age 49 he has finally grown up! This is the best he can do? The is the best that we can get? The problem with politics and our country is that the best people are not wasting their time running for office. I can only dream that some day the truly best and capable people in our society run for elected office and bring the country to where it is capable of being. Growing up at 49 isn’t enough for me to vote for a person…how utterly sad.
- Roger Gingras, Manchester

I am not for Lou. I am not for expanded gambling. I am not for most things he stands for.

However, Joe Kelley has overexposed himself as a nut job - a wingnut that is unscrewed. And he simply can't erase that.

The Republican party has had a hard time fielding viable and solid candidates, over the past five or six years. That's the truth and that's the pity.

They are stuck with dropping back to the Charlie Basses and Jeb Bradleys, and who the Democrats are putting out there should be no-brainers to reject.

Once again, it's a contest of "who do you least want to see in office."

I am grateful I don't live in Senate District 20 where, this time, I would likely leave the ballot, for this office, blank.
- Rob Preston, New Boston

The ring has been given the promises made the commitment is forever, and no I am not ashamed, we haven't had a wedding ceremony yet, my son is amazing and so is his mother, every day is a blessing, we are happy, we are in love and every single day we feel we are blessed, because we are. Thank you UL and Mark Hayward for the story and to all of you on here that have wished me well. If elected you get an elected official who cares about his community and all of the people who contribute ot it.
- joekellylevasseur, manchester

Joe Levasseur has the courage of his convictions. And I sure disagree with him at least as much as I agree. But I sure hope he doesn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. It's great to go through personal transformation and reflection. But he needs to keep the good stuff too. His fearless approach to commentary and standing up to powers that be isn't a bad thing if it's channeled right and done constructively.

There are liberals. There are conservatives. And there are people who sell out to special interests. We need both Liberals and Conservatives who are fearless in standing up to powerful speical interests. Convictionless special interest candidates are the enemy of both the Liberals and Conservatives.

Not changing the fearless part of him, Levasser is a Conservative who will tell the special interests to kiss......
- Bob Jean, Northwood, NH

It is interesting that someone with an 8-month-old son is "engaged." Why did the wedding not take place before the chid was born?

Is there no longer shame in having children out of wedlock?
- Bill Howard, Exeter

Spike, I agree with your assessment of Mr. Fortin and yet I have the uncomfortable feeling that I must agree with him on this issue. I, despite my misgivings about Joe Kelly's fitness to hold office will pull the lever for him in Nov. mostly because Liberal Lou has to be kicked to the curb as part of the purge.

I don't know if he'll win, but to not vote for anyone is clearly a vote for the establishment and that isn't happening.
- Ron Remillard, Manchester

So Richard Fortin finds a second Republican candidate he can refrain from condemning! And damns him with faint praise, assuring us he is a certain loser. I'm out of the district but credit Mr. Levasseur for weighing in from time to time on these pages. Mr. Fortin, I nominate you for the Warren Rudman award for lifetime sabotage of the GOP.
- Spike, Brentwood NH

Thanks R.L.
- joekellylevasseur, manchester

Joe Levasseur and I have had constant run ins over the years even though I actively supported him against Liberal Lou in his first run. In past blogs I have made no bones about some of his behavior and I still will twit him and take him to task when he pulls his Dan O'Neil type fits, however Joe is to be commended for taking on the thankless task of a ballot filler to give us Republicans a choice in this district. Liberal Lou has to be beat and it will not be easy to do so. Levasseur in all his races for this seat has used his own money to finance his campaign and that's to his credit. I can identify with be a ballot filler, I did it on two occasions in my early years running for the same seat filling a slot with no reality that I would win and that was when being a Republican running in Mancheste made you part of an endangered species. Joe is no novice at running for office and the chances of getting elected in certain Manchester district, and whe he does he puts his hear and mind into it. And although I am only one voter I will cast mine for JKL because leaving it blank woul be an endorsement of Liberal Lou who I want to see booted out. So I little ole me will support Joe "Two Names" proudly vote for him in November, and who knows I might even submit a letter to the editor on his behalf. As I h ave said before "Break a leg Joe"
- Richard L. Fortin, Manchester

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Garth Corriveau is a hater in the same vein as kathy sullivan, mik brunelle and ray buckley, for that clown to call on bettencourt to resign is on e of the biggest laughs I have had in a long long time. Hey Garth if you really want to be taken seriously stop using terms like teabagger against people who want small government and lower taxes, calling people teabaggers is just as bad as using the word pimp. and if you really want to grow up and be a real leader some day then you really need to call on your pal Kathy Kelley to step down after she hit three cars, then her house and left the scene of an accident without calling the police. That's how you gain credibility, by calling out all the bad guys no matter what party they beong to, not by being a partisan political hack, like you really are. Have a nice day.
- joseph kelly levasseur, manchester

Source: Beth LaMontagne Hall's City Hall: "Aldermen's health care scrutinized"
By BETH LAMONTAGNE HALL, New Hampshire Union Leader, Sunday, April 10, 2011

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"For alderman at-large: Infantine and Levasseur"
The NH Union Leader - EDITORIAL - October 13, 2011

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas estimates that the city budget will grow by $22 million in the next year if the city simply continues all operations as-is. That would amount to a property tax increase of roughly 14 percent just to pay for the automatic growth built into the city budget. That does not include a single new hire or expansion of services. Something has got to be done.

Amazingly, most aldermen don’t see this situation as urgent. Though Gatsas has asked aldermen to open the budget-making process this fall, they have refused. They prefer to wait until next year in part because they want to deny the Republican mayor (13 of the 14 aldermen are Democrats) a political victory, in part to protect city union contracts, and in part because that’s the way things have always been done in Manchester.

Because of such obstructionism and cronyism, Manchester is less efficient than it should be. It is time to elect more aldermen who will be powerful voices for the taxpayers, not for the status quo.

In the at-large aldermanic race, Will Infantine and Joe-Kelly Levasseur are running as a pro-taxpayer team. Electing them would go a long way toward improving the mindset at City Hall.

Both Infantine and Levasseur have long records of public service in the city, and their records show them to be tireless fighters for spending restraint and lower-cost, more efficient government. Infantine, a state representative, would work hard to improve public services and contain costs. So would Levasseur, whose past displays of political incivility seem to be behind him, and who has a deep love for this city.

Infantine and Levasseur would be a tremendous improvement over Dan O’Neil and Mike Lopez, the current at-large aldermen. Lopez is a good guy who means well, but he has no passion for reform, which is badly needed. O’Neil is a major impediment to reform not by accident, but on purpose.

If the people want to control spending and taxes by improving the management of the city, they should vote for Levasseur and Infantine for the city’s two alderman at-large spots.

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"Joe Kelly Levasseur, who pulled off a major upset in the Manchester alderman-at-large race on Tuesday by defeating long-time incumbent Mike Lopez, is thanking Mitt"
The New Hampshire Union Leader, Published Nov 9, 2011 at 3:00 am (Updated Nov 16, 2011)

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 9, UPDATE: ALDERMAN-ELECT FOR MITT. Joe Kelly Levasseur, who pulled off a major upset in the Manchester alderman-at-large race on Tuesday by defeating long-time incumbent Mike Lopez, is thanking Mitt

Romney for his support during the campaign.

Levasseur told us today he's endorsing Romney in the GOP presidential sweepstakes, as he did back in 2007-2008.

Levasseur said Romney “has been there for Republicans in New Hampshire. He was there for me” in 2010, when Levasseur narrowly lost a state Senate bid to Democratic Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, “and he was very supportive in this race.”

“I think he brings the best combination of government and private business experience,” Levasseur said. “If you haven't run a state, you shouldn't try to run a country.”

Levasseur said Romney and the Romney campaign supported “every single (Manchester) Republican financially. They also worked with us on the ground and his guys were in there to make phone calls for us.”

Levasseur said that if Romney becomes President, “he will remember New Hampshire and Manchester fondly and that will be a great thing for us.”

----------

"Levasseur: Don't let mayor negotiate police contract"
By BETH LaMONTAGNE HALL, New Hampshire Union Leader, January 29, 2012

When Alderman at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur won the November city election, people familiar with the attorney and restaurant owner knew he would make the Board of Aldermen meetings a little more interesting. Less than a month into his term, Levasseur has followed through.

Forget what he's says on his cable access TV show, or that he and the mayor raised their voices at each other during the Jan. 17 meeting. Levasseur really made things interesting last week when he asked his fellow board members to remove Mayor Ted Gatsas as their assigned negotiator with city unions.

“After his comments in the newspaper that he thinks we are all playing games with the recent police contract and the fact that the negotiations seem to be centered on how his budget will come out, and the fact that I do not believe he has the sole capability to think outside the box when it comes to negotiating with unions that have had years of practice doing this, I would like to hire someone who negotiates for a living,” Levasseur wrote in an email to the board.

It wasn't just the mayor's comments criticizing members who preferred to lay over the police contract instead of suspending the rules to vote on it immediately, it was the mayor's budget math. How can the city promise to hire police with the savings the concessions bring? Levasseur asked. In an interview Wednesday, he wondered whether that money could be spent elsewhere, for something such as reducing taxes, or whether the city should scrap the entire merit-pay structure and negotiate salaries from scratch.

“I believe we need a professional to perform this extremely important task. Someone who is not worried about being reelected or possibly running for another office. Someone who does not come with the political baggage that any politician comes with,” he wrote. “I have been left to believe that it has become too personal with the mayor, and that in the interest of both the city employees and the taxpayers, the mayor needs to be replaced with someone who is above all political reproach or at least someone who believes that an alderman, in each one of his/her own capacity has the right to respectfully disagree with the Mayor without it being called a ‘game.'”

On Thursday, Gatsas seemed unfazed by the letter.

“I think we're doing fine. I'm here to work for the board and the taxpayers,” he said, adding that two contracts and three tentative agreements have been reached. “We're a lot further along than we anticipated and a lot further along than we were last year.”

-

Readers' Comments:

Greg Barrett said:

Creative, new ideas and thinking outside the same old box is the reason taxpayers elected Lavasseur. Let's keep the new ball rolling and the old boat a'rock'n.

January 29, 2012 12:59 am

Liza Deen said:

Greg Barrett "Creative, new ideas and thinking outside the same old box is the reason taxpayers elected Lavasseur. Let's keep the new ball rolling and the old boat a'rock'n." Well said ! It is disheartening to read that the cops continue to keep their racket, the detail racket. As I drive about town, on many days, I see police standing around a construction site, speaking on their cell phone, or talking to the construction workers. They do not do the job ! It is very destructive to the city. Try to explain to your son, that these cops can steal money, and not do their job, and it is ok. It is not ok, it is theft. Gatsas or however is in charge should be ashamed of themselves for continuing this abuse of the power.

January 29, 2012 8:33 am

Peter Sorrentino said:

What I have not read in this newspaper is what the annual net savings are of the new police contract versus staying the course. It seems the Mayor is happy with the result and others think better could be done. Fine, but exactly what was negotiated, and what is the financial net effect? I have been unable to find this information on the city website.

January 29, 2012 9:53 am

Jean Davis said:

We never thought we'd say this, but GO JOE! We FINALLY have an alderman with the guts to put taxpayers before unions. Gatsas brags unions are lining up to sign, but he's giving them what they want. He's selling out ALL taxpayers across NH, as well as in the city, since all NH taxpayers pay cops' padded pensions.

Manchester cops dominate the Top 500 Pensions list. How many of those pensions are padded with flagger pay that Gatsas just increased?

Is it a good deal for taxpayers when cops get 2 MORE recession raises, higher traffic detail pay that pads their pensions and takes jobs from private security and flaggers, and they still pay lower premiums and co-pays than the rest of us. Teachers pay more now.

All NH taxpayers should say NO DEAL and GO JOE.

January 29, 2012 10:35 am

Irene Smart said:

Joe Kelly Levasseur is right. The Mayor is in bed with the Unions and doesn't have the best interest of the city in mind. The fact that the police union is so ready to give in means that we have negotiated hard enough. We gave them too much and made it to easy. I'm sure the union told Gatsas we can help you become Gov!

January 29, 2012 10:50 am

Howie Howe said:

The Mayor may be happy with his negotiations, but JKL is right, he is negotiating to fit his budget proposal, and not necessarily in the best interest of the taxpayers. This mandatory Flagger Details to Police agot to go, or if they want to claim its necessity, then we better see cops on every Highway Department, or other City Dept's work in our streets as well, and with them actually doing more than talking on their cell phones, talking to construction workers or others, or paying more attention to the work being done than to the traffic they are supposed to be safeguarding.

January 29, 2012 11:00 am

Mark Ellis said:

The unions have paid professional negotiators. I don't live in Manchester, but it seems to me that the city should have the same, or the taxpayers will get rolled.

January 29, 2012 11:04 am

Theodore Williams said:

The police union is laughing . . . all the way to the bank.

January 29, 2012 11:17 am

Niel Young said:

I find myself in agreement with the first 7 posters today.
I had 3 terms as a Laconia city councilor - 2 in the '70s and 1 in 92-93.
We had a city manager who would return our response to the hired negotiator - AFTER the sub-committee or full council formed that response.
The final vote to accept the contract with any department then allowed the council members to be on the record for their vote.
Though my vote (for the taxpayers) was not always met with enthusiasm, I know my vote was proper. bnyoung@metrocat.net

January 29, 2012 11:31 am

Liza Deen said:

just one more thought .. I read that mayor Gatsas wants to run for a state wide office, or federal office. Although I'm only one vote, and new to this area, I would not vote for him. He puts on a big show in public, telling everyone how he is fighting to keep taxes low, blah blah blah.. but then we see his results. As one poster wrote, the police in Manchester are laughing all the way to the bank.

January 29, 2012 12:15 pm

steven maloney said:

Irene Smart, you make an argument fit for a first grader... What did the city give the unions ? what did they get in return ? Do you have all the facts ? Why don't you prove to everyone that you know all the terms of the contract. Or you can prove what I suspect. That you're clueless! That you really should change you're last name !

January 29, 2012 12:26 pm

TONY VALENTIN said:

At first it sounds like a good idea. Until i researched How much a privet negotiator would cost the city. The cost of the negotiator would limit any possible savings. That's saying if any negotiator could save us anything. The Juice doesnt seem worth the Squeeze..

January 29, 2012 12:37 pm

mike porter said:

This is the problem with a Mayor who initially said he would not run for Governor and now is clearly making a bid. He is using issues in Manchester as a road map to the Governors office. By presenting a budget on the Mayors time line Gatsas hopes to use that informationf or his run for Governor as compared to what is right for Manchester. I would rather have the aldermen take their time in creating a budget rather than rush one through just so Gatsas can use it for his own political game. Keep fighting Joe. Gatsas does not like to be challenged but Joe Levasseur is not afraid to challenge.

January 29, 2012 1:58 pm

Joseph Weber said:

Unions = Communists.

PATTERSON: Labor unions and communism
www.washingtontimes.com

‎"In a February interview with The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, Mr. Stern lamented the decline of organized labor’s power and influence and waxed nostalgic about the movement’s early days: “We had to do sit-down strikes and various other things. We had socialist and communist tendencies. We grew up, to speak in Marxist terms, in a world with a lot more class struggle … but it’s not viewed through that light anymore.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/7/labor-unions-and-communism/

January 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Bill Powers said:

I also agree that they shouldn't let Gatsas negotiate with the unions. the contracts that they have right now(expires 2013) are the exact ones that gatsas negotiated as an alderman. So he created this mess and now he wants to be in charge of negotiating another one to get out of the first one that he doesn't like anymore.???

If he didn't know what he was doing the first time who really thinks he will do better this time?

January 29, 2012 3:28 pm

Gary Ulbin said:

Bill Powers-- you might want to check your facts before you start throwing stuff out there.

Go back to the minutes of the aldermanic meetings----I think you will find that Gatsas did not vote to approve any contracts that were going to cost the taxpayers of Manchester more money---I think you'll find just the opposite.

Revisionist history is a dangerous thing.

January 29, 2012 7:20 pm

Bill Powers said:

Gary Ulbin-you need to go back and check on the past contracts!

It was Gatsas and one other alderman who renegotiated the current contracts with school, fire, and police. He asked all of them to renegotiate(expire 2013)their contracts in order to save the city money in year 1(one). Which did happen but he gave them raises in the following years as well as extending the contracts. Now he realizes that it was a big mistake on his part and he is trying to weasel out of it.

Check the Facts!

January 29, 2012 9:47 pm

Bill Powers said:

Gary Ulbin-you need to go back and check on the past contracts!

It was Gatsas and one other alderman who renegotiated the current contracts with school, fire, and police. He asked all of them to renegotiate(expire 2013)their contracts in order to save the city money in year 1(one). Which did happen but he gave them raises in the following years as well as extending the contracts. Now he realizes that it was a big mistake on his part and he is trying to weasel out of it.

Check the Facts!

January 29, 2012 9:51 pm

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"Police line up, seek Manchester aldermen's resignation"
BY TED SIEFER, New Hampshire Union Leader, January 16, 2013

MANCHESTER — City police officers lined up at a Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Tuesday to call for Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur to resign, accusing him of disparaging the reputation of the force.

Among those who addressed aldermen during the public comment period was Officer Daniel Doherty, who was nearly shot to death in the line of duty last March.

"He made a remark that the police were an embarrassment," Doherty said outside the City Hall chamber, referring to Levasseur. "I took that personally. He's talking about the force that I almost gave the ultimate sacrifice for 10 months ago."

Doherty's appearance before the aldermen came one day after his assailant, Myles Webster, was sentenced to 60 years to life in prison.

The aldermen did not take action on the call for Levasseur to step down, nor did he respond to the comments during the meeting.

Mayor Ted Gatsas did address the matter near the end of the meeting.

"I'll apologize, because I think every one of you do a great job, if any of you have been offended in any way," he said. "I can tell you I respect the police department and every officer. I respect the chief.

We may not always agree, but if ever in a bind, he'll be there for every citizen of Manchester."

The dispute between Levasseur and the police first flared at an aldermen's meeting in December, when the alderman criticized Police Chief David Mara's handling of the naming of the new police station.

The building was named after Officer Michael Briggs, who was killed in the line of duty in 2006. Levasseur expressed the view that the choice did not show respect to the memory of Ralph Miller, an officer killed in 1976 and the namesake for the old Chestnut Street station.

Levasseur charged that a police officer in the audience at the December meeting behaved in an intimidating way toward him; he called on Mara to provide his name so he could lodge a complaint. In an email to Mara forwarded to the media, Levasseur wrote: "Who knows how far his hatred for me has pervaded throughout your department or will after he talks to more officers? We all know how hot headed a particular group of officers are as the reputation of your officers has been well established."

The person Levasseur had referred to was in fact a dispatcher for the police, not an officer.

Officer Steven Maloney, the president of the Manchester Patrolman's Association, then wrote a letter to aldermen calling on Levasseur to apologize for "smearing the reputation" of the police.

At Tuesday's meeting, Maloney said Levasseur should either be asked to resign, voluntarily step down or recuse himself from votes concerning the police.

During the public comment period, the aldermanic chamber was filled with police officers, and they applauded the comments of Doherty and others who spoke.

Maloney also said at Tuesday's meeting that Levasseur, on his Manchester cable access show, referred to the police as "buffoons and idiots."

After Tuesday's meeting, Levasseur said he was upset that the issue escalated to the point it had, and that he would issue an apology.

"I will apologize for this misunderstanding to the police of Manchester. I don't have any personal animosity toward them," he said.

But Levasseur reiterated the charge that Mara could have ended the controversy by identifying the person at the December meeting.

He added that he had no intention of stepping down.

"I'll resign when the chief moves back to Manchester," Levasseur said.

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"Alderman issues apology to police"
By TED SIEFER, New Hampshire Union Leader, January 17, 2013

LEVASSEUR

MANCHESTER - The city police chief says he supports some of the sentiments expressed by officers at a City Hall meeting Tuesday, but that he was not involved in organizing the demonstration against Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur.

"That's something that was union activity," Police Chief David Mara said Wednesday, referring to the Manchester Patrolman's Association. "It was organized by them. They were there on their own accord."

Officers packed Tuesday's Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. Several called for Levasseur to resign over statements he made that they said "smeared the reputation" of the force. Levasseur's comments related to intimidating behavior that the alderman alleged was exhibited toward him by an officer at a public meeting last month.

Meanwhile, Levasseur issued an apology to the police department, while he continued to fault Mara for his role in the controversy.

"I would like to personally apologize to the fine police officers who work for the city of Manchester and to those fine officers that take their image and job of protecting our citizens seriously," Levasseur said in a statement Wednesday. "Their job is not one that I would ever sign up for. I sincerely appreciate that there are those who care enough to serve and protect us and I will continue to pray for their safety."

Still, Levasseur said Mara could have headed off the controversy by responding to the initial email he wrote charging that an officer had behaved threateningly toward him. After the email was made public, police officials said the man in question was a dispatcher who was leaving the department, not an officer.

"I am hopeful that Chief Mara will do the right thing and join me in issuing the entire Manchester Police Department an apology for his obvious lack of leadership and his unfortunate role in this matter," Levasseur wrote.

Mara said that the department did initiate an internal investigation in response to Levasseur's allegations. When an officer determined that the person at the meeting was no longer an employee of the Manchester Police Department, it ceased to be a matter for internal affairs, according to the chief.

Mara said Levasseur could have pursued a criminal complaint, but he declined to do so.

While the demonstration at Tuesday's meeting was organized by the patrolmen's union, Mara said he understood why the officers felt the need to speak out.

"Things were said and written about the men and women of the Manchester Police Department that are not true," Mara said. "They are professional and courageous, and they go out every day and do a great job for the city."

Officer Steven Maloney, the president of the patrolmen's union, has charged that Levasseur referred to officers as "idiots" and "buffoons" on his cable access show. The dispute between Levasseur and the police was sparked when the alderman last month criticized Mara's handling of the naming of the new police station.

COMMENTS:

Richard L. Fortin said:
I want to commend Alderman Joe Levasseur for his apology for his public rant about the officers of the MPD and I fully agree with him that this controversy would not have happened had it not been for Chief David Mara's violation of a confidential e-mail from Alderman Levasseur, and I support his decision to remain as an elected official. The voters elected him to his position and it should be their decision to decide his fate not a small segment of a non elected body. I also fault the Patrolman's Association for it's intemperate, public rambling reply. The Union had no business in getting involved in this and they did their part in creating this controversy. Maybe those leaders of the Patrolman's association should resign for their childish behavior. Chief Mara in my opinion has outlived his usefullness and he is the one that should resign or be removed. His arrogance in dealing with the public is making the Department look bad and the wimpy Board of Mayor and Aldermen should stop being scared of their own shadow and remove him so that he can go hide in shame in Bedford where he feels he is safer. Say bye bye Chief and Mayor Gatsas should start a search to find his lost backbone.
January 17, 2013 2:12 am

Greg Barrett said:
The question everyone now will be asking is... was a kiss and make-up session really necessary?
January 17, 2013 5:06 am

JOHN LYSCARS said:
Mayor Gatsas apologized to a small group of police union patrolmen (I would like to see him apologize more often to his own Board of Alderman and Board of School Committee members when he offends them as well.......but that's a whole different can of worms....).Now Joe Kelly Levasseur has apologized as well, as he rightfully should have, after lumping the entire department in for the actions of a few (Joe seems to get excited and fly off the handle with his words once in a while........we all do at times, right?)Can someone help me with this? If the Mayor and an Alderman can be big enough, put their own pride aside and make a public apology as they recently did, why on earth is it so difficult for your Chief of police, who after I have now reviewed all the details of this matter is at fault for not immediately responding the initial request from your Alderman and correct him in stating that the man who intimidated an elected official in public was not a police officer? At a minimum, as soon as he was knowledgeable (assuming he was not at first, which is hard to believe) put a stop to it then by letting the Alderman know the man was not a police officer.My final question is this. A crime still exists that has yet to be addressed. A citizen, who we now know was a former police dispatcher, who obviously must have many friends or acquaintances in the Manchester police department after working so closely with them, intimidated an elected official in the Manchester City government and has yet to be arrested and charged with the crime. Is Manchester a city that has two different forms of law enforcement now? And to be clear, my comments are not a broad brush stroke against the police department, but more focused right at the top with Chief Mara who has yet to publicly apologize to Alderman Levasseur or the police Patrolman's Association. Further more, to my knowledge, he has yet to issue an arrest request to bring the former dispatcher to justice for intimidating a public official. Is this not a crime? Is the Chief now saying that anyone can walk into the public chambers of Manchester local government and begin to intimidate your elected officials? Or perhaps the Chief is saying that you may be allowed to do this IF you have some personal connection with him, or a few selective minority of the police department that might allow something like this to slide under the radar...........this is a very slippery slope for democracy, and is the story that the Union Leader must pursue until justice is served and our elected officials can feel safe to do the jobs they are elected to do, debate the tough issues of our times, and vote democratically for the positions that they and their constituents represent, without fear of retaliation of emotional or physical harm from the citizens. This is the bedrock of a democracy and Chief Mara, it is your job to enforce the law.......now please get out there and with your fine officers of the Manchester police department who we all support and appreciate, uphold the law please.
January 17, 2013 6:10 am

lloyd clement said:
Apologizing for using your first amendment right........
January 17, 2013 7:39 am

MICHAEL BODRUK said:
Apologize for what? Let the union keep crying then they can change their diapers and move on!
January 17, 2013 8:02 am

Larry stafford said:
Levasseur said he would apologize when Mara moved back to Manchester. Has he contradicted himself? Sounds like a typical politician.Since he can't back up what he says maybe he should resign. I'm glad he isn't the alderman in my ward. His apology sounds scripted. What a hypocrite!
January 17, 2013 8:09 am

AL WOODARD said:
If any of the officers who attended this meeting were in uniform, then it would appear that they were representing the Manchester Police Department first, and the union second. Does the Chief of Police support his officers showing up en mass to a government building with the sole intent of overthrowing a legally elected pubic official? In most countries, when a group of highly trained uniformed men show up to oust a legally elected public official, don't they call that a coup? If we have a chief of police who has no control because this was a union activity, and a public who has no recourse because this was a union activity, then what we have is a group of highly trained armed men who are accountable to no one. Finally, isn't it just a bit disingenuous for the head of the patrolman's union to take the alderman to task for besmirching the reputation of the MPD when an MPD officer who while serving as the head of the patrolman's union was recently arrested for aggravated drunk driving?
January 17, 2013 8:18 am

Joseph King said:
Al Woodward, Now that's an interesting perspective on the matter. But, I'm going to have to ask you to please move along....There's nothing to see here..
January 17, 2013 8:30 am

stuart urie said:
The police never apoligize..even when they "get it wrong", "don't get it right" or get caught misusing their power to jack someone for personal ends and personal friends...Levasseur should have continued to bear down and double-down...Now we'll get to see how the police bear down on him...everywhere he goes.....yup.
January 17, 2013 8:37 am

Samantha DePrima said:
It seems like the majority of the news in the Manchester political landscape focuses on the overall dysfunction and inability for both the elected officials and city departments to work cohesively, without grandstanding and in symphony to do what it takes to keep Manchester a great, forward thinking city. Think about the number of times we see articles like this as opposed to news about positive change and growth. Sadly, the latter is lacking.
January 17, 2013 8:56 am

joe kelly levasseur said:
So now Mara says I could have filed a criminal complaint but I chose not to? Wrong again chief. That was never an idea presented to me by you or anyone else on the force. Further, you publicly state that the investigation stops because the person no longer works at the police department? Really? Why did the person who worked for you resign? So the investigation would stop? The person who made threatening gestures and mouthed a threat to me was a former police officer that was working for you. Did you tell him to resign? You wonder why I have zero confidence in you? Tis is outrageous.
January 17, 2013 9:40 am

AL WOODARD said:
Alderman Levasseur, were any of the officers that showed up at the meeting calling for you to resign in uniform? I ask because if this was the case, based on what the Chief of Police said, that he had no control over this because it was a Union Activity, then it appears the Patrolman's Union can don their uniforms, and show up anywhere they want and have no accountability to anyone because it is is a "union activity". How can we allow that?
January 17, 2013 10:07 am

Richard L. Fortin said:
I've never had any use for Labor Unions especially since my father as a Union member spent most of his time on picket lines then earning a living. Sitting in the Union hall on call for another picket line does not feed a family. Like lawyers, unions are inherently evil and corrupt the leadership benefits and the average member only gets to file for unemployment. Chief Mara could have stopped the Unions from making fools of themselves, he just wanted their support to get an elected official who exposed his shenanigans in the naming of the police station.
January 17, 2013 10:38 am

barbara cappy said:
you are completely wrong Joe. The reason he left (not forced) has NOTHING to do with this story..FACT! If you really wanted to know you could find out...but you don't; you would just rather keep doing what you are doing. Know the facts and stop smearing. That person does NOT define the police dept...enough of this bashing..it gets old. I hope you (and anyone else here) are never in a need for an officer...people get what they deserve!!!!
January 17, 2013 11:45 am

Robt Feldman said:
Read the so-called apology twice, and a third time. That was not an apology to the entire Police Department... only to those officers he believes are doing a "good job". The good Alderman Levesseur has no self control or ability to filter. Never did, never will. Just a plain old angry guy who is disrepectfull to all, including his employees. Someday he WILL cross that line which will lead to his removal someday (provided the voters continue keep him in office).
January 17, 2013 1:01 pm

AL WOODARD said:
barbara cappy, which officers do define the MPD? Former Lt. Goodno? Officer Nardone? Officer Panica? Officer Connare? This unnamed individual who went after a sitting Alderman? The Patrolmans Union who is trying to enforce it's will on a legally elected public official to resign? The chief who is passing the buck saying he has no control over his men? Barbara, I think the cops do a great job in this city under extremely difficult conditions. I think the majority of them, the vast majority are honest hard working men and women who do what most of us would never have the guts to do and do it with honor and pride. But there is still a problem here, and saying it aint so wont make it go away.
January 17, 2013 1:17 pm

Larry stafford said:
Barbara people deserve a police force who respect the public they serve. We aren't getting that. I know I didn't when I was hit on my motorcycle by a woman driving on a suspended license.
January 17, 2013 1:44 pm

Richard L. Fortin said:
Al Woodward add to your list of the two officers who were on duty that I personally observed allowing their canine's to foul a public parking lot with a sign "No Dog Fouling" in view. When the dogs were finished their business they made no effort to clean up after them, they just put them in their cruisers and just left. This violation of a city ordinance happened and I observed it from beginning to end and the offending officers were very aware of my presence. I reported this incident to Chief Mara and he took no action. I guess it's OK for them to violate ordinances that they are charged to enforce. I would be willing to bet that the holier than thou police union would come to the defense of these law violators. Oops I forgot add the intemperate behavior of Deputy Chief Dale Robinson now a double dipping employee of the Parking Enforcement Department. Not ALL of the MPD's employees are above reproach and that includes El-Jeffe.
January 17, 2013 3:02 pm

joe kelly levasseur said:
Hey Barbara "Cappy" as if that's your real name, why don't you tell us who the person was and since you seem to know everything why don't you tell us the reason he left? I only ask if the reason he left was because of his threatening behavior, since you know the real story enlighten me since no one at the police department will. Not only did they not tell me the reason he left, they never told me ANYTHING, like the fact he actually was an employee at the Manchester Police Department. I believe I now know his name but I am not going to put it up here for everyone because I have not corroborated it with more than one person; so tell us is his initials P. M.? And was he a former police officer for the town of Milford? Just another cover-up at our fine police department?
January 17, 2013 4:37 pm

joe kelly levasseur said:
Robt Feldman, can I buy you a beer? You should practice law because your right on the money about my apology. It was meant exactly as written but only to the very hard working, respectful and good police officers of Manchester. Call me and come have a beer with me 603-622-7575.
January 17, 2013 4:39 pm

Greg Salts said:
If J-K-L was a D-E-M would the Thin Blue Skin be a little less offended?
January 17, 2013 5:50 pm

JP McLaughlin said:
Oy, so glad I left Manchvegas. Cappy? Really? "people get what they deserve". You're not real, and that is a threat. Mr. Woodward raises the most valid point, if these clowns were in uniform intimidating (which is the only thing showing up en masse does) and demanding the resignation of an elected official AND the Chief says he has zero control over it, my old hometown has some very serious problems. Regardless of Joe popping off yet again, that kind of organized intimidation is a police force very much out of control.
January 17, 2013 7:28 pm

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"Hillsborough County register of probate feels job is gutted, files petition with court"
By DAVE SOLOMON, New Hampshire Union Leader, May 20, 2013

Joe Kelly Levasseur

MANCHESTER — Alderman-at-large Joseph Kelly Levasseur was elected register of probate for Hillsborough County last November, but Manchester residents needn’t worry about that distracting him from his aldermanic duties.

Levasseur, an attorney in private practice, has never set foot in the register of probate office. It’s now part of the Hillsborough County Circuit Court, officially known as the 9th Circuit after a statewide reorganization of the judicial system took effect in 2011.

He may be register of probate, but he can’t even get his calls to the office returned. He has no real duties, other than to archive closed cases that are potentially of historic significance.

On May 15, Levasseur filed a “petition for writ of prohibition” with the state Supreme Court, claiming that the virtual elimination of the Register of Probate as an executive position by an act of the Legislature is unconstitutional. He asks the court to “immediately cease allowing an un-elected person to act and perform the powers and authority granted rightfully and only to the petitioner by the authority of the New Hampshire Constitution.”

Whether the judges will reverse aspects of a reorganization they supported in the first place remains to be seen, but Levasseur intends to pursue his case.

He said when he ran for election last fall, he knew the office had been consolidated along with District Court and Family Court into the new Circuit Court. After all, his opponent Democratic Graham Smith of Amherst told the Nashua Telegraph at the time, “I believe I am eminently qualified for a position that pays 100 bucks and requires no work.”

“I knew they had ripped out the salary,” Levasseur said, “but that didn’t stop me from wanting the job. I had no idea it had been neutralized to the point that you didn’t even have a desk or an office. I don’t believe the framers of the Constitution, when they created an elected position for the register of probate, ever believed that the only duty they would ever have would be to notarize documents.”

Actually, the original framers did not make the position elected. The state Constitution was amended in 1877 to add register of probate to the list of county offices that are elected, alongside county treasurer and register of deeds. The positions of sheriff and county solicitor – now county attorney – were also turned into elected positions.

Probate Court, widely known primarily for its role in adjudicating disputed wills, has also historically handled issues such as parental rights, custodial rights over aging parents and disposition of trusts. In the judicial system overhaul approved in 2011, all of those specialities were transferred to the Family Court division of the Circuit Court.

Matters once handled by Probate Court, District Court and Family Court are now handled by the probate, district and family divisions of the Circuit Court, under the administration of the Circuit Court clerk and deputies appointed by court administrators.

This was all designed to eliminate duplicate layers of management and save salaries on positions that paid salaries as high as $80,000. In all, 52 management-level clerk or register positions and 66 deputy positions were cut to 51 circuit court management positions, including clerks and deputy clerks.

The only elected position affected was register of probate, and that’s where Levasseur is hanging his case. He said if the Supreme Court refuses to grant him a hearing, he’ll file for an injunction in Merrimack County Superior Court.

“None of the duties stripped of the register of probate have disappeared or ended,” he writes in his brief. “Those duties are instead being performed by an unelected person not remotely or originally intended by the framers of our state Constitution.”

Robert Rivard, who ran the Hillsborough Country Register of Probate for 26 years and decided not to seek re-election last fall, said it’s all about power and money.

The savings from the consolidation are undeniable, he said, but the neutralization of the elected position was a power grab.

“The judges were offended that a normal human being, some citizen in the community elected by their peers, could oversee the probate court without the judges appointing them,” he said. “The judges appoint the clerks in all the other courts, and they were offended by not having that power over the probate.”

Calls to Donald Goodnow, director of the Administrative Offices of the Courts who is named as a defendant in Levasseur’s petition, were not returned by late afternoon on Monday. Court spokesperson Laura Kiernan said the case has been referred to the Attorney General’s office, and declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

dsolomon@unionleader.com

Comments:

Richard L. Fortin said:
WAAAAAH Joe Kelly Levasseur is just headline hunting egged on by his TV co-host to increase their over exagerated viewing numbers. It's a Municipal election year what else can one expect.
May 21, 2013 12:43 am

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"Manchester chief wants state probe of alderman's claim of intimidation"
By Ted Siefer, New Hampshire Union Leader, August 28, 2013


Joe Kelley Lavasseur holds a catering order in the kitchen of Theo's Restaurant on Elm Street in Manchester in January 2010. (Union Leader file photo)

MANCHESTER — The city's police chief has requested that the state attorney general investigate Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur's allegations that he was subject to intimidation by a member of the force.

The allegations concern an incident outside City Hall in January when Officer Steven Maloney, the president of the patrolmen's union, allegedly thrust a finger in Levasseur's chest and verbally abused him, as well as recent comments Maloney made about the alderman on a local blog.

In a letter sent to Attorney General Joseph Foster earlier this week, Police Chief David Mara wrote that the allegations "necessitate a criminal investigation," and that he couldn't take on such a review since Levasseur alleged that he had "covered up past incidents of intimidation."

Levasseur did not request the investigation, but last month he again complained to Mara about Maloney after he posted negative comments about him on the blog of radio host Rich Girard. Levasseur said he wasn't confident that the attorney general would find fault with the police.

"Steve Maloney should just sit back and enjoy a cocktail at the beach because ... we all know the Attorney General's Office doesn't have a good record representing ordinary Americans in complaints against the police," he said.

Levasseur had sent an email to Mara July 31, alleging that Maloney "continues to intimidate me as an elected official," pointing to the comment the officer made on the blog,Maloney was responding to a post Girard wrote about a case involving Levasseur's client, a woman who was allegedly abused by a Manchester police officer. The officer, William Soucy, is awaiting trial on a charge of misdemeanor assault against the woman.

Maloney wrote in part: "If Levasseur wants to chase ambulances, that's fine. If he wants to use his elected office to drive after the flashing lights, I have a serious problem with that. When is the city going to demand that he step down? When is the NH Bar going to stop this blatant misconduct?"

Levasseur has represented several citizens with grievances against the police and has had an acrimonious relationship with the department.

Maloney confirmed that he made the post on the blog and welcomes an investigation by the attorney general. "It's not the first time he's made wild accusations," Maloney said of Levasseur. "And now he may be called out on it, and when the facts come out I'm going to request that he be charged with making a false report."

Levasseur said he wasn't being paid to represent the alleged abuse victim or other clients that had disputes with the police. "They get paid $45 an hour to stand around a hole, so they can't imagine anyone working for free," he said, referring to the police.

The same day he sent Mara the email complaining about the blog post, Levasseur also requested information about the alleged visit 10 days earlier of a police officer to the home of the mother of his client, the alleged abuse victim. She had told Levasseur that the officer was there to inquire about a car parked on the lawn.

Levasseur said it was unusual for police to respond to such matters. Mara responded in an email that "we have no record of any police officer responding to that address."

Levasseur has alleged that police dragged their feet in arresting Soucy, a veteran officer whose uncle is a former city police chief. Levasseur has said that high-ranking officers intimidated the alleged victim by showing up at her door before she felt comfortable making the charges. Police have said they reached out to assist her and offer services, and that any delays in arresting Soucy were related to jurisdictional issues with Hooksett, where the incident took place.

The main incident involving alleged intimidation of Levasseur took place outside City Hall Jan. 15, after an aldermen's meeting in which Maloney and other members of the force called on Levasseur to step down for comments he made that they said disparaged the police.

Following the meeting, Levasseur alleged he was confronted by Maloney.

"He was within three inches of my face and screaming at me in a hostile and menacing manner. He also placed his hands on me and poked me in the chest while you watched him do so," Levasseur wrote in his July 31 email to Mara, which was attached to the letter to the attorney general.

Maloney said it was Levasseur who approached him and another officer after the meeting. He insisted he did not touch Levasseur, and that this account would be confirmed by other witnesses.

"Joe Kelly Levasseur isn't getting threatened by anyone," he said. "Joe Kelly Levasseur is the one who does the threatening."

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"Heated encounter between alderman, police union chief recounted"
By Ted Siefer, New Hampshire Union Leader, August 30, 2013

MANCHESTER — Several aldermen who witnessed a heated encounter in January between Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur and the head of the city police union say there was no physical contact between the two men.

Levasseur has alleged that he was threatened and jabbed in the chest by Officer Steven Maloney, president of the Manchester Police Patrolmen's Association, outside City Hall on Jan. 15, following an aldermen's meeting.

On Monday, Police Chief David Mara sent a letter to Attorney General Joseph Foster requesting that his office investigate Levasseur's claims that Maloney's behavior that evening, and in subsequent public comments, constitutes unlawful intimidation.

The encounter between Levasseur and Maloney that January night came after the union president and several of his colleagues, including an officer who was shot while on duty, spoke out against the alderman at the meeting.

Maloney called on Levasseur to resign over public comments he made that he said "smeared the reputation" of the force.

Following the January encounter, Levasseur told the New Hampshire Union Leader that Maloney got in his face, called him a coward — along with several epithets — and ordered him to kneel on the ground. He said Maloney had to be pulled away from him.

However, two aldermen who witnessed the encounter characterized it as a shouting match that did not involve physical contact.

"I saw the whole thing," Ward 3 Alderman Pat Long said. "They were both trying to demean each other."

Long said the two didn't have to be physically separated. "They weren't pulled apart. They walked away. Alderman Levasseur walked away," he said.

Ward 4 Alderman Jim Roy has also said that there was no physical contact between Levasseur and Maloney, but he would not comment further now that the matter was "under investigation."

Ward 11 Alderman Phil Greazzo said he saw the two arguing and told Mayor Ted Gatsas, as he was leaving in his car, that he should probably intervene. "Then I moved along," he said, adding that he didn't see any physical contact between the men.

Gatsas said he had no comment. "The chief referred (the matter), and it's under investigation," he said.

The investigation raises the possibility that several elected officials and city employees may be interviewed as part of a state probe. Others on hand for the incident include City Clerk Matthew Normand and the City Hall security guard.

There is a security camera at the entrance to City Hall, but the guard has indicated that the encounter took place outside its view; the camera doesn't record sound.

Mara referred the matter to the attorney general following an email he received last month from Levasseur, who was upset that Maloney had made negative comments about him on a local blog.

"The thin blue line baloney has gone too far," Levasseur wrote. "We are talking about the safety of an elected official. We are talking about statements that can be seen as threatening and quite possibly could inflame someone to do something stupid to either myself or my family."

Levasseur did not request an investigation by the attorney general, although he had been in contact with the office about another case involving Manchester police, and he indicated in his email to Mara that "he may be forced to take this matter to a higher level."

A message left Thursday with the Attorney General's Office was not returned.

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"Alderman rebuts critics over potential conflicts"
By Mark Hayward, New Hampshire Union Leader, September 15, 2013

Joe Kelly Levasseur

To his critics, Joe Kelly Levasseur blurs ethical lines. The alderman-lawyer represents criminal defendants and victims while pursuing a vendetta against police, according to police union President Steve Maloney. He cross-examines police officers, but votes on their department's budget. He openly criticizes police actions at City Hall and on a public-access television show he hosts.

But Levasseur said he's been careful to maintain ethical boundaries between his legal profession and his elected position as alderman. For example, he won't sue the city, and he said he only represents a handful of criminal clients arrested by Manchester police, and only after checking with the city's lawyer.

Of course, when it comes to representing someone, Levasseur goes beyond fine-tuned legal arguments about obscure points of law. Frequently, he uses the media as a tool to help his clients.

"A good attorney's always out there trying to get the stories out there for their clients, to make their clients look as good as they can," he said.

Some of the most vocal criticism against Levasseur has come from police, including Maloney. (Both are part of an investigation by the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office over whether Maloney intimidated Levasseur during a confrontation last January outside City Hall.)

Maloney said Levasseur has a bias against police and uses his political office, television show, the news media and his profession to promote that bias and generate clients.

Levasseur represents a Manchester woman who alleges her boyfriend, a Manchester police officer, assaulted her earlier this year. He represented a client arrested by police in a much-criticized shopping cart sting operation. (A judge ruled in favor of Levasseur's client.)

And before he was elected, he represented a man who successfully sued the Ordinance Violations Bureau head, Dale Robinson, a former deputy police chief, for shoving him at City Hall.

Manchester Police Chief David Mara declined comment for this article, noting the Attorney General's Office's investigation is underway.

Maloney said aldermen-lawyers shouldn't be allowed to represent people arrested by Manchester police.

"Our guys are in court being cross-examined by Levasseur. They're thinking, 'Who is this? Is this Alderman Levasseur cross-examining me? Is my career over now? Or is it attorney Levasseur?'" Maloney said. "It's almost like my boss going against me in court."

The union, working with its lawyer, plans to file challenges against what it believes are Levasseur's conflicts of interest, he said.

The New Hampshire Attorney Discipline Office, which investigates possible conflicts of interest involving lawyers, has no public complaints on file against Levasseur, according to its general counsel, Janet DeVito.

Ethics rules for lawyer-politicians say they can't represent clients before the elected body they sit on. But the rules don't prohibit elected municipal officials from representing defendants in criminal cases involving local police.

Under an arrangement worked out by City Solicitor Tom Clark, if Levasseur represents a person arrested by Manchester police, the case will be prosecuted by a Hillsborough County attorney, not Clark's office. Clark's office prosecutes most misdemeanors in Manchester.

Ethics rules do not prohibit a lawyer from using public access television, or even elected office, to drum up business, said Kimberly Kirkland, a professor who teaches a legal ethics course at University of New Hampshire School of Law.

She likened it to a corporate lawyer who joins a chamber of commerce and gives a workshop on employment or tax law.

"Lawyers do this all the time. His (Levasseur's) prospective clientele is people watching television," Kirkland said.

Kirkland said criminal defense lawyers have different strategies. Some pursue friendly relations with prosecutors, hoping for good plea bargains. Others are aggressive, hoping to discourage police from overcharging or pursuing questionable charges.

"No one can say which strategy is better," she said.

As an alderman, Levasseur must also follow the city's Code of Conduct, which governs elected officials.

The code prohibits an alderman from deciding any issue where he would have a direct personal or financial interest. Nor can an alderman have an undisclosed "financial or direct personal interest in any contract with the city."

To Maloney, the code prohibits Levasseur from voting on issues dealing with Manchester police.

"It's clear to everyone he has an issue with the Manchester Police Department. To him, it's personal," Maloney said.

Levasseur said he has a lot of respect for individual police officers, but he thinks Mara is in over his head and should resign. Levasseur said Maloney doesn't like him because he voted against the union contract for police last year.

Both Maloney and Levasseur have accused each other of trying to intimidate the other. Maloney said Levasseur intimidates police in court and on his television show; Levasseur said Maloney has intimidated his client by naming her - a girlfriend allegedly assaulted by her policeman-boyfriend - in a blog post.

Levasseur said his legal advocacy and the cases he takes will naturally upset people.

"I take cases that I believe need to be heard and need to be brought to people's attention that not everyone is treated equally under the law," he said.

But Maloney said something's wrong with the picture. Levasseur has called him a "dupe" and an "idiot," Maloney said. He has even seen Levasseur mock his appearance on his television show.

"This is an alderman; it's crazy," he said. But he agreed that the issue may not be resolved until early November. "Ultimately," he said, "it's going to be up to the voters."

Levasseur, who is also register of probate for Hillsborough County, is seeking reelection to his at-large alderman seat. However, because there aren't enough challengers seeking the office, the seat will not be among those on the ballot in Tuesday's primary election.

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September 15, 2003

Re: Manchester NH Police are abusive to people!

I support Joe Levasseur because the Manchester Police Department is abusive to people. Manchester Police Officer [John Cunningham] yelled at a witness: "I don't care if he (Jonathan Melle) is disabled!" I received a letter of apology from the Chief of Police David Mara for Manchester Police Officer John Cunningham's disrespectful behavior towards me. The police and prosecutor, Brett Harpster, charged me with a Felony to try to put me in NH State Prison, but I was only found guilty of 2 misdemeanors: reckless conduct and disobeying a police officer. My case should have been handled in District Court instead of Superior Court. The Manchester Police tried to bully me like they are trying to intimidate Joe Levasseur.

- Jonathan Melle

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"Ted Siefer's City Hall: It was a week of finger-pointing in Manchester politics"
By Ted Siefer, New Hampshire Union Leader, October 26, 2013

It was a slow week at City Hall, but with the election just a couple of weeks away, the same can't be said for the campaign trail - and things are getting a little nasty out there. Let's start this campaign edition of the column with the question: Is the city Republican Committee trying to jettison Alderman-at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur?

When the city GOP puts out its mailings and ads this week touting its slate of candidates, Levasseur won't be among them. The committee recently voted to adopt a policy that it would not support candidates who "bash" fellow Republicans, in the words of Tammy Simmons, the committee's interim chairman.

There is, of course, one Republican in particular that Simmons was referring to, Mayor Ted Gatsas, with whom Levasseur has had a frosty relationship, to put it mildly.

"That was a significant concern for us," Simmons said. "It's no secret that he has been publicly bashing fellow Republicans, and the mayor is a very big part of the Republican team in Manchester."

Levasseur said he was insulted by the move. "I've disagreed with (Gatsas) on a few occasions," he said. "I don't agree with myself 200 percent of the time. How am I going to agree with Teddy Gatsas 200 percent of the time? I'm not a lemming following people over a cliff. I have constituents' concerns in mind every time I vote on an issue. I don't vote party lines; I vote my conscience, which is conservative," he said.

Levasseur added that he was a former chairman of the city GOP and had helped raise "thousands of dollars" for candidates.

Gatsas said he had nothing negative to say about Levasseur, nor did he want to comment on the matter; it was the GOP committee that came up with the policy, he said.

But Levasseur sees Gatsas' fingerprints all over the decision. He notes that B.J. Perry, the mayor's campaign manager, is one of the four board members on the committee, and no Republican in the city has coffers so overflowing as Gatsas.

Levasseur is facing two Republican challengers: S. Daniel Mattingly and Will Infantine. (Democrat Dan O'Neil is a likely lock for the other at-large seat.)

Infantine had recently become chairman of the GOP committee until he temporarily stepped down; he said he didn't want there to be any perception of a conflict of interest during the campaign.

Infantine and Levasseur are buddies, but lately some distance has opened up between them. "The Will and Joe Show" on Manchester Public Television is now "The Joe Kelly Levasseur Show." Infantine insists he took a leave as co-host when he became the GOP chairman; the show has guests of all political persuasions, but he didn't want to be seen as "beating them up."

Infantine says he and Levasseur are still friends, and for his part, he thinks Levasseur will be a top vote-getter on Election Day, as he was in 2011. "Some people don't like his style, but when it comes down to it, he stands there and fights. People respect that," he said.

Levasseur says he hasn't raised a whole lot of money to do his own advertising, but then he's probably the most well-known politician in the city next to Gatsas. And he still has his old signs from 2011 that he's putting up, the ones that list Levasseur and Infantine together, as a joint ticket.

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"AG calls Alderman Levasseur 'untruthful' over charge that union chief poked him"
The New Hampshire Union Leader, February 12, 2014

MANCHESTER — The state's top investigator said Wednesday that Manchester Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur was "untruthful" when he made allegations that the president of the Manchester police patrolman's union poked him during a heated conversation outside City Hall more than a year ago.

New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster also dismissed Levasseur's allegations that Manchester police interfered with an investigation by Hooksett police into allegations of a domestic assault involving a Manchester police officer.

The investigation involved interviews with 15 witnesses but bogged down when Levasseur refused follow-up interviews for four months, according to a statement issued by Foster.

No evidence suggests that Officer Steve Maloney or the Manchester Police Department committed any criminal act alleged by Levasseur, the statement reads.

"On the contrary, all evidence suggested that Levasseur was untruthful in his claims that he was poked or touched by Officer Maloney on January 15, 2013," the statement reads. The Attorney General considered charges against Levasseur that he filed a false report, but decided there was not enough evidence to do so.

The investigation stated after the Jan. 15, 2013, confrontation, when Levasseur claimed Maloney poked him and placed his hands on him. Levasseur went on to make further allegations:

• That Chief David Mara covered up an investigation into a Manchester police officer's actions during Dec. 18, 2012.

• That Mara and Deputy Chief Nick Willard intimidated Levasseur at his restaurant.

• That Manchester police interfered with an assault investigation by the Hooksett Police Department pertaining to a Manchester officer.

The investigation is closed and Levasseur's complaints were determined unfounded.

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"Alderman says AG's report 'exonerated' him"
Staff Report, February 13, 2014

MANCHESTER — Alderman-at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur said he was "exonerated" by the report released by the state's attorney general this week concerning a confrontation with a city police officer and an ensuing controversy with Police Chief David Mara.

Levasseur noted that the Attorney General's Office did not charge him with filing a false report.

"I was exonerated by the Attorney General's Office," Levasseur said. "I am happy that the investigation is over, although I feel they did not investigate the proper issue."

Levasseur said the entire controversy over an allegation that he was "poked" by Officer Steven Mahoney is rooted in a claim by one of his law clients that she was assaulted by a city police officer.

Members of the city Board of Mayor and Aldermen are reluctant to comment on the report on Levasseur's allegations that Mahoney tried to intimidate him.

In the report, released Wednesday, Attorney General Joseph Foster termed Levasseur's claims "unfounded."

A press release accompanying the report referred to Levasseur's allegations as "untruthful," although the word untruthful does not appear in the actual report.

A copy of Foster's findings was sent by email to all members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen by City Clerk Matthew Normand. In the accompanying email, Normand said he was furnishing the report at the request of Mara.

Eight members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, including Mayor Ted Gatsas, were contacted by the New Hampshire Union Leader. None would comment on the substance of Foster's findings. The other seven members could not be reached or did not return telephone calls.

Gatsas would say only that "the report speaks for itself," a sentiment repeated by Ward 2 Alderman Ron Ludwig.

But Ludwig said the city's governing body has better things to think about.

"It is kind of a waste of time that is taking us away from everything we should be doing," Ludwig said.

Levasseur's allegations were first made to Mara, who forwarded the matter to the attorney general.

In his report, Foster said he considered Levasseur's statements as the equivalent of an allegation that Maloney committed the criminal act of simple assault.

Levasseur said Thursday that he never asked for any criminal charges to be brought.

Alderman Edward Osborne would not comment, referring to the report as "a civil matter."

The dean of the board, Alderman William Shea, said only that, "I would have to discuss that with my colleagues."

Alderman Joyce Craig said flatly she did not want to discuss the issue with a reporter.

Others were reluctant to either endorse or object to Foster's findings.

"The attorney general has the information. He made the determination, and it will have to go from there," Alderman Barbara Shaw said. "I don't have any other comment."

Alderman Bill Barry said he felt it would be "unfair" for him to comment on the attorney general's findings,

Ward 12 Alderman Keith Hirshmann said "it didn't seem to be much of a finding.""It sounds to me like a personal argument between two people who aren't getting along with each other," Hirshmann said. "It didn't rise to a criminal act; the policeman said something, the alderman said something."In contrast to his colleagues, former Alderman Phil Greazzo had a lot to say about the report and about Levasseur, with whom he feuded for much of 2013.

"He likes to raise allegations that are unfounded and hopes everything will explode elsewhere, and he will not be held accountable for anything," Greazzo said.

Greazzo, who said his statements about Levasseur are not "sour grapes" over past disagreements between the two, said the matter should be referred to the city Public Conduct Board, which is established by the city charter to investigate malfeasance by city officers.

"I believe his conduct falls under sections of the charter that allow the aldermen to remove him," Greazzo said.

As an attorney, Levasseur is subject to the Code of Professional Conduct for attorneys. The ethics code states that it is professional misconduct to "engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation."

The Attorney General's Office won't say whether it has any plans to present its findings to the Committee on Professional Conduct, which has the authority to investigate attorneys and recommend sanctions.

Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati refused to say whether Foster will make a formal complaint to the committee.

"We recognize our professional obligation," Agati said.

Janet Devito, general counsel to the committee, said a signed formal complaint, verified by a notary public or justice of the peace, is needed to proceed with a formal investigation of a complaint.

It is unclear what weight, if any, Foster's findings might have if the Professional Conduct Committee was to receive such a verified complaint concerning Levasseur's actions in the police controversy.

The report Foster issued is not the product of a formal proceeding in which Levasseur could confront witnesses against him.

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"Manchester chief on alderman's allegations: 'He was deemed to be lying'"
By Bill Smith, New Hampshire Union Leader, February 16, 2014

MANCHESTER - Police Chief David Mara says it came as no surprise that the Attorney General's Office found allegations by Alderman-at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur against his department to be "untruthful."

"We knew that what he was saying was false from the beginning, so I have no feeling of vindication," Mara said in a telephone interview Friday.

"We knew they were lies, we knew they were false accusations, I'm just happy the report came out and the citizens of Manchester can see what we knew all along."

Levasseur, a lawyer, says his allegations of intimidation of himself and a client were made in an email to Mara last summer because they involved Manchester personnel. One situation involved a confrontation he'd had with a union official after an aldermen meeting; the other involved the investigation of a Manchester patrolman accused of assaulting his client in Hooksett.

Mara turned over the matter to the Attorney General's Office.

On Friday, Levasseur said, "It's a masterful play by Mara to turn the issue on to me. They've been after me since I started the job four years ago."

In an email to Mara last summer, Levasseur alleged the following: that Steve Maloney, president of the city police union, tried to intimidate him as an elected city official; that another civilian employee of the department intimidated Levasseur; and that Maloney has tried to interfere with the investigation in Hooksett.

After an investigation, Foster said the allegations were "unfounded." An unattributed "executive summary" of the findings distributed by the Attorney General's Office referred to Levasseur as "untruthful," a word that does not appear in Foster's official report.

"He was deemed to be lying, being untruthful, in making stories up, that is what this is about," Mara said. "He claims he got threatened by a Manchester police employee during a Board of Aldermen meeting, it didn't happen; he claimed the union president assaulted him, it didn't happen; he claims that the Manchester Police Department has been intimidating him, it didn't happen. All the things he said happened did not happen."

Levasseur refused to back away from the allegations Friday.

"My perception of the event is they were trying to intimidate me," Levasseur said. "My perception at the time is my perception to this day."

Manchester police officers have been ordered to bring a second officer into any interaction with Levasseur.

"We just have to be careful. When they are dealing with him, there have to be at least two people there," Mara said. "He's accused several people in the department of wrongdoing; it's a standing order, this is a very unique situation."

Levasseur maintains he asked Mara to look into the allegations because he believed Manchester officers were intimidating his client in the aftermath of a complaint she made last July against Patrolman William Soucy. In that case, Soucy was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from the incident, which allegedly occurred in Hooksett. The case is still pending.

"I'm a big boy, they can come after me," Levasseur said. "But this was textbook intimidation of a client."

Mara suggested that Levasseur should not be in a position where he cross-examines Manchester police officers in courtrooms. "If you're an elected official, you make decisions affecting police and you vote on issues, and then you cross-examine a police officer," said Mara, who is also an attorney. "I think that is an inherent conflict."

Neither Mara nor Lavasseur plans on doing much differently as a result of Foster's findings.

Levasseur said he will pursue the Hooksett case, for which he said he is not being paid, to its conclusion.

"I'm the only guy in the world who would help her," he said. "This is the price I pay for helping."

Mara said the report won't change the way the department is run.

"It doesn't change anything. I am going to continue to be professional and to do my job; I have an obligation to the people of Manchester," Mara said. "My officers are going to continue to do their job protecting the citizens of Manchester."

Several aldermen declined to comment on the attorney general's findings, but former Alderman Phil Greazzo, who had feuded with Levasseur while in office, said he thought the matter should be referred to the city Public Conduct Board. The board was established to investigate malfeasance by city officers.

"I believe his conduct falls under sections of the charter that allow the aldermen to remove him,'' Greazzo said.

Mayor Ted Gatsas said only that the attorney general's "report speaks for itself.''

As an attorney, Levasseur is subject to the Code of Professional Conduct for attorneys. The ethics code states that it is professional misconduct to "engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation."

The Attorney General's Office won't say whether it has any plans to present its findings to the Committee on Professional Conduct, which has the authority to investigate attorneys and recommend sanctions.

Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati refused to say whether Foster will make a formal complaint to the committee.

"We recognize our professional obligation," Agati said.

Janet Devito, general counsel to the committee, said a signed formal complaint, verified by a notary public or justice of the peace, is needed to proceed with a formal investigation of a complaint.

It is unclear what weight, if any, Foster's findings might have if the Professional Conduct Committee was to receive such a verified complaint concerning Levasseur's actions in the police controversy.

The report Foster issued is not the product of a formal proceeding in which Levasseur could confront witnesses against him.

Comments:

Note: Comments are the opinion of the respective poster and not of the publisher.

steven yeaton said:

I'd like to know why Alderman-at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur continues to run for office on a local cable access show and the station allows him to do it? This guy is nothing but a drama queen with a huge ego who only cares about promoting himself and bending the truth to his advantage has been his scene for years.
February 16, 2014

JERRY VALLIERE said:

I think Mr. Mara has better things to do with his budget and with the size of his department, having someone like Lavasseur making false statements, takes away from the tough job the chief has to do.Get this clown out of office and off the TV and the chief and the people of Manchester will be better served!!!!!!thank you Jerry Valliere
February 16, 2014

Peter Mitchell said:

Anything to keep the peoples mind off the Stephen Coco case, the Strange Brew incident or the Connare case. Great job Dave and Enik. I'll be eating at Theo's today.
February 16, 2014

Rick Stefanik said:

I'm with Peter.Bury your heads in the sand and continue to believe that Mara and his goons are the best.Coco never did anything wrong,the Strange Brew grew never did anything and Connare was just mis-understood! JKL spoke up and HE is the problem?Seems like those who oppose his values are more afraid of the truth than Mara,Gatsas and all the rest of the liars in government are!Why does an officer HAVE to live it the city but not the chief?He KNOWS how unsafe it is!Go ahead and"shoot the messenger" but the message will still be the same! Manchester deserves something better than what we have!
February 16, 2014

Rick Stefanik said:

I'm with Peter.Bury your heads in the sand and continue to believe that Mara and his goons are the best.Coco never did anything wrong,the Strange Brew grew never did anything and Connare was just mis-understood! JKL spoke up and HE is the problem?Seems like those who oppose his values are more afraid of the truth than Mara,Gatsas and all the rest of the liars in government are!Why does an officer HAVE to live it the city but not the chief?He KNOWS how unsafe it is!Go ahead and"shoot the messenger" but the message will still be the same! Manchester deserves something better than what we have!
February 16, 2014

Jeff Roberts said:

the other involved the investigation of a Manchester patrolman accused of assaulting his client in Hooksett. Mara is Lying HIS officers did try to intimidate I know this first hand.The AG did not even ask the poor girl about what happened. Manchester PD harassed her and he lied to cover it. Not only at her home but at the home of family members. MPD has good officers but Mara and the bad ones make it so the good are afraid to speak up. Mara is covering for the scumbag woman beater even though he knows the truth he still sent officers to her residence to try and intimidate her. Mara is the biggest scum of all. Kuddos to JKL for taking the case after the MPD goons tried to intimidate the poor woman trying to protect their own rather than do their job.
February 16, 2014

cliff steele said:

Mara and his dept are anything but 'professional'. I may not always agree with this alderman but I have zero doubt in his allegations. Either the citizens of Manchester don't care that their PD is a dirty corrupt heaven or their naive in thinking its not. I'm still in shock Mara is still at the helm after AG investigation after investigation. If it talks like a duck,walks like a duck and taste like a duck....must be a duck. Sad day when I'll take JL word over our chief of Police.
February 16, 2014

RICHARD H GIRARD said:

"Jeff Roberts," says he knows things first hand. Well, some of us who've done independent investigations know some things, too. Like what really went down with the HPD over the investigation into William Soucy: The truth involves Joe Kelly Levasseur stalling the investigation, not the M or H PD. http://www.girardatlarge.com/2013/07/ald-joe-levasseur-and-the-investigation-of-mpd-officer-william-soucy/ "Jeff Roberts" says the AG didn't interview Nunn. He doesn't say why, but the AG's office did. Here's the proof: http://www.girardatlarge.com/2014/02/ag-levasseur-charges-against-police-unfounded/ In fact, "Jeff Roberts" says a log of things that are remarkably similar to things JKL says, such as this: http://www.girardatlarge.com/2014/02/levasseur-responds-ag-report-calling-untruthful/ Makes you kind of wonder.
February 16, 2014

Jeff Roberts said:

And let us not forget to mention "stinky" although I must admit Still don't know why they call you this. Thinks I am JKL and gets very upset someone knows more than him. From first hand knowledge and refuses to meet with him just do to fact I personally think he is a *** who does not know the facts this time. Cause if he did and he really defended Soucy and Manchester PD they way he is doing it than he would not just be what I personally view as a *** but he would be a scumbag as well. RG you and JKL do your little battle and you can report what you call facts all you want. in this instance you are wrong. And yes there is a reason I will not meet with you. FYI it is not because as you think but it is because I feel you are are wrong side of Soucy issue and it is do to you not having the true facts you think you have. Unfortunately for you no one involved aside from MPD will speak to you and fill you in because your biased. And only knowing one side will keep it that way. So before you try to attack me maybe you should take a better look at yourself. AS if I see you as *** than others who are in the know do as well. It takes a True *** to report name of a Female assault victim the lowest of low type of reporting to be honest.
February 16, 2014

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"Manchester police officer plans to ask for censure of Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur tonight"
NH Union Leader, Staff Report, February 18, 2014

MANCHESTER — The city police officer accused by Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur of “poking” and attempting to intimidate him plans to speak out about those allegations at tonight’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Police officer Steve Maloney said he will address the board during its regularly scheduled public comment period.

“I’m going to ask that the city censure him and have him step down or at a minimum disqualify him from votes affecting the police department,” said Maloney, president of the union that represents the city’s rank-and-file police officers.

Last week, Attorney General Joseph Foster announced that after a six-month inquiry, he could not substantiate Levasseur’s claim that Maloney tried to intimidate him and poked him.

Maloney said he was happy with Foster’s finding, but disappointed the attorney general is not pursuing a charge against Levasseur of filing a false police report.

“I think they should have charged him,” Maloney said. “He’s telling the press that he’s been vindicated. I don’t know how a person who makes an allegation can be vindicated; he’s the one who made the allegation.”

Maloney said he is considering legal action against Levasseur.

“He called me a punk, he called me a bunch of weasels ... he’s an alderman at large. This isn’t just some citizen,” Maloney said. “The city could have taken action earlier; half the witnesses were aldermen.”

Several aldermen, as well as Police Chief David Mara and Fire Chief James Burkush, were in the area when Maloney and Levasseur were involved in an argument outside City Hall on Jan. 15, 2013.

The AG’s report is also on the regular agenda for tonight’s aldermanic meeting.

Mara asked that Foster’s report be transmitted to aldermen. In a letter to City Clerk Matthew Normand accompanying a copy of the report, Mara wrote: “I am requesting that the attached report be placed on the agenda for discussion.”

City department heads are traditionally present at board meetings. Department heads who submit particular items for consideration by the board are generally invited to comment on matters they submit.

Members of the board have been reluctant to comment on Foster’s report.

Levasseur had also charged there has been a pattern of city police attempting to intimidate him, in particular regarding a case involving a law client who has accused a city police officer of domestic violence. That case is still pending in Hooksett District Court.

Levasseur, an attorney, has claimed Foster’s report exonerates him and has not backed down from his claims of intimidation by police.

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Manchester aldermen censure board member Joe Kelly Levasseur
NH Union Leader, February 18, 2014

MANCHESTER -- The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted 11-2 Tuesday night to censure Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur.

The vote came on the heels of a report from the state attorney general that said allegations made by Levasseur regarding Manchester police were unfounded.

Attorney General Joe Foster also said Levasseur had been untruthful in his complaints about city police.

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"Manchester aldermen censure board member Joe Kelly Levasseur"
By Bill Smith, New Hampshire Union Leader, February 19, 2014

MANCHESTER — An unbowed and unrepentant Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur was formally censured by his colleagues on the Board of Mayor and Alderman Tuesday night.

His colleagues voted 11-2 for a motion to censure that was made by Alderman Patrick Long. Aldermen Keith Hirschmann and Edward Osborne voted against it. Osborne tried to change his vote, but was told that it was too late.

After the meeting, Levasseur was dismissive of the vote.

"I feel it's all politics," he said.

The vote came after last week's report from Attorney General Joseph Foster that found no substantiation for allegations Levasseur made that he had been intimidated by the police department and that Steve Maloney, president of the patrol officers union, had "poked" Levasseur during a confrontation outside City Hall in January 2013.

Aldermen voted after hearing condemnation of Levasseur's conduct toward city police from the department's chief, assistant chief and the president of its largest union.

But the strongest criticism of Levasseur came from one of his colleagues, Alderman William Shea, the dean of the council, who occupies the seat next to Levasseur at board meetings, tore into his colleague.

"Have some guts; kick him off the board," Shea said to his fellow aldermen. "That's where he should go, off the board."

Shea was informed by City Solicitor Thomas Clark that the Board of Mayor and Aldermen does not have the power to remove a sitting alderman from office.

"He doesn't deserve to be an alderman at large, and anyone who thinks he should be an alderman at large is simply wasting their time," Shea said. "I can go back in history and see the same treatment that is being done to the chief of police and to the assistant chief of police was done to me by Joe Levasseur, so Joe Levasseur isn't going to stop."

Levasseur did not speak in his defense during the discussion. Only Hirschmann spoke against the censure, saying that without more than one person being involved, there would have been no altercation outside City Hall. He told his colleagues they were being asked to condemn the actions of only one of the participants.

Maloney spoke during a public participation period and directed some of his remarks to Levasseur.

"Alderman Levasseur, step down now," Maloney said. "Go back to being a private citizen."

A crowd of police officers attended the meeting to show their support for their union chief. After the public session, at which Maloney spoke, Levasseur walked past several of the police officers and said, "I'm not afraid of you," and went inside the aldermen's private anteroom.

Police Chief David Mara had submitted Foster's report to the board for discussion. Aldermen moved the issue, which had been listed 37th on the agenda, to the start of the meeting.

Mara spoke of the impact on the department of Levasseur's claims of intimidation. Assistant Police Chief Nick Willard spoke of his feelings as a police officer who had been subject to Levasseur's criticism.

"I have been accused of wrong-doing by a sitting alderman, Alderman Joseph Levasseur has accused me of intimidating him," Willard said. "I assert without hesitation here tonight, that claim of intimidation and thereby abuse of my power and my position is a blatant lie and is most likely borne of the animus he has toward the Manchester Police Department.

After the vote, Mara said in an interview that it was an important vote by the aldermen.

"City government, the Board of Aldermen, took a stand that they're not going to tolerate untrue allegations and lies to be perpetrated against the men and women of our police department," Mara said. "They're going to continue to do their jobs, continue to go out there every single night and do their jobs and keep the people of the city safe."

Mayor Ted Gatsas, whose political career also has included stints as an alderman, state senator and Republican leader in the state Senate, said that he had never seen someone with whom he served censured by colleagues.

"I think this incident is behind us. I hope it is, I hope we can move forward and solve the problems of the city," Gatsas said. "As far as I'm concerned, it's a done issue."

Levasseur said the vote wouldn't change the way he approaches his work as an alderman.

Despite being censured for making claims of physical intimidation by Maloney — claims that were rejected by the attorney general — Levasseur is not backing down from the accusation.

Outside City Hall after the meeting, Levasseur said to a Union Leader reporter, "I owe my life" to Matthew Normand, the city clerk, and a security guard who intervened in the altercation outside City Hall.

"If they hadn't, I would have a lot less teeth than I have now," he said.

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"Levasseur must go: A devastating AG’s report"
The New Hampshire Union Leader, Editorial, February 19, 2014

Shortly after the 2012 election, Manchester Police Chief David Mara and now-Deputy Chief Nick Willard met with Ward 3 Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur at Theo’s, the Elm Street restaurant Levasseur owns. The chief was concerned that Levasseur had received confidential personnel information about a city police officer from an officer who had been fired, and that Levasseur had disclosed this information on his public access TV show. The chief came to ask Levasseur, as a public official, to exercise more care with confidential personnel information.

An Attorney General’s report released last week contains this detail regarding Levasseur’s response during that meeting: “Levasseur pointed to his bellybutton, and stated that it was his ‘bullybutton’ and when someone pushes his ‘bullybutton’ he goes crazy and would not be intimidated.”

This is the kind of behavior everyone at City Hall has come to expect from Levasseur, who has made numerous allegations that city police have bullied and intimidated him. The most serious charge, made in an email to Chief Mara last year, was that Officer Steven Maloney “placed his hands on me and poked me in the chest” after the Jan. 15, 2013, Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. Mara forwarded this complaint to the AG’s office, which initiated an investigation late last summer.

That investigation led to last week’s 18-page report on Levasseur’s various claims. In addition to finding every single claim unsubstantiated, it shows that Levasseur dodged the AG’s office for four months, repeatedly stalling the interview process and trying to convince the office to drop the investigation. He even prevented the AG’s office from interviewing a witness (one of Levasseur’s legal clients) whom he claimed had been intimidated by city police officers.

Why would someone who repeatedly claimed to have been victimized and intimidated by the city police department try to block an investigation into such claims by the one authority in the state that could put a stop to such abuses?

As the AG’s report makes painfully clear, the alleged campaign of intimidation against him is a figment of Levasseur’s imagination. Making repeated unsubstantiated allegations is bad enough. But the report also shows that Levasseur has used his position as an alderman to belittle, demean and undermine city police officers and officials, including Chief David Mara. He has used his public office to try to get Manchester police officers investigated or disciplined.

These are serious breaches of the public trust. For the good of the city and his constituents, Aldermen Levasseur should resign immediately.

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"Manchester aldermen censure Joe Kelly Levasseur: Alderman’s complaint against police department unfounded, officials say"
By Jean Mackin, WMUR news, February 19, 2014

MANCHESTER, N.H. — In a heated meeting at Manchester City Hall, aldermen voted to publicly reprimand Alderman Joe Kelly Lavasseur for his conduct.

One alderman even shouted that Levasseur should be removed from the board.

Aldermen voiced their displeasure with Levasseur for a complaint he made against Manchester police last year that the attorney general deemed unfounded.

“Kick him off the board,” Alderman William Shea said. “Have the guts to kick him off the board. That’s what I say. Don’t just censure him. Kick him off the board!”

Removing Levasseur from the board was not an option, but a censure passed by an 11-2 vote.

Levasseur said he was intimidated and poked during a confrontation outside City Hall. The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office concluded the allegations were unfounded and no charges were filed.

“Apologize to all the brave officers standing behind me you have vilified,” said Officer Steve Maloney of the Manchester Patrolman’s Association. “Only then will you gain an ounce of respect.”

Police officers filled the gallery at the meeting. Levasseur did not speak, but shook his head while the police chief and assistant chief complained, saying the alderman continues to verbally attack officers online and on air during his public television show.

“He’s damaged the reputations of several of my police officers, myself and my department as a whole, and I’m asking you to take action,” Chief David Mara said.

“I cannot and will not sit idly by as he routinely attempts to discredit the police department with untruths,” Assistant Chief Nick Willard said.

Levasseur’s attorney spoke on his behalf.

“Joe was quite pleased by the fact he was exonerated with respect to criminal charges by the attorney general’s investigation,” said David Horan, Levasseur’s attorney. “He’s glad it’s over and he looks forward to continue to represent the citizens of the city of Manchester.”

Horan said there’s no further legal action pending at this time.

Read more (online video): www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/manchester-aldermen-censure-joe-kelly-lavasseur/24553222#ixzz2tpRwD9AG

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Manchester Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur: The state Attorney General calls you "untruthful", your city's Police Chief says you were "deemed to be lying", the state's largest paper says "these are serious breaches of the public trust...and he should resign immediately", and the chatter among top city Democrats is they have already recruited a top challenger for him.

Source: WMUR Political Scoop, By James Pindell, February 21, 2014.

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"Manchester Alderman Levasseur files lawsuit to block release of his email records"
By Ted Siefer, New Hampshire Union Leader, February 26, 2014

MANCHESTER — Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur has filed a lawsuit attempting to block the release of email records that he argues would violate the privacy of constituents.

Levasseur, who is also an attorney, filed the suit in Hillsborough County Superior Court on Tuesday. He also personally delivered copies to the city solicitor’s office and to the home of radio host Rich Girard, the defendants in the suit.

The suit alleges that “the city of Manchester, at no charge to taxpayers recently gave Richard Girard, a local political gadfly and radio host, per his 91-A request, over 11,000 pages of emails containing alderman Levasseur’s name or email address.”

The suit seeks an injunction preventing the dissemination of the information, and it calls on the court to order Girard to compensate the city for costs associated with responding to his request.

Girard, who has publicly feuded with Levasseur, maintained that his right-to-know requests pertained specifically to a prior request from the New Hampshire Union Leader for the aldermen’s email correspondence with city departments and, more recently, for communication regarding the Manchester Dog Park.

“He’s making it look like the right-to-know request was for constituent emails. It wasn’t,” Girard said, adding, “It’s a specious argument. The whole thing is a joke.”

Last week, Levasseur was formally censured by his fellow aldermen following an investigation by the state attorney general that concluded he made unfounded allegations of intimidation and misconduct against the Manchester Police Department.

Girard also stated that he didn’t appreciate Levasseur personally delivering the suit to his home Tuesday morning.

“My wife said Joe Levasseur was on the front porch, which she wasn’t terribly comfortable about,” he said. “I find it interesting that the fellow complaining about intimidation shows up at my home unannounced.”

Levasseur insisted he dropped off the suit simply as courtesy to Girard, and he maintained its goal was to “protect constituents.”

“If the court ends up siding with the city, constituents will at least realize that they have to be careful what they say,” Levasseur said. “How we act as a body and how the city acts are definitely something to be open to the public, but I don’t think somebody should just be able to ask for 30,000 emails.”

Levasseur said he had reviewed the documents the city solicitor’s office intended to release, and they included numerous communications from constituents.

Girard had received two electronic files of information late last week from the city. According to Levasseur’s suit, additional documents were to be released Tuesday.

Public information

In the suit, Levasseur noted that Chapter 91-A, commonly known as the right-to-know law, defined governmental records as “information created, accepted, or obtained by, or on behalf of, any public body, or a quorum or majority thereof” — not by a single elected official.

Levasseur points to a 2007 article by Cordell Johnston, the government affairs counsel for the New Hampshire Municipal Association.

“A communication between a member and a non-member of the public body does not involve any kind of deliberation between members of the public body, so it cannot be said that disclosure is necessary to keep the public apprised about discussions that are occurring behind the scenes,” Johnston wrote in the article.

The logistics of maintaining records of communications between constituents and elected officials, Johnston wrote, would be a “nightmare.”

Johnston said in an interview Tuesday that the concerns he raised were reflected in the language of the 2008 law, including the definition of a government record.

Deputy City Solicitor Tom Arnold said he hadn’t had a chance to review Levasseur’s suit, but he said his office was willing “wait for some period of time to see how the court acts.”

In an email last week to Levasseur, Arnold maintained that email that goes through city servers would be presumed to be public.

“While emails must be judged on an individual basis, as a general rule an email that is sent to or from a city email address (i.e. goes through a city server) concerning an official function of the city is a governmental or public record.”

Any email sent to an alderman or department through the city website passes through a city server.

Girard said he hasn’t had a chance to review the records he has received so far, but he said he had no intention of keeping any relevant information under wraps.

“Until and unless there’s a court order telling me I can’t do it, I’m going to proceed as a free citizen and a journalist,” he said.

Comments:

joe kelly levasseur said:
The city solicitors office held back 16 emails between myself and alderman Oniel from Girards right to know request? Why are emails between two alderman not subject to the request but emails between an alderman and a constituent are? Where in the 91-a statute does it say emails between elected officials are off limits? Now you might understand one of the reasons I went to court. Obviously this issue needs clarification. If a constituent sends me a direct email and does not go through the city server, it is not subject to 91-a, but just because it happens to go through the city server it is? I don't think so. Joseph Kelly Levasseur 6227575.
February 26, 2014

CHRIS HERBERT said:
I agree with joe here. This looks more like a fishing expedition than anything else. The law pertains to emails from a majority of some political body, according to the article. That would seem, to me, to cover emails seen by a majority of the political body. If there's an email between two Aldermen, and only two Aldermen, that's not “information created, accepted, or obtained by, or on behalf of, any public body, or a quorum or majority thereof” — not by a single elected official. One or even two Aldermen are not identical to 'any public body,' which would be at minimum a majority of the body. Anyway, it looks like a hot mess. The law I mean. If there's probable cause for criminal action, that's one thing, but communication between an Alderman and a constituent, or even between a few Aldermen but not a majority of Aldermen, seems to deserve more privacy protection than what's being done here.
February 26, 2014

WAYNE STANLEY said:
Pass the popcorn.
February 26, 2014

Olivia Johnston said:
I don't know, I am beginning to think Joe Kelly Levasseur is becoming a thorn in the side of everyone. First, he was caught making up stories about the Manchester Police Department and this was founded by the Attorney Generals Office. He is constantly in the paper for his demeaning behavior and backlash at the Manchester Police Department, the very department that he oversees as an Alderman. If Joe Kelly wants to continue to lash out at the department you can do so, but resign your position as an Alderman. My understanding is the other Alderman are questioning his mental stability, and quite frankly with the actions he has been doing lately I question it as well. There are certain expectations and rules that you need to abide by when you're an elected official and it is clear that he is not doing so. I am sure that the Alderman have rules that they follow about publicly speaking, hence why you don't hear many of them speaking. Joe Kelly also passed the bar exam, which means he needs to be at a higher level than others, which clearly he is not. He is constantly attacking the police department because they are held to a higher standard, well so is he. I think Joe Kelly is an embarrassment and should step down.
February 26, 2014

CHARLES A PETERSON said:
Joe, you need to go. Enough of all this!
February 26, 2014

Jonathan Christopoulous said:
This guy is a waste of breath, and is squandering state monies (we don't have) because they have to pay lip service to this jack-***. The guy should be censured and removed. Its time to end stupid politics and bring about the permenent retirement of stupid 'politicians'
February 26, 2014

stuart urie said:
If the release of these emails are not blocked, I want all of Kelly Ayotte's unredacted emails NOW.!!!!!! DO-OVER...!!!!
February 26, 2014

James McLaughlin said:
Oh boy Joe, this is a real reach. Why would emails from constituents be protected? If it goes through the public servers the assumption is it's public business only, therefore it's public record. So if there's nothing to hide and if it's your email address as an Alderman, then what's the big deal? Pointing out the emails held back f/Alderman ONeil doesn't really help your argument either because you are correct, none of them should be redacted. All of the emails that go through the public server are public record or none of them are.
February 26, 2014

joe kelly levasseur said:
We will see James.
February 26, 2014

RON PROVENCHER said:
Best alderman on the board.
February 27, 2014

LLOYD CLEMENT said:
JKL is an alderman watching our tax dollars and doing everything to keep our money in our wallets.
February 27, 2014

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Ted Siefer's City Hall: "Levasseur comes out swinging with lawsuit against city"
By TED SIEFER, New Hampshire Union Leader, March 1, 2014

ONE MIGHT have thought that after being formally censured by his colleagues a couple of weeks ago, Alderman-at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur would assume a lower profile, at least for a little while.

Nope.

On Tuesday, Levasseur announced that he was filing a lawsuit against the city of Manchester and radio host Rich Girard, who has become his most public nemesis of late. The suit, filed in Hillsborough County Superior Court, seeks to block the release of materials sought by Girard through right-to-know requests. Those materials include emails between the alderman and constituents, records Levasseur argues should stay private. He also argues Girard should compensate the city for the time it took to furnish the materials.

One can question Levasseur's motivation in bringing the suit, but he may end up raising a valid issue - one that will be getting more attention from the aldermen in the coming weeks.

Freshman Ward 10 Alderman Bill Barry has been meeting with department heads and will be sitting down with the city clerk and solicitor this week to discuss ideas for a uniform policy for how the city responds to right-to-know requests. Barry expects to have something to present to the Administration Committee later this month.

"I've spoken to a few department heads about how they handle right-to-know requests, and everyone seems to be doing it differently," Barry said. "I wanted to make sure everyone's protected and that everyone's on the same page when it comes to the requests. This is in no way to block information, because I truly believe in right-to-know."

Barry also questioned whether a constituent's correspondence with his or her alderman should be considered governmental records, which has been the position of the City Solicitor's Office.

"Doing police work, you sometimes develop confidential informants," Barry said. "As aldermen, some of the information we get, there's no doubt in my mind, they don't want their name (released)."

There's also the issue of cost. Barry noted, as does Levasseur's suit, that the city's Information Systems Department devoted 40 hours to complying with requests related to Levasseur's emails.

Of course, Barry isn't a completely disinterested party in all of this. One of Girard's right-to-know requests concerns communications Levasseur had with critics of the Manchester Dog Park Association, which was founded and is run by Phil Greazzo, whom Barry defeated in November. Greazzo has accused Levasseur of siding with the dog park critics, along with a host of other misdeeds. More on this later.

- - - - - - -

In his suit, Levasseur accuses Girard of sending the city on a fishing expedition that netted "over 11,000 pages of emails containing Alderman Levasseur's name or email address." Girard insists that he made two very specific requests. And, as it turns out, the first of them originated with a request from, of all people, Levasseur himself.

Girard's first right-to-know request was a "me, too"; he wanted records produced for another New Hampshire Union Leader reporter. And the reporter's request was meant to "duplicate" a request Levasseur made on July 31, 2013, for emails between himself and staff with the "Manchester Building Department." Levasseur was presumably aware that the newspaper was digging into something that concerned him - and he wanted to know what the city had.

So will Levasseur also demand compensation from himself for the cost of producing these original records?

It's Girard's subsequent request, however, that likely prompted Levasseur to seek an injunction. (Girard has already received the file containing the Union Leader-requested emails.)

Girard, convinced that Levasseur had conspired with the critics of the dog park association, requested in November "any and all email communications" between Levasseur and the dog park dissidents, as well as Bill Barry, over a roughly six-month period. The City Solicitor's Office hasn't released this final batch of emails, but was prepared to do so - until Levasseur's suit.

If nothing else, the lawsuit could end up being a test case for whether constituent emails constitute government records under Chapter 91-A, a.k.a. the Right to Know Law.

- - - - - - -

Greazzo, for his part, is not relenting in his dogged pursuit of Levasseur, even after his censure last month.

He's made his own "written and attested complaint by a citizen of the city" to have the Conduct Board weigh several alleged violations by Levasseur, including "unethical and dishonest conduct." Perhaps the most intriguing part of the letter he sent to the city clerk concerns a section of state law, Chapter 49-C:13, that states an "elected body may, on specific charges and after due notice and hearing, at any time remove the mayor or one of its own members for cause."

The section would appear to contradict what City Solicitor Tom Clark told the aldermen at their meeting last month: that, much as some aldermen might want to do so, they can't vote out Levasseur.

But Clark's opinion stands. He told me the section of state law cited by Greazzo is merely "a template" for a municipal charter; Manchester has a different charter, one that lacks any mechanism for the removal of an alderman by his or her colleagues, Clark said.

The aldermen's meeting is on Tuesday, and it's likely Levasseur, Greazzo and Girard will all have some things to say. We'll see if the hatchet gets buried - or unsheathed yet again.

Ted Siefer is the City Hall reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. He may be reached at tsiefer@unionleader.com and followed on Twitter @tbsreporter.

Comments:

Joel Elber said:
Girard is a pompous fraud. Anyone who calls his radio show "adorable" is not "a humble host". pompous affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important. "a pompous *** who pretends he knows everything" synonyms: self-important, imperious, overbearing, domineering, magisterial, pontifical, sententious, grandiose, affected, pretentious, puffed up, arrogant, vain, haughty, proud, conceited, egotistic, supercilious, condescending, patronizing;
March 2, 2014

Howard McCarthy said:
The dictionary? Anyway constituents must be able to communicate with their electeds privately or assume reprisal. No different than the voting booth.
March 2, 2014

PETER SORRENTINO said:
Was no political work done last week? All drama, no progress?
March 2, 2014

Greg Barrett said:
Obviously this author has not been watching Alderman Lavasseur's show on public access. With all the police officer **** Alderman Levasseur has been kissing people are afraid they have tuned into a gay porn movie. The days of Alderman Levasseur taking on the Police Department appear long gone and over for good.
March 3, 2014

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"Manchester Alderman Levasseur slammed over lawsuit, right-to-know issue"
By TED SIEFER, New Hampshire Union Leader, March 5, 2014

MANCHESTER — Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur defended his decision to bring a lawsuit concerning the city's response to several right-to-know requests, following harsh criticism Tuesday from the men who have sought the information.

Levasseur filed the suit last week against the city and radio host Richard Girard, charging that the city was willing to improperly turn over emails from constituents and without assessing fees to produce the material.

Girard addressed the aldermen during the public comment period at the start of Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

He said information alleged in Levasseur's suit was "not true," stressing that one of his requests concerned emails that had already been produced through an information request from the New Hampshire Union Leader. He said another narrowly concerned emails between Levasseur and a group of residents who have been critics of the Manchester Dog Park Association.

Girard said that the city had yet to comply with the request three months after it had been filed. He said he recently learned that the emails being withheld were in fact produced in response to a request from former alderman Phil Greazzo, the founder of the dog park who has sought to have Levasseur removed from office for misconduct. Later at Tuesday's meeting, the aldermen rejected considering Greazzo's proposal to do so. The city solicitor's office was prepared to release the emails last week, but held off after Levasseur filed his suit.

Greazzo also spoke during the public comment period, slamming city officials for not appropriately addressing his request for Levasseur's communications filed in November, well in excess of the five days the city had to furnish an official response under Chapter 91-A, the right-to-know law.

"I have leaned that Alderman Levasseur has repeatedly stalled (the request)," Greazzo said. "The emails will prove that he lied to your faces."

Both Greazzo and Girard have alleged that Levasseur, contrary to his public statements, conspired with the dog park critics to undermine Greazzo ahead of the November election, in which he lost his Ward 10 seat.

Later in the evening, Levasseur defended his decision to file the suit. He said the city was too wiling to release emails, without applying the fees that normally apply to producing records (50 cents a page), or considering the staff time that must be devoted to responding to the requests.

"This is not as simple as someone coming in and giving a flash card and saying give me what you got," he said.

Levasseur stressed his main concern was that emails from constituents should not be considered public records. "My emails are out there, but constituent emails are sacrosanct and should be protected," he said.

Ward 10 Alderman Bill Barry, who defeated Greazzo, is currently consulting with the offices of the city clerk and solicitor on developing a standard policy for dealing with right-to-know requests.

Comments:

PETER SORRENTINO said:
Yawn
March 5, 2014

Mark Larochelle said:
Maybe tomorrow the UL could report on Girard losing his favorite snake-eye marble against a game with JKL.On a more serious note, as a tax-paying constituent, as entertaining as this is, I am getting sick totally annoyed with our elected officials and city departments, arguing and bickering over name calling, putting a finger on my chest, who can see who's e-mail, who is really in charge of the dog park, and how come he called me this and that. How about trying to run the city? And I'm referring to the whole lot of them, no one specific elected official or city employee. All of them!
March 5, 2014

Tammy Simmons said:
Right-to-know is not about which aldermen can see which other alderman's emails....it is about the public's right to know what the elected officials and city employees are discussing in the way of city business. If I email my alderman about a problem pertaining to city business, I should not expect that conversation to be private and privileged.
March 5, 2014

ROBERT DIONNE said:
Levasseur's antics continue to be a waste of tax payers time and money. How about spending your time and energy helping to improve the city that you were elected to serve instead of suing them? Just a thought!
March 5, 2014

JON HOPWOOD said:
Tammy Simmons, your stance would undermine all whistleblowers. Whistleblowers are central to ensuring honesty in government and rooting out corruption. Your Free State allies recently sponsored a "Liberty Forum" that featured Jessyln Raddack, an attorney claiming she is adviser to so-called whistleblower Edward Snowden, who deferred to Vladimir Putin's Russia with 1.7 million classified documents. Please try to be consistent and not tailor your philosophy to whatever is politically expedient that day. (I'm referring to your defying the State Republican Party platform over various issues when you were a state rep and your now insisting, as Chair of the Queen City GOP and a close ally of State Chair Jennifer Horn, that Republicans at the State House have to toe the line on opposing Medicaid expansion.)
March 5, 2014

DALE ALLABY said:
I smell dog poop...........
March 5, 2014

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"Aldermen refuse to consider request to remove Levasseur"
By TED SIEFER, New Hampshire Union Leader, March 5, 2014

MANCHESTER — The Board of Mayor and Aldermen refused to consider a request from former alderman Phil Greazzo to have Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur removed from office or referred to the Conduct Board.

Greazzo had submitted a request, as a “citizen of the city,” to have Levasseur reviewed by the Conduct Board for a host of alleged violations of the city charter, including “unethical and dishonest conduct.”

Greazzo also pointed to a section of state law, Chapter 49-C:13, that he indicated in a letter to the board gave them the authority to remove Levasseur.

The citation was meant as a rejoinder to City Solicitor Tom Clark, who told the aldermen at their last meeting that they did not have the power to vote to remove an aldermen. The aldermen still voted to censure Levasseur following the release of a state attorney general report that found he made unfounded allegations of misconduct against the city police department.

Rather than debate Greazzo’s proposal, the aldermen on Tuesday voted to receive and file, or not consider, his letter.

The vote marked the second time the board had voted against a motion from Greazzo for an official review of Levasseur’s conduct. Late last year, after Greazzo lost the election for the Ward 10 seat, the board rejected his call to send Levasseur to the Conduct Board.

Following the vote Tuesday, the aldermen again asked Clark, in light of Greazzo’s letter, his opinion regarding the board’s authority to remove an alderman.

“My opinion has not changed. Alderman Greazzo cites a number of reasons why you could take action, the main one being Chapter 49-C ... That is a template for a charter. When our charter commission went to voters, they did not include that in the charter,” he said.

Ward 4 Alderman Jim Roy asked Clark to look into how the city charter could be changed in the future.

“The question is what can we do going forward,” he said. “What if we don’t try to correct this and this comes up in another 10 years?”

Clark said that the charter could only be changed by voters through the charter amendment process, and he said he would, at Roy’s suggestion, consult with the attorney general on the issue.

Comments:

LLOYD CLEMENT said:
Greazzo has to make a decision, he either walks around with egg on his face or he has to eat his crow on stage.
March 5, 2014

WAYNE STANLEY said:
Un-freakin-believable. We have a skyrocketing crime rate in the city, still have 36 kids in a classroom at McLaughlin School, the roads are like running gauntlet to get anywhere in town, and this is how our politicians choose to spend their time. Petty piss-ant politics. GROW UP AND GET TO WORK!
March 5, 2014

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"Bad Joe: Levasseur stalls again"
The New Hampshire Union Leader, Editorial, March 6, 2014

Manchester Alderman At-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur is so desperate to keep the public from learning more about his conduct as an alderman that he has filed a lawsuit to keep records regarding his handling of public business from being made public.

Last year local talk radio host Rich Girard made two requests under the state’s right-to-know law for select email correspondence involving Levasseur in his capacity as a public official. Levasseur claimed that Girard requested “all emails containing Levasseur’s name or email address.” But Girard’s emails to the city show that he requested correspondence among Levasseur and some city employees, and also Levasseur’s emails regarding the city dog park. The first request mirrored a previous email request made by this newspaper last year. Levasseur himself had asked the city for similar information. Our request was granted, as was Girard’s.

The week after the city granted Girard’s first request, Levasseur sued to prevent Girard from disclosing what he has already been given and to prevent the city from complying with his second request. Levasseur claims that his intent is to protect constituents. But his injunction request covers correspondence with city employees too. This is a familiar pattern.

Last month, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office released a lengthy report that destroyed Levasseur’s repeated claims that various Manchester police officers had harassed, intimidated, threatened and in one case assaulted him. Not one claim could be substantiated, and no witness backed up Levasseur.

The embattled alderman had to know that the AG’s investigation would find exactly what it found, which is why he spent months delaying the investigation and trying to convince the AG’s office to halt it. Now he is trying to prevent the release of public documents that would shed more light on how he has conducted himself as an alderman. What is he trying to hide?

Comments:

Greg Barrett said:
I notified my staff 2 years ago that we no longer would represent Mr. Lavasseur as a client of our firm and do to his demeanor we should make him think it was his idea. One of the main reasons for this decision were the abusive and threatening EMAILS he would send at all hours of the day and night and the way he would speak to my staff. Kas-Bar Realty
March 6, 2014

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"Radio host wants official's lawsuit dismissed"
By TED SIEFER, New Hampshire Union Leader, March 15, 2014

MANCHESTER - Radio host Rich Girard is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur that aims to block the release of information Girard has sought through right-to-know requests.

The suit, filed in Hillsborough County Superior Court last month, names Girard, the city of Manchester and city Solicitor Tom Clark.

Levasseur argues that the city has been too compliant in releasing his emails, specifically those exchanged with constituents that he says are not subject to Chapter 91-A, the state's Right to Know Law.

The suit also contends Girard should be required to compensate the city for costs associated with responding to his requests.

In his motion to dismiss, Girard argues that Levasseur "lacks standing" to pursue the monetary claims against him, "in that he is asserting the claims of third parties."

Girard continues: "Even if Plaintiff had standing - which he does not - and even if his claims did not raise political questions - which they do - and even if Plaintiff were not impermissibly seeking an advisory opinion - which he is - his principal request for relief against Defendant Girard, a prior restraint on speech, should be dismissed because it is impermissible under both the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and its New Hampshire analogue."

In his suit, Levasseur requests that the court enjoin both the city from releasing requested records and Girard from disseminating information the city had already provided to him.

Levasseur, after reviewing Girard's motion, said in an email: "In my professional opinion, his motion lacks legal clarity, analysis or legal authority for the court to dismiss the action."

Deputy Solicitor Tom Arnold said he expects the city to officially respond to the suit this week. "We'll answer it, and we'll probably seek dismissal of all respondents," he said.

Levasseur bases his suit largely on the contention that the city has misconstrued the definition of a governmental record in Chapter 91-A.

Such a record, the law states, is "information created, accepted, or obtained by, or on behalf of, any public body, or a quorum or majority thereof."

In an email to Levasseur, Arnold said the city considered constituent emails subject to the law. "While emails must be judged on an individual basis, as a general rule an email that is sent to or from a city email address (i.e. goes through a city server) concerning an official function of the city is a governmental or public record."

But Levasseur has asserted that the city has had a double standard. He contends that emails between him and fellow Alderman Dan O'Neil, which were produced in response to the right-to-know requests, were withheld.

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"Manchester Alderman Levasseur suing former alderman Greazzo over ‘defamatory statements’"
By Ted Siefer, New Hampshire Union Leader, March 25, 2014

MANCHESTER — Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur is suing Phil Greazzo, alleging the former alderman defamed him by repeatedly and publicly calling him a liar.

Levasseur, in the suit filed in Hillsborough County Superior Court earlier this month, accuses Greazzo of making “ongoing and never-ending defamatory statements” that “impugn the plaintiff’s character, honesty, integrity, morality, or professional abilities.”

The suit accuses Greazzo of calling Levasseur “a liar and a conspirator” in the media over a dispute involving the Manchester Dog Park, which Greazzo founded, and making similar claims before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The suit singles out a quote from Greazzo in the March 9, 2014, edition of the New Hampshire Union Leader, in which he calls Levasseur a “pathological liar.”

“A line in the sand has been drawn by this outrageously defamatory statement,” the suit states.

Greazzo’s attorney, Brandon Ross, said Levasseur’s suit is an attempt to stifle his client’s criticism of a public official.

“Phil has a basic constitutional right to speak out about an elected official’s fitness for public office,” Ross wrote in an email. “Alderman Levasseur hasn’t even claimed that he’s been injured, just that his pride and feelings are hurt. Boo hoo. A frivolous lawsuit doesn’t make a good comfort blanket, and he’ll be very disappointed with the result. Seems like a waste of everyone’s time and money.”

Levasseur is a lawyer, although the suit against Greazzo was filed by his attorney, James Magee.

Greazzo, who had represented Ward 10, lost a hard-fought election in November, and the campaign coincided with scrutiny from Levasseur and others over the dog park. Levasseur suggested that the park was operating in violation of its agreement with the city.

Levasseur’s suit suggests this was the source of Greazzo’s animus. “The defendant believes that the plaintiff was able to convince Ward 10 voters not to vote for him because of an issue concerning a dog park that the defendant controls,” the suit states.

This is the second lawsuit Levasseur has brought in recent weeks. Last month, he sued radio host Rich Girard and the city of Manchester, charging that the parties had improperly obtained or released constituent emails that should not be considered public records.

The case is pending.

Ross was the pro-bono attorney for Adam Mueller, the man charged with violating the state wiretapping law by secretly recording a conversation with Manchester school officials and posting the recording on the website CopBlock. Mueller was interested in documenting alleged police brutality against a student. The state Supreme Court threw out Mueller’s conviction in February.

Comments:

ROBERT DIONNE said:
Greazzo impugned Levasseur's "character, honesty, integrity, morality, or professional abilities.” - HMMMM - nice use of your time, Joe-- keep focusing on things other that helping to run the city; see you at the polls. (I better be careful or I'll get sued too)
March 25, 2014

MICHAEL LANE said:
Well, if Levasseur can sue so can John Kerry sue the Swiftboaters. The ultimate reason for free speech is we can say anything against politicians without fear of retribution. I'll willingly allow Levasseur sue me for this: He is an *****!
March 25, 2014

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"Alderman Levasseur argues Manchester has no right to release emails"
NH Union Leader, Staff Report, March 26, 2014

MANCHESTER — Alderman-at-large Joe Kelly Levasseur Tuesday asked Hillsborough County Superior Court North Judge Diane Nicolosi to issue an injunction stopping the city from releasing emails that he says are not subject to the right-to-know law.

Levasseur filed suit last month to block release of emails sought by radio host Rich Girard. Girard had requested, and obtained, copies of a group of Levasseur emails that had been requested by a New Hampshire Union Leader reporter last summer.

Girard used his personal flash drive to obtain the first set of emails. He then filed a request Nov. 19 for additional Levasseur emails, which include emails related to the city dog park. Former alderman Phil Greazzo, a driving force behind the dog park, has also requested those emails.

Girard’s attorney, Ed Mosca, and Deputy City Solicitor Tom Arnold argued emails that go through the city server, which they do if constituents go to the website and click on Levasseur’s AOL email, are governmental documents subject to the right-to-know law.

Representing himself, Levasseur said emails between constituents and himself, if not forwarded to city officials, should be private and not subject to right-to-know requests. If they are, it would have a chilling effect on constituents’ willingness to make complaints, he said.

But Mosca said Levasseur is arguing the release of the documents would damage his constituents, so he has no standing to seek to block the release. It would have to be the constituent bringing the suit, said Mosca.

Arnold said he met with Levasseur and let Levasseur screen the emails in the second batch requested by Girard and Greazzo, allowing Levasseur to select those he believed were exempt from the provisions of the right-to-know law.

Arnold asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the city has interpreted the right-to-know law provisions as allowing the release.

He said it is the city’s position that people who use the city website to reach Levasseur know they are using the city server, so the email is a city document. But Levasseur repeatedly complained to Nicolosi that the city is giving away information it shouldn’t.

Levasseur also complained that the city doesn’t charge for copies of documents, or for the time city employees spend collecting and sorting them. Arnold said the law makes that discretionary and said the city has made a decision not to charge. If Levasseur disagrees with that policy, he can take it to the board of mayor and aldermen.

At one point during the hearing, Nicolosi questioned why the decision about release of information isn’t a political question to be decided by the board of mayor and aldermen. At another point, she suggested that what a city decides as a matter of policy isn’t something a court should be involved in.

Although Levasseur sought an immediate decision on his request for an injunction, the judge said she was taking the matter under advisement.

----------

"City officer accused: A pawn in a political game"
New Hampshire Union Leader, Editorial, April 1, 2014

A District Court judge last week found Manchester Police Officer William Soucy not guilty of domestic abuse. The accusation might have been little noticed had Manchester Alderman At-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur not thrust Soucy's name into the media spotlight as part of his effort to portray city police as corrupt and abusive.

Levasseur, an attorney, represented Soucy's former girlfriend, who made the abuse allegation. Levasseur has every right to be a forceful advocate for his clients. But in this case Levasseur used his public office to advance his private client's case by portraying her as a victim not just of one officer, but of a conspiracy of officers.

In July of last year, Levasseur claimed that police were protecting Soucy. "No one would arrest him. No one would get back to her. She was afraid," he said.

Levasseur's complaint was investigated by the Attorney General's office at Manchester Chief David Mara's request. Contrary to Levasseur's claims, the AG's office found that Manchester police investigated the allegation and referred it to the Hooksett Police Department, as the abuse allegedly happened in that town. A Hooksett police officer interviewed Soucy's ex-girlfriend and tried to follow up with her the next business day to see if she wanted to press charges. She did not respond to several attempts to contact her. Fearing for the woman's safety, the officer asked the Manchester police to check on her. Two officers conducted a well check, and Levasseur later claimed that this attempt to protect his client was actually an attempt to intimidate her. The AG's report found no grounds to substantiate any of Levasseur's claims.

Now Levasseur is alleging that the Hooksett Police Department mishandled the case. The blame-shifting and allegations of misconduct never end. Is any area police department — or officer — safe from Levasseur's wild accusations as long as he remains in office?

Comments:

Mike Redding said:
The problem with this story is that there are no credible sources. Who in his right mind would ask the AG's office for a report on a policeman? This is an agency that has never found anything wrong with any law enforcement officer in 400 years. I don't know who's telling the truth but we'll never know until we get a unbiased police review board.
April 1, 2014

joe kelly levasseur said:
I see McQuaid and Cline finally got their sense of humor back. Nice April Fools joke boys. I mean your sarcasm here is brilliant. Cops don't lie and the AGS office is the standard for truth and justice. Brilliant editorial. Hopefully your readers got the joke too. I am reading this one on my show for its absolute brilliance boys. Made my day with this one. Absolute brilliance.
April 1, 2014

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"Manchester officer cleared in domestic assault is subject of probe"
By Mark Hayward, New Hampshire Union Leader, April 7, 2014

MANCHESTER — The Manchester police officer cleared last month of a domestic assault charge is the subject of a criminal and internal affairs investigation, Manchester police said on Friday.

Meanwhile, Officer William Soucy learned his certification to do police work had been suspended just days before he was found innocent. The suspension means that Soucy is on unpaid administrative leave from the police department, Assistant Police Chief Nick Willard said.

Willard said police started the current investigations after receiving a complaint, but he would not go into details.

However, the lawyer who represents Soucy's former girlfriend, Jodi Nunn, claims Soucy had contacted a mutual acquaintance in the weeks leading up to his March 24 trial. Manchester lawyer Joe Kelly Levasseur said Manchester police have interviewed Nunn, the mutual acquaintance, and Nunn's roommate about Soucy's actions.

Levasseur said the woman, who had only met Soucy once before, was suspicious. Soucy arrived at her Manchester home on foot; he said he had heard she had been hurt at work; he offered to plow her driveway, Levasseur said.

Soucy later returned and asked the woman not to say anything because he would get into trouble, Levasseur said.

"He talked about how much he loves her, how much he misses her; he bought her an engagement ring," Levasseur said.

The contact with the mutual friend took place before Soucy went to trial on a misdemeanor simple assault charge involving Nunn. Standard bail conditions on such a charge prohibit any contact with a victim, as well as attempting contact through another person.

A telephone message left with Soucy was not returned.

The New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council confirmed that the council suspended Soucy's certification to be a police officer. Council rules call for the temporary suspension of a police officer who has been charged with a crime.

The suspension lasts until the outcome of the case and until Soucy meets with the council, whose next regular meeting is scheduled for April 22.

The council suspended Soucy on March 25. At that point, Soucy's trial had taken place and he was awaiting a verdict.

Willard said Manchester police learned about the suspension on March 27. For months, Soucy had been working "modified duty" inside Police Department walls. However, once his certification had been suspended, Soucy was placed on unpaid administrative leave, Willard said.

Late last month, Hooksett District Court Judge Kristen Spath found Soucy innocent of misdemeanor assault, saying reasonable doubt existed as to how Nunn received a cut or scratch during an argument between the two in April 2013.

The allegations against Soucy became part of a political firestorm involving Levasseur and Police Chief David Mara. New Hampshire Attorney General Joe Foster rejected Levasseur's claims that Manchester police intimidated him because of his involvement in the case.

The back-and-forth culminated with Manchester aldermen censuring Levasseur in February.

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"Judge dismisses Alderman Levasseur's suit against radio host Girard"
By Ted Siefer, New Hampshire Union Leader, April 8, 2014

MANCHESTER — A superior court judge has largely sided with the city and radio host Rich Girard in dismissing a lawsuit brought by Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur over the release of emails under the state’s Right-To-Know law.

At the same time, Levasseur said the ruling validated his main concern by requiring the city to redact — or black-out — the names, addresses, phone-numbers and email addresses of constituents in any of the requested emails.

Levasseur had filed the lawsuit in late February, seeking to block the release or dissemination of information Girard had sought concerning his interaction with department heads and constituents.

Levasseur, who has engaged in a long-running feud with Girard, had based his argument largely on the contention that constituent emails were not “governmental records” under RSA 91-A, the state’s Right-To-Know law.

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Diane Nicolosi agreed that such emails could not properly be considered government records, but she said that the city was within its rights to release them.

“The emails in question were sent via the city’s computer server, placing them in the city’s possession and control,” Nicolosi wrote in her ruling, which was issued last week. “Therefore, while the city may not be required to disclose emails under RSA 91-A, it may choose to do so if it wishes. The court is not in a position to question or alter the city’s internal policy decisions.”

Nicolosi had already rejected Levasseur’s request for an immediate injunction against the city’s release of the materials, and her decision grants motions from Girard and city Solicitor Tom Clark to dismiss the suit altogether.

As a stipulation in her ruling, the judge did find that Levasseur had raised a valid privacy interest concerning constituents, and she called on the solicitor’s office to redact any personally identifying information in the emails.

“Given the frequency identity fraud these days and harassment, the court finds it prudent to protect the constituents’ identities,” Nicolosi wrote.

The judge also granted that Levasseur, an attorney, may have the right to invoke attorney-client privilege in blocking the release of certain emails. The alderman would have 14 days to review such materials; if no such provision is found to apply, all records are to be released within 20 days of the ruling.

For Levasseur, the ruling was a signal that the aldermen had the right to set policies governing the city’s response to right-to-know requests, in particular assessing fees to comply with them. He has argued that city departments have had to devote dozens of hours to comply with the requests.

“Next, the aldermen must put a payment policy in place,” Levasseur said in an email Monday. “Girard’s request for over 18,000 emails is nothing but petty politics, juvenile antics and a waste of taxpayers resources. With all the potholes we have to fix, the last thing we need is to have city employees dealing with Girard’s nonsense.”

Girard had a very different take on the ruling, calling it “pretty unequivocal” in his favor.

“The court had better things to do that day, and the solicitor had better things to do, and I had better things to do,” Girard said. “The only person who didn’t was Joe Levasseur.”

Girard said the city had, at his insistence after the court hearing last month, released a group of emails that were being withheld in light of Levasseur’s lawsuit. Girard had requested communications between Levasseur and constituents concerning the Manchester Dog Park. As it turns out, the withheld material did not include any constituent emails, Girard said.

“The city said it doesn’t have them because they never crossed the city server,” Girard said.

Levasseur’s suit, he added, was an attempt to harass him, and “the judge took the gavel and banged it off his forehead.”

Comments:

joe kelly levasseur said:
Or, the headline could have been, Judge upholds all NH citizens privacy rights, which is a huge victory for us all. It was also very heartening to know that I won the fact that certain constituent emails are not government records. Strange headline for a newspaper that has always fought hard for decades about privacy rights. I especially love how Girard states that he did not have time to be in court, must have needed that whole hour going through everyone's dirty laundry, or maybe he needs more time to reflect on why he lobbied for and made the motion to bring Manchester Yarger Decker. The employee compensation plan that is killing this city. Don't you just love them fiscal conservatives. Force employees to search through thousands of emails at no cost to taxpayers but preach about all the wasteful spending. What a hypocrite Richie. Do us all a favor and stay out of constituents emails, it's very unseemly and kinda creepy. Have a great day everyone, I am very happy with the judges decision. Joseph Kelly Levasseur 6036227575
April 8, 2014

mike porter said:
As with any legal opinion, it is not always whether a case is upheld or dismissed as much as the written opinion itself. While the lawsuit may have been dismissed, I find the most salient point to be the judge holds privacy rights of constituents above all else. That is the key to this opinion. Sometimes issues are litigated within a lawsuit that are more substantive than others. In this case, I would say, in my opinion, the Privacy Interests of constituents was the central issue....and in that light, I would say the headline only tells one side of the story. This is an important ruling because communication between a constituent and an elected official is vital. The story discusses the law suit dismissal, but spends little time expanding on the major issue of privacy rights of constituents. This was a major victory for Atty. Levasseur and constituents of this city.
April 8, 2014

HARRIET CADY said:
While the Judge properly dismissed the suit against Girard I believe she did not do it based on the fact that RSA 91-A only applies to public officials and Levasseur had no right to sue a citizen in pursuit of government workings.Further the Right to Know commission specifically stated that emails to elected officials must be open to the public in order to know if a citizen was getting preferential treatment by an elected official using their office to give benefits above and beyond what any citizen was entitled to. Judge Nicolosi needs a course in Right to Know law.Finally I was in the courtroom and heard Mr. Levasseur invoke attorney client privilege and am appalled at his for people who were constituents complaining about the dog park to their elected alderman. They were not clients when they wrote complaints but rather citizens using proper process of complaining to their alderman.Levasseur has set back citizens Right to Know and hopefully he will be the first to suffer not having knowledge of who is asking their elected officials for privileges not afforded to all.
April 8, 2014

----------

"Levasseur’s emails: Disclosed at last"
The New Hampshire Union Leader, Editorial, April 9, 2014

Last week a judge dismissed a lawsuit Manchester Alderman At-large Joe Kelly Levasseur brought against radio host Rich Girard. It was inevitable, and it is another indictment of his boorish behavior as a public official.

Last year, Girard sought through the state’s right-to-know law volumes of Levasseur’s email correspondence with certain city employees and some constituents. The city gave Girard 18,000 pages, and Levasseur sued to prevent their public disclosure.

Levasseur claimed he was motivated by a desire to protect the identities of constituents. But he sought to block the disclosure of all of the emails, not just the ones to and from constituents. He also had to have been aware that his publicly stated goal could have been achieved through a simpler action — the redaction of constituent names and addresses.

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Diane Nicolosi last week ordered just that: the redaction of constituent names and addresses. She also clarified a legal point in Levasseur’s favor, which was already settled law: that emails between a constituent and an elected official are not public documents under state law.

But she rejected Levasseur’s absurd claim that all of the emails should be kept from public view. She granted motions from Girard and City Solicitor Tom Clark to dismiss Levasseur’s suit. In typical fashion, Levasseur claimed victory after the loss. But his transparent attempt to block the release of information that would shed light upon his conduct as a public official failed. Now maybe the public will see what the alderman wanted to keep hidden.

Comments:

CHRIS HERBERT said:
Something is missing here. If correspondence between an alderman and a constituent is private, as a matter of 'settled law,' why were these types of emails included in the 18,000? Seems contradictory, whether they names are redacted, or not. My view is that Girard had a right to know that was protected, but the scope of Girard's sweeping request was over the top, therefore the alderman was correct to challenge it. I don't think Girard has a right to those emails between the alderman and his constituents. He should return them, unread.
April 9, 2014

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Ted Siefer's City Hall: "Surprise! Levasseur sees Girard as Wihby replacement"
By Ted Siefer, NH Union Leader, April 11, 2015

Manchester NH City Hall

THE BIG news this past week, of course, was the fall - or at least serious stumble - of Dave Wihby, the now former school board member and powerful behind-the-scenes state Republican leader. It seems like just a week ago there was talk in this space of his plans to run for alderman. Oh yeah, that was last week.

I'll leave it to others to mull whether a man who has devoted so much of his life to public service deserves such a fate. Instead, I turn to a more interesting if less profound question: Could this bizarre turn of events make Alderman-at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur a kingmaker?

The city charter is clear that the selection of a person to fill a vacancy on the school board falls to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen "until an election is held."

There's also a long-standing tradition of having the alderman from the same ward as the former school board member nominate the successor. And according to the tradition, the full board generally defers to the alderman's pick. But what happens in the case of a vacant at-large school board seat? There are, after all, two at-large aldermen, Levasseur and Dan O'Neil.

Levasseur is firmly of the opinion that the nomination should go to him since he, like Wihby, is a Republican. And it appears others share his view, based on the number of inquiries he says he's received of late.

Levasseur said he's heard from several interested parties, including some well-known names in city politics. But Levasseur is toying with the idea of another potential candidate all together: Rich Girard, the radio host and former alderman.

Cue jaw dropping. The two have had a venomous relationship and regularly snipe at each other via their prominent posts in local media. Just last week, Girard had a blog post with the headline "Is Levasseur responsible for outing Wihby's overdose?" And Levasseur tweeted: "Richard Girard lays off arch enemy Dave Wihby thanks to his own sexting scandal." But Levasseur insisted that he wasn't one to let personal grudges color his decisions as an elected official.

"I don't play politics," he told me. "I'm about putting someone in the seat that could do a good job."

He added that he had received "lots of applications but I still think a Republican should keep the seat and Girard fits the bill because he is anti-Common Core."

For his part, Girard said he was "interested" the idea.

"It's nothing I've advocated for, but if Alderman Levasseur were to nominate me, I would be interested in the seat," said Girard. "I think my budget experience, and my willingness to ask tough questions, would be valuable if I were elected. If the nomination happens, it's something I would pursue."

Girard also acknowledged the difficult circumstances surrounding the resignation of David Wihby.

"I go back to 1991 with David Wihby," said Girard. "I have the utmost respect for what he has done for this city. Certainly our thoughts and our prayers go out to his family."

Hmmm...

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Drew Cline: "Frank Guinta victimized the very people who supported him"
By Drew Cline, Op-Ed, NH Union Leader, May 21, 2015

IN ORCHESTRATING Virginia’s ratification of the Constitution, James Madison spent weeks recruiting Gov. Edmund Randolph, who had waffled between the Federalist and Anti-Federalist positions. He reasoned that he needed the well-known Randolph because people’s views on ratification “will be governed by those with whom they happen to have acquaintance.”

And so Madison explains why so many New Hampshire Republicans continue to believe Frank Guinta’s story about how he came upon previously undisclosed money he loaned his congressional campaign in 2010. Factions are funny things.

On social media in the past week, there was little that would pass as a defense of Guinta’s behavior, which is indefensible. He loaned his 2010 campaign $355,000 he had acquired from his parents’ checking account, in violation of campaign finance laws. He told everyone he had been cleared of any wrongdoing, although he knew he had not been. He attacked the integrity of those who truthfully said the Federal Elections Commission was investigating him. He claimed to have been fined by the FEC for a reporting error when the fine was for an illegal donation.

Rather than defend Guinta’s behavior, many Republicans have tried to rally the rest of the party to his side on the argument that Republicans must stand up for Republicans as Democrats so often stand up for Democrats. Party first, the rule of law be damned.

It is a mystifying position for New Hampshire Republicans, for they, not Democrats, are the victims of Guinta’s transgressions.

Recall that in 2010 Republicans had three credible candidates for Congress: Frank Guinta, Rich Ashooh, and Sean Mahoney. Guinta fueled his primary victory with the illegal campaign loan. He deposited the last of the $355,000 into his campaign account only four days before the primary. The money bought ads that helped him eke out a narrow victory of 2,819 votes.

With this illegal campaign contribution, Guinta cheated Republicans out of a better member of Congress. He played dirty not against Democrats, but against his fellow Republicans.

Guinta thus became the nominee in the Tea Party wave year of 2010, when a gorilla could have won election to Congress in the 1st District as long as he was a registered Republican and knew how to say “No Obamacare” in sign language.

After Guinta’s questionable finances were exposed — by Republicans — he assured the party, the voters and the donors that there was no ethical issue here, only an unfortunate oversight. Assuaged by those assurances — which were false — Republicans rallied behind their nominee.

In the years since, Guinta repeatedly said he had been cleared in the matter. He knew that was untrue. Had Republicans known the truth, they might have nominated someone else and been spared the taint of scandal. Now, Guinta’s greasy touch stains everyone associated with him.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who will face a tough election battle of her own next year, was never close to Guinta. Now the Democrats will tie her to his scandal. Jeb Bush’s first event in New Hampshire was a fundraiser with Guinta. He surely sent that suit to the cleaners last week.

Because he refuses to resign, every Republican presidential candidate — all 1,284 of them — will have to answer questions about Guinta.

Then there is the money. Guinta’s campaign committee reported $330,639 in receipts from January through March 31. Guinta is unelectable because of the scandal he assured donors was nonexistent. That money is gone. It cannot be used to support a viable Republican candidate next year unless Guinta transfers it. But he needs it to repay the loan. Guinta took nearly a third of a million dollars in Republican donations off the table for 2016.

Moreover, he will have to use a portion of that money to repay his parents. Money Republicans gave in good faith to elect a New Hampshire Republican to Congress will instead go to a pair of retirees in New Jersey.

Ultimately, the illegal campaign donation that got Guinta to Congress will propel him out of it. If he refuses to resign, primary challengers will emerge. A few will be credible. They will call the people who had to watch in anger and frustration as their donations to Guinta went to repay the illegal loan he assured them was not an illegal loan. Guinta’s money will dry up, and he will either retire or lose in the primary.

Madison wrote in Federalist 10 that one cause of faction was “an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power.” Guinta obtained followers by obtaining pre-eminence and power illegally. He remains in power, and thus retains followers. He will lose them as other leaders contend for that which never should have been his.

Andrew Cline is editorial page editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader. His column runs on Thursdays. You can reach him on Twitter @Drewhampshire.

Comments:

Note: Comments are the opinion of the respective poster and not of the publisher.

MARK HOUNSELL said Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:36 am
Drew Cline nails the issue perfectly. If the embattled and guilty Guinta does not resign it will negatively impact Ayotte as well as the Nov. '16 Presidential election and the four electoral votes in NH which is an important swing state.Should the NH Republican Committee continue to have nothing further to say it will be to Maggie Hassan's and Hillary Clinton's advantage.

MICHAEL RALEIGH said Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 8:36 am
Funny to read conservatives actually think they have a chance to win the White House in 2016. Clinton will win NH regardless of whether Guinta is on or off the ballot. But it does provide a ready excuse as to why conservatives were crushed by Clinton and Hassan. With conservatives it is never the policies that are the problem.

LENORE PATTON said Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 8:56 am
The voters are the true victims of Guinta lying. If they had only listened to Carol Shea-Porter 5 years ago when she first revealed the facts about Guinta's lies, he would have been gone years ago and the GOP would have been spared this embarrassment.

PAUL SHINDLER said Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 9:10 am
Well written and completely correct analysis. Guinta always came off as real smug and arrogant to me, so I'm not surprised with this. Though I'm politically the opposite of Senator Ayotte, I do not doubt her integrity or dedication to the people of New Hampshire. She displayed this again in quickly demanding the resignation of Guinta.

KIMBERLY MORIN said Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 9:46 am
Ayotte has negatively affected her own self by her bad votes and alignments in the Senate. If Republicans can't figure out how to fight the sleazeball Democrats' lies and smears by now... you shouldn't bother running. Stay home and **** your finger in the corner.

TIM CORBETT said Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 9:53 am
Maggie Hassan took illegal donations from unions more than once; I don't remember Drew Cline calling for her head on a platter.

SANDRA PICARD said Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 10:15 am
I do think that Cline is more concerned with this debacle rubbing off on pretty Kelly come next election than anything else. In the final analysis, as far as I'm concerned this is between Guinta and his supporters - they want him out then speak. I saw a good comment yesterday that sort of sums it up - the Republicans are great at eating their own, while the Democrats circle the wagon. Let Frank's constituents decide - not the elits in DC.

JOE KELLY LEVASSEUR said Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 10:25 am
First, you are assuming Guinta even tries another run. Second you state Guinta the all powerful is somehow going to effect Ayotte? No! Jeb Bush at the top of the ticket will have a much bigger negative effect than anything Guinta did, besides Ayotte drove the bus over him in a nano second to make sure everyone knew there would not be any connection, just like she did to Wihby. You state people lost out on campaign donations. That happens in every single election where there is a republican primary and general election where a republican loses. Everyone knows the risk before they donate, besides since Guinta did win, where's the loss of campaign donations on Guinta? That is a very weak argument. I also love your divide and beat up Guinta argument by trying to point out how he hurt our favorite candidates in that first run for congress and how he will hurt Ayotte. A one paragraph article from the Union Leader editorial staffs one hundred percent dislike for Guinta going back to fist day you met him, or the exact real reason why, would be easier on your readers and hold more water. You're still ticked off Mahoney lost after you endorsed him. Back then there were three very likable candidates. What people forget is the fact that only Guinta had the guts to step down from his mayors seat, one he would have kept easily, and start a run for congress in what every republican thought would be another great year for democrats as they had swept Comgress and the presidency. No one else had the ambition and guts to run that year and he started very early. The other two candidates jumped in very late and Half heartedly so. You may hate the guy but please keep in mind the fact that Manchester has a tax cap, and yes, it was because of Guinta the mayor, and boy did we and do we need that tax cap. He also showed up in court twice for two different law suits that were trying to keep that tax cap off the ballot. His appearance was important to the court. Gatsas never would have come to court and you can take that to the bank. If Gatsas hadn't been on th BMA with all his other democratic friends, Guinta could also have gotten a lot more conservative thpe issues taken care of for the taxpayers, but with Gatsas the big spender fighting him every step, it was to difficult for him to do. Somehow Guinta survived Gatsas and the Dems and he will survive this. He took his moms money he did not take mine. I can live with that because he at least kept Carol Shea-Pelosi out of office and he brought Manchester a much needed tax cap. Lastly, my understanding is, that he cannot use any money donated to him to repay his parents? I would like clarification on that please. Thank you. Joseph Kelly Levasseur alderman at large Manchester 6227575

PETER GOSSELIN said Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 11:38 am
Mark Hounsell said: "If the embattled and guilty Guinta does not resign it will negatively impact the Nov. '16 Presidential election and the four electoral votes in NH which is an important swing state." Really??? Based on what logic?

PETER GOSSELIN said Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 11:55 am
Michael Raleigh said: "Funny to read conservatives actually think they have a chance to win the White House in 2016. Clinton will win NH regardless of whether Guinta is on or off the ballot." Michael, with what we know about the Clinton's why do you suppose anyone would vote for Hillary at this point in her well established career? Do you think it's “the stupidity of the American voter” as Democratic Advisor Johnathan Gruber says. Or are Democrats just hoping low information voters will turn out in droves? You're clearly put out with Guinta's scandal, so based on your level of tolerance, we must assume you spend everyday in the confessional after repeating Hillary's talking points.

GREG BARRETT said Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 2:50 pm
I have come to the conclusion that Jennifer Horn and the NH Republican Committee in conjunction with the O'Brien wing of the radical Republican extremists are not very bright people. You may or may not agree with Ayotte but, you certainly can't refer to her wing of the party as unintelligent.

----------

Ted Siefer's City Hall: "Gatsas - Guinta's future is up to him and the voters"
By Ted Siefer, NH Union Leader, Political Column, May 24, 2015

Congressman Frank Guinta is not exactly a son of Manchester (he's from New Jersey), but politically speaking, this is where he came of age.

He was elected alderman in 2001 and won an upset victory to become mayor in 2005, serving two terms before he set his sights on the U.S. Congress. And the rest is history. Well, not quite.

Several of the state's top Republican leaders lined up last week to call on Guinta to resign in the wake of his acknowledgment that he made illegal campaign contributions in 2010 and his head-scratching explanations for the transactions.

Conspicuously absent from the dog pile on Guinta, however, was his successor as mayor and the city's most prominent Republican leader: Ted Gatsas.

Gatsas has never had a particularly close relationship with Guinta, but he stopped short of calling for his resignation. "I think that's something he's got to work out with his family and with voters," Gatsas said.

Time will tell if any other Manchester-area Republican will rally around the guy once seen as a rising star in the party.

*

Speaking before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen is daunting enough as it is. But it takes a special courage and sense of purpose to do so as an immigrant with limited English abilities. In the case of the immigrants who spoke at Tuesday's meeting, that purpose was to convey their alarm over the school district's plan to relocate the adult education program from the Manchester School of Technology to the central city, with a building on Maple Street serving as its main office.

According to the preliminary plan, classes would also be offered at satellite sites, such as the nearby Manchester Community Resource Center. Carolina Cadbil told the board that she was concerned this could result in the disintegration of a community of more than 200 students. "It's not just a program for people who want to learn English; it's like a big family," she said.

Cadbil was joined by more than a dozen students of several nationalities, many of them wearing matching Manchester Adult Learning Center T-shirts.

Later in the week, Assistant Superintendent Dave Ryan and school board member Kathy Staub were slated to sit down with some of the students to discuss their concerns.

Ryan told me that he believed the current plan would improve the adult education program, which also offers adult diploma programs and job training classes. "We are confident that the program moving forward, using the city as our classroom and working with city agencies as partners, is what is best for the future of adult learning in our city," he said in an email.

*

It looks like the Manchester Dog Park will get a new leash - er, lease - on life. The aldermen's administration committee last week recommended renewing its agreement with the city for another five years.

And there's a new regime in charge of Manchester Dog Park Association, led by Kevin Roux.

Roux assured the committee that he would make the full list of new board members public and would post meeting minutes on its website. These concerns were likely prompted by grumblings that the founding members, namely former alderman Phil Greazzo and his Republican allies, took an overly ideological approach to running the park.

Later in the week, Roux sent the aldermen a list of the new MDPA members. They are: Skip Fosher, Tom Spenard and Robin Handlin; the latter two will take over from Dan Garthwaite and Tammy Simmons shortly, according to an email Roux sent to the board.

Roux previously told me that the new board members are all frequent users of the park and that the selection was made through an informal process at the park; in other words, they're not politicians. (No word if dogs had voting rights.)

And in case you're wondering, it was a peaceful transition.

Roux noted in his email to the aldermen that the group "wouldn't be where we are without the work and time put in by" his predecessors.

*

Speaking of canines, licensing them with the city has entered the digital age. The City Clerk's Office is now offering an online renewal process for dog licenses, allowing owners to renew and pay from home without making the trek to City Hall.

Residents who would like more information can access the online portal by going to www.manchesternh.gov/dogs or by calling the office at 624-6348.

*

Two longtime city officials received their official farewells on Tuesday: Water Works Director Dave Paris and Tax Collector Pat Harte, who are both retiring.

Paris has headed the Water Works for just a few years, but he's worked at the agency for 40 years.

"We stand on the shoulders of those who come before us," Paris said after he and Harte received certificates from the mayor. "I've had the opportunity to come to a great department and maybe leave a mark. The city is a great place, and the Water department is in really good hands."

Paris added that he looks forward to watching - rather than attending - board meetings that run past 1 a.m.

Let's hope he eventually finds some other entertainment options.

Ted Siefer is the City Hall reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. He may be reached at tsiefer@unionleader.com and followed on Twitter @tbsreporter.

Note: Comments are the opinion of the respective poster and not of the publisher.

CATHY COTE said Sunday, May 24, 2015
One thing you can say with a clear conscience is that Rep. Guinta has never made a redeeming vote in his life. There are 400,000 - 600,000 wounded veterans from the Afghanistan/Iraq wars and when veterans rated him on their report card I believe he received a D, the same from the environmental groups. You can say what you want about Carol Shea-Porter but the veterans gave her an A. Obviously Rep. Guinta cares less about our planet or our people. He does care what the Koch brothers want and I'm sure they (Koch brothers) called the NH GOP last week and told them to leave their stooge alone!!!

CATHY COTE said Sunday, May 24, 2015
To JKL on your show you went off screaming how Guinta did nothing wrong. Let me remind you that he lied for 5 years. That lying that he did does not even register on your radar. I wonder why???? Says a lot about your character and I was just starting to see another side of you. Thanks for clearing that up for me. I will not be voting for you again.

CATHY COTE said Sunday, May 24, 2015
I think Mr. Seifer here neglects to report is that Rep. Guinta lost here in Manchester in the last election. Yes he won in NH but Manchester did not support him, his home town that he was Mayor in. I think that says it all. We know him!!!

JOE KELLY LEVASSEUR said Sunday, May 24, 2015
Ah yes, Ms. Cote, but Frank did deliver on tax cap, so he has my support as someone who did something very important for Manchester, that I am grateful for. He took money from his mother, he broke the letter of the law and he is paying a fine. My support for him goes as far as not supporting a call for him to resign, not the fact that he broke the law. If he wants to run again then let the voters decide whether or not he should keep his seat. My advice would be that he should not run again, but I also do not advocate him resigning. Have a nice weekend and thank you for your comments. Joseph Kelly Levasseur 6227575.

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"Aldermen revolt: A tax cap in jeopardy"
NH Union Leader, Editorial, September 3, 2015

Most Manchester aldermen voted Tuesday night to stick taxpayers with a bill the city cannot afford to pay. They did so fully aware of the financial burden they were placing on the people. If this goes unpunished in November, the people of Manchester can say goodbye to the tax cap they fought so hard to impose upon the aldermen.

Aldermen, clearly prodded by the protesting Manchester Education Association, voted 10-3 to approve the budget-busting teacher contract Mayor Ted Gatsas vetoed last month. Gatsas, acting responsibly, again vetoed it, but aldermen overrode the veto on an 11-2 vote, with Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur switching sides.

This is exactly the behavior voters tried to stop by imposing a tax and spending cap on the aldermen. Last year, aldermen voted to override the cap. This year, they voted for a contract they knew would push the budget above the cap and create deficits because the city would not have enough revenue to cover the costs. Will voters let them get away with this?

At issue is not just this unaffordable contract. It is whether the aldermen have any respect for the taxpayers. For years, aldermen ignored the taxpayers and did the bidding of city unions.

The tax cap disrupted that pattern, but aldermen emboldened by their tax cap override last year are reverting to their previous bad behavior.

The aldermen who voted for the contract are William Barry, Garth Corriveau, Joyce Craig, Norman Gamache, Tony Katsiantonis, Pat Long, Ron Ludwig, Dan O’Neil, Tony Sapienza and Barbara Shaw. Alderman Levasseur voted against it the first time but voted for the override. Keith Hirschmann abstained. Voters, use that information wisely.

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"Manchester alderman pledges $2,500 to Robert reward fund"
NH Union Leader, September 3, 2015

MANCHESTER — A city alderman has pledged $2,500 to the reward being offered in connection to the shooting death of Denise Robert last Sunday night in the city’s North End.

The pledge brings the reward to $20,000. Police have said they expect the reward total to continue to grow.

Local restaurateur and Alderman At Large Joe Kelly Levasseur said he was deeply affected to hear about the homicide of Robert, a longtime newspaper advertising saleswoman.

She used to sell him advertising for his restaurant, Theo's, and his political campaigns, he said.

"I agree with Manchester Police Department, there's somebody out there who knows something who's just afraid (to come forward)," Levasseur said.

All available detectives are working on the case, and authorities have pleaded with the public to contact police if they ran across Robert on Sunday.

They've also asked anyone in Manchester with video surveillance equipment to check for images of Robert or a dark, possibly rust-colored, pickup truck.

Others to contribute to the reward fund include Manchester Crimeline, the Union Leader Corp. and its workers, and a $10,000 anonymous donor.

Hours after police announced the reward on Wednesday, the number of tips they received doubled, to two dozen, police said.

Levasseur called the crime senseless and said Robert's killer deserves the death penalty.

"This is a case that screams for it," Levasseur said. "This is a really, really bad guy."

----------

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I am a citizen defending the people against corrupt Pols who only serve their Corporate Elite masters, not the people! / My 2 political enemies are Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., nicknamed "Luciforo" and former Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. / I have also pasted many of my political essays on "The Berkshire Blog": berkshireeagle.blogspot.com / I AM THE ANTI-FRANK GUINTA! / Please contact me at jonathan_a_melle@yahoo.com

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Purple Heart
First issued in 2003, the Purple heart stamp will continue to honor the men and women wounded while serving in the US military. The Purple Heart stamp covers the cost of 44 cents for first-class, one-ounce mail.

Dolphin

Dolphin
The bottlenose is just one of the new animals set to appear on the price-change stamps. It will serve as a 64-cent stamp for odd shaped envelopes.

2009 price-change stamps

2009 price-change stamps
www.boston.com/business/gallery/2009pircechangestamps/ -&- www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/02/27/new_stamps_set_for_rate_increase_in_may/

Red Sox v Yankees

Red Sox v Yankees
Go Red Sox!

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama
AP photo v Shepard Fairey

Rush Limbaugh lackeys

Rush Limbaugh lackeys
Posted by Dan Wasserman of the Boston Globe on March 3, 2009.

Honest Abe

Honest Abe
A 2007 US Penny

Dog race

Dog race
Sledding for dogs

The Capital of the Constitution State

The Capital of the Constitution State
Hartford, once the wealthiest city in the United States but now the poorest in Connecticut, is facing an uphill battle.

Brady, Bundchen married

Brady, Bundchen married
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and model Gisele Bundchen wed Feb. 26, 2009 in a Catholic ceremony in Los Angeles. www.boston.com/ae/celebrity/gallery/tom_gisele/

Mayor Jimmy Ruberto

Mayor Jimmy Ruberto
Tanked Pittsfield's local economy while helping his fellow insider political hacks and business campaign contributors!

Journalist Andrew Manuse

Journalist Andrew Manuse
www.manuse.com

New Hampshire Supreme Court Building

New Hampshire Supreme Court Building
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Hampshire_Supreme_Court

Economic State of the Union

Economic State of the Union
A look at some of the economic conditions the Obama administration faces and what resources have already been pledged to help. 2/24/2009

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama
The president addresses the nation's governors during a dinner in the State Dinning Room, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari).

The Oscars - 2/22/2009.

The Oscars - 2/22/2009.
Hugh Jackman and Beyoncé Knowles teamed up for a musical medley during the show.

The 81st Academy Awards - Oscars - 2009

The 81st Academy Awards - Oscars - 2009
Hugh Jackman pulled actress Anne Hathaway on stage to accompany him during his opening musical number.

Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow
A Progressive News Commentator

$500,000 per year

$500,000 per year
That is chump change for the corporate elite!

THE CORPORATE ELITE...

THE CORPORATE ELITE...
Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman and chief executive of General Electric

The Presidents' Club

The Presidents' Club
Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton & Carter.

5 Presidents: Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton, & Carter!

5 Presidents: Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton, & Carter!
White House Event: January 7, 2009.

Bank Bailout!

Bank Bailout!
v taxpayer

Actress Elizabeth Banks

Actress Elizabeth Banks
She will present an award to her hometown (Pittsfield) at the Massachusetts State House next month (1/2009). She recently starred in "W" and "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," and just signed a $1 million annual contract to be a spokesmodel for Paris.

Joanna Lipper

Joanna Lipper
Her award-winning 1999 documentary, "Growing Up Fast," about teenaged mothers in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Happy Holidays...

Happy Holidays...
...from "Star Wars"

Massachusetts "poor" economy

Massachusetts "poor" economy
Massachusetts is one of the wealthiest states, but it is also very inequitable. For example, it boasts the nation's most lucrative lottery, which is just a system of regressive taxation so that the corporate elite get to pay less in taxes!

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon
Hollywood Actress

Peter G. Arlos.

Peter G. Arlos.
Arlos is shown in his Pittsfield office in early 2000.

Turnpike OK's hefty toll hikes

Turnpike OK's hefty toll hikes
Big Dig - East-west commuters take hit; Fees at tunnels would double. 11/15/2008.

The Pink Panther 2

The Pink Panther 2
Starring Steve Martin

Police ABUSE

Police ABUSE
I was a victim of Manchester Police Officer John Cunningham's ILLEGAL USES of FORCE! John Cunningham was reprimanded by the Chief of Police for disrespecting me. John Cunningham yelled at a witness: "I don't care if he (Jonathan Melle) is disabled!"

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
The 44th US President!

Vote

Vote
Elections

The Bailout & the economic stimulus check

The Bailout & the economic stimulus check
A political cartoon by Dan Wasserman

A rainbow over Boston

A rainbow over Boston
"Rainbows galore" 10/2/2008

Our nation's leaders!

Our nation's leaders!
President Bush with both John McCain & Barack Obama - 9/25/2008.

Massachusetts & Big Dig: Big hike in tolls for Pike looming (9/26/2008).

Massachusetts & Big Dig: Big hike in tolls for Pike looming (9/26/2008).
$5 rise at tunnels is one possibility $1 jump posed for elsewhere.

Mary E Carey

Mary E Carey
My FAVORITE Journalist EVER!

9/11/2008 - A Show of Unity!

9/11/2008 - A Show of Unity!
John McCain and Barack Obama appeared together at ground zero in New York City - September 11, 2008.

John McCain...

John McCain...
...has all but abandoned the positions on taxes, torture and immigration. (A cartoon by Dan Wasserman. September 2008).

Dan Wasserman

Dan Wasserman
The deregulated chickens come home to roost... in all our pocketbooks. September 2008.

Sarah Palin's phobia

Sarah Palin's phobia
A scripted candidate! (A cartoon by Dan Wasserman).

Dan Wasserman

Dan Wasserman
Family FInances - September, 2008.

Mark E. Roy

Mark E. Roy
Ward 1 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Theodore “Ted” L. Gatsas

Theodore “Ted” L. Gatsas
Ward 2 Alderman (& NH State Senator) for Manchester, NH (2008).

Peter M. Sullivan

Peter M. Sullivan
Ward 3 (downtown) Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Jim Roy

Jim Roy
Ward 4 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Ed Osborne

Ed Osborne
Ward 5 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Real R. Pinard

Real R. Pinard
Ward 6 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

William P. Shea

William P. Shea
Ward 7 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Betsi DeVries

Betsi DeVries
Ward 8 Alder-woman (& NH State Senator) for Manchester, NH (2008).

Michael Garrity

Michael Garrity
Ward 9 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

George Smith

George Smith
Ward 10 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Russ Ouellette

Russ Ouellette
Ward 11 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Kelleigh (Domaingue) Murphy

Kelleigh (Domaingue) Murphy
Ward 12 Alder-woman for Manchester, NH (2008).

“Mike” Lopez

“Mike” Lopez
At-Large Alderman for Manchester, NH. (2008).

Daniel P. O’Neil

Daniel P. O’Neil
At-Large Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Sarah Palin for Vice President.

Sarah Palin for Vice President.
Republican John McCain made the surprise pick of Alaska's governor Sarah Palin as his running mate today, August 29, 2008.

U.S. Representative John Olver, D-Amherst, Massachusetts.

U.S. Representative John Olver, D-Amherst, Massachusetts.
Congressman Olver said the country has spent well over a half-trillion dollars on the war in Iraq while the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate. 8/25/08.

Ed O'Reilly for US Senate in Massachusetts!

Ed O'Reilly for US Senate in Massachusetts!
John Kerry's 9/2008 challenger in the Democratic Primary.

Shays' Rebellion

Shays' Rebellion
In a tax revolt, Massachusetts farmers fought back during Shays' Rebellion in the mid-1780s after The American Revolutionary War.

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore
Actress. "The Big Lebowski" is one of my favorite movies. I also like "The Fugitive", too.

Rinaldo Del Gallo III & "Superman"

Rinaldo Del Gallo III & "Superman"
Go to: http://www.berkshirefatherhood.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=699&cntnt01returnid=69

"Income chasm widening in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts"

"Income chasm widening in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts"
The gap between rich and poor has widened substantially in Massachusetts over the past two decades. (8/15/2008).

Dan "Bureaucrat" Bosley

Dan "Bureaucrat" Bosley
"The Bosley Amendment": To create tax loopholes for the wealthiest corporate interests in Massachusetts!

John Edwards and...

John Edwards and...
...Rielle Hunter. WHO CARES?!

Rep. Edward J. Markey

Rep. Edward J. Markey
He wants online-privacy legislation. Some Web Firms Say They Track Behavior Without Explicit Consent.

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan
She gained fame with her antiwar vigil outside the Bush ranch.

Olympics kick off in Beijing

Olympics kick off in Beijing
Go USA!

Exxon Mobil 2Q profit sets US record, shares fall

Exxon Mobil 2Q profit sets US record, shares fall
In this May 1, 2008, file photo, a customer pumps gas at an Exxon station in Middleton, Mass. Exxon Mobil Corp. reported second-quarter earnings of $11.68 billion Thursday, July 31, the biggest quarterly profit ever by any U.S. corporation, but the results were well short of Wall Street expectations and its shares fell as markets opened. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole, File) 7/31/2008.

Onota Lake 'Sea Serpent'

Onota Lake 'Sea Serpent'
Some kind of monster on Onota Lake. Five-year-old Tyler Smith rides a 'sea serpent' on Onota Lake in Pittsfield, Mass. The 'monster,' fashioned by Smith's grandfather, first appeared over July 4 weekend. (Photo courtesy of Ron Smith). 7/30/2008.

Al Gore, Jr.

Al Gore, Jr.
Al Gore issues challenge on energy

The Norman Rockwell Museum

The Norman Rockwell Museum
Stockbridge, Massachusetts

"Big Dig"

"Big Dig"
Boston's financially wasteful pork barrel project!

"Big Dig"

"Big Dig"
Boston's pork barrel public works project cost 50 times more than the original price!

Mary E Carey

Mary E Carey
My favorite journalist EVER!

U.S. Rep. John Olver, state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and Selectwomen Stephanie O'Keeffe and Alisa Brewer

U.S. Rep. John Olver, state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and Selectwomen Stephanie O'Keeffe and Alisa Brewer
Note: Photo from Mary E Carey's Blog.

Tanglewood

Tanglewood
Boston Symphony Orchestra music director James Levine.

Google

Google
Chagall

Jimmy Ruberto

Jimmy Ruberto
Faces multiple persecutions under the Massachusetts "Ethics" conflict of interest laws.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
Obama vows $500m in faith-based aid.

John McCain

John McCain
He is with his wife, Cindy, who were both met by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (right) upon arriving in Cartagena.

Daniel Duquette

Daniel Duquette
Sold Mayor James M. Ruberto of Pittsfield two tickets to the 2004 World Series at face value.

Hillary & Barack in Unity, NH - 6/27/2008

Hillary & Barack in Unity, NH - 6/27/2008
Clinton tells Obama, crowd in Unity, N.H.: 'We are one party'

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Wanna-be Prez?

WALL-E

WALL-E
"out of this World"

Crisis in the Congo - Ben Affleck

Crisis in the Congo - Ben Affleck
http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/popup?id=5057139&contentIndex=1&page=1&start=false - http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=5234555&page=1

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
NH's Democratic returning candidate for U.S. Senate

"Wall-E"

"Wall-E"
a cool robot

Ed O'Reilly

Ed O'Reilly
www.edoreilly.com

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
World Champions - 2008

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
J.D. Drew gets the same welcome whenever he visits the City of Brotherly Love: "Booooooo!"; Drew has been vilified in Philadelphia since refusing to sign with the Phillies after they drafted him in 1997...

Joe Kelly Levasseur & Joe Briggs

Joe Kelly Levasseur & Joe Briggs
www.2joes.org

NH Union Leader

NH Union Leader
Editorial Cartoon

Celtics - World Champions!

Celtics - World Champions!
www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_18_08_front_pages/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_17_08_finals_game_6/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_17_08_celebration/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_15_08_celtics_championships/

"The Nation"

"The Nation"
A "Liberal" weekly political news magazine. Katrina vanden Heuvel.

TV - PBS: NOW

TV - PBS: NOW
http://www.pbs.org/now

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone
List of Twilight Zone episodes - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Twilight_Zone_episodes

Equality for ALL Marriages

Equality for ALL Marriages
I, Jonathan Melle, am a supporter of same sex marriages.

Kobe Bryant leads his time to a Game 5 victory.

Kobe Bryant leads his time to a Game 5 victory.
L.A. Lakers holds on for the win to force Game 6 at Boston

Mohawk Trail

Mohawk Trail
The 'Hail to the Sunrise' statue in Charlemont is a well-known and easily recognized landmark on the Mohawk Trail. The trail once boasted several souvenir shops, some with motels and restaurants. Now only four remain. (Caroline Bonnivier / Berkshire Eagle Staff).

NASA - June 14, 2008

NASA - June 14, 2008
Space Shuttle Discovery returns to Earth.

Go Celtics! Game # 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

Go Celtics! Game # 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals.
Boston took a 20-second timeout, and the Celtics ran off four more points (including this incredible Erving-esque layup from Ray Allen) to build the lead to five points with just 2:10 remaining. Reeling, the Lakers took a full timeout to try to regain their momentum.

Sal DiMasi

Sal DiMasi
Speaker of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives

Kelly Ayotte - Attorney General of New Hampshire

Kelly Ayotte - Attorney General of New Hampshire
http://doj.nh.gov/

John Kerry

John Kerry
He does not like grassroots democracy & being challenged in the 2008 Massachusetts Democratic Party Primary for re-election.

Tim Murray

Tim Murray
Corrupt Lt. Gov. of Massachusetts, 2007 - 2013.

North Adams, Massachusetts

North Adams, Massachusetts
downtown

Howie Carr

Howie Carr
Political Satirist on Massachusetts Corruption/Politics

Polar Bear

Polar Bear
Global Warming

Elizabeth Warren - Web-Site Links

Elizabeth Warren - Web-Site Links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Warren & http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/WarrenAuthor.html

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren
Consumer Crusader

Leon Powe

Leon Powe
Celtics forward Leon Powe finished a fast break with a dunk.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett reacted during the game.

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo finished a first half fast break with a dunk.

Teamwork

Teamwork
Los Angeles Lakers teammates help Pau Gasol (16) from the floor in the second quarter.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant took a shot in the first half of Game 2.

Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins
Kendrick Perkins (right) backed down Lamar Odom (left) during first half action.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
The Boston Symphony Orchestra performed the national anthem prior to Game 2.

K.G.!

K.G.!
Garnett reacted to a hard dunk in the first quarter.

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce reacted after hitting a three upon his return to the game since leaving with an injury.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Kobe Bryant (left) and Paul Pierce (right) squared off in the second half of the game.

James Taylor

James Taylor
Sings National Anthem at Celtics Game.

John Forbes Kerry & Deval Patrick

John Forbes Kerry & Deval Patrick
Attended Celtics Game.

Greats of the NBA: Dr. J, Bill Russell, & Kareem!

Greats of the NBA: Dr. J, Bill Russell, & Kareem!
Attend Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis
The actor (left) and his date were in the crowd before the Celtics game.

John Kerry

John Kerry
Golddigger attends Celtics game

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton
Ends her 2008 bid for Democratic Party nomination

Nonnie Burnes

Nonnie Burnes
Massachusetts Insurance Commish & former Judge

Jones Library

Jones Library
Amherst, Massachusetts

Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton

Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton
2008 Democratic Primary

"US vs Exxon and Halliburton"

"US vs Exxon and Halliburton"
U.S. Senator John Sununu took more than $220,000 from big oil.

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
4- U.S. Senate - 2008

William Pignatelli

William Pignatelli
Hack Rep. "Smitty" with Lynne Blake

Ben Bernanke

Ben Bernanke
Federal Reserve Chairman

Gazettenet.com

Gazettenet.com
www.gazettenet.com/beta/

Boys' & Girls' Club

Boys' & Girls' Club
Melville Street, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Denis Guyer

Denis Guyer
Dalton State Representative

The Berkshire Eagle

The Berkshire Eagle
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Carmen Massimiano

Carmen Massimiano
Williams College - May 2008

Larry Bird & Magic Johnson

Larry Bird & Magic Johnson
www.boston.com/lifestyle/gallery/when_the_celtics_were_cool/

Regressive Taxation! via State Lotteries

Regressive Taxation! via State Lotteries
New Massachusetts state lottery game hits $600 million in sales!

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
"Luciforo"

John Barrett III

John Barrett III
Long-time Mayor of North Adams Massachusetts

Shine On

Shine On

Elmo

Elmo
cool!

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce kissed the Eastern Conference trophy. 5/30/2008. AP Photo.

Kevin Garnett & Richard Hamilton

Kevin Garnett & Richard Hamilton
Kevin Garnett (left) talked to Pistons guard Richard Hamilton (right) after the Celtics' victory in Game 6. 5/30/2008. Reuters Photo.

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce showed his team colors as the Celtics closed out the Pistons in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. 5/30/2008. Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis.

Joseph Kelly Levasseur

Joseph Kelly Levasseur
One of my favorite politicians!

Mary E Carey

Mary E Carey
In the Big Apple: NYC! She is the coolest!

Guyer & Kerry

Guyer & Kerry
My 2nd least favorite picture EVER!

Mary Carey

Mary Carey
My favorite journalist EVER!

Nuciforo & Ruberto

Nuciforo & Ruberto
My least favorite picture EVER!

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
U.S. Senate - 2008

NH Fisher Cats

NH Fisher Cats
AA Baseball - Toronto Blue Jays affiliate

Manchester, NH

Manchester, NH
Police Patch

Michael Briggs

Michael Briggs
#83 - We will never forget

Michael "Stix" Addison

Michael "Stix" Addison
http://unionleader.com/channel.aspx/News?channel=2af17ff4-f73b-4c44-9f51-092e828e1131

Charlie Gibson

Charlie Gibson
ABC News anchor

Scott McClellan

Scott McClellan
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/scott_mcclellan/index.html?inline=nyt-per

Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho
Downtown Boise Idaho

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Legislative Hearing in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, BCC, on Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
My favorite classical U.S. President!

NH Governor John Lynch

NH Governor John Lynch
Higher Taxes, Higher Tolls

Paul Hodes

Paul Hodes
My favorite Congressman!

Portland Sea Dogs

Portland Sea Dogs
AA Red Sox

New York

New York
Magnet

Massachusetts

Massachusetts
Magnet

New Hampshire

New Hampshire
Magnet

New Hampshire

New Hampshire
Button

Carmen Massimiano

Carmen Massimiano
"Luciforo" tried to send me to Carmen's Jail during the Spring & Summer of 1998.

Kay Khan - Massachusetts State Representative

Kay Khan - Massachusetts State Representative
www.openmass.org/members/show/174

Luciforo

Luciforo
Andrea F Nuciforo II

B-Eagle

B-Eagle
Pittsfield's monopoly/only daily newspaper

Jon Lester - Go Red Sox!

Jon Lester - Go Red Sox!
A Red Sox No Hitter on 5/19/2008!

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Dustin Pedroia & Manny Ramirez

U.S. Flag

U.S. Flag
God Bless America!

Jonathan Melle's Blog

Jonathan Melle's Blog
Hello, Everyone!

Molly Bish

Molly Bish
We will never forget!

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Celtics guard Rajon Rondo listens to some advice from Celtics head coach Doc Rivers in the first half.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace embrace at the end of the game.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon calls for the ball as he charges toward first base. Papelbon made the out en route to picking up his 14th save of the season.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka throws to Royals David DeJesus during the first inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka delivers a pitch to Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek during the second inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew is welcomed to home plate by teammates Mike Lowell (left), Kevin Youkilis (2nd left) and Manny Ramirez after he hit a grand slam in the second inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell crosses the plate after hitting a grand slam during the sixth inning. Teammates Manny Ramirez and Jacoby Ellsbury scored on the play. The Red Sox went on to win 11-8 to complete a four-game sweep and perfect homestand.

JD Drew - Go Red Sox

JD Drew - Go Red Sox
www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/gallery/05_22_08_sox_royals/

Thank you for serving; God Bless America!

Thank you for serving; God Bless America!
Master Sgt. Kara B. Stackpole, of Westfield, holds her daughter, Samantha, upon her return today to Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee. She is one of the 38 members of the 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron who returned after a 4-month deployment in Iraq. Photo by Dave Roback / The Republican.

Kathi-Anne Reinstein

Kathi-Anne Reinstein
www.openmass.org/members/show/175

Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy
Tragic diagnosis: Get well Senator!

Google doodle - Jonathan Melle Internet search

Google doodle - Jonathan Melle Internet search
http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q=jonathan+melle+blogurl:http://jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/&ie=UTF-8

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Billionaire U.S. Senator gives address to MCLA graduates in North Adams, Massachusetts in mid-May 2008

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
"Luciforo"

A Red Sox Fan in Paris, France

A Red Sox Fan in Paris, France
Go Red Sox!

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Interviewed on local TV

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
Luciforo!

John Adams

John Adams
#2 U.S. President

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I stood under a tree on the afternoon of May 9, 2008, on the foregrounds of the NH State House - www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/nhinsider/vpost?id=2967773

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Inside the front lobby of the NH State House

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Bill Clinton campaign memorabilia

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Liberty Bell & NH State House

Jon Keller

Jon Keller
Boston based political analyst

Jon Keller

Jon Keller
Boston based political analyst

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Franklin Pierce Statue #14 U.S. President

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
NH State House

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Stop the War NOW!

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
"Mr. Melle, tear down this Blog!"

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I stood next to a JFK photo

Jonathan Levine, Publisher

Jonathan Levine, Publisher
The Pittsfield Gazette Online

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I made rabbit ears with John & George

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I made antenna ears with John & George

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I impersonated Howard Dean

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
mock-voting

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
pretty ladies -/- Go to: http://www.wgir.com/cc-common/cc_photopop20.html?eventID=28541&pagecontent=&pagenum=4 - Go to: http://current.com/items/88807921_veterans_should_come_first_not_last# - http://www.mcam23.com/cgi-bin/cutter.cgi?c_function=STREAM?c_feature=EDIT?dir_catagory=10MorningRadio?dir_folder=2JoesClips?dir_file=JonathanMelle-090308? -

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Go Red Sox! Me at Fenway Park

Mary E. Carey

Mary E. Carey
My favorite journalist! Her voice sings for the Voiceless. -/- Go to: http://aboutamherst.blogspot.com/search?q=melle -/- Go to: http://ongeicocaveman.blogspot.com/search?q=melle

Velvet Jesus

Velvet Jesus
Mary Carey blogs about my political writings. This is a picture of Jesus from her childhood home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. -//- "How Can I Keep From Singing" : My life goes on in endless song / Above Earth's lamentations, / I hear the real, though far-off hymn / That hails a new creation. / / Through all the tumult and the strife / I hear its music ringing, / It sounds an echo in my soul. / How can I keep from singing? / / Whey tyrants tremble in their fear / And hear their death knell ringing, / When friends rejoice both far and near / How can I keep from singing? / / In prison cell and dungeon vile / Our thoughts to them are winging / When friends by shame are undefiled / How can I keep from singing?

www.truthdig.com

www.truthdig.com
www.truthdig.com

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Concord NH

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=loc&newest=1&addr=&zip=01201&search=Search

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
smiles & beer

Jonathan Lothrop

Jonathan Lothrop
A Pittsfield City Councilor

Michael L. Ward

Michael L. Ward
A Pittsfield City Councilor

Peter Marchetti - Pittsfield's City Councilor at Large

Peter Marchetti - Pittsfield's City Councilor at Large
Pete always sides with the wealthy's political interests.

Gerald Lee - Pittsfield's City Council Prez

Gerald Lee - Pittsfield's City Council Prez
Gerald Lee told me that I am a Social Problem; Lee executes a top-down system of governance.

Matt Kerwood - Pittsfield's Councilor at Large

Matt Kerwood - Pittsfield's Councilor at Large
Kerwood poured coffee drinks for Jane Swift

Louis Costi

Louis Costi
Pittsfield City Councilor

Lewis Markham

Lewis Markham
Pittsfield City Councilor

Kevin Sherman - Pittsfield City Councilor

Kevin Sherman - Pittsfield City Councilor
Sherman ran for Southern Berkshire State Rep against Smitty Pignatelli; Sherman is a good guy.

Anthony Maffuccio

Anthony Maffuccio
Pittsfield City Councilor

Linda Tyer

Linda Tyer
Pittsfield City Councilor

Daniel Bianchi

Daniel Bianchi
A Pittsfield City Councilor

The Democratic Donkey

The Democratic Donkey
Democratic Party Symbol

Paramount

Paramount
What is Paramount to you?

NH's Congresswoman

NH's Congresswoman
Carol Shea-Porter, Democrat

Sam Adams Beer

Sam Adams Beer
Boston Lager

Ratatouille

Ratatouille
Disney Animation

Ruberto Details Plans for Success - January 07, 2008

Ruberto Details Plans for Success - January 07, 2008
"Luciforo" swears in Mayor Ruberto. Pittsfield Politics at its very worst: 2 INSIDER POWERBROKERS! Where is Carmen Massimiano? He must be off to the side.

Abe

Abe
Lincoln

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime
Leader of the Autobots

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime
1984 Autobot Transformer Leader

Cleanup Agreements - GE & Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

Cleanup Agreements - GE & Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/cleanupagreement.html

GE/Housatonic River Site: Introduction

GE/Housatonic River Site: Introduction
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/

GE/Housatonic River Site - Reports

GE/Housatonic River Site - Reports
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/thesite/opca-reports.html

US EPA - Contact - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

US EPA - Contact -  Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/contactinfo.html

GE Corporate Logo - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

GE Corporate Logo - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/index.html

Commonwealth Connector

Commonwealth Connector
Commonwealth Care

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Healthcare Reform

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Healthcare Reform

Network Health Forward - A Commonwealth Care Plan

Network Health Forward - A Commonwealth Care Plan
Massachusetts Health Reform

Network Health Together: A MassHealth Plan - Commonwealth Care

Network Health Together: A MassHealth Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

www.network-health.org

www.network-health.org
Massachusetts Health Reform

Neighborhood Health Plan - Commonwealth Care

Neighborhood Health Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

Fallon Community Health Plan - Commonwealth Care

Fallon Community Health Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

BMC HealthNet Plan

BMC HealthNet Plan
Massachusetts Health Reform

Massachusetts Health Reform

Massachusetts Health Reform
Eligibility Chart: 2007

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare
Massachusetts Health Reform

Business Peaks

Business Peaks
Voodoo Economics

Laffer Curve - Corporate Elite

Laffer Curve - Corporate Elite
Reagonomics: Supply Side

Corporate Elite Propaganda

Corporate Elite Propaganda
Mock Liberal Democratic Socialism Thinking

Real Estate Blues

Real Estate Blues
www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/2008/0316/

PEACE

PEACE
End ALL Wars!

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech
Norman Rockwell's World War II artwork depicting America's values

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
A young Abe Lincoln

RACHEL KAPRIELIAN

RACHEL KAPRIELIAN
www.openmass.org/members/show/218 - www.rachelkaprielian.com

Jennifer M. Callahan - Massachusetts State Representative

Jennifer M. Callahan - Massachusetts State Representative
www.openmass.org/members/show/164 - www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/05/04/legislator_describes_threat_as_unnerving/

Human Rights for ALL Peoples!

Human Rights for ALL Peoples!
My #1 Political Belief!

Anne Frank

Anne Frank
Amsterdam, Netherlands, Europe

A young woman Hillary supporter

A young woman Hillary supporter
This excellent picture captures a youth's excitement

Hillary Clinton with Natalie Portman

Hillary Clinton with Natalie Portman
My favorite Actress!

Alan Chartock

Alan Chartock
WAMC public radio in Albany, NY; Political columnist who writes about Berkshire County area politics; Strong supporter for Human Rights for ALL Peoples

OpenCongress.Org

OpenCongress.Org
This web-site uses some of my Blog postings

OpenMass.org

OpenMass.org
This web-site uses some of my blog postings!

Shannon O'Brien

Shannon O'Brien
One of my favorite politicians! She stands for the People first!

The Massachusetts State House

The Massachusetts State House
"The Almighty Golden Dome" - www.masslegislature.tv -

Sara Hathaway

Sara Hathaway
Former Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.
A corrupt Pol who tried to put me in Jail

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.
Another view of Pittsfield's inbred, multigenerational political prince. Luciforo!

Luciforo

Luciforo
Nuciforo's nickname

"Andy" Nuciforo

"Andy" Nuciforo
Luciforo!

Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer)

Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer)
Nuciforo's henchman! Nuciforo tried to send me to Carmen's Jail

Andrea Nuciforo Jr

Andrea Nuciforo Jr
Shhh! Luciforo's other job is working as a private attorney defending wealthy Boston-area corporate insurance companies

Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer) Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr.

Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer) Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr.
Nuciforo tried to send me to Carmen's Jail! Carmen sits with the Congressman, John Olver

Congressman John Olver

Congressman John Olver
Nuciforo's envy

The Dome of the U.S. Capitol

The Dome of the U.S. Capitol
Our Beacon of American Democracy

Nuciforo's architect

Nuciforo's architect
Mary O'Brien in red with scarf

Sara Hathaway (www.brynmawr.edu)

Sara Hathaway (www.brynmawr.edu)
Former-Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Nuciforo intimidated her, along with another woman, from running in a democratic state election in the Spring of 2006!

Andrea F. Nuciforo II

Andrea F. Nuciforo II
Pittsfield Politics

Berkshire County Republican Association

Berkshire County Republican Association
Go to: www.fcgop.blogspot.com

Denis Guyer

Denis Guyer
Dalton State Representative

John Forbes Kerry & Denis Guyer

John Forbes Kerry & Denis Guyer
U.S. Senator & State Representative

John Kerry

John Kerry
Endorses Barack Obama for Prez then visits Berkshire County

Dan Bosley

Dan Bosley
A Bureaucrat impostering as a Legislator!

Ben Downing

Ben Downing
Berkshire State Senator

Christopher N Speranzo

Christopher N Speranzo
Pittsfield's ANOINTED State Representative

Peter J. Larkin

Peter J. Larkin
Corrupt Lobbyist

GE - Peter Larkin's best friend!

GE - Peter Larkin's best friend!
GE's FRAUDULENT Consent Decree with Pittsfield, Massachusetts, will end up KILLING many innocent school children & other local residents!

GE's CEO Jack Welch

GE's CEO Jack Welch
The Corporate System's Corporate Elite's King

Economics: Where Supply meets Demand

Economics: Where Supply meets Demand
Equilibrium

GE & Pittsfield, Massachusetts

GE & Pittsfield, Massachusetts
In 2007, GE sold its Plastics Division to a Saudi company. Now all that is left over by GE are its toxic PCB pollutants that cause cancer in many Pittsfield residents.

Mayor James M Ruberto

Mayor James M Ruberto
A small-time pol chooses to serve the corporate elite & other elites over the people.

Governor Deval Patrick

Governor Deval Patrick
Deval shakes hands with Mayors in Berkshire County

Deval Patrick

Deval Patrick
Governor of Massachusetts

Pittsfield High School

Pittsfield High School
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Sara Hathaway

Sara Hathaway
Pittsfield's former Mayor

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Pittsfield Attorney focusing on Father's Rights Probate Court Legal Issues, & Local Politician and Political Observer

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Very Intelligent Political Activists in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III, Esq. is the spokesperson of the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition. He has been practicing family law and has been a member of the Massachusetts bar since 1996.

Mayor Ed Reilly

Mayor Ed Reilly
He supports Mayor Ruberto & works as a municipal Attorney. As Mayor, he backed Bill Weld for Governor in 1994, despite being a Democrat. He was joined by Carmen Massimiano & John Barrett III, the long-standing Mayor of North Adams.

Manchester, NH Mayor Frank Guinta

Manchester, NH Mayor Frank Guinta
Cuts Dental Care for Public School Children-in-Need

Manchester, NH City Hall

Manchester, NH City Hall
My new hometown - view from Hanover St. intersection with Elm St.

Manchester NH City Democrats

Manchester NH City Democrats
Go Dems!

2008 Democratic Candidates for U.S. Prez

2008 Democratic Candidates for U.S. Prez
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards

NH State House Dome

NH State House Dome
Concord, NH

Donna Walto

Donna Walto
Pittsfield Politician -- She strongly opposes Mayor Jim Ruberto's elitist tenure.

Elmo

Elmo
Who doesn't LOVE Elmo?

Hillary Clinton for U.S. President!

Hillary Clinton for U.S. President!
Hillary is for Children. She is my choice in 2008.

The White House in 1800

The White House in 1800
Home of our Presidents of the United States

John Adams

John Adams
2nd President of the USA

Hillary Clinton stands with John Edwards and Joe Biden

Hillary Clinton stands with John Edwards and Joe Biden
Hillary is my choice for U.S. President!

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the Radisson in Manchester NH 11/16/2007

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
U.S. Senator & Candidate for President

Pittsfield's 3 Women City Councillors - 2004

Pittsfield's 3 Women City Councillors - 2004
Linda Tyer, Pam Malumphy, Tricia Farley-Bouvier

Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
My friend Brian Merzbach reviews baseball parks around the nation.

The Corporate Elite: Rational Incentives for only the wealthy

The Corporate Elite: Rational Incentives for only the wealthy
The Elites double their $ every 6 to 8 years, while the "have-nots" double their $ every generation (or 24 years). Good bye Middle Class!

George Will

George Will
The human satellite voice for the Corporate Elite

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren
The Anti-George Will; Harvard Law School Professor; The Corporate Elite's Worst Nightmare

The Flag of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Flag of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
I was born and raised in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

State Senator Stan Rosenberg

State Senator Stan Rosenberg
Democratic State Senator from Amherst, Massachusetts -/- Anti-Stan Rosenberg Blog: rosenbergwatch.blogspot.com

Ellen Story

Ellen Story
Amherst Massachusetts' State Representative

Teen Pregnancy in Pittsfield, Mass.

Teen Pregnancy in Pittsfield, Mass.
Books are being written on Pittsfield's high teen pregancy rates! What some intellectuals do NOT understand about the issue is that TEEN PREGNANCIES in Pittsfield double the statewide average by design - Perverse Incentives!

NH Governor John Lynch

NH Governor John Lynch
Supports $30 Scratch Tickets and other forms of regressive taxation. Another Pol that only serves his Corporate Elite Masters instead of the People!

U.S. Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter

U.S. Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter
The first woman whom the People of New Hampshire have voted in to serve in U.S. Congress

U.S. Congressman Paul Hodes

U.S. Congressman Paul Hodes
A good man who wants to bring progressive changes to Capitol Hill!

Paul Hodes for U.S. Congress

Paul Hodes for U.S. Congress
New Hampshire's finest!

Darth Vader

Darth Vader
Star Wars

Dick Cheney & George W. Bush

Dick Cheney & George W. Bush
The Gruesome Two-some! Stop the Neo-Cons' fascism! End the Iraq War NOW!

WAROPOLY

WAROPOLY
The Inequity of Globalism

Bushopoly!

Bushopoly!
The Corporate Elite have redesigned "The System" to enrich themselves at the expense of the people, masses, have-nots, poor & middle-class families

George W. Bush with Karl Rove

George W. Bush with Karl Rove
Rove was a political strategist with extraordinary influence within the Bush II White House

2008's Republican Prez-field

2008's Republican Prez-field
John McCain, Alan Keyes, Rudy Guiliani, Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, WILLARD Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Ron Paul

Fall in New England

Fall in New England
Autumn is my favorite season

Picturing America

Picturing America
picturingamerica.neh.gov

Winter Weather Map

Winter Weather Map
3:45PM EST 3-Dec-07

Norman Rockwell Painting

Norman Rockwell Painting
Thanksgiving

Norman Rockwell Painting

Norman Rockwell Painting
Depiction of American Values in mid-20th Century America

Larry Bird #33

Larry Bird #33
My favorite basketball player of my childhood

Boston Celtics Basketball - 2007-2008

Boston Celtics Basketball - 2007-2008
Kevin Garnett hugs James Posey

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
All heart! Awesome basketball star for The Boston Celtics.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady
Go Patriots!

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch
Owner of Fox News - CORPORATE ELITE!

George Stephanopolous

George Stephanopolous
A Corporate Elite Political News Analyst

Robert Redford

Robert Redford
Starred in the movie "Lions for Lambs"

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep
Plays a jaded journalist with integrity in the movie "Lions for Lambs"

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise plays the Neo-Con D.C. Pol purely indoctrinated by the Corporate Elite's political agenda in the Middle East

CHARLIZE THERON

CHARLIZE THERON
"I want to say I've never been surrounded by so many fake breasts, but I went to the Academy Awards."

Amherst Town Library

Amherst Town Library
Amherst, NH - www.amherstlibrary.org

Manchester NH Library

Manchester NH Library
I use the library's automated timed 1-hour-per-day Internet computers to post on my Blog - www.manchester.lib.nh.us

Manchester NH's Palace Theater

Manchester NH's Palace Theater
Manchester NH decided to restore its Palace Theater

Pittsfield's Palace Theater

Pittsfield's Palace Theater
Pittsfield tore down this landmark on North Street in favor of a parking lot

Pleasant Street Theater

Pleasant Street Theater
Amherst, Massachusetts

William "Shitty" Pignatelli

William "Shitty" Pignatelli
A top down & banal State House Pol from Lenox Massachusetts -- A GOOD MAN!

The CIA & Mind Control

The CIA & Mind Control
Did the CIA murder people by proxy assassins?

Skull & Bones

Skull & Bones
Yale's Elite

ImpeachBush.org

ImpeachBush.org
I believe President Bush should be IMPEACHED because he is waging an illegal and immoral war against Iraq!

Bob Feuer drumming for U.S. Congress v John Olver in 2008

Bob Feuer drumming for U.S. Congress v John Olver in 2008
www.blog.bobfeuer.us

Abe Lincoln

Abe Lincoln
The 16th President of the USA

Power

Power
Peace

Global Warming Mock Giant Thermometer

Global Warming Mock Giant Thermometer
A member of Green Peace activist sets up a giant thermometer as a symbol of global warming during their campaign in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007. World leaders launch marathon negotiations Monday on how to fight global warming, which left unchecked could cause devastating sea level rises, send millions further into poverty and lead to the mass extinction of plants and animals.

combat global warming...

combat global warming...
...or risk economic and environmental disaster caused by rising temperatures

www.climatecrisiscoalition.org

www.climatecrisiscoalition.org
P.O. Box 125, South Lee, MA 01260, (413) 243-5665, tstokes@kyotoandbeyond.org, www.kyotoandbeyond.org

3 Democratic presidentional candidates

3 Democratic presidentional candidates
Democratic presidential candidates former senator John Edwards (from right) and Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd before the National Public Radio debate yesterday (12/4/2007).

The UN Seal

The UN Seal
An archaic & bureaucratic post WW2 top-down, non-democratic institution that also stands for some good governance values

Superman

Superman
One of my favorite childhood heroes and movies

Web-Site on toxic toys

Web-Site on toxic toys
www.healthytoys.org

Batman

Batman
One of my favorite super-heroes

Deval Patrick & Denis Guyer

Deval Patrick & Denis Guyer
Massachusetts' Governor stands with Dalton's State Rep. Denis E. Guyer.

Bill Cosby & Denis Guyer

Bill Cosby & Denis Guyer
TV Star Bill Cosby stands with Denis E. Guyer

Denis Guyer with his supporters

Denis Guyer with his supporters
Dalton State Representative

Denis Guyer goes to college

Denis Guyer goes to college
Dalton State Representative

Peter Marchetti

Peter Marchetti
He is my second cousin. Pete Marchetti favors MONEY, not fairness!

Matt Barron & Denis Guyer with couple

Matt Barron & Denis Guyer with couple
Matt Barron plays DIRTY politics against his opponents!

Nat Karns

Nat Karns
Top-Down Executive Director of the ELITIST Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Human Rights for All Peoples & people

Human Rights for All Peoples & people
Stop Anti-Semitism

Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill

Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill
State House, Room 227, Boston, MA 02133, 617-367-6900, www.mass.gov/treasury/

Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley

Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley
1350 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01103, 413-784-1240 / McCormick Building, One Asburton Place, Boston, MA 02108, 617-727-4765 / marthacoakley.com / www.ago.state.ma.us

Bush v. Gore: December 12, 2007, was the seventh anniversary, the 5-4 Supreme Court decision...

Bush v. Gore: December 12, 2007, was the seventh anniversary, the 5-4 Supreme Court decision...
www.takebackthecourt.org - A political billboard near my downtown apartment in Manchester, NH

Marc Murgo

Marc Murgo
An old friend of mine from Pittsfield

Downtown Manchester, NH

Downtown Manchester, NH
www.newhampshire.com/nh-towns/manchester.aspx

Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei
Movie Actress

Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities (MCHC)

Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities (MCHC)
www.masschc.org/issue.php

Mike Firestone & Anna Weisfeiler

Mike Firestone & Anna Weisfeiler
Mike Firestone works in Manchester NH for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign

James Pindell

James Pindell
Covers NH Primary Politcs for The Boston Globe

U.S. History - Declaration

U.S. History - Declaration
A 19th century engraving shows Benjamin Franklin, left, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman at work on the Declaration of Independence.

Boston Globe Photos of the Week - www.boston.com/bostonglobe/gallery/

Boston Globe Photos of the Week - www.boston.com/bostonglobe/gallery/
Sybregje Palenstijn (left), who plays Sarah Godbertson at Plimouth Plantation, taught visitors how to roast a turkey on a spit. The plantation often sees a large influx of visitors during the holiday season.

Chris Hodgkins

Chris Hodgkins
Another special interest Berkshire Pol who could not hold his "WATER" on Beacon Hill's State House!

The Big Dig - 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto Milena Del Valle's car.

The Big Dig - 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto Milena Del Valle's car.
Most of Boston's Big Dig highway remains closed, after a woman was crushed when 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto her car. (ABC News)

Jane Swift

Jane Swift
Former Acting Governor of Massachusetts & Berkshire State Senator

Paul Cellucci

Paul Cellucci
Former Massachusetts Governor

William Floyd Weld

William Floyd Weld
$80 Million Trust Fund Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mike Dukakis

Mike Dukakis
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mary E. Carey

Mary E. Carey
Amherst, Massachusetts, Journalist and Blogger

Caveman

Caveman
www.ongeicocaveman.blogspot.com

Peter G. Arlos

Peter G. Arlos
"The biggest challenge Pittsfield faces is putting its fiscal house in order. The problem is that doing so requires structural changes in local government, many of which I have advocated for years, but which officials do not have the will to implement. Fiscal responsibility requires more than shifting funds from one department to another. Raising taxes and fees and cutting services are not the answer. Structural changes in the way services are delivered and greater productivity are the answer, and without these changes the city's fiscal crisis will not be solved."

James M. Ruberto

James M. Ruberto
"Pittsfield's biggest challenge is to find common ground for a better future. The city is at a crossroads. On one hand, our quality of life is challenged. On the other hand, some important building blocks are in place that could be a strong foundation for our community. Pittsfield needs to unite for the good of its future. The city needs an experienced businessman and a consensus builder who will invite the people to hold him accountable."

Matt Kerwood

Matt Kerwood
Pittsfield's Councilor-At-Large. Go to: extras.berkshireeagle.com/NeBe/profiles/12.htm

Gerald M. Lee

Gerald M. Lee
Pittsfield's City Council Prez. Top-down governance of the first order!

Mary Carey

Mary Carey
Mary with student

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox
Jonathan Papelbon celebrates with Jason Varitek

Free Bernard Baran!

Free Bernard Baran!
www.freebaran.org

Political Intelligence

Political Intelligence
Capitol Hill

Sherwood Guernsey II

Sherwood Guernsey II
Wealthy Williamstown Political Activist & Pittsfield Attorney

Mary Carey 2

Mary Carey 2
California Pol & porn star

Pittsfield's Good Old Boy Network - Political Machine!

Pittsfield's Good Old Boy Network - Political Machine!
Andy "Luciforo" swears in Jimmy Ruberto for the returning Mayor's 3rd term

Berkshire Grown

Berkshire Grown
www.berkshiregrown.org

Rambo

Rambo

The Mount was built in 1902 & was home to Edith Wharton (1862-1937) from 1903 to 1908.

The Mount was built in 1902 & was home to Edith Wharton (1862-1937) from 1903 to 1908.
The Mount, the historic home in Lenox of famed American novelist Edith Wharton, is facing foreclosure.

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