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Letter to the Editor

(updated) Letter From Women Candidates Attacking Smith Unfair

Editor's Note (September 2, 2022, 10:45 AM): Marblehead Beacon does not have a policy of fact checking  letters to the editor. When important and factually incorrect information is brought to our attention, however, particularly within two days of our deadline for responses, we approach the matter with caution. In this case, we verified Armini's voter registration status with both the Cambridge Clerk's office (the city in which she lived from 2000 to mid-2002) and the Marblehead Clerk's office (the town in which she has resided since 2005). She changed her status from Republican to Unenrolled in 2000, and from Unenrolled to Democrat on January 5, 2017. The author of the letter's statement that Armini "only left the party in 2016" is factually incorrect. She has not been a registered Republican in 22 years. 

 

Editor’s Note (September 2, 2022, 9:21 AM): Marblehead Beacon was contacted by the Armini Committee earlier today about factual errors in the letter to the editor below pertaining to Jenny Armini’s voter enrollment status. Here is Armini’s statement: 

I want to correct the false information offered by Jim Walsh in his letter to the editor dated September 1, 2022. I left the Republican Party in the year 2000. This is a matter of public record, which reflects my change in registration to unenrolled. I have consistently voted for Democrats ever since. I have been a registered Democrat since 2016, at which point I created ElectBlue, a local grassroots organization dedicated to electing Democrats to the U.S. House and Senate. It is critical that we stick to the facts in this and all election discourse, especially when it pertains to voting information. 

END OF STATEMENT

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It was distressing to read the recent letter attacking Tristan Smith covered in the Item and other media. I suppose it was “just politics” but it felt more than a little unfair. Is it surprising that Senator Markey should support Tristan? The Senator has always been supportive of young, liberal, progressive candidates. Markey’s values and Smith’s align perfectly. In fact, a talented young man from Nahant served an intern on the Senator's staff this summer. We should be thankful that the Senator is so familiar with our North Shore communities and supports young candidates providing progressive leadership to their generation. Markey was elected to the Massachusetts House at the same age as Tristan is now.


It was particularly uncomfortable to see Ms. Armini sign on to this letter insofar as she and her husband have been Republicans for most of their lives and both actually worked on Republican campaigns for many years. She was even a speechwriter for Republican candidates and only left the party in 2016. Not to become a Democrat but to become an Independent! She and her family have made financial and other contributions to many Republican campaigns over the years, including those of Kerry Healey, Peter Torkildsen, Richard Tisei and others. In a Boston Globe article a few years ago Armini described her early years growing up in a “Reagan Republican” household! As a person who has presented herself as a Democrat only very recently it is at least unseemly to complain about Tristan Smith having grown up in a progressive Democratic household. And, unlike some other signers of this letter, he has spent his whole life in the 8th District, venturing into the District next door to go to college and into Boston for law school. Perhaps only Ms. Tauro is as connected to the 8th as Tristan.


While I don’t live in the 8th District I can’t help but note that Senator Crighton, who represents us both, was first elected to office when he was Tristan’s age. And, also, when Tristan and I were working our tails off for John Tierney, Michael Armini was working his tail off for Republican Peter Torkildson! Is it surprising, then, that Tierney (or I) should support Tristan? Finally, I’ve only met Barney Frank once…and that was in Swampscott.


Isn’t it obvious that the North Shore will benefit if Tristan Smith calls a US Senator or other committed Democrats and have them know exactly who he is and the District he represents?


Finally, Tristan grew up in the 21st century and will spend the rest of his life in it. We who were born in the previous century have left young folks a set of difficult problems. I think Tristan, working with others, will provide the leadership his generation needs (and mine too). Good luck to him on Tuesday and to the rest of us as well.


Jim Walsh


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High Street, Nahant, MA 01908

English

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