Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Southbridge’s Rush Limbaugh Wannabe Revisited

Ken O’Brien

Once again the Southbridge Evening News’ editorial cartoonist has taken a potshot at someone whom, he feels, has not conformed to his narrow view of political correctness.

In today’s Evening News (page 4) he put forward a cartoon portraying Councilor Laurent McDonald (at least that's who people think it is) dancing with the town manager implying that the councilor had supported increases in taxes, water and sewer rates, etc.

The fact of the matter is that anyone who has given the least passing notice to Southbridge politics realizes that Councilor McDonald has been in the forefront of opposing the town manager and his supporters on the council in their efforts to create an imperial town managership.

While the politics of personal destruction is a time-honored reality in Southbridge, rarely has someone been given the prominent public platform that this individual has been given by the local paper.

In the process, it seems to me, the cartoonist has developed a feeling of invincibility that allows him to misrepresent factual reality and to disparage those with whom he disagrees.

However, here’s the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say.

He has employed this feeling of invincibility and his public status, in my opinion, to persuade (perhaps too mild a word) others to undermine those with whom he disagrees but whom he is unable to denigrate directly.

In support of this view I will cite an email that he sent to me in February of this year before I became a target of his ire because of my opposition to the petition he favored to return Southbridge to a town meeting form of government. It might come as somewhat of a shock to his colleagues on the Southbridge Evening News.

From: Mike Marketti
Sent: Thu, Feb 23, 2012 06:05 AM

My wife says she likes your blog. Says she doesn't want to read Gus' articles anymore because, she says, he's too biased. Her example is whenever there's a story that involves the TM Gus writes it from the TMs viewpoint. She also complains that a lot of his stories are suspicious. Look as if he copies and pastes from the Internet in his stories.
So I got to thinking (which could be a bad thing) if you would consider a "Gus Watch," or some other title. Exposé Gus if you think he's being too biased. Exposé his stories if you think he's plagiarized something from Wikipedia or wherever. You could pick apart his stories by paragraph, or entire sections if it looks suspicious.
Just a thought.
Also, are you still interested in working on a video about the high taxes in town?

(I apologize for the formatting issues, but I feel it is necessary to reproduce the email as I received it, minus the cartoonist’s email address).

In my opinion the message is clear. It was stated by the cartoonist in an email quoted in an earlier article. If you disagree with him and you object to his criticism, “You ain't seen nothing yet! “

Perhaps his employers might find it of interest that they are not immune from what I perceive as his duplicity.


  1. I couldn't figure out who Clark was supposed to be dancing with. As is the norm, I didn't get it. Maybe that's what happens when you use your bully pulpit for personal agendas? Just thinking out loud.

  2. It appears to me that if the dancing queens cartoon subject matter was assigned by the political cartoonist to represent councilor McDonald, than his former stand on taxes has been somewhat tinted by a tongue in cheek cop-out, fashioned as "let the voters decide" show off act. If he had remained consistent to his former (no raise in taxes until reciprocal budget cuts were created to offset increases) policy, instead of avoiding his elected responsibility to properly represent the overtaxed townies at the town council meeting, he would have retained the expectations of the citizens of Southbridge. He I believe has been scalded by trying to avoid the third rail tax issue under the pretext of supporting an education facility-building project. It did not escape the overriding perception held by many that the rebuilding project trail balloon was in all probability floated because the Southbridge High school was never put before the public. The trade school bunch knows they have to navigate the 10-town gauntlet but Southbridge was “taken” (without siege) first, because the other jurisdictions would fold easily thereafter. It was embarrassing to watch after the several violations of the Open Meeting Law by our school board over the last few weeks. Did you miss that too? The cartoonist correctly and graphically depicts the ebb and flow of form over substance as it washes on the shore of reasonable suspicion that is the essence of “honest town” politicians.

    1. OMG. Will you ever stop the pretentious crap?

      Even Obrien who probably outscores you by 100 IQ points doesnt try to impress people with this kind of garbage.

    2. Am I the only one who notices the elitist contempt Sottile shows repeatedly in referring to Southbridge residents as "townies"?

    3. Spot on "A"!!

    4. Look 816 Anonymous, if elitist means he's smahta than you ah, then that's why you are referred to as a "townie." And if you were a graduate of Big Word School like Jim is you would know that.

      Stop being pusillanimous to your betters, you barefooted, hayseed hick.

  3. Is it me or does Jim Sotille sound an awful lot like Cliff Claven?

  4. I know what tongue in cheek means and i know what copout means, but I don't know what a tongue in cheeck copout is. The third rail, that is the rail that carries power in the subway system. what analgousness goes on here batman? Forget scalding, Jim is scolding.

    Scolding those who disagree with him like the bully he is. How preposterous this verbose bipolar James Sotille is. Such a loquacious cacophony of words he puts forth here.

    What a maroon!

    1. It's not 'maroon' you ignoranus, it's 'bassoon!'

  5. Jim writes: "the Southbridge High school was never put before the public. The trade school bunch knows they have to navigate the 10-town gauntlet but Southbridge was “taken” (without siege) first, because the other jurisdictions would fold easily thereafter. It was embarrassing to watch after the several violations of the Open Meeting Law by our school board over the last few weeks."

    First observation, all anyone has to do is listen to Jim talk at meetings or read his (misspelled) diatribes to see that he doesn't have a clue how government works. The statements above are a clear give away. Number 1, Southbridge wasn't taken without seige on the Bay Path issue, the first step is to have the council vote to put it forth as a ballot question. Of course we already new Jim didn't get that part. Then it is up to the people to decide. The Council could have found this money in the budget some how and then just voted it, then Jim would have a gripe. But, He doesn't understand that. The Council is sending this to the people for a vote, there is no seige, it is the proper process.

    Second observation, how many OML complaints has Sotille filed? He loves to show off at the podium when he's calling them out. How many have been found to be violations? I don't think any have. There's Jim's credibility, right where his mouth is, in the gutter.

    1. Just for S&G's...
      FYI. It was a metaphor Rob!!!!! The reality is an arc from a third rail creates a plasma bloom that is hotter than the surface of the sun. Therefore the reference to scalded. I have filed three OML violations and was successful with each. My tenure at the liquor board was rewarding. I created the local regulations that are presently not being enforced properly. Running for election for me in this backwater is not a reality because shut-ins (another figure of speech) like you polarize any progressive ideas and principles before they have a chance for intelligent argument. By the way, sending the “gobblegook” collection of charter changes to the General Court when they were cobbled together by a competent team during the last charter commission review was political manipulation of the first degree. Cloaking that activity in good government processes insults anyone’s intelligence including me with much less than the average bear. Character assignation is not pretty Rob and maybe you should drop the pizza and “game boy” appliances and become more active in the towns future

  6. This is for the "A" group
    A duck walks into a bar and asks for a beer. The bartender serves the duck and asks will he pay by cash or credit. The duck replied just put it on my bill. Botta Boom (drum roll) tish! (symbol strike)
    A person went to a local restaurant and asked the waitress if the cawfee (coffee) was fresh. She replied I am sure it is, we have only been open for two weeks. Botta Boom (drum roll) tish! (symbol strike)
    A person was walking downtown and a dawg (dog) jumped up and knocked him to the ground. He asked the owner to call her dawg (dog) off. She replied OK but his name is Rex! Botta Boom (drum roll) tish! (symbol strike)

    1. Jim Sottile now here is a piece of work someone who was a transplant from NY someone who always gets behind and never leads. Someone who always lets someone else start and never finishes. someone who whispers in the ears of others to say or do. Never a leader but a very small follower. Threaten those who oppose him with all of his fancy words. Time to leave Jim you carpet is awaiting you. Enjoy the ride

  7. So true. One minute he's mocking the TM and the council and the next he's begging to be put on the liquor board or the airport commission.

  8. Sottile is a cranky old crank who instigates yet, as another writer stated, never follows through. His wasteful OML gripes result in nothing. He has been unsuccessful in Town Politics, a clear indication that he should run for Town Council, as he, too, lacks the qualifications to represent us.

  9. I wonder how Mr. Marketti and Mr. Steeves are getting along in the workplace? I'd love to be a fly on that wall. If I could draw, I'd have Marketti stepping in a pile of dog crap while sticking a knife into all of his so called friends. What a jerk!


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