Mike Franco for State Senate 2014! Message Board › Franco - Political Punch at Rival Albano
Mike vs. Mike: Republican Governor's Council nominee Mike Franco takes political punch at Democratic rival Mike Albano, calling former Springfield mayor 'The Kickback Kid'
By Conor Berry, Wednesday, October 03, 2012
SPRINGFIELD — The election to fill a seat on the Governor's Council is still more than a month away, but Republican nominee Michael Franco has come out swinging against Democratic opponent Michael Albano, likening the former Springfield mayor's legacy of "financial and political destruction" to the scorched earth campaign of Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman during the Civil War.
Franco blasted Albano, whose administration came under FBI scrutiny, as "the Kickback Kid," a play on a recent Springfield Republican headline in which Albano was characterized as "The Comeback Kid."
"Touting himself as 'The Comeback Kid' for edging out his (Democratic) competitors in the Governor's Council primary, Mike Albano is proving that his memory is as short as his legacy is long," Franco said.
"After leaving a financial and political destruction trail to rival General Sherman's march through Georgia from Atlanta to the sea, Albano is already showing signs that he plans to do the same thing — but on a much larger scale, bringing his legacy of corruption and cronyism to the Governor's Council," Franco said.
Albano, 61, now an East Longmeadow-based political consultant, chuckled at Franco's depiction of him and his administration. "It sounds very creative," Albano said Wednesday. "Creative but fictional."
Franco, 49, a veterans agent investigator for the city of Holyoke, said he plans to unleash several releases between now and the Nov. 6 election to show voters why he's the better man for the job. The 8-member Governor's Council provides advice and consent to the governor regarding judicial nominations and other matters, and a Hampden County representative hasn't served on the panel since 1978.
Albano's mayoral tenure, from January 1996 to January 2004, was marred by scandals and federal indictments that ultimately caused him not to run again and culminated in federal convictions for some of his staff. Albano may have been politically wounded by the lengthy federal probe, but he now appears poised for a comeback. He compared his victory in the September Democratic primary to overcoming the same sort of political odds that President Bill Clinton managed to surmount. The tenure of Clinton, one of Albano's political heroes, was blemished by a sex scandal.
Despite the ignominy surrounding Albano's administration, he was never charged. Franco, a military veteran, has a 2008 misdemeanor conviction for failing to report for jury duty. "It is a settled matter, and I did report and serve to the satisfaction of the Massachusetts Trial Court," Franco said Wednesday.
Albano portrayed the FBI investigation as retaliation dating back to the 1980s, when he was a member of the state Parole Board and clashed with two federal agents over the status of a man convicted of murder. The convict was later exonerated. The FBI, in response to Albano's claim, stated: "Five years ago we responded to assertions that the FBI's investigation of corruption in Springfield's government was inappropriate. ... The FBI does not investigate people in bad faith, and we initiate and carry on investigations consistent with the Constitution, law and policy."
Attorney Victor Anop, a Franco supporter, said Albano got lucky. "(Corruption) swirled all around him because nobody would point the finger at him," he said.
Alabano said he has no plans to exploit negatives in his campaign for Governor's Council. "My model is to run a positive campaign," he said.
Last month's primary victories by Albano and Franco assure that a Hampden County resident will sit on the Governor's Council for the first time in 34 years.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray is expected to chair today's Governor's Council meeting in Boston. The noontime meeting features no scheduled interviews or votes.