|Speaker DeLeo Helps Kick Off Local Democratic Campaign Pushes|
|By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff|
03:13PM / Saturday, October 15, 2016
|Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Adam Hinds said they'd be working together during the campaign.|
Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo said the Donald Trump campaign is scary.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo says if the state government is going to be effective, he needs Democrats elected from the federal level to the local level.
"We really, really have to change in terms of the whole dynamic. It is really frustrating as speaker of the House not to be able to look to Washington for any type of partnership or assistance there may be. It is most important that we send the Congressman [Richard Neal] back to Washington," DeLeo said on Saturday morning.
DeLeo was in Pittsfield Saturday to visit with elected officials and rally support for Democratic campaigns. He stopped in at the Democratic coordinated campaign office to kick off local canvassing efforts from Hillary Clinton for president to Adam Hinds for state Senate to Tricia Farley-Bouvier for the state House of Representatives.
The South Street office is serving as a headquarters for local campaign workers who will be not only campaigning locally for Democrats but also organizing trips to New Hampshire to support the Clinton campaign.
"It is important that we not only send back good Democrats but it is important that we send people who really fight for the issues that are important," DeLeo said.
DeLeo supports Hinds and Farley-Bouvier on the local level. He cited Farley-Bouvier's work on pay equity, transgender rights bills, and ensuring the Berkshires receives funding for programs. He also voiced support for U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and Clinton.
"This is not a done deal yet. We are 26 days until Election Day and we can't take this for granted. That's why, quite frankly, the difference in this election is people like all of you. We have to get out the ground troops. We have to be there on the streets," DeLeo said.
DeLeo said when the Donald Trump campaign started, he expected that it would fizzle out. He said he found it amusing and what Trump was saying made him laugh. But, now Trump is the Republican nominee — a scary thought for DeLeo.
"This gentleman is scary. This is a real scary situation that we are faced with here. Any person who is running for president who has the views of women that he has, he seems to incite and insult every possible minority group there may be out there, the situation is so desperately clear here," DeLeo said.
"On the other hand, we have a president on the Democratic side and I read so much about distrust and dislike and I don't understand why. But if someone were to give you a blind resume and said this is the person's whose background, you'd look at it and say that person should be president of the United States. That's what Hillary Clinton is all about."
Mayor Linda Tyer said the election will define the American attitude and that Trump is a threat to American values.
"This is probably the most important presidential election of my lifetime and it really is about who we are as a nation. It is a vote about national attitude. It is a vote about who we are as a nation and how do we want to be viewed around the world. It is so important that Democrats hit the ground to strengthen that coalition so we can stand strong against what I believe is a very serious threat to what our values are in national politics, right down to locally as well," Tyer said.
Locally, state Rep. Paul Mark said there are a lot of right pieces in place from the Berkshires to truly be effective in Boston. But, to continue that he needs Farley-Bouvier, who is being challenged by independent Christopher Connell, and Hinds, who is being challenged by Republican Christine Canning-Wilson, to be elected.
"We have a lot of great elected officials in place. We have a great speaker. We have good mayor. We have great Berkshire delegation — myself, Smitty Pignatelli and Gailanne Cariddi — and we had a great senator in Ben Downing. For us to continue the work we've been able to do, for us to continue to make your voice heard in Boston, I need and we need Tricia re-elected and we need Adam Hinds elected," Mark said.
Farley-Bouvier, the incumbent in the 3rd Berkshire District, said, "it is all about the team."
"For us, it is always all about the team. Team Pittsfield includes Mayor Tyer, the City Council. Team Pittsfield includes our state senator and our delegation. As the speaker gets to know Pittsfield more and more, team Pittsfield includes Speaker DeLeo," Farley-Bouvier said.
"When we talk about the team, there is no person I'd rather be a teammate with in this campaign and continuing on, hopefully for many years together, than our state senator, almost, Adam Hinds."
Mayor Linda Tyer said this election will define the country's attitude.
Farley-Bouvier said she and Hinds would be combining efforts on debate preparation, rallying canvassing teams, and all aspects of the campaign. She hopes the teamwork is the start of a longtime partnership on Beacon Hill fighting for the Berkshires and the Democratic ideals.
Hinds reflected on the national political scene and disagrees with the Republican Party. He said that party does not reflect the beliefs in government that he has and now is the time for the Democratic Party to come together in support of the party's ideals and beliefs.
"It is shocking to have the contrast on the national election and that allows us to say, that is not what we believe in in government, that is not what we believe in in politics. That is not why we roll up our sleeves and get involved on a Saturday morning. In fact, it allows us to say, what are we about? This is an example of Democrats coming together and saying these are the values," Hinds said.
The volunteers took to the streets in Pittsfield following the kick off to provide the one-on-one conversations that are important in political campaigns. DeLeo, Mark, Tyer, and the candidates credited the volunteer efforts to canvass and make phone calls as one of the most important pieces of any campaign. DeLeo said there is no one advertisement a candidate can take out to win an election, a candidate needs a strong coalition. He called the volunteers the "key" to any campaign.
"Politics is about people and that is what makes the Democratic Party so great," DeLeo said.
The election is less than a month away and the campaigns are ramping up. Saturday was the kickoff of a coordinated Democratic campaign as the party pushes toward November. The party has taken what was Hinds' office during the primary election and turned it into the home base of operations for all Democrat campaigns locally — including being a headquarters for the "No on 2" campaign against the ballot question to raise the cap on charter schools.
DeLeo's visit to the headquarters was one of many he is taking this weekend, which began Friday night. He had a day scheduled taking him across the Berkshires meeting with elected officials and others.