— Eye on Everett —

Mr. Lanttanzi’s run Could be Very Expensive for Him

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By Josh Resnek

Al Lattanzi, well known local businessman and chief supporter of the mayor, is right now making a real push to capture the Ward 6 Council seat from incumbent Mike McLaughlin.

Mr. Lattanzi is in his late 60’s. This is his first time out for public office. He appears serious about the effort. He is well supported by the mayor’s loyalists. He appears to be wholeheartedly going for the seat.

There is nothing whatsoever wrong with Mr. Lattanzi going for the seat and doing it mightily.

Hundreds of Lattanzi signs dominate the local street scenes here throughout the city.

At this point, there are more McLaughlin signs than Lattanzi signs, or so it appears. At many locations, Lattanzi and McLaughlin share the same sign positions.

The race, however, is about more than signs and placement.

It is about a much older, powerfully connected mayoral loyalist, trying to unseat a much younger, but very aggressive and ambitious councilor who has upset the mayor by challenging him.

The mayor is central to this race.

The mayor asked his good friend Lattanzi to run against McLaughlin, ostensibly, to drive him out of office.

Lattanzi was only too happy to oblige.

That’s what friendships in politics are all about.

I wonder, however, if Lattanzi has thought through the entire possible scenario?

Has he determined what exactly is at risk for him in this effort.

It is, after all, a very public effort.

Such highly public political efforts are complicated to maneuver around.

McLaughlin is not about to allow Lattanzi to take his seat from him without a fight.

McLaughlin said he will be shedding some light and asking more questions about the financial relationships between Lattanzi and city hall.

In fact, McLaughlin has said that he is going to vigorously raise public questions about Lattanzi’s business and private relationship with the mayor during the campaign.

McLaughlin is showing a great deal of heart and soul early on in this race.

He was out door knocking during the heat wave!

What remains to be seen is how willing McLaughlin will be to take Lattanzi to task for his close relationship with the mayor and how he has benefitted from it, and how his business has benefitted from it.

In other words, will McLaughlin demand to know in the public forum how much business each year Lattanzi’s hard ware store brings in from the city?

In other words, how much city money does the mayor steer towards Lattanzi’s hard ware store from year to year?

McLaughlin promises to raise these questions during the campaign.

Also, will McLaughlin be willing to detail how the Lattanzi’s manage the mayor’s scheduling and money raising or how the Lattanzi’s are closely connected with everything having to do with the mayor’s money raising machine?

Mind you, there is nothing illegal about any of this.

The problem is that when you run for public office, you leave yourself open for all kinds of questions that might otherwise never find the light of day in a city like Everett.

Mr. Lattanzi will not want such questions being asked. It is an intrusion into his privacy, an invasion, really.

But then, Lattanzi loses his privacy by running for a council seat.

Everything is public about the race – what you raise, who you raise it from, what you spend, where you spend it and on and on.

The mayor prodding his old and dear friend to run against McLaughlin is one thing.

Lattanzi answering the mayor’s call is another.

This is quite possibly the first time in his life Lattanzi has left himself open to public attack and question about his business dealings with the city and other aspects of his money raising functions for the mayor throughout the year for longer than a decade.

I wonder if he has thought this out?

Does he understand what he might be getting himself into?

There are other matters Lattanzi must take into careful consideration doing the mayor’s bidding in this political effort against McLaughlin. Several members of his family are employed by the city.

The possibility of conflict of interest abounds.

Compare this to not running for public office and everything just going on quietly, almost privately, as it has gone on for longer than a decade. Which do you think is more preferable for Lattanzi’s well being and mental state of mind?

Noise is never good for business in a small city.

Noise makes it harder to do business without being noticed, without anyone really caring.

The council race between Lattanzi and McLaughlin is about noise and disruption.

The council race invades Lattanzi’s private world.

Questions that may be raised during the course of the race have the ability to upset Lattanzi’s well constructed world.

What is no one’s business about Lattanzi’s private dealings with the mayor and the city becomes part of the public domain when McLaughlin starts swinging his fists.

Lattanzi’s campaign is very ambitious with signage.

Will it be as ambitious to get involved in situations which require him to reveal the extent of his relationship with the city government?

I don’t think so.

We shall soon enough see what happens.

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