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Political Tactics Shake Up Chicopee Election

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB) – We’re used to seeing those reputation tarnishing ads on the State and National level as election season approaches, but it seems that those dirty political plays are now invading local elections.

Residents of Chicopee’s first ward received some interesting mail recently: a letter, signed by the Concerned Citizens for Good Government, which included a memo with the potential to damage the reputation of one local candidate.

That memo – dated August 29, 2011 – was addressed to Adam Lamontagne, a candidate for City Council, from Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette. In it, the mayor informs Lamontagne that he has been removed from two Chicopee School Committee subcommittees, citing his behavior and an investigation into criminal allegations as the reason for that removal.

Mayor Bissonnette is calling the letter a “low blow” that did not originate in his office, but which is in fact a last ditch effort to sabotage Lamontagne just days before the election. While he acknowledges that the memo itself is authentic, he says it is not relevant in the current campaign.

“It’s taking something out of context from two years ago,” Mayor Bissonnette told ABC40. “We took action, and it was shortly resolved by the Police Department, and the next thing Adam was reinstated to both positions.”

“This is nothing more than a desperate political ploy last minute to try to destroy my name before the election,” said Lamontagne in his own defense. “There’s nothing to it.”

Though you might be inclined to think the letter originated with Lamontagne’s opponent, incumbent City Councilor Dino Burnetti is denying that he had anything to do with  it.

“I think that all the people that know me know what kind of a family man I am and what a person I am,” he told us Saturday. “That I would have never done a negative mailing like this.”

For now, the identity of the Concerned Citizens for Good Government remains a mystery. Now all the candidates can do is wait for the votes to speak for the residents of Ward 1.


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