By G. Michael Dobbs
Recently I wrote about the series of reports about “crime and corruption” during the administration of Mayor Michael Albano that was broadcast by WGGB. I watched them all and especially was interested in how the station was going to present information about the former mayor himself.
The reports did not establish a clear tie between Frank Keough and the Asselin family to Albano even though two of the reports were dedicated to them. The segments about Gerry Philips and Anthony Ardolino did have a connection to Albano.
The actual Albano segment had no deathblows. It focused on Albano’s continuing feud with the FBI rather than what he did or didn’t do as mayor.
For the life of me I cannot understand how a report on his administration did not emphasize the fact that he left the city nearly bankrupt and the state was forced to bail us out with the Finance Control Board? There is a quick reference at the end of the report to the financial debacle.
And what about the failed baseball stadium scheme that drove successful businesses out of the North End and earned the city a public spanking from Judge Constance Sweeney?
It was very weak tea.
Albano subsequently released a campaign video that was titled “Crime and Corruption: the WGGB 40 and Fox 6 Connection.” The title implies the video would address the TV reports directly, but it does so in a laughable manner.
After telling viewers about Albano’s fights with the FBI and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the narrator compares WGGB with those federal agencies. “They have money and resources just like the FBI and the FDA, but if you know Mike Albano you know he never backs away from a fight or a bully. Never,” the narrator intoned.
Really? Really? WGGB has the resources of the FBI? Who is writing this stuff?
Then there is old newsreel footage of heavyweight champion Joe Louis. Accompanying these scenes of Louis boxing is the narration, “Mike Albano fights for what he believes in. He utilizes principle and courage to do what is right. Expect a knockout.”
Who is Albano going to “knock out?” Is he undertaking something in his capacity as a Governor’s Councilor? Is he planning to sue WGGB for libel as a citizen? By the way, did the producers of the commercial secure the clearance to use that footage of Louis?
On Albano’s Facebook page there is a posting in which the author described the bad relationship between Albano and WGGB owner John Gormally resulting from Gormally’s failure to secure locations in Springfield for new billboards. According to the posting, Gormally blamed Albano and the author assured the readers, “This was a legal decision – not a political decision.”
So, if Albano’s posting is correct, this is yet another long-standing feud between Albano and someone.
Ah, another example of Springfield politics at its worst.
Help a kid out
The Regional Employment Board (REB) is attempting to place 1,000 teenagers in summer jobs this year in Hampden County. This is a very admirable goal.
The program gives many teens their first opportunity to earn money and understand how the workplace operates.
It’s more and more difficult for teens in this state to find jobs. According to statistics released by the REB, in 2012, “as few as 27 percent of working age teens in Massachusetts were employed as compared to 54 percent in 1999.”
Teens need opportunities to learn and the studies have shown that the teen that works also is more likely to go on to college.
If your company could offer a part-time summer job, contact the REB at 755-1359.
Agree? Disagree? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.