Powered by Google
Editors' Picks
Arts + Books
Rec Room
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Adult Personals
Adult Classifieds
- - - - - - - - - - - -
FNX Radio
Band Guide
MassWeb Printing
- - - - - - - - - - - -
About Us
Contact Us
Advertise With Us
Work For Us
RSS Feeds
- - - - - - - - - - - -

sponsored links
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sex Toys - Adult  DVDs - Sexy  Lingerie

  E-Mail This Article to a Friend

Ciampa’s little helpers

The voters spoke more than a month ago, and the race was won, but in Massachusetts’s 34th Middlesex District, the post-primary aftermath has gotten uglier than the campaign itself.

In last month’s primary, 26-year-old Carl Sciortino defeated incumbent Vincent Ciampa for a state House seat representing parts of Somerville and Medford. The win was considered something of an upset — a young unknown beating an eight-term legislator by only 117 votes — and, in the absence of a Republican candidate, it was regarded as the de facto election. But, citing an outpouring of support from community members, Ciampa announced on October 10 that he would re-enter the race as a write-in candidate.

Now Sciortino is fighting a new set of obstacles, in the form of accusations that he obscured his "true agenda" during the primary campaign and lacks the experience necessary to represent his area. The Article 8 Alliance, a Waltham-based organization fiercely opposed to gay marriage, issued a press release this week calling Sciortino a "militant homosexual activist" whose support came mostly from people outside the district. The flier features a 2003 photo of Sciortino holding hands with his partner in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross as part of a larger demonstration protesting the Catholic Church’s anti-gay-marriage stance. Around the photo, black type warns, "He defiled the cathedral in Boston ... and now he’s about to defile our State House!"

"This kind of smear campaign has taken a play out of the Republican playbook," Sciortino says, accusing Ciampa of having "others do his dirty work for him." (Billy Storella, a legislative aide in Ciampa’s Beacon Hill office, claims not to have seen the release and says Ciampa is "not running on any of these issues.")

Sciortino takes particular issue with Article 8’s description of what happened at that protest. The press release says he kissed his partner in church; Sciortino says, "That is a complete misrepresentation of what went on and is a lie." But for Article 8 president Brian Camenker, the details are insignificant in light of the seriousness of the act. "It was a hate crime by any sense of the word," he says. "Not only that, but it was calculated to disrespect the church. It was an insult, a defilement."

Like Storella, Camenker denies that his organization collaborated with Ciampa’s on this campaign. But both groups say the same thing: that voters didn’t know who Carl Sciortino was before they elected him. Camenker calls him a single-issue (gay-marriage) candidate who is part of a larger scheme to "put fear" into other legislators who might vote to ban gay marriage. The press release goes further, describing Sciortino as a "homosexual extremist" who, while serving as co-facilitator of Tufts University’s Transgender, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Collective, "plastered the campus with flyers advertising a how-to seminar on anal sex, which also described proper lubrication and use of sex toys."

Sciortino says his campaign is gaining momentum and that he is trying to stay on message while talking to voters about issues like health care and education. As for whether he is a homosexual extremist, he says, "I’ve been called worse, so I’m not offended."

Issue Date: October 22 - 28, 2004
Back to the News & Features table of contents
  E-Mail This Article to a Friend

about the phoenix |  advertising info |  Webmaster |  work for us
Copyright © 2005 Phoenix Media/Communications Group