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Hardcore signature collectors in front of the West Roxbury Rochie's might want to turn it down a notch

Ted Folkman was not expecting to get yelled at just for walking into the West Roxbury Roche Bros. yesterday, but reports one of the omnipresent signature collectors spewed him with bile when he refused to sign a petition for somebody he'd never heard of trying to get on the ballot for city councilor at large:

Is there some kind of rule of etiquette that says I ought to sign someone’s petition to get on the ballot if I’ve never heard of the candidate? Or even if I have heard of the candidate but don’t support him or her? I got balled out this afternoon at the Roche Bros. for declining to sign for someone I had never heard of.

He adds:

It was, “what’s the matter with you? He just wants to get on the ballot!”

It was a name I didn’t know. Someone from Dorchester running for council.

Free tagging: 


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doncha know that Dorchesta's bigga than all the othah naybahoods put together?

I had a Dot person tell me this at an event years ago while two fellow Dot folk nodded. It was so dumb I didn't even bother.


Dot person here. I don't have the ball point pen dot tattoo on my knuckles like my friend Jimmy does, but I am in fact a Dot person.

It's Dahchesta, not Dorchesta.


There are people who believe they should sign a petition for anyone, but that's based on a larger belief that giving the voters more choice is a Good Thing. That was my parents' approach, much of the time, but even they would sometimes say "no" when asked to sign for one candidate because they were planning to sign a different candidate's petition.

Separately, I used to tell people that yes I'm a registered voter, but I don't live around here. That was generally true, but you don't owe pushy strangers your money, your help, or the truth.

Weirdly, saying "no thank you" to people who want you to do something for them can work. Sometimes it works better than "I'm not interested" or telling them that you disagree with whatever they're collecting money or signatures for, because the automatic social scripts for "no thank you" are different than for "sorry, can't help you" or "no I'm not interested."


agree to sign, then take their clipboard and throw it down a storm drain.



Look them dead in the eye and say "I don't speak English." Maintain eye contact (preferably without blinking) until they get sketched out and walk away.



This is the same psycho, Shawn Nelson, that keeps getting arrested for getting belligerent with City Council members, Michelle Wu, etc. There's a cadre of anti-vax nutjobs that are trying to get on the ballot for councilor-at-large and a few of the districts too this year.

The fewer people signing their nomination petition, the better. Getting on the ballot (while a low bar) still gives an air of validity. Most local elections are low information votes (sadly).

1) As a community, we shouldn't be validating them in any way, even a meaningless one like a ballot spot.
2) Even an outside chance one of these numbskulls were to get a seat at the table is too much of a chance.


Deadline for nomination sheets is 5 PM tomorrow at City Hall. So, he might be getting desperate.


Aside from the fact that they’re pushy and I don’t asking do things for pushy people you don’t represent the community and it’s not up to you who gets to vote for who. Have a seat.

As he's running for an at-large seat, as a resident of the city, I *do* get a say as to who votes for who. It's called the nomination process and whether I sign his sheet will determine whether I say he gets on the ballot or not. I can also influence others to sign or not sign his sheet by presenting them my arguments and facts for or against why they should or shoudn't sign his sheet either, giving me more say over the process than just my own signature.

I'd have a seat if that meant keeping him out of one. As it goes, standing up against his kind of crazy is important.


Used to be the LaRouchies. :-(

Of course, today ol' Lyndon would be an amateur.

You want to run, go for it.

There are people trying to get on the ballot who should not be allowed in public office, and if you think it all comes out right in the general election, I have a bridge to sell you. Learn about voter disinformation techniques such as spoiler candidates, then come back and tell me that you think signing all petitions* is a good idea.

*not to mention that your signature on a ballot petition is only valid if you are a registered voter, signing the sheet for wherever you are registered to vote, and that you only sign once. Your invalid signature can cause an entire sheet of signatures to be tossed out.


In a perfect society where everyone is fully informed and ready to vote on every candidate/election, you'd be right. The ballot should be the place where decisions on who is running the city will be made.

We don't live there. In today's society, we get plenty of people who come out to vote on one particular race (like President, maybe) but fill in the whole ballot...or they always go vote (civic duty, and all) but they don't look at any of the races ahead of the time...or nobody goes and votes in non-Presidential elections. And to top it off, we often get people who won elections (and have gained some level of fame/recognition) running or being pulled to other/higher positions before others who aren't politicians/public officials yet.

The result is the kind of chaos that let Trump supporter Althea Garrison become a city councilor in 2019 with 6.9% of the vote as the 5th of 8 people on the ballot because Ayanna won a seat in the House of Reps. So, if this is a year with a thin stack of At-Large candidates, we take the top 4 and the rest wait 2 years to see if they get brought up as alternates.

In a let-them-all-on-the-ballot approach, we could have an anti-vax nutjob on the ballot, take 5th ("because I never vote for incumbents", "I wanted a woman to win", etc.), and then see someone like Ruthzee or Julia move on to a higher office the following year and suddenly we have something worse than Althea getting a hand at how our city is run.

No thanks.


and I include several elected officials in that category, including Arroyo and Mejia.

In addition to being delighted holding office and working hard for constituents, Althea is a gracious person.

I've voted for her.