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Dear Tavis Smiley: Do Your Homework

© 2016 Marisa DeFranco

 Democrats: Bullies in Our Own Backyard

Dear Tavis Smiley: please do your homework. If you do, you will discover the bullies right in the Democrats’ own backyard. In fact, you were sitting right next to their ringleader, Michael Dukakis, on taxpayer-funded PBS on March 21st.

On Trump, you said to Megyn Kelly that he is, “Someone who doesn’t have the sort of humanity, the sort of civility, the kind of integrity that we need right now to move America in the right direction.” You say Trump wants to “turn the clock back” and refer to the way his supporters “maltreat people at rallies”. You say all of this reveals the “true colors” of Trump.

Do you hold Democrats to the same standard? You had the Prince of Democracy Darkness, Michael Dukakis, on your show. Will you give equal time to the woman he tried to bully and publicly belittled? Will you give equal time to a real outsider who stood up for democracy?

Dukakis was vile during my true grassroots campaign for U.S. Senate in 2012. In the newspapers, after I more than met my requirement of 10,000 signatures from actual voters, he demanded I get out of the race. He smeared me, a clean money candidate, as a threat, saying that I was jeopardizing the party (precious coming from a man who lost a Presidential election in a landslide).

I took a clean money campaign and a small group of dedicated volunteers and did what no one thought we could do–gather 14,600 signatures. And we were the problem?

He lobbied to shut down a competitive primary in favor of a single candidate primary aka The Democrat Special. He also wrote a nasty email to my supporter, and constantly referred to me as “Melissa” in public interviews (a cheap political trick). But that was all just prelude.

At the convention, he bullied my supporters. In one instance, he berated one of my delegates, a woman with a disability, to the point of tears. A colleague of mine, now an elected Massachusetts official, stepped in to stop him. The official was not even voting for me that day, but she did tell Dukakis to stop his bullying. You know it’s bad when the opposing candidate’s supporter had to step in to defend my supporter.

But bullying one woman wasn’t enough for him. He went after another. He grabbed the arm of my captain and held it hard for at least two minutes while he yelled at her, demanding to know why she supported me.

He did to her 120 times what Corey Lewandowski did to Michele Fields (1 second v. 120 seconds). Will your outrage against Dukakis be equal to your outrage at Trump, Tavis? Is Dukakis’s behavior the “sort of humanity…civility…integrity” of which you speak?

Dukakis is a total affront to the democratic process. In fact, he is the very architect of the disqualifying 15% convention created by him and his henchmen in 1982 to shut down his competition. In virtually every other state in the Union, you get the signatures, you’re on the ballot. Or you don’t even have to get signatures. You just show up at the town hall and declare your candidacy.

The Massachusetts Democratic Party convention is for one thing and one thing only, to shut down outsiders. It is not for democracy. 14,600 voters said I should be on the ballot. But a mere 1/5 of that number, 3261 party insiders, said the voters should be denied a choice on the ballot. So the voters were denied a choice. 3261 apparatchiks obliterated the will of 14,600 voters and decided the race for approximately 2 million actual voters. This from the party that is allegedly Pro Choice. What do you say of these true colors, Tavis?



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