OPINION| Ken Pittman: Mayor Bullard Bullies New Bedford These Days
The former mayor of New Bedford, John Bullard strikes me as strictly being for John Bullard first. Not exactly a team player. A man who used to look the voters of the Whaling City in the eye and promise that he was the best defender and advocate for New Bedford, he has latched on to a better payday..err...promise. This ill equipped resume of his to work for NOAA stinks of hackerama. Besides waving the pom-poms for Al Gore and Global warming alarmists, he has no extensive scientific background, as evidenced by his humiliating thumping at the hands of Christopher Horner, author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide To Global Warming And Environmentalism", on my radio show during a live on-air debate about climate change.
These days he no longer does the bidding of New Bedford or has to look anyone in the eye. Nope..no siree. Instead, he is a bureaucrat who has turned on the city faster than a starving hyena coveting a meaty bone held by another member of his pack. From his ivory tower safe from the lowly fisherman, Bullard has continued his capricious, self serving ways.
In a statement reported by WBUR Bullard said:
“They do need to make significant changes. And until they do, their boats will be tied to the dock,” says John Bullard, NOAA’s regional administrator.
Bullard says lacking reliable data, it’s difficult to assess damage already done to various species in the Gulf of Maine. But he says it’s significant.
“They’ve exceeded quotas of cod, of yellowtail flounder and witch flounder by perhaps as much as a whole year’s quota,” he says.
Of course when he says, "they've", he refers to Carlos Rafael, a major fishing mogul from the port of New Bedford but who is now serving a four year sentence in Fort Devens for those very transgressions.
The fact is, Bullard is a radical environmentalist, at least when it doesn't affect his own life. Sources in the city government tell me that If you could check the New Bedford records, it's alleged that Bullard's home, thanks to a ruling in which he had a hand, is not subject to the rain/ground water draining laws which would fine most of the rest of the city for having the same setup. But that's true for a unique particular bunch of the power listed people in that exact and exclusive neighborhood, however that's an argument for another day.
He is also responsible for the traffic scourge we on Massachusetts' South coast call the Fairhaven Bridge. Despite it's horribly outdated abilities and perpetual problems and costs, 'his highness' hath deemed it a "historic treasure" and protected it from badly needed upgrading or replacing. It is one of the worst traffic causing problems for many miles and one of the many examples of how backwards this area can be in terms of progress. And he calls himself progressive!
You have to feel for today's Mayor of New Bedford, John Mitchell. He is fighting this alone. He is capable, smart and a fine mayor who understands in depth the issue here but while only able to muster up a low muttering of resentment, the mayor is getting zero help from Senators Elizabeth Warren or Ed Markey, nor any from Congressman Bill Keating. They are all ducking from this, afraid of ticking off the powerful and sometimes generous environmentally active campaign donors.
It must be surreal for Mitchell to know his neighbor and predecessor to his position is now his biggest adversary as he tries to stop economic catastrophe for hundreds of New Bedford families, thanks to Bullard. Mitchell is a gentleman and will not speak ill of any of the above mentioned...but ya' just know what he wants to say.
Bullard, elbowed his way to this cushy position, likely bullied his way past more qualified applicants, was hired by the notorious Dr. Jane Lubchenco who began her tyrannical tenure as NOAA's administrator during the Obama Administration. She had been throat punching Northeast fishermen like those in New Bedford for years. She, like Bullard is doing now, treated them all like criminals, even putting federal observers on their boats at an $800 per day cost to the boat owners! It's like being forced to pay for a State Police trooper to sit in your back seat in case you speed or commit a moving violation.
Bullard lobbied for the job and suddenly slid into it like Kramer slid into that job on Seinfeld, inexplicably (of course Kramer was exposed for not knowing how to do the job and was soon fired after, but that wasn't a government job like Mayor Bullard's).
For the fish which are still in vast numbers that he has no clue to how to estimate, they deserve his elite benevolence. For his former voters working on the fishing boats? You get nothing but piling bills, foreclosures and defaulted loans. Remember though, you built his local hubris when you put him in the mayor's office and you will now suffer the consequences of your own votes. Even as New Bedford's port mourns the loss of two of their own, no mercy is given, nor should be expected.
A quote from Brad Pitt's character 'Rory Devaney' from the movie "The Devil's Own" comes to mind, only I will switch the word "Irish" with "New Bedford".
"Don't look for a happy ending. It's not an American story. It's a New Bedford one."