I made a not-so-bold prediction: forcing Neal isn’t going to work

March 13, 2019 | G. Michael Dobbs

My mind is all over the place this week.

Candidates, anyone?

As I write this column, it would appear that so far no one is stepping up to run for mayor of Chicopee – a highly unusual situation for an open seat. Considering there are quite a few veteran city councilors whom I would have thought jumping at the chance of going to the next level would be a given.

Instead of thinking about who has committed, people in Chicopee are wondering if anyone is going to commit.

Also, as I write this column, it would appear that no one in the city of Springfield is interested in running against incumbent Mayor Domenic Sarno. Now this is interesting to me as there have been a number of people on the City Council who have been critical of the mayor and some of his policies.

Again I thought this would be the opportunity to address this issue with the voters.

I’m not saying that Sarno needs replacing – I don’t do endorsements. I’m just saying if you really think you could offer the city something better than maybe your hat should be in that ring.

In the case of these two cities, we’ll see how many people want to participate in a little democracy.

This isn’t going to work

So, I don’t know about you but I keep getting these emails and notices on my Facebook feeds about how I’m supposed to be trying to force Chairman Richard Neal to  take action on legally obtaining President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Billionaire liberal political activist Tom Steyer is leading the effort. I find this sort of amusing, as Steyer clearly doesn’t know much about Neal.

I’m comfortable in saying when Neal makes his request from the House Ways and Means Committee for the tax returns it will be legally bulletproof.  

Yes, he is taking his time to make sure it is done in a way it cannot easily brushed off by the White House and that’s the way it should be.

And now for something completely different

I was at the Big Apple Comic Con on Sunday with two buddies and once again the sheer oddness of celebrity was on display.

For the folks who aren’t aware of the phenomena, actors with some connection to popular culture make quite a side income by selling their autographs to adoring fans.

The situation of a well-known performer sitting at a table hawking his or her autographed pictures is something I’ve really never become used to seeing.

At this show, Kathleen Turner was there. Granted she may not have as prominent a career as she once did – the entertainment industry is notorious for the shoddy way it treats women of a certain age – but for me she is a genuine movie star.

I’ll give her much credit as she warmly greeted fans who were ponying up $40 for an autographed photo. In fact it looked like she was having a good time talking to people.

That’s great as it is an odd experience to see someone in person who you’ve seen act in Hollywood successes, especially if that person is behind a table at a comic book convention.

That is not always the case. It may seem counter-intuitive, but some of these performers clearly are not very happy about this activity, especially if no one is in line to meet them.

For the sake of libel laws, I won’t say the name of one of the people I saw who don’t seem to enjoy the process, but they are out there.

One of the people who commands top dollar in the convention circuit is William Shatner.  Shatner himself was so confused about why the generations of fans adore him and his character he actually made a documentary film attempting to understand it.

He was at this show in an area with clearly marked lanes for a long line, but I saw him on the escalator as I was going up. He was going down.

When we met in the middle, I told my buddy Mark, “Hey there’s Bill Shatner.”

Shatner’s head quickly jerked over to establish eye contact. As far as I could tell he had two security guys in front of him and two behind.

I then said, “Hi, Bill.” Yes, I was being a little saucy. By then he was staring forward and on his way to the first floor.

It was sweetly surreal and I find as I get older having surreal moments keeps my life more interesting.

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